1 Tuesday, 19 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Pavkovic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. We're again without Judge
7 Chowhan, who is still unwell; but as yesterday, we have decided to
8 continue in his absence.
9 I note also that Mr. Pavkovic is not here today, but I understand,
10 Mr. Aleksic, he's content that the proceedings continue in his absence.
11 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. During the course
12 of the day our client is going to give his approval for the proceedings to
13 continue in his absence.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: There are a couple of administrative matters I
15 would like to deal with. We are receiving a regular flow of applications
16 to finally admit documents following translation, two of these from the
17 Prosecution relate to P1975 and P3074. Can Defence counsel indicate if
18 there is any submission to be made in relation to either of these? Now,
19 if that cannot be answered immediately, could we have an answer, please,
20 after the first break.
21 The second matter I wish to raise is, Mr. Lukic, with you. The
22 Prosecution asked for information to help them identify the personnel who
23 are on your 65 ter list as numbers 44 to 49, these are PJP commanders.
24 The Chamber e-mailed your legal assistant on the 13th and asked for an
25 immediate response whether you had complied with the request to provide
1 detail on the father's name for these witnesses. Regrettably, we have had
2 no reply to that.
3 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, as I was informed just now, regrettably,
4 we haven't received those data from the Government of Serbia yet, but
5 we'll check it during the day.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a not infrequent occurrence in relation to
7 communications with your legal support staff that we do not get an answer
8 as requested. So I would be grateful if you would try to encourage them
9 to respond. We would not need to take up time in court if we had an
10 explanation of the difficulties you are encountering. We appreciate there
11 are difficulties in various circumstances here, but the fact that there
12 are difficulties is not an excuse for not responding.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The other matter I want to deal with also is for
15 your attention and it is to do with the question of translation which you
16 raised yesterday and I said I would inquire into. The words you used
17 yesterday were: "I was just informed that all our documents are now
18 rejected by the CLSS except for the witness statements."
19 Now, I suspect that that statement is inaccurate in more than one
20 respect. It suggests, first of all, that you had just received
21 notification of rejection of documents. Do you know the date on which
22 CLSS last rejected documents to you?
23 MR. LUKIC: Unfortunately, I'm not dealing with the matter, and
24 yesterday Mr. Ivetic told me something and I misrepresented to Your
25 Honours. The problem is that the documents are rejected when we asked
1 them to translate statements, witness statements. So whenever we ask for
2 witness statements, we have to take some documents from the bundle, the
3 same amount of pages.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: There are two basic points to be made first of all,
5 Mr. Lukic. Rejection is a part of the process, a necessary part of the
6 process, so that you can make use, continued use, of the exceptional
7 facility that's been granted to your Defence alone to have another
8 translator of your own do work for you; and that work can only be done on
9 documents that are rejected, it's part of the process. The other general
10 point that has to be made to you is this, that your Defence team seem
11 intent on confrontation instead of compromise by negotiation. And every
12 time something of this nature happens, instead of addressing it and trying
13 to discuss a solution, the only way we ever get a solution is if I, other
14 Judges, or some of the legal support staff become involved with CLSS.
15 Now, my information is that that rejection took place on the 1st
16 of February, which is almost three weeks ago, and that an e-mail was sent
17 explaining the position and that there has been no contact since. Now, if
18 that's true, it is ridiculous, because with a simple phone call yesterday,
19 I've been able, I hope, to persuade CLSS to take the 40 documents that
20 were rejected and try to deal with them, try their best, because they're
21 already ahead of the 200 that they're supposed to do for you for February,
22 they're already ahead of the game, they're into the March documents, as I
23 understand the position. So with persuasion we can reach a situation
24 where more will be done than perhaps was indicated at the beginning of the
25 month. Three weeks is a long time in a trial like this.
1 That rejection also occurred because of the production of
2 statements for translation, as you've pointed out a little time ago. If
3 you're doing your statements at this stage, then you are yourselves
4 creating this problem because it will all have to be translated. And if
5 there's going to be a lot of these statements, then you're going to have
6 to find an imaginative way of dealing with the issues the, difficulties of
7 translation that are going to arise dealing with these matters at this
8 stage in the game, almost three years since your client first appeared
10 So, Mr. Lukic, we would welcome a more cooperative approach from
11 you towards translation and a recognition of the exceptional lengths to
12 which the Trial Chamber and CLSS have gone so far and continue to go to
13 try to resolve the translation problems that seem to bedevil your
14 particular case. But there will come a time, and it may not be far away,
15 when documents are going to be rejected because they have not been
16 translated and the circumstances indicate that they should have been.
17 We'll deal with that situation as and when we come to it. So far, as you
18 know, we have tried to accommodate you throughout and we have, I would
19 suggest, a very moderate stance taken by the Prosecution to enable this to
20 be the position to try to ensure that the whole case you seek to present
21 is presented.
22 Now, these are the things I wanted to say about this and the
23 immediate consequence of what I've just said is that you should, with a
24 bit of humility, have further discussions with CLSS about the pages that
25 were recently rejected to see if all of them or even some of them can be
1 accommodated within their schedule.
2 Now, just give me one moment before we proceed further.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll now continue with the evidence. Could you
5 bring the witness in, please.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Gavranic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry we've delayed the recommencement of your
10 evidence slightly this morning. We had certain administrative matters to
11 attend to, but we can now proceed with the evidence and your examination
12 by Mr. Lukic will now continue.
13 Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: DUSAN GAVRANIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning once again, Mr. Gavranic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Can we go on?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Policemen of the SUP of Gnjilane and the relevant OUPs, did they
23 tour the villages around the town of Gnjilane every day?
24 A. Yes, to the best of their ability at the time we really made an
25 effort to patrol as many settlements as possible because this instilled
1 confidence in the citizens in our area.
2 Q. Just a moment, please.
3 I'm going to leave this area, but before doing that I'm going to
4 put a few more questions in relation to that. Sometimes our technical
5 stuff simply doesn't work. It's on my computer and I don't seem to be
6 able to call it up, so -- very well. Now we can actually deal with it.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please call up in e-court
8 6D614, page 342, paragraph 933.
9 Q. I don't think you have it there in hard copy, so you'll have to
10 follow it on the screen.
11 A. I see that.
12 Q. In your work did you make a distinction in terms of whether the
13 injured party was a Serb or an Albanian?
14 A. No. When testifying yesterday I already said, and I'll repeat it
15 today again, it really didn't matter who it was and what their ethnic
16 background was. It didn't even matter what their social status was in
17 general. We dealt with all cases. We acted in relation to all the
18 offences committed on the basis of what I said just now.
19 Q. Let us have a look at this paragraph, 933, and could you tell us
20 what this is all about?
21 A. Again, this is the village of Zegra, Gnjilane, the 12th of April,
22 1999, aggravated theft under Article 166 of the Criminal Code of the
23 Republic of Serbia. According to a report by the injured party, namely,
24 Jasari Rifat of the village of Zegra, an aggravated theft under Article
25 166 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia was committed on the
1 12th of April, 1999, and various kinds of electrical goods were
2 appropriated. A criminal complaint KU 227/99 was filed against an unknown
3 perpetrator and it was submitted to the municipal public prosecutor's
4 office in Gnjilane. The offence was cleared up. It was committed by
5 Pavic Stojadin, a civilian of the village of Zegra --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a minute.
7 Mr. Gavranic, one of the problems that we have is when something's
8 being read, the person reading it tends to speak more quickly than
9 normal. So when you're reading could you bear that in mind. And it's
10 also important, because of the fact that you're both speaking the same
11 language, to pause at the end of the question before you answer so that
12 the translation can be completed.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I'm sorry. Could you tell us just briefly now, we see here that
17 at the moment the crime was reported the perpetrator was unknown. Isn't
18 that right? Isn't that evident?
19 A. Yes, and that was not a rare occurrence. When we would learn of a
20 crime we would carry out an on-site investigation. We would see that it's
21 an unknown perpetrator and then we would try to collect information, and
22 on the basis of this information after a certain period of time we managed
23 to unravel the case. This was precisely the case on this particular
25 Q. Would it sometimes happen that the perpetrator would remain
2 A. Well, that happens even in peacetime, let alone in wartime, yes,
3 it did happen.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now call up in e-court page
6 20, paragraph 22, of this document.
