1 Thursday, 17 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, your next witness.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Our next witness is
7 General Dragan Zivanovic.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Zivanovic.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
14 speak the truth by reading aloud the words that have been shown to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Cepic on behalf of
20 Mr. Lazarevic.
21 Mr. Cepic.
22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 WITNESS: DRAGAN ZIVANOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] General, good afternoon.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. For the record, please, your full name.
4 A. Dragan Zivanovic, son of Milovan.
5 Q. Date and place of birth?
6 A. 8th of January, 1955, the village of Ba, municipality of Ljig
8 Q. Thank you. Would you please tell me what schooling you attended.
9 A. Military secondary school, military academy, up to the School of
10 National Defence.
11 Q. What were the most important posts you held in your military
13 A. From platoon commander to corps commander.
14 Q. In 1998 and 1999, what were the posts that you held?
15 A. In 1998 until mid-June I was Chief of Staff in the command of the
16 125th Motorised Brigade, and then from mid-June onwards I was commander of
17 the 125th Motorised Brigade of the Pristina Corps.
18 Q. Thank you. General, what was the situation like in the spring of
19 1998? Can you hear?
20 A. No, I can't hear anything, but that's fine. I can hear you from
21 the floor.
22 Q. Can you hear now?
23 A. A bit better.
24 Q. Would you like the volume to be put up?
25 A. Yes, because I have trouble hearing.
1 Q. Is it better now?
2 A. Yes, that's excellent.
3 Q. General, spring of 1998, what was the security situation in the
4 territory of Metohija?
5 A. It was at risk due to the terrorist activities of the terrorist
6 Siptar forces.
7 Q. Thank you. In that period of time, in the spring of 1998, were
8 there terrorist attacks on the forces of the Army of Yugoslavia as well?
9 A. Yes. They started attacking the army forces by crossing the state
10 border with Albania, attacking border forces, and the forces of my unit,
11 125th Motorised Brigade, were first attacked on the 23rd of May, 1998, on
12 the road Djakovica-Smonica- Ponosevac.
13 Q. General, would you please tell us, where were the strongholds of
14 terrorist forces in Kosovo and Metohija?
15 A. The strongest terrorist bases were in the villages of the
16 Jablanica region, Glodjane, Rznic, Saptej, Gramocelj and other villages in
17 that area and also in the Reka region and in the villages around
19 Q. What was the situation in the northern part of that is to say
21 A. The situation was more grave there. The first emergence of
22 terrorism was in the Drenica region. It is now ten years that this
23 happened, namely, the first attack was around the Orthodox new year in the
24 sector of the Pec monastery.
25 Q. General, in the 1998 period, what were the main tasks of your
1 brigade? When I say "your brigade," I'm referring to the 125th Brigade?
2 A. The main tasks of the 125th Motorised Brigade were, first of all,
3 regular combat training; protection of personnel and materiel and
4 equipment; third, intensified protection of state border in depth; the
5 fourth task was to protect the roads when there were military movements on
6 the roads; and the fifth task was to support MUP forces in some of the
7 actions in the second part of 1998.
8 Q. You mentioned protection of state border in depth and the fact
9 that the roads were at risk. Would you please tell us what was the
10 situation like regarding these two aspects?
11 A. There were intensified illegal crossings of the border from Kosovo
12 and Metohija into the Republic of Albania. They armed themselves there,
13 and then they illegally crossed the border back, terrorists and armed
14 forces, armed persons, going back to Metohija, and by doing so they
15 created conditions necessary to arm terrorist forces.
16 As for the roads, the most endangered road was Kosovska
17 Mitrovica-Pec road over or via Rudnik, then Pec-Decani-Djakovica road,
18 especially in the area between Decani and Djakovica, and Pec-Pristina road
19 in the sector Glina-Kijevo.
20 Q. Thank you, General. Tell me something about the combat training
21 of soldiers in that period leading up to the beginning of the war. How
22 was it conducted?
23 A. It was conducted just like in the previous period. It was
24 conducted in the exercise manoeuvre grounds according to the curriculum
25 for training units and soldiers. In the time-period leading up to the war
1 it was conducted under very difficult circumstances due to terrorist
2 forces that were located nearby and that were attacking, daily attacking
3 members of the Ministry of the Interior and army servicemen. This put at
4 risk the people who were in charge of the training.
5 Q. Thank you, General.
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have certain
7 documents concerning the method and extent of this training. These
8 documents have not been translated yet, and we will ask that they be
9 admitted into evidence at a later stage.
10 Q. General, we had some evidence here during the Prosecution case
11 where we heard that the military forces during that period of time while
12 the OSCE mission stayed in Kosovo and Metohija conducted extensive
13 military manoeuvres. Is that true?
14 A. No, that's not true. On a monthly basis according to our regular
15 plan for combat training, our brigade was supposed to have at least, or
16 rather, at least 30 training exercises at the level of a company.
17 However, we were able to implement only four to five trainings at the
18 level of a platoon, which is to say 100 to 120 people. These are no
20 Q. General, units of the 125th Motorised Brigade and their
21 servicemen, were they aware of the regulations and provisions of the
22 international law and international humanitarian law and international
23 laws of war?
24 A. Yes, every soldier received his own pocket-sized copy. We also
25 received orders from superior command and we drafted our own orders aimed
1 at preventive action to ensure that these provisions would be complied
2 with and to ensure that civilians and others would not be endangered and
3 put at risk.
4 Q. General, in the fall of 1998 did the command of the Pristina Corps
5 also conduct some training courses devoted to this topic?
6 A. Yes. We had some seminars, and I sent two or three officers to
7 attend the seminars, and after they return they came back, they conveyed
8 it to us, and we presented it to our units.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see Exhibit 5D755.
11 Q. General, do you see the document on the screen in front of you?
12 A. Yes, that's just what I told you about, the two people that I sent
13 to attend this training seminar.
14 Q. So is this the document that confirms what you told us previously?
15 A. Yes, it does confirm.
16 Q. Thank you. For the sake of the record, is this a document coming
17 from your brigade?
18 A. Yes, it says so in the heading, 125th Motorised Brigade, 26
19 October 1998.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see Exhibit P1642.
22 Q. While we're waiting -- I think it will come up soon. Yes, that's
23 right. We see a document from 1998 here. This is a document of the 125th
24 Brigade. Do you see the document in front of you?
25 A. Yes, I do. I see the first three items.
1 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, what was the attitude towards foreign
2 representatives and diplomats, or rather, was there any concern for their
3 security; and if so, how were these measures implemented? Was this
4 concern a real one or did you just pretend to be concerned for their
6 A. The corps commander was constantly required to devote the utmost
7 attention to the protection of civilians so that when we responded to the
8 fire opened at us by terrorist Siptar forces, we wouldn't hurt civilians
9 especially if in the vicinity of terrorists there were foreign
10 representatives. We had to be very careful in opening fire so that we
11 wouldn't inflict any injuries or hurt anybody because we were responsible
12 for them while they were located in our country.
13 Q. General, we spoke of terrorist attacks. In the fall of 1998, did
14 you perhaps uncover some traces of particularly grave crimes committed by
16 A. Yes. In October my reconnaissance people in the Volujak sector
17 found a cave where they found some remains, or rather, some bones.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you know what happened subsequently with the
19 exhumed bodies after 2000? Do you know from the media what happened?
20 A. I know that the corps commander sent a team to investigate this
21 together with the MUP organs. I think that it was in February or March of
22 1999, and as for the media I learned from the media that exhumations had
23 been carried out I think in 2005 and that some 30 bodies of Serbs who had
24 been killed were found there.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to speed up
1 this examination, document of the 125th Brigade PD747 [as interpreted]
2 speaks of this. I hope that Mr. Hannis does not mind that we're not going
3 to bring it up. 5D747. We can see the document on the screen.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Does this document tell us how these people died?
5 MR. CEPIC: No.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Or where they died?
7 MR. CEPIC: I think that would be the best solution to --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you please tell us. Does it solve the problem
9 of how or where they died; and if it doesn't, what's the point?
10 MR. CEPIC: They just found the bones and in 2005 those bones and
11 additional bones they buried in Belgrade and UN mission sent experts in
12 that location, and they found that those bones and bodies are from the
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, I understand that, but how does that help us
15 unless we know how they died and where they died.
16 MR. CEPIC: They are from Orahovac. We have some additional
17 documents which will confirm that those bodies and the rest of bodies,
18 actually, are from the people from Orahovac --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That's what I'm trying to understand from you. We
20 don't want an accumulation of evidence about dead bodies with nothing that
21 explains to us what happened to them.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's my objection from the document
24 that I had seen there was nothing to tie it to anything in our case.
25 That's why I had a foundational objection and a relevance objection.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: So it looks as though Mr. Cepic is going to
2 supplement the material to give some indication of that.
3 When were you proposing to do that, Mr. Cepic?
4 MR. CEPIC: As soon as I finish with couple next witnesses, Your
5 Honour, and I have to request some additional material. I have good
6 communication with the UN mission in Kosovo right now, and I hope that I
7 will receive something more in the meantime.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The further we get in the case the more possible it
9 should be to focus your evidence on the issues that are really concerning
10 us. And at first blush this does not seem to be one of them, but please
12 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Could we see on our screens 5D747.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this a document from your brigade?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And does this same confirm that remains were found, remains of
17 bodies in that area that we were discussing?
18 A. Yes, yes. You can see here based on the entry and exit wounds on
19 the victims that they were killed by a shot to the head.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. CEPIC: Could we see exhibit number 5D1241, please. This is a
22 video material and my assistant will play now with your leave, Your
23 Honour, if you allow us.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
1 MR. HANNIS: I believe this is -- if he's playing the entire video
2 or if this is one part -- we've got multiple segments for the same exhibit
3 I have the same problem that's been raised before that we need some way to
4 identify what particular segment we're referring to that's the exhibit
5 that's being addressed now. I know there was a recent filing about this
6 by the Lazarevic Defence, but I don't think it adequately addressed the
7 problem. We need to identify it some way, as it's minute 1, 30 seconds to
8 minute 2, 30 seconds, some way that somebody picking up the record later
9 on is going to be able to match it up with what's in the record.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The issue arising from the last one is being
11 addressed, as you probably know.
12 What is the position with this video, Mr. Cepic?
13 MR. CEPIC: Just one second, Your Honour, with your leave.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. CEPIC: This is the video clip which title is: "Village
16 Volujak, or Celo Volujak, and we would like to play from 30 seconds until
17 the 1 minute and 20 seconds.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's all that is being played from this
19 video, is it?
20 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Single clip?
22 MR. CEPIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
24 MR. CEPIC: And -- I'm sorry, may I say, and with your leave later
25 on some other video clip not in relation to Volujak but in relation to
1 something else.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But separate from this and therefore clearly
3 identifiable as something different, so please continue.
4 MR. CEPIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 [Videotape played]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What should we with be looking for here? It's
7 silent --
8 MR. CEPIC: Cave Volujak.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What am I looking for?
10 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, we just -- we just showing the material
11 in relation about General testified, and we saw one soldier -- actually
12 one officer VJ on that position.
13 [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. General, can you please explain what this footage is about?
15 A. This is footage of the cave where my soldiers and officers found
16 remains in October 1998, and you can see the remains of the bodies and the
17 skulls. On behalf of my command Lieutenant-Colonel, later he became a
18 Colonel, Dragan Petrovic was the engineering chief in the 125th Brigade.
19 He was there at the time.
20 Q. Thank you, General. Sir, can you please tell me this, we're
21 moving to another topic now. Can you tell me what your cooperation was
22 like with the OSCE mission members during their stay in Kosovo and
24 A. Cooperation was in the spirit of the order from the General Staff
25 via the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps commander. We directly
1 corresponded - let me put it that way - and talked via the liaison
3 MR. CEPIC: Could we have on our screens documents 5D773, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your order?
5 A. Let me look at the signature, please.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, may I ask, is there an English
7 translation for this document? I haven't seen one.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, unfortunately we haven't received
11 translation for this document.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the reason for that?
13 MR. CEPIC: Too many documents we requested translation for, too
14 many documents, but I can -- with your leave I can request admission of
15 this document later on on bar table, and we can read -- and if you allow
16 me, the witness can read just a part of the document.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: That's my objection, Your Honour. I don't mind him
19 filing a bar table objection -- a motion later or I don't mind him asking
20 the witness if that's his signature for purposes of authentication, but I
21 do mind him asking him to comment or read on part of it when I can't see
22 it in English and know what the whole document is because it limits my
23 ability to cross-examine while the witness is here.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: This is quite a short document, Mr. Hannis. Now, I
25 appreciate that you may have a more general objection because of the
1 number of documents that you face and it may be that this is not the best
2 example, I don't know; but is this one we could deal with here without
3 setting a precedent that -- you might regard as unfortunate or is this one
4 that you really seriously feel could cause you prejudice if we proceeded
5 the way Mr. Cepic suggests?
