1 Tuesday, 29 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, everyone. There are certain
6 technical difficulties facing us this afternoon, but the proceedings can
7 be recorded. The exhibits to be used by the Defence are in hard copy, the
8 ELMO will work, and you will see it on the screen, and we now already have
9 at least part of the system working. There's a transcript before me,
10 although even if that disappears we can still carry on because it will be
11 compiled at a later stage.
12 So let's have the witness back, please.
13 [The witness entered court].
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Mladenovic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Your examination by Mr. Cepic will continue in a
17 moment. As I'm sure you are very well aware, the solemn declaration to
18 speak the truth which you made at the outset of your evidence continues to
19 apply to that evidence today until it is completed.
20 Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: RADOMIR MLADENOVIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Mr. Cepic: [Continued]
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Mladenovic.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. We talked about two locations yesterday, Mali Alas and Slovinje.
3 Then we saw a request for an investigation concerning Slovinje. What I
4 want to know is this: Initially who were charges brought against in
5 relation to these two locations?
6 A. In relation to one of these, I told you yesterday what I knew and
7 I saw that document about Slovinje --
8 Q. No, no, no. I'm asking you initially, as soon as it was learned.
9 A. As soon as the event became known, no charges were pressed against
10 anyone because in order to instigate proceedings one must first identify a
11 potential perpetrator. However, you can start proceedings against unknown
12 perpetrators or unidentified perpetrators. There is an investigating
13 judge who carries out an investigation to see if it is possible to track
14 down a perpetrator and in order to gather evidence that may later be used
15 for the purposes of a trial. So this is the essence of the investigations
16 that we carried out at the time.
17 If I may, as for Mali Alas, I know we launched an investigation
18 while we were still in Pristina and then the investigating judge submitted
19 a document about that to the military prosecutor of the corps, and then he
20 requested further action about this. And then when we came to Nis, the
21 military court there, I know for sure that somewhere in Serbia, in Sombor
22 or in Apatin, there were the investigating judges of the military court in
23 Nis together with the military prosecutor, they went there to interview or
24 question a number of reservists, reserve soldiers, who had been in the
25 area. I think the document is now somewhere in the war crimes section of
1 the Belgrade Tribunal.
2 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, why was this document forwarded to a civilian
4 A. The case file was forwarded to a civilian court because after the
5 military prosecutor had done everything that he was supposed to do the
6 case file was forwarded to a prosecutor and then he concluded, based on
7 everything that had been gathered, that no military personnel were
8 involved. And then he decided to declare himself as having no
9 jurisdiction over the matter and then he forwarded the case file to the
10 district prosecutor in Pristina. Of course that prosecutor's office was
11 then moved to another town or city, I'm not sure which one, but somewhere
12 in Serbia.
13 Q. Do you perhaps remember what the situation was in relation to this
14 other case, Slovinje?
15 A. I think the prosecutor went forward in a similar manner and
16 established eventually that no military personnel had been involved. We
17 saw that request for investigation yesterday. There was some other
18 persons who were suspected of having committed this crime, not military
19 personnel, but rather civilians from that area. "Suspicion," I say. I'm
20 not sure if it was them or not.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can the usher please place this
22 document on the ELMO.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters couldn't hear the last part of
24 Mr. Cepic's remark. Could Mr. Cepic please be asked to move closer to his
25 microphone or to speak up. Thank you.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, the end of your question there --
2 MR. CEPIC: Sorry.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Was missed by the interpreter. After you
4 identified the document to the usher, what else did you say?
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I asked for 5D1343 to be placed on the
6 ELMO for technical reasons, for reasons of the technical insufficiencies
7 that we are facing today.
8 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, this is a letter of our government to the OTP.
9 There is reference here to criminal proceedings against Dragoljub
10 Cirkovic. Are you familiar with this case, sir?
11 A. Indeed I am because I handled this case after an indictment had
12 been issued against Mr. Cirkovic for murder, which is exactly what we see
13 here. Once the war had been over, he was no longer a military official
14 and the military court in Nis, no longer had jurisdiction over the case.
15 Then the matter was forwarded to another court - I'm not sure which
16 one - I think Pec, a civilian court that would have had jurisdiction over
17 the matter. And you can tell by looking at this that he was convicted, he
18 got a prison sentence, and there is an appeal that is underway, and the
19 Supreme Court is now handling this appeal.
20 Let me tell you something else. Cirkovic and a great number of
21 other people were on remand in Lipljan. He was then taking to Nis, and
22 from there, onwards, he had been escorted to the Nis prison first and then
23 he was taken from there to this court which happened to have jurisdiction
24 over the matter.
25 Q. Thank you. How many persons were sentenced to -- how many persons
1 were detained during the war?
2 A. Well, I carried out my own analysis, and then after the war I
3 continued my work with the military court and we had over 300 persons who
4 were on remand during the war.
5 Q. Thank you. In June 1999 there was the withdrawal from Kosovo and
6 Metohija. After that what was done with these persons who were on
8 A. After the Kumanovo Agreement we were told to move these detainees
9 to the correctional facility in Nis on the 9th and 10th of June. I can't
10 remember specifically. Buses were sent for that purpose. And I remember
11 that there were two buses that were used for this purpose and neither were
12 full; therefore, a total of about 70 detainees who were transferred to
13 Nis. The remaining persons were set free. We only transferred those who
14 we believed it was necessary to keep in detention.
15 Q. Thank you. After a state of war had been declared over or
16 terminated - and you mentioned the example of Cirkovic a while ago, you
17 say that this case was forwarded to a civilian court because this person
18 was now no longer a military official, a member of the army - in terms of
19 percentage, can you tell us how many other cases like that were referred
20 to a civilian court?
21 A. It's very difficult to talk about percentage, but I can tell you
22 that based on the report it would seem that crimes such as this one,
23 crimes of this nature, were mostly perpetrated by reservists. Once a
24 state of war had been declared over, these persons were no longer military
25 personnel. And then when we were dealing with crimes that were not
1 within -- under the exclusive jurisdiction of military courts since these
2 persons were no longer military personnel or members of the army, the
3 military courts were no longer in charge of these cases. However, during
4 the war, before these persons started being members of the army and the
5 indictment had already taken effect, then it would have been a military
6 court that had jurisdiction over the matter.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Defence Exhibit
8 5D1290. [In English] Please.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I think there's something wrong with the last
10 sentence of the last answer in English. It says: "However, during the
11 war, before these persons started being members of the army and the
12 indictment had already taken effect, then it would have been a military
13 court that had jurisdiction ..."
14 Should that not be after these people became members of the army?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the war they were no longer
16 military men. That's what it should say.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] However -- my apologies. But if it
19 was before they stopped being military officials and the indictment had
20 already taken effect, a military court would have had jurisdiction over
21 the matter.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: The word in English is "started" and it should have
23 been "stopped," so the position has been clarified.
24 Please continue, Mr. Cepic.
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, does this document on the ELMO
2 seem familiar?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What's it about?
5 A. This was a report on the work of the military court attached to
6 the corps command which was sent periodically to the corps command in
7 order to be passed down the chain of command to lower-ranking units so
8 that the entire corps, to the extent possible, was familiarised with the
9 work of the military court in order to know which crimes were prosecuted.
10 Prevention was the principal objective of this exercise.
11 MR. CEPIC: That's fine. Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, can you explain briefly Article
13 47, Article 165, Article 166?
14 A. Yes. In this report, in addition to crimes there is this
15 preceding portion against the Army of Yugoslavia, and then we state here
16 that proceedings are underway before the military court for crimes under
17 Article 47 of the Criminal Code of Serbia, this is murder, one officer,
18 one NCO, 12 soldiers; and then theft, 26 soldiers; aggravated theft, 71;
19 three officers, eight NCOs. These are proceedings that were underway
20 before the military court.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page, please.
22 Q. What is this, 174? What crime is that?
23 A. This is when a vehicle is seized.
24 Q. How many persons were prosecuted at the time?
25 A. 56, that's what I see here. This is a crime against property.
1 Q. And what is the breakdown?
2 A. One officer, 52 NC -- 42 NCOs and one unknown perpetrator.
3 Q. Thank you. As for seized vehicles, in practical terms were there
4 cases in which vehicles were seized?
5 A. That's what our law says. Any kind of material gain must be taken
6 away that is acquired in this manner. We took those vehicles back and we
7 had a special pound, parking lot, for these vehicles in Pristina that was
8 secured by the police.
9 Q. What about after the war, did you return vehicles to owners from
10 Kosovo and Metohija?
11 A. Yes. Once it had been established who the owner of a vehicle was,
12 it was the court's responsibility to do just that and it was only logical
13 that the owner should get back as quick as possible what rightfully
14 belonged to him. There was several such criminal cases where I returned
15 vehicles like that. Once I returned a large truck. As soon as I had
16 documents on my table about the truck's ownership, then I was adamant that
17 the truck should be returned to its rightful owner.
18 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, who did you report to? In addition to this report
19 that you sent to the corps, did you report to anyone else about the work
20 of the court?
21 A. Yes, on a daily basis, to the section of the supreme military
22 court that was based in Nis.
23 Q. We're running out of time now and these are my last questions for
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
1 please, to pass these two documents to the witness. These are 5D1348 and
3 Q. What is this document, Mr. Mladenovic?
4 A. This is a report by the section of the supreme military court in
5 Nis. It was delivered to the army command, and it talks about what the
6 military courts dealt with on the previous day, those that covered the
7 area under the 3rd Army.
8 Q. What is the number for this document? It's 5D13 -- in the top
9 right corner, just for the sake of clarity, 1349. Thank you. Will you
10 please look at the previous day. What were the steps taken by your court,
11 according to this report, if you can find that for us, sir.
12 A. Well, it says here that the court that was attached to the command
13 of the Pristina Corps carried out four on-site investigations. One person
14 was detained and four requests were received to carry out investigation.
15 Two persons were indicted, and so on and so forth.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the other document now,
19 Q. What is this about, this document, 5D1348?
20 A. It's similar as the previous one, a report on the work of military
21 courts from the territory under the 3rd Army for the 3rd and this is the
22 report in relation to the 4th and this is about what they did on the 3rd,
23 the previous day. And you can see if you look at this report
24 specifically, specifically the command of the Pristina Corps, two were in
25 custody, seven were detained, and nine were unknown perpetrators.
1 Q. And this was about what day --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speakers please be
3 asked to speak one at a time. Thank you.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic --
5 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: -- There's been an overlap between you. Could you
7 be careful to avoid it and could you ask that question now.
8 MR. CEPIC: I apologise.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, during what period of time -- to
10 what period of time does a report pertain?
11 A. To a period of 24 hours.
12 Q. Thank you. A general question. In accordance with our
13 legislation at that time, back then as well as nowadays, when it comes to
14 the statute of limitations, what is the statute of limitations for war
16 A. It has always been a principle that the statute of limitations
17 does not run out when it comes to these kinds of crimes.
18 Q. Thank you. And I have just two or three more questions. Did any
19 officer of the Army of Yugoslavia during the war address you with a
20 request to --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Cepic please repeat his question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you'll need to repeat that question.
24 You're speaking away from the microphone and not everything is being
25 picked up.
1 MR. CEPIC: I apologise to the interpreters.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, during the war did any officer of
3 the Army of Yugoslavia ever address you with any type of a request to
4 affect a court trial or proceedings?
5 A. No, never.
6 Q. Thank you. During the war did you have any contact with the corps
7 commander, General Lazarevic?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. What was his attitude towards the military judiciary?
10 A. He had a very appropriate attitude, if I may say so, a very fair
11 one. By your leave I can elaborate on this. But to put it briefly, quite
12 a proper attitude.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Could I ask a question of the witness on that
16 I'd like to find out what made you say that his attitude was an
17 appropriate and proper one? Could I hear?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly. When speaking of
19 his proper attitude or an appropriate attitude, what I mean to say is that
20 as a corps commander he ensured that during the war all resources were
21 there that were required for a normal functioning of the judiciary.
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Anything else?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have already said, there were
24 no attempts by any officer to affect or influence court proceedings, and I
25 did not really have any other cooperation with the corps commander; I
1 wasn't required to have any kind of cooperation. When it comes to the
2 court established during the wartime, the task of the corps command was
3 only to ensure logistics and that kind of a cooperation existed there.
4 That's why I say that this transpired very properly because everything
5 functioned. This was taking place during the war. Had it not been for
6 the command and its efforts to ensure that we had all the resources there,
7 I'm sure that it would have functioned much less efficiently.
8 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. My last question: Was the corps commander interested in learning
11 whether people were prosecuted and whether work was undertaken in order to
12 work on all of the cases and all of the criminal reports?
