1 Tuesday, 30 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll go into closed session to allow the witness
6 to enter the courtroom.
7 [Closed session]
13 [Open session]
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honour. We will proceed in the following
15 order: General Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, Mr. Sainovic,
16 Mr. Milutinovic, General Ojdanic, and General Lukic. Thank you.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good morning, Witness K90.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The cross-examination by counsel representing the
20 various accused will now take place. You'll be asked questions by each
21 one in turn. I remind you that the solemn declaration to speak the truth
22 which you gave at the beginning of your evidence continues to apply to
23 that evidence today. Now, the first counsel to examine you this morning
24 will be Mr. Ackerman.
25 Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Your Honour, with the usher's assistance, I have a couple of
3 documents I would like to have him give to the witness -- have her give to
4 the witness, I'm sorry.
5 WITNESS: WITNESS K90 [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
8 Q. Mr. Witness, we'll be looking at those documents in a few moments.
9 We don't need to look at them right now, but very soon we will. The first
10 question I want to ask you is: When did you first have an opportunity to
11 look at your written statement in the Serbian language? When did that
13 A. Your Honours, it seems that that was the troublesome moment as far
14 as the statement I saw is concerned. The interpreter who took the
15 statement together with the investigator in Belgrade is not the person who
16 signed the statement. And the witness -- the witness statement was not
17 made during the course of two days but only one day.
18 I cannot be very specific, but I think that once I met the
19 investigator near the Hotel M - and that's when they had that traffic
20 accident in front of the hotel. Well, maybe it wasn't the same day - and
21 then in a park in Belgrade.
22 I'm not sure that they read the statement back to me then. The
23 first lady who interpreted what I said is I think more -- that statement,
24 rather, is more reliable than the one I got here. Actually, the
25 Prosecutor did not immediately give me a statement, but it was given to me
1 in my room so I could see it; then I prepared it with the Prosecutor, and
2 I made my objections, not in terms of the content of the statement, but
3 certain observations.
4 Q. When was it given to you in your room? After you came here for
5 your testimony in this case?
6 A. Yes. Yes, Thursday.
7 Q. Now, one of the papers that I've just given you is a paper called
8 a supplemental information sheet. It's that stapled piece of paper, and
9 that's in the Serbian language.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Have you ever seen that before?
12 A. Let me just have a look at this. No.
13 Q. And this is Mr. Hannis's report about your conversations with him
14 on Friday, and it contains the things that you thought should be changed
15 in your statement and the new things that you said that were not in your
17 From your testimony yesterday about things you say you told
18 Mr. Hannis, I take it that it's your position that this document is not
19 correct, that it does not contain all the information that you gave
20 Mr. Hannis on Friday. Is that true?
21 A. Well, I and Mr. Hannis looked at the statement on Friday, and we
22 agreed on most things except that we spelled out certain things in more
23 precise terms and then protective measures were supposed to be imposed as
24 well. So there was no contest regarding the bulk of the statement but
25 only certain details, to have them spelled out precisely in the statement.
1 Yesterday, when the Presiding Judge instructed me to review my
2 statement, I reviewed it several times, and in addition to that the
3 subsequent statement given to me. And I have no objections except for a
4 few things that are now in this version that I handed in. So there's not
5 any major deviation, but anyway this is what we talked about on Friday.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me -- I'm sorry, Mr. Ackerman, but let me be
7 clear about this. I should have dealt with it at the beginning.
8 Is there any other alteration that you wish to make to this
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I hand this statement over to
11 you, Your Honour, the one that I corrected? There are very few
12 corrections there, and small ones, too, and then you will say what you
13 have to say.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: If the corrections are in the Serbian language, I
15 will not be able to read them. Therefore --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I just want you to see the
17 number of corrections, and then you will decide whether that -- well --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: No, we need to deal with each one that's necessary.
19 So you tell me from your statement which paragraphs you wish to make
20 alterations to. Which is the earliest paragraph you wish to alter?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to read the paragraphs one
22 by one and I'll tell you exactly what it is that I altered, and then you
23 will -- well, let's start. Paragraph 28. This is the Prosecutor's
24 correction, the 549th Motorised Brigade, so that was that imprecision
25 that -- all right. The next one. In paragraph 36, the second sentence:
1 "For such an occasion, we always carried aerosol air freshener cans."
2 That wasn't the case. I said in this situation we used et cetera, et
3 cetera. So that's the only change case.
4 Paragraph 39.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing there. It's just the
7 separation -- well, there's no change here. There was this one man and --
8 well, that's it.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That was dealt with yesterday, yes.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Paragraph 41. The Prosecutor
11 added, in the first sentence, the following was inserted: "It was not my
12 unit's primary task."
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And another sentence which is very
15 important for me and it changes the text or context of what was inserted
16 later. My major never issued an order to expel villagers, or rather, that
17 they be expelled to Albania. That is the sentence that was subsequently
18 added by the Prosecutor. So that's one of the changes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And you also gave a full explanation of that
20 yesterday, yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
22 Then paragraph 43. "With my unit, I was involved in the
23 expulsion." That's what is written here, but I said "relocation," I did
24 not say "expulsion." It is not the same word. And here it says "from a
25 few villages." That's what the Prosecutor added; and then the word
1 "expelled" should be replaced by "relocated."
2 All the villagers, all the inhabitants of that village, and then
3 it says here "to compel them." Well, I explained to you yesterday, Your
4 Honours, I did not have any specific orders what I was supposed to do if
5 somebody were tell me, I don't want to leave.
6 I would probably inform my supreme commander and they would decide
7 what was to be done, but I really did not know what I was supposed to do.
8 I mean, we did not have such a case and we did not have any precise
9 instructions as to what we should do if somebody were to refuse.
10 Then 44, it says "expulsion." I want "relocation" again, please.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 45, you and I yesterday --
13 well, you asked me about that theft, Your Honour. Nobody dared take
14 anything from the houses; these people who came individually, I, another
15 person, and yet another person, and so on. It doesn't matter whether it
16 was one or three people.
17 It is important that they were searching people's belongings and
18 searching through their houses, but it wasn't all the troops that were
19 doing that. It was just individuals, and that's what I wrote here. Have
20 I explained this clearly to the Court what it was that I was trying to
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 46. As for paragraph 46,
24 I said then and I'm saying now that that is my indirect knowledge from
25 other people.
1 I had to admit now that on Saturday I talked to a man about that
2 incident that occurred in Korisa, and he confirmed to me that my statement
3 is almost all right, except that these people were up on this hill and
4 then they moved towards the village and towards Albania; and then they
5 left them there at some warehouse and that's where they were hit.
6 So the incident is similar, but this is my indirect knowledge. I
7 was not a participant. It's not my direct knowledge. So that's what I
8 added to this part here that I changed.
9 Have you understood what it was I was trying to say?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me try to understand it. Yes, I do understand.
11 Yes, carry on.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph 47. It has to do with --
13 well, it says here in the last sentence: "Everyone wore the well-known
14 Frenki hats." I consulted this man on Saturday and he told me what I
15 thought, too. And this is also an imprecision and it was due to
17 It was the SAJ that wore hats like that or similar hats, the
18 special operations unit and some people from the PJPs, policemen, ordinary
19 policemen, not special units. So possibly it was my mistake that this man
20 I saw there with yet another man was not a member of the JSO. So let's
21 clarify that.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand that. You told us yesterday
23 that these familiar Frenki hats were red berets.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, that's right. Frenki
25 hats were worn -- well, not Frenki hats. These little hats were worn by
1 the SAJ and special operations units, but I saw this man there with the
2 hat; and then I thought that it was the special operations units, maybe
3 that's a mistake. Maybe I made a mistake. Maybe somebody had a hat, but
4 I did not see the entire unit there.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, now I don't understand. Your statement says:
6 "About 400 additional police arrived. They included PJP units and
7 Frenki's." And then yesterday you said they also included a unit for
8 special operations, and by that were you also -- are they the same unit?
9 That's Frenki's unit, is it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: So that's an additional unit that was there. Is
12 that correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this man I saw with a
14 mask on his face and with this little hat, I thought that they were there.
15 You know why I said this? Because -- well, a member of my group is a man
16 that they were looking for, so that he returned to his unit because he was
17 a reservists of this special operations unit.
18 And I thought that they were out there in the field because of
19 that, and that is why I gave this correction now with the possibility that
20 I made a mistake originally. But the fact remains that the man with the
21 mask and with the little hat was there.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Witness, the statement says, "they all," "all,"
23 wore the familiar Frenki hats, not one person.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I corrected it. I saw two men, not
25 the whole unit. Two men, who was -- were there in a passenger car, and I
1 exchanged cigarettes for fruit juice with them.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now you say it's two. And you also say in the
3 statement --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes -- well, I refer to two people a
5 moment ago. I referred to a man and then another man, so it's two men.
6 At this place and the place where this happened, there were two
7 policemen. And this is where I saw this man there, but I don't know that
8 he wasn't from that unit. He wasn't from that unit for sure.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Your statement at the moment says: "I recognised
10 the Frenki's by their uniform."
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hats. Hats that were worn by the
12 special operations unit and the mask that he had on his face. That's why
13 I thought that they were somewhere around there.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, your statement proceeds on the basis that you
15 saw this yourself, not on the basis that you asked somebody about it.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, who is the person you say you were speaking to
18 on Saturday about this?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A policeman.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that somebody here or is it somebody you
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was there -- who's here.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Who's here?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. A man who had been there on
25 the spot.
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know if we should go into
2 private session to discuss this any further.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The court shouldn't be in this position,
4 Mr. Hannis, of dealing with this way. This is just dreadful. When
5 witnesses are to have some of their evidence presented in writing, the
6 Prosecution should have it sorted out so that it's clear what the witness
7 can swear to.
8 And in this case, we are having to clarify all sorts of things.
9 We may get to the stage where we think it's inappropriate to admit this
10 statement. Where will you be then?
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I will be where I am, but I have to
12 defend myself, Your Honour. I went through this with him when we proofed
13 him. I asked him if there were any additional corrections beyond the ones
14 that he put in the supplemental investigation. I was not told that there
15 were any others required.
16 When he came to testify, he said there were some additional ones.
17 I went through and he listed a couple of specific ones. I asked him then
18 when he was testifying were there any others, and he said I don't think
19 so, maybe we'll talk about them when we come to them.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: This is the old story of doing this at the last
21 minute. This is inevitably what happens.
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, you will recall this is a witness who we
23 subpoenaed and who refused to come. This is a witness that the day he
24 arrived refused to come to my office for proofing when Victims and
25 Witnesses went to pick him up.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll go into private session briefly.
2 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 And tell me the next change you wish to make. Approximate.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says,"There is a small group here
5 and their task was to take care of the people," but I wanted it to say
6 "KLA," not "people," not "civilians."
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 52.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And tell me again what's the change that you wish
10 to make?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Instead of the word "people" - I
12 take "people" to mean "civilians" - I wanted it to say "KLA" instead of
14 MR. ACKERMAN: In the sixth line, Your Honour, where the word
15 "people" appears.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: That doesn't make any sense to me.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it does. The remaining part of
18 my unit was deployed along this road. In places that are marked as P on
19 the diagram, there is a small creek there. And they were to ensure that
20 people did not escape through there into Djakovica, and I wanted to say to
21 ensure that the KLA did not escape through there to Djakovica.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And read the rest of the sentence: "But rather
23 stayed on the road." So the KLA were going to politely walk on the road,
24 were they?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. We're not understanding
1 each other. Part of the unit was along the road, and another part was
2 along that brook that I drew on that map yesterday, if you remember the
3 crossroads and the brook there. And that was discussed, and where Letic
4 was wounded, where part of the unit was.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: How was it you identified the KLA on this occasion?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not establish that. We -- it
7 just says here that we were deployed there, soldiers, to protect people
8 from escaping. They were not there to protect people, or rather, to
9 prevent them from escaping, but rather from letting the KLA get into
11 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the next change you wish to make?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It continues from there. When they
13 were taking men out and when they were threatened by guns, they were taken
14 to a complex of certain buildings marked as E. The policemen were also
15 forcing the men to sing Serb nationalist songs as they were moving to the
16 locality there.
17 They only forced the last group to sing, not all of them. That's
18 what I wrote in that other paragraph. So it was just the last group.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The next change?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where it says the policeman was very
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have the paragraph numbers
24 in this statement.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you've been able to give them to us so far.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But now in this new statement there
2 aren't any numbers. See, no numbers here.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Which page are we on now then?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Page 10 here.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 10. And counting from the top, which
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last sentence before the
8 beginning of paragraph 61.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Have you found it?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The policeman was very rough, was
13 very dismissive, and told me they were slaughtering Siptars." Your
14 Honours, I clarified this. I never said "slaughtering Siptars."
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You said "skinning Siptars," so we got that
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not "skinning." I explained to
18 you what I meant when I said that. That the word I used can, of course,
19 mean skinning someone; but when I used the word, it could mean that they
20 were "killing" them. It doesn't necessarily mean they took a knife and
21 skinned them.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Witness K90, this is just --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] but it cannot be translated --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: This is just a nonsubject to be arguing about.
25 It's clear that the intention was to say that they were killing them. So
1 let's move on. What's the next change?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In paragraph 61, it says from five
3 to ten men, but as I explained yesterday there were only between eight and
5 JUDGE BONOMY: We've had that already. Tell me any new change you
6 wish to make to this statement.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There aren't any more. There aren't
8 any more.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you said at the beginning of your evidence
10 today that the interpreter who signed this was not the interpreter who was
11 there when the statement was translated. And we have a certificate by
12 that interpreter saying that she was the person who read it to you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I gave the
14 statement to the investigator, there was only the investigator, myself,
15 and that woman, not the woman who signed the statement but another woman.