6 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, judging by the date I don't think
7 it's going to cause me a serious problem and I hope by now you realize I'm
8 a pretty agreeable guy on these things. I'm willing to do that. But I
9 don't want to set a precedent and I don't want this to be the first of 50
10 exhibits with this witness.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thanks.
12 Mr. Cepic, I know that there was an exchange of e-mails about the
13 problem of untranslated exhibits for this witness and that you have been
14 taking steps to address that issue as best you can. And we note that one
15 of the ways of doing so is to seek admission of documents from the bar
16 table in due course and to exercise restraint in court in the way in which
17 you're using the documents. So we'll allow you to use this one the way
18 you suggest, but that should be no -- taken as no real guide as to what we
19 will do in relation to others as you proceed if it's clear that there is a
20 large number or that the individual documents call -- create a real risk
21 of prejudice to the Prosecution.
22 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honour, if I may make one request. When
23 future exhibits are being presented if Mr. Cepic knows there's not a
24 translation if he can indicate that. It saves me trying to look through
25 and double-check and maybe being late in raising an objection.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: It looks as though he didn't know about this one
2 though, Mr. Hannis, albeit he is aware of the problem in general.
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, my colleagues are anxious that we should
6 make it clear to you that we are extremely concerned about the absence of
7 English translations for documents and that we will not necessarily by any
8 means follow the course of action that we're following with this document
9 as we progress if we see that there's a real issue building up, either in
10 individual circumstances affecting Prosecution or in general affecting the
11 conduct of the case. Meanwhile, this one will be marked for
12 identification in the usual way, and you may proceed to deal with it by
13 inviting the witness to read some part of it that you wish to deal with at
14 this stage.
15 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you. Thank you, Your
17 Q. [Interpretation] General, just briefly, you see the document in
18 front of you. Is this your signature in lower right-hand corner?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you please read the introductory part of the document and
21 tell us what this document is asking.
22 A. "On the basis of the order of the command of the Pristina command,
23 confidential number 1468-1, dated 27th of October, 1998, and for the
24 purpose of implementing the agreement with the OSCE and NATO mission for
25 verification in Kosovo and Metohija and in accordance with the Security
1 Council Resolution 1199, I order ..." This is the preamble of the
3 Q. In order not to read everything, can you please just read
4 paragraph 1.
5 A. "1. I appoint the following senior officers as liaison officers
6 with the OSCE mission: The Kosovska Mitrovica and Vucitrn garrisons
7 Major Momcilo Vojnovic, chief of the intelligence section; and his deputy
8 would be Major Dragan Trifunovic. Pec garrison
9 Captain First Class Aca Cubranovic and his deputy would be Captain Dragan
11 Q. Thank you, General. And the representatives of the mission, did
12 they monitor or inspect the weaponry in your unit?
13 A. Yes, on several occasions.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5D326, 5D327,
15 328, 329, and 5D330. They are documents that confirms that the
16 representatives from mission verified the weapons in the 125th Brigade,
17 and I would like to request their admission.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: And there are translations into English of all of
19 these, are there?
20 MR. CEPIC: I thought it is not necessarily because the documents
21 are half in Serbian, half in English.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, you mean --
23 MR. CEPIC: We can tender -- I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: The terms of the documents already exist in both
25 languages, is that --
1 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Well, these will be admitted.
3 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
4 Q. [Interpretation] General, did you personally participate in
5 meetings with the mission representatives?
6 A. Yes, I did while the Deputy Planque from France was still there
7 and he was succeeded by Leif Widmar [phoen] from Sweden.
8 Q. Thank you, General.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... translated that
10 is 5D27 and that document confirms the presence of General during the
11 meeting with representatives from the OSCE. Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] General, did the mission representatives attend
13 the exercises and training and target practice executed by members of your
15 A. Yes, since we were obliged to announce these exercises in advance,
16 they did attend the exercises, yes.
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5D23, 25, and
19 50. All three documents are translated and confirms the previous words of
20 General. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Could we see on our screens 5D49, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime while we're waiting for the
23 document, General, were there any attacks on the OSCE mission members in
24 that period?
25 A. Yes, I recall there were attacks in the sector of a village close
1 to Decani, it's the village of Lumbardja, and this was in mid-May 1999 --
2 in mid-January, 1999.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two members were attacked, I believe
5 they were from Scotland, one of them was wounded.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Attacked the wrong people there, Mr. Cepic.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. General, does this document confirm your evidence and is this a
9 document from your brigade?
10 A. Precisely so.
11 Q. Thank you. General, in early January, or rather, in January of
12 1999 there was an action called sword or "Mac." What was its meaning?
13 A. Eight soldiers were kidnapped from the 125th Motorised Brigade in
14 the Bajgora sector, and then the terrorists refused to release them. So
15 from the 3rd Army down to the corps and down to my brigade, I received an
16 order to engage units in order to rescue these soldiers.
17 MR. CEPIC: Could we see document P1160, please.
18 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your document?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. Does it confirm your earlier testimony?
21 A. Yes. This has to do with the disengagement of these forces from
22 the 16th of January onwards. After the soldiers were released they came
23 back to the unit.
24 Q. What does it mean "disengagement"? Had there been an action
25 carried out?
1 A. Not at all, no action.
2 Q. Thank you. Was the army perhaps praised for not acting, for
4 A. Yes. I was told that the army was praised and I was told so
5 through the documents and even by the OSCE president at the time,
6 Mr. Knut Vollebaek.
7 MR. CEPIC: There is already in e-court system Exhibit 2D181 which
8 confirms those words.
9 Q. [Interpretation] General, let us briefly, or rather, we're still
10 in January 1999. Your combat group which was in the broader Junik sector,
11 did you receive a visit by members of the mission, those who were involved
12 in the protection of the state border in depth?
13 A. Yes, we did receive a visit, I think at one point even
14 Colonel Ciaglinski came to visit us.
15 Q. Were there any local residents there?
16 A. Yes, certainly there were. I think that he even spoke to local
17 residents. He asked them whether they had any problems due to the army
18 presence, and they told him that they had no problems with the army
20 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... in B/C/S third
21 page, in English ...
22 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, the transcript didn't pick up
23 the exhibit number.
24 MR. CEPIC: 5D648, please. In B/C/S third page -- just the first
25 page for identification, please.
1 Q. [Interpretation] General, whose document is this? Would you
2 please look at it, at the heading.
3 A. This is the document of the command of the 3rd Army liaison team,
4 mission liaison team. If I'm not mistaken, it was headed by
5 General Toma Mladenovic.
6 MR. CEPIC: Can we have in e-court third page in B/C/S and third
7 page in English also this document.
8 Q. [Interpretation] We can see the second paragraph in English?
9 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... in B/C/S,
11 Q. [Interpretation] General, have you seen the last paragraph of this
13 A. Yes, I have. It says here: "On the 24th of January," and so on.
14 Q. You don't need to read this. Does this confirm your words?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. CEPIC: Could we now have 5D1178.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Just to be clear, which paragraph does that
20 MR. CEPIC: Second paragraph in English on the third page, Your
21 Honour, which is between 1730 and 18 hours a meeting was held between
22 mission representative --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. It was your reference to the 24th of
24 January I wasn't clear about. Is this just at the end?
25 MR. CEPIC: I didn't mention the date, but the document is
1 probably from that date or for that period, that week, and during the --
2 during the testifying of Mr. Ciaglinski he confirmed that he was in Junik.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, the problem though is, though, Mr. Cepic, you
4 directed attention to the second paragraph in English. The witness was
5 dealing with the third paragraph in English, he was dealing with the one
6 about between 8.30 and 9.00 on the 24th. So let's be clear what it is
7 he's actually speaking to -- speaking about.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. General, would you please look at penultimate and ultimate
10 paragraph in the Serbian version, the document you see on the right.
11 Would you please tell me the last paragraph in Serbian, what does it
13 A. Shall I read it?
14 Q. You don't need to read it. Just look at it and then move on to
15 page 4 in Serbian.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... please.
17 Q. Does it confirm your testimony concerning this?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. End of page 3, beginning of page 4?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did Colonel Ciaglinski speak to the civilians in the Junik sector?
22 A. Yes, with a group of local residents, Siptars, as it says here.
23 Q. Thank you, General.
24 MR. CEPIC: It is the third paragraph in English, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: Could we have now 5D1178. I'm afraid we haven't got
2 translation of this document yet. I already spoke to Mr. Hannis in
3 relation to this document because this document is related to something
4 else which I would like to clarify with next few questions.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You've managed to keep Mr. Hannis -- no you
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we did talk about some documents. I'm
8 not sure, is this one that refers to Kosare? I see an affirmative nod. I
9 don't have an objection to him speaking about this one and having it
10 marked for identification.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
12 Mr. Cepic.
13 MR. CEPIC: I clearly clarified to my learned friend that this
14 document is in relation to document -- Prosecutor's Exhibit P2808. This
15 is the order from Pristina Corps from February which number is 455-1, very
16 important document; and I would like to clarify something with this
17 witness, Your Honour. And I think that I clarified to my learned friend.
18 MR. HANNIS: I don't have a problem with that, Your Honour, but I
19 don't want the document admitted until I've seen it in English and have a
20 chance to deal with it in writing if need be.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: What you're saying in relation to this one is a bit
22 different from the earlier one, that you're saying not only should this be
23 marked for identification, but it shouldn't be admitted except by way of a
24 bar table motion?
25 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I would like to see the English
1 and maybe I won't have any objections, it can be admitted without him
2 making a further submission because I can see how it's relevant and I have
3 no concerns about authenticity or anything else. Am I making life more
4 complicated than it needs to be?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's important to have a scheme that
6 everyone's clear about, and this document, Mr. Cepic, should be the
7 subject of a bar table motion, unless you are able to reach agreement with
8 Mr. Hannis for its admission. So once you've got the translation, if you
9 can reach agreement with him, then you can submit it -- you can file it on
10 the basis of an agreed -- on an agreed basis, but failing that you would
11 have to support it with other submissions. Meanwhile, it will be marked
12 for identification.
13 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. With your leave I would like
14 to ask some questions in relation to mentioned document, not precisely
15 about document but in relation.
16 Q. [Interpretation] General, during proofing I showed you a document
17 of the Pristina Corps marked in e-court as P2808, which is an order to
18 crush Siptar terrorist forces in the Mala Drenica region. Do you remember
20 A. Yes, I think so, I think the date was the 16th of February.
21 Q. Yes. Did you produce your own order based on that order?
22 A. Certainly, and that was done in accordance with the order of the
23 corps, and that was the last group training, which is to say the training
24 of the command of the 125th Motorised Brigade in order to prepare officers
25 and develop plans for future action.
1 Q. General, was that order carried out?
2 A. No, because this involved group training. This was placed in
3 archives and used for training purposes. It was not carried out, not
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to see a video
6 clip in e-court which is 5D1241, the title of the material: "The village
7 of Prekaze and the anniversary or commemoration there." Could we please
8 play it from the 017 to 1.21. The witness will explain what this
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it the same -- are we still dealing with the
11 same issue?
12 MR. CEPIC: Different topic, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Different, thank you.
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, are you familiar with this footage?
17 A. Yes, I am. This is the celebration of the anniversary of the
18 founding of the so-called KLA in the village of Prekaze and the
19 celebration dedicated to the Jashari brothers.
20 Q. When did this take place?
21 A. In the first half of March 1999.
22 Q. Were you aware of this gathering?
23 A. Yes, I knew about it via the Ministry of the Interior and by my
24 people, officers, who were involved in operative work.
25 Q. Was anything done against these KLA forces?
1 A. No. Our hands were tied due to the presence of a large number of
2 civilians and because the OSCE monitors were there as well. Also because
3 my commander did not allow me to do anything. He actually warned me
4 several times on that day and in the preceding days.
5 Q. Thank you. Following this celebration, how did the situation
6 unfold in the Drenica region?
7 A. Following this the intensity of the attacks of Siptar terrorist
8 forces on the members of MUP and the army increased. Practically
9 speaking, the units of the 125th Brigade in the sector of Kosovska
10 Mitrovica and Vucitrn were practically encircled.
11 Q. General, March, was it imminent that there would be a NATO
13 A. Certainly.
14 Q. Tell me, please, when did your units leave the barracks?
15 A. Just before the aggression. The only people who remained there
16 were those who secured the barracks and other facilities, that is to say
17 guards remained.
