1 Tuesday, 17 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Manning, do I correctly understand that you
7 may wish to respond to Mr. Ivetic's revised request to extend the areas
8 into which -- on which you may cross-examine?
9 MS. MANNING: That is correct.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell me, then, what you wish to say?
11 MS. MANNING: Thank you, Your Honour, for providing the US
12 Government an opportunity to respond directly to Mr. Lukic's request for
14 Given the break in testimony, the United States Government has
15 had the opportunity to consider, on an expedited basis, Mr. Lukic's
16 revised request of April 12th to expand the scope of cross-examination in
17 response to each of the listed points as follows:
18 With respect to point A, the US Government authorises the
19 cross-examination of Mr. Byrnes on the meetings Mr. Byrnes and the US
20 Government officials had with the KLA during his time in Kosovo.
21 With respect to point B, the US Government does not comment on
22 alleged intelligence matters, and thus similarly declines to do so in
23 this context.
24 We also note our agreement with the Prosecution's comments from
25 yesterday that this topic is not relevant to the issues on which
1 Mr. Byrnes is testifying.
2 With respect to point C, the US Government authorises
3 cross-examination of Mr. Byrnes on his service with US KDOM and his other
4 relevant Balkans experience.
5 Finally, with respect to point D, this is not an issue so much as
6 an allegation. Mr. Byrnes was in Kosovo as head of the US Kosovo
7 diplomatic observer mission established pursuant to the US Security
8 Council resolution 1199. To the extent that the Defence wishes to
9 cross-examine Mr. Byrnes on his activities with US KDOM, the US has
10 already authorised this pursuant to C. Thus with this last comment, the
11 US Government has completed its response to Defence counsels' revised
12 request dated April 12th.
13 As one final point, we would want to inform the parties that the
14 US Embassy received Mr. Ivetic's original April 12th request yesterday
15 afternoon, which is consistent with our experience that the registry
16 filings generally require two to three business days for delivery. Thus,
17 we appreciate Judge Bonomy's noting that the proper channel of
18 communication for a request to a State is directly to that State. Direct
19 communication not only avoids delays and confusion, but, important to
20 Defence counsel, preserves the confidentiality of a request. Thus, we
21 would request parties to contact us directly, either here in The Hague at
22 the office of legal counsel at the US Embassy or with relevant
23 authorities in Washington.
24 Again, the US Government extends its thank you and its
25 appreciation to the court for the opportunity to be heard on these
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Ms. Manning.
3 Mr. Ivetic, I think that what's just been said confirming the
4 indication given by the Court yesterday that the appropriate and speedier
5 way of dealing with this sort of thing is directly between party and
6 state is a point to be noted generally, and indeed there's the additional
7 point now made that filing may actually be inappropriate.
8 However, when we get to this stage and a response has been given
9 orally to a written filing, then to make sense of the response it's
10 necessary to have -- to a written document, it's necessary to have that
11 document filed. So that document, that revised request, will now have to
12 be filed. And it should be filed along with the -- although you
13 delivered the original request, I don't think it was necessarily filed by
14 the registry. I think both should now be filed in the context of this
16 Is there something else you would like to say now in relation to
17 the response?
18 MR. IVETIC: Just to seek clarification with respect to any
19 questions aimed at points -- at the points that were allowed. Do those
20 need to be in closed session or open session?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Manning.
22 MS. MANNING: Open session.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We can have the witness back, please.
24 WITNESS: SHAUN BYRNES [Resumed]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Byrnes.
1 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, we've delayed you a little again, but
3 there were administrative issues to be clarified. These have now been
4 dealt with. It simply falls for me to remind you that the solemn
5 declaration -- you're hearing nothing?
6 THE WITNESS: I'm not hearing.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The workers muscle us from time to time. The only
8 thing I have to do before your cross-examination resumes is to remind you
9 that the solemn declaration which you gave at the beginning of your
10 evidence, to speak the truth continuous, to apply to that evidence until
11 it is concluded.
12 The cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic will now continue.
13 Mr. Ivetic.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
15 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Good day, Mr. Byrnes. As I promised yesterday, we'll hopefully
17 be brief. I only have about 15 or 20 questions for you, so we'll get
18 right started.
19 Now, I want to clarify one thing from yesterday. I believe you
20 stated yesterday that you did not remember if you discussed with
21 Mr. Lukic anything about 30.000 [Realtime transcript read in error as
22 "30"] long-barrelled weapons having been brought into Kosovo from Albania
23 by the KLA. Irrespective of whether you had a discussion with Mr. Lukic
24 or not, do you recall having any such information at any point in time
25 when you were deployed as part of US KDOM?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, just one moment. Yesterday, it was 30.000
2 long-barrelled weapons, and it's now 30.
3 MR. IVETIC: 30.000, I'm sorry.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: 30.000, okay. Only those - well, including you -
5 with the benefit of the transcript in front of them, can see the funny
6 side, but we now have the 30.000 recorded.
7 A. Your Honour, I distinctly remember he used the term 30.000
8 yesterday, and that's what I heard him -- Mr. Ivetic say today.
9 In response to his question, let me repeat. I honestly have no
10 recollection of using that figure in a discussion with General Lukic. As
11 I said earlier, I had many, many, many discussions with General Lukic
12 over the course of my mandate in Kosovo.
13 I would like to make two further points, and then a third, if I
14 may, later.
15 Q. If I can try to just get an answer to the question first. Do you
16 know about 30.000 weapons -- 30.000 long-barrelled weapons being brought
17 in by the KLA? That's really the gist of my question.
18 A. No, sir, I don't.
19 Q. Okay. Fair enough.
20 A. May I add -- may I add something, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: If you feel it's necessary to clarify it.
22 THE WITNESS: I think it is, sir.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
24 A. It was common knowledge in Kosovo among the internationals
25 serving there, and I'm certain certainly among the Serbian security
1 forces, that the KLA was smuggling weapons from Albania into Kosovo
2 before, during and after the October agreement. And if I may add an
3 anecdote, I was told once by one of the Llap zone commander, Polijevo
4 zone commander, Remi, that he on occasion was purchasing weapons from a
5 Yugoslav Army colonel based in Nis, and that these weapons would come
6 down to his positions in Yugoslav army trucks at night. I cannot confirm
7 that, but I think it's worth passing on.
8 Finally, I do recall having conversations with General Lukic
9 about the problem of the smuggling of weapons by the KLA into Kosovo.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. BAKRAC: Your Honour, the transcript probably should show on
12 6.4, and that might be changed without me doing anything, but it looks
13 like the weapons are coming from France; they're actually from Nis.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. IVETIC: Hopefully the rest of the questions in this cross
16 will go a little easier with the transcript than they have thus far.
17 Q. While we're on Commander Remi and the Llap's commands out of the
18 KLA, did you also have occasion to contact -- to have contact with
19 Mr. Ramush Haradinaj?
20 A. No, I never did.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. I never did personally. Let me add, people in our mission who
23 were based in Pec, where we had an outstation, did have contact
24 Haradinaj. I never did personally.
25 MR. SEPENUK: Your Honour, I think it's important to have the
1 names correct, and at line 6.3, I believe it Remi, R-e-m-i, and at line
2 16, it should be Ramush, not Remush.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
4 Mr. Ivetic.
5 MR. IVETIC: All right. So far we're three for three. Let's try
6 another question.
