1 Friday, 23 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Jelic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination by Mr. Cepic will continue in a
9 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the
10 truth which you gave at the beginning of the evidence yesterday continues
11 to apply to your evidence today.
12 There's just one matter before we proceed. I should have checked
13 with Mr. Hannis. Time scale for production of the transcript. I think
14 you're able to confirm that now.
15 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. We had discussions with your legal
16 officer yesterday and Mr. Reid, and we believe we should be able to have
17 that by the close of business next Thursday or else sometime on Friday.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, it's not necessary for us to make an
20 order in view of that information. We are allowing you to produce it by
21 the end of next week.
22 Mr. Bakrac isn't there, but, Mr. Cepic, we indicated that if the
23 production of this transcript should give rise to the need for you to seek
24 to recall any witness, then we would consider such an application. We
25 would require such an application to be made within 14 days after you
1 receive the transcript.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Please pass that information to Mr. Bakrac when you
4 next see him.
5 And now please proceed with your own examination.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll do that as soon as I
7 finish with this session. Thank you.
8 WITNESS: KRSMAN JELIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examination by Mr. Cepic: [Continued]
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Have you had a good rest?
14 A. I'm fine.
15 Q. Great.
16 General, Racak, the 15th of February, 1999, quite a bit was said
17 about that. Was this a joint action of the army and the police?
18 A. The period that you are talking about - that is to say, the period
19 that related to Racak - was not a joint action of the army and the police.
20 In actual fact, the army did not take part in it at all and did not enter
21 the village of Racak.
22 Q. Thank you. Whose action was Racak, General?
23 A. According to the knowledge and information I received from the
24 chief of the SUP of Orahovac, this was a purely anti-terrorist action of
25 the MUP forces of the Republic of Serbia searching for terrorist who is
1 had a few days before that fatally wounded a few MUP members.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Exhibit number
4 5D1377, please. I hope that we have a translation of this document. Yes.
5 Thank you.
6 Q. [Interpretation] General, do you see the document in front of you
7 on the screen?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. What is this document?
10 A. This is a document from the command of the 243rd Mechanised
11 Brigade. It is being sent to the command -- or rather, personally to the
12 commander of the Pristina Corps. It has to do with the implementation of
13 the education and training programme and combat training of Combat Group
14 1. The report is being submitted.
15 Q. Thank you. Briefly, the first paragraph pertains to the 14th, the
16 14th of January. I would like to ask you to explain what this document
17 says and what it pertains to, starting from the fourth paragraph; that is
18 to say, from the words "On the 15th of January, 1999."
19 A. "On the 15th of January, 1999, units from the Dulje sector carried
20 out regular tactical training, T-9 training, 'a mechanised platoon on the
21 march' along trig 915, Ljubovce village; trig 988, Garamele; 1160, Rance
22 village; 1027 axis, and back."
23 That means that part of the unit, the strength that we mentioned
24 yesterday, up to platoon strength, was carrying out a programme according
25 to training -- combat training along this axis.
1 Q. During this training, was this a unit -- was this unit attacked?
2 A. Yes. It says here that during this training, there was an attack
3 against the unit that was conducting the training. Fire was returned.
4 Since the terrorist forces fled, the unit could not get any closer to the
5 village of Rance. It was about a kilometre away because of the deep snow.
6 The snow was about 1 metre deep. The unit returned after that without
7 having sustained any losses. If necessary, I can read all of this.
8 Q. No need. Thank you. The document is there. The document is in
9 front of us. Please, did anyone enter built-up areas?
10 A. Not a single built-up area was entered. I and the corps commander
11 strictly forbade any entry into built-up areas, especially during
12 training. Axes that were chosen for training were roads that are in the
13 hilly mountainous areas, that is to say, where there is no population or
14 where there is the least number of houses, villages, in order to prevent
15 any disturbances among the civilian population, as we usually say.
16 Q. Thank you. Can we look at the next paragraph.
17 In actually fact --
18 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Scroll down the
19 document, please, in B/C/S; and English also, please. Thank you very
21 Q. [Interpretation] In the last paragraph and the one before that, do
22 you actually describe what happened -- or let me be even more specific.
23 From whom did you receive this information that you entered in the last
24 two paragraphs?
25 A. Yes. This describes the information from the encirclement around
1 my combat group. I received this information from the chief of the
2 Urosevac SUP, who was in charge of this action. As for the data I entered
3 here, it was information that I received from him.
4 Q. Tell me, General, was your unit in that area, on the basis of an
5 agreement, or due to other needs?
6 A. If you allow me, I would like to give a wider explanation. In
7 view of the agreement that was in force, one of the three combat groups
8 that were in the area of Kosovo and Metohija was Combat Group 1, from my
9 unit, that was at the Dulje pass at a military facility, which was
10 supposed to be earlier on a command post of the Pristina Corps. So that's
11 the area where the unit was. It was practically a military area. The
12 unit was there from April onwards, and according to the agreement, it
13 remained in that area; of course, diminished, in terms of the strength
14 provided then. Namely, 150 men along with combat equipment.
15 In order to protect one of the most endangered areas -- or rather,
16 axes from Kosovo towards Metohija, that is to say, through the Crnoljevo
17 gorge and the Dulje pass, it was requested in that period that a smaller
18 part of that combat group remain in Canovica Brdo; that is to say, right
19 above the municipal assembly of Stimlje, and the town of Stimlje itself.
20 The task of this smaller group was primarily to defend themselves in that
21 area and to keep rapid deployment forces there that can follow military
22 columns that were coming in from Pristina and going towards Metohija and
23 the other way around; that is to say, that they were used to secure these
24 columns along those 20 or 25 kilometres via Crnoljevo gorge, the Dulje
25 pass, all the way to Suva Reka.
1 These vehicles that were there were primarily BRDMs and Pragas, so
2 they can actually follow motor vehicles.
3 Q. Did the OSCE mission visit these units?
4 A. Yes, immediately after the agreement. The mission of the OSCE and
5 our commissions who worked with them toured all these combat groups, and
6 there were several tours that took place. At first there were some
7 smaller problems, until the strength was at agreed levels; that is to say,
8 October, November. And from then the personnel levels did not go up or
9 down. They were constant.
10 These commissions very often visited both parts of this combat
12 Q. General, was fire opened at these forces of yours?
13 A. You mean in this period that we're talking about?
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear Mr. Cepic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The terrorist action of the
16 MUP started in the morning. I do not remember their exact plan, but it
17 was around dawn, 3.00 or 4.00 a.m. They carried out a blockade. Their
18 action started, if I remember correctly, around 7.00. So practically,
19 that part was blocked by the MUP forces. Around 8.00 or 9.00 from the
20 area of Belince - that is to say, 300 or 400 metres away - fire was opened
21 from a Browning and from mortars at our area -- at our positions.
22 On that basis -- or rather, as soon as fire was opened, the unit
23 took up defence positions straight away. Of course, in accordance with a
24 plan that had previously been set and trained, and returned fire to this
25 plateau above Belince that had no name.
1 After a few exchanges of gunfire primarily from the BRDM and
2 Praga, after about an hour or an hour and a half, there was no more fire:
3 I would like to note that even 82-millimetre mortars were used, which in
4 this process their commander, I think -- in one of the trials, rather,
5 their commander -- Bujo was his name, I think, he said that he did open
6 fire at the military from that pinewood; that is to say, Canovica Brdo.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, what size was your platoon?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The size of this unit was a
9 reinforced company; meaning about 150 men. But in two places. And we can
10 say conditionally that there was a third one there too, if we take into
11 account the unit that was on the move all the time escorting columns from
12 Stimlje to Suva Reka, meeting them in Suva Reka, and then taking them back
14 JUDGE BONOMY: My question is simply about the group that -- that
15 were fired upon. How big was that platoon? It's described in your report
16 as a "mechanised platoon on the march."
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] BRDMs and one Praga opened fire.
18 Two combat vehicles. They were right by the road. And they were waiting
19 for the military convoys and accompanying them.
20 As they were waiting for the military column, since fire had been
21 opened, they returned fire. And after that, all combat activities stopped
22 vis-a-vis the military; whereas, the other units took up positions for
23 circular defence.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that your whole company was actually
25 on that road when this happened?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just to give a small clarification.
2 This was a pinewood that was about 300 to 400 metres to the north of those
3 two combat vehicles, camouflaged in the woods. They had their positions.
4 Whereas, these two pieces of equipment were by the road and they were
5 meeting vehicles that came up, and these vehicles opened fire -- or
6 rather, returned fire to the village of Belince -- or rather, a bit to the
7 south-east of Belince, about 400 or 500 metres to the south-east.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
9 MR. CEPIC: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour. Just to clarify
10 not more about that issue.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Let us just clarify this. Is that the smaller
12 part of your combat group that was attacked in the Stimlje area?
13 A. Yes, that was the smaller part that was attacked in Canovica
14 Brdo -- or after -- rather, the broader area of Stimlje.
15 Q. What was attacked exactly?
16 A. The unit that was securing -- or rather, meeting the column comes
17 from Pristina in order to go via Crnoljevo and further on to Suva Reka.
18 And all of that is very close by, three to four hundred metres.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: Could Mr. Cepic please not
20 speak at the same time as the witness is speaking.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you'll need to start that question
22 again. You're overlapping with the witness.
23 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry.
24 Q. [Interpretation] How many are there in the crews serving those
1 A. Well, about 12 people.
2 Q. Thank you. How many people came under the attack? Could you
3 please just clarify that, General.
4 A. Those 12 men came under the attack. Those people who were
5 there --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: Could Mr. Cepic please not
7 speak at the same time as the witness.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you're being asked yet again not to
9 speak at the same time as the witness.
10 MR. CEPIC: My apologies to interpreters. My apologies to this
11 Honourable Trial Chamber. I will slow down.
12 Could we have page 2 of this document, please.
13 Q. [Interpretation] General, on page 2 of this document, is there a
14 description of these events that you just described to us in the previous
15 few minutes?
16 A. Yes, this is more or less what I've just explained to you. That
17 is the gist of it, the location of the units, the positions that they
18 manned, and the sectors where they set up the defence.
19 Q. Thank you, General. Let us move on to another topic now. This is
20 the area of responsibility. And my question to you is whether you were
21 responsible for the entire situation in the area of responsibility of your
23 A. I, as the brigade commander, was responsible for the entire
24 situation in the area of responsibility of my brigade in the combat
25 disposition of the troops; in other words, sectors that had been manned by
1 military units were under my full responsibility. I was responsible
2 before my commanders and before the law. Everything else that was outside
3 of the defence sector, this was the jurisdiction of the MUP, of the
4 judicial organs, of the civilian authorities, all those elements that were
5 in charge of providing safety and security for property and persons.
6 MR. CEPIC: Would we have in e-court system 5D658, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your document?
8 A. Yes, this is my document from the command of the 243rd Mechanised
9 Brigade. The date is the 6th of April, 1999, and it has to do with the
10 maintenance of the security regime as ordered. It's an order.
11 Q. Could you please explain paragraph 1 or item 1 in this order.
12 A. In your areas of responsibility, in coordination with the forces
13 of the Republic of Serbia MUP, implement the security regime in full with
14 the focus on protecting the units, the wartime equipment -- or combat
15 equipment, maintaining public order, and protecting the civilian
17 What this means is the following: Our troops are responsible for
18 the safety and security of their own units and for the safety of their
19 equipment that they have. And as for the civilian population and the
20 public order, this is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior
22 Q. Could we please now look at item 4.
23 A. Yes. Item 4 reads: "Provide assistance to the MUP organs in the
24 efforts to return and protect the displayed persons."
25 It is quite natural. One always has to provide assistance to
1 persons -- or rather, state authorities in the performance of their tasks.
2 This is one of the aspects of coordination and cooperation.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at item 5.
4 A. Yes. "Take strict measures to hold responsible all persons who
5 violate the security regime."
6 What this means is that all those who violate the law have to be
7 treated in accordance with the law. All measures under the law have to be
8 taken against them.
9 Q. Thank you. General, could you please tell us, who was your
10 immediate superior?
11 A. My immediate superior, the one who was authorised to issue orders
12 to me and to my brigade, was the commander of the Pristina Corps,
13 General Vladimir Lazarevic.
14 Q. And who did you report to in your reports?
15 A. I personally, in line with the chain of command, I was responsible
16 to and I could only report to him, and my brigade command, the organs of
17 the brigade command, reported to the command of the Pristina Corps,
18 depending on their actual department and the task that they had been
19 given. So only the Pristina Corps Command or the Pristina Corps
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system Exhibit number 51972.
23 Not 5D but P probably. It's my mistake. Yes. P1972, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] General, did you receive this document?
25 A. Yes, I received several such documents at the brigade command with
1 this -- bearing this title, "The Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
2 Q. How did you receive such documents?
3 A. Those documents, like all the other documents, were received
4 mostly by post.
5 Let me explain. Post was delivered several times a week -- it
6 actually depended. If there were any combat action, it arrived very
7 rarely. Then it came through liaison officers and couriers. It came to
8 the brigade. Together with this document, there was the excerpt from the
9 decision of the Pristina Corps commander regarding the execution of a
10 task, and all the other accompanying documents. Usually it was engineers
11 support, logistics support, intelligence support, and other forms of
12 support that have to follow after a decision of a Pristina Corps commander
13 to the brigade commands in order for this brigade to be able to carry out
14 its task.
15 Q. What was this document for you?
16 A. Well, the basic document that I would receive was the -- an
17 excerpt from the decision of the Pristina Corps commander. It was on a
18 map for the execution of a task. And this is one of the documents that
19 pertained to the coordination with the Ministry of Interior forces for the
20 destruction of the forces in a certain area. In this case, we are talking
21 about Drenica.
22 Q. You mentioned "coordination." How did you implement this
24 A. The coordination in the brigade and lower down was carried out
25 through the SUP chief and his organs in the relevant sectors or
1 departments. Those were people that he appointed. The coordination was
2 carried out through face-to-face contact. An agreement was reached to
3 carry out joint tasks. So there was a very strict division of labour, and
4 the way in which the Minister of Interior forces were supported was also
5 clearly defined. Usually radio equipment would be exchanged and one or
6 two officers would be exchanged in order to be able to coordinate the
7 specific task, the execution of that specific task.
8 Q. And who did you meet from the MUP ranks in a specific situation?
9 A. Well, I personally would meet with the Urosevac SUP chief,
10 Bogoljub Janicijevic. And he was the only person that I coordinated those
11 tasks with.
12 Q. General, the Prosecution often alleges that there was a Joint
13 Command in the sense of the command. As far as you were concerned, did a
14 Joint Command exist in the sense of a command?
15 A. As far as I'm concerned, only one command existed in the vertical
16 chain of command; that was the Pristina Corps Command. And in the depth,
17 I was the commander. I was the command for the subordinate units. So no
18 joint commands existed for me, because I carried out all the orders that I
19 received from the Pristina Corps commander.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5.3, please.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, you're going to go on to other parts of this
23 document, are you?
24 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. I just need --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: Count 5.3, please.
2 Q. [Interpretation] General, do you see on the screen in front of you
3 item 5.3?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does this pertain to your unit, setting up the blockade along the
6 Canovica Brdo-Crneljevo-Dulje pass axis?
7 A. Yes, this pertains to my brigade, which is tasked with setting up
8 a blockade along this line that you just defined: Canovica Brdo,
9 Crnoljevo, and Dulje pass.
10 Q. Thank you. General, on the basis of this document, did you draft
11 your own order?
12 A. Yes, definitely. Every document that came from the Pristina Corps
13 Command - it is an order - has to be implemented all the way down to the
14 lowest level. In order to be able to do so, the brigade command -- or
15 rather, I have to write my own order for the implementation of the order
16 that was received from the Pristina Corps commander.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. CEPIC: Could we see the first page, please, of this document.
19 Q. [Interpretation] What is the date on this document, General?
20 A. Let us just zoom in a bit. Okay, that's fine.
21 This is the 14th of April, 1999.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we leave --
25 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we leave this one, can I see the last page,
3 Mr. Jelic, you'll see that this document is not signed or
4 stamped -- well, sorry, it -- it's not signed or stamped at the end.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you recognise the stamp in the top right-hand
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can hardly read it. It's
9 not very legible. I can just read two letters, J and E, and I can't see
10 anything else. Perhaps you might assist in some way.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that a stamp that was on it when you received
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that, because I can't
14 recognise this stamp. I'm not sure whether that is the stamp that was on
15 it or whether it was on it at all, because I simply cannot read anything.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: When you received orders from your superiors, did
17 they normally have either a signature or a stamp or perhaps both on them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, documents bear both. We
19 received documents at the brigade in a single envelope, sealed, and they
20 bore the stamps of the Pristina Corps Command. They were received at the
21 brigade command. They were entered in the registry, the logbook. And
22 then the mail was opened and inspected. So the correspondence -- the
23 documents were then inspected.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So is this one unusual?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This document is unusual, if
1 you compare it with the classical combat orders. But for us it pertained
2 to the coordination, what to do together with the MUP forces.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The other Joint Command documents that you
4 received, were they signed or stamped?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did receive some documents
6 from -- that were entitled "The Joint Command." They were more or less
7 like this one. I don't recall that any of them were actually signed. I
8 can't remember. But the format was more or less the same as this one.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Did I rightly understand you to say that with this
10 document there would also be an extract from the Pristina Corps order and
11 that extract would be the part of the order that applied to your brigade?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. [Previous translation continues] ...
