1 Tuesday, 23 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. We're grateful to counsel
6 for giving an indication of the likely length of cross-examination for
7 this witness.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Our general view is that it should be possible with
10 this witness to keep cross-examination within the overall time-scale of
11 the examination-in-chief, that's not so very far away from the estimates,
12 it's probably a little less, but we would be grateful for that reason if
13 you would try to tailor it to fit that rule of thumb.
14 Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We're going to continue with the cross-examination.
17 Mr. Visnjic has just a little bit to go.
18 Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. We left off yesterday
24 with the Defence Exhibit 3D487, in which General Ojdanic issued some tasks
25 regarding the priority in the cases before the judicial organs. Now I
1 would like to move to a different topic --
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And I would like the witness to be
3 shown Prosecution Exhibit P930, if that can be brought up on e-court.
4 Q. General, this is the Official Gazette where the law on the army
5 was published, and I would like to ask you some questions about some of
6 the articles in this law defining the purview of the General Staff and its
8 MR. VISNJIC: Sorry. [Interpretation] P930
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this the wrong document, Mr. Visnjic?
10 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour, I think it should be -- I'm sorry
11 for that.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. VISNJIC: 984, I'm sorry. Yes. Thank you very much.
14 [Interpretation] Now I would like the witness to be shown page 2
15 of this document containing Article 5, and if we could perhaps zoom in on
16 paragraph 1 of Article 5.
17 Q. General, Article 5 says that the General Staff is the highest
18 expert and staff organ for the preparation and deployment of the army in
19 peace and wartime. Do you agree with me that this is a provision in the
20 law determining the rights and the powers vested in the General Staff?
21 A. This is not --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- something that is --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't answer that question.
25 Mr. Visnjic, the law is in the document; and if you have
1 questions about matters of fact that you want the witness to deal with,
2 then that's fine, but we don't need him to tell us what the article says
3 and what is law is.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not mean to
5 pursue this line of questioning. I merely wanted to determine whether
6 Articles 5 and 6 are the articles regulating the role, the rights, and the
7 powers of the General Staff and the Chief of Staff, and then I have some
8 follow-up questions that I wanted to ask of this witness. I can, in fact,
9 ask the questions right now.
10 Q. General, Articles 5 and 6, on the basis of what we see here,
11 regulate the rights and powers of the General Staff. My question to you
12 is as follows: Do you know that at the time when you were an active-duty
13 serviceman that the Chief of Staff exceeded the -- his powers and rights,
14 as described in this article?
15 A. No, I don't know about any such instances.
16 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to move on to a different topic. I
17 would now like you to go back to the period of April and May 1999.
18 General, do you know about the espionage case involving two Australian
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you briefly tell us who those persons were, when, and where
22 were they arrested, and more or less what you know about this case.
23 A. This is known as the Prajta [phoen] case. When I was
24 re-activated, this case had already been dealt with operationally. All I
25 know is that sometime in late May it was made public that they had been
1 sentenced. I think it was sometime on the 30th or the 31st of May. There
2 were three persons that were indicted, and they were sentenced to jail --
3 to prison sentences of between four and 12 years.
4 Q. Do you perhaps know where and how they were arrested?
5 A. No.
6 Q. You don't know. Do you know if the diplomatic bodies of Australia
7 were notified about their arrest?
8 A. Yes, they were.
9 Q. Do you know when -- where they were detained or remanded in
11 A. I think it was in Belgrade in the military investigative jail, and
12 that's part of the military court.
13 Q. General, in the bodies where you worked or bodies that you
14 contacted, was there ever any discussion or efforts to present these
15 people as special agents infiltrated by NATO to assassinate Milosevic?
16 A. No. No efforts were made to link them with any assassination
17 attempts. They were tried and sentenced for espionage, nothing more. I
18 don't know anything more about this.
19 Q. Do you know whether they were detained in some secret locations
20 and that the military intelligence service actually had detained them in
21 several locations and that their arrest and their subsequent detention was
22 actually concealed from the public?
23 A. There were no secret jails. As I said, there was this detention
24 facility in Ustanicka Street in Belgrade. That was the military
25 investigative detention facility.
1 Q. Do you know whether in this case the military security service
2 exerted any pressure on the prosecutor of the military district in
4 A. No. This service cannot exert any pressure on the judicial
5 organs, the prosecutor, the court. I don't know anything about that.
6 That's rather outlandish.
7 Q. Let me read paragraph 13 of the Defence Exhibit 3D486.
8 "One day in May 1999, the military security service arrested two
9 journalists from Australia. They held them detained" --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what is 3D486?
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a statement
12 made by a Prosecution witness. This was disclosed to us, and this witness
13 was supposed to give evidence -- he's supposed to give evidence before
14 this Court sometime in late February. His statement is -- was made in
15 September 2006, and I would like to check some of the information provided
16 in this statement through this witness.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this witness has told you that he knows
18 nothing of the circumstances of the actions of these people or of their
19 arrest. Now, what is it now that you think he will be able to say to you?
20 Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honour, if we're going to discuss that
22 witness or that statement, I would like to go into private session. There
23 have been some recent concerns and a request for protective measures from
24 that witness.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Visnjic, we don't want to go through an
1 exercise which is simply reading out something you know perfectly well the
2 witness can't actually give any specific information about. You have to
3 be in a position where you believe that he will be able to say something
4 from his personal knowledge before it's appropriate to do this.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I assume that witness
6 held such a high post in his service; and in light of the importance of
7 this case, I find it hard to believe that he did not have any direct
8 knowledge of this case.
9 And I think that he actually did share some of his knowledge about
10 this case in the course of his previous answers, and his answers in fact
11 clash with what is contained in paragraph 13 of the Defence Exhibit 3D486.
12 I can explore this issue through this witness with a few brief questions,
13 but --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The appropriate way to do this is to put specific
15 points, matters of fact, and ask him what his position is on these, rather
16 than to read out a statement. It's not the way to do it, and it's doubly
17 not the way to do it when the witness involved may in due course be an
18 appropriate candidate for protective measures.
19 So please put the specific points you want to put to him until we
20 see if there is any basis on which he's likely to give you any
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I already have the
23 facts that I need from this witness in the previous answers I got from
24 this witness, and that is when those people were arrested, where they were
25 held, what their status was, and whether there were any attempts or
1 whether they were actually linked in any way with the ostensible
2 assassination attempt on Milosevic.
3 The witness answered those questions, and I simply wanted to put
4 to him the whole story that was presented by this other witness in his
5 statement and ask him of his opinion. If you don't want me to do that,
6 then I can move on to another topic dealt with by this other witness, and
7 this witness had already testified about this in the Milosevic case.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, you can put the allegation without
9 reading out the statement. The statement's not his statement. If there's
10 an allegation contained in it that you think this witness can deal with
11 directly, then put the allegation.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've already gotten
13 answers that I needed related to this issue.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have an English hard copy of this exhibit
15 that I can look at without the witness looking at it at the moment?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I see it, please.
18 MR. VISNJIC: It's page 6, Your Honour, paragraph 13.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't see how reading this out is going to assist
20 you. It's not even clear what's being said in the paragraph itself,
21 whether this is a genuine case of -- or a case of genuine evidence of an
22 assassination or whether it was simply a public relations exercise.
23 What -- so you would need to put to the witness the basis for your
24 proposition. Are you saying that this is evidence of a genuine
25 assassination attempt, or are you saying that this indicates that it was
1 all being dressed up as an assassination attempt?
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that this was
3 neither an assassination attempt nor an attempt to dress it up as an
4 assassination attempt. I think that the version of the events as painted
5 by the witness in this paragraph is simply not true, and I wanted to hear
6 this from the witness -- from this witness.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're not -- that -- I now understand you
8 differently. You're not claiming this is the truth; you're claiming this
9 is not the truth.
10 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And you want this witness to comment on it.
12 MR. VISNJIC: Exactly.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I'm with you. Carry on.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. General, I am about to read a few sentences to you, and if we may
16 have a comment on your part.
17 "One day in May 1999, the military security service arrested two
18 Australian journalists. They held them captive in several locations.
19 Obrencevic told me in the presence of Gojkovic that it was decided by the
20 state top" --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry.
22 Mr. Hannis, I forgot the point you made. Do you want this dealt
23 with in private session?
24 MR. HANNIS: Well --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: He is reading from the statement without
1 identifying the witness.
2 MR. HANNIS: If it gets to a part where he's -- where it may
3 reveal the identity of the witness, then I have a concern. If he says:
4 My boss so-and-so --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that happens in this, does it, Mr.
6 Visnjic? Is there a way of identifying the witness from what you're
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had no intention of
9 mentioning the witness's name. In any case, I will try and avoid that.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on then. Thanks.
11 MR. HANNIS: It's not just his name, but if he references my
12 immediate boss or my deputy, it could.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I will try to meet all the
15 Q. I think I will have to re-start.
16 "One day in May 1999, the military security service arrested two
17 Australian journalists. They held them captive at several locations.
18 Obrencevic told me in the presence of Gojkovic that the state top decided
19 to portray them to the public as NATO special agents who infiltrated in
20 order to assassinate Milosevic; however, the military security organs
21 managed to arrest them."
22 I conclude with the quote. My question, General, is this: Could
23 you please comment on this part of the statement.
24 A. I don't know any of it, apart from the fact that they were
25 arrested and sentenced for espionage and subsequently released, I believe.
1 They were pardoned, if I'm not mistaken. As for their involvement in an
2 attempt of assassination and that there was a scheme in place so as to
3 portray them as possible Milosevic's assassins, I don't think that has
4 anything to do with it.
5 In any case, they were mentioned in the media in that context when
6 the spider or Pauk group was mentioned and another two foreign citizens
7 were involved as well. I don't know if they were from Belgium or the
8 Netherlands, and they were shown as someone who had knives in their
9 possession and things like that but it has had nothing to do with this.
10 Q. And it followed quite much later than the first case?
11 A. Yes, after the war had ended.
12 Q. General, another question about this exhibit. In the Milosevic
13 case at page 16007, you described the case of Colonel Stosic --
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Stosic?
15 A. You are correct.
16 Q. I said "Colonel Stosic" because in this Exhibit 3D486, he's
17 mentioned as Colonel; however, you said he was lieutenant-colonel. Was
18 Lieutenant-Colonel within the security administration?
19 A. In a very broad meaning of the word, he was in an organisational
20 unit which was subordinated and part of the security administration.
21 Q. Let me put it this way: Did the military security service try and
22 cover up the case that Lieutenant-Colonel Stosic was involved in? Did
23 they try to do that?
24 A. I don't know what time-period you refer to. I mentioned
25 Colonel -- Lieutenant-Colonel Stosic in my prior testimony as regards
1 certain indications that some members of his unit may have perpetrated
2 crimes in Gornja Klina; and within in that context, he was also in
3 custody, there was an investigation in place, and proceedings
4 instigated -- instituted before in the military court in Nis, but it was
5 also concluded.
6 Q. Am I right in saying that the proceedings were conducted based on
7 the information gathered by the military security service; this was the
8 basis for the case?
9 A. Yes. When I was in Glogovac on -- in the 37th Motorised Brigade,
10 their security organ acquainted me with the Gornja Klina case, and we
11 decided to arrest all of those people, including Lieutenant-Colonel
13 Q. When you were in Kosovo, did you have any information about the
14 military security service exerting pressure on the prosecutor of the
15 Pristina military district concerning the case of Lieutenant-Colonel
16 Stosic or any other case for that matter?
17 A. I don't know. I don't know why he would have to exert any kind of
18 pressure on Stosic and what kind of pressure, what for?
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. There was no pressure. We detained him and handed him over to the
21 appropriate military judiciary organs.
22 Q. Thank you. My next question is this, General, pertaining to the
23 period when you were not in active service just prior to the war: Am I
24 right in saying that after the Rambouillet negotiations, the Army of
25 Yugoslavia would receive information about NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia,
1 irrespective of any further developments on the political plain?
2 A. There were such information in circulation, and I received one
3 such piece of information and I acquainted the security administration
4 with it. Do you mean immediately after Rambouillet?
5 Q. Yes, end February/early March 1999?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Thank you, General.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no further
9 questions for this witness; however, I wish to tender -- I wish to tender
10 several Defence exhibits that I did not mention to the witness. These are
11 collegium documents of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. The
12 Prosecution put forth a number of such documents, and we, therefore, wish
13 to tender another number of such collegium documents following the same
14 principle and on the same basis put in place by the Prosecution.
15 Currently, I am unable to locate the list, but it includes three
16 exhibits. By your leave, I'm ready to submit them after the break. I
17 would provide the list of those Defence exhibits.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have no objection to collegium -- VJ
20 collegium minutes of the General Staff.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: This is, to some extent, unusual because in the
22 course of the Prosecution case it would be not normally appropriate for
23 the Defence to be presenting documents on a sort of free-standing basis
24 that might be part of the Defence case.
25 But in the exceptional circumstances I think where you could
1 probably achieve that objective by simply asking the witness to identify
2 these as apparently authentic documents from the collegium, then it's
3 likely that the Trial Chamber will allow you to have these exhibited. But
4 you can raise the matter after the break when we return.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
10 Q. And good morning, General.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. General, my name is John Ackerman. I represent General Pavkovic
13 in these proceedings, and I have several questions to ask you about your
14 testimony here. I'm sure you're getting very tired of being shown one
15 document after another after another, and I'm sorry to tell you that it's
16 not going to let up. I have several documents that I want to show you
17 also. So with your understanding and patience, we'll proceed through
18 that. Okay.
19 Now, this has been discussed with you a bit. After the NATO
20 air-strikes started in 1999, you told us that you made it clear that you
21 were available to assist in any way you could and you actually wound up
22 doing so; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you tell us how it came about that you actually did get
25 re-instated in 1999. Did any of your colleagues that were on active
1 military service assist you in any way in that regard?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, we've actually had this evidence. I
3 don't know if you've read the transcript of that part, but we had a
4 detailed account from the witness of how he was approached to return.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I thought I'd read all the transcript, Your Honour,
6 and thought that was not covered. If you say it was --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Please, if it's important to you to know the
8 answer, but he, in fact -- I'm just trying to find where I noted it.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: That's more introduction than anything, Your
10 Honour, I can pass over it.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: He was looked up by General Farkas and asked if he
12 would accept re-activation and appointment in the republican state
13 security with a view to obtaining some coordination between military and
14 civil security.
15 Is that an accurate summary, Mr. Vasiljevic, of how you came to be
17 MR. ACKERMAN: He nodded his head yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: But if you need more details, please ask him.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. General, I was under the impression that you had been assisted by
21 some other members of the military at the time; and if that's not the
22 case, you can just say so and we'll move on.
23 A. I was not assisted, and I did not insist on any assistance to be
24 reinstated. Simply put, I and a number of other security officers who
25 were retired were ready to lend a hand, to assist. We did not ask for
1 reinstatement; we simply put our services at their disposal. I conveyed
2 that to the people in the security administration. What followed was a
3 call by General Farkas, and I believe it was in early April.
4 Q. That is in the record, and thank you. I want to go now to some
5 testimony you gave on the 18th of January, and I'm at page 8632 of the
6 transcript where you were talking about the dismissals of Dimitrijevic and
7 Perisic. You told the Chamber they were dismissed because of a
8 disagreement with Milosevic, and these are your words: "With regard to
9 the way Kosovo was being resolved."
10 Now, I believe you took the position that Dimitrijevic and Perisic
11 believed it was the job of MUP to combat terrorism and not the army;
13 A. No. They thought it was necessary for the army to participate,
14 however, in the legitimate regular way once the emergency had been
15 declared in Kosovo. They did not disagree with the use of the army but
16 with the way it was being used.
17 Q. And they were taking the position that the army couldn't be used
18 unless there was a declaration of emergency by Milosevic?
19 A. Not Milosevic, the Assembly was to -- supposed to put that in
21 Q. And, apparently, it was the position of Perisic and your position
22 here last week that using the army to combat terrorism without such a
23 declaration would be illegal and unconstitutional; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you'll probably remember Mr. Hannis even saying at page 8652
1 that members of the joint criminal enterprise that we allege in this case
2 were aware that the kinds of actions they had been taking as far back as
3 the summer of 1998 were in violation of the constitution. And I believe
4 he's referring to that same thing.
5 In paragraph 21 of your statement, General, you said that General
6 Pavkovic may have earned Milosevic's favour in 1998 when he, Pavkovic, was
7 willing to use the VJ in Kosovo in contrast to General Perisic, who was
8 reluctant and who wanted a state of emergency declared.
9 Now, again, I'm quoting from your words there. And in that
10 context, you will probably recall that you were asked by Judge Bonomy just
11 what it was that General Pavkovic did that General Perisic said required a
12 declaration of emergency. Do you remember being asked that?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. And at page 8678 of the transcript, you answered Judge Bonomy this
16 "What is he not allowed to do if a state of emergency is not
17 declared, do I understand you properly? He cannot take the troops out of
18 barracks. He cannot use armoured brigades that would support MUP forces
19 in fighting the terrorist groups in Kosovo if a state of emergency had not
20 been declared." Correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I think it might be helpful, General, to our understanding of
23 this, if we would take a moment just to look at the law, and I would like
24 you to look, please, at Exhibit 4D138. And the part of that exhibit that
25 I'm interested in having you see, General, is paragraph 473. And what you
1 have in front of you are the rules of service of the Yugoslav army?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: And, Your Honour, these are the 1996 version of the
3 rules. There is a Prosecution exhibit that is the 1994 version of the
4 rules. These are more updated. 473 in this version I think corresponds
5 to 450 in the Prosecutor's version of this document.
