1 Monday, 10 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: As all can see, Mr. Milutinovic's counsel are not
6 present this morning. The Trial Chamber has been given certain
7 information, it may be that there are others here who can supplement that
8 information, I don't know, but Mr. O'Sullivan I gather is unwell and
9 Mr. Zecevic on his way back from Belgrade.
10 Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the information I have, I've been in
12 communication with Mr. O'Sullivan by e-mail, the flight that Mr. Zecevic
13 is on is scheduled to land at 10.30 but rarely does so. It's a flight out
14 of Belgrade on JAT. You can't be certain when they might arrive but they
15 try to arrive at 10.30. So I don't know quite how you want to deal with
16 the possibility that Mr. Zecevic could be here by noon perhaps if
17 everything works well. That's probably the best I can give you right now.
18 Maybe there's a possibility I don't know of rescheduling for an
19 afternoon schedule. That would solve all the problems, but I don't know
20 if that's possible.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not possible at the moment because I don't
22 have enough information about the plans for the other cases. The
23 programme on the face of it is a full one today, apart from court 2 this
24 morning and this doesn't assist with the resolution of this difficulty.
25 It's -- unless there was a particular suggestion from the Defence to
1 proceed in their absence, it's not our view that that should happen. Even
2 though there are clearly electronic facilities available which could
3 assist, but we're not inclined to abandon the day completely at this
4 stage. So I intend to -- can you tell me, just before I go further,
5 Mr. Ackerman, how does Mr. Zecevic normally get from the airport to here?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I think he normally comes by taxi, which would be
7 the fastest way to get here. I think that's what he normally uses so he
8 would get here as -- I think he's aware of the situation so he would try
9 to get here as quickly as possible. And I might say that it's remarkable
10 that we've gone this far without an illness interrupting our proceedings.
11 That's unprecedented at the Tribunal, certainly in my experience here.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I agree, but the experience of the end of the
13 Prosecution case tells us that what we ought to do is have time in the
14 bank, if we can, for later. So it's obviously possible that we could sit
15 from 12.00 to 1.45, which we consider would be worth doing. If then there
16 was a facility for proceeding further, we could do that as well, but at
17 the moment there's no immediate prospect of that. There's probably no
18 good reason for trying to sit any earlier than 12.00 because if we're
19 stuck with the morning only we would gain no more time by making it 11.30
20 than 12.00 because of translation. The only way it would be worth sitting
21 earlier if very soon it became known that one of the other cases was not
22 going to sit this afternoon. So what I suggest is that you stay around
23 for half an hour while inquiries are made, but unless something opens up
24 immediately then we'll stand down until 12.00.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, may I make a suggestion. We will know
1 by 10.30, 10.45 whether that flight is actually in and whether Mr. Zecevic
2 will actually be able to be here within the time of the morning sitting.
3 And what I suggest is that we wait that half-hour that you just suggested.
4 And if there's no resolution at that point, that we assume there will be
5 no more hearing this afternoon unless we hear different by e-mail so that
6 we can leave here and actually get some meaningful work done. I think
7 that would be helpful.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand your point of view, Mr. Ackerman, we
9 always bear it in mind. But let's see what emerges in the next half-hour,
10 and the clerk will then convey the situation to you. But for the moment
11 we shall anticipate sitting at 12.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 9.06 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Gajic -- or, in fact, good
16 afternoon now. Sorry about the hold-up --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: -- But an unexpected illness has caused the hold-up
19 this morning and this is the earliest that we could continue with the
20 proceedings. I hope that you do not suffer too much inconvenience as a
21 result. Your examination by Mr. Visnjic will now continue. Please bear
22 in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the truth which you made at
23 the beginning of your evidence continues to apply to that evidence today.
24 Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 WITNESS: BRANKO GAJIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. General, on Friday as the session drew to a close we spoke about
7 the briefing that General Farkas had at the collegium meeting of the 8th
8 of June, 1999, and tasks that the Chief of General Staff, or rather, at
9 that time chief of the Supreme Command Staff issued after that meeting.
10 Could you please tell me whether this activity, the conducting of
11 investigations into violations of humanitarian law, or rather, war crimes,
12 continued after the hostilities ceased in June 1999?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like 3D1056 to be
16 brought to the screen.
17 Q. General, in front of us we see a document dated the 21st of June,
18 1999, and among other addressees there is your name. Could you please
19 tell us what is this document about, briefly?
20 A. Well, this concerns a military conscript Stevan Jekic, as can be
21 seen from this document. A criminal report was filed against him by the
22 military police of the 37th Motorised Brigade from Raska because of --
23 Q. Well, we can see that from the document. We can see the crimes
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
2 Defence Exhibit 3D1057.
3 Q. General, this is a document dated the 25th of June, 1999. Could
4 you please tell me briefly again what this document is all about.