16 And from time to time, a man came in who introduced himself, but I don't
17 know what his name is, but he was with us only from time to time, not all
18 the time.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Someone read it over to you in your language. Is
20 that correct?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember about it being read
22 back to me on that day; but when I signed it, they probably did or maybe
23 they didn't. Because as it is now I would certainly have corrected it.
24 Had it been read to me, I would certainly have corrected it. I don't
25 remember the statement having been read back to me.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you'll see that there's a certificate
2 attached to it by the interpreter, Emina Vukic, who says that this was
3 orally translated in your presence and you appeared to have heard and
4 understood it, and that happened on the 8th of December. And your
5 signature on the front page has underneath it the 8th of December in
6 writing that looks like you may have written it.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it took me one day to
8 give the statement here; whereas, it says here that I made the statement
9 over two days. I don't remember the exact date, but I know that I was in
10 the office only once.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It is possible that you made the statement on one
12 day, and on the following day it was read over to you and you signed it.
13 Is that what happened?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. Not the next day, I'm
15 sure, because the gentleman who took the statement went back to his
16 country and then they came back again. It was the new year, and then we
17 saw each other in January or February, I don't know exactly when, in front
18 of Hotel M or in a park; if it was the same day in one of the parks in
19 Belgrade, but certainly not in the Tribunal office in Belgrade.
20 I was there only once, and it was then that the young lady who
21 signed the statement was there. The first time it was another lady from
22 Belgrade. I am certain about that. When the investigator was there and I
23 gave the statement to him, there was another woman there.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, can you help us on this?
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, at this point in time I can only go by
1 what's in the written document. I will try and contact the people listed
2 here to see what I can clear up for you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not the most important element here because
4 the statement has now been read again by the witness, he's made the
5 necessary corrections. What's your motion in relation to that now?
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would tender his statement. I can
7 make further corrections based on his comments this morning and submit
8 that document to him and then to you, to give him a chance to confirm that
9 I've made the changes he wanted this morning.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, what's your position in relation to
11 the statement?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I think what Mr. Hannis suggests is probably the
13 appropriate way to go.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The problem is when are we going to do that?
15 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, during the break I can try to make
16 some arrangements for somebody from my office to assist based on what's in
17 the transcript this morning, and have the language assistant who worked on
18 it yesterday make those additional corrections; and then immediately after
19 he finishes here, have him review it.
20 If he indicates he's satisfied, I'll advise the Court and Defence
21 counsel and then tender that version once it's typed up and completed.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what we'll do is continue with the
23 cross-examination, hold the question of admitting this statement in
24 reserve. We'll complete the cross-examination. At that stage, it will
25 then be over to you to deal with the statement in the way you suggest.
1 The final version will have to be available before the
2 cross-examination is concluded, so we're going to have to allow a
3 completion of the cross-examination, just in case there's anything in it
4 that requires to be further explored by counsel, and that means that the
5 re-examination will also have to be held over until this exercise is
6 complete. So let's see how far we can get with that.
7 Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. IVETIC: Can I just make one point. Based upon what I've
9 heard now, it appears that paragraph 46 is not anything that witness has
10 any direct knowledge of, but he's testifying about what someone else
11 knows. I think that that shouldn't be a part of the statement. I think
12 it should be stricken from the record, if that is indeed the case.
13 I mean, we can have that witness testify when he gets here, but we
14 can't have a witness testify about what another witness knows that he
15 doesn't know.. I mean, that defeats the purpose of having a sworn
16 statement based upon the affiant's knowledge.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm not sure that that is the case because
18 the alternative is open to the Prosecutor to ask him questions about what
19 he's heard about these events, so it comes to the same thing. And having
20 it in writing in advance of course gives you, normally, a better notice of
21 what's to be said.
22 But that's a matter we'll take up when it comes to deciding
23 finally whether to admit the statement and whether any parts of it should
24 not be admitted. You must proceed on the basis, though, that this in some
25 form will be part of his evidence. Because if it's struck out as a result
1 of successful cross-examination, then no doubt it could come back in
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Witness, on Friday when you met with Mr. Hannis, can you tell
7 us about how long it was that you actually spent with him.
8 A. Not a lot. We clarified my objections to the statement very
9 quickly. He noted it down, and that was the end of it. He didn't ask me
10 to do anything inappropriate. He didn't try to persuade me to do
12 I just told him what my comments were, he put the questions he had
13 to put about that, and that was it. I can't remember exactly how long it
14 took, perhaps about an hour.
15 Q. So you think your total time with Mr. Hannis on Friday was about
16 an hour? Or was it longer than that?
17 A. Well, it was more than an hour, but I can't tell you exactly how
18 long it was. I can't remember exactly.
19 Q. You don't remember when you started and when you ended that
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, I take it you do not speak English?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And as far as you know, Mr. Hannis does not speak Serbian?
25 A. No, I don't know.
1 Q. So that your conversation with Mr. Hannis was through an
2 interpreter; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you have no idea what the interpreter told Mr. Hannis you were
5 saying; you just know what you were saying in your own language. Correct?
6 A. Well, when the young lady who was interpreting told Mr. Hannis
7 what I had said, she told me what he said. I don't think she said
8 anything that would change the context of the statement. When Mr. Hannis
9 asked me a question -- please go ahead.
10 Q. I want to ask you some questions about your testimony yesterday in
11 that regard. At page 8 of yesterday's transcript, Mr. Hannis was asking
12 you some questions about corrections to your statement. And it had
13 something to do with relocation of people. And you told us at that time
14 that that was one of the things that you discussed with him on Friday.
15 And, of course, you recall that as you were giving that testimony
16 you were under oath. You had sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth,
17 and nothing but the truth, and is it true then that on Friday you did have
18 discussions with Mr. Hannis about this issue of expulsion versus
19 relocation and so forth?
20 A. I told Mr. Hannis that what it said in the statement, as I also
21 said today, should be "relocation" rather than "expulsion." I clearly let
22 it be known that it referred to relocation.
23 Q. All right. And then you were asked about --
24 A. Excuse me. I'm not sure whether we discussed it at all. I can't
25 remember exactly what we discussed, but I do know that this should be
1 relocation. It was never my intention to say "expulsion." If we did
2 discuss this, I certainly said it was "relocation."
3 Q. You were then asked if you had any other changes you wanted to
4 make regarding this issue of relocation or expulsion. And at page 10 of
5 your testimony yesterday, you said to Mr. Hannis:
6 "On Friday I said to you, and today I'm going to say to this
7 honourable Trial Chamber, that what is written here is not quite precise;
8 that is to say, that my major never ordered the expulsion of villagers,
9 that is to say to have them expelled to Albania. The order was always
10 that these people should be directed towards Djakovica and the first
11 villages here Djakovica."
12 Now, is it true that you told Mr. Hannis that on Friday?
13 A. I did say that, and Mr. Hannis put it in the new statement that I
14 received yesterday. He put in that correction.
15 Q. All right. And then right after that, you said: "The population
16 was not relocated until the cluster bombs started falling." Did you tell
17 Mr. Hannis that on Friday, or is that something you told us for the first
18 time yesterday?
19 A. I think I told Mr. Hannis that on Friday, yes, and in paragraph 42
20 that's what it says here in the statement.
21 Q. Then in -- on pages [sic] 34 and 35 of your statement, you talk
22 about the relocation of people from the village Zub, where I think there
23 was a VJ command post.
24 You say that: "Not at any moment did we say to them that they
25 should leave the state or the country. Why would they stay out there on
1 their own at the mercy of aircraft?"
2 And then you said to Mr. Hannis: "I explained it to you on Friday
3 when I said on their own, that is what I meant when I was speaking a few
4 minutes ago, to say that other soldiers did not take part. I told you on
5 Friday and I'm telling the honourable Judges now. I don't know how we
6 would have reacted if somebody said they had protested and didn't want to
7 leave. I don't know. Perhaps the commander would have to come and tell
8 them we didn't have any orders like that."
9 You've made that correction now about three times in your
10 testimony. My question is: Did you tell that to Mr. Hannis on Friday, as
11 you said in your testimony?
12 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I have an objection to the
13 question, because it's not clear to me whether Mr. Ackerman's question is
14 about did he tell Mr. Hannis that other soldiers did not take part on
16 MR. ACKERMAN: No.
17 MR. HANNIS: Because if that's what it is, I have no objection.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I'm referring to, about halfway down page
19 35, where he says to you, Mr. Hannis: "I told you on Friday that I'm
20 telling the honourable Judges now. I don't know how we would have reacted
21 if somebody had protested and said they didn't want to leave. I don't
23 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, my problem is I see on the
24 transcript, it says: "I don't know how we would have reacted," and the
25 sentence before that: "I told you Friday, and I'm telling the honourable
1 Judges now." follows the earlier statement about the "other soldiers did
2 not take part." That seems to be what that is referring to. And then the
3 following statement is: "I'm telling you now."
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think it's confusing enough and
5 probably should be left alone, and that's what I'll do.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. Then there was the issue that developed over paragraph 45, and
9 you'll recall this very well, where your statement says:
10 "After we'd ordered a village to leave, within an hour it was like
11 an atom bomb had hit the village. Soldiers were coming through the
12 village and looting everything that was not nailed down."
13 You said to Mr. Hannis in response to that question:
14 "Now, what I told you on Friday - and I will repeat now in front
15 of this honourable Trial Chamber - no one could carry anything with them,
16 but it happened sometimes that an individual would come by. If it would
17 have been a group, we would have seen them and they would have ended up in
18 prison. And then I can guarantee that nobody could or was allowed to take
19 anything with them throughout the war in Kosovo."
20 Now, you say you told that to Mr. Hannis on Friday. Is that true,
21 did you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then, finally, on the same subject at paragraph 46 -- or page
24 46, you were being asked about this by Judge Bonomy and said that you had
25 not changed that paragraph before coming into court today. And your
1 answer to Judge Bonomy on page 46 was:
2 "I did clear this up with the Prosecutor. I told him on Friday
3 literally that those were individuals, not a large group of people, if we
4 don't take into account the last day."
5 Is that true, that's what you told the Prosecutor on Friday?
6 A. Yes, that's true. Individuals did do such things. They didn't
7 carry things because they couldn't carry things, but they looked for
8 things they needed. As I said, there were people who were drug addicts
9 and they looked for things. But on the last day there was looting and
10 that's clear. That's beyond doubt. In the last days, there was looting
11 and nobody could control it.
12 Q. You've got your statement there. Could you look at paragraph 40,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At the very bottom of paragraph 40, what you say in your statement
16 was that: "Looting by the VJ was strictly forbidden," and then you say
17 "with the exception of the last day of our withdrawal."
18 Now, when you say in paragraph 40 that looting by the VJ was
19 strictly forbidden and then say what you said in paragraph 45 about
20 soldiers taking everything that was not nailed down, one of those has to
21 be wrong.
22 One of those is true and one of them's not. And I take it it's
23 your testimony today that looting was strictly forbidden and it didn't
24 happen, as is set out in paragraph 45, that paragraph 45 was a mistake.
25 Is that true?
1 A. Looting was forbidden, but on the last day there was no control.
2 So there was looting. It was probably still prohibited, but it did go on.
3 So until the unit could be kept under control until the last moment, there
4 was no looting, with the exception of individual cases.
5 On the last day, there was no longer any control. Yesterday, I
6 explained that it could not be controlled. With the number of men the
7 command had at their disposal, they could not prevent looting, so there
8 was looting on the last day.
9 Q. All right. I wasn't asking you about the last day, and please
10 forget about that. In paragraph 40, you say: "Looting by the VJ was
11 strictly forbidden;" and then in paragraph 45, you seem to describe
12 wholesale looting by the VJ.
13 Now, those both can't be true, and I think it's your position that
14 paragraph 45 is not true, that that didn't happen as it is set out there?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Is that right or not?
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object to the characterisation of the
19 question. It can be forbidden, but still happen. Also, he did not say it
20 was VJ. He said soldiers, which is now explained that he meant individual
21 soldiers, not the VJ as a whole.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Ackerman, you've had the explanation
23 already. The consistency -- the inconsistency we can see, but I think the
24 witness has explained that there is substance in paragraph 45 but confined
25 to individual instances. The only mass looting he acknowledges was on the
1 last day.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: That's the point I was trying to make, and I think
3 it's made.
4 Q. In fact, Mr. Witness, in paragraph 40 with regard to looting by
5 the VJ being strictly forbidden, you even tell us about a Major Radic who
6 was arrested for looting and put in prison. And that was confirmed with
7 an exhibit that we saw yesterday. That's true, isn't it?
8 A. Yes, that's true.
9 Q. And that tends to confirm, doesn't it, your position that there
10 was absolutely no tolerance for looting in the VJ during your time in
11 Kosovo, until the time of the chaos of the last day?
12 A. That's what I said just a little while ago. It was prohibited. I
13 did say there were individual cases. Looting was banned, but there were
14 some exceptions, just as there were these individuals.
15 So this major did that and we arrested him and handed him over.
16 So looting was forbidden; but on the last day, there was mass looting
17 because there was no control. I think that's quite clear.