6 Q. Now, if you'll look at paragraph 473 here in these rules, it says
7 this: "Army units may be used to combat outlawed, sabotage, terrorist,
8 and other armed enemy groups," and then it says in the second paragraph:
9 "The Chief of the General Staff shall issue the order for the use of Army
10 units to carry out the tasks stated in this item."
11 You see that?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: The registrar needs to turn the page. He can only
13 see the first part of 473.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Do you require of me to
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. No, I don't, except to simply suggest to you that that would
18 permit the Chief of the General Staff to order this kind of use of the
19 army without any declaration of emergency from the Assembly.
20 A. Yes. But in the paragraph before that, it reads: "Pursuant to
21 the decision by the president of the Republic of Yugoslavia and the
22 Supreme Defence Council." What the legislator had in mind was -- were
23 terrorist groups, small groups.
24 But if we are talking about an already-established illegal Kosovo
25 Liberation Army and about a state of emergency in the territory of Kosovo,
1 whereby almost all roads were blocked and they held a large portion of
2 Kosovo in their hands by the Siptar terrorist groups, this is way beyond
3 small, outlaw, and terrorist groups in the sense of this article, and even
4 then it should be pursuant to the Supreme Defence Council's decision or
5 the decision by the president of Yugoslavia.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. I cannot say for certain, but I was not in active service at the
8 time and I don't think such a decision was made by the Supreme Defence
9 Council. The decision was made by the president without their approval.
10 Q. I don't want to get into an argument with you about the law; but I
11 suggest to you, there's a very important "or" in that paragraph 473. The
12 first part permits the Chief of the General Staff to order the army
13 against terrorist and armed enemy groups. The second part authorises him
14 to do other things if there's a state of emergency called. But what -- I
15 want to move on now.
16 In 1968 [sic], when this dispute was going on, of course the Chief
17 of the General Staff who would be referred to there in 473 was, in fact,
18 General Perisic, wasn't it?
19 A. It is an error. It was not 1968, it was probably 1998.
20 Q. Yeah, that was a mistake on my part. It was 1998.
21 A. Yes, Perisic was there.
22 Q. And if these rules are as I suggest, General Perisic could have
23 just simply issued an order for the use of the army in Kosovo in the way
24 that he's apparently was complaining it couldn't be used?
25 A. He couldn't make any decision on the use of the army without the
1 president's approval --
2 Q. All right --
3 A. -- or rather, an approval by the Supreme Defence Council.
4 Q. Let's look then at another document and this is 4D137.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: And I'd like the usher to come get a hard copy from
7 Q. I have one for you. And, General, I want to take -- I want you to
8 take your time looking at this document. One of the questions I'm going
9 to ask you about it -- in fact, the first question I'll ask you about it
10 is if it appears to you to be an authentic document, and please take your
11 time looking at it because I will have several questions about it.
12 A. Yes, it seems to be authentic.
13 Q. It has the seals; it has the signature of General Perisic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It's dated 28 July 1998?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At the very beginning of that document under the heading
18 "directive," it says the directive is: "To deploy the Yugoslav army for
19 securing the state border with Albania, units and facilities in the
20 territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and crush the armed rebel forces."
21 Correct? Is that what that says?
22 A. Well, that's not in dispute. Evidently, that's what it says.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, what's the difference between a
24 directive and an order?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An order refers to the use of
1 smaller units, as compared to a directive, which refers to the use of
2 strategic groups. An order is used at lower levels, subordinate levels.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. Now, General, if we go to paragraph III of this document now, and
7 I think that is on page 2 for you, you see that General Perisic sets out
8 various stages of this engagement. And in the first stage, he talks about
9 what's to take place in the zone of the Pristina Corps and the protection
10 activities the army is to engage in there, and then says this:
11 "Through quick actions coordinated with the forces of the MUP of
12 the Republic of Serbia, overwhelm and destroy the sabotage and terrorist
13 forces in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, as per a special order
14 from the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army."
15 And if you go on down to "tasks for the 3rd Army," paragraph 2.1:
16 "Through quick actions coordinated with the forces of the MUP of
17 the Republic of Serbia, overwhelm and destroy the DT, sabotage and
18 terrorist forces, in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, as per a
19 special order from the Yugoslav Army's General Staff."
20 So doesn't it appear that what General Perisic is doing here on
21 the 28th of July, 1998, is ordering exactly what he claimed was
22 unconstitutional, illegal, for him to do?
23 A. Well, I'm commenting now on something that I should study in
24 greater detail, but I will do so based on my scanning this document.
25 First of all, it's not clear pursuant to whose order and whose standpoint
1 this directive was drawn up. Usually, it says pursuant to a decision of
2 the president of Yugoslavia, for instance, or pursuant to decisions
3 reached at such and such a session. Usually, such a directive on the use
4 of armed forces requires that kind of introduction to be implemented in
6 Secondly, this speaks about the use of the army to secure the
7 state border; but as far as I know, there was a wider belt encompassing
8 the state border. Previously, it had been a hundred metres wide, but
9 later it was broadened to several kilometres, if I'm correct. So this is
10 the area of the state border with Albania, and it also includes units and
11 facilities in that area.
12 The third part refers to crushing and breaking up the forces of
13 the armed rebellion. These are activities outside the border belt. This
14 is all beyond dispute, but I do not see pursuant to what this decision was
15 made because it's common knowledge who can issue a decision on the use of
16 the army. At the time I did have some information and knowledge.
17 It was the army that was proposing this way of using the army.
18 It's also beyond dispute that Perisic advocated this kind of use of the
19 army; but as far as I know, he and Dimitrijevic wanted a state of
20 emergency to be declared because objectively it did exist in Kosovo. So
21 it just had to be openly stated, and this would then enable the army to
22 act in different conditions.
23 Now the army is being deployed in the border belt, which is what
24 it is meant to do; however, if there is an escalation, if a mobilisation
25 is required, then the army activities spread over a wider area. That's my
1 interpretation of all this. I did not, myself, participate in these
3 Q. Well, General, this directive clearly deals with deployment of the
4 army beyond the border belt. The paragraphs that I read to you talks
5 about deploying the forces on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, not
6 just in the border belt. "To overwhelm and destroy the terrorist forces
7 in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija." That's the entire country, and
8 that is what Perisic is ordering here. And this is what the Prosecution
9 has contended and you have contended would have been unconstitutional for
10 him to do.
11 Now, as per the authority, I just showed you that, the Rules of
12 Service 473, which says clearly that he can issue this order, and based on
13 that I suggest to you that's what he did.
14 A. I'll tell you what the tasks are in 2, 2.1, 3. This is the first
15 stage and units that are ready are mentioned up to 1800 hours. It says
16 strengthen in-depth securing of the border belt in the area of the
17 Pristina Corps, protect the units and military facilities from any
18 activities from sabotage groups, and secure that the supply routes to the
19 units are safe and passable.
20 This is all directly linked to the area that the army was in
21 charge of and the protection of its own facilities. That's the first
23 Q. It's the next paragraph that's important. The next paragraph
24 makes it province-wide, Kosovo-wide, takes in everything, doesn't it?
25 A. Which paragraph?
1 Q. The one after the one you were just reading: "Through its
2 presence and" -- no, no, that's not it. I'm sorry.
3 A. In the second stage, it says: "Carry out mobilisation," but it's
4 well-known who can order mobilisation. It's not the Chief of the General
5 Staff; it's higher-ranking organs.
6 Q. All right. Now, in -- I read those paragraphs to you twice now,
7 and I'm not going to read them again. It's clear that the order was to
8 combat terrorism throughout the entire Kosovo and Metohija. I want to
9 move on. In the --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, before you do, is the reference in
11 this document, which is difficult to read the whole of when it's on
12 e-court, to the troops supporting or being used in support of the MUP?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is that?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: It's in -- it's on page 3 in the English.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Paragraph number?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, right at the very top: "Through quick
18 actions coordinated with the forces of the MUP" --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have page 3 of the English, please, on the
21 MR. ACKERMAN: That's not it. Maybe it's at the top of that, go
22 to the top of that page. There it is. "Through quick actions coordinated
23 with the forces of the MUP..." and then you see the same action closer to
24 the bottom: "Through quick actions coordinated with the forces of the
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. Now, assuming this order was regularly issued by General Perisic,
4 I take it that in the normal course of events -- well, first of all, I
5 must ask you. This order was -- you'll see on it, it was directed to the
6 3rd Army, was it not, among other -- on the last page?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, I assume in the normal course of events that then one
9 would expect that an order would have gone out from the 3rd Army
10 implementing this directive from General Perisic?
11 A. Well, if I may interpret this directly. On the first page in the
12 upper right-hand corner, it says: "Defence, state secret-R," and then
13 there is a code number. These are documents pertaining to the war plan.
14 This is a document of war planning, how something would develop. This is
15 not an executive order to be implemented right away. The subordinate
16 commands, when they receive a directive such as this, then they draw up
17 their own documents based on this. But the decision for the army to act
18 on this as far as I can understand the situation and the rules, such a
19 decision cannot be issued by the General Staff and the Chief of the
20 General Staff bypassing the institution superior to him, primarily the
21 president of the state and the Supreme Defence Council.
22 The council presents the president with its standpoints on the
23 deployment of the army. So this is an element of war planning and
24 preparation for a certain situation. And, probably, this would be
25 accompanied by maps with the elements entered into them, and also we don't
1 see here who has approved this. This was done by the General Staff; but
2 to the best of my knowledge, the president of Yugoslavia would have to
3 give his approval.
4 Q. Well -- and you don't have any knowledge about that at all. I
5 want to show you 4D140 now, and I also have a hard copy for you because
6 it's a long document. Now, first thing I want you to do is look at it and
7 confirm that it's an authentic document.
8 A. Yes. It looks authentic in view of its form and content.
9 Q. All right. And now, this document is an order issued by General
10 Samardzic and it's on the same -- the next day, the 29th of July, 1998,
11 and I think you will notice that a copy of that went to the Pristina
12 Corps. And I suggest to you what this is is an implementation by order,
13 as you suggested would be the next step, of the directive issued by
14 General Perisic that we just looked at.
15 A. Yes. If we look at GROM 98, this is an order to smash forces, but
16 it would require a more detailed reading and an expert will probably be
17 able to do this more thoroughly. The stages are provided for here, but
18 there is no date saying when mobilisation is to begin. So these are
19 preparatory elements so that when such a decision is issued, the army has
20 its plans ready. So the activities here are planned by stage, but no
21 time-frame is provided.
22 Let me see when reports have to be delivered. You can't see when
23 this enters into force. You can only see when it was drawn up, the 29th
24 of July, pursuant to what the General Staff issued previously, its
25 directive. So the people in the 2nd Army in Montenegro and everybody else
1 who received a directive drew up such documents, documents such as this
2 one. This is an element of war planning and preparation for combat, but
3 the actual decision to act on the plan has to be made by the Supreme
4 Defence Council.
5 Q. This document, I'm looking at the English part. It's in section 2
6 that says "army tasks," and I think you'll find that on page 3 of your
7 document. In the second paragraph it says: "In a coordinated action with
8 the Serbian MUP forces, launch rapid attacks to smash and destroy DT
9 forces in Kosovo and Metohija in accordance with the special order of the
10 Chief of the General Staff."
11 On page 5 of the English, and it would be 3.5, and that would be
12 page 5 of your document, where General Samardzic says: "I have decided to
13 engage," in other words, he's now making a decision to engage.
14 "I have decided to engage part of the permanent army force,
15 reinforced by other VJ units," and then right underneath that
16 paragraph: "based on a special order issued by the VJ General Staff in
17 coordinated action with Serbian MUP forces, launch rapid and energetic
18 attacks to smash and destroy DT forces in Kosovo and Metohija and in the
19 Pecinja district."
20 That's what it says, isn't it?
21 A. Yes, but I maintain what I said before. This is an element of
22 preparation. This is the planning stage for combat which is yet to be
23 implemented. The decision to implement the order when it becomes an
24 executive order and the time-frame are missing. There are war plans
25 saying in the same way: If there is an aggression from this or that side,
1 the units will be deployed in such and such a way. But it doesn't mean
2 that this has entered into force. So for this to enter into force a
3 special decision has to be issued, and I've already told you who can issue
5 As far as I know - and my knowledge is fragmentary and partial -
6 this was the only matter in dispute. There is no dispute that Perisic and
7 Samardzic agreed to the use of the army as planned, but it was the
8 competent organ that had to issue the decision and a state of emergency
9 had to be declared. They felt that a situation of emergency already did
10 exist in Kosovo, but it had to be formally declared for the plan to be
11 implemented. This decision was not issued, and that was the reason for
12 the dispute.
13 Q. All right. We're still over there on page 5 of the document, and
14 you keep telling me that it's not implemented. And I suggest to you when
15 he says: "I have hereby decided to engage part of the permanent army
16 force," and set out how it is to be engaged, that that is the
17 implementation. And if you will look on the next page --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you go to the next page, what I
19 understand the witness to be saying is, if you look at the next paragraph
20 of 4, that before action can actually be taken there has to be a special
21 order issued by the VJ General Staff, and that's special referred to in
22 the first line of that next section.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm not sure what that means, Your Honour, but if
24 we go over --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It does mean that there ought to be a special
1 order. And if your case is right, the special order would be issued on
2 the 28th of July. And if your case -- and if the witness's case is right,
3 the special order may never have been issued.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it was the 28th of July issue, because you
5 see where we're going next, Your Honour. If we go to the next page we get
6 down to a section that says: "Operational deployment," then underneath
7 that a section that says: "Stand-by." And in that stand-by section, it
8 actually has a date of deployment, and that is 6 August at 0500 hours for
9 smashing and destroying DTG, so like a week after the issuance of this
10 order it was supposed to be made effective.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's ask Mr. Vasiljevic.
12 You see the reference there to the date, the 6th of August.
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. It's on page 6, General, near the top.
15 A. Yes. First of all, you see, this is to secure the passability of
16 communications. The date is the 6th of August; but everything else,
17 destroying the DTS, that's in accordance with the special order. And for
18 destroying armed rebellion forces by engaging mobilised units in M + 12,
19 that means in 12 days after mobilisation or at 1200 hours. I'm not sure
20 what this refers to. M is the moment when mobilisation is carried out.
21 So it's one thing to ensure road passability for roads normally
22 used by the army, even in peacetime, but that's only on the 6th of August.
23 But for the deployment of the units, a special order would be issued. So
24 I'm just trying to explain that to the best of my understanding, as this
25 has a code name, GROM 98, this is an element of war planning. Even now in
1 peacetime, there are well-developed planning pertaining to particular
2 situations; but when they will enter into force, that depends on the
3 Assembly declaring a state of war, mobilisation, and so on.
4 At that time it was the Supreme Defence Council that had to issue
5 such decisions. How could these -- if this is an executive order on the
6 29th of July, how could then the road passability be ensured only on the
7 6th of August? That's the first thing that has to be done to ensure road
8 passability before anything else is implemented.
9 Q. Well, I suggest to you, General, that reading part of that
10 sentence it doesn't just say ensuring road passability. It says: "And
11 smashing and destroying DTG," that's the terrorist elements?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, that must be read along with the next
13 line. The witness is reading it as: "Ensuring road passability and
14 smashing and destroying DTG." In other words, create the situation where
15 that can be done, because it's the next line that says: "For destroying
16 DTS in accordance with the special order." I'm not clear what the
17 difference between DTS and DTG is, but I suspect that's a mistran.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: It may be, Your Honour, but I think in any event we
19 have exhausted what we can do.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the point is clear to the Trial Chamber.
21 The one is now a question of interpretation based on all the evidence
22 we'll ultimately hear.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: And we'll no doubt hear more about these two
25 Q. General, thank you. We're going to go on now to another place.
1 One thing that --
2 MR. ACKERMAN: There are a couple of things that I do want to
3 point out, Your Honours, before I move on. First of all, I just make the
4 assertion that nowhere in either of these directives or orders does the --
5 do the words "Joint Command" appear.
6 And the second thing that I think is significant is the Perisic
7 order that is dated the 28th of July was issued five days after the
8 Perisic letter that we've seen in this case to Milosevic, which I think
9 was dated 24th of July, and that's P717. And I'm not going to go into in
10 any more detail than that, just in the interests of time.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's helpful, Mr. Ackerman. Thank you.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Now, there's been talk about Mr. Perisic being -- General Perisic
14 being basically fired, replaced, whatever, because of a disagreement with
15 Milosevic and his contention that it was illegal to issue this kind of
16 directive that we've just seen here today. The fact is that he wasn't
17 really fired; he was offered the position of assistant minister of
18 defence, wasn't he?
19 A. Well, these are just some nuances. If a military serviceman is
20 appointed to a post such as that of an advisor or assistant which doesn't
21 exist in the establishment itself, this is a way to remove this person
22 from the leadership position in a quiet way. He was marginalised, and
23 this is what was done to General Dimitrijevic.
24 They were removed from their posts, but the impression that was --
25 tried to -- the impression that they wanted to achieve was that they were
1 not really replaced but they were given some other post. But this is
2 nothing really -- this is not something that can be contested. The same
3 thing happened to General Velickovic in the air force.
4 Q. So your answer to my question was yes?
5 A. They were removed from their post. They were forced to leave.
6 Let me put that in clear terms.
7 Q. You're not listening to me. I didn't ask you about any "theys."
8 I said: "Perisic was not fired; he was offered the position of assistant
9 minister of defence." Now, you could just say "yes" if that's true.
10 A. No. That's not true; that's a half truth. He was offered this
11 post, but the first element is that he was removed from his post.