13 A. Yes, certainly. When it comes to cases from this field, when it
14 comes to these proceedings, I can say that the corps commander perhaps
15 sometimes overreacted in his requests to ensure that this was investigated
16 properly from all angles. What I mean to say is that in a very proper
17 manner he asked from me, as the president of the court, to ensure that an
18 investigative judge was present during the sanitisation of the terrain.
19 According to the Law on Criminal Procedure when it comes to sanitisation,
20 it is not necessary that an investigative judge is present. It is
21 strictly regulated which organs need to be present when that work is
23 It was my opinion that not only because the law stipulated so but
24 also because we had already had some four or five cases where
25 investigative judges could have come to serious harm, be it by sniper fire
1 from armed groups of the KLA but also from the NATO aviation. And this
2 was my guiding principle when I took a restrictive approach to
3 investigative judges being sent there, because an investigative judge in
4 our system is an officer in uniform. When sanitisation is carried out, a
5 lot of other persons are present - forensic experts, pathologists,
6 military security, and so on. All of them wear uniforms and all of them
7 are targets. All of them are targets out there in the field. However,
8 later on I realised that the fact that the commander insisted on them
9 being present was actually very useful because the presence of an
10 investigative judge in such cases carries more of a probative value later
11 on in criminal proceedings once a perpetrator is discovered.
12 On the other hand, this sanitisation of the terrain or
13 battle-field doesn't mean any sweeping of the terrain; it's more of a
14 sanitary measure, that is the nature of it, in order to prevent any
15 infections emerging, any danger to the civilians. Because when a
16 sanitisation is carried out certain sanitary measures are carried out,
17 carcuses of animals are removed and so on. It is not anything that has to
18 do with what other investigative judges ordered, to remove corpses and
19 bodies of victims, no; quite the contrary, the purpose of this is to
20 ensure that in the presence of an investigative judge all is properly
21 documented and that these people are ensured a dignified burial and that
22 their remains are turned over to their families.
23 In this way we abided by a proper procedure, and when this was
24 further prosecuted before the court in Nis, some 600 victims were
25 identified and the circumstances of their death were as well.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mladenovic. That was my last question.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
5 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, my name is Dan Ivetic, and as counsel for Sreten
6 Lukic I will have just a handful of questions for you.
7 First off you discussed Article 17 on the Law on Defence and the
8 MUP. Would you agree with me that if Article 17 of the Law on Defence
9 envisaged any change --
10 MR. CEPIC: I apologise.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, my Witness
13 Mladenovic did not mention Article 17 of the law. He spoke of other
14 matters and this is being imputed to him now.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: I believe he did discuss the MUP jurisdiction over the
17 MUP -- resubordination of the MUP. If that's not Article 17 of the Law
18 on Defence, then I don't know what is.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's get your question which --
20 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: -- This does not prevent you asking.
22 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
23 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that if Article 17 of the Law on
24 Defence envisaged any change in the regular course of affairs of the law
25 relating to MUP personnel and jurisdiction over their discipline or
1 prosecution for crimes once resubordinated to VJ commanders for combat,
2 that there would have to be a legal act or article of the law explicitly
3 changing the employment status of the MUP employee or jurisdiction over
4 them. Isn't that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And, sir, would you also agree with me that as far as you know, no
7 such provision of the law exists at any level changing the jurisdiction
8 over MUP employees in the event of resubordination to the army?
9 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We did have this evidence yesterday quite clearly,
11 without perhaps reference to Article 17, but the witness said clearly that
12 there was no question of him having jurisdiction over the MUP at any stage
13 and that that extended to disciplinary proceedings of all kinds I think.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
15 MR. IVETIC:
16 Q. Now, I believe you also mentioned that citizens had the legal
17 obligation to report any crime that they eye-witnessed. This may be
18 obvious, but just to be clear, that obligation would continue to apply
19 even when such a citizen were engaged or assigned to the VJ. Isn't that
21 A. No, that's not correct. I never mentioned that citizens had any
22 obligation to report. I think that yesterday I stated that they should
23 report and anybody can file a criminal report or a criminal complaint, but
24 I didn't speak of anybody's obligation to do so, I didn't yesterday.
25 Q. Is it correct, sir, that with respect to crimes for which
1 punishment is envisioned as a prison sentence of five years or more there
2 does exist an obligation for citizens to report such crimes if they
3 witnessed them or are aware of them?
4 A. No. The duty of citizens to report crimes only exists in cases
5 where either death penalty or 40 years' imprisonment is envisaged for
6 such crimes. As for officials, authorised officials, then yes, they have
7 the duty to report crimes of which they learned in the course of their
8 official duties.
9 Q. With respect to authorised officials, am I correct that the
10 precise details, the crime, identity, location, time, and other critical
11 details need to be reported or recorded by such authorised officials even
12 when such authorised officials are within the VJ?
13 A. Yes, if they learn of such acts in the course of their duties. I
14 can clarify, by your leave.
15 If an authorised official wearing civilian clothes walks about and
16 comes across a crime being committed of the gravity that I mentioned, then
17 that person is not duty-bound to report it. However, if that person
18 learns of such a crime in the course of their official duties, then yes,
19 they do have the duty to report.
20 Q. Thank you, sir. You'll see I'm waiting for the transcript to
21 catch up with us, not questioning your answer.
22 With respect to military police or security organs, in the course
23 of undertaking their official duties, am I correct that they are
24 authorised by the applicable criminal procedural law to detain and/or
25 arrest persons undertaking such serious crimes, including MUP personnel?
1 A. No. The military police, according to the Law on Criminal
2 Procedure, but rather the scope of their authority is actually regulated
3 by the Law on Military Courts, but they were not authorised to arrest MUP
4 members. In principle, yes, any citizen can arrest anyone else if they
5 are caught committing a grave crime, but the military police did not have
6 any jurisdiction over members of the MUP. They couldn't arrest them;
7 they could only report them to the competent prosecutor, but not the
8 military prosecutor. I don't know whether members of the military police
9 came across such cases and whether they reported such crimes to the
10 competent civilian prosecutor. It is possible.
11 Q. With respect to cases where there is a reasonable suspicion to
12 believe that some individual has participated or assisted in an attack on
13 VJ personnel or property and when such persons are apprehended by VJ
14 units, am I correct that the security organs of the VJ would be the
15 appropriate and duly authorised organs to investigate and process the
16 suspects further?
17 A. Yes, because this has to do with something that falls under their
18 jurisdiction. They are authorised to uncover crimes and perpetrators who
19 committed crimes against the Army of Yugoslavia. What you just described
20 would constitute a crime against the Army of Yugoslavia, and in that case
21 the military police has jurisdiction over that.
22 Q. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions for you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
24 Mr. Mladenovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
25 Mr. Hannis.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mladenovic. I'll start --
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. -- by asking you some questions about what Mr. Ivetic was just
7 inquiring about.
8 If I understood correctly, in 1998/1999 in Yugoslavia, Serbia, was
9 there an obligation for any citizen who witnessed a crime for which either
10 the death penalty or a 40-year sentence was applicable, was there a legal
11 obligation for such a citizen to report a crime like that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And was that a --
14 A. I apologise. Only when it comes to the most serious crimes, it is
15 only then that citizens, ordinary citizens, have a duty to report when
16 they learn or eye-witness them.
17 Q. That's what I want to clarify. What are these most serious
18 crimes? Can you define them for us?
19 A. According to our criminal code from that period of time, those
20 were crimes punishable by death penalty or a maximum prison sentence,
21 which at that time was 20 years. The law stipulated that it pertained to
22 crimes for which a death penalty could be pronounced. Only in those
23 cases, when it came to those crimes, did the citizens have a duty to
25 Q. And in 1999 can you tell me what crimes those would be? Would
1 that be certain kinds of murder? Would that include war crimes against
2 civilians? Can you tell us which crimes those would be?
3 A. According to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, you have
4 already mentioned the crime of qualified murder. One of the modes of a
5 qualified murder is a murder of several persons. That is a qualified
6 murder. A war crime against civilian population as a crime from the code
7 as it existed at that time was not punishable by death penalty or the
8 maximum prison sentence, which was 20 years at that time and 40 years
9 nowadays. So according to our law it seems as though a war crime is a
10 less serious crime than a murder of several persons.
11 Q. Was there a minimum number of persons required before the death
12 penalty or the 20-year maximum would apply; and if so, what was that
14 A. At least two persons. I'm referring to the crime of murder.
15 Q. Were there any other kinds of murder to which the death penalty or
16 the 20-year maximum applied in 1999, any other special kinds of
17 circumstances? I don't know, a victim under the age of 15 or over the age
18 of 70, anything like that?
19 A. No. Our law did not have such provisions at the time. However,
20 when it comes to a qualified murder there are other modes as well, such
21 as, for example, a murder committed out of hatred, vengeance, reckless
22 vengeance and things like that, in a very brutal manner and so on. These
23 are qualified murders from Article 47, paragraph 2 of the law at the
24 time. The death penalty was envisaged at that time also for serious types
25 of robbery, for example, armed robbery. If an armed robbery is carried
1 out and somebody was killed with premeditation, then that was also a very
2 serious crime.
3 Q. Help me if you can. I heard from an earlier witness, we had some
4 discussion about the death penalty. In 1999 my understanding was it was
5 on the books, but as a practical matter it was or could not be applied.
6 Is that right? Did that have something to do with whether it was the
7 federal statute or the republic statute? Can you help us with that?
8 A. No. In 1999 the death penalty existed from a formal legal point
9 of view. At the federal level the federal code envisaged it. Later on the
10 federal law abolished it; however, the republican laws still had it. So
11 for as long as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia existed - and you know
12 that later on it was transformed into the Union of Serbia and Montenegro,
13 that was in 1993 or 2003 - so the federal law did not envisage death
14 penalty and this is where the problems arose. And to tell you the truth,
15 I can't even remember when a death penalty was last carried out in
17 Q. Well, that was my next question. Even though it was on the books,
18 as a practical matter was it ever actually sought or applied? And you
19 tell me you can't remember the last time it happened.
20 A. To tell you the truth, I can't remember. As a substitute to death
21 penalty, when in 2003 it was abolished by the federal criminal code, it
22 was substituted by a 40-year prison sentence as a similar kind of
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Mladenovic, do you know when Yugoslavia joined
25 the Council of Europe, of which it's now going -- yeah.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As an informed citizen, I might know
2 it. I think it was in 2001. There was some kind of a suspension there.
3 Our state's membership in international institutions was suspended for a
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Judge Kamenova reminds me that, of course, as a
6 member of the Council of Europe it would be impossible to carry out an
7 execution, and Serbia did become a prominent member of the Council of
9 I have one other question I would like to ask you. The murder of
10 a soldier or the murder of a police officer, was either of these regarded
11 as aggravated murders or were they simply regarded as murders of a
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Murders of a citizen. That's how it
14 was at that time.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, when you were explaining this obligation of a
18 citizen to report a grave crime like the ones we've been talking about, I
19 think you said either when they were an eye-witness or when they had
20 learned of it. I take that to mean that they wouldn't necessarily have to
21 be an eye-witness, but if they got information that would indicate to them
22 that such a crime had taken place then they were obliged to report it
23 under the law?
24 A. It would be difficult to speak of this, what you suggest, they
25 learned about something going on and -- well, the question is what sort of
1 information does one receive. If they eye-witness something, that's more
2 likely to be the case.
3 Q. Well, let me try a little hypothetical with you. I agree that
4 it's probably a factual question that's going to be determined on an
5 individual case-by-case basis, right?
6 A. One could put it that way, yes.
7 Q. And if an individual discovered a mass grave with 20 bodies and
8 the bodies showed signs of bullet wounds and someone told them he had
9 killed those persons, that would probably be enough, wouldn't it?
10 A. I'm not sure I understand. There is a grave, so people are buried
11 in the ground. How would it be possible to see bullet wounds?
12 Q. Well, in my hypothetical I'm assuming that the bodies were then
13 unearthed and a physical examination was done to show those kind of bullet
15 A. Well, I didn't understand the specific question. Whose duty would
16 it be to report something like that; is that what you're asking me?
17 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Now, I would intervene to clarify this. If the
18 bodies were not interred and there was no earth on the bodies and a few
19 bodies were lying in a ditch in the shape of a grave and somebody sees it,
20 I think what will happen, then he can see what's wrong.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. Would you agree under those circumstances you would probably have
24 an obligation to report it, as it would appear to be a mass murder?