7 Q. Would you please tell us briefly again what took place there. You
8 don't have to read this out loud. Just tell us about this Kabas murder.
9 A. This is the village of Kabas, Vitina municipality, 5th of May,
10 1999, a body of Mustafa Sefcet was found, born in 1947 in Vitina. The
11 procedure was as I described. Through operative work we learned that the
12 murder had been committed by Stoiljkovic Drago, known as Mozak, member of
13 the Army of Yugoslavia. The security organ of the Army of Yugoslavia was
14 informed about the event as well as the relevant officers within the
16 Q. So when you turn over a person to the security organs in the army,
17 what further jurisdiction do you have?
18 A. Well, our jurisdiction ends there. Should we learn something else
19 subsequently, then we provide it to them.
20 Q. Very well. Now I would like to move on to a different topic which
21 has to do with the mass departure of civilians from your area. In which
22 direction did civilians mostly go from your area in the beginning of the
24 A. As I have already said, in the early days of the bombing a large
25 column of civilians left their area, first from Gnjilane and some
1 surrounding villages and departed in the area of Vranje. However, in
2 second waves, as we used to refer to them, when there was additional mass
3 departure from the area covered by the Gnjilane SUP, these civilians were
4 travelling in other directions as well, they went in the direction of
6 Q. We will now -- we will later move on to details, but tell me
7 this: Did you try to convince civilians to go back to their homes?
8 A. Yes, we did. That was our standing task, if I may put it that
9 way, because we had to talk to people and encourage them. The reasons
10 were always the same. They were afraid of bombing because the bombing was
11 incessant. The town of Gnjilane was bombed constantly, and also whenever
12 residents of some villages noticed that the army was moving in the
13 vicinity of their village, then they would leave their village because
14 they knew that the army was the most frequent target. There were a lot of
15 situations when the residents would come back, basically listening to our
17 Q. We will get to details. Let me just first show you a document,
18 5D1100. You have the document in the binder.
19 A. I don't.
20 Q. My mistake. We need item 4. You can see it on the screen. This
21 is the document of the command of the 52nd Motorised Brigade -- rather,
22 Mixed Artillery Brigade, 7th of April, 1999. In item 4 it says: "Assist
23 the MUP forces in the return and protection of displaced persons."
24 A. I can see that.
25 Q. Did it happen in reality that the Army of Yugoslavia was assisting
1 you in the return of citizens and was this military unit in your area?
2 A. I can see item 4, and I see that this document was signed by
3 Colonel Ratko Milinovic, who I have already mentioned. And out of all
4 officers, and there were a number of them in the territory of Gnjilane SUP
5 who were commanders of various military units, the best cooperation I had
6 was precisely with him. This information is correct. He was the garrison
7 commander in Gnjilane as far as I know.
8 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to put a question to you regarding the
9 6th of April, 1999, when the columns of civilians set out from, or rather,
10 you tell us, do you remember from which villages these columns set out on
11 the 6th of April?
12 A. On the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of April there were developments in the
13 territory of our SUP where there were large movements of civilians and
14 people leaving their homes. I remember the 6th of April because of the
15 village of Prilepnica, which was quite a peculiar case in that time.
16 Q. Were people leaving the area from Lovace and other areas?
17 A. Yes. If I were to elaborate on this, I would tell you that during
18 this period of time the bombing was also intense and a number of villages
19 were on the move, Lovace, Natovci, Donja Limoc [phoen], Crevnica. I
20 remember that there was a fire covering 5 hectares in the vicinity of the
21 village of Crevnica and it engulfed the entire village.
22 Q. Did you determine what caused this fire?
23 A. The bombing, the bombing did, the forest was on fire.
24 Q. Did you talk to the people who had left villages in columns on
25 that occasion?
1 A. Well, I can tell you something about the Prilepnica case because
2 it was quite specific and it marked a period in our lives at the time.
3 Yes, I remember that on the 6th of April that village was on the move
4 completely. I also remember that a delegation came looking for officers
5 in our SUP, and this delegation was led by their priest, by imam, and they
6 talked to the chief of police, Dragan Rizanovic. I had the occasion to
7 see the words of imam who mentioned Dragan Peric Svetozar who was chief of
8 crime police department heading the operations group that I had
9 established to shed light on the most difficult crimes. Rizanovic was
10 chief of police department, and these people asked for assistance not to
11 move out because allegedly the Army of Yugoslavia had told them to move
12 out. Since we could not affect this process we told them we would talk to
13 them to see what this was all about and these people went back.
14 I know that I attempted to find out from the officers of the Army
15 of Yugoslavia about what was going on in that village. That's a small
16 village away from Gnjilane, it's on a side road and it's surrounded by
17 mountains and forests, and they came to this intersection which is
18 popularly known as the intersection by the well. And talking to the
19 officers and Colonel Milinovic who I had found via courier, I wasn't able
20 to establish that anybody had told these residents to move out. They were
21 already on the move, moving in the direction of Vranje, and we sent out a
22 patrol to talk to them to tell them that this was not true, that this was
23 misinformation. This patrol was from Kamenica and it covered that area.
24 It was a traffic patrol. They talked to these people and these people
25 came back. We did not have any information indicating that anybody who we
1 had managed to contact in the Army of Yugoslavia had ordered them or told
2 them anything of that nature.
3 So these people came back. We gave them a guarantee, telling them
4 that everything was all right, that they should not fall prey to various
5 propaganda, misinformation, and people putting on false uniforms. And in
6 return we promised them that a patrol, they call it a check-point, but it
7 wasn't a check-point; it was a patrol. It was dangerous to have
8 check-points due to NATO bombing. But we sent out a patrol and it was
9 there in -- on that intersection for the following week during an
10 entire -- during the entire time, it was near the village of Prilepnica.
11 However, these people were on the move again a week later, and this is
12 when the bombing was the gravest. As far as I remember, that was the most
13 intense bombing on the 13th of April. And towards Macedonian border,
14 towards Presevo and in the broader sector of the village of Kmetovac,
15 which is not far from Prilepnica. The army positions there were bombed.
16 It was first the residents of the area of Mucibaba who set out, that was
17 the territory of Malisevo, Crna Cesme, and so on. And then the residents
18 of Prilepnica joined them and they created a huge column on that road.
19 The residents of Prilepnica once again got in touch with members of the
20 police and the same person who had talked to them on the first occasion
21 talked to them again. Rizanovic Dragan, chief of police department.
22 However, this time nobody could convince them because this time
23 this was a huge column comprising several villages. They were determined
24 to go to Macedonia and the only thing they begged us for was to give them
25 a patrol so that nobody would mistreat them on their way, stop them and so
1 on, and in order to ensure this cooperation, because the imam knew a lot
2 of people from the SUP, we gave them a traffic patrol and on that road
3 leading to Kacanik this patrol escorted them. That was on the 13th and
4 14th of April, as I had told you. This large group of civilians was on
5 the move on the 13th. This patrol did not come back for a long, long time
6 and I was afraid that something had happened to them. I didn't know who
7 was in that column, I didn't know what was happening during that time;
8 however, when they came back they told us that pursuant to the request of
9 imam they had escorted the column all the way. So this is what I know.
10 This is somewhat atypical for Zegra, and Prilepnica, I remember these
11 events well because they were unusual.
12 As for additional problems of this nature, I did not have any
13 other such problems in the territory of SUP Gnjilane.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, why initially would apparent refugees
15 head in the direction of Vranje?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They headed in the direction of
17 Vranje because in Presevo and in Bujanovac I suppose there's a lot of
18 Albanian residents, that's in the south of Serbia. So I assume that they
19 went there because of them. They were travelling to the southern part of
20 Serbia. Bujanovac is a town where there's -- where there is more
21 Albanians than Serbs residing. This is the territory of the Vranje SUP.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Just a clarification, you gave us this account in
1 detail, but tell us this: How many people there were in that column, if
2 you know, how many people were in the patrol and where did the patrol
3 move, in what area?
4 A. As I have told you, this was a large column of several thousand
5 people. As I told you, several villages, not only residents of Prilepnica
6 but other villages as well because the residents of Prilepnica just joined
7 the column comprising residents of Malisevo, Crna Cesme and so on. My
8 conclusion at the time was that they got scared by the bombing that night
9 and some other reasons that I mentioned in the beginning of my testimony.