18 Q. Well, as a matter of fact, you were shown Exhibit P962 yesterday,
19 or at least it was brought to the attention of the Chamber yesterday, that
20 this list of charges brought against people from your battalion -- your
21 brigade would show that there were several instances of arrests for
22 looting. I don't want to take the time to go through it now today.
23 I want to go to another subject, and this has to do with paragraph
24 37 of your statement. In that paragraph, you talk about searching houses
25 in Djakovica in the neighbourhood of Cabrat. Can you describe in
1 neighbourhood, this neighbourhood Cabrat, what kind of a neighbourhood was
2 it. Was it a residential neighbourhood?
3 A. As I assume you have not visited Djakovica, it's where the old
4 barracks was, by the river. When you go by the church, Cabrat is on the
5 left-hand side. That's the name of that neighbourhood in Djakovica. If
6 you're coming from the direction of Belgrade, going through Djakovica,
7 towards the church, it's on the right-hand side.
8 So if you're coming from the direction of Pristina, it's on the
9 right-hand side; and if you're coming from the other side, it's on the
10 left-hand side. That is a residential neighbourhood called Cabrat.
11 Q. And that residential neighbourhood is very next to the old
12 barracks you say, very close?
13 A. I don't know whether the barracks is actually in Cabrat itself; it
14 might be. There is a street running through. Djakovica ends with the
15 barracks; and from the bridge onwards on the left-hand side, which is
16 right next to the barracks, that's where the Cabrat neighbourhood in
17 Djakovica begins.
18 Q. Now, you indicated that there was an exchange --
19 A. At least, that's what I think.
20 Q. Yes. Well, you were there. If anybody knows, you probably do.
21 You indicate there was an exchange of fire in one of the houses and one of
22 the police inspectors was shot. Do you know who it was that shot this
23 inspector? Was it KLA or what do you know?
24 A. I wasn't in that house, so I can't speculate. I know that a man
25 was wounded, but how this came about I don't know.
1 Q. All right. Then in paragraph 38, you indicated that you withdrew
2 from that residential neighbourhood because NATO bombs started dropping.
3 Were bombs actually falling within the -- within that residential
5 A. Bombs were landing near the houses that were on fire, near those
6 houses. I think --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues]... --
8 A. -- it was the first time Djakovica was bombed.
9 Q. So because of that you and your group got out of there, and I
10 assume a number of residents of that neighbourhood also departed because
11 of the bombing that was going on there. Is that correct?
12 A. They didn't go.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. They didn't leave, no.
15 Q. All right. Your battalion, the location of your battalion, your
16 assignment in your battalion, was along the Albanian border, was it not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And are you familiar with the border posts that were manned by
19 your battalion in that area?
20 A. From the border crossing to the Prizren -- the border post --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- to Prizren, I didn't serve there
23 so I don't know what the last border post is. But I crossed the border
24 from Deva to Pastrik. I was at each of these positions, but I can't
25 enumerate them all. On the right-hand side when you go, Deva is the first
1 one and then the last one is I don't know. I can't remember now. This
2 Cafa Prusit, Dejan Radanovic, I can't recall them all, but I think --
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. Just let me have you look at an exhibit. It's P35 and it will
5 come up on your screen, and I'll just ask you if you know where some of
6 these border posts are. If you can find where they are, then I want you
7 to draw a little square and we'll put some kind of a notation next to it.
8 [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Ackerman, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot see this very well.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. How's that? Can you see it better now?
13 A. Well, I see it, but ...
14 Q. Do you know where the border crossing at Cafa Prusit was located?
16 A. I know, I was there.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Can we raise the map up just a little bit to go to
18 the border. No, the other direction.
19 Q. Do you see it now? You see Zub there. Do you see where Cafa
20 Prusit was located?
21 A. Yes, Zub, and I see Cafa Prusit written here as well, if that's
22 it. Let me just find a pen. I see the village of Zub.
23 Q. You just drew a red circle around the village of Zub, didn't you?
24 A. Yes. And here is where the border crossing should be.
25 Q. Okay. And you drew a red circle down below Zub. Would you put CP
1 next to that, please. I need you to put the letters CP right next to that
2 circle you made for Cafa Prusit.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Very good. Now, do you know the border post at Dejan Radanovic?
5 Do you know where that was?
6 A. Well, if this is the border post, then it could only be here
7 because it says, Dejan here -- no, it says Damjan here, sorry.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Ackerman, please.
9 Q. [Microphone not activated] I think we HAVE to zoom out a little
11 A. I made a mistake, not Dejan Radanovic, or rather, I cannot see
12 Dejan Radanovic here. But from Cafa Prusit, I think it's the next one on
13 the right-hand side. When going from Djakovica, it's on the left-hand
14 side. I was there, that's where the repeater was. They destroyed it, and
15 I was there.
16 Q. All right. Would it help you if we zoomed out a little bit, so
17 you could see more of the map now, please?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It can't be done without losing the image,
19 Mr. Ackerman. What do you want to do?
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Let's go ahead and record this particular drawing.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC119, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last bit I draw is not Dejan
24 Radanovic. It's not Dejan Radanovic, the last little circle I drew. It
25 says Damjan here, and possibly that is one of the border posts.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
2 Now, let's get a fresh map up there and zoom out a bit.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Apparently, we've a technical problem which
5 prevents us saving this at the moment, Mr. Ackerman. Can we move on and
6 maybe come back to it again if necessary. It's --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think what I might do is abandon
8 this exercise and do it with some other witness, but there's a point --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. It shouldn't even need a witness to establish
10 the location of these various border posts.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll try and do it a different way, Your Honour,
12 because this is obviously taking up time that I think at this point in
13 time is unnecessary.
14 Q. Mr. Witness, there were other border posts; Dejan Radanovic,
15 border posts at Goden, that we can see on the map. Goden was there.
16 There was one at Guri Bard and Velika Hoca, and Guri Bard and Deva?
17 A. Deva with a D.
18 Q. Yes. You know, don't you, that after the NATO bombing started on
19 the 24th of March, these border posts came under frequent and rather
20 constant attack, both by NATO aircraft and by KLA; correct?
21 A. NATO aircraft, yes.
22 Q. And KLA?
23 A. From time to time, but I think that at Pastrik one was attacked.
24 As for the others, well, sometimes there was some shooting but not
25 constant shooting. NATO aircraft, though, every day.
1 Q. Do you know that Djakovica was within the operation zone of a KLA
2 commander by the name of Haradinaj?
3 A. No. Later on I heard -- well, maybe I heard even then, but at
4 that time the name didn't mean a thing to me. Well, now yes but not then.
5 Q. Did you know that just across the border in Albania from where
6 your units were guarding the border was the town of Bajram Curri, which
7 was a major departure point for arms smuggling and smuggling of KLA into
9 A. Your Honours, passing through the woods there near the border, we
10 found a lot of material, some of it military material, some just things
11 that were thrown away as people were fleeing. If that corroborates the
12 Defence case, all right. I don't know what was in Bajram Curri. I know
13 what was going on in the field.
14 There was military equipment. There were civilian things that
15 were discarded as they were fleeing. We found them in the forest. That
16 was the case. But Bajram Curri, I don't know about that. Is this
17 satisfactory? Is this what I can say now.
18 Q. I don't expect you to say any more than you know. This border
19 area where Albania that your unit was tasked with defending, that was an
20 area through which it was expected there may very well be a NATO ground
21 attack, wasn't it?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Now, because of these frequent attacks by NATO, the communications
24 links in your unit were not always functioning properly, were they?
25 A. Almost never; only in exceptional situations and very briefly at
2 Q. And even when they were functioning, as you told us yesterday,
3 they were not used after the NATO bombing started because of the
4 possibility of revealing your locations or your communications to NATO and
5 the enemy; correct?
6 A. Well, since the communication between the border posts and the
7 command did exist, I assume that it was wire telephones or messengers.
8 But since the commander toured the area every day, every day -- well,
9 practically every day, in most cases I accompanied him. But I'm sure that
10 every day he went from one border post to the other. So communications,
11 very rarely and only in exceptional situations.
12 Q. All right. I have given you a document in a black folder there
13 this morning. That's Prosecution Exhibit, and it is the war diary of your
14 battalion. And it is written by hand and --
15 A. Yes. Unfortunately, I did not see the diary when it was written
16 because it was not within the scope of my work. I cannot say anything,
17 when it was written, by who, under what circumstances, nothing, nothing
18 more than this.
19 So probably it was written by the person who signed it, and I
20 don't know whether he wrote it. I don't know under what conditions. I
21 don't know anything about it.
22 Q. Well, those are -- you've just answered a whole bunch of questions
23 I didn't ask you. It's handwritten, and I want you to see if you can find
24 the entry for the 30th of March. It starts with the 24th of March, so the
25 30th of March should be fairly soon after the beginning.
1 A. The 29th, I found it. Go ahead.
2 Q. The last entry there for the 30th of March says:
3 "During the day, about 2.000 people crossed the Cafa Prusit
4 border crossing. Transport for the children and the elderly was
5 organised. The Djakovica-Prizren road is jammed by refugee columns. No
6 other sight is so distressing as a view of the column of the poor who have
7 been forced to leave their houses. The soldiers simply couldn't resist
8 giving the children fruit juices and biscuits as they passed by."
9 Now, do you have any knowledge of the soldiers giving people that
10 kind of assistance, juice, biscuits, and how distressing this was to
12 A. It wasn't only that; it wasn't only that. I -- oh. Could I have
13 a bit of water, please. Just some water, just a little bit of water,
14 please. Could somebody give me some water, please.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Could the usher deal with that, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was by the post office in
17 Djakovica. I saw a woman whose children were crying and she needed
18 diapers for them, and I asked the woman in the shop to give her diapers.
19 Our commander had a check-point at the exit out of Brekovac where people
20 got everything they needed; water, bread, whatever they needed, literally,
21 everything they needed.
22 The check-point was there for as long as it was needed while the
23 column was moving on, so it was just a day, a day and a half. A lot of
24 people went through, and it was a terrible sight to see.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. Now, I will tell you that this diary is signed by your major, and
2 that part that I just read to you, if it was indeed written by him, would
3 you say that it was representative --
4 A. It's quite true, fully.
5 Q. -- representative of what was going on?
6 A. It is fully correct, fully correct, and it's not only him. It was
7 really sad.
8 Q. All right. In paragraph 43 of your statement, you talk about
9 relocating people from the village of Zub, and there was a VJ command post
10 there at the time, wasn't there?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And you know that --
13 A. When I got there, it was there.
14 Q. And you know that NATO was targeting VJ command posts, VJ
15 observation posts, VJ border posts. All VJ installations were being
16 targeted by NATO; correct?
17 A. Yes. But our command post, the old one, where we were the first
18 time, had not been hit. It was the house of an Albanian where he lived,
19 too, until we all left. When we left, he left with us, towards Djakovica.
20 The yard -- well, it was this one yard. He and his family lived
21 in one house, and the command post was in the other house. The commander,
22 the deputy commander, the security organ, in fact, the staff of the
23 battalion was in that house.
24 Q. All right. Now, I want you to stay with that diary with me now
25 and go to the entry for April 2nd; and a moment ago when we were looking
1 at the map, we saw the villages down below, Zub, Goden, and Zulfaj down
2 near the border. To your knowledge, Goden and Zulfaj were located near
3 the border and near some VJ posts, weren't they?
4 A. I didn't really understand what you asked me. I didn't hear it.
5 Q. The villages of Goden and Zulfaj, these were located in the border
6 area near a VJ border post, weren't they?
7 A. Possibly, but I no longer remember that. It's been a long time.
8 Well, I heard of these villages; but as for their position, I could not
9 say exactly where they were.
10 Q. I take it you'd agree if there were instances where villagers were
11 actively assisting NATO or the KLA by providing information, by providing
12 light signals, by directing bombing, that it would have made sense to
13 relocate the people from those villages, wouldn't it?
14 A. I don't know anything about that, and I cannot talk about that.
15 That was done by some other people who were in charge of that. I remember
16 that from our position in Zub, I watched these light signals from the
17 direction of Djakovica towards the sky. And we were trying to find where
18 they were coming from, and we searched a building the next day. It was a
19 state building. I can't remember what it was, but we didn't find anything
21 On the following day, we didn't really touch anyone but we just
22 searched the building. We didn't find anything there. I know that we
23 could see these signals from those villages, but there is nothing I can
24 really say about this. I cannot decide about that. I am not involved in
25 that. Other people decide about this. I am not involved in any way, this
1 way or that way.
2 Q. At the April 2nd entry in that diary, the last two entries, the
3 first one says: "Because of sending light signals and hostile behaviour,
4 the villages of Goden and Zulfaj were evacuated." So apparently they
5 found out where it was coming from and dealt with it?
6 A. Possibly.
7 Q. The last sentence is: "The unit is hastily carrying out
8 engineering work in the defence sector." Now, I presume that engineering
9 work was in preparation for a possible ground attack. Am I right about
11 A. Well, I know that there were engineering works running along
12 parallel lines, parallel to the border, that is. Well, I cannot say for
13 sure, but I think it went on for a long time and it was very long.
14 It was really done by the Roma. They worked on it, say, 15 days
15 or so, and that's not an exaggeration. It was the army.
