1 Thursday, 22 February 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Milutinovic and Pavkovic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: We need closed session for the witness to enter the
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 [Closed session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, sir. Can you hear me clearly?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: The evidence will continue in a moment when the
19 noise stops. I have to remind you before we start that the solemn
20 declaration to speak the truth which you took at the beginning of your
21 evidence continues to apply to that evidence today.
22 Ms. Kravetz.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 WITNESS: WITNESS K88 [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examination by Ms. Kravetz: [Continued]
2 Q. Good morning, K88. I just have a few questions for you this
3 morning. In 2001 did you provide an interview to a MUP working group that
4 was tasked with investigating the discovery of a refrigerator truck in the
6 A. Yes. There was an interview, but it was rather informal and with
7 my immediate superior. He asked me to go to the headquarters and tell
8 them what I know.
9 Q. Thank you. Did you later accompany members of the working group
10 to the site that was depicted in the map we were looking at yesterday and
11 show them the location of the grave-sites?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I have no further questions for this
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, we will follow the following order:
18 Mr. -- General Lukic, Mr. Sainovic, General Lazarevic, General Pavkovic,
19 General Ojdanic, and Mr. Milutinovic. Thank you.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness K88. I apologise for
25 having to address you that way, but it is for your protection, and hence I
1 need to use the pseudonym. My name is Branko Lukic, I appear here on
2 behalf of General Sreten Lukic. I'll have a few questions which would
3 rather be an attempt in clarifying a few things. I will -- I believe I
4 will be brief and after me the colleagues that will follow will probably
5 have some additional questions, although not too many.
6 Do you have your statement in B/C/S before you?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Please go to paragraph 3. I wanted to ask you something regarding
9 that paragraph.
10 A. Very well.
11 Q. In paragraph 3 it states the following: "The armoured mechanised
12 brigade was responsible for providing security for sports and public
13 events. We also worked in Kosovo and had two bases there, one in Prizren
14 and one in Pristina. I went there several times to train others to
15 operate various MUP vehicles."
16 Concerning this, I wanted to ask you the following: You
17 personally were stationed in Belgrade and not in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999?
18 A. Yes. The thing discussed here was 1992/1993, the thing discussed
19 in paragraph 3.
20 Q. Therefore, in 1998 and 1999 you were stationed in Belgrade?
21 A. Yes, in Belgrade.
22 Q. Please go to paragraph 5 now. The commander of the Belgrade unit
23 was Zoran Simovic, the commander in Novi Sad was Branimir Curcic and in
24 Pristina Radomir Stalevic. I can't recall what the commanders were in
25 terms of rank, but the police ranks did not matter, rather, their position
1 or function. Is that correct?
2 A. I don't know whether I used the best words at the time, but in any
3 case I don't know what their rank was at the time.
4 Q. Very well. This will take me to my next question. This pertains
5 to 1998 and 1999 whereby you say that their position was more important
6 than the rank. It also goes for that period; that's what I'm trying to
8 A. Yes, I wanted to say that one could be a lieutenant-colonel but
9 could hold such a position to have command over a colonel, depending what
10 their position were -- was.
11 Q. Thank you. It was clear to us and -- but this was just to clarify
12 it for the people who do not originate from that part of the world.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, where is the reference to the
14 distinction between ranks and functions?
15 MR. LUKIC: Paragraph number 5, that's second-last sentence --
16 actually --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: It's missing from my copy, then, I think.
18 MR. LUKIC: I have a B/C/S version --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The English second-last sentence is: "The command
20 of the SAJ is in Batajnica now and no longer in Kneza Milos Street,
21 Belgrade, since this was bombed in 1999."
22 MR. LUKIC: Then the sentence is missing.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that first sentence I've read -- the sentence
24 I've just read, is it in your statement?
25 MR. LUKIC: Yes, it is.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Then there's a missing English sentence. Could you
2 read to us, please, what that missing sentence is?
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'll read it in B/C/S.
4 [Interpretation] "I can't recall" -- [In English] You stopped
5 with "1999."
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: And the following part is: [Interpretation] "The
8 commander of the SAJ --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The commander of the Belgrade unit was
11 Zoran Simovic, commander of Novi Sad was Branimir Curcic, and commander of
12 Pristina was Radomir Stalevic."
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I've got that unit. That's not the one I'm
14 concerned about. It's the one that says there was a difference between
15 ranks and function.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes. I'm waiting for the transcript to pick up the
17 names correctly.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I see.