10 So that was a column of several thousand people.
11 As for the traffic patrol, and I allowed the chief of traffic to
12 designate a patrol, they went ahead of them, ahead of the column, so as to
13 make it clear. They were traffic policemen with white bands on their
14 sleeves. And when people see that police was there, then nobody usually
15 attacked or mistreated people. The only danger was that members of the
16 KLA would frequently join the column, and this is why there was a risk.
17 That is precisely what I was afraid of when the traffic patrol did not
18 come back for a long time, I was worried that something had happened to
19 them because of that.
20 And if I may add this, on that occasion we were unable to
21 establish, on the 14th, I talked to the members of the army but we were
22 unable to establish who had set the residents of Prilepnica on the move
23 again. We talked to these people near the intersection where they were.
24 We didn't know who told them to go.
25 Q. Just to clarify, was there just one patrol?
1 A. One.
2 Q. And it was just the patrol at the head of the column?
3 A. Yes, one patrol but a reinforced one. We didn't dare just send
4 two people. I think there were three or four policemen there.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see in e-court P1996.
7 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: May I ask a question of the witness.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please go ahead.
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: In terms of the police control that would have
10 escorted and followed this column, are you able to tell me how the police
11 would have been placed in terms of how they escorted this column? Would
12 they have been interspersed along the way or would they have been within
13 one block? Are you able to say how it would have been done?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know how this
15 was translated to you, but there was just one patrol travelling in a
16 patrol vehicle. They travelled ahead of the column. There were no other
17 policemen, either along the road or anywhere else in the column. There
18 was just one patrol at the head of the column in a patrol vehicle. There
19 were a total of three or four policemen, because typically a patrol has
20 two policemen and in this instance there were three or four of them
21 because we were worried about their safety.
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much. That's what I wanted to
23 find out.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you have this exhibit before you in the binder?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. These are minutes from the meeting held at the MUP staff on the
3 7th of May, 1999.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now turn to page 7, please,
5 in B/C/S, the last paragraph.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Do you recall whether you attended this meeting?
9 A. Yes, I remember that I did attend it.
10 Q. And what did you report about? What was your report about that
12 A. This is one of several collegium meetings held in the course of
13 the war in Pristina where we had the task of providing information on all
14 security-related events taking place in the period between two collegium
15 meetings. Here I also reported on the number of days when NATO had bombed
16 our area. I reported that 184 crimes had been committed or 174.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's on page 8 of these minutes,
19 168 crimes were general crimes, 16 were economic crimes. Criminal reports
20 were submitted for 189 persons and 114 persons were arrested, taken into
21 custody. I reported that public law and order was stable, that there had
22 only been ten misdemeanours, which is not much. I also reported that I
23 had arrested the deputy municipal public prosecutor and the chief of the
24 market inspection for Gnjilane municipality, and so on.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you. We were just checking something in the transcript, but
2 for the most part it's in order. So after the beginning of the
3 air-strikes, did you continue carrying out regular police work, police
5 A. As best we could in the given conditions. All regular work
6 continued, but the stress was on throwing light on the most serious
7 crimes. These were very different. There were murders, there was
8 looting, burning, break-ins, robberies.
9 Q. At that time were there some new regulations in force, according
10 to which the police acted?
11 A. Yes. We already established that in my testimony of yesterday,
12 and these were the decrees that arrived in early April when war broke
13 out. In addition to the decrees, we've already mentioned there was the
14 decree on personal identity cards where the age limit was now 14 rather
15 than 16. Previously a person had to be 16 to get a personal identity
16 card. According to the new decree, a 14-year-old could get an identity
17 card. There were other additional regulations, new regulations, governing
18 the field of our work.
19 There was also a decree which was important in our view, and that
20 was the decree concerning the Law on Criminal Procedure, where powers were
21 given to the police also in addition to the public prosecutor and the
22 investigating judge in exceptional and urgent cases. In such cases, the
23 police could carry out investigations and hand down detention, custody.
24 This period was now prolonged. Previously the police could hold a person
25 up to three days. With the new decree this was extended to 30 days.
1 Also, keeping people in custody under the old regulations was 24 hours,
2 but under this new decree a person could be held for longer than 24 hours
3 but then the person would have to be handed over to the investigating
4 judge at the first possible moment, as soon as the wartime conditions
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, do you know why there was a change in
7 the age limit for identity cards at this particular time?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know why. It was a whole
9 new system of regulations amending the existing regulations and
10 legislation. There were a number of decrees issued in the wartime
11 situation making more stringent all the measures that had been in place
12 before and things were regulated slightly different than -- differently
13 than they had been in peacetime, but I don't know the reasons.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we'll have a witness, Dujkovic, who
17 should be able to explain this topic.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 3 -- Exhibit 6D614, page 972 --
20 paragraph 972.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's something different on the
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, it's 6D614, that's the
24 exhibit, page 348, item 972. I see that I have made a mistake, so now
25 we'll move to page 398, item 1278. [In English] One point on the top,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see it.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you remember who this person was, Slavko Simic?
5 A. From the village of Mogila, Vitina municipality -- no, I remember
6 some other last names from Zegra of civilians from Prilepnica.
7 Q. Do you remember this SPS deputy?
8 A. Yes, he was the SPS deputy in Gnjilane municipality, that's right.
9 Q. Were there other deputies there?
10 A. There was another one. If you were to jog my memory, I'd remember
11 him. There were two deputies among the persons we took into custody and
12 the Gnjilane court said they were to be held in detention. There were two
13 deputies from Gnjilane municipality and one of them was the one we've just
15 Q. And was Zoran Disic the other, was he arrested?
16 A. Yes, yes, I remember now. That's right.
17 Q. Well, on the screen you see 1282?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Who was the perpetrator?
20 A. Well, it was serious theft on the 25th of May, aggravated theft,
21 that is, and it was Sebastijan Ademi, a civilian from Kmetovac who
22 perpetrated this aggravated theft and he was remanded in custody.
23 Q. And what was he by ethnicity?
24 A. An Albanian.
25 Q. Did you arrest any other persons in Gnjilane who were in positions
1 of power, of authority?
2 A. Well, I can tell you that I remember if you consider people in the
3 economic sphere to have authority, there were people from state-owned
4 companies in Gnjilane and Kosovska Kamenica. We didn't really pay
5 attention in that situation to who was in what position and who held what
6 office, whether he was a civil servant or a leader in society. So there
7 was a very varied list if one looks at it statistically of persons who
8 behaved inappropriately during the war and committed crimes. We treated
9 them the same as any other citizens. They were all the same in my view,
10 all equal.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have in e-court 6D334.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What is this about, what kind of document is this or collection of
17 A. This is a case concerning the exhumation of some bodies. We
18 received information, or rather, the policemen in the sector received
19 information that in Vitina municipality there were six freshly dug
20 graves. Acting on that information, we established, or rather, Zulfensa
21 Diki [phoen] from Vitina municipality reported to the patrol that in the
22 village of Donja Stubla in Vitina he had buried six of his relatives. We
23 found those six relatives, or rather, we found those six grave mounds and
24 we reported this to Zivorad Stankovic, the investigating judge, but
25 because it was so dangerous the exhumation was carried out only a few days
1 later. And it was established after the exhumation what the identity of
2 the persons who were killed was. They were all Albanians, five from the
3 village of Djilekare [phoen] and one from the village of Gornja Bulija
4 [phoen]. It was established after the exhumation that all these persons
5 had been killed from fire-arms, and according to the statement of Zulfensa
6 Diki, all of them were killed -- well, it says here on the 15th of March
7 but I think it was later on in the village of Djilekare by members of the
8 Army of Yugoslavia. After this murder the relative took the bodies to
9 Donja Stubla, that's a village, and the other family members of Smajli
10 Sadiku arrived and they were buried on the spot where they were found.
11 And here you have the official notes made by the policeman on the spot and
12 you can see -- you can trace the course of these activities from the
13 initial information and you can see everything that was done.
14 Q. How did you collect information from the ground?
15 A. Well, in different ways. The sector methods of work of the
16 police, that's where all the necessary information is gathered and the
17 moment a policeman writes an official note, an official record, it becomes
18 a basis for action. So we invested our best efforts to respond to each
19 and every event, at least by writing up an official record and then we
20 could continue gathering information. The official record was the basis
21 for further action.
22 Q. Did you designate the more able policemen to collect information
23 in various sectors?