12 Q. Well, of course he wouldn't be offered the new one if he wasn't
13 removed from the first one. But the answer is he was offered that post of
14 assistant minister of defence, right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, that wasn't hard, was it? That could have been answered with
17 a "yes" a long time ago, couldn't it?
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's argumentative.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Well, I will try to be briefer.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. General, in paragraph 19 of your statement you say this:
22 "However, the chain of command was often circumvented by General
23 Pavkovic going directly to Milosevic without the knowledge or
24 authorisation of General Ojdanic. It was Ojdanic's opinion that Sainovic
25 and the Joint Command were receiving more information than he was."
1 Now, you were asked about this by Mr. Hannis at page 8669 of your
2 testimony and asked for examples of Pavkovic going directly to Milosevic.
3 And the only one you came up with was when you actually saw Pavkovic
4 leaving Milosevic's office on that day in May; correct? In June, I'm
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you --
8 A. In mid-June, yes.
9 Q. And you have no idea the subject of a meeting between Milosevic
10 and Pavkovic that day, if in fact one happened, do you?
11 A. Well, it is clear that a meeting took place. Milosevic confirmed
12 that Pavkovic had been to see him before.
13 Q. That's not the question. I really insist that you listen to my
14 question. My question is: You don't know the subject of a meeting that
15 went -- if a meeting took place between Milosevic and Pavkovic that day,
16 you don't know the subject of that meeting, do you?
17 A. Yes, but you do question the very existence of the meeting. You
18 are asking me two questions wrapped up in one. So your first putting to
19 question the fact that the meeting existed, and I'm telling you that
20 Milosevic confirmed it.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic --
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. And Milosevic said --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on --
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. Milosevic said --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on, please.
3 The only question that you were asked, Mr. Vasiljevic, was that
4 you didn't know the subject of a meeting that went on. Now, is your
5 answer to that yes or no?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know what the topic
7 discussed at the meeting was.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And the additional point you're anxious to convey
9 to us is that Milosevic said that he and Pavkovic had a meeting. Is that
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I wanted to say,
12 since the question itself contained the phrasing "if there was a meeting
13 at all." So the very existence of the meeting was brought into question.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. And what Milosevic said about that meeting was that it was not an
18 official meeting, right?
19 A. Yes, something to that effect.
20 Q. And in paragraph 21 of your statement, you even indicated your
21 understanding that there was some kind of a family connection between
22 General Pavkovic and Milosevic; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You know, don't you, that under the Rules of Service of the
25 Yugoslav Army that it's perfectly permissible for the commander-in-chief
1 to have conversations with members of the army?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And as far as you know, General Pavkovic was certainly operating
4 within the chain of command by making regular reports up the chain of
5 command, as required, and following orders coming down the chain of
6 command as he received them?
7 A. I do know that to a certain extent, but I can't go into details.
8 I know that as a general rule he did carry out his tasks.
9 Q. I'd like you to look at another exhibit, it's 4D136.
10 A. I did not give you a full answer because I only gave you a yes or
11 no answer to the right of the superior to communicate directly with his
12 subordinates. You are right there; but in such a situation, the
13 subordinate is duty-bound to inform about the conversation to his
14 superior, either before or after such a conversation, regardless of the
15 fact that he had been summoned by an even more superior organ.
16 General Pavkovic was duty-bound to inform the Chief of Staff about
17 any such meetings. He failed to do so, and General Ojdanic's comment was
18 to that effect. He was taken aback by that, and he told Milosevic: "This
19 is not a problem. You can summon my subordinates to you, but please do
20 not do that without me knowing about that."
21 Q. And maybe that was when Milosevic said this was not an official
23 A. Yes, that was his comment.
24 Q. All right. I want you to look now at 4D136.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: And I'd like the registrar just to page through it
1 slowly so that the witness can look at it.
2 It should be on your screen now. And we'll page through it just
3 one page at a time, rather slowly, so that you can get a sense of what it
5 Next page, please. There we go. We seem to have gone all the way
6 to the final page at this point. I guess that is the final page, yes.
7 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what this is?
8 A. This is the official assessment, the evaluation of active officers
9 in the Army of Yugoslavia.
10 Q. And this one is the evaluation and assessment of General Nebojsa
12 A. Yes. It was made by the commander of the 3rd Army, General
13 Samardzic, if I'm not mistaken.
14 Q. And assessing his performance from 29 June 1997 to 10 January
16 A. I couldn't see the date; but if you see it, I see no reason why I
17 should disagree with you.
18 Q. All right. We would have to go back to the first page for you to
19 see it, but I'll tell you that's what it is. If we look at the last page,
20 the written assessment, it talks about him holding the post of commander
21 of the 3rd Army of the Pristina Corps. At this post he showed superior
22 qualities, that he had been continuously improving on over time as a
23 result of several previously held posts.
24 And it goes on with fairly significant praise of the results
25 achieved by General Pavkovic and his assessment is exceptional. Is there
1 any assessment higher than exceptional, General?
2 A. No, that's the highest assessment.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. I want you to look now at another
4 document, this is 4D121.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm unsure when it is we break on
6 these days.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: 10.45, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay. Thank you.
9 Q. And this is a document dated 13 April 1999, and it's a combat
10 report to the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army from the 3rd Army
11 command. And at that time, the 3rd Army commander was General Pavkovic
12 and the Chief of the General Staff was General Ojdanic. The part of that
13 that I am primarily interested in is under section 2.1.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: So I think we need to go in the English to page 3.
15 And in the -- we're going to have to go one more page in the English.
16 There. I think that's it. And in the Serbian I'm not sure what page it's
17 on, but I think it's maybe on the second or third page. Let's see if we
18 can peruse through the Serbian part here. I think it's the next page.
19 Yeah, that will do it.
20 Q. Right above where it says paragraph 2.2, you'll see a paragraph
21 reporting criminal activity that had been referred to the military
22 prosecutor's office. "Six criminal reports, five requests for
23 investigation, seven indictments, one non-commissioned officers, three
24 privates, and three non-serving civilians." Do you see that?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Could we have the English version of this on the
1 screen, please.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: It should be -- it's right at the bottom --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes. We've got it right at the bottom.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: -- and it carries over to the next page.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Could we go over the page, please.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: And then can we go to the final page. Keep going.
7 There we go. And the same with the B/C/S. The part I'm interested in the
8 B/C/S may be -- I think it's probably there.
9 Q. You see the language that says:
10 "In view of the build-up of air, naval, and land forces in the
11 neighbouring countries, it is only to be expected that NATO air forces and
12 PS will continue to engage military units, facilities, and civilian
13 infrastructures in Kosovo and Metohija as their primary target and at the
14 same time make preparations for a land operation."
15 So it appears at this point the army was certainly preparing for
16 and expecting a land operation by NATO with land forces coming into
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. I'm through with that document now. I'll go to document
20 4D9 -- wait a minute. 4D122.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Be sure you need the document because certainly
22 your last question could have been asked without the document and answered
23 I think.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: It could have, Your Honour. It was just convenient
25 with the document already there.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Because this operation definitely slows us down a
2 great deal.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah. Well, Your Honour, 4D122 is the same kind of
4 a report. It's dated 29 April 1999. It's from General Pavkovic to the
5 General Staff. And on page 2 of this document, right before paragraph 3,
6 it provides this report:
7 "The military prosecutor's offices received 116 criminal reports.
8 Three officers, 34 privates, and 79 outside VJ civilians contracted to
9 provide services to the army. Two requests for
10 investigation, an officer and a private. Indictments against eight
11 privates. Four persons detained, eight requests for investigation, ten
12 indictments, and seven adjudicated cases."
13 Q. So again General Pavkovic is reporting the crime situation up to
14 General Ojdanic, isn't he?
15 A. Yes. This is just an overview --
16 Q. Yes, it is --
17 A. -- a general report about the cases that were instituted - please
18 allow me - but you cannot see what offences were.
19 Q. Right. You can simply see that they're being prosecuted and dealt
20 with. I want to look now -- I'm trying to move as rapidly as possible,
21 General, without creating confusion. I want to go to 4D99. 4D99 is a
22 report from the General Staff to the Pristina Corps, apparently.
23 And it's simply reporting that Chief of the General Staff,
24 Colonel-General Perisic, will come to Kosovo and make an inspection tour
25 of the forces engaged there between the 10th and the 13th of August, 1998.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And if -- if we follow the date path that we've been on today, we
4 have the directive from Perisic of the 28th of July, the follow-up order
5 of General Samardzic of the 29th of July, the directive in there that some
6 matters are certainly required to be initiated on the 6th of August, then
7 there's this report that comes out on the 7th of August, saying that
8 General Perisic is now going to come down and take a look at how things
9 are going there.
10 It appears as if he has expected his directive to be carried out
11 and is coming down to see how it's being carried out. Doesn't that make
13 A. Well, I cannot confirm this. He went to tour the units. Now
14 whether this is related to the documents that you mentioned, this is not
15 something that I can tell you. I cannot draw such conclusions. It is a
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, we have a number of documents that we
19 have placed into e-court regarding the operation of the chain of command
20 in 1998 and 1999, showing numerous instances of General Pavkovic operating
21 within the chain of command.
22 I am not going to go through those documents one at a time for
23 that purpose, but at an appropriate point - whether that be within the
24 next day or so or in the Defence case - we will offer those for admission
25 from the bar table.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I gather that Mr. Hannis has been prepared to
2 consider whether documents from the Defence should be admitted at this
3 stage in what would normally be an exceptional move. You've heard it
4 happen in the case of Mr. Visnjic, subject to clarification of these
5 documents. If you direct Mr. Hannis to the documents in question, no
6 doubt he'll be able to tell us whether he objects or not before we
7 conclude the witness's evidence.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I can do that.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour. That's helpful.
11 Q. All right, General, I want to go to --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm going into a completely different
13 area; and even though it's five minutes early, it might make sense to
14 break now rather than interrupt right after we start. It's up to you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: The trouble is that there are reasons beyond --
16 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: There are reasons applying to the personnel in the
18 court here that make it much more convenient to stick --
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: -- if we can to the schedule.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: No problem.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thanks, Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. General, this has been discussed with you at least peripherally,
25 yesterday. I want to go into it just a bit. I think you indicated in
1 your statement and maybe in some of your testimony that you were trained
2 as an infantry officer and that you were an infantry officer for many
3 years in the VJ.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And certainly one thing that you're very familiar with is the --
6 the problem of friendly fire and making sure that units are deployed in
7 such a way to avoid friendly fire so that your units aren't shooting at
8 each other; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in any combat situation where you are trying to deploy forces
11 that are under different commands, it's important that there be
12 coordination and cooperation; not only for the success of the operation,
13 but to avoid exactly that thing, the friendly fire that we talked about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And, as you've suggested, that there are -- there are basically
16 two ways that this can be accomplished. One, you can create a unified
17 command so that everyone is operating under one single command; or you can
18 create a joint coordinating body of some kind so that before the operation
19 takes place there is cooperation and coordination so that everyone knows
20 what task they have and that sort of thing.
21 A. For the organisation of cooperation -- coordination, there is no
22 need to have such a body. The commander organising the combat activities
23 in fact decides who is supposed to act in concert with whom and coordinate
24 with whom, and he tasks these subordinate units to get in touch with the
25 adjacent units, not necessarily a MUP unit but perhaps an adjacent unit
1 from the same brigade or corps, depending on who is the adjacent unit, to
2 decide on coordination. Lest there should be any instances of friendly
4 Q. Yes. And if a MUP unit, for instance, is going to undertake an
5 action and requests support from the VJ, then it could be quite helpful to
6 have a meeting to make sure that's properly coordinated; correct?
7 A. No meeting is required. The parties that received the order to
8 coordinate with each other in the field must get in touch with each other
9 directly, and then they agree on the axis, the lines of fire, the safety
10 zone in front of the units. This is something that is decided right there
11 on the front line, and this is something that is regulated in an order.
12 But if we're talking about larger-scale operation, then the
13 coordination for all these forces, unless there is a single command, then
14 all these activities must be agreed. So if we're talking about a broader
15 coordination for the use of forces, but as for the coordination of the
16 forces on the front line, this is something that the commanders who are
17 there, commanders of those units, decide because they are best acquainted
18 with the situation.
19 Q. Absolutely. No doubt about that, and I actually was referring to
20 the larger operation that you mentioned in your answer. And you talk
21 about it in paragraph 46 of your statement, where you say this:
22 "Although the MUP was not practically subordinated to the army in
23 Kosovo, the two groups were coordinated. The Joint Command compensated
24 for the absence of official subordination by ensuring that coordination
25 for joint operations occurred. In effect, the Joint Command effected de
1 facto coordination and cooperation between the two bodies."
2 Now, that's exactly what we were just talking about, that if you
3 don't have a unified command, then you certainly need some kind of
4 coordination along the lines of what was called a Joint Command at that
5 point; correct?
6 A. Well, I have explained this earlier, but let me stress this once
7 again. If we're talking about the command, that's one thing. You cannot
8 have two commands. There must be one superior command issuing orders that
9 must be complied with. But if we're talking about coordination, usually
10 these are -- these would be some inter-ministerial staffs and there is no
11 command relationship if you have a coordination.
12 They agree on what should be done, and then each party issues its
13 own commands to its subordinates. So the question about this Joint
14 Command was whether this was a body in charge of coordination or the
15 command issuing orders. I gave you my assessment based on the meeting
16 that I attended, and I cannot go any further than that.
17 Q. All right. Thank you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: And now we're there, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
20 We'll break again, Mr. Vasiljevic, resume in half an hour. If you
21 could leave the courtroom, please, with the usher.
22 [The witness stands down].
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And we'll sit again at 11.15.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I asked Mr. Ackerman
4 to give me three minutes of his time because I wish to tell you the
5 numbers. 3D494, 3D485, and 3D484. These are collegia of the Chief of the
6 General Staff from the same collection disclosed to the Prosecution. In
7 our view, these collegium documents should be tendered into evidence in
8 order to provide the Chamber with a fuller picture of the ways in which
9 the General Staff thought and worked in the relevant period in March 1999
10 on the one hand.
11 On the other hand we also tried to get from the Government of
12 Yugoslavia, now Serbia, the audio versions of these collegium meetings;
13 but, like the Office of the Prosecutor, we were not successful, which once
14 indicates that there is equality of arms here. If we do manage to get the
15 audio materials, we will of course inform Your Honours. But according to
16 my information which I received from my client, in general, these minutes
17 do reflect what actually happened without going into details.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we have no objection to that based on
21 the way we received them and their offering.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll allow these documents to be
23 exhibited as part of the cross-examination material for the third accused.
24 Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. General, we're going to need to backtrack just a little bit,
2 because during the break I found a document I couldn't find while we were
3 talking. And so I'll ask that you take a look at a document, 4D95,
4 please. And this goes to the issue that we were talking about this
5 morning, starting with the directive from General Perisic all the way down
6 through his visit on the 10th of August, 1999.
7 And this is a document 7 August -- I mean -- of 1998. This is a
8 document of 7 August of 1998; and to put it in context, that's a document
9 that would have been one day after the Samardzic order that talked about
10 implementation of 6 August 1998 -- and Mr. Hannis is on his feet?
11 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry to interrupt my colleague, Your Honour,
12 but 4D95 is not one I received on the e-mail list of documents that was
13 going to be used in cross-examination. I don't have a copy of it, so I
14 don't know what it is. I don't know if there was a subsequent e-mail.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Mr. Hannis is absolutely correct. It came up
16 during the questioning of this witness today. He said there should be an
17 implementation order if this was something more than plans.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I think this is an exceptional state of -- set of
19 circumstances, Mr. Hannis, that would justify reference to a document.
20 It's now on the screen. If it causes any particular difficulty for you,
21 obviously, we'll be cognizant of that in deciding what to do ultimately.
22 But it does seem to fit the pattern on the face of it and is worth
23 exploring in our opinion.
24 MR. HANNIS: I don't have an objection in that regard, Your
25 Honour. I may request to do something similar in re-direct. I just
1 didn't have a copy of it. Now I see it on the screen.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. General, this is an order issued by General Samardzic on the 7th
6 of August of 1998, and it has to do with the deployment of Yugoslav army
7 units. And I'm mostly interested in paragraphs 1 and 2, and especially 2
8 where he says:
9 "Pursuant to the approved decision and to support MUP forces,
10 engage army units from the deployment sector which are located behind the
11 combat deployment of the MUP forces by direct fire on individual targets
12 with weapons of the armoured mechanised units, artillery, others, and so
14 Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do. Item number 2, that is, is highlighted, so I cannot
16 really see the letters very clearly. But, yes.
17 Q. So General Samardzic is actually issuing an order now to the
18 Pristina Corps ordering the implementation of the VJ, as set out initially
19 in that directive that came from General Perisic in July?
20 A. In the preamble of this order, I don't see any reference to that
21 directive. It describes the situation in Kosovo and then issues an order.
22 Q. Well, that's true. The language there that I think maybe applies
23 is "pursuant to the approved decision." The other thing you'll notice, if
24 you look at the last page, is that a copy of this was delivered to the
25 Chief of the General Staff, wasn't it?
1 A. I don't see the last page.
2 Q. Oh, I'm sorry. It should say it right down there at the bottom.
3 Do you see it?
4 A. Yes. Yes, I do now.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, I appreciate this is not an order
6 by Perisic; nevertheless, does it in the highlighted part do exactly what
7 you would say Perisic considered should be done only if a state of
8 emergency had been declared; namely, deploy the VJ in support of the MUP?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, the MUP was the main
10 exponent of the battle against terrorist groups in Kosovo. A decision was
11 reached to secure the state border in a wider belt and the deployment
12 of the forces of the Army of Yugoslavia which can be used to protect
13 facilities. Evidently, at some level, agreement had been reached here for
14 the army to support the MUP forces, which were the main units, the basic
16 But there are no elements here to refer to the directive because
17 it isn't mentioned anywhere. What other decisions may have preceded this,
18 I don't know. As I'm expected to confirm the authenticity of these
19 documents, what strikes me here is that I don't see the usual stamps here,
20 the seals, showing that this was actually sent and registered in the
21 relevant command.