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That mail, there would also be the
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Thank you.
17 Mr. Cepic.
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Let's just clarify for Their Honours. What
20 precisely was in that mail? What did you receive specifically in that
21 envelope from the Pristina Corps?
22 A. What I said was that in that envelope, apart from this document,
23 there would be an extract on a map from the decision of the commander of
24 the Pristina Corps specifically for my brigade. Furthermore, the plan of
25 contact and coordinated action with all -- and communications with all the
1 units participating, engineering, and rear support, intelligence and other
2 forms of support, and all these documents would be signed by the commander
3 of the Pristina Corps. They would be registered in the Pristina Corps
4 Command and signed.
5 Q. Thank you. You saw from the document on the screen, item 5 --
6 5.3, and we saw that a blockade is requested on the axis mentioned.
7 Could we now look at 5D369, please.
8 MR. CEPIC: Unfortunately, document is 5D1369, please.
9 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
10 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: I want to object to the use of this document. It's
13 only been partially translated. As you can see, it's a two-page document,
14 and we have one line that has been translated in English, at least that's
15 what we have been provided. And I don't think it really assists the
16 Chamber to have an incomplete translation of the document.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, what do you say on that?
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for well-known reasons,
19 because time is so short, we asked only for the most important sentence,
20 in our view, to be translated, and we will be very, very happy to have the
21 entire document and it's in our interest to have the entire document
22 translated as soon as possible.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What -- what has been your plan? Is it to simply
24 have one line -- one passage translated, or the whole document?
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] To ask for a translation of the whole
1 document. I have to mention that we had very little time to have
2 translations done of all the documents. Our learned friend Mr. Hannis
3 objected and said we had over 40 untranslated documents relating to
4 witness Jelic. That was three days ago, if I recall correctly. And
5 today, due to the expeditiousness of the translation service, we have
6 reduced this to a very small number of documents, only two or three. It
7 is our plan and our wish to have entire document -- the entire documents
8 translated, all these documents.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand your submission about having
10 very little time to have it translated. Why is that?
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] This document arrived on a later list,
12 in an additional request. We asked for it to be included last week. It
13 is untranslated and it was not used in the Milosevic case.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Are --
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] And --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But why -- why did you wait until last week?
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Our investigators did not find
18 everything we requested right away. This document was admitted by a
19 decision of the Trial Chamber, and the Prosecution did not object to the
20 document itself but only to the photograph of the heads of members of the
21 Army of Yugoslavia, which have been cut off, when we asked for this
22 document to be admitted. And they agreed to having this document included
23 in our 65 ter list.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that -- that would be on the assumption that
1 it would be translated when it came into court, presumably. That's -- the
2 problem is not they accept it being added to the 65 ter list; the problem
3 is the translation.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Exactly, Your Honour. I mean, our position -- we do
5 not -- we do not oppose to -- the addition of this document to the 65 ter
6 list. It's just the use of one line of the document.
7 And I would like to point out that it's not the only document that
8 the Defence intends to use with this witness that's only been partially
9 translated. There's a second document, it's 5D789, and there's also only
10 one paragraph translated from the document.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: One possible solution, of course, is for us to
12 admit only the part of the document that's been translated. Does that
13 cause a difficulty for you?
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. KRAVETZ: I believe it does, Your Honour. I think the
16 document needs to be read in its entirety by the Chamber in order to
17 appreciate the content.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, we're not satisfied that appropriate
20 steps have been taken to have documents translated in time for the
21 presentation of your Defence case, and we are going to refuse to allow
22 this document to be used at all. And this may have ongoing repercussions
23 in the presentation of your Defence case, but hopefully it will bring home
24 to you the importance of getting these documents properly prioritized and
25 translated. We are not going to bounce back and forward in the
1 presentation of Defence cases because documents have not been adequately
2 dealt with in preparation. So move to something else, please.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, of course I will move on,
4 but based on the instructions we received earlier in relation to
5 untranslated documents, I understood our instructions to be that only a
6 certain part of the text was to be translated, but we will ask for this
7 entire document to be translated probably today and we'll ask to admit it
8 later on.
9 Q. General --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, let's be clear about this. You consider
11 the whole of this document to be necessary. It needs therefore to be
12 considered in its context, which is through the witness we now have before
13 us. You're absolutely right. If it's not necessary to have the whole of
14 a document, you only need to translate the part that is necessary. So
15 please don't confuse the two issues.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the needs of the
17 presentation of my Defence case, the paragraph on the monitor is quite
18 sufficient. The Prosecution objected, saying they needed the entire text.
19 I don't need it. The sentence on the screen is sufficient for me. But in
20 order to avoid the Prosecution having any doubts about the document, I
21 agree to the entire document being translated.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you made it clear your intention was to
23 have the document translated in its entirety. You accept their position
24 on this that the whole of it is necessary to understand the position.
25 We've made our decision. Please move on.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'm afraid I
2 may have been misunderstood, but, of course, in compliance with Your
3 Honour's decision, I'll move on.
4 Q. General, based on the previous document I showed you, did you
5 issue your own orders?
6 A. Yes, every document received from the Pristina Corps Command,
7 especially if it relates to the execution of a combat task, the unit
8 commander - in this case, me - is duty-bound to receive the document, to
9 inform the corps commander personally that he has received the order for
10 an action, or for the execution of a combat task; and when the task is
11 received, after this little check, the task is studied and the commander
12 issues his own decision based on the corps commander's decision for the
13 execution of the task.
14 Q. Based on this document, did you issue your decision in that
15 specific situation?
16 A. Yes, I did. I issued my own order for the execution of the task
17 which was in the coordination and which was contained in the corps
18 commander's decision on the map and all the accompanying documents.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, this document
20 which has not been allowed is the very document representing his own order
21 based on the previous document, and it was only my intention to
22 demonstrate the continuity by date and by task to show that one document
23 follows from another, which represents the brigade order.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the sake of the
1 record, the situation is the following: With this refusal to admit this
2 document, Sainovic's Defence has also been damaged, because this document
3 demonstrate that there is no Joint Command being reported to, and that's
4 why the Prosecution is objecting.
5 I myself will ask for this document to be translated and to be
6 admitted at a later date, because our own client is also having his case
7 damaged because of the failure to admit this document.
8 Let me remind you that the Prosecution also would read just little
9 bits of documents which had not been translated in their entirety.
10 Mr. Hannis did that on at least 20 occasions. And for the sake of the
11 truth, none of us objected. But let us then have the possibility of the
12 general reading out what it says, because this really is to the detriment
13 of my client, and I hope you -- Your Honours will understand this.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: We will not revisit this matter. The matter has
16 been dealt with. You didn't raise your position at that time. Your
17 Defence is not being presented by Mr. Cepic. It's your job to present
18 your defence. That stage is past. There are occasional opportunities
19 when cross-examination by coincidence will give you an opportunity to
20 raise other matters. In this instance, the document will not be admitted
21 through this witness.
22 Let's proceed. Carry on, Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 For the sake of the record, my client is being prejudiced even
25 more with a non-admission of this document.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, move on.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: We will not tolerate defiance in the courtroom.
4 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Could we have in e-court system Exhibit Number 5D1285, please.
6 Q. General, is this a document issued by you?
7 A. Yes. It's from my brigade, dated the 19th of April, 1999.
8 Q. What does this document represent?
9 A. It's a regular daily combat report sent to the command of the
10 Pristina Corps.
11 Q. What are you reporting about to the Pristina Corps Command in this
12 document which is on the screen?
13 A. Well, firstly, about the enemy, the forces of the enemy. And
14 that's according to the regular procedure as to the format of telegrams
15 sent to the command.
16 Will you let me read it?
17 Q. Just briefly. One sentence only. In item 2.1, the second
18 sentence -- or rather, the second paragraph, beginning with the
19 words "according to the decision."
20 A. Yes, I see it. "According to the decision of the 17th of April,
21 1999, parts of the brigade are engaged in blocking and scattering the
22 Siptar terrorist forces. This action is still in progress."
23 And that's the next document sent to the corps command in the
24 realization of the task.
25 Q. This reporting, does it have to do with the order you issued that
1 was mentioned previously and the document headed "Joint Command"?
2 A. This is a document linked to both of these documents. In fact,
3 it's a report being sent based on the order issued by the Pristina Corps
4 commander. He issued the task, and I am now reporting back to him
5 concerning the situation and what the units are doing at that point in
7 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on. General, did you ever report
8 to some sort of Joint Command?
9 A. Never. Not a single report of mine coming from the brigade was
10 ever sent to any other command except the Pristina Corps Command or the
11 Pristina Corps commander personally.
12 Q. Thank you. Let's move on now.
13 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit 5D683, please.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, the document we see on the screen, is it
15 issued by your brigade?
16 A. Yes. It's from the command of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade -- or
17 Motorised Brigade, dated the 15th of May, 1999, and addressed to the Corps
18 Pristina Command.
19 Q. Please look at item 2.1, beginning with the words: "In the area
20 of the village of Raka."
21 A. It's not very clearly legible here, but I can see it. "In the
22 sector of the village of Raka, numerous documents of the Siptar terrorist
23 forces were found with specific information about the activities of the
24 Siptar terrorist forces, the Army of Yugoslavia, and the MUP. These
25 documents show the connection of the OSCE forces with the NATO forces, for
1 whom they have been collecting intelligence."
2 Q. We have the text. You don't have to read it out.
3 Do you happen to recall, as we do have the text before us, whether
4 this material, this information you found, was correct?
5 A. The information we found in the village of Raka and its area
6 corresponded fully with the organisational and establishment structure of
7 the brigade, especially heavy combat weapons. There was a list of all the
8 weapons we had with PVO tables, Browning, and so on and so forth.
9 Q. Can you tell us the date of this document?
10 A. The date? I can't see it.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Please scroll up.
12 A. It's the 15th of May, 1999.
13 Q. Thank you, General.
14 General, did you have any volunteers in your unit?
15 A. Yes, I did. I had volunteers in my unit from the end of March
16 until the beginning of April, in that period. That's when most of the
17 volunteers reported.
18 Q. What kind of status did they acquire by arriving the unit?
19 A. According to the Law on Armed Forces, the law on the army, a
20 volunteer is only a person in respect of the way in which he reports to a
21 unit in the Army of Yugoslavia. These are usually persons who do not have
22 a wartime assignment or who were not engaged anywhere. As they arrive in
23 the Army of Yugoslavia, they are no longer termed "volunteers." They are
24 practically soldiers, members of the military group that they are in.
25 There is no difference, therefore, between them and regular soldiers, not
1 in terms of their rights or responsibilities.
2 Q. General, how were they admitted, taken in, and how were they
4 A. Volunteers were taken in in an organised manner, as far as I know,
5 in the 1st Army and in our army.
6 Now, in talking about our army, it took place in Nis. Then they
7 were selected -- or rather, checked. There were checkups of the state of
8 their health and their psychological and physical abilities. Then also at
9 the training grounds of Medja, they were trained. And after this
10 training, at the level of the army command, they joined units. And once
11 they would arrive in a unit, they were assigned to units in accordance
12 with the VES, the military evidentiary specialty, that they had while they
13 served their term in the military before.
14 Q. Thank you, General. You have extensive military experience. Did
15 you have any duties in a special unit?
16 A. Yes. I was commander of a sabotage unit in the detachment of the
17 army, and also I was head of a military police unit.
18 Q. In view of your overall military training and experience and the
19 positions of military doctrine and military science, what is the ratio of
20 forces needed in order to neutralise a terrorist group?
21 A. According to our standards that are appropriate to what prevailed
22 at the end of the last century, this meets European and world standards.
23 Between 15 and 20. That is what the ratio should be. That is to say, 15
24 to 20 to 1; that is to say, seven or eight times more than in carrying out
25 an ordinary combat task.
1 Q. Thank you, General. In this courtroom, we often heard the concept
2 of excessive use of military force. Can you tell us whether in our combat
3 rules there is any reference to that.
4 A. In our combat rules and the literature that I studied, we do not
5 come across this term of "excessive use of force" as a military term.
6 This is more of an analytical matter, when one analyses certain events,
7 when one analyses the situation, the ratio of resources used vis-a-vis the
8 objective attained. So it depends on whether it is attack or defence,
9 what kind of action is concerned.
10 It is customary to say "excessive use of force" by way of jargon;
11 that is to say, that inadequate resources were used for attaining a
12 certain objective. However, if we see the standards there used in the
13 fight against this evil of terrorism at the end of the last century,
14 especially in this beginning of this century, combat against terrorism
15 practically requires a fight with all available resources used in order to
16 destroy it. So there is no ratio that can say whether it is a cannon, a
17 rifle, a Praga, whatever. If we see what the International Community is
18 doing nowadays for this kind of fight, even the Air Force and helicopters
19 are used too, which is only logical.
20 Q. General, I'm interested in what kind of use was there of combat
21 resources during the course of the war.
22 A. During the period of the war, we had several orders, and that is
23 what we also did on our own. We used our resources in the most rational
24 possible way only if our combat resources were directly attacked. The
25 reason for this was that there was absolute supremacy on the side of NATO
1 in air. Therefore, our combat equipment, especially heavy combat
2 equipment, would have been detected and therefore destroyed. So we used
3 it in a highly rational manner and ultimately we were preparing for
4 defence in case of a land invasion.
5 Q. Thank you, General. Could you tell me, how much ammunition was
6 spent during the wartime period?
7 A. This can best be seen from our reports. If you have them,
8 practically you can add up the ammunition used during those three months.
9 But it was about .3 to .5 -- or rather, 3 to 5 per cent of the combat kits
10 of military equipment.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit number 5D670, please.
13 [Interpretation] Your Honour, as for the mentioned document, we do
14 not have a translation. That is what my assistant has just told me.
15 Can we produce the document in the following way: I will ask the
16 witness to read out a certain part of the document.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your position on this document, Ms. Kravetz?
18 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I think we have already stated our
19 position, or at least Mr. Hannis has, regarding untranslated documents.
20 It has been very difficult for us to prepare for cross-examination of
21 these witnesses because a lot of the documents have been translated late
22 and --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. But we would like to know whether you're
24 objecting to the admission of this document. We can only deal with them
25 as and when they arise.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: For this document, I propose that what we can do is
2 that the witness reads out the passage that Mr. Cepic wants to rely on and
3 that it be submitted for translation later. And so marked for
4 identification at this stage and admitted when we get a full translation.
5 I'm -- I maintain the position that I think for the Chamber to be able to
6 properly assess these documents, a full English translation is necessary.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: We can't lose sight of the fact that these are
9 essentially adversarial proceedings and it's important when we don't know
10 exactly what's coming but the parties are more aware of the evidence
11 that's coming and to be anticipated that there's consistency in the
12 position taken.
13 Now, it may be that it will become clearer as we encounter any
14 further problems with translation that there is a consistency in the
15 position taken, but we encourage the parties to take a consistent line.
16 We see that what's being said by the Prosecution here is itself
17 consistent with what happened during the presentation of the Prosecution
18 case, that there were occasions when documents were translated so far as
19 necessary in court and marked for identification. There's no objection to
20 that course of action here, so we will allow you to deal with the document
21 that way, Mr. Cepic.
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 For the sake of clarity, Mr. Hannis and I had practically daily
24 communication in relation to untranslated documents. I sent him an e-mail
25 with documents that had not been translated at that point in time, and I
1 gave him timely information on our problems with translation; and I
2 communicated to him daily on the redaction of that particular number.
3 Q. General, do you see --
4 MR. HANNIS: I think I need to respond to that. We have a number
5 of communications about that. But one of the points that I've raised
6 concern about regards the upcoming witnesses after this one, we still have
7 untranslated documents for Mr. Filipovic and several for General Delic.
8 Now, I've been told that the number of documents that Mr. Cepic intends to
9 use has been reduced, but I don't know which ones he is not going to use,
10 because I haven't seen the notification for next week. I've been told it
11 has been filed, but I've been told basically it's the same list as was
12 last week. So I still don't know which ones he's not going to use, and
13 that doesn't help me prepare, so I -- I would request assistance on that
14 as soon as possible.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's concentrate in the courtroom on the
16 presentation of evidence, and you can continue your discussions on these
17 matters during the breaks.
18 Mr. Cepic.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. General, is this your document?
21 A. Yes, this is my document from the command of the 243rd Mechanised
22 Brigade dated the 22nd of May, 1999.
23 Q. What does this document represent? Could you please read to me
24 the heading of the document and the first paragraph.
