1 Friday, 31 August 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Pavkovic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Andjelkovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: The cross-examination by Mr. Stamp will now
10 continue. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration you made at the
11 beginning of your evidence to speak the truth continues to apply to that
12 evidence today.
13 Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: ZORAN ANDJELKOVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
18 Q. I'd like to turn to the TEC, but before I do one question: Minic
19 was the leader of the Working Group that was appointed in June by the
20 party, was he?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. How was the TEC financed, from where did its budget come?
23 A. As I said, Mr. Stamp, the Temporary Executive Council was
24 established by Serbia's Assembly, by a decision dated the 28th of
25 December, 1998. It was based on that decision and based on the budget
1 adopted by Serbia's Assembly in relation to the provincial Temporary
2 Executive Council of Vojvodina, the Government of the Republic of Serbia,
3 and the Temporary Executive Council for Kosovo and Metohija. So in answer
4 to your question, it was Serbia's Assembly that adopted the budget.
5 Q. Did it receive funds, perhaps to augment its budget, did it at
6 all -- receive funds at all --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Just for the benefit of the transcript,
11 it says Temporary Executive Council for Vojvodina, Executive Council for
12 Vojvodina. Temporary Executive Council is only in relation to Kosovo.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the Executive Council for
14 Kosovo, council and temporary -- which by a decision of Serbia's Assembly
15 is awarded a budget every year. In 1998 the budget was already decided
16 for the work of the secretariat.
17 MR. STAMP:
18 Q. Was it partly financed by any companies in Serbia at the time?
19 A. No, no. I state with full responsibility, no.
20 Q. Did it receive assistance in any way from companies that were run
21 or managed by members of the party?
22 A. Unless you include the fact that I paid for my own accommodation
23 in the Grand Hotel because I was a company manager at one point in time
24 but not in 1999. I tried to pay for my own accommodation --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
1 A. -- From the budget adopted by the --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Please let there be no
3 overlap between counsel and witness, otherwise we can't hear the witness.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, just separate lives just the
5 daily allowance. I was receiving my salary as a delegate not even as a
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. You had to travel to Kosovo and all over Kosovo many times as a
9 member of the TEC, and you must- I think you will agree with me- have
10 incurred expenses. Who paid those expenses?
11 A. I was a minister in Serbia's government. I had a chauffeur and I
12 had a vehicle placed at my disposal by the Government of Serbia. Me,
13 personally -- are you asking about me?
14 Q. Yes. And -- but you paid your own hotel accommodation?
15 A. Not personally, as a company manager. Up until October, November,
16 sometime around then. After that, the Executive Council paid for me as
17 well as the other members of the Executive Council who stayed there.
18 Q. You can just answer this question yes or no. Did you indicate to
19 Mr. Curtis when you spoke to him that your expenses on behalf of the TEC
20 or on behalf of your work in the TEC was paid for indirectly by the party
21 by a company associated with the party?
22 A. Mr. Stamp, there are a lot of imprecisions. I saw the note two or
23 three days ago.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
25 A. At the time the Working Group of the Executive Council of the
1 Republic of Serbia were there, our expenses were paid by the party
2 company -- well, I'm telling you what I said. I'm just trying to explain,
3 Mr. Stamp, it's not the note, it's what I said. During the time the
4 Working Group of the Socialist Party of Serbia was staying there, the
5 party company, of which I was manager and the Main Board, the founder,
6 paid for all our expenses; that's what I said.
7 Q. And that is true?
8 A. Absolutely, I even showed Mr. Curtis the bills.
9 Q. Now --
10 A. We were sort of joking about how much he was paying and how much I
11 was paying.
12 Q. Now, did you or did the TEC send reports to the president,
13 Mr. Milutinovic?
14 A. I really can't remember. It may have been about education because
15 that's what we often spoke about, Mr. Milutinovic and I, but it's possible
16 we discussed other issues --
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
18 A. -- It's just that I can't remember sometimes--
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Please.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. STAMP: I was asking that P2900 [Realtime transcript read in
22 error "P900"] be brought up.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp -- thank you.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. The document you're seeing there, I see that the -- before we get
2 to the document I see that the transcript indicates P900, it's P2900.
3 Could you start by looking at the front page. You might not be
4 familiar with that, Mr. Andjelkovic, but this is a folder cover that we
5 have heard is used by the office of the president of the republic, and it
6 indicates that you sent as president of the TEC this report.
7 A. Yes, go ahead, please.
8 MR. STAMP: And if we could look --
9 Q. And it's a report, as you can see, on the engagement of the
10 activities of the TEC from 24th of March to 13 April 1999. This was
11 during the -- this was just at the beginning of the --
12 A. The 13th.
13 Q. So if we look at page 2 on that document.
14 MR. STAMP: We should have P2900 on the screen. I'm looking at
15 the hard copy but what I see on the screen is not what I have for P2900.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. STAMP: Can you go to page 2 of the document, please.
18 Q. I just wanted you to have a look at it quickly and tell me if you
19 remember now that you were sending reports to the president?
20 A. We sent reports to all sorts of addresses. I do know that I spoke
21 to one of the presidents about humanitarian aid for Albanians in Sajkovac
22 sometime in mid-April. I went to see him for about five minutes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what's the answer to the question? Were you
24 sending reports to the president?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were sending information
1 concerning our work to all sorts of addresses. The secretariat was
2 sending out those to the president of the government, the prime minister,
3 the president of the republic, the federal government all sorts of
4 addresses as I say. I'm not saying that we weren't.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Andjelkovic, were you sending reports to the
6 president: Yes, no, or don't know?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not on a regular basis, but whenever
8 we felt it was necessary, the secretary, the Executive Council, would send
9 reports to all people in responsible positions in the republic.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Can we have a look at page 6 of this document, please,
12 page 6 in the B/C/S and I think it's page 6 as well in the English.
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. STAMP: It is probably page 7 in the B/C/S copy.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Does no one prepare cross-examination details for
16 you before you come into court and make sure you've got the right
17 references so that we can quickly move through e-court, which is a very
18 difficult thing to do in the first place?
19 MR. STAMP: The reference is here, apparently there is a mistake.
20 The reference has been prepared as page 6. Apparently there is a mistake,
21 so I'm just trying to find the right one. I'm told it's page 4. Could we
22 move to page 4 on the B/C/S.
23 Q. I just want you to look at it and tell me if you signed and sent
24 off these documents, sent off that cover letter.
25 A. It doesn't look like my signature, but yes it was sent on the 16th
1 of April, the meeting of the Temporary Executive Council took place, and
2 based on what happened at the meeting the secretariats probably sent this
3 to various addresses including this one.
4 Q. Well, is it your signature or not?
5 A. The way I see it, it doesn't look like my signature. It was
6 probably signed by the chef de cabinet or someone else. It was certainly
7 sent from the Executive Council to the president of the republic so it
8 doesn't make any difference.
9 Q. Do you recognise the stamp on it?
10 A. Yes, yes, that's what I'm saying. It doesn't make any difference.
11 It was sent from the Executive Council to the president of the republic.
12 Q. Can you recall how frequently you would send reports to the
14 A. Well, the 16th of April was when the session took place and it was
15 probably right after the session that what was an offer of the Executive
16 Councils was sent by the president of the republic to some other people
17 too [as interpreted].
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Whatever it is?
19 A. No, no, no, no I wasn't going to. I was just sort of leafing
20 through it.
21 Q. Very well. So I take it from what you just said that you don't
22 recall how frequently you sent reports to the president or do you recall?
23 A. No, I don't. This is something that was done by the secretariat
24 of the Executive Council. They would draw up collective reports on the
25 work of the Executive Council, and this would then be forwarded to a
1 number of addresses.
2 Q. Could we move on to 1D454.
3 A. But, Mr. Stamp, just a minute, just a minute -- all right. I see
4 it. It's fine.
5 Q. Yes, could we move on to 1D454.
6 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, this is not on the list that I sent but
7 I don't see anyone objecting, but it is the Official Gazetted version of
8 P956 which was on the list which I sent. So it's virtually the same
9 document but this is the Official Gazetted version of the same document.
10 Q. This is a decision on the organisation of the TEC, and I just want
11 to take you quickly to page 2 thereof. You will see -- no, I'm sorry,
12 could we go back to page 1, please. Page 1 of the B/C/S and you will see
13 at the bottom right-hand corner sections 7 and 8 of Article 2, it provides
14 in section 7 that the Executive Council appoints and dismisses senior
15 officers of provincial administrative organs and services.
16 What were the provisional -- provincial administrative organs and
17 services? Did this include the districts in Kosovo?
18 A. No. This was a document that was drawn up by the provincial
19 secretariat for regulations in keeping with those drafted by the
20 provincial council of Vojvodina. They believed that some future Executive
21 Council would also have its own administrative bodies. So far they only
22 had secretariats, but those had no jurisdiction over the districts or
23 municipalities or any state institutions in Kosovo.
24 Q. What you are saying that this was drafted but there were no
25 provincial administrative organs at all that you had any authority over in
1 terms of appointing or dismissing officers?
2 A. Only within the Temporary Executive Council provincial secretariat
3 for regulations and so on and so forth, and the technical services,
4 secretaries, drivers, whatever was there already and whatever had been
5 working for the Executive Council.
6 Q. Well, what were the provincial administrative organs and services
7 in Kosovo?
8 A. Which temporary organs and services do you mean? You mean the
9 temporary municipal council? What exactly do you have in mind.
10 Q. Paragraphs 7 and 8 of section 2 -- Article 2 refers to the
11 provincial administrative organs and services. I'm just asking what were
13 A. No, there were no organs and the technical services belonged to
14 the working community and there is a decision adopting just that. This
15 comprised secretaries, drivers, typists. The Executive Council did not
16 have any administrative function; therefore, it did not appoint a single
17 administrative body if that's what you're asking.
18 Q. But you --
19 MR. STAMP: Article 2, paragraphs 7 and 8 are on page 2 of the
20 English, page 1 of the B/C/S.
21 Q. So in Article 8 when it says that you are to steer and coordinate
22 the work of these administrative organs and services and monitor their
23 performance, you are speaking about monitoring the performance of your
24 secretaries and drivers, that is what the decision of the -- the gazetted
25 decision was referring to; is that what you're saying?
1 A. I'm saying that the Assembly gave us no open powers. We put
2 together a decision based on that made by the Executive Council in
3 Vojvodina in the expectation of an agreement, and that powers would be
4 granted that would create the conditions to set up certain bodies, certain
5 administrative bodies, and certain services.
6 Q. The decision, though, that you're -- we're looking at, it had
7 legal effect; you'll agree with that?
8 A. In what sense? Yes, if there had been administrative bodies, it
9 would have had, but based on what the Assembly -- what powers the Assembly
10 gave us - and they gave us no powers at all - we could not set up any
11 provincial bodies or administrative bodies.
12 MR. STAMP: I have nothing further for this witness.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Andjelkovic, you were asked yesterday about the
16 handwritten document, which is P1468. Did you have a hard copy of it or
17 were you relying only on what was on the screen?
18 A. No -- I don't know what you mean, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: You remember the document you had difficulty
21 A. Yes, yes, I did. I wasn't able to read it from that text.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you have a hard copy of that document, a paper
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have it there?
1 A. No, not now.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it will be returned to you now, and would you
3 find the page -- it's page 50, I think, in the English in e-court but the
4 number at the end of the references that you were referring to in the
5 B/C/S version was 8450.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: If I may be of assistance, it's 39 in Serbian.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: But the trouble with -- it's 39 in e-court, that's
8 fine, but it's not 39 in the hard copy, unfortunately.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I understand. Sorry.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have the page, Mr. Andjelkovic?
11 A. If it's the 12th of August, then, yes, Your Honour, is that what
12 you're referring to, the 12th of August, K022 et cetera. Is that it?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And does that finish 8450?
14 A. Yes, yes, I have it.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And does it include in the lower half the apparent
16 comments of Mr. Sainovic?
17 A. It says Mr. Sina -- Sinav. The penultimate S-a-m-a-r -- Samar or
18 Simar or something like that. Maybe somebody can help me out here.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: You remember yesterday having difficulty reading
20 the second-last line in that section?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you remember that? Now, would you look closely
23 at it again and it will be magnified as far as possible on the screen for
24 you. And tell me whether you see in that line the word "oduzimanje".
25 A. Next to whose name, Your Honour?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Andjelkovic, my patience is wearing
2 thin --
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, it's the wrong page in B/C/S, it's the
4 next page.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's not page 39? I'd be grateful for accurate
6 information coming to assist us with this exercise.
7 Which page should it be from the B/C/S?
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I'm trying to understand what you want,
9 Your Honour. 8450, the last digits of that page, and now on that page the
10 last line, the penultimate word, what is that?
11 A. Can we zoom in on it, please, so that I can see it better?
12 "Nastaviti," continue with -- continue gathering arms, "nastaviti
13 sakupljanje oruzja."
14 JUDGE BONOMY: This is not the page that I am looking at, but we
15 note what you say about the words that are used in this one. Now, when
16 you say the second-last line, are you referring to what's under the name
17 Minic or are you referring to what's under the name Sainovic?
18 A. Under the name Minic.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now --
20 A. And the last line there seems to me to read: "Continue with the
21 collection of arms or gathering up of arms."
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Right.
23 Now, if we have page 50 of the English on e-court, please, and we
24 pull it up the -- no, we have it now. Thank you. Now, please put on the
25 screen the equivalent B/C/S page, page 40. Now, please magnify the
1 second-last line under the second bottom contributor. Can we magnify it
2 more? Is that it? You can't put the square around the line? You can't
3 draw the dotted line around the line and magnify it? No, no, no, it's the
4 higher part. Now, you've just done it with the wrong part so can you not
5 do it with the right part. No, no, the one above, the section above that,
6 the second-last contributor on the page. No. The one we had great
7 attention paid to yesterday and it's the second-bottom line. That's it.
8 We don't seem to be able to magnify it. Is that the best it can be done?
9 No, that's -- that doesn't matter. It's the B/C/S that matters. Can we
10 fill the screen with the B/C/S and try and magnify that. Thank you.
11 Now, can I ask you the question again. Do you see in the
12 second-last line under Mr. Sainovic's name the word "oduzimanje"?
13 A. In the penultimate line, through the administrative line,
14 "pojaceti preko administrativne linije," strengthen across the
15 administrative line. Is that it? The second line from the top. Is that
16 what you're referring to, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you see the name Sainovic and you will see that
18 there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight lines, so it's
19 the seventh line that I would like you to look at.
20 A. Seven. Project through the administrative line or appear through
21 the administrative line, "pojaviti" or "projektovati."
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And are you suggesting that that's what the
23 second-last word in that line is?
24 A. "Pojaviti pojaceti," appear strengthen, "preko" across the
25 administrative line. This last word is probably line, "linija," line.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And the second-last word is?
2 A. "Administracija," administration or administrative.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you. You can clear the screen --
4 A. The first letter is either an O or an A.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the second letter?
6 A. The second letter is either a Q or a D, that's why I thought it
7 was "admi."
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's assume the first letter is O and the second
9 letter is D, what would the word be? What's the word?
10 A. "Oduzimanje."
11 THE INTERPRETER: Taking away, seizing, interpreter's note.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Or "oduzimanje."
13 THE INTERPRETER: Taking away the line.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: So if that word is "oduzimanje," that means
15 confiscated the line; is that correct? That question's going to sound odd
16 in the translation.
17 A. "Oduzimanje" is -- means "oduzimanje," taking away, I don't know
18 how to say it.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. It was a rather silly question.
21 Now, we can clear that from the screen. You have the hard copy of
22 that document in front of you, P1468, the whole lot?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You've seen that on a number -- you've seen it on a
25 number of occasions; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, today and today.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And you saw it four years ago?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, I got the impression yesterday you had
5 seen it --
6 A. I saw --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: When Mr. Curtis --
8 A. Your Honour, what I said was very precisely that Mr. Curtis showed
9 it to me like this and I just leafed through it, and I couldn't read it.
10 And I said -- what could I say there and then I answered the questions he
11 asked me, he asked me several questions and that was on the 8th of
12 February and that's what I said yesterday, on the 8th of February, 2003,
13 that is. I didn't have it in my hand so I could study it for an hour or
14 two or three.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But in the last couple of days you've been in the
16 position to look at parts of it?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, bearing in mind your recollection of the
19 various meetings you went to, whatever the nature of these meetings, does
20 it appear to accurately reflect the names of the people who were meeting?
21 A. No, only those who spoke.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
23 A. There was some people from Belgrade who didn't take the floor, so
24 they're not there.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it accurately reflect the names of the people
1 who spoke? Does it appear to do that?
2 A. You could put it that way.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it appear to accurately reflect the subjects
4 that you talked about?
5 A. The subjects were the ones they were, the political situation in
6 the field, on the ground.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it, therefore, look like a document prepared
8 by somebody who actually went to these meetings?
9 A. Possibly the person went to the meetings.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that -- does it look like a document compiled by
11 somebody who was regularly attending the meetings that you went to?