18 Q. What sectors did you take up?
19 A. With our combat units I took up the sectors outside of residential
20 areas, and in town there remained only a part of the command and logistics
21 in order to carry out mobilisation and provide logistical support.
22 Q. Thank you, General.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 08, please.
24 708. We have translation in English also.
25 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, is this your order?
1 A. Yes, this is my order.
2 Q. What are you requesting here?
3 A. In the case of air-strikes we should take up the following sectors
4 and axes in order to prevent the enemy from penetrating any further, the
5 enemy or any other elements.
6 Q. Thank you very much. General, sir, in this courtroom we heard the
7 evidence of Witness Mahmut Selimi [as interpreted], who claimed to have
8 seen military forces, among others, in sectors to the west of Kosovska
9 Mitrovica near the villages of Tamnik, Zabare, Sipolje, Suvi Do. What
10 about the forces of the 125th Brigade, were they in that sector too?
11 A. Tamnik, Zabare, Suvi Do, no never. My own elements that the area
12 on the 8th of April, 1999, therefore they couldn't possibly have been
14 Q. Thank you. Did you have any check-points in that area or the
15 broader area, if you like, the military, did the military have any
17 A. No. I had no check-points in that sector not at any point in time
18 throughout the war. I had two mixed check-points or combined check-points
19 one in the Ibarska Slatina area; it's on the road from Kosovo Mitrovica to
20 Leposavic and the other was at Savine Vode. The one at Leposavic or
21 Ibarska Slatina was abandoned by my forces in late April.
22 Q. Thank you. What was the task of the military at those
24 A. Simply to inspect any military traffic, motor vehicles and those
25 walking, and also to check anyone crossing in a VJ uniform whether they
1 were making any legal crossing or illegal one.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 09, please.
3 709, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, is this your order?
5 A. Yes, it's mine.
6 MR. CEPIC: Could we have -- could we scroll down in B/C/S and
7 also in English I need the count 2.
8 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, would you please have a look at
9 item 1, item 2, and item 3. Tell us, what was the main task at that time?
10 A. The main task at the time was to prevent any incursions from the
11 Republic of Albania by NATO forces. The task was to block these roads and
12 to organize groups that would carry this out.
13 Q. Thank you very much, General. During our proofing session --
14 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... P1968.
15 Q. [Interpretation] General, did you ever receive this order?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In addition to this one, did you receive any other orders with a
18 header that read: "Joint Command for KiM"?
19 A. Yes, several others that had to do with the involvement of my
20 forces lending support to the MUP forces. The last one I received was on
21 the 15th of April.
22 Q. Thank you very much. In what way did you receive these orders?
23 A. The same way as any other, in an envelope. This was just before
24 the war broke out so there was a signalsman from the Pristina Corps who
25 was involved. I dispatched him and I got this in an envelope along with a
1 number of other documents.
2 Q. General, what did this mean to you, a document like this?
3 A. To me this was a document produced by the corps command detailing
4 coordination and the involvement of my forces, some units of my forces,
5 that were to lend support to the MUP forces in a certain sector.
6 Q. General, did such a thing as a Joint Command exist for you as a
8 A. No, there was no such thing as a Joint Command. This was some
9 sort of a coordination plan.
10 Q. Thank you. General, who was your direct superior throughout 1999?
11 A. The Pristina Corps commander, General Lazarevic.
12 Q. Thank you. When you sent reports, who would you send them to?
13 A. It was always the corps command that I submitted my reports to.
14 Whenever there was something important, an important report, I would send
15 it directly to the corps commander.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. CEPIC: Could we have count 5.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: How many pages are on this document, Mr. Cepic?
19 MR. CEPIC: Six pages, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we go to the end of it, please.
21 Is there no indication of who it was sent to on the document,
22 Mr. Cepic?
23 MR. CEPIC: I don't see, Your Honour. If you allow me to say
24 but --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zivanovic, this document is in the form in
1 which you received it, is it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Unsigned?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: With no indication that it was to be addressed to
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's true in this case.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Was this the first time you had received such a
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: When did you receive the first document in this
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think in July 1998.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you know what you were supposed to do with
15 such documents?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I used our communications system to
17 call the commander, but he was away and then his operative explained to me
18 that this document was all right and that this was about coordination,
19 about coordinated action, about coordinating support for the MUP forces.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The commander at that time would be a different
21 commander from the one who was responsible for this particular document?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who the commander was.
23 MR. CEPIC: I apologise, but we have wrong translation in B/C/S
24 because in your question was not the word "MUP," and in the answer of the
25 witness the witness answered in relation to MUP.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, the answer makes sense certainly in English in
2 relation to the question, but I'm trying to be clear about the situation
3 in 1998 in July when this first happened and March, which is the date of
4 the one we're looking at. The commander was a different commander in
5 March from the commander in July, was he not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but the commander of the
7 Pristina Corps - and this is how it continued, and this was a document
8 produced by the Pristina Corps command, and that was always my
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But just deal with my question. In July 1998 the
11 commander of the Pristina Corps was General Pavkovic?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And in March 1999 the commander was
14 General Lazarevic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Two different people.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Now ...
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you recollect how many of these Joint Command
21 documents were actually signed?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think one.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you remember when that was?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometime in March 1999. It was some
25 sort of an amendment.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. [Interpretation] General, let us please just look at what should
4 be page 3 in the B/C/S, item 5.2. You see what the tasks were for the 125
5 Brigade, right?
6 A. Yes, that item 5.2 I see that.
7 Q. Could you draw this line for me on a map, how far you got during
8 this action in terms of lending support?
9 A. I should, although I'm not such a good draftsman since I've been
10 away from work for quite some time now.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry,
13 Q. [Interpretation] Unfortunately, it's in black and white.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Cepic please be
15 asked to speak up a little.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, there's a problem for the interpreters
17 hearing you because of the position of the microphone I think. Just make
18 sure you're speaking into the microphone.
19 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I apologise to interpreters.
20 I'll try to avoid that problem.
21 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, is this a good map for you?
22 A. Yes, yes, you were just telling me what to do.
23 Q. Use red to mark your own moves. Tell me if you encountered any
24 resistance and then later use blue to mark the terrorist forces and please
25 mark the point which you reached in this action, that is essential.
1 A. This was the initial position for one of the groups, that is where
2 they started out from, and this is where another group started out from.
3 This group arrived just outside this village. I will do a dotted line
4 here to mark how far we got, and then I'll draw this at an angle or I'll
5 do a wedge.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You're certainly the best we've had so far at this.
7 MR. CEPIC: The General was the professor on military academy,
8 so ...
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are the two groups that were
10 on their way and they got as far as this line.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Use the blue pen now, please, and show me where the terrorist
13 forces were.
14 A. This is the so-called Cubrelj, that's where they were, all over
15 here, Rakitnica. And then above Srbica, Lausa. This is Lausa right here,
16 and Sakutu Puta [phoen], and then here between the village of Krusevac and
17 Lausa there was a thickly wooded area Baljak [phoen] and along the road to
18 Turicevac and Tusilje, the Lausa, or rather, the Devic forest. And then
19 Rezala, one of the strongest positions, best strongholds, and then the
20 whole of this area I'm not drawing this now: Izbica, Brocrna Vocnjak,
21 Kladernica, Citak, Citacko, Leocina, and all that and all this entire area
22 all the way up to this area over here, Josanica and where all the other
23 forces were going. That's as far as I remember. It goes without saying
24 the adjacent unit here in Makrmal and Likovac and other notorious
25 terrorist strongholds, Gornje and Donje Obrinje. Just as well, so much
1 for that.
2 Q. Sir, the line that you've just drawn for us, did you move any
3 further from this line, your forces, for the purposes of the record?
4 A. No, our forces went no further than this. Once they'd reached
5 this line they returned to where they'd started out from in Gornja Klina
6 and then the turn-off to Srbica.
7 Q. Thank you very much, General. All right. This is what I want to
8 know now --
9 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, could we have an IC number for this
10 document, please?
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC164, Your Honours.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, OTP Witness Mehmet Mazrekaj testified in this courtroom
14 before this Trial Chamber saying that sometime in late March in the
15 village of Pozar the KLA killed 18 soldiers. Is that right?
16 A. No, that's not right.
17 Q. Did a clash occur in late March with the KLA forces in that area?
18 A. On the 29th of March, we lent support to the MUP forces in the
19 Pozar village area. We actually dispatched three tanks over there to that
20 area. During the fighting a tank was hit by an Armbrust from the rear in
21 the Pozar village area destroying that tank and one of my soldiers were
22 killed, Private Dunic.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, have we now moved to a different
24 subject? Please don't move that IC document that was on the screen.
25 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We've moved away from that. I don't want to
2 interrupt what you're doing but there's a couple of matters arise in
3 relation to the drawing on the map if we could have it returned to the
4 screen. On this you've marked a large number of KLA positions. What
5 strength were they therein compared with the strength of your forces?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The total of their forces
7 outnumbered ours.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And how many troops did you have engaged in this?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My two combat groups numbered 350
10 men. We were lending support to the MUP units and they had as many people
11 as we did; therefore, the total was about 700 men.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: How was it that you lent support to them? What did
13 you actually do?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we say "support," we mean
15 support by manoeuvring, in this case combat units, combat equipment, or
16 firing. We would take up some prominent features and facilities. We
17 would protect any advances that they made, we would secure their flanks
18 and try to attack the firing positions of the terrorist forces wherever we
19 believed that the MUP units alone would not have been successful in this.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Cepic.
22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Could I change the topic? Thank you. Actually, to return to
24 previous document.
25 Q. [Interpretation] General, we talked about the village of Pozar,
1 how that tank was destroyed and one of the soldiers killed. What about
2 your forces were they in the village of Belik [phoen] on the previous day?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Thank you. Sir, Witness Mazrekaj said that there was a column of
5 civilians moving at the time, and the column was led by two police APCs
6 and a military one as well. Do you think that would have been possible?
7 A. No that would not have been possible. I did not have a single APC
8 in that area.
9 Q. Witness Edison Zatriqi says that the Carsija mosque and the other
10 mosque in Kapesnica were destroyed. Do you know anything about that?
11 A. No, I don't know anything about that and those certainly weren't
12 my units operating there.
13 Q. This same witness claims that on the 27th of March, 1999, in Pec
14 the army started shelling from the hospital yard and the secondary
15 school-yard. They were firing at Kapesnica village, and he says he
16 actually saw this. Is that true?
17 A. That's not true. I never used the hospital or anything like that,
18 any facility like that, a school, for example, for military purposes and
19 as a place to fire from. In the hospital itself there was an element from
20 the medical corps that was stationed there. We provided medical
21 assistance to the population as well, Albanian and Serb alike.
22 Q. What about the medical corps, General, is that a combat unit?
23 A. No, it's a logistical unit.
24 Q. Thank you. General, sir, were your forces involved in the
25 Jablanica action early April 1999?
1 A. Yes, they were lending support to the MUP forces.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. CEPIC: Could we have P2003.
4 Q. [Interpretation] What about your activities, were they based on
5 this document we see now?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. CEPIC: Could we have on our screens 5D465, please.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Is this your combat report?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. We see the date, it's two days after that order. Can you please
11 look at item 2.1, Combat Group 1?
12 A. Yes, I see that.
13 Q. It says here that pursuant to a decision of the commander they
14 took a certain sector. Which decision of the commander?
15 A. The decision of the Pristina Corps commander that we showed a
16 while ago dated the 2nd of April.
17 Q. Thank you. Who is this report to?
18 A. The Pristina Corps command.
19 Q. Thank you very much, General?
20 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I think it's time for the break.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The -- what is the number of the 2nd April order?
22 MR. CEPIC: P2003.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Zivanovic, we have to have a break at this stage, that will be
25 for about 20 minutes. Could you leave the courtroom with the usher while
1 we have this break. Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And we shall resume at five past.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. [Interpretation] General, in my speed I omitted to ask you
10 something, and that has to do with the village of Bukos, which is
11 mentioned on a number of occasions in this courtroom and this is also
12 relating to the winter 1999 period just before the war. General, sir, are
13 you aware that representatives of the OSCE mission erroneously reported
14 about the situation in the village of Bukos?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, document 5D26 has
17 already been admitted, that relates to that, and I would like to show the
18 witness document 5D653 now.
19 Q. General, are you aware that because of this erroneous reporting on
20 the situation in the village of Bukos any representative of the OSCE
21 mission was replaced?
22 A. I was informed about this by the person in charge of the Pristina
24 Q. We're just waiting for the document in B/C/S. Can you please --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: There must be a translation problem there.