24 A. Yes, as I've already said, we formed teams, we call them operative
25 groups, where the best crime detection policemen were and in the sector as
1 well. Everybody knew in the SUP who was talented to carry out criminal
2 investigations where the police were concerned, who was talented in that
3 respect so that the best policemen worked on crime investigations in the
4 police stations and the sectors.
5 Q. Before we move on, to whom was this file delivered?
6 A. To the prosecutor. A criminal report is always submitted to the
7 prosecutor, and that's where the work of the police ends. The moment we
8 hand over either to the civilian or the military prosecutor, the moment we
9 hand over to him or her a criminal report, that's where our work stops.
10 Our work is detection and their work is prosecution.
11 Q. And do you see to which prosecutor this file was handed over?
12 A. The military prosecutor. It was the military prosecutor to whom
13 this file was handed over.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you remember how many murders were dealt with by
15 the Gnjilane SUP in 1990 [as interpreted]?
16 A. You mean in the course of the war, in 1999?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. I remember some statistics. We dealt with 56 murders. We drew up
19 14 reports for 36 murders, which we submitted to the military prosecutor.
20 We also dealt with 161 cases of arson or fire, and I remember that we took
21 into custody 53 persons.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we clarify the number of murders. You've been
23 recorded in the transcript as saying you dealt with 56 murders but wrote
24 reports for 36. Which is the correct figure or are 36 reported to
25 military prosecutor and 20 civil cases?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, precisely so. There
2 was a total of 56 murders, 36 were reported to the military prosecutor and
3 20 to the civilian civil prosecutor.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. There's just one more error in the transcript, so I'll ask you.
7 How many persons did you take into custody?
8 A. 158.
9 Q. Thank you. For how many days did NATO bomb the area of Gnjilane?
10 A. 39 days without interruption, so for 39 days NATO continuously
11 bombed the area.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So these statistics apply to these 70 -- sorry, the
13 period of the NATO bombing, do they? Or do they apply to the whole of
14 1999 until the 20th of June?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, only the period of the
16 NATO bombing, those 72 days.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to call up in e-court
19 document P1989.
20 Q. Mr. Gavranic, we have before us minutes from a meeting with senior
21 police officials in Kosovo and Metohija dated the 4th of April, 1999. Do
22 you remember whether you took part in this meeting?
23 A. I do remember, and yes, I did take part.
24 Q. What were the chiefs of SUP reporting about at this meeting?
25 A. I've already said and I'll repeat it now, as for the chiefs of
1 SUP, they reported on the state of safety and security in that area. This
2 is the 4th of April, 1999, that is to say already seven days and more, 10
3 or 11 days into the war. We reported about that in this initial chaos how
4 the organs of public law and order and the SUP on the whole managed in
5 this situation of chaos, how many people were detained, what kinds of
6 crimes were committed, whether there were any problems in relation to
7 communication, and we saw that there were some and so on.
8 Q. Did all chiefs report that they had arrested perpetrators of
10 A. Right now I see that here and I remember that all chiefs had a
11 significant number of arrested persons during the first days of the war.
12 Only the secretariat in Kosovska Mitrovica whose chief was Ljubinko Cvetic
13 did not have a single detained person.
14 Q. Until when was Ljubinko Cvetic chief of SUP Kosovska Mitrovica,
15 until when did he stay on there?
16 A. As far as I can remember until the 15th of April, that is to say
17 mid-April that year.
18 Q. Another ten days or so after this meeting?
19 A. Around that, about ten days after this meeting.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to call up in e-court
21 6D614, page 350, paragraph 987.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have it.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. While we're waiting for it to appear on our screens, I'm going to
25 ask you something. During the proofing we showed us Abdylhaqim Shaqiri's
1 statement, he was a Prosecution witness.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. On page 2, in paragraph 5, Denic Negovan and Denic Goran are
4 mentioned that they had been seen in military uniforms. Do you remember
5 that that was stated there?
6 A. Yes, I remember.
7 Q. Please let us look at 987 now. Is there any mention of the Denics
9 A. Gnjilane, the 20th of April, 1999, aggravated theft under Article
10 166. On the 20th of April, 1999, Denic Negovan and Nikolic Aleksandar,
11 both of whom were civilians from the village of Kusce, actually they were
12 from Prilepnica, Nikolic is from Kusce and Denic is from Prilepnica,
13 committed an aggravated theft which is an offence under Article 166 of the
14 Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia. The offenders were remanded in
15 custody under Article 196 of the ZKP. The injured party was unknown.
16 Denic Negovan is the person mentioned here, and yesterday we
17 concluded that Goran Denic was also arrested because of arson. They are
18 from the village of Prilepnica, their family is from Prilepnica. I
19 remember these last names like the last names of Pavic from Zegra. So
20 these are the last names that remain in my memory because we had these
21 problems with them during the war.
22 Q. Were they members of the military?
23 A. We arrested them as civilians.
24 Q. At that time you established what their status was?
25 A. Well, this time precisely coincides with the period of time when
1 Prilepnica was empty, when the inhabitants of Prilepnica had left. They
2 left on the 14th of April, the village remained empty, and the theft took
3 place in that village on the 20th of April, 1999, and Denic Negovan and
4 Nikolic Aleksandar were caught.
5 Q. So you established their status at the time and you established
6 that they were civilians?
7 A. Yes, that's right. That has to be filed in the criminal report,
8 so when we apprehended them they were treated as civilians, they were
10 Q. If they were seen in uniforms of the Army of Yugoslavia, that
11 means that in actual fact that this was an abuse, right; is that what we
12 could infer?
13 A. I've already said that there were such cases. There were such
14 cases, quite a few such cases during the course of the war.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: How would you establish their status as civilians?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite simply, he was in civilian
18 clothes and he introduced himself as such. When he was being arrested, he
19 was a civilian, he did not have any uniform on. If he were wearing a
20 uniform, we would know what this is all about, we would report that
21 straight away to the military authorities and then we would establish the
22 identity of the persons concerned.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Gavranic, thank you. For the time being these were all the
2 questions I had for you. Now other questions will be put to you probably
3 from some other Defence team and then from the Prosecution. Thank you.
4 A. Thank you, too.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
6 Mr. Fila.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Gavranic, how are you doing?
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. I'm just going to use up a bit of your time. Mr. Lukic showed you
11 the minutes of the meeting held on the 4th of April, 1999, twice.
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could we call up 19 -- P1989, please.
14 Q. You have it in hard copy, don't you?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it not 1999?
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] 1989, isn't it.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
19 Q. As you can see, this is the 4th of April, 1999. I would like to
20 draw your attention to the beginning of this document when they say who
21 was present. Is the name Nikola Sainovic there, yes, no?
22 A. No, Nikola Sainovic's name is not there.
23 Q. All right. Now, please take a look at page 4, page 4, please, and
24 it's the second or third paragraph from the bottom, the big one. You see
1 A. Yes, I see it.
2 Q. Well, here it says that the deputy prime minister of the federal
3 government, Nikola Sainovic, joined in. How come?
4 A. I remember that at the end of that meeting Mr. Nikola Sainovic
5 walked in. He was the deputy prime minister of the federal government. I
6 think that it was General Obrad Stevanovic who was speaking at that
7 point. He made his excuses and the general gave him the floor, he greeted
8 us briefly, gave us encouragement because Obrad had finished the few
9 sentences he had when he spoke about prosecutions and measures we should
10 take in order to stop this initial chaos. Mr. Sainovic supported that,
11 encouraged us. As far as I can remember, that was all.
12 Q. You wouldn't know why it was that he came there in the first place
13 and what he was doing in Pristina?
14 A. I don't know that. I really don't know that.
15 Q. Let's move on and then we're going to deal with a different
16 question. Did you attend a meeting that was held at the MUP staff in
17 Pristina on the 7th of May, 1999?
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could we please call up in e-court
20 Q. You see the introductory part?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Here we see that at the very beginning of this meeting we see the
23 name of Mr. Nikola Sainovic as one of the attendees.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. As far as I can see you attended as well.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us first of all whether Sainovic stayed on until the
3 end of the meeting, yes or no?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And do you know -- and do you know what kind of speech he made and
6 what he talked about?
7 A. As opposed to the first meeting, over here Mr. Nikola Sainovic,
8 deputy federal prime minister, came at the beginning of the meeting. He
9 made a political speech and when he finished he left the meeting and we
10 went on working in accordance with the plan that we had, and I've already
11 given my comments with regard to these minute a few moments ago.
