1 Tuesday, 23 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment before you bring the witness in I'm
6 sorry we're starting late today. Apparently the previous case overran.
7 I've had no official word of why that was or the circumstances, but I've
8 had unofficially that that's the explanation for our delayed start. I
9 want to raise two other matters before we start again with evidence. The
10 first of these relates to the translation of documents, and an e-mail was
11 sent suggesting that there should be a meeting on Thursday at 1.00 to try
12 to resolve this once and for all so that there's a clear agreement on how
13 we progress to ensure that everyone gets documents at the best possible
14 time. For us to have an administrative meeting of this nature, it doesn't
15 appear to us necessary that the accused should be present, but we would
16 only have such a meeting that might affect a number of the accused in
17 their absence with the agreement of the accused.
18 Can we take it that all counsel and their clients are happy to
19 have that meeting in the absence of the accused? That enables us to have
20 it without using valuable in-court time, so that will be at 1.00 on
21 Thursday. I don't know whether the place has been confirmed, but it will
22 be one of the meeting rooms. Although it affects specifically three
23 accused, all counsel may attend, at least one counsel from each team and
24 the Prosecution may attend if they wish, and representatives of CLSS and
25 OLAD have also been invited to attend.
1 The other matter I wish to raise relates to the evidence.
2 Mr. Ackerman, you've raised a question over the reference to exhibits in
3 your 92 ter statements. Now, I looked at this yesterday and probably
4 should have raised it although I didn't. Can you give me an example of
5 this from yesterday's evidence?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think there is one in yesterday's evidence,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: That's reassuring because what had happened
9 yesterday was that there was an indication that you may refer to exhibits,
10 but I had no recollection of any actually appearing in the statement. I
11 think what we should do is when this arises specifically, draw the Bench's
12 attention to it and we'll be able to give clear guidance so that there's
13 no misunderstanding. But I would anticipate that if an exhibit number
14 appears in the statement and there's an indication of something in the
15 statement about it, that it would normally be exhibited.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, yes. In order to try to make
17 effective use of 92 ter statements to save time --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: -- We thought it would save time if we didn't have
20 to show exhibits to the witness and have them say, yeah, that's what it
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Aleksic, the next witness.
24 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. Thank
25 you. Our next witness is Stanimir Radosavljevic.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Radosavljevic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I
4 would like to greet everyone else in the courtroom.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
6 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic, is there a statement under Rule 92 ter
13 for this witness?
14 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, there is. I believe it's in
15 the e-court system and the number is 4D502.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'll get one printed off for myself and
17 anyone else who hasn't got it. I certainly have not seen this one, and
18 I've just noticed that he's a -- there will be reference in his evidence
19 to a statement.
20 Mr. Radosavljevic, you will now be examined by Mr. Aleksic on
21 behalf of Mr. Pavkovic.
22 Mr. Aleksic.
23 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 WITNESS: STANIMIR RADOSAVLJEVIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examination by Mr. Aleksic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir, can you tell us your full
3 name, for the record. Please sit down.
4 A. Thank you. My name is Stanimir Radosavljevic.
5 Q. On the 29th of September, did you give a statement to the Defence
6 team of General Pavkovic?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Did you have occasion to read that statement before signing it?
9 A. Yes, certainly, I read it in its entirety.
10 Q. And if the same questions were asked of you today, would you give
11 the same answers?
12 A. Certainly.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] This statement is 4D502 and I would
15 like to tender it.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Colleague Radosavljevic, would you tell the Trial Chamber briefly
19 about your career and the various posts you occupied.
20 A. Certainly. Your Honour, Presiding Judge, Your Honours, you see in
21 my statement that I was born in 1948, I finished high school and law
22 school at the university, passed my bar exam, served in the army,
23 graduated from the infantry school of reserve officers while in the army,
24 after which I was promoted into active duty officer in the rank of
25 lieutenant, and I became an active-duty serviceman. During my active
1 service, I completed military political school. After an apprenticeship
2 at the military prosecutor's office in Nis and the military court, I was
3 assigned to my first job at the command of the operations group in
4 Pristina, that was the precursor of the Pristina Corps, I was legal
5 affairs officer there, and my job was actually to represent military units
6 and military institutions in courts all over Kosovo and Metohija. I
7 continued in that job from 1975 to 1982, when I was appointed deputy
8 military prosecutor in Nis. I stayed in that post until 1992, when I was
9 appointed military prosecutor in Nis. I remained in that position until
10 May 2005, when the military justice system was definitively liquidated.
11 In the meantime during the war in 1999, I had been assigned deputy
12 military prosecutor at the supreme military prosecutor's office at the 3rd
13 Army in Nis. Since 2005 I have been a lawyer with my own practice in Nis.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you to clarify one thing for me, please.
15 In paragraph 5 of your statement you tell us that in wartime the
16 first-instance courts are established in each of the army's corps'
17 districts and so on, and then in paragraph 11 you tell us of five of these
18 being established. Are these the five that you had responsibility for?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Those were first-instance
20 military prosecutor's offices in the territory of the command of the 3rd
21 Army, whereas the district of the military prosecutor's office in Nis --
22 sorry, the section of the military prosecutor's office in Nis was a
23 second-instance organ relative to those prosecutor's offices.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: But your duties as deputy supreme military
25 prosecutor, did they extend throughout Serbia or were you confined to the
1 3rd Army?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They applied to the territory of the
3 area of responsibility of the 3rd Army.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Aleksic.
6 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Colleague Radosavljevic, for the duration of the war as deputy
8 military prosecutor in the deputy of the military prosecutor attached to
9 the command of the 3rd Army, to whom were you answerable for your work?
10 A. I was answerable to the supreme military prosecutor attached to
11 the Supreme Command Staff in Belgrade.
12 Q. Can you tell me who was in that position?
13 A. At that time it was General Svetomir Obrencevic, major-general.
14 Q. You have already answered the Presiding Judge, saying that you had
15 within your jurisdiction first-instance military prosecutors of those five
16 offices in Kosovo. Was it their duty to report to you on their work?
17 A. Yes, that was the stipulation, and I had requested that they
18 inform me daily on the number of new cases, number of investigations, and
19 new charges brought for each day, and they did that regularly. Therefore,
20 I received that information, organized it, and submitted it to the
21 assistant commander for legal affairs of the 3rd Army as a daily brief on
22 developments in crime.
23 Q. Did you have to report to the supreme military prosecutor in any
25 A. The supreme military prosecutor did not ask me to report on a
1 daily basis, but I had the obligation to send such a report to the legal
2 department of the headquarters of the supreme staff, which I did, to the
3 Supreme Command Staff I mean.
4 Q. Can you tell me who was in that position during the war?
5 A. At that time it was Major-General Gojovic. I can't recall his
6 first name now.
7 Q. Relative to reporting by first-instance military prosecutor's
8 offices that were subordinate to you, did their reports contain
9 information that anybody tried to pressurise them in their work as to how
10 they should proceed in specific cases or not? Would you please wait for
11 my question to finish.
12 A. May I? There were no such reports, ever. I toured Prosecutor's
13 offices, both in Nis and in Pristina. I toured the one in Nis several
14 times and the one in Pristina twice, so I was in the field personally. I
15 had personal contact with prosecutors and their deputies, and nobody ever
16 mentioned any problem of that kind to me. They informed me of the cases
17 they were handling and of their work in general.
18 Q. How about you personally, did you feel any pressure along the
19 chain of command or maybe through the line of security organs? Were you
20 under any pressure as deputy military prosecutor?
21 A. No, it never happened; and if it had, I would certainly have
22 informed the supreme military prosecutor. That never happened, either in
23 peacetime or during the war.
24 Q. Thank you. Colleague, would you please tell the Court, under the
25 Law on the Military Prosecutor's Offices and the Law on Criminal
1 Proceedings, on whom lies the primary responsibility for detection of
2 perpetrators of criminal offences and their preparations for prosecution
3 and trial?
4 A. Military prosecutors certainly followed the Law on Criminal
5 Proceedings in their work and also the Law on Military Courts. The Law on
6 Criminal Proceedings, which is the only law governing criminal proceedings
7 in our country, stipulates the obligation to file criminal reports in this
8 way. Every citizen should file a criminal report when necessary, but that
9 is not an obligation for the citizen. It is a -- more of a
10 recommendation, it is desirable. On the other hand, it is stipulated that
11 state authorities are duty-bound to file a criminal report when they found
12 out about a crime in their line of work. Thirdly, it is prescribed
13 precisely which state authorities are engaged in detecting crimes and
14 filing criminal reports and charges. Under the law, it's the organs of
15 the interior or, to put it simply, the police. The Law on Military
16 Courts, on the other hand, prescribes that the powers and obligations of
17 the organs of internal affairs before military courts have military
18 security organs and military police. They are the equivalent of the
19 civilian police before civilian courts, and in practice on the basis of my
20 experience in the military justice system, which is over 20 years, they
21 did so regularly.
22 Q. Thank you. In your work as deputy military prosecutor, did you
23 ever come to meet a person called Lakic Djorovic?
24 A. Yes, I did meet him, but not before an incident in which he
25 committed a criminal offence, for which he was later prosecuted. I can
1 give you details or maybe you want to ask me questions about it.
2 Q. Before that, would you tell the Trial Chamber, what was the
3 position of Mr. Lakic Djorovic at the moment when you met him?
4 A. Lakic Djorovic was at the time military prosecutor attached to the
5 military district of Pristina.
6 Q. How long before the incident was he appointed to that duty, if you
8 A. I don't know the exact date, but I know that it was not more than
9 a week before the incident in question in which he committed the criminal
10 offence which later resulted in his resignation.
11 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call on e-court 4D166.
12 Q. And you, Colleague, would you be so kind to look at it when it
13 comes up on the screen and tell us if you are familiar with the document.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'm not sure if that's the correct
15 number. The statement previously indicated in Exhibit 4D166 and when we
16 looked for it we couldn't find it in e-court. I was told it was 4D159.
17 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I agree. My mistake. I see that
18 it's 4D159. My mistake, Your Honour, I'm sorry.
19 Q. Mr. Radosavljevic, do you know this document?
20 A. Yes, I am familiar with this report.
21 Q. Can you tell something more about the document?
22 A. Yes. I received this report some time after the 1st of June,
23 maybe even on the 1st of June but I don't think so. It was rather after
24 the 1st of June. It was a report from the military prosecutor, from the
25 command of the military district, it's a report by Lakic Djorovic about
1 the work of his agency for that period. He informed me about the number
2 of open cases, number of investigations, number of indictments, and I
3 received it as such. Of course as far as I recall that report contained
4 no reference whatsoever to any problems that this prosecutor's office was
6 Q. Thank you. Would you please now go back to that incident when you
7 had first met Mr. Lakic Djorovic and tell the Trial Chamber what exactly
8 happened and what he told you.
9 A. I'll try to give you more details about that. I don't know the
10 exact date, but it was sometime in the first half of May when I -- when
11 the chief of the legal administration of the Supreme Command Staff,
12 Mr. Gojovic, came to inspect and tour the military justice organs in Nis.
13 He toured the courts, and then he decided it's also advisable to visit the
14 military prosecutor's offices in Pristina, and so we did. It was decided
15 then that at the military prosecutor's office attached to the command in
16 Pristina we have a deputy who is much more experienced than the prosecutor
17 himself, so it would be a good idea to appoint someone else to be the
18 prosecutor. Until that time it was Lieutenant Djuro Blagojevic, who was
19 relatively low in rank and had relatively little experience, while his
20 deputies were much more experienced, and that was one of the major reasons
21 to appoint somebody with more experience. General Gojovic said that he
22 would make efforts to find appropriate persons in Belgrade who would be
23 eligible for that appointment. I later found out that they found a
24 candidate, namely Lakic Djorovic, and he was indeed appointed.
25 However, what happened was that - when did this happen? On the
1 30th - towards the end of May, I'm not sure exactly, an incident happened.
2 Lakic Djorovic got drunk on official premises in the presence of his
3 deputies. Then he beat up his deputy, causing grievous bodily injury.
4 After that, the police intervened; however, he barricaded himself on the
5 premises of the prosecutor's office and threatened the police with a
6 pistol. The military police withdrew. Later on in a way that I'm not
7 familiar with, he nevertheless stopped doing what it was he was doing
8 until then. In relation to this, General Obrencevic, the supreme military
9 prosecutor ordered me to go from Nis to Pristina and to interview all the
10 participants in this incident, which I did. I went to Pristina and I
11 spoke to all of them, inter alia, to Lakic Djorovic, that is to say, the
13 He was making excuses for himself, saying that the deputy had
14 offended him with certain words, and that was it as far as his defence was
15 concerned, so to speak.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. May I? In addition to that he just told me -- are you allowing me
18 to go on? He said that he had problems because he did not have an
19 appropriate vehicle and he was struggling to get an appropriate vehicle
20 for his use.
21 Q. If I understood you correctly, is it your testimony that while he
22 was on duty as the military, or rather, that it was less than a week that
23 he was military prosecutor in Pristina?
24 A. Yes, I said around a week. Now, was it a week exactly or six
25 days, I cannot say for sure.
1 Q. Fine. That will do. Thank you.
2 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please call up on
3 e-court 4D171.
4 Q. Colleague, would you please look at this material. Can you
5 recognise it?