1 Who informed you about this, Mr. Zivanovic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The leader of the mission liaison
3 team, Colonel Kotur from the Pristina Corps informed me about this.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Cepic.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
7 Q. [Interpretation] General, do you see the upper left-hand corner of
8 the document? Can you please tell me whose document this is?
9 A. It is also a document by the 3rd Army command and this is the
10 mission's liaison team that was still headed by General Mladenovic if I'm
11 not mistaken.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... in B/C/S and
13 also in English. In B/C/S is it possible to scroll down, please, and to
14 zoom in, please, the paragraph before the last one. And in English that
15 is the paragraph -- the third paragraph.
16 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, what is stated in this document,
17 does this confirm what you have just said?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you, General. Now I'm going to go back to the war
20 time-period. General, did you receive an order to break-up and destroy
21 the Siptar terrorist forces in the region of Rugovo?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. For clarity, this is 1878, that's how it's marked in e-court, D.
24 This is another document with a heading "Joint Command."
25 General, sir, will you please tell me --
1 MR. CEPIC: Could we have that document on our screens, please.
2 P1878, please.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: This is P1878?
4 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. Could we have second page, bottom
5 of the page in B/C/S -- actually, count 5, 5.1. Could we scroll down in
6 B/C/S, please. Thank you.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Can you see the very end of the page?
8 A. Yes, our assignments.
9 Q. General, did you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And was this assignment carried out?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you, General. We will continue. Can you please tell me --
14 well, we've seen some actions where you provided support for the MUP
15 forces. What I'm interested in is what was the size of the force from the
16 brigade that was engaged on average and where was the bulk of your forces
17 in that period?
18 A. The bulk of my forces was securing the state border, and the part
19 of the brigade that was engaged to support MUP depended on the situation
20 but it went up to 50 [as interpreted] per cent of my overall force.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me --
22 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry, we have mistake in transcript.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please repeat the percentage.
24 A. 15.
25 Q. Thank you. Earlier we saw in this order that a battalion that was
1 resubordinated to you from the 58th Brigade was supposed to carry out an
2 assignment in the Rugovska Klisora. Can you please tell me where that
3 battalion was located earlier?
4 A. This is the 2nd Light Infantry Battalion without any heavy
5 weapons, and it was located on the line, mostly the line of blockade,
6 where it was ordered to be. I ordered it to be there for purposes of
7 defence, and this corresponded to the line of blockade.
8 Q. Thank you. General, you said that the bulk of your forces was
9 securing the state border. What I'm interested is this: Was this any
10 significant or exceptionally significant attack on the state border and
11 the sovereignty of our country?
12 A. Yes. On the 9th of April, 1999, at -- on Easter or during Easter
13 this attack did take place.
14 Q. Can you please tell us what that was all about?
15 A. This had to do -- it was a classic air and land fight under the
16 name of Strela Jedan where the Albanian forces were engaged, also
17 terrorist forces that had left Kosovo and Metohija, and they had the
18 support of logistical forces that were in the depth of our territory, or
19 rather, Jablanica, Reka, Djakovica, Decani, and with the support of NATO
20 air force, they enjoyed the support of the NATO air force.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at exhibit 5D4568 [as
22 interpreted], please. 5D468.
23 Q. General, is this a report by your brigade?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. And paragraphs marked 1 -- well, actually, can you tell us what
1 paragraph 1 is about?
2 A. It talks about a breakthrough on the axis of Kosare by land forces
3 from the Republic of Albania.
4 Q. We can see the last sentence where it says that there is also a
5 possibility that there are Mujahedin among the Siptar terrorist forces.
6 Did you have any information about this, about the presence of Mujahedin
7 among the terrorist forces?
8 A. Yes, later we did have information about that even one of the
9 terrorists who was killed then happened to be a black man.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at Exhibit 5D166 --
11 1266 in the e-court.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this another report on the same subject?
13 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, that is the map.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Does this one deal with the air support
15 question, the one that's in front of us? Does it tell us what the NATO
16 were actually doing?
17 MR. CEPIC: I can clarify with the witness, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General, sir, can you please explain in paragraph 1 where it says
21 that passage should be ensured for the NATO ground forces --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I understand that. What I'm anxious to find
23 out is where there's reference to what was happening in the air, because
24 the witness told us that this was a classic battle involving land
25 confrontation with air support. So can we see where the battle -- where
1 the combat report deals with the -- what was happening in the air, please.
2 Can you help us with that, Mr. Zivanovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see the end and I don't know
4 what exactly it says there, Your Honour, but probably there are other
5 reports that talk about actions on the Planik-Ponosevac mountains,
6 Rastovica from the air, the south-western area of Decani. All of this for
7 the purpose of support for these forces because the objective of these
8 forces is along the Kosare-Junik-Reka axis to get to Djakovica and join up
9 with the forces in the Jablanica area, whereby they would create a basis
10 for the breakthrough of other NATO ground forces.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That may be right or it may be speculation, but you
12 told us that there was air support from NATO here. Where will we find a
13 record of that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not here in this report.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, what -- were you actually present
16 and able to tell us what NATO planes were doing in the course of this
17 engagement on the 10th of April?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the most part my
19 activities from the 10th of April were on the Kosare border post axis.
20 There were daily attacks from the front there as well as from the rear, if
21 you understand what I'm saying. So I was attacked from both sides. NATO
22 airplanes constantly flew over and were active in the places that I
23 mentioned earlier, and then in the following intervals from the 15th April
24 onwards they dropped cluster bombs in one of our sectors. For example, in
25 one fly-over they dropped 12 cluster bombs that covered an area of the
1 front that was 4 and a half kilometres broad where nine soldiers were
2 killed at one time, and there are reports about this that were generated
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that in relation to the action that's being
5 reported in this document?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. For me this was the most
7 difficult action, it was a classical attack from the Republic of Albania
8 against my brigade.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying that it was the 15th of April before
10 there were any air-strikes against you in this action?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I'm saying is that from the
12 15th onwards they started to fire at our forward section, but the from the
13 10th of April they were in the section of Ponosevac, Planik, the village
14 of Donja Morina, and then they fired along the road and positions from
15 Ponosevac towards Junik and from Junik towards Decani. This is a depth of
16 some 10 to 15 kilometres from these positions at the Rasa Kosare if you
17 understand my explanation, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: At the moment I don't. Are you saying that firing
19 on the road and positions towards Junik and from Junik towards Decani was
20 done by NATO air-strikes?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, and that is also connected
22 to this action because it was in support of them. They were weakening the
23 rear and the reserves, and therefore I was unable to intervene in the
24 forward sectors.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Mr. Cepic.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour, and I probably we will tender
3 some combat reports from these brigades just to show that in relation to
4 air-strikes actually, and I would like to call now 5D1266, please.
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, can you tell us what is depicted on this
6 map in front of you?
7 A. This is a decision to break-up and destroy terrorist forces in the
8 border area of the Kosare border post broader sector.
9 Q. Who drafted and who approved this decision?
10 A. The decision was developed by a part of the Pristina Corps command
11 headed by the Pristina Corps Chief of Staff, and it was personally
12 approved by the corps commander, General Lazarevic.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I would like to zoom in on this
14 section that contains the most markings. Thank you very much.
15 Q. General, we can see here the blue and red lines. Can you tell us
16 who the -- which are the blue forces and which are the red forces?
17 A. The blue are the terrorist forces supported with -- by the forces
18 from the Republic of Albania, which are also represented in blue, whereas
19 the ones in red are the forces of the 125th Motorised Brigade and the
20 reinforcement from the Pristina Corps.
21 Q. Thank you. I can see here these blue lines deep in the territory.
22 Can you please explain what this is about.
23 A. This is the line that was reached in the course of an attack of
24 land -- ground forces from the Republic of Albania. They penetrated from
25 several metres to several kilometres into the depth of our territory up to
1 a kilometre and a half. This is the area near Kosare that the hostile
2 terrorist forces had taken.
3 Q. Until which time did they hold these territories deep in our
5 A. Well, this is how it stayed roughly until the end of the war.
6 This was the deployment of forces.
7 Q. Can you please draw in blue their objective. What did they want
8 to achieve when they penetrated so deeply into our territory?
9 A. Yes. I'll try to show you. Their goal, their objective, was to
10 move in this direction and to reach this line whereby linking up with
11 these forces that were here.
12 Q. Who was there? Which forces were they supposed to link up with?
13 Who was the commander there?
14 A. There were Siptar terrorist forces there and the commander was
15 Haradinaj. This would mean that the defence of their neighbour on the
16 left, 549th Brigade, would fall as well. They would have to withdraw as
17 well in that case.
18 Q. Had they reached that line? Had the Siptar terrorist forces
19 reached that line, who would have had to withdraw, just to clarify this,
21 A. As we soldiers put it, the defence of the 549th Brigade would have
22 been compromised, they would have had to withdraw to Milanovac mount.
23 Q. Tell me, please, geographically speaking, was this area easily
24 accessible for further progress? Had they not been kept there, how would
25 they have moved through the territory?
1 A. In topographic terms, the borderline between the Republic of
2 Albania and Yugoslavia was quite favourable for the hostile terrorist
3 forces coming from the territory of Albania. They could have crisscrossed
4 this area easily and then opened fire at our forces which were at a lower
5 elevation, at the foot of the mountain region. There would have been no
6 obstacle anymore for them all the way up to Milanovac mount and Grebnica
7 mount which is some 30 kilometres deep into our territory from the border.
8 Q. General, briefly, starting from the 9th of April and, as you said,
9 until the end of the war, tell me what was the intensity of the attack of
10 Siptar forces in that territory?
11 A. The intensity was quite high all the way up until the 25th of May,
12 until the second air and ground battle known as Strela 2 or Arrow 2. It
13 stayed that way until the end of the war. On the 14th as we were pulling
14 out, according to the agreement, as we were leaving this territory, these
15 forces opened artillery fire in order to take the road
16 Djakovica-Decani-Pec even though KFOR forces were passing through on that
17 road led by the commander of Italian forces which were taking up those
18 positions after we left.
19 Q. Which date did you have in mind when you mentioned the commander
20 of KFOR?
21 A. The 14th of June, 1999, as I withdrew from that area.
22 Q. Was there shoulder-to-shoulder [as interpreted] fighting there in
23 the area of Kosare?
24 A. Yes, all the way up until the end of the war.
25 Q. And what was the distance between our forces and the enemy forces?
1 A. Between 50 and 150 metres, or rather, 50 to 100 metres.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, how many of your people fell casualty?
5 A. During the entire war within the Pristina Corps, we had 90
6 soldiers killed and 430 wounded.
7 Q. And in which area did you have the most casualties?
8 A. In the Kosare sector.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: What -- can I clarify one thing.
11 MR. CEPIC: Yes, please.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you mean by shoulder-to-shoulder fighting?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Hand-to-hand combat.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The interpreters corrected it to hand-to-hand,
15 which I do understand. Thank you.
16 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Your Honour, we have combat report from the 125th Brigade from
18 18th of April, this is the Exhibit Number 5D469 in relation to Kosare and
19 there is a list of died soldiers, and we also have translation of that
20 document in e-court system; so I would like to request admission of that
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You wish an IC number for the one on the screen
24 MR. CEPIC: Yes, please.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you shall have that.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC165, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: When you say that you have a list of dead soldiers,
3 is that for the Pristina Corps or is that for the 125th Motorised Brigade?
4 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, that is only for that day from that
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the figure that was given was for the whole
7 of the Pristina Corps, which will be different I think from your list,
8 unless the translation's a problem again.
9 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, probably it is a problem in
10 translation because I think the witness clarified that 90 dead and 400
11 injured are in relation -- were members of their brigade, of 125th
12 Brigade, just from that brigade.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That clarifies it. Thank you.
14 MR. CEPIC: Thank you. Thank you. And during the testifying of
15 Witness Filipovic we gave the list and total number of Pristina Corps dead
16 and injured.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's in the region of 250, is it, or -- is
18 the dead -- the figure for dead somewhere between 2 and 300?
19 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 530 people.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry. That's my faulty recollection. I'm
23 MR. CEPIC: And also same meaning of combat report from 125th
24 Brigade which is from 31st of March not in relation to Kosare but in
25 relation to Srbica which number is P2037. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Just give me one moment, Mr. Cepic. Yes, I see the evidence of
3 Mr. Filipovic, thank you. Please continue.
4 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, what cooperation did you have with other
6 structures, with civilian authorities, with MUP, with civilian defence,
7 and civilian protection?
8 A. The cooperation was fine to our mutual satisfaction, but under
9 very difficult circumstances.
10 Q. MUP and civil defence or civilian protection, were any of them
11 resubordinated to you during the war?
12 A. No, they were not even though I received an order from the
13 commander of the Pristina Corps on the 20th of April or thereabouts that
14 MUP forces in my area of responsibility or in my defence area were
15 resubordinated to me; however, that was not implemented.