12 A. Well, relatively. It looks sort of regular. They are similar
13 handwritings. There are two handwritings.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not asking you that. I'm asking you whether
15 the contents of this appear consistent with who went to the meetings, what
16 you discussed so that it appears to have been compiled by somebody -- two
17 people or people who were there.
18 A. Roughly so, yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Bearing in mind what they've noted, have you any
20 idea who the person or persons might have been?
21 A. A soldier of some kind. Judging by the handwriting and the
22 qualifications used, this is a military text.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Now, Mr. Stamp, do you have any questions arising out of any of
1 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, Your Honour.
4 Further examination by Mr. Fila:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Andjelkovic, the Judge asked you what the
6 Prosecutor did not and that is to try to establish the authenticity of the
7 document, to try to do so. Now, when you look at the first page of the
8 document, the first page here, the title page, was that compiled by
9 someone who was at the meeting, printed like that and handwritten down
11 A. That's not possible at all.
12 Q. Did anybody warn you and say that this first page was not
14 A. No.
15 Q. For example, Curtis, the investigator?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Or the Prosecution?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Mr. Andjelkovic, you established a moment ago that there were two
20 types of handwriting which means that this was written by two different
22 A. Yes, as I see it as I look at the handwriting.
23 Q. When you look at the topics, the subjects - and this is a question
24 that His Honour asked you just a moment ago - are they all subjects that
25 were all discussed in total or just those of interest to the army?
1 A. Just the army. There were a lot of humanitarian and social
2 questions that we were interested in, but there's nothing about that
3 here --
4 MR. STAMP: Re-examination, but the last question -- the last
5 question was very leading so I'll --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I've got my screen off --
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This is a response to the question put
8 to the witness by the Judge.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. It was a leading question, Mr. Fila. It
10 would be better -- I don't think any harm has been done by that one
11 because the witness has already dealt with it, but please be careful.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. As far as I can see, the people mentioned here are individuals who
15 were not members of the army. There were much fewer army people?
16 A. That's what I said yesterday to Their Honours, and that's what I
17 said a moment ago. The people who did not take the floor are not recorded
18 here, but there were civilians and assistant ministers and ministers, and
19 attention is drawn to the civilians, but military terminology is used.
20 The other topics were not discussed, or rather, were not recorded here,
21 whether they were discussed or not I can't say and whether this is an
22 exact report or not, I can't say. I don't know.
23 Q. Can we conclude --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, I want you to be the last to ask,
25 rather than me, any questions of this.
1 But is that not indicative of the fact that the civilians present
2 were involving themselves in military issues, if what you have is
3 civilians recorded as speaking but the issues are military issues?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you can see, Your Honour, these
5 were -- some of them were civilian questions and ones I raised at the
6 meeting. Now, what I said -- I spoke at greater length about civilian
7 issues and that's not recorded here and I kept speaking about food
8 supplies, whether a truck could reach a certain village, whether glass
9 could be sent to one village and flour to another village, for example,
10 but this is not recorded here. It doesn't seem to have been of interest.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I entirely understand that.
12 Mr. Fila.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. At one point Mr. Stamp read out something about 52.000 mattresses
15 or something like that -- rifle --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said yesterday that I asked that
18 these silly things that Rajko was saying because he was always playing up
19 to Slobodan Milosevic, they laughed and said that was not correct.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. From the text you can see that you asked or didn't ask?
22 A. You can't see anything, just a line and then inspection, I spoke
23 about inspection, and said that everything had to be controlled by the
24 state, competent state authorities and inspection.
25 Q. My last question, and this was something that the Prosecutor asked
1 you: Can this be understood as something which reflects the spirit of the
2 meetings that were held?
3 A. No, neither by virtue of the comments made by the civilians there
4 or the subjects treated.
5 Q. So your answer is no. Thank you.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That completes my examination.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Andjelkovic, that completes your evidence;
9 thank you for coming here to give it. You're now free to leave the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, your next witness?
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] And my last, too, that's the important
15 point. Mr. Milomir Minic.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Minic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
20 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
25 You will now be examined by Mr. Fila on behalf of Mr. Sainovic.
1 Mr. Fila.
2 WITNESS: MILOMIR MINIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Fila:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Minic, I hope you're sitting
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Give us your name and surname first and which state and party
9 functions you performed in 1998 and 1999.
10 A. My name is Milomir Minic. In 1998 and 1999, I was the deputy of
11 the Socialist Party of Serbia in the Assembly of the Federal Republic of
12 Yugoslavia and president of a Chamber of Citizens. At the time I was also
13 a member of the Executive Board of the party and member of the Main Board
14 as well.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the situation was like in Kosovo and
16 Metohija in the spring and summer of 1998?
17 A. I do know about the situation, it was very difficult, dramatic.
18 We were facing a new situation in Kosovo and Metohija. There was an
19 escalation of terrorism and the so-called KLA held 40 to 50 per cent of
20 the territory. Many communication lines were severed, and in the last
21 three years, even in 1997, 1998, and later on there were a lot of
22 killings, both Serbs and Albanians. The army and police were attacked,
23 and I think that generally speaking the situation could be termed as very
25 Q. Now, the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, was it discussed in the
1 party that exerted authority at the level of Serbia and Yugoslavia?
2 A. Yes, the Socialist Party of Serbia of the day was the ruling
3 party, although we had a coalition government in the making, and quite
4 certainly the question of Kosovo and Metohija which has its historical
5 dimension is a very complex question. It was a complicated issue, and it
6 was discussed at the Socialist Party of Serbia meetings, assessing the
7 political situation and our initiatives to find a political solution.
8 Through the Government of Serbia we initiated political talks with the
9 Albanian parties in the desire to arrive at a peaceful political solution
10 about a broad-based kind of autonomy, and we undertook many economic
11 measures as well in Kosovo and Metohija.
12 Just to quote a couple of examples the Government of Serbia even
13 by law formed a directorate for the development of the insufficiently
14 developed parts of Serbia and the headquarters of that organisation was in
15 the province, and we were resolute in resolving problems, Albanian
16 children were placing -- facing many problems, and our political stand was
17 that all children regardless of ethnicity had the right to education. An
18 agreement was signed in that respect, I think it might have been mentioned
19 here, between Milosevic and Rugova, and steps were taken to solve these
20 basic problems that the people were facing, along with all the other
21 security problems that we had.
22 Q. I asked you about the party activities and you're telling me about
23 the state activities, but was a Main Board meeting held?
24 A. Yes, certainly. There was a meeting of the Main Board held on the
25 10th of June, 1998. I gave an introductory speech at that session, at
1 that meeting. It had two parts to it. One was the assessment of the
2 political situation, and I gave the features that I will describe to you
3 and then I proposed to the Main Board a political platform about how the
4 Socialist Party of Serbia believed that the difficult problems in Kosovo
5 and Metohija could be resolved through political means.
6 Q. Was there a Working Group elected?
7 A. In that same meeting the Main Board of the SPS appointed a
8 three-member Working Group comprising myself, Zoran Andjelkovic, and
9 Dusko Matkovic. I was designated as the leader of that Working Group and
10 my task was to go to Kosovo and Metohija, or rather, our task was to go to
11 Kosovo and Metohija and to try to step-up political activities there
12 working both with Albanians and Serbs because both of those ethnic groups
13 were in a very difficult situation and we did travel there.
14 Q. Since both of us speak the same language, I would kindly ask you
15 to wait between answering my questions to make the job of interpreters
17 Do you know that at the same time the state organs of Yugoslavia
18 and Serbia took measures within their competencies to increase their
19 presence in Kosovo and Metohija and what were their activities?
20 A. Well, not only party organs were involved, also the state organs
21 got more active. I know that the Government of Serbia sent to Kosovo a
22 minister for local self rule. His name was Andreja Milosavljevic. I also
23 know that the federal government and federal prime minister Momir
24 Bulatovic sent to Kosovo Nikola Sainovic, vice-president of the federal
25 government. A Ministry of Foreign Affairs also established an office in
1 Kosovo and Metohija and many other assistant ministers travelled to Kosovo
2 and Metohija. So the activity was quite evident and intense.
3 Q. Can you explain, or rather, do you know why the federal government
4 sent Nikola Sainovic there?
5 A. Yes. I know that Nikola Sainovic was federal deputy prime
6 minister in charge of foreign affairs. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
7 had still not used all of its resources, and one of its exclusive powers
8 pertained to foreign affairs. Serbia did not have a minister for foreign
9 affairs. In Kosovo and Metohija, as this Tribunal knows and the entire
10 international community, there was a big question mark. That year, in
11 1998, a lot of foreign delegations, ambassadors, international dignitaries
12 came to Kosovo and Metohija. They wanted to find out what exactly was
13 happening there, what was the policy of our country, what were the
14 possible solutions; and I think that this decision of the Federal Prime
15 Minister, Momir Bulatovic, was quite a logical one, the one to send Nikola
16 Sainovic down there, so that all of these foreign visitors could have a
17 competent counterpart to discuss these important issues at the time.
18 Q. All right. And your Working Group arrived in Kosovo. What did
19 you find there upon your arrival? What was the situation like, I'm
20 referring to your Working Group, Andjelkovic and so on.
21 A. Yes. We went for talks in the provincial board or council. As
22 soon as we arrived there, we met a lot of people. We could see that they
23 were afraid, that they couldn't believe what was happening on. It was my
24 impression and the impression of the entire Working Group was that the
25 Serbs were in such a situation that they had to leave Kosovo collectively.
1 About 35 villages in that part of Metohija -- well, the entire
2 territory of 40 per cent but -- is the territory from which Serbs had
3 already left. There was a lot of insecurity, fear, among them. We talked
4 to them, both to Serbs and Albanians. We wanted to encourage the Serbs
5 not to move out, not to resort to self-organisation. We were telling them
6 that it is the state's responsibility to deal with terrorism, that they
7 should be patient, and then we also talked to Albanians, as much as was
8 possible, especially in the portion of the territory where there was no
9 KLA. We wanted to understand the situation as it was, to try to preserve
10 what existed there, to prevent any terrorist activities. That was the
11 essence of our political work. We met with a lot of people and we were
12 facing a very difficult situation.
13 Q. You started saying something about the activities of your team, of
14 your Working Group that had been sent by the Main Board of the SPS in the
15 summer of 1998. Can you give us some facts concerning to the three of
17 A. Dusko Matkovic was the director of Sartid and the vice-chairman of
18 the party. He dealt with political issues within the party hypothesis.
19 He had two factories in Kosovo and Metohija one in Vucitrn and one in
20 Gnjilane, and he was the one who tried to assist the most. We came across
21 a lot of people, and it was his task to mostly assist companies because
22 there was a disruption in the production process. People were afraid that
23 the factories would be attacked by terrorists. I remember that we went
24 together to Trepca, Vucitrn, Pec, Gnjilane. Dusko Matkovic was the one
25 who is most involved is there.
1 Q. You said he had two factories and we are now in capitalist times
2 and we don't want any misinterpretation here.
3 A. No, those two factories were part of the Sartid company, complex,
4 so they belonged to that company. Zoran Andjelkovic was the government
5 minister for youth and he was a people's representative, so to speak. He
6 spent a lot of time out in the field talking to the Albanians. We tried
7 to rebuild mutual trust and to keep the situation under control.
8 As for myself, I mostly met with provincial party leaders, with
9 municipal presidents, and so on, directors of public companies would also
10 come to see me, and this -- these activities develop -- unfolded in a very
11 dramatic situation. Everybody came asking for help. I came -- I worked
12 with AID. We had a very good understanding of the problems in Kosovo and
13 Metohija. Albanian separatists and terrorism exerted enormous pressure on
14 Albanians. A lot of them led normal lives. I remember that about 60 per
15 cent of Albanians went for treatment, received their pensions, and so on,
16 but they obstructed the political life, they refused to join the
17 structures, the official political process; and we wanted to create a
18 Temporary Executive Council and to start reviving political institutions
19 in the province because we saw that as the only possible avenue for
20 re-integrating Albanians into the system, which in turn was supposed to
21 improve the situation.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, was Sartid a state-owned company?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At that time, Your Honour, we
24 already had the Law on Privatisation which had been adopted I think in
25 1995, or rather, the Law on Companies was adopted in 1995, the Law on
1 Enterprises, pursuant to which all companies were organised as
2 shareholding companies. And I'm not quite certain but I think the state
3 was a shareholder within Sartid, it was a shareholding company and they
4 had investments there.
5 As for the other two factories that I mentioned, they existed
6 within the Sartid concern and they were part of it.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. At the time when you were involved in activities in Kosovo - you
10 being a member of the Working Group - were there meetings held of
11 representatives of various state organs which were working in Kosovo and
13 A. Yes. As I've already told you, as far as we were concerned, we
14 held meetings with the presidents of municipalities, chief, or rather,
15 heads of districts, directors of public companies. So a lot of people who
16 represented the civilian sector, and that was a feature of our political
17 activity because political activity could unfold through meetings and
18 through other means. We also had meetings with the representatives of the
19 army and the police.
20 Q. Would you tell us a bit more about that.
21 A. We had a lot of such meetings. When we arrived in Kosovo and
22 Metohija with this approach that I've described to you, there was a huge
23 surprise awaiting us. The KLA had attacked the Belacevac mine. They had
24 ambushed a bus, kidnapped a shift of miners, blocked the mine itself.
25 This mine is located in the outskirts of Pristina. And on the one hand we
1 had a problem with people who had been abducted. I remember this
2 situation well. There was a danger of the entire electrical system of
3 Serbia coming under attack. People called us and we went to police to
4 talk to them, with representatives of the police. We went to see General
5 Lukic and his associates. We also went to see General Pavkovic in his
6 corps to see what could be done. So that was one sort of meetings that we
7 had with them, and there were a number of such meetings held in the
8 similar manner, or rather, maybe -- I can maybe give you two more examples
9 to illustrate this.
10 Q. Did these meetings later on grow into regular meetings and where
11 were they held if so?
12 A. The events and activities of the KLA became ever more radical, and
13 there were many things going on, abductions, villages coming under attack,
14 roads being blocked and so on. So there was a need for us to meet more
15 frequently with the representatives of the army and police, to exchange
16 information. I want to be quite sincere and open here and I will say the
17 following: There was so many things going on, and in order to be able to
18 do something efficiently in the political sense, you had to have the right
19 information. Representatives of the army and police had a lot of
20 understanding for this, and we agreed that in the building of the
21 Executive Council we should meet in the evening at around 7.30 to exchange
22 information. That was the building where we mostly worked, where other
23 party people were. There was the news programme at 7.30 in the evening,
24 and we would get a lot of useful information there about what was going
25 on, what was the situation with the roads, and so on.
1 At the time when these frequent meetings started, we had already
2 had some 50 citizens of Serbian ethnicity who had been abducted. We had
3 very unpleasant encounters with their family members, and we were trying
4 to find out from the police and the army whether there was any information
5 about their whereabouts. So we held meetings there, and the nature of
6 these meetings was that they were informational. And I can confirm that
7 they were quite useful for us because we received information there, but
8 these meetings were also useful for the representatives of the army and
9 police because they would learn about how the people felt and this is the
10 information that we provided to them and that was useful.
11 Q. Were any records kept of the meetings, any minutes? Also, these
12 activities of yourself and the army and police, were they in any way
13 related to the meetings? We are mostly here interested in the nature of
14 these meetings. Were there any formal minutes held? Was there anyone
15 chairing them, and so on?
16 A. Well, the first meetings were of an informal nature. We were no
17 formal body. I wish to say quite clearly before the Trial Chamber that in
18 these meetings we only exchanged information, no minutes were kept. In
19 these meetings, the participants were different. We from the Working
20 Group, and Nikola Sainovic would attend some meetings and then go back to
21 Belgrade where we had our activities as well. I was busy in the Assembly
22 and some other people would attend the meeting. And then from the police
23 General Lukic would come, General Stevanovic -- General Stevanovic. And
24 then from the state security there were also several people taking turns
25 and coming to the meetings Gajic, Radovic and some others. I think that
1 General Samardzic came once, Jovica Stanisic came twice. So people coming
2 to Kosovo and Metohija would come there as well. To be fully precise,
3 those were the meetings with people discussing the situation in Kosovo and
4 Metohija [as interpreted]. There was no formal procedure. Plans were not
5 reviewed. Decisions were not taken, and the nature of these meetings had
6 no sequences as far as the independent functioning of the army and police
7 was concerned. We held those meetings precisely so that everybody would
8 do their own job and not other people's job, and I think that they were
9 useful. That was the situation in Kosovo and Metohija at the time.
10 Q. This wasn't precise enough. Were only the initial meetings
11 informal or were all of them informal, we're just clarifying this for the
12 same of the transcript.
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the witness's
15 answer because of the overlap.