6 A. Yes, I see, this is information of the military prosecutor in Nis
7 from 2001; that is to say, information that was compiled after the war.
8 Q. Do you know who it was that compiled this information?
9 A. Yes, I know, I compiled it, of course with the assistance of my
11 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber briefly how it was that this
12 information was compiled and what is the information contained in this
14 A. Indeed I cannot remember exactly why it was that this information
15 was compiled, because this is not regular information. Every month the
16 prosecutor would compile regular monthly documents called information
17 about crime tendencies; however, since this refers to the period of the
18 war, I assume that it was the army command or somebody else, say the
19 supreme military prosecutor, who say that I do this for the army command,
20 so I did that. That is to say that I compiled this information about
21 crime tendencies in this field, in this area, for that period of time, the
22 time of the war, that is.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this still on the subject of Djorovic?
24 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you go into this any further can I
1 clarify with you, Mr. Aleksic, first of all, paragraph 16 of the statement
2 which refers at the end to the request for removal P2753 and 4D159. Now,
3 4D159 is the number you've now given to the report for the period from 1st
4 March -- 23rd March to 1st June. Is the reference in paragraph 16
5 accurate or not?
6 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that there has
7 been a mistake in terms of numbers. 4D166 from paragraph 15 is this
8 request of Lakic Djorovic's to be relieved of duty. I am going to deal
9 with this, and we shall notify you during the break.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. And the other matter I want to ask is a
11 question for the witness.
12 Mr. Radosavljevic, what happened with your report after you had
13 investigated Djorovic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not investigate, if I
15 understood correctly what it was that you said, when I paid this visit; I
16 just conducted an interview with him. I did not compile a note on that
17 because by then the military police had taken over the matter to deal with
18 the pre-trial procedure. After that, an investigation was instituted
19 against him and charges were brought against him for two crimes, perhaps
20 even a third one, one being grievous bodily injury and the other one was
21 assault against a military officer while on duty, because it is with
22 weapons that he attacked the military police. Proceedings against him
23 were carried out before the military court in Nis, and as far as I know
24 the trial is not over yet. It is now a civilian court in Belgrade that is
25 in charge of the matter, or rather, I'm not quite sure in which city this
1 is happening, whether it's Belgrade or Nis.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So your understanding is that there's no result as
3 yet. We've had a fair bit of evidence from Djorovic himself about this.
4 You'll appreciate why I'm asking.
5 The other --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do understand.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. And for the avoidance of doubt, I assumed
8 you had carried out an investigation when you said that you were ordered
9 to go to Pristina and interview all the participants, which you did, but
10 that was an internal matter. That wasn't an investigation of the incident
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was not an investigation on
13 the incident itself. It was getting personal information about what it
14 was that had happened. I spoke to the participants personally to find out
15 what it was that had happened.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Aleksic, back to 4D171 then?
18 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, the document that
19 is referred to in paragraph 16, the exact number would be P2753. The rest
20 should be deleted. And as for paragraph 15, it is number 159.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: That's already been clarified. Thank you.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
23 further questions of this witness.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
25 Mr. Cepic.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Microphone not activated]
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Colleague, I'm Djuro Cepic, Defence counsel for
4 General Lazarevic. Just one question. During the war, how many criminal
5 reports did you receive per day on average?
6 A. I understand this question to be a question meaning how many
7 criminal reports the first-instance prosecutors received, because I as
8 deputy supreme prosecutor did not receive any criminal reports. According
9 to the information that I received then and in terms of the sum of all the
10 criminal reports pertaining to that period of time, there were some days
11 when 100 or even 150 reports would be received per day, sometimes 30 only,
12 but on average about 100 reports per day at that time.
13 Q. Thank you. What about the overall number at the level of the 3rd
14 Army, do you know perhaps how many reports were received? I'm just
15 speaking in approximate terms.
16 A. I know that the prosecutor of the Pristina Corps only received
17 over 2 and a half thousand.
18 Q. Thank you, thank you, that will do. Thank you. Thank you very
19 much. That was my last question. Thank you.
20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I haven't got any further
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
23 You'll now be examined by the Prosecutor, Mr. Hannis.
24 Mr. Hannis.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
1 Q. Good afternoon, sir. You retired as --
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. You retired as a colonel I understand?
4 A. Yes, I retired as a colonel because military prosecutor's offices
5 and courts ceased to exist.
6 Q. And may I call you "Colonel" because it's easier for me to
7 pronounce than your last name?
8 A. Please go ahead.
9 Q. You mentioned in an earlier answer that the military -- I think
10 your answer was translated as the military justice system was liquidated
11 in 2005. Does that mean that there are no more military courts or
12 military prosecutors in the VJ?
13 A. Military courts ceased to exist on the 31st of December, 2004,
14 that is to say that already by the 1st of January, 2005, they were no
15 longer in existence; however, the personnel, part of the personnel, stayed
16 on in these organs until May 2005 in order to have the liquidation process
17 of these organs take place, from an administrative point of view, et
18 cetera. However, the organs as such, the judiciary as such, ceased to
19 exist from the end of 2004, since then there have been no such courts.
20 However, today there are military departments attached to courts in Nis
21 and Belgrade, that is the information that I have.
22 Q. Okay. And I take it then that those military departments attached
23 to the courts handled the work of prosecuting violations within the
24 military by members of the military, correct?
25 A. Yes, certainly. They are within the district organ that is called
1 the district public prosecutor's office. There is not a head of this
2 military department. There are only a few deputy prosecutors who carry
3 out those duties in that department. They are subordinated to the
4 district public prosecutor. They do not have any other superior except
5 for that person, and they act in accordance with his orders. Of course,
6 in practice they deal with all cases that the district public prosecutor's
7 office inherited, so to speak, from the military court, but they also deal
8 with other cases from the regular jurisdiction of the district court, or
9 rather, the district prosecutor's office. I personally know that before
10 this department to this day some proceedings are taking place that had
11 started originally before the military court in Nis.
12 Q. In your answer to Judge Bonomy, a question about your duties as
13 the deputy supreme military prosecutor, you said they applied to the area
14 of responsibility of the 3rd Army. Do I take it then that in addition to
15 yourself there were in 1999 some other deputy supreme military prosecutors
16 that had responsibility in other areas, such as for the 1st and 2nd
18 A. In Nis in addition to myself there was another deputy, and I think
19 that in Podgorica there was also one. I'm not quite sure now.
20 Q. Who was the other deputy in Nis with you?
21 A. In Belgrade too, yes, in Podgorica and Belgrade. The other deputy
22 in Nis was Radonja Zivkovic, he was a major.
23 Q. And how was the work split between the two of you in Nis?
24 A. Since I had senior rank, I decided who would take what case, which
25 cases I would be working on and which cases he would be working on.
1 Q. And then you mentioned that the supreme military prosecutor
2 attached to the Supreme Command Staff in Belgrade was
3 Major-General Obrencevic; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, yes, that is what I said.
5 Q. And then I take it is he then the top dog or the one and only
6 overall supreme prosecutor for the whole VJ at that time?
7 A. Yes, certainly. Before that, in peacetime, he was the chief
8 military prosecutor, that is to say the top prosecutor in the land, and he
9 was that during the course of the war, too. Once he came to tour the
10 prosecutor's offices in Nis.
11 Q. And you mentioned that although he didn't ask you to report, you
12 did send reports to the legal department of the headquarters of the
13 supreme staff. Now, was that a separate report or was that report
14 something that was integrated in the daily combat reports from the 3rd
16 A. These were telephone reports every day. I informed them by
17 telephone that on such and such a day we received such and such a number
18 of reports, brought such and such a number of charges against persons,
19 dealt with such and such a number of cases. That is what
20 General Obrencevic asked me to do, to send the legal department this kind
21 of information in order to have all the information centralised about
23 Q. Were those the only kind of reports you submitted then were the
24 telephonic reports, no written reports?
25 A. As far as I can remember, during the course of the war I did not
1 write reports. As a matter of fact, that is when we stopped writing
2 monthly information after decades of having done so. For decades we wrote
3 monthly information documents, but then due to the war that was going on
4 we did not write this up. Nobody asked us to do this. I think I even
5 asked, but they told me that it was not necessary to write this monthly
6 information at that point in time. It was an enormous number, several
7 thousand per month, so it was very difficult to process everything, too.
8 Q. And you mentioned to Mr. Aleksic that in your tours of the
9 prosecutor's office under you, that you had personal contact with the
10 prosecutors and their deputies and nobody ever mentioned any problem of
11 the kind of being pressured in their work. I understand that no one told
12 you that, but my question is: Were you specifically inquiring or asking
13 any of them if they had that kind of problem?
14 A. No, no, I was not inquiring or asking. It never crossed my mind.
15 I do not believe, and to this day I do not believe, that there was such
17 Q. I take it, though, that you're familiar with some of the
18 allegations that Colonel Djorovic made when he testified here about
19 pressures that were put on him, correct?
20 A. I just heard in very general terms that he referred to some
21 pressures, but I really do not know specifically what it was that he was
22 saying and what kind of pressure he was referring to before the court,
23 that is.
24 Q. Were you aware of his allegation about pressure being put on him
25 to initiate some kind of proceeding against Natasa Kandic from the
1 International Humanitarian Law centre or the Humanitarian Law Centre in
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think this is a
5 completely different area. That is what he said about 2001 and not about
6 1999 and that can be checked when you look at the evidence he gave.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time he was not the
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, can you be more specific about the time
10 to which you're referring?
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't have the date in front of me. I
12 will get that and come back to it if I have it; if not, I'll move on.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
15 Q. Okay. So I take it then your earlier answers about no pressure is
16 referring specifically to 1999, but I also take it from an earlier answer
17 that cases from the conflict in Kosovo in 1999, some matters are still
18 being pursued through the courts, aren't they?
19 A. Yes, that is the information I have. I personally had contact
20 with a person a few days ago because he was a witness in this case a few
21 days ago, and he told me that this day there are proceedings against him
22 in terms of a trial that had started against him before the military court
23 in Nis. Allegedly he had been sentenced, but then the judgement was
24 annulled and there was a retrial and proceedings are now taking place
25 before the district court in Nis.
1 Q. And who was that person you had this contact with?
2 A. Zlatan Mancic, I think he is a lieutenant-colonel from the KVO --
3 no, sorry, from the military department in Pirot.
4 Q. Do you know what kind of proceedings were being had against him
5 for what alleged charges?
6 A. Believe me that I do not recall the details, but I think that it's
7 a war crime, I think, I'm not sure. And if this case was dealt with with
8 the -- by the military court in Nis and the military prosecutor's office
9 in Nis, I think that as prosecutor on this case several times I asked for
10 additional information and that we lost quite a bit of time on that before
11 we decided to bring criminal charges against him and to start a court
12 procedure against him. It is probable that this procedure started a bit
13 later because of that, but that is certainly not the reason why the
14 proceedings haven't been completed as yet. The reason must be that the
15 truth has not been established yet.
16 Q. And you yourself in your work as a military prosecutor from 1999
17 on, did you never experience any pressure in connection with your work,
18 pressure to take a specific course of action with regard to a matter
19 pending before you from a superior or a higher-ranking officer in the
21 A. I categorically assert that this, indeed, never happened to me.
22 Absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Interest was expressed in terms of how
23 far a particular case had progressed, but pressure in terms of how a
24 decision would be made, that kind of thing never happened.
25 Q. [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. Did you have an occasion to handle a matter against a journalist
4 named Filipovic, Miroslav Filipovic?
5 A. Yes, I did. I personally handled that matter initially, and later
6 on it was my deputy who continued.
7 Q. And that matter involved some allegations that he was, what,
8 revealing state secrets or speaking negatively about the army? What were
9 the natures -- the nature of the charges against him?
10 A. If I understand you correctly, you're asking me what it was that
11 he was accused of. I think for revealing a military secret. I'm not sure
13 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, I have a general
16 objection in respect of this question and similar questions. According to
17 the laws of the country that I come from and the witness comes from, court
18 cases are not to be commented upon. A court is independent in its
19 activity, and any kind of interpretation by anyone who is not relevant
20 from that point of view can only be to the detriment of those proceedings.
21 As far as I believe, there is a similar rule before this Tribunal, namely,
22 contempt of court. This is my general objection, and I thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, one of the issues before this Tribunal
24 is whether or not proceedings were taken in circumstances where they
25 should have been taken, which of course inevitably involves investigating
1 the nature of charges. Now, this is very similar, although it may not be
2 to do with the crimes of the nature that we would have jurisdiction over.
3 So on the basis -- on the understanding that the questions are confined to
4 what the charges were and what the outcome was, what really is the
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm going to repeat. It
7 is not permitted to comment upon the course of the proceedings because the
8 court is independent in its activity. That is in accordance with our law,
9 the laws of the country that I come from.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: So I could never ask in a court in Belgrade whether
11 a witness had previously been convicted of a crime?
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] No, no, that's a completely different
13 matter, Your Honour. Evidence is a completely, or rather, records are a
14 completely different matter and a judgement is a completely different
15 matter. But the course of the proceedings and affecting the course of the
16 proceedings and interpreting the course of the proceedings is solely
17 within the jurisdiction of those who are in charge, that is to say the
18 court and the judge involved.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Aleksic.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no -- I don't
22 have that kind of objection, but I believe that those proceedings against
23 journalist Filipovic was proclaimed to be a state secret at some point and
24 some of the evidence was confidential, it was not in the public domain,
25 and I believe perhaps we should move into private session for that reason.