16 Q. General, during the war what signs of recognition did you use?
17 A. The usual ones according to the Rules of Service, code and the
18 response code, those were our signs of recognition, of identification.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 699, but
20 unfortunately it is not translated yet, so I would like to mark it for
21 translation and later on I will request their admission.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this not a clear case where it's for you to make
23 a bar table submission later?
24 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. If it's not going to be specifically
1 explored by the witness, then you should apply later for its admission.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Once the war started did you use any bands to
4 denote your soldiers?
5 A. No.
6 Q. During the war what was the command of the units like?
7 A. First of all, command of the units was along the principles of
8 unity of command and singleness of command. The corps commander was my
9 commander, and I was in command of commanders of units. Command unfolded
10 under difficult conditions due to air assaults and other types of
11 assaults, due to disruption of communication lines. So there were
12 situations where I had no contact whatsoever with the corps commander for
13 several days. I also occasionally did not have contact with my battalion
14 commander. There were cases of people bleeding while waiting for
15 assistance because they could not establish contact and ask for assistance
16 to be sent to them.
17 Q. General, previously during your evidence we saw that members of
18 your unit were familiar with the provisions of the international
19 humanitarian law and the laws of war. Would you please tell me whether
20 that was applied during the war and before the war, of course?
21 A. Yes. That was the most important and most frequent issue raised
22 by the corps commander, and naturally all of us. We received a number of
23 documents regulating this, and I on behalf of my unit wrote a number of
24 such orders for prevention purposes. We did not want ourselves to be
25 those who would violate those provisions.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5D698, please.
2 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this the document of -- a document of
3 125th Brigade?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This military post, 8365, is that your military post?
6 A. Yes, that's the military post of my brigade.
7 Q. We don't need to go through the entire document, but we can see
8 that it deals with the application of regulations in wartime. Would you
9 please tell me, what was the objective of this order and similar orders?
10 What was their purpose?
11 A. The purpose was to ensure that anyone who failed to abide by such
12 an order would be subject to disciplinary or criminal measures taken
13 against them.
14 Q. Thank you, General. We mentioned the bombing. I'd like to know
15 whether in the course of bombing when your forces were bombed, did the
16 NATO aviation use some type of ammunition or some kind of rounds that were
17 not appropriate?
18 A. As I have stated earlier, they used cluster bombs on a number of
19 occasions and they used ammunition with depleted uranium, especially from
20 A-10 aircraft which has a gun of 30-millimetre calibre.
21 Q. There is something that I forgot to ask you, something about
22 Kosare. Just briefly, did you issue a special order to attack Kosare?
23 A. Yes, I did, pursuant to a decision by the corps commander. It was
24 my responsibility to issue my own order.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 Mr. Hannis --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Cepic please be
3 asked to speak up. The interpreter can't hear him. Thank you.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you're being asked again by the
5 interpreter to speak more clearly.
6 MR. CEPIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry. I apologise one more time.
9 My learned friend Mr. Hannis and me, we discussed about that
10 document, and I think that he hasn't got any objection in relation to the
11 order for Kosare which is the Exhibit Number 5D713, but unfortunately it
12 is not translated yet. May I continue, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that the one that's on the screen just now?
14 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Which one is it? Sorry.
16 MR. CEPIC: 5D713.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Has the witness been referred to it?
18 MR. CEPIC: Yes, in my previous question.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give me a line in the transcript for
20 reference to it?
21 MR. CEPIC: Maybe on 51st or ...
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Where was it referred to in connection with the
24 MR. CEPIC: Page 51, lines 6 and 7. I asked him directly in
25 relation: That is the order for Kosare?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: But the number doesn't appear. Did you actually
2 put the document to him?
3 MR. CEPIC: No, no.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you want it to be marked for
5 identification on the basis there's no objection to it being admitted,
6 you'll need to show it to the witness here.
7 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that it now on the screen?
9 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. May I continue?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, simply ask the witness to identify it --
11 MR. CEPIC: Yes --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: -- and then we can move on.
13 MR. CEPIC: Yes, of course.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, what about this document on the screen
15 in front of you, are you familiar with that?
16 A. Yes. This is a document produced by the command of the 125th
17 Brigade for the action at Kosare.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That will be marked. That document will be
20 marked --
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can we have him look at the bottom of
22 the document to be sure -- all I see on the screen is the first four
23 paragraphs. I think he should look at the signature and the final page.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
25 Mr. Cepic, could you deal with that, please.
1 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the last page, please.
2 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your signature or did someone
3 perhaps sign this document on your behalf?
4 A. My mark is there, but it was signed by Zecevic, my assistant
5 commander for the rear. He was authorised to do this on my behalf.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have no problem with that, although it
8 doesn't appear that there's any delivery information. I can address that
9 on cross-exam.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. This document will be marked for
11 identification pending translation.
12 Please continue, Mr. Cepic.
13 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, what sort of measures did the brigade
15 commander that was in charge take in relation to those who committed
17 A. First of all, if someone's performance was poor and insufficient,
18 such as was the case of a battalion commander, those people were removed,
19 those men were removed; second, all those who committed crimes were
20 prosecuted under a regular procedure. So much for that.
21 Q. Can you please tell me the name of that commander?
22 A. It was the commander of the 2nd Light Battalion from the 58th
23 Brigade, my Major Trajkovic.
24 Q. Will you tell me if any of the most serious crimes were committed
25 in the 125th Brigade?
1 A. There were two or three cases of murder committed by individual
2 members. There were several instances of robbery and about 30 cases of
3 theft. I can't remember the names of any of those involved, but it's all
4 in the survey that was delivered.
5 Q. This may be a little leading, but let me --
6 A. Maksimovic, Pesic, and so on and so forth, but not all 30 of them.
7 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, in Exhibit P955 there are couple names --
8 actually all names which General mentioned right now and they are marked
9 also in Exhibit Number P954 as the members of 125th Brigade. Three or
10 four persons for murders and for robberies six or seven and for the thief
11 and for stollen cars roughly 30 persons.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Are these documents already exhibited?
13 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, one of my last questions: Did you ever receive from
17 General Lazarevic any sort of order, information, or request verbally, in
18 writing requesting that a crime be perpetrated or any of the regulations
20 A. No, never.
21 Q. Thank you very much, General. These were my questions. Thanks a
22 lot, in fact.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
2 Q. Good afternoon, General. My name is Dan Ivetic and I'm one of the
3 attorneys for Sreten Lukic, and I will be having a couple questions for
4 you this afternoon. First of all, you mentioned and identified the
5 villages of Gornje and Donje Obrinje as being fierce bases for terrorist
6 forces in 1999 in your direct. Was the same true in 1998 with respect to
7 the region and these -- the region surrounding these two villages and
8 these two villages themselves?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And, sir, do you recall combat operations, joint operations,
11 legitimate joint operations between the MUP and the VJ -- with the MUP and
12 the VJ against the terrorist forces in the greater region surrounding
13 Gornje and Donje Obrinje in the tail end of September 1998, September 26th
14 and onwards?
15 A. I do. I recall that we were lending support to the MUP forces in
16 that action and we suffered the first losses right there, in terms of
17 combat equipment and manpower. The commander of my combat group,
18 Major Dragan Trifunovic, was wounded in that combat action.
19 Q. Sir, I would like to show you first 6D755 in e-court. This is a
20 document, a combat report of the Pristina Corps dated the 26th of
21 September, 1998, and I would direct your attention to section 2.1 that is
22 visible there at the bottom of the screen both in the English and the
23 Serbian. And it describes that the sabotage and terrorist forces that
24 were surrounded yesterday in the general area of Donje Obrinje and Gornje
25 Obrinje and on the northern slopes of Mount Kosmac put up very fierce
1 resistance during the day (up to now this has been the most fierce
2 resistance offered by the DTS) by firing infantry weapons and head
3 launchers, recoilless guns and 60-millimetre and 82-millimetre mortars
4 from elevated and fortified features in these sectors."
5 Does this report coincide with your recollection based upon your
6 knowledge and experiences of the circumstances, situations, in and around
7 Gornje and Donje Obrinje at the stated time-period?
8 A. I do recall that vividly. This is what the situation was, and the
9 greatest resistance was put up in Gornje and Donje Obrinje in this area
10 including the village of Likovac. Between the village of Likovac and
11 Trdevac, or rather, to the village of Gornje Obrinje to the right and
12 upwards, I witnessed a situation at a distance of about 15 metres when a
13 police vehicle came across an anti-tank mine and was blown up. The mine
14 killed five men and a single person survived.
15 Q. And I take it then, sir, that the next part of the combat report
16 talking about all approaches into these two villages having been
17 obstructed with mines and explosives and other obstacles, that that also
18 is consistent with your knowledge and experience from the field. Is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And now, if we look at the third paragraph in this section which
22 is the last line in the English but in the Serbian it is the -- it's just
23 the third paragraph under section 2 we see a report that: "A large
24 quantity of discarded uniforms, insignia, and weapons of the UCK/KLA were
1 Does this coincide with your knowledge and information and
2 recollection about the situation in and around Gornje and Donje Obrinje
3 around September 26, 1998?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And with respect to the fierce -- with respect to the armed
6 resistance and fighting that the terrorist and sabotage forces in this
7 area were undertaking, am I correct that this lasted for several days?
8 A. I think until the 29th, possibly the 30th of September, so it must
9 have lasted for four or five days.
10 Q. Okay. And for our purposes I'd like to show you Exhibit 6D756,
11 another combat report which you'll see once it's up on the screen, sir, of
12 the Pristina Corps command. This one will be dated September 27th, 1998,
13 and I would again direct your attention to section 2 which is there in the
14 middle of the first page on both documents, and ask you if indeed you
15 recall specifically that there was continued resistance and build-up of
16 the forces in the village of Gornje -- of the terrorist forces in the
17 village of Gornje Obrinje itself?
18 A. Yes. There was a lot of resistance and we took over two days to
19 reach Gornje Obrinje from Likovac.
20 Q. Now, General, in the course of these activities during this
21 time-period, did you have any information about any claimed massacre of
22 many civilians in either Gornje or Donje Obrinje?
23 A. No. The corps commander at the time, General Pavkovic, requested
24 that I submit a report, which I did.
25 Q. Now -- thank you, General. I'd like to move along. With respect
1 to your combat reports, and I think this is moving along to April of 1999,
2 you mentioned -- you mentioned some activities that your forces were
3 involved in in Rugovska Klisura. I'd first like to show you Exhibit
4 P2023, and first of all once the document comes up see if you can
5 recognise this as a document, a regular combat report originating from
6 your brigade and dated the 25th of April, 1999.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And I mention Rugovska Klisura because there's a section
9 here dealing with Rugovska Klisura right in the middle of the page, and
10 then after that, immediately after that, there is a section dealing with
11 the MUP which is where I would like to ask you and that will be on the
12 next page, page 2 of the English, I apologise, the middle of page 2 of the
13 English which is where section 2 begins, although this is all contained on
14 page 1 of the B/C/S.
15 General, at the time this report was written you reported that
16 five companies of the PJP 73rd Detachment had been incorporated into your
17 brigade and were given posted locations. And then underneath that part
18 you identify the villages where the -- pardon me, the regions where these
19 forces were to be located. And just under that in the Serbian- it's a
20 little difficult to navigate this document in Serbian because there are no
21 paragraph delineations - but just under that section where those villages
22 are identified or those regions I should say, you reported about
23 activities of the terrorist forces in your zone of responsibility and you
24 talk about terrorist combatants in various villages taking off uniforms
25 and posing and civilian refugees in these same villages after combat with
1 the legitimate forces of the state.
2 Was this a tactic of the Albanian terrorist forces that you
3 encountered often?
4 A. Yes, that's right. When they couldn't cope anymore, they would
5 just change clothes and they would mingle with the civilians.
6 Q. And looking at these villages that are identified here, I think
7 Racaj, Pacaj Seremet, Dobros, et cetera, are you familiar with any of
8 these villages and do they fall within the so-called Caragoj or Reka
9 region surrounding and outside Djakovica?
10 A. I'm familiar with these. It is in the Reka area.
11 Q. Now during another part of your direct testimony you talked about
12 how your units had moved out of inhabited settlements pursuant to an order
13 from your superiors. Now, am I correct that although your units moved out
14 there were other units that were not part of either the police or the --
15 your brigade such -- specifically military territorial detachments of the
16 Ministry of Defence who were mobilised at the beginning of the air war
17 with NATO and situated in various -- in various locations within your zone
18 of defence in 1999. Is that your recollection?