7 Q. With respect to the contacts that your US KDOM personnel had with
8 Mr. Haradinaj, did you have knowledge of any of his admissions as to
9 having killed dozens of persons with his own hands?
10 A. No, sir, I did not and we did not.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, you yesterday described another KLA officer, I
12 think it's Geci, G-e-c-i, and you mentioned that he was an unsavoury,
13 sinister character. Did you pass along this kind of information about
14 the criminal nature of the KLA back through your diplomatic channels to
15 the authorities in the United States?
16 A. Yes, sir, I did.
17 MR. IVETIC: I apologise, I'm waiting for the transcript.
18 MR. BAKRAC: Your Honour, there's another transcript error that's
19 significant. If we could go back to page 5, line -- I think it's page 5,
20 line 24 -- line 25, it says the KLA was smuggling weapons into Albania
21 from Kosovo. It's the opposite of that. It was into Kosovo from
22 Albania, and that's an important difference.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's important also to remember that this
24 is the initial transcript which is then -- well, which is then revised in
25 light of listening to the tapes, and most of these matters are resolved.
1 But it's helpful to have noted the various ones that are occurring today.
2 We'll continue to monitor the transcript closely.
3 Mr. Ivetic.
4 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Byrnes, despite having information from yourself and
6 others in the field as to the criminal nature of some of the commanders
7 of the KLA, was there still pressure from Washington to at least downplay
8 the KLA activities if not assist them to put pressure on the Serb
10 A. No, there was not, and I would be happy to amplify that if the
11 Court felt that would be necessary and important.
12 Q. You've answered my question. That's all I had to ask about that.
13 To your knowledge, did --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Byrnes, it ought to be made clear
15 that in cross-examination, the control of the questioning lies in the
16 hands of the examiner. However, you must be given every opportunity to
17 ensure that you've given a full answer to the question. But if what's
18 involved is supplementary information rather than a full answer or
19 clarification of the answer, then it's really a matter that the
20 Prosecution can raise with you if they wish to later, and also Mr.
21 Ivetic, if he really wants that information.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. And may I ask you a
23 question on this sort of issue?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: This refers to testimony yesterday. I was asked --
1 I was asked several what I consider quite general questions about the
2 situation in Kosovo after the October agreements were signed, and I
3 found -- you may have noticed, I found them difficult to answer because
4 of their generality. I thought a good deal about that overnight, and my
5 own feeling is it would be useful to amplify those in a general way. I
6 think in doing so, I could provide or I would certainly like to provide a
7 better picture of what I saw in Kosovo during the period in question.
8 I don't know if, that's up to you or the Defence or the
9 Prosecution, but I feel it would be useful.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what you've done is alert all the parties to
11 the availability of additional information, and Mr. Hannis will have a
12 chance to re-examine you. If, following that, we feel it's necessary to
13 explore the matter further, then we'll do so from the Bench.
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC:
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Byrnes, to your knowledge, did the KLA receive
18 satellite telephones from the US KDOM or KVM?
19 MR. SEPENUK: Your Honour, I object. I think this is beyond the
20 scope of the direct examination and anything additional that was allowed.
21 MR. IVETIC: I think I can withdraw the question and go into
22 specifics, if it's much easier, Your Honour. I think it will move this
23 along a lot quicker.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you think that can be done, we'll come
25 back, if it remains a problem.
1 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
2 Q. I want to ask you now about some of the contacts you had with the
3 KLA, Mr. Byrnes. Do you recall travelling to Krajmirovci and Sedlare
4 villages on the 15th of February, 1999 --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel please slow down? Thank you.
6 MR. IVETIC: I'm being urged to slow down.
7 Q. Do you recall travelling to Krajmirovci and Sedlare,
8 S-e-d-l-a-r-e, villages on the 15th of February, 1999, to meet with KLA
9 commanders Fatim Sedlare, F-a-t-i-m S-e-d-l-a-r-e, Heset Sahiti,
10 H-e-s-e-t S-a-h-i-t-i, and Rudzi Buja, R-u-d-z-i B-u-j-a, among others,
11 where you reviewed their 121st Brigade and reassured them publicly that
12 despite the Serbian delegation in France not wanting to give up Kosovo,
13 that the United States would do everything within its power to get the
14 Albanians what had been promised to them before the negotiations? Do you
15 recall that?
16 A. No, I don't, sir.
17 Q. Okay. Do you know of any promises that have been made to the
18 Albanians prior to the negotiations in France?
19 A. No promises were made to the Albanians by our special negotiator,
20 Chris Hill. His task was to try to sell the Albanians essentially on
21 greater autonomy within Serbia, within Federal Yugoslavia, at least, and
22 that was the backbone and core of the Rambouillet agreement. We were, of
23 course, fully aware that the KLA and, I would add, Mr. Rugova's LDK aim
24 was full independence.
25 MR. IVETIC: Okay. Let me ask you if --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you, on the 13th of February, 1999, meet with
2 these various KLA commanders?
3 MR. IVETIC: Fifteenth, Your Honour, I think.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry? Which--
5 MR. IVETIC: Fifteenth is what I have in my notes, but the
6 transcript shows the 13th. Well, any time from the 13th through the
8 A. I -- to be honest, I have no idea at this point, nine years
9 later, where I was on the 13th or 15th. Secondly, the names of the three
10 KLA officers that were brought up and that I see on my screen do
11 not -- do not ring any bells. I don't remember meeting anybody with
12 those names.
13 Q. Do you recall reviewing the units of the 121st Brigade of the KLA
14 at any time in 1999?
15 A. No, I do not, and I'd like to add for the record that when we met
16 with KLA commanders in the field, they were extremely reticent about
17 identifying their units. We rarely were told what the unit number was or
18 the units name were.
19 Q. Okay. Let me ask you about December of 1998. Do you recall
20 passing a message directly from Washington to Mahmuti Bardhyl, through
21 your translator -- your personal translator, Mr. Jare, following the
22 abduction and killing of Kosovo Polje's deputy prefect in which the
23 United States stressed that the KLA needed to condemn the killing and
24 work to --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down, thank you.
1 MR. IVETIC:
2 Q. -- and work to improve its image because its actions in taking
3 over Serb positions were making it difficult for General Clark to justify
4 NATO air strikes against the Serbs?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, this is working badly today, I'm
6 afraid. We're going to have to slow right down for reasons which are not
7 clear to me at the moment. And there is already something missing from
8 that question, because I think I heard reference to the KLA.
9 MR. IVETIC: Yes, there was a reference to the KLA.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second, just a second, Mr. Hannis, in which
12 the United States stressed they needed to -- what was the rest of that
14 MR. IVETIC: That the KLA needed to condemn the killing.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Now, Mr. Hannis?
