1 Thursday, 13 December 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Before continuing with the evidence, there is one
6 matter I wish to raise, and a matter with Mr. Ivetic.
7 The trial support staff and the Chamber itself has gone to
8 extraordinary lengths to resolve the difficulties you have encountered
9 with translations, and yesterday we asked for confirmation that your own
10 translator was now working full out on the translations and have
11 regrettably received no reply to that.
12 Mr. Ivetic, we would like that matter resolved today. We want to
13 leave for the recess knowing that your translator is hard at work without
14 obstacle. Are we going to get that assurance?
15 MR. IVETIC: I'm in the process of preparing a draft
16 correspondence answering the questions that were in the e-mail. I'm
17 waiting to hear back specifics from Belgrade, but I can tell you our
18 translator, as she has been doing, is hard at work and will be working on
19 documents that have been rejected by CLSS and are in the process of being
20 authorised by OLAD. We have enough documents already authorised by OLAD
21 to keep her busy, and we should be getting in the next day or so other
22 documents authorised by OLAD. So OLAD and I are work -- OLAD and the
23 Defence team are working hand in hand to get all the documents for
24 December that were rejected authorised for translation which should keep
25 her busy, and CLSS is already booked -- working on the January bundle that
1 we submitted to figure out which of those will be rejected which will then
2 allow us to seek OLAD's assistance in having those translated by our
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood though that sufficient had been
5 rejected for you to get confirmation that she could work throughout the
6 period until we can come back without any interruption in the knowledge
7 that she would be properly paid for it. Now is that not the position?
8 MR. IVETIC: That is the position, Your Honour. There are just
9 additional documents that have yet formally been -- they have been
10 rejected by CLSS but have not been identified with specificity for her --
11 OLAD to authorise, then they will be so specified I hope within the next
12 day, and I'm sure that she will have plenty to work full time and even
13 extra time during the break.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I hope that will be clarified this afternoon.
15 I've found from bitter experience in this case that if we do not cross the
16 T's and dot the I's on this issue, it will become complex again and
17 counter-productive. So please bear in mind the urgency of getting this
19 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, we have been working full speed with
20 both OLAD and with CLSS for these many month trying to get it clarified
21 and doing things --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you see this is the mistake you make going
23 back over history --
24 MR. IVETIC: I don't --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm trying to draw a line under what has happened
1 so far, I'm being positive, I'm looking at the situation as we stand here
2 now. Please do not get back into history --
3 MR. IVETIC: I have not been going back in history. I have been
4 trying to move forward and I will move forward, and in the time
5 constraints of what time periods I have, I want a response for Your
6 Honour. And our translator, be assured, will work as much as she is
7 allowed and she works even beyond the 1000 hours, for we are only
8 authorised with those hours, that's a separate issue, but we will exert
9 all our resources as we have been doing to get translations completed,
10 because CLSS does not have the capacity to do them.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, your next witness.
13 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour, our next is SD-1.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: In that case we require to draw down the screens
15 until the witness enters the courtroom.
16 [Closed session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, sir. You are known to us as
23 Witness SD-1. Are you able to hear me in a language you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hear you and I understand you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Would you now please make the solemn
1 declaration to speak the truth by reading aloud the document now placed
2 before you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The first stage of your evidence will be
8 examination by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
9 Mr. Cepic.
10 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS SD-1
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Let's first talk about your 16th of January, 2007, statement. Did
17 you make a statement to one of the Defence investigators?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Sir, what about the 11th of December, meaning two days ago, did
20 you not supplement your previous statement?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What about the answers you gave to the questions you were asked,
23 were they faithfully recorded in both statements?
24 A. Indeed they were.
25 Q. What about if you were to be asked the same questions today, would
1 you still provide the same answers?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, we also need confirmation of the
4 identity of the witness through the use of his pseudonym sheet, and then
5 we can proceed with the details of his evidence.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We just need one minute, Your
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
9 MR. CEPIC: Could I ask usher just to show to the witness this
10 piece of paper.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, do you see your name on that piece of paper
12 in front of you?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you identify the exhibit number for that
16 document, please?
17 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. The first -- could we start with
18 the statement before, and -- is it possible to have IC number for this
19 document, please.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, to make this of value, there really
23 needs to be added the date of birth of the witness and also normally the
24 name of his father would be included. His name alone is insufficient for
25 the purpose now. Now can you either add it or can it be returned to him
1 to add it, please.
2 MR. CEPIC: I can do by myself.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the usher will return that to you to do that.
4 Now, SD-1, are the details on that document accurate?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Now, that should now be handed to the court deputy.
8 Would you give it an IC number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC162, under seal, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, can you now identify for us the exhibit
11 numbers for the statement and the supplementary information?
12 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. The first statement is the number
13 of first statement is 3D495, this is the statement from 11th -- actually,
14 from 16th of January, 2007; and second one is from 11th December of 2007,
15 and the number of the second one is 5D1380. And I would like to request
16 for both statements to be under the seal.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I wonder if I actually have both of these. I
20 have a document called a supplemental sheet dated the 11th of December --
21 yeah. So it is 5D1380; is that correct?
22 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, we tendered the statement with the
23 statement which is under the mentioned number. It is almost the same
24 content but.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
1 MR. CEPIC: The statement is the statement not the supplemental
2 information sheet.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I have two documents here, maybe the court deputy
4 can sort out the numbers for me, but there seems to be confusion in the
5 way in which they were delivered.
6 Can you identify which is which, please.
7 MR. CEPIC: If I may clarify. I just received information that we
8 sent the statement by e-mail, my assistant sent to all parties -- to all
9 parties to relevant -- to all relevant subjects. This statement is after
10 supplemental information sheet. And as I mentioned, content of that
11 statement is almost the same as the content of the supplemental
12 information sheet. And we just tendered -- we just would like to tender
13 the statement, not the supplemental information sheet.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have to say I'm not at all clear what
16 document -- I still don't know which is which. 5D1380, is that the
17 statement that you're tendering?