25 A. I think so, yes.
1 Q. And again, it depends on all the circumstances, right?
2 A. Of course. What you're putting to me now is a question of facts.
3 So far all we've got to go on is a hypothesis, maybe someone killed those
4 persons, but it's very difficult for me to address issues that are merely
5 hypothetical or mere assumptions. If maybe you can name a specific
6 incident or a specific case I could help you if it was something that I
7 actually knew about because this is purely theatrical. I am here to give
8 evidence about facts that are familiar to me.
9 Q. Yes, I agree. I think even though you and I probably went to
10 different law schools we had the same professor who told us: Never say
11 never and always say maybe, and that's the way good lawyers deal with
12 matters; correct?
13 A. Yes, that certainly rings a bell. Something might be the case but
14 then not necessarily.
15 Q. Fair enough. You mentioned that there's a possibility of a
16 citizen's arrest regarding a grave crime. If I eye-witness, for example,
17 a multiple murder, under the law, if I physically were capable of it, I
18 can effect a citizen's arrest on the perpetrator of that crime? You'll
19 have to answer out loud.
20 A. Of course. Otherwise your own life might be on the line; that's
21 what the law says. Each citizen may arrest, and so on and so forth, and
22 that's how it should be. There is the institute of extreme necessity or
23 self-defence, of course. However, it is also a matter of one's physical
24 capability because one must always make sure that one's own life is not in
25 danger. So again ...
1 Q. Correct. And a VJ soldier who saw a MUP member committing a
2 multiple murder could effect a citizen's arrest legally, technically,
4 A. No, not a soldier -- a soldier as a citizen you mean?
5 Q. Yes, yes.
6 A. In purely legal terms, yes. In purely physical terms, in
7 realistic terms, if you like, well, that depends.
8 Q. I agree. This afternoon you said to Mr. Cepic regarding the
9 statute of limitations on war crimes that -- I think your answer was that
10 in principle or the principle is that that statute of limitations does not
11 run. Is that set forth in a law or a decree somewhere in Serbia or the
12 former Yugoslavia or is that just a matter of legal principle?
13 A. No, no. That is set forth in our laws, our criminal laws. I
14 learned that when I was a student and I still remember that. I know the
15 law says clearly that there is no statute of limitations on war crimes.
16 Q. Okay. Does that then apply to any other types of crimes? Does
17 that apply to qualified murder?
18 A. Qualified murder -- well, the statute of limitations applies to
19 qualified murder, but it would take roughly twice as much time as the
20 envisaged prison sentence, which at the time, let's say, was 20 years and
21 then it was 40 later. For it to become some sort of rough equivalent to
22 the death penalty, then it would have taken about 80 years. I'm talking
23 about the absolute statute of limitations, because we distinguish in our
24 country between the two different kinds of statutes, and I suppose it must
25 be along the same lines in other systems as well.
1 Q. You mentioned General Lazarevic started this requirement or
2 procedure for investigative judges to attend at the sanitation of the
3 terrain. When, approximately, did that start, do you recall?
4 A. I think it was sometime in early April 1999. There were orders by
5 General Lazarevic at the time on sanitisation. There was an investigating
6 judge who was dispatched, but as I said before I observed the fact that
7 there was a great amount of risk involved, because three or four
8 investigating judges face situations like that and I myself did once. So
9 at one point I disagreed.
10 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Zecevic on his feet, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, if I may be of assistance
14 Page 24, lines 24 and 25. The witness said that we in our country
15 we differentiate between the absolute statute of limitations and the
16 relative statute of limitations and he imagined it would be along the same
17 lines in other jurisdictions. That's what he said.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That makes sense. Thanks for your
20 Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 Q. Regarding the Mali Alas and the Slovinje cases, are you aware of
23 whether or not either one of those cases had been re-opened and is being
24 pursued by UNMIK?
25 A. I did say that yesterday and we looked at that document showing
1 that there was an investigation, local Serbs were being investigated about
2 Slovinje and Mali Alas. I said today that the case file should be in the
3 Council for War Crimes, which is attached to the Belgrade Tribunal.
4 Q. Just before we break I'd like to show you one document, if I may,
5 I've got a hard copy here in B/C/S --
6 MR. HANNIS: Or should we break now, Your Honour?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: No. We've got another 15 minutes, Mr. Hannis. We
8 started at 2.15 -- in fact, we were late in starting.
9 MR. HANNIS: Yes, you're right, Your Honour. I was thinking of
10 another schedule. And, Your Honours, I have the English but I guess you
11 don't. And I only have one copy at the moment. I don't know how you
12 would like me to proceed with that.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it worked fine with Mr. Cepic just reading
14 what he needs to read to make it clear what's being put to the witness.
15 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
16 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, this is what appears to be a judgement from the
17 military court in Nis dated the 21st of November, 2003. If you want to
18 look at the entire document and perhaps check the last page because it
19 appears to have your name and signature as the presiding judge --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have a number for the document, please?
21 MR. HANNIS: This is P3083, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. And the hard copy of the document is there next to you, sir. Do
25 you recognise it?
1 A. Yes, of course I do.
2 Q. And do you recall this case? Are you familiar with this
3 particular case?
4 A. Through a glass darkly, as they say. I've seen many cases.
5 Perhaps we should look at the verdict.
6 Q. Okay. Well, if you want to go to page 2 of the English, there's a
7 finding of guilty, I guess two individuals. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the first one is Vlatko Vukovic, retired colonel, and the
10 charge against him was for inciting false injury in the document; is that
12 A. Yes, and he was convicted for that, that very crime.
13 Q. And that's all I wanted to do with you right now, is just confirm
14 that this is an authentic document and an accurate reflection of the
15 judgement you entered in that case on that date.
16 A. Yes. It wasn't me. It was the chamber of the military court and
17 I happened to be its president.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Does the document record a sentence, Mr. Hannis?
20 MR. HANNIS: It does, Your Honour. In English we can -- it's page
21 3 of the English.
22 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, can you tell the Court what the sentence was?
23 A. I see it on the next page, the suspended sentences.
24 Q. Can you tell the Court what sentence was imposed?
25 A. We have something called a suspended sentence. A prison sentence
1 is pronounced, but then there is a probation period. If, for example,
2 this person does not commit another crime within one year, the person
3 never ends up going to prison and the sentence is never executed. So that
4 is the gist of a suspended sentence, at least in your criminal code.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's suspended for one year, is the answer?
6 MR. HANNIS: Correct, and --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
8 MR. HANNIS:
9 Q. Right below that I see that both the accused were obliged to pay a
10 lump sum of 2.000 dinars. Is that a fine or is that court costs or what
11 is that?
12 A. These are the costs of the proceedings and this is not something
13 that is imposed, but rather there is a lump sum.
14 Q. Okay.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: If the person commits another offence within one
16 year, how long does he spend in prison?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the person commits this crime
18 with intent, then this suspended sentence can be revoked and another
19 sentence may be imposed for this new crime and then there can be another
20 sentence for both crimes combined.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand. Could you tell us again what the
22 crime is in this instance?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Falsifying an official document. It
24 is a crime that exists under the federal law, the criminal law.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: That's rather different from the English we had
1 already, falsifying an official document --
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that was the crime for which --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Official, official, not private.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That's what I said in English; it must have been
6 MR. HANNIS: I understand reading the document, Your Honour, in
7 English it appears the other accused Mr. Vukadinovic was found guilty of
8 the crime of falsifying an official document under Article 184; and
9 Mr. Vukovic or retired Colonel Vukovic was found guilty of incitement to
10 falsify an official document.
11 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And what was the sentence?
12 MR. HANNIS: It was a suspended sentence of three months.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Microphone not activated]
14 MR. HANNIS: Correct.
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: It was a sentence for three months but it was
17 MR. HANNIS: That's what the document says, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE CHOWHAN: That's what I wanted to know. But there is a
19 sentence which is to be suspended, so that's why I wanted to inquire.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That's why I misunderstood. That's not the
21 explanation that the witness has just given us. His explanation a moment
22 ago was that if another crime is committed the whole thing is re-assessed
23 and then a prison sentence is imposed. Now, that's different from
24 imposing a sentence and suspending it for a year.
25 So which is it, Mr. Mladenovic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it is established that during the
2 probation period the person commits another crime - and this must be
3 established by a court ruling - then this three-month sentence is, so to
4 speak, added to the sentence that the person will get for the other thing
5 and then there is a combined prison sentence.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I think I understand it, but it's different from
7 the earlier English translation of the circumstances. And just to be
8 clear about what this crime was again ...
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Falsifying official documents.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Incitement to falsify an official document.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The person who actually perpetrated
12 this crime was a sergeant and he falsified the document, but the colonel
13 had incited him to do that.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the colonel that Mr. Hannis and I suspect we
15 are interested in.
16 Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. That's correct.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says colonel.
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. Yes. One question about that. The document refers to Mr. Vukovic
21 as a retired colonel, and this is a judgement in the military court. How
22 does that work? He was in the army at the time the crime was committed,
23 but it appears by the time the judgement is imposed he is now retired. So
24 how is it that the army maintains jurisdiction over him? Is it because
25 the indictment was filed before he left the army or how does that work?
1 A. These are crimes against officials committed by officers, for
2 example. It doesn't matter if they will retire the next day. This is
3 always under the jurisdiction of a military court. The Law on Military
4 Courts states that in no uncertain terms. This is the exclusive
5 jurisdiction of a military court. When an officer in the line of duty
6 commits a crime violating his duty, falsifying official documents,
7 accepting bribery, abuse of office, embezzlement or anything like that,
8 this will always be something for a military court and that's why we tried
9 this ex-military officer who was now retired.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. That takes me to the next area I wanted to deal
11 with --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do, Mr. Hannis.
13 Does that mean that even if he had retired before the indictment
14 was issued it would still have proceeded before the military court?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
19 Q. Yesterday, at page 103, line 7 of the transcript, you, in an
20 answer, said: "The Pristina Corps command had jurisdiction over criminal
21 matters when crimes were committed by military persons who were members of
22 the corps and also in relation to some crimes committed by civilians
23 against the army."
24 Now, I have seen in a document from Colonel Delic about members of
25 the 549th who were prosecuted --
1 MR. CEPIC: Objection.
2 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Cepic on his feet, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, either my learned friend
5 is receiving an erroneous interpretation of page 103 of yesterday's
6 transcript or maybe there was a misinterpretation, because the Pristina
7 Corps command can have no jurisdiction over -- that's what I see on page
8 31, lines 19 to 20. It can only be a military court; they cannot have
9 jurisdiction over criminal matters. So the command is one thing and the
10 military court is another.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, it's the very first words of the
12 quotation: "The Pristina Corps command had jurisdiction ..." Is that
13 what it says?
14 MR. HANNIS: That is what it says, Your Honour, but I think I
15 picked up in the middle of the sentence. He said: "The courts that were
16 set up and attached to certain commands - in this specific case the
17 Pristina Corps command had jurisdiction over criminal matters where crimes
18 were committed by military persons."
19 And perhaps there should be another dash after that "command."
20 Q. My question is: What about members of other corps or armies
21 temporarily attached or resubordinated to the Pristina Corps? Did your
22 court, your military court in the Pristina Corps command, have
23 jurisdiction over those individuals even though they may have been members
24 of a different corps or even a different army?
25 A. The military court that was attached to the Pristina Corps command
1 had jurisdiction over units from other corps as well in as far as they
2 were resubordinated to the Pristina Corps command because all these are
3 military personnel.
4 Q. Okay. So is it correct, then, that in Kosovo during the war in
5 1999 your court -- for any crimes committed by VJ personnel in Kosovo
6 during that time-period, your court had jurisdiction over them?
7 A. Only if they were actually part of the Pristina Corps. As I said
8 yesterday, members of the air force were no longer under our jurisdiction
9 but delegation was possible. And I think I explained that yesterday.
10 Q. I guess what I'm not clear on is the situation regarding certain
11 units from outside Kosovo. We have evidence about the 37th Brigade, the
12 252nd, the 72nd Special Brigade from Belgrade, the 63rd Parachute
13 Brigade. Is it a matter of whether or not they were officially
14 resubordinated to the Pristina Corps that causes jurisdiction to arise for
16 A. When I talk about jurisdiction it is more a question of personal
17 territorial jurisdiction. If there were any such units in Kosovo and
18 Metohija, jurisdiction over persons or total jurisdiction, and these units
19 were never resubordinated to the corps command. I don't know where the
20 military courts would be that would be responsible for those members. But
21 if a crime like that is committed then there can be delegation of criminal
23 You mentioned the 37th. Well, I think we actually prosecuted a
24 great number of their members, and this is a unit that was at one point
25 resubordinated. The 37th Brigade of course.