22 If this was sent by the commander of the army, Dusan Samardzic, to
23 the Pristina Corps or some other corps, it would have to say that it was
24 sent and whether it was coded or not and so on, or there should be a stamp
25 from the Pristina Corps confirming the receipt of the document. On more
1 than one of these documents, I have not seen the square stamp that would
2 confirm receipt of the document.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I wonder if you could deal with the question I
4 actually asked you. Does the order purport in the highlighted part to do
5 exactly what you would say Perisic considered should be done only if a
6 state of emergency had been declared? Or does it do something different?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If a state of emergency is declared,
8 not a state of war, then this could refer to a stage that had been
9 planned. But in the preamble to this order there is no reference to the
10 directive --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. Just let's forget that for the
12 moment. Look at the exact terms of the highlighted paragraph, not the one
13 on the screen.
14 Go back to the previous page.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, the front page.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I understood that Perisic's position was that
17 certain things could only be done if a state of emergency had been
18 declared. Have I got that right?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And I understood one of these things was deploying
21 the VJ in support of the MUP. Have I got that right?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not as a separate support task. The
23 army was deployed in the broader Kosovo area to maintain control over the
24 area and to provide support to the MUP --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]... More
1 specifically. To deploy an armoured brigade of the VJ in support of the
2 MUP. That would require a state of emergency. Was that his opinion?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was, yes. Such a large
4 unit, yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is that not exactly what this highlighted
6 paragraph says was to be done, that the VJ armoured mechanised units and
7 artillery were to be used in support of MUP action?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Now, you've answered my question.
10 That's all I want to know at the moment. I understand what you're saying
11 about the lack of reference back to the directive and the lack of a link,
12 but we can move on to other matters now.
13 Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. And now I'm going back to the area I was pursuing before the
16 break. I'd like you to look at 4D91. This is a -- an order of the 3rd
17 Army command of 30 July 1998 from General Samardzic of the 3rd Army.
18 You'll notice at the beginning, it says it's: "Pursuant to the order of
19 the Chief of the General Staff." It indicates that General Samardzic has
20 set up a 3rd Army forward command post in Pristina, that any decisions
21 concerning the engagement of army forces in Kosovo and Metohija are to be
22 made by the army Chief of Staff, that would be the 3rd Army Chief of
23 Staff, in line with decisions of Samardzic; and then he, in paragraph 3,
24 appears to exercise a great deal of control over the commander of the
25 Pristina Corps and what he is authorised to do.
1 And it says this, that the commander of the Pristina Corps - which
2 at that time was General Pavkovic - was to attend all the meetings of this
3 body called the Joint Command. But prior to going to those meetings, he
4 needed to tell the army Chief of Staff what requests he knew would be made
5 at those meetings and to get the permission of the army Chief of Staff to
6 agree to those requests; and then after the meeting, he was to report back
7 to the Chief of Staff on what was accepted at the Joint Command meeting
8 and whether there were any other requests made and then seek permission
9 with regard to those requests. And he was then to inform the Joint
10 Command of any decisions made by Samardzic with regard to the appropriate
11 use of the army. Correct?
12 A. Yes. Very precisely developed the place and the role of the
13 then-commander of the Pristina Corps in the work of the body called the
14 Joint Command.
15 Q. Right. And the other thing I suggest to you that's significant
16 here is that there was this forward command post of the 3rd Army operating
17 right there, in Pristina, with apparently the army Chief of Staff being
18 right there in Pristina so that General Pavkovic was not permitted to make
19 any use of the VJ without getting the complete approval of the Chief of
20 Staff through General Samardzic. That necessarily follows, doesn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the other thing that I think is clear if -- from this order,
23 if you agree with me. General Samardzic was maintaining complete control
24 of the operation of the Pristina Corps, as he should have. And he was
25 treating anything going on within that Joint Command as requests as to
1 which he was the final decision-maker as to whether the army would be used
2 in accordance with those requests?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And if we look then at Exhibit 4D94.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this is another one that I don't have on
6 my list.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: 4D94 was sent to them a long time ago, I think,
8 Your Honour. I was told that it was by my staff.
9 MR. HANNIS: I have the e-mail from the 19th, and it doesn't
10 appear to be listed.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's see what it is, Mr. Hannis, and then ...
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It's apparently not available on e-court,
14 Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, as my colleague, Mr. Sepenuk, once said,
16 heads will roll.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Let's move to something else and see if the
18 situation changes in the interim.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I can always make use of it at a later
20 date, I'm sure.
21 Q. All right. I want to leave this area now and go to the meetings
22 that went on in Belgrade where General Ojdanic had asked General Pavkovic
23 to come to Belgrade and meet with he and then also Milosevic regarding a
24 report that certain crimes were being committed in the course of what was
25 going on in Kosovo. And I just want to direct your attention to that.
1 One of the things that General Pavkovic explained in the meeting
2 on the 16th was that he'd seen Skorpions and Boca in Prolom Banja wearing
3 NATO-type uniforms. And I think you simply made the comment in your
4 testimony that you didn't know what General Pavkovic was doing in Prolom
5 Banja. And I suspect that's because you didn't know that there was a 3rd
6 Army reserve command post there in Prolom Banja, did you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, there being a 3rd Army reserve command post there, it was
9 totally appropriate for the 3rd Army commander to visit there, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And it was at this meeting on the 16th that you heard for the
12 first time the recommendation of General Pavkovic that he wanted to form a
13 Joint Commission to establish responsibility for crimes and that he made
14 that recommendation to Ojdanic in that meeting?
15 A. No. The first time I heard about the initiative to establish this
16 commission was from Lieutenant-Colonel Djurovic on the 9th of May when he
17 set out certain problems in general in Kosovo. On the 16th General
18 Pavkovic officially declared his standpoint, but I knew indirectly about
19 this on the 9th of July -- sorry, I apologise, not the 9th of July, I
20 meant to say the 9th of May.
21 Q. Yeah. And the recommendation was then repeated by General
22 Pavkovic in the meeting with Milosevic on the 17th, wasn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, after these meetings, you made a trip to Kosovo between the
25 1st and 9th of June of 1999, and the purpose of that trip was to conduct a
1 fact-finding mission, among other things, regarding the commission of
2 crimes following the revelations that went -- took place in these meetings
3 in Belgrade; correct?
4 A. Yes. But it was not until the 9th of July [as interpreted], but
5 the 7th. On the 7th, in the morning, we were already on our way back
6 passing through Kosovo on our way to Nis. So I was there from the 1st to
7 the 7th. The rest is correct.
8 Q. All right. My question about --
9 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. For the record, I should indicate that
10 that should probably read the 7th of June.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: It's 7th of June, 1999.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] June, yes.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. All right. Now, your meeting with Milosevic was on the 17th of
16 May where these matters were first discussed with Milosevic. My question
17 is: Why did you wait from the 17th of May until the 1st of June to pursue
18 this mission, this fact-finding mission? What was the cause for the
19 delay? There was about a two-week hiatus there.
20 A. Well, as I've already said, when General Gajic and I set out,
21 there was a rebellion in a unit at Kosovo which left its positions and
22 arrived in Krusevac. Our task was to find the organisers of the rebellion
23 and to assist on the ground to have the unit returned to Kosovo with
24 weapons, because they had abandoned their positions with their weapons.
25 So we were in Krusevac from the time we set out to Kosovo until
1 the 7th. Colonel Antic was with us at Krusevac. He was the chief of
2 security in the 3rd Army and he was there with us on the same task.
3 Q. Well, I've managed to confuse myself with that question. Either I
4 don't understand your answer or you didn't answer my question. What I was
5 trying to find out is why you didn't -- you waited until the 1st of June
6 to go to Kosovo when these revelations happened on the 16th/17th of May,
7 in that area.
8 I mean, why the delay between 17 May and 1st of June? Did you
9 answer that? Is that what you told me just now? And if you did, just say
10 yes, and I'll try and understand it.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, during your testimony, Mr. Hannis - and I
13 think it was at page 17 of the rough version of the transcript -
14 Mr. Hannis was asking you if in this fact-finding trip you had gathered up
15 any information about any of the locations mentioned in the indictment,
16 and he named several of those locations. Do you remember that?
17 A. I don't understand. When did I learn about this?
18 Q. When you went to Kosovo on your fact-finding mission, Mr. Hannis
19 was asking you yesterday at page 17 about various locations in Kosovo
20 where the Prosecution contends that crimes were committed, asking you if
21 you received any information about any of those locations.
22 And you had indicated that you hadn't; and then he asked you if
23 there were any security officers stationed in any of those locations. Do
24 you remember that line of questioning and your answers?
25 A. Yes. Yes, I do. I thought you were referring to some other
2 Q. No, it's that period. Now, just for an example, if there were
3 allegations that crimes were committed in, let's say Suva Reka, whether or
4 not the security service would have knowledge of that wouldn't depend at
5 all on whether the security service had someone stationed in Suva Reka.
6 It would depend on whether the security officer associated with the units
7 involved in that operation was aware that crimes were committed there and
8 had reported them, wouldn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Your investigation, as you told the Judges yesterday, involved
11 checking with all of the brigades there down to the battalion level for
12 whatever information was available through the security officers in those
14 A. No. I did not say all of the brigades but a certain number of
15 brigades and some independent battalions; not all the brigades that were
16 part of either the Pristina Corps and least of all of the 3rd Army.
17 Q. Well, I don't have the transcript here in front of me, but it will
18 show what it shows. If -- if it's true that crimes were committed in a
19 certain location and that there was no report from a security officer
20 regarding those crimes, then I suspect that a couple of things are true.
21 One would be that it's not true that those crimes were committed;
22 another would be that there was no VJ unit involved and, therefore, a
23 security officer for that unit would not be aware. Those are a couple of
24 possibilities; correct?
25 A. Well, can you ask a direct question. I don't know what you're
1 interested in.
2 Q. Well, what I'm asking you is more in the nature of argument
3 anyhow, and I'll just drop it.
4 Now, on 1 June 1999, that was when you attended this meeting that
5 you were told was a meeting of the Joint Command; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And at that meeting, General Lukic made some kind of a report,
8 General Lazarevic made some kind of report, Pavkovic then made some kind
9 of report; but you said at the very end Sainovic then said: "Okay, do as
10 you've planned." What was it in your view that was planned?
11 A. To be quite specific, what was planned was the action in Drenica
12 and in Trpeza where the plan was to engage 300 police officers. So this
13 was an action that was to take place the next day. And in addition to
14 what he said, "Do it as planned," Mr. Sainovic added that in the next
15 three or four days the anti-terrorist operation should be completed; in
16 other words, all those groups should be crushed and destroyed.
17 And the second thing that he said - and that was based on what
18 General Pavkovic said - that more attention should be paid to organising
19 the activities in a better way and to improve the cooperation between the
20 MUP and the military.
21 Q. Okay. So this operation was -- did not involve any support from
22 the VJ, as you understood it?
23 A. I did not note this down, and this is not something that stuck in
24 my memory.
25 Q. And nothing came out of that meeting that would be interpreted by
1 you as any kind of a classic order of command, an order to carry out a
2 certain activity. It simply looked like a meeting of information and
3 coordination, didn't it?
4 A. Well, now this is a terminology issue, but, obviously, there was a
5 meeting where the proposals that were made were verified. The order -- no
6 order was written - this is what I said - and I don't know whether General
7 Pavkovic actually complied with the things that were specified as early as
8 in July, which would be the obligation of an officer attending a meeting
9 of such a Joint Command.
10 Whether he informed the General Staff, whether he got his approval
11 for what the army was supposed to do, I don't know about that. I only
12 told you of what I learned during my brief stay there and with him.
13 Q. Well, you've answered my question by telling me a lot of things
14 you don't know, and that's fine. You have no knowledge of any -- any
15 combat reports, documents in the nature of combat reports, being made to
16 this alleged Joint Command or any orders coming down from the Chief of the
17 General Staff to this Joint Command? In other words, this Joint Command
18 wasn't within the chain of command of the Yugoslav Army, was it?
19 A. I can give you my answer. I saw the combat reports and the combat
20 documents only when they were shown to me here. At the time when I was in
21 Kosovo and while I was in active service, I did not see them. Now, I
22 cannot really make conclusions whether this was part of the chain of
23 command or not.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise; we didn't catch the
25 last part of the answer because of the paper shuffling.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think we've now solved the mystery
2 of 4D94. It apparently is 4D125. And I would like to go into that just
3 very briefly, and I think that one was notified to Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: I do have that one, but I would like to try and clear
5 up the rest of the General's answer that the interpreters said they
6 weren't able to hear because of shuffling papers.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I missed that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you give us again, Mr. Vasiljevic, the very
9 end of your last answer. You said that you could not really make
10 conclusions whether this was part of the chain of command or not. Did you
11 say something about that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that was it.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. All right. Now you should have in front of you 4D125, which is
17 the document I was trying to show you earlier. And this one is dated the
18 1st of August of 1998, and I'm interested in this document for what it
19 says with regard to the Joint Command. Do you have it in front of you?
20 This is a Samardzic order to the Pristina Corps, also to the forward
21 command post of the 3rd Army.
22 And what this says that -- in the preamble, it indicates that
23 there was a Joint Command request for engagement of Pristina Corps units
24 in what's called the third phase of the operation to be carried out on the
25 2nd of August. And General Samardzic says in paragraph 1 of his order
1 that he forbids the use of Pristina Corps units with reinforcements, as
2 requested by the Joint Command, until such time as some kind of
3 appropriate approval is issued from a higher level. Do you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that completes my cross-examination.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
9 Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. My name is Mihajlo Bakrac,
13 and I am one of the lawyers representing Mr. Lazarevic. I have some
14 questions lined up for you, but I have another extra question proceeding
15 from your answer. When Mr. Ackerman asked you whether you had seen any
16 combat reports sent to the Joint Command or an order sent to the Joint
17 Command, you said that you had seen combat documents and reports when they
18 were shown to you. What kind of combat reports and combat documents are
19 you talking about?
20 A. The combat report by the commander of the Pristina Corps or some
21 other unit, so two such reports were shown to me by Mr. Ackerman.
22 Q. Yes, but not addressed to the Joint Command. I just wanted to
23 clarify things for the record. So you did not see any such documents
24 addressed to the Joint Command, because the transcript reflects that you
25 did see such documents here?
1 A. No, not addressed to the Joint Command.
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
3 Now I will move on to the questions that I had prepared. And
4 perhaps I can ask you a question that again proceeds from the
5 cross-examination, the previous cross-examination. At issue was when a
6 combat activity is carried out a combat action and when the Army of
7 Yugoslavia executes coordination with the MUP forces, you said that this
8 coordination between the adjacent units is something that is organised in
9 the field directly?
10 A. Yes. I said that this is something that is regulated in a
11 document or a combat report -- a combat order, and then it is implemented
12 in the field.
13 Q. In the field, you will agree with me, General, that there should
14 be a communications system in place between the adjacent units?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'm telling you this because you were shown a Prosecution exhibit,
17 P1052 on the radio communications and radio stations plan. And as far as
18 I understand, you answered that this was the usual way to set up the
19 communications and that there should have been communications set up
20 between adjacent units.
21 A. This plan does not contain just the -- does not refer only to
22 adjacent units, but to the superior station. But this is something --
23 this is something -- this is the system that is used for communication
24 between adjacent units.
25 Q. Thank you very much, General. Let me go back to paragraph 10 of
1 your statement. And, in my opinion, it is my impression that this
2 paragraph is -- has not been fully elaborated, and I would like to ask you
3 to clarify some things here. So what you say here -- you talk about the
4 people who were sitting on the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
5 and you said that the strategic groups, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Army were
6 subordinate to the General Staff, and you mentioned the commanders of
7 these three armies and the commander of the air force and of the navy.
8 What I want to know, first of all, is how many corps were there in those
9 strategic groups?
10 A. In the 3rd Army there were two corps, the Nis Corps and the
11 Pristina Corps.
12 Q. As for the 1st and the 2nd Army, they also had their own corps?
13 A. Yes, they did.
14 Q. How many of them?
15 A. Two or three.
16 Q. Well, two or three corps -- I have to apologise. So you agree
17 that there was the anti-aircraft defence corps that covered the entire
18 territory of Yugoslavia?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You will agree with me that there was the air force corps that
21 also covered the whole of Yugoslavia?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So there would be a total of about ten corps?
24 A. At least.
25 Q. You will agree with me that the establishment post of the corps
1 commander is either a general-major or a colonel-general?
2 A. A general-major.
3 Q. And the Chief of Staff would be colonel?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You will agree with me that in 1999 the number of establishment
6 posts in the Yugoslav Army for generals was more than 120 such posts?
7 A. Could you please repeat the question.
8 Q. You will agree that in 1999 the number of establishment posts for
9 generals in the VJ was 120 or even more than that?
10 A. I don't think so. I don't have the exact figure; but if we
11 compare that to the number of generals in the JNA, I don't think there
12 were that many of them.
13 Q. But there were many of them?
14 A. I don't know, yes.
15 Q. The reason why I'm asking you this is because I found it strange
16 that after you enumerated the commanders of the armies and of the corps,
17 that you said that the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army, General
18 Stojimirovic; the commander of the Pristina Corps, General Lazarevic; and
19 Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps, Colonel Stevanovic were --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Defence counsel please be asked to
21 slow down.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: The question has not been completed because you're
23 both speaking too quickly. We need a gap between the question and answer
24 to allow the interpreter to catch up. So we didn't get the question,
25 Mr. Bakrac, and you need to ask it again.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I do have to
2 apologise. I will try to slow down.