18 MR. CEPIC: Exactly, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. And I ignore then the supplemental
20 information sheet. Very well. Continue.
21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Could we go -- Your Honour, with your leave, could we go to
23 private session?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And the reason for that?
25 MR. CEPIC: I have to mention some names, and if I mention those
1 names we could disclose the identity of previous witness in this case
2 and --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sachdeva, do you have anything to say on that?
4 MR. SACHDEVA: No, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 20178-20180 redacted. Private session
10 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
11 Q. I will touch briefly on paragraph 7 in which you say that Witness
12 K-89 and -- that neither Witness K-89 nor anyone else from your unit could
13 have torn up documents because the soldiers did not take documents from
14 civilians and inspect them. Will you please tell me on what basis you
15 make that assertion?
16 A. Your Honour --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
18 Mr. Sachdeva.
19 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm sorry again, Mr. President, but I think that we
20 have established here who the witness's commander was and other
21 participants in his group, and therefore we could probably go back into
22 open session for the substance of the evidence.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
24 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, I'm some concerned about
25 security for some witnesses, and especially if we by omission mention any
1 name from that unit I think that will be a little bit unproper for
2 security of both protected witnesses.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll continue in private session for the moment.
5 If it turns out there was no damage done or there would have been no
6 damage done by what is said, then we will simply make that evidence public
7 at the conclusion of the evidence. So we will remain in private session
8 just now.
9 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I have not received an answer to my previous
11 question, so I will repeat it. On what basis do you say that your men
12 could not have torn up documents belonging to civilians or even checked
14 A. Your Honour, I assert that my soldiers never had any contact with
15 the civilian population and that they were never in a position to do that
16 nor were they ever ordered to do so. I assert under full liability that
17 they never checked the documents of civilians or tear up their documents.
11 Pages 20183-20185 redacted. Private session
23 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
24 Q. Good afternoon, SD-1.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. You were asked by my learned friend that -- at least your answer
2 to one of his questions was that it would not be case that your commander
3 would address privates and it would go through you. And my question to
4 you is: Surely you agree that there is a possibility that a battalion
5 commander could and did, indeed, address his troops before an operation
6 and even during an operation. Would you agree with that?
7 A. Your Honours, no, I wouldn't agree.
8 Q. You are aware, I take it, that the members of the 3rd Army, that
9 is, the army that is responsible for the Pristina Corps, themselves went
10 down to the field and addressed troops within the Pristina Corps. Are you
11 aware of that?
12 A. Your Honours, to clarify, what does "to address" mean? Does it
13 mean to have a conversation with a soldier, saying, for example, Son, how
14 are you? Are things difficult? Or does it concern issuing tasks or
15 assigning any kind of work on the ground? I think the two or not the same
17 Q. My question simply is this, that a battalion commander can address
18 his troops on the ground prior to an operation. If you don't agree with
19 that, that's fine, we'll move on.
20 A. I don't agree. He can't issue tasks to him.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: SD-1, in this context "address" means speaking to
22 the men to give them moral encouragement, not give them specific tasks in
23 the form of an order. Now, why could a battalion commander not do that to
24 lift the spirits of his troops?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, he could do that, yes,
1 but only in the form of a conversation. As for my unit, I assert with
2 full liability that in the course of carrying out combat actions the
3 commander never had an opportunity to be with my men because he was in
4 front of us with the units advancing before us. So I assert with full
5 liability that the commander could not have spoken to my men in the course
6 of the combat activities.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Sachdeva.
9 MR. SACHDEVA:
10 Q. Well, actually, let's try and be precise here. I'm talking about
11 prior to the commencement of combat activities. In other words, just
12 before the combat group left your location, it's possible, is it not, that
13 the commander could be addressing the troops, giving morale-boosting
14 speeches to his troops. Isn't that possible?
15 A. No, it's not possible because the night before that the
16 air-strikes began, and you can imagine how frightened the men were. All
17 measures of anti-aircraft defence were being taken. Movement could take
18 place only along axis we regulated, and just before this activity the
19 commander did not have any contact with my men. I assert that with full
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: We find it impossible to make a judgement on this
15 here in court at this moment, so we will redact the evidence that's been
16 in this most recent public session and continue in private session for the
17 moment, and then we'll review the position when we get to the end of the
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 20191-20194 redacted. Private session
13 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Sachdeva.
16 MR. SACHDEVA:
17 Q. Now, let me ask you this question, and I'll come back to that
18 issue later. Is it the case that you and your fellow soldiers viewed all
19 Albanian men of military age to be legitimate targets; in other words,
20 potential terrorists? Isn't that right?
21 A. Your Honours, I didn't hold that view nor did any of my soldiers.
22 Q. But you -- you're aware that other soldiers within the combat
23 group had that view, didn't they?
24 A. Not that I was aware of, Your Honours.
25 Q. Now, we started off by saying that -- or I started off asking you
1 that the purpose of this operation was to destroy pockets of terrorists in
2 the villages I mentioned. You agree with the basic purpose of the
3 operation; that's right, isn't it?
4 A. Your Honours, we read out the tasks. We might as well read out
5 the one from the brigade commander's order just in order to avoid any
7 Q. SD-1, we can do that, but you were there on the ground; if I can't
8 ask you, then who can I ask? It's really not a very controversial
9 statement I'm putting to you. Your task along with the other members of
10 the combat group was to destroy pockets of terrorism -- terrorists in
11 those villages. Would you agree with that?
12 A. Your Honours, my task was to lend support to the infantry
13 component during the execution of this mission, and this request had been
14 made by the battalion commander, or in this specific case the combat group
16 Q. Very well. And then this mission was to destroy pockets of
17 terrorists in the villages that you went to?