19 A. I recall that there were other units in my zone of defence, as you
20 said, but I'm not sure if they too stayed in settled areas. By mid-April
21 or late April -- I don't remember exactly. I think they all left
22 populated areas by that time. The only units remaining in populated areas
23 were local units such as civil defence and civil protection units.
24 Q. Okay. Among these other units, that you say, that were within
25 your zone of defence do you recall the 173rd -- pardon me, the 177th and
1 the 113th Military Territorial Detachments having units in and around Pec
2 and Decani cities controlling the terrain and features in that area?
3 Again, at the beginning of the war, the air war?
4 A. The 113th Military Territorial Detachment was from the Djakovica
5 Military District, or rather, from the Pec Military District but they are
6 from Djakovica and the only unit that I had attached to me was a single
7 company of the 113th. The 177th is from the Pec District. As of
8 mid-April or thereabouts they had abandoned town altogether and took up
9 their defence sectors around the axis roads leading to the town as I had
10 ordered them to because they had been resubordinated to me early [as
11 interpreted] In April.
12 Q. Again, I apologise for pausing, sir, I had to wait for the
13 translation and the transcript to catch up with me -- to catch up with us
14 I should say. I apologise, my colleagues have something.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you were right the first time.
16 MR. CEPIC: With your leave, Your Honour, error in transcript,
17 page 60, line 16, witness said [B/C/S spoken] not early April. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: He said what?
19 MR. CEPIC: End of April.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: End of April.
21 MR. CEPIC: I just said in Serbian not to clarify with
23 JUDGE BONOMY: He has not then dealt with the question, which was
24 related to the end of March.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Can you please repeat
1 the question, if you can.
2 MR. IVETIC:
3 Q. Absolutely, General. Do you recall at the beginning of the air
4 war, that is to say the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, that the 177th
5 Military Territorial Detachment with one company of the 113th Military
6 Territorial Detachment was situated in and around Pec and Decani cities
7 conducting control of terrain and specified features in that area?
8 A. As for the 113th, I can't say. I can only tell you about the
9 detachment that had been resubordinated to me which was above Decani in
10 the Pobrdje area. Therefore, it was not in a settled area. As for the
11 177th Detachment, this one had not been resubordinated to me either, and I
12 really don't know where they were at the time. It's late March we're
13 talking about.
14 Q. And just to finish up, do you recall also within your zone that
15 the 180th Military Territorial Detachment was effectuating control in and
16 around the city of Kosovska Mitrovica, including the region from Mitrovica
17 toward Srbica and also toward Zubin Potok and that the 54th Territorial
18 Detachment was situated in and around Vucitrn undertaking the same duties
19 in March -- in the end of March 1999 and onwards?
20 A. I'm afraid I can't help you with that. I don't remember that
21 clearly. I left Kosovska Mitrovica practically altogether. There was a
22 small component that remained behind.
23 Q. Then I will move on and ask you about some of the joint actions to
24 support the MUP forces that you briefly -- that you briefly talked about
25 in direct. I'd like to just clarify a few points, and I'd like to focus
1 for the moment at 1998. Do you recall in 1998, specifically the second
2 half of 1998, that there was a very significant security threat being
3 experienced with the KLA blockading roadways, or as it is in Serbian
4 "komunikacija," in various places within Kosovo and do you recall if your
5 forces were engaged in supporting the MUP to deblockade such roads in
6 August of 1998 in the region of Kramovnik, Boka and Rezina?
7 A. I recall that. Over 50 per cent of the territory remained under
8 the control of the so-called KLA.
9 Q. And do you also recall the participation of your forces along with
10 MUP forces in actions to deblockade the roads in the -- within the region
11 of -- or the line Kramovnik-Boka-Rezina in August 1998?
12 A. Yes, I recall that.
13 Q. Okay. At this time if we could call up 6D696.
14 General, I think you will see once this comes up on the screen
15 this to be a decision of the Pristina Corps command dated 30 August 1998
16 relating to deblockade of roads. And once we get to this -- there we go,
17 that's the cover page -- first page I should say. And if we can turn to
18 page 3 of the Serbian, also page 3 of the English, I think we will see
19 there under section 5.2 the engagement of your unit, the 125th Motorised
20 Brigade, supporting the 8th PJP Detachment and one company of the
21 Djakovica PJP.
22 Does the written assignments and tasks set forth in this decision
23 coincide with your knowledge and recollection of the events as they played
24 out on the ground in the course of this action?
25 A. I recall this. This is an order by the Pristina Corps commander
1 handing out a set assignment to me, or rather, to the combat group from
2 the 125th, Combat Group 3. It was based on this that I think I eventually
3 drew up an order for this.
4 Q. And, General, you say that you think it was based on this that you
5 think you eventually drew up an order. Would it have been the regular
6 course and practice within the VJ for yourself upon receiving this -- a
7 decision of this type that you would prepare a decision or a map
8 referencing the assignments of units within your region, both MUP or PJP
9 units and those of the 125th Brigade?
10 A. Well, that was the practice at the beginning. Very often we did
11 not receive excerpts based on maps attached to documents such as these.
12 We had to do them ourselves in order to know for sure -- for the commander
13 of combat group 3 to know exactly where it was headed, where he should go,
14 where he was to link up and meet up with the commander of the 8th
16 Q. Again, I apologise for the delay. We're waiting for the
17 transcript. If we could take a moment briefly to look at 6D676 then, I
18 think you can be in a position to identify whether this map, in fact, is
19 one that you prepared for this particular action. Is that, in fact, the
20 case, General?
21 A. Yes, this map was drafted in the Pec garrison on the base of the
22 order of the Pristina Corps command, and it was sent to the commander of
23 the 3rd combat group.
24 Q. And with respect to this particular action, am I correct that then
25 both yourself and the police superior officers conducted this action in
1 accordance with the assignments specified on this map order? Is that
3 A. I wasn't there personally. The commander of the 3rd combat group
4 was there and he coordinated the action or supported, actually, the 8th
5 Detachment and coordinated with them.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. IVETIC:
8 Q. Do you know who was it assigned these identification numbers to
9 the various MUP companies?
10 A. I don't know. It's a MUP formation.
11 Q. If I can ...
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. Am I correct that had the tasks and assignments specified in the
15 order and in the map not been carried out successfully, that would be
16 reflected in a written combat report generated by the army commander who
17 was the one leading the army forces in that action?
18 A. Are you saying that the army commander commanded or led the
19 action? No, actually. The army commander supported the action; and had
20 he not done that, the report would have reached me and I would have had to
21 inform the commander, General Pavkovic, that the action was not carried
22 out because I received the order from General Pavkovic.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... verified for us that if any
24 action were not -- strike that.
25 Would that be true for any action if any action were not
1 successfully completed or had had any problems affecting its completion
2 there would be a written report generated and sent back up the chain in
3 the VJ; is that correct?
4 A. I know that for me I need to report back that my commander's order
5 I was not able to execute, and then I would note the reasons for this. I
6 don't know if we understand each other.
7 Q. Now I would briefly like to move to 1999 just to touch on a few
8 points of a similar nature. First of all, I have a document, albeit
9 drafted by a different brigade, but involving assignments for a portion of
10 your forces. If we can call up 5D794.
11 This is an order originating from the 7th Infantry Brigade dated
12 May 5th, 1999, for an action in smashing the STS in the region of
13 Trbuhovac, Doljac, Ruhot, Pobrdje, and Trstenik. And if you look at
14 section 2 of the document on the first page in B/C/S and I believe on the
15 second page of -- I take that back, it should be on the first page of the
16 English as well I think according to my notes. Yeah, it starts on the
17 first page and goes to the second page in English.
18 You'll see assignments for the 125th Brigade along with the PJP to
19 undertake to smash or attack forces in a certain direction. Do you recall
20 this action; and if so did the planned assignments set forth here in
21 this "zapovest" actually get carried out on the terrain?
22 A. I must admit that I don't recall this at all because this is an
23 order from my colleague, the 7th Brigade commander, I didn't receive it,
24 and it is mentioned here that a part of the 125th unit forces. I don't
25 know perhaps if the platoon from the Pec military department was engaged
1 in the attack on a part of that road, otherwise I don't know.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I think to the last exhibit
3 that I'd like to ask you about, P2157. This is a "naredjenje," order,
4 originating from the 125th Motorised Brigade dated the 6th of June, 1999,
5 regarding control of roads and territory in the zone of responsibility of
6 your brigade. Looking first at the top right it would appear that a copy
7 was sent to the command of the 23rd PJP. Do you recall such an order
8 giving assignments to both military and MUP units? And to be fair, if you
9 need to turn to the second and final page of this document, by all means
10 just say so.
11 A. Yes, this is my order, but this is an agreement with the security
12 chief who went together with the MUP because we didn't want me to be
13 ordering something which could be perhaps improper because they were not
14 subordinated to me.
15 Q. Okay. And this order was actually effectuated on the terrain by
16 both the military and MUP units, as written in this order; is that
17 accurate then?
18 A. Yes. These are the roads in our sectors, and we're controlling
19 them via these detachments. And where we were not able to do that we
20 would ask for help from the MUP and that's when they were attached and
21 were executing or effectuating their assignments.
22 Q. Thanks, General. Let me just check one thing and I will see if I
23 have one or two further questions for you.
24 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
25 MR. IVETIC:
1 Q. Thank you, General. I have no further questions for you, and I'm
2 reminded that I went over the time for a break perhaps --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That's all right.
4 MR. IVETIC: -- so I apologise for that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: There's no problem with that, Mr. Ivetic, to
6 completely the cross-examination.
7 We have to have another break now, Mr. Zivanovic, so could you
8 again leave the courtroom with the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer].
11 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume at 6.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zivanovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the
16 Prosecutor, Mr. Hannis.
17 Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
20 Q. Good evening, General. Can you tell us a little bit about your VJ
21 background --
22 A. Good evening.
23 Q. When did you first join the VJ?
24 A. In 1978.
25 Q. And are you still active duty or have you retired?
1 A. I retired on the 31st of March, 2006.
2 Q. At what rank?
3 A. Major-General.
4 Q. General, I know this is not your first time in The Hague. I
5 understand you testified in the Haradinaj case last fall, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I want to start by asking you about the Joint Command, and I'd
8 like to show you an Exhibit Number P2113. I believe you'll recognise this
9 one. It's dated the 7th of July, 1998, and hopefully it will be on your
10 screen in a minute. We can go to the second page which has your signature
11 just for a second in a B/C/S, if we may.
12 Do you recognise that?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. HANNIS: Can we go back to the first page in B/C/S.
15 Q. And the English translation has this document headed as: "Ban on
16 operations without the knowledge and approval of the Joint Command for
17 Kosovo and Metohija." And it says: "Pursuant to the Order of the Joint
18 Command for Kosovo and Metohija, Strictly Confidential Number 1104-6 of 6
19 July 1998 ..." And so on.
20 Let me ask you something about the numbering system. That --
21 we've had evidence about how VJ documents are numbered and recorded in
22 registers or log-books. This number, 1104-6, in 1998 did you know to what
23 unit or what part of the VJ that register number pertained?
24 A. First of all, you said in the heading "ban on operations,"
25 actually it's not operations but on actions. Second, this number, I
1 assume that it's the number from the Pristina Corps command because I
2 refer back to that document. I cannot make up my own numbers. I don't
3 really have any numbers of superior commands unless it's something that is
4 contained in a document that I receive.
5 Q. And I will tell you I think we'll probably see later on, we do
6 have some Pristina Corps documents from 1998 which have that four-digit
7 number, 1104. But if your order here you say: "Pursuant to the Order of
8 the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija ..."
9 Why did you not write: Pursuant to the order of the Pristina
10 Corps, if you thought that's where it was coming from? Do you understand
11 my question?
12 A. Yes. As a subordinate to the Pristina Corps command do not have
13 the right to change the heading of a document received from a superior
14 command. So in the preamble I have to refer back to that number if I mean
15 to adhere to the procedure. Sometimes if this is not -- sometimes we omit
16 drafting the introductory part of the document so then we don't refer to
17 anything like that.
18 Q. Okay. Well --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That answer's not very clear to me, Mr. Hannis.
20 Whether it's based on the number or the actual statement that you put to
21 the witness.