12 Q. On pages 3 and 4 of these minutes, you see that Sainovic gave his
13 comments regarding what -- the statement of the Commander-in-Chief that
14 was released in the Politika daily newspaper?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you aware of that statement before that?
17 A. We received it a day before. I knew about that. I think that on
18 the previous day we received a photocopy of the Politika article, where
19 the head of state spoke about the situation in the country.
20 Q. Thank you. Could you now please look at 5D1289. I don't know if
21 you have it in front of you.
22 A. No, I don't.
23 Q. You'll see it on your screen in a minute. It is 5D1289.
24 Is that the document that you received?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Let's have a look at the second page now. Is that the article or
2 is that not the article?
3 A. Yes, yes, it is.
4 Q. We don't need the document anymore. So on that day did Sainovic
5 convey to you some kind of directives at that meeting or did he quite
6 simply indicate this text to you, the one that we saw in Politika now?
7 A. No, Mr. Sainovic did not convey any directives to us. Practically
8 he repeated some of the things that we had already read in the newspapers
9 on the previous day.
10 Q. So at two meetings, if I understood correctly, these were working
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Nikola Sainovic showed up --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We can no longer hear the
15 speaker. There's too much background noise.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I kept hitting this microphone, so I couldn't be heard.
18 You mentioned these two meetings that Nikola Sainovic attended in
19 part. These were some working meetings if I understood you correctly. So
20 now I would like to ask you -- actually, you've already said that. You
21 already said that he made an appropriate political speech on both
22 occasions. We are only interested in two questions, one may seem a bit
23 strange to you but I have to put this question. Was he a member of this
24 MUP staff or did he participate in any way in the work of the MUP or did
25 he influence the work of the MUP in any way?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did he issue any orders then? Did he give instructions? Was he
3 someone's extended arm? Did he ask you for reports?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Since you've been in the MUP for quite a long time, you said that
6 he was deputy federal prime minister. Did the federal government have any
7 authority whatsoever over the republican MUP?
8 A. No, the federal government had no powers over the republican MUP.
9 Q. I just want to ask you one more thing. During the course of 1999
10 while you were in Kosovo, you from the staff of MUP or down the MUP line,
11 did you see in any way a document ordering something to you and would this
12 be a document stating Joint Command?
13 A. I as the SUP of Gnjilane really never saw a single document that
14 had that kind of heading, Joint Command, or anything like that.
15 Q. Thank you very much. I'm not going to trouble you any longer.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
18 Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I know it's out of order but I forgot to
20 ask this witness one question. Is it -- if you can allow me so there
21 would be no prejudice to the Prosecutor.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, yes.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
24 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
25 Q. [Interpretation] My mistake, Mr. Gavranic. Ljubinko Cvetic
1 testified before this Chamber. He stated that on the 17th of March, 1999,
2 a meeting was held in the MUP staff or MUP headquarters and that Sreten
3 Lukic spoke about volunteers, or rather, the use of volunteers in Kosovo
4 and Metohija. Firstly, do you recall and have you found in your notes
5 that on the 17th of March, 1999, a meeting was actually held in the MUP
7 A. Yes, I remember that there was a meeting in MUP headquarters
8 attended by him in Pristina.
9 Q. Well, that would be on the 17th of February?
10 A. Yes, that's the one I remember.
11 Q. And did the minister speak about volunteers?
12 A. Yes, the minister did speak about volunteers. He said we should
13 be cautious with them in case there was an aggression. This was in the
14 pre-aggression period --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on a second. This all started with you
16 saying, Mr. Lukic, that Sreten Lukic spoke about volunteers. Now --
17 MR. LUKIC: That's what Cvetic told us.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. And your question is a different one, is it,
19 did the minister speak about volunteers.
20 MR. LUKIC: Because Cvetic said that Mr. Lukic spoke about the
21 volunteers on the meeting of the 17th of March. Now, we first established
22 that it was actually the meeting of the 17th of February, and then I asked
23 about the minister. I'll come to Mr. Lukic.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, which minister are we talking about?
25 MR. LUKIC: Minister of interior.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry?
2 MR. LUKIC: Minister of interior.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yeah. All right. Thank you. I thought we had
4 jumped without -- and missed a stage, but okay. Please continue.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Who spoke about volunteers at that meeting to the
7 best of your recollection?
8 A. To the best of my recollection, and I remember it well, it was the
9 minister of the interior, Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
10 Q. Do you recall whether at that meeting Sreten Lukic also spoke
11 about volunteers?
12 A. I don't remember Sreten Lukic talking about volunteers at that
13 meeting, but I know the minister said that later on we would be receiving
14 instructions in case of an aggression, how we should act in such cases.
15 We never did have volunteers. That's important. The MUP never had
16 volunteers. In the Gnjilane SUP we had not a single volunteer. If people
17 did turn up and report, we sent them on to the Army of Yugoslavia.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues]... and thank you,
19 Your Honours, for allowing me to ask additional question.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Gavranic. I have only one question
24 for you. You said more than once that at the collegium held on the 7th of
25 May you reported to that gathering that within the scope of the work of
1 the Gnjilane SUP you submitted 189 criminal reports and arrested 114
2 persons for crimes committed from the beginning of the aggression up to
3 the 6th of May. My question is only this: Through the system of
4 reporting you have explained to us, did you report this to the ministry in
5 Belgrade through the reporting system in the MUP?
6 A. Good day. Yes, we did. Through a courier, it was sent in the
7 same way but by means of a courier. The courier would take the post to
8 the office of the SUP in Pristina, to the clerk there, and then it was
9 sent on to Belgrade.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for this
12 witness. Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
14 Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Gavranic. My name is Djuro
18 Cepic. I appear for the Defence of General Lazarevic this morning.
19 Unfortunately, I'm not as good a footballer as you used to be, but I have
20 a few questions for you in connection with what you said before this
21 honourable Trial Chamber.
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we see on our screens 6D852.
23 Q. And while we are waiting for the document to come up, you
24 explained that the location of Kabas is a place where investigations were
25 carried out when you explained how, but do you remember who reported that
1 crime, that murder, perpetrated by a member of the army?
2 A. I'm trying to find this in the official record.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues]... second page,
5 [Interpretation] Could we see page 2, please. [In English] Second
6 page, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says that the police went there
8 on receipt of an -- of a report, they went to the village of Kabas where
9 they secured the body of Mustafa Shefqet. And then it goes on to explain
10 how through operative information it was established how the murder had
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Just a minute, please.
14 A. It says that the person who perpetrated the murder was frightened
15 and pointed their weapon at Shefqet and fired five bullets.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we see page 3 of the document,
18 Q. Would you agree with me that this crime was reported by the
19 military patrol stationed in the village of Kabas on the 5th of May, 1999?
20 A. It's possible.
21 Q. Well, look at the first passage on page 3.
22 A. It says that on the 5th of May at 1620 hours a military patrol --
23 yes, correct, correct.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for your reference in
1 Exhibit P955 on page 10 the name of Dragan Stoiljkovic is stated as having
2 committed a crime, the crime of murder, and that he was dealt with by the
3 military prosecutor's office.
4 Can we have in e-court 6D334.
5 Q. Mr. Gavranic, this morning you gave us a little more information
6 about this exhumation of six freshly dug graves, and we see here that the
7 report was sent to the military prosecutor's office.
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page, please.
10 Q. Would you tell me, please, whether you remember whose expert,
11 whose forensic expert or pathologist was present at the exhumation?
12 A. I remember it was a military pathologist.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for your reference
15 regarding the murders in the Gnjilane area, the military judicial organs
16 acted on this, as can be seen in report P955, page 76, and the number of
17 corpses discovered in the entire area is stated; and on page 82 of the
18 same document we see the name of Nebojsa Stojkovic, a reservist from
19 Leskovac who was prosecuted for the crime of murder of several persons,
20 multiple murder. Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Gavranic, you spoke about the crime committed by Vlado
22 Zmajevic and others. Am I right in saying that this was in late March and
23 that this group, or rather, these individuals and that Zmajevic and those
24 persons who were with him had just arrived in the area?
25 A. Yes, yes, you're right.
1 Q. I assume you immediately informed the military organs about that?
2 A. Yes, and we handed over the case file in its entirety.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we see on our screens 5D825.