16 MR. IVETIC: For the transcript, Your Honour, I was listening to
17 the B/C/S testimony of the witness and at line 17 of the prior page,
18 that's page 30, I heard him say that they came to discuss the political
19 situation in Kosovo the transcript only says that they came to discuss the
20 situation in Kosovo. I would ask the witness to clarify which it is. It
21 could make a difference, I would imagine, to the analysis of the case.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, what did you say was the nature of the
23 discussions when people like Gajic, Radovic, and Stanisic came and General
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the security organs, people
1 from the state security would give information about the security
2 situation, the activities of the KLA, and so on. The representatives of
3 the army would report on their activities, and then we would give our
4 information. We would tell them what we knew, what we saw as problems,
5 whether there was any specific information. We would exchange comments in
6 those meetings about this very delicate situation. I can tell you that I
7 understood this intervention of the lawyer as wanting me to say that those
8 were meetings where political situations -- situation was discussed. We
9 definitely discussed the security situation there.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, the question you posed before that did
11 not get an answer that was heard by the interpreter, that's at line 25.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] All right.
13 Q. Line 20 says only the --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the counsel because
15 the witness started overlapping. Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We're having difficulty because of the failure to
17 observe a pause between question and answer and answer and question, and
18 you need to clarify the position on your previous question.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
20 Can you wait until I finish my question otherwise it doesn't get
21 recorded. At one point in time the interpretation was that you said only
22 the first meetings were informal. I'm asking you: Were only the first
23 meetings informal or were all of the meetings informal? What did you say?
24 A. I said that all of the meetings that we held with the
25 representatives and the police were informal throughout.
1 Q. Let us try to clarify that in its entirety. You as a Working
2 Group, all three of you, were you subordinated to anyone in those meetings
3 or was anyone in those meetings subordinated to you, be it politicians,
4 military men, policemen, whoever?
5 A. There was no subordination in relation to anyone. We didn't
6 interfere in other people's work. Our political activity implied that we
7 were in a position to talk to people, to present our views, to exchange
8 information that we had.
9 Q. You told us about what work you did in that period. You were the
10 president of one of the two councils of the Federal Assembly, that was one
11 of your roles. I think you are informed enough to answer this question.
12 Was there a constitutional and legal basis to use the VJ and the MUP in
13 the anti-terrorist operation that occurred in the summer of 1998?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You described the meetings that you attended --
16 MR. STAMP: It's very difficult to object because of translations,
17 object before the question goes in and the answer goes in, but I'm not
18 sure that this was notified that he --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I wouldn't worry about it because it's valueless
20 evidence the way it's been given. His answer "yes" is of no value on the
21 question which Mr. Fila posed.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Can you explain what exactly you base your answer on, the previous
24 answer, when you said yes --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on now. The objection is that you did
1 not notify the Prosecution that this would be a subject that you would be
2 raising with this witness. What's your answer to that?
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, generally speaking, I said I
4 would be asking questions about his functions and what he knew about that,
5 because that was within his job description. He was the president of one
6 of the two Executive Councils. He had the highest-ranking role in the
7 Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia. I said he'd be speaking about the
8 situation in Kosovo in 1998. The VJ and the MUP were used in 1998;
9 therefore, given his position, he should know. There's no need for me to
10 emphasise the fact that the president of the Executive Council would be in
11 a position to know. I don't think I'm outside of the framework envisaged
12 by 65 ter in this case.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: We note that the objection is taken on the basis
15 that this was not notified, and nothing that Mr. Fila has said gives any
16 indication that it was notified as a subject; but in any event, there is a
17 more fundamental reason why this evidence is inadmissible. There is no
18 established qualification on the part of this witness to answer the
19 question put. We do not agree that the grounds advanced by Mr. Fila for
20 saying that he could express an opinion on this matter, on which we could
21 rely have any foundation.
22 So please proceed to something else, Mr. Fila.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It's just for the transcript, line 23,
25 22, page 33, it reads that he was the president of one of the two
1 Executive Councils and he was the president of two councils of the Federal
2 Assembly of Yugoslavia, which is the supreme legislative body of this
3 particular country. So I think that qualifies him.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we --
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] A chamber, it's not exactly a council.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: We understand that he's the president of the
7 Chamber of Citizens; that was the evidence which he gave. But we're aware
8 of that in making the decision that we've made.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I'm not objecting about you, Your
10 Honour, it's about the transcript because instead of "chamber" it said
11 something else.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You described the meetings that you attended back in 1998. Did
15 you hear of anyone calling the meetings you described earlier the Joint
17 A. Maybe back in September there were people who referred to those
18 meetings as meetings of the Joint Command; however, those of us who were
19 involved in those meetings - and I mean our Working Group - never referred
20 to those meetings in that way and there was no way we ever could, simply
21 because the meetings were of a nature that I already described.
22 Q. How long did these meetings continue to be held?
23 A. These meetings were taking place intensively in the second half of
24 July, in August, and in September. They became rarer in October,
25 considerably rarer. I think it was in late October that they stopped
1 taking place altogether.
2 Q. You said you weren't there all the time. You were absent a number
3 of times, right?
4 A. In September for about 15 days, in October for about 15 days.
5 Yes, I was away because work over at the Federal Assembly was quite
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, please try to help me a little more.
8 You were asked if you heard of anyone calling the meetings the Joint
9 Command, and your answer is: "Maybe back in September there were people
10 who referred to those meetings as meetings of the Joint Command."
11 Now, what do you mean "maybe" and who were the people that maybe
12 referred to these meetings as meetings of the Joint Command?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't remember the specific
14 people - I think they were from the army - however, when I arrived in
15 The Hague I received documents from the Defence team. I tried to analyse
16 a particular document and a particular record. I realised there was a
17 reference there to the last meeting with President Milosevic, where a
18 report was submitted on the implementation of the plan for anti-terrorist
19 struggle. I studied the record closely and I tried to think back as hard
20 as I could to remember what exactly went on at the meeting. I think
21 General Pavkovic mentioned that, General Lukic as well, in their
22 contributions, General Perisic.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So you are saying that at a meeting that
24 Mr. Milosevic presided over, both General Pavkovic and General Lukic
25 mentioned the Joint Command?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so, but I didn't exactly
2 gather, based on that particular record, what this was a reference to, the
3 Joint Command.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I asked you about during those meetings that you had in Kosovo.
6 Was the term mentioned then, during those meetings, because I think that's
7 what the Presiding Judge is asking?
8 A. During the meetings themselves -- I don't know that anyone
9 mentioned the term during the meetings, the meetings that we held. For
10 us, this -- these were meetings with the army and the police.
11 Q. What was Sainovic's role in Kosovo in the summer of 1998 prior to
12 the Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement?
13 A. Nikola Sainovic, as I've already pointed out, there were many
14 people in Kosovo at the time, foreign delegations, ambassadors, and the
15 federal government dispatched him to Kosovo to talk to those delegations.
16 He was in charge of the talks for the most part. I remember that he had a
17 considerable number of meetings with Ambassador Hill, who was the US
18 Ambassador to Macedonia. He often travelled to Kosovo, and I think that
19 was Sainovic's responsibility.
20 Q. And what was Mr. Sainovic's job in relation to the arrival of the
21 OSCE people or the representatives of the Kosovo Verification Mission?
22 A. Nikola Sainovic was appointed by the federal government president
23 of the Commission For Cooperation with the OSCE. This was a commission
24 set up by the federal government and it comprised mostly ministers from
25 the federal and republic government. Our country signed an agreement with
1 the OSCE, and Nikola Sainovic was in charge of coordinating all activities
2 in terms of seeing the agreement through, seeing it implemented in its
3 entirety. We had a positive outlook on that mission because the role of
4 the mission was to verify the situation that prevailed, to create
5 conditions for a political process to get underway.
6 Q. Do you know anything about Nikola Sainovic's activity after the
7 beginning of the war about Kosovo and Metohija?
8 A. When the war broke out, everything had to be organised in a
9 different way. Everyone had a lot of different responsibilities. As for
10 Nikola Sainovic, I think his involvement in Kosovo was about a very
11 important meeting or talks, if you like, with Mr. Ibrahim Rugova. The
12 situation was very difficult and we assessed that this was of the utmost
13 importance for our country. We use to see Nikola in the party during the
14 war and he told us about his intense activity about organising these
15 meetings and for those meetings to eventually take place.
16 Q. Thank you very much. That's all from me.
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] As usual, I've only used up 45 minutes
18 for this witness.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
20 Mr. Stamp -- sorry, sorry, I didn't pay attention to possible
21 cross-examination by Defence.
22 Mr. Zecevic.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Just a few questions, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Zecevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Minic, good morning.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Mr. Minic, throughout the NATO intervention between the 23rd of
3 March and sometime around mid-May, you took part in so-called meetings of
4 the country's leadership, didn't you?
5 A. Yes, yes, I did.
6 Q. Mr. Minic, what was the basic reason for these meetings, if you
7 can tell us, please? Just make a pause before you start your answer.
8 A. I remember the meetings. There was a war on, and this was the
9 principal reason for the meetings. As far as I can remember, there were a
10 number of those meetings in March, I think as many as three in March, four
11 in April, two in May, but the state of war that had been declared was the
12 principal reason for those meetings to take place.
13 Q. Those meetings were recorded by the television, weren't they?
14 What was the reason for you holding those meetings, the TV people, the TV
15 crew recording those meetings, and then the meetings being shown on the
16 evening news by TV Serbia?
17 A. In my understanding, there were two different purposes for these
18 meetings, the first being to briefly inform everyone that the situation in
19 the country, about how our forces were holding up, about problems with
20 supplies. There were huge problems with electricity, for example. There
21 were brief comments offered because the way our work was organised implied
22 that everyone should do their own job. You asked me this question about
23 the meetings being recorded. That's true. My personal opinion is -
24 although nobody actually said that at any of the meetings - was that the
25 meetings were recorded and shown on TV. There was a brief summary of
1 these meetings, and this was supposed to send a message through to the
2 people of Serbia to the effect that the country's leaders were hard at
3 work and that they -- they were at work defending their country. We had
4 bitter historical experience back from 1941; on the 6th of April our
5 country was attacked and the government on that same day simply fled the
7 Q. Mr. Minic, how long were these meetings?
8 A. They were brief, up to half an hour perhaps. I remember that
9 meetings were held at Beli Dvor during air-strikes. I remember that
10 security people sometimes walked in on our meetings warning us that it
11 would be wise idea to end our meeting because outside the bombs were
13 Q. In answer to my previous question what you said was in reference
14 to the fact that when hostilities broke out on the 6th of April, 1941,
15 when the Second World War began, the entire government led by the king
16 himself left Serbia and left Serbia's people at the mercy of the German
17 occupier. Is that what you had in mind when you said that you wanted to
18 show the people that the country's leaders at those difficult moments were
19 still in Yugoslavia?
20 A. I think I've answered that one already. It was a bitter
21 experience from the 6th of April that taught us this. The entire
22 government and the king himself fled to Cairo, Egypt.
23 Q. Mr. Minic, who called these meetings, these leadership meetings
24 [indiscernible] sessions?
25 A. The meetings were called by President Milosevic.
1 Q. They were all held at Beli Dvor, weren't they?
2 A. Yes, I'm following on the screen. Yes, they were all held at
3 Beli Dvor, as far as I can remember.
4 Q. Mr. Minic, for the most part the people being called to those
5 meetings were from the federal bodies and from the republic bodies, right?
6 A. Yes. In addition to President Milosevic, other representatives of
7 the federal bodies at these meetings were the Federal Prime Minister,
8 Momir Bulatovic; Defence Minister Pavle Bulatovic; foreign minister
9 Zivadin Jovanovic. As for the Assembly, both presidents of the Assembly
10 were at the meeting, myself and Bozovic on behalf of Serbia. There was
11 the president of the republic, Milan Milutinovic, and the president of the
12 Assembly Dragan Tomic as well as Marjanovic. I'm thinking about that
13 first meeting and who -- General Ojdanic may have been at the first
14 meeting, too.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment. Dragan Tomic was president of
16 which Assembly?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Assembly of the Republic of
18 Serbia, the national or People's Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And Bozovic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Srdjan Bozovic was the president of
21 the Chamber of the -- the republics of the Federal Assembly, it's the
22 upper Chamber. The Assembly has two Chambers: The Citizens' Chamber and
23 the Chamber of the republics.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So I follow Bozovic okay. Tomic remind me or
25 explain more fully what Tomic was president of.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dragan Tomic was the president of
2 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean he was the president of both houses
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Assembly of the
6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has two Chambers, and Serbia's Assembly
7 only has one Chamber. There are 250 deputies and representatives.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: So your position as president of the Chamber of
9 Citizens was a federal position?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, it's probably my mistake but I had not
12 appreciated that. Thank you.
13 Is this a suitable --
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Well --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: No, please continue.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Minic, you said that General Ojdanic was probably present at
18 the first meeting. What about the other meetings? Was there ever anyone
19 from the army or the police attending these meetings, the so-called
20 leadership meetings?
21 A. I don't remember. I don't remember.
22 Q. What about this body, did it ever have anything to do with
23 defence-related matters in terms of command? Were there any discussions
24 about that or did it deal in a very general way with the situation in the
25 country which arose as a result of the NATO air-strikes?
1 A. These meetings had nothing to do with defence-related matters in
2 the sense of command, but, as I've already pointed out, those were brief
3 working meetings. In addition to President Milosevic, the one who spoke
4 the most was Mirko Marjanovic. We were facing huge problems with
5 electricity supplies, because NATO's bombs were targeting our energy
6 supplies. Certain types of bombs were dropped and there was the problem
7 of supplies. It was one of the chief issues. Momir Bulatovic sometimes
8 spoke, Zika Jovanovic spoke but these meetings did not review issues
9 related to the country's defence in terms of command.
10 Q. At those meetings towards the very end in May, you discussed the
11 country's reconstruction after the air-strikes with Mr. Mrkonjic and
12 Dejan Kovacevic who was a construction minister, right?
13 A. Yes, sometime in the second half of May we were working on a plan
14 for the country's reconstruction. When NATO's aggression came to hold a
15 programme got on the ground immediately. About 80 bridges had been
16 destroyed in Serbia. The construction minister Dejan Kovacevic and
17 Milutin Mrkonjic came to one of these meetings and they were in charge of
18 the country's reconstruction especially as far as destroyed buildings were
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Minic.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] No further questions from me, Your
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, we have to break at this stage for a
24 half-hour. The -- if you leave the courtroom with the usher, he will show
25 you where to wait.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume at 20 minutes past 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.21 a.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, you will now be cross-examined by
7 Mr. Lukic -- by Mr. Ivetic on behalf of Mr. Lukic.
8 Mr. Ivetic.
9 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour, and I should be fairly brief.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
11 Q. Mr. Minic, I just want to ask you about the item that you
12 testified about at page 36 of today's transcript, this document of a
13 meeting with President Milosevic, wherein there were references to a Joint
14 Command. And first of all, am I correct that apart from seeing the
15 references to the Joint Command in the document itself, you did not have
16 an independent recollection of General's Perisic, Pavkovic, or Lukic
17 actually using that term. Is that correct?
18 A. I saw the records and I said that I tried to reconstruct the
19 meeting, and I think that when at the meeting they spoke to the struggle
20 against terrorism, General Lukic and General Pavkovic had in mind their
21 own commands.
22 Q. Okay. Well, allow me to ask for Exhibit P2166 to be called up,
23 and, Mr. Minic, when this document comes on the screen I'd like to ask you
24 to take a look at it and advise me whether in fact this is the document
25 that you are referring to that you had reviewed and about which you are
1 talking about now.
2 A. It's in English here.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Sir.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, with respect to this meeting, you are listed
6 as one of the persons being present. The question I want to ask you is:
7 Do you recall if you were ever asked to review the minutes of the meeting
8 for their accuracy and to adopt the same, following the meeting having
9 taken place?
10 A. No. I saw these minutes in The Hague for the first time. I've
11 never seen them before. I understood it that we were at a meeting with
12 President Slobodan Milosevic, whereas when I received these minutes and
13 looked at them for the first time I gathered that I had taken part in the
14 meeting of the operative staff for the suppression of terrorism in Kosovo
15 and Metohija. So not then and not now do I know what the operative
16 inter-resources staff was and who its members were and what its role was.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, do you recall who took the minutes of this
18 meeting from your review of the document? And perhaps -- well --
19 actually, I'll withdraw the question. Let's make this -- let's
20 short-circuit this. If you can look to the last page of the exhibit, both
21 in B/C/S and in the English.
22 Sir, I'll just ask you to look at this last page and indeed it
23 lists the minutes being compiled by a Lieutenant-General Slavoljub Susic.
24 Do you recall whether General Susic was a general in the MUP or in the
1 A. General Susic was a general in the army and chef de cabinet of the
2 president of the republic, both I think.
3 Q. Okay.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, at line 17 of page 45 it says chef de
6 cabinet of the president, in B/C/S it was "sef vojnog kabineta," chief of
7 the military president which can be in fact verified from the first page
8 of the exhibit.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, could you repeat your description of the
10 position held by General Susic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that he was the chef --
12 chief of the military cabinet of the president of the republic.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. IVETIC:
15 Q. Now, if we can look at the middle of page 7 of this document, both
16 in the B/C/S and the English, I'd like to focus on the half page or so --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you move on, the answer you gave was
18 chief of the military cabinet of the president of the republic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I think it was.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And that would suggest of Serbia?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, of Yugoslavia.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
25 Q. Now, as I said, I'd like to move to the middle of page 7 of the
1 document, both in the B/C/S and the English to the small section that
2 relates to Mr. Lukic's discussions at this meeting.