5 A. It is about Rados Avramovic from the same unit as Jekic, that is
6 the 37thth Motorised Brigade, a criminal report was filed against him,
7 too, and I think that it was filed for the same criminal offence.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like the witness to be
9 shown Defence Exhibit 3D1058.
10 Q. General, that's a document dated the 25th of June, 1999. Could
11 you please tell us something about this case.
12 A. Yes. We're now talking about four conscripts from the 37th
13 Motorised Brigade and criminal reports were filed against them. And as
14 you can see, they were in the military remand prison because of criminal
15 offences that are violations of the international humanitarian law.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
18 Defence Exhibit 3D1059.
19 Q. General, could you please tell me something about the contents of
20 this document. It's again one of the reports, it's an addendum, amendment
21 to the report made after the end of the combat operations, the 25th of
22 June, 1999.
23 A. Yes. This is the criminal offence of war crime, homicide,
24 committed against two ethnic Albanians who were killed; and it is apparent
25 that three volunteers were charged or criminal reports were filed against
1 them. And a certain number of witnesses from this unit were interrogated,
2 and that is the 23rd Infantry Brigade, or rather, the 252nd Armoured
3 Brigade and the security department of the 3rd Army command informs the
4 Supreme Command Staff that they would be remanded in the custody of the
5 civilian court or they would be placed under the jurisdiction of the
6 civilian court because they no longer were in the army, they were no
7 longer in the service.
8 Q. What problems did you encounter, General, or were there any
9 problems that you encountered when you investigated those incidents after
10 the end of combat operations?
11 A. Well, we had difficulties that all boiled down to the fact that
12 after the end of the combat operations all those people who had been
13 mobilised when the state of war had been declared were now demobilised,
14 and they were civilians, ordinary citizens. The problem was locating
15 them, some of them, knowing the nature of their crimes. They hid. Jekic,
16 for instance, we arrested him on the 21st of June, and from the security
17 department of the 3rd Army command we received a document on the 21st of
18 June, and we immediately took him to the Nis investigation prison for
19 further processing. So this was the main problem: Finding those people.
20 A number of measures and activities had to be taken in operational terms,
21 police activities, to locate those people. Some of them fled abroad.
22 They took the opportunity because of the situation, so that was the main
24 Q. General, thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now, Defence Exhibit 3D1061.
1 Q. General, this time this is a document from July, the 14th of July,
2 1999. Could you please tell us briefly what this document is about.
3 A. This is a crime committed in the village of Mali Alos, Lipljan
4 municipality, where 20 Albanian ethnic civilians were killed. The
5 suspects were a group of volunteers from the 252nd Tactical Group. A
6 criminal report was filed, and as far as I can remember there were 12 of
7 those volunteers. A criminal report was filed, and they were arrested.
8 An investigation was conducted, and here to the right you can see, since
9 this is the 3rd Army command security department, I received this report
10 from them personally, and here's my comment on the right-hand side, or
11 rather, my views that were then put into a memo sent to Colonel Antic, who
12 was the chief of the security department in the 3rd Army command, where I
13 in essence demanded that this case be treated with utmost seriousness
14 because this was a war crime, a major war crime, where 20 civilians were
15 killed, that this should be coordinated with the investigating judge, that
16 they should also get in touch with the 1st Army because some of these
17 people were from the 1st Army, conscripts, and that there should be more
18 coordination with the military investigative organs, the court, and so on.
19 As far as I know, this case was brought to a close. And just to make a
20 brief note because I spoke on Friday about the meeting between the chief
21 of the Supreme Command Staff of the 16th of May, General Pavkovic brought
22 up this case at the meeting. And on the 17th in meeting with President
23 Milosevic, he personally ordered that this case be treated with utmost
24 seriousness, that all the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and punished.
25 As far as I know, sometime in the year 2000 the military court threw this
1 criminal report off because in the investigation it was determined that
2 patrol from the 252 Tactical Group had come under attack at the entrance
3 to the village by a group of terrorists. And after two hours of fighting,
4 these people were killed. They were killed as a consequence of this
5 fighting. This is what I know.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at Defence
7 Exhibit 3D1062.
8 Q. General, this is a memo dated the 3rd of August, 1999. It's from
9 the security administration of the Yugoslav Army General Staff. Could you
10 please tell us -- could you please tell us briefly what this memo is all
12 A. Well, this is along the lines of what you asked me at the
13 beginning, whether the investigations continued, the investigations into
14 war crimes pursuant to the order of the Supreme Command Staff -- chief of
15 Supreme Command Staff, that this should be vigorously prosecuted and that
16 all perpetrators must be prosecuted, brought to justice, and punished.