16 Q. We talked about these border posts being attacked by NATO and also
17 by the KLA. I'd like you to look at the entry in that diary now for the
18 18th of April, and the last entry at --?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. -- indicates that -- last entry at --
22 A. I have not managed to find this. I cannot find that date.
23 Q. 18 April.
24 A. Go ahead. Go ahead and read it because I can't read this.
25 Q. It says: "The pioneer squad in the Goden border post sector came
1 under fire from the territory of the Republic of Albania." And my
2 question is if they came under fire from the Republic of Albania, would
3 that have been KLA that was firing at them from Albania?
4 A. I'm not sure what it is that I'm going to say to you now. There
5 was an attack at Pastrik, but I don't know what date that was. I was
6 walking towards the KLA. I, with my group, was walking in the direction
7 of the KLA, and Captain Rangelov was walking with us to show us the road
8 and then a platoon of military police was behind us.
9 And a day before that, or rather, the previous night a scout got
10 killed. So perhaps that is it. I'm not sure. Perhaps that's it.
11 Q. Well, the force of my question - and without going into them,
12 there are a number of entries in this diary about coming under fire from
13 the Republic of Albania - and I just wonder if you can tell us whether
14 that would have been fire by the KLA from the Republic of Albania or were
15 the -- was the Albanian military actually attacking the Serb border posts?
16 A. There were all sorts of things going on there. The KLA and --
17 well, the Albanian army, they did not appear in any big numbers, very few
18 people, one, two men, and then probably they shot at soldiers and then
19 they would retreat. They have better roads when you cross the border
20 there into Albania.
21 At that area there was a bunker, an Albanian bunker, every 50
22 metres, and there are at least three roads leading to every one of these
23 bunkers. So they would shoot and they would simply retreat. Now, both
24 were shooting, sometimes the KLA, sometimes the other ones; but at any
25 rate, it wasn't that it was the Albanian army that was attacking in large
1 numbers. It would be a small group. They would shoot, and they would run
3 Q. All right. I want to --
4 A. At least that's what I saw.
5 Q. I want to digress just for a moment from this because there's an
6 entry on the 27th of April in that diary, and you might find the 27th
7 after April. And I want to ask you about that entry.
8 A. Yes, I found it. I cannot read it, though. I'm looking for it,
10 Q. This talks about the 27th of April at the -- near the
11 Korenica-Meja village -- actually, Meja Orize. And it says this: "At
12 0835 hours in the cemetery sector along the blockade axis." Do you know
13 where the cemetery sector along the blockade axis was located?
14 A. Yes, yes. I know what you're talking about. The cemetery was in
15 Brekovac on the other side of the river, as I explained yesterday. So it
16 wasn't on the side where the blockade was, but it was across the river on
17 the other side.
18 Q. All right. And what the diary says is that someone from a group
19 of civilians, among whom were children, fired at the soldiers manning the
20 blockade. Two soldier volunteers were wounded, that was Vuckovic and
21 Lapadatovic. Are you familiar with that?
22 A. Lapadatovic, well, sir, I talked to them. I talked to these men
23 when they were wounded, and I talked to the people who were with them.
24 And it would really be a great shame for me to lie and say that civilians
25 shot at them. It wasn't that the police were targeting them, but the
1 police were shooting and they hit them.
2 As they told me then, the civilians could not have been shooting
3 because I was with these civilians. I was on the road when these
4 civilians were passing by. I was with them then. So then I would have
5 had to see, had they been shooting, or they would have shot at me, as I
6 was the closest person there and the medical people were there, too. And
7 those who lived by the river, I don't think that they knew where they
8 were, let alone be in a position to shoot.
9 Q. All right. I want to go to the entry in that diary now for the
10 5th of May. Yes, I found it here. As I said a few moments ago, I cannot
11 read a thing. I can tell you about what happened if I remember what
12 happened, but I cannot read this?
13 Q. Let me ask you if you knew about this, or if you know generally
14 about this. The diary reports that at 1345 hours on the 5th of May, the
15 observation post from the Guri Bard sector reported that ten tanks and 50
16 soldiers with seven motor vehicles had arrived in the Nikolici village
18 Now, the Nikolici village sector is in Albania. What were these
19 tanks? Who did those tanks belong to?
20 A. I was there then. I was there -- well, I don't know whose tanks
21 they were. We saw them pass by. I went there to see what was going on.
22 I went there with my commander then, and I saw what was going on.
23 The military was later tasked, and then they went there and came
24 back the following day. But I know that they appeared for sure, and I
25 think this was a pure provocation to see how our people would react. It
1 is true that the tanks came. I was there at the time, and I saw the tanks
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm nearly finished. I could probably
4 finish within ten minutes or we could break now. It's up to you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's better to break, Mr. Ackerman.
6 We'll go into closed session while the witness leaves the
8 [Closed session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Witness, I want to skip ahead a bit. I want to go to the
23 diary entry for the 17th of May.
24 A. In the diary you gave me as an exhibit?
25 Q. That's the one.
1 A. I found it.
2 Q. All right. You will -- you will notice there's a report that at
3 1520 hours we observed nine tanks and ten trucks in the sector of the Caz
4 village. Do you know anything about that?
5 A. I can't remember now; but if there were tanks, then I certainly
6 heard them. But I can't be sure now, so I cannot tell you whether there
7 were or not any provocations. But there were provocations with tanks and
8 with infantry, only I can't remember the date. I know that there were
9 such provocations.
10 Q. Well, if you look at the next entry between 1705 and 1720, it
12 "Two tanks followed by infantry fired on the position of the
13 second," something or other, "in the sector of Cafa Prusit. After opening
14 fire from 120-millimetre mortar and 155-howitzers, one tank moved back to
15 the sector of TT-186, and the infantry went away and the tank that was hit
16 burst into flames."
17 So there was an actual battle that took place with those tanks in
18 Albania at Cafa Prusit apparently on that day.
19 A. I heard of that, but I wasn't there when it happened. I have
20 heard about it. I wasn't on the spot, but I did hear that it happened.
21 At the time I think I was at Pastrik. I can't be sure, but I think I was
23 Q. And then later on that day at 1740, six tanks were seen in the
24 sector of Dobruna village. So there seems to have been quite a lot of
25 tank activity across the border in Albania that day, right?
1 A. According to what it says in the diary, yes, but the provocations
2 occurred on a daily basis. Sometimes it was infantry or vehicles or tanks
3 or this or that, but for the most part it was every day. This was the
4 only possible route where they could possibly go with tanks towards Kosovo
5 in that area, so probably they were testing their strength. Who can know?
6 But I think that's what it was. There were daily provocations,
7 sometimes with vehicles, sometimes with tanks. I heard about this, but I
8 wasn't there then. I heard there was shooting, but I wasn't there.
9 Q. All right. I'm not going to take you through any more of these
10 incidents of attacks on these border posts. As you've just said, it was a
11 daily thing, it was an incessant thing, and it's in this exhibit for the
12 Chamber to see.
13 What I will ask you now is: It's the case, isn't it, that these
14 constant attacks, both by NATO and from across the border in Albania, had
15 a bad effect on the morale of the troops that were manning those border
16 posts, didn't it?
17 A. As far as I know, the only problem was having a bath at the border
18 post. Everything else was bearable. The border posts were destroyed, and
19 the troops had nowhere to take a bath, and that was the biggest problem.
20 As for the provocations, they happened every day and one got used
21 to them, so they didn't bother us. Baths were the biggest problem. The
22 border posts were destroyed, but everything else was bearable.
23 Q. Well --
24 A. As for morale, I'm not sure it was bad.
25 Q. I asked you that question because of an entry that appears in the
1 diary for the 7th of June, where it says: "In our regular combat report
2 we informed the superiors," I don't know what that translation is, "that
3 the situation in the units is very difficult. The troops are exhausted
4 and morale is falling."
5 And that's the reason I asked you that question, just so you know.
6 A. Sir, we withdrew from there on the 8th, if I remember correctly.
7 We already knew then. The people I talked to - I won't go into any
8 political decisions made by the command or the decision to withdraw - but
9 I and the people who were there, we were not happy about withdrawing from
10 Kosovo. We were absolutely against withdrawal at any cost. We were
11 prepared to stay until the end, until the last man.
12 Q. Now, I had asked you about the concern that there was going to be
13 a NATO ground attack across that border area that your battalion was
14 responsible for, and there is some information in this diary on the 5th
15 and 6th of May. The -- I'm just going to share it with you and ask you
16 for some comment.
17 On the 5th of May at 1019 hours, enemy aircraft attacked the area
18 north-west of Djakovica. At 1345, the observation post from the Guri Bard
19 sector reported that ten tanks and 50 soldiers had arrived across the
20 border. We talked about that a moment ago.
21 At 1730 to 1930, aircraft launched a heavy attack against the
22 battalion defence sector using rockets and cluster bombs. At 1830, four
23 rockets were fired in the Kuzliu [phoen] village sector, kitchen was hit.
24 A private was killed. At 1925 hours, cluster bombs were fired on the Cafa
25 Prusit border post. A sergeant was killed. Two soldiers were wounded.
1 At 20 --
2 A. Killed.
3 Q. -- hours there was enemy infantry fire on their positions in Cafa
4 Prusit, and that was activity that was going on all along that border on
5 the 5th of May; and then if you look at the 6th of May, after another
6 enemy aircraft cluster bomb fired in the Pastrik sector, there was an
7 alert sounded for all units because a general attack from land and air was
9 Do you remember that alert that was given that day about an
10 imminent ground attack?
11 A. I went to Pastrik then. I wasn't afraid of the land attack. I
12 didn't care whether it would happen today, tomorrow, or whenever. I went
13 to Kosovo with one goal, and I didn't care whether they would attack or
14 not. If they attacked, I would be there; if they didn't attack, I would
15 still be there. It was quite clear as far as the troops were concerned
16 that they would defend at any cost.
17 Q. Well, in -- I appreciate that answer. It really didn't have
18 anything to do with my question. My question was: There was serious
19 belief that there was going to be a ground attack from Albania and there
20 were some indications of that, that fortified that belief, weren't there?
21 A. The night between the 5th and the 6th, I went to Pastrik. There
22 was an air-raid warning. A group had crossed over. There's a big rock in
23 that area, and my commander and I had been there for a while and the
24 commander who was there assured us that everything was all right.
25 Maybe he, may commander that is, wrote this down somewhere.
1 However, it turned out they had no troops there. They had been lying to
2 us. And that's why I went there that night, as I said, in order to fight
3 back if they should start coming towards us, towards Prizren, to be there.
4 But they remained at that rock and didn't go further inland,
5 inwards. There was an alert. I know what you're asking me about. I was
6 not afraid of any attack, nor were the people I was with. They could
7 attack any time they wanted. We were not afraid. If you're satisfied
8 with that answer.
9 Q. Yes, I know you're not afraid. I wasn't trying to prove that you
10 were afraid.
11 I want to go now to one very brief last subject with you, and
12 that's back to the Korenica-Meja area on the 27th of April, when you were
13 there at the crossroads with your major. What I'm wondering was how was
14 it you happened to be there with your major that day. Where was your
15 lieutenant and the rest of your unit?
16 A. No, sir. You put your question badly. I was not at the
17 crossroads with the major. We had a command post between the crossroads
18 and the village. It was 80 or a hundred metres away from the crossroads
19 on the right-hand side of the road. There was a derelict old house and an
20 old outhouse where we were, so we were not at the crossroads.
21 I was then securing the commander. I was his body-guard. The
22 others were with the other soldiers, and I was with the commander
23 according to the daily order, providing security for him with a few other
24 men and another man who was from my group.
25 Q. All right. Where was your lieutenant and the rest of your group?
1 A. The lieutenant was not there, but the rest of the group were in
2 the creek, as I explained to His Honour when we were saying that we were
3 there to prevent the KLA from leaving the village, not the civilians.
4 The creek running from that crossroads up the hill to the right.
5 It's not in the map. That's the road, that is. It's a road used by carts
6 mainly. It's a dirt road, so it's probably not in the map.
7 Q. All right. When you -- when you told your major after you had
8 checked it out that people were being killed, you told us yesterday and
9 also in your statement that that made him very angry. But you also have
10 no information that he reported to anybody up the chain of command what
11 you had told him. You don't know whether he did that or not, do you?
12 A. I can't check what the commander is doing, perhaps that day or
13 another day or at that time. But at that point in time, I wasn't checking
14 what he was doing and that wasn't my task. He was the commander. He
15 should be checking on me, not I on him.
16 Q. I understand that. My -- I wonder if you happened to report what
17 you had seen to your lieutenant?
18 A. No. He wasn't there at the time.
19 Q. After you had reported to your major about what you saw, he then
20 ordered you and one other soldier to provide an escort for a group of
21 people out of that area to Djakovica to protect them, didn't he?
22 A. That was after those two people were wounded that you read about
23 in the previous paragraph. There's a field between the village and the
24 place where we were, and we saw that they were ready to go and there was
25 shooting everywhere.
1 There was general chaos. The troops were on the right -- on the
2 left-hand side of the road, and he ordered me to go with that soldier and
3 evacuate those people to Djakovica.
4 Q. Yes. And the position that you've taken in your statement at
5 least is that if we had not done this, if we had not protected them, they
6 would have never gotten past the check-point and the men would certainly
7 not be alive. So it's your position that you and your major by those
8 actions saved the lives of a number of people that day, isn't it?
9 A. That's my opinion. It's still my opinion today.
10 Q. And after that day, paragraph 66 of your statement, you tell us
11 that none of your unit or any of the soldiers that you knew were satisfied
12 with what happened that day. "We were annoyed that we were made a part of
13 what these police had decided to do." Actually, the VJ soldiers that you
14 knew were very surprised and distressed with what they learned happened
15 that day, weren't they?