1 I do not object to the questioning.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying the very fact that he was prosecuted
3 was a state secret?
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] No, no.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there may come a time when it's necessary,
6 but it's not necessary at this stage.
7 Mr. Hannis, can you respond to the first of these objections from
8 Mr. Cepic.
9 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm not trying to get into the
10 contents of these charges. I have an interest because I have a good-faith
11 basis to ask a question about whether this witness received any kind of
12 pressure based on his conduct in the case. I have a media report
13 indicating that he had ordered the release of this individual --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't need to say any more at this stage.
15 We're alert to the point that Mr. Cepic is making and if the issue appears
16 to specifically arise in relation to any question, then he will no doubt
17 draw it to our attention, but we may be alerted to it in any event by the
18 nature of the objection he's already taken. So please continue.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
20 Q. Is it correct, Colonel, that in connection with Mr. Filipovic at
21 one point in time you did order that he be released from detention?
22 A. I did not order his release from detention; that was not within my
23 competence. I just informed the court that I would not be filing a
24 request for an investigation within 48 hours, because at that moment I
25 thought a prosecution would not be justified. That is why the court was
1 bound by the law to release him from detention and that's what they did as
2 far as I recall.
3 Q. Okay. I understand that. It was because you took the decision
4 not to request an investigation within the 48-hour time-limit, he had to
5 be released, correct?
6 A. That was stipulated by the law. If no request to conduct an
7 investigation is filed within 48 hours, then the person has to be
9 Q. Okay. And did you hear of any complaints of General Pavkovic
10 about your actions that led to the release of Mr. Filipovic that were
11 reported in the media?
12 A. I did not hear about any complaints as far as that is concerned,
13 but I can tell you that my decision not to request an investigation
14 testifies to my complete independence and the fact that I did not consult
15 anyone, I didn't ask the staff [as interpreted], I decided it on my own.
16 Q. Would you agree with me that other prosecutors may not have the
17 same degree of resilience or persistence as you?
18 A. I really could not go into that. People are people. Everyone
19 answers for themselves.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, just one
22 correction to the record. Page 25, or rather, line 25, the witness said
23 something that was misheard by the interpreter as "staff," where he
24 actually said: I didn't ask anyone what to do. There is a difference of
25 one sound, one letter.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Radosavljevic, can you clarify that
2 answer? You said that your decision not to question an investigation
3 testifies to your independence and the fact that you did not consult, who
4 did you refer to?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about that situation
6 with that report, those charges that had to be filed or not filed. I
7 didn't ask anyone what to do. I studied the case myself, then decided to
8 inform the court as I did, that I will not be conducting an investigation.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: A little earlier in your evidence you said that you
10 personally had contact with a person a few days ago because he was a
11 witness in this case a few days ago and he told me that this day there are
12 proceedings against him in terms of a trial in Nis, and you then referred
13 to the person as Zlatan Mancic. I don't think that's the name of a
14 witness we've had in this case.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, you misunderstood me. He
16 wasn't a witness in this case. He's a witness in one of my cases that I
17 am handling as a private lawyer in Nis.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
21 Q. Colonel, in answer to a question at page 8, line 9, you mentioned
22 how military prosecutors followed the law on criminal proceedings, and you
23 mentioned that in your country every citizen should file a criminal report
24 when necessary but it's not an obligation for the citizen. "On the other
25 hand," you say, "it is stipulated that state authorities are duty-bound to
1 file a criminal report when they found out about a crime in their line of
3 When General Gojovic was here we had a discussion about that with
4 him, and I want to propose a hypothetical situation for you and ask you
5 what responsibility, if any, there is for a military commander in Kosovo
6 during the conflict, he has an area of responsibility, he has information
7 that MUP units or individuals from the MUP who are working in coordination
8 with VJ troops in that area, may have committed crimes against civilians,
9 including murder, rape, robbery. What responsibility does that VJ
10 commander have with regard to doing something about crimes committed by
11 MUP members not subordinated to him but in his area of responsibility?
12 Does he only have the citizen's moral obligation?
13 A. I understood the question easily. Now it's a matter of
14 interpreting the law. My understanding would be that it does not -- he is
15 not obligated, but he should report it. You could say that 15 different
16 agencies should file a report simultaneously if 15 of them find about an
17 incident. When I say that the state authority's obligated, I mean that
18 the state authority is obligated to file a report on an irregularity or a
19 crime they found out in their line of work. For instance, the electrical
20 company is not the one who should be filing a report if something happened
21 at the health centre. In the same way, the commander of a military unit
22 is not obligated to file a report if he finds out that a policeman who is
23 not serving in the army committed a crime. I think it's a matter for
24 interpretation. But I do not mean to say that he should not. I'm saying
25 that it's not his formal obligation, but he should report it in whatever
1 form, maybe not through a formal criminal report, but he should go and
2 tell the body, the agency, of the -- of internal affairs in that
4 Q. Let me --
5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I just have to clarify one thing. If once a
6 report about an incident is made, is there a need for many other people
7 also to go and report the same incident? Or if -- once it is done, it is
8 okay, or in your system 40 complaints on the same episode can be made?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand your question. For the
10 work of a military prosecutor [as interpreted], a criminal report is not
11 necessary. It is enough that the military prosecutor finds out that a
12 criminal offence has been perpetrated. If the word reaches me at all, if
13 I find out in the street that somebody killed somebody, that is quite
14 enough for me to take certain measures, to contact the police, find out if
15 they know about the incident, have them take the steps, and start the
16 prosecution. One criminal report is quite enough for me to find out and
17 to start my work. If another 12 people file a criminal report about the
18 same incident, that does not bother me, because every criminal report
19 might mention some new detail, some new fact, a new piece of evidence.
20 So to conclude, the military prosecutor does not require a formal
21 criminal report; he just needs information, information that might reach
22 him by telephone, verbally, in writing, in any possible way.
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: You also stated that the decisions were you own
24 and nobody influenced you or pressurised you to go into investigation.
25 But obviously, you are not a judge. You can be told that you are not
1 investigating an event which has happened because of inaptitude on your
2 part. What happens then? And there can be a pressure on you of work
3 because there's a back-log and somebody's reminding you. So how do you
4 distinguish between these positions because obviously you are not a judge?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly, the
6 question is how am I able to finalise a case. The answer is this: The
7 military prosecutor is an independent body that prosecutes perpetrators of
8 criminal offences, and that's the source of his right to reject a criminal
9 report if he finds it unjustified. And that happens regularly in
10 practice. In the practice of every prosecutor's office in the country, it
11 has been established once and for all that a criminal report may be
12 rejected by a formal decision, a decision saying the criminal report filed
13 against such and such a person for such and such a reason is hereby
14 rejected, and this is followed by an explanation. Of course this is not
15 done automatically. The preliminary inquiries are first made from
16 individuals, from institutions, from authorities, and on the basis of all
17 the evidence obtained and all the statements available, the decision is
18 made. And the court cannot help it. That is our system. If the
19 prosecutor decides not a prosecute, it cannot reach the court, unless the
20 injured party continues their effort to have the perpetrator prosecuted.
21 We are also duty-bound to inform the injured party that they may institute
22 proceedings on their own behalf within a certain deadline. It happens
23 often that the injured party starts proceedings themselves, and in the
24 course of those proceedings the military prosecutors rethink their prior
25 decision to reject the case and take over. But a prosecution cannot
1 happen without either the prosecutor or the injured party.
2 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And did somebody oversee your work?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As I said, every month the
4 prosecutor wrote a brief that was submitted to the supreme prosecutor
5 about the developments and incidents of crime. In addition to that, the
6 prosecutor made a sheet of statistics, including various elements, the
7 rank, ethnicity of the perpetrator, the type of criminal offence,
8 indictment, conviction, sentencing, et cetera. And at the end of the
9 year, all those sheets were used to make an annual report. And the
10 prosecutor provided every year an annual report on his work for the
11 previous year --
12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Previous translation continues]... Who's
13 supervising you, could he correct you when you were not right in taking a
14 decision one way or the other whether to proceed with the case or not to
15 proceed with the case because you could have been wrong. Could he correct
16 you and override your decision? Thank you very much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly. Certainly. That
18 would be the supreme military prosecutor. The organization of prosecutors
19 are very strictly -- is very strictly established in terms of hierarchy.
20 The supreme military prosecutor controls the work of military prosecutors,
21 and it is his duty to provide guide-lines if they deem necessary, of
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I had seen a couple of my colleagues
25 across the hall up. I don't know if there were corrections to be made to
1 the transcript.
2 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, just one small
3 correction in the transcript page 28, line 21, I think the witness said
4 just prosecutor, not the military prosecutor, as is filed the transcript.
5 Thank you, because he spoke in general. Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Even if he did, it really is of no consequence in
7 view of the answer.
8 Mr. Zecevic.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. This is the intervention
10 page 30, 10, "it happened often." I don't believe -- the witness didn't
11 say "often," he was just saying it might happen, even the case where the
12 injured party takes on and then the prosecutor decides. It doesn't --
13 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I note the witness agrees with you, Mr. Zecevic.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. Thank you, sir. I wanted to follow-up a little bit. I understood
20 your answer a while back, and I can see in the context of peacetime that
21 an army commander who becomes aware that some policeman has committed a
22 crime against the civilian might not have any obligation to do anything
23 about that other than an ordinary citizen's duty or, if not duty, the idea
24 that it would be a good thing to report that crime. But I'm talking about
25 during the war in Kosovo in combat, and I understood from answers of
1 earlier witnesses we've had that a military commander in a combat zone has
2 responsibility to protect the civilians in his area of responsibility. Is
3 that true? It seems logical to me.
4 A. Well, that's a matter of interpreting the Geneva Conventions. I
5 would not be prepared to go into that now. I can only say if the case
6 happens during the war, during a war, and if the commanding officer finds
7 out about a war crime, then he certainly should report it and I believe he
8 would report it. But whether somebody's required to protect civilians and
9 who, that must be governed by Geneva Conventions, and I wouldn't go into
10 that now.
11 Q. But wouldn't you agree with me in the situation of Kosovo in 1999,
12 who was in a better position to protect the civilians than the army? The
13 civilians didn't have -- I'm talking about the standard ordinary civilians
14 didn't have weapons to protect themselves.
15 A. That's really outside of my expertise. I was not familiar with
16 the details of the situation in the whole territory, but I believe there
17 were -- there existed state authorities in Kosovo. I don't think the army
18 was the authority in Kosovo. There was a government, a police force, and
19 other organs who had that job. If there are some regulations stipulating
20 that the army should protect the population, possibly, I'm not aware of it
21 now. Of course their moral obligation would be to protect civilians.
22 Q. I understood an earlier answer of yours to indicate that you as a
23 prosecutor, if you became aware of a crime without the filing of any
24 report, you just personally became aware of it, you would go ahead and
25 initiate proceedings, correct? What would you do in the situation if you
1 as a VJ military prosecutor became aware that a MUP officer or a MUP
2 soldier had committed a crime against a civilian in Kosovo during the war,
3 what would you do about that?
4 A. I understood your question. My conduct would depend on several
5 things. For instance, it would depend on my evaluation, whether the
6 report is reliable, whether it is a report or disinformation. If I
7 thought it reliable, I would make an official note as a prosecutor, and
8 then I would submit that official note to the competent prosecutor. If
9 the urgent -- if there is urgency in the matter, I would certainly contact
10 the competent prosecutor by telephone.
11 Q. Okay. But I understood from other evidence that in this context
12 the military courts did not have jurisdiction over the MUP policemen or
13 the PJP or the SAJ policemen who was engaged in activities in Kosovo?
14 A. Of course, of course they did not have jurisdiction. The Law on
15 Military Courts stipulates their jurisdiction very precisely, that is, to
16 prosecute military personnel and in very specific cases other persons.
17 For instance, in cases where the injured party is a military personnel.
18 Q. Okay. I understand that.
19 A. Even if the perpetrator is a policeman.
20 Q. From your earlier answer then where you said that you would make
21 an official note as the prosecutor and submit that official note to the
22 competent prosecutor, in my hypothetical -- let me take it a step further.
23 Your information about the crime is either one that you've seen yourself
24 or it's in a written report by, say, General Lazarevic, to his commander
25 in the 3rd Army. Would that satisfy you as sufficient evidence that a
1 crime had occurred and to whom would you report it? Would you report it
2 to a civilian court prosecutor?
3 A. Well, if I understood you correctly, if I found out from a certain
4 document of General Lazarevic that he had done such and such a thing, I
5 would consider it reliable or if I --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: No, you misunderstood, Mr. Radosavljevic. You're
7 being asked still about the situation where a MUP officer commits a crime
8 and you've got reliable information about it.
9 MR. HANNIS:
10 Q. Your information is a written report from General Lazarevic, who,
11 I'm assuming, would be a reliable source for you about that kind of
13 A. That's precisely what I understood, that the crime was committed
14 by a policeman and that General Lazarevic is writing about it to his
15 command in Nis. And if I found out about it, the question is addressed to
16 me, what would I do and would I act identically. The answer is yes. I
17 did not distinguish in my previous answer between various sources I might
18 find out from. Regardless of the source of this report, I would inform
19 the prosecutor, the competent prosecutor.