5 Q. Would you please look at item 2, that's a document of the 175th
6 Infantry Brigade of the 31st of March, 1999. If we look at the second
7 sentence in paragraph 2 of item 2, could you read it, please?
8 A. "After demonstrating indiscipline and other criminal activities by
9 certain volunteers, the situation is slowly becoming more stable. Eight
10 volunteers for whom there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they
11 committed a crime in Zegra village have been arrested."
12 Q. Thank you. Would that refer to those volunteers?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for your reference, in
16 P955 on page 19 Vlado Zmajevic and others are mentioned. They were
17 prosecuted by the military judicial organs. Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Gavranic, my colleague Mr. Lukic asked you about civilians who
19 abused or misused uniforms. I'll show you 5D549 now. Could we look at
20 item 5, please.
21 A. Yes, I can see it.
22 Q. Would you read it out, please.
23 A. "Security.
24 "In the brigade's zone we are also establishing control over those
25 who are not part of the unit strength. Burning and looting by civilians
1 in the population are becoming more frequent. They are dressed in
2 uniforms with different patterns. On the 26th of April, 1999, six persons
3 were found carrying out such activities, two were identified in the act
4 and they were immediately brought before the investigating judge."
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the heading, please.
6 Q. We see that the document was issued by the 175th Brigade on the
7 27th of April. They were in the Gnjilane area, were they not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me whether in addition to the examples
10 Mr. Lukic asked you about, were there also other cases where uniforms were
12 A. Well, as I've already said, there were quite a few such cases.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm finding this difficult -- slightly difficult to
15 follow. What -- can you give us an example of -- apart from this one of
16 the abuse or misuse of a uniform?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, to the best of my
18 knowledge, people had uniforms. The civilian defence also had uniforms,
19 but they were not members of the Army of Yugoslavia. Those uniforms --
20 well, people kept them at home because they'd been issued with them before
21 the war, and then they would put them on, commit a crime, and put it
22 back. So it was very hard to establish who, in fact, perpetrated a
23 crime. I've already said in my previous testimony that later on I heard
24 that Denic was wearing a military uniform. I heard that from the
25 testimony of witness imam which I read, but I didn't know when we arrested
1 him that he had had a uniform. He was a civilian. There were such cases
2 and they were not infrequent.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Why on earth would anyone do that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was a state of war. There
5 were criminals everywhere. There were criminals even in peacetime who
6 caused us great problems. As soon as they saw that the situation was
7 favourable to them, they would do what they did and they would find the
8 best possible way of doing it without being discovered. They looted
9 abandoned villages.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But that suggests to me that it's okay if you're
11 wearing a uniform, you'll get away with it; otherwise, why on earth would
12 somebody put on a uniform to carry out an act of looting or arson? I'm
13 trying to understand this.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most likely in order to shift the
15 blame on the Army of Yugoslavia because then it would be difficult to find
16 perpetrators because the army was so big and there were so many soldiers
17 in my area covered by the Gnjilane SUP, there were thousands of soldiers
18 in that area. We in the police -- but that's a different topic. We in
19 police wore bands on sleeves in order to avoid confusion.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Lay aside the question of whether members of the
21 KLA might wear uniforms similar to VJ uniforms, but why would a Serb
22 civilian, why on earth would a Serb civilian commit crimes under the cover
23 of a uniform?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a criminal is a
25 criminal, regardless of what uniform he wears when perpetrating a crime.
1 That's my opinion. I don't know to what extent I'm right.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
3 Mr. Cepic.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Was it easier to move about if one wore a military uniform during
6 the war, Mr. Gavranic?
7 A. Yes. By your leave I would add something. If you had a military
8 uniform, then the army would not check on you. Police would not check as
9 much either. If you had a civilian clothing on you, then both would check
10 on you.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see 4D174, please.
13 Q. Mr. Gavranic, we have a document of the Army of Yugoslavia, the
14 security organs, dated the 27th of April, 1999.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we see item 4 on our screens,
17 Q. Do you see item 4?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. An event which took place on the 18th of April is described
20 therein, the village of Pozaranje. Would you tell me where that village
21 is located?
22 A. That village is in the territory of the Gnjilane SUP, it's an
23 Albanian village, one of the largest in the territory of the Gnjilane SUP.
24 Q. Is this yet another piece of evidence showing that uniformed
25 persons appeared and that they were prosecuted both by the military
1 police -- by the military people and the police?
2 A. Yes, apparently they tried to rob somebody and then military
3 police intervened.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: They were identified, were they? It says
6 unidentified on what I'm reading, but I've not got the whole paragraph.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the next page, please.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: That only refers to actual members of the VJ.
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, no. It says explicitly
10 here that these two men, Djurasevic and Stojkovic were members of the
11 175th Brigade. As for the village it is stated that this was outside of
12 the area of responsibility of the unit. The unit was not deployed there,
13 so the identity of these persons was not established and this deals with
14 two different events in this paragraph.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Your Honours, is this a good time for break?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Your cross-examination will be lengthy, will it?
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Better finished after the break, is it?
21 MR. CEPIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
23 We break now for half an hour, Mr. Gavranic. Could you again
24 leave the courtroom with the usher and we will see you again at 11.15.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Recess taken at 10.47 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.18 a.m.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
5 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Before the
6 witness comes in, I would like to introduce a new member of our team,
7 Drazen Djukic, our new legal advisor, who will be helping us in our future
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I take it there is no objection to either of
11 the documents I raised at the beginning of this morning's session? Very
12 well. We shall proceed to make an order accordingly.
13 Mr. Cepic, please continue.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Gavranic, just a few more questions. We have in front of us
16 on the screens the same document we dealt with before the break, which is
17 a document of security organ signed by Major Miroslav Panic, 27 of April,
18 1999. This is the document of the Army of Yugoslavia. Would you please
19 look at item 5.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you please read it?
22 A. "On the 26th of April OB," which I guess is the security organ --
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. "Of the 175th Infantry Brigade brought into detention Dragan
25 Raykovic, son of Petar, and Milivoj Stojiljkovic, son of Djordje, who had
1 set on fire the house of an unidentified Siptar in the village of
2 Radivojce, justifying it by saying that they owed the man 200 German
3 marks. They were wearing camouflage uniforms and carried automatic
4 rifles. They introduced themselves as volunteers from the 175th Infantry
5 Brigade even though they were from the village of Klokot. They will be
6 handed over to the investigating judge with a criminal report on the 28th
7 of April.
8 "That same day, the following civilians from the village of
9 Klokot were brought into detention by the military police for having
10 looted the abandoned Siptar houses in Radivojce village: Nenad Radic, son
11 of Dobrivoj; Goran Stanojevic, son of Trajan; Zoran Radic; Zivojin Aksic.
12 Criminal reports shall be filed against them."
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Gavranic, are all these settlements in the
14 territory of the Gnjilane territory?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when it comes to what
17 steps military organs took, we have two documents, 5D555 and 5D560.
18 However, this witness does not belong to the Army of Yugoslavia. These
19 two documents deal with the situation and the activities in that area of
20 Gnjilane. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, I don't know if this applies to any
22 documents referred to earlier in your cross-examination, but these two are
23 not exhibited. They may be the subject of an application before us at the
24 moment, but until that's resolved they're not part of the process. And
25 simply mentioning documents in the course of your cross-examination will
1 not lead to them being exhibited.
2 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I would like to request their
4 JUDGE BONOMY: There's no basis for you requesting their
5 admission, Mr. Cepic. You've just named them, and that's not a basis on
6 which we can deal with such an application.
7 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, then just --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: This is cross-examination of a witness for another
9 accused. It's not an opportunity for you to present yet another case.