16 A. In the evening, we were given the task that we were supposed to
17 carry out in the morning, and such things were not discussed. He was
18 absolutely surprised. There was no talk about this. There was talk about
19 combing the terrain to see there were no KLA there, but this was something
20 quite different. And I assert that my commander was surprised by what
21 happened because I -- I had known him since, I'm not sure, but I think
22 since 1992.
23 He was very surprised by the event that occurred. I assume that
24 he did not know it would happen. I'm almost sure he did not know it would
25 happen, in view of his reaction. I assume that even the police command
1 didn't know what was happening on the ground, because their officers were
2 not there either, except for just the policemen, but no senior officers.
3 And they were on the bridge, not on the ground, where they should have
5 Q. And it wasn't just your major, your commander, that was angry and
6 disgusted about what happened, but all the VJ soldiers you knew were angry
7 and embarrassed and disgusted by what happened, weren't they?
8 A. The people I was in communication with that day, yes, they were.
9 Q. That's all I have. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
11 Mr. Bakrac.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I think we
13 will get through this cross-examination very quickly because my colleague,
14 Mr. Ackerman, has already asked many of the questions I was planning to
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. K90, my name is Mihajlo Bakrac. I'm one of
18 the Defence counsel of General Lazarevic. As I said, my colleague,
19 Mr. Ackerman, has already put many of the questions I was going to put, so
20 I believe we can get through my part of the cross-examination very
22 What I wish to clarify is whether you can tell us what the
23 establishment title was of the unit you were in during the war in Kosovo.
24 A. It was the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade.
25 Q. Yes, but your unit. Just a second, please. You were questioned
1 by counsel who spoke English up to now. Now we are going to have a
2 problem because we both speak the same language, so we have to make a
3 break. When you see on your monitor that the transcript has stopped, then
4 you can start your answer.
5 A. It was part of the military police platoon. Did you hear my
6 reply? It was -- a military police platoon has three squads, so we were
7 an extra squad of the military police platoon. The military police
8 company was in Prizren, and we were a forward platoon in Djakovica. We
9 were part of that platoon, that is.
10 Q. Can you remember who the commander was of that platoon?
11 A. It was a second lieutenant, but I can't remember his name.
12 Q. Very well. Do you recall the date when exactly you joined this
13 military police platoon?
14 A. On the 27th in the evening, I arrived in Kosovo. It's in my
15 military booklet -- no -- oh, yes, yes, that's right. On the 27th, I was
16 in Zub at the command post. My commander met us there and told us what I
17 repeated yesterday.
18 This is neither Kosovo [as interpreted] nor Bosnia. Here orders
19 will be respected. He said that orders were sacred and should not be
20 deviated from, in spite of the fact we were volunteers. This happened on
21 the 27th.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Bakrac. Could we briefly,
23 please, go into private session.
24 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Just for the record, paragraph [sic] 49, line 19,
15 again it appears, "this is neither Kosovo nor Bosnia." I know the witness
16 corrected that yesterday, that he meant to say Croatia nor Bosnia, and I'm
17 sure that's what he meant today, too.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Croatia, that's right, that's right.
20 I do apologise. Thank you, gentlemen.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Sir, in the war diary in the entry there, it says that on the 3rd
23 of April, 1999, the arrival of 22 volunteers is mentioned.
24 A. We were already there when they arrived. They arrived after we
25 did, and they went to the Deva border post.
1 Q. Thank you. And now let's clarify something else from your
2 statement. You said that Nesovic was a security officer in the battalion.
3 Is it correct that he does not have any command responsibility in that
5 A. He doesn't have his men. The platoon commander does. But he, as
6 the security organ, doesn't have his men, his soldiers, to whom they are
7 the direct superiors, as far as I can remember, except for a courier and a
8 driver and so on. They don't have any active-duty soldiers, so the
9 lieutenant didn't have any soldiers he commanded personally.
10 Q. So we can assume that he was simply directing security measures?
11 A. Yes. In the whole battalion, he was coordinating between the
12 brigade commander and security in the battalion. That's what it was.
13 Q. Thank you. My colleague Mr. Ackerman has already asked you, and
14 you tried to find this on the sketch. I would just like to try and
15 pin-point a certain location.
16 Is it correct that the area of responsibility of our battalion
17 stretched from the Likan border post from Pastrik to Kosare and that this
18 was the front line which was about 30 kilometres long?
19 A. 37, approximately, and the depth was -- if the border belt was
20 five kilometres wide - and you will recall that I think in 1998 or 1999
21 the border belt was moved by certain distance. I can't remember exactly
22 how much - then that's it. That was the area we covered, nothing beyond,
23 only the border and the border belt.
24 Q. Yes, I understand that. But in order to save time and for you to
25 be able to go home sooner, you said the border belt was moved. Will you
1 agree with me that in 1999 while you were there, the border belt was
2 widened to ten kilometres?
3 A. I don't know how wide exactly. We didn't have ten kilometres
4 everywhere, but in certain places, yes, from the border to a village. If
5 I was in a village where there was a command post, that was supposed to be
6 the barracks and there was a barracks in Djakovica. But, of course, we
7 couldn't be there because it had been destroyed. We were at the forward
8 command post, that could be between one and five kilometres. It would all
9 depend on the distance, so --
10 Q. Yes, I understand.
11 A. Yes, but has the Court understood?.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Understood what, Mr. Bakrac -- sorry, understood
13 what, Witness?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you understand what I was trying
15 to say? The distance between the border and the place in that ten
16 kilometres that counsel asked me about, in some places it was one
17 kilometre, in other places five 5. It was up to ten kilometres, so it was
18 not beyond a 10-kilometre belt. It did not go beyond that distance.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We understand your answer. We doubt if it's
20 what -- it's the answer that Mr. Bakrac anticipated, but let's move on.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Well, perhaps the next question will make things clearer. Sir,
23 can we agree that the area of defence of the battalion was such that at
24 least 90 percent of your battalion, of your unit, was along the state
25 border in that area of the state border, except for a small part of the
1 rear that was behind?
2 A. I said 70 percent in my statement. Viewed from this distance in
3 terms of the actual kilometres, well, we never had enough troops at the
4 border and everywhere. So it is possible that even that number that you
5 said is correct. So in my statement I wrote 70 percent. You asked me
6 about 90 percent, so I do allow for that possibility.
7 Q. Percentages are not important. If I understood you correctly, you
8 had a lack of troops. So, basically, you were all in the border belt
9 except for a small contingent in the rear?
10 A. Well, today they would be here and tomorrow they would be
11 elsewhere. When something was needed, then they would go wherever
12 necessary. There was no surplus, let's put it that way. Usually, the
13 military police is not deployed anywhere in such situations. This was an
14 exception. So the military police platoon was deployed in Pastrik at the
15 border itself.
16 Q. Sir, will you agree with me that all the soldiers got a pocket
17 brochure containing instructions based on the Geneva Conventions and Rules
18 of Conduct?
19 A. I received that. I had that. But I know, because I worked in the
20 military, and when I trained soldiers we trained them about that, too.
21 Now, I forgot how it goes exactly, but we worked on that. This was done
22 on a compulsory basis whenever troops were brought in.
23 I don't know whether all the soldiers had it, but I had this. I'm
24 not sure, perhaps I still have this paper at home with the leaflets that I
25 collected that were thrown from NATO aircraft. I stored all of this. I
1 think I still have it at home.
2 Q. Thank you. With my colleague Mr. Ackerman, you've already dealt
3 with the situation pertaining to NATO bombing and cluster bombs. But can
4 we agree that throughout, from the beginning of the war through April and
5 May in particular, in terms of the deployment of your unit, there were
6 almost everyday attacks by NATO?
7 A. You cannot put it that way. If we take into account that the
8 tower that is between our command post in Brekovac and the old barracks is
9 at a 100-metre distance and that same tower was bombed at least ten times
10 every day, all units -- well, there's not a single position of our
11 battalion that was not bombed at least twice in a day, and sometimes even
12 more than that, ten, 12.
13 Depending on the situation, there was not a single hour, a single
14 hour, that we were not bombed. Even an hour is a lot. It was more than
15 that. We had the impression that all the aircraft that were flying back
16 from Albania did not discharge all of their bombs would throw them on us
17 before flying back to Albania.
18 Q. Did I understand you correctly when you said yesterday about a few
19 villages -- well, actually you made a correction there that were
20 relocated, that practically moved out, relocated towards Djakovica. The
21 villages closer to Djakovica. These were villages that were from that
22 border area and from the area of responsibility of your unit?
23 A. Mr. Ackerman asked me about these villages and the names. I
24 remember Zub. I remember --
25 Q. Sir, I'm not interested in names. I'm --
1 A. -- only villages in that area. The first villages near Djakovica.
2 There were one or two or three villages that had already left. They were
3 totally empty, or rather, the people had left. When I came there, they
4 were empty. I don't know about them.
5 For these that were here, for sure I know when I was there they
6 had gone to the area of Djakovica, and not to Albania. What happened to
7 these people later on, whether they went further on, I don't know about
9 Q. Thank you. Can we agree that the reason for this relocation is
10 precisely this, everyday bombing and the danger of a land invasion, a
11 ground invasion in that border area and that many villages left on their
12 own in the area of Djakovica?
13 A. You can't put it that way because had we stayed there and had we
14 expelled people from there, it would only be us; and then they would have
15 only targeted us and nobody would be crazy to do that.
16 So these people were there, and they went together with us,
17 towards town, closer. That would be it. The command knew about this
18 better, and they were the ones who decided about this.
19 Q. I understand. Thank you. Do you know as well - and I think it is
20 stated in the war diary of your battalion - that the border villages in
21 Albania; namely, Vlahna, Dobruna, Zogaj, that civilians from those
22 villages also moved out and relocated precisely because they were so close
23 to the border and because of the bombing and possible land offensive?
24 A. I don't know what the name of the village near Cafa Prusit is
25 near -- on the Albanian side, that is, but I saw through binoculars
1 several times and knew it was empty. There were no inhabitants there.
2 Sometimes a man or two men would come with rifles, but not more
3 than that. So the village was empty. For what reason? Well, probably
4 because these people would sometimes miss and not all the bombs would fall
5 on us.
6 Q. Is it also correct - we have already heard that you are not afraid
7 and that you were not afraid of fighting and we believe that, indeed - but
8 can we say that at the border post of Kosare, there was practically combat
9 every day and conflicts every day and attempts made to get through that
10 border post?
11 A. I was there for two days only, only two days. There were constant
12 attacks, air attacks, constantly, quite literally. Every moment there
13 were attacks. There is some trees where you can seek shelter, and in
14 other areas there is some kind of bushes. It is very inaccessible. Well,
15 I don't know, but we were prepared for every eventuality.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you haven't answered the question. It was --
17 you were asked if there were actual conflicts there every day, and I don't
18 think that's a reference to NATO bombing. It's a reference to something
19 else. And you were there for two days, so what happened in those two
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at that time I saw my
22 neighbour get killed. He was an active-duty soldier. I saw that a man
23 was being taken by a tractor, and I looked and it was Marinko, this young
24 man from the same neighbourhood that I live in.
25 And there were constant conflicts, therefore, between members of
1 the KLA and our forces, our army, every day plus NATO bombing, which was
2 constant without cessation.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You said to us just now that there was constant fighting with the
5 KLA. Was there a danger of the fall of Kosare to lead to a link-up of the
6 KLA from the Carragojs valley and the area of Djakovica?
7 A. Well, listen, if that were to happen, that is a flat land. I
8 assume -- well, if we look at it -- if you go down from Kosare to Junik,
9 on the left-hand side is Decani and the area towards Pec. Well, I guess
10 that is the way it would be, but then I cannot claim either this or that.
11 But people who are more knowledgeable about this probably would know what
12 would happen. You see what I mean.
13 Q. Thank you. Now I'm interested in whether we will agree that in
14 view of all the facts that we have referred to just now, the blockade
15 along the border belt held by the army that you explained yesterday was
16 fully justified from a military point of view.
17 A. Well, I don't know. I think that we even had too few troops at
18 the border. If we knew what kind of enemy we were up against, because we
19 knew that a possible infantry attack, combined forces of NATO and the
20 Albanians, the KLA, would be there. So it's a lot of people.
21 And equipment -- well, I had the impression that we even had too
22 few people on the force there, because this was just what would happen had
23 it happened. But it was my impression that the units that were there on
24 the border itself, it would be hard for us. Well, we would fight up to a
1 Q. I understand, but I just needed to deal with this question. There
2 is no need to go on. Well, again, the diary that was proffered by the
3 Prosecutor. Is it correct that, for example, on the 23rd of April during
4 the search of the area of Romel Lukanje [phoen], six KLA members were
5 taken prisoner in uniform?
6 A. Sir, I did not see these people, but I did see some black uniforms
7 and I saw insignia. I saw rifles in the military police platoon. Now,
8 whose uniforms they were, who wore them, and whose weapons these were, I
9 don't know about that. I saw a list. When we are on duty there, then it
10 is stated what weapons were seized.
11 Do you remember what I said to the Prosecutor? One of these men
12 had committed an offence and then they detained him and then his weapons
13 were there in the military police platoon. There were uniforms there; but
14 who wore them, I don't know.
15 Q. Sir, in relation to that, is it correct that according to combat
16 rules it is compulsory for a unit, before it takes up positions, to search
17 the terrain and to see whether there are hostile troops there, mines, and
18 so on and so forth?
