Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10457

 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

 7    courtroom.

 8                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 9                          [Closed session]

10  (redacted)

11  (redacted)

12  (redacted)

13  (redacted)

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]

Page 10458

 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

 5    Danube?

 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

15    witness.

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

Page 10459

 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

Page 10460

 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

 7    say.

 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.

Page 10461

 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?

Page 10462

 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]

20  (redacted)

21  (redacted)

22  (redacted)

23  (redacted)

24  (redacted)

25  (redacted)

Page 10463

 1  (redacted)

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 5  (redacted)

 6  (redacted)

 7  (redacted)

 8  (redacted)

 9  (redacted)

10  (redacted)

11  (redacted)

12  (redacted)

13  (redacted)

14  (redacted)

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?

Page 10464

 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.

Page 10465

 1            JUDGE BONOMY:  Very well.

 2                          [Private session]

 3  (redacted)

 4  (redacted)

 5  (redacted)

 6  (redacted)

 7  (redacted)

 8  (redacted)

 9  (redacted)

10  (redacted)

11  (redacted)

12  (redacted)

13  (redacted)

14  (redacted)

15  (redacted)

16  (redacted)

17  (redacted)

18  (redacted)

19  (redacted)

20  (redacted)

21  (redacted)

22  (redacted)

23  (redacted)

24  (redacted)

25  (redacted)

Page 10466











11    Page 10466 redacted. Private session















Page 10467

 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

Page 10468

 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

Page 10469

 1  (redacted)

 2  (redacted)

 3  (redacted)

 4  (redacted)

 5  (redacted)

 6  (redacted)

 7  (redacted)

 8  (redacted)

 9  (redacted)

10  (redacted)

11  (redacted)

12  (redacted)

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

17    you.

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.

Page 10470

 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]

 7  (redacted)

 8  (redacted)

 9  (redacted)

10  (redacted)

11  (redacted)

12  (redacted)

13  (redacted)

14  (redacted)

15  (redacted)

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

Page 10471

 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

Page 10472

 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.

Page 10473

 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

Page 10474

 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

Page 10475

 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

19    evidence.

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

Page 10476

 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

13    9.00.

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.