3 And, sir, if I could direct your attention to the -- the only
4 reference to Joint Command is there in the preamble where it says - and I
5 now quote the English whereby hopefully it's the same as the Serbian, I
6 haven't had an opportunity to double-check everything to detail about it.
7 But it says in English: "Major-General Sreten Lukic submitted a report on
8 the work of the Joint Command for KiM, or KiM."
9 The question I have for you, sir: Do you recall that Sreten Lukic
10 actually stood up and said these exact words verbatim: "I, Sreten Lukic,
11 will present a report on the work of the Joint Command for KiM"?
12 A. I don't remember. I think that at the meeting itself - and I said
13 here in court that in looking at these minutes I tried to reconstruct the
14 meeting - I think and I'm almost sure that General Sreten Lukic was not
15 supposed to submit a report on the Joint Command I think. I don't think
16 that was scheduled, although it was a long time ago. And I think he spoke
17 about the implementation of the joint plan of the struggle against
19 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir, for clearing that up for me.
20 MR. IVETIC: I have no further questions, Your Honour, and I thank
21 the Court for its indulgence.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, you will now be cross-examined by the
23 Prosecutor, Mr. Stamp.
24 Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
2 Q. Since we are on 2166, if we go to page 9 in the English, which is
3 page 10 in the B/C/S -- now I think we are looking at the bottom of page
4 10 in the English -- sorry, at the bottom of page 9 in the English. And
5 it records here the conclusion of your presentation, and you having
6 studied the document recently, you'll remember that your presentation
7 occupies two pages in these minutes. And it says here: "In conclusion
8 Milomir Minic proposed the following: The operation staff should provide
9 an assessment of how successfully the Joint Command for Kosovo and
10 Metohija had fulfilled the authorisations conferred upon it."
11 And then it goes on to number 2. Do you recall saying that?
12 A. I did make a similar proposal because I took the floor at the
13 meeting, at President Milosevic's office, and I've already told the Court
14 that I didn't know that an operative staff existed. Now, after the --
15 speaking about the political situation in Kosovo and Metohija and after
16 the plan's realisation, I did make a proposal, but the proposal that I
17 made is not what it says in this text. I didn't utter two words that are
18 here. I didn't give the term "operative staff" because I really didn't
19 know that that staff existed as such and that I was taking part in a
20 meeting, as I see it written down up here in The Hague when I received
21 this material. And secondly, I never said Joint Command for KiM. I
22 remember very well -- I remember that very well, and that's what I'd like
23 to state here before the Court. That within the frameworks of this text I
24 presented two things. One was my opinion and one was a proposal.
25 Q. Very well --
1 A. And my opinion --
2 Q. I just wanted to know if you said anything about the Joint
3 Command, and I take it your answer is --
4 A. What I wanted to say here, if I might be allowed to respond, I'd
5 like to say what I actually said, to tell you what I actually said, if
6 that's of assistance.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please tell us.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I made an observation and it was the
9 following. I said: I consider that both the command of the Army of
10 Yugoslavia and the command of the Ministry of the Interior, in the
11 struggle against terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija worked in the best
12 possible way under the given circumstances in the province, the prevailing
13 circumstances in the province. And they showed a high degree of
14 responsibility and selflessness. And I proposed that their work be
15 assessed and evaluated as such at this meeting. And I'm speaking under
16 oath now. What I've just said is under the solemn declaration. I think
17 it is my debt to truth. Now, how it came to be recorded in the minutes in
18 this way, I really don't know.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. Well, it's also recorded in the minutes at page 12 of the English
21 and page 13 in the B/C/S version and I'll just read it to you that
22 President Milutinovic supported the proposal for conservation of the
23 continued status of the Joint Command. Milutinovic believes that the
24 Joint Command should continue functioning for a while. And it also says
25 at page 13 in the English and page 13 to 14 in the B/C/S that Deputy Prime
1 Minister Sainovic agreed with the opinion that the viability of the
2 continued activity of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija in its
3 present composition should be re-evaluated. Did you hear either of them
4 using the term the "Joint Command" in these minutes which were presented
5 by the chef de cabinet of the president?
6 A. I said that I analysed this meeting and I would like to be able to
7 give a precise answer, but the truth of the matter is that I just don't
8 remember --
9 Q. Very well --
10 A. -- So believe me when I say that I just don't remember that they
11 uttered that.
12 Q. In this -- in these minutes at page 8 to 9 in the English and also
13 page 8, 9, and 10 in the B/C/S, which you reviewed recently, you spoke for
14 a long time about the conditions on the ground in Kosovo in respect to
15 what the army and the police had achieved. It's -- your presentation is
16 prefaced with these words, that Milomir Minic provide a comprehensive
17 review of the implementation of the plan for suppressing terrorism in
18 Kosovo and Metohija.
19 Well, having reviewed the document and seeing the contents of your
20 review, can I ask you: Where did you get this information from?
21 A. Well, I said at the beginning of my testimony, Mr. Prosecutor,
22 that we held meetings with the representatives of the Army of Yugoslavia
23 and representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, and we, within the
24 space of those three months, were all over Kosovo. We talked to the
25 Albanians, to the Serbs, to the people who had been abducted. We went to
1 villages where our army had de-blocked the villages. So this political
2 assessment, this political appraisal of the situation, which was a long
3 one and I think I spoke even longer, and General Pavkovic summarized the
4 results and activities of the army. General Lukic did this too. And I
5 tried to give an overall assessment of those three months there which
6 would be realistic, and that was at a time when the Milosevic-Holbrooke
7 Agreement was signed and when we expected that we would certainly move
8 towards a normalisation of the situation and unleashing of the political
9 process. And I tried in a synthetic way in a summary form and precis --
10 may I just be allowed to finish. It was very obvious. Let me give you
11 some examples --
12 Q. I merely asked where the information came from and I think you've
13 answered that question?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, have you seen a signed copy of the
15 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I haven't seen the signed
17 agreement. It appeared as a document, an 11-point document of the
18 Government of the Republic of Serbia, so that's the document I saw in that
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Where did you see that document?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was published, it was
22 considered by the government. It was reviewed at our meeting of the SPS,
23 Executive Board, and so on --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The statement by the Serbian
1 government set out in 11 points on the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So what you're referring to is a policy statement
3 by the government. You're not referring to the actual agreement itself?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, that's how the
5 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement was presented.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it was just your reference to it being signed
7 struck me as possibly important since we've been very anxious to see a
8 signed copy of this document.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see the agreement, Your
10 Honour --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. Who invited you to this meeting that you are speaking about?
15 A. I was invited to the meeting by the secretary of the president of
16 the republic, her name was Mira, and she told me that the president had
17 scheduled a meeting about Kosovo and Metohija two or three days before the
18 meeting was actually held, and that I should inform Zoran Andjelkovic and
19 Dusko Matkovic to attend the meeting.
20 Q. And in the invitation were you told that you would have to give a
22 A. Well, at meetings of that kind, nothing special was stated in that
23 way. I spoke about the political situation. There were two or three
24 meetings like that. And Milosevic remembers that, or rather, I remember
25 Milosevic as having said in his introduction that Pavkovic would be taking
1 the floor.
2 Q. Well, I was coming to that. In his introduction - and this is at
3 page 1 of the English - it is recorded that Mr. Milosevic informed the
4 members about the agenda and the order in which the participants would
5 speak: Generals Pavkovic and Lukic, followed by yourself. So were you
6 aware of this agenda that you were slated to speak, and you can tell us if
7 you were, yes; if you were not, no.
8 A. Well, I had expected to speak because I led the Working Group of
9 the political -- of the SPS party of Serbia with respect to Kosovo and
10 Metohija and the very difficult situation that the province was facing.
11 Q. You said -- I think it was in answer to the -- a question by the
12 Presiding Judge earlier that you think perhaps General Pavkovic and
13 General Lukic mentioned the Joint Command.
14 A. I said that --
15 Q. Go on --
16 A. May I continue? I said that in reading the minutes, in reading
17 the minutes, I felt -- well, I remember the minutes. And I think that it
18 said in the minutes that in the name of the Joint Command General Pavkovic
19 submitted a report or spoke and the Joint Command of MUP - and I've
20 already answered this question put to me by one of the Defence counsel -
21 it was strange to me -- well, I understood it that General Pavkovic was
22 talking about the activities and effects of, or rather, operations of the
23 Army of Yugoslavia in Kosovo and Metohija and that General Lukic tabled a
24 report on the activities of the police --
25 Q. Very well, very well, thank you --
1 A. That's what I think. Perhaps if you just bear with me for a
2 moment longer.
3 Q. I want just to move away from that document. I understand you are
4 saying that you cannot recall anyone mentioning the Joint Command. In
5 respect of those meetings that you were attending regularly from, say,
6 July going on to about October in Kosovo, did you hear anybody refer to
7 those meetings as the Joint Command, as meetings of the Joint Command?
8 A. As to those meetings -- well, I think I've already answered that
9 question but I can repeat my answer if you like. At the meetings that we
10 held, about those meetings, nobody said that they were meetings of the
11 Joint Command. It was only later on in the process with Slobodan -- in
12 the trial of Slobodan Milosevic here in The Hague I saw that there were
13 some speeches being made or statements where the Joint Command was
14 mentioned, but it wasn't the Joint Command.
15 Q. Very well. But -- okay. While you were down in Kosovo working in
16 1999, did you hear the expression "Joint Command" being used in respect to
17 any organisation -- sorry, not 1999. In 1998.
18 A. In 1998 I was in Kosovo. I was not in Kosovo in 1999. Perhaps a
19 few words, if I might be allowed to say them. In Kosovo and Metohija in
20 1998, what existed was the Pristina Corps command and the forward command
21 post of the 3rd Army from Nis, led by General Samardzic. That's what
22 existed, and there was a forward command post I think it was probably in
23 Djakovica, too. I think that the police had some sort of organisation
24 which was referred to as the staff so that -- well, we didn't deal with
25 this. We respected them highly. I'm speaking in my own personal name.
1 We met these people in Kosovo as commanders and soldiers. Now, how they
2 commanded, what the organisation was like, we as the political activists
3 did not enter into matters of that kind. They helped us a great deal by
4 providing us with information and by the very fact that we could talk to
5 them to see where everything was going, where the security situation was
6 going for us to be able to take an action on a political level.
7 Q. In 1998, in the course of your work in Kosovo, did you hear the
8 expression "Joint Command" being used in reference to any of the organs
9 that were involved in the work that you were doing down there?
10 A. Me hearing this -- no, I'm trying to remember now. I didn't hear
11 it. Perhaps I saw it on some paper concerning to -- concerning the
12 security situation. Maybe I saw this written, this Joint Command, but I
13 never heard it, no, because we, Mr. Prosecutor, did not deal with the
14 command issues. This was such a difficult situation that we simply did
15 not get involved in this. We went to assist the people to return
16 Albanians to the villages, and yes we held meetings with the
17 representatives of the army and police, as I have explained to you.
18 Q. I see.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Earlier today, Mr. Minic, you were asked about this
20 document and you said that once you saw it: "I studied the record closely
21 and I tried to think back as hard as I could to remember what exactly went
22 on at that meeting. I think General Pavkovic mentioned that," that's
23 Joint Command, "General Lukic in their contributions, General Perisic."
24 That's what you told us earlier today. That's not what --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: -- You're telling us now.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as I have stated here
3 before you, I have attempted to remember. This was indeed long time ago.
4 There are two matters here in the minutes, how General Pavkovic was
5 announced and what he actually said as well as how General Lukic was
6 announced and what he subsequently said. When General Pavkovic spoke, we
7 spoke of these commands as we perceived them, and I took it to mean -- and
8 believe me, I never took it to mean that they had some Joint Command. If
9 you permit me. In various contributions of General Pavkovic, it says in
10 one of the pages- and I know this for a fact- in the realisation of the
11 plan a good cooperation was established --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's your recollection that we were asking you
13 about at that point and it's your recollection you were giving us. Now,
14 you do not appear to be saying the same thing now; that's all I'm asking
15 you. You seem to have had a recollection of General Pavkovic and General
16 Lukic mentioning the words "Joint Command."
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is truly my wish to
18 describe how I perceived it. It is one thing how they were announced in
19 the minutes and then what they subsequently said --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And it's what they said that you were being asked
21 about. Just concentrate on the particular point. Why did you earlier
22 tell us that you thought Pavkovic and Lukic and Perisic mentioned the
23 Joint Command?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have said that I
25 received these minutes here, and that document has three dimensions: How
1 they were announced, what they said, and that they spoke about
2 cooperation. General Pavkovic and General Lukic in this note - and I
3 listened to them in that meeting as well but it was a long time ago - both
4 of them, both generals, said that a cooperation had been established at a
5 professional level between the units of the Army of Yugoslavia and the
6 Ministry of the Interior in the implementation of the plan on
7 anti-terrorism activities. Perhaps I wasn't fully precise in phrasing
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I want to give you every opportunity to be
10 clear about this. You see, the reference they made to their respective
11 performances against terrorism you have a clear recollection of. But your
12 answer earlier this morning was: "I think General Pavkovic mentioned that
13 and General Lukic and General Perisic."
14 Now, why did you say that to us?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in the sense that in the
16 minutes they were presented in this way. I truly wish you -- want you to
17 believe that I did my best to remember this, but it was my understanding
18 that General Pavkovic spoke about this. He had a corps, he had the 3rd
19 Army, he had a General Staff, and he spoke of his activities, and that
20 General Lukic spoke about the MUP activities and that they cooperated
21 between themselves. And that the minutes depicted them -- and I tried to
22 remember this. When President Milosevic introduced speakers- and I
23 remember this well, I know how he chaired meetings- he would normally say:
24 General Pavkovic has the floor now. He wouldn't say: A member of the
25 Joint Command. And then he would say: General Lukic has the floor. And
1 then when he would give the floor to me he would say: It is now the
2 president of the Chamber of Citizens who has the floor.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You see after you gave that answer I asked you: "So
4 you're saying at a meeting that Mr. Milosevic presided over both General
5 Pavkovic and General Lukic mentioned the Joint Command."
6 And you started your answer by saying: "I think so ..."
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. Perhaps I wasn't
8 fully specific about them being presented in the minutes as speaking on
9 behalf of some kind of a Joint Command. And, Mr. Presiding Judge, in
10 response to a question from the Prosecutor I also said that I wasn't sure
11 about ever hearing about the Joint Command, and this is what I found
12 strange in the minutes because I had been present in Kosovo and Metohija.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. Yes. But -- and that is why I reminded you earlier that in answer
16 to the question from the Judge you said that you thought Generals Lukic
17 and General Pavkovic had spoken about the Joint Command. Anyway,
19 Let's move on. You said you might have -- you didn't hear about
20 the Joint Command in regard to anybody that was involved in Kosovo in 1998
21 but you might have seen it on some document. Perhaps -- you said perhaps
22 you might have seen it on some document or anything like that -- or
23 something like that. Would you -- if you saw this expression "Joint
24 Command" on some document, wouldn't you have inquired what it was about
25 and did you inquire what it was about if you saw it?
1 A. Sir, I'm going to be as specific as possible, and I apologise to
2 Their Honours and the Presiding Judge. No, we did not inquire about the
3 Joint Command. We did not deal with the command at all. We did not
4 inquire. We knew that the army had its own command, and I told you that
5 we had heard about how many locations there were where there was a
6 command, but we did not make any inquiries because that wasn't up to us,
7 that wasn't our task. We dealt with some other very complex issues.
8 Q. I was merely asking about your response to me when you said that
9 perhaps you might have seen the expression "Joint Command" on some
10 documents. If you saw the expression "Joint Command" on documents in
11 1998, wouldn't you as leader of the Working Group have made efforts to
12 discover what this Joint Command was?
13 A. Well, I thought that that was some kind of an army command. I did
14 not understand it in any other way. We didn't look into it to tell you
15 the truth. We didn't deal with it. This wasn't our topic, this wasn't
16 our issue. I would have said so had it been otherwise here before the
17 Trial Chamber. I had gone there to help; that was all.
18 Q. Let me just understand you now. You are saying that you heard or
19 saw the expression "Joint Command" in 1998 while you were working in
20 Kosovo? You knew that there was an organ that was called the Joint
21 Command in 1998?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Well --
24 A. I didn't, no. I didn't, no.
25 Q. You recall that there was a meeting held by President Milosevic in
1 July 1999 [as interpreted] where the leaders of the police and the army
2 attended and where Mr. Sainovic and Mr. Milutinovic also attended in which
3 General Pavkovic presented a plan for resolving the security situation in
4 Kosovo. You remember that meeting?
5 A. I remember that meeting; I took part in it.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Just to clarify, Mr. Staff, are you
7 asking about July of 1999, as the transcript reflects, because I don't
8 think that's the case?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, in July of 1998.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] And the Prosecutor asked you about
11 attending a meeting in July of 1999.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 MR. STAMP: I think the witness has clarified that.