19 MR. LUKIC: The following sentence is the next one.
20 [Interpretation] "I cannot recall what the commanders were in terms of
21 rank, but within the police rank was unimportant. What was important was
22 the position occupied by the given person. Ranks were assigned depending
23 on the number of years of professional experience and education."
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So this particular statement was actually in its
25 original form in Serbian, was it?
1 MR. LUKIC: We have to clarify it with the Prosecution.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, Your Honour. This witness requested to sign
3 his statement in the B/C/S, so it's been translated into English.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you accept that this is an accurate
5 reflection of a passage missing from paragraph 5?
6 MS. KRAVETZ: I was unaware that this passage was missing, this --
7 we had sent the translation to be revised earlier this week. I trust my
8 colleague, if he says this passage appears in the B/C/S version.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
10 Thank you, Mr. Lukic, for clarifying that. Please carry on.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I just want to emphasise that
12 this page is signed by the witness.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness K88, in paragraph 8 --
16 MR. LUKIC: We should move to private session, Your Honour,
17 because this is a paragraph where this witness can be identified --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll go into private session.
19 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Paragraph 11 of your statement. You say: "When the bombing
19 started, the bombing of the VJ barracks next to us at the Batajnica base
20 was hit by a NATO bomb and the doors and windows of our building were
21 damaged. After that, once we moved out of the base, there was not any
22 security at the main entrance. Basically anyone could come in and out at
23 that time."
24 You say "anyone could come in and out during that time," it
25 includes the time-period where the trucks with the corpses appeared there?
1 A. Yes. No one was there. One could approach it from all sides
2 because the base was not secured, or rather, the security was very poor in
3 physical terms.
4 Q. Thank you. I will now go beyond the scope of the statement, but
5 it concerns some additional information we received from the OTP. Is it
6 correct that there were no attempts made to burn the bodies after they had
7 been disposed of in the pit?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. I am not dissatisfied with your answer; I'm waiting for the
10 transcript. Therefore, do not think that I'm hesitating because of you.
11 I wanted to ask you this: Is it also correct that while the pits
12 were dug, there were tires placed around them and set alight so as to make
13 a smoke-screen to prevent NATO aeroplanes from bombing the site?
14 A. Yes. Someone must have told us that that would provide a degree
15 of protection against NATO planes, and I think we set alight over 100
16 tires. We had technical difficulty in the sense that some of those tires
17 fell into the pits and a facility was caught on fire nearby. There were
18 lots of complications; however, on the other hand, every time we were
19 digging, we would have to leave the site for a couple of hours on numerous
20 occasions and then we would have to go back because of the air-raids.
21 Q. Thank you. My next question had to do with the tires, but you've
22 already explained that and I thank you for that.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask to go back into
24 private session yet again and this will be one last time because of the
25 witness's security.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
2 [Private session]
11 Page 10466 redacted. Private session
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Yesterday my colleague asked you, and also in paragraph 35 of your
5 statement you said something about a man you described as a member of the
6 DB, perhaps from Kosovo, perhaps not, who had a Montenegrin accent. My
7 question is the following: Is it correct that were there are over 200.000
8 Montenegrins living in Belgrade?
9 A. Well, I believe you.
10 Q. So even if someone had a Montenegrin accent --
11 A. Yes, yes, of course.
12 Q. And now my last question: Did you ever in any context hear that
13 Sreten Lukic was in any way involved in this operation of transporting
14 bodies from Kosovo to Batajnica?
15 A. No. I didn't even know about General Lukic at that time.
16 Q. Thank you, Witness K88. I have no further questions for you.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
19 Mr. Fila.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only a few questions.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning. My name is Toma Fila, and I appear
23 for the accused Sainovic. What I wanted to ask you is the following: My
24 colleague Mr. Lukic asked you about the setting of tires on fire, but in
25 paragraph 23 of your statement you said that you also set fire to petrol
1 in order to get rid of the stench?
2 A. Yes, that's true. Some of the trucks had been standing there for
3 a few days and things were dripping from the trucks so we used toilet
4 cleaners. This was not successful, so we poured petrol on that and set it
5 on fire. And the same applied to tires. It's hard to set a tire on fire.