20 Q. And who would that be, the competent prosecutor, for a crime
21 committed during the wartime by a MUP member against a civilian in Kosovo
22 in 1999?
23 A. The competent prosecutor would be determined according to the
24 territory. It's territorial competence that governs these matters, the
25 territory where the crime was committed. Those were the same prosecutors
1 to whom we actually deferred cases for which we were not competent, the
2 civilian prosecutors in the area, the locality of perpetration.
3 Q. Were those courts working during the war in March through June of
5 A. These courts, yes. I said yes. I didn't deal with it
6 specifically, but I believe they did work and I believe they continued to
7 work after the end of the war after being relocated to Serbia proper. So
8 we sent them the cases in which we deemed ourselves incompetent or not
10 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 9 of your statement you say: "Military
11 courts only had jurisdiction to try military offences perpetrated by
12 military personnel, cases in relation to service in the VJ, and some
13 civilians in specific situations."
14 What were the specific situations under which you in the military
15 courts had jurisdiction?
16 A. Yes. The Law on Military Courts lists such crimes. It is said
17 the military courts shall try the following criminal offences: Espionage,
18 sabotage, subversion of offence, capacities, et cetera. Espionage, but
19 only if against military installation or military personnel, divulging
20 military secrets. Other acts that go against the army has a social
21 value. I would actually have to take an exam again to see if I know all
22 of these, but I believe I recollected correctly. There are about a dozen
23 different offences that are considered to go against the country and its
24 defence capabilities.
25 Q. I have a list of criminal reports against perpetrators in the
1 549th Motorised Brigade, it's Exhibit P962, and I see one of the crimes
2 listed is a violation of Articles 125 and 136 of the criminal code for FRY
3 and it's described as terrorism and association for hostile purposes. Was
4 that something that you could try?
5 A. Yes, that was within our jurisdiction, again, if such an act
6 violated the defence capabilities and security of the country. There were
7 numerous cases wherein Albanians attacked the army, the state border,
8 the -- involving smuggling of weapons, et cetera, so I considered them as
9 terrorism and prosecuted them as such. Of course, unfortunately, we were
10 not successful in many cases because we decided that we did not have
11 enough evidence and we instructed the police to continue their work to
12 detect -- to detect the perpetrators.
13 Q. Let me stop you there.
14 MR. HANNIS: I think it's time for our first break.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Radosavljevic, we need to have a break at this
16 stage for a number of reasons. I wonder if you would leave the court with
17 the usher, and we'll see you again at five minutes past 4.00.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Colonel, in your statement at paragraph 20 you mentioned
1 that: "... According to the law, the Court is not bound by the legal
2 qualification made by the Prosecutor in the indictment, but only by the
3 facts; therefore, the Court can amend the legal qualification and decide
4 that some alternative offence is more appropriate. This may result in a
5 lack of jurisdiction and the case will be delegated to the appropriate
7 Is there any appeal or remedy a prosecutor could take if the court
8 decided to change the legal qualification of the charges that might result
9 in it going away, say, away from the military court to a civilian court or
10 is that something the court can do and it's not appealable?
11 A. Yes, yes, an appeal can be filed, certainly. If the prosecutor is
12 not satisfied with the ruling of the court from any point of view, he has
13 the right to appeal in that sense as well, in terms of the change of the
14 legal qualification, that part of the judgement, in this way, the ruling
15 on jurisdiction as well.
16 Q. You mentioned also in the next paragraph that once the war stops
17 the war military courts are discontinued. And if an indictment hasn't yet
18 been delivered to a suspect and that suspect is no longer a military
19 person, for example, because he's been demobilised, then the regular
20 civilian court has jurisdiction. What about -- what if the indictment has
21 been delivered and the suspect's then demobilised, does the case still go
22 to the civilian court because he's no longer a soldier?
23 A. "Argumentu a contrario" in that case the court is in charge if it
24 is a valid indictment and he is still a military person, the matter
25 remains within the military court and the military court is going to bring
1 the proceedings to an end.
2 Q. Okay. But I was imagining a situation where the indictment has
3 been delivered to him while he's still in the army, but then the war ends.
4 Is he automatically demobilised or does that take some sort of order or
5 decree to be issued for the mobilisation to take effect?
6 A. I don't know if I'm to give a right answer to when he is no longer
7 a military person. When the military unit ceases to exist, he ceases to
8 be a military person. A person becomes a military person by acceding to a
9 military unit and also ceases to be a military person by getting out of
10 the unit, or rather, through the fact that this unit ceases to exist. I
11 don't know exactly when each unit ceased to exist. However, I believe
12 that once the state of war was over, these mobilised units ceased to exist
13 as well. Therefore, when the state of war is over, when there are no more
14 mobilised units, I think this happens automatically without any formal
15 decisions, rulings, and so on.
16 Q. Okay. Then would I be correct in assuming that any soldier who
17 had been mobilised simply for the war, once the war ended and his unit is
18 automatically demobilised, the military court no longer has jurisdiction
19 over any of those demobilised individuals, whether or not the indictment
20 had already been passed on and delivered to him; is that correct?
21 A. The law clearly states that the court shall remain in charge if
22 the indictment remains valid or if the proposal to indict had been
23 officially delivered to the court. We cannot interpret it in any other
24 way but that.
25 Q. So if the indictment was delivered before demobilisation, the
1 military court can continue to prosecute that person until the end of the
2 case and pass a sentence on him; is that right?
3 A. Yes, certainly, certainly, until a judgement is delivered, not
4 only that military court but even the second-instance court, an appeals
5 court, until the judgement becomes valid [as interpreted].
6 Q. Okay. Thank you.
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, may I intervene. I hope you don't mind.
8 Now, if there's a mixture of accused, let's say two from MUP, two
9 from VJ, and they commit a crime, which court is going to have
10 jurisdiction then if they -- through, you know, concert and premeditation
11 or they join in a crime? Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That question is also resolved in
13 the Law on Military Courts. It stipulates that if a military and a
14 non-military person, say, a military policeman and a policeman commit a
15 crime as co-perpetrators, the military person shall be tried by the
16 military court but the other person will also be tried by that court and
17 it's the other way around if they are co-perpetrators.
18 JUDGE CHOWHAN: So the military court will only have jurisdiction
19 to try them?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, jurisdiction will be in the
21 hands of the military court if they are co-perpetrators, if they are
22 accessories, et cetera.
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And what happens in the case of a civilian
24 perpetrator joining with a VJ perpetrator, both join to commit a crime,
25 then what happens? Is the same position?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The answer is the same, but the word
2 order is different. Did the civilian commit the crime with the military
3 person or did the military person commit a crime with the civilian? The
4 answer is one and the same. If the civilian and military person committed
5 a crime as co-perpetrators and if the military person is to be tried by
6 the military court, then that same court is going to try the other person
7 as well, the civilian.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I must say, I find this very confusing,
10 Mr. Radosavljevic. There must be simpler ways of explaining this. If two
11 courts on the face of it have jurisdiction, does one have priority over
12 the other?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon, it is not two
14 courts that have jurisdiction. The Law on Military Courts is lex
15 specialis, and it prescribes the solution that I refer to, that if these
16 two persons commit a crime together and if the military person is to be
17 tried by a military court, then automatically the military court takes
18 over that case for the civilian co-perpetrator, too. I think that that is
19 perfectly clear. There is nothing unclear about that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, just one small matter, page
23 39, 14, the judgement becomes final, not valid, 39, 14. I didn't want to
24 interrupt the Judges while you were posing questions, and that's in the
25 transcript, 39, 14. It says: "Until the judgement becomes valid." The
1 witness says: "Until the judgement becomes final" after the appeal court
2 decides on it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I will ask CLSS to check that.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Yes, that is correct.
5 Interpreter's correction: Yes, that is correct.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It has been corrected. Thank you.
7 Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS:
9 Q. Colonel, in paragraph 23 of your statement you say that: "The Law
10 on Criminal Proceedings specifically states that if there are reasonable
11 grounds to suspect that there is a crime for which the Prosecutor must act
12 ex officio, then Internal Affairs have a duty to undertake measures to
13 find the perpetrator, to prevent him from escaping ... secure the scene,"
14 et cetera. Can you explain to me what that means, what the prosecutor is
15 acting ex officio?
16 A. The law prescribes what crimes are dealt with ex officio and in
17 which cases charges are brought by private person. It is not for our
18 assessment, but it is the law that specifically says that for such and
19 such a crime there are indictments issued ex officio and for others a
20 person, individual person, can bring charges. So it is only for some
21 crimes that charges are brought ex officio, or rather, in most cases it is
22 the prosecutor who has the official duty to prosecute.
23 Q. And in your statement there when you're talking about internal
24 affairs, you mean the personnel from the Ministry of Internal Affairs?
25 A. Yes. Yes, the police, the MUP, yes.
1 Q. All right. In the last paragraph of your statement you mention
2 Exhibit 4D171, and I can hand you a hard copy of that exhibit. You say
3 this is a document that you prepared?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. The 6th of April, 2001, in a report to the 3rd Army commander
6 about criminal proceedings. You mentioned that there were investigations
7 pending against 47 persons for crimes resulting in death or threat to
8 human life and limb, and six -- well, six of the 47 were for crimes
9 resulting in death or threat to life and limb. One of those individuals
10 was Colonel Stosic. We've heard some evidence about his case here. Can
11 you tell us what you know about the outcome of the proceedings, if any,
12 that arose from the investigation into his involvement. At this time, in
13 2001, it indicates it was suspended due to lack of evidence. Was that the
14 final outcome?
15 A. I think so. I think that was the case. Believe me, I'm not quite
16 sure, I'm not making an assertion, but I think that nothing changed after
18 Q. Okay. And a little further on, I'm not sure what page it is in
19 the B/C/S, you mention that indictments against 182 persons include 13
20 persons charged with crimes resulting in death or other consequences
21 related to human life and limb. And you mention the following persons,
22 but I see only ten names listed. Was that intentional just to list the
23 ten? Were the other three left out by oversight? Or do you know? Do you
24 find that? The first person listed is Major Petrovic.
25 A. I see that, yes. I see that there is an addition here under
1 number 10 Bozidar Sudarski. Yes, it is correct that this information
2 should have been contained. This is probably an omission, probably, I'm
3 saying probably.
4 Q. Okay. So do you know who the other three individuals against whom
5 indictments were returned for crimes resulting in death?
6 A. I don't know what you're referring to. If you could jog my
7 memory, perhaps I could say a bit more. I don't know what person this
8 refers to.
9 Q. I don't know either. It's your report that says there were 13
10 persons charged with crimes and only list ten. I wonder if you could help
11 us out as to who the other three might be?
12 A. Oh, I yes, that's what you mean. I beg your pardon, I beg your
13 pardon. Now I understand from the text here. It says here that out of
14 these 13 persons ten are threats to human life and limb and then ten, or
15 rather, nine are referred to, the tenth one is missing. And there are
16 three other persons that are referred to in this report, but not with
17 regard to crimes with regards to human life and limb but rapes are the
18 crimes involved in this other case and they are described here, what it is
19 that they did.
20 Q. [Microphone not activated]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. I see following on that there are four persons charged with crimes
24 against personal dignity, so that would make 14 instead of 13. Can you
25 explain that difference?
1 A. I see. Let's go back to this again. Then it's all right. There
2 is no mistake in what I said, 13 persons is the total. Nine against life
3 and limb and four for rape, crimes of rape, nine plus four is 13, but I
4 certainly omitted Sudarski, that would be a total of 14. That's what I
5 missed. So ten would be against life and limb and three for, or rather,
6 four for rape. But the problem is that this one person was omitted, so
7 the result was not 14 but the only 13. That's the only discrepancy.
8 Q. [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. On the last page in English, and I'm not sure if it's on your last
12 page, but three paragraphs above the signature block it mentions -- it
13 mentions three incidents of multiple murder. One of those was -- the
14 third incident relates to the discovery of 144 fresh graves in Izbica
15 village sector on 29 May 1999. It said: "The files do not contain any
16 reliable evidence on the circumstances in which these persons were
18 Is that correct? In April 2001 the files didn't have any reliable
19 evidence about how some of the 144 people found in Izbica village were
20 killed? Hadn't autopsies been done?
21 A. Of course there was no evidence pointing that, absolutely, and I
22 believe that is why the case was deferred. I haven't found it yet in this
23 document, but I remember -- I seem to remember that the case was deferred.
24 Could you please help me in this -- Ah, yes, I see. One incident relates
25 to the discovery of -- Ah, I see. All right. Right. It's not written
1 here, but as far as I can remember I deferred that case. The case was
2 referred, it didn't remain in the military court in Nis, it was deferred
3 to the civilian prosecutor in charge in order to pursue the matter. Until
4 then, I did not have any elements as to how it was that these persons had
5 lost their lives, and I particularly did not have any evidence indicating
6 that the military was responsible for their deaths. So that is why I
7 referred the case to the civilian jurisdiction, but I think that by then
8 it hadn't been decided yet.