14 Q. In respect to the implementation of this plan, Sreten Lukic -
15 that's General Lukic - was questioned about it when he spoke to
16 representatives of the ICTY. And he said that as far as he remembered it
17 was Mr. Minic, Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Matkovic, Mr. Andjelkovic, who composed
18 the Joint Command. And he also said, also --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could we have the reference? Could we
21 see it on the screen? Could the witness read this?
22 MR. STAMP: This is P948 --
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] And now would you please show all of
25 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a matter for Mr. Stamp to decide how he
1 presents his questions.
2 You decide that, please, Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Yes, it's P948 and I'm referring to page 70 and 71.
4 There's no need to show it on the screen.
5 Q. Yes, he said that those four persons composed the Joint Command
6 and it also included himself, that's General Lukic, and General Pavkovic
7 as regular members in charge of carrying out the tasks related to the
8 anti-terrorist actions.
9 Now, do you know of any reason that General Lukic would have to
10 believe that you were a member of a body called the Joint Command in which
11 both himself and General Pavkovic were also members?
12 A. I'm not aware of any reason. I don't know about this statement.
13 All I can say here is that Zoran Andjelkovic, Dusko Matkovic, and myself
14 were never members of any command or Joint Command in Kosovo and Metohija
15 in 1998.
16 Q. How about Mr. Sainovic, do you know of any reason, anything that
17 Mr. Sainovic did why General Lukic --
18 A. Neither Mr. Sainovic. Neither Mr. Sainovic, as I have said
19 already. Mr. Sainovic had been sent by the federal government as the
20 government representative for foreign affairs, and, Mr. Prosecutor, I have
21 stated here loud and clear that we, members of the Working Group, held
22 meetings with the representatives of the army and police in July, August,
23 and September.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
25 A. At that time it was an informal body where we exchanged political
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to object. I
3 apologise, but Mr. Stamp is reading incorrectly the words of Lukic.
4 Please look at page 70 of the document to verify whether that's exactly
5 what it says, because had he not referred to the document he would have
6 been in position to say anything he wanted, but if he did then he has to
7 abide by what is stated in the document. The pages are 20 to 23 -- I
8 apologise, page 70, 20 to 23. If he is referring to the words of Lukic,
9 he has to do so accurately.
10 MR. STAMP: It's page 70, 20 to 25, and page 71, page 1 to
11 page 6 -- sorry, lines 1 to line 6.
12 Q. Sorry, you have answered the question --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment. Can we see these pages, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both of my texts are in English.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That's because --
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] And I have another objection.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: That's because we are looking at it. Just give us
18 a moment to do that.
19 You can take it off the screen now.
20 Yes, Mr. Fila.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] To the extent that I understood your
22 ruling, the statement of one accused cannot be used against another
23 accused. And what Mr. Stamp is doing is precisely that in relation to
24 Mr. Sainovic, whom I defend here. This is how I see it. And if I'm
25 wrong, I apologise, both to you and to the Chamber.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All that Mr. Stamp is doing is using this to
2 refresh the witness's memory with a view to getting evidence from the
3 witness, not to directly use the statement at this stage. So there's no
4 problem with that, nothing inappropriate about following that course. And
5 for what it's worth, my own view is that the statement does say what Mr.
6 Stamp claimed. There may be other arguments in the way in which question
7 and answer came, but that is undoubtedly one view of what could be formed
8 in what was in that section of the interview.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. You just said that you don't I think -- words to the effect that
11 you don't know what -- on what basis it could be said that Mr. Sainovic
12 was a member of the Joint Command. Can I ask you this: Were you in
13 Kosovo in 1999 during the -- during March to June 1999?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So if I represented to you that Mr. Sainovic attended meetings of
16 the senior members of the MUP in Kosovo in that period in 1999, would you
17 know about those meetings?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Very well.
20 A. I have stated here that ...
21 Q. I'll therefore refrain from asking about events in Kosovo in 1999.
22 You recall, however, that you met from time to time with
23 President Milutinovic in respect to events in Kosovo during 1998?
24 A. In 1998?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. I met with President Milutinovic not only by myself but also with
2 others attending concerning the implementation of the education agreement
3 in Kosovo and Metohija in the final stages. It was our firm intention,
4 both of President Milutinovic and Serbia, to have this signed agreement
5 implemented and to have all children in Kosovo and Metohija have access to
6 proper education --
7 Q. I see --
8 A. -- And the implementation of that agreement --
9 Q. I see. Did you have meetings with himself or others or attend
10 meetings with himself and others in Kosovo in respect to the security
11 situation in Kosovo, and that's in 1998?
12 A. In 1998, perhaps I went once with President Milutinovic.
13 Q. Can I see if I could refresh your memory. I would like to bring
14 up P2805. These are minutes of a meeting of the MUP staff --
15 A. It's in English -- I see the first page. It's fine.
16 Q. Yes. They are minutes of the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija.
17 And if we move to page 2 of the English and e-court page 3 of the B/C/S we
18 could see who attended this meeting.
19 A. If I may be given a moment to look at it, please. Very well.
20 Q. The president, the minister of interior, the leadership of the
21 police, Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Andjelkovic, Mr. Matkovic, the assistant chiefs
22 of the SUP. You recall that meeting? It's the 11th -- sorry, it's the
23 5th of November, 1998, in Pristina.
24 A. If you can scroll down a bit, please. I think it was the
25 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement.
1 Q. But you recall the meeting? That's what I'm asking?
2 A. Yes, I think I do.
3 Q. You also remember that General Pavkovic was there. So you have
4 not only the leadership of the police but also the army. General Pavkovic
5 and 13 representatives of the Pristina Corps were present. Now, if we
6 could look at page 3 in the English, page 4 in the B/C/S. If we could
7 expand the second paragraph in the B/C/S version. I'd like you to just
8 read that section.
9 A. From which point?
10 Q. Could we pan out on the page. I'm told that in Cyrillic it's at
11 the top of the page. I'll just read it to you because -- I'm speaking
12 from line four in Cyrillic. Can you read it aloud, please.
13 A. From which point --
14 Q. From the --
15 A. It says: "The Army of Yugoslavia ..."
16 Q. No, no, start from the sentence before that.
17 A. "This political process ..." That's what I have on my screen as
18 the first full sentence.
19 Q. Go on, please do that.
20 A. "This political process shall last for a long time and a difficult
21 one. The Siptars and the Americans will insist on a different political
22 solution for the status of Kosovo but we will oppose that. As for the
23 Army of Yugoslavia and police, everything remains the same. Joint
24 Command, VJ units are not withdrawing and police forces have been reduced
25 only by the members who have had already withdrawn. Police and the army
1 continue to have the right to intervene if they are attacked."
2 Q. Sorry. The president of the republic referred to Joint Command
3 according to the minutes of this meeting. Did you hear him say that at
4 this meeting?
5 A. I don't remember.
6 Q. Did you hear him describing the position that he expected the
7 Kosovar Albanians and the Americans, regardless of what he decided to term
8 the Kosovar Albanians as, but did you hear him describing the position
9 that he thought the Kosovar Albanians and the Americans would take at that
11 A. I was at the meeting, as you can see from the minutes, but I don't
12 remember what he said, truly.
13 Q. Very well. Can we look at 11 --
14 MR. STAMP: Sorry.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: As I see that Mr. Stamp is moving from this document
16 now, there is just one thing, in line -- 64, 17, the witness has said this
17 meeting was in relation to Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement, and I believe
18 the transcript says it was -- I lost it: "I think it was
19 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement."
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the sense is the same. Your point is
21 noted. Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
22 MR. STAMP: Can we move on to P1198, P1198. We could move
23 straight to page 2 -- well, let's look at it first.
24 Q. It's a document -- and I'll just wait until it gets on to the
25 screen. This is a document which I represent to you was taken from the
1 Executive Council building in Pristina by investigators on the 1st of
2 August, 1999. It purports to be a report of the Joint Command for Kosovo
3 and Metohija, strictly confidential, dated the 23rd of November, 1998.
4 And without going into all of the report, I represent that it includes a
5 description of the security situation in the region and the activities of
6 the KLA or what is described as the terrorists against the VJ and the MUP
7 and the population and the engagement of VJ and MUP units.
8 Do you recall ever receiving a document like this -- or this
9 document while you were in Kosovo in 1998?
10 A. Can we please go through the whole document? All I can see here
11 is half a page.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: How many pages are there, Mr. Stamp?
13 MR. STAMP: In the --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I could please see the end of
15 that document.
16 MR. STAMP: Could we go to the last page, to the last page of the
17 document. That's it.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not the end, is it?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: If you scroll up slightly you'll see that it looks
20 like the end.
21 MR. STAMP: Yes.
22 Q. Do you see that --
23 MR. STAMP: Okay. Could we just go back to the first page of the
24 document then.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the question you were asked was: Do you
1 recollect ever seeing a document like that.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I think.
3 MR. STAMP: Let's go to the first page.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I could have it in Serbian,
5 please. The Serbian is gone.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It should be back now.
7 MR. STAMP: No, no, the previous page, page 1 in e-court on the
8 Serbian version.
9 Q. You'll see there is handwriting there on the cover page of the
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's it.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. Can you read it, please.
14 A. "To Mr. Milomir Minic, personally."
15 Q. So if we now look at page 3 of that document in -- on the English
16 version and also on the e-court version, in section 2 where it discusses
17 or where it's headed "terrorist action," you see that it sets out a
18 variety -- well, three or four events that occurred within the previous 24
19 hours. You see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you receive reports of this nature on a daily basis?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I wasn't in Kosovo and Metohija in November. I
23 think the activity ended on the 28th of October. However, members of the
24 Working Group occasionally received documents like these. That is why I
25 said I had the impression that I saw the expression for the first time
1 being used somewhere, not actually heard it used. This was the sort of
2 document that we occasionally received from the VJ. As far as I remember,
3 I think --
4 Q. Very well.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, if this is where you saw the reference
6 to the Joint Command, you'll see that that's the heading of this document.
7 That's how it starts. It's very prominent. Are you suggesting to us that
8 in spite of receiving a document like that where that name was so
9 prominently displayed, you had no interest in what this body might be?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we understood this to
11 be a document from the army or a result of some form of cooperation
12 between the army and the police but I think we got it from the army.
13 Military representatives at our meetings often shared information that was
14 based on documents like these. Believe me, we believed this to be some
15 form of organisation applied to their command posts. What we talked
16 about, I couldn't be certain. I remember, or rather, when the document
17 was shown to me, this jogged my memory. I saw the title, but believe me,
18 members of the Working Group or me never looked into this. This was the
19 sort of information that we received and it was useful, it was helpful.
20 But this particular document was never closely inspected at any of our
21 meetings with the army or the police.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not asking you about close inspection. I'm
23 asking you about a clear, distinct, title of the body sending you the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we didn't look into
1 that. Our understanding was this was a document from the army or from the
2 cooperation with the police because security information is being provided
3 here. Believe me, we didn't investigate that. We thought this was how
4 they organised their work.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. Just to be absolutely clear, when you said "we," you are referring
8 to Mr. Matkovic and Mr. Andjelkovic. They also --
9 A. Mr. Sainovic too.
10 Q. They also --
11 A. We had these joint meetings with the army and the police, and I
12 believe I've said this before, haven't I.
13 Q. I was going to ask about the meeting. You were just talking about
14 this document and documents like this. Mr. Andjelkovic, Mr. Matkovic, and
15 Mr. Sainovic also received these documents or you showed these documents
16 to them when you got them?
17 A. I think we received two or three copies perhaps. That's as far as
18 I can remember.
19 Q. And when you say "we received," who? We -- by "we," you mean
20 Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Matkovic, Mr. Andjelkovic?
21 A. The three of us as the Working Group. I believe we received a
22 copy or two possibly, and then Mr. Sainovic, to the extent that I
23 remember, also received that document.
24 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at 1197.
25 Q. And because there are time constraints I will tell you that 1197
1 is a document similar to the last one, except that it is for the 20th of
2 November, 1998, a different date and a report on different activities.
3 But it is also a Joint Command operations report which is said to be
4 strictly confidential, that includes reports on the intelligence situation
5 in Kosovo. And I'd just like you to have a look on the first page of that
6 document again, that's the first page in B/C/S -- sorry, and that's
7 e-court page 1. See the cover of that document, what is written on that
9 A. Yes: "To Milomir Minic, personally."
10 MR. STAMP: I have nothing further, Your Honour. Thank you very
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm about to go back to
14 this same topic. I have some questions about this last document.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Fila:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Minic, at your meetings was this document
17 ever discussed before it was put together? Were you involved in the
18 drafting of this document?
19 A. This document was never discussed at any of our meetings with the
20 army or the police. No information was ever provided and we were in no
21 way ever involved in its drafting.
22 Q. You saw the envelope which reads: "To Milomir Minic"?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that's where the record was found. What does that tell you?
25 A. This tells me that someone was passing information along.
1 Q. All right. Does that mean that at those meetings that you
2 attended - but we see that you didn't receive this because you weren't at
3 the actual meeting - when you were at this meeting and received these what
4 about this document --
5 MR. STAMP: This is going to be leading based on -- or may I
6 request through the Court that the questions be phrased not in a leading
8 JUDGE BONOMY: It sounded like it was going to be a leading
9 question, Mr. Fila, so could you start again with that question.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Fine.
11 Q. The minutes are marked November and the envelope says: "To
12 Milomir Minic, personally." Did you receive that document or not; if not,
13 why not, explain why not?
14 A. I never received this document --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, Mr. Stamp?
16 MR. STAMP: That's asked and answered. He said that he saw them,
17 that he got them.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: But that's surely not the end of the matter --
19 MR. STAMP: Very well.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Because that answer came in the course of your
22 Please proceed.
23 Please answer that question, Mr. Minic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for these two documents that have
25 been shown here, I never received them. A meeting took place with
1 Slobodan Milosevic on the 29th of October, and there was our Working Group
2 comprising Zoran Andjelkovic, Dusko Matkovic, and myself, and this was the
3 end of it. Our work stopped there. I can state here under oath that
4 after that meeting we never met again with anyone from the army or the
5 police. Nikola Sainovic was appointed --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, the question was whether you received
7 the document, and you've already told us you did.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what did you mean when --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, my apologies. My
11 apologies. I thought I was being very clear. If I may, Your Honour --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- When I was in Kosovo and Metohija
14 in August, possibly September, sometimes we received these documents and I
15 received a copy or two myself, as far as I can remember, and Nikola
16 Sainovic received a separate copy. These documents that the Prosecutor
17 showed me are not documents that I received. I only said that it does,
18 indeed, read to Minic personally, but I didn't go to Kosovo and Metohija
19 and I'm repeating this because I think it's important for the Chamber.
20 The work of our group stopped on the 29th of August [as interpreted].
21 Nikola Sainovic was appointed to head the Commission for Cooperation with
22 the OSCE, Zoran Andjelkovic --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but what you're saying is while
24 you were working there you received documents like this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And did they record meetings that you had attended?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for this document, if I may --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: No. I'm asking you about the ones that you say you
6 did receive, did they refer to meetings that you attended?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, no, no. I apologise.
8 We received this as information. We never reviewed the document, we
9 weren't involved in the making of this document, and we took no decisions
10 relating to this document. It is obvious that we were receiving
11 information from the other side. Had we been some sort of a
12 Joint Command, we would not have been informing ourselves.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreters didn't
14 hear the last part of the witness's answer.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you give us the end of your answer again,
16 please: "It's obvious we were receiving information from the other
17 side ..."
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not review this information.
19 We didn't adopt this information and we were not involved in the drafting
20 of this information.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You said something, though, about a Joint Command
22 at the end of the answer.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This document was
24 entitled "Joint Command" and I saw it, as I said, at the outset at the
25 beginning of my testimony, I saw this reference before I'd ever heard of
1 the Joint Command.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]...
3 MR. STAMP: Excuse me, before my friend proceeds, just a matter of
4 the transcript from those last questions. I think at 73, 13, there's a
5 record of an answer there which perhaps could be clarified. I think he
6 said -- or is recorded there that the work stopped on the 29th of August.
7 I'm not sure if --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: When did your work in Kosovo stop, Mr. Minic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, October.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: 29th of October?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I was very clear our work
12 in Kosovo and Metohija stopped after the meeting with Slobodan Milosevic
13 where the report of the implementation of the plan was reviewed, and this
14 was on the 29th of October.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After that we --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. We understand.
18 Mr. Fila.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could the interpretation service later
20 please listen to the witness's answer on page 74, lines 1 through 6, and
21 this is the answer that you're after. And I would like to press on with
22 my questions, if I may, since we have an answer there that is incomplete.
23 Q. Mr. Minic, I believe we've clarified this now. You never received
24 the two documents that we showed because you weren't there in November.
25 Now, the President is asking you about the documents that you did receive.
1 Can you please explain this now.
2 Could we please have this brought up again, a document that you
3 did not receive, P1198.
4 A. I have 826.
5 Q. What are the first four words of that document? It says Joint
6 Command KiM. What if it said to the Joint Command of KiM, would there be
7 a difference?
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. What does this mean?