17 This is a memo where we ordered the security department of the 3rd Army
18 command to improve the efficiency and to speed up the proceedings. We
19 ordered them to set up an operational team of mixed composition. What
20 does that mean? Operatives from the counter-intelligence service should
21 be part of that team and also specialists from the military police units,
22 forensic technicians, and so on. And that each and every case should be
23 dealt with in a serious manner, that a plan should be done to investigate
24 those cases, to compile criminal technical file, to submit everything to
25 the criminal -- to the military prosecutor's office for further work. The
1 security department is further ordered to get in touch with the security
2 department in the 1st Army command, because some of the units from the 1st
3 command were also deployed in Kosovo fighting the terrorist forces, and
4 some of the persons who committed offences against the international
5 humanitarian law were, in fact, in the area of responsibility of the 1st
7 And finally, it is ordered that the security administration should
8 be kept informed so that we could monitor and guide their work and report
9 to the Chief of the General Staff, or rather, Supreme Command Staff as he
10 was styled at the time.
11 Q. Thank you, General.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
13 Defence Exhibit 3D1003.
14 Q. General, on Friday Judge Bonomy asked you to clarify who and how
15 had to prosecute certain crimes. Now I'm waiting for this exhibit, 3D1003
16 to appear on our screens.
17 General, this is a memo from the supreme military prosecutor dated
18 the 11th of August, 1988, dealing with the jurisdiction of the courts over
19 crimes against humanity and international law. Could you tell us very
20 briefly whether this memo actually describes how you, the security
21 administration, filed those criminal reports and to whom?
22 A. Yes. And as you can see here right at the start, we asked the
23 supreme military prosecutor for the clarifications in a document
24 originating from us. And he provided us a detailed answer, and I think
25 that the contents actually speak for themselves.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like you to go
3 through this document. I would not like to do it now with the witness,
4 but I do believe that it lays out in detail all the options at the
5 disposal in prosecuting criminal offences at issue. And just very
6 briefly, my colleague Mr. Sepenuk has just drawn my attention, there seems
7 to be a problem with the translation.
8 Q. Could you tell me the year of this document?
9 A. Well, could you please move it a little bit -- well, it's 1999,
10 the 9th of August, so that was in August.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that there is
12 a mistake here on this document, it says in the upper left-hand corner
13 11th of August, 1988.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there -- is that on the original or only on the
15 English version?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In the original there is a stamp, a
17 date stamp, so it's possible that the translator who produced the written
18 translation couldn't actually see the original.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] At any rate, Svetomir Obrencevic was
21 not the supreme military prosecutor in 1988 if there are any doubts as to
22 the exact date of this document.
23 Q. General, on Friday we discussed the Pauk group. Again, it had to
24 do with the subject raised by Judge Bonomy. In your statement in
25 paragraph 156 you speak about Jugoslav Petrusic and Slobodan Orasanin. In
1 order to clarify the matter to the Trial Chamber can you explain to us
2 what the link is between the group Pauk and these two individuals?
3 A. Actually, this is a group of 23 persons altogether, whose leader,
4 so to speak, was Jugoslav Petrusic. First there were grounds for
5 suspicion and later on it was established that he was an agent of French
6 intelligence from 1986. Orasanin was with him in that group.
7 Q. Thank you. Tell me, again in paragraph 156 of your statement you
8 speak of this person, Petrusic, and you link him to a number of killings
9 and other crimes. What you are talking about -- rather, let me put it
10 this way. When did these persons commit the crimes that you referred to
11 in paragraph 156?
12 A. Jugoslav Petrusic committed those crimes before he came to
13 Yugoslavia, or rather, before he stayed with his group of 23 individuals
14 in Kosovo and Metohija; that is to say that he did this while he worked
15 for the French intelligence service, and these crimes were committed
16 predominantly against individuals professing the Islamic faith because he
17 was geared towards the Islamic factor in Africa primarily, but in some
18 European countries, too. When there were interviews with him between the
19 18th of May and the 22nd of May, roughly, that is what he stated.
20 Q. General, that is what he stated during the investigation after he
21 had been arrested, right?
22 A. Right.
23 Q. Right. Tell me how was it that this group was discovered?
24 A. Well, we in the security administration had some information about
25 Mr. Petrusic being in contact with the French intelligence service, and
1 then on the 8th of May, we called in for an interview of the security
2 administration Lieutenant-Colonel Djurovic, who was assistant for
3 counter-intelligence in the department for security of the Pristina Corps.
4 We asked him about that group. He said that this group was in Kosovo,
5 that it was within the 125th Brigade, and that they had gone there,
6 sidestepping the regular procedure that was based only the order issued by
7 the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command in terms of receiving volunteers
8 and sending them to the theatre of war. And Lieutenant-Colonel Djurovic
9 said that they had some suspicions regarding his behaviour, especially the
10 behaviour of Jugoslav Petrusic, but that they did not have any information
11 about him, he -- or rather, and the members of his group having committed
12 anything that was in contravention of international humanitarian law.