19 A. Well, if you're going to position your unit there and if you do
20 not secure the terrain there before that, then you've made a mistake,
21 especially in wartime. If you take up a certain part of the area and if
22 you had not searched it earlier on, well, what can happen is that somebody
23 slaps you around later. That is compulsory. Any army in the world does
24 it. It wasn't only us. It's logical.
25 Q. Thank you. Tell me, do you know that in the night between the
1 27th and 28th of April, and when you were talking about Meja and Korenica,
2 that it is precisely through the positions of the military police platoon
3 the KLA tried to get through and that group was destroyed on that
4 occasion, that KLA group. I think it's the village of Racaj. Are you
5 aware of that fact?
6 A. No, I don't know. Maybe it did happen. Sorry, but I really don't
7 remember. Sorry. Well, there are a lot of things that you asked me
8 about, and it's been quite a while and I don't remember quite a few
9 things. Possibly that did happen, but I don't remember.
10 I remember -- well, it's not contained in my statement, but I
11 remember that there was this misunderstanding with a man who was shooting
12 at military policemen, but that man ran away. Now, I don't know who he
13 was or what he was like. Nothing happened to him. They started firing at
14 him and he fled across the river. That's to say -- I don't know really.
16 (redacted) I would like to ask you about the day
17 when the column from Korenica went by the place where you were with the
19 A. Well, look, we had no contacts with these people, no contacts
20 whatsoever, absolutely no contacts with them. I had contact when I went
21 to get those who were wounded.
22 Q. I understand. We don't have to repeat what you've already said.
23 I understand. The army, quite simply, held the line vis-a-vis the
25 A. Only the left side of the road leading to Junik, between the
1 crossroads that I drew and the entrance into the village, nothing more
2 than that, and the part of the brook that I added later on. Nothing else.
3 We did not have more than 100 men there because we could not bring
4 reinforcements from anywhere. So it was us there, we from the military
5 police, and part of the soldiers from the Deva border post, nothing else.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. And very briefly, I think that we're going to
7 finish within five minutes or so. When we talk about the incident on that
8 day, is it correct that Vukadinovic [phoen] drove an ambulance and took
9 them to Djakovica, that was staff sergeant Vukadinovic?
10 A. I don't know. If you were to bring in a thousand people here, I
11 would recognize him, but I don't know what his name was.
12 Q. I asked you about this so that we would --
13 A. Well, possibly Vukadinovic.
14 Q. Do you know Staff Sergeant Vukadinovic?
15 A. Well, possibly it was that man. I am not sure. I know who the man
16 is, but I cannot remember name.
17 Q. Since you know who it is, Vukadinovic that is, do you know that as
18 for the hamlet of Cufodoj [phoen], he took ten Albanian families into his
19 own house that was in that hamlet? Do you know that?
20 A. I don't know about it, but it wouldn't surprise me. We had a very
21 fair relationship with people in the place that we're talking about,
22 because I said in my statement that the Territorial Defence major
23 guaranteed for these people that they would never create any problems.
24 And as far as we were concerned, the military, we didn't go there
25 at all. We had regular patrols near Deva and towards this other place on
1 the other side of Deva. We never entered their villages, absolutely
3 Q. Sir, thank you. My last question: It is very important for us to
4 clarify something. In the additional piece of information, there is
5 something that I'm going to ask you about, and I am sure that my learned
6 friend Mr. Hannis omitted to ask you this by accident.
7 When he asked you about B, the killing of an elderly civilian, an
8 old civilian man, is it correct that you also said to Mr. Hannis that the
9 major did not know anything about this?
10 A. That is quite correct, absolutely correct, from word -- every
11 single word is correct.
15 A. Only the second lieutenant knew, the one I didn't want to mention.
16 Those were orders.
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, a part of that passage --
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the honourable Trial
19 Chamber and to Mr. Hannis. It's my last question, so perhaps I wasn't as
20 cautious as I should be, but it's a good thing that we can correct it. I
21 have no further questions. Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
23 Mr. Fila.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No questions.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: No questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour, I have questions.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
8 P2019, page 4.
9 Your Honour, I just need to say something. The Prosecutor -- 2573
10 is another document that the Prosecutor proffered, but I think that 2019
11 and 2573 are one and the same document. So I'm going to use the same
12 number that Mr. Ackerman used, that is to say 2019, so that I would not
13 lead to any confusion when analysing all of this later.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: With regard to those two documents, there is one
17 difference. They both purport to be the war diary of the 2nd Battalion,
18 and the difference is on the last page. I think, on the version that I
19 offered I think 2019, it has the signature of the commander.
20 The other version, which I was -- I think was received from the
21 Commission on Cooperation or else brought in through General Delic, the
22 signature block is covered up with -- with something that's in B/C/S that
23 I can't read, and I don't know if I have the English translation.
24 But I think it's some kind of certification from the commission.
25 Now, I assume they're the same to the extent I've been able to compare the
1 two B/C/S versions. They seem to be identical. That's the reason for the
2 difference and I offered the one that had the signature block.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's 2573, is that what you're saying?
4 MR. HANNIS: No, I think that's 2019.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: 2019, that's fine. Thank you.
6 Mr. Visnjic.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will use 2573, or
8 rather, 2019 because we have it translated into English. If only the
9 image would not be broadcast, I would put a question to the witness.
10 Q. Sir, this is the war diary of your motorised brigade, which says
11 that under the 29th of March by order of the 549th Motorised Brigade
12 command, 122-millimetre [as interpreted] mortar platoon was sent to the
13 Velika Hoca sector - I won't read out the name of the commander - and was
14 subordinated to BG 6 of the 549th Motorised Brigade.
15 My question is: Within your battalion, did you have a
16 120-millimetre mortar platoon?
17 A. The man whose name you didn't read --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Please, just answer --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- is he a Gorani? I can see
20 that --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Please just answer the question. It's a simple
22 question. I don't know why Mr. Visnjic even referred to the name. Just
23 let's get to the question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. There were mortars.
25 I don't know whether they were part of our unit.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness be
4 shown page 6 of this document.
5 MR. HANNIS: While that's coming up, Your Honour, for clarity's
6 sake I should indicate one other difference between 2593 [sic] and 2019 is
7 that in 2593 [sic], the pages were copied one at a time; and on 2019, the
8 full open diary was copied, so one page contains two pages of the diary.
9 So as long as Mr. Visnjic refers to the dates of the entry we should be
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And I take it the reference to 2593 was to 2573.
12 MR. HANNIS: Yes, I'm sorry. I was thinking of Vasiljevic, sorry.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one page before.
15 The Serbian version is on the right page, but in English it's the previous
16 page. Thank you.
17 Q. Sir, the date is the 3rd of April, 1999. I will read you that
18 entry. The first line says: "The unit established lateral contact in the
19 general area of the village of Zub. The 122-millimetre mortar platoon
20 returned from the task by 1800 hours."
21 A. In the general area of the village of Zub?
22 Q. Well, let me put the question if possible.
23 A. Yes, I remember that.
24 Q. Are you aware, or rather, does this date correspond to the date
25 when part of your battalion returned from the Orahovac area?
1 A. I don't know. What I do know is that these soldiers with the
2 mortars - I can't remember the exact date - arrived in Zub, and they were
3 deployed in a house which was on the edge of the village next to the creek
4 running towards the border.
5 That's all I can tell you, and you know why? Because a neighbour
6 of mine was an active-duty soldier in that platoon.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my questions refer to
9 transcript page 9144, 9171, 9177, and 9205. This was the testimony of
10 another witness at this trial.
11 Q. Sir, you said you don't remember what your platoon commander was.
12 Is that correct?
13 A. I know that he was a second lieutenant, but I don't remember his
15 Q. And who was the squad leader?
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. What does that mean?
19 A. Depending on the situation, it was I, when I was here; and he,
20 when he was there. So when I wasn't there, it was him.
21 Q. Can you repeat your answer to my question who the squad leader --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness wait.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Can you make a pause after my question and then tell me who your
25 squad commander was.
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if we can go into closed session, if
2 he's going to name his squad commander.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, we'll go into closed session.
4 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, it appears that these are unsigned,
15 unsworn statements of individuals who were in the bigger unit that this
16 witness was a part of, and I think they're going to be used to impeach
17 this witness about his whereabouts and some of his other testimony.
18 I don't have a problem with them serving as the basis for asking a
19 question, but I don't want this to be used as a backdoor to get in
20 statements of individuals who aren't here to be cross-examined. That's my
21 concern. And if he's going to put that up as an exhibit to show to this
22 witness, I oppose to that procedure.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what's your response to that?
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have to take
25 responsibility for some of these statements. 3D502 is signed. The other
1 statements, apart from 3D500, were taken by telephone by the investigator.
2 Our problem was that in order to save time, we sent unsigned copies for
3 translation, and by chance it was the unsigned versions that were put into
4 the system as soon as the translations were received.
5 By the end of today, I can obtain 3D502 with a signature, 3D500
6 with a signature, and the other three that I intend to use, 501, 499, and
7 504 are signed by the investigator who conducted the telephone interview
8 with the witness. I did not intend to use any of these exhibits now but
9 later, but I thought I should clarify this right away. I wanted 3D26 put
10 on e-court.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you appreciate, Mr. Visnjic, that they don't
12 become evidence in the case simply by putting them to the witness in this
13 context. And what you're really doing is putting points to him that come
14 from these statements. They're the basis for you posing these questions.
15 So it would probably be better if you were able to deal with this
16 without exhibiting -- or without bringing it on to the screen, the actual
17 exhibit, and putting the points you want to put to the witness. And if
18 there is something that needs the statement to be seen for the purpose of
19 challenging his evidence, then that can be done as necessary.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll try to do that in
21 that way.
22 Could we have 3D26.
23 Q. Sir, this map is in colour. Do you see it first of all? Does
24 this territory correspond to the territory you sketched in IC118?
25 A. Yes, that's the road.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown page 3 of
2 this exhibit. This is the same map only enlarged.
3 Q. Could you please mark on this map the place where you say your
4 command post was located and the place where you say your platoon, or
5 rather, your platoon was under siege.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Can you put a letter A next to the line showing where your platoon
8 was under siege. When I say "your platoon," I mean the police platoon.
9 A. It wasn't just the police. It was also the command platoon.
10 There was some soldiers from the border and us.
11 Q. And who was at this other line that you drew here?
12 A. My squad.
13 Q. So your squad was --
14 A. Holding that part of the creek here.
15 Q. This whole area?
16 A. Well, not the whole area. It's -- I mean, it's 400 metres, 300 or
17 400 metres. It's not a big area.
18 Q. How far was your squad from the command post?
19 A. About 150 metres, 150 to 200 metres, not more, from the command
21 Q. So your squad was 150 metres from the command post?
22 A. 150 to 200 metres, not more.
23 Q. And how far was the police from your command post?
24 A. The police was at the crossroads here.
25 Q. Can you tell me how far away?
1 A. From 80 to a hundred metres.
2 Q. So, If I understand correctly, your squad was --
3 A. Behind the police.
4 Q. -- 50 metres behind the police?
5 A. Yes. In the creek, at the end of that yard where that building
6 was uphill along the creek, that's where they were.
7 Q. And it was just your squad, just ten men?
8 A. Ten men, yes.
9 Q. And from the place where your squad was, could one see the road
10 and the command post?
11 A. Could you repeat your question.
12 Q. From the place where your squad was, could you see the command
13 post of your battalion?
14 A. No. No, because there was a creek and then a road; and then
15 across the road in this part here, in this area here, there is one, two,
16 three houses here, and then a compound of buildings which I marked on my
18 Q. Could you please wait for us to ask you before you mark something,
19 because it will be very chaotic if you keep marking it. Could you please
20 tell me the following now.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please assign an IC number
22 to this exhibit, please.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, could you explain what you now
24 understand this exhibit now shows. What does A represent?
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in my understanding, A
1 is a part of the witness's unit which was blocking the road, or rather, it
2 was next to it.
3 The other line that was drawn represents the blockade line held by
4 his squad. Between the two, there are dots. According to the witness's
5 testimony, they should represent some houses and the spot where the police
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The police were --
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Could you please put an X where the police were.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Why are we on a different plan from the diagram on
11 the statement of the witness? Why have we moved on to something else?
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when you compare both
13 exhibits, and it was my intention, we'll see that some places on the map
14 are located in different places, in different spots, and I would like the
15 witness to explain that.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that. But when he was asked:
17 "Can you put a letter A next to the line showing where your platoon was
18 under siege," and he then says: "It wasn't just the police, it was also
19 the command platoon." "And who was at this other line that you draw at?"
20 So, he puts A where his platoon is supposed to be under siege, but
21 do you understand that there was someone under siege on the road?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't think we could follow this evidence
24 with this diagram as part of it. So if you want this to be clear, I think
25 you should start again with a fresh copy of this and we shouldn't mark
2 We should start again with clear questions of the witness. Don't
3 let him speak over you. Control what he's doing so that we can see
4 exactly what's being put on the diagram. And it looks as though today's
5 not going to end this evidence now, if my information about anticipated
6 cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic is correct.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let us try again. 3D26, page 3,
9 Q. Witness K90, please listen to me carefully. First draw a line to
10 mark the position of your squad in the blockade.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Could you place the number 1 next to it.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you. Now draw another line to show where the rest of your
15 battalion in the blockade was.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Could you put the number 2 there just below.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Now please mark the spot where the command post of your battalion
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. Please put the number 3 there.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. Could you also mark the spot where the police were.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone was not on.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please put the number 4 next to the circle.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry.