25 A. "Execution of combat activities in the areas of deployment.
1 Order. Issued to."
2 "On the basis of the order of the command of the Pristina Corps,
3 strictly confidential number 455-247, dated the 21st of March [as
4 interpreted], 1999, and with a view to destroying and crushing leftover
5 Siptar terrorist forces in the regions of the disposition of units, I
6 hereby order."
7 Q. Thank you, General.
8 [Previous translation continues] ... [In English] A little bit
9 scrolled down, please. Count 7 I need.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Correction: We misspoke. It is
11 not March. It's May.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, could you please read item 7.
14 A. "Movement of combat equipment in the sectors of deployment are not
15 to be carried out, because there is a risk of NATO air-strikes."
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at item 3, the second sentence
17 therein, "I prohibit."
18 A. Yes, I can see it. "I prohibit the relocation of units outside of
19 their assigned sector of deployment without prior approval of the superior
21 Q. Why is this order important?
22 A. At that time, the NATO Air Force had air superiority. The
23 terrorist forces were constantly attacking the positions. And if those
24 units were to move out of their positions, they would have been destroyed.
25 Q. Thank you. General, did you sustain any losses in the unit just
1 before the end of the war?
2 A. Just as on the eve of the war, during the war, we sustained
3 constant attacks in our unit up until the very end of the war, and we
4 sustained substantial casualties. I'm now referring to personnel, the
5 troops. A total of 24 soldiers were killed in the brigade, soldiers and
6 officers, and 88 were wounded.
7 Q. Could you please tell me whether the terrorist attacks were at the
8 same level of intensity until your unit withdrew from the territory of
9 Kosovo and Metohija.
10 A. Up until the very moment when the Kumanova Agreement was signed,
11 our units were constantly under particular attack, and particularly that
12 was in the case in the last few days, as the Kumanova Agreement was being
13 negotiated or drafted and signed.
14 Particularly on the axes Urosevac, Kacanik, Djeneral Jankovic,
15 Urosevac, Globocica, and in the area of the border with the Republic of
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system 5D679, please.
19 Q. [Interpretation] General, does this document corroborate what you
20 just told us about the casualties sustained at the end of the war?
21 A. Yes. This is one of the documents that confirms that, and it says
22 here that 2nd Lieutenant Dragan Beko was killed in this area and two
23 soldiers were wounded.
24 Q. What was the axis or road when they were killed or wounded?
25 A. That is the road leading to Stimlje -- or rather, to Doganovic.
1 I'm sorry.
2 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system 5D680, please.
3 Do we have this document in English?
4 Q. [Interpretation] General, does this document confirm the same
6 A. Yes. This is my document. That confirm it is same thing. The
7 date is the 6th of June, 1999. It was an entering combat report sent to
8 the Pristina Corps Command. And it says here that Captain Milenkovic --
9 Milan Milenkovic was killed in the Kacanik area on the Djeneral
10 Jankovic-Urosevac road. It was an ambush.
11 Q. Thank you. General, how were the arrested persons treated?
12 A. Throughout the war, we arrested people -- we arrested civilians
13 only if they were in the border belt or if they were in the area of the
14 combat deployment of the units, and the military police units would do so
15 if some crimes were committed. All persons who were placed under the
16 arrest were then processed. They were questioned by the security organs
17 and the military police in the unit, and then they were sent on. They
18 would either be tried or whatever. But they were always treated extremely
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have a document,
21 5D678, it has not been translated. It speaks about this issue. Can we
22 please show this document to the witness in the same manner as we have
23 done so in the past.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your position on this, Ms. Kravetz?
25 MS. KRAVETZ: We can proceed in that same manner as with the
1 previous document.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, could you please look at item 1.1, the second paragraph
5 therein. First of all, what is this? What is this document?
6 A. This is my document that was sent as a regular combat report to
7 the Pristina Corps Command, and it is not very legible, but let me try and
8 read it, if you allow me.
9 Q. Fine. Go ahead.
10 A. "At around 4.15 hours in the Kodra Fura sector, the Kodric border
11 post, four persons attempted to cross the state border illegally from the
12 Republic of Macedonia. When they were stopped, they opened fire. Fire
13 was returned and two of those persons who had tried to illegally cross the
14 border were wounded. One of them was captured and the others fled to the
15 territory of the Republic of Macedonia. The captured person will be
16 handed over to the security organs at 11.20 hours in the Sahas Cesma
17 sector" --
18 Q. Thank you. That's quite sufficient. Does this document confirm
19 what you have just told us?
20 A. Yes, this is precisely what I've just told you about the treatment
21 of the unknown persons and civilians.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, where were they kept in custody?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every person in cases of this kind,
24 who was arrested, was immediately handed over to the security organ. They
25 exist at a level of the artillery battalion and battalion. That organ
1 carries out the preliminary interview, and based on that decides who to
2 hand over this person, whether to military prosecutor's office or to the
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And where would they be held in custody?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostly in the building where the
6 unit was, or in the facility where the unit was. If it was a border belt,
7 as was this case, they were held where the command of that unit was, at
8 the border post. But one of the border -- there were border posts all
9 over the place, but one of the border posts was always designated as the
10 command of that particular border battalion.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: So you were regarding these people as criminals,
12 rather than prisoners of war.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those persons were criminals, to all
14 intents and purposes. They violated the laws of the state by crossing
15 into the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And if -- those
16 who were moving in the areas of the deployment of the units, they were not
17 prisoners of war; they had violated the -- some provisions in the law and
18 they were treated accordingly. These could not be prisoners of war. They
19 were our citizens.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just one
22 brief question.
23 Q. In the higher-level units, were there specific buildings
24 designated as detention units for people of that kind?
25 A. At the brigade level, there was no such institution or no such
1 building. Wherever -- but in all units, there were security organs, and
2 they dealt with those people immediately after their arrest. That had
3 nothing to do with the brigade command. The brigade command or the
4 commands of the units had nothing much to do with that.
5 Q. General, the units of your brigade during the war, and throughout
6 the armed conflict in Kosovo and Metohija, did they apply the rules of
7 international humanitarian law and laws and customs of war?
8 A. All the rules of the international humanitarian law were complied
9 very strictly in accordance with the law. Dozens of orders that had been
10 received from the military top and down from the corps command, and they
11 were disseminated to lower-ranking units and all the way down to the
12 soldiers, and this also was the case with the rules of combat. We all had
13 to comply with those provisions of international humanitarian law.
14 Q. Did every soldier in your unit have instructions for the conduct
15 in combat?
16 A. The brigade command received relevant instructions, and every
17 soldier had a laminated pocket-sized brochure instructing him how to
18 comport himself in the war, with all the relevant obligations those
19 soldiers had to abide by, and every soldier in the brigade received that.
20 He was issued with that. And I am also referring now to the professional
22 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues]... 4 please. 5D1284,
23 please. I need in B/C/S page 7; in English, page 10, please. Please
24 scroll down.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please look at the last-but-one item on
1 the page that you have in front of you on the screen. If you can please
2 read it.
3 A. Yes, I can see it. As you can see, this is an order that I
4 issued. And it says here: "In all situations, consistently observe the
5 provisions of international law of war."
6 Q. Thank you, General. In the rules that you are bound by, the rules
7 of service and other documents, do they also stipulate the application of
8 the international law of war?
9 A. Yes, this is defined both in the rules of service and in the Law
10 on Defence and the Law on the Army in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 This was the law. We had to comply by that. We had to abide by that.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. CEPIC: Can we see Exhibit number P1306, please.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, did you receive this order that you can
15 see in front of you on the screen?
16 A. Yes, I can recognise it. I can't see very clearly what it says
17 here, because I -- I have to look at the bottom of the document. But
18 based on the contents, I can say that I received it.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 662, please.
21 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your order?
22 A. Yes, this is my order from the brigade command. The date is the
23 17th of April, 1999.
24 Q. What does this order pertain to, the one that we can see in front
25 of us on the screen?
1 A. This order pertains to the protection of the civilian population.
2 Q. What was the basis for this order of yours?
3 A. I issued this order on the basis of the order from the -- from the
4 corps command, and because of the coordinated action by the NATO
5 air-strikes and terrorists, the measures that were envisaged here had to
6 be taken. But I have to say that my copy is hardly legible.
7 Q. Could we please zoom in the B/C/S version to enable the witness to
8 see it more clearly.
9 Is that it?
10 A. Yes, this is the document.
11 Q. Thank you, General. General, could you please explain to us: In
12 accordance with the law in force in our country, whose responsibility was
13 it to protect the civilian population?
14 A. The civilian authorities had to protect the civilians. The
15 community that was functioning throughout the war, the municipal
16 authorities and all the other organs that existed at a municipal level.
17 This was not something that the combat units were supposed to do, because
18 their purpose was completely different.
19 Furthermore, the Minister of the Interior forces provide support
20 to them in this job.
21 Q. Thank you, General.
22 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit 5D665, please.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Before the document comes up on the screen,
24 General, could you clarify something in the transcript that isn't quite
25 clear, so I'll ask you again. Whose duty was it to look after the
1 civilians, please?
2 A. It was the civilian structures, the state structures on the
3 territory, and the MUP forces that had this duty.
4 Q. To whom did the MUP provide assistance?
5 A. To the municipal assemblies, the judiciary, the judicial organs.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel and witness not overlap, please.
8 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in B/C/S also this document, 5D665,
10 This is the wrong document on our screens. This is the previous
11 document, so we need that.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer].
13 MR. CEPIC: I saw in English, but not in B/C/S.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, that, according to the e-court system,
15 is 5D665.
16 MR. CEPIC: Yes, in English, but not in B/C/S. We haven't got the
17 same document. I have in hard copy and you have in electronic version in
18 English, so with your leave, we can pass this copy to the witness, please.
19 Yes, now we have in B/C/S.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: It's important that you check the e-court entry and
21 rectify it if there is a difficulty.
22 MR. CEPIC: My assistant already checked, and it appears in B/C/S.
23 And as I said previously, I saw in English on the screen.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Anyway, you can proceed with the ELMO now.
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 Could we have back in English on our screens, please.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: We have the English on the screen, page 2 though.
3 MR. CEPIC: We need the first page, just -- I'm afraid that it is
4 not the same document. 5D665. It's not correct.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What is your problem now?
6 MR. CEPIC: We will solve the situation during the break, so I can
7 move on --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: No, we can have the break just now, if that
10 MR. CEPIC: Yes. Excellent.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, we have to break at this stage. That
12 will be for half an hour or so. While we have the break, could you please
13 leave the courtroom with the usher.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume at 11.15.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.45a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.16 a.m.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 We solved the situation and -- actually the problem, and we have
22 on our screens right now Exhibit 5D665. We have a problem with the
23 English. We have the document in B/C/S but not in English.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 MR. CEPIC: That's fine. Perfect.
1 And could we have also in B/C/S, please. Again a problem. The
2 same problem. The right side of the screen is correct, but on left-hand
3 side -- we need in English.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We need it in B/C/S.
5 MR. CEPIC: Now in B/C/S. Excellent. Perfect.
6 Q. [Interpretation] General, do you see this document?
7 A. [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the General,
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a document from my brigade,
11 the 243rd Mechanised Brigade. It's dated the 23rd of April, 1999. It's
12 an order on the protection of the civilian population in the brigade
13 zone's -- zone -- brigade zone of responsibility where combat is going on.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Combat operations zone. Interpreter's
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Just very briefly, what is the purpose of this order?
20 A. The purpose of this order is that all units subordinate to me at
21 battalion level should act humanely, look after the civilian population,
22 avoid losses of casualties among civilians in their areas of
23 responsibility in their defence zones.
24 Q. Thank you, General. General, did displaced persons return to
25 their homes during the war?
1 A. Displaced persons returned to their homes on the eve of the
2 aggression and also in the course of the aggression. They returned to
3 their villages, their homes, the places from which they had fled.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Exhibit number
6 5D1286, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this a document from your brigade?
8 A. Yes. It is a document from my brigade, dated the 16th of April,
9 1999. Addressed to the command of the Pristina Corps, and it's urgent.
10 Q. Would you please read the part that begins in item 1.1, the second
11 passage, it begins with the words "on the 16th of April or since" --
12 A. "On the 16th of April, at 0800 hour, above the village of
13 Kisela Voda leaflets were ejected. A large number of refugees is using
14 trains, buses, and tractors to come back from the Republic of Macedonia
15 and they are returning in the direction of Kacanik. On the same day, the
16 16th of April, 1999, from 1410 to 1450 hours, NATO aviation struck in the
17 sector of Glavica, Varos Selo, and Nekodim. Eight missiles were fired on
18 the sector of deployment of the mixed anti-tank artillery battalion" --
19 Q. Thank you. Yes, we can see that. We have the text before us.
20 Would you please explain to us this fire which is described here and these
21 military activities, were they close to the road where the refugees
22 were -- on which the refugees were moving?
23 A. The main road leading from Kosovo-Metohija to Macedonia and vice
24 versa is a main road, and there is also a railway next to it. Here one
25 can see that the civilians are returning to their villages, which are
1 listed here, and the Air Force -- the aircraft is firing on their villages
2 precisely at the time when they are returning to them. There are several
3 villages enumerated here.
4 Q. Thank you, General. In the course of NATO air-strikes, did NATO
5 use in the areas of Kacanik and Urosevac cluster bombs and depleted
6 uranium to fire on civilian and military targets?
7 A. Yes, more than once the NATO aircraft dropped cluster bombs, both
8 on the positions and the areas and villages to the south and north of
9 Urosevac and also on the town of Urosevac itself. And that's not counting
10 the barracks, which they fired on incessantly.
11 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit 5D660, please.
12 Q. [Interpretation] General, does this document confirm what you
14 A. Yes, that's a document issued by me, sent to the Pristina Corps
15 Command, confirming what I've just said.
16 Q. On this list of targets fired on, are there civilian facilities?
17 A. As you can see, besides the military facilities listed here, such
18 as barracks, we have firing on villages, such as the villages of Palic,
19 Grebno, Pitina [phoen], the factory in Doganovici, the village of Banjica.
20 And these are all civilians target which were hit.
21 Q. Is this a document issued by your brigade?
22 A. It's the original document I sent to the Pristina Corps Command as
23 information on the events of the day. This comes from the brigade
25 Q. Here we see in one of the sentences that atomic biological
1 technical recognize has shown that there was no radiation in these
3 A. Yes. Whenever NATO air-strikes were conducted, there was atomic
4 biological chemical reconnaissance conducted. We had a team constantly
5 reconnoitering the whole area wherever NATO projectiles hit.
6 Q. Did you have expert teams for clearing up the terrain which
7 carried out this job?
8 A. Yes, there was a team for the clearing up of this terrain,
9 primarily to remove, destroy, and mark these places. That was a team at
10 corps level, which was organised, and we sent telegrams to report to the
11 corps command about this. The team was from the RV, which had been
12 attached to the corps, and it serviced all the units on the territory of
13 Kosovo and Metohija. It was not part of the brigade but, rather, part of
14 the corps. It was an expert -- and the experts came from the RV.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, what was done at the Silkapor factory?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Silkapor factory was a civilian
17 facility. It was targeted at the time. There was nobody there.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What was it used for?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Silkapor factory, in the initial
20 period of the war, there was a command post next to it. Immediately after
21 the aggression, we had information that the NATO forces knew about us.
22 They had information that the brigade command was in Doganovici, so we
23 assumed it would be hit. Immediately after the aggression started, the
24 command moved the command post from there, so that we did not have units
25 in the building at that time. Five children, minors, 10 or 12 years old,
1 were hit in that air-strike. They were all members of one family and they
2 were killed.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. The Silkapor factory, my question is not what was next to it but
6 what did the factory manufacture?
7 A. The Silkapor factory manufactured building construction material.
8 These were blocks, 60 by 30 centimetres in size. This material was used
9 to build buildings. It was similar to a brickworks, but it was a
10 different kind of material, also used for masonry.
11 Q. And one further clarification. Twice you mentioned in your reply
12 to my previous question "RV." What does "RV" mean?
13 A. "RV" means Air Force.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. CEPIC: Can we have in e-court system 5D675, please.
16 Unfortunately, we haven't got translation for this document. Again, the
17 same problem.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
19 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I suggest we proceed in the same manner
20 as before.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. General, please look at item 2.1. First I'll ask you to identify
25 this document. What does it say in the heading?
1 A. Yes. That's my document from the 243rd Mechanised Brigade dated
2 the 4th of May, 1999.
3 Q. Thank you. Item 2.1, the second paragraph begins with the
4 word: "In the course of the 3rd of May, 1999." Could you read this,
6 A. "In the course of the 3rd of May, 1999, measurements of
7 radioactive contamination were made on several locations in the general
8 area of Dulje at trig point 925, a value was measured of 0.20
9 milliroentgen. In the area of trig point 868, a value of 0.26
10 milliroentgens was measured. And in the area of Ras Mahala [phoen], a
11 value of 0.13 to 0.26 milliroentgen was measured. As the upper limit
12 permitted of natural phones is up to 0.20 milliroentgens, there is
13 evidently stronger radiation in individual locations targeted by NATO
15 Q. General, what measures did you take when you came across a
16 situation like this one?