3 Q. So, General, I ask these questions. I'm not contesting the fact
4 that this perhaps does not follow from the examination, but I find it
5 strange that after you enumerate all the corps and all the corps
6 commanders and all the generals, the Chief of Staff, saying that this was
7 a lieutenant-colonel according to the formation -- to the establishment;
8 and then what you do, you go on to list, in addition to the three generals
9 that are army commanders and the generals in the General Staff, you
10 mention three other people as key persons in the Yugoslav Army. Can you
11 please answer, why is this so?
12 A. Well, I was not asked to list all the key generals and all the key
13 people in the Yugoslav Army and all the arms of the army. I was asked
14 quite specifically for the command staff in the 3rd Army and in the
15 Pristina Corps.
16 Q. Thank you, General. The reason why I ask you is because above the
17 words that are above those three names is "other key VJ personnel were,"
18 and that's why I thought that this must be a mistake of some sort. So
19 this relates only to the Pristina Corps?
20 A. They were not the key people in the Army of Yugoslavia, because I
21 could give you a number of other generals who -- whose rating was the same
22 or even higher than theirs.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Surely the way to read this is that these are key
25 personnel in relation to the indictment, so that we know who's who in
1 relation to things that matter in this case. Thank goodness, for once,
2 the investigator seems to have been concentrating on establishing things
3 confined to the circumstances of the indictment.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I thought
5 that there was a need to clarify this, since -- given the context in which
6 this is presented. But let us move on.
7 Q. General, again, for the purpose of clarification, you list here
8 that Colonel Stevanovic was the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps. I
9 would like to ask you to think back because my information is different,
10 and would you agree with me that the Chief of Staff of the Pristina
11 Corps - we're talking about 1999 - was, in fact, General Veroljub
12 Zivkovic, rather than Colonel Stevanovic, and that Colonel Stevanovic was
13 in fact the operations officer in the corps?
14 A. It is possible. I cannot dispute that because I was not a member
15 of the Pristina Corps. It must be as General Lazarevic stated. If he
16 provided that information, then it must be accurate.
17 Q. Thank you, General. I feel an obligation to explain to you. It
18 is important for us to clarify these things because of our Defence case
19 which we are to present later. I want to remove any doubt or
20 discrepancies as for certain people who may or may not appear here in the
22 Let us move on. General, sir, I wanted to know whether it is true
23 that in Kosovo, in addition to the Pristina Corps, in 1999 during war
24 there were also some units of the military district; then the 202nd Rear
25 Logistics Base, which was not subordinated to the Pristina Corps; then
1 some units of the air force and anti-aircraft defence units, which were
2 not commanded by the Pristina Corps but by the anti-aircraft defence and
3 air force; as well as some civilian protection units commanded by the
4 Ministry of Defence. Do you agree with that?
5 A. Yes. They were not an integral part of the Pristina Corps.
6 Q. Thank you. You've mentioned this, and I wanted to ask you whether
7 it is correct that in 1999 and as early as 1998, as was shown to you by
8 Mr. Ackerman, at the command post, or rather, in Pristina there was a
9 forward command post of the 3rd Army. And it also testifies that there
10 was no breach in the chain of command between the Pristina Corps and the
11 3rd Army since there was a forward command post of the 3rd Army there?
12 A. Yes. It was in the period referenced to by the -- or in the
13 document when the forward command post of the 3rd Army was in Pristina.
14 Q. That's precisely what I'm asking you. Did you know that in 1998
15 and 1999, throughout the war, there was a forward command post of the 3rd
16 Army in Pristina?
17 A. I don't know. I suppose. I was at that post during the meeting
18 on the 1st of June, but no one told me that and I wasn't interested.
19 Q. Thank you. I will make a short break to re-organise myself, but I
20 will try to spend as little time as possible for my colleagues who will
22 In paragraph 52, General, you mention that. I wanted to know
23 this: Was there an obligation in place on the part of the security organs
24 within the Pristina Corps to report alleged crimes to General Lazarevic,
25 him being the corps commander?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then General Lazarevic would forward that information up to
3 the 3rd Army via the chain of command?
4 A. If he was in possession of such information, he was supposed to
5 forward them.
6 Q. Do you agree with me that as regards potential crimes, there was
7 three lines of reporting: The first one was from the corps commander to
8 the 3rd Army commander; then another one by the security service, or
9 rather, within its structure?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Between the security organs of the corps and the army?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And as the third concerned the military judicial organs?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. General, is it also true that - and we saw an order presented by
16 Mr. Visnjic - that as of the beginning of the war, there was a war
17 military prosecutor's office for the Pristina Corps as well as a
18 military -- war military court of the Pristina Corps?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it also correct that within the Pristina district there was
21 also a war military prosecutor's office and military court of the Pristina
22 district, separate from the aforementioned ones?
23 A. It is correct.
24 Q. General, we discussed reporting and notification. I don't have
25 sufficient time on my hands to pursue that further and I don't wish to
1 present some or parts of our Defence case, but you mentioned information
2 you received from the deputy of the security chief of the Pristina Corps
3 and the information you received in early May. My learned friend
4 Mr. Ackerman showed us a report from mid-June -- mid-April, and I just
5 wanted to comment or wanted you to comment on a Defence exhibit, 5D84.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] If that could be brought up in
8 Q. General, do you wish to acquaint yourself with the document first?
9 It has three pages. I wanted to draw your attention to what I'm
10 interested in. In the heading we can see that this was a Pristina Corps
11 command document with a number and the date of the 3rd of April, 1999?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It was sent to the 3rd Army command and its operation centre;
14 isn't that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It is a combat report, and in its item 1, it states "Enemy." Item
17 2: "Situation in units and activities."
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please move to the next
21 Q. Item 3 is the "Manning strength." Item 4: "Morale." Item 5:
22 "Security situation." In the last line of item 5, "Security situation,"
23 it reads: "During the preceding days, 32 criminal reports were submitted
24 against the perpetrators for crimes; eight for murder, one for rape, three
25 for attempted murder, two for taking vehicles, six for theft, and 12 for
1 absence without official leave."
2 Item 6 is "Command and communications situation."
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the last page.
4 Q. And item 7: "Logistics support."
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Let us go to the last page, please.
6 I believe the next page is the last page.
7 Q. While we're waiting for the last page - and it is important
8 because of the signature and so that you saw the entire document - can you
9 tell me whether this is an exemplary type of combat report the way it is
10 supposed to be drafted? Is there anything missing, in view of the Rules
11 of Service and the regulations in place concerning the drafting of such
13 A. I believe this is in keeping with a classic example of the combat
14 report, treating with the main issues, depending on the type of activities
15 and command organs.
16 Q. Today you were shown a combat report, and you had a remark when
17 you stated that types of offences were not to be stated. However, we see
18 them listed here. Is it correct that in a combat report it would be quite
19 ordinary to have it summed up like this and broken down into various
20 offences, particularly having in mind that there was another chain of
21 reporting within the military judicial organs which would go into much
22 greater detail?
23 A. Yes. And the individual cases mentioned here, if they are a
24 typical example of the situation, then a separate report could be drafted.
25 The organ who provided that data could draft a separate report.
1 Q. General, I wanted to show you one last document. It is a combat
2 report on the next day. I wanted to have your comment, since it is
3 different in form.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D85 on e-court,
6 Q. General, you will agree with me, I presume, that this is another
7 Pristina Corps command document from the next day, this being the 4th of
8 April, 1999, sent also to the 3rd Army command and its operations centre.
9 However, we see that its form is different. The items are the same, but
10 this document was a Telefax message.
11 A. I only have the first page.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 1. We have
13 enemy electronic activity or operations. Could we please go to page 2
15 Q. We also have security situation, and in the last line it also
16 reads: "During the previous day there were six criminal reports submitted
17 against alleged perpetrators, against two privates, three VO, and one
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we now please go to the last
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have it in English, but I see the
22 stamp there by the teleprinting station which has sent this dispatch.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So this way of sending out combat reports was in place, and it
25 included everything that was supposed to be in a combat report?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you, General. During your examination-in-chief, when
3 examined by my learned friend, Mr. Hannis, you said that there were two
4 types of offences within the army; one of which could be sanction by
5 disciplinary measures and the other one would be treated as a criminal
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. For disciplinary measures to be imposed, the commander was in
9 charge of those?
10 A. Yes. One could put it even in a better way. The chain of command
11 was tasked with issuing disciplinary measures. It can be within the
12 purview of the commander if it is a milder disciplinary breach that went
13 against the regulations. If it was a graver offence without any element
14 of the criminal -- of a criminal offence, then it was treated by
15 disciplinary courts.
16 Q. Thank you, General. I just wanted to hear this. For infractions,
17 for minor infractions, they could be sanctioned by the commander. What do
18 you mean by that?
19 A. These were acts which would not result in negative consequences
20 for the unit in its entirety.
21 Q. An example, please.
22 A. Say two recruits left the barracks without official leave, got
23 drunk in a nearby village without any incident, they simply returned
24 drunk, then it was within the purview of the commander. But if they also
25 committed a theft in the course of that, if it was a minor theft, it could
1 also be dealt with by the commander. But if it was an aggravated theft or
2 robbery, then it would follow a different procedure.
3 Q. I have to pause for interpreters.
4 General, for more serious offences, there were disciplinary courts
5 in place. Would you agree with me if I said that during the war there was
6 a military disciplinary court in Nis?
7 A. It was in existence in peacetime as well as during the war.
8 Q. Yes, certainly. For criminal offences treated by the military
9 court, it wasn't within the purview of the commander. His only obligation
10 was to submit a criminal report to the military prosecutor.
11 A. Yes. It wasn't his only obligation, or rather, it wasn't an
12 obligation on his part only. He wasn't the only one who was to report on
14 Q. Yes, inter alia, it was the commander as well as the security
15 organs. They would submit a report, and then the courts would try and
16 deal with the case.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Having all this in mind and within the context of the previously
19 mentioned two combat reports, can we say in that specific example General
20 Lazarevic, having learned of certain criminal offences, did all he could
21 to report that to the command and submit a criminal report. Beyond that,
22 were there any other obligations on his part?
23 A. That concluded his obligations. Based on the information which
24 would be provided in general terms, say a murder was committed, then the
25 army command was supposed to ask for a detailed report.
1 Q. And it was standard procedure?
2 A. Well, I wouldn't say it was standard procedure, but there was such
3 a possibility.
4 Q. Still on the same topic. Do you know, General, that over 40
5 professional members of the army were disciplined by the military
6 disciplinary court; over 30 officers were removed from duty, including two
7 brigade commanders, two Chiefs of Staff, 12 security organs, and 12
8 battalion commanders?
9 A. I did not have knowledge of that -- this complete picture, but I
10 did know about some individual cases. I think that these instances, where
11 officers were replaced, I think it was in the 125th Brigade, and I know
12 that some officers were replaced because they did not perform their tasks
13 properly. But this is just an illustration of the general situation. I
14 did not -- I was not aware of this -- these total figures that you just
15 gave me.
16 Q. Thank you, General. Do you know that the military prosecutor's
17 office and the military court at the Pristina Corps sent weekly reports to
18 the Pristina military corps and to the 3rd Army and to the General Staff
19 about all the cases that were prosecuted before them?
20 A. I don't have specific information to that effect that this was
21 done every seven days, but I do know that there was this general provision
22 that they had to report up the chain of command but I don't know how it
23 was actually done.
24 Q. Did the Ministry of the Interior send information to the military
25 security service, information about any improper conduct by the VJ
1 personnel? Do you know anything about that?
2 A. I can speak about the highest level, so we're talking about the
3 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia and the security
4 administration. We had problems constantly, and this is something that
5 was discussed at the 17th of May meeting. It was stated that there was
6 insufficient cooperation between the MUP and the army and that there was
7 no regular reporting.
8 But as far as I know, no reports actually pertained to the events
9 in Kosovo -- I mean the crimes or any other criminal offences. But a
10 report was made but not to the security administration but to President
11 Milosevic about Jugoslav Petrusic's stay in Kosovo with his volunteers.
12 But those were exceptional reports that we received from them at that
13 level. I couldn't tell you anything about how this cooperation proceeded
14 at lower levels.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment. Is your answer to that question
16 that the Ministry of the Interior did not send information to the military
17 security service about improper conduct by VJ personnel?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, you said that as far as Colonel Djurovic, deputy Chief of
23 Staff of the Pristina Corps, that you spoke with him. Did you get any
24 information from him that the corps command, whenever it learned that
25 there was some suspicion, that no measures were taken; in other words,
1 that there was a suspicion that a VJ soldier was involved in some criminal
2 activities, that it -- that the corps command did not take any efforts to
3 investigate that?
4 A. Djurovic did not complain to me about that, and he did not
5 complain about what the corps commander did with the intelligence obtained
6 by the security organs; and as regards this initiative to form a
7 commission to head up those investigations, he was actually involved in
8 those investigations. So Djurovic did not have any complaints about his
10 Q. General, that was to be my next question. You have information
11 that the initiative to establish such a commission was actually launched
12 by the corps command and the 3rd Army?
13 A. Well, I cannot say that with that certainty. I know that he was
14 involved in the setting up of this commission. Now, whether -- as to who
15 ordered the commission to be set up, General Pavkovic or General
16 Lazarevic, but they were both involved in its work anyway.
17 Q. Thank you. General, do you know that General Lazarevic, as the
18 corps commander, when he received a report from the military judicial
19 organs about measures that had been taken against the persons who
20 perpetrated crimes, he then took this report containing the name of the
21 perpetrator, the criminal offence, and the sanction that was imposed, he
22 sent it down the chain of command to the subordinate units in order to
23 prevent -- deter any further crimes. Do you know about that?
24 A. Well, I don't know about that because I didn't go into such
25 details. That would be something that the organs for the morale would
1 have to do, because they have to take preventive measures and to take
2 measures to maintain morale. But I do believe that this kind of report
3 would be sent from one morale organ to the other, but not from one
4 security organ to the other.
5 Q. I was late entering a document into e-court, so I will deal with
6 this in the Defence case. I merely wanted to check whether you had any
7 knowledge of that. What I also want to know, General, is whether you know
8 that the commander of the Pristina Corps, General Lazarevic, from the 12th
9 of April, 1999, sent combat reports daily in addition to the operations
10 centre of the 3rd Army to the operations centre of the General Staff?
11 A. No, I don't know about that.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask my colleague
13 Mr. Hannis to assist me. I have a question related to paragraph 57. It's
14 been redacted, but I don't want to mention the persons listed there, just
15 the location. I don't know if there's any need for us to go into private
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you referring to paragraph 58?
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry --
19 MR. HANNIS: 57 --
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] 57.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: 57 was not redacted, was it? Oh, it is. There is
22 a redacted version.
23 MR. HANNIS: There is a redacted version, Your Honour. I didn't
24 ask him any questions about this paragraph, but it is redacted in the
25 publicly filed version.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session to
2 deal with it.
3 [Private session]
11 Page 8975 redacted. Private session
13 [Open session]
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, in paragraph 62 you spoke about the crime in Izbica. Do
16 you know that because the army was not actually present in that area, that
17 the exhumation and all the investigative measures were ordered by the
18 district court in Kosovska Mitrovica and that the exhumation proceedings
19 and the investigation into the crime was conducted by the district court
20 in Kosovska Mitrovica?
21 A. I don't know who had the subject matter or territorial
22 jurisdiction over that case. I merely mentioned that I knew that an
23 exhumation would be carried out and that the autopsies would be carried
24 out in the Kosovska Mitrovica hospital, and I did -- I said that I did not
25 know which organs were in charge of that.
1 Q. So we can say that you did not see any attempt to cover up
2 anything that was actually going on as far as the crimes were concerned?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. I have just a few short questions. General, is it true that
5 before the 1st of May, so in April in other words, the security organs of
6 the Pristina Corps visited and so did the chief of the security service,
7 General Farkas, and the expert team from the security administration, that
8 they visited the military police in the Pristina Corps and that at that
9 time chief of security, Farkas, proposed that the 1st Battalion of the
10 military police be reinforced, that they receive additional
12 A. I know that General Geza and some other officers, I think they
13 were actually from the military police, that they went to Pristina. I
14 think it was for the 1st of May holidays, because I was in Montenegro at
15 the time. And when I got back from Montenegro, it must have been sometime
16 on the 3rd or 4th of May; then at the daily briefing, General Geza said
17 that he had been in Pristina and I believe that he was there over the 1st
18 of May holidays.
19 Q. General, thank you very much. Is it also true that General Farkas
20 did not notice or file any reports about any failures or omissions in the
21 operation of the military police units in the Pristina Corps following his
22 tour of inspection?
23 A. No. In fact, what he did is he commended them. He said that they
24 were highly active and highly capable officers. And he said this was, in
25 fact, a pool of personnel to be promoted to other higher posts, and he was
1 very, very -- he said many positive things about their work.
2 Q. For the transcript, we have only the military police listed here,
3 but what you just said also referred to the security organs?
4 A. You mean the assessment?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yes, only to the security organs of the Pristina Corps.
7 Q. Do you perhaps know that the security organ in the Pristina Corps,
8 in order to improve the cooperation with the military judicial organs in
9 the military district of Pristina and the Pristina Corps, had appointed
10 Captain Nesic as the point man there? Do you know about that?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. General, do you know that the command organs in the military
13 security and military judicial organs, together with three experts and
14 pathologist themes from the military academy -- medical academy, carried
15 out several exhumations at Ribanje, Cikatovo, and another place, although
16 there were no indications that the military personnel were responsible for
17 the commission of these crimes, specifically to prevent any cover-ups of
18 any crimes and to investigate any suspicions of any crimes?