6 Q. [Microphone not activated].
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We are simply clarifying certain points as to why the tires were
10 set on fire. My next question is the following: In several places in
11 your statement you say one truck with bodies stood there for 15 days,
12 another for so many days, and you've just mentioned that again. I see
13 that you were a policeman for eight or nine years in logistics. Logistics
14 requires good organisation. Would you agree with me that all this seems
15 to be very chaotic. Trucks arrive from somewhere and they stand parked
16 there for a fortnight. What I see here is an absence of organisation.
17 A. Well, yes. People arrived with old vehicles. There was even a
18 truck which managed to reach base, and our mechanics gave it an overhaul,
19 which lasted for three days. Those were the kind of vehicles that were
20 used, so really -- but on the other hand, I was given a task -- well,
21 first of all, I don't know about this. I'm -- I wasn't an expert with
22 this kind of job. I had an insufficient number of men. So from the very
23 first moment it appeared to be -- well, I don't know how to describe it,
24 but I've never seen anything organised in that way.
25 Q. Let me ask you something else now. As far as I can understand, it
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That's all. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour. Thank
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
19 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. No
20 questions for this witness.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: No questions, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: No questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz, any re-examination?
2 MS. KRAVETZ: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We need now to go back into closed session.
5 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
6 [Closed session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, your next witness.
19 MR. STAMP: The next witness, Your Honour, was scheduled to be
20 Ambassador Kickert. I think the court was informed before, but if not, I
21 have to advise that Ambassador Kickert has contacted us to indicate that
22 he has had an inescapable appointment involving the Secretary-General of
23 the United Nations and therefore is unable to attend as scheduled and has
24 to be rescheduled. The information is that the commitment was sudden, but
25 inescapable, as I indicated. The circumstance is we are unable to put on
1 a witness for the rest of the week; however, we will have a full week
2 based on the scheduling of the witnesses next week.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
4 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: One thing we could do is address the issue of
6 Mr. Coo, but it may be that it's felt there isn't adequate preparation
7 time so far for that. Is it an issue that can be addressed today?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm afraid not, Your Honour, because it was actually
9 a task of Mr. O'Sullivan and he's not present, as you can see, today.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it something we could address tomorrow?
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, depends, Your Honour, if we would receive all
12 the material, the disclosure from --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We were told you were getting it yesterday.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, just a part of it, yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You didn't get all of it?
16 MR. ZECEVIC: No, we just got the first part of it and actually in
17 Serbian, which is not a problem for me.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me add to what my
20 colleague Mr. Zecevic has said. We have received some materials from the
21 Prosecution yesterday and some today on CDs, but the difficulty is that
22 the material on CDs has not been translated into B/C/S, nor has the second
23 part of Mr. Coo's report, which still has to be revised or redacted. So
24 even if something were to be changed, we need to consult about military
25 matters and we also need the translation of the remaining part. So I
1 don't believe anything would change between today and tomorrow, even if
2 Mr. O'Sullivan were to turn up.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm concerned about dealing with the opposition, if
4 there is any, to the evidence of the witness and dealing with the question
5 of how his evidence might be approached. Now, I understood there were
6 issues to be debated on that. Now, the translation's not necessarily
7 required for that purpose and so far as disclosure -- additional
8 disclosure is concerned, I don't think it's required for that purpose,
9 Mr. Visnjic. And as I understand it, it's not planned to call him in the
10 immediate future; that he's a much later witness. So it's important to
11 distinguish the issues of time for preparation to cross-examine him and
12 time to prepare to address the issue of whether there's opposition to any
13 elements of his statement. And it's the latter I'm concerned about. Is
14 that something that could be addressed tomorrow?
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honours, as you may
17 have observed, we usually organise ourselves so that only one person
18 speaks on behalf of all the teams. Mr. O'Sullivan is not here today
19 because he's preparing for precisely this. Mr. Stamp said that he has a
20 full five days next week. The witnesses he has put forward, except for
21 Mr. Petritsch, will certainly not take as long as envisaged. As for
22 Dr. Bar [phoen] or whatever, I don't know, let's say Mr. K, I don't know
23 what one can ask him anyway. So we will be finished very soon next week
24 and then we can do this next week. That's what I wanted to say.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me add something
2 else. To the best of my understanding, we have informed the OTP of the
3 problems concerning disclosure as we see them, and we are awaiting their
4 response. We have told them what we expect to be disclosed in connection
5 with this witness, and the ball is now in their court. We are awaiting
6 their response. On the one hand, as Mr. Hannis informed us yesterday, he
7 needed time to check whether there was anything in the material that might
8 correspond to one part of our request, and also he needed to take up a
9 standpoint with respect to some of the materials we asked to be disclosed
10 in connection with this witness.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Stamp, you're being given a clear warning
12 that you may be over-optimistic about filling next week.