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I had an objection regarding the
18 foundation for this question. It doesn't appear to arise from his
19 interview notes, which are something -- if that's what it's coming from,
20 we should go into closed session. But if it's not, I don't know what the
21 foundation is. If it's a document that I've been provided, if Mr. Ivetic
22 could tell me which one it is, I could refer to it. But these are very
23 specific questions, and I don't know what the foundation for them is.
24 MR. IVETIC: The foundation for my prior question was 6206,
25 official notes of the state security services that were monitoring
1 Mr. Byrnes. The second one is -- just a moment.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the reference to the Exhibit was 6D-206.
3 MR: IVETIC: That is correct, Your Honour, and the question that
4 I have now posed comes out of 6D-202, operative information of the sector
5 for state security, the DB centre in Pristina dated January the 6th,
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you quote again the number of the latter
9 MR. IVETIC: Sure. The second exhibit is 6D, as in David, 202,
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, what I have is an English translation
13 of the document. It's titled "Official Note" and purportedly from the
14 Ministry of Foreign affairs, but there is no signature nor stamp. I
15 don't know what the provenance of this is. It could have been typed up
16 anywhere, any time. So I have a question about the good-faith basis of
17 the question without knowing something more about the provenance of this
19 JUDGE BONOMY: But, Mr. Hannis, the question that relates to the
20 direct personal knowledge of the witness, and there is an ostensible
21 basis for it, and indeed, an assurance from counsel that he has such a
22 basis. What can your objection be?
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this could come from anywhere. This
24 could have been pulled off the internet by --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. So the way to clarify it is to ask the
1 witness, surely. It's not as if he -- Mr. Ivetic is making it up.
2 Someone else may. That's a matter you can deal with. But surely when
3 it's a matter of the personal knowledge of the witness, it's legitimate
4 for him to ask the witness his position on it.
5 MR. HANNIS: Well, I'm not sure how it relates to the personal
6 knowledge of the witness. This is supposedly, I guess, an intercept that
7 is claimed to have been taken regarding Mr. Byrnes as a speaker. But
8 what's the prominence or authenticity for that? How do we know that a
9 person listening knows who Mr. Byrnes was or what his voice sounds like?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a matter you'll be able to deal with if
11 there is an attempt made by the Defence to present that as positive
12 evidence in their case, but all that's happening at the moment is that
13 questions are being asked. You sought an indication of the foundation,
14 and the foundation has been intimated to you, and we are satisfied that
15 it is appropriate for these questions to be asked on that basis.
16 So please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
17 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And I guess to be fair to
18 the witness and to the transcript, I should repeat the question now,
19 since we've gone far afield from it.
20 Q. Mr. Byrnes, do you recall, in December of 1998, passing a message
21 from Washington to Mr. Mahmuti Bardhyl or Bardhyl Mahmuti?
22 Bardhyl is B-a-r-d-u-l-j [sic], Mahmuti, M-a-h-m-u-t-i-j-a [sic],
23 who I believe was the KLA officer for -- liaison officer for affairs with
24 the Diaspora. Mahmuti should be M-a-h-m-u-t-i, and Bardhyl should be
25 B-a-r-d-h-y-l. I apologise.
1 The KLA liaison officer for the Diaspora, and this message was
2 supposed to have been relayed by you through your personal translator,
3 Mr. Valin Dezar [phoen], following the abduction and killing of Kosovo's
4 deputy prefect, Mr. Bojanic, in which the United States stressed that the
5 KLA needed to, first, condemn the killing and then work to improve its
6 image because its actions, including the taking over of Serb positions,
7 was making it difficult for General Clark to justify air strikes against
8 the Serbs.
9 A. No, I don't. And I would like to amplify my comments or my
10 response. First, I did have contact by cellphone with Mr. Mahmuti.
11 Second, the name Valin Dezar is one I have never, ever heard of. My
12 personal translator was a woman named Florina Krasnici.
13 When I spoke with Mr. Mahmuti, I spoke directly with him in
14 Serbian. He spoke excellent Serbian. I did not require the services of
15 a translator.
16 And, finally, the point I would like to make is the United States
17 Government at that time was deeply interested and intensively engaged in
18 trying to find a political resolution to this crisis. The last thing
19 that the Clinton administration wanted - and I know personally
20 Christopher Hill, who was a special envoy and with whom I worked
21 closely - wanted was more conflict and more trouble with Serbia.
22 The United States had enjoyed traditionally historically
23 excellent relations with Serbia, dating back to our consular agreement in
24 1881. We had been close allies in World War I and World War II, and we
25 wanted to restore our traditional relationships. We did not want to
1 bomb. We were doing everything we could to avoid that, that event, that
3 Q. Thank you. Now, if I can move on.
4 Yesterday, you described an operation, I believe, near Pec in
5 September of 1998, and I believe the village involved was Istinic,
6 I-s-t-i-n-i-c, where you stated that the police attacked the villages,
7 believing them to be harbouring the KLA, and forced people from those
8 villages before forcing them back.
9 Am I correct that you did not personally eyewitness this event?
10 A. Yes, you are. Okay.
11 Q. I apologise again. I'm waiting for the transcript. All right,
12 sir. Now, did your US KDOM personnel that were present at the scene, did
13 they speak with any of the senior MUP officers present during the whole
14 operation, such as, for example, Assistant-Minister General Obrad
16 A. I have no recollection of that, unfortunately. No, I do not
18 Q. Fair enough. Did you receive information that, in fact,
19 civilians were not only permitted to return to their homes in the
20 village, but that they were also permitted to go anywhere else they
21 desired, and that a fair number of persons went to Pec and to the
22 municipality of Djakovica of their own volition?
23 A. Our teams reported that a number of the displaced Albanians did
24 not return to their villages because they had nothing to return to.
25 Their homes had been destroyed, and so they went to relatives or friends
1 in Pec or Djakovica or other villages nearby.
2 Q. Did you receive information that there were even some KLA members
3 mixed in among the civilians who were permitted to go wherever they
4 desired as well?
5 A. I received no specific information that there were KLA members
6 mixed in, but in the interests of truth I would add that we -- my team
7 and I personally strongly suspected, given -- given the type of
8 insurgency that was going on, that there probably were KLA members who
9 were seeking to escape Serbian encirclement by posing as civilians, but I
10 had no direct knowledge of that, nor did my team.
11 Q. Okay. Now, another important factor for this incident that I
12 want to ask you about is: Did you have knowledge or were you aware that
13 several members of the Red Cross were instructing villagers not to go
14 back to their homes and were otherwise causing panic among the masses?
15 Here I'm talking about Ms. Ann Dellforge [phoen] and her associates who
16 had previously run afoul of the authorities by transporting illegal radio
17 equipment in the area?
18 A. I have no recollection of this.
19 Q. Fair enough. Now, just briefly dealing with the MUP itself, I
20 presume you are aware that the MUP was divided into two sectors; one for
21 public safety and one for state security.
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. And were you also aware that the state security or the RDB had a
24 chain of communication and command separate and apart from the public
25 safety sector?
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. Now, yesterday, at least for me, there was some confusion as to
3 when the US KDOM mission left Kosovo. I guess the easiest way for me to
4 clarify it is: Do you recall if yourself and the rest of the KDOM
5 personnel left Kosovo before NATO started the air campaign?