1 Q. Thank you. What about the members of military territorial
2 detachments or units, were they under the jurisdiction of the ...
3 A. They were not under the jurisdiction of the court over which I
4 presided but rather of the other one that was attached to the military
5 district command.
6 Q. Okay. And reservist, army reservist, who would they fall under?
7 I guess that depends on what unit they actually joined and participated
8 with, right?
9 A. Yes, they weren't independent; they were part of some other unit.
10 Q. And you told us, and I've seen in some of the documents that under
11 certain circumstances the military court had jurisdiction over civilians
12 for certain kinds of crimes if it were a crime against the army or against
13 army personnel, right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Now, I take it that would apply equally to a MUP member who
16 committed a crime against either the army or army personnel, if a MUP
17 soldier shot or assaulted a VJ member?
18 A. I spoke about that yesterday, didn't I? In a given situation a
19 MUP member is exactly the same as any other civilian. If he commits a
20 crime against the army, he will be tried by a military court; if he kills
21 a member of the army who is acting in an official capacity, he will be
22 tried in a military court. But, for example, if he kills him in a pub,
23 then he won't be tried by a military court but rather by a civilian one.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. HANNIS: Is this the appropriate time for the break, Your
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
3 Mr. Mladenovic, we have to break at this stage for 20 minutes.
4 Could you meanwhile leave the courtroom, please, with the usher.
5 [The witness stands down].
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And we shall resume at five minutes past 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, before I continue on, I wanted to go back to one
13 thing we were discussing earlier, that obligation to report certain grave
14 crimes. You told us that was a legal obligation. Was there a penalty in
15 the law for failing to report under those circumstances?
16 A. [Microphone not activated]
17 Is it on now? It is. In the criminal code there is a crime of
18 failure to report a crime and its perpetrator. When it was stated in the
19 code that the most serious crimes have to be reported, then the code also
20 prescribed what constituted a crime of failure to report, and there are
21 these types of crimes as well.
22 Q. Do you know off the top of your head what article that is in the
23 criminal code?
24 A. I don't know. I don't know.
25 Q. All right, thank you.
1 A. I never came across such crimes.
2 Q. Between your military court and the Pristina Corps command and the
3 military court for the Pristina Military District, it seems that in 1999
4 there could have been some overlap of jurisdictions between those two
5 courts regarding, for example, crimes committed by civilians against the
6 army. Is that right? It seems that some of those could have been tried
7 in either one of those two courts.
8 A. In principle and also when it comes to the jurisdiction, the
9 military court with the military district command had jurisdiction over
10 civilians who committed crimes against members of the military. However,
11 there were also rules of the procedure that were applied during the times
12 of war, and one of the provisions envisaged that another court could
13 prosecute for these crimes and have jurisdiction in cases where those
14 crimes committed by civilians were aimed at members of the units where
15 such a court was established. So there was no overlap there. There was a
16 provision authorising such a court, in this particular case it was the
17 court of the Pristina Corps, to prosecute civilians if they committed
18 crimes against members of that corps.
19 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: May I --
20 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: -- ask a question for clarification.
22 It's not quite clear to me from the answer given whether or not
23 there is a penalty for failure to report a crime. Unfortunately, the way
24 the answer was given, it's not quite clear. Could it be clarified for me,
25 please. Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there is no crime for which
2 punishment is not envisaged. There was a punishment envisaged for the
3 failure to report a crime, but I couldn't tell you exactly what sentence
4 it was. We could look at the law itself and see there.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, I understand the VJ had some civilian employees,
9 A. Yes, yes, there were civilians employed in the army.
10 Q. And were they subject to jurisdiction of the military courts as on
11 an equal basis with VJ members?
12 A. No, no. They were civilians, civilian persons, as the name
13 indicates, and the military court had jurisdiction over them just like in
14 cases of other civilians if they committed crimes against members of the
15 army or in the course of their duties, official duties. If a civilian
16 employed in the army inflicted grave injury on someone, then that person
17 would not be tried by a military court.
18 Q. Okay. Yesterday at page 104, line -- beginning at line 10 you
19 mentioned that the military courts have jurisdiction over military
20 personnel, enumerating them by category, and you said policemen aren't
21 listed there. What about civil defence and civil protection personnel,
22 are they considered non-military for purposes of your jurisdiction?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. And in some certain combat orders, documents, we've seen
25 referenced to a group called the armed non-Siptar population. I take that
1 in your view that's not something that would be considered personnel under
2 the VJ military courts' jurisdiction?
3 A. I did not understand you. Do you mean armed or non-armed?
4 Q. I mean armed, and it's the term used in these documents is armed
5 non-Siptar population.
6 A. No, no, they were considered civilians.
7 Q. Yesterday you were asked a question, I think, from one of the
8 Judges about the situation where you might have a military person on duty
9 committing a crime along with a civilian, the two of them committing a
10 crime against another civilian. And you told us -- you explained that if
11 they are accomplices then the military court has some jurisdiction; if
12 they are co-perpetrators, the military court remains in charge always in
13 such cases. Is there -- maybe it's a translation issue. There any
14 difference for you between the term "co-perpetrator" and "accomplice" in
15 that context?
16 A. I can see now that in my evidence yesterday I had a slip of the
17 tongue. If a civilian and a military person commit a crime together and
18 this crime is not the one over which only a military court has
19 jurisdiction, then both the civilian and the military person will be tried
20 by civilian court. Specifically speaking, if an officer and a civilian
21 inflict a grave bodily injury on someone, then both the officer and the
22 civilian person will be tried before a civilian court that would try the
23 civilian. And I apologise for my slip yesterday. However, if an officer
24 commits a crime in the line of duty violating his official duty and a
25 civilian was an accomplice who either instigated or was an accessory, then
1 the military court would try both the officer and the civilian because
2 that particular crime falls under exclusive jurisdiction of the military
4 Q. Is there certain kind of conduct by, for example, that military
5 officer that would convert or take him outside the line of duty? For
6 example, I mean his duty may be to search in a certain area for
7 terrorists, but if in the course of doing that he rounds up civilians and
8 shoot some or orders subordinates to shoot some, is he still acting within
9 the line of duty or does that mere act take him outside the line of duty.
10 Do you understand that question?
11 A. With -- despite all the intellectual effort I put into this, I
12 fail to understand your question.
13 Q. That may be a particular problem of mine because of the
14 jurisdiction I come from and certain civil law issues. I'll pass on that
15 and move on to something else. In one of your answers yesterday, you were
16 talking about the possibility if resubordination of the MUP had taken
17 place and what disciplinary liability might attach.
18 I wasn't clear from your answer then, do you draw a distinction
19 between discipline and more serious violations or crimes or are you
20 referring to the whole range of misconduct from a breach of the Rules of
21 Service to a war crime?
22 A. I think I was clear. There is a difference between disciplinary
23 and some other kind of responsibilities such as criminal responsibility.
24 A disciplinary responsibility is a lighter or more serious violation of
25 military discipline, and we all know what criminal responsibility entails.
1 Yesterday I did not address whether there were any resubordination or in
2 cases of resubordination of members of the MUP to a military unit or a
3 corps. All I said was the system of disciplinary responsibility was not
4 identical, that there were differences, that different regulations
5 regulated it.
6 Q. And I understood that answer yesterday to mean that if there had
7 been resubordination because of those differences between the army and the
8 MUP systems of discipline, you didn't think as a practical matter even if
9 they had been resubordinated that the VJ could have disciplined MUP
10 members who were acting with the army under that resubordination order.
11 Is that right?
12 A. It's a complex question. It depends on the mode of
13 resubordination, if there was resubordination. And the person issuing an
14 order to resubordinate needs to regulate these issues in that order. To
15 resubordinate MUP units to a military unit, it is not sufficient for the
16 Supreme Defence Council as a collective supreme commander to make such a
17 decision because there is another side to this with split competences.
18 There are republican institutions and federal institutions involved, and
19 if they fail to agree among themselves then there can be no discussion of
20 any resubordination there.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. You were asked about who had the authority to
22 file criminal reports. You told us in principle anybody could. In real
23 life who usually filed criminal reports? Was it usually designated
25 A. Most of the criminal reports in the cases that we have discussed
1 here were filed by members of the military police and members of the
2 security organs from the corps. What I know is that every brigade in the
3 territory of Kosovo had a military police unit. I think that they were at
4 least the size of a company, and they also had security organs within
5 their units. Naturally, security organs cannot be aware of every single
6 incident. When we discuss criminal reports, when we say "criminal
7 reports," then we are referring to the final act of submitting a report to
8 the military prosecutor. And the person who did file this criminal report
9 with the military prosecutor probably learned about the incident from a
10 member of the unit or perhaps from some soldiers who were out there in the
11 field. I'm just supposing this. I can't claim this with certainty,
12 because in the document I can only see the signature of the person filing
13 the report. Now, as to how that person learned about the pertinent
14 information that is contained in the criminal report, I suppose that that
15 person learned it through the skills applied in his job, the job that he
16 was tasked with.
17 Q. In principle, though, a civilian could initiate a complaint,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You don't have any personal knowledge of that ever having happened
21 in 1999, do you?
22 A. Now, that's a factual issue, and I do have such information. I
23 personally as a president of the court was approached by a citizen in Nis,
24 an Albanian, who reported to me that his vehicle had been stolen. I think
25 that that person was an employee of the municipal court in Pristina. I
1 remember that well. I remember that incident.
2 Q. That's the only one, though, right?
3 A. It was reported to me as the president of the court. I don't know
4 how many such reports reached prosecutors. He reported this to me. I
5 sent it to the prosecutor, and the case was prosecuted in term -- meaning
6 that the perpetrator was identified.
7 Q. Okay. Mr. Mladenovic, you told us yesterday that if an officer of
8 the army reports a crime, then his obligation ceases once he reported it,
9 he doesn't have any further obligation; correct?
10 A. Nothing prescribed by regulations, no, no further duty. As for
11 other obligations not prescribed by law, I don't think we need to discuss
12 that. It -- he wasn't able to. In accordance with our existing
13 provisions, he could not follow up.
14 Q. What form did that report have to take? Was it merely enough to
15 orally advise a military policeman or was it required to fill out some
16 kind of written form or were there any rules about how that report was to
17 be made by the military officer?
18 A. Precisely to make it easier to identify perpetrators and to
19 prosecute them. A criminal report or a criminal complaint does not have a
20 specified form, prescribed form. It is sufficient to report something
21 verbally, whatever one learns can be reported verbally. The military
22 police people did have some forms, but it's not enough for there to be
23 just a verbal account for the prosecutor to take additional steps. There
24 has to be some reasonable suspicion -- doubt that something had happened,
25 that there's a certain degree of veracity in order for this to be taken
2 Q. You described for us yesterday a little bit about how the process
3 worked of the initial receiving of a criminal report. At page 109
4 beginning at line 9 you talked about the stages. You mentioned the
5 pre-criminal case where the investigative judge and the military police
6 investigate, and then you mention a separate proceeding or stage called
7 preliminary proceedings. What are those? Is that something that takes
8 place before an indictment is filed?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what's the relevance of this detail?
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know that we've had it before
11 and I'm just trying to get the process clear for purposes of dealing with
12 the cases that we do have; and we'll talk about later on. I know I'm
13 nearing the end of my time, and I can move on to something more of
14 interest to us.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I'm just trying to see why the detail of the
16 procedure matters to the issues that we're considering. If you can tell
17 me, then obviously that would be justification for this; but if it's just
18 for the sake of completeness, it isn't necessarily a good reason.
19 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, it is our position that there were
20 certain things that did not get processed the way that we believed they
21 should have based on the information they had, and understanding the
22 process will help us identify how and where the failure may have taken
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
25 MR. HANNIS: I'll try and speed it up.
1 Q. Sir, did you recall my question about the criminal proceedings.
2 What are those that take place before an indictment is filed?
3 A. I did understand your question, but I have a correction to make.
4 An investigative judge in the pre-criminal proceedings does not appear
5 except when an on-site investigation is conducted before any pre-criminal
6 proceedings begin, otherwise he has no obligation to appear only the
7 military police and the prosecutor do. The purpose of this pre-criminal
8 proceedings is to find valid information that would enable the prosecutor
9 to ask the court to start the proceedings, and this is something that we
10 call investigation or investigative proceedings. And it is only then that
11 an investigative judge comes on the scene. And once he establishes that
12 matters have been clarified enough, the file is sent to the prosecutor,
13 who then decides whether to issue an indictment or drop charges. This is
14 briefly what these proceedings are about.