10 A. I believe that I've answered that question. Had we been a Joint
11 Command, we would not have been sending reports to ourselves, would we?
12 Q. Thank you. You didn't receive this document. What about the two
13 that you did receive, how did you receive them? Please listen closely
14 because we are getting to the core of the matter. This document was
15 drafted in two ways: Someone brought it to you or you actually put it
16 together. Which was it?
17 A. Someone delivered these documents. We didn't produce these
19 Q. Thank you. What about the person who delivered the documents,
20 where did he come from, which area or which sector? What could he
21 possibly have been professionally speaking?
22 A. I think it was someone from the army, from the Pristina Corps.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation].
25 Q. In response to a question by the Prosecutor showing you what they
1 believe are the minutes, this is P1468, would those -- well, yeah, bring
2 the document up. We need page 1 of that document, P1468.
3 MR. STAMP: I don't think I showed him 1468. I can't see how that
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No. Oh well, my apologies then. I'll
6 ask him without the document. No problem at all. I thought this was
8 Q. I showed you -- you told me several times that you saw those
9 minutes, and the Prosecutor asked you about that. Is there a single
10 reference in those minutes, whoever it was that produced them, that put
11 them together, is there a single reference to you producing a document
12 that looks like what the Prosecutor showed you, any reference to that at
14 A. No, not even the document that I did receive. There is not a
15 single reference, not a single word about this document being produced or,
16 indeed, that at any of our meetings with the army and the police where we
17 exchanged information about current affairs and the situation, a document
18 like this or its production was ever discussed, never, not once.
19 Q. Thank you very much. That's all from me.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Minic, that completes your evidence; thank you
22 for coming to give it. You're now free to leave.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It is with great pleasure, Your
2 Honours, that I announce that I have no further witnesses; and please
3 believe me, I feel a whole lot better now. Thank you.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So you now close your case subject to resolving the
5 issues over written material and the expert evidence that will be led
6 letter; is that right?
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That is right.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: If we could just use five minutes just now on one
10 Mr. Ackerman, I noticed that now for the fifth day in succession
11 Mr. Pavkovic has not been here. Can you indicate to us when that
12 situation is likely to change?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I think he will be here at our next session, I
14 guess on Tuesday. I don't know if Your Honour saw the medical report that
15 was distributed yesterday, but he suffers from a back --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I have seen --
17 MR. ACKERMAN: -- Injury. And sitting for long hours in this
18 court is very difficult for him, and we had those very long sittings at
19 the beginning of this session for two weeks in a row and I think it just
20 got him down. I think he's been recovering. I haven't spoken to him.
21 I've only, through other persons, I've suggested that up until now it
22 really wasn't absolutely necessary for him to be here and I would
23 appreciate him waving. But now that we are starting the Ojdanic case I
24 think it is necessary for him to be here because we get into the military
25 aspects of the case. I would hope we don't start anything beyond the
1 opening statement today in the Ojdanic case just for that reason because I
2 would like him to be here for the testimony, even though he has, I think,
3 waived again for today.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We will indeed hear some evidence today and we'll
5 need to find a way of making sure that he has a transcript as well as a
6 recording of the testimony he's not seeing. I think that's done in any
7 event for him.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: There's no transcript, Your Honour, that's -- that
9 would have to be specially done.
10 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, Mr. Ackerman, Action Number arrangements
12 can certainly be made to give him an audio recording.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that, Your Honour, an after-the-fact
14 understanding of what's happened in court doesn't assist me very much.
15 It's his presence of advising me, occasionally, about something that might
16 have come out of the witness that we need to deal with that's important
17 and we can't do that after he listens to a recording days down the road.
18 That's just not going to work.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: It won't be days down the road, Mr. Ackerman, it
20 will be immediately after today's hearing it will be before the next
21 hearing and I have no idea how long the next witness is going to last.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Nor do I.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you assist me on that, Mr. Sepenuk, or
24 Mr. Visnjic. How long is the evidence in chief of your first witness
25 likely to last?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we believe we can
2 finish within two hours.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So there's no question of cross-examination taking
4 place today or before Mr. Pavkovic has a chance to hear that evidence.
5 There remains still -- in fact, part of next week I think is
6 already likely to be these slightly longer sittings. There's little
7 prospect in the future of that continuing, and as you know we already owe
8 you shorter sittings because of the number of longer ones that there have
9 been, and that will be provided for after next week certainly. But there
10 does remain the possibility of some longer sitting next week.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think if there was like one day of
12 an extended sitting he can probably deal with that, it's just that many,
13 many in a row that seem to get him down. As I told you, I have not
14 discussed this fully with him at all.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: So I'm giving you off the top of my head what I
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall adjourn now and we will
19 adjourn at ten minutes to 2.00 and hear the opening on behalf of
20 Mr. Ojdanic.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.50 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.51 p.m.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
24 [Ojdanic Defence Opening Statement]
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President, and
1 members of the Trial Chamber, and welcome to the continuation of the
2 Defence case for General Ojdanic. I say "continuation" because much of
3 the evidence that shows General Ojdanic to be innocent of the charges
4 brought against him has already been presented in the Prosecution case
5 through the testimony of witnesses such as General Aleksandar Vasiljevic,
6 General Dusan Loncar, and exhibits such as the collegiums of the General
8 We welcome this opportunity to take our turn and to present a
9 comprehensive picture to the Trial Chamber of who General Dragoljub
10 Ojdanic is, what he did before and during the war, and why he should be
11 found not guilty of all the charges against him.
12 It was 51 years ago in 1956 when, as a 15-year-old boy,
13 Dragoljub Ojdanic joined the Yugoslav Army. He excelled at his studies at
14 the military academy, attaining degrees all the up to master's level. He
15 also excelled in the field and was the only soldier ever to serve at every
16 level of the army, from cadet all the way up to the Chief of the General
18 When he joined the army, General Ojdanic took an oath to defend
19 his country, even at the cost of his own life, and he spent his entire
20 life standing by that pledge serving his country selflessly at all times.
21 After 41 years of service he found himself plunged into a war that he did
22 not want and that he could not win. During the Defence case we're going
23 to take you through the inner workings of the Yugoslav Army. Our
24 witnesses include leaders from all the branches of the army, the land
25 forces, the army, and the navy.
1 Many of the witnesses who will testify in the Defence case knew
2 General Ojdanic very well and for many years. They will described him as
3 an honest, straightforward, decent man with a high disagree of
4 professionalism and devoted to the institution and integrity of the
5 Yugoslav Army.
6 With General Ojdanic what you see is what you get, and what you
7 will get during the Defence case is evidence that General Ojdanic never
8 had knowledge of or participated in any general -- any joint criminal
9 enterprise to depart -- to deport Albanians from Kosovo.
10 While portrayed by the Prosecution as a person chosen by
11 President Slobodan Milosevic to lead the army into war and into war
12 crimes, the evidence will show something completely different. A review
13 of the General Staff collegiums going back to 1997 and 1998 while he was
14 still deputy Chief of the General Staff show that General Ojdanic
15 expressed views that were more cautious than those of the man he
16 succeeded, General Perisic.
17 For example, on the 12th of December, 1997, he told General
18 Perisic, General, I think that we must answer two questions. First, a
19 response or proposal or our thoughts on how to address the Kosovo problem
20 and for everybody to reach an agreement through dialogue. Therefore, no
21 dreams of military operations or tackling the issue of Kosovo with
22 military force. Three days later at another collegium on the 15th of
23 December, 1997, he was even clearer when he said, When I was in Kosovo
24 recently I met a large number of Serbs in whose heads only the war option
25 was present all the time and fools like these can lead us into war, but I
1 will not stand behind them.
2 For example, General Ojdanic consistently opposed the use of the
3 army in Kosovo, recommending that the fight against the KLA be maintained
4 by the Ministry of the Interior. On the 4th of May, 1998, he said at a
5 senior staff meeting that the shortest and fastest way to lose Kosovo was
6 through war.
7 On the 29th of June, 1998, he stated the following: I personally
8 see diplomacy and politics as the only way out of this situation, and as a
9 soldier I believe in this strongly.
10 When General Ojdanic became the Chief of Staff of the General
11 Staff at the end of November 1998, he spent his first day in office
12 addressing the conference on the international law of war, which he had
13 organised as deputy Chief of Staff. On that occasion he said the
14 following: Obeying the rules of war alleviates the cruelties of war and
15 facilitates the establishment of peace. And furthermore, it is in the
16 best traditions of the Yugoslav Army to respect these rules that accord
17 with a feeling of humanity when it comes to the treatment of the victims
18 of war.
19 On his third day in office in his post, General Ojdanic received
20 General Drewienkiewicz and other representatives of the OSCE and pledged
21 to cooperate with them. General Ojdanic's words and deeds in the days and
22 months that followed showed that he truly meant what he said. In his
23 comments at the collegium on the 17th of December, 1998, General Ojdanic
24 stated that the members of the verification mission all have diplomatic
25 status, and that is how they should be treated. They must not be treated
1 roughly or disrespect fully. Their presence is the least-painless form of
2 intrusion and we should not give them any reason to withdraw.
3 General Ojdanic consistently upgraded the army's support for the
4 Kosovo Verification Mission and constantly advocated full cooperation with
5 it, even when others accused him of being anti-Serb and biased in favour
6 of the KLA -- accused them of being anti-Serb. He saw this as a necessary
7 measure to avoid war and regularly advocated cooperation with the
8 international community as the only solution to the crisis in Kosovo. At
9 one collegium meeting, General Ojdanic warned that adventurism or false
10 patriotism, which results in wilful behaviour which goes against the
11 resolutions or agreements must be severely penalised because such conduct
12 could have fatal consequences, both for this country and for its people.
13 You will also hear from many members of the General Staff, who
14 will tell you that when he succeed -- General Ojdanic succeeded General
15 Perisic he pursued his policies and kept on the personnel and generally
16 continued to administer the army as the independent professional
17 organisation it had become over the years. Since our defence case focuses
18 on General Ojdanic as an individual you will be hearing from those who
19 worked with him directly at the General Staff. In order to understand who
20 those witnesses are and what their relationship to General Ojdanic was
21 during 1998 and 1999, it is necessary to have a better understanding of
22 the organisation of the General Staff itself.
23 We will have General Branko Krga, chief of the intelligence
24 deputy; his deputy, General Jovan Milanovic. From the security department
25 you will hear testimony from General Geza Farkas, the chief; and his
1 assistant, General Branko Gajic. General Milorad Obradovic during the war
2 performed the functions of the commander of the 2nd Army and previously
3 the chief of the operative staff sector and also assistant to the General
4 Staff. General Vidoje Pantelic, assistant of the chief of the general
5 staff for the rear, for logistics. General Spasoje Smiljanic, commander
6 of the RVN PVO and previously chief of the operative staff. General
7 Miodrag Simic, head of the land forces department. General
8 Vlade Nonkovic, assistant chief for the navy. General Djordje Curcin,
9 head of the first administration and with him four other individuals from
10 the first administration. Spasoje Mucibabic, Dragan Paskas, and
11 Stanisa Ivkovic.
12 We will also hear testimony from General Ljubomir Andjelkovic,
13 head of the department of reconnaissance and anti-aircraft activity.
14 General Gojovic and Svetislav Ristic, both heads of the legal department
15 in the period when General Perisic and General Ojdanic were the Chiefs of
16 the General Staff. General Zlatoje Terzic, chief of the fourth
17 administration for education. General Slobodan Kosovac, chief of the
18 department for mobilisation. General Slobodan Petkovic, chief of the
19 department for atomic and biological protection. Milivoje Novakovic and
20 Nedjo Danilovic, both of them from the department for information and
21 moral administration. Colonel Rade Cucak, our first witness, the head of
22 the administration for the border. Colonel Nejovan Jovanovic, head of the
23 department for cooperation with foreign military representatives.
24 Two colonels from the cabinet of the Chief of General Staff, they
25 are Milovan Vlajkovic and Milan Radoicic. General Branko Fezer, who is in
1 charge of personnel, and General Uzelac, chief of the traffic department.
2 These witnesses will tell you that this is a man who, to the best
3 of their knowledge, never had any plan to expel the Albanians from Kosovo
4 and that General Ojdanic never advocated or gave any indication of having
5 any knowledge of or participation in any such plan. Indeed, there is much
6 evidence to show that the General Staff believed that it was NATO and the
7 KLA what wanted the Albanians to leave Kosovo, while it was in the
8 interests of the army that they remain there.
9 On the 3rd of April, 1999, General Branko Krga who will testify
10 here sent General Ojdanic an intelligence report, stating that NATO would
11 prefer it if the civilian population were to leave Kosovo in order to make
12 its bombings more effective and facilitate the deployment of ground forces
13 in Kosovo should the need arise. On the 7th of April, 1999, in a special
14 public statement to the Albanians of Kosovo, General Ojdanic
15 said: "Albanians, it is only a life together in commonality without
16 hatred and contempt which can lead to a happier future, a care-free
17 childhood for your children regardless of religion or ethnic affiliation.
18 Let us all work together to restore peace to this land of ours."
19 And then he said: "Go back to your homes and return to your
20 everyday work. Do this today."
21 These are the words of the man who the Prosecutor claims was part
22 of a joint criminal enterprise to expel Albanians. At the collegium of
23 the 9th of April, 1999, the General Staff agreed that the KLA was forcing
24 the Albanian civilian population to move out of Kosovo in order to create
25 a humanitarian crisis and thereby to accuse the Serbs of ethnic cleansing.
1 They also expressed concern that the flow of refugees out of Kosovo
2 would enable the infiltration of KLA fighters from Albania mixed up among
3 the returning refugees. They decided to publicly encourage refugees to
4 return to their homes.
5 That same day General Ojdanic issued a directive stipulating that
6 reception of refugees at the state border should be conducted in an
7 organised fashion, that the army should assist other government organs
8 with respect to the further care of the refugees, and that KLA
9 infiltration among the returning refugees should be prevented and that
10 international humanitarian law should be respected.
11 Therefore, the evidence elicited from our witnesses and Yugoslav
12 Army documents will show that General Ojdanic and the General Staff never
13 favoured the expulsion of Albanians from Kosovo and that they saw it as
14 something completely counter-productive to the national interest. In
15 addition to proving that General Ojdanic never participated in or had
16 knowledge of any plan to expel the Albanians from Kosovo we will
17 demonstrate through witnesses and documents, showing that his actions
18 during the war were in keeping with the highest traditions, not only of
19 the Yugoslav Army but of international humanitarian law as well.
20 It is important, however, for the Trial Chamber to gain an
21 understanding of the times and conditions under which General Ojdanic
22 performed his duties and worked and these are the sites and sounds from
23 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the war.
24 While we dissect General Ojdanic's words and deeds from the 24th
25 of March until the end of the war in June 1999 in this courtroom, which is
1 clean and well-lit, eight years after the fact, insulated and isolated
2 from everything and everybody, we must always bear in mind that General
3 Ojdanic was acting at a time of intensive bombing living in an underground
4 command post from which he never emerged until the end of the war and he
5 took positions to defend the people and property in his country.
6 When viewed in that context what General Ojdanic did was nothing
7 short of remarkable. While organising and commanding troops at levels
8 never seen before, General Ojdanic issued order after order to ensure that
9 people going to Kosovo were screened both physically and psychologically
10 and that they had a working knowledge of humanitarian law and that
11 paramilitary formations be forbidden.
12 General Ojdanic also made sure that military court organs be
13 mobilised at the beginning of the war, that reports of war crimes be
14 compiled and followed up and addressed by the military justice system. As
15 the war continued, he insisted that the military justice system upgrade
16 its work and be accountable through upgraded reporting requirements.
17 During the Defence case you will hear from the chief of the legal
18 department, General Gojovic, and other witnesses who will testify to the
19 orders issued by General Ojdanic and the efforts made by the military
20 justice system under difficult circumstances to implement them.
21 You will also hear evidence of how reports were sent up the chain
22 of command and orders were sent down the chain of command. The Yugoslav
23 Army had a bottom-to-top reporting system from the level of a company all
24 the way up to the level of the General Staff. On the table that you have
25 before you, you can see the way that information moved from the events on
1 the ground up to the top-most level.
2 The General Staff received combat reports from the 3rd Army and
3 the Pristina Corps on a daily basis during the war. Evidence has shown
4 and will show that none of the specific crimes alleged in the indictment
5 were ever brought to the attention of the General Staff. General Ojdanic
6 had no knowledge of these specific crimes. When he did become aware in
7 general of crimes being committed in Kosovo, General Ojdanic sprang into
8 action. He called President Milosevic up on the same day he learnt that
9 such crimes were widespread. Then he called General Pavkovic that same
10 day and organised a meeting at the highest level to look into these
12 General Ojdanic sent senior members of the General Staff, such as
13 General Geza Farkas, General Vasiljevic, and General Gajic to Kosovo to
14 find out what was going on there and to recommend ways of remedying the
15 situation. He also issued order after order designed to promote the
16 prevention and punishment of war crimes at a high level, and the orders
17 were transmitted down the chain of command to the lowest levels.