6 A. Very definitely, all the KDOMs and KDM left Kosovo before the air
7 campaign began. Very definitely.
8 Q. Thank you. I think that clarifies it for my purposes. I have
9 just one more question.
10 With respect to the RJB, the public safety sector of the MUP, am
11 I correct that you have no direct information as to how this sector
12 functioned after the declaration of war, that is to say, after NATO
13 started bombing, or who the most senior MUP officers on the ground were
14 during that time?
15 A. That is correct.
16 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Mr. Byrnes. I'm all finished questioning
17 you. I apologise for the fact it took a little longer than we had
18 anticipated. Thank you for your assistance.
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
21 Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
24 Q. Mr. Byrnes, I have a handful of questions for you on redirect.
25 Yesterday, Mr. Fila asked you some questions about your
1 conversations with Mr. Sainovic, and at page 12.191, beginning at line 5
2 through 10, you talked about how at Rambouillet and Paris you'd had some
3 conversations with him, and you said:
4 "And I distinctly remember Mr. Sainovic sitting there
5 thoughtfully and finally responding to my question with words something
6 to the effect that he did not have the authority to be that flexible and
7 that there were too many constraints on him imposed by Belgrade, and at
8 the end of the day there was nothing he could do in this direction,
9 whether he wanted to or not."
10 My question is based on what you knew of the personalities
11 involved -- or who was he referring to when he talked about constraints
12 imposed upon him by Belgrade?
13 A. My inference at the time was he was -- he was talking about
14 President Milosevic, but that -- that was basically a personal, if you
15 will, speculation.
16 Q. Did he -- and he said there was nothing he could do, whether he
17 wanted to or not. Did he say whether he wanted to?
18 A. What I -- what I remember is I asked him if he could make a
19 telephone call to Belgrade, and he replied something to the effect that
20 it would no have no affect.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Sepenuk [Realtime transcript error read as
22 "Cepic"] asked you some questions about the Podujevo incident, and I
23 think beginning at page 12.195, he asked if you or KDOM had received
24 reports about the problems in Podujevo. You said that you had. What
25 action, if any, did you or KDOM take to check out those complaints about
1 the problems in Podujevo in connection with the KLA?
2 A. Well, to begin with, there were a number of problems in Podujevo.
3 We talked earlier about the deployment of a VJ battle group to the area.
4 I recall there was also a very serious problem, in that sometime in, I
5 recall, mid-December, a Serbian policeman had been kidnapped by the KLA,
6 I believe, on the outskirts of Podujevo, and on that particular incident
7 General Lukic called me, informed me of the incident, and asked me for my
8 help in getting this fellow, who's name I've forgotten, getting this
9 fellow released.
10 We went into action. We informed KVM. But Walker suggested we
11 go up. And to make a long story short, after very difficult negotiations
12 that spanned several days with Remi and his Deputy-General Dija, we
13 succeeded in obtaining the release of the Serbian policeman, and he was
14 released. And he was released to Bill Walker, who came up for that
16 The second incident, of course, was the deployment of the VJ
17 battle group, because my deputy, who was a marine lieutenant colonel, and
18 if I may say, he was a marine's marine, he was very impressive, a very
19 good soldier, had lots of experience, he had earned the respect of the
20 KLA, particularly in the Llap zone, because the officer core of the KLA
21 in the Llap zone contained the largest percentage of former VJ and MUP
22 officers of the entire KLA. I learned that later.
23 But in any case, Remi's deputies were all former MUP or VJ
24 officers. There was a rapport there, because -- between Mike Dean,
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Dean, and the KLA officers, they were
1 professionals, so I sent Mike up and he spent a couple of days trying to
2 talk Remi and his people into moving their troops back -- farther back
3 from positions they had taken up along the Pristina-Podujevo-Nis road.
4 It was -- it was clear to any observer who knew the slightest thing about
5 military affairs that the KLA deployment, which the KLA claimed was in
6 response to the VJ battle group's deployment, threatened that road and
7 threatened the rail line which was of strategic importance to Serbia, and
8 our interest was in diffusing a crisis and preventing further conflict.
9 So that was the extent of our engagement in that particular affair.
10 Q. In connection with --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you move on, the question to which
12 this was a response related to cross-examination, I think, by Mr. Sepenuk
13 and not Mr. Cepic as recorded.
14 MR. HANNIS: It was Mr. Sepenuk.
15 Q. And following up on that Podujevo incident, Mr. Sepenuk asked you
16 yesterday, I think beginning at page 12.197, line 19, he sort of summed
17 up what you had gone through at that point and he said:
18 "So with the KLA posing a very serious threat to the military and
19 with the rather desperate situation, the civilians in Podujevo, don't you
20 think there's some reasonable basis to say that the actions of the VJ
21 forces fell within that part of the Clark-Naumann Agreement which allowed
22 Serb forces basically to exercise the right of self-defence?"
23 And you agreed that you recognised the right of the Serb security
24 forces to defend themselves. But if, indeed, that's what they were doing
25 in Podujevo, do you know a reason why they would claim that they were
1 just engaging in an exercise?
2 A. As I suggested yesterday, my own judgment at the time was that
3 they used -- they responded that they were only -- only engaged in an
4 exercise because they must have felt that they were violating the
5 agreement in moving this battle group out of Pristina barracks.
6 MR. HANNIS: In connection with that, Your Honour, I would like
7 to show the witness Exhibit P-928. This was an exhibit I listed on
8 documents I intended to show the witness, but I didn't show it to him on
9 direct exam. But I think it's pertinent to this point that's been raised
10 on cross-exam.
11 These are the minutes of a VJ Collegium meeting of the main staff
12 on the 30th of December, 1998, and if I'd like to go to page 13, first.
13 And if I could hand a hard copy of the witness -- of pages 13 and 14.
14 Q. And, Mr. Byrnes, this is -- you'll see at the bottom of the page
15 there's a reference to General Dimitrijevic is speaking here, and
16 actually the part I'm interested in is on the following page, page 14, if
17 we can go to page 14, and I've highlighted a portion there. If you could
18 read that out, and then I have a question for you about how that relates
19 to what we're discussing now.
20 A. Sir, are you asking me to read it out orally?
21 Q. Yes. Read it out loud for us, please.
22 A. The paragraph begins:
23 "In addition, the current situation in the vicinity of Podujevo,
24 I think we must be completely consistent here and completely open towards
25 each other, so to speak. This situation in Podujevo and the
1 surroundings, it was complex before, but when it did suddenly become --
2 but when did it suddenly become even more complicated. After the
3 so-called pretend or real-planned exercises in which this company took
4 part in the field.
5 "General, these sorts of moves will lead us to disaster. The
6 explanation that this was a planned exercise, that is not true. It was
7 planned that the unit would provoke the terrorists so that the MUP would
8 then have to do whatever it had to do. The fact that the MUP did not do
9 what it had to do afterwards has resulted in what we have now.