9 Q. All right. Let me ask you about one last --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give us a date for the reference of the
11 case to the civilian prosecutor?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you just now I think I
13 referred it. I don't know the date, but if that did happen, if I said
14 this right, it must have been after this date, after the date of this
15 information. I really do not know when this took place, probably after
16 2001, perhaps 2003, 2004. It certainly didn't take place immediately.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That can be seen.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS:
22 Q. Colonel, were you aware of General Pavkovic having some role in
23 organizing exhumations and autopsies of bodies from that mass grave in
25 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Aleksic on his feet.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
2 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask my learned friend
3 Mr. Hannis to give us a transcript reference and where this reference to
4 Izbica comes from. Since we have other evidence, perhaps it would be good
5 to discuss this when the witness is out of the courtroom. So perhaps he
6 could be asked to leave the courtroom. I didn't want to interrupt
7 Mr. Hannis, but ...
8 JUDGE BONOMY: No reason for any interruption here.
9 Please continue, Mr. Hannis. Your question's straightforward and
10 doesn't depend on anything in the transcript.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Q. Colonel, do I need to repeat my question?
13 A. I would kindly ask you to repeat it.
14 Q. Were you aware of General Pavkovic having had some role in
15 organizing exhumations and autopsies of bodies from those graves in
17 A. No, I was not aware of any such thing, absolutely. Izbica is in
18 the territory of Kosovo and Metohija I think and there were first-instance
19 military prosecutors who was in charge there, and at that time I didn't
20 know anything about their work, I mean I did not know whether they were in
21 contact with him from that point of view. But after the war, I mean until
22 the present day, I haven't heard anything about this, about him having
23 done anything in that sense. But I know it's only the investigating judge
24 who can order an exhumation and nobody else.
25 Q. Let me ask you one last question. You mentioned a person you'd
1 talked to before, I think you mentioned the name of Zlatan Mancic, I think
2 you said he's a client of yours now. I would ask you to look at Exhibit
3 P962. This is a list of filed criminal reports against perpetrators in
4 the 549th Motorised Brigade for crimes between May 1998 and July 1999. I
5 can hand you the hard copy and ask you to look at the entry for item
6 number 103 --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, just a correction, I think Mr. Hannis
9 misspoke. The witness had said that he was a witness in a case that he
10 was dealing with as a private lawyer, not that he was a client of his.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I think that's correct, Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: That is correct, I'm sorry.
13 Q. That's correct, isn't it, sir, you said he was a witness, not a
15 A. Yes, yes, a witness.
16 Q. And do you find item number 103 on that list? It's page 27 of the
18 A. Yes, I found it.
19 Q. It states Zlatan Mancic who was a major and the crime was war
20 crime against civilians and it indicated a seven-year imprisonment changed
21 to 14 years. We had evidence from another witness who testified in closed
22 session about this and indicated that that sentence of 14 years must have
23 been reduced because the individual was no longer in prison and that he
24 had been promoted at some point during the proceedings to colonel. Do you
25 know anything about that?
1 A. I don't know whether he was promoted to the rank of colonel, but I
2 don't think so. I have absolutely never heard of that, of him being a
3 colonel. For us, he was always Lieutenant-Colonel Zlatan Mancic. I am
4 sorry, did the question go beyond that? Maybe I did not hear everything
5 you asked me. Was your question only whether he was a colonel or not or
6 did it go beyond that?
7 Q. Well, here on the report he's listed as a major, and we had a
8 witness indicate that he knew him as a colonel. So I had wondered whether
9 he had been promoted during the proceedings against him for war crimes.
10 A. If that was the case, but I'm not sure of that but it is possible,
11 that he certainly wasn't promoted during the criminal proceedings.
12 Indeed, I may be making a mistake if I say this, but I seem to remember
13 that the prosecutor's office, the peacetime prosecutor's office after the
14 war asked for some information concerning him and that it was only then
15 that they realised that he had committed a crime and that he was processed
16 later. And then perhaps he was promoted before that, but this is just
17 something that I am remembering now. It is possible that that was not
18 actually the case.
19 Q. All right. And what kind of case is he a witness in now, if you
21 A. He's a witness before the district court in Pirot against
22 Boban Stancic, a civilian who is being prosecuted for abuse of official
23 capacity. This has nothing to do with the military or the war; it has to
24 do with something that happened in civilian life last year.
25 Q. Okay. Thank you.
1 MR. HANNIS: I have no other questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
3 Mr. Aleksic.
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just a few
5 matters by way of clarification.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Radosavljevic, would you tell the Court,
8 first of all, whether there's a distinction in our legal system between
9 delivering an indictment and the expression that an indictment has legally
10 entered into force?
11 A. Yes, there is a distinction and it is reflected in the following:
12 An indictment enters into legal force when it has been served and when the
13 deadline for objection has expired without any objection being filed. It
14 is not enough to serve the indictment. It also has to enter into force.
15 Q. And what is the deadline for objection?
16 A. Eight days.
17 Q. Thank you. On the last subject you discussed with my learned
18 friend Mr. Hannis, this witness Mancic, you said the peacetime
19 prosecutor's office asked for additional information, which one?
20 A. The military prosecutor in Nis, the prosecutor's office where I
22 Q. Thank you. Just one more question. You said there were no
23 pressures exerted. Just tell the Trial Chamber, did commanders along the
24 chain of command, such as Generals Pavkovic or Lazarevic, were they able
25 to issue you prosecutors with any instructions how to act in specific
1 cases, whether to prosecute, whether to initiate proceedings, or to
2 abandon the case?
3 A. They were absolutely not able to do that under the law and they
4 never tried.
5 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
6 further questions for this witness.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Radosavljevic, that completes your evidence.
8 Thank you for coming here to give evidence and to assist us. You're now
9 free to leave the courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to thank you, too.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
13 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next is Zarko
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Kostic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour,
20 Presiding Judge.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you please make the solemn declaration to
22 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
2 You will now be examined by Mr. Aleksic on behalf of Mr. Pavkovic.
3 Mr. Aleksic.
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 WITNESS: ZARKO KOSTIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examination by Mr. Aleksic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel.
9 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Aleksic. Where are you?
10 Q. Can we have your full name for the record.
11 A. Zarko Kostic.
12 Q. Colonel, on the 28th of September this year, did you give a
13 statement to the Defence team of General Pavkovic?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Did you have occasion to read that statement before signing it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If the same questions were put to you today, would you give the
18 same answers?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Exhibit 4D502,
22 and I should like to tender this exhibit now.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the number of the previous statement.
24 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Apologies, Your Honour, I'm a bit
25 tired. 4D501.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation].
3 Q. Colonel, could you very, very briefly tell the Trial Chamber about
4 your military career and the positions you occupied at various times.
5 A. After my initial duties as commanding officer in the 203rd
6 Artillery Brigade, I completed the higher military political school in
7 Belgrade, after which I was assigned to another duty at the command of the
8 Pristina Corps at the department for information and morale. Since I had
9 a degree in journalism, I was assigned to public relations. My service in
10 the command of the Pristina Corps enabled me to get more familiar with the
11 overall situation in Kosovo and Metohija, especially the real history of
12 Serb-Albanian relations over the past hundred or so years. After this
13 position, I was transferred to the command of the 3rd Army to become
14 assistant chief for combat training, and later on I became chief of the
15 department for training. I stayed in that position until 2000, when I was
16 appointed assistant commander for the 3rd Army for information and morale
17 and remained there until my retirement in 2003.
18 Q. Thank you, Colonel. So in 1998 you were in which position?
19 A. I was chief of the section for training at the command of the 3rd
21 Q. In the course of 1998 and exactly when did you spend any time at
22 the forward command post of the 3rd Army in Pristina?
23 A. In that year, from end July until end August, I was on the forward
24 command post of the 3rd Army command in Pristina.
25 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber which particular duties you
1 performed there during your stint at the forward command post?
2 A. At the forward command post I continued to perform my usual duties
3 as prescribed by the establishment, that is, the normal duties of the
4 chief of division for military training, according to the plan and
5 programme for that month. I also performed some duties at the army
6 command, mainly operations duties, and we had special work to do
7 concerning reporting to commanders at the forward command post and
8 informing [as interpreted] the commander of the Pristina Corps.
9 Q. During your stay at the forward command post, did you participate
10 in the development of combat orders, development of plans, decisions on
11 the use of units, et cetera?
12 A. That kind of tasks were handled usually by officers from the
13 division for combat-readiness and operations from the command of the 3rd
14 Army because that was their job according to the establishment, but I was
15 familiar with those assignments. However, it was their main duty. My
16 main duty was as chief of the division for military training.
17 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours, but I
18 believe on page 53, line 21, the witness said the decision of the
19 commander of the Pristina Corps was approved, approved, instead of
20 informing. Can I clarify this with the witness?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You should, yes.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation].
23 Q. Did you say -- Colonel, could you say again at the forward command
24 post did you say that the decision of the commander of the 3rd Army as
25 developed by the Pristina Corps was approved?
1 A. The forward command post, the decision of the commander of the
2 Pristina Corps was approved by the commander of the 3rd Army.
3 Q. Thank you. In your statement -- strike that.
4 As far as 1999 is concerned, can you just tell us briefly, after
5 the state of war was proclaimed, what were your primary tasks?
6 A. After the state of war was proclaimed, I worked as chief of
7 division for military training in the command of the 3rd Army, and after
8 that on the orders of the commander of the 3rd Army I was assigned to
9 become commander of the collection -- sorry, reception centre, a centre
10 receiving volunteers, providing training, and assigning personnel to units
11 of the 3rd Army. I stayed in that position until the middle of May, after
12 which I performed other duties at the command of the 3rd Army on the
13 orders of the Chief of Staff.
14 Q. In this work that you performed, and you said you were in charge
15 of receiving volunteers, were there any problems, just briefly?
16 A. Initially, in the initial period, there were problems and the
17 problems were mainly in the reception centre of the 1st Army.
18 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Since this exhibit is mentioned in
19 the statement we will briefly deal with it. Can we call in e-court,
20 please, P1938.
21 Q. Did you see this document and do you recognise it?
22 A. I recognise the document. I wrote it. It was signed by the
23 commander of the 3rd Army, General Pavkovic.
24 Q. Just tell the Trial Chamber briefly about the contents.
25 A. By virtue of this document, the command of the 3rd Army addresses
1 itself to the supreme staff of the Army of Yugoslavia and presents a
2 number of problems in the work of the reception centre of the 1st Army and
3 also requests from the Supreme Command that measures be taken to redress
4 the problems.
5 Q. Did it happen? Is it the case that two or three days later a new
6 order from the Supreme Command Staff arrived?
7 A. That's correct. A new order arrived from the Supreme Command
8 Staff, and after that the problems did not recur.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
10 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up in e-court 4D353.
11 Q. [No interpretation]
12 A. This order had to do with the command of the 3rd Army to the
13 effect that wartime units cannot accept volunteers into their units
14 bypassing the reception centre of the 3rd Army.
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions of this
16 witness, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Any Defence counsel with questions?
18 Mr. Cepic.
19 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, good afternoon, my name is Djuro Cepic.
22 I appear here for General Lazarevic, and I have a few questions for you.
24 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Cepic.
25 Q. In paragraph 8 of your statement I find a description of the
1 location where training was performed within the 3rd Army, you said
2 Zajecar, Pirot, Nis, and you named the duration. I would like to know,
3 how long was military training in the centres in Pozarevac and Valjevo?
4 A. In the military training centres of Pozarevac and Valjevo, combat
5 training for soldiers was two months and 20 days. In those centres after
6 that, they would be transferred to army units on the territory of the
7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, where their combat training continued.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Let us be more precise. From those centres,
9 Pozarevac and Valjevo, could the soldiers be sent to any unit on the
10 territory of the then-FR Yugoslavia?
11 A. They could be sent to any units of the then-Army of Yugoslavia.
12 Their transfer was handled by a special commission of the General Staff of
13 the Army of Yugoslavia through computer systems to avoid any kind of
14 personal requests and such, requests by parents, commanding officers, and
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel. That would be all.
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, I have a few questions for this
20 witness as well.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Kostic.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. My name is Branko Lukic and I am here for Sreten Lukic before this
25 Court. I would like your assistance in trying to understand certain
1 aspects that remained unclear. I will be dealing with paragraphs of your
2 statement, 23, 24, and 25. Let us begin with para 23 where you say that
3 the 3rd Army command received reports from the Pristina Corps and other
4 subordinated units regularly at the forward command post, and based on the
5 received information we made our own combat report that we sent daily to
6 the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army so that they had complete daily
7 information as well. One copy of the report would be sent to the command
8 of the 3rd Army in Nis for their information. I would like to ask you,
9 this is a regular kind of reporting within the Army of Yugoslavia in both
10 1998 and 1999, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we call up in e-court 6D1310.
13 We do not have a translation for this document, but we will only be using
14 a small passage.
15 Q. Mr. Kostic, Colonel --
16 A. Please go ahead.
17 Q. Please, who is it that sends this combat report?
18 A. The commander of the Pristina Corps.
19 Q. Thank you. Who is the combat report being sent to?
20 A. To the command of the 3rd Army and the Supreme Command Staff and
21 the operations centre.
22 Q. And from when is it?
23 A. The 17th of April, 1999.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see page 3 on
25 e-court, page 3 of this document, at the bottom of the page, number 8,
2 Q. Colonel, could you please be so kind as to read this paragraph out
3 to us, number 8, the second bullet point.