17 A. As I mentioned just a little while ago, when one came across a
18 place that had been struck, first the place had to be marked. The
19 location had to be marked.
20 Then the closest units, army units, had to be informed. And the
21 civilians also had to be informed. If possible, on the very same day or a
22 few days later, according to the plan of the team receiving this report in
23 the corps command, the area would be sanitised or the offending material
25 Q. General, on the 24th of March, 1999, what is the significance of
1 that date for you?
2 A. That was a characteristic day. It was the day when the aggression
3 on the FRY by NATO started -- or rather, the NATO campaign started on that
5 Q. When did you leave the barracks and take up the defence areas?
6 A. All units from my brigade, all these units went out before the
7 24th of March. On that day, all the units had already taken up the
8 defence areas to defend the country from aggression. The war and material
9 reserves, according to plan, had already been taken out and stored in the
10 depth of the territory.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5D317, please.
12 Q. [Interpretation] General, what does this document represent?
13 A. Can we zoom in a little bit? Can the contrast be sharpened?
14 Because I can't see it very well.
15 This is a document issued by the General Staff of the Army of
16 Yugoslavia, the intelligence administration, strictly confidential number
17 2-80, dated the 24th of March, 1999. It's information on NATO forces in
19 Q. Now please look at the paragraphs. What do they describe?
20 A. These paragraphs describe the strength of the forces and their
21 country of origin. So it says: "From the 4th armoured Brigade, 1st
22 Armoured Brigade, Great Britain; 21st Armoured Brigade, from the 7th
23 Armoured Division, Germany; from the 2nd" -- I can't see this very
24 well -- "France."
25 MR. CEPIC: Can we scroll down, please.
1 A. It's not clearly visible.
2 MR. CEPIC: Scroll down.
3 Q. [Interpretation] What does this last sentence say? In English,
4 it's on page 2.
5 A. It says here: "On the tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and
6 self-propelled vehicles, there is visible written in white," and in
7 quotation marks, "KFOR." [Realtime transcript read in error "K4"]
8 MR. CEPIC: Not K4 but -- yes, exactly. Yes.
9 Could we go to the second page in B/C/S, the bottom of the page,
11 Q. [Interpretation] Do you see the number of men and equipment that
12 were in Macedonia at that point in time?
13 A. Yes, you can see here that in the Republic of Macedonia there are
14 about 12.500 soldiers, 100 tanks, 250 armoured personnel carriers, 52
15 artillery pieces, 36 helicopters, and 1.240 motor vehicles.
16 Q. Thank you. General, these forces in Macedonia, how far were they
17 in terms of kilometres from our state border and your units?
18 A. These forces were about 20 to 30 kilometres away from the state
19 border in depth into the territory, that is, a march of about 1 and a half
20 hours with combat vehicles to the border with the Federal Republic of
22 Q. General, now we are going to move on to the other side of the
23 border and we are going to go on dealing with the same date. The village
24 of Kotlina, to the best of my knowledge, was it a terrorist stronghold?
25 A. The village of Kotlina and the surrounding area, Ivaja, Pustanik,
1 that's it. Those hamlets, constituted a very strong terrorist stronghold.
2 There were several hundred terrorists [Realtime transcript read in
3 error "International Red Cross"] in that region.
4 Q. The indictment in paragraph 72(k).
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Somehow or other the International Red Cross has
6 crept in, but it was simply terrorists.
7 MR. CEPIC: Exactly, Your Honour. A completely different
8 translation. I can ask again the same question or --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, it's a question of court
10 reporting transcribing, not of interpretation. The tape is correct.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, just for the transcript, the village of Kotlina, was it a
13 terrorist stronghold?
14 A. Exceptionally strong of the terrorist forces in the part that has
15 to do with the border belt, practically 5 or 6 kilometres.
16 Q. Thank you, General.
17 Now I'm going to put a few questions to you pertaining to the
18 crime base in relation to these locations. Will it be easier for you if
19 you have the map in front of you?
20 A. If possible. Yes, please.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 1337.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. CEPIC: Sorry.
1 Q. [Interpretation] General, paragraphs in the indictment that have
2 to do with the village of Kotlina are 72(k) and 75(k)(i). A Prosecution
3 witness testified before the Trial Chamber, Hazbi Loku, and the indictment
4 says in the briefest possible terms that "On or around the 8th of March,
5 as regards the village of Kotlina, forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked
6 and partially burned, and then on the 24th of March, 1999, forces of the
7 FRY and Serbia yet again attacked Kotlina with heavy weaponry and with the
8 engagement of troops."
9 Many men, residents of Kotlina, fled to the nearby woods during
10 that attack and -- well, the forces of the FRY and Serbia ordered the
11 women and children and elderly to board trucks which took them towards the
12 town of Kacanik. Those who could not fit into the trucks were compelled
13 to walk behind them towards Kacanik. A number of male residents of
14 Kotlina were killed during this attack, including at least 17 men, whose
15 bodies were thrown into wells. Before departing Kotlina, forces of the
16 FRY and Serbia burned the remainder of the village. Many of the survivors
17 fled to Macedonia."
18 General, are these allegations correct, what I read out to you
19 just now?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question.
21 Mr. Cepic, we have to have a foundation. We have to go through
22 individual item, if that's what you -- you want to ask, but you can't ask
23 a blanket question like that in relation to a whole of the section of the
24 indictment. The answer would be valueless.
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Let us deal with it in the right order in terms
2 of the calendar. The 8th of March, 1999, General, it says that the
3 village of Kotlina was attacked on or about the 8th of March. That is
4 what Hazbi Loku, a witness here says. He says that the village was partly
5 burned. And he says that the village of Ivaja was attacked on the same
6 day. Is that correct?
7 A. That's not correct. The army never attacked a village.
8 Q. Can you tell me -- do you have any knowledge about the village of
9 Ivaja in that period? Were there any actions in that area?
10 A. In the mentioned period, in the period that you are talking about,
11 in your question, according to the information that we received later, in
12 that area there was an anti-terrorist action of the MUP forces; namely, a
13 patrol of MUP forces was attacked there and the leader of that patrol, a
14 captain, got killed. I think his name was Staletovic or something like
15 that. And then the MUP forces searched the area looking for terrorists.
16 Then a clash took place with the terrorist forces, and I know that the
17 fight happened in that period. That is, the period between the 28th of
18 February and the 8th or 9th of March. So that is the period concerned.
19 Q. Thank you, General. Let us now move on to the 24th of March.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you -- before you do that, was that action
21 confined to Ivaja or did it include the village of Kotlina?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, this was
23 an action vis-a-vis Kotlina. I cannot tell you exactly what the scope of
24 this action was, because we did not participate. Through the exchange of
25 information between the MUP and ourselves, I am aware of this information
1 and that is the information we had made available to us.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Cepic.
4 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 [Interpretation] Can we have the map on the screens, please. I
6 would like to ask the general to indicate the village of Kotlina and the
7 village of Ivaja to us and where the forces of the Army of Yugoslavia were
8 in the area of defence disposition.
9 A. I cannot see it very well here. I am sorry. But roughly it is in
10 this area. Kotlina and Ivaja.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... on our screens,
12 so ...
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer].
14 MR. CEPIC: Could we use ELMO? Your Honour, with your leave.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a hard copy of the map?
16 MR. CEPIC: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, you can use the ELMO, I think.
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No, that -- that screen is blank also.
20 Now we have it.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Could you please move it a bit, General. To the left, if
23 possible. That's right. Just a bit more, please. Right.
24 Now could you indicate the villages of Kotlina and Ivaja to us.
25 A. This is where the villages are.
1 Q. All right. Where were your forces, General?
2 A. My closest forces were at the in-depth security, here; that is,
3 Combat Group 3 and Combat Group 21. These forces were about a kilometre
4 and a half away from these villages. But they had been there for several
5 months already.
6 Q. In order to lay a better foundation for this, what you've told us,
7 I'm just going to ask you to use the marker and to put a circle around
8 Kotlina, Ivaja, and your forces.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. What is that circle?
11 A. Kotlina and Ivaja.
12 Q. Could you put number "1" there, please.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. To the left and on the other side where your forces are, could you
15 please put a circle there and could you put numbers there as well.
16 A. [Marks] These are the positions. I'll go across this. These are
17 the positions of the combat groups practically. Combat Group 3 and Combat
18 Group 21, respectively.
19 Q. Thank you. In your opinion, why were these units in these
20 positions that you marked?
21 A. As I've already said, these units were preventing a spillover of
22 forces from the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of Serbia and vice
23 versa, but now, at the same time, they were used for defending the country
24 from a possible land invasion by NATO along these directions.
25 Q. Thank you, General. On the 24th of March, 1999, did the army
1 enter the mentioned villages, as Prosecution witness Hazbi Loku claimed?
2 A. The army never entered these villages. And I've already said that
3 on the-- that the 24th of March was the most critical day for, generally
4 speaking, for the Army of Yugoslavia, for the Pristina Corps for my
5 brigade, and for every last soldier, because that was the time when all
6 the units left barracks, took up defence positions, camouflaged them, tied
7 up a firing system. That is a job that takes several days, to reach the
8 third, fourth, or fifth level of defence.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry.
11 Q. [Interpretation] The witness claims that on that day, using heavy
12 weaponry and troops, the villages of Kotlina and Ivaja were attacked. Did
13 you attack these villages with artillery or in any other way?
14 A. First of all, these units that are at these positions are in the
15 first level of defence. They were all fortified, and it was prohibited to
16 use heavy weaponry.
17 Furthermore, if heavy weaponry were to be used, that would
18 constitute a demasking of their positions. Also, the roads there are very
19 difficult to negotiate. If you take a careful look, you will see that the
20 altitude is about 1.000 metres. There is still snow there. These are
21 narrow village roads where practically combat vehicles cannot go.
22 My previous order, before that, was to use that kind of weaponry
23 only when the unit is directly attacked; that is to say, if the combat
24 disposition of the unit is under immediate threat. So the unit did not
25 open fire at the village and it had no reason to open fire at the village.
1 Q. Were there any attacks against your units that were in the marked
3 A. In this period, when the aggression started -- or rather, the air
4 campaign, there was a very large-scale attack against all units that were
5 there. The border battalion and the units that were involved in in-depth
6 security. Golimo Brdo [phoen], Bijelo Brdo were attacked strongly from
7 the area of Kotlina, vis-a-vis Combat Group 3. However, Combat Group 21
8 was attacked from the region of the village of Pustenik. So in that
9 period, during those first ten days or so, very heavy fighting took place
10 there with the terrorist forces. As soon as the area was taken up and as
11 soon as any changes in combat deployment and equipment were prohibited,
12 every unit had an intervention unit too; that is to say, for securing the
13 area if there are forces that would be brought in during an incursion. So
14 they would use smaller units.
15 Basically, the unit -- the rapid deployment intervention unit took
16 up the area of Bijelo Brdo to prevent terrorist attacks from these two
18 Q. General, in repelling this attack, were heavy weapons used?
19 Tanks, rather.
20 A. I've already said that tanks were not used in repelling this
21 attack. For the most part, these were units that were equipped for rapid
22 deployment, using reconnaissance vehicles, such as BRDMs and Pragas.
23 Q. Did the army participate in any way in destroying the mosques in
24 Kotlina and Ivaja?
25 A. I've already said that the army did not enter these villages, and
1 it did not destroy any religious or other buildings in the village.
2 Q. I have quoted quite a few allegations made by Prosecution witness,
3 Hazbi Loku. My final question: Are his allegations made vis-a-vis the
4 army correct?
5 A. His allegations are not correct because indeed the army did not
6 enter the village and it had no need to enter the village, because it was
7 in the region; it could not carry out manoeuvres, movements of these units
8 for the reasons I've already mentioned. This was a critical time for my
9 brigade, as I've already said, and for the rest of the troops that were in
10 the area of Kosovo and Metohija.
11 Q. Just one more question in relation to Kotlina. The witness
12 mentioned that military trucks were used for transporting civilians from
13 Kotlina to Kacanik on the 24th of March. Is that possible?
14 A. Well, as for these truck, these vehicles, on that day, on that
15 critical day, the army had them full of military equipment and ammunition,
16 transport, logistics. This accompanies the combat disposition of units.
17 We did not have motor vehicles for transportation and we did not have the
18 capacities for that and we did not have trained men to be able to handle
20 Q. Thank you, General.
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Now we are going to move on to the town of Kacanik. That is
24 72(k)(ii) in the indictment. I am just going to tell you briefly what the
25 indictment says, that "on or about the 27th and 28th of March, 1999, the
1 forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked the town of Kacanik, forces of the
2 FRY and Serbia harassed, detained, beat, and shot" --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, why do you need to read this? Why don't
4 you ask questions about -- about -- about --
5 MR. CEPIC: Yeah, I will ask.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: -- about evidence and --
7 MR. CEPIC: Yeah, I will do that. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] General, we had Isa Raka, a Prosecution witness
9 who testified in this case, and he said that on March 27 and 28th of March
10 1999, the FRY and Serbian forces attacked the town of Kacanik. Did your
11 forces attack the town of Kacanik?
12 A. No, they did not attack the town of Kacanik. There was no reason
13 to do so, there was no need to do so, because the municipal assembly and
14 all the other organs, all the structures of the government functioned
15 there, the MUP, the judiciary, and so on, there was no need for us to
16 enter that town.
17 Q. Did you have any combat positions in the town of Kacanik?
18 A. There were no combat positions in the town of Kacanik. There were
19 some to the north of the town -- or rather, to the north-west, but not in
20 the town of Kacanik itself. And you can see that on this map.
21 Q. Thank you, General.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, can you remind me what that map is.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is an excerpt from the defence
24 operation made by the Pristina Corps commander for my brigade. It was
25 made immediately before the aggression started, on the 24th of March.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: What is its number, Mr. Cepic?
2 MR. CEPIC: For ID 1337, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MR. CEPIC: And in the meantime, could we have the IC number for
5 this document.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you going to be having anything else marked on
8 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour, probably.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll wait until you've completed using it
10 before we mark -- before we give it a number.
11 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation].
14 Q. General, Lami Sejdi, a Prosecution witness testified in this case,
15 and he said that on the 13th of April, or about that date --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you -- if you are -- if you're moving on,
17 can I ask you, Mr. Jelic, do you know what other forces were around
18 Kacanik on the 27th and 28th of March?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On or around the 27th or 28th of
20 March, in that period there were only the MUP forces in the town of
21 Kacanik, given that this was the seat of the municipality and that the
22 municipal assembly, the judiciary, the MUP, and all the other normal
23 structures were operating there. Of course, the circumstances were
24 difficult, because it was wartime, but they were functioning.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And did -- did you hear of -- of any anti-terrorist
1 action around the 27th and 28th in Kacanik?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 27th and the 28th - I can't
3 recall the exact date - I know that there was an anti-terrorist action
4 launched by the MUP forces. As far as I can recall, that was an attack
5 from a rocket launcher or an Armbrust rocket launcher on a MUP patrol in
6 the town of Kacanik itself, and a search was launched to locate those
7 forces that ambushed those MUP forces. They wanted to find those
8 terrorists, and I think that six or seven police officers were casualties
9 in that attack.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you learn of the level of casualties of -- of
11 the Albanian population?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that information, apart
13 from what I've read. I don't have the data for that time, but by
14 exchanging information with the SUP chief, because we exchanged
15 information about terrorist forces whenever they appeared and attacked the
16 MUP and -- or the military, but I don't know that information.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Cepic.
19 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Let us go back to the hamlets of Slatina and
21 Vata. We heard Lami Sejdi, a Prosecution witness in this case, and he
22 claims that on the 13th of April or about that date the Serbian and FRY
23 forces surrounded the village of Slatina and the hamlet of Vata. Did your
24 forces surround those villages?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: Could the counsel please
1 switch off his microphone. We hear a lot of background noise. It is very
2 difficult to hear the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not surround those villages.
4 We did not enter those villages.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. He goes on to say -- could you please indicate the village of
7 Slatina and the hamlet of Vata on this map.
8 A. This is on the road leading from Doganovic to Strbac. So this is
9 the road to Strbac, this is the Prevalac pass. And further up that road,
10 that leads to Prizren.
11 Q. Just to clarify, could you please circle this village and this
12 hamlet on this map.
13 A. Well, it is very difficult to see that, but I will try to do so.
14 This is in this area here. Yes. Slatina and Vata, here.
15 Q. Could you please mark that with a number.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. We have 1, we have 2, we have 3 or -- rather.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: The names are actually on the map, are they? The
19 two -- the two names are there?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, but it is very difficult
21 to see.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. But that's good enough. We can identify
23 it later with a magnifying glass, if necessary.
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Q. One of the main roads passes through that village, does it not?