13 This was later on confirmed because we did carry out an investigation. He
14 also said that the suspicions they had and the information they had were
15 presented to the command of the 125th Brigade, within which they were, and
16 to the command of the Pristina Corps and that they were planning to remove
17 them from Kosovo, which indeed happened soon after that. At the meeting
18 with the then-President Milosevic on the 17th of May, General Vasiljevic
19 spoke about that group, too. He said that we had suspicions to the effect
20 that these were foreign agents, especially Petrusic, and General Pavkovic
21 confirmed that, although he said then - and it was true - that there was
22 no specific information confirming that they had committed crimes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you help me further with this and explain what
25 you mean by sidestepping the regular procedure.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for putting this question.
2 I think that on Friday I explained that the order of the Chief of Staff of
3 the Supreme Command dated the 16th of April regulated in detail the
4 reception, recording, processing, and sending of volunteers to Kosovo and
5 Metohija. Three reception centres were established: One was in Grocka
6 near Belgrade, another in the village of Medja near Nis and yet the other
7 one in the zone of the 2nd Army, that is to say Podgorica. That is to say
8 all volunteers who volunteered would first of all have to go through the
9 military district. The military district is a military territorial
10 command. And then they are sent to a reception centre where they are
11 recorded. Also, that is where they are processed from a health and
12 security point of view. That is where they are made aware of the
13 provisions of the Geneva Conventions and international laws of war, and
14 that is where they are told that they have to sign a statement that they
15 would behave in accordance with these provisions and in accordance with
16 the regulations of the Army of Yugoslavia. And that from that moment,
17 when they sign that statement, they become members of the Army of
18 Yugoslavia with the same status like any member who is doing his regular
19 military service.
20 As for this procedure regarding the group of Jugoslav Petrusic,
21 this procedure was not carried through. Through some other channels we
22 dealt with this through our own intelligence, not to bore you with all the
23 details. They simply sidestepped this and that is why they came to
24 Kosovo; however, we managed to recover them and return them in a timely
1 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please speak slower.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gajic, you are asked by the interpreter to
3 speak more slowly.
4 I would like you to explain to me how they sidestepped the
5 procedure. I understand there is a formal procedure. But you described
6 their entry as sidestepping it. What does that mean? How did they become
7 accepted in one of your official army brigades?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well - how should I put this? - they
9 had -- can I say that they had accomplices, if I can use that word. There
10 were officers, individuals, some civilians, too, and quite simply they got
11 through and they got down there. In a way, these persons provided
12 guarantees for them and it happened. Mistakes are possible but they were
13 quickly discovered and efficient measures were taken. Over there they
14 were under control, so they didn't cause any damage. I'm trying to say
15 that they did not commit a single crime.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a quite separate matter. Is it really that
17 you don't know how this happened? I mean, nothing you've said so far is
18 an explanation for them being accepted into a brigade of the Yugoslav
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were accepted through
21 these people, these individuals who --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What people?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Colonel Stupar was one of
24 them. He's retired. I don't know whether he's alive. He used to serve
25 in Kosovo, and he was one of the intermediaries who in a way provided
1 guarantees for them and so on.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And there were some civilian
4 persons, too. As for Orasanin, in view of the fact that he was involved
5 in business, he had some connections in the military and probably, on the
6 basis of what we managed to investigate and established, they mediated
7 that way.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: So are these people, the colonel that you
9 mentioned, Stupar, was he a colonel in the 125th Brigade?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, but he served in Kosovo and
11 he knew the situation there. He knew what the situation was like there.
12 From earlier on he had these connections with Petrusic and Orasanin and so
13 on and so forth. We clarified all of that, and I think that certain
14 measures were taken against him too.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but what I'm trying to understand is how they
16 became accepted in the 125th Brigade.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were accepted as
18 volunteers; that is to say, these persons provided guarantees that they
19 had gone through the procedure. But when we checked this, it was
20 established that they had not gone through the procedure, whereas he had
21 provided guarantees and he probably had certain connections in this
22 reception centre, too. I'm not aware of all the details now, but we
23 investigated this in detail.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So does that mean there was a system whereby
25 anybody who had a position in the army could guarantee that the volunteers
1 had come through the process?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was an omission and mistake
5 that may happen, these things do happen. We quickly noticed this, the
6 command and the counter-intelligence service, and efficient measures were
7 taken --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: You've said that several times, Mr. Gajic. I'm
9 just trying to understand how it happened in the first place.
10 On Friday at around the same time as you were dealing with this
11 matter, I tried to clarify with you what you meant by "paramilitary."
12 Could you help me again with that. What did you mean when you referred to
13 a "paramilitary"?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means everything that is outside
15 the prescribed system and legal regulations in relation to the reception
16 of volunteers, and that is regulated in the Law on Defence and the Law on
17 the Army of Yugoslavia. Those who wear uniform, either military or police
18 uniforms, so that is illegal and that is paramilitary. That is to say
19 that no one can be admitted into the army without this being done in
20 accordance with the law specifically prescribed legal provisions in the
21 Law on Defence and in the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What uniforms did the Pauk group wear?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, they were
24 wearing some camouflage uniforms of their own, but they were not wearing
25 uniforms of the Army of Yugoslavia.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Would --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you describe them as paramilitary?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had gone through some
5 procedure, but they did not go through the kind of procedure that they
6 should have gone through. They had gone through some procedure, that is,
7 they did not evade all proceedings, but it was not done as prescribed.