18 A. Your Honours, yet again I wish to underline this. My task was at
19 the request of the commander and upon orders by the commander to lend
20 support to the infantry components. As for the overall task, this was
21 something for the brigade command. My task was very specific and
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Should we understand then that you had no idea what
24 you were doing there as a group?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: So what was the group there to do, the combat group
2 there to do?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was carrying out tasks,
4 controlling that area around those villages. There were probably
5 indicators showing that there was a terrorist presence in the area, that
6 there were terrorists and their units present in the area, so we had
7 probably been ordered to go there and complete this mission. But what I'm
8 talking about specifically is my own task. I could not have known what
9 the overall task was for the combat group.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That seems very strange that you would not know
11 what the overall task for the combat group was, but there we have it.
12 Mr. Sachdeva, that's the limit of the witness's knowledge.
13 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. So I take it from your answer that if there were indicators that
15 there were no terrorists in village, there would be no need to go to that
16 village; is that right?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
20 Yes, Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: I apologise, I just thought question was going in some
22 different way and -- but it is not. I have no objection to the question.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
24 Please answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, it is
1 up to the commander to say which axis will be taken for a certain
2 operation. I didn't know at the time, nor is it my place to speculate
3 right now, what would have happened if something else had happened and why
4 anyone would have gone to another village if there were indicators that
5 there was a terrorist presence in a certain village.
6 MR. SACHDEVA:
7 Q. I'm actually not putting a very difficult proposition to you.
8 It's very simple. If there were no terrorists in a village, there was no
9 need for the VJ forces or the police to go into the village. Do you agree
10 with that?
11 A. That is probably the case, but I can't say. This is a speculative
12 question. I don't think it bears any relation to the specific task we're
11 Page 20199 redacted. Private session
9 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
10 Q. And that would have taken you roughly how long? Half an hour?
11 One hour?
12 A. Your Honours, this is a village. You don't take half an hour to
13 drive through a village if there is no resistance. I can't remember
14 specifically, but I think we took several minutes to drive through,
15 perhaps up to ten minutes. What is being suggested here is quite
16 arbitrary I say.
17 Q. I'm basing the suggestion on the evidence of your -- actually, on
18 the information from your commander. I take it you disagree. You spent
19 10, 15 minutes, is that right, through the village?
20 A. Your Honours, I was a support unit. They walked through or
21 marched through the village. They had to control -- to inspect every
22 street, every street corner, every single house. Obviously whenever it
23 was necessary - I don't really know this myself, I'm just giving you an
24 example. I would have taken a different time from the infantry units.
25 What I'm saying is that we drove through in trucks, in vehicles, and we
1 simply drove through that village.
2 Q. So the group in the front, as you say, searched every single
3 street corner, every single house; that's right? The early hours of the
4 morning they were searching all the houses in the village; is that right?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, what's your point?
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. I'm not sure
7 what my learned friend is basing this assertion on --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: If that's the objection, it's overruled.
9 Mr. Visnjic, what is your objection?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my objection is
11 similar to Mr. Cepic's, I don't think --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's also overruled. The witness can deal with
13 this question. It's an interpretation that was open to be put to him in
14 light of what he said.
15 MR. SACHDEVA:
16 Q. SD-1, should I repeat the question or do you remember it?
17 A. I remember.
18 Q. And what's your answer? Was every single house, every single
19 street corner, were they searched by members of your combat group on the
20 morning of 25th of March, 1999?
21 A. Your Honours, it was just a sentence that I used to give an
22 example of how one passes through a village. There was an infantry unit
23 going ahead of me, but I don't know what exactly they did there. They
24 were quite quick passing through, and when the battalion commander ordered
25 me to cross the village, I did so. We drove through the village in motor
2 Q. And you use this as an example because that was your experience
3 when you were with the VJ during the conflict, isn't it? That's what
4 typically happened, forces of the VJ would go into Albanian villages and
5 search the houses. Am I right?
10 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you give us an example of a place where the
12 infantry ahead of you took a long time to pass through a village because
13 of the job of searching? Just an example from your experience.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is very difficult
15 for me to come to grips with a question likely that. What exactly do you
16 mean by taking a long time. How long do you mean?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it was you that chose to illustrate the
18 difference between the time you would take in vehicles to go through a
19 village and the time the infantry would take because of the different
20 duties they had to search; and I want you to give me an example of the
21 difference in time from your experience of an event that actually took
22 place so that we can understand what -- exactly what you're talking about.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, they walked and they
24 certainly took longer. I had waited up in front of the village before my
25 commander ordered me to cross.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: So you can't give me another example of another
2 occasion when the infantry took a lengthy time to pass through a village
3 ahead of you because they were searching?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I didn't
5 have that much experience with actions of that kind. I can't remember a
6 single specific example therefore.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the Prosecution might then suggest that you
8 must have been thinking of this occasion if you can't think of any other
9 when you said: "They walked through or marched through the village, they
10 had to control to inspect every street, every street corner, every single
12 So was it this occasion that that happened?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I just gave an
14 example, a textbook example, if you like, of what happens when one passes
15 through a village with some resistance or with no resistance at all, but I
16 can't really cite any specific examples, I simply can't. I'm unable to
17 cite a single one.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 We need to go into closed session now to enable you to leave the
20 courtroom, so let's close the shutters, please.
21 We now require to have a break which will last about 20 minutes.
22 While we have that break, please leave the courtroom with the usher.
23 [Closed session]
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 20205-20213 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
14 MR. SACHDEVA: Unless, of course, my learned friend has an issue
15 with the name of the village being used.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've already said that
17 every name we mentioned and every time-frame we mentioned, in my humble
18 opinion, makes it easy to conclude what unit and what individuals are
19 being spoken about, and I still feel the same concern I expressed earlier,
20 primarily because in this situation we have two protected witnesses and a
21 clear order of this Court.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's just get back into private session and
23 let's get on with this, please.
24 [Private session]
9 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
10 Q. And as you said earlier, there was no firing from the village, and
11 therefore I take it there was no combat activity in the village. Is that
12 your evidence?