10 [Interpretation] I think we could assign an IC number to this
11 exhibit now.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's now much clearer. Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Could you tell me --
16 A. We've got the same problem as before, Mr. Visnjic. Do you need
17 something else on the screen just now or can you carry on until we wait
18 while a technician comes and photographs this?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I can ask the witness for another
20 location that he could introduce into the map and while we're waiting for
21 the technician.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That would be IC120, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Problem solved. Carry on, Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. The place where the other two soldiers were wounded, the ones you
1 mentioned in your testimony of yesterday and today, could that place be
2 seen from the command post?
3 A. No.
4 Q. No?
5 A. No.
6 Q. What do you think, how far was that place from your command post
7 of your battalion?
8 A. I cannot tell you for sure how far it was, but one could not see
9 it with the naked eye; not because it would be so far, too far to see,
10 but, rather, you couldn't see it because of the terrain. There was a road
11 going through from the entrance to the village and then turns towards the
12 river, to the left.
13 That's where they were, and that's why you couldn't see them from
14 the command post. But it wasn't too far to see with the naked eye. It
15 was simply the configuration of the terrain.
16 Q. Am I right to say that communication between the platoons and the
17 command post was via RUP-12 radio devices?
18 A. I'm not sure. I don't remember. In some other situations,
19 probably; but on that occasion, I'm pretty sure they were not used,
20 although don't hold me to it.
21 Q. Did each and every commander also have a Motorola?
22 A. Which commanders?
23 Q. Platoon commanders.
24 A. It is possible that is true, but they were not using them at that
25 time because there were planes flying constantly.
1 Q. According to (redacted) be
2 wounded. Am I correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How did you learn of that if you were at the command post?
5 A. Someone came over to tell us that, but I can't recall who. I
6 think that's the way it was, although I'm unsure. Someone came over to
7 tell us that he was wounded.
8 There is a possibility that it was communicated via other means,
9 but I do not remember any details. Unless -- well, I'm not sure, but
10 perhaps an ambulance would have a radio device. Other than that, I don't
12 Q. Am I correct in saying that you don't know how the units
13 communicated with the command post on that day?
14 A. I think they used couriers. I think so.
15 Q. Do you know by what means it was communicated that the other two
16 soldiers had been wounded to the command post?
17 A. No. I think someone came over to tell us that, but I cannot
19 Q. You said that there was firing throughout the day. You repeated
20 that on several occasions in your statement.
21 A. In the nearby villages, yes, there was shooting non-stop.
22 Q. Can you recall at what time were those two soldiers wounded?
23 A. In the morning, before noon. I don't know at what time exactly,
24 but not after 10.00 I think, say between 8.00 and 10.00. Now you're
25 asking me about things which took place a long time ago.
1 It probably is somewhere in the documents at the health centre.
2 The fact is that they were wounded on that day and that the other soldier
3 was wounded that day; but at what time, I don't know. It would be too
4 much to expect of me.
5 Q. I understand you completely, and I also believe that back in 2002
6 your recollection was better than today. Can you remember who was at the
7 command post together with you and your commander?
8 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, maybe we should go to
9 private session.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
11 [Private session]
11 Page 9430 redacted. Private session
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It is P2019, the war diary. Could
24 the witness please be shown page 11.
25 [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry.
3 [Interpretation] Could we enlarge the B/C/S version. Please focus
4 on the 27th of November [as interpreted].
5 Q. Witness K90, this is the war diary of your unit where it is stated
6 that two soldiers, volunteers, had been wounded at 8.35. Does this tally
7 with what you remember?
8 A. I cannot recall what time it was. We were soaking wet.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go on to the next
10 page in the English. That's the next page, and the date being the 28th of
11 April. The Serbian version should remain.
12 Your Honour, it is the 28th of April, line 3.
13 Q. In the document, it reads that the other soldier who you mentioned
14 got wounded the next day at 2.35 p.m.?
15 A. Completely incorrect. I can swear before this Tribunal that the
16 soldier you are thinking about now and the other two were wounded the same
17 day. The blockade was not the next day; but, rather, we began with it in
18 the morning at 5.00 and they were wounded the same day.
19 Who wrote this and under what conditions, I don't know; but I know
20 that the three or wounded on the same day. That is 100 percent sure and
21 correct. You (redacted)
22 (redacted) same day. There was no blockade the next day; therefore, no
23 one could have been wounded.
24 Q. As for whether there was a blockade the next day remains to be
25 established, but I wanted to ask you this.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just before I move to
2 the next group of questions, could we please move into private session for
3 a while.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 [Private session]
21 [Closed session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in relation to one of
11 the last answers given by this witness, K90, where he claimed that the
12 blockade took place only on one day, the 27th of April, 1999, I would like
13 to draw your attention to 2019, that is in front of you.
14 The 28th of April is its date, 1999, and it says there at 0220 the
15 Siptars tried to get out of the blockade in the area of Kikes. The group
16 was liquidated, broken up. I cannot see this right. A large quantity of
17 ammunition and mortar -- hand-held mortar shells were seized.
18 Q. What is your comment? What do you say to this that in the diary
19 it says that the blockade went on --
20 A. No, no. If that was on the 27th, the event that I testified
21 about, that's when we set up the blockade. What happened on the next day,
22 we weren't there. I wasn't there. I claim that this man was wounded on
23 the 27th; that is to say -- well, I'm not saying the 27th. I'm saying on
24 the day when this event occurred, when those two were wounded.
25 So I did not say exactly what date it was. I did not say it in my
1 statement either. I wasn't sure what date it was. I know that it was in
2 April, but I did not know which date. So in the statement it also says
3 that I don't know exactly what date it was.
4 Q. Can you give shorter answers?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: When you say that the following day you were not
8 there, was the blockade still there?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. We all left.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That's fine. That answers the
12 Mr. Visnjic.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
14 draw your attention to the date after that, the 29th, where it also says
15 that the blockade was over in the Reka area.
16 Q. Mr. K90, now I am going to ask you --
17 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, can I have a reference to
18 where that is.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
20 MR. HANNIS: I don't see on the 29th that it says the blockade is
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Is that not the first line of the
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, not in the English version.
25 MR. VISNJIC: May I see Serbian version next page. I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you mean the earlier page? It must be an
2 earlier page, Mr. Visnjic. We've now got May on the screen.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
4 [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that Mr. Hannis is right,
5 actually. It was my mistake.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now, bearing in mind the time I have
8 left over, I suggest that for the rest of my cross-examination we go into
9 private session. I have questions where I am going to be referring to
10 names, so quite simply I think it would be more reasonable to deal with it
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
13 [Private session]
11 Page 9438-9446 redacted. Private session
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that on that occasion an aerosol can was
1 used to light the homes on fire. I would like to ask you, first of all:
2 Did you bring that aerosol can or someone from your unit?
3 A. No, no.
4 Q. Was that something that was just found in the house?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Such cans were not -- were not standard issue in your military
7 kits, were they?
8 A. No, no, no.
9 Q. So, sir, the impression that I'm getting is that the events that
10 you described at paragraphs 36 through 37 were all individual events,
11 individual crimes, committed by yourselves and the other persons present,
12 who were all drunk at the time. Is that correct?
13 A. Well, you say "crimes" here. We didn't kill anyone. The fact is
14 that those two houses were set on fire. There was no one in those houses.
15 Q. Okay. You did not report what had happened, that the houses had
16 been burned, to either the police SUP or any other police or army
17 authorities, did you?
18 A. It wasn't my job. We had our superior who was with us, so it
19 wasn't our job. It was our superior whose duty it was, not us.
20 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to move on. You have several times stated,
21 yesterday, that there was a -- there was not an active KLA presence in the
22 area during the relevant time-period.
23 I'd like to ask you at paragraph 47 of your statement, you
24 describe the ambush and killing of five policemen. And I want to ask you:
25 Isn't it correct that this ambush and killing was reported to have been
1 carried out by the KLA on a roadway in the region precisely where you said
2 you did not know of any KLA activity. Isn't that right?
3 A. We misunderstand one another. There were no KLA activities in the
4 town, at least not public activities. In the village where the incident
5 with the policeman occurred, or rather, on the road, we didn't go there
6 because of what I stated previously, that a major of the Territorial
7 Defence guaranteed there would be no problems.
8 Whether they passed through that village or not, they had not done
9 anything to anyone before that; and then they killed those policemen and
10 that was it. Up to that point, there had been no public activities that
11 might indicate their presence, except of course that they continually
12 attacked from the border.
13 Q. That area where the attack on the five policemen that you talk
14 about occurred, isn't it correct that that roadway is within the area that
15 was under the blockade -- that later was part of the blockade that you are
16 testifying about?
17 A. Sir, I can't say exactly where the policemen were killed, but it
18 was on that road, on the Djakovica-Junik road, somewhere in the
19 whereabouts of that village, and that's quite clear. There's nothing in
20 dispute about it. I can't tell you exactly where. I can't pin-point the
21 very spot, but it was in that area on that road. That area.
22 Q. I apologise. I have to turn off my microphone so as not to
23 interfere with your voice distortion device. Sir, I'd like to put
24 something forward to you. We've heard evidence here in this court from
25 another military policeman from the VJ. He was a witness here, Mr. K73,
1 whose unit was engaged in the activities, was in the villages rather than
2 part of the blockade, approaching Korenica on the night of the 27th of
3 April, 1999.
4 And he testified to the fact that there were KLA in the area, and
5 on that night a group of KLA stumbled upon his unit that was based in a
6 village and engaged in a firefight leading to the death of one soldier and
7 the self-inflicted wound of another. This is at transcript page 3332,
8 lines 1 through 20.
9 Sir, two questions for you: First of all, do you have knowledge
10 of that?
11 A. Sir, I am testifying about the part of the road from the
12 crossroads to the entry to the village. I was on that road that day.
13 What happened on the other side of the village, beyond the village, I
14 don't know because I didn't go there. Whether there were other soldiers
15 there, I don't think our military police was there, but there may have
16 been some military police from another unit that was not part of our unit.
17 So I'm not denying that. What I am saying is that in the area
18 where that incident occurred, there were no other men apart from the ones
19 in our battalion, at least as far as I was able to see. As for the area
20 beyond the village, I had no idea who was there. I don't exclude the
21 possibility they were there, but I didn't see them.
22 Q. Do you, therefore, concede that since you were not everywhere,
23 that there could very well have been KLA presence and KLA resistance
24 within the area that was the subject of the blockade and the operation?
25 Would you concede that that is possible?
1 MR. HANNIS: Can we specify a time-period for that?
2 MR. IVETIC: I would specify the 27th and the 28th of April, when
3 the blockade was in effect.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I might be willing to concede
5 what you have just said, provided I knew what area they were in. Because
6 in the area I was in, there was not a single KLA member. Whether there
7 were any on the other side of the village, we couldn't see that.
8 It's possible, but I can say neither yes nor no, because I wasn't
9 there. I didn't even hear about that man being killed or wounded. I
10 don't know anything about it.
11 MR. IVETIC:
12 Q. Now, one of my colleagues, I believe it was Mr. Ackerman, had
13 asked you about the report I believe in the diary, regarding the two
14 soldiers that were wounded during that operation. I believe they were
15 wounded on the evening of the 27th. And you disagreed with the report in
16 the diary.
17 The question I'd like to ask you relates to the wounding of the
18 one other individual, and we have an exhibit offered by the Prosecution
19 called P2569, which perhaps we should not put on the public display
20 insofar as it may identify the witness, given the persons -- the officer
21 who signed it.
22 But, sir, this document signed by your commander talks about the
23 wounding of the one individual which occurred, again according to your
24 commander, on the 28th of April, the second day of the blockade; and this
25 report specifically states that he was accidentally wounded by friendly
1 fire opened by members of the MUP.
2 Would you concede that had the -- had the two men who you claim
3 were wounded by the MUP -- actually, had been wounded by the MUP, why
4 wouldn't it have been reported the same way this one incident was
5 reported, saying it was friendly fire? Why would there be a need to say
6 that the fire came from a group of civilians?
7 A. Sir, the person you are speaking about is from Republika Srpska.
8 The other two are citizens of Serbia. Maybe this means something. I'm
9 sure that the two who were wounded, the people who brought them there, I
10 spoke to both of them, they said they were wounded by stray bullets. I'm
11 not saying the police shot them, but they were the only ones shooting in
12 that area.
13 There was nobody else who would have fired shots. I didn't see
14 the KLA shooting. I didn't see the army shooting, so it's quite logical.
15 Not for a moment did I think they were aiming at soldiers. I'm just
16 saying that they were wounded by stray bullets. One was simply grazed and
17 the other one was more seriously wounded and he didn't even come back to
18 the unit. I can see the document you're showing me. I can see part of
19 what it says, but I don't know of any other reason, unless I were to
20 engage in speculation.
21 Q. Sir, I posit that what you're doing is engaging in speculation,
22 because you really don't know where the stray bullet came from, do you --
23 the stray bullet or bullets, do you?
24 A. I do. From the village, from the village in which the policemen
25 were. They had already passed the first houses. So they could only have
1 been wounded from there, because, sir, if we exclude the possibility of
2 civilians shooting, which would be an absurdity, on the left-hand side if
3 you cross the river our units were there, towards the border post, and
4 they were not shooting.