19 A. I know that pathologist teams were involved in exhumations, but I
20 don't have the details that you just presented to me, whether it was in
21 Cikatovo or some other location. But this is based on my stay there. I
22 learned there that exhumations had been carried out as part of the
23 sanitization procedures, and I learned about that at a meeting with
24 General Pavkovic as the Chief of General Staff. I think that the chief of
25 medical corps was also there. He had all the cases there with him where
1 the area had to be sanitized.
2 Q. Thank you, General.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may have two or three
4 questions. I don't know whether we should make the break now. You said
5 that we have very stringent rules.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, for two or three questions, let's see if we
7 can complete your cross-examination.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, I have a question that I thought might be asked because
10 it stems from an examination of a previous witness and also, to a certain
11 extent, from your statement. You spoke about the Fehmi Agani case. Do
12 you know anything about the murder of Bajram Kelmendi?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You have no knowledge.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Then, Your Honour, I don't have the
16 two or three questions I initially thought I would have, so I completed my
17 cross-examination within the time-limit.
18 Q. Thank you, General, I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
20 Lunchtime now, Mr. Vasiljevic, so again would you leave with the
21 usher and we'll see you back here in an hour at quarter to 2.00.
22 [The witness stands down].
23 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume then.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.46 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
5 Q. Good day, Mr. Vasiljevic. My name is Dan Ivetic and I represent
6 Mr. Sreten Lukic relative to these proceedings today. I am going to ask
7 you some questions relative to your testimony you have just given and to
8 clarify some points in your written statement to try to better understand
9 things. It is important that you pay close attention to everything I ask
10 you and give as honest and complete answer as possible. In particular if
11 you don't know an answer or if it would be speculation, please let me know
13 Now, first of all, in your testimony, yesterday, at page 8951,
14 line 22, you stated you knew General Lukic for a period of time; and,
15 indeed, in your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor, you stated
16 several times that you knew General Lukic very well. So, first of all, I
17 would like to ask you to tell the Trial Chamber how long you have known
18 Mr. Sreten Lukic, the man sitting behind me, and under what circumstances
19 you have known him.
20 A. First of all, I haven't had any extensive contacts with Mr. Lukic.
21 I believe we met during my term of service in Bosnia, although I am not
22 sure. He greeted me at the 1st of June meeting when I came there, rather
23 warmly, too. We would encounter each other on occasion, although I cannot
24 recall the specific instances during our military careers. In short,
25 that's the extent of our relationship.
1 Q. When you say during your term of service in Bosnia, are you
2 talking about the time-period when you were in Sarajevo?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in the interviews with the Office of the Prosecutor, you also
5 at one point in time referenced that you believed that Mr. Lukic might be
6 affiliated with the RDB, the State Security Sector. Do you recall making
7 those statements?
8 A. No, that's not that Mr. Lukic; it is another man. This was Gajic.
9 It was simply a wrong name.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you for clearing that up with me. Now, as far as the
11 time that you say that you met Mr. Lukic in Sarajevo, do you recall
12 whether there were any other persons with you in your encounters with
13 Mr. Lukic?
14 A. I never said we met in Sarajevo. I said that I know him from the
15 time when I served not in Sarajevo but in all of Bosnia. I don't know
16 exactly when or where we met for the first time.
17 Q. Do you recall what position or employment Mr. Lukic had at that
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you recall whether he was serving in Bosnia?
21 A. It is possible, although I am uncertain.
22 Q. Would you -- would your recollection be refreshed if I told you
23 that this gentleman, Sreten Lukic, never served in Bosnia and served his
24 entire career in the MUP in the Republic of Serbia? Would you be
25 surprised by that?
1 A. I wouldn't be surprised. It is possible, but I don't think it is
2 something of importance to me.
3 Q. Well, what I'm trying to find out is when you talk about General
4 Lukic, is there a possibility that you are mixing up various persons,
5 since, I submit, one of the first times that you met Mr. Lukic was in June
6 of 1999 in Kosovo?
7 A. I remember well meeting him then, and we greeted each other as
8 people that know each other. It is possible that we met on previous
9 occasions in the republican MUP in 1991 or 1992, when I served in
11 Q. Okay. Well, let's move on briefly to the -- to your attendance at
12 a meeting in Pristina that you had called -- that you said was called the
13 Joint Command at which there were several police and army officers
14 present. Am I correct that it was your impression at that time that
15 Sreten Lukic of the MUP was effectively the least senior person present at
16 that meeting? I think you called him the last hole on the flute in the
17 interview that you had with the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 A. I didn't use such a term, no holes, no flutes. His rank was that
19 of major-general. As far as I knew at the time, he was commander of the
20 MUP forces in Kosovo; that's all I can say.
21 Q. Is it your testimony that you did not in your interview with the
22 Office of the Prosecutor say that -- that due to the seating position at
23 the table, he was in B/C/S "zadnja rufnja frula" [phoen]?
24 A. No. I don't remember having said that. You should be able to
25 find that in my statement, the exact words I used.
1 Q. That's where I got them. Now, if we can talk about your
2 impression of that meeting, is it correct that there were two other
3 generals from the MUP present and the third, whose name we will not
4 mention since it was -- it's been used in private session, who were either
5 present or supposed to be present at that meeting in addition to General
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, according to the information that you had received
9 relative to the meeting, am I correct that members of the RDB, the State
10 Security Service, were usually present for such meetings as well?
11 A. I don't know whether they were usually present. I didn't attend
12 such meetings.
13 Q. Okay. You previously mentioned Mr. Gajic of the RDB. Am I
14 correct that Mr. Gajic was the senior -- was the chief of the RDB in the
15 province of Kosovo and Metohija during most of 1997, 1998, and part of
17 A. I don't know. I don't have precise information as to when he came
18 in Kosovo. I know he was there in 1998 and, according to the information
19 I had, in 1999, too.
20 Q. Okay. And are you --
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 MR. IVETIC:
23 Q. And his deputy, who later replaced him in that position, was a
24 gentleman by the name of Mr. Vilotijevic. Do you -- are you familiar with
25 him as well?
1 A. The last name is familiar. I know that such a person was in the
3 Q. Okay. Now, let's move on to some other questions. First of all,
4 sir, am I correct that you never finished any formal course work, either
5 at the police academy or any such similar institution, relating to the
6 operation, the organisation, the command structure, or the functioning of
7 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia?
8 A. I didn't complete the police academy. I completed military
9 schools. As for Mr. Lukic, he attended police schools and then he became
10 a policeman.
11 Q. That was my point, that you had not attended police schools, sir.
12 In your training at the military schools, you never had any formal course
13 work relating to the operation, organisation, command structure, or
14 functioning of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia, did you?
15 A. As for police education, I completed one year for security
16 officers of the JNA and a senior course for security. As I said, I never
17 attended the police academy. Through my contacts with the MUP in
18 peacetime and in the 30 years of practice and working in the military
19 security organs, I often communicated with people from the MUP and I was
20 well-acquainted with their [as interpreted] structure.
21 Q. Is your knowledge of what schools Sreten Lukic attended based upon
22 your security sources, your security organs?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. IVETIC: There's one issue that we need to clear up in the
25 transcript, Your Honours. At page 86, line 5, what is entered into the
1 transcript is "well-acquainted with their structure," and I believe the
2 witness indicated that he is "well-acquainted roughly with the structure."
3 We can ask.
4 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, is that, in fact, what you said about your --
5 communicating with people from the MUP, that you are roughly -- that you
6 are roughly -- "well-acquainted with their rough structure?"
7 A. Their structure, in general terms, to the extent I needed as a
8 security officer, is what I knew about. It sufficed for me to communicate
9 with them. I presume Mr. Lukic did not have detailed information on the
10 functioning of the military security, on the other hand. Therefore, I
11 would say that the extent which I was acquainted with the MUP structure
12 was the same as his extent of being acquainted with the military
13 structure, although I am inclined to believe that I was more acquainted
14 with their structure to a certain extent.
15 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to -- with respect to the public security
16 division of the Serbian MUP, am I correct that your activities at the
17 army's security administration did not cause you to have regular,
18 collaborative work with this service of the MUP?
19 A. I don't know what you mean "regular, collaborative work." We
20 collaborated with the Serbian MUP on issues which were of interest to both
22 Q. When you -- when you say you collaborated with the Serbian MUP on
23 issues that were of interest to both parties, isn't it true that you are
24 referring to the RDB portion of the MUP, since they had a similar modus
25 operandi, similar essence, in terms of what their jurisdiction was?
1 A. No. I have that separated in my mind as for the cooperation with
2 the SDB, when it concerned state security and then I cooperated with the
3 RDB, and such contacts continued until 1992 when I was retired.
4 Q. Okay. You've mentioned the SDB and you've mentioned the RDB. My
5 original question for you was with respect to the RJB, the Reso Javni
6 Bedbestni [phoen] of the MUP, the public sector or division. Am I correct
7 that your work at the UB or KOS did not include regular collaboration with
8 the RJB?
9 A. No, I said it was incorrect. It is separate, the SDB, and what
10 later became the RDB. And I know quite clearly what the public security
11 sector is all about.
12 Q. What type of work, collaborative work, did you undertake through
13 your agency with the public security sector, the RJB?
14 A. I can talk about the period between 1990 and 1992 because that is
15 of interest to this case.
16 Q. It is not. I was trying to establish what knowledge you have
17 pertaining to the period of 1998 to 1999, but I'll move on. Now, as far
18 as the state security division of the Serbian MUP is concerned, the RDB,
19 am I correct that your former agency, the military security
20 administration, with the acronym KOS or UB, that your agency and the RDB
21 were largely involved in rivalry with one another and even some
22 in-fighting and animosity practically since the old SFRY UDBA security
23 organ was disbanded and broken up at the fourth plenary of the SFRY, as
24 you stated in your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor?
25 A. There was no mutual animosity, as you say. However, there was a
1 sort of special relationship between their personnel after the fourth
2 plenary in 1964. At that time, the popular opinion was that they were
3 controlled by the military security, which is incorrect. When I was
4 arrested in 1992, some people from the state security said, "Well, serves
5 them right. This is paying back for what happened to us in 1964." I'm
6 talking about it in very broad terms, not necessarily about the situation
7 as it really was. There were people who had real issues with the fourth
9 Q. During the time-period prior to your premature retirement and
10 arrest, did you have any -- did you personally have any conflicts with the
11 RDB institution or senior officials within that institution such as
12 Mr. Stanisic, Mr. Simatovic, et cetera?
13 A. It was no conflict. I gave an example from that period, late
14 April 1992 or thereabouts if I'm not mistaken, I think it was the 22nd or
15 the 23rd of April, because the RDB or the State Security Service of
16 Serbia, as it was that time, arrested retired Colonel Milan Damjanovic,
17 who had real operational jurisdiction -- or who was under the operational
18 jurisdiction of the security administration without consulting the
19 security administration and without even notifying us. So this was the
20 only conflict that I presented.
21 Q. Sir, am I correct that you suspected the RDB had a role in both
22 your forced retirement and the false rumours about your loyalty and that
23 of your Macedonian deputy as well as your subsequent arrest. Isn't that
24 what you told the Office of the Prosecutor in your interview with them?
25 A. Please be specific in your question, you -- your question required
1 a lengthy explanation. Could you please tell me what the actual question
3 Q. Do you suspect that the RDB had a role in your forced retirement
4 from the security administration and/or your subsequent arrest?
5 A. It's was something that I suspect. I have facts to that effect,
6 but if I am at liberty to make comments about that I will do so. You're
7 now trying to establish a link between the events in 1992 and my purported
8 aversion towards them which is completely spurious. I did not have any
9 animosity either towards the MUP or the RDB.
10 Q. I'm asking you whether you had any knowledge or suspicion that the
11 RDB had a role in your forced retirement or forced arrest. I believe you
12 can answer that with a yes or no without going into details from 1992,
13 which is not that relevant to these proceedings.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Was the arrest not in 1992?
15 MR. IVETIC: The arrest was in 1992, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: So has he not answered the question by saying that
17 he has facts to that effect?
18 MR. IVETIC: That's not how the translation came in through me,
19 but let me just check. Oh, okay, that has answered that. I apologised
20 then. I must have missed something in the translation.
21 Q. Now, if I can clarify something. The other day, yesterday,
22 actually, you testified, it was page 57 of the un-updated transcript,
23 lines 3 through 17, that the state security division, the RDB, was
24 independent of the other sector of the MUP and directly linked to
25 Milosevic rather than to the Minister of the Interior.
1 At page 55 of the transcript, you also stated that General
2 Stevanovic, even as assistant minister of the interior, was not in charge
3 of the state security division nor to superior Rade Markovic. Now, my
4 question is as follows: Is it your understanding that an officer of the
5 RJB or public security division, such as General Stevanovic, could not
6 command over Rade Markovic or the RDB?
7 A. No. He could not have commanded over Rade Markovic.
8 Q. And would that answer be the same for all the generals, colonels,
9 et cetera, of the RJB, the public security division; that is to say, that
10 they could not command over the RDB or RDB officials, such as Rade
11 Markovic, David Gajic, et cetera?
12 A. Yes, that's a matter of principle. These were two completely
13 independent divisions, and the Minister of the Interior was their
14 superior, I mean the Serbian Minister of the Interior.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could focus to try and see a little bit to
16 your knowledge of the RJB on the public security side of the MUP. Do you
17 know how many bureaus or "Upravas" there were on the RJB side each with an
18 executive officer or "nacelnik"?
19 A. I don't know about that, and I did not make any statements to that
21 Q. Okay. I'd like to move on now just briefly to -- to clarify some
22 geographic points relating to your encounter, the unfortunate encounter,
23 with the JSO at Trstenik. First of all, am I correct that -- strike that.
24 How far away is Trstenik from the province of Kosovo-Metohija?
25 A. You mean as the crow flies or if you go by the road?
1 Q. If you know both, both would be appreciated.
2 A. Well, I cannot be very accurate; I would need a map. But as the
3 crow flies, that should be around 150 kilometres.
4 Q. Okay.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, which -- where are we in the written
6 statement now?
7 MR. IVETIC: We're at the Trstenik incident which he testified
8 about yesterday and which is at the -- at paragraphs 34, 35, and 36 of the
9 written statement.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. IVETIC:
12 Q. And am I correct, sir, that the commander of this JSO unit was
13 actually located there in Trstenik; that is to say, the entire outfit was
14 in Trstenik rather than in Kosovo, is that correct, when you encountered
16 A. Well, I met him in Trstenik.
17 Q. And you further testified that the RDB chief in nearby Kraljevo
18 became involved in the aftermath of your alteration trying to resolve the
19 same. Just to clarify for people who may not know the geography.
20 Kraljevo is also well outside the borders of Kosovo i Metohija. Is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I apologise for pausing. I have to pause to give the translators
24 time to catch up with the transcript. Now, I'd like to move on to another
25 matter that you testified about. Relating to the JSO, the special units
1 of the RDB, you have already testified that Rade Markovic confirmed the
2 information you already had from your security organs that he had deployed
3 30 of Arkan's men on the ground. Is it your understanding that they were
4 deployed on the ground with the JSO?
5 A. No. First of all, he didn't use the term -- the wording that he
6 deployed them in the territory of Kosovo. He sent them to the territory
7 of Kosovo. And I don't know who else was in Kosovo Polje, where they
8 were. There were some other units there, too.
9 Q. If we can focus on what he did tell you, am I correct that your
10 recollection of the meeting of May the 17th, wherein Mr. Markovic was
11 present in Belgrade, he told you about an incident that he had just heard
12 about - I believe in your notes it says "yesterday," so it would have been
13 May the 16th - about how Arkan's men that had been sent to Kosovo were
14 withdrawn after they killed an Albanian couple.
15 Does that refresh your recollection as to where Rade Markovic
16 deployed these persons that were said to be Arkan's men?
17 A. My recollection of the 17th of May is, in fact, quite fresh. It
18 requires no effort on my part to remember. Rade Markovic said verbatim:
19 "I heard yesterday that they," so he didn't say that they did that
20 yesterday. He said that he had heard about it yesterday. He didn't
21 specify the time when this incident happened or was caused by these
23 Q. Okay. But we are talking about the people, Arkan's men, being
24 responsible for that incident, the killing of the Albanian couple, after
25 which the -- they were withdrawn. Is that your understanding?
1 A. Yes, that's how I understood it.
2 Q. Okay. Now, is your knowledge of this incident, this killing of
3 the Albanian married couple, was it verified by the information you
4 received from your security organs in the field?
5 A. I did not get any such information from the security organs in the
6 field. This information I got from Rade Markovic at this meeting with
8 Q. Okay. And you indicated earlier Kosovo Polje, but if I can direct
9 your attention to Exhibit P2592, the extract from your diary, I believe
10 you will see that your notes as to what Mr. Markovic said do not include a
11 reference to Kosovo Polje for this incident.
12 MR. IVETIC: If we can go to the English, which is not up on the
13 screen yet. It's under the first paragraph where it says that -- at the
14 end of that. There's a piece of information from yesterday that some of
15 Arkan's men killed a married couple and are now under investigation.
16 Q. Do you see there, sir, that Mr. Markovic, at least according to
17 your notes, did not mention the location where this had occurred?
18 A. Yes. It is not mentioned here, but I made a presentation to
19 President Milosevic and I told him that according to the information
20 received from the security organs that there was a centre for Arkan's
21 people, Arkan's men, in Kosovo Polje.