10 "Therefore, this is in addition to everything that
11 General Marijanovic said that we should consider. I think that it is a
12 priority to ensure that not even Sainovic or any other Sainovic can solve
13 these problems by lightly deciding to use the units. The situation has
14 now turned, and that is why we have now been threatened again and all the
15 rest by the -- and we've now been threatened again and all the rest by
16 the International Community, and of course that they blame us for the
17 difficult situation. Instead of dealing with this in another way so that
18 the Siptar side is held responsible, I feel that we should especially
19 keep that part in mind and that we must ensure that the corps commander,
20 and now even the army commander, cannot make such moves while we here are
21 simply informed of what had happened in a roundabout way."
22 Q. You can stop there. Based on that, is that consistent with your
23 view that this deployment of this company was in violation of the
25 A. It is, indeed.
1 Q. And no one ever asserted to you that they -- at that time that
2 they believed they were acting pursuant to their right under the
3 agreement to engage in self-defence?
4 A. They certainly did not. But to be very precise, I was not the
5 official that such -- such comments would have been made to. They would
6 have been made to the KVM officials responsible for -- for ensuring the
7 implementation of the October agreements.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you, that's fair.
9 I want to move on. Mr. Ackerman, at page 12.188, and Bakrac
10 shortly after, both asked you a couple of brief questions about the
11 conduct of the VJ or the army that you observed, and you described it as
12 generally honourable and professional, I think.
13 My question was: You were not in Kosovo, yourself, between late
14 February and mid-June, '99, were you?
15 A. That's correct, sir.
16 Q. And have you ever seen any of the joint command minutes from 1998
17 or VJ orders concerning combat activities in '99?
18 A. No, sir, I have not.
19 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Fila on his feet, Your Honour.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpreted] Well, no, but it's too late now, it's too
21 late. I don't understand. What kind of joint command comes out of the
22 cross-examination? So far we've been listening to the prosecutor, who
23 says that we go beyond the examination-in-chief. Who talked about the
24 General Staff, who talked about the record of the VSO? Why is he talking
25 about Sainovic and about things that were never mentioned in the first
2 I really protest, Mr. President, thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, the reference to Exhibit 928 was made in
4 the context of exploring the nature of the VJ activity around Podujevo,
5 and that is a legitimate matter which does arise out of
7 The reference to Sainovic is an incidental aspect of that, and if
8 you consider it necessary to cross-examine the witness further on that
9 aspect because it's come out in a different context from the one in which
10 you cross-examined initially, then we would allow you to do that.
11 The second point you raise, relating to the joint command
12 minutes, seems to have been resolved in any event, since the witness said
13 that he has not seen any of the joint command minutes. So whether they
14 exist or not and the extent of them is not an issue for this witness.
15 MR. HANNIS: The purpose of my asking those questions, Your
16 Honour, is just to determine the basis for his opinion, what knowledge he
17 had to form that opinion about the VJ's conduct and what he may not have
19 Q. I want to move on to page 12.204, beginning at line 6 through 10.
20 I believe this was Mr. Ivetic was asking you about whether you knew
21 anything about the reputation of General DZ and -- and William Walker
22 among the Serbs, and you said that with regard to Mr. Walker, you had the
23 distinct impression that the Serbs considered him anti-Serb.
24 To your personal knowledge, was he anti-Serb?
25 A. I think -- I think when Bill Walker arrived in Kosovo, he was not
1 anti-Serb. I think Bill tried his very best, because in particular he
2 had an international mandate to try to stabilise the situation, so a
3 political resolution could be found. He bent over backwards to be -- to
4 be fair and impartial. And I would add to that, that based on my
5 experience with him over the first couple of months, he was -- he was
6 quite frustrated by the KLA. He was quite unhappy with what he saw was
7 provocative KLA behaviour in a number of areas.
8 He had very great difficulty dealing with KLA leadership on
9 specific issues, and I recall particularly the negotiations that led to
10 the release of eight VJ soldiers who stumbled into a KLA encampment, I
11 think, in early January of 1999; he had great difficulty with
12 Commander Remi's stubbornness during the mid or late -- it was around
13 Christmas when the Podujevo -- the deployment of the VJ battle group led
14 to increased tension between the KLA and the Serbian security forces in
15 the Podujevo area and eventually led to actual conflict.
16 Bill had very great -- he was very angry and very frustrated by
17 Remi's stubbornness. He was also frustrated in his dealings with the
18 Serbs, too, particularly over the issue of trying to push that battle
19 group back to barracks.
20 So I think at the outset, he certainly was not anti-Serb, and he
21 certainly bent over backwards to be fair to both parties. And my general
22 impression, by the end of 1998, was, if anything, he was -- he was much
23 more frustrated with the Albanians and felt them more obstructionist.
24 Q. Do you know, based on your contacts with the KLA members and
25 leaders, whether or not the KLA had an opinion about Walker?
1 A. Yes, they did. I'm chuckling because -- it's not funny. Too
2 many people died as a result of this. But in retrospect, it's ironic.
3 The KLA leadership that we dealt with, and on a regular basis, that was
4 Jakup Krasniqi, who was the spokesman, Sokol Bashota, who was a liaison
5 with the internationals, and Rambouillet, who was a member of the
6 political director to their general staff, these three people, who I had
7 over time a great deal of contact with, considered Walker to be pro-Serb.
8 They didn't trust him.
9 Q. Thank you. The last question I had for you today: Mr. Ivetic
10 asked you about despite having information as to the criminal nature of
11 some of the commanders of the KLA, was there still pressure to downplay
12 the KLA activities, and -- and if not assist them, to put pressure on the
13 Serb authorities? You said, No, there was not, and I would be happy to
15 Do you recall that question and answer, and do you want to
16 amplify now?
17 A. Thank you, yeah. I think in the interests of not only history,
18 but in the interests of giving the Court my perspective on what was going
19 on the ground, I would like to amplify. Thank you for giving me the time
20 to do so, and I will try to be as brief as I can.
21 We, at KDOM, were, I'd say, well aware of what I would
22 characterise as criminal activities on the part of some KLA units and
23 some KLA commanders. One of these things -- one of these activities
24 which we dealt on a very regular basis were murders of Serbian civilians
25 and -- and kidnapping of Serbian civilians. This, unfortunately,
1 happened all too regularly.
2 I spent and my team spent an awful lot of time trying to find
3 people, trying to track down Serbian civilians. We did so at
4 General Lukic's request; we did so at Mr. Odalovic's request; we did so
5 on our own. We also, I would add, spent time trying to track down
6 Kosovo-Albanians who disappeared, in particular members, senior members,
7 of Mr. Rugova's LDK party. I can remember on two specific occasions on
8 which the KLA kidnapped these people in the field and held them. In both
9 cases, we were -- in those two instances, we were fortunate and we were
10 able to obtain their release.
11 We were aware there were nasty things going on in the field.
12 Christopher Hill, who was our special envoy, was privy to far more
13 information than we were. KDOM was an unclassified operation. We did
14 not have a secure telephone or a secure telecommunications link. Our
15 communications with Washington were either directly by open telephone or
16 fax. Most of our communications with Washington went by telephone and
17 fax through our embassies at either Belgrade or Skopje.