10 MR. CEPIC: I understood that. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. CEPIC: I just need opportunity for additional bar table,
13 probably we will have -- on Friday we already filed a very, very big
14 motion and we've been waiting for some documents from Belgrade also in
15 relation to previous witnesses from our Defence case. These documents
16 will confirm some allegations and also maybe some other documents, and we
17 will try to file it as soon as it is possible, with your leave.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we know that there are certain issues which
19 you have alerted the Chamber to, but it was made very clear to you that
20 you were being given one final opportunity after your case was closed to
21 put together a motion to present any documents you wished from the bar
22 table, and it's in the course of that process that you've drawn to our
23 attention the difficulty of translation, for example, and some matters of
24 that administrative nature, we will make allowances for. But your case is
25 closed subject to resolving the issues outstanding in relation to exhibits
1 that were outstanding as at the closure of your case. And introducing
2 fresh documents requires the re-opening of your case, and the test for
3 that is a very demanding one which you're not seeking to satisfy at the
5 If, however, this witness has said something that you wish to
6 challenge by referring to a document, then you may do that; and to the
7 extent that he were to accept the accuracy of the document, then it may
8 become part of the record in this case. But that would only apply where
9 you were challenging something that he was saying, or he was a witness
10 through whom you felt something positive could be contributed, and by that
11 I mean from his personal knowledge. You could also try to ask him
12 something from his personal knowledge that might relate to a document and
13 thus make the document part of the case because in cross-examination you
14 are obviously entitled to lead evidence that will also support your case.
15 But it's only something that he would have personal knowledge of that it
16 would be appropriate to do that with. It's not good enough to simply put
17 a document in front of him and ask him to read it and then expect that at
18 this stage that will become part of your case.
19 So please continue with the cross-examination and give further
20 thought to what you want to do with any other documents which may give
21 rise to the re-opening of your case.
22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavranic, we have heard Witness Abdylhaqim
24 Shaqiri here in this courtroom. He was the Prosecution witness who
25 testified here on pages 2776 of the transcript and 2777. The said person
1 stated that there was no KLA presence in the sector of Anamorava which is
2 Vitina, Gnjilane, Kamenica, and other municipalities. Is this true what
3 he claimed?
4 A. It's not true. There were members of the KLA in that territory.
5 Q. Thank you. We have a military document which is P1310 --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 5D1310.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we see this document, please,
8 item 11 from this document.
9 Q. And there it says that in the Pristina-Podujevo-Medvedja-Kosovska
10 Kamenica-Gnjilane territory there is a large number of armed terrorists.
11 It says that the majority of terrorists is in the area between Gnjilane
12 and Presevo in the Uglare-Mucibaba-Predgrade triangle and that in the town
13 of Gnjilane they are in settlements Gavran 1 and 2, Bela Zemlja, Sant
14 Agin, Kamnik and that in that area there are about 2.000 of them armed,
15 and counting civilians, that figure is double. This information dates
16 from the 13th of April, 1999. Did you have similar data concerning
17 terrorist forces?
18 A. Yes, we did have similar data, perhaps even greater figures, not
19 Uglajare, Mucibaba, Predgrade but Podgradje. Podgradje is the name of the
20 place, that's the penultimate paragraph. I already spoke about the 7th
21 operations on two brigades, 171st and 172nd. According to our information
22 there was a large number of terrorists who later poured in from Pristina
23 and Urosevac area to the area of Zlasevac and Marica and Zegovac and
24 Zegovacka Vrbica.
25 Q. In your testimony you spoke about the deployment of military
1 forces. Would I be right in saying that the majority of the forces was
2 deployed in the border area towards the Republic of Macedonia?
3 A. Yes, one could say so.
4 Q. Did you have information to the effect that in the Republic of
5 Macedonia there were very strong NATO forces there?
6 A. Yes, we had such information.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this leading to something new, because if this
8 is simply repetition of material we've already heard, Mr. Cepic, it's not
9 really a reasonable use of cross-examination in your case.
10 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I just have one question.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavranic, Vitina fell under the jurisdiction
12 of the Gnjilane SUP, Vitina municipality?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. That's quite a large territory?
15 A. Yes, in Vitina there was the department of the interior.
16 Q. But it's a large area?
17 A. Yes, and it is the area that is most densely populated within the
18 Gnjilane SUP.
19 Q. Were people moving out from the territory of Vitina?
20 A. In my earlier evidence I said, and I will now repeat it and add a
21 few things. The greatest numbers of people moving out were from the
22 territory of the town of Gnjilane and the vicinity from Mucibaba and the
23 area above Zegra towards the Macedonian border. As for the Kamenica
24 portion which was covered by the Kamenica department of the interior and
25 Vitinice territory covered by the Vitina department, not so many people
1 were moving out. As far as I remember in Vitina there were just a few
2 villages that were deserted, which percentage-wise was much lower than the
3 other areas that I mentioned.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Gavranic. I have no further questions
5 for you.
6 A. You're welcome.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
9 Mr. Gavranic, you will now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
10 Mr. Stamp.
11 Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gavranic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Can I start by asking you briefly about your testimony that the
17 MUP staff in Pristina was not an organizational unit of the Ministry of
18 the Interior. By "organizational unit," what do you mean?
19 A. Organizational unit is a term used in the original official
20 documents of the Serbian MUP. It says there that organizational units of
21 the Ministry of the Interior, there are two sectors, and then secretariats
22 of the interior administrations are in turn organizational units of those
23 sectors. Further on, in the rules it is stated which organizational units
24 do not fall within sectors and I did not see in a single document that a
25 staff was an organizational unit, which is an entity whose tasks and
1 duties are very strictly defined by regulations and internal regulations
2 of the MUP of Serbia.
3 Q. Wasn't the minister of the interior and the -- or weren't the
4 minister of the interior and the department heads empowered under the law
5 to establish ad hoc units of the Ministry of Interior?
6 A. The minister did have power to do that, but department heads, if
7 the translation I received was correct, did not have power. I don't know
8 whether you perhaps had in mind heads of SUPs.
9 Q. When I said department heads I meant the heads of the state
10 security section or department and the head of the public service
11 department. Let's look at P1251 to see if we could get somewhere on
12 this. This is a decision on the formation of the ministry staff.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it is signed by the assistant minister and department chief,
15 General Djordjevic. I represent that to you. That is on the next page of
16 the document. And it tells the -- tells exactly what the responsibilities
17 of the staff is. If you look at paragraph 2 it says: "The task of the
18 staff is to plan, organize, guide, and coordinate the work of the
19 secretariats of the interior at the border police station on the territory
20 of Kosovo and Metohija in performing complex and important duties and
21 assignments that involve ..."
22 And it goes on to list various areas that the MUP staff was
23 responsible to plan and coordinate. Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And you see that it starts by indicating that this is done
1 pursuant to Article 10 of the book of rules of the internal organization
2 of the Ministry of Interior --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that a mistranslation when it
4 says "international"?
5 MR. STAMP: That's a mistranslation. Can you read the top --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. STAMP: Yes, it's I think quite clearly a mistranslation.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you read the beginning of that statement,
9 Mr. Gavranic where the reference to Article 10 appears.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Pursuant to Article 10 of the Book
11 of Rules on internal organization of the Ministry of Interior."
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That's sufficient. Thank you.
13 Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Can we look at P1072, which is the Book of Rules of the internal
16 organization, page 11 thereof where we'll find Article 10. And I think
17 it's the same page in B/C/S, yes.
18 Q. And it provides that the chief of the department may establish
19 permanent or ad hoc staffs, commissions, task forces and working groups
20 made up of ministry employees. So --
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. -- having seen that, would you now agree with me that the ministry
23 staff was an ad hoc administrative unit formed under the powers that were
24 granted to the head of the department?
25 A. The staff of the ministry is an auxiliary organ of the ministry,
1 as I have stated, established by the minister or chief of the sector could
2 have done it pursuant to an authorisation of the minister. And as far as
3 I know, he signed it.
4 MR. STAMP: And if we could look at P1505 quickly.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not following you, Mr. Gavranic. What do you
6 mean -- you raised -- you used this language yesterday, an auxiliary
7 organ. What's the significance of the expression "auxiliary"?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you asked me yesterday
9 and I gave you an answer. I will describe to you how I perceived it as
10 chief of SUP, the role of the staff --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: No, you've done that already. What Mr. Stamp is
12 pointing out to you is that it's not something exceptional, that the rules
13 provide clearly for the establishment of a staff with tasks. And you
14 insist on describing that as an auxiliary organ of the ministry. Where do
15 we find the idea that this is somehow auxiliary, isn't part of the
16 ministry itself? The rules seem to suggest that it is part of the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you asked me how I saw
19 it as chief of SUP --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand all that. All he's asking you is
21 whether it doesn't look from the document that you're now having your
22 attention drawn to that it's a perfectly legitimate step for the head of
23 the service to appoint a staff to carry out tasks of the ministry. Do you
24 not agree with that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do agree with that. It's
1 regulated in Article 10.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. And the minister could legitimately appoint or create a group like
6 the ministry staff which would have responsibility for the management of
7 the SUPs in some areas of their activity, for example, anti-terrorist
9 A. The minister could do a lot of things. I don't know what were all
10 the things that the minister could do. The minister could do a great many
12 Q. Well, if we look at P1505, which is before you, this is the
13 minister establishing the staff on the 16th of June, 1998. He does so by
14 ordering that the decision which I showed you, that is the decision of the
15 head of the department, and this is at paragraph 6, you may not be able to
16 see, but at paragraph 6 he orders that General Djordjevic's decision shall
17 come into force, that is an earlier decision establishing the staff. And
18 he does so pursuant to his powers under, among other things, Article 7 of
19 the Law on Internal Affairs.