13 A. No, Your Honour. I said that I passed through the village and
14 didn't see anyone. That's what I said.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying none of the property that you saw in
16 the village was damaged?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I passed along the
18 road. I did not notice anything that might cause me to conclude that
19 there had been any kind of torching or destruction there. I passed along
20 that road. I was very much afraid for the safety of my soldiers. We had
21 only two motor vehicles, and I think in such cases one's field of vision
22 is narrower. But I don't think I saw anything that had been burnt from
23 the point we entered the village to the point we exited from the village.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me ask the question again and please give me a
25 simple answer. Are you saying none of the property that you saw in the
1 village was damaged, yes or no?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Sachdeva.
5 MR. SACHDEVA:
6 Q. SD-1, we -- this Court has heard evidence from people who lived in
7 the village, eye-witness evidence, that the houses were torched, were
8 burned, people were fleeing on the morning of the 25th of March, 1999.
9 And I want to ask you: Is it your evidence that that didn't happen, that
10 they're making that up? Is that what you're saying?
11 A. Your Honour, I didn't say that, nor am I saying it now. All I
12 said was that along the road I passed along, I did not see any of what
13 you're talking about.
14 Q. Well, did you come to know about the destruction that was caused
15 in that village, leaving aside whether you saw it? You must have heard
16 that these things happened. You were there on the ground. This was your
17 area of responsibility. You must have heard that.
18 A. Your Honour, I have responsibility only for a sector, not for a
19 zone. The brigade command had responsibility for a zone. When I made a
20 statement to a team in 2001, I learned that there were indicia that some
21 things had happened down there, but then that morning when I passed
22 through that village in the early morning hours, I did not see that.
23 Q. Let's try and get back to my question. I didn't ask whether you
24 saw it. I'm asking you, as someone who was in the village at some point
25 in time on the morning of the 25th of March, did you hear from your fellow
1 soldiers, from other sources, from the civilians that were in the village,
2 did you hear -- did you find out that the village was being destroyed or
3 was destroyed, yes or no?
4 A. No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to interrupt. I just want to know that
6 you kept yourself only on the road, and you didn't go here and there
7 and -- even while on the road you didn't see any smoke or any -- you
8 didn't smell anything which would show that something was burning? Or you
9 kept your eyes always on the ground? I mean, that is something I would
10 request you to answer, because if things are torching you would see the
11 billowing, the smoke, and all that. So could you please elaborate.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I passed through the
13 village in the early morning hours. I did not see anything either burning
14 or fire or smoke. I was looking straight ahead because I was sitting in
15 my vehicle, in the front, I was looking at the road in front of me. I did
16 not see anything.
20 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
21 A. Your Honour, by your leave, I didn't say destruction. The
22 Prosecutor said let's move on from the destruction. I did not hear
23 anything about the killing mentioned here. I assert with full
24 responsibility that at the time I heard nothing. I heard nothing in the
25 course of the war. I only heard that there may have been victims a long
1 time after the war in conversations with my colleagues, and I saw
2 something about it in a book written by a lady. But I assert with full
3 responsibility that at that time I neither heard nor saw anything.
4 Q. I suspect you've probably answered this, but did you hear about
5 any killings committed by the special police or the MUP detachment that
6 was in the village?
7 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this question.
8 The witness has testified he saw no special police in the village, he saw
9 nobody in the village, so I don't see the basis for this question by
10 learned counsel. There was no such line of questioning in the direct, and
11 I think we're seriously going beyond the scope of the direct examination
12 at this point and are engaging in essentially a fishing expedition that
13 might require additional cross-examination by other teams in this case.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I see nothing wrong with this question, it relates
15 to what the witness had heard, and it may be answered.
16 Can you answer the question, please. SD-1, could you answer that?
17 Did you hear about any killings committed by special police or MUP
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not hear
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 MR. SACHDEVA:
23 Q. Witness, I want to show you -- well, let me ask you this. You
24 know that your commander kept a war diary, the command of the 2nd
25 Battalion kept a war diary. You know about that, don't you?
1 A. Yes, I do, Your Honour.
2 Q. And you know that that war diary contained reports of military
3 activities on a daily basis from -- well, at least during the period that
4 we're talking about from the 24th/23rd of March through to the end of the
5 war. Isn't that right?
6 A. Correct, Your Honour.
7 Q. And it's safe to assume that these reports were contemporaneous in
8 nature, weren't they?
9 A. Your Honour, by your leave, I don't know when the commander wrote
10 this, but he probably wrote such a report every day.
11 Q. Now, I'm going to show you one such report.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: If we can have Exhibit PT -- sorry, 2019 on the
13 screen, if we could go to page -- I believe it's page 3 of the Serbian
14 version and page 3 of the English version.
15 Q. And, SD-1, what I'm going to do is show you an excerpt from the
16 25th of March. Now, the Serbian version is on the right-hand side at the
17 top, and you'll see -- in capital letters you'll see two names. You see
19 A. Your Honour, I see it says something, but I can't actually read it
20 very well -- yes, now I see that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have the English for the 25th of March also,
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, if it could be -- it's on the right page, it
24 just needs to be scrolled down.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the supplement at the bottom?
1 MR. SACHDEVA: That's correct, Mr. President.
11 Page 20221 redacted. Private session
5 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
6 Q. Therefore, I suggest to you that this indicates that the village
7 was cleansed of its civilian population.
8 A. No, Your Honour, it doesn't say that in the report nor can I say
9 that. In the report it says something else, not that it was cleansed of
10 the civilian population.
11 Q. I'm not saying this is what it says in the report; I'm saying to
12 you that it indicates that the village was cleansed of its civilian
13 population. If you agree, then you do; if you don't, then that's fine.
14 A. No, Your Honour, it doesn't mean what you're saying. This is
15 military terminology. A commander cannot write a novel. He has to use
16 just a single sentence. It would take too long to detail everything that
17 had been done.
18 Q. But you tell me, what was there to cleanse in the village if there
19 was no combat activity?
20 A. Your Honour, just the passage through the village might be called
21 by someone cleansing of the village. How would they know there would be
22 no fighting there, no combat?
23 Q. Sorry, I'm confused by that answer. Are you suggesting that the
24 activity of passing through the village would be described as cleansing?