5 The soldiers who were there were not shooting. They had no reason
6 to shoot towards the river where our people were, so only the civilians --
7 I don't know. It's very difficult to say that the civilians were
8 shooting, people who didn't know where they were. I don't know. I
9 understand your situation, but I cannot affirm for a fact that they were
10 shot by civilians; that's absurd.
11 Q. So your understanding has to exclude the civilians?
12 A. Absolutely.
13 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to --
14 A. Sir, I took those people to Djakovica. I saw what they looked
16 Q. Sir, as I indicated, we have some time constraints and I would,
17 please, appreciate, especially since it causes problems with your voice
18 distortion here, that you confine your answers to my questions and try not
19 to interrupt questions.
20 Now, if we could focus on the NATO bombings. You have testified
21 in response to questions posed by my colleagues that the NATO bombings
22 were quite constant and that they made communications very difficult,
23 indeed impossible. Now, I'd like to focus briefly on the event that you
24 have described in paragraph 46 relating to Korisa village.
25 First of all, that occurred on the 13th of May, 1999. Isn't that
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Does the information that you have tell you at least that it
4 occurred at approximately midnight or just before midnight on whatever day
5 it occurred?
6 A. Sir, I learned this from my conversations with people who were
7 there on the spot and in my conversation with the investigator.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
9 A. I don't know what date it was, no, no.
10 Q. Oh, so you learned some of this from the investigator from the
11 Office of the Prosecutor?
12 A. No, no. No. I learned this after the war in Kosovo three, four,
13 five months later in my conversations with the policemen who were there on
14 the spot.
15 Q. I suppose these sources that advised you of this event did not
16 tell you that among the wounded from this event were two policemen, Dejan
17 Nikolic and Ivan Djordjevic, both of the Prizren SUP. Did you know that?
18 A. I didn't know that. Today, at the beginning of the session, I
19 said it was the person at the petrol station who was there, who told me
20 that they thought they had all been killed. That's how strong the
21 explosions were.
22 They thought everything had toppled down when the explosion went
23 off, and I wrote that. I didn't say categorically that that's how it
24 was -- excuse me.
25 Q. Okay. If we can move on to another topic. Now, yesterday, you
1 talked about the -- about the matters contained in paragraph 47 of your
2 statement, the arrival of police and Frenki's to Djakovica. Now, you've
3 today somewhat, I believe, changed your description of these Frenki's and
4 what occurred.
5 Now, first of all, I want to ask you: Is it your testimony that
6 the so-called hats, the familiar hats, that you were describing are, in
7 fact, berets, red berets?
8 A. Sir, a little hat and a beret are not the same thing. Those two
9 men I saw there with masks on their faces wore little hats, because people
10 changed uniforms very often in our parts. It would depend on a lot of
11 things. Uniforms changed very frequently, and I knew that in some
12 situations even the SAJ wore such hats.
13 Someone from the PJP could also have had such a hat, but it was
14 not part of the standard uniform of the PJP. I did not see the whole unit
15 or the commander of that unit. I saw only those two men, neither more nor
16 less. But I do know --
17 Q. Well, sir, I think you will appreciate my concern and need to
18 clarify things because the statement that you have says: "They all wore
19 the familiar Frenki hats," which I take to mean "sesir."
20 Now, yesterday, you testified they wore the red berets, "crvene
21 beretke." There lies my confusion, sir. And you have to understand that
22 and appreciate you are using different terminology to describe these
23 things, and I'm trying to find out what the truth of the matter is.
24 A. When I talked about red berets yesterday, when His Honour asked me
25 who the Frenki's were, I said they were units for special operations. I
1 didn't say the whole unit was there and that those 400 men who all arrived
2 were all Red Berets. I said they were mainly members of the PJP. I saw
3 those two with the little hats and the masks on their faces, and I thought
4 it was the unit for special operations.
5 I had no reason to ask them whether they were that unit, but
6 that's what I thought. I may have been wrong. But judging by the
7 equipment they had, I thought they were from that unit. Now, whether the
8 whole unit was there or not, I can't say because I didn't see them all.
9 Q. I appreciate that you may be wrong, but I would like to ask you
10 this: Those two individuals that you saw, they came in a private
11 automobile. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct. Yes, in a private car, yes. In a civilian
14 Q. Okay. And I believe today -- well strike that.
15 As far as the buses are concerned, did all these buses that you
16 describe come at the same time, in one convoy?
17 A. I'm not sure. I don't think so. They came individually. No, no,
18 no way.
19 Q. Where exactly did you see these buses and vehicles?
20 A. They would come to Djakovica, to the town for the most part.
21 Q. What part of town, for instance, and where were you situated?
22 A. Near the church in the area where the bombs didn't fall; not near
23 the SUP in Djakovica but nearer the river, nearer that village. So we saw
24 those buses.
25 Q. And was anyone else with you at the time who could vouch for your
2 A. The people working at the check-point, the policemen and the
3 soldiers there.
4 Q. Did you see each of these buses and vehicles with the PJP
5 yourself, with your own eyes, or are we hearing what you heard from other
7 A. Sir, the members of the PJP passed by me. They couldn't go
8 anywhere else, and some even went there by bus and then the bus came back.
9 How far it took them, I don't know, but I know I did see buses, as I had
10 says here about ten. It could have been more or less, but around ten. I
11 did see buses. I saw them personally.
12 Q. Now, yesterday, as far as the PJP are concerned, you stated that
13 you had never seen the insignia of the PJP in Kosovo and, in fact,
14 couldn't identify any emblems of the police. How could you be certain
15 that these persons were PJP?
16 A. They wore camouflage uniforms with those trousers and those
17 jackets, not green but kind of yellowish. And, secondly, when the
18 policemen were withdrawing, the buses came to pick them up. The same
19 buses that had taken them there took them back from there. When the area
20 was clear, they came to pick them up. There's no doubt about it.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, did they have "PJP" written on the side of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what's the relevance to the answer that the
25 same buses came back to collect them? We're trying to work out how you
1 recognised these people as PJP. And unless the bus said "PJP," the bus
2 has got nothing to do with identifying them. So how did you recognise
3 that they were PJP?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By the uniforms, by the uniforms.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Tell me one other thing. When you told
6 me yesterday that there were people with red berets, who were you
7 referring to?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked me how one could recognise
9 Frenki's men, and I said they were the Red Berets. They did not wear red
10 berets in the war, not in Kosovo.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And what --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At least --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the nature of the hats that the two men
14 were wearing that you referred to earlier?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hats. They were hats.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: What was their distinctive feature?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Normal hats worn to one side. These
18 same people came to look for that colleague of mine to get them to go back
19 to that unit, not those two but others. And there was no doubt that this
20 was a unit for special operations because they came to get him. Now,
21 whether those two were members or not, that's a different story.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You have described them as wearing the familiar
23 Frenki hats. Now, tell me what is distinctive about a Frenki hat.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hats, yes. Well, masks and hats.
25 No special characteristics or maybe I don't recall. You can't really
1 inspect each individual uniform in such a situation.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So how is it you know that they are Frenki's men?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, they might have been
4 Frenki's men judging by the hats. I allowed for the possibility that
5 someone else could have had such hats.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what I would like to know is what do these
7 hats look like that enable you to decide that they're Frenki's men? Tell
8 me what they look like, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, the problem is that they came
10 in a civilian vehicle --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Just tell me what the hats looked like, please.
12 Never mind the vehicle. Tell me about the hats.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were camouflage hats, no
14 special characteristic. I can't even remember what they looked like now.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. I think we've exhausted that area, and we'll move on to another
19 Now, at paragraphs 43 and 44, you stated that your unit and your
20 unit alone was involved in the relocation of the civilians from many
21 villages and hamlets around Djakovica in mid-April. Was it just -- when
22 you say your unit, are we just talking about the eight of you set forth in
23 paragraph 30, including the two volunteers who were not from -- or who
24 were from another country -- from another ethnicity.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, if we could focus on the blockade. You have described the
2 command post where you were with your commander. How far was this command
3 post from the centre of the village of Korenica?
4 A. I don't know. I did not enter the village, not farther away from
5 the first houses.
6 Q. From the position of the command post, could you see very clearly
7 the houses in Korenica village; that is, the village itself?
8 A. Yes. The beginning of the village, yes.
9 Q. You stated that you had not been in Korenica. Were you personally
10 in any of the other surrounding villages on the 27th of April, 1999,
11 during the blockade?
12 A. When those two soldiers were wounded and when the commander
13 ordered me to go by the river and to get those men out, I wrote that down
14 in my statement as the village of Meja. That's what I think today as
15 well. To this day I think that it's the village of Meja. Maybe I made a
16 mistake, but I think that that is the village of Meja. It doesn't change
17 the situation in terms of what happened.
18 I went to the village and I got those people out from near the
19 river. Maybe I just made a mistake in terms of the name of the village,
20 but not in terms of what it was that had happened. I went to get them for
21 sure, and there was this other soldier from Sombor who went. I don't know
22 his name. And the man who was asking me a few moments ago, he didn't ask
23 me about him. He did not mention his name. The man is from Sombor, and
24 he's an active soldier.
25 Q. Okay. Can we be certain, though, that the village you went to was
1 below or south of Korenica, not above Korenica?
2 A. Parallel with the road it was, but the left of the river. So, say
3 we're moving from Djakovica towards Junik, then it's on the left. The
4 village starts with a big mill and then houses go on by the river.
5 Q. And, again, coming from Djakovica, Korenica would be on the right.
6 Isn't that correct?
7 A. Towards Junik, when you go towards Junik, then on the right, yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, sir, you testified that police were shooting randomly
9 into homes. Could you see that happening in Meja and Korenica from your
10 position at the VJ command post? Did you personally see this or is this
11 something that you assumed or heard about?
12 A. When it started, when they started entering the village, then I
13 saw what was going on in the village because I really did not go into the
14 village itself, but I saw at the beginning of the village when the first
15 houses were involved, when they started shooting at the houses first and
16 then ...
17 Q. Well, correct me if I'm wrong, sir, but the infantry forces in the
18 village, whatever their make-up was, they were advancing towards the front
19 of the village, towards your position. Isn't that correct?
20 A. No, from our positions towards the centre of the village. Now,
21 were there other units on the other side, I don't know, but it was from us
22 into the other direction. As we were here this way, this is where the
23 road is, we were here roughly, and then they moved off from us into the
24 village. There were other units, too, or rather, I don't know whether
25 there were other units on the other side because I wasn't there.
1 Q. So is it your testimony that the infantry forces were attempting
2 to move people away from the check-point at the Meja Orize-Djakovica
4 A. You're talking about a point that was on the bridge into the
5 entrance of Brekovac; whereas, I am talking about the spot where policemen
6 were. This is a small crossroads between the dirt road and the road for
7 cars. So we're not talking about the same spot.
8 Secondly, when they entered the village, the civilians go towards
9 Djakovica; that is to say, that they come to the road where our blockade
10 was. They are going from the village towards Djakovica. They are now
11 going to the other side. They are not going towards Junik. They're going
12 this way, back to Djakovica.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, would you find a suitable place to
15 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, I think I can fit in one more
17 Q. Sir, you did not see any homes set on fire in those villages by
18 the police with your own eyes, did you?
19 A. I saw the first houses that were there, that they were on fire.
20 There was nobody else who could have set them on fire but the police. So
21 after that, a few days later, I went there and I saw that the houses had
22 burned down. The houses by the river.
23 As for the people, I went -- there had been burned by some people
24 who had come. That's what I saw; whereas, these houses - how should I put
25 this? - that the police entered were set on fire probably by the
1 policemen. There was no one else to set fire to them.
2 Q. So, again, it's pure speculation and an assumption as to who
3 actually set those fires, you don't know that, do you?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That question --
5 MR. HANNIS: Objection, Your Honour, [indiscernable].
6 JUDGE BONOMY: -- and it's also not consistent with the answer, at
7 least one interpretation of the answer.
8 MR. IVETIC: I think I'm done for the day, and I'll hopefully
9 finish up in ten minutes tomorrow.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
11 Mr. Hannis, where are we with the exercise of completing the
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, at the last break I had gone up and sat
14 with my co-counsel here and the interpreter, and they were finalising
15 those changes during this session. I hope it's done. I would, I guess,
16 ask some guidance from the Court.
17 Would you like me to hand the witness a copy of that before he
18 leaves the building today or I had proposed perhaps going through it with
19 him on the record tomorrow, just to ask him if those changes we now have
20 made at these paragraphs accurately reflect the changes he wanted to make.
21 I see advantages to both.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I think the latter course, Mr. Hannis. So
23 you'll have it prepared for --
24 MR. HANNIS: I can give it to Defence counsel today.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, and that will be dealt with when Mr. Ivetic
1 completes what he has to ask. And then if there's further
2 cross-examination resulting from that, obviously, you would concede that
3 that should take place at that time.
4 MR. HANNIS: I do, Your Honour. What I propose to do is ERN this
5 document, call it an amended statement, and we'll give it a different
6 exhibit number if and when it becomes necessary to do that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Thank you.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Witness K90, that completes today's sitting but you
10 will have to come back again I'm afraid tomorrow morning. Hopefully, your
11 evidence will be finished very quickly tomorrow morning, but you need to
12 come back to resume at 9.00. And I remind you of what I said yesterday,
13 no discussion with anyone at all about your evidence.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You can now leave the courtroom with the usher.
15 Thank you.
16 [Closed session]
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.52 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 31st day of
24 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.