22 MR. HANNIS: I'm going to follow-up, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. If I understand what you're saying then, General, it sounds like
1 confidential number 1104-6, which we do not have here, we haven't seen
2 that document, it sounds like when you got it, it had at the top: "Joint
3 Command for Kosovo and Metohija," correct? That's why you wrote this this
4 way, because the document you received said "Joint Command" not "Pristina
5 Corps." Am I right about that?
6 A. Most probably that's what it is. I mean, I cannot make up my own.
7 Q. Well, I agree. If that order had said "Pristina Corps command" at
8 the top, you would have said: Pursuant to order of the Pristina Corps
9 command number 1104-6, right, you wouldn't have changed it to "Joint
11 A. Yes, I would not change it. I am not allowed to change it.
12 Q. Do you recall approximately when you first heard the term "Joint
13 Command for Kosovo and Metohija"?
14 A. Well, that's the term, and I asked what this was about and this is
15 why I wanted to hear personally from the commander, and he wasn't there,
16 so I called the operations officer and he explained to me, It's all right.
17 It's a document from the Pristina Corps command, act pursuant to it, and
18 in future you can act pursuant to all the documents containing this term
19 in the same way that you would do with documents coming from the Pristina
21 Q. Okay. So then I take it this was the first time you saw or heard
22 that term "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija" was when you received
23 that order dated the 6th of July, 1998. Is that right?
24 A. Yes, this is why I called the commander.
25 Q. And you called him because you'd never seen that term before and
1 that was something unusual, Joint Command; and "command" is a term that
2 has significance for military personnel, right, and you wanted to know
3 what that was all about. Is that fair?
4 A. Yes, you could put it like that, because it was illogical. I
5 received an explanation that this was coordinated at the highest level and
6 that this is support by the VJ to the MUP forces, and that in future I
7 would be receiving things like this without signature.
8 Q. Okay. Did you make that phone call before you issued this order?
9 A. Yes, definitely.
10 Q. So I take it then you called either the same day or the very next
11 day after you got the order. Who did you talk to since the commander
12 wasn't available? Do you know who the person was?
13 A. The moment the Joint Command document came to me I tried to get
14 the commander and I couldn't, I got the operations officer, at the corps
16 Q. Do you know who that person was by name or by rank?
17 A. Yes, definitely I know the operative officer was
18 Colonel Milan Djakovic at the time; now he's a retired general.
19 Q. And -- so then you issued this order to your subordinate units,
21 A. That's correct. I think that it says there to the combat groups,
23 Q. Yeah, I see here on the right it says something that's translated
24 as: "BG-4," I take it that's Combat Group 4. Does that mean -- did you
25 send it to all your subordinate units or only to BG-4, if you remember?
1 A. I would need to look at the end of the document to see if there's
2 a list of all the recipients.
3 Q. I can tell you there's nothing on this copy as far as delivery
4 information. Did any of your subordinate units call you and say, What's
5 this Joint Command? Did any of them ask you about Joint Command?
6 A. Not at this point. They asked that later because they were not
7 able to ask, because in the heading it says the command of the 125th
8 Motorised Brigade so they know or they knew who that was.
9 Q. Now, before coming here to testify in this case between the end of
10 the war -- well, between this conversation with Colonel Djakovic and
11 coming here to testify, did you ever discuss with anybody else the Joint
12 Command, about what it was or who was a member of it? Did you ever have
13 any conversation like that?
14 A. I didn't have any specific requests to have this explained to me.
15 When I saw Djakovic again and on subsequent occasions the commander, it
16 was explained to me that this was the -- a support for the MUP forces.
17 And when we provided this support, the commander of the combat group and
18 the detachment commander would find themselves in one place; and in that
19 place everyone would command their own units and according to some
20 instructions or regulations we would call that a unified command post and
21 the action that is performed from that unified location is called a Joint
22 Command [as interpreted]. I don't know if I'm being clear.
23 Q. Well, I'm not sure that's precisely the answer I was looking for.
24 After -- did you follow any of the proceedings in the Slobodan Milosevic
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. HANNIS: I see --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I did see some footage once,
5 but I was not really prepared to do that.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 73, 1, I
7 believe the witness said joint commanding, not Joint Command, I mean just
8 for the clarity of the transcript because it says this action would be
9 called joint commanding, that is what he said, at least in Serbian. Thank
11 JUDGE BONOMY: We will ask the CLSS to review the tape and give us
12 a clarification of that. Thank you.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 Q. And have you followed any of the proceedings in this case on TV or
15 in the newspaper or through interested persons in Serbia before coming
17 A. Yes, in newspapers and in reports, I spoke with several colleagues
18 about how our colleagues were holding up here, our superiors, and also
19 while preparing for this testimony now.
20 Q. And as a result of that, did you become aware that this issue
21 about the Joint Command was a controversial issue in this case?
22 A. I assume that it is a controversial issue, but it's clear to me,
23 it's clear to me what this document is. It's a document from the corps
24 command, and it was always clear that that's what it was, as far as I'm
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zivanovic, Mr. Cepic earlier mentioned that you
2 had held an instruction or teaching post. Can you clarify that for me,
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did teach for two
5 years the topic of -- or the subject of strategy as part of the military
6 teaching institutions, and this is why earlier I mentioned these two
7 terms, combined commanding and joint commanding. So a combined command
8 post would be the place, the location; while joint commanding is an
9 action, it's a verb.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And is this a recognised military term, joint
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not in the instructions on the
13 work of the staff commands, but there is the term combined command post,
14 so we added as soon as the command post was combined that is the place
15 where joint commanding is carried out.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But of course the words that we are considering
17 here are not joint commanding but Joint Command, that's what the documents
18 record. Can you envisage yourself as a military instructor explaining to
19 students or soldiers who are being given instruction what "Joint Command"
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can imagine it, but it's hard to
22 explain, I mean it's hard to explain it here as well because it's
23 something that is not, like I said, in the military literature. But it's
24 a word that was put together and that is clear to me in terms of the
25 explanation that I provided earlier. It's the command of the Pristina
1 Corps, and this is something that we acted pursuant to.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give us another example of the use of the
3 words "Joint Command" from your Yugoslav military experience?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot give you anything
5 about Joint Command, but I can give you something about the coordinating
6 body, coordinating staff, joint staff. As for Joint Command, it's
7 something that I have not encountered in my earlier practice.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: In view of what we've been told about the
9 importance of singleness of command or unity of command in the Yugoslav
10 Army structure, is the expression "Joint Command" not actually illogical
11 and inherently contradictory?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, formally from a legal
13 standpoint it could be a bit unusual. But as a consequence it did not
14 pose a problem in the hierarchy of singleness, of unity, of command.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part of
16 his sentence.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: The interpreter would like you to repeat the last
18 part of that answer, Mr. Zivanovic. You said that it could be seen as a
19 bit unusual, but could you tell us what you said after that.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I'm concerned, it was not
21 a problem for me in the second part because I obeyed my commander. As far
22 as I was concerned, it was a document from my commander and I would obey
23 my superior commander.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: It's easy for me, and I suspect, for others to
25 understand the concept of a combined command post and to understand the
1 idea of senior officers of the MUP and the VJ being in the same place and
2 making sure that the orders they gave to their respective forces were not
3 inconsistent. That's simple, I think. But "Joint Command" I have much
4 greater difficulty with because it seems to be important to the army
5 officers who have given here -- who have given evidence here to
6 distinguish that in some way as not involving jointness of command. It's
7 explained always here as the opposite, that the command is never joined,
8 the command is always kept separate; and therefore, it is very difficult
9 for an outsider trying to understand this to see why, when it was
10 important to keep these commands separate, they're called "Joint Command."
11 Can you help me any further in trying to unravel this dilemma?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's difficult for me,
13 too, to understand, never mind explain it to you; but I will try to do
14 that if you permit me. There are two structures which are treated in
15 these documents of the Joint Command, this is the Army of Yugoslavia and
16 the MUP. To this day, if you put them into a parallel position, perhaps
17 in this room, to agree on an action it would be very difficult for them to
18 do that. There must be somebody above them who would coordinate that. I
19 didn't go into that. I assumed when I put my question -- Djakovic said
20 this was something that was done at the highest level about coordination
21 between the MUP and the army. So the way I understood it was that there
22 was somebody who was higher up who was coordinating it and saying, All
23 right, MUP, you will do this; and army, you will do this, along the line
24 of the Chief of Staff [as interpreted]. This is how I understood it. I
25 don't know if I have been clear enough.
1 It's an unfortunate formulation, so it's a bit difficult also for
2 me to understand it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You're helping me. I'm getting closer, I think.
4 Mr. Hannis, would you like to proceed.
5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: One little thing more I wanted to request you for
6 clarification. Now, if they were sitting in the same place jointly acting
7 on some action, whose order were these two different entities, if they
8 were not merged together, if they were different entities, whose orders
9 were they implementing?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that at the top it was the
11 minister of the interior and Chief of the General Staff who made an
12 agreement between themselves. I wouldn't be able to tell you anything
13 further than that.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I think we need to correct something
16 that the General said. Page 77, line 4, it says here "Chief of Staff,"
17 whereas the General said "Chief of General Staff," not just any staff.
18 That's what he meant when he said it was at a high level, otherwise it
19 might appear that it was a chief of some lower unit such as brigade or
21 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... that
22 explanation of the translation, Mr. Fila.
23 Yes, Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Well, General, yes, I think that is helpful. You've suggested
1 that somebody higher up who was coordinating it. And among the
2 possibilities, who was higher up that would have that kind of power or
3 authority or control over both the army and the MUP in 1998 and 1999?
4 A. There always is somebody higher up, somebody at the top. I think
5 that it was either in late June or early July that a session of the
6 Supreme Defence Council was held where a decision was made that the Army
7 of Yugoslavia was to participate in support of MUP forces aimed at
8 combatting terrorist forces. That was a decision made at the Supreme
9 Defence Council.
10 Q. And as a practical matter in real life, in 1998 and 1999, isn't it
11 true that Slobodan Milosevic was the one man in Yugoslavia who would have
12 that kind of power over both the army and Ministry of Interior? Is there
13 anybody else that was higher than him with regard to those two?
14 A. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Very well. The Supreme Defence
15 Council that was the highest body comprising three persons --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.
17 Mr. Fila.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Sir, with all due respect towards
19 Mr. Hannis, hasn't it been made clear that 1998 and the state of war in
20 1999 are not the same things. And when Mr. Hannis puts a question like he
21 did just now, that confuses people. Supreme Defence Council was in
22 1999 -- 1998, whereas 1999 is something quite different. So I think that
23 the Prosecutor needs to first put his questions about 1998 and then about
24 the state of war because it's not the same thing.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not going to rule against you on this,
1 Mr. Hannis, for a number of reasons based on the lack of clarity in
2 evidence about the change, if any, that occurred in March 1999 and the
3 status of the Supreme Defence Council. However, it's a matter for you to
4 consider whether you really will get the best out of this issue by asking
5 such a broad question.
6 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour.
7 Well, for Mr. Fila I can break it down into two parts.
8 Q. In 1998 and 1999 before the state of war was declared, isn't it
9 true Mr. Milosevic was the one person in Yugoslavia who had that kind of
10 power, to control both the army, the VJ, and the Ministry of the Interior
11 of Serbia? And I'm talking real life. I'm not talking something --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Of course you are, Mr. -- and I certainly
13 understand that.
14 Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, I have a
16 principled objection to this kind of question. General Zivanovic is a
17 fact witness here not an expert witness who is an expert in politics. I
18 think the General can only give us relevant information about his brigade
19 and the activities that he conducted within the Pristina Corps and not
20 about something that transpired at a much higher level. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: That objection is repelled.
22 Mr. Hannis, a senior army officer is clearly in a position to be
23 presented with this question.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. General, do I need to repeat my question or do you recall it and
1 can you answer?
2 A. I didn't quite it because you phrased it in the following terms:
3 Isn't it. Could you put it in a different form, please, because then it
4 would be clear for me. Don't phrase it as a negative, please.
5 Q. Well, all right. Who was the most powerful in Yugoslavia in terms
6 of control over the army in 1998 and 1999 before the state of war was
8 A. The most powerful man in terms of control of the army was the
9 Chief of the General Staff, in my view.
10 Q. And who did the Chief of General Staff answer to? Who could
11 replace him?
12 A. Supreme Defence Council.
13 Q. And who was the president of the Supreme Defence Council?
14 A. President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; at that time it
15 was Milosevic.
16 Q. And are you aware of any vote in the Supreme Defence Council where
17 the Supreme Defence Council decided contrary to anything that
18 Mr. Milosevic wanted?
19 A. I wasn't familiar with the decisions of the Supreme Defence
20 Council. I was just informed about what happened in June; but no, I'm not
21 familiar with it otherwise.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zivanovic, what's your understanding of the
23 position of the Supreme Defence Council in relation to control of the
24 Ministry of the Interior?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not quite sure. I think
1 that they have no competences in peacetime just in wartime.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So now you'll see the point of Mr. Hannis
3 addressing you on this issue the way he has, so please try to assist us as
4 best you can.