15 Q. Thank you. Was it necessary to have an order from an
16 investigative judge to carry out an exhumation or could that be done by
17 the military police or the military prosecutor without involving an
18 investigative judge?
19 A. Only an investigative judge is authorised to order exhumation and
20 post mortem of a body.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. HANNIS: Yesterday, Your Honour, there was a portion of the
23 transcript that you requested further clarification of the translation and
24 I think that was at page 109, lines 23 or 24, there was a reference to a
25 wink and a nod. I don't know if you got a clarification of that. I
1 haven't seen it.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: These clarifications don't come for weeks now and
3 after the event, Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Unless you specifically ask for it immediately, and
6 we didn't.
7 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
8 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, yesterday you indicated that during your 11 years
9 as a military court judge no one attempted or had any influence on your
10 work, and then you had -- an answer was translated as: "It was more
11 likely to have a wink-and-a-nod kind of suggestion to help one accused
12 over another."
13 Is that what you said; and if so, what did you mean by that?
14 A. This is a case of a singularly bad interpretation. There was no
15 wink and a nod. I mentioned nothing of the sort. I said verbatim that
16 none of the people from the military establishment ever tried to influence
17 me as a judge. It was more of a case where on a friendly basis - and by
18 this I'm referring to the fact that we judges do not exist in a vacuum, we
19 are not anti-social people, we socialise, we see other people, we are
20 entitled to that just like any other citizen - so in these social contacts
21 occasionally one of those friends would inquire, show interest, in a case
22 or in a person, and that cannot be qualified as attempt to influence or
23 any influence. I don't know whether any of my colleagues, judges, or
24 prosecutors could say that they were never asked by, say, a neighbour
25 about the fate of a particular case or something of the sort. That's what
1 I wanted to say yesterday, and I just repeated it now.
2 Q. Okay. But you didn't view those friendly inquiries as any attempt
3 to influence you?
4 A. No, God forbid.
5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I would like to ask one or two questions. Judge,
6 I just wanted to know, your routine meetings with the corps commander, how
7 frequent were these meetings and were you following a routine? Did you go
8 to him or he came to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the very beginning of the war,
10 perhaps I would go once or twice a week to these meetings with the
11 commander, and then the commander said that there was no need for me to
12 come to these meetings where issues were discussed that I knew nothing
13 about. I am not a strategist and that it was sufficient for us to speak
14 occasionally on the phone, and should there be a problem in the
15 functioning of the court that I should warn him directly and immediately.
16 And what we saw here, the regular reporting in writing was done on a
17 monthly basis.
18 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Why would you go to those meetings when you did
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In order to inform those who were
21 present about the crime rate and the situation with the crimes and the
22 court, to inform them about the activities of the court. And as I have
23 said, I only came once or twice a week in the beginning of the war, I
24 attended those meetings on that basis; and then after that -- actually, it
25 was no duty of mine, nobody tasked me with this, it's just that I thought
1 personally that it was my duty to come to those meetings once I learned
2 that there would be a meeting. Nobody ordered me or instructed me to come
3 to these meetings. Once the commander saw me present there, he said to me
4 there was no need for me to be there; and that if there was a need, it was
5 sufficient for me to inform him on the phone.
6 JUDGE CHOWHAN: As a matter of fact, an independent judge will not
7 pursue like this and go to meetings when he's not even wanted. Why did
8 you do it?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an independent judge, but at the
10 same time I'm the president of the court, and I'm responsible for ensuring
11 that the court functions properly. Where would I go for assistance if not
12 to a meeting of the corps command? I don't know if I was clear enough.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: You didn't have ministerial staff like a registrar
14 or somebody to work on that side for arranging logistics for requesting
15 for help instead of the judge going himself and sitting beside all these
16 people who were a party before him in the course of adjudication?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know on what basis you
18 believe them to be party to proceedings. They could potentially be so
19 because the court has competencies over them as well, but there never was
20 a case where I went to see a party to the proceedings. As for a registrar
21 of the court or somebody of that nature, I have to remind you that this
22 was wartime, and there are no provisions ensuring that the court would
23 have a registrar in charge of logistics. I think that I have told you
24 that the court established at the corps command did not have its funds,
25 just as today the courts today in Serbia do not have their budget that
1 would enable them to buy all the material and supplies they need for your
2 work. No, the funds existed at the level of the corps only.
3 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, you mentioned yesterday that during the war - this
6 is at page 111, line 19 - you conducted investigations of about -- the
7 first answer was translated as 8.000, later corrected to 1.000 persons.
8 Over 900 of those were eventually indicted. Is that correct, you had over
9 90 per cent indictment rate on cases investigated?
10 A. No. It is true that there were 1.000 requests to conduct an
11 investigation. I didn't say that the court managed to conduct all of
12 those investigations, and there were indictments, both indictments and
13 motions to indict, because not in all cases is an indictment issued. So
14 there were indictments against 900 people; however, we have to bear in
15 mind that in cases where a crime was punishable with a sentence of ten
16 years, the prosecutor could issue an indictment without previously
17 conducting an investigation. This is why this figure seems quite
18 substantial, but there were also cases where indictment was issued without
19 a prior investigation.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that answer mean that 900 indictments were
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, 900 indictments or motions to
23 indict; yes against 900 persons. I'm not saying there were 900
24 indictments; it's just that against 900 persons indictments were issued
25 for both courts, not just the court over which I presided.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid I don't understand the distinction.
2 MR. HANNIS: I'm not clear either.
3 Q. Can you explain to us the difference between an indictment and a
4 motion to indict?
5 A. Well, I understand why this is difficult for you to understand
6 when it comes to this. A motion to indict is a document, a procedural
7 document by a competent prosecutor who is authorised to issue it without
8 conducting an investigation previously to that, and that can be only done
9 in cases of minor crimes punishable by up to three years in peace and by
10 up to ten [as interpreted] years in war in cases where the prosecutor has
11 sufficient foundation to indict. So out of these 1.000 investigations
12 conducted in both courts, not all of them were finalised and indictments
13 issued in those cases; rather, this number of indictments includes those
14 that were issued without a prior investigation.
15 Q. And do those motions to indict done without prior investigation
16 have to be reviewed and approved by a judge before the case continues or
17 does it go directly to a trial without anything further?
18 A. When it comes to motions to indict, in wartime they could be
19 issued for crimes punishable with up to five years of imprisonment, and in
20 those cases, one could proceed immediately with the trial. As for
21 indictments themselves there were preliminary motions that could be raised
22 in relation to those indictments; and if there were such preliminary
23 motions, then they were reviewed by three professional judges. If there
24 were no preliminary motions, then they proceeded to trial.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Mladenovic, we're getting very complicated now.
1 A moment ago you were recorded in English as saying that in wartime the
2 motion to indict procedure could apply where up to ten years in prison was
3 the penalty. You've now said it was up to five years' imprisonment
4 according to this transcript. Which is it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What we need to correct, not in the
6 case of a motion to indict, but an indictment -- so if it's up to ten
7 years, then they needed an indictment but without an investigation. And
8 when it comes to motions to indict, then it's with -- for crimes
9 punishable up to five years.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this is now incomprehensible to me,
11 Mr. Hannis, I'm afraid.
12 In page 49, line 6 -- just a second - the answer is: "A motion to
13 indict is a procedural document by a prosecutor who's authorised to issue
14 it without conducting an investigation and that can only be in the case of
15 minor crimes punishable by up to three years in peace and up to ten years
16 in war in cases where the prosecutor has sufficient foundation to indict."
17 Now, did you mean to say five years there?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Five years, in wartime, five years;
19 and in peacetime up to three years.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Out of the thousand investigations which were
21 conducted, how many of these led to an indictment? Now, we understand
22 they're not the motion-to-indict types of cases, but how many of them
23 resulted in an indictment?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how many because not
25 all of them were finalised in wartime. I said that they were pending,
1 they were in progress during wartime.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now, what the percentage of
4 indictment was after the war was concluded, I don't have such information.
5 Out of those 900, some of them were as a result of an investigation that
6 had been conducted.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: How many of the 900 were the result of an
8 investigation conducted?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could give you only an approximate
10 answer because I did not prepare myself for this, but there were certain
11 cases; but I couldn't tell you exactly how many.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
13 Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. You told us yesterday at page 112, line 10, that about 230 of
16 these 900 constitute violations of the international laws of war, and then
17 you were asked what kinds of crimes predominantly. And you said: "Various
18 forms of murder, robbery, theft, aggravated theft, vehicles being seized,
19 sex-related offence ..."
20 Are all those crimes crimes that are considered violations of
21 international laws of war?
22 A. In my opinion, they could be subsumed under that heading.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] If I may, my learned friend probably
25 misquoted. It's not violations of international laws of war, but
1 humanitarian law because that was what we said yesterday.
2 MR. HANNIS: Well, perhaps the transcript was corrected. I'm
3 reading from page 112, line 6, in Mr. Cepic's question:
4 "Mr. Mladenovic, if you were dealing with crimes that potentially
5 constituted violations of the international laws of war, how many
6 indictments like that did you have? I know you can't be all that
8 And the answer was: "About 230 ..."
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] In that case, could we please check
10 the tape to be sure what was said. Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS: But I have the answer from the witness that in his
12 opinion those could be subsumed under that heading.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. -- let's be clear. What's the difference
14 between the two, Mr. Cepic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, no, please --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, what's the difference between the
17 international laws of war and the international humanitarian law?
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this feels sort of like
19 an exam at the law faculty. We're talking about the violation of
20 convention and crimes against the civilian population when we refer to
21 violations of the humanitarian law.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, you should explore this to the extent
23 necessary to clarify the point. I don't think going back over yesterday's
24 transcript will necessarily help. We are now alerted to a problem,
25 apparently, and you can resolve it.
1 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, in what circumstances would you consider the crime
3 of theft or vehicle theft to be a violation of either international law of
4 war or international humanitarian law?
5 A. I think it could be taken to be that. It's a crime against
6 property owned by citizens in the area we are discussing, and it could
7 have a certain degree that this was about a violation of humanitarian law,
9 Q. And what makes it different? Is it because the property's taken
10 by a soldier from a civilian during a time of war? Is that how you would
11 distinguish from just a plain, ordinary theft prosecution?
12 A. Precisely.
13 Q. Do you speak English, sir?
14 A. Unfortunately, I don't. I studied Russian in both elementary and
15 secondary school.
16 Q. Do you understand? You seem to answer pretty quickly sometimes.
17 A. No, not at all.
18 Q. You mentioned some specific cases yesterday that you were familiar
19 with, one of them regarded Major Petrovic and two other soldiers who were
20 charged with murder. Did you deal with that case personally?
21 A. During the war a request because made to launch an investigation
22 of Major Petrovic and two other soldiers about that crime in a qualified
23 form. I was the president of the courts, and I received information from
24 a military police officer that someone had tampered with the bodies of the
25 persons who had been killed. I issued an order for this to be looked
1 into, and then we knew with a greater degree of certainty that this had
2 been done by Major Petrovic. It was later, when I was already a military
3 court judge in Nis, that I handled that case.
4 Q. All right. And there's a case involving Major Mancic. Do you
5 have personal involvement in that case?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before moving to that.
7 Mr. Mladenovic, Petrovic was sentenced to nine years -- nine
8 years? Sorry, what is it you said he did?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An investigation was carried out
10 that he was the instigator behind these two soldiers killing a married
11 couple, so this was aggravated murder. That's what the investigation was
12 about. It wasn't until later that he was actually accused of a war crime.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I've asked you that because the English translation
14 was that someone had tampered with the bodies, so -- and I guessed it had
15 been done by Petrovic, but that clearly isn't the basis for the
16 conviction. You've clarified it. Thank you.
17 Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. Was there something else you wanted to say about that?
20 A. Yes. This tampering with the bodies or moving the bodies gave us
21 a greater degree of certainty in terms of Major Petrovic being the one who
22 had ordered for those persons to be killed.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. With regard to Major Mancic, were you
24 personally involved in his case: It involved charges of war crimes
25 against civilians?