23 (redacted)and then Rade Markovic made a comment. He confirms that they
24 really are in Kosovo, but he does not make a mention of Kosovo Polje
25 because I had already said that, having received this information from the
1 security organs prior to the 17th of May meeting.
2 Q. So then you did get information from your security organs as to
3 the location and the activities of the JSO and Arkan's men in Kosovo?
4 A. In the initial information, there was no mention of JSO activity.
5 There was a mention of various groups and then the wolves from Drina were
6 mentioned and the people I had already mentioned. Among others, Arkan's
7 men were mentioned in Kosovo Polje.
8 Q. Now, either from your discussions with Mr. Markovic or from the
9 information that you were receiving from your security organs in the
10 field, did -- do you recall any further details, such as the identity of
11 the perpetrators as JSO reservists or their names. For instance,
12 Mr. Veselinovic or Mr. Todosijevic?
13 A. No, I don't recall that.
14 Q. Did you, yourself, or any of your security organs take steps to
15 verify or follow up on the information, or did anyone ever report to you
16 that the perpetrator of the shooting of the Albanian couple was convicted
17 and sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment for war crimes by the Serbian
18 judicial system?
19 A. I don't know. This is the first time I hear of those names. I
20 don't know what it refers to.
21 Q. Well, the only incident relating to the JSO or Arkan's men that
22 you have identified thus far in your very lengthy testimony and statements
23 is this one incident where an Albanian couple was murdered. Your security
24 organs did not advise you of any such identical incidents, did they? And
25 we're only talking about the one incident.
1 A. No. There was another piece of information pertaining to the
2 event of the 18th of April. It was stated that since it wasn't in the
3 territory of Kosovo and was not encompassed by the indictment, it needed
4 no explanation. But it also concerned that unit.
5 Another thing I wanted to say, perhaps to cut your reference
6 short, was that it wasn't for the military security organs to follow up
7 and to see what the RDB and the MUP were doing in Kosovo. This was
8 information learned along the way, but I focused on the information
9 pertaining to army activities.
10 Q. Would you be surprised to learn that there was an army -- that
11 there was a soldier from the VJ involved in this incident? Did your
12 security organs --
13 MR. HANNIS: May I inquire, Your Honour, which incident we're
14 talking about. The witness has been talking about he heard from Rade
15 Markovic about Arkan's men killing an Albanian couple sometime before the
16 17th of May. He learned the information the day before but there's no
17 date referred to.
18 Mr. Ivetic is talking about an Albanian couple that were killed by
19 JSO. I'm not sure it's the same people, and I think from all the evidence
20 in this case it's clear that there were more than one Albanian couple
21 killed in early 1999.
22 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, I'm talking about the one reported
23 instance of JSO reservists from May the 16th of 1999; that is to say, the
24 day before the meeting of which I have the exhibit 6D139, which are the
25 documents relating to the arrest and detention of these JSO reservists.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And this murder that you are referring to, was that
2 in the area of Kosovo Polje?
3 MR. IVETIC: Kosovska Mitrovica. That was going to be my next
4 area of questioning, to see whether the recollection of the witness is
5 perhaps inaccurate, since there's only this one instance that he heard
6 about and the towns are slightly different names. And that's why I asked
7 him that there was only one instance of an Albanian couple being reported
8 to have been killed by one of the RDB's units that he had information on.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't see anything objectionable about the
10 question you asked, so please ask it.
11 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
12 Q. Would you be surprised to learn that there was a soldier from the
13 VJ involved in the incident on May the -- in May in Kosovska Mitrovica
14 wherein Mr. Veselinovic and Mr. Todosijevic, reserve members of the RDB's
15 JSO unit, killed not only the Albanian couple but also some Serb civilians
16 when they fled the scene?
17 A. I've already stated I don't know anything about that incident and
18 I can't say anything. I only conveyed what Rade Markovic said when
19 commenting on that piece of information, that in Kosovo Polje there was a
20 centre for Arkan's men. This thing you with talking about is something I
21 am unfamiliar with.
22 Q. Well, sir, you've referenced this killing and you've testified
23 about it now in this proceeding and in your statement, and you referred to
24 it in your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor as well. Is it
25 your position that this killing by the -- this killing of the Albanian
1 couple, was it by anyone's orders or was it a private criminal act, based
2 on the information you have?
3 A. I've already said what I know. It concerns Rade Markovic's words
4 at the meeting.
5 Q. But you also indicated that you received information from your
6 security organs in the field. I'd like to know if the information that
7 you received from the security organs in the field gave the whole picture
8 of what happened; and if so, what that picture was. So again I ask you:
9 Did you have information that the killing was ordered by superiors or that
10 it was an individual, personal, criminal act?
11 A. I don't know. I'm not familiar with that event. To reiterate, we
12 need to separate between two things. One is the data held by the security
13 organs when speaking in general about the paramilitary groups in Kosovo.
14 It was said that, among others, Arkan's men were in a certain MUP centre
15 in Kosovo Polje. This was a general assessment of the security organs
16 before the 16th of May.
17 Secondly, Rade Markovic commented by saying that not that
18 yesterday the couple had been murdered, but that yesterday he found out
19 they had been murdered. I don't know when they were killed or whether at
20 all they were killed. It came from him. It wasn't up to the security
21 organs to investigate. If that incident had been reported, you should
22 look it up with the judicial organs which undertook the investigation.
23 Q. Well, sir, I'd like to find out what type of information you
24 received from the field. Was all your information very general in nature,
25 or did you actually get specific information? And I think the only way I
1 can try and see that is by asking to look at a portion of Exhibit 6D139;
2 in particular, I would like to turn to the third page of that exhibit
3 which should be in English and in B/C/S since we did -- we were able to
4 obtain an official translation.
5 And, again, this is the -- this is the criminal charges filed
6 relating to the arrest of these two JSO -- these two JSO -- and I see
7 we've got a problem here. They're both in B/C/S. The English translation
8 should start -- should start with the number 6D03-0693, according to the
9 hard copy that I have. It should be -- we're pulling it up on our private
10 e-court screen. Maybe I can go on and perhaps read the portion of it, so
11 that we don't wait too long?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Please do that, Mr. Ivetic.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
14 Q. Again, this is the information pertaining to the criminal charges
15 filed in the arrest on the 16th of May, 1999, of Goran Veselinovic and
16 Dragan Todosijevic, who according to the description of crimes at page 3,
17 this is the -- yeah, this is the B/C/S version of page 3, where it says
18 [B/C/S spoken], where it indicates that these individuals, along with
19 their colleagues, that at least Mr. Veselinovic had been drinking at a
20 tavern for four hours and with him was an army conscript dressed in full
21 uniform with a red army beret, who actually is the one who suggested that
22 the defendants go to -- go to his neighbours', his Albanian neighbours'
23 over a personal dispute and scare them; and then the document goes on to
24 explain the events that led up to the shooting and killing.
25 And I would like to ask you, sir, did the information that you
1 received from the field from your security organs, would it have included
2 events where an army individual, army personnel, along with reservists of
3 the RDB, the JSO, committed a crime, indeed the crime of murder, after
4 getting drunk and going out with their weapons?
5 A. I've already explained that the security organs were not the only
6 ones obliged to react. If the incident took place as described here, I
7 presume the MUP forwarded such information to the Pristina Corps command
8 and that the judiciary was informed. Security organs are not informed on
9 each and every incident happening in the field. I am not claiming that
10 this is the same incident referred to by Rade Markovic.
11 All I did was convey verbatim what he said at the meeting and why.
12 I said that because it followed my presentation when I stated that I was
13 in possession of some information that among other volunteer groups there
14 were Arkan's men. And then he said: "Yesterday, I heard." He didn't
15 say: "Yesterday, they were killed." He said he ordered them to pull out
16 and didn't mention any proceedings. I don't know whether it referred to
17 the same incident.
18 Q. But again, you, as the deputy head of the security administration
19 for the VJ, can point to no other incident that was reported to you that
20 specifically referenced some of Rade Markovic's subordinates killing an
21 Albanian couple in Kosovo?
22 A. No. I told you what I had been briefed by the security organs.
23 The case of Kosovo Polje was not mentioned any longer. I said that it was
24 for the first time that I heard those names that a soldier was involved.
25 I'm not disputing this, but my security organs did not brief me on that
1 and they were not tasked with following what the MUP was doing. They
2 learned this along the way in their operational gathering.
3 As for me, I was interested in the events in the field pursuant to
4 General Ojdanic's orders. I did not follow up the case in Kosovo Polje or
5 any other for that matter, particularly if it involved the MUP. The
6 judiciary was tasked with doing that, be it the military or the civilian
7 ones -- the civilian bodies of the judiciary.
8 Q. And, sir, you testified that your security organs were not the
9 only ones obliged to react. From this exhibit, we can see the MUP on its
10 side did an investigation, arrested the ones submitted to have committed
11 the crime, and submitted them to the prosecutor's office. And I am
12 representing to you the eventual disposition of the case was a judgement
13 against defendant, Veselinovic, for 40 years' imprisonment. What else
14 could the MUP do in that circumstance, or did the MUP do everything it was
15 duty-bound to do?
16 A. I don't know. I cannot provide an assessment here, certainly
17 because I never completed the police academy.
18 Q. Okay. Well, let me move on to things that you have testified that
19 you do know. At paragraph 42 of statement, you claim that Arkan himself
20 had official identification of the "former Yugoslav MUP," as well as a
21 Serbian RDB identification card. Are we to understand your testimony to
22 be that Arkan had ID cards, that is identification cards, from the federal
23 Savezna MUP -- Savezni MUP and the Serbian RDB but not the RJB, the public
24 security department?
25 A. Yes. It pertains to the state security department.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, is that information as to whether Arkan
2 had identification cards from the federal and the Serbian RDB, is that
3 from the time-period of 1998 through 1999 or from the earlier period when
4 you were the head of the UB, the Vojna Bezbednost, organ?
5 A. I said that it pertains to both periods. I have no knowledge that
6 in 1999 that ID was taken away from him [Realtime transcript read in error
7 "me"]. I presume in 1999, he still had it with him.
8 Q. Did you ever prepare a report on that; and if so, where can we
9 find it?
10 A. I don't know why I would prepare a report. In the year 2000, some
11 criminals were assassinated in Belgrade, and subsequently official RDB IDs
12 of Montenegro were found on them. I see no reason for me to draft a
14 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Could I inquire of our Serbian speakers if that
17 translation in line 11 on page 101, that that ID was taken away from me,
18 as opposed to taken away from him.
19 MR. IVETIC: It should have been him, from what I heard.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 MR. IVETIC:
23 Q. Now, at paragraph 43 of your statement, you state that the MUP was
24 "practically" under the control of Milosevic; yet, in the remainder of
25 the paragraph, you only talk about your knowledge of the RDB and how it
1 was turned into an untouchable institution above all others by Milosevic.
2 Can I take from that the conclusions set forth in this paragraph
3 are based entirely on your belief and understanding of how the RDB was set
4 up and functioned and does not include the public security sector.
5 A. No. I think both sectors were under Milosevic's control,
6 immediate control. The control over the RDB was particularly pronounced
7 because it was supposed to have been subordinated to the Ministry of the
8 Interior. In 1998, after some shuffle of positions, the RDB asked to be
9 directly resubordinated to Milosevic and not to have to go through the
10 Minister of the Interior. However, both sectors were objectively under
11 Milosevic's control.
12 Q. But you have no concrete facts to point to relating to the RJB,
13 and, indeed, you've already stated several times that you did not attend
14 the police academy or know the structure of the RJB.
15 A. That is correct. What are the facts that I have to corroborate
16 that? In my logic, on the 17th of May, when the crime cases were
17 discussed and when military commanders were present as well as people from
18 the security service, in my view at that meeting President Milutinovic
19 should have been there because the MUP was subordinated to him.
20 He wasn't at that meeting and I never saw him at any other
21 meeting. Vlajko Stojiljkovic was in the Republic of Serbia, the president
22 of which was Mr. Milutinovic. Milutinovic was absent as if he were
23 non-existent. There were no MUP representatives; there was no Minister of
24 the Interior --
25 Q. Well, we'll get to that meeting in a second. But what I'm trying
1 to clarify is that essentially your conclusions as to the command
2 structure of the RJB are based upon your speculation and inferences that
3 you draw from who was present at a meeting and who wasn't present at a
4 meeting. Is that a fair assessment?
5 A. I don't think it is. I do not try to speculate. I am quite
6 convinced about the things I stated. If I'm uncertain about something, I
7 mention that. I don't see why it would be disputable why no one from the
8 MUP was present at that meeting.
9 Q. You've never seen any official acts of the government or of the
10 ministry describing or setting forth the command structure and operations
11 of the RJB, have you? You're relying upon what you saw and what, in your
12 gut, you believed that meant, which is speculation. Wouldn't you agree
13 with me?
14 A. No. Tell me specifically what was that speculation on my part
15 that proved erroneous.
16 Q. Well, sir, I think it's rather clear for the questions that I ask,
17 and it's not for me to answer your questions here today. I would like to
18 ask some concrete questions to see how well you know the structure of the
19 RJB, and I'm going to focus for my purposes on the MUP staff in Pristina.
20 Am I correct that you actually have no concrete knowledge of how
21 the MUP staff in Pristina was formed or how it functioned. You've never
22 seen any official acts, declarations, or legislation in that regard?
23 A. I didn't convey any factual information, since you're telling me I
24 was speculating. I didn't even go there. I didn't mention it.
25 Q. And you didn't mention it because you wouldn't have anything to
1 say, correct? You don't know anything about the MUP staff in Pristina;
2 that's what I'm asking.
3 A. It wasn't necessary for me to know about the MUP headquarters. I
4 wasn't there. I don't know where it was. I merely stated what I knew and
5 what I saw on the 1st of June meeting. I said who was there and that's
6 it. I never testified about anything else, and there was no speculation
7 on my part. I stated the facts.
8 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to move on to another unrelated topic,
9 unrelated to the MUP staff in Pristina. I'd like to talk about in your
10 statement at paragraph 38, for instance, you mention the Skorpions and
11 Boca Medic. Now, in paragraph 38 of your statement and in your testimony
12 relating to the May 17th meeting with Milosevic, you have identified a
13 murder of civilians by the Skorpions who were deployed as part of the SAJ,
14 the "Specijalne Antiteroristicke Jedinice," in Podujevo.
15 Now, the information that you received from your security
16 operatives relating to this event, did it include the fact that the
17 perpetrators of the killing were immediately withdrawn from Kosovo and
19 A. I was told that they were pulled out of Podujevo. I have no
20 information about them being punished in any way. As far as I know, the
21 incident was processed only after 2000, first in Prokuplje and then the
22 case was transferred to the Belgrade court. During some of the checks we
23 ran, we established that they were again in Kosovo and that they returned
24 some two to three days ago, and that information dates back to the 12th of
25 May, again through security organs in Novi Sad.
1 According to that, around the 8th or 9th of May, they returned
2 from Kosovo and that they went there for the second time. Whether they
3 were returned to the area of Novi Sad from Prolom Banja or they stayed at
4 Prolom Banja for a while and then upon Trajkovic's [Realtime transcript
5 read in error "Dragovic's"] request they were returned to Kosovo, I don't
6 know. But we know that they were there twice and they returned there for
7 the last time on the 8th or the 9th of May.
8 MR. IVETIC: I'm sure it will be corrected. At page 105, line 8,
9 it says, "Dragovic's request." I believe the witness said, "Trajkovic's
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 MR. IVETIC:
13 Q. Now --
14 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, while we're at it. At line 3
15 I have some question and they returned some two to three days ago, and I'm
16 sure that can't be right.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I chose to read it as two to three days before.
18 MR. IVETIC: Unfortunately I was only plugged into the English on
19 that occasion, so --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not referring to now; it's referring to the
21 time of these events.
22 MR. IVETIC: Right.
23 Q. Now, I have two questions for you relative to this. First of all,
24 the perpetrators of the -- the perpetrators of the shooting in Podujevo,
25 they -- based upon the information you had from the security organs, these
1 individuals who were eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison were not
2 acting on the orders of any of their superior officers, but rather were
3 engaged again in a private criminal act. Isn't that correct?
4 A. I don't know. I don't know the details. Most probably that's
6 Q. Okay. And you indicated that they returned to Kosovo. I take it
7 from the fact that in your, again, lengthy testimony, lengthy statement,
8 lengthy interview with the OTP, that insofar as no other incidents were
9 cited pertaining to this group, that you have no explicit information that
10 they committed any crime if and when they were redeployed in Kosovo
11 following Podujevo; otherwise, you would have mentioned it. Am I correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Now if we can move on. At paragraph 68 of your statement
14 and during your testimony the other day, you talked about how the
15 Skorpions and Mr. Medic were discussed at the May 17th meeting, where
16 Milosevic said that Stojiljkovic and Djordjevic needed to be told their
17 heads wouldn't roll, but that Medic had to answer for the crimes.
18 Was it your understanding that Milosevic's reference to heads not
19 rolling was directed at Minister of the Interior Stojiljkovic and
20 Assistant Minister of the Interior Djordjevic personally, that that
21 comment was directed towards them?
22 A. Correct, it was directed towards them.
23 Q. Okay. And was it your understanding and consensus from
24 participating in this meeting that Stojiljkovic and Djordjevic were the
25 MUP personnel that were responsible for Medic's group being in Kosovo?
1 A. I can't speak about the Minister of the Interior, but specifically
2 what Rade Markovic mentioned, that is, that he was informed by Djordjevic
3 that it's correct that the group had been at Kosovo and that he ordered
4 them to come back, it follows from this that he was responsible for
5 collecting them, gathering them, together and sending them to Kosovo.