4 A. "Implementing the activity of searching the terrain in concert
5 with the MUP of Serbia in the areas or regions of the Rugovo Gorge, Zlaz,
6 and Drenica."
7 Q. So it has to do partly with Rugovska Klisura, the gorge of
8 Rugovo. We would like to focus on that.
9 A. Can I have a look again? What's the date?
10 Q. The 17th of April.
11 A. What year?
12 Q. 1999.
13 A. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to see on e-court
15 5D215, page 1.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not sure the transcript reflects the answer
17 there about the date. What is the date?
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 17th of April, 1999.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Colonel, in this document that is on the screen now, 5D215, tell
22 me if this is correct. Again what is being sent is a combat report by the
23 command of the Pristina Corps?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. To the command of the 3rd Army?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And to the Supreme Command Staff?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. This report is a day later, the 18th of April, 1999?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see paragraph 2, the lower part
7 of the page, please. So number 2, situation and activities of units of
8 the Pristina Corps, 2.1, activity, effects, consequences, and the rest.
9 We have the second paragraph too.
10 Q. Could you please read it. It begins with the words: "Action has
11 started ..."
12 A. "Action as started in concert with the MUP of Serbia in searching
13 the area, breaking up and destroying the Siptar terrorist forces in the
14 regions of Rugovska Klisura, Drenica, and Zlaz. Action is also underway
15 and in accordance with the reports of subordinates they are taking place
16 according to plan."
17 Q. Thank you. In your view from these documents dated the 17th and
18 the 18th of April, can one see that parts of the Pristina Corps were
19 engaged in searching the terrain and actively participated in destroying
20 the terrorists?
21 A. Well, that's what's written in these reports.
22 Q. Thank you. We also see that these activities are taking place
23 according to plan?
24 A. That is what is stated in the report.
25 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to show you a third document, 4D420.
1 We have the upper part on our screens now, that's what we need. Can you
2 tell us who's sending this report?
3 A. The command of the 3rd Army.
4 Q. To who?
5 A. To the Supreme Command Staff to the head personally.
6 Q. What's the date?
7 A. The 20th of April, 1999.
8 Q. Could you now please be so kind as to read the beginning of the
9 document after paragraph number 1.3, paragraphs that start with bullet
10 points. It says: "At the meeting of the Supreme Command Staff ..."
11 A. "At the meeting of the Supreme Command Staff on the 12th of
12 April," and I cannot see the year, is it legible in your copy?
13 Q. I see the 12th of April, 1999, and the English translation says
14 1999; however, if you do not see you can go on.
15 A. "The supreme commander of the FRY issued a precise task with
16 regard to breaking up the remaining groups of STS and regulated that in
17 the next seven days only the JSO and SAJ of the MUP of Serbia were to be
18 engaged in the execution of these tasks."
19 Q. Next bullet point.
20 A. "In this operation the following VJ units were to be engaged in
21 the blockade: The 2nd Battalion of the 58th lpbr, the 1st and 2nd kag
22 engaged in the blockade of the general area of Rugovska Klisura and were
23 not engaged in taking active part. That is why we could not halt the said
24 operation because it was planned and organized by the competent MUP
1 Q. Thank you. We saw in your statement that you say and that you
2 describe the way in which information was conveyed to the 3rd Army and by
3 the 3rd Army. Do you have --
4 A. I don't really understand what you're saying, to the 3rd Army and
5 by the 3rd Army? What?
6 Q. Page, or rather, paragraph 23 of your statement you say:
7 "The 3rd Army command received regular reports on a regular basis
8 from Pristina Corps and other subunits who were also preparing our
9 military reports based on gathered information sent them to the General
10 Staff of the Yugoslav Army on daily basis in order to inform them."
11 Now I would like to ask you the following. In this area that was
12 under the control of the Pristina Corps, are there some other units of the
13 Army of Yugoslavia that are outside the Pristina Corps and that were not
14 within it and that were not resubordinated to it? Do you know about any
15 such thing?
16 A. You're asking about 1999?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. At this time I was in the command of the 3rd Army and I was
19 commander of the reception centre for receiving volunteers; therefore, I'm
20 not aware what was going on then in the area of responsibility of the
21 Pristina Corps.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. In your view, as a soldier could anybody
23 else report from the area of responsibility of the Pristina Corps on
24 behalf of the Pristina Corps?
25 A. I am an expert for training and combat-readiness, not for command.
1 Q. Can you tell us -- can you give us any kind of explanation how it
2 came to be that these two commands report in different ways about the same
4 A. I cannot engage in guess-work and make comments with regard to
5 such a situation.
6 Q. Thank you. We'll move on. Now I would like to ask you something
7 in relation to paragraph 24 of your statement. Paragraph 24, you say the
9 "During 1998 the basic tasks of the Army of Yugoslavia were
10 securing the country border, both in-depth and in line, securing the
11 military facilities of special importance, securing the army forces in
12 Kosovo and Metohija, providing communication information from terrorist
13 forces and providing support to the MUP forces in blocking specific
14 targets, and in providing fire support."
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please have on e-court
16 4D --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the number.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you repeat the number, please, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 4D97.
20 Could we see page 3 of this document straight away. We just need
21 the very bottom of the page with the signature.
22 Q. Mr. Kostic, we see here that you took the minutes?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at page 1 now.
25 Q. Colonel, could you please help us on this. According to these
1 minute, who is it that is reporting here and could you please help us with
2 the abbreviations.
3 A. Minutes from the briefing of the command -- briefing of the
4 commander of the Pristina Corps, the command of the military district of
5 Pristina, and the 202nd logistics base, and the command --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, you read that too quickly for the
8 interpreter. Could you read it again, please, and a bit more slowly.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, these are minutes
10 from the briefing of the commander of the Pristina Corps, the commander of
11 the military district of Pristina, and the commander of the 202nd
12 logistics base, as well as the organs of the command of the 3rd Army at
13 the forward command post on the 7th of August, 1998.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Towards the top of the page it says: "Colonel
16 Djakovic" and the first bullet point states the following: "We have
17 drafted a decision on crushing the DTS in the Glodjane village area." Do
18 you see that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the bottom of the page it's the commander who is speaking.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the bottom of the
23 Q. Who's the commander at that time?
24 A. The commander of the 3rd Army, General Samardzic.
25 Q. Thank you. At the bottom of the page eight lines from the bottom
1 of the page or three lines up from the bottom on the English, in the
2 English version, the commander says: "I adopt the decision of the
3 commander of the Pristina Corps to destroy the DTS in the village of
5 At this point in time there is already a decision on destroying
6 the terrorists -- crushing the terrorists in the village of Glodjane; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. On the next page --
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the next page.
11 Q. The sixth line from the top. In English it's page 2, the second
12 separate paragraph, line 3, that says: "For us ..."
13 The commander says: "For us it is important to capture territory,
14 and later on we will pursue the next targets. Thus, we will have
15 completed the task from the president of the FRY."
16 My question is and in relation to that I'm going to show you
17 another document later on: Do you know and can we agree that this is a
18 task that is contained in the plan that was approved by the president of
19 the FRY?
20 A. That is what is derived from this statement.
21 Q. Thank you. The third paragraph in English and in Serbian it
22 says: "Colonel Djakovic explained the disposition of forces in Metohija
23 and Drenica, Mount Cicavica, Bajgora, and Rugovska Klisura," and so on and
24 so forth. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So over here there is a reference to Rugovska Klisura again,
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In the next line -- oh, yes, and this has to do with
5 Colonel Djakovic and it's the same in the English version.
6 "The disposition of BG," meaning combat groups, right?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. "He is giving a more detailed explanation on the map," it has to
9 do with the disposition of the units of the Army of Yugoslavia; is that
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And all of it is already marked on the map, right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Five lines below that, also in the English version, in parenthesis
15 it says: "He explained the disposition of MUP forces in more detail on
16 the map," do you see that?
17 A. I see that.
18 Q. So what is marked on the map are the MUP forces, too, right?
19 A. That's the way it seems.
20 Q. Next line further down in English it says: "NS" with a diacritic,
21 that is the Chief of Staff, right?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Chief of Staff says: "Given the positions of the state and
24 military leadership, the terminology we shall use is 'supporting MUP
1 My question is: Is it correct that this term was used in the
2 future every time when the Army of Yugoslavia was in action, combat
3 action, against terrorists with the MUP units?
4 A. This term was used most often at the forward command post of the
5 3rd Army when actions against the terrorists were carried out.
6 Q. Thank you. Four lines down further, also in English, again it's
7 the commander who has the floor and in the document it says that he
8 said: "We will have to make a separate plan for each engagement -- for
9 each segment of engagement of forces."
10 Was this actually carried out in future actions, Colonel? Was a
11 separate plan made for each action? Do you know that?
12 A. I don't know about that. It's been a long time since then, and
13 also this is not my very own specialty that I would know about it.
14 Q. I thought that since you kept the minutes, whether in the future
15 perhaps you kept minutes again and you knew about it?
16 A. I did not take minutes every day, only when ordered, because there
17 were about ten other officers at the forward command post of the 3rd Army
18 who did the same thing.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you ever attend a meeting where a plan was made?
20 A. Which meeting do you mean?
21 Q. Did you attend any meeting where a plan was made to conduct
22 anti-terrorist actions?
23 A. At the forward command post of the 3rd Army command plans were not
24 made, they were only approved there. Plans were made at the corps command
25 and the corps commander was responsible for that.
1 Q. Next line also in English says: "In future, we will have to send
2 the MUP precise tasks."
3 Later on, after that, did you see a plan at the forward command
4 post, including tasks for the MUP?
5 A. I did not.
6 Q. Did you ever see a map where MUP units were drawn in or, more
7 precisely, PJP units?
8 A. I did not see a map where MUP or PJP units would be drawn.
9 Q. Thank you. Next line.
10 "For every segment we have to make a separate plan for the
11 destruction of staffs of terrorists."
12 Are you aware if separate plans were made?
13 A. Colonel Djakovic said that, but I don't know what he did.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know about a five-stage plan to combat
16 A. No.
17 Q. I would like to move on to paragraph 25 of your statement where
18 you say:
19 "I know that our units blocked the villages of Junik and Jasic on
20 the orders of the 3rd Army command. I also know that MUP support was
21 given to for the villages: Balabac, Prilep, and Glodjane. The aim of
22 this action was to provide communication on the roads. It was secured by
23 the disposition, by the deployment in important facilities near the
24 communication lines made by the battalion."
25 MR. STAMP: I think there might be a translation issue with --
1 MR. LUKIC: That's right.
2 MR. STAMP: -- The English translation we have and what was just
3 quoted. Perhaps that could be clarified.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have a battalion in the transcript.
5 It was done by deploying combat groups at prominent features near roads.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What is going to be your question on this,
7 Mr. Lukic?
8 MR. LUKIC: My question should be regarding the role of the
9 participants in this action because --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, could we -- if there is doubt about the
11 translation, could you please, first of all, have the witness slowly read
12 paragraph 25.
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Do you have your statement before you?
15 A. I do not.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up on e-court 4D501,
17 paragraph 25.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Our English version of this
19 statement differs significantly from the original we have.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, would you please read out aloud
21 paragraph 25.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "I know that our units carried out
23 the blockade of villages Junik and Jasic pursuant to orders of the 3rd
24 Army command. I also know that MUP forces provided support also around
25 villages Balabac, Prilep, and Glodjane. The purpose of the action was to
1 secure communication along roads which was done by deploying combat groups
2 at prominent features near the roads."
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let us not go too broadly. I'll take as example Junik and Jasic
8 villages and ask you about the involvement of army units in this action.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we first call up in e-court 4D119.
10 Q. Colonel, tell me, who is sending the report to whom and on what
12 A. The command of the 3rd Army, date 22nd July, 1998, to the command
13 of the Pristina Corps, to the commander personally.
14 Q. Could you please read the sentence that begins with: "Since ..."
15 A. "Since the president of the SRY approved the second-stage plan on
16 the 21st of July, 1998 ..."
17 Q. Thank you, that's enough. So we see that it is a plan in several
18 stages and was approved by the president of the SRY on the 21st of July;
19 is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can we conclude that the plan approved by the FRY president served
22 as a basis for performing these actions?
23 A. We can conclude that from this document.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up on e-court 6D1318.
25 Q. Colonel, can we see who issued this order?
1 A. The command of the Pristina Corps from the forward command post 24
2 July 1998.
3 Q. Is it possible, because you say you don't know about a five-stage
4 plan, I'm asking is it possible that this is an elaboration of the plan
5 approved by the FRY president three days earlier?
6 A. Please, sir, at this time I was in the command of the 3rd Army.
7 It was the month of July. I was not at the forward command post. Second,
8 all these documents that you have enumerated so far belong in the remit of
9 the department for operations and combat-readiness. I can only confirm
10 that what is written is written. I am not the kind of witness who can
11 interpret these documents that were made by others, others who know these
12 things better than I do.
13 Q. Thank you for this, but in your statement, paragraph 25, you spoke
14 precisely about this.
15 A. In that statement I said I was aware, which doesn't mean that I
16 had complete knowledge of the situation like the corps commander or
17 somebody else from the 3rd Army commander had, somebody who had daily
18 contact with these problems.