5 Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
7 Q. You're aware, General, that the Chief of Staff of the army in the
8 first part of 1998 was General Perisic, correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And he was removed and replaced -- well, he was replaced because
11 he went to another job, he was replaced by the Supreme Defence Council.
12 You know that, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I don't know if you're aware that in the Supreme Defence Council
15 session in which that was discussed that President -- the president of
16 Montenegro was opposed to the change but Mr. Milosevic wanted to have a
17 different general as Chief of the General Staff, and that was
18 General Ojdanic. So are you aware of that, that there was some dispute
19 within the Supreme Defence Council, but Mr. Milosevic got his way?
20 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Zecevic on his feet.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I have to intervene at this point. We
23 heard the evidence over here on multiple occasions of --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment. Just a moment. Just a moment.
25 Mr. Zivanovic, while we deal with this matter, would you please
1 leave the courtroom. It's not appropriate you should hear any legal
2 argument on this.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, 81, 16, my learned friend Mr. Hannis
6 is, I believe, putting a witness in an awkward position because he's
7 misinterpreting the actual facts. Mr. Perisic was not replaced by the
8 decision of the Supreme Defence Council but by the decision of the
9 president of FRY, which according to the constitution is the only person
10 who can replace, remove, appoint, and everything else what he can do with
11 the army officers.
12 So in that case, in that case, also the suggestion that there was
13 a dispute at the Supreme Defence Council, we have seen that, but this is
14 irrelevant. So I believe that my friend, Mr. Hannis, is by his question
15 is misleading the witness and that is the basis of my objection, Your
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Well, actually, Your Honour, I think that makes my
20 argument stronger --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say that's how it seems to me, but
22 nevertheless the question of accuracy arises.
23 MR. HANNIS: Well, I guess the constitution as I understand it
24 says the president has the power to do that in accordance with the
25 decisions of the Supreme Defence Council --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I don't think it does in relation to promotion
2 or --
3 MR. HANNIS: Okay you're right --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Or removal of generals --
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. That's correct. That's correct. That's
6 entirely his.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: So while it may clarify the point you're trying to
8 make in one sense, it does mean that the arguments that are advanced by
9 opponents of that view are simply I suppose advisory and --
10 MR. HANNIS: I'll leave that. I don't think I need to pursue that
11 any further with this witness.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
13 Let's have the witness back, please.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zivanovic, thank you for your patience. The
16 matter has been dealt with.
17 Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. General, are you aware of who the minister of the interior was in
20 1998 for the Republic of Serbia?
21 A. Yes, I am, Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
22 Q. And do you know who Jovica Stanisic was?
23 A. Yes, I know from the previous period.
24 Q. And when did he stop being the minister of interior?
25 A. You mean Vlajko?
1 Q. I'm sorry. When did Mr. Stojiljkovic become minister of the
3 A. I wouldn't be able to say that. I truly don't know it.
4 Q. And do you know when Jovica Stanisic was replaced in his position
5 within the Ministry of the Interior?
6 A. Well, I don't know. Was it in 1999? I don't know. I don't focus
7 on these political figures. I know the ministers but not --
8 Q. Let me move on to some other military documents. I want to show
9 you P1427. This is a Pristina Corps command forward command post document
10 entitled: "Decision on the joint engagement of MUP and VJ forces." It's
11 dated the 10th of August, 1998. And if we could go to the last page of
12 the B/C/S you'll see it's signed by General Pavkovic. And among the
13 addressees is the 125th Motorised Brigade. Do you recall having received
14 this document in August of 1998?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you will see above General Pavkovic's signature in item number
17 6 about command and communications it says: "Combat operations will be
18 commanded by the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija from the Pristina
19 Corps forward command post in Djakovica."
21 A. Correct, yes.
22 Q. And isn't it true that in August of 1998 General -- Colonel --
23 then the head of the forward command post was General Lazarevic, correct?
24 A. General Lazarevic was colonel at the time. Perhaps he was general
25 in August and he was the commander of the forward command post in
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... but he was the -- he was the
3 Chief of Staff and he was the ranking officer at the forward command post
4 for the Pristina Corps at that time, was he not?
5 A. Yes, within the group which was at the forward command post in
7 Q. And I think on page 2 of the English and page 2 of the B/C/S
8 you'll see in item 2.4 that there was a task for the 125th to support or
9 in a coordinated action engage with the 10th MUP Detachment in attacking
10 along a certain axis, correct?
11 A. Yes. This is just one combat group of the 125th Motorised Brigade
12 that was supposed to act in coordinated action with MUP.
13 Q. Now, next I want to show you a document from four days later.
14 This is P1428, if we could have it up in e-court, please. This is from
15 the Pristina Corps command and it's dated the 14th of August entitled: "A
16 decision on breaking up DTS, sabotage and terrorist forces, in the Slup
17 and Voksa villages sector."
18 General, do you recall having received this document in August of
20 A. Yes, I did receive it.
21 Q. And we see in item 2.2 that there is a task for Battle Group 2 of
22 the 125th to carry out a diversionary attack, right?
23 A. Yes, that's what it says here, to carry out a diversionary attack
24 to the south-east of Junik.
25 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to page 3 of the English and the
1 last page, page 4, of the B/C/S.
2 Q. We'll see under item 6 the indication that: "Combat operations
3 will be commanded by the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija," it's
4 translated here as, "with the Pristina Corps, forward command post, in
6 Could you read that out for me. I want to make sure that
7 translation is correct.
8 A. "Command of combat actions shall be carried out by the Joint
9 Command for Kosovo and Metohija from the forward command post of the
10 Pristina Corps in Djakovica."
11 Q. Thank you. And on the fourth page of the English and on the page
12 in B/C/S in front of you, we see it has the typed name and a signature of
13 Colonel Lazarevic, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So on the 14th of August, Colonel -- then-Colonel Lazarevic is
16 signing an order which directs that combat operations will be commanded by
17 the Joint Command. Did you -- did your subordinate unit carry out that
18 action, do you recall, in the Slup and Voksa action?
19 A. This Combat Group 2 was there, and practically it didn't engage in
20 any important activities. Most likely, the corps commander authorised
21 General Lazarevic to sign the order. This is a document of the corps
23 Q. Well, actually, we have evidence that he did more than that. We
24 have General Pavkovic speaking at a meeting of the Joint Command,
25 indicating that this action in Slup and Voksa will be commanded by
1 Colonel Lazarevic. Were you aware of that?
2 A. No, I don't know anything about that meeting.
3 Q. And you have not ever seen the minutes or the notes of meetings of
4 the Joint Command, some 65-plus meetings between July 22nd and October of
5 1998? No one's ever shown that document to you?
6 A. No, no. I saw this document once -- rather, I saw several
7 sentences here during the Haradinaj trial, I saw it in e-court. Now,
8 whether that came from that command or elsewhere, I don't know that.
9 Q. Did Colonel Djakovic ever tell you that he took notes of those
10 Joint Command meetings in 1998?
11 A. Well, no. There was no reason or need for him to tell me that. I
12 was subordinated to the corps command and it was my duty to obey them, to
13 do what they tell me.
14 Q. If in these actions there was a necessity for you or your
15 subordinate units to coordinate with the MUP, how was that done?
16 Physically how did you accomplish that? Did you call the MUP commander in
17 or did he come see you? Typically how was that done, General?
18 A. Once we receive a document to support the MUP forces, then we
19 agreed on whether I would meet with the chief of the secretariat of the
20 interior, say from Pec, depending whether it was carried out, or the
21 commander of the combat group and the detachment that he was supposed to
22 support, we're going to meet and then they would arrange it among
23 themselves in concrete terms.
24 Q. Did you ever have occasion in 1998 or 1999 to travel to Pristina
25 to meet with MUP officers to coordinate actions like this, anti-terrorist
1 actions in which the VJ was going to support and work together with the
2 MUP in carrying them out?
3 A. I did stay there several times in July and August, I don't
4 remember any longer, but that was at the invitation and order of the corps
5 commander, General Pavkovic. And according to the official rules, I would
6 go and see him in his office or wherever he said he would be. I have to
7 tell you that it wasn't easy for me to go to report to the commander
8 because I would always expect on those occasions that I would be given a
9 specific assignment that would be quite difficult. If I may add, and he's
10 here present listening to this, I would always say that I would fare badly
11 following such orders.
12 Q. Were all those meetings then in - did you say in July and August -
13 were all those one-on-one meetings with General Pavkovic?
14 A. As far as I know, the custom used by General Pavkovic, he would
15 always call commanders individually and they would meet tete-a-tete. And
16 only when we had joint briefings would we all meet together with the
17 commander. Commander General Pavkovic was frequently on the move and he
18 came to Kosovska Mitrovica much more often than I came to Pristina.
19 Q. Okay. We had evidence from another brigade commander about in
20 1998 in connection with these kind of anti-terrorist actions in support of
21 the MUP that there were meetings in Pristina which both VJ commanders and
22 MUP commanders met, at which General Pavkovic and I think he said General
23 Lukic from the MUP were present. Did you ever attend a meeting like that?
24 A. No. I never attended such a meeting. Pursuant to an order from
25 Pavkovic, after staying in his offices or in the building of the command,
1 once or twice I was sent to see certain people I guess in the MUP. Once
2 it was to meet the chief of police from Belgrade who was in Pec at the
3 time, his name was Ignjatovic, and it concerned actions in Dus and Sicevo.
4 The second time it was to meet with, I guess, Colonel -- perhaps Andric,
5 who was there in the Djakovica-Decani sector.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. General, did you ever hear in 1998 a group or
7 an organ or a body called the Operations Inter-Departmental Staff For the
8 Suppression of Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija? Did you ever hear of
9 that group?
10 A. No, not then. I heard that here while being proofed here and I
11 read minutes from one of the meetings, but I had never heard of it
13 Q. Did you ever hear of such a group by any other name that included
14 VJ, MUP, and political -- high-ranking political personnel dealing with
15 the problem of suppressing terrorism in Kosovo in 1999?
16 A. I didn't hear of it. I suppose that it had to be discussed in
17 certain circles, and then the public had to be informed, but I don't know
18 about it.
19 Q. Did you ever hear of the so-called plan for combatting terrorism
20 in Kosovo and Metohija or sometimes we've heard it referred to as the
21 five-phase plan for combatting terrorism. Did you ever hear of those
23 A. No -- rather, yes, I heard that from the corps commander. He
24 mentioned that when meeting me or other commanders somewhere on the ground
25 and he would say, Now we're in the phase of anti-terrorist combat, but I
1 don't know whether it was the second phase or the third one. I never
2 received a document specifying what phase it was. But to tell you the
3 truth, I was never interested in it because I had much more important
4 problems to deal with.
5 Q. Well, you would agree with me, though, if it was important to your
6 commander, General Pavkovic, to a certain degree it was important to you
7 as well, right?
8 A. Well, to me it didn't matter what stage this was. The only
9 important thing for me was what my assignment was and what I had to carry
10 out. That's about it.
11 Q. Okay. Do you recall attending a meeting in June, early June 1998,
12 to discuss combat-readiness in Kosovo and Metohija?
13 A. It's possible, but I can't remember specifically.
14 Q. All right. Let me move to another document then.
15 A. We met several times in Prizren and then in Djakovica to deal with
16 problems related to securing the state border. I'm not sure which one you
17 have in mind.
18 Q. Okay. Could we look at Exhibit P2098 just before we have a break,
19 General. This is a document dated the 5th of June, 1998, from the
20 Pristina Corps command and it's an order regarding measures to increase
21 the level of combat-readiness. And the first paragraph says: "On 5 June
22 1998 at Djakovica forward command post... The implementation of combat and
23 other tasks was analysed. All the commanders of the units first in
24 subordination (BG)," which I understand is combat groups, "in the area of
25 Djakovica were present." Do you recall attending that meeting seeing this
2 A. I don't recall whether these were commanders of combat groups or
3 subordinate units. I was not the brigade commander at the time. I was
4 the brigade Chief of Staff.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this would be an appropriate place for
7 me to stop for now, if that's agreeable.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
9 Mr. Zivanovic, we have to interrupt for the day at this stage;
10 that means that you need to return tomorrow to complete your evidence.
11 The court will be sitting tomorrow at 9.00, and that will be in Courtroom
12 I. So you should be back in time to re-commence at that stage.
13 Meanwhile it's very important that between now and then you have
14 absolutely no communication whatsoever with any person about the evidence
15 in this case, either the evidence that's been heard so far or the evidence
16 that might yet be given. You must confine any communications or
17 discussions to matters that do not relate to this case. Please bear that
18 in mind and now please also leave the courtroom with the usher, and we'll
19 see you again tomorrow at 9.00.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of
23 January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.