18 Christopher Hill, as the Ambassador at Estonia, had a secure
19 communications facility and had access to US -- all US diplomatic
20 reporting, classified and otherwise, as well as intelligence. And I -- I
21 remember Chris, on a number of occasions, commenting on how difficult it
22 was for him to deal with what he considered criminals and drug smugglers
23 and all the rest. So he clearly had a much better -- a much bigger
24 picture of alleged KLA criminal activities in a broader sense.
25 That said, I never felt any pressure to play down KLA activities.
1 When we had a number of high-level incidents, we went -- we went to
2 general quarters. It took no instructions from Washington for me to call
3 Krasniqi and complain and remonstrate about an activity that we could
4 assume was the product of a KLA action.
5 And I recall specifically that, I think it was either in late
6 December or early in January, a grenade was thrown into a cafe or
7 billiard room in Pec, the city of Pec in Western Kosovo, a place where
8 young Serbs gathered. A number of them were killed. My recollection is
9 the number was six, but it may have been higher, it may have been lower,
10 but it was a gross event. It was dreadful. And this had occurred
11 shortly after the VJ had ambushed a KLA convoy trying to cross the border
12 with weapons and supplies from Albanian. A number of KLA had been
13 killed. I think it was in the 20s. And the rest of the convoy or group
14 had been captured.
15 The grenade attack in Pec seemed, on the surface, to be a KLA
16 response, but simply because the grenade attack was directed against
17 Serbs, it was hard to believe that Serbs would go and kill other Serbs,
18 particularly in this situation.
19 So our immediate -- my immediate response was to get a hold of
20 Krasniqi and yell at him, you know, What the hell is going on here, and
21 tell him that this kind of stuff had to be stopped. It was not
22 contributing to what everybody professed was our common goal, political
24 I subsequently received very strong instructions, and Walker did
25 as well, to go in and deal very directly and very forcefully with these
2 If I may, I would like to say one other general thing, and these
3 relate to the October agreements. After they were signed, we observed
4 generally a reduction in violent activity by both sides. We entered
5 into, in fact, a period of armed truce. From Belgrade's standpoint,
6 there was a clear interest in satisfying the terms of the agreement.
7 Belgrade wanted international interference in the Kosovo problem to go
8 away, and it wasn't going to go away unless they complied with these
9 international agreements.
10 From the standpoint of the KLA, and it's important to note here
11 that the KLA was not party to these agreements, they didn't sign them,
12 Bill Walker's job and my job and Nick Turnbull, the EU KDOM chief's job,
13 was to go out into the field and sell these agreements to the KLA zone
14 commanders to persuade them to abide by their terms, even though they had
15 not been involved in the negotiations and they'd not signed these
17 Initially, by and large, the KLA respected the agreements, and
18 they had an interest in respecting it. And we made it very clear, what
19 their interest was. The KLA wanted the International Community in
20 Kosovo -- they wanted us there, and in particular they wanted the
21 United States there. The United States was the big guy on the block.
22 The United States had the most military power in NATO, and so forth and
23 so on. They wanted us there. And it was clear, at least to some of
24 their leadership, that bad behaviour on their part and on the part of
25 their soldiers would risk and put at risk their goal of getting full
1 American and full NATO engagement on their side against the Serbs. So
2 initially, they agreed to stand down.
3 There were -- we never had a perfect situation, but I would say
4 the first two, three, four weeks there were fewer incidents, there were
5 fewer provocations, but it went downhill.
6 Why did it go downhill? In my judgement, neither side trusted
7 each other. The KLA believed that come spring, the Serbs' security
8 forces would launch a new offensive, because the KLA knew KVM had no
9 force. We didn't have tanks, we didn't have guns. There was basically
10 nothing the KDOM could do to stop the Serbs. We had a piece of paper,
11 but if Belgrade decided to violate that, for whatever reason, they would
12 do so. This -- what this speaks to is the lack of trust between the KLA
13 and the Albanians, I would say in general, and Belgrade at that point.
14 On the other hand, I would be dishonest if I did not tell you
15 that the KLA commanders, the KLA leadership, saw the October agreement as
16 an opportunity to regroup and rearm. We were aware of that. We saw
17 the -- in the field, we saw increasing numbers of KLA, and in particular
18 our team saw KLA training camps in the Pagarusa valley, a piece of land
19 in central Kosovo that lay between Malisevo in the north and Suva Reka in
20 the south.
21 We would remonstrate with them, telling this is a clear
22 violation, they were not supposed to be building up under the terms of an
23 agreement that they, of course, hadn't signed, and their response was
24 always, "We know the Serbs are building up. They're smuggling tanks and
25 artillery and more special police into Kosovo behind your backs, and we
1 have to be prepared."
2 KVM had no way of stopping this, other than to go in and bang on
3 the table in Belgrade or Pristina. Ultimately, this led to threats of
4 more NATO intervention.
5 In any case, that's -- that is a -- a hopefully brief recap of
6 what I remember the situation being at the time, and I want to make sure
7 that I've offered a broader picture than some of the more specific
8 answers I offered yesterday did.
9 Thank you, thank you very much.
10 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Mr. Byrnes. I don't have any other
11 questions, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
13 Mr. Sepenuk.
14 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, Your Honour. Mr. Hannis asked Mr. Byrnes some
15 questions based on the Prosecution Exhibit 928, which is the Collegium of
16 the General Staff for the period December 30, 1998. This was listed as
17 an exhibit by the Prosecution at 65 ter but was not used by them. I
18 think it was used by them very narrowly and unfairly, and I would like
19 Your Honour to -- to request some -- a very brief re-cross-examination on
21 It was raised by Mr. Hannis. I think he's presented a very
22 one-sided and twisted and perverted picture, quite frankly, and I would
23 ask for the opportunity to try to set the record straight on this
24 question of -- Mr. Hannis said, No one ever asserted to you at that time
25 that --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. Is this -- are you now into the question
2 or are you still addressing --
3 MR. SEPENUK: No, no, still addressing. Maybe I should stop
4 addressing and simply wait for some sort of an answer.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, do you object to this? You may object
6 to the language used, but do you object to the request for
8 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, the entire document is in
9 evidence. The court is free to read the Collegium minutes, but I don't
10 object if he wants to go to some particular point in it.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The fact that the whole document is in evidence,
12 of course, hasn't stopped you asking questions about it, so presumably
13 the same rule applies to the Defence. And let's deal with the whole
14 issue at this stage. I get the impression Mr. Fila wants to ask further
15 questions also. Is that correct?
16 MR. FILA: [Microphone not activated].
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Fila, please.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpreted] I have only one question.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's hear from Mr. Sepenuk first, then.
20 Please proceed with the additional cross-examination.
21 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Further cross-examination by Mr. Sepenuk:
23 Q. Mr. Byrnes, if we could put Prosecution Exhibit 928 up on the
24 screen again, please. And I'm going to refer you specifically to page 7.
25 What I'm going to do, Mr. Byrnes, is ask you about other comments. You
1 read out a particular comment of General Dimitrijevic before in answering
2 Mr. Hannis's question. I just want to put some more of
3 General Dimitrijevic's comments into evidence, and I would ask you to
4 also read these particular portions.