19 Q. Can we finalise this quickly. Do you allow the possibility that
20 you were not sufficiently aware and sufficiently familiar and that what
21 you said in paragraph 25 is not actually true, so that the army units of
22 Yugoslavia had an active role rather than only a supporting one? If you
23 don't accept my proposition, we will have to go through more documents and
24 further down this document.
25 A. Could you repeat the question.
1 Q. Do you allow the possibility that the information accessible to
2 you at the moment when you gave this statement, when you spoke about the
3 role of the VJ and MUP in the battle for Junik is not correct?
4 A. I can confirm that during the time when I was at the forward
5 command post of the 3rd Army command actions were going on against
6 terrorists in the said locations, and these actions involved forces of the
7 Pristina Corps and forces of the MUP. That much I know. What their
8 precise tasks were, I cannot testify.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Thank you for answering my questions. I have
10 no more.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
12 Mr. Kostic, we have to have a break at this stage for about half
13 an hour. Could you please leave the courtroom with the usher while we
14 have that break and we'll see you again at 6.00.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Recess taken at 5.33 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, you'll now be cross-examined by
21 Mr. Stamp, the Prosecutor.
22 Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
25 Q. Good afternoon.
1 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. Can I start by asking you a couple of things about your role, as
3 indicated in your statement, and perhaps it would be easier if I hand to
4 you with the assistance of the usher a copy of your statement in your
5 language. And if we could look at paragraphs 22 and paragraphs 26, and
6 what I'm really interested in is what role you played. The first sentence
7 of paragraph 2 is sufficient and if you could look at the first sentence
8 of paragraph 26.
9 Firstly, in paragraph 22 are you referring to the forward command
10 post, which you say was in Pristina?
11 A. Yes, Prosecutor. I'm talking about the forward command post that
12 was in Pristina in 1998.
13 Q. Then in paragraph 26 you also refer to the forward command post in
15 A. Correct, sir, Prosecutor.
16 Q. So can you explain that. Did the forward command post move from
17 one place to another or maybe I should start by asking you: When you
18 refer in paragraph 26 to the forward command post in Kursumlija, when are
19 you speaking about?
20 A. Those are events just before the aggression against our country
22 Q. So the forward command post had been in Pristina, and shortly
23 before the -- sorry?
24 A. No, no. As for paragraph 26, that relates to the forward command
25 post of the 3rd Army in Kursumlija, and that is the period of 1999 just
1 before the aggression started, the aggression of the NATO forces against
2 our country. That's when the forward command post of the 3rd Army was
3 formed in Kursumlija.
4 Q. I see. Now, it seems to me that this is saying that you took over
5 command of the forward command post in Kursumlija from
6 General Stojimirovic. Is my understanding of that first sentence correct?
7 A. General Stojimirovic was the most senior commanding officer at the
8 forward command post in Kursumlija, but in his absence I stood in for him.
9 Q. Well, what was the role of the most senior officer at the forward
10 command post in Kursumlija?
11 A. Those were events just before the start of the NATO aggression
12 against our country when numerous tasks of the 3rd Army units were being
13 dealt with related to our preparations for defence against aggression.
14 From that forward command post there was a better insight into the
15 situation within units and measures were taken for all planned tasks as
16 ordered by the 3rd Army commander to be implemented as efficiently and as
17 successfully as possible.
18 Q. So what was your role when you took over as the most senior person
19 there, what did you do in that capacity?
20 A. We were following the status of units at the 3rd Army --
21 Q. I just want to know what you did, what was your function when you
22 took over in the absence of General Stojimirovic?
23 A. Sir, I did not take over the duties of General Stojimirovic, I
24 just stood in for him when he was temporarily absent from the forward
25 command post. That's what I stated in my written statement.
1 Q. Very well. And how --
2 A. And his absences were usually not longer than one day, and that
3 was when on orders of the army commander he had to leave the forward
4 command post and deal with other duties.
5 Q. May I ask you a couple questions about paragraph 8 of your
6 statement, and I'm moving on to something else, training of soldiers --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do that, can I be clear about one thing,
8 and it may sound a silly question to you, Mr. Kostic. But can an army
9 such as the 3rd Army at any given time have more than one forward command
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case, Mr. President, in the
12 period from 1999 the 3rd Army command had only one forward command post,
13 and that was in Kursumlija. If you mean 1998, the events were different
14 and the forward command post was in Pristina. So the command of the 3rd
15 Army did not simultaneously have two forward command posts, just one.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. You said at paragraph 8 that training of soldiers that are in
20 military service is obtained at basic units and training centres and
21 lasted five months and 20 days, which is at the end of the military
23 The soldiers on military service, are they personnel referred to
24 as conscripts or am I using that term wrong?
25 A. All of them were military conscripts, but these ones were recruits
1 who were doing their regular, compulsory military service. Those who had
2 already completed their military service continue always to be conscripts,
3 and they have a -- wartime assignments in one of the units of the 3rd
5 Q. And if we could move on to paragraph 41. In that paragraph you
6 speak of inspections that you conducted -- but firstly, how many
7 inspections did you conduct after the middle of May 1999, during the
9 A. Sir, after the said period I performed one inspection in the 354th
10 Brigade of the Pristina Corps. I led up to ten colonels on that
11 inspection and the inspection itself took ten days or so.
12 Q. Do you remember the approximate dates of the inspection?
13 A. I cannot recall precisely.
14 Q. Do you remember who accompanied you on that inspection?
15 A. On the team that I led there were chief of infantry, Colonel
16 Milojkovic; from the logistics, Colonel Vidojkovic; and other commanding
17 officers I can't recall now.
18 Q. And your finding was that in all but one battalion discipline was
19 at a high level?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Sorry --
22 A. Correct, sir. In some battalions it was at a very high level,
23 that is, a very high level of combat-readiness.
24 Q. And I'd like to show you a document and explain you to explain one
25 or two things to me, it's 5D436. This is a report signed by
1 Lieutenant-General Terzic about a tour of inspection of the 354th Infantry
2 Brigade and it's sent to the team leader, Colonel-General Velickovic.
3 Is -- does that indicate that this is the same inspection that you were a
4 part of, it's dated the 29th of May, 1999?
5 A. It's not the same inspection tour. It was a different inspection
6 tour by the Supreme Command Staff.
7 Q. And it seemed -- it seems from this to have taken place just about
8 the same time as yours. This is dated the 27th of May, and you I think
9 indicate that yours was after the middle of May, 1999. Would this
10 document be referring to an inspection which took place at about the same
11 time as yours?
12 A. I don't remember the time, the exact time, when I led that
13 inspection to that brigade, and I was not aware that another team from the
14 General Staff this time also carried out an inspection in the same
15 brigade. I'm seeing this document for the very first time.
16 Q. Well, you say that this was the only inspection you carried out.
17 Was there any particular reason for an inspection of that brigade to be
18 ordered? Do you know of that?
19 A. I know that there was a reason in one of the battalions. In this
20 brigade there were incidents of indiscipline and other problems, and
21 that's when the army commander ordered that an inspection team be formed,
22 that it should go to that brigade to assist the brigade command and all
23 other units to resolve those problems. We spent several days in that
24 brigade until we redressed the situation in that unit and brought it to
25 the required level so that it could be used again for its purposes.
1 Q. If we could look at page 2 of the document in front of you and
2 it's also page 2 in English under the subheading: "Abandonment of posts."
3 This inspection seems to have found in the first paragraph under the
4 heading: "2. Abandonment of posts," that in the 3rd Infantry Battalion
5 on the 21st of May, a total of 350 men, including 12 officers, abandoned
6 their positions. Is this the battalion you were speaking about that you
7 said was the only one that had disciplinary problems, the 3rd Infantry
9 A. Yes, that's the battalion.
10 Q. In the second and third paragraphs under that same rubric you will
11 see that the same report is made in respect to indiscipline or abandonment
12 of positions in respect to the 1st Infantry Brigade in the second
13 paragraph, 750 men abandoned their positions; in the third paragraph in
14 respect to the 100-millimetre [sic] Howitzer Battalion one part of that
15 battalion left their position. Did you not find that there were
16 disciplinary problems in these battalions as well as was apparently was
17 found by the inspectors from the General Staff?
18 A. From this document I conclude that this inspection from the
19 Supreme Command Staff preceded the inspection by the team from the 3rd
20 Army command, and the team of the 3rd Army command inspected this unit
21 much later when the situation had been improved and resolved in that part
22 of the units.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for the record,
25 Mr. Stamp read this abbreviation as 1st Infantry Brigade, page 77, line
1 23. It should be the 1st Infantry Battalion, to avoid misunderstanding
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you, counsel.
5 Q. In any case, what I'd really like you to explain is what does it
6 mean when it is said that 120 men abandoned their positions, is there a
7 distinction between that and desertion?
8 A. There is a difference, sir. Those people who abandoned their
9 positions were later, after certain steps were taken, returned to their
10 units and continued to serve. Those who deserted were prosecuted.
11 Q. You mean those who deserted evinced an intention to abandon their
12 positions permanently? Is that a correct understanding of the
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. If you look at the three paragraphs here you will see that in
16 respect to 150 men in the first paragraph, 750 men in the second
17 paragraph, and an unascertained amount of men in the third paragraph
18 relating to the 105th Howitzer Battalion, you will see that they were
19 returned -- well, it says: "The brigade commander returned the men to the
20 battalion on the 21st of May -- 24th of May."
21 In the second paragraph: "The brigade commander collected the
22 weapons and military equipment from the deserters and organized their
23 return to the combat area on the 24th of May."
24 Were -- what I'm trying to understand is these men abandoned their
25 positions as a group and go somewhere and were collected as a group and
1 returned to the positions they should have been in.
2 A. When they abandoned their positions, I did not witness it. But I
3 was a witness when they were returned to their units because I was in the
4 process together with General Stojimirovic at the mobilisation assembly
5 point. We worked with those people, we had their requests, and the army
6 took steps to meet reasonable requests; to the extent possible those
7 people were given three to seven days home leave. And after that leave
8 they came back to the mobilisation and assembly point of their own accord
9 and were returned to the units of the 354th Motorised Brigade in an
10 organized way. Their return, therefore, was organized, but how exactly
11 they went absent without official leave I cannot tell you. I wasn't
13 Q. Well, it seems to me that these were large groups of men, and
14 that's only an observation I make. And when I look at the second
15 paragraph in that heading I see that the brigade commander collected
16 weapons and equipment and organized their return. Do you know if these
17 men abandoned their positions with their weapons, because that seems to be
18 indicated here?
19 A. It follows from this that they went AWAL with their weapons.
20 Q. Do you know whether or not there were any investigations on their
21 return as to what they were doing and where they were with these weapons?
22 A. Could you let me read this passage again.
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. "Area of the mobilisation assembly point, the brigade commander
25 assembled the personnel that had abandoned their positions and organized
1 their return to the combat deployment area for 27th May." This sentence
2 makes no sentence.
3 He collected their weapons and military equipment from the
4 deserters, that is, and organized their return. How did he organize their
5 return without their weapons and equipment? That's what this seems to be
6 saying. I cannot testify about this. I was not there and I do not know
7 anything about it. I'm seeing this document for the first time.
8 Q. Very well --
9 A. And this sentence I don't understand.
10 Q. I see. Okay. Well, take your eyes off the document for a bit.
11 After the return of these large groups of apparently heavily armed men in
12 the context of Kosovo, do you know if there was any investigation on their
13 return about where they were and what they were doing with these weapons?
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, I really
15 would be interested in the basis for this kind of question. Heavily armed
16 men, what is the basis for this kind of wording?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: I said apparently heavily armed because to a civilian
19 like myself a soldier armed with military equipment is heavily armed, but
20 then "heavily" is probably a violent term. I withdraw the word heavily
21 and just say armed men.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Do you know if there were any investigations after return of these
25 large groups of armed soldiers as to where they were and what they were
1 doing during the time when they abandoned their posts?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, that is known to the command of the brigade, the
3 corps command, and the command of the 3rd Army. These persons left their
4 positions and went to the mobilisation point in Kursumlija. That is their
5 place of residence. That is where they got a few days of leave to resolve
6 the problems that they had pointed out. For the most part these were
7 problems related to their very living and to financial matters. Most of
8 them returned to the assembly point on orders of the brigade commander,
9 and they were returned in an organized fashion to the position; that is to
10 say in relation to this personnel that returned to the mobilisation
11 assembly point in an organized fashion and was taken to the positions of
12 the 354th Brigade in an organized fashion as well. No disciplinary
13 measures were taken, and they were not held responsible. Measures were
14 taken against certain officers in these battalions, meaning that some
15 officers were dismissed and others were appointed, more responsible ones,
16 because they, these officers, bore part of the responsibility for that
17 kind of a situation, or rather, most of the responsibility for that kind
18 of a situation.
19 Now, what other kinds of measures were taken in respect of
20 criminal prosecution, et cetera, I am not in a position to answer now
21 because I don't know, or rather, it's been quite a while since then and I
22 cannot recall.