25 Is that what you're saying?
1 A. Your Honour, when one passes through a village in combat
2 disposition, that can be termed cleansing of the village.
3 Q. Well, Witness, you've already mentioned that you gave a statement
4 to the body for cooperation with the ICTY, and in that statement you
5 didn't use the word "cleansing," you used the word "passing through the
6 village." I suggest to you it's an absurd statement to say that if you
7 were simply passing through the village, you would use the word
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I don't know what basis my learned
11 friend is asserting all this. First of all, the document we see on the
12 screen is not a document written or compiled by the witness or had contact
13 with -- that the witness had contact with. We do not see the statement
14 that our learned friend is referring to. Thank you. There are two point
15 here. Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The -- there is no substance in the first point
17 because the witness is clearly confident that he can deal with an
18 interpretation of this passage. So far as the second point is concerned,
19 what statement are you referring to, Mr. Sachdeva?
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, it's a statement that's on my
21 exhibit list which I believe the Defence should have. It is P3006, and
22 it's a statement that he gave to the Commission for Cooperation with the
23 ICTY. And that's the basis for my question.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I really don't know. I see that
1 document 3006 was announced, but I don't know when it was disclosed.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue with the question.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, do you want me to indicate when it
5 was disclosed.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
7 MR. SACHDEVA: Do you want me to indicate when the statement was
9 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, there's ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 MR. SACHDEVA:
12 Q. Witness, I don't know if you answered my last question before the
13 deviation. My --
14 MR. CEPIC: Sorry.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friends -- my
17 colleagues are telling me that this exhibit cannot be opened in the system
18 under that number. Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you released this exhibit, Mr. Sachdeva?
21 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm advised, yes, Mr. President, and that's the
22 exhibit number I have, and they indeed were disclosed.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you now open it, Mr. Cepic?
24 MR. SACHDEVA: They were disclosed on the 31st of July, 2005.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] My colleagues are now telling me that
1 they managed to open it in the last few seconds, more than one colleague
2 has said that, colleagues Ivetic, Visnjic, and Petrovic all say the same
3 thing. Thank you.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So what's your point?
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I want to say that I have not had an
6 opportunity of seeing that this document was in the system, but --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: If having received notice from the Prosecution that
8 they were going to use it and you were concerned about it, you would have
9 tried to open it already and discovered that you couldn't. It would
10 appear that you're only discovering that now, so let's get on with the
12 MR. SACHDEVA:
13 Q. Witness, I still require an answer from you, and essentially my
14 question was that -- I'm putting to you that it is an absurd statement by
15 yourself to suggest -- to say that the word -- essentially what you're
16 saying is the word "passing" and "cleansing" are the same and they can be
17 used interchangeably; that's an absurd statement, do you agree with me?
18 A. Your Honour, by your leave, I didn't say that. It sounds even
19 more absurd to me. I passed through there with my unit. In that
20 statement you're mentioning, I was talking about myself. The commander
21 was writing about the whole unit in his report, because he passed through
22 the village with infantry. I marched through on vehicles. I simply
23 passed through the village.
24 Q. Very well. And therefore your commander in the infantry, as is
25 indicated in this document, cleansed the village, didn't they?
1 A. Your Honour, the infantry passed through the village in combat
2 formation without any resistance and without firing, and they left the
3 village. In military jargon, this can be described as cleansing the
4 village. It doesn't mean what the Prosecutor says it means.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, whether your last point is correct or not -
6 and there may be some argument about that, but perhaps not a great deal -
7 it does seem on the face of it very strange if absolutely nothing has
8 happened to then later write in the war diary that the villages were
9 cleansed. Is that not rather odd unless something had to be done while
10 they were going through the villages?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I assert what I said
12 before was true. Battalion commander is not a lawyer, he can't take into
13 account every single piece of phrasing. These circumstances under which
14 this log was kept were difficult. Your interpretation is not correct. He
15 had a different intention. He was trying to say something else when he
16 wrote that. It is not what you are suggesting.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you should be aware that we've had a number
18 of witnesses explain to us what cleansing means in this context, and no
19 one so far has suggested it simply means going through a village in combat
20 order. Now, do you want to say any more on the matter?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't say that
22 myself. I went through the village, but what they did can be called
23 cleansing because they walked through the village on a
24 house-to-house/street-corner-to-street-corner basis. How could they know
25 that nobody would fire at them? If indeed no one fired at them, they
1 would just get out and leave the village. In military speak, however,
2 that can be termed"cleansing the village."
3 JUDGE BONOMY: SD-1, let me quote your answer to you.
4 "The infantry passed through the village in combat disposition without any
5 resistance and without firing and they left the village. In military
6 jargon this can be described as cleansing the village."
7 Now, that sounds to me like you describing cleansing as simply
8 going through the village in combat disposition.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can't take the
10 liberty of commenting on those terms generally speaking. What I'm telling
11 you is what actually happened and how I saw it, what the commander wanted
12 to do, what he wanted to say. I'm not sure how I should launch into this
13 story, but one thing is certain, it's certainly not what's being
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Witness, at this point in time I do not even know
16 if whether you actually saw the infantry going through the village and how
17 they went through the village. Do you want to try to clarify that for us?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not see the
19 infantry going through the village. They walked some way ahead of me. I
20 said that I was waiting outside the village, waiting for my commander's
21 order to go through the village.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 In the bigger picture, Mr. Sachdeva, I doubt if we've more time to
24 explore this.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: May I ask one more question on this issue?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right -- yeah, Mr. Cepic.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I have another
3 witness lined up waiting to appear. I think my learned friend has already
4 used up substantially more than the allotted time. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think he's reached the allotted time,
6 Mr. Cepic. He has an hour because this was a 92 ter witness, plus the
7 equivalent time that you used in live evidence, which was 36 minutes.