1 A. Yes, one of the main roads linking Kosovo with Metohija, through
2 Strpce, and there is another part that leads to Macedonia to the
3 Doganovic -- rather, the Ljuborcice [phoen] border post, I'm sorry.
4 Q. Were there any attacks launched on the vehicles moving on that
5 road from that area?
6 A. There were very frequent attacks launched not from the villages
7 but from areas outside of the villages. There were attacks on columns of
8 vehicles that were bringing up logistics supplies to the units in the
9 depth. That's Combat Group 3. So they were bringing in supplies to those
10 units. The units that were actually bringing in supplies, they had their
11 security detail. They could not just move about, just the drivers. But
12 very often those columns would come under attack but not from the
13 villages. It was always from the areas outside of the villages, usually
14 on those hairpin bends and in the wooded areas.
15 Q. General, Witness Lami Sejdi in his evidence stated that a small
16 plane had overflown the village and that the FRY and Serbian forces had
17 used that plane to reconnoiter the area. Is that possible?
18 A. That is not true. The brigade does not have any aircraft. It
19 didn't have any helicopters; it didn't have any aeroplanes. The corps
20 command does not have any aircraft in its formation, in its establishment.
21 It could be reinforced with such aircraft, but given the air supremacy of
22 the -- of NATO, it would have been impossible to use any such aircraft.
23 So we didn't have any of those. We didn't use any of those.
24 Q. The same Prosecution witness indicated that on the same date, the
25 13th, that on or about that day, the 13th of April, some forces entered
1 the village and that they had red and black bandannas around their heads.
2 Did members of your brigade wear any kind of bandannas or other kind of
3 insignia? Could you please explain that.
4 A. Members of my brigade, my units, wore only one kind of uniform,
5 without any special insignia, bandannas or anything of the sort. There
6 were no such units in the brigade, and I'm almost absolutely sure that
7 there were no individuals who would be wearing things like that. So there
8 were no special insignia apart from the standard ones that are defined in
9 the rule -- rules of service and the rule on military attire.
10 Q. Thank you. In this village and around it, was there any KLA
12 A. The Siptar terrorist forces that were formed in brigades, one of
13 those brigades existed in that area, to the south of Urosevac and all the
14 way to Djeneral Jankovic.
15 Q. Did any people move out of that area before the war and during the
17 A. There -- people did move out from this area before the war and
18 during the war. Before the war, people mostly moved towards Urosevac.
19 And during the war -- during the war, most of those people who emigrated
20 went to the Republic of Macedonia. Although, some went to the Republic of
21 Serbia, depending on the village from which they originated.
22 Q. I'm asking you specifically about the villages of Slatina and
23 Vata. Who carried out those movements in that area?
24 A. It was only the KLA, the terrorist forces, who did that.
25 Q. Was the principle of two villages applied?
1 A. One of the reasons why people were moved out was to use this
2 principle of two villages. One would be with -- inhabited -- and the
3 other -- from the other one, people would move out. And then they would
4 operate from one of those villages and then move back to protect
5 themselves to the village where the civilian population lived, because
6 those two villages were close by.
7 Q. General, were any anti-terrorist actions taken in this area in
8 order to protect the roads?
9 A. There were no major anti-terrorist actions particularly on those
10 roads leading to the -- to Macedonia, but there were some anti-terrorist
11 actions in the direction towards Doganovici, Banjica, Old Banjica, and
12 then further on to Strpce. There was an anti-terrorist action there
13 because there was a risk that this road might be cut off, and for all
14 intents and purposes that would have made it impossible for the civilians,
15 MUP, and the army to move from Kosovo to Metohija and back.
16 Q. In that action, what activities did the army take?
17 A. This was an action launched by the Ministry of the Interior and
18 some elements from our unit provided support in those anti-terrorist
19 actions. But that was close to the road leading to Strpce.
20 Q. General, could you please show on the map - you don't have to make
21 it if the names are there - the villages of Dubrava and Ruka.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, before moving on, the date that we're
23 concerned about in relation to Slatina is the 13th of April. And -- and
24 an allegation of -- of a number of people being killed there. Do you know
25 anything about that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This action was not carried out by
2 the army. It was carried out by the Ministry of the Interior. And
3 elements from my unit provided support to those units. We were not
4 authorised to go into built-up areas or those buildings that were next to
5 the road. This was in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior,
6 and at the same time they carried out the clear-up operations and
7 investigations -- on-site investigation in that area.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that the same action that you were referring
9 to taking place close to the road to Strpce?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the action that took
11 place on the road leading from Banjica to Strpce. But that was next to
12 the road, in the road area. That was the only anti-terrorist action in
13 that period. So then the army only provided support.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And did your exchange of information with the chief
15 of the SUP advise your -- our explain to you whether the villages of
16 Slatina and Vata had been entered by the MUP in -- as part of that
17 anti-terrorist operation?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have information to the
19 effect that they entered this village -- those villages, because I know --
20 as far as I know, they were restricted in their operations to the road
21 area from the hairpin road that was there in the direction of Old Banjica
22 because there were frequent attacks launched from there on civilian
23 vehicles, military vehicles, and the MUP vehicles.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So do you know nothing about the circumstances of
25 the death of 13 civilians -- or 13 persons in that area?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not aware of that information
2 in that period, really.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Cepic.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. General, did you get information about any terrorists that had
7 been killed?
8 A. We got some information indicating that -- indicating the number
9 of terrorists who were killed on the basis of the number of pieces of
10 weapons, but I can't now tell you how relevant that information was. I
11 mean weapons that were seized in the course of this action.
12 Q. General, could you please show us on this map the villages of
13 Dubrava and Reka.
14 A. [Indicates] Well, these are the villages here and here, as far as
15 I can see on this map; although, it's really a very small-scale map.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And you've marked -- you've marked them with two
17 dots. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks] Yes.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. We heard Fadil Vishi, a Prosecution witness, and K31 a
21 protected witness, also testify here; Fadil Vishi from the village of
22 Dubrava, and K31 from the village of Reka. Vishi says that on the 25th of
23 May, 1999 or thereabouts forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded and
24 attacked the village.
25 General, did your forces surround and attack the villages of
1 Dubrava and Reka on the 25th of May -- on or about the 25th of May?
2 A. I've already given the reasons why the units were not allowed to
3 move from one area to another, carry out movements and manoeuvres, but had
4 to stay at their positions. One of the positions is located here. That's
5 the support artillery position. It's a unit to the south, and it was
6 outside the built-up area. It had been there since the 23rd or 24th of
7 March and it did not move until the end of the war, until the end of the
8 campaign against Yugoslavia from that area.
9 Q. These villages and their surroundings, were they terrorist
11 A. Precisely in this area at -- where these two roads separate
12 towards Ljuborcice, Strpce, and so on, this was a very strong terrorist
13 stronghold. In our estimation, this was the 162nd Terrorist Brigade
15 Q. General, did you provide support to the MUP in that area also?
16 A. To the best of my recollection, MUP did have conflicts at Hrasnica
17 going from Uresnica [phoen] towards Globocica and Strpce. And in that
18 fighting with the terrorists, the unit that was at the positions, that is,
19 the artillery, took up the defence area from where fighting was conducted,
20 which means this was to the north of their positions for a circular
21 defence. If that support, then it was there, because it was defending its
22 own positions.
23 Q. Did the army leave its positions and enter these villages?
24 A. No, the army did not leave its positions, because it would have
25 left the guns - that is, the cannons - unprotected if it had gone to
1 search the villages or do anything else there. They had to stay by their
2 artillery pieces. Artillery men know that have to be constantly near
3 their artillery pieces and ammunition and projectiles. These are crews of
4 six to seven men, not just one person that have to take care of these
6 Q. In view of the vicinity of the village, was it technically
7 possible to target these villages from those positions?
8 A. First of all, with these artillery pieces, from that position, or
9 if we say hypothetically that they moved a few metres, which would not
10 have meant anything, it would be impossible to target these villages
11 because they would be firing on their own combat positions. It would have
12 been so-called friendly fire, causing major casualties in our own ranks.
13 Artillery is for support, and it fires at long ranges.
14 Q. Were weapons confiscated from terrorists in the area?
15 A. Yes, several dozen weapons were confiscated. Dozens of long
16 barrels were confiscated, rifles, ammunition for recoilless gun, several
17 pistols. I don't remember now, but we reported regularly to the corps
18 command about this.
19 Q. Thank you. General --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Are these -- are these weapons confiscated by
21 the -- by your men?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were mainly confiscated by the
23 MUP forces and some of the weapons were found near our positions, because
24 fleeing from the MUP forces in fighting, they probably left behind some of
25 their weapons. In the area around the firing positions, we found these
1 weapons lying around.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Are we dealing still, Mr. Cepic, with --
3 MR. CEPIC: Yes. I think it is in relation to -- to Dubrava and--
4 so --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So this is still the -- this is still the 25th of
7 MR. CEPIC: Yes, about 25 and --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: So on the 25th of May, you confiscated weapons?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, some weapons. But weapons they
10 had left behind. We didn't take it from them directly. These were
11 weapons which we found in the area while searching the terrain after
12 fighting to make sure that there were no terrorists left that might
13 threaten the unit.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: So this time you were involved in the clean-up
15 operation, which in the past -- in previous examples you've said was done
16 by the MUP.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I may have expressed myself
18 badly or it might have been misinterpreted. The unit was at its position.
19 Some of the men were on duty. If in the immediate vicinity there is fire,
20 fire is opened in the direction of the unit and its position, an alert is
21 raised, the unit takes up positions for circular defence, which is not in
22 the immediate vicinity of the artillery piece but some 50 or 100 metres
23 away from it, to defend the artillery piece position. The soldiers sleep
24 there, live there, dug in underground in dugouts. And as on that day, the
25 MUP had carried out an action and was chasing terrorists from the north,
1 from Hrasnica. After that shooting, the army took up those positions, and
2 that is sort of static support from our own positions, defending positions
3 we had taken up before the 24th of March.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The English translation that we got was: "These
5 were weapons which we found in the area while searching the terrain after
6 fighting to make sure that there were no terrorists left that might
7 threaten the unit."
8 Now, that sounds like clearing up the terrain.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Clearing up the terrain is quite
10 another concept. When there is organised fighting against terrorists in a
11 built-up area, there's an entire methodology as to how clearing up of the
12 training is carried out. This was not mopping up. This was, rather,
13 inspecting the terrain. And around that area, when the terrain was
14 searched, after all the fighting that the MUP had had with them,
15 weapons -- some weapons were found in that area. So it was not mopping up
16 the terrain in a built-up area or where the terrorists were.
17 There was no strength or equipment for mopping up. These were
18 Howitzer artillery pieces, which are static, and they engage in battle
19 indirectly. They use large-calibre -- large calibres to support the
20 forces in the front line.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
22 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry. General, I have one clarification to make
23 and to request you to kindly do it.
24 You didn't have any infantry units around you or with you being
25 the -- you being the artillery, you didn't have the infantry with you,
1 did -- didn't you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a tank man. This was a
3 mechanised brigade. It was all on steel vehicles, tanks and armoured
4 personnel carriers. Whereas, support pieces have to be pulled along.
5 They don't have infantry with them. They just have crews manning the
6 artillery pieces, various kinds of tasks are carried out by the crew that
7 have to man that weapon.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: But it's not -- it's not only the tanks or the
9 armoured corps which -- or the armoured division which has to solo -- take
10 a solo action. The -- the infantry or the artillery units, aren't they
11 attached to it for -- for accomplishing things on the ground? Weren't you
12 equipped that way? Why -- why were you having a solo -- why were you
13 conducting a solo action only with the tanks? And when you talk of these
14 crew, there wouldn't be very many. They would only be to look after the
15 tanks. But then what -- we couldn't -- I couldn't understand that.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understand the interpretation,
17 tanks are not mentioned anywhere. These were only artillery pieces,
19 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Previous translation continues] ... armoured
20 unit, armoured vehicles. Sorry, I mixed up the terms.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no armoured units in the
22 immediate vicinity. Armoured units have three or four members of the
23 crew. Any member of the crew leaving the tank, well, that's a recipe for
24 disaster. There was no organised legal action by us to support the MUP
25 forces in the fight against terrorism. Rather, the unit was at its
1 position, and on the north side the Ministry of the Interior, because of
2 an ambush that had been set there, set out to search for terrorists.
3 As this was in the area of these villages and the combat position
4 was outside the built-up area, when the first round of bullets was fired,
5 whether the unit had been attacked or not, that was a signal to take up
6 defence positions. It was there simply as static support, conditionally
7 speaking, to the MUP forces, because it had blocked that part that would
8 lead to their positions. If you understood me correctly.
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, I'm confused now. Are you saying
11 that -- that you did have tanks or you did not have tanks?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We have tanks in the brigade, but
13 here on these positions there were no tanks. It was just Howitzers, ones
14 that you have to pull along.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Cepic.
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Just one more clarification. Did members of your unit in that
19 area on that day in that period of time leave the area where the forces
20 were deployed?
21 A. I am saying that they did not and they could not for their own
22 sakes. They could not leave the area where the artillery pieces were
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: In that case, how did they manage to search the
1 territory to see if there were any remaining terrorists?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand your question. After
3 the defence, when the fighting stops, when the danger is over, then scouts
4 are designated, because the artillery also has scouts, just as the
5 infantry does, and they tour the territory to make sure that there are no
6 leftover groups that might threaten the unit. Because as you can see,
7 this is all taking place in a very small area. And when searching the
8 terrain in this way, they found equipment left behind by the terrorists.
9 That is what is usually done after the fighting is over, not in the course
10 of the fighting, because they would be exposing themselves.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Cepic.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 There is a Prosecution exhibit containing a map. I think it's
15 P370. We did not ask for it to be shown, but if need be, to clarify
16 matters further for the Bench, we can show that map to the witness.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: It depends -- it depends what you're trying to
18 clarify. I've got the answers I want. If ...
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The Defence
20 is satisfied.
21 Q. Did the army inspect civilians' identity papers? Did they arrest
22 them and take them outside the border belt?
23 A. Outside the border belt and outside the combat deployment -- the
24 combat disposition of the units, the unit -- the army was not authorised
25 to inspect civilians' identity papers. That was a job for the MUP, and
1 they were the only ones who could do that.
2 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I am sorry. You have to clarify here. Even if
3 they were not authorised, were they doing it or they were not doing it?
4 That's -- that's something important.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army was not on the roads or in
6 built-up areas, so it could not stop civilians and ask to see their
7 identity papers.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Previous translation continues] ... this is again
9 a vague answer. You are under oath. Can you tell us whether they were
10 doing it or not. That's important. I mean, this is just beating about
11 the bush. It's a nice way of saying it, but please tell us whether
12 they -- they did it or they didn't. What is your -- you're under
13 testimony. You're under oath. You have to tell us the truth. Thank you
14 very much, sir.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army did not check civilians'
16 identity papers.
17 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did the army arrest civilians in the interior?
20 A. No arrests were made unless a crime was committed against a
21 soldier or a military vehicle, and then that would have been done by the
22 organs of the military police.
23 Q. Thank you. General --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What about within the border belt? Did they check
25 civilians' identity papers there?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the units inside the border
2 belt, on the line and in-depth security, would check the identity papers
3 of anybody caught in the area, and then that person would be further
4 processed. That was only inside the border belt.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You also made reference to "the combat deployment
6 area." What -- what do you mean by that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The combat disposition or deployment
8 area is the area of each particular unit marked with three points. For
9 example, if we take any example, one of these three combat groups in the
10 Globocica area, it would go to the right, to the left, and in-depth, and
11 it would stay in that area and only army would be allowed in that area.
12 Those would be places where the army has taken a position.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying that they checked identity papers in
14 that area also?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If anyone entered the area. Because
16 these were combat positions which were always secured. So if somebody
17 came along and entered that area, that person would be checked. Also if
18 anyone was caught on the border.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Thank you.
20 Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Witness Fadil Vishi said that the army was in the
23 Silkapor factory during the war. Is it correct that the army was in that
24 factory during the war?
25 A. No, the army was not in the Silkapor factory during the war but it
1 was in the north, in Doganovici but outside the village. There was a
2 command post designated by the corps commander who was the only one who
3 had the right to designate a command post for the brigade.
4 Q. General, the same witness, Fadil Vishi, a Prosecution witness
5 testified that 1 kilometre away he saw a convoy of civilians stopped by
6 soldiers. In all fairness, he did not see the uniforms clearly. He said
7 verbatim: "I could not clearly see the uniforms except for the fact that
8 they were military."
9 Now I'm interested in the following: According to the tables of
10 visibility and simple logic, is it possible to discern military uniforms
11 at a distance of 1 kilometre?
12 A. At that distance, that's about 1.0007, a person can be recognized
13 at a distance of 3 to 4 hundred metres, and that only when one is in one's
14 prime. Beyond that, no. You can only recognize the general colour, red,
15 blue, white, et cetera.
16 Q. In millimetres, how much is that in relation to 1 kilometre? What
17 was the value?