1 A. A conviction was reached before the military court, and they were
2 sentenced to many years in prison. These are two officers and two
3 soldiers, and the supreme military court that existed at the time imposed
4 this sentence and increased the sentence. When the military courts were
5 abolished, the Supreme Court of Serbia quashed this conviction and took
6 the whole thing back to square one. Now I am the president of a chamber
7 that is supposed to re-try these two officers and two soldiers for a war
9 Q. So that's a case that's actively pending before you now?
10 A. Yes, we say a pending case, yes.
11 Q. Well, then maybe I shouldn't discuss details of it with you, but I
12 do have a question. I understand at the time he was a major, I understand
13 now that he's a colonel or a lieutenant-colonel. Is that correct?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I think my learned friend Mr. Hannis
16 himself previously expressed reservations about this, questions about
17 cases that are afoot or trials that are afoot, especially if the witness
18 here happens to be the president of that chamber. I think this might
19 constitute a serious interference with the principle of independence of
20 the judiciary. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Why did you ask him about it yesterday?
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I only asked him about the existence
23 of that case and whether it was an ongoing case, that was the extent.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] -- Mancic. More precisely my
1 question -- why? Because there were war crimes that were discovered after
2 the end of the war. Major Mancic was not on the list of war crimes that
3 we have here in our case file in P955, the analysis that was drawn up by
4 General Vojovic [phoen].
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what's your response to the objection
6 that you shouldn't be looking at any of the circumstances?
7 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I think my question asking about
8 what his rank is really doesn't have any bearing on the facts of the case.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, then it's irrelevant to us then.
10 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, I think I may have an argument to
11 make about the fact that this man has been investigated, indicted, and
12 charged with war crimes and he gets promoted by the army during the
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What would your argument be?
15 MR. HANNIS: Well, my argument would be in jurisdictions I'm
16 familiar with a policeman or an official who is charged with a crime
17 typically gets suspended until those matters are resolved, and normally
18 they're not getting promoted, not for a crime of this level.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but just because it happens in jurisdictions
20 you're familiar with, what then is the -- what's the point you would make?
21 I mean, your jurisdiction might be wrong.
22 MR. HANNIS: My jurisdiction might be wrong, Your Honour, but I
23 think there's other evidence that we've heard and in the documents that
24 we've seen that how professional officers are treated when they're charged
25 with crimes and sentenced with a crime, it's different than what happens
1 with a conscript or a regular soldier or a civilian.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Cepic.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, it might be a
5 good idea to clarify this.
6 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Mladenovic, until we resolve the
8 issue between counsel.
9 What do you mean it might be a good idea. You're now withdrawing
10 your objection?
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] If this is about the question and if
12 the argument is that the army promoted someone who was indicted of war
13 crimes, my question would be: Let us clarify when this crime was
14 uncovered and when it was prosecuted. Maybe that doesn't affect
15 independence of the court. We don't interfere with the trial --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The objection's withdrawn.
17 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, do you what rank Mr. Mancic currently holds?
20 A. Mr. Mancic, as far as I know, was thrown out of the army. He's no
21 longer a professional soldier. The rank at the time was
23 Q. Do you know when he was promoted to the rank of
25 A. I don't know, but I can answer your question. If during the war
1 he was a major and then under the law he needed perhaps another five or
2 six months in order to be promoted to lieutenant-colonel, there would have
3 been no impediment for a regular procedure to have taken effect and for
4 him to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, since the crime that
5 he is being charged with was not uncovered until much later.
6 Q. Do you know when the crime against him was uncovered and when a
7 charge was first brought?
8 A. I'm not in the habit of commenting until I have inspected a case
9 file. As for individual cases, well, to be quite frank, I don't really
10 try to memorise them. I always inspect a case file before I go into a
11 courtroom. Therefore, I don't really know when the indictment was raised.
12 Q. And would an entry number give you any information about when a
13 case was filed?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I'm looking at a document, this is Exhibit P962, which I believe
16 came from Colonel Delic. He's listed as the person responsible for the
17 accuracy of this list of filed criminal reports against perpetrators in
18 the 549th Motorised Brigade between May 1998 and July 1999; it's entry
19 number 103, and it lists Mancic as a major and the entry number is
20 2696/00. Does that mean it was filed sometime in 2000?
21 A. That's what it would mean, but only in relation to that particular
22 register. I'm not sure if you have the court register or is this
23 something that was kept by this unit commander?
24 Q. No, I believe this is something only prepared and delivered by
25 Colonel Delic. All right. Thank you. We'll move on to something else.
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, do we have a date when he was promoted as a
3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't have that information. I don't
4 know if the witness knew.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I know that his
6 professional service with the army was terminated, but I don't know of
7 anything else. He was thrown out.
8 JUDGE CHOWHAN: [Microphone not activated]
9 You said he was promoted before the case was uncovered and how do
10 you -- on what basis are you suggesting this?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think you -- you said you didn't know when
12 he became a lieutenant-colonel --
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: No, no, he explained that the case had not been
14 uncovered yet, no?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, Mr. President, may I
16 answer the question?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible that he was promoted,
19 he probably was, but what I'm saying is this: If he was a major back in
20 1999 needing another six months, for example, to make it to the rank of
21 lieutenant-colonel, well he could as well have been promoted because we
22 didn't know about the charges at the time, about the proceedings, about
23 what we know now. I never said I knew when he was promoted. I don't
24 know. I'm not in charge of human resources.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, we must be nearing the end surely?
1 MR. HANNIS: We are, Your Honour.
2 Q. With regard to specific cases, the report we have from the Nis
3 prosecutor's office regarding -- it's Exhibit P954, Your Honours, and it's
4 a 20 August 2001 report to the supreme military court in Belgrade.
5 It includes a list of cases regarding unknown perpetrators, where
6 there were multiple murders. One of the cases refers to approximately 95
7 bodies found in Orahovac. Are you familiar with that case?
8 A. I know that the bodies were found.
9 Q. And do you know what the status of that investigation is now?
10 A. I don't think I do. I think this is more a question for the
11 prosecutor. This is not an investigation. You only have an investigation
12 when a perpetrator is known. These are investigative steps that are being
13 taken in order to find out who the perpetrator is.
14 Q. And not included on this list is a matter involving over 100
15 bodies that were found near Izbica. You're familiar with that case, are
16 you not, or that investigation?
17 A. All I know is that the bodies were found there. I believe that
18 there is an observation in the document that you have about the stage
19 these proceedings had reached by the time the report was drawn up. While
20 I was with the military court I was involved with my assistants in
21 drafting that report.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mladenovic.
23 MR. HANNIS: I have no further questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
24 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Hannis, Mr. Hannis, before you take your
1 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: There was a matter which you had said that you
3 would leave at page 39, lines 2 to 9, which the witness had said
4 challenged all his intellectual effort. And you gave up. I wonder if you
5 could revisit that question because I am interested to know the answer to
6 that question myself.
7 MR. HANNIS: I'll certainly try, Your Honour.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Yes, if you would present the question to the
10 witness in a form that he can readily comprehend you, seeing as he said he
11 had a disability in fully understanding the nature of the question.
12 MR. HANNIS: I'll try.
13 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, when we were talking about this before I was
14 giving you a hypothetical situation where a military officer might engage
15 in criminal activity while he's on duty and in uniform, for example,
16 lining up civilians and shooting them during the course of assisting the
17 MUP in an anti-terrorist operation. Does the fact that he's now committed
18 a criminal act remove him from the jurisdiction of the military court
19 because the military says, You're not acting like a soldier anymore so
20 you're going to be tried in the civilian courts, or do you retain
22 A. Well, please, that at least is clear. If the hypothesis is
23 correct, he's an officer of the VJ who does this, there are civilians, and
24 he shoots them obviously a military court will have jurisdiction over
25 something like this. He's an officer of the army, that's the first thing;
1 and the second thing is he committed this crime. If indeed such a thing
2 had happened, this would have been under the jurisdiction of a military
4 MR. HANNIS: I don't know if I answered your question, Judge.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I think that answers what I was interested in
6 knowing. Thank you very much.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
10 Mr. Cepic, is there re-examination.
11 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Re-examination by Mr. Cepic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mladenovic, it's me again. Mr. Ivetic asked
14 you about Article 17 of the Law on Defence, about resubordination. He put
15 something to you in that question which I wasn't entirely clear about,
16 therefore I will seek your clarification. Let's assume that there is
17 resubordination of MUP members to the VJ. Can police officers become
18 soldiers in that case?
19 A. If there is a case of real resubordination but resubordination in
20 the proper sense of the word, for example, you have MUP bodies that become
21 part of the corps, for example. By the same token the police officers
22 would no longer be soldiers, but the Law on Military Courts at the time
23 extended this particular jurisdiction and the military court would have
24 been responsible for trying a person who was performing a military duty.
25 So since they were resubordinated or if they were resubordinated, then of
1 course they were part of a VJ unit, and thereby will be performing certain
2 military duties. In that sense the Law on Military Courts stipulates that
3 a military court can, indeed, try such persons.
4 Q. Mr. Mladenovic, during the war did you at any time receive any
5 information indicating that a MUP unit had been resubordinated to the
6 army, thereby extending your jurisdiction?
7 A. No, never.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have P3083, it's an OTP
10 exhibit. This is the sentence in the case of Colonel Vlatko Vukovic.
11 Q. We heard about the punishment that pronounced. For a punishment
12 like that, how long after can this be struck from the record? How long
13 after is it expunged?
14 A. There is a probation period, normally a year, and then what it
15 takes is another year after that, totalling two years after a conviction
16 takes effect. There is a two-year period, provided of course the person
17 does not commit another crime.
18 Q. All right. And what does one do in that case with a sentence like
20 A. Other state bodies can deem this person to have no criminal record
21 in the sense of being previously sentenced. But if this person is being
22 tried by a court, this will not take effect; he will be considered as
23 having been sentenced.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I find that very confusing, Mr. Cepic. I don't
25 know what any of that means.
1 What -- the word that's been used in English is "expunged," how
2 long after is it expunged. What does that mean?
3 MR. CEPIC: Actually, in English the means is deleting from the
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean if you commit a crime like this --
6 MR. CEPIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: -- two years later you don't have any criminal
8 record at all? Is that the position?
9 Just a second.
10 Is that the position, Mr. Mladenovic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. If you commit a crime like
12 this, but if a sanction is imposed on me in terms of a suspended sentence,
13 then a two-year period is there, and during this two-year period this
14 sanction is stricken from a criminal file or the criminal records kept by
15 the appropriate bodies. And the person is viewed as not having been
16 sentenced, at least in proving this before a state body. For example, if
17 this person is looking for a job, then he can show that he has no criminal
18 record. But if another crime is committed and then a new trial begins,
19 this person can be considered to have been sentenced. But for other
20 purposes, the person will be considered as not having been sentenced.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So if three years after this sentence -- this
22 suspended sentence he commits another crime that's identical, can the
23 court take account of the fact that he previously was convicted and got a
24 suspended sentence?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this was the --
1 I got it now. A court will consider that person to have a prior
2 conviction, but in any other state organ, any other state organ will not
3 consider this person to have a previous conviction. However, any court
4 will consider this person to have a previous conviction, and he will be
5 considered as a repeat offender.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Cepic.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. This crime in this particular case, in B/C/S I think on page 49 or
10 perhaps penultimate page, page 99, let me ask you this: What was the
11 gravity of the crime for which Vukovic was convicted?
12 A. This crime is punishable with a prison sentence from three months
13 to five years. This is considered a lighter crime or a less serious
15 MR. CEPIC: If we have the page number 1 and page number 2 of this
16 document, please, in B/C/S. Meanwhile --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Do we need to explore this any further with the
18 witness, Mr. Cepic?
19 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, just one question with your leave.
20 Q. [Interpretation] This punishment, this sentence that Vukovic
21 received, how grave is it?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it speaks for itself, Mr. Cepic. It's not
23 appropriate for a court like us to explore the details of a sentence in
24 another case.
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour. I haven't got any
1 further questions for this witness.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mladenovic.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Mladenovic, that completes your evidence; thank
5 you for coming here to give it. You're now free to leave the courtroom
6 with the usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, by your leave, just
8 two sentences, please, before I leave, if I may, may I, before I leave the
10 JUDGE BONOMY: It depends what it is.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to thank you for enabling me
12 to come here and take part in these proceedings, to get to know the
13 Tribunal, which will be of great importance for me in my future work.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much, Mr. Mladenovic.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you asked us to consider granting
18 audience to Mr. Petrovic for the examination of the Witness Petkovic on
19 your list, in view of the pressure on you as you draw the Defence case for
20 Mr. Lazarevic to an end. We've considered that application, we note the
21 various undertakings given, and we will grant your application in the
22 exceptional circumstances that exist at this time.