8 They managed to avoid some things in relation to these connections of
9 theirs and these channels. This, indeed, was an omission.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you aware of people in Serbia purchasing
11 uniforms, using Deutschemarks to purchase uniforms, so that they could
12 become involved in the action in Kosovo?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's a broad-based question
14 now. It was one of the problems, the fact that it was easy for anyone to
15 get a uniform for a couple of hundred Deutschemarks, no problem about
16 that. There were quite a few who came from Republika Srpska Krajina and
17 Republika Srpska with uniforms, they even wore them, because people were
18 poor and apart from those military uniforms, camouflage uniforms, they
19 didn't have any other clothes, so it was no problem to obtain one.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. General, I would like to ask you to look at 3D1064. This is also
23 a document containing information that was sent further on. Can you tell
24 us briefly what the subject of this document is?
25 A. Yes, this is a document that was written on the basis of an order
1 issued by the Chief of General Staff, and it pertains to obtaining
2 information, documentation, et cetera, about crimes that were committed,
3 as far as I ask see, by terrorist forces, the so-called Kosovo Liberation
5 Q. Thank you. General, we've exhausted the subject by now. Just a
6 few more questions, or rather, can you look at 4D135, please.
7 General, we have a document here dated the 6th of June, 1999, and
8 it says: Analysis of the implementation of the requests of the 3rd Army
9 sent to the Supreme Command Staff. What's all of this about?
10 A. This is an analysis on the implementation of the requests of the
11 3rd Army addressed to the Supreme Command Staff. As for the security
12 administration, I think there should be some information here in terms of
13 what was not carried through and why. It had to contain information as to
14 why. And here it is, four tasks that were not carried out by the security
15 administration, 25 per cent as far as I can remember.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the B/C/S version in
18 page -- page 3 and page 4 of the B/C/S version, and page 4 in the English,
20 Q. General, here it is, 2.4?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It is stated there what was supposed to be resolved by the
23 security administration and what was resolved out of what the 3rd Army had
24 requested. Does this correspond to what you remember?
25 A. Yes, it does correspond to what I remember, and it has to do with
1 unimplemented tasks in relation to equipping military police units.
2 Q. General, just some short documents. 3D589 --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, you're now -- your examination now has
4 exceeded six hours in this case, that's well over the estimate, over 50
5 per cent more than the estimate. I just alert you to that. It looks as
6 though we're going to have to address with you the whole question of
7 timing. You're even over the piece exceeding your original estimate which
8 preceded the number of hours available to the Defence to present their
9 case. So I think you've got some hard thinking to do with how you're
10 dealing with this. A lot of the evidence this morning could have been
11 dealt with in writing. That's more or less what you're doing is asking
12 someone to confirm the document that sets out the information. And now
13 you're referring to another batch of documents, having on Friday told us
14 that you would be able to do the rest of your examination in half an hour.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
16 already taken some measures to cut my examination of my further witnesses
17 short in order to make up for the time that I lost by examining
18 Witness Gajic, but I have two more documents to go through and then I will
19 be finished.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That's okay, Mr. Visnjic, but bear in mind that the
21 total number of hours that the Defence indicated all the cases would take,
22 of that we've allocated about 40 per cent at the time, the total time,
23 available for the Defence. So adding two hours to one witness and
24 knocking one and a half hours off by taking two names off the list simply
25 means that your time's got longer. It's a much more radical approach that
1 is necessary. There are ways of presenting large volumes of material here
2 without doing it in realtime, in court, which is unrealistic. Anyway,
3 let's try to get to the end of this examination.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. General, could you please comment, or rather, explain to us under
6 paragraph 2 on page 1 of the document, this is a briefing to the Chief of
7 General Staff of the 18th of April, 1999, some information presented by
8 the security administration is mentioned here and this information
9 concerns the former verification mission in Kosovo. Could you please tell
10 us what is this all about and where did you get this information, very
12 A. Well, this is operative data that we obtained, indicating that in
13 the work of agents in Kosovo, and these agents were put in place -- this
14 agent network was put in place when the Kosovo Verification Mission was in
15 Kosovo, but the infrastructure remained even after it pulled out.
16 Q. Thank you. I don't have any more exhibits to go through but I
17 have three more questions. General --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do that, what's the mention -- the
19 reference at the end of that paragraph to the drastic case regarding rape
20 and looting in the Djakovica area?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a case of three soldiers who
22 on the 16th of April, 1999, raped an underage Albanian girl, she was 16.