18 A. 1.0007. But in view of the distance and in view of optical
19 deception, beyond a distance of 400 metres it is impossible to discern a
20 uniform in a plane at that, and if there are no clouds and if all the
21 other positions are favourable for observation, with the naked eye.
22 Q. Thank you, General.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up 5D666.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you now complete -- finished with the map which
1 we have on the screen?
2 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can give it an IC number now.
4 MR. CEPIC: Maybe. I'm sorry, maybe I will use in relation to
5 some other places later on, but now in relation to --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you going to be much longer in your
8 MR. CEPIC: Unfortunately, yes.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's time for our -- another break.
11 Mr. Jelic, this time it will be for an hour. So would you again
12 please leave the courtroom with the usher.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave, before
14 the break.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry?
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, before the break I
17 would like to ask for longer examination. I was slower than I had planned
18 to be. I will try to speed up. Could I please have a bit of additional
19 time, because I asked for -- asked for four hours of direct examination
20 for this witness, but this is one of the more important witnesses for our
21 defence, and I would like to investigate a few more areas in relation to
22 the crime base.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: We have no problem with that. Mr. Cepic, you've
25 got to make an assessment of which witnesses need to be presented to us at
1 length in oral examination, but you will be conscious of the need to look
2 closely at your plans for the later witnesses, whose details you have not
3 required to give the -- in connection with any weekly list, and hopefully
4 as we progress you will be able to fit as many in as possible by using
5 means other than oral evidence for the whole of the presentation.
6 So we'll adjourn now and resume at 1.45.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Judge Kamenova will be absent this afternoon for
10 urgent personal reasons, and we have decided it's in the interests of
11 justice to continue in her absence. It will only be for this afternoon.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 MR. CEPIC: Could we have on our screens Exhibit 5D666, please.
14 Unfortunately, I think that we haven't got translation for this document.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, I presume you should proceed on the same
16 basis in each of these cases, unless the Prosecution raise the matter and
17 we have to adjudicate on it.
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] General, what is this document? And could you
20 please read it out?
21 A. Yes. This is an original document from the command of the 243rd
22 Motorised Brigade dated the 4th of May, 1999. It has to do with
23 collecting information about Siptar terrorist forces. It's an order that
24 is submitted as follows:
25 "According to incomplete information, Siptar terrorist forces, up
1 to 50 to 70 terrorists strong, are in the municipality of Vitina (the
2 village of Slatina, the village of Sladovina and the village of Vrbin) and
3 100 to 150 terrorists in the municipality of Kacanik (village of Nika,
4 village of Bicevac, village of Raka, and original of Dubrava). In
5 relation to that, I hereby order."
6 "In the area of responsibility of your unit, through everyday
7 reconnaissance and observation collect information about the location,
8 strength, and activity of the Siptar terrorist forces and notify thereof
9 through regular combat reports. In case terrorists carry out combat
10 activities towards your units, take action to protect personnel and
11 material, technical resources, and notify thereof through interim
13 Q. Thank you, General. Is your name at the bottom of this document?
14 A. Yes, this -- that is my -- it says my name above the signature,
15 but it is Dragan Kolundzija, Chief of Staff, who signed on my behalf.
16 Q. Thank you, General. Muharrem Dashi, testified before this
17 Honourable Trial Chamber, and he said that on the 21st of May, 1999, or
18 around that date, the forces of the FRY in Serbia encircled the village of
19 Stagovo. Tell us, did you encircle the village of Stagovo on or about the
20 21st of May?
21 A. Not on that date, before that date, or after the date. The army
22 never encircled or jeopardized that village, and it was not in the
23 vicinity of that village at all.
24 Q. Were there any terrorist forces in the area around this village?
25 A. Part of the terrorist forces were in the area of the village of
1 Stagovo, especially in the village of Stagovo itself and to the east of
2 the village.
3 Q. In the mentioned period, were there any attacks at your unit
4 outside the village of Stagovo?
5 A. The units that were there were the closest units in the area of
6 Stari Kacanik and Kamena Glava, and these units had frequent attacks
7 coming from that area from the woods, between Stagovo and Kamena Glava,
8 that is to say, across this area. Across the Nerodimka River. There were
9 frequent attacks against members of the military -- or rather, the
10 positions of these two units, the anti-armour detachment and the battalion
11 that was at Kamena Glava.
12 Q. Did you have any wounded soldiers?
13 A. The fighting usually took place at night and it was characteristic
14 of this unit that was attacking. It mostly attacked during the night.
15 And a in few attacks, because there were frequent attacks, one of our
16 soldiers was seriously wounded, and he later succumbed to those wounds and
18 Q. May I ask you once again, did the forces of the Army of Yugoslavia
19 ever enter the village of Stagovo itself?
20 A. Never. Members of my brigade never ever entered the village of
22 Q. Do you perhaps know whether any terrorists got hurt in the
23 fighting around Stagovo?
24 A. According to the information we received, mostly it was
25 information about the MUP -- from the MUP forces that controlled the
1 territory. But through personal insight at the positions that were in
2 front of these two units, we saw that they entered minefields and got
3 killed probably as they tried to approach combat resources. These were
4 strike units, the two strongest units from the brigade, the armoured
5 detachment and the armoured battalion, that were preparing for decisive
6 defence. They had prepared their positions and practically they could not
7 be approached, and several times we found parts of clothing and even
8 weapons just in front of the positions.
9 Q. General, I mentioned a few villages in the municipality of Kacanik
10 from which, according to the indictment, deportations, persecutions, and
11 murders took place. The villages I just mentioned, how far away are they?
12 What is the distance among them?
13 A. This is a very small map. The distance is 2 or 3 kilometres
14 between the different villages and the diameter is about 10 kilometres.
15 Q. This locality that we mentioned just now, did that constitute a
16 major stronghold of the terrorist forces?
17 A. Yes. That is where a brigade was of the KLA that constantly
18 threatened these roads and positions in particular, as well as crossroads
19 of, of the roads going to the south of Urosevac towards Macedonia and
21 Q. Now I'm going to ask you about the concentration of terrorist
22 forces for the entire area. Was it equally spread out, or were there
23 stronger concentrations in the area of Kacanik and beyond that, perhaps
24 the surrounding municipalities too?
25 A. The strongest concentration of terrorist forces was precisely
1 among these three roads that were to the south of Urosevac. And according
2 to our intelligence, that is where practically there were two brigades of
3 terrorists, to the left and to the right of these forces. And the --
4 there were practically no terrorist forces. Speaking in military terms,
5 to the east and west there weren't any.
6 Q. General, in your previous testimony today, you mentioned that
7 people moved out of these villages and you mentioned that that was before
8 the aggression and during the aggression. Could you please tell me what
9 are the main reasons, to the best of your knowledge, for the fact that
10 people moved out?
11 A. This moving out took place primarily among these roads to the
12 south of Urosevac. For the most part, it was due to pressure, due to
13 coerced mobilisation of the population, pressure for them to join the KLA.
14 Then this area was also supposed to be cleaned of civilians in order to
15 create a corridor for the easier passage of NATO land forces through this
16 area, because that is the shortest route leading to the Kosovo Plateau
17 from the Republic of Macedonia.
18 Q. The villages that we mentioned just now, are they an obstacle for
19 a land invasion if it were to take place from Macedonia?
20 A. These villages did not constitute an obstacle, because they had
21 already been cleaned of their civilian population already. To put it
22 simply, in military terms, they softened the terrain for a land invasion
23 from the Republic of Macedonia. Had there been civilians, the situation
24 would have been quite different. Probably there wouldn't have been that
25 many NATO air-strikes in this area and there would have been less danger
1 involved and it would have been easier to carry out defence had there been
2 no coerced mobilisation and expulsion of civilians.
3 Q. Could you please explain to us, on the map, but very briefly,
4 geographically, where is it possible to carry out a penetration from the
5 Republic of Albania?
6 A. You mean Macedonia.
7 Q. I misspoke.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see the map on the
10 Q. Could you please show us the main roads and railroads. And due to
11 the geographic terrain, could you tell us where a land operation can take
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: We cannot hear the
15 The first part of the answer is missing.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, you'll need to start that answer again,
18 because you're speaking away from the microphone. It's okay now.
19 Please -- please start again.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this area, there are three main
21 communication lines: The main one from the Republic of Macedonia is from
22 Djeneral Jankovic via the Kacanik gorge, Kacanik, and then towards
23 Urosevac. The second one is from Globocica via Doganovici again towards
24 Urosevac, and the third one, it's an auxiliary axis, as we call it, was to
25 the west of Vitina going towards Urosevac. The main communication line
1 that the NATO forces would have taken most probably would be along the
2 road from Djeneral Jankovic to Urosevac and then further on towards
3 Pristina -- or rather, Gnjilane and towards the airport.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you just draw this for us and explain very briefly what kind
6 of a configuration there is there on the ground -- no, no, no, no. No,
7 please, on the map.
8 A. Oh, on the map.
9 Q. The configuration of the terrain. You're a tank main, in terms of
10 your own VS, so could you just explain this in terms of a land invasion.
11 A. This is the road to Urosevac, and then from Globocica, further on
12 towards Urosevac again, and from Vitina, here, roughly this area, further
13 on towards Urosevac, or you can also go towards Gnjilane and then to
15 The terrain is hilly, mountainous. It becomes accessible only
16 down roads. The altitudes range from 600 to 1.000 metres. Armoured
17 mechanised forces cannot move anywhere but down the roads.
18 Outside the roads, it is only mechanised, motorised, infantry
19 units that can move along. The heavy units can only negotiate roads.
20 There are practically no other communication lines that can be taken.
21 In the winter period, it is still covered with snow, so on these
22 mountainous roads it is practically impossible to use combat resources.
23 Q. Thank you. Where does the plain start?
24 A. The plain, Malo Kosovo, starts from Nerodimka that goes to
25 Lepenac -- or rather, starts from Doganovic. Doganovic, Stari Kacanik,
1 and that is when the plain starts -- and that is practically where the
2 plain of Kosovo starts, or rather, the plateau of Kosovo.
3 Q. Thank you. Could you just put a circle around this part where the
4 plain starts.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you. General, as we are watching this map, we are going to
7 look at the main road Djeneral Jankovic-Kacanik-Urosevac, to the left and
8 right of that road. Was there any moving-out during the course of the
9 war, and tell us what are the locations involved?
10 A. Apart from these two roads that I mentioned here, leading from
11 Macedonia, to the left and to the right, to the east and west, that is to
12 say, from this part that I'm drawing on the map now and this other part -
13 that's the west - practically no one moved out. If there were such cases,
14 they were just sporadic.
15 Q. Could you tell me what territories and municipalities were
16 involved? I need it for the transcript.
17 A. Well, it's part of the territory, and they're not exactly divided
18 the way I drew it here. So it's part of Kacanik, that's the eastern part.
19 Then Vitina, practically no one moved out. And part of the Strpce
20 municipality and also Urosevac as a town. Invariably about 60 per cent of
21 the population would be there.
22 Q. Thank you. You've just mentioned Urosevac. Bajram Bucaliu was a
23 witness who testified here. He's from Staro Selo in the territory of the
24 municipality of Urosevac and he claims that the forces of the Army of
25 Yugoslavia on the 2nd of April, 1999 surrounded Staro Selo. Is that
1 correct, General?
2 A. That is not correct. Staro Selo is just by the main road between
3 Pristina and Djeneral Jankovic. There were no troops ever in the village.
4 And to the south-east there was one unit, to the south-east of the
6 Q. What kind of activities were taken by the units in that period?
7 A. Well, that's a period that I referred to just now, the critical
8 period when the units dug in, camouflaged themselves, and prepared to
9 defend themselves from aggression.
10 Q. General, why did the army not take up positions in some village?
11 A. Well, in principle, the army does not take up built-up areas
12 because it defends the territory, not towns and villages. It takes up
13 positions that are appropriate for effective use in defence, and depending
14 on the type of weapons that the unit has.
15 Q. The same witness says that the army searched houses in the
16 village. Is that correct?
17 A. The army did not search the villages. In that period, they were
18 only setting up their positions. The army is not authorised to carry out
19 searches or to check people's IDs, and so on. That was forbidden.
20 Q. Further on the same witness says that his passenger vehicle and
21 truck were taken away from him without any kind of certificate and up to
22 the day when he testified, they were not returned to him, although he had
23 requested that. That is his assertion.
24 A. I'm not aware of that particular case, but if the vehicle was
25 taken away from him in a legal way, then legally a certificate was given.
1 All the vehicles that were taken away, that were duty-bound to be involved
2 in mobilisation, according to the mobilisation rule, a certificate, a
3 document is issued for each and every individual vehicle. If that unit
4 was anywhere in the army, he would have the right -- a right to exercise.
5 And if he has such a document, to this day he can exercise all the rights
6 belonging to him on the basis of law. If somebody took this away from him
7 by violent means, he should have reported it to the Ministry of the
8 Interior and then it is the Ministry of the Interior that is supposed to
9 deal with a case like that.
10 Q. Thank you. General, you're a tank man. Witness Bucaliu alleges
11 that there are some tanks in the village which did not have their barrels
12 out. Is that possible?
13 A. No, that's impossible. On every tank there is a -- there is a
14 barrel fixed to the turret. It turns left and right, up and down through
15 the stabiliser. It's not a small-calibre barrel that can be removed. You
16 need a crane to lift it up out of the turret. So that would be
18 Q. Does the same witness -- the same witness says that the
19 letters "VJ" could be seen on the caps of the soldiers.
20 A. No, it was not on the caps. There were no letter insignia on the
21 caps. There were just the standard uniforms and insignia.
22 Q. The same witness alleges that paramilitary forces entered the
23 village on the 15th of April, 1999 and blocked all exits from the village.
24 Are you aware of anything like that?
25 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I didn't know about that. I don't
1 know to this day whether that's how it was, except for what I hear now.
2 There were no paramilitary forces in my unit. I don't exclude the
3 possibility that there was some sort of inter-ethnic conflict, that the
4 villagers settled accounts among themselves. But there were no
5 paramilitary forces in the brigade. Everything was under the brigade
6 command, all those who went to the units.
7 Q. I asked you about the appearance and the uniforms, but he also
8 says that these members who were in the Duge Brade [phoen] village had
9 long hair and cockades. Would it be possible for a member of the army to
10 have a long beard and a cockades?
11 A. All the soldiers who were trained in those units were trained
12 about personal hygiene, the manner of dressing, and you couldn't tell them
13 apart from other soldiers, apart from what we've already mentioned.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Just to be more precise, could anyone have a long
18 beard, long hair, or wear a cockade on their uniform?
19 A. No, that's against the rules of service, and that would not pass
20 muster on inspection, and I exclude the possibility.
21 Q. The town of Urosevac. In the town itself, were there any combat
22 forces during the aggression?
23 A. All the combat units were in the defence areas. In the town of
24 Urosevac, there were no such units, only the medical staff remained and an
25 outpatients clinic for members of the army. There were hundreds of
1 medical examinations of civilians as well, regardless of their ethnicity
2 or religion. And you can see that in the clinic protocol.
3 Q. Did the army transport civilians at all and did it have the
4 capacity to do so? From Urosevac, that is, and in general.
5 A. The brigade did not have the capability to transport civilians.
6 It could only transport men in connection with combat tasks, and it never
7 dealt with the transport of civilians in any way. I don't exclude the
8 possibility that a medical motor vehicle might have provided assistance to
9 someone, but otherwise there was no transport of civilians.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, I have two questions about your evidence
11 recently. You -- when you were dealing with Staro Selo, you said that the
12 VJ did not ever enter Staro Selo. Was there a -- a MUP anti-terrorist
13 operation there?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that period, as far as I know, no
15 anti-terrorist action was carried out by the MUP. It might have been
16 carried out in some other period of time, but in that period, to the best
17 of my recollection, there was no such action.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: And you said that if someone had his vehicle
19 confiscated by the army without the appropriate procedure being followed,
20 that should be reported to the Ministry of the Interior.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand you. If somebody
22 confiscated his vehicle forcibly, he would have had to report it to the
23 Ministry of the Interior. We were not in Urosevac. We were not dealing
24 with civilians or communicating with civilians, and there was no office
25 where they could come and report this. Whether somebody took away his
1 vehicle by force and whether that person was a civilian or a military
2 person, he would have had to report that to the Ministry of the Interior
3 and they would have to respond and we would cooperate with them.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: If there was evidence to prove that the
5 confiscation had been done illegally, who -- who would deal with the case?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If there is evidence that the army
7 took it illegally, then the army would be responsible and it would have to
8 compensate the person. That would relate to the truck as well.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So there's no criminal offence related to seizing
10 a -- a vehicle and seizing the documents of a private individual
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that if somebody took the
13 vehicle without a receipt, if that's what they did, then they would
14 certainly have to be held criminally responsible and answer to the
15 authorities. And compensation for damages would always have to be
16 provided by the institution, whether the Army of Yugoslavia or the
17 Ministry of the Interior.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Cepic.
20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry. General, can you think of cases where
22 compensation was in fact paid to people whose vehicles were taken away
23 like that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to confess. I was brigade
25 commander. I didn't deal with that job. But there were several criminal
1 reports filed against persons who illegally confiscated vehicles and other
2 property, abusing their position or out of various interests. To the best
3 of my knowledge, these persons have been prosecuted and they have been
4 sentenced by the court in Nis. Some of this property has been restored or
5 else compensation has been provided. I can't tell you what percentage was
6 restored, but I'm sure it was 50 per cent or more, to the best of my
7 recollection. But I no longer have access to these documents and I'm not
8 in constant contact with those people, so I can't tell you more.