18 General Ojdanic matched words with action. He took action, and
19 his actions were implemented in a consistent and persevering manner and
20 this shows that General Ojdanic never participated in any joint criminal
21 enterprise that he never condoned any crimes against civilians but quite
22 the contrary that he took more than reasonable steps to prevent and punish
23 war crimes in Kosovo.
24 The evidence that you will hear over the next few weeks will
25 demonstrate that General Ojdanic is not guilty of the crimes with which he
1 is charged. We hope that you will get to know General Ojdanic during this
2 part of the trial from documentary evidence, from the descriptions of the
3 events by those who lived through them with General Ojdanic, as well as
4 through expert testimony, and finally at the end of the Defence case
5 through the testimony of General Ojdanic himself. Although he is retired
6 now and the only post he holds is that of husband, father, and
7 grandfather, he is the same man, guileless, straight-talking. The same
8 man that he was during the war. He will tell you what he did and why he
9 did it. Our entire Defence team is proud to represent General Ojdanic in
10 this trial.
11 May we call our first witness?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
13 Your first witness is?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our first witness is
15 Colonel Rade Cucak, chief of intelligence administration -- no, I
16 apologise, chief of the --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear Mr. Visnjic because
18 he's far away from the microphone.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I need to ask the Trial Chamber
20 to allow us two things. One is to shorten the time allotted for this
21 witness from three hours to two hours, even though in our initial 65 ter
22 motion we asked for three hours for examination-in-chief. And our other
23 request is to introduce Exhibit 3D991 through this witness. We sent
24 notice quite late, that is to say yesterday, concerning this exhibit;
25 however, it was impossible for us to plan everything because the timetable
1 in this case is as subject to change as the weather in the Netherlands and
2 I apologise for this. It was only yesterday that we had occasion to have
3 a meaningful conversation with the witness.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it not inevitable that all your 65 ter times
5 will be altered in view of the limitation there is on the time available
6 for the presentation of the Defence case? I mean, that must follow, and I
7 doubt if you expect us to refuse the first part of your motion.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, but perhaps we
9 will have some motions of the opposite nature. So I was just counting on
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but it might be an idea I think
12 if counsel yet to present their cases were to adjust the estimate so that
13 we don't run into the situation that we had with the last two or three
14 witnesses, where the Prosecution were claiming that they were misled by an
15 indication that a witness would give evidence for much longer than he
16 actually did. So if better indications can be given in light of what we
17 now expect to be a period occupied by the trial, and you alone will know
18 you have arranged the time available, then that would be helpful to the
19 Prosecution I'm quite sure.
20 As far as the other matter is concerned, Mr. Stamp, do you have
21 any comment about the introduction of 3D991?
22 MR. STAMP: No, I have no objections.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Well, that will be allowed.
25 So can we have the witness, please.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, I have
2 another motion, and that is -- I think that the witness may come in --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he can stay where he is at the moment. He
4 doesn't need to leave the courtroom.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] So have this witness testify partly
6 viva voce and partly pursuant to 92 ter statement which was disclosed to
7 the Prosecution and does not deviate substantially from what they were put
8 on notice in 65 ter. This is our manner of speeding up proceedings.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: You've no reason to think that we will not admit a
10 92 ter statement unless some point is taken against you. So you can take
11 that as read unless for some reason that there is opposition.
12 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that -- is that everything?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Cucak.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
19 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
24 You will now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf of General
1 Mr. Visnjic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 WITNESS: RADE CUCAK
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Would you please introduce yourself for the record.
9 A. My name is Rade Cucak. I'm a retired colonel.
10 Q. Before you proceed with your testimony, I wish to ask you whether
11 it's true that on the 17th of August, 2007, you gave a statement to the
12 Ojdanic Defence team, which you also signed?
13 A. Yes, that's correct, I also signed it.
14 Q. Is it also true that while preparing for this testimony --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear Mr. Visnjic's
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Can you confirm that everything you stated in that statement is
21 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry, I think that there is some problem in
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you ask the question again then, please.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I will repeat my question.
25 Q. Is it true that while preparing for this testimony you reviewed
1 and you read that statement?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Can you confirm to me that everything stated in that statement is
4 accurate, and if you were to testify here in this courtroom you would
5 repeat everything stated in that statement?
6 A. Yes, I confirmed that. I would state the same were I to testify
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Exhibit
9 3D1083, the statement of the witness that we wish to tender under Rule 92
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Colonel, would you please tell us what was the last post you held
14 before retirement?
15 A. Immediately before retiring I was chief of service for the state
16 border within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Federal Republic of
18 Q. And what was your post during 1998 and 1999?
19 A. During that time I was chief of service for the state border, or
20 rather, department for border affairs within the General Staff of the Army
21 of Yugoslavia, and this department was located within the --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the end of the
23 sentence. Could the witness please come closer to the microphone, and the
24 same applies to Mr. Visnjic.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You told us where your department was located.
1 Could you repeat what you said about where the department was located.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last post I held, or rather, the
3 one before the last was my post as chief of the department for border
4 affairs within the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And the department for border -- I apologise. The department for
8 border service was within which administration within the General Staff of
9 the army Yugoslavia?
10 A. That department was within the first administration or operations
11 administration, as it is also known, of the sector for operational and
12 staff affairs of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Thank you. In your statement you described in detail your career,
14 however, during one collegiums General Marjanovic announced you as the man
15 who slept at least three times in each border post. Please tell me, how
16 much time did you spend at the border dealing with border affairs?
17 A. When I started working back in 1987 in the department for border
18 affairs, I was an officer for border affairs from then on until 2000. I
19 served in the General Staff holding all posts, including the highest one
20 which is the chief of border service. Throughout that time I dealt with
21 organisational and technical matters as well as inspecting the border
22 regime; that is to say that I spent quite a lot of time at various
24 Q. In your statement you described quite in detail the terms and the
25 regime of securing the state border. Could you please confirm what was
1 said in paragraph 8 of your statement and to give us some features of the
2 border between the Republic of Albania and Republic of Macedonia with FRY
3 that have to do directly with the system of securing the state border.
4 A. I gave some basic features of the state border with Albania and
5 Macedonia; however, the state border with Albania and Macedonia, the
6 borderline runs along high mountain range, high above the sea level, and
7 the range splits it into two. The border is basically inaccessible,
8 although there are some routes that one can take in order to cross on foot
9 and unlike the border with Macedonia -- unlike the border with Albania,
10 the border with Macedonia is a bit more accessible.
11 Q. You wanted to add something else.
12 A. The border as it was needed sufficient troops to secure it,
13 especially during the time when it was quite difficult, in 1998 and 1999.
14 Q. Were there any parts of the border that had not been regulated by
15 state treaties?
16 A. Yes. The border with the newly established states in the
17 territory of the former Yugoslavia was not regulated by any state treaties
18 so that the border between Kosovo and Macedonia, or rather, the entire
19 border with Macedonia was not regulated by an international treaty, but
20 the delineation process began.
21 Q. I think that you were appointed chief in 1995, am I right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What did you encounter, what was the situation like when you
24 came --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before we go into that, Mr. Visnjic, looking
1 at paragraph 8 - and I'd like you just to help me with this rather than
2 ask the witness if you can - you refer -- the statement refers to three
3 passes through the mountain between Albania and the FRY. And then the
4 next paragraph mentions routes running across the border. Now, do these
5 go through the passes that are mentioned in the previous paragraph?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it would be
7 best if the witness answers that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean you're unable to answer? I mean, I
9 can understand that but you'll appreciate it if --
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: If you don't know the answer to that, you're going
12 to understand that we're going to be even more in the dark unless it's
13 clarified, and it may be of some importance because of the evidence that
14 we've heard about the routes that refugees claim to have taken.
15 So please ask the witness, yes.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for not
17 answering immediately. I'm just waiting for interpretation to conclude;
18 that's why I'm not reacting immediately.
19 Q. Colonel, please tell the Court in relation to the border between
20 Kosovo and the Republic of Albania, first of all, what are the official
21 roads? Please look at your statement, paragraph 8. We're now speaking of
22 the roads between the Republic of Albania and Kosovo.
23 A. The border passes Cafa Prusit, Cafa Dobrunes, and Morina are the
24 passes along which the roads run, across which the roads run.
25 Q. Which ones are related to the state border -- just a minute,
1 Colonel. Which road runs along which pass because sometimes there's
2 several settlements with the same name. So could you tell the Court which
3 road runs along which pass?
4 A. Cafa Prusit is Cafa Prusit, that road and that pass. Vrbica going
5 along Zijaz, this is not up in the mountains. This is a road leading from
6 the Federal Republic into Albania and vice versa.
7 Q. Connecting which two major towns?
8 A. Well, you have it on the map.
9 Q. If you could just tell us, please.
10 Colonel, take it easy, please, explain to the Chamber --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I think if I could just stop you there. I think --
12 and please listen to I'm going to say and if I've got the picture clearly.
13 You were referring first of all to three mountain passes. You then
14 followed that by reference to three roads which are not through the
15 mountain passes and one railway. And then you then followed that by the
16 names of the three crossings for the specific roads and the railway. Is
17 that correct?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct that there are three
19 border crossings to Albania; these are mentioned in my statement. Vrbica,
20 Cafa Prusit, and Bozaj. And there's another railway crossing. These --
21 this is Tuzi, too, from Kosovo and Metohija Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia, from Kosovo and Metohija -- and one from Montenegro to
23 Albania, the road, and the railway from Tuzi to Albania.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you very much.
25 Just continue, please, Mr. Visnjic. I'll have a look at the map
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Could you please describe the border. You
4 started by saying that the border crosses a mountain range. Could you
5 please wait until I finish my question. You started by saying that the
6 border crosses a number of mountain ranges. Please, if you have anything
7 to add, feel free to do so.
8 A. The border, the Albanian border, crosses some mountain ranges, the
9 Junik Mountain, Pastrik, and Gora and then on to Macedonia and across to
10 Mount Sara. This border is a difficult one to cross although there are
11 many footpaths there, according to our estimate over 200 of those and it's
12 possible to move along those and four people to walk across the state
13 border using those footpaths.
14 Q. Thank you. Throughout 1998 -- actually I'm talking about the
15 first half of 1998, what was the security system along the state border on
16 the Kosovo side facing Albania and Macedonia?
17 A. The security regime along the state border was stepped-up back in
18 1995, and this applied throughout until the end of the war.
19 Q. What do you mean when you say "stepped-up" in relation to the
20 security regime along the state border?
21 A. Stepped-up security regime means that people worked 12-hour shifts
22 and more, up to 16-hour shifts in certain areas. A minor part work
23 eight-hour shifts and then they take a rest. This required a lot of men
24 in order to get the state border secured, those who were fit to do so, of
25 course, and were trained to perform that sort of task.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit 3D182.
2 Q. Colonel, you've heard of the so-called White Book of the Ministry
3 of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, have you not?
4 This is about incidents that occurred along the border throughout the
5 period that we are referring to in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. I
6 believe we actually looked at the book as you were being prepped for your
7 testimony, right?
8 A. Yes, indeed.
9 Q. You went through the incidents enumerated in that book, right?
10 A. Yes, all of them.
11 Q. To the best of your knowledge, who was the source of information
12 for what is presented in the book?
13 A. As for border incidents, the source was the General Staff of the
14 VJ. The General Staff obtained its information from the Pristina Corps,
15 the command of the 3rd Army, in the form of daily operative reports.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have page 85 brought
17 up on our monitors.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Exhibit number?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It's the same exhibit, 3D182.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Colonel, we see an example here, several of those incidents. This
23 refers to May 1998. What I wanted to ask you is this: In addition to
24 this material that was probably provided at a later stage to the Ministry
25 of Foreign Affairs, did the VJ also prepare a file in which it tried to
1 list all the incidents along the state border, especially the border to
2 Albania? Are you familiar with that, that is, between January and June
4 A. Yes, I am familiar with that. The Army of Yugoslavia periodically
5 reported to the relevant state bodies on the situation along the state
6 border. In this period, too, they drew up a report for the Ministry of
7 Foreign Affairs so that they might then inform the domestic and
8 international public about what was going on along the border.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have 3D991.
10 Q. Colonel, a document is about to appear in front of you from the
11 Pristina Corps command dated the 17th of April, 1998. Could you please
12 have a look and then comment on it if you can. It's not necessarily for
13 you to repeat what the document actually says. Just comment, please,
14 comment on the substance of this document. You will soon see page 1.
15 While you're looking at it, let me ask you one question: Are you
16 familiar with this particular incident?
17 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this incident that occurred on the 17th of
18 April, 1998.
19 Q. Can you comment on the development described in this document?
20 A. It was sometime past midnight on the 16th of April or perhaps the
21 early morning hours. It was 1.45 a.m. A group of between 50 and 60
22 people carried out an attack from the territory of the Republic of
23 Albania. They organised an ambush and attack from the territory of the
24 Republic of Albania, a terrorist group --
25 Q. But don't read the document. Comment, please.
1 A. They opened fire from the territory of the Republic of Albania and
2 they fired at official state border bodies of Yugoslavia who were securing
3 the border. An attempt was made to force their way into the Yugoslav
4 territory and to create conditions for bringing in weapons and military
6 Q. There are preferences in this document to -- there is a reference
7 to a code LMK. What does that mean?
8 A. The code LMK is an abbreviation which means local mixed
9 commission. It's a joint local mixed commission of Yugoslavia and
10 Albania. That's what it means. It comprises a Yugoslav part and an
11 Albanian part.
12 Q. Thank you. Did the commission go to the scene of the incident?
13 A. Yes. Joint on-site inspection was carried out and they found some
14 weapons and military equipment in that area. However, the Albanian side
15 started to react by saying that those incidents had occurred from Albanian
16 territory. So when the Yugoslav state patrols said that they would fire
17 at the area from which the action had arrived, the Albanian part of the
18 joint commission requested or demanded that this not be done, which only
19 proves that they knew about the incident.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that an accurate translation that the Albanian
21 side started to react by saying that those incidents had occurred from
22 Albanian territory?
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In the document or what the witness
24 just said, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's what the witness said. He said at line 4.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was action from Albanian
2 territory because the group virtually had entered territory, but they had
3 received support from Albanian territory, the territory of the state of
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Let me phrase it this way. What did the Albanian side acknowledge
7 or accept, if you like?
8 A. They did not deny when they saw the amount of weapons and military
9 equipment; however, they said that the Albanian side was not responsible
10 for this. They also denied that the perpetrators were from Albanian
11 territory. That is the essence.
12 Q. How did you conclude that they were supporting these persons who
13 committed the incident? How did you conclude that the Albanian side were
14 supporting these people who were purportedly operating from Albania?
15 A. Because the border bodies, our president [as interpreted] of the
16 joint local commission -- for many reasons, actually. The people who
17 experienced this were the organs who involved in this event and they told
18 everybody about it. Secondly, at an LMK meeting a member of our joint
19 commission, our representative of the local mixed commission announced
20 that fire would be opened at the facility and at the territory that had
21 been used to attack Serbia, or rather, Yugoslavia. And then the Albanian
22 representative in the local commission reacted vehemently and ask that
23 this not be done, which was proof, although the firing was not accidental,
24 that they knew who was in that area.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: There's something peculiar about line 5 on that
2 page. It may have been something like representative of the joint local
3 commission but it certainly our president; however, it will no doubt be
4 corrected in the review.
5 Please continue, Mr. Visnjic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Can we please now move on to 3D738.
8 Q. Colonel, you testified that the army was reporting to state bodies
9 about these incidents. Can you please look at this document, sir, and
10 tell us briefly whether you're familiar with it.
11 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this document. This is a report,
12 information, that was sent to the minister of foreign affairs because of
13 everything that was going on along the state border between the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia and Albania.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be enlarged for
16 the witness. Can we please zoom-in on the last three paragraphs, the last
17 three passages in paragraph 1, the last three lines, actually.
18 Q. This statement or proposal that the Republic of Albania be
19 indicted in front of the relevant national institutions for their support
20 to Siptar separatists and terrorists and for an open act of aggression
21 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I would say this is a very
22 serious charge.
23 A. Yes. This is, indeed, a very serious charge, but it is true, the
24 reason being, although serious border incidents were committed from
25 Albania territory sabotage and terrorist groups were crossing from
1 Albania's territory they enjoyed their tacit support and the Albanian side
2 did absolutely nothing in order to suppress these incidents and in order
3 to keep the Yugoslav state border from being threatened which would have
4 been in keeping with the agreement. Another thing that is important is
5 that the Yugoslav side at the time many times spoke to the Albanian side
6 in order to set up a joint local commission for these violations of the
7 state border. The commission was not set up at the time and never has
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the date of this?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The 16th of July, 1998.
11 May we now have page 2 of the document shown to the witness,
12 paragraphs 2, 3, and 4.
13 Q. May we have your comments on those three paragraphs. The one
14 beginning: "Albania fully placed its territory ..." Et cetera and the
15 following two paragraphs, so paragraph 1, 2, and 3.
16 A. In the piece of information something that was quite obvious was
17 stressed. It was impossible that on a daily basis masses of armed persons
18 wearing different uniforms and civilians, too, be moving in all directions
19 without anybody from the official Albanian organs reacting. So it was
20 tacit support to the terrorist forces on the territory of Kosovo and
22 Q. In addition to this covert support, other forms of support were
23 also mentioned?