8 Please continue, Mr. Sachdeva.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Witness, in an answer to the President you said: "I went through
11 the village, but what they did can be called cleansing because they walked
12 through the village on a house-to-house/street-corner-to-street-corner
13 basis," that's what you said, and therefore earlier on when we were in a
14 discussion about what took place in the village, this is the example you
15 were referring to, isn't it, that's --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: This is an argument. We've had all the evidence on
17 this. Move to something else, please.
18 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Mr. President.
11 Pages 20229-20240 redacted. Private session
13 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
14 Q. How many men were there?
15 A. Your Honour, if I recall correctly, 13.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you explain in technical terms how much time you
17 need to take up a position to set up an observation point and undertake
18 all the other activities involved in relocating?
19 A. Your Honours, quite a lot of time. These are activities that
20 require a lot of time and good training. Depending on the training, the
21 time can vary, but not much. I need at least 20 minutes only to put the
22 mortars down on to the ground. As for establishing the observation point
23 and everything else, I need far more time.
24 Q. Thank you. In the course of the war, were you able to inspect the
25 battalion's war diary?
1 A. No, Your Honours, the war diary that was shown here is something I
2 saw quite a bit of time after the war, when I was making the statements I
3 mentioned in the course of my testimony.
4 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. SD-1. I have no further
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, thank you, Witness, that completes your
9 evidence; thank you for coming here to give it. You may now leave the
10 courtroom, but just stay there for a moment until we bring down the
11 curtains for that purpose.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: You may now leave.
14 [Closed session]
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, your next witness is?
22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Our next witness is
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Marinkovic.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Good evening, Mr. Marinkovic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good evening.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
3 speak the truth by reading that document aloud.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
7 You will now be examined by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 WITNESS: VLADIMIR MARINKOVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Lieutenant-Colonel, good evening.
13 A. Good evening.
14 Q. For the record, please give us your name.
15 A. Vladimir Marinkovic.
16 Q. Can you tell me when and where you were born?
17 A. The 2nd of December, 1967, in Djakovica.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me what duties you performed during your
19 military career?
20 A. Well, from platoon and company leader, just through the technical
21 service, chief of the service in the regiment and the brigade --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down, this is
23 impossible to follow.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marinkovic, everything you say has to be
25 translated, that means that you need to speak a little more slowly than
1 you would otherwise do. So I wonder if you could deal with that question
2 again. You said that you had been chief of the service in the regiment
3 and the brigade, could you continue from there.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then I was desk officer in the
5 security department of the Pristina Corps, a desk officer in the security
6 administration of the General Staff of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro,
7 and now I am a trainer in the training centre.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, what schools have you completed?
10 A. After primary school, I completed the military secondary school,
11 the military academy for the ground forces --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
13 This is in the statement.
14 MR. CEPIC: There is no statement, Your Honour, for this witness.
15 I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Ah, sorry, wrong Marinkovic. Sorry. My mistake.
17 I apologise.
18 MR. CEPIC: They are not cousins.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No. Okay. Sorry.
20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Lieutenant-Colonel, what schools have you
23 A. After primary school I completed the military secondary school,
24 then the military academy for the ground forces, communications stream,
25 and then further training for command and staff, and then I took a course
1 in the security and intelligence training centre.
2 Q. What is your rank now?
3 A. Lieutenant-colonel.
4 Q. In 1998 and 1999, what duties did you perform?
5 A. In 1998, on the 2nd of March, I was sent to the 52nd Brigade of
6 the anti-aircraft defence in the Djakovica garrison, where I performed the
7 duty of chief of security -- excuse me, chief of the security organ in the
8 brigade command, until the 1st of July, 1998. On the 1st of July, 1998,
9 until the end of the war, I was the chief of security in the 15th Armoured
10 Brigade of the Pristina garrison.
11 Q. Thank you. You mentioned Djakovica previously. In that period,
12 the period of your work in Djakovica, did you visit the Pristina Corps
13 forward command post?
14 A. In view of the escalation of the security situation in the area,
15 not only did I visit the Pristina Corps forward command post, but I was
16 also designated by the chief of the security department of the Pristina
17 Corps to perform duties from the purview of the security organ at the
18 forward command post of the corps.
19 Q. Can you tell me what the security situation was like at that point
20 in time, in 1998?
21 A. The security situation in that period deteriorated day by day,
22 especially in the border belt.
23 Q. Go ahead, please.
24 A. We had frequent illegal border crossings from Albania by persons
25 who were illegally carrying weapons and equipment, and there were even
1 conflicts with the border organs who were attempting to prevent them in
2 their illegal crossings.
3 Q. Thank you. In that period, did you exchange information with the
4 state security department?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what was this cooperation reflected in?
7 A. I was designated by the chief of the security department and
8 authorised by him to exchange information concerning terrorist activities
9 in the area with the chief of the state security department in Djakovica.
10 Q. Go ahead.
11 A. The information that was exchanged was something I passed on to my
13 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, you mentioned the escalation of terrorism,
14 especially at the state border. Will you tell me, in the depth of the
15 territory were there any drastic incidents, what was the situation there
16 like in the period we are talking about, 1998?
17 A. In the depth of the territory, movements were observed of persons
18 who were armed and in uniform. Furthermore, there were attacks on the
19 civilian population, the MUP organs. The worst incident -- well, there
20 were also abductions. The worst incident in that period was an abduction
21 that took place in my unit.
22 Q. Very briefly, what happened?
23 A. A person called Genov Stamen or Stamen Genov who was a sergeant
24 first class -- or a sergeant, he was on leave and he used the regular line
25 from Djakovica to Pristina which went through Prizren and the Dulje pass.
1 I think that in the vicinity of the village of Stimlje, the bus was
2 stopped by a group of armed members of the KLA. They entered the bus,
3 they inspected people's identity papers, and they pulled Genov and some
4 civilians from the bus.
5 Q. Was Genov later found?
6 A. I think he was buried in 2005. His body was found at a later
7 date. He had been killed, and to the best of my knowledge, according to
8 the forensic information, he had been tortured and slaughtered.