23 This rape case -- this rape was reported by her father. The soldiers were
24 identified, arrested, a criminal report was filed, and as far as I know
25 they were convicted. They received prison sentences.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Visnjic.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. General, you attended a number of meetings, including the meetings
5 that were chaired by General Ojdanic at the command post in the Supreme
6 Command Staff. At any of these meetings at any time, was there any debate
7 about a plan to expel the Kosovo Albanians from Kosovo?
8 A. Never. It was not even mooted as an idea.
9 Q. General, apart from those meetings that you attended, did you ever
10 hear at any point General Ojdanic speak about the expulsion of Albanians
11 from Kosovo?
12 A. No.
13 Q. General, one more question. Did General Ojdanic do anything or
14 say anything at any point that would indicate that he had any prejudice
15 against the ethnic Albanians?
16 A. No, never. As the Chief of Staff of the 1st Army, while he was
17 the Chief of Staff and later the commander of the 1st Army, I was the
18 chief of the security department there. There were many, dozens, of
19 Albanian officers in the 1st Army, and they were not discriminated against
20 in any way. They were treated the same as all the other officers of other
21 ethnic backgrounds.
22 Q. Thank you, General.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my
24 examination of this witness.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Mr. Bakrac.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, you're jumping the queue, it would appear,
4 Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: If we're going to move in order, then I'm first.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
7 Q. Good afternoon, General Gajic.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. I'm John Ackerman. I represent General Pavkovic in this case.
10 You've not had an opportunity to speak with me about this case at all,
11 have you?
12 A. I have not.
13 Q. I want to ask you a question or two about the visit that you made
14 to Kosovo between the 29th of May and the 7th of June of 1999, along with
15 General Vasiljevic. You remember that visit, don't you?
16 A. I didn't get the date, the 29th --
17 Q. 29th of May through the 7th of June, 1999. You went to Kosovo on
18 an inspection visit.
19 A. The correct date is from the 1st to the 7th of June.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. During that time I want to know if you had an
21 opportunity to inspect or conduct interviews with all of your security
22 organs that were operating in the Kosovo theatre?
23 A. We visited 16 organs in the Pristina Corps in total, including the
24 security department in the Pristina Corps.
25 Q. And my question was: Was that all of them or were there some that
1 you didn't get a chance to visit?
2 A. We visited in addition to the security department, as I said, the
3 security organs, most of the security organs in the units.
4 Q. Well, let me ask it this way: Do you feel that you were able to
5 conduct a sufficiently broad investigation that you were able to provide a
6 completely and comprehensive report to your superiors regarding the
7 efforts that you made?
8 A. Well, no, but that was not our objective. It would have taken
9 much more time to do all that in detail, but it was sufficient for us to
10 get the gist of it, the general picture of the situation and to draft a
11 good report.
12 Q. Did you ever get the impression from any source while you were
13 there that there were crimes being committed that were not being properly
14 addressed by the security organs that you were visiting and that were
15 operating in Kosovo?
16 A. The picture that we got was that the security organs were doing
17 their job quite well, that they were quite active in trying to uncover
18 criminal offences, including war crimes but also other crimes, and that
19 they conducted investigations and filed criminal reports. Until that
20 time, we did not have the information about that at the security
21 administration, but we were able to ascertain there on the site that they
22 were actually doing that.
23 Q. In the process of that investigation, did you -- did you hear
24 about any - and I'm going to refer generally to war crimes - did you hear
25 about any such crimes committed by persons who were not members of the VJ?
1 A. Yes, yes, yes. We had such information, but your question is not
2 quite clear to me. But we did receive that information, too, yes.
3 Q. All right. Did you or General Vasiljevic or both of you have any
4 meeting with General Pavkovic where you explained to him the results of
5 your investigation?
6 A. No. I -- it seems to me, or rather, I'm sure on the first day
7 when we arrived General Pavkovic knew that we were there. He came to the
8 security department, and he said that it was good that we were there. And
9 he asked the chief of the security department and all those present there
10 to help us carry out the tasks that we had received from the chief of the
11 Supreme Command Staff.
12 Q. Would it be fair to conclude, General, that what you found in your
13 investigation there was almost exactly what General Pavkovic had reported
14 in Belgrade on the meetings -- on the meetings on the 16th and the 17th of
16 A. General Pavkovic brought the documents with him to this meeting on
17 the 16th, and I think that this information was contained in this file,
18 but we had broader information. He dealt with the major cases, so to
19 speak. He didn't go into details, so he dealt with the big topics. But
20 this -- the essence was there.
21 Q. So you even found additional matters that may be of lesser
22 significance that were also being prosecuted and being taken care of
24 A. Well, I wouldn't say that they were of lesser importance, but
25 those were isolated cases. For instance, we recorded a case of, let's
1 say, Private Topalovic, who killed a civilian in Djakovica, Topalovic was
2 put under arrest, a criminal report was filed, he was prosecuted, but we
3 had those cases, isolated cases.