23 Q. Thank you. If --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That sounds more like going on strike than
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this personnel had
2 been on their positions for over two months under very difficult
3 conditions of combat operations. People were fed up. They were too
4 strained. They couldn't take it at a certain point, and what happened
5 happened. There were some omissions on the part of the brigade command
6 that did not organize leaves of absence and family visits for soldiers and
7 officers on time. This was too much of a burden for the soldiers and
8 officers, and in addition to that there were losses in these units. All
9 of this had an influence on the state of morale in these units, so what
10 happened is what we've been discussing now.
11 Further on, the brigade command worked better and the battalion
12 commanders, too. So these problems were eliminated later on and up until
13 the end of the war the command of the brigade and the brigade successfully
14 carried out all their combat tasks.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But what you've told us is that when they abandoned
16 their posts they went to the barracks, which is not desertion in the
17 ordinary sense. It's something odd, is it not?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I did not say that
19 they went to barracks. I said that they went to the mobilisation assembly
20 point, and that is not one and the same thing.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, equally strange to go to the mobilisation
22 assembly point, is it not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, mobilisation assembly point,
24 or rather, this mobilisation assembly point is in Kursumlija where the
25 barracks of this brigade is, too, that is where their native villages are
1 as well. So that was the basic motive why they had abandoned their
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Did they stay with the army by going to a
4 mobilisation assembly point or barracks or did they go home or don't you
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They remained at the mobilisation
7 assembly point. That is where the brigade command was. I came there with
8 General Ljubisa Stojimirovic. We talked to the men there in an organized
9 manner. They pointed out certain requests and certain problems.
10 General Ljubisa Stojimirovic decided as deputy army commander to --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't need to go into the detail of what was
12 discussed. It's the location of these men and where they went that's the
13 issue for Mr. Stamp. We've heard evidence, some evidence of members of
14 the army being dissatisfied with their pay and conditions when compared
15 with those of the MUP. Is this an example of that or is this quite
16 unrelated to that phenomenon?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not aware of what
18 kind of salaries members of the MUP had, whether they received them
19 regularly or not. As far as I can see things viewed from this time
20 distance as well, these are problems, family problems. And for the most
21 part they pertain to problems of a financial nature. People pointed out
22 that they had quite a few such problems that in companies they were not
23 receiving salaries and they referred to other reasons, too, why it was
24 that they had abandoned positions. One of these other reasons was that
25 they asked to be replaced by other reservists who did not have war
1 assignments among other things.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. But just to be sure we're talking about the same thing. You're
6 talking about the situation that you observed when you went there sometime
7 long after the 27th of May, which is the date of the document I just
8 showed you?
9 A. If I understood your question, Mr. Prosecutor, you are referring
10 to this situation when with General Stojimirovic and other officers from
11 the 3rd Army I went to the mobilisation assembly point in Kursumlija; is
12 that right?
13 Q. No. I was referring to the findings of the team of inspectors in
14 the document dated the 27th of May that I just showed you when this
15 referred to significant abandonment of posts in three battalions. I think
16 you are saying that was supposed to have happened a long time before you
17 actually went to that brigade. Am I correct in understanding it that way?
18 A. When these units abandoned positions and came to the mobilisation
19 assembly point in Kursumlija, I with General Stojimirovic and other
20 officers talked to them at this mobilisation assembly point. That
21 happened then. Considerably after this event I led an inspection, when
22 these personnel returned to positions. So these are two separate points
23 in time.
24 Q. I see. So therefore you have some personal knowledge about the
25 matters discussed in the document, in the report, that is in front of you?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I know when this abandonment of positions happened
2 and when the units returned to the mobilisation assembly point because I
3 was present then.
4 Q. Very well.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you mean by considerably after this event?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I led a team of the
7 command of the 3rd Army to tour this brigade and inspect it when all units
8 and personnel had returned to the brigade. That is what I'm referring to.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: "Considerably" is what I'm referring to. What does
10 that mean, "considerably after"?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I cannot remember
12 exactly when this inspection took place, the one that I led.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Roughly how long after?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, roughly about ten days, ten to
15 15 days.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The war would be over in about 15 days, so was it
17 right at the very end of the war?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was towards the end,
19 Mr. President.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. At paragraphs 33, 34 of your statement, if you have a quick look
23 there, please, the last sentence of paragraph 33: "The regulations did
24 not allow for special volunteer units to be created and the majority of
25 volunteers behaved with discipline in the war units."
1 Firstly -- well, before I ask you these questions. Can I -- you
2 said when you were asked --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, I think that
5 there is a problem with the translation. It says "should." Could the
6 witness read out that paragraph in his own language. That would be of
8 MR. STAMP: 33 or 34? 34.
9 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I am sorry, 33.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And what do you say is the problem with it?
11 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] In the original, Your Honour, it
12 says: "According to regulations they were supposed to be according to
13 their specialties VES," I must be tired, but it says here in line 15, it
14 says "special volunteer units," it's not special volunteer units. What is
15 referred to is their military evidentiary specialty, what they had been
16 trained for, their VES.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, would you read the last sentence of
18 paragraph 33.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President: "According to the
20 rules they were supposed to be deployed according" --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: No, please, the last sentence, the last sentence of
22 paragraph 33. There only is one in B/C/S, is there, okay. Please read
23 the whole of paragraph 33.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat.
25 "According to the rules they were supposed to be deployed
1 according to their specialties VES and to be sent four to five
2 respectively per unit and not to have separate volunteer units
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That's exactly what it says at the moment,
5 Mr. Aleksic.
6 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. And you also go on to say in paragraph 34: "The volunteers or the
9 majority of volunteers behaved with discipline in war units."
10 And what I was saying before Mr. Aleksic intervened is that before
11 I proceed to ask you questions about those statements, I noted that you
12 said in answer to him or perhaps in answer to Mr. Lukic, perhaps, that in
13 1999 you were in the reception centre and therefore you were not aware of
14 what was going on in the zone of responsibility of the Pristina Corps. So
15 if that which you said today is correct, how would you be aware that the
16 majority of volunteers behaved with discipline in the war units?
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this assessment of mine is based on analyses that
18 we conducted immediately after the war in commands of corps and brigades,
19 or rather, at the level of the 3rd Army. Many analyses of
20 combat-readiness were carried out, and a lot of experience was drawn from
21 combat activities. We sublimated all of that, processed all of that, and
22 from these analyses and reports I know how volunteers behaved. These
23 volunteers who were returned, about 60 are referred to here, were returned
24 to the reception centre of the 3rd Army.
25 Q. When you say "behaved with discipline," you are just speaking
1 about their conduct in -- withdrawn.
2 We have before the Court evidence of complaints being raised from
3 various quarters, in particular from the MUP, about the misconduct of VJ
4 units - and I stress the word units - of volunteers. Did you ever hear
5 about those reports? Maybe I should read you one. Time is going -- I
6 won't show you this. This is P1996 at page 5 of the English at a 7th of
7 May meeting of the MUP staff, the chief of the Pristina MUP indicated
8 that: "The military is not taking sufficient measures and most crimes are
9 being perpetrated by VJ members. Volunteer units with VJ uniforms must be
11 Were you aware of these types of complaints about undisciplined
12 behaviour or criminal conduct by volunteer or volunteer units during the
14 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this report of the MUP that you are referring to
15 now is something I hear of for the first time right now, that is to say
16 that I was not aware of that.
17 Q. Well --
18 A. Secondly, there is an order of the command of the 3rd Army that
19 volunteers be deployed in wartime units according to their specialties,
20 that is to say not to have compact units because as such they are not
21 capable of --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered the question, and that is that you
23 were not aware of the complaint.
24 Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. Do you or were you aware that in the post-war analyses were you
2 aware of any information that there were, in fact, units of volunteers
3 within the Pristina Corps?
4 A. Could you please repeat your question. I did not understand it.
5 Q. For the sake of speed can I show you a document and ask if you are
6 aware of these reports.
7 MR. STAMP: Can we look at P2010.
8 Q. The question is: Were you aware of this, that there were units
9 composed of volunteers or volunteer units.
10 MR. STAMP: P2010 --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have a page for this, Mr. Stamp?
13 MR. STAMP: Page 56. Page 56 of the English.
14 Q. This -- I'm afraid I don't have the page in your language, so I'll
15 read it to you because time is going. This is an order of the commander
16 of the 2nd Motorised Brigade to the -- it seems here to the command of the
17 2nd motorised -- of the 2nd Company command in which he says: "Immediately
18 return the platoon of volunteers - Phantoms to put to the position because
19 you have endangered the right flank of the adjacent unit."
20 Just quickly. Did you ever hear of a platoon of volunteers
21 referred to as the Phantoms?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I did not hear of such a platoon of volunteers.
23 Q. Very well. Paragraph 30 of your report says that Colonel Petkovic
24 familiarised the volunteers with international humanitarian law because as
25 a member of UN forces in Sinai he had knowledge in that area. Perhaps it
1 might be a bit difficult with the translation. Could you slowly read what
2 you have in paragraph 30 just to confirm the translation, please.
3 A. "My deputy, Colonel Petkovic, familiarised them with provisions of
4 international humanitarian law because as a member of the UN international
5 forces in Sinai he was very well-versed in that area."
6 Q. When -- what year did he go to the Sinai, do you know?
7 A. I don't know, Mr. Prosecutor.
8 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour. I have nothing
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, could you look, please, at paragraphs
11 14 and 15 of your report -- your statement. Could you read paragraph 14,
12 please, read it aloud.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President: "Training for
14 anti-sabotage terrorist actions was the main focus of training in every
15 unit, especially for specialised and strike military units in the zone of
16 the Pristina Corps. This theme was one of the frequent contents that
17 methodical-demonstrative exercises organized for officers and commands
18 dealt with."
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Could you look now, please, at
20 paragraph 26. Have you any recollection of who the personnel from OSCE
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the operations centre you mean,
23 Mr. President?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No. I'm asking you who the -- if you know who the
25 personnel in the OSCE team were.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps the witness
2 should hear the OSCE interpreted as OEBS because he is listening to the
3 interpretation here.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know who was
5 on the OSCE team. We were doing our best for them not to find out that
6 the forward command post of the 3rd Army was there.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you allow them to enter the command post and
8 carry out an inspection inside the premises?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, they did not go
10 inside the command post of the 3rd Army. They just parked their car
11 outside the command post. It was a concrete surface on which they parked
12 their car, and below the concrete surface was the command post of the 3rd
14 JUDGE BONOMY: How do you know that they came to inspect the arms
15 in the barracks in Kursumlija?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found out from the barracks
17 commander, that is, the brigade commander. It was a planned activity that
18 was announced.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And were they aware that they were parked on top of
20 the command post?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose so. How else could we
22 explain that that precise location was struck by three air bombs and
23 destroyed, the command post?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: But you were not aware of them asking for entry to
25 the premises at the time?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which premises do you mean?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: The command post to count the arms.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, they inspected this
4 armament at the barracks which housed the 354th Brigade. They verified
5 that brigade, not the command post of the 3rd Army. But they physically
6 placed their vehicle on the concrete surface below which the command post
7 of the 3rd Army was located. Their job, however, was to control the
8 arsenal in the barracks, that is, the brigade.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And you allowed them to do that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not that I allowed it. It was
11 not my responsibility to decide whether to allow them to enter or not.
12 That was in keeping with a decision of the command of the Pristina Corps
13 and the brigade commander, and it was also the obligation of our units
14 towards the OSCE team.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So you understood your obligation was to allow the
16 OSCE access to the barracks?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. And if you go to paragraph 34, please,
19 where you refer to a group of 60 volunteers, who were they?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those are volunteers from the
21 reception centre of the 1st Army that we discussed earlier in my
22 testimony. Those were the ones who displayed lack of discipline in the
23 corps units and they were returned immediately to the reception centre.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the nature of the irregular treatment of
25 local inhabitants?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a group of volunteers who
2 thieved and committed other committed offences against the civilian
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I'd like to know what was the nature of the
5 irregular treatment of local inhabitants.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those volunteers went into the
7 houses of the local population without the approval of their superiors,
8 seized property or looted, they treated civilians inappropriately.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What does that mean?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I know, a smaller group of
11 volunteers also committed the crimes of murder, that is, a killing of a
12 small group of citizens in the area of Zegra and they were prosecuted.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that the only area where these people operated
14 or were there other villages affected?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge, that
16 was the only area where these volunteers committed any crimes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And lastly, what I'm finding a little difficult to
18 understand is your description of them as one small group of volunteers.
19 This is a group that were working all together?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, since I
21 was at the reception centre of the 3rd Army at that time performing my
22 duties as given me by the commander of the 3rd Army receiving volunteers,
23 I am not aware of the details of the criminal acts perpetrated by this
24 group of volunteers.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Did the group have a name?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they did not have a name.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Aleksic.
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Your Honour.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, could you tell the Trial Chamber, where
7 is Kursumlija?
8 A. Mr. Aleksic, Kursumlija is located 60 kilometres from Podujevo on
9 the route Nis-Prokuplje-Podujevo-Pristina so 60 kilometers from Podujevo
10 between Podujevo and Kursumlija is the border between Serbia and Kosovo.
11 Q. So it is in Serbia proper after the -- after you pass the
12 administrative border, outside Kosovo?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Kostic, that completes your
17 evidence; thank you for coming here to give it. You may now leave the
18 courtroom with the usher.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Our gratitude to everyone here for their patience
22 in allowing us to sit a little longer than normal. We shall resume at
23 2.15 on Thursday.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.10 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
1 October, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.