9 Q. Thank you. We've already heard quite a lot about the activities
10 of the terrorist forces. Did you have any operative information that
11 there were women in the KLA ranks who in 1998 participated in the fighting
13 A. While gathering information about the terrorists, we obtained
14 various types of material. We saw pictures and videotapes, video footage,
15 of women in uniform with KLA insignia. Later on, in 1998, when I was
16 already in the 15th Armoured Brigade, in the general area of Komorane, a
17 tank of mine was hit and those who knew about this, the tank crew, told me
18 it had been hit from an Armbrust.
19 Later on we investigated that fire and learned that the projectile
20 had been fired by a woman. We knew what her pseudonym was, although it
21 escapes me at the moment, her pseudonym or nickname.
22 Q. Thank you. Tell me, in the course of this escalation of
23 terrorism, was there resistance from villagers who didn't want to join the
24 terrorist ranks?
25 A. You mean resistance to the terrorists by the local population?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Our information shows that there was resistance by the local
3 population. I was a witness in the village of Glodjane where the local
4 inhabits welcomed us. They told us there were no KLA members in their
5 village, that we should not be afraid, that fire would not be opened on
6 us, and that they didn't want to join in those activities. Also, there
7 were examples of terrorists trying to take up positions in front of
8 certain villages and provoke activity by us.
9 Q. On what basis, Lieutenant-Colonel, did you have that information?
10 Did you personally enter the KLA bases?
11 A. On completion of anti-terrorist actions, I did enter places where
12 KLA members were based, and there we found various materials which they
13 had left behind. From those materials, we drew conclusions about their
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, could you tell us what was this material
16 because material can be anything.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We found remains of combat
18 equipment, for example, empty cases for ammunition; weapons which they had
19 not taken with them; lists of KLA members in a certain area, unit, or
20 staff; various certificates that KLA members issued to the locals, such as
21 certificates on recruited property or requisitioned property; then
22 certificates on their military oath that they had taken, certificates
23 allowing them to move through KLA-controlled territory, and similar
25 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Could I continue, please?
2 Thank you.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Was there an obligation for the local inhabitants
4 to give money to the KLA if they were living in areas under KLA control?
5 A. Yes, we found certificates, or rather, receipts for money that the
6 KLA had received from local villagers. I don't know in what way these
7 villagers gave that money, but such certificates were found.
8 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, did you find equipment used for torture?
9 A. Yes, in more than one location we found certain objects which
10 indicated that they has been used for torture. In the village of
11 Krusevac, in the course of the anti-terrorist action in 1998, in the
12 courtyard in front of an improvised hospital of the KLA there was a
13 device. I can describe as a bed where at one end there was a spike and
14 there were two places in the shape of feet on the opposite side of the
15 spike, and then there was screws or winches which could be turned when a
16 person's feet were placed in those feet-shaped parts and then the head
17 would be pressed against the spike.
18 Q. Can you give me any other examples?
19 A. In 1999 in the area of Ostrozub we found bloody baseball bats and
20 in other places likewise we found such things, although I can't remember
21 every detail.
22 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, could we go to private
23 session? I just have one question.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
25 [Private session]
11 Page 20250 redacted. Private session
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We spent some time there in private session because
22 the evidence which we heard could have given rise to a risk to an
23 individual, and we're now back in open session and shall continue with the
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Lieutenant-Colonel, I'm about to move on to
2 a different subject. What exactly was your duty within the 15th Armoured
4 A. My duty was chief of the security organ, and this post was
5 attached to the brigade command.
6 Q. You're not a troop officer, are you, but can you please tell me in
7 very rough terms what the area of responsibility was of the 15th Brigade?
8 A. The area of responsibility was in central Kosovo, or rather, in
9 the north of Kosovo and Metohija.
10 Q. Thank you. What about the OSCE mission, did you have any contacts
11 with them during their mission in Kosovo?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I want to know specifically about the situation in the Podujevo
14 area late in 1998 and early 1999, what was it like?
15 A. In late 1998/early 1999, the situation escalated, or rather, the
16 security situation was under threat throughout the area. Information
17 reached us about the expulsion of non-Albanians from the Podujevo area,
18 the area of Podujevo municipality. Likewise, terrorist forces had been
19 observed along the entire Pristina-Podujevo road, I'm referring here to
20 the main road obviously leading from Podujevo to Tenevdolski Tesnac
21 [phoen] to the west.
22 They dug-in there. They were fortifying their positions, digging
23 trenches, and building roads. Even while looking from the road it was
24 quite clear that they were armed. At the time there were kidnappings of
25 people in the area.
1 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, the area around Batlava airport has been
2 referred to time and again in this trial. Can you tell us what this was
3 about? Was the army using this area to conduct drills?
4 A. Yes, that's near the village of Batlava and this was an area that
5 the army was using as some sort of a training ground for military drills
6 at higher-level -- at a higher level of training.
7 Q. Do you know how long ago the use of that training-ground dates
8 back to?
9 A. When I took up my duties in the brigade, I was familiarised with
10 all the training-grounds used by the brigade, including the one at
12 Q. Thank you. Now that you've mentioned this road -- now that I
13 mentioned it in my previous question, did you perhaps come under attack
14 along that road at any point?
15 A. Yes, I did. Over a ten-day period, I twice had a close brush with
16 the terrorists just along that road.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. CEPIC: Could we have 5D95, please.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Do you see this report in front of you, sir?
20 A. I do.
21 MR. CEPIC: Could we have count 4, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Did you submit information for a report like
23 this, a report concerning the situation that prevailed in the area?
24 A. Yes, but as far as I can tell it wasn't just me, other officials
25 did that as well.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. CEPIC: Could we have 3D1035, please. 3D1035, please. Could
3 we have count 3, please, 3.1.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, if you look at this, is this a description
5 of the attack that you were subjected to, 3.1, that's what I'm talking
6 about. Can you see that?
7 A. Yes, this is a description of the attack that took place on 24th
8 of December. I was attacked on my way back from Podujevo to Pristina, I
9 was on a mission.
10 Q. Sir, as the war encroached, did the sheer intensity of violence
11 and terrorist activity keep on increasing?