6 Let me remind you of part of General Pavkovic's short conversation
7 with Slobodan Medic, who said that Djordjevic was always getting them
8 together and sending them where it was most difficult. and the same
9 applies to Kosovo.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, as far as this meeting and this group was
11 concerned, I believe that you testified that your source for this
12 information was your operative, Mr. Djurovic. Am I correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did Djurovic at that time, when you met with him, I believe -- or
15 when you talked with him in May of 1999, when he told you about the
16 Skorpions, at that time he didn't give you any additional information
17 about any other crimes alleged against other MUP units, did he?
18 A. No. That was an error in briefing because he did not come in
19 order to brief on the situation in Kosovo, but to talk about problems
20 concerning Jugoslav Petrusic's group, finding out what way they had
21 arrived in Kosovo and where they were in Kosovo. When I asked him what
22 else was happening, he mentioned paragroups and said that there was a
23 group of Slobodan --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the name.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- who had committed a crime in
1 Kosovo and that they had been sent to Kosovo again, and that was the
2 information he gave me. And later on this was confirmed to me when I was
3 in Kosovo again with General Gajic.
4 MR. IVETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, I'm going to have to ask you to repeat the name
6 that you had at the beginning of your answer because the interpreters did
7 not catch the name apparently, and so it's not in the transcript.
8 A. If it refers to the then-Lieutenant-Colonel Djurovic, it concerns
9 him. I don't know that I mentioned any other names.
10 Q. The individual who had committed the crime, who was the --
11 affiliated with this group.
12 A. I don't know who specifically committed the crime, but it was a
13 group under the command of Slobodan Medic, also known as Boca.
14 Q. And at that time that Lieutenant-Colonel Djurovic mentioned this
15 to you, they didn't talk about this group as being Skorpions, did they?
16 The name Skorpion was not utilised at that time, was it?
17 A. He did mention the Skorpion group.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. And then, based on that, we checked who was in the group, where it
20 was, whether it was still in Kosovo, and we gave that task to the security
21 organs in Novi Sad. From them, we received information on this on the
22 12th of May.
23 Q. I take it he did not mention any of the OPG at that time, did he,
24 in May of 1999?
25 A. No. In May there was such information; but when Djurovic was
1 there, he did not mention the OPG. It was the operative of the 52nd
2 Rocket Brigade in Djakovica who gave the most information about 52 and the
3 security organ in the Pristina Corps.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. IVETIC:
6 Q. Now, if we can turn -- if we can turn again to this May 17th,
7 1999, meeting for a few specific questions. First of all, you indicated
8 that he was not -- that he was there to talk about the Petrusic group. Am
9 I correct that the VJ volunteer group led by Jugoslav Petrusic, the
10 so-called Pauk, P-a-u-k, saboteurs, was the central theme and main topic
11 on the agenda of the meeting with Milosevic on May 17th, 1999?
12 A. No. This was not a separate topic. The Pauk group was not a
13 separate topic. The main topic, or rather, when Colonel Djurovic came at
14 our invitation to Belgrade on the 8th of May, and he remained there on the
15 9th of May. When Gajic and I were interested in what else was happening
16 in Kosovo and asked him about that, then he gave us information about the
18 When we from the army were briefing President Milosevic, we
19 mentioned, among other things, that we had dealt with that group because
20 that group had already been arrested before the meeting; not the entire
21 group but Petrusic and Orasanin, two persons, their commanders.
22 Q. And when we're talking about Petrusic and Orasanin, am I also --
23 am I correct that the RDB, the State Security Service, was the initial
24 source of information about Petrusic and his group that ultimately led to
25 the concerns and to the actions that your organs took to arrest these
2 A. Yes. But the State Security Service did not deliver this
3 information to the military security service, rather, it informed
4 Milosevic of this; and then Milosevic told General Geza about it. This
5 shows what kind of cooperation the MUP had with the army.
6 Q. Again you say "MUP," but we're really talking about the RDB, not
7 the rest of the MUP. Is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, given the RDB's involvement in uncovering this Petrusic's
10 group, isn't that an altogether logical reason why the RDB's chief, the
11 assistant minister, General Markovic, would be the one present from the
12 MUP for this meeting?
13 A. I don't know what the reasons were for him to be there. I'm more
14 surprised by the reasons why the other people from the public security
15 weren't there, because the main topic concerned indicia about war crimes
16 in Kosovo. The topic was not the Pauk group, for which the state security
17 and military security were responsible, but crimes in Kosovo.
18 That's why the most responsible generals from the army were there
19 and also those in charge of the security services, such as Mr. Ojdanic and
20 Mr. Pavkovic. Had this been a professional meeting of the state security
21 and military security, Mr. Pavkovic and Mr. Ojdanic would not have
23 Q. Now, you claim in your written statement that the day before this
24 meeting, that is to say on May the 16th, 1999, General Pavkovic had
25 complained that General Lukic had refused to participate in a Joint
1 Commission with the VJ to investigate bodies of victims found on the
2 terrain to ascertain what had happened.
3 Do you recall whether it was discussed at the May 17th meeting
4 with Milosevic at all; and if so, why is there no reference to such
5 statements in your notes of this meeting, again Exhibit P2592?
6 A. I have already said that I did not write down what was said at
7 that meeting by General Pavkovic. He had a briefing in writing which he
8 put forward. Later on, when I was writing down what had happened at the
9 meeting, there's a place where General Pavkovic draws attention to the
10 poor cooperation with the MUP on the ground; and then Milosevic
11 transformed this into a separate topic.
12 He said that anyone who was hindering this cooperation was
13 committing sabotage and so on. So there is a part where General Pavkovic
14 talks of the poor cooperation between both MUPs. The fact that there was
15 evasion of -- that there were attempts to evade the forming of such a
16 commission, General Djurovic spoke about this, and that's why the army
17 formed its own commission.
18 Q. What I'm asking you is: At that meeting, the Milosevic meeting of
19 May the 17th, 1999, did General Pavkovic explicitly reference General
20 Sreten Lukic as being someone who had been refusing and rejecting to
21 participate and cooperate in such a Joint Commission? Did he explicit
22 reference General Sreten Lukic in that capacity?
23 A. I don't think he mentioned him explicitly. He just mentioned the
24 MUP. He mentioned him explicitly on the 16th of May when briefing General
1 Q. Well, see, sir, the problem that I have is your notes obviously
2 don't have a reference to it, because now you say that he didn't reference
3 Mr. Lukic at that meeting. But more curiously I have been unable to find
4 in your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor that you ever
5 mentioned General Lukic in that capacity until this statement that was
6 done a couple weeks ago.
7 When is it that you refreshed your recollection to remember that
8 General Lukic was explicitly referenced, and what jogged your memory?
9 A. It wasn't that something jogged my memory. I have it written down
10 in my notebook. In my diary as you call it, I wrote down the contents of
11 the meeting of the 16th of May. And when preparing to testify, when
12 Kosovo was at issue, I went through my notebook; and when making a
13 statement on Kosovo alone, I put forward what happened on the 16th of May.
14 When testifying in the Milosevic case, I did not put forward such
15 a detailed account of that meeting, but it is in my notebook. And I
16 believe that other generals, especially General Gajic, who attended the
17 meeting would tell you the same, because he and I were known for writing a
18 lot at meetings, taking lots of notes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, where is the reference to Mr. Lukic by
20 Pavkovic in this statement?
21 MR. IVETIC: One moment, Your Honour. I have it coming in at
22 paragraph 62 on my --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I'm too far ahead, thanks.
24 MR. IVETIC: On my version, it's page 17 in the middle, where
25 they're talking. It says, "Pavkovic told Ojdanic that he had asked
1 General Lukic that they form a" --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. Now, first of all, Mr. Vasiljevic, did you -- did you have your
5 notebook with you during the multiple days that the OTP interviewed you in
6 2002, I believe?
7 A. No. I didn't bring my notebooks to those interviews. But when I
8 was preparing for the interviews, I made use of my notebooks.
9 Q. Did you give those notebooks to the Office of the Prosecutor?
10 A. No, I didn't.
11 Q. Do you still have them?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Okay. Now, did your information, that is to say either from
14 security organs in the field or from any other source, any other generals,
15 for instance, did any of that information advise you of the fact that
16 prior to your meeting in May, specifically on May the 2nd, 1999, there
17 indeed was a joint meeting at the command of the Pristina Corps between
18 the top officials of the MUP and the VJ, specifically relating to joint
19 work to investigate, document, and determine what was the cause or what
20 was the responsibility of various instances where there had been
21 unidentified bodies found in the terrain to determine the zone of
22 responsibility ...
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. -- to determine the facts so that those events could be properly
1 investigated. Did you have knowledge of such a meeting from May the 2nd,
2 1999, that resulted in communiques from both --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Surely this question must come to an end --
4 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- sometime.
6 MR. IVETIC: I'm happy to have it be answered now if he has
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about any such meeting.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. Do you know of any communique issued thereafter by the MUP staff
11 in Pristina, initiating a request for joint work in cooperation with the
12 VJ, specifically for some unidentified bodies that had been discovered on
13 the terrain?
14 A. No. Apart from the information I gave at the closed part of the
15 session, I had no other information.
16 Q. Okay. Now, as far as the MUP of the Republic of Serbia is
17 concerned, do you know or did you have information from your security
18 organs or from any other source that from the 24th of March, 1999, through
19 the 20th of June, 1999, the MUP organs filed official criminal charges
20 against various persons for crimes that were suspected of having been
21 committed, including approximately 629 civilian persons, 86 approximately
22 members of the MUP of Serbia, approximately 112 members of the army, and I
23 believe over a thousand unknown perpetrators.
24 Are you aware of that effort at investigation and documentation
25 and processing?
1 A. I'm aware only of what I said. The Minister of the Interior,
2 Vlajko Stojiljkovic, said at the joint meeting with the MUP at the Army of
3 Yugoslavia in July; that is, that they had 16 cases that had been
4 processed and dealt with. I don't have the information that you have just
5 given and he did not give it then.
6 Q. And the other day with respect to those 16 you indicated that it
7 was your belief at the time that those were just the more serious crimes
8 and incidents. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes. It's impossible that there was only such a small number of
10 cases in total in Kosovo.
11 Q. The numbers I've just quoted to you are much more realistic, are
12 they not?
13 A. They might be.
14 Q. Okay. Now I have just -- I have a couple questions relating to an
15 exhibit that came in, in part through your testimony.
16 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honours, if I could have clarification,
17 It's my understanding that P1898, that's the handwritten purported diary
18 of Obrad Stevanovic, that just the one portion that's referenced in the
19 one paragraph of the witness's statement has been introduced into evidence
20 and, therefore, I will not be opening the Pandora's box by questioning him
21 on just that one aspect, which is what I tend to do with that one exhibit.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. That is one of the documents that perhaps
23 Mr. Hannis will apply to have admitted in general. I'm not sure. Is that
24 one likely to be the subject of your application?
25 MR. HANNIS: A larger portion of the diary, anyhow, rather than
1 that one specific passage may be offered to place it in context and in
2 time, because there's an issue I think about what date those notes refer
4 JUDGE BONOMY: But only in relation to the matter raised in the --
5 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
7 MR. IVETIC: So that one paragraph. Thank you, Your Honour, I
8 appreciate that.
9 Q. Now, sir, this exhibit, this handwritten diary came up in
10 connection with your testimony relative to the May 17th meeting. The
11 other day you testified that you followed the testimony of General Obrad
12 Stevanovic during the Milosevic trial, and you wanted to comment on his
13 sworn testimony that the reference to no body, no crime was actually
14 relating to information received from the military security organs about
15 the activities of the KLA.
16 Now, I don't mean to test your memory, but I have gone back and
17 checked the transcript of Mr. Stevanovic's testimony. And what you
18 recalled him as testifying to is inaccurate. At page 40382, lines 3
19 through 10 of the Milosevic transcript, Mr. Stevanovic testified under
21 "I think I have explained this during my interview in Belgrade.
22 At that meeting, I don't know precisely which meeting that was, but I do
23 have a vague memory. One of the representatives of the security forces,
24 whether it was the military or the civilian security, I don't know, warned
25 against perfidious actions by terrorists; namely, that they are removing
1 the corpses of their victims and the casualties of anti-terrorist actions,
2 only to gather them again and place them in mass graves in order to blame
3 those mass graves on Serbian forces."
4 Now, sir, you had earlier refuted that this information could have
5 come from military security. Now, I take it, being refreshed with the
6 actual testimony of Mr. Stevanovic, where he says: "I don't know whether
7 it's state or military security," you cannot exclude that state security,
8 the RDB, may have provided that type of information to him, can you? You
9 could only speak for your organ, correct, your security organ?
10 A. No. Quoting this passage, you did not mention what was concluded
11 before that, i.e., that the military service was doing a perfidious job,
12 that they wanted to prove NATO right in starting the air-strikes. So it
13 was the military service that provided this information, and it was being
14 criticised for having given this information to President Milosevic on the
15 17th of May.
16 You have extracted only this passage, which I did not deny, but it
17 refers to the previous passage that it's the military service that is
18 doing a perfidious job.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, we could seek to have the
21 transcript portion put into evidence if Your Honours feel it necessary. I
22 did not have it prepared in e-court today, but I think the transcript will
23 speak for itself. I'm not here to weigh one person over the other.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I assume you've quoted it accurately and that
25 should be sufficient for our purposes.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: That portion, yes, Your Honour, but I think you may
3 need more than that portion because the question is discussed for some
4 length of time back and forth between Mr. Nice and Mr. Stevanovic.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you can deal with that in re-examination.
6 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. By the way, Mr. Vasiljevic, the notebook that you saw, that was
8 only shown to you after you testified in the Milosevic case. Is that
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. And who showed it to you? Was it the Office of the Prosecutor?
12 A. The Prosecutor.
13 Q. Okay. And that was shown to you after Mr. Stevanovic had
14 completed his testimony in June of 2005. Is that correct?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. Okay.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the notebook you refer to there, Mr.
18 Ivetic? Is that the Stevanovic diary?
19 MR. IVETIC: The Stevanovic diary, correct, the P1898.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. IVETIC:
22 Q. Now, I'd like to focus just a handful of questions on the
23 operative sweep groups again. First of all, I would like to ask you if
24 you are aware when the operative sweep groups were first established
25 within the structure of the Ministry of Interior?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Would you be surprised to learn that the official act of the
3 government as far back as 1970 established these operative sweep groups,
4 in response to the well-publicised infiltration of the Radusa terrorist
5 cell in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time?
6 A. I don't know whether an order about the formation of those groups
7 was in place, and I'm not sure about the exact name of those groups. I
8 don't know whether it was in force at the time when the SFRY ceased to
9 exist when the FRY began existing. I don't know whether that practice
10 dates back to the 1970s. I think it was actually 1972, and I don't know
11 whether it remained in force until 1992.
12 Q. And these are very small anti-terrorist groups, these operative
13 sweep groups, that you recall from 1972. Is that correct?
14 A. There were no separate formations. They comprised MUP personnel.
15 Tactically speaking, groups to cover certain areas were formed, and such
16 groups always were of mixed composition. They comprised military -- the
17 military police, the Territorial Defence elements, and some other elements
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 That was not a part of the MUP establishment in 1972; it was
20 merely to address a situation in the field which called for such a unit.
21 Such groups were formed in the specific areas in which there was
22 information on the existence of certain terrorist groups. Not every area
23 had an operational sweep group, and it was a long time ago, back in 1972.
24 Q. Well, based on your knowledge, sir, isn't it a fact that the same
25 principles were employed in 1998 and 1999 as well with these smaller
1 groups for specific purposes?
2 A. I do know that. But in 1972, you didn't have groups paring their
3 names such as Legija, Magla, and Sigma, and so on and so forth. They were
4 not formed as separate units with their name or designation. I did not
5 question the need for such a thing back in 1999 to have something at a
6 tactical level to join the MUP and the army in order to clear the terrain,
7 a certain part of the land.
8 As for why some were called operational sweep groups, whereas
9 others had different functions to go from one house to the next and expel
10 Albanians, this has got nothing to do with some operational sweep groups
11 dating back to 1972.
12 Q. Have you ever seen any formal written act or declaration relative
13 to the formation, command, organisation of either the PJP, the "Posebne
14 Jedinice Policije," or the OPG units?
15 A. I did not see such information. I was only briefed orally to the
16 extent I required.
17 Q. And am I correct that your source for information about the OPG
18 and the PJP comes exclusively from persons that were not members of these
19 units and, in fact, were not members of the MUP of Serbia, i.e., your
20 information comes from third parties?
21 A. I don't know what party it came from, but it came from the
22 security organs for sure. And I would call that first-hand or first-party
23 information, and they received that information directly as well.
24 Therefore, it is not a third-party or third-hand information.
25 I conveyed directly what was told to me in the field by the
1 security organs. I didn't see any such documents, and I have no official
2 information by the MUP -- from the MUP.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, where are we?
4 MR. IVETIC: We're talking about the OPG groups which --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed, but how close are we --
6 MR. IVETIC: To finishing? I've got I'd say probably another 20
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. I think we should interrupt at this
10 MR. IVETIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That concludes our hearing for today, Mr.
12 Vasiljevic. I'm fairly confident, barring unforeseen events, that
13 tomorrow will be your last day with us. I won't be held to that, but it's
14 as good an indication as I can give you. So please return ready to resume
15 at 9.00 tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, you may leave with the usher.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: We will now go into private session to deal with a
18 matter which affects the personal security of an individual.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 9021-9024 redacted. Private session
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.57 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
19 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.