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: When did this happen? Much after the war was over
10 or quite close to that period?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All criminal offences, if this
12 relates to confiscated vehicles, we took criminal reports. And those
13 persons were prosecuted immediately after the war. The biggest problem
14 was where these persons were unknown. If these persons have not been
15 detected to date, that's where the biggest problems are. But I'm sure
16 that whenever it was discovered who it was that forcibly took property
17 illegally, that person has been tried and the property either restored or
18 compensation given.
19 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] A witness for the Prosecution, Florim Krasniqi,
23 mentioned the village of Mirosavlje, and he said that he saw that on the
24 4th of April, 1999, from the direction of the village of Softovic, which
25 is year this village, the villages of Orahovica and Zlatare were shelled,
1 and that he learned that due to this shelling four persons were killed and
2 five wounded in Zlatar. Is this correct, General? Was there shelling?
3 A. Near Softovici [as interpreted] -- not in Softovici itself but
4 near Softovici, there was a unit, but that unit could not target those
5 villages, because they would also be firing on part of our forces. If you
6 look at the map, you will see that part of the forces was in the vicinity
7 of those villages, in their general area, not in the villages themselves.
8 So in other words, had they done so, there would have been friendly fire.
9 They would have been shooting on their own forces.
10 Q. In the course of the war, how was technology used? I'm referring
11 to artillery pieces and tanks.
12 A. It was used very restrictively during the war for well-known
13 reasons. We were responding to attacks, to fire, and it was only
14 permitted to open fire as a response to direct attacks on the positions
15 and the units. There was a prohibition on the use of technical equipment
16 for the reasons I have already mentioned, to avoid strikes by NATO,
17 air-strikes by NATO. So technical equipment was used very restrictively
18 in order to avoid revealing our positions.
19 Q. Thank you. The same witness goes on to say that he heard that on
20 the 5th of April, 1999, the army entered the village of Pojatiste and
21 surrounding villages in tanks and that the soldiers searched houses in
22 this village and expelled the civilian population from their houses.
23 A. Certainly in that period the army did not enter the village of
24 Pojatiste and the surrounding villages because the army was already
25 holding its positions with tanks as of the 24th of March. So neither did
1 it enter the villages nor did it search houses or expel people. There was
2 no reason to do that. The units were already at their position, and there
3 was no reason to drive the tanks around. That would have been crazy, and
4 who would have dared do it? Because the tanks would have been destroyed
6 Q. Did the army enter the villages without tanks and search houses
7 and expel civilians?
8 A. No. The army did not enter any of these villages or any villages
9 at all. The army was engaged in dealing with its own problems, and those
10 were problems of defence. So there was no expulsion from villages.
11 Q. The same witness says that on the 7th of April, he saw fires in
12 the distance and, according to what he said, it looked as if in the
13 villages of Sojevo and Kamena Glava the houses were on fire. These
14 villages, Sojevo and Kamena Glava, were they the target of any attack by
15 the Army of Yugoslavia?
16 A. Those villages were never the target of an attack by the army, but
17 if you look at the daily reports and interim reports which we sent, you
18 will see that from the road, going from Urosevac towards Gnjilane, to the
19 south, in the direction of Kamena Glava, on the section around the airport
20 and those two main roads, these villages and these areas were targeted by
21 NATO air-strikes almost daily. So it's quite likely that he saw fires,
22 because we had huge fires, especially in Kamena Glava, caused by NATO
24 Q. He goes on to say that there was a military check-point near the
25 village of Sojevo where there were M-84 tanks. Firstly, did you have M-84
1 tanks in your brigade?
2 A. Unfortunately, we did not. According to the Vienna Agreement and
3 the controls, this was quite clearly visible. We had only T-55 tanks.
4 Unfortunately we did not have M-84s, and we never set up any check-points.
5 Q. Were there any army check-points?
6 A. No, there were no army check-points.
7 Q. Thank you. Prosecution witness, Bedri Hyseni, testified about the
8 villages of Biba and Sojevo in the Urosevac municipality, saying that on
9 the 29th of March, 1999, when the air-strikes began, two personnel
10 carriers - he doesn't know whose they were, whether military or police -
11 passed through villages of Biba and opened fire on the houses. Do you
12 have any knowledge about this?
13 A. About opening fire, I don't have information about that. Probably
14 they did pass through his village. Almost certainly they did, because
15 that was D-day, when all the units left their barracks and went to take up
16 positions. It's a bit strange that he says two, because it's usually
17 three personnel carriers or tanks moving at a time. It's never two. But
18 it's possible. It's possible that either the army or the MUP did pass
19 through his village. But I don't know which.
20 Q. Were they authorised to open fire?
21 A. No, they were not authorised to open any kind of fire. They would
22 have revealed their whereabouts had they done so, and they would have been
23 exposed to air-strikes.
24 Q. The same witness claims that the army had positions in the
25 villages of Sojevo and Kamena Glava.
1 A. In tactical terms, the units were in the areas, not in the
2 villages, especially at Kamena Glava. There's a road leading from Grlica
3 towards Vitina. It's a key facility, and there one could prevent entry by
4 NATO forces into Kosovo. There was an anti-armour detachment there, the
5 two strongest units from the brigade were there, where the focus of
6 defence was. There was no need for them to be inside the village, because
7 under those mountainous conditions villages are unsuitable for defence.
8 The villages are mainly in the valleys. The tactical facilities were on
9 the heights. And from there one could fire on any possible aggressor.
10 Q. All the means you had at those positions, all the weapons, and so
11 on, were they camouflaged?
12 A. Yes. Yes. The first thing you do is camouflage when you take up
13 positions after leading the barracks. After that, you fortify the
14 positions and then you carry out additional camouflage for total
16 Q. The witness Hyseni claims that there were certain paramilitary
17 formations in the villages of Biba and Sojevo and that they were led by a
18 certain Novica Mijovic, from the village of Nekodim who worked in the army
19 club in Urosevac and many people knew him. Are you aware of this and do
20 you know that person? If you do know him, what do you know about him?
21 A. Well, first I have to say this: I don't know that there were
22 paramilitary units there. If there were any, they were nowhere part of my
23 brigade. There were no paramilitary formations.
24 Secondly, Novica Mijovic is a civilian. He's over 54 or 55 years
25 old. He worked in the Army Club of Yugoslavia. He had a heart operation,
1 two bypasses, so he was given an easier job. Throughout the war, he
2 worked in the Yugoslav Army Club. It's absurd to think that he could
3 command some active units or some sort of paramilitary non-existent unit.
4 Throughout this time, he was in the Yugoslav Army Club.
5 I feel that these statements might be the result of some sort of
6 settling of accounts among neighbours, but I don't want to go into that.
7 Q. For the sake of clarity, what was the health condition of that
9 A. He was ill. As I said, he had had a heart operation, with two
10 bypasses. So physically he could not move around, let alone command a
11 unit. I'm talking about the army, let alone the paramilitary. And he was
12 employed in the Yugoslav Army Club all the time.
13 Q. Thank you. The witness pointed out that he heard from other
14 villagers that in the month of April allegedly the army had directed
15 civilians to leave Sojevo and go to Urosevac. Did the army actually do
16 that, General?
17 A. There were no expulsions. The army did not send anyone anywhere,
18 from this village or anywhere else. They did not send anybody to the town
19 of Urosevac.
20 Q. During his testimony before this court, this witness pointed out
21 that at the beginning of the war the house of his father-in-law in
22 Urosevac was targeted from the barracks. Is that possible, General?
23 A. That is absolutely incorrect, because when the war began, the army
24 was on positions, all equipment, all personnel. Quite literally, the
25 barracks were abandoned on the 24th of March. There was not a single
1 person there to fire a single bullet. So it is impossible.
2 Q. Were the barracks in Urosevac targeted by NATO?
3 A. The barracks were targeted several times, practically every day.
4 According to our calculations, about 220 projectiles were fired at the
5 barracks, and in total, in the area of responsibility of the brigade, over
6 400 projectiles. Those are our records and these reports we sent
7 regularly to the command of the Pristina Corps.
8 MR. CEPIC: Could we have on our screens Exhibit number 5D232,
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I am not clear about the situation at the barracks.
11 Was anyone there?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the barracks, when the war began,
13 the 24th, all troops, literally, left the barracks. Everybody. In
14 military terms, the barracks were abandoned. They took up positions for
15 defence. No one stayed at barracks. No one. Quite literally, the
16 barracks were abandoned.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: So who was counting the projectiles?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our units -- or rather, the air
19 defence units had observers and reconnaissance, and they were counting the
20 projectiles, where they fell. Also, we had positions because the barracks
21 in Urosevac are very characteristic. They are high above the town of
22 Urosevac, about a kilometre away from Urosevac; that is to say, that
23 nearby there are no residential houses except for the candy and biscuits
24 factory Bambi. Even a layman could have counted the number of attacks and
25 the number of projectiles. You can see it.
1 MR. CEPIC: Can I continue, Your Honour?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
3 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
4 Could we have exhibit, as I said, 5D232, please.
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, what does this document represent, the
6 document in front of you?
7 A. To the command of the Pristina Corps, strictly confidential, the
8 28th of May, 1999, very urgent. It is sent to the 3rd Army Command and
9 the Supreme Command Staff.
10 Q. Thank you. Could you please just have a look at the last -- or
11 rather, viewed from the end, the one-but-last bullet point and the one
12 before that. What was targeted?
13 A. The one but last?
14 Q. The third one from the end.
15 A. "From 2200 until 2400, 17 projectiles were fired at Staro Selo and
16 Biba, the municipality of Urosevac. At 2315 hours, four missiles were
17 fired at the Kacanik sector." And this last part does not pertain to my
19 Q. Thank you. Are these the same villages that we referred to a
20 moment ago?
21 A. Precisely. Those that are a bit to the east and south of
22 Urosevac. About a kilometre away and a bit more than that.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit number 5D242, please.
25 Q. [Interpretation] General, whose document is this?
1 A. This is a document of the command of the Pristina Corps from the
2 24th of March, 1999 -- or rather, 24th of May, 1999.
3 Could this please be blown up a bit, because I cannot see it very
5 Q. Could you please look at this, 19-15, three missiles. What was
7 A. Yes, this is an interim operative report where it says -- oh, it
8 went away. At 1915 hours with three missiles, a factory was targeted in
9 Urosevac. There are many damaged houses in a radius of 300 to 500 metres
10 around the factory."
11 Q. Could you look at the other one that starts with the following
12 words: "1945 with two missiles."
13 A. "1945 until" --
14 Q. No, the next one, the one after that.
15 A. Could I just have it scrolled up a bit. Right. Thank you.
16 "At 1945 hours, with two projectiles, Urosevac was hit, outside
17 the town several projectiles no consequences."
18 Q. Thank you. How frequent were the bombings or Urosevac?
19 A. Urosevac and the surrounding area were bombed practically every
20 day. We have a report that we sent to the command of the Pristina Corps.
21 On some days, incredibly enough there were even 50 missiles fired at
22 Urosevac and the surrounding area in one day.
23 Q. Thank you. General, the village of Biljanica, the 31st of March,
24 1999. Prosecution witness Sefqet Zogaj and Hamide Fondaj say that an
25 enormous number of Kosovo Albanians had fled to that locality, and they
1 say that later they were forced to move away.
2 My first question in this connection: Was there a major
3 concentration of the KLA in that area?
4 A. According to intelligence and as information was gathered, there
5 were very strong concentrations of terrorist forces there, especially in
6 the broader area of Malisevo. Our assessment was that there were about
7 three brigades of terrorists there that had practically blocked the road
8 from Dulje via the village of Blace to Malisevo.
9 Q. General, did your forces shell Belanica forcing displaced persons
10 to flee toward the Albanian border?
11 A. We never shelled the village of Belanica, and we did not force
12 them to move towards Albania, because precisely this road, the one that I
13 am talking about, it's the only one that goes via Suva Reka and further on
14 to Albania. It's from my zone. And had we forced them to go, then we
15 would have forcing them to go towards us, and that's absurd. It would
16 have to be in the opposite direction, if that were so.
17 Q. Did you carry out any actions there?
18 A. An anti-terrorist action was carried out in order to deblock the
19 road from the village of Blace to Gumcat, and that is roughly about a
20 kilometre and a half to two kilometres from Belanica. That was part --
21 that was the task of part of the combat group that supported MUP
22 activities. Further on, it was the MUP that was carrying out searches in
23 the village and carrying out selections of the population as to who was a
24 true civilian and who was engaged in combat and terrorist actions.
25 Q. What was the task of your combat group?
1 A. The combat group had the task of supporting MUP forces in breaking
2 up terrorist forces, breaking up the blockade on the road to the village
3 of Gumcat, and further on things developed according to--
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end. There
5 seemed to be further microphones on.
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What about the area beyond Belanica?
8 A. Never were civilians stopped in that area.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: Could all microphones
10 please be switched off in the courtroom except for the witness's -- or the
11 speaker's, rather. Thank you.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I will have to repeat the question, because it's not recorded.
14 Did your forces stop civilians? And even more specifically, did they have
15 any contact with civilians in this area of Belanica?
16 A. There was no contact with civilians, and there weren't any
17 civilians on this road.
18 Q. Thank you, General.
19 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system 5D659, please. I said
20 5D659. Thank you.
21 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your order?
22 A. Yes, this is my order, dated the 10th of April, 1999.
23 Q. What is it that you're ordering in paragraph 1? Very briefly,
25 A. "Commanders of subordinated units should deal with perpetrators of
1 crimes and other illegal acts. They must locate them on time and
2 preferably isolate them. After that, they must get in touch with the
3 chief of security of the 243rd Motorised Brigade" --
4 Q. Thank you. We see the text.
5 What about the second paragraph? What does that relate to?
6 A. This second paragraph -- well, if you don't want me to read it.
7 It pertains to military conscripts and volunteers; that is to say, all
8 members of the brigade, regardless of how they joined the brigade, the
9 units. They should have the same status, rights, responsibilities,
10 irrespective of the way in which they joined the unit.
11 Q. Thank you, General. Were there any measures of checking your
13 A. You mean inspection tours, as we say, control inspections, in
14 military terms. Yes, there were several. We from the brigade command
15 carried them out, and on average once in every 15 days we checked all
16 positions, inspected all positions. Further on, the corps command sent
17 regularly its own teams that toured units, and so did the army command.
18 Often the corps commander and the army commander toured the units that
19 were on positions. The person who was on these inspection tours for the
20 longest period of time, it was the chief of the armoured and mechanised
21 units, General Kovacevic, who was there most of the time. He was in
22 Kosovo throughout the war and he spent most of his time in my unit,
23 because his estimates and our estimates said that a possible land invasion
24 would come from Macedonia and he was there to give us the benefit of his
25 knowledge and his experience as the top organ in this field in the Army of
2 Q. Thank you, General. Could you tell me briefly whether any
3 perpetrators were found, were any crimes committed in your unit, and were
4 there any prosecutions, to the best of your knowledge?
5 A. To the best of my knowledge, there were no crimes committed by
6 members of my brigade, or they were not discovered. All those that were
7 discovered were prosecuted. Dozens -- or rather, tens were prosecuted
8 before the courts during the war and later, after the war. I am not aware
9 of the final outcome, and I cannot follow everything that's been going on,
10 but all crimes that were committed, starting with ordinary theft, all of
11 them were prosecuted.
12 Q. Thank you, General. We've already referred to the location of
13 Djeneral Jankovic. That is also the name of a border crossing, a border
14 post. Did the army have check-points there or at any other border
16 A. In the area of responsibility of the brigade, towards the border
17 there were two border crossings and it was the customs officials and the
18 border police that were these check-points. The army never carried out
19 any checks at any border crossings. The closest military facilities were
20 1 kilometre away from the customs points.
21 Q. General, did you ever receive from your superior,
22 General Lazarevic, an order which would amount to a criminal offence, an
23 order which would constitute a criminal offence if carried out?
24 A. No order from the corps commander, General Lazarevic, or anybody
25 else from the Army of Yugoslavia arrived and was received by me which
1 would amount to a crime. Had I received such an order, I would not have
2 carried it out but I would immediately have informed the second superior.
3 In the case of General Lazarevic, I would immediately have informed
4 General Pavkovic, the army commander. That would have been my duty.
5 Q. Had you received an order the implementation of which would have
6 amounted to a crime, would you have left any written trace of that in
7 addition to informing the second supreme superior?