24 A. Yes. The authorities determined this by monitoring the situation.
25 They determined that cadres were being trained in Albania and that they
1 were being armed, and that a lot of the weapons that these people carried
2 were the same as the weapons that the Albanian army had. So how could
3 they have reached the hands of Albanian terrorists unless they were being
4 supplied. And we know that all the barracks in 1997 were pilfered on the
5 territory of Albania and all the outposts, too, and there was no security
6 system for the borders. And somehow these weapons found their way into
7 the hands of the terrorists.
8 Q. Colonel, everybody is tired, so please slow down. I'm sure you'll
9 understand, we're all tired and so are the interpreters.
10 A. Yes, I'll do my best.
11 Q. This piece of information was signed by the Chief of the General
12 Staff, who was General Perisic at the time, of the JNA. Do you know what
13 prompted him to give out this piece of information and is it linked to any
14 other activities that the Yugoslav Army performed at that time and linked
15 to the situation and regime or system along the state border?
16 A. This was signed by the Chief of the General Staff. He had to sign
17 it in order to let the international community know what was going on and
18 not to blame a country that was defending itself from terrorist forces in
19 the area being blamed and that measures be taken, adequate measures.
20 Q. Is that the slowest you can go?
21 A. Well, I'll do my best to speak slower.
22 Q. Yes, please do so.
23 A. Thank you.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Exhibit 3D740 next, please.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: While we're awaiting that if we can go back one
1 Exhibit, Mr. Visnjic, 3D991, is there no English version of that?
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, there is.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: There was. Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. In paragraph 9 of the summary you speak about the extension of the
6 border belt and I'll show you 3D740 next, that exhibit, it is the Official
7 Gazette in which the decision was published to -- on the determination and
8 establishment of the border areas. It is dated the 21st of July, 1998.
9 Now, Colonel, when we compare this document and the document of
10 the 16th of July, 1998, the letter to Zivadin Jovanovic, can you explain
11 to the Court why such a decision was taken in the first place, who
12 proposed it, and how was the decision put into practice on the ground?
13 A. The Zivadin Jovanovic letter is a product of the situation on the
14 ground. As I've already said, it was designed to inform the international
15 community and also the local public, domestic public, about the situation.
16 At the same time, the competent state authorities looked into measures
17 that could be undertaken to ensure that the state border was secure and
18 that was their role as state organs. And in order to achieve that, the
19 operative department, after consulting the -- those who implemented the
20 security system on the ground came to the conclusion that what was needed
21 was to extend the border belt, to expand it towards Albania in order to
22 create conditions for the security system to function properly, more
23 easily, or rather, to apply tactics in the security system and to reduce
24 the effects that the terrorist activities had on the security organs.
25 Q. Very well. Can you tell us what this actually meant in practice.
1 Give us an example.
2 A. Well, this is what it meant in practice. The border belt was a
3 belt of 100 metres facing Albania, the border towards Albania. And from
4 the territory of Albania on several occasions the person at the border
5 providing security was targeted on a number of occasions. The security
6 organs were not able to organise other forms of protection and security
7 like reconnaissance posts, observation posts, or things like that, and so
8 the border belt was expanded to allow the security forces to be able to
9 control a broader area and move around a broader area, in conformity with
10 the law of course, and to be able to provide proper security and
11 protection for the border belt.
12 Q. Shall we take a look at what this was like on the map.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D739 is the next exhibit, it is a
14 map which is on e-court, but we have brought a copy with us here into
15 court and I hope that it will give you a better overview of the situation
16 and area.
17 Q. Colonel, we have the legend. The yellow is the expansion of the
18 border belt in July 1998, is it not. Now, can you explain the differences
19 in width, or rather, depth on this border belt when we look at it on the
20 map when we see the borders with Albania and Macedonia. But tell me,
21 first of all, whether this expansion related to the entire border of the
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, all its borders.
23 A. There was an expansion of the border belt before this, too, in
24 certain sections of the border belt during the SFRY, some of these were
25 retained. After that the border belt was expanded towards Albania, that's
1 the first expansion, and this was in line with the assessments on a
2 need-to-do basis and this is the area where there was -- where there
3 were -- which was shot at. There was firing in all these areas as well as
4 at Lake Skadar, which --
5 Q. Which is the border with Montenegro, is it not?
6 A. This is the border between Albania and Yugoslavia on the territory
7 of Montenegro. So where the border was most endangered and where the
8 border regime was violated on many occasions and where there was shooting,
9 what we did was to expand the border belt in depth and that we looked at
10 the roads, too. It was very difficult to cross certain mountains, so
11 mountain passes and paths were -- the passage through these areas were
12 facilitated. So the border was not 5 kilometres, it was 500 metres
13 towards Bojana and 3 to 5 kilometres in this area, the higher mountains
14 and so on.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I clarify something.
16 Mr. Visnjic said to you that the yellow part was the extension.
17 Is that correct?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. That is the
19 extension of the border belt.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And is the red line the border?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The red line -- this line is the
22 border. This is the border.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Does -- excuse -- excuse our ignorance, but we need
24 to be clear about this. Does that mean that the border belt, as you have
25 called it, does not normally go up to the border?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It does. The border belt does go up
2 to the border, it's just an extended border belt. It's -- the border belt
3 established by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a belt of 100 metres
4 and that came under the authority of the security organs, but the law also
5 provided for the fact that -- or for the possibility of extending the
6 border belt where necessary.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, does that mean that you established the
8 border on the territory of Albania?
9 I know that sounds stupid, but I have to say I don't understand
10 this. If the yellow part is the extension, it follows that the grey part
11 is what was originally the border belt, and that doesn't appear to go to
12 the border.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, might I be allowed to
14 help out?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The thin red line is the border
17 between Albania and Yugoslavia. A thicker yellow line continues on from
18 this line, which was the first extension of the border belt. The second
19 extension of the border belt from March 1999 - and we'll come to that in
20 due course during the examination of this witness - is the second red
21 line, if I can call it that, but it's pink actually, which follows on from
22 the yellow line, the thicker pink or red line or belt, whichever you like
23 to call it, following on from the yellow one. So all the extensions go
24 towards Yugoslav territory, whereas the thin red line is the beginning of
25 the border and the actual border.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That now clarifies it, but without
2 being told what the border was and without being told what the pink area
3 was, it was not easy to understand this. Now I do understand this, so
4 please proceed.
5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: One more clarification. Did you also have a
6 buffer zone within the belt or before the belt or the belt was the buffer
7 zone itself?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The buffer belt did not exist. The
9 borderline was the borderline, which was to be respected and abided by
10 both sides.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I would like also to understand why it was
12 necessary to extend an area that has a name "border belt." By doing that
13 what was it you could do on that territory that you could not previously
14 do on that territory?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First let me give you the basics.
16 First of all, we prevented direct shooting at people from Albanian
17 territory, because we had a number of direct attacks using fire-arms,
18 shooting the security people moving along the border belt.
19 Second, we created conditions to apply different tactics, security
20 tactics by which the security organs can move around -- could move around
21 undetected, and thereby to register a people violating the border regime.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that you've said that already in
23 your statement, but why could you not do these things anyway without
24 declaring an extension to the border belt?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say that people were
1 killed in that border belt, I have to add that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but what was it that you were
3 prevented from doing to deal with that without extending the border belt?
4 What actions could you not take?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were not able to have an
6 aggression against Albania, clean-up all the area around the border was it
7 was an area of aggression and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did not
8 want to have this kind of aggression. The terrorists had crossed the
9 border --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You can't have aggression on your own territory.
11 But maybe you can help, Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Colonel, tell me, please, what were the powers of the army in the
14 border belt and what were the powers of the army outside the border belt?
15 A. The army in the border belt had the following rights: To ask for
16 ID of any people who violated the border regime and crossed over
17 unlawfully, to arrest them, and to hand them over to the competent organs
18 of the interior.
19 Q. Let's take this step by step. When an individual who violates the
20 border regime exits this 100-metre border belt, what powers did the army
21 have, if it had any? What could the army do about it?
22 A. The army had the power, if they noticed somebody crossing
23 unlawfully, to follow them until they arrest them and then hand them over
24 to the competent authorities. That is by the book. However, on rare
25 occasions the -- it was rare that organs entered the territory, but when
1 there was shooting in the border belt if they were not able to pass by
2 unnoticed they would go back to Albanian territory.
3 Q. All right. Now, the army outside the border belt, did it have the
4 right to set up ambushes and other forms of border control?
5 A. No. Only if the unit was in the border belt.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the basis then for saying that the army
8 cannot do that without extending the border belt? Why can't the army just
9 exercise reasonable force to prevent attacks on the territory?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army, the border units, could
11 not. They were not authorised to fire upon the territory of Albania.
12 This 100-metre belt did not allow them to move around safely, to stay
13 there safely. For that reason, the border belt was extended so that the
14 border patrol could inspect the territory deeper in than just the border.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: My reason for being particularly concerned about
16 this is in case it has some relevance for the issues over
17 General Perisic's attitude to the powers of the army. Unless we
18 understand this, then it is going to be difficult for us to deal with that
19 issue. And at that moment, the only thing that the witness appears to
20 have said - and I doubt if he really means it - is that if you extend the
21 border belt you can start shooting at Albanians in Albania.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely that's not -- that
23 wasn't stated. That's not the case. The witness said that the border
24 belt is extended in order to create conditions for the border security to
25 do their job in their own territory, for them to have legal powers and not
1 to fire upon anybody else's territory or the state territory of Albania or
2 the territory of any other state for that matter.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The one other possibility in what you've said is
4 that if somebody manages to get over the border belt then you can't
5 actually arrest them. But, you see, I suspect that's not right either.
6 So I'm not understanding at all what it is you can do that you couldn't do
7 before the border belt was extended.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, I would also like to add something, maybe it
9 clarifies. Was it an extended area where you had a sort of a curfew,
10 where you checked people much beyond the border, and if anybody entered
11 that curfew territory then he must have papers or -- was that the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I have to repeat yet again.
14 The border belt is part of the territory of the Federal Republic of
15 Yugoslavia, where the state border organs have certain powers. They can
16 ask for IDs, they can search, they can detain somebody and hand them over
17 to competent state organs. That is to say, that applies to the belt. Why
18 did we extend it? Well, we extended it because we could not deploy our
19 people within that 100-metre belt and have them shot at from the Albanian
20 territory and killed, because that's what was happening. In order for us
21 to prevent fire being opened from the territory of Albania, we extended
22 the border belt so that our people could be deeper inside our own
23 territory and thus be safe from the fire opened from -- opened at them
24 from the territory of Albania and so that they could patrol the area and
25 prevent the people from entering the territory of Yugoslavia illegally and
1 bringing in with them a large amount of illegally obtained weapons.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that you're saying the state border
3 organs have no powers out with the border belt?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely that. Their powers are
5 linked to the border belt solely, unless they're chasing somebody. And
6 they can chase somebody only until they hand them over to the MUP
7 representatives. They can only chase somebody within their own territory.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
10 P1440, page 1, please.
11 Q. Colonel, please tell me, after the border belt was extended, did
12 the situation improve at the border?
13 A. Unfortunately, the situation did not improve significantly, except
14 that the state, or rather, the security organs were given a broader
15 territory where they could act and they uncovered or detected more
16 violators than previously, violators who were bringing in from the
17 territory of Albania various kinds of military equipment, arms, and so on.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, would you please look at the document before you.
19 Are you familiar with this event?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. Could you comment, please?
22 A. Yes. This involved a unit which came to secure the state border.
23 Every unit entering the area of the border belt for official purposes has
24 to first become familiar with the area where they're going to serve, where
25 they're going to move, and they need to become familiar with the most
1 frequent offences in that border belt and the reasons why the border belt
2 is at risk. This unit came to the border belt and its commander wished to
3 take them through the border belt, once, twice, if necessary, three times
4 in order for them to become familiar with the terrain so that they could
5 work independently in the border belt. Unfortunately, on that day an
6 ambush was organised partially in the territory of Albania and partial in
7 the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And the border
8 organs which were closer to the border were ambushed and then the document
9 describes the consequences that ensued.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
12 3D663, Exhibit 3D663. These are minutes from the collegium of the Chiefs
13 of General Staff from the 3rd of November, 1998. Could the witness please
14 be shown page 20 in B/C/S, paragraph 2; in English page 9, paragraph 5.
15 Q. Colonel, you were present at this meeting, you attended the
16 collegium, didn't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you tell us briefly, there was a discussion about the
19 border. What was the importance of the border for Yugoslavia at that
20 point in time; that is to say, to what extent the border problems
21 represented a significant problem?
22 A. The border between Kosovo and Metohija and the neighbouring states
23 was burdened by terrorist activities and it was endangered significantly.
24 That required significant amount of troops and resources, which needed to
25 be sent to the area in order to prevent any losses on our side inflicted
1 by the terrorist forces who were active. Unfortunately, in this period of
2 time the terrorists became active internally as well in the settlements
3 within the border area. They started attacking border organs and border
4 units stationed there.
5 Q. When you say internally, what do you have in mind?
6 A. From the territory of Serbia and Montenegro, from Kosovo. Those
7 were the terrorist forces that were inside the country. I have to explain
8 this so that it's clear. As soon as the border belt was extended, it
9 became more difficult to bring in weapons and military equipment into the
10 country. In order to distract the border organs, the terrorist forces
11 active in Kosovo and Metohija occasionally would attack border organs from
12 our own territory, from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, that is to
13 say territory of Serbia and Yugoslavia. They would attack border organs
14 in order to create a confusion and to enable them to bring in further
15 quantities of military equipment and weapons. And that was one of the
16 reasons that the meeting of the collegium was held, in order to draw
17 attention to these problems and to see what steps needed to be taken.
18 Q. Thank you. We can stay on the same page, page 20, paragraph 7 in
19 B/C/S, but in English it's page 10, paragraph 5.
20 Colonel, General Perisic talks here about the need to secure the
21 state border. What was his position at that point?
22 A. General Perisic insisted on securing the border with existing
23 forces and resources. He insisted on other units being deployed there, if
24 necessary from the Pristina Corps and -- but not the, or rather, he -- I
25 always insisted on specially trained personnel to be sent to the border
1 belt because that is my position, that only people that are specially
2 trained for that could serve in that area.
3 Q. If I understood you well, there was a proposal to deploy to the
4 border belt special units, or rather, not special units, but rather, units
5 trained for border inspection?
6 A. At this meeting of the collegium, we wanted -- as I've told you
7 earlier, we started having terrorist activity inside the country, in the
8 border belt, and we wanted to create conditions for our units to act
9 without hindrance in the border belt. We wanted to ensure that they were
10 safe, that nobody would attack them from their backs. This is why we
11 proposed that the border belt be additionally extended in order to create
12 legally a situation where only people who were specially authorised could
13 stay in that area or people who had their residence there and who were
14 specially registered by the organs and who were then allowed to stay in
15 the extended border area.
16 Q. And as far as I could gather- and you can see that here in
17 paragraph -- in the last paragraph of page 10 of the English and page 11,
18 paragraph 1 and 2 of B/C/S General Perisic proposed this and what happened
19 after that?
20 A. Well, this was on the 3rd of November. General Perisic rejected
21 this proposal, but then only for the reasons known to him he went to
22 Kosovo and Metohija on the second -- on the following day, on the 4th of
23 November, and he came to the forward command post in Djakovica and there
24 he met with the commander of the forward command post. He was briefed
25 about the situation there and he could see himself the problems that
1 existed concerning securing the state border. Then upon his return, he
2 changed his opinion.
3 Q. In what way?
4 A. He said that appropriate measures needed to be taken in order to
5 build up the security system and in order to create conditions for people
6 to be able to live and work there, for the services that were stationed
7 there to be able to work there.
8 Q. Do you know if General Perisic issued any orders related to that?
9 A. Yes. Following that, he ordered that a special team be created to
10 analyse the situation in detail, a team of experts, and then to propose
11 appropriate solutions. This expert team, as far as I can remember,
12 comprised Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army, General Simic; Chief of Staff of
13 the Pristina Corps, now - General Lazarevic, at the time he was a Colonel;
14 and some other expert organs that dealt with the issues of securing the
15 state border.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know if this
18 is a good time to adjourn.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
20 Mr. Cucak, we have to terminate our proceedings for the day at
21 this stage; that means that you will have to come back here on Monday to
22 continue your evidence. That will be at 9.00 on Monday morning --
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it's on
24 Tuesday --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, sorry, yes, sorry, on Tuesday. I apologise.
1 Tuesday morning at 9.00. Over the weekend and until you come back
2 here to continue your evidence, you must have no discussion with anyone at
3 all about the evidence in this case. You can meet with and talk with
4 whoever you wish about other things, but not the evidence in the case.
5 Now would you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: We will now adjourn until 9.00 on Tuesday, but the
8 final sitting arrangements for Tuesday and Thursday will be notified to
9 you sometime in the course of Monday. The start time will not change, but
10 it may be that the full sitting times will change. So 9.00 on Tuesday.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.31 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 4th day of
13 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.