5 So on page 7 --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Do these, Mr. Sepenuk, relate to the question of
7 whether the business in Podujevo was an exercise or not?
8 MR. SEPENUK: It relates to the question, Your Honour, of whether
9 the situation -- whether the VJ presence in Podujevo was for the twin
10 purposes of preserving lines of communication and helping out the
11 civilians there, yes.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Please proceed.
13 MR. SEPENUK:
14 Q. So if you could start with on the top, "As for Kosovo and
15 Metohija," please?
16 A. As for Kosovo and Metohija --
17 Q. By the way, I just want to say this General Dimitrijevic. I
18 represent that to you. He's speaking now, please.
19 A. Am I speaking too fast when I read?
20 Q. Well, if you could read slowly, I'm sure the Trial Chamber and
21 the interpreters would greatly appreciate it.
22 A. "As for Kosovo and Metohija and the situation in the field,
23 Albanian terrorists continue the activities that we have already
24 mentioned here and which, as a priority, involve reinforcements,
25 consolidating existing and forming new complements and staffs, and
1 obtaining new weapons. These activities are especially apparent in the
2 area of Llap.
3 Q. Can you just stop there? In other words, in the Podujevo area;
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Llap? Yes. Please go ahead.
7 A. "Where they are anyway -- where they are anyway where the
8 situation is most critical, and where these hundred or so Serbs find
9 themselves practically surrounded. So at this point, the situation is
10 very volatile" --
11 Q. No, no, you skipped a -- go ahead, please go ahead.
12 A. "So at this point, the situation is very volatile and the
13 situation has become even more complex after one of our units carried out
14 exercises in the area."
15 Q. Thank you, thank you.
16 Now, would you please go to page 8? This is again
17 General Dimitrijevic speaking. First paragraph, and read just that first
18 paragraph, please?
19 A. Beginning with "Increasing"?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. "The increasing number of terrorist acts against Serbs is a
22 special danger at the moment, as the intent is to intimidate them and
23 encourage them to move out of Kosovo and Metohija, as well as to bring
24 terrorist activities into urban areas. At this moment, this occurs most
25 frequently in the area of Podujevo where the Serbian villages of
1 Obrandza, Peranej [phoen] and Velika Krusa have almost -- have almost --
2 have been almost completely abandoned.
3 Q. Thank you. And now again General Dimitrijevic speaking. If we
4 could go to page 10, and down at the bottom of the page starting with the
5 paragraph: "The overall safety ..." Come up, please. Scroll up,
6 please. Yes, that paragraph starting: "The overall safety," and that is
7 again General Dimitrijevic speaking. Do you see it there, sir?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Would you mind please reading that?
10 A. "The overall safety of these remaining hundred or so Serbs who
11 find themselves, as I've already said, completely surrounded. So what is
12 actually keeping the situation from getting out of control is our company
13 there. The MUP has moved, and the company could really find itself in a
14 very unpleasant situation of being attacked by these terrorist forces,
15 which are numerically much stronger than -- than -- which are numerically
16 much stronger than it.
17 "To be honest, I fear that if all this comes down again to the
18 army having to ensure the functioning of the system -- to the army having
19 to ensure that Serbs remain, to the army having to ensure their safety, I
20 fear that we will not be successful."
21 Q. Please stop there. And then finally would you go to page 17?
22 You see where it says: "These claims presented here ..." at the top, and
23 with the Court's indulgence, I can read that because this is not
24 General Dimitrijevic. Everything you've been reading to this point is
25 General Dimitrijevic. This is General Ojdanic. And if you can just read
1 along with me to make sure I'm reading it correctly, General Ojdanic
3 "These claims presented here regarding the situation down there
4 in around Podujevo that the presence of this unit added to it, it was
5 really a matter of whether the marching route and the location of the
6 camp were selected correctly, but this unit really was bivouacked there.
7 I was assured of this by the commander of the army, but at one time
8 General Perisic said, when he agreed to the condition of withdrawal, that
9 if they did not ensure what was expected of them, so if the other side
10 continues to be active -- so if the other side continues to be active and
11 threatens the Serbian population, we would be forced to bring this group
12 back into this area."
13 Did I read that correctly, Mr. Byrnes?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. SEPENUK: And then, Your Honour, just one more matter, and
17 that is Prosecution Exhibit 414. I did refer to it briefly yesterday.
18 This was the letter from the two gentlemen who were members of the
19 Podujevo Municipal Assembly talking about how Serb -- Serb civilians in
20 the Podujevo area had been threatened by the KLA, including the KLA in
21 those black uniforms - we had some testimony about the secret police of
22 the KLA - and again on this question of safety and the request of the
23 Podujevo national assembly to bring in the VJ, I would like to have just
24 two -- two passages from this letter read, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: How does that arise out of Mr. Hannis's
2 MR. SEPENUK: Well, it's on the point of the twin purposes for
3 having the VJ there, i.e., to secure the lines of communication and to
4 protect the civilians, and that it was the civilians who were besieging,
5 exhorting, the Serb military and Serb security forces to come to the area
6 and help them.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: There are limits to the extent to which rules may
8 be relaxed in this situation, and you've already -- and all you've done
9 so far, Mr. Sepenuk, you failed to ask a question, and Mr. Hannis has
10 been proved to be right, that all that you wanted to do can be done by
11 reading the document, which is already part of the evidence in the case.
12 So what has happened so far as a result of the Chamber's indulgence is
13 really a waste of time. So let us think about what you now say in
14 relation to Exhibit 414 before we give our ruling on it.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We're satisfied that we can read Exhibit P-414 for
17 ourselves and that there's no need for any further cross-examination on
18 that point.
19 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, what was your question?
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The same thing you allowed me last
22 time when I protested.
23 Further cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
24 Q. Mr. Byrnes, the document that was read out to you by Mr. Hannis
25 and Mr. Sepenuk, have you ever seen it before, the collegium minutes?
1 Have you ever seen it before today?
2 A. No, sir, I haven't.
3 Q. Therefore, do you know anything about Sainovic's role concerning
4 this company in Podujevo or any such thing?
5 A. Mr. Fila, I have a vague recollection that Bill Walker dealt with
6 Mr. Sainovic in an effort to diffuse what we saw as a crisis situation,
7 and -- but that is the extent of my knowledge of what Mr. Sainovic's role
8 would have been with regard to this specific incident.
9 Q. Thank you. The reason for my protest was that the entire
10 collegium minutes talk about Podujevo, and Mr. Hannis found it necessary
11 to read out only the portion mentioning Mr. Sainovic, where -- and all
12 the generals were mentioning in Podujevo and talking at that meeting?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The question, certainly speaking for myself,
14 appears to have been perfectly justified, Mr. Fila, but you should also
15 be reminded that the whole document will be considered in the context of
16 our deliberations.
17 Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there is one matter I would like to
19 ask the witness about. It's very brief. It would require us going into
20 private session, but I think it responds to Mr. Hannis' question
21 regarding that portion of Exhibit, I think 928, dealing with what was a
22 kind of alleged irresponsibility on the part of the VJ. And I can't tell
23 you more about it in open session.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I take it, it extends to more than simply a
25 recitation of what was in the document that's part of the evidence?