13 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Stamp, please.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: We've said a number of times now that one of the
16 main difficulties is that you fail to schedule any spare witnesses, and no
17 court in the world runs on the basis of the arrival absolutely on time of
18 every protected witness. And I think it's a major deficiency in the way
19 in which you've conducted this prosecution. We heard submissions last
20 week about the future timetable of the case, and on two occasions in the
21 course of this week, counsel were engaged in informal discussions with a
22 representative of the Trial Chamber about that. And I can say that we
23 were in the end of the day, in spite of our initial reservations, in the
24 end, broadly sympathetic to the principal requests. So if these were
25 negotiating positions set particularly high in anticipation of an
1 inevitable reduction, then you could have been pleasantly surprised.
2 But our approach was largely based, in our preliminary
3 consideration of these issues, upon the idea that the Prosecution case
4 will be completed in the week of the 19th of March. Now, is that still
5 the projected timetable?
6 MR. STAMP: Thereabouts, Your Honour, as was -- is clear from what
7 was said by Mr. Fila just now. A lot depends on the time the Defence
8 takes to ask its questions. But I think the -- approximately the 19th of
9 March is still feasible.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah -- well, but the reason it is important is
11 that we had given an indication that there would be a two-week break at
12 the beginning of April. And if we are going to be generous in the time
13 allotted for the preparation of the Defence case, we are equally insistent
14 that that depends to some extent on early submissions if there are any
15 under Rule 98 bis. And for the avoidance of any doubt, we should make it
16 clear that we anticipate hearing these submissions more or less
17 immediately after the completion of the Prosecution case. We think that
18 parties should know about the evidence that is against them and that the
19 Prosecution should know what the evidence is in support of their case.
20 So we had in mind allocating the week of the 26th of March to
21 this. We don't, obviously, know at the moment just how extensive these
22 submissions might be, but assuming the worst comes to the worst and there
23 are lengthy submissions on this matter, if we were to allow two hours to
24 each party, that would be a total of 12 hours, which the parties obviously
25 can divide up according to the needs. There are some who plainly would
1 have a far better argument than others at that stage. And we might have
2 to allocate an equivalent time to the Prosecution, but hopefully not, but
3 that could be fitted into a week, and that would allow us to complete that
4 exercise before the break. And then we could I think, bearing in mind the
5 existence of that break and summer recess, which can be advanced, we could
6 be fairly generous. But if that timetable goes in the immediate future,
7 then we'll have to review it because -- review the overall position
8 significantly, because we cannot be seen nor would it be right for us to
9 actually be doing nothing over a significant period of time.
10 But if that timetable's maintained then we have to be occupied in
11 dealing with the response to these submissions and there are other things
12 we can then do in the intervening period as well as take advantage of your
13 preparation time to have any necessary recess fitted in.
14 So I hope that these matters will be borne in mind. We will be
15 reluctant until the position is a bit clearer to say finally what the time
16 available for preparation of the Defence and the 65 ter documents will be,
17 but you can take it that you should now assume that the -- any 98 bis
18 submission will be very shortly after the conclusion of the Prosecution
20 I note just in passing, Mr. Stamp, that since the beginning of
21 December and prior to the beginning of this week, we had lost roughly 44
22 to 45 hours of time, roughly two weeks in a period of about two months of
23 practical court time, and that's another nine and a half hours gone in
24 between today and tomorrow. So it's something that is causing us anxiety,
25 and we do really feel that you owe it to the Trial Chamber, in view of the
1 way we've been sympathetic and generous throughout to the requests of
2 parties, you owe it to us now to change your approach to the summoning of
3 witnesses here and you need to have witnesses in reserve so that we can
4 make proper use of the time.
5 We've, we think, been far too lenient with you on that issue. And
6 if you do not change your practice, then it may be we will fix a date for
7 completion of your case, because that's the only way that enforce the
8 regime that we thought was a reasonable regime. So I hope you will take
9 serious -- or take these remarks into serious consideration when you are
10 allocating time for witnesses over the next, I think, four weeks, that
11 would be to the end of the week of the 19th of March.
12 Regrettably, we now have no option but to adjourn until Monday at
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.47 a.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of
16 February, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.