12 A. Yes, it was becoming more and more intense. I told you that over
13 a ten-day period I had two such things happen to me. This is one
14 situation, and then ten days later on the 5th of January in the Glavnik
15 village sector, along that same road, the same sort of thing happened. I
16 had a brush with KLA members. Should I describe that for you?
17 Q. Do you want us to go into private session for this? Just in the
18 briefest possible terms, please.
19 A. I don't think there's any need for that. I'll try to stay brief.
20 With me in the vehicle were two journalists. I was on my way back from
21 Podujevo, and I was the one driving the vehicle. They asked me to pull
22 over in the Glavnik village sector so that they could take pictures of the
23 trenches along the road. I'm talking about the Podujevo-Pristina road.
24 Once they were done taking photographs and we're now back in the
25 vehicle, a car came out of nowhere and blocked our way, a Golf. Two
1 persons emerged from the car, they were both wearing civilian jackets.
2 Underneath their jackets we could see that they were wearing bullet-proof
3 vests. Their hands were in their pockets, but you could see that they
4 were grabbing something with their fists inside those pockets.
5 One of them spoke up in Serbian, and he talked to the journalist
6 who was on the back seat, right behind the passenger seat. The journalist
7 falsely introduced himself as someone who worked for a Slovene TV station,
8 that probably being the first thing that occurred to him at the time, and
9 this person requested to see a Kosovo government permission to film the
10 area or to take pictures of the area --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you seriously want all this detail of this
12 individual incident?
13 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we haven't got to what matters, have we?
15 Presumably something happened.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Just briefly, please.
18 A. And then I told them in Albanian, since I speak Albanian, that
19 these people were all right, they were our guys, so we drove off soon
20 after, leaving them quite baffled. We managed to save our necks, that was
21 the bottom line.
22 Q. Sir, do you perhaps know from other sources that they checked
23 passing traffic in a bid to assert their sovereignty throughout the area?
24 A. Yes, throughout the whole area and off the main roads as well they
25 had check-points, KLA check-points. This applied to all access roads to
1 all of the villages in the area as well.
2 Q. Thank you. Lieutenant-Colonel, we are now coming to the 24th of
3 March. What about all the combat units of the 15th Armoured Brigade, did
4 they not all leave Pristina on that day in the barracks this?
5 A. Yes, all of its combat units left the Pristina barracks on that
7 Q. There is something else I would like to ask you as well. You
8 weren't one of the troops. What about throughout 1998 and 1999, were you
9 ever at the command post as an action was being executed?
10 A. Yes, several times as a matter of fact?
11 Q. Thank you. Were you ever at the joint command post?
12 A. Yes, several times.
13 Q. Can you describe it for me, please.
14 MR. CEPIC: Probably is better translation if we see page 87, line
15 19, combined command post than the joint command post, but ...
16 Can I continue, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You can and we'll have CLSS provide for us the
18 document setting out the B/C/S and the English again in relation to that
19 passage --
20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: -- from line 15 to line 20.
22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. May I continue?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you tell me what this joint or combined command post was like?
1 A. This joint or combined command post is something that was set up
2 during anti-terrorist actions when units from my brigade would lend
3 support to forces of the MUP during an action. Normally it was set up at
4 an observation post or a battalion command post or a combat group command
5 post, depending on what the unit was that was actually lending support,
6 depending also on their whereabouts, on the whereabouts of the unit
7 commander from my unit who was involved in the action and the commander of
8 the MUP unit carrying out this anti-terrorist action.
9 Q. Were there other officers there?
10 A. In addition to the two commanders, there were other officers there
11 whose presence was indispensable for the work of the joint or combined
12 command post.
13 Q. From both these bodies, the military and the MUP, right?
14 A. Yes, from both.
15 Q. What's your military specialty, sir?
16 A. I'm a signalsman.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, when it's convenient, find a place to
18 interrupt the examination.
19 MR. CEPIC: Just one question with your leave and I will finish.
20 Thank you.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Lieutenant-Colonel, what sort of
22 communication equipment was used during those actions, concerted action,
23 or support to MUP forces?
24 A. The army used its own equipment that it had under the
25 establishment, and the MUP did the same thing. It depended on the nature
1 of the action being executed. For the most part, it was radio equipment.
2 Needless to say, the army would use its own frequencies and the MUP would
3 use its own.
4 Q. Let me just try to clarify this. Was there a unified
5 communications system in place or not?
6 A. No, there was no unified communications system. We used a
7 communications plan, the army did; and the MUP people probably had their
8 own plans. Any sort of communication from either of these sources would
9 normally end up at the joint or combined command post, but there were two
10 separate lines of communication, if I can put it that way.
11 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Marinkovic, we have to interrupt the
13 proceedings for the day at this stage. You'll require to return tomorrow
14 to complete your evidence; that will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
15 Meanwhile, overnight you must avoid any discussion with any person about
16 any of the evidence in this case. Talk about whatever you like with
17 whoever you like as long as there is absolutely no discussion at all about
18 the evidence.
19 Please now leave the courtroom with the usher, and we will see you
20 again at 9.00 tomorrow in Courtroom I.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one matter I wish to draw to your attention,
23 Mr. Cepic, and that of Mr. Bakrac. Today you've reached a fairly
24 significant point in the presentation of your case. You now have less
25 than 20 hours of the time allocated remaining, and you still have a very
1 large number of witnesses proposed. And I think so far we've seen an
2 attempt in only two instances to seriously use other available means of
3 presenting evidence, apart from oral evidence in court.
4 You must, if you intend to lead the evidence of these witnesses,
5 take a very hard look at how you're going to do that. Use the other means
6 that are available to you or at least consider that. You have a break
7 coming up when, no doubt, work can be done on that, but it's a matter of
8 concern to us that you have reached this stage and have used only a --
9 less than half of the -- or led less than half of the witnesses,
10 significantly less than half of the witnesses you propose.
11 So until 9.00 tomorrow.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of
14 December, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.