4 Q. Do you know of an instance in early May of 1999 when General
5 Pavkovic had come to Belgrade and made a report to superiors there about
6 what was happening with crimes going on in Kosovo? Are you aware of that
7 earlier visit by General Pavkovic to Belgrade? That would have been on 4
8 May of 1999.
9 A. I don't know what you mean by the superiors. Could you please be
10 more specific.
11 Q. My information is that he had a meeting with President Milosevic
12 at that time, on the 4th of May, to report matters of this nature. Do you
13 have any knowledge of that?
14 A. No.
15 Q. It's the -- you talked a little bit earlier about this officer
16 Stupar and the volunteers, and I wanted to pursue that just very briefly.
17 It's the case, isn't it, that Stupar was located in the centre at Grocka?
18 A. I visited that centre on the 15th of May, and Stupar was not there
19 at that time.
20 Q. Do you know if that's where he was assigned or not?
21 A. Well, I can't answer that question. I know that a team was set up
22 pursuant to an order to go to that centre, but I don't recall that Stupar
23 was on that list at that time. But as far as I can recall, that centre
24 used to be at Bubanj Potok, and then at one point it was moved to Grocka.
25 Q. And that centre at Grocka was a reception -- a volunteer reception
1 centre for the 1st Army, was it not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I'd like you to look at one exhibit very quickly, it's P2594, and
4 I want you to see paragraph 27 of that document.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: And, Your Honour, this is an admitted document,
6 it's the statement of General Vasiljevic to the ICTY, to the OTP.
7 MR. STAMP: Excuse me --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah --
9 MR. STAMP: Possibility --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: This document is under seal, and therefore we
11 should probably be in private session --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: -- In case any difficulty is caused.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no problem with that, I want to know where
15 it was under seal, Your Honour.
16 MR. STAMP: P2600 is a public version.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm willing to accept either solution.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, are you able to proceed by using P2600?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: If it has that same paragraph 27 and probably does.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Let's go to P2600 and we need the B/C/S version
22 paragraph 27. I'm just waiting for the B/C/S version of that to come up,
23 Your Honour.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It appears that more than
25 one mike is on in the courtroom and it's creating background noise.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, there's mine and the witness's, that is more
2 than one.
3 THE INTERPRETER: It's fine now.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear English now.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. All right. You'll see paragraph 27 there, and that talks about
7 this Jugoslav Petrusic and the bypassing of appropriate procedures. And
8 this is what General Vasiljevic said in his statement to the Prosecutor.
9 Is that consistent with your knowledge and your understanding of that
11 A. Yes, I think I did say the gist of it and that it actually jibes
12 with what General Vasiljevic said.
13 Q. Thank you, General.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I have.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Bakrac.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General. Let me introduce myself
19 to you. My name is Mihajlo Bakrac, and I'm one of the lawyers
20 representing General Lazarevic. I will have a few questions for you, and
21 as a follow-up to the last question asked by my colleague, Mr. Ackerman, I
22 want to know when you in the security administration actually learned
23 about the existence of this group, Pauk?
24 A. We did have this information that Jugoslav Petrusic was in the
25 former Yugoslavia at an earlier stage. We had information that he had
1 received tasks from the French intelligence service, and this indeed he
2 confirmed in the interviews conducted with him. That sometime in 1995 he
3 was told to deal with the Albanian factor, and from that time on he would
4 appear from time to time in the territory of the Federal Republic of
5 Yugoslavia. So we did have this information, this knowledge, and the
6 State Security Service had more knowledge because he was within their
7 operational jurisdiction.
8 Q. When you say from earlier on, that means before May 1999?
9 A. Yes, yes, before May, that's right.
10 Q. My next question, General, is whether you can remember what
11 position Colonel Stupar held in March 1999?
12 A. I can't really recall. He was in the General Staff or perhaps he
13 was not in the General Staff, he was at the disposal of something or
14 other. I really can't tell you.
15 Q. So there was a possibility that he was actually in the General
16 Staff of the VJ?
17 A. Well, he was at a certain post -- I don't know. I really couldn't
18 tell you. Anything that I were to tell you now would be doubtful, would
19 be inaccurate.
20 Q. So a moment ago you told us that people with Petrusic were sent to
21 Kosovo and Metohija via some connections and guarantees that were
22 proffered that they had actually gone through this procedure as
24 A. Yes, yes, they had undergone some kind of a procedure but that was
25 not the proper procedure.
1 Q. Would you agree with me when they arrived in Kosovo to the units
2 that they were treated or that they had the same kind of recommendations
3 as any other volunteers that had already undergone training?
4 A. Yes, precisely.
5 Q. So the mistake was made, the problem was somewhere in the training
6 centre, and they were recorded as volunteers, and there was no mistake on
7 the part of the -- any commands in Kosovo?
8 A. Yes. I said that the mistake was made at the reception centre,
9 and that is why I went there to inspect this centre. This was already
10 discussed. A mistake was made, and that's how they managed to weasel
11 their way there, and -- but measures were taken and they were sent back.