8 A. According to the law and the regulators -- regulations, it would
9 not be the superior officer who issued such an order who would be informed
10 but his superior, and he would have to be informed in writing. And this
11 was a method to prevent the issuing of orders which would amount to
12 criminal offences.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, General, I have
14 completed my questions.
15 Thank you, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We will give the map as further prepared an IC
20 MR. CEPIC: Please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC142, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No Defence cross-examination?
23 Mr. Lukic.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. My name is Branko Lukic, and I appear for the Defence of
3 General Sreten Lukic before this Tribunal.
4 Our original intention was either not to cross-examine you at all
5 or to cross-examine you very briefly. Today, however, issues have been
6 raised we had not envisaged before, so you will have to devote some time
7 to us in order for us to clarify certain points.
8 Just a moment, please, if you can bear with me.
9 Today when viewing Prosecution document P1972, which is a document
10 where it says "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija," dated the 14th of
11 April, 1999, you said that along with this document there was an extract
12 from the order of the Pristina Corps on a map pertaining to your brigade
13 and also a plan of action for other units. We are now speaking of joint
14 actions of the army and the police. Is this correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. On these maps, were police units also entered?
17 A. The police units are indicated differently on the map in two ways
18 The first way is this: If they are acting in coordinated action as a
19 neighbouring unit, then the police unit is drawn in separately and the
20 army of the Yugoslavia unit is drawn in separately. If they are only
21 providing support, then the police is marked in front and the Army of
22 Yugoslavia is marked in behind. So there are two ways how these maps are
23 made and how information is entered into them.
24 Q. If in the orders it says "in coordinated action with," then on the
25 map these units should be drawn on the same line.
1 A. Yes, that's how it should be. That's not to say that's how it
2 was. It would depend on the context. But by definition, yes.
3 Q. So what you said first, it was not always implemented, even though
4 in the order it said that this was coordinated action, you would not
5 always find the MUP units and the units of the VJ marked on the same line
6 on the map.
7 A. I can say neither "yes" nor "no," because I don't see the document
8 before me. I would need to see the map in order to comment on it.
9 Q. Thank you. My question was a general one.
10 You say that you cooperated with the chief of the SUP of Urosevac.
11 How in your orders, were the MUP units reflected? For example, the PJP
12 units. How did this come about?
13 A. When I said that we cooperated with the chief of the Urosevac MUP,
14 I meant to say that when I received a task or when he received a task, so
15 whoever received the task first would call up the other one on the phone
16 and tell him what was forthcoming. When one of us received a task or when
17 we both received the task and had the documents, we would meet and see
18 what the documents were about and what was supposed to be done in the
19 forthcoming anti-terrorist action.
20 Was that your question, or is there anything else you need?
21 Q. Well, I'll put some more questions to you about this.
22 So then the two of you would discuss how the action could be
23 carried out? Is that how it was? Is that your position?
24 A. No. I would receive a decision from the commander of the Pristina
25 Corps. In that order, the place, time, and targets would be defined.
1 Sometimes even the means as to how this task should be carried out.
2 The task I received, I would report on it to the corps commander,
3 saying that I had received the task. If there was something I was not
4 clear about, I would consult him. And then I would begin planning in the
5 brigade, planning for the execution of the task.
6 In the course of my planning, I would carry out coordination with
7 the chief of the SUP. I don't know what his methods of work were in the
8 MUP, but probably he was also making his plans, and we would coordinate
9 this action in order to carry it out as successfully as possible.
10 Q. General, can we agree on this: The only plan made for an action
11 is the plan made by you? The chief of the SUP doesn't make any kind of
13 A. Well, that's absurd. I don't understand you. I receive a plan
14 from the corps commander on which I base my plan. I receive an extract of
15 his plan pertaining to my unit. In -- to me, that is an order, and I
16 carry it out.
17 In the MUP, what his forces will be, the size, composition,
18 commander of those units, the security, the morale and psychological
19 preparation, and so on, that is the job of the chief of the SUP, who is
20 the only one competent to carry out those tasks. I wouldn't know how to
21 do it.
22 Q. So you are saying that you know that the chief of SUP -- of the
23 SUP made plans for the carrying out of the action?
24 A. I'm only assuming that he needed to make plans. I don't know how
25 or how detailed or what these plans looked like.
1 Q. Did you ever see a single plan of that kind?
2 A. In the office of the chief of the SUP, I saw that several times.
3 In particular, when he was in charge of the anti-terrorist action in
4 Racak, they had plans, because before that he informed me of the plan he
5 had received from his staff. I didn't have that plan, because I didn't
6 need it. I didn't work on that.
7 And secondly, at the command posts, when touring the command
8 posts, because the combat group carrying out support for the MUP is not
9 commanded by the brigade commander, just as the chief of SUP does not
10 command these units at that level. So we would coordinate directly in
11 those places, and there I would see plans on maps in the possession of
12 company commanders.
13 Q. I was not referring to Racak. I think we started to talk about
14 joint actions of the military and police.
15 A. That's what I said. In other actions, also I saw the company
16 commanders or company leaders, just as my commanders, the commanders of my
17 units had my orders on maps and they issued their own orders, likewise I
18 saw only a map. To be sure, I didn't see the text of the order. It was
19 not within my competence to ask for those documents. But all the
20 commanders of my units had to have all those documents before they set out
21 to implement the task.
22 Q. The maps you saw --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, Mr. Lukic. I was only going to
24 observe that this is very confusing. You're -- you're trying to focus the
25 issue, but you're not getting answers directly to your question.
1 MR. LUKIC: Exactly. That's how --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And I was going to ask the witness to please listen
3 carefully to the questions and answer directly the question you're being
4 asked. And try and confine the answer to the particular subject, which is
5 coordinated actions, not independent actions like Racak.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] General, the maps you saw in the possession of
9 members of the MUP and their commanders or company leaders, were these
10 maps different from the military maps or were they military maps, extracts
11 from military maps?
12 A. The maps I saw looked like military maps. I did not analyse them.
13 I didn't go into who published those maps, what the scale was, and so on.
14 So I cannot confirm where those maps came from. They might have been
15 copied. But I really cannot confirm that.
16 Q. Today, when speaking about the zone or area of responsibility, you
17 said that the overall situation was something you were responsible for
18 when it comes to the combat disposition of the units. As for everything
19 else outside the zone of defence, was the job of the civilian structures.
20 Does that mean that you were not responsible for the situation in the zone
21 of responsibility of the brigade?
22 A. I am responsible for the situation in the brigade areas. I had no
23 authority to control a single municipality, a single infrastructure within
24 it, the judiciary, the police, health care, all of which continued
25 functioning and operating in the course of the war. I did not have the
1 right to do that. All the municipalities in my zone were functioning -
2 some better, some worse, depending on the situation on the ground - but
3 not a single one was disbanded.
4 Q. In the area of deployment of your units, in the zone of
5 responsibility of your brigade, no other units were deployed? Is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. No police forces were deployed there; is that correct? Except in
9 the towns.
10 A. Yes, that's correct. And the army was not in the towns at all,
11 apart from the medical centre.
12 Q. We'll come from that.
13 A. Well, you said "apart from the towns."
14 Q. There were police in towns, is that correct, but not outside the
15 towns. There were no police forces dislocated into the zone of
16 responsibility of your brigade.
17 A. No. There were only temporary police stations or check-points,
18 and I cannot really enumerate those.
19 Q. The check-points were on roads, not in the villages; is that
21 A. Yes, yes, mainly on roads.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you.
23 Today you said that the security of the civilian population was
24 the responsibility of the MUP; therefore, according to your testimony
25 today, if there are civilians in the vicinity of your units in a village
1 which is within the area of deployment of your units, in your view it's
2 the police that is responsible for the security of the civilians in that
3 village. Is that your testimony?
4 A. That's partly true but not completely. I said that the units were
5 not deployed in villages and towns. They were not deployed in built-up
7 Q. I was coming to that. I wanted to come to that later on. But you
8 answered a question put by my colleague, Mr. Cepic, and said that in towns
9 there were no combat units. Were there any military territorial
10 detachments in the towns, General?
11 A. Military territorial detachments in my area of responsibility were
12 not in towns. They received their areas, positions, and tasks and their
13 main task was to protect facilities such as bridges, roads, repeaters, and
14 there was one detachment in the far south of Kosovo in the Krivenik area.
15 Q. We saw an order where a military territorial detachment was
16 ordered to move out of a town, but we'll come back to that.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have in e-court Exhibit
18 5D1369. This was used during the examination-in-chief -- no, actually,
19 no, no, it was rejected. I do apologise. But we can use 5D1285.
20 Q. General, this is a daily combat report, as we can see, issued by
21 the command of the 243rd Motorised Brigade. In this document, in item
22 2.1, in the second paragraph, it says:
23 "According to the decision of the 17th of April, 1999, parts of
24 the brigade are engaged in blocking and scattering the Siptar terrorist
25 forces. This action is still in progress."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you see what action this part of your combat report refers?
3 A. You can't see that from here, but that's an action, to the best of
4 my recollection, carried out in Jezerske in blockade.
5 Q. So this combat report of yours is incorrect. There's a mistake in
6 the contents. Is that your testimony today?
7 A. No, I'm not saying it's wrong. You pulled this out of context. I
8 don't understand why it would be wrong.
9 Q. Well, because it says that "parts of the brigade are engaged in
10 blocking and dispersing, scattering, breaking up the Siptar terrorist
12 A. Yes, so it was not just a blockade, as said. It was also crushing
13 them. Well, as a rule, it was a blockade. But if the Siptar terrorist
14 forces turned up, we would certainly engage in combat with them, combat to
15 the death, because otherwise they would destroy us.
16 Q. Is it your testimony today that when it says in your combat report
17 that your units participated in breaking up the Siptar terrorist forces,
18 in the past tense, "participated in breaking them up," that they were only
19 in blockade, that they were only blocking them?
20 A. Well, that term can be interpreted in various ways.
21 Q. The reason I'm asking you this - and we'll go village by village,
22 the villages my colleague Mr. Cepic asked you about today - where you say
23 that the army -- or rather, your unit in this particular instance, did not
24 participate in anti-terrorist actions except, according to you, when these
25 were carried out in the immediate vicinity of your units and you only took
1 up circular defence positions and from that circular defence position you
2 opened fire. We'll go through the documents. And this is one such
3 document, which in our view, indicates that there was an active
4 participation by units of the 243rd Motorised Brigade in the
5 anti-terrorist actions. And now we'll move on.
6 The Siptar terrorist forces, did they attack the positions where
7 you were?
8 A. I think that I said several times that they attacked very, very
9 often the positions and the columns that were on the move.
10 Q. On these occasions, was there fighting between your units and the
11 terrorist forces?
12 A. It is only natural that there was fighting at these positions.
13 Q. Did these forces try to enter the FRY from Macedonia?
14 A. First of all, the positions were not at the border itself. They
15 were in depth. In the interior of the territory. If they entered the
16 territory, then it is certain that they fought with the units that were
17 providing in-depth security of the state border or the area of defence,
18 because the area of defence is not on the line itself but on tactical
19 positions within the territory.
20 Q. That is in-depth security. What about line security of the
21 border? Did that exist?
22 A. Line security in war means that all units got the plan as to who
23 they are subordinated to and then become part of combat groups, and these
24 are actually areas of defence of battalions. In wartime, it was
25 impossible to have units on the move through this line defence, because
1 these people would be at risk. Their lives would be at risk.
2 Q. If members of your unit would get in contact with members of
3 Siptar terrorist forces that were trying to enter the depth of the
4 territory from Macedonia, in that case was there fighting with these
6 A. Probably when you say "Siptar terrorist forces" you mean armed
7 personnel, persons with weapons. Automatically, practically there would
8 be a clash between our forces that were providing security or that were on
9 positions, and these units that were spilling over from Macedonia into the
10 Republic of Serbia.
11 Q. All these clashes were actually unplanned clashes; right? The
12 ones that we mentioned until now. Clashes when terrorists attacked your
13 units and clashes when terrorist forces tried to enter from Macedonia.
14 These were clashes that had not been planned.
15 A. They certainly were not planned. But what was planned was defence
16 from forces that would possibly spill over from Macedonia and also an even
17 more serious situation, if NATO forces were to be on the move, if there
18 were to be a land invasion, ground invasion.
19 Q. As for the following locations, are they in the area of
20 responsibility of your brigade; namely, east, south, and north of
21 Urosevac, Biba, Muhadzer Prelez, Raka, Staro Selo, Papaz, Varos Selo, and
22 Mirosavlje. Are these villages in the area of responsibility of your
24 A. Practically all of these villages were in the area of
25 responsibility of the brigade.
1 Q. Further on, the following locations in the Kacanik municipality:
2 Kotlina, Ivaja, Stagovo, Slatina, Vata, Dubrava. What about them? Were
3 they in the area of responsibility of your brigade?
4 A. Yes, that can be seen from the disposition of the unit that they
5 were in the area of responsibility of the brigade or practically the areas
6 that were taken up by the brigades. These were villages in the Kacanik
8 Q. In response to the previous question, you said "almost all
9 villages." When we were talking about localities in the Urosevac
10 municipality, do you remember did I perhaps mention some that were not?
11 A. I don't know about the north, whether it's Gnjilane or Urosevac.
12 It's the border. But in principle, that's it. That's what the brigade
13 practically covered, that part. That is why I said "practically all
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to call up in e-court
17 Q. As you can see, this is an order of the 243rd Motorised Brigade
18 for carrying out combat activities. The date is the 22nd of May, 1999,
19 and this exhibit was used today in this courtroom.
20 In the first paragraph, it says: "On the basis of the order of
21 the command of the Pristina Corps, dated the 21st of May, 1999, with a
22 view to breaking up and crushing the remaining Siptar terrorist forces in
23 the areas of deployment of the units, I hereby order."
24 Let me ask you, first of all: In your view, was this order an
25 order for passive or active activity on the part of military units?
1 A. It cannot be passive if an order is issued to destroy terrorist
2 forces. To be passive is just to stay put and do nothing, and everything
3 else is active.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see 5D662 on
5 e-court. It was also used today.
6 Q. This is an order that has to do with protecting the civilian
7 population, the command of the 243rd Motorised Brigade. And during your
8 testimony today, you said that the protection of civilians is actually the
9 concern of municipal authorities and it is not a duty on the part of
10 combat units. They are assisted by the MUP too. Is it really your
11 testimony here today that it is only the MUP -- or rather, the municipal
12 authorities through the MUP that are responsible for the welfare of the
13 civilian population, that the army has no responsibility in that? Is that
14 your testimony today?
15 A. Oh, no. For the welfare of the civilian population, these are our
16 citizens and the army certainly has moral responsibility to help the
17 civilian population in any way. But it does not primarily deal with that
18 but, rather, the defence of the country in this period of time that we are
19 talking about.
20 Q. I am talking about that time period. If it were peacetime, if
21 there were no war, of course the welfare of the civilian population would
22 only be in the hands of the police, because the army would be either in
23 barracks or at the border.
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. In the situation when the army is deployed in the territory
1 in-depth, is there a responsibility on its shoulders as well for the
2 welfare of the civilian population?
3 A. It is certain that the army also bears the responsibility for the
4 civilian population on its shoulders, because it's our population.
5 They're not strangers.
6 Q. That's why I'm asking you, because there is this order of the army
7 to give assistance to the civilian population, and that remained unclear.
8 Thank you.
9 Now we talked about some actions and about the army not entering
10 villages and the army not playing an active role. Rather, all actions
11 were carried out by the police; whereas, the army was only giving support.
12 It is the end of our working day and I'm just going to give you
13 food for thought. But before that, tell me, did you issue an order on the
14 21st of March, 1999 for a blockade, breaking up and destroying of the
15 Siptar terrorist forces in the broader area of Kotlina?
16 A. The 21st of March?
17 Q. The 21st of March, 1999.
18 A. I do not recall such an order. I do not see a document like that
19 in front of me. There are quite a few orders, but every unit, when
20 carrying out combat activities, had to have some order. At least, an
21 order from the command of the brigade along with the approval of the
22 superior command, because we had several orders to the effect that units
23 could not move out of combat positions without previous approval.
24 Q. Thank you, General. It's the end of our working day. We will
25 continue on Monday.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, that completes our sitting for today,
2 which means that you will again have to return to give evidence, this time
3 on Monday. Please remember what I said to you yesterday about how you
4 treat the evidence in this case between now and your return. You must not
5 discuss any aspect of the evidence of the case, past, present, or future,
6 with anyone at all. Please concentrate on other matters over the weekend
7 and return here refreshed, ready to resume your evidence at 9.00 on Monday
9 Now would you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: There is the possibility on Monday that the Chamber
13 can sit on the same schedule as today, but that at the moment is not
14 clear. The only thing that's definite for Monday is that we will sit in
15 the morning and at least until 2.15.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry? Sorry, yes. Sorry. Until 1.45. But
18 with the prospect of sitting until -- until 3.30.
19 So we'll now adjourn until then.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.32 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of
22 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.