1 MR. ACKERMAN: It has nothing to do with a document that's part
2 of the evidence. You won't be able to read it unless I bring it to your
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No, but you say it has a bearing on what was said
5 in Exhibit 928?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it has an indirect bearing on that because
7 I think the force of what Mr. Hannis was trying to accomplish was to show
8 an irresponsibility toward the Holbrooke-Milosovic agreement on the part
9 of the VJ, and I think this deals directly with that and it actually is
10 information that comes directly from this witness; not from any other
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what do you have to say on this?
13 MR. HANNIS: I don't object, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, we need to go into private session
16 for this.
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 12253-12256 redacted. Private session
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I guess this should be, in light of
16 what we did with the other stuff that comes from his statement, which is
17 subject to the protective measure, and then at the end of the day we can
18 look at all of it and see whether all or some of it can be open.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we shall return to private session. And I'm
20 sorry about this confusion.
21 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. I should have also --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No, it's my mistake, Mr. Ivetic.
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 12259-12268 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, we fixed a hearing for Thursday into
14 your application under Rule 54 bis, and one of the responses to that
15 application is that any decision would be premature because General Clark
16 is not on the witness list.
17 We are inclined to postpone that hearing and resume again on
18 Tuesday of next week, in the hope that the position has been clarified by
19 then. Do you have anything to say about that?
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I completely
21 agree with you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. Hannis, do you have any comment on
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have no position on it. I know I
25 spoke with Ms. Schildge yesterday, who was preparing for this week's
1 hearing, but based on that conversation, I suppose she would not have an
2 objection to a delay.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Mr. O'Sullivan, the position so far as
4 the witness Lilic is concerned is also dependent on the appeal, to at
5 least some extent, and therefore we are inclined to think that a decision
6 on that should also be postponed. And hopefully, it can be dealt with on
7 Tuesday. Do you have any comment on that?
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Well, I can state our position on the
9 Prosecution's request to have you vary the order, and we strongly oppose
10 that, strongly oppose that. We urge you to enforce your order of the
11 23rd of March. And if you like, I can tell you why. Because it's all
12 about time frame in preparation of our defences, and harmonising our
13 defences, and getting out in the field and doing our work, and not to be
14 in limbo this week and limbo the week after and the week after that.
15 We saw your order of the 23rd of March precisely to have us to
16 know that this week these two potential witnesses would be here, we would
17 break pending Clark or not, and in the interim we would be out doing our
18 work. And our work of course two things. Our undertaking to the Chamber
19 is that we would seriously work to refine our cases and to coordinate our
20 cases, and those are two very different things and both require time and
21 consultation among ourselves and with our clients.
22 Now, we're paying the price because of what the Prosecution wants
23 you to amend, we're paying the price on having adequate time to prepare a
24 full and coherent defence, coherent for us individually and collectively,
25 and also for the Chamber, to assist you in the clear and efficient
1 presentation of our evidence. Now, we're paying the price for this for
2 the Prosecution not calling its witnesses on time, these last two,
3 especially Lilic. They've known since July that they wanted him, they've
4 known for years they want him, and now here we are having to sit in this
5 city and come back next week or remain here, or have our teams broken up
6 and not to work efficiently. And this is fundamentally unfair to us, and
7 we urge you not to allow this to happen, to enforce your order and leave
8 us knowing that the only potential witness left is General Clark,
9 contingent on the Appeals Chamber decision.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan, you will appreciate that the
12 submission you make has sympathy, and no more so than from myself.
13 However, we also have to be, I think, practical and realistic when the
14 prospect of an important witness being brought is such that he could be
15 heard fairly soon.
16 So there are significant issues to be determined here, and
17 complicating the determination are paragraphs C, D and E of Part 9 of the
18 order that we made on the 23rd of March. So we have decided that we will
19 not make a final decision on the question raised until a motion is
20 actually made by the Prosecution, and we anticipate that that will not be
21 until the outcome of the appeal is known, or at least until the point at
22 which the witness is either available or the outcome of the appeal is
23 known, because it's obviously a possibility that this appeal will take
24 even longer to be determined. The earliest date on which it will be
25 determined, I understand now, is this Friday, but that's not a certainty
1 by any means.
2 So we will postpone a decision on this. We will, however, also
3 consider the impact that any decision to allow his evidence to be heard
4 has on the preparation of the Defence case, and we will consider more
5 detailed submissions on that and recognise the possibility, at least,
6 that the issues that concern you can be resolved in a different way.
7 Now, in the hope that the position may be clear on Friday, but
8 nevertheless to ensure that there is time to relay any change in the
9 arrangements should that not be the case, we propose not sitting until
10 Tuesday of next week. We will therefore fix the next hearing at this
11 stage for -- is it Tuesday morning -- Tuesday at 9.00. If that has to be
12 changed for any reason, then that may happen by e-mail, but what will not
13 happen is the advancement of that. So you can rely on the further
14 sitting of the Trial Chamber being no earlier than Tuesday at 9.00.
15 Mr. Sepenuk.
16 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, Your Honour. Maybe to end the day on a more
17 mundane, routine note, we all have our exhibits that we obsess about.
18 With Mr. Fila, it's 2D8 that he loses sleep about, and mine is
19 Prosecution Exhibit 414. And Your Honour mentioned when you stated that
20 you did not want me to cross-examine any more about it, you said on the
21 record that, You can read 414 for yourselves, and I hope that's going to
22 be true, Your Honour. There's one difficulty here, though.
23 This exhibit has not been officially and formally admitted into
24 evidence. I was allowed to read a paragraph by you to see if it jived
25 with Mr. Byrnes' recollection. I had intended to do that with Mr.
1 Byrnes, again with 414, to see if it jives with his recollection, but
2 quite frankly given the tenor of Your Honour's ruling on my reading, I
3 didn't think this was the appropriate time to do that. But I've since
4 spoken to Mr. Hannis, and I think it's fair to say that he does agree to
5 the admission of this particular exhibit, so that indeed you can read all
6 of the information contained therein.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Thank you for that, and P-414 will be
9 MR. SEPENUK: And then my last question, Your Honour, is: Is it
10 possible that 9.00 Tuesday morning, given there's, let's say, a
11 favourable decision of the Prosecution and Clark, would 9.00 Tuesday
12 morning be the time for General Ojdanic to present his argument on his
13 Rule 54 motion? Is that what you're contemplating?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I think that we will postpone the 54 bis
15 hearing until Tuesday and hope it can proceed then and parties will be
16 prepared to deal with it, and since that doesn't involve the other
17 parties, obviously they do not need to be present in court. However,
18 there may be other -- in fact, there will likely be other issues to be
19 dealt with on Tuesday, so everyone -- all accused will be present in the
20 building and able to be brought into court at whatever stage it's
22 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So we'll adjourn the trial until Tuesday and also
24 the 54 bis hearing until Tuesday.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.19 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of April,
2 2007, at 9.00 a.m.