12 Q. Thank you, General. I have one or two more questions --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you move on.
14 What do you mean by a mistake was made?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they did not undergo the kind
16 of procedure that they had to, starting with the medical examination, a
17 detail security background check, let me just give you those two elements.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: But I understood you to have said earlier that
19 people were organising this for them and then guaranteeing that they had
20 gone through the system. That's hardly a mistake.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood this right, yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Bakrac.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, just one more question. Since they were brought in as
1 volunteers, registered in the files, there was a mistake in the procedure
2 but that was not known. Down there they could not have been treated as
3 paramilitaries but as volunteers, am I not right?
4 A. Precisely.
5 Q. General, just one more subject, one or two more questions. You
6 probably know that General Vasiljevic appeared as a witness before this
7 Court as well. He testified about the visit of General Farkas towards the
8 end of April/beginning of May to the Pristina Corps and the inspection
9 that he carried out at the time.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] For the Trial Chamber, on transcript
11 pages 8977 from lines 19 to 25 and page 8978, lines 1 to 6 --
12 Q. -- General Vasiljevic pointed out that General Farkas praised the
13 military security service of the Pristina Corps and the military police of
14 the Pristina Corps and that he said that this personnel should be promoted
15 because he saw many positive things in their work. Do you agree with this
16 assessment and do you remember this assessment provided by
17 General Geza Farkas?
18 A. As far as I can remember - and I think I remember it well - he
19 said -- it was his wording that the security organs down there were
20 working well and the police, too, that was the formulation.
21 Q. Thank you, General.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
3 Q. Good day, sir, my name is Dan Ivetic and I will have a few
4 questions for you. I'll try to move as quickly as possible through them
5 but I don't think we'll finish them today. First of all, sir, the other
6 day when you testified on the 7th of September, you mentioned that you
7 followed the testimony of Colonel Cucak in these proceedings. Did you
8 also happen to follow the testimony of General Vasiljevic when he
10 A. In part. I had some private problems, so I did not follow it in
11 its entirety.
12 Q. I apologise for the pause. I'm just waiting for the transcript to
13 catch up with us. And furthermore, did you have occasion to be in
14 communication with General Vasiljevic after his retirement from your
16 A. Yes, yes. We remained in contact primarily as good friends.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, would you agree that during your respective times
18 in the service, General Vasiljevic took copious notes, for instance, of
19 the 17th of May meeting with President Milosevic?
20 A. Well, he did take notes. He was sitting next to me and I saw him
21 taking notes, but what specifically -- well, he was taking notes, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like to move to your 92 ter statement. At
23 paragraph 166 of the same --
24 MR. IVETIC: It can be brought up on the system but I was going to
25 quote the exact language that I was asking about so that should move
1 quicker I think.
2 Q. You stated at that part of your statement, sir, that with regard
3 to any plan or project regarding ethnic cleansing of the Albanians from
4 Kosovo-Metohija: "I'm certain that such a plan or idea never existed."
5 I want to ask you, based upon your knowledge and work and the
6 cooperation of your service with both domestic and foreign intelligence
7 services, am I correct that you did not possess any verified, credible, or
8 uncontrovertible evidence linking any state organs of the FRY or Serbia
9 with such a plan?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Now, at paragraph 13 of your statement you say that a --
12 that your service knew of an anti-terrorist plan, action, being planned in
13 which the army would play a significant role because activities to date,
14 mostly through engagement of the MUP, were not very successful. I would
15 just like to ask you to confirm if this was during the period of July
17 A. Yes, from the end of July onwards.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. And is it also correct that this plan that you
19 spoke of, in addition to army units, this plan conferred assignments to
20 units of the MUP of Serbia, based upon your information?
21 A. Yes, yes, because the MUP was, according to regulations, the main
22 force for dealing with the terrorist forces; however, then there was an
23 escalation and then the plan that you are referring to came into being.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, are we going to 45 after today?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We're only going to quarter to, yes.
2 MR. IVETIC: Quarter to. I'm about to start a new topic that
3 actually goes into an exhibit that I do have to cite to.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
5 Well, as they say in all the best programmes, Mr. Gajic, that's
6 all we've got time for today. Unfortunately, this courtroom is occupied
7 by another case this afternoon, so we have to bring our proceedings to an
8 end. That means that you have to return here tomorrow. Tomorrow our
9 sitting will be at 2.15 in the afternoon. So we shall see you here again
10 at 2.15. Meanwhile, please bear in mind what I said to you before about
11 having no discussion with anybody about the evidence in this case.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Bearing in mind that you've been following it and
14 have had some discussions, albeit not necessarily about the evidence but
15 with at least one person who has been a witness here, it's very important
16 that you observe that rule while you're here. So please leave the
17 courtroom with the usher and we'll see you at 2.15 tomorrow.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
21 September, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.