23 You have indicated that the list of witnesses for this week was
24 not, in fact, a final list and you have in mind to add another witness.
25 You tell us that the time estimated to take the evidence of that witness
1 is four hours. Now, you already are in a position where you don't have
2 four hours and you have a number of witnesses before this one. So what we
3 invite you to do is give consideration to the question how you are going
4 to better manage the conclusion of the presentation of your case. We're
5 not minded to tell you you can't have a particular witness if he was on
6 your list, but you have to find a means within reason of leading the
7 remaining evidence that you say you require.
8 Now, it's obvious to us - I hope I'm not speaking out of turn -
9 but it will be obvious to everybody in this courtroom that Vukovic will be
10 subject to longer cross-examination than any other of the witnesses that
11 remain for reasons which are based on the extent to which he's been
12 mentioned already in the case and his involvement and also bearing in mind
13 the length of his statement. So your view, which I understand you hold,
14 that even allowing for Mr. Stefanovic you can probably finish your case
15 this week is, I think, is ill-founded unless you re-arrange the timing
16 certainly of his evidence and do what you can to confine the live evidence
17 of other witnesses who are being presented along with 92 ter statements.
18 So please give that some thought as you draw near the end.
19 Mr. Ivetic, Mr. Lukic is not there, is he? No. The -- it follows
20 that your case will certainly begin early next week at the latest. I
21 doubt if it's going to begin this week, but if it does emerge that you are
22 on at the end of this week, if there is an opening, then it can take place
23 then. I don't know if that is your intention or not.
24 MR. IVETIC: A problem with that would be, Your Honour, that we've
25 had to fight with VWS to get witnesses to come here Friday --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm not suggesting -- well, I didn't know
2 that you'd arranged that because you gave us no indication that there
3 would be witnesses this week.
4 MR. IVETIC: Not this week, but the witnesses are arriving on
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. All I'm saying to you is that if any part of
7 your case has to be presented this week, then it would be your opening
9 MR. IVETIC: If we choose to.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But you have to have in mind that next week you
11 will undoubtedly be leading evidence. I can't at this stage obviously say
12 when, but from possibly Tuesday.
13 MR. IVETIC: That's been our anticipation for some time and we
14 will be ready to proceed next week.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
16 MR. IVETIC: Tuesday it would be -- whenever the court and other
17 Defence case concludes and whenever the Court asks us to proceed, we will
18 be ready to proceed.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Now, the next witness, Mr. Cepic, will be?
21 MR. CEPIC: The next witness is already mentioned,
22 Colonel Vlatko Vukovic.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that, in fact, the order -- the last line-up you
24 gave us?
25 MR. CEPIC: I think yes.
1 MR. HANNIS: Yes, that's what I was notified of early Monday.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
3 MR. HANNIS: That they were moving Gergar back and Vukovic up.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what I suggest is that we break now and come
5 back at 6.00 with Mr. Vukovic already in place so that we can have as much
6 time as possible with him this evening.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Good evening, Mr. Vukovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
13 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
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 You will now be examined by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 WITNESS: VLATKO VUKOVIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Examination by Mr. Cepic
23 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, I've been waiting for you, good evening.
24 A. I've been waiting for you as well.
25 Q. Did you give a statement to the Defence team of General Lazarevic?
1 A. Yes, I did give a statement to the Defence team of
2 General Lazarevic.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could I have the usher's assistance,
5 please, to pass this statement to the witness.
6 Q. Sir, if I were to put the same questions to you, or rather, to put
7 the questions that were put to you when you gave your statement, would you
8 provide identical answers?
9 A. I certainly would provide identical answers.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tender into evidence
12 5D1401, which is the statement of Witness Vlatko Vukovic.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you -- oh, sorry, Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we request that remain under seal for
15 now until we can redact references to two protected witnesses that may
16 reveal their identity.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And you will deal with that in conjunction with
18 Mr. Cepic, will you?
19 MR. HANNIS: I will, Your Honour. I can indicate for now the
20 paragraphs that pertain if that --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you should liaise with him and try to have a
22 redacted version produced for tomorrow if that can be done, if it's simple
23 as deleting certain paragraphs.
24 MR. HANNIS: I will.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And that reminds me that we didn't deal with the
1 situation affecting the Witness Gavrilovic, some of whose evidence was
2 taken in private session. And Mr. Stamp dealt with that, I think; is that
4 MR. HANNIS: I think that might have been Ms. Carter.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: No, it was Ms. Carter. Well, she should do exactly
6 as Mr. Stamp is required to do in the case of Antic and provide a redacted
7 version -- sorry -- yes, should consider the transcript and make a filing
8 indicating the extent to which the transcript requires to remain
9 confidential, under seal, and if she hasn't any court commitment for the
10 remainder of this cross-examination -- the cross-examination of Lazarevic
11 witnesses, then she could perhaps do that by Friday.
12 MR. HANNIS: I'll remind her. She is scheduled for the
13 Witness Petkovic, but I don't think that's a very long proceeding.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
15 So this statement will remain for the moment under seal.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Vukovic, do you have any convictions, criminal convictions?
18 A. I'm waiting for interpretation. Yes, I have been convicted.
19 Q. We speak the same language, so make sure you observe the pauses
20 between question and answer. What were you convicted for?
21 A. As far as I could understand the crime, it was instigation in
22 falsifying or forging an official document.
23 Q. Would you please give us the facts. What happened and what led to
24 that, very briefly?
25 A. Well, it's difficult to put it briefly because the judgement is
1 quite long, but to put it briefly I ordered my subordinate to issue a
2 receipt for fuel that we used for civilian buses which transported the
3 army personnel on their tasks as a fuel for military vehicles. Naturally,
4 my brigade commander was informed of all of this. Now, as to how a
5 criminal complaint came to be written, I don't know. I have no
6 information concerning that.
7 Q. The fuel that was used, how much fuel was used as compared to what
8 your unit daily used?
9 A. It was negligible. Depending on any given day and the tasks of my
10 unit, sometimes on a daily basis we used over 2.000 litres of fuel; and as
11 far as I can remember in this particular case it involved 80 to 100 litres
12 of fuel. I can't recall it now.
13 Q. We don't want to put the judgement on the screen, but it was
14 stated that court costs in this particular case amounted to 2.000 dinars.
15 How much was it in euros at the time and currently?
16 A. Well, 2.000 dinars is approximately 25 euros, perhaps less than 25
18 Q. Thank you. Colonel, we heard here in the courtroom that in the
19 morning on the 25th of March, 1999, as you were setting out to carry out
20 an assignment in the broader area of Orahovac, you addressed your soldiers
21 with the following words: Not a single Albanian ear should remain. Is
22 that true?
23 A. That's not true, and I never issued tasks to soldiers, but rather
24 to those who were directly subordinated to me. I especially didn't issue
25 any tasks on the 25th because as far as I can remember we set out at
1 around 1.30 to carry out our assignment.
2 Q. Thank you. You said 1.30, do you mean a.m. or p.m.? We need it
3 for the record.
4 A. 1.30 in the military jargon means always a.m.
5 Q. Thank you. In your military log-book marked as P2010 in this
6 case, or rather, 21 -- 2019, on the date of 25th of March, 1999, there is
7 an entry saying that you cleansed the following villages: Bela Crkva,
8 Celina, and others. I'd like to know the following: Did the units under
9 your command carry out this task in the village of Bela Crkva?
10 A. No. Combat Group 2, which was under my command at the time, on
11 the 25th of March, 1999, had no combat engagements in the village of
12 Bela Crkva.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. CEPIC: May I?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, be cautious in your use of this document
16 because it's under seal.
17 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, I'm interested in this counter-terrorist
19 action aimed at destroying Siptar terrorist forces starting on the 25th
20 and onwards, I'm referring to the month of March. During that action did
21 you have any contacts with civilians?
22 A. Yes, I did have contacts with civilians on several occasions.
23 Q. Thank you. What did you do in those situations?
24 A. In those situations I always sent civilians, or rather, pulled
25 them out of the area where combat activities were carried out. I can
1 elaborate on this if we have sufficient time.
2 Q. I have very limited time. I'd simply like to know whether you
3 talked to civilians in addition to these activities that you stated. Did
4 you talk to any of them personally?
5 A. Yes, I talked to them personally, to civilians, especially on the
6 28th of March, 1999, in the village of Mamusa. In the conversation with a
7 larger group, I stayed for longer than an hour. If necessary, I could
8 provide details.
9 Q. Thank you. According to your information, did any soldier from
10 your unit steal something or commit any other crime?
11 A. No. In this counter-terrorist action not a single soldier under
12 my command committed any crime, including theft.
13 Q. Thank you. Were there any perpetrators of the crime of theft or
14 any other crime in your unit?
15 A. Yes. There were perpetrators of crimes of theft, but I have to
16 say that that was done exclusively outside of combat activities.
17 Naturally, for all crimes uncovered we prosecuted them. You asked me
18 about other crimes, yes, there were.
19 Q. Were there any murders?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I'm interested now in the 27th and 28th of April, 1999. Who gave
22 you the order for your activities in that area?
23 A. If I understood you well, on the 27th and 28th of April some of
24 the units were sent pursuant to the order of the Chief of Staff of the
25 Pristina Corps, at the time it was Colonel Veroljub Zivkovic.
1 Q. Thank you. Colonel, witness for the Prosecution Merita Deda said
2 that in the village of Korenica --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Cepic, we couldn't
4 hear him.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I'm referring to the 27th of April, 6.00 in the morning, the
7 village of Korenica, did your forces enter that village and did they wear
9 A. On the 27th in the morning at 6.00, part of my unit was located at
10 the blockade going all the way down to the river, which means that they
11 were not in the village of Korenica. As for the other question, my
12 soldiers never wore hats, nor does such piece of uniform exist in the Army
13 of Yugoslavia at all.
14 Q. Colonel, Martin Pnishi Prosecution witness, claims that he saw
15 members of the army with their rank insignia on their shoulders [Realtime
16 transcript read in error "soldiers"]. Did the members of the Army of
17 Yugoslavia have their rank insignia on their shoulders and were they
18 located in the village of Meja, as this witness stated?
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, we have an error in transcript, page 75,
21 line 24, the word is rank insignia on their soldiers, not soldiers but
22 shoulders. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, just a small correction. Would you
24 please answer my question.
25 A. My all means. My soldiers were not in Meja village. VJ officers
1 have no ranks displayed on their shoulder straps, on the shoulder strap of
2 their combat uniform.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
5 MR. CEPIC: Sorry, may I continue, Your Honour? May I continue?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
7 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, were there any attacks against your
9 forces from the Republic of Albania?
10 A. Yes. On an almost daily basis the Defence sector of my battalion
11 was subjected to attacks from the Republic of Albania.
12 Q. What sort of attacks were those?
13 A. For the most part those were combined attacks, NATO air-strikes,
14 NATO strikes, primarily air-strikes; attacks by Siptar terrorist forces,
15 ground attacks; normally there would be artillery support by some parts of
16 the armed forces of Albania. I can share a lot of detail if you have time
17 or need for that.
18 Q. What was the intensity of the air-strikes?
19 A. The intensity was high, and as the war continued it kept
20 increasing. The last day NATO used strategic fighter planes, B-52, to
21 attack my unit.
22 Q. Did you notice any civilian groups moving about throughout the
24 A. I certainly noticed civilian groups moving about during the war.
25 It wasn't something that was happening all the time, I have to say. Most
1 of this occurred at the beginning of the war, but it also was known to
2 happen during the remainder of the aggression.
3 Q. According to your information, what caused this and was it just
4 one ethnic group that was moving about?
5 A. No, it wasn't just one ethnic group. Siptars were leaving the
6 area, Serbs were leaving the area, gypsies were leaving the area, everyone
7 was leaving the area. There was a daily campaign, especially in the early
8 days of the war, to intimidate civilians, and this campaign was being
9 conducted by NATO and their air force. You asked me about the causes of
10 this. There were people who were leaving their homes. I spoke to some of
11 those people. When prompted about the main reason for leaving, they
12 invariably mentioned their fear of NATO air-strikes.
13 Q. Colonel, it is not difficult to notice that you have some trouble
14 walking and speaking. What is this a consequence of?
15 A. Indeed. This is a consequence of the fact that I took ill during
16 the war back in 1999. That's when the illness struck.
17 Q. Do we know what caused this illness?
18 A. There are assumptions about the cause, and unfortunately no more
19 than assumptions. Because doctors tend to not look into the causes, they
20 just treat the consequences. The most recent theory is that I was
21 poisoned by some harmful substance and that this caused some damage to my
22 central nervous system. This is the result, and the result is there for
23 all to see.
24 Q. In your war diary under the heading "telegrams," we see in
25 relation to the 30th of May, 1999, a reference to a volunteer platoon
1 known as the Phantom Platoon. Can you explain what this is about, sir?
2 A. Certainly. After the ground forces launched their attack across
3 the Pastrik, Mount Pastrik, NATO referred to this as Strela Dva, Operation
4 Arrow 2. For the first couple of days the forces managed to take a number
5 of elevations along the ridge, thereby exposing the left flank of my unit.
6 This was the reason that I ordered the commander of the 1st Company, and
7 those were the men organizing our defence in that area, to take the
8 elevations. For this purpose I told him to set up a platoon and to use
9 soldiers, men, who volunteered to be involved in this exceptionally
10 dangerous and complex mission, which of course he did.
11 As far as I can remember, the commander of that platoon was
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Kulundzic Jovica, or rather, second lieutenant,
13 Kulundzic Jovica. There were men in that platoon who were military
14 conscripts and those who were caught up in the term of their regular
15 military term. You asked me about the name, the phantoms. This is based
16 on the call-sign set up by that platoon commander when someone was trying
17 to get in touch with them through radio equipment.
18 Q. Were any members of that platoon killed?
19 A. Unfortunately, that was the case. Rade Vejin from Zapotin [phoen]
20 was killed.
21 Q. This soldier who was killed, Mr. Vejin, what was his status?
22 A. Rade Vejin was in the middle of his regular military term.
23 Q. Colonel, how many of your soldiers were killed during the war and
24 how many were wounded?
25 A. During the war, seven of my soldiers were killed and 40 were
1 wounded. Both among those killed and among those wounded there were a
2 number of officers.
3 Q. In your statement you describe something that you describe as a
4 platoon that was meant to protect and take care of civilians. Just
5 briefly, give me an example, if you can, of the sort of assistance that
6 they provided.
7 A. It's very difficult to be brief if you're trying to describe
8 something that happened, but I'll do my best. I think this was sometime
9 in the second half of April 1999. We had just learned that the people who
10 were living in the village of Jahovac were preparing to leave their
11 village en masse and go to Albania. I dispatched the platoon's commander
12 who went there who spoke to the locals and eventually led some of them to
13 change their minds. As a result, they stayed for the duration of the war;
14 that is, until such time as we withdrew from the Djakovica sector. I
15 don't know what happened later, but there were many examples like that.
16 So if you have more time I can furnish more examples.
17 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this completes my
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
21 Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
24 Q. Colonel, good afternoon, sir. My name is Dan Ivetic, and although
25 your statement is rather extensive [Realtime transcript read in
1 error "sensitive"] I apologise, but I do have to clear up a few items with
2 you, as counsel for Sreten Lukic --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I think your expression was extensive, is that
4 correct, if you look at line 9 --
5 MR. IVETIC: I think I said extensive, I see that the line 9 has
6 sensitive, so I stand corrected if I said that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You said extensive. It's just to make sure it
8 doesn't remain in the transcript.
9 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
10 Q. Now, Colonel, I would like to start first with the anti-terrorist
11 action Reka. At paragraph 64 of your statement relative to this action
12 you discuss how you received your orders from Colonel Zivkovic. Do you
13 recall what other units or commanders received their orders from the Chief
14 of Staff, Colonel Zivkovic.
15 A. First of all, that is not how I refer to that anti-terrorist
16 action. I don't call it Reka. As far as I know, that wasn't what it was
17 called, although I don't know that it actually had a specific name. As
18 for your question, one thing that I know for sure is that in Cabrat there
19 were components of the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade that were involved in
20 blocking the area, specifically the anti-aircraft defence element; and as
21 far as I can remember also some from the 125th Motorised Brigade. They
22 were my right-hand neighbour. There were some men from that battalion,
23 but I really can't be any more specific as to how strong. I know that
24 they were in the general area of Smonica village and Nivokaz.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, you referred to that as paragraph 64.
1 That is not the paragraph 64 I have.
2 MR. IVETIC: I had been alerted of that earlier that I think some
3 of the paragraphs I have are not the same. I've made corrections in the
4 remainder of my questions, but I see this one still has the original
5 number. I will have to --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What are the first words of the paragraph?
7 MR. IVETIC: I'll have to find my version to -- let's see. One
8 moment. 68, I believe, is where he talks about receiving the task from
9 the Chief of Staff, Colonel Veroljub Zinkovic in the English but Zivkovic
10 in the Serbian, so I believe 68 is what I have for that paragraph in the
11 hard copy that I have before me.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. Colonel, if we could take a few moments. You've mentioned the
15 assignments of both yourself and some of the neighbouring forces. I would
16 like to call up IC172, an exhibit that has been previously created by
17 another VJ participant in this anti-terrorist action which -- as you say
18 did not have a specific name --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: While that's coming up could I ask you just to
20 clarify one thing for me. The task, the issuing of the task by Zivkovic
21 for this action, was that given to you orally or in writing?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Orally.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it normal for the Chief of Staff to issue
24 orders to the commander of a combat group orally?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't give you an answer to
1 that question because I did not normally receive orders from him. As far
2 as I can remember now, from the forward command post where -- in Djakovica
3 where the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps was, I received only twice
4 an order directly. And in relation to this, in the telephone conversation
5 by brigade commander ordered me to call saying that something needed to be
6 done, he wasn't quite sure what himself, and then I made a call and was
7 given a very brief task, orally.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
9 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
10 Q. Sir, we have in front of us IC172, which is a map of the Caragoj
11 or Reka region that has been marked by a prior witness with respect to the
12 forces that were engaged in frisking the terrain. If you could, sir,
13 please, with the help of the usher, using any colour that -- that -- that
14 you really deem appropriate identify -- draw and identify the blockade
15 positions that your units had during this action. And if you require any,
16 um, any assistance, I believe your combat report P2019 describes this as
17 the Korenica TT 360 Groblje-Raskrsnica Puteva-Meja Orize-Kodra Kikes axis.
18 A. Black and red, all right. I suppose this is Djakovica. I can't
19 see this -- I can't see the entire map, especially Cabrat. There is a
20 trig called Kodra Kikes as you said, and there was a military police
21 platoon there. This is bad here, this line here.
22 Q. I take it by that you mean we can disregard the part of the line
23 that goes off the screen and just consider the small line?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And let the record reflect that the ...
1 A. Roughly this is what it was because one can't see the entire map.
2 I suppose that this here in the middle of the right side is the city of
3 Djakovica. Perhaps I put it a bit lower, perhaps it's a bit more to the
5 Q. Thank you, sir. I'm just waiting for the transcript and
6 translation to catch up with us.
7 MR. IVETIC: Let the record reflect that the black non-solid line
8 just below Korenica and by Duznje is the line that the witness has now
10 Q. Colonel, could you now be in a position to also draw in, perhaps
11 in another colour, the positions held by the 125th Motorised Brigade and
12 mark the same with the number 125 as well as the 52nd Artillery Rocket
13 Brigade of the PVO, marking that -- marking those positions and then
14 identifying them with the number 52nd?
15 A. I have to tell you of a limitation --
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, the
17 witness just said that he could only suppose, so it could be concluded
18 that he cannot provide relevant information about units that were not
19 under his command. That's precisely what the witness said, so any attempt
20 to draw in positions of other units would be imprecise and unnecessary.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, can we establish a foundation for you
22 asking the witness to do this?
23 MR. IVETIC: Well, I believe when I asked him earlier he said
24 he -- although he didn't know the numerical strength of the units
25 involved, that he did know where they were located, one being on his right
1 neighbouring side and the other one being on Cabrat. I could perhaps
2 assist -- to at least have some reference point by identifying what
3 General Zivanovic and Colonel Kotur said about where their units were
4 located and see if the witness can recall -- if that coincides with the
5 witness's recollection of where his neighbouring blockade forces were.
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave I regret
7 that on page 83, line 22, not entire answer of the witness was recorded.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: There's enough information at 80, line 22, to 81,
9 line 4 to show a foundation for asking him this, so please proceed,
10 Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Take them one at a time.
13 MR. IVETIC: That's what I was going to suggest.
14 Q. Why don't we focus on the 52nd Artillery Rocket PVO Brigade that
15 you had mentioned being in the region of Cabrat. The -- Colonel Kotur I
16 believe said it was on a ridge between Osek Hilja and the old part of
17 Djakovica town. Does that comport with your recollection of where this
18 neighbouring blockade force was situated for purposes of this action?
19 A. For the most part I said that the Cabrat hill, it's not indicated
20 here, but --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... If you could use, I guess,
22 red or some other colour to differentiate from the black lines that you
23 have drawn to depict your own axis of blockade.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. And could you put a 5-2 near those two disjointed lines that you
1 have drawn in near Osek Hilja on the map.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, with respect to your other neighbouring
4 blockade force, the elements of the 125th Motorised Brigade, I believe in
5 his testimony here General Zivanovic said that one company was at the
6 Smonica-Stubla point or axes, and that one volunteer company was at the
7 Berijac Nivokaz. Does that comport with your recollection of the
8 location, if not in numerical strength of in neighbouring blockade force?
9 A. Well, it's not consistent with my knowledge from that period of
10 time. I said that they could have been there. I knew what their area of
11 defence was, but if this is what General Zivanovic says I have no reason
12 to doubt his words.
13 Q. Well, let's approach it this way. Can you draw in, again using
14 the red pen, the placement and location of the blockade line as you recall
15 it of the 125th -- elements of the 125th Motorised Brigade for purposes of
16 this action that was undertaken on the 27th and 28th of April, 1999?
17 A. Yes, I can do that. I said that I supposed and that most likely
18 they were in the sector of Smonica village, that's the sector here,
19 Nivokaz, but to draw it in with precision I would have to know which
20 forces those were.
21 Q. Again, I apologise, I had to wait for the translation and the
22 transcript. If you could please mark that one solid line that you have
23 drawn to the left of Smonica, if you could mark that with a 125 to signify
24 the particular unit issued.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you, sir. And if we can have this --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: The problem with that is it's nowhere near Nivokaz
3 on this map, but perhaps you could try and clarify that.
4 MR. IVETIC: Will do.
5 Q. Are you in a position to identify the axis Berijac-Nivokaz that I
6 understand --
7 A. Do you want me to draw a line --
8 Q. If you are in a position to do so, yes, to identify the line of
9 blockade that you believe the units of the 125th --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he's done that surely.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I drew a line. You asked me to
13 draw a line showing the axis. I connected Nivokaz, Beljak, Stubla,
14 Smonica, that's the axis. I didn't say that that was the line of the
15 blockade because I have no knowledge concerning that particular unit. You
16 asked to show the axis, and I apologise that it's not quite straight. In
17 the military it's better to make it straight.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the position is that the small red line left
19 of Smonica is the location of the 125th according to the best information
20 the witness can give us, and the two red lines running from just to the
21 right of that Nivokaz are immaterial for this exercise.
22 Please continue -- well, sorry, Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for
24 completing this. What I'd like to highlight is that General Zivanovic
25 tried to draw it here in the courtroom and that wasn't admitted in the
1 evidence, and what colonel is drawing in now, at least in my mind, does
2 not correspond to the words of General Zivanovic.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Nor has he intended that the drawing should. What
4 the witness is giving us is his best information, but he's also told you
5 that quite separately he has no reason to doubt what Zivanovic said. So
6 we have different information from two witnesses that we will have to make
7 the most of in due course.
8 Please continue, Mr. Ivetic.
9 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. If we could save this as an IC number --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
11 MR. IVETIC: I don't know whether that's been done yet.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC174, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Given the Prosecution's warnings, I have three questions I believe
16 I ought to do in private session to protect identities of the Prosecution
17 witnesses. I don't know if these are the witnesses that the prosecution
18 is referring to, but I would rather err on the side of caution and I
19 should be able to finish the questions in the time that we have left in
20 this session.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 21346 redacted. Private session
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Vukovic, we have to conclude our
18 proceedings for the day at this stage. That means you need to return
19 tomorrow to continue with your evidence; that will be at 2.00 -- sorry,
20 2.15 tomorrow afternoon in this courtroom. It is extremely important that
21 between now and then you have no discussion with anyone at all about the
22 evidence in this case. You can discuss other subjects, but with no person
23 whatsoever must you touch on any aspect of the evidence in the case.
24 Could you now please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll see you
25 again tomorrow at 2.15.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
3 To be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
4 January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.