20 A. What I can say to you is that this decision is from 1998, and at
21 that time I was chief of SUP in Zrenjanin. As for this communication
22 through these decisions, I really don't know anything about it.
23 Q. Article 7 is on the first page I think, the section invoking --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Paragraph 6 of this revokes the Djordjevic order;
25 it doesn't bring it into force.
1 MR. STAMP: My translation of paragraph 6 reads that the --
2 MR. LUKIC: Sorry.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: I think that this document is not on the list that we
5 got from the Prosecution for this cross-examination.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The problem you have is that --
7 MR. LUKIC: It's not on our list either, and it was on the list of
8 Mr. Lazarevic but it wasn't used.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there's a good chance that I will be using
10 it, and I think in these circumstances and bearing in mind the questions
11 that the Bench asked of the last witness relating to this document, then I
12 think on this occasion it is appropriate to follow up on this. And we've
13 also got an issue which I hope you may be the one to resolve which is the
14 translation of paragraph 6. Does it say: "... The following shall come
15 into force or out of force ..."?
16 MR. STAMP: Perhaps we could ask the witness to --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, Mr. Gavranic, could you read paragraph 6,
18 that might be the best way to deal with this.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraph number 6: "With this
20 decision coming into force, the following shall come out of force:
21 Decision to establish ..."
22 JUDGE BONOMY: That's sufficient. That's the translation that we
23 have, Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP: Actually, I asked for another translation and got a
25 different translation. I'll have to go by the one we just have on the
1 record now.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But this makes sense, doesn't it -- well, maybe
3 not. Otherwise you would have two staffs.
4 MR. STAMP: Well, not necessarily, but I think the translation
5 that we have now is the one that we have to live with.
6 Q. The point, however, Mr. Gavranic, is that the minister was
7 empowered and did set up this staff pursuant to his powers under the Law
8 on Internal Affairs. Now, what I want to ask you -- and I wish to show
9 you that, the Law on Internal Affairs, which is P1737. Section 6 deals
10 with the organizational units of the ministry and section 7, which is
11 under the same general rubric, organizational units, provides that the
12 minister -- is the document coming up?
13 A. I don't see that, what you are talking about right now.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Your patience will be rewarded. There we have it.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Article 6 deals with the organizational units in general. Article
17 7, which is a provision under which the minister created the staff
18 provides that: "The minister shall determine the manner in which the
19 Ministry of the Interior performs its duties and issue instructions for
20 its performance."
21 A. I've already given my comments on that in relation to the
22 dispatches that we looked at, what the priority tasks of the SUPs are in
23 that period. I can only talk about that part in relation to the SUPs and
24 to my own SUP.
25 Q. Yes, but I wonder if in seeing these provisions you will agree
1 with me that the minister in the regular discharge of his duties could
2 establish a staff that had responsibility to manage the activities of the
3 SUPs in the -- and in their anti-terrorist activities.
4 A. You are now talking to me about two things. You are saying that
5 the minister can establish a staff on the territory of several SUPs and
6 also in relation to anti-terrorist activities. The SUP, the secretariat
7 of the interior, I've already explained that throughout my testimony, I
8 explained what all the work it does is. Secretariats in wartime do the
9 same work they did in peacetime except under more complex conditions.
10 Anti-terrorist work is not carried out by secretariats of the interior,
11 it's not carried out by SUPs. The SUP is not engaged in anti-terrorist
13 Q. Very well. But what I want you to comment on is whether or not
14 you will agree with me that the MUP staff was regularly established by the
15 minister to exercise responsibilities that included management of some of
16 the activities of the SUPs.
17 A. I did not understand what it is that you're trying to get from me
18 by way of a resolution to this problem. The staff of the MUP was founded
19 in Pristina and you showed me the document on the basis of what it was
20 established. And I said what the purpose of this staff was in terms of
21 the personal experience I have. I did not have any other documents in
22 relation to that that would prescribe what it was that this staff did and
23 what my duties as chief of SUP were vis-a-vis the staff. I worked on the
24 basis of the documents I received from the heads of the administrations at
25 the ministry headquarters in Belgrade. I've already explained the ad hoc
1 work which the MUP staff did in Kosovo and Metohija by way of assisting
2 the SUPs there. I can only talk from the point of view of the chief of
3 the secretariat of the interior.
4 As for the relationship between the minister and his auxiliary
5 organs on the basis of Article 10, that he established on the basis of
6 Article 10, is something that I cannot talk about.
7 Q. Very well then --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The problem with that approach, Mr. Gavranic, is
9 that you're a member of this body that was set up under the document P1505
10 because the expanded staff is to include the chiefs of the secretariats
11 for internal affairs.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I never -- I was never
13 a member of the staff nor did anyone ever inform me that I was a member of
14 the staff. When I went to meetings in Pristina that was held up until the
15 war, these were the meetings of the collegium of the ministry. When I
16 went there, when I was sent there, nobody ever told me that I was a member
17 of the MUP staff, I as chief of the SUP in Gnjilane, that I was a member
18 of the MUP staff in Pristina.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Staff.
21 MR. STAMP: Yes.
22 Q. I had intended to ask you about that. You said that these were
23 meetings of the collegium. What do you mean by collegium in these
25 A. I will explain. As chiefs of SUP we would go and attend regular
1 meetings at the Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade, meetings with the
2 minister or the head of section that we called collegiums. Sometimes it
3 would be meetings of all the head chiefs, sometimes only of some SUPs. So
4 when I came to Gnjilane, I continued to function in the same way, go to
5 the collegiums in Pristina where the minister would come or the head of
6 the section, and sometimes these collegium meetings of the chiefs of SUP
7 were held even without them, and that is how I understood these meetings
8 and how all of us understood these meetings.
9 May I just add one more thing to that in terms of these
10 collegiums? We prepared some information related to the state of security
11 in the areas covered by our respective SUPs.
12 Q. Let us look at the minutes of one of those meetings. Can we look
13 at P1989. This is a record of a meeting of the senior police officers in
14 Kosovo and Metohija on the 4th of April, 1999.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And just so that we could get the translation right since we are
17 having problems with the translation, could you just read the first
18 sentence of the second paragraph. I think it says: "The meeting was held
19 by ..."
20 A. "The meeting was held by Lieutenant-General Obrad Stevanovic and
21 Major-General Sreten Lukic and was attended by the chiefs of all
22 secretariats, PJP detachment commanders, the SAJ commander, and the RDB
23 JSO commander."
24 Q. And I think you were shown, and this is at page 2 in the English
25 and also the same page in the B/C/S, that you yourself, you reported,
1 among other things, on persons who had been arrested in your area, persons
2 who had moved out?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, that document indicates that the JSO
5 commander from the RDB was present, it refers in a number of places to
6 terrorism, and it's essentially a meeting that you describe as a collegium
7 and you say terrorism has got nothing to do with you. Now, how do you
8 account for that being the subject discussed in this minute?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can explain this in the following
10 way. The chiefs of SUPs reported about the subject matter pertaining to
11 the functioning of the secretariat of the interior, and the commanders of
12 the PJP detachments, the JSO, and the SAJ who were in charge of combatting
13 terrorism and that is an area that cannot be outside the SUP. So within
14 Kosovo and Metohija they reported about those tasks and assignments for
15 which they were established and for which they existed. So these are two
16 different things, they are two different groups. We reported about all
17 the things that the SUP deals with, not to repeat all that, crime, public
18 law and order, and so on and so forth, and commanders of the detachments
19 of the PJP, the commander of the SAJ, and the commander of the JSO are
20 trained for anti-terrorist activity. And their basic tasks involve the
21 struggle against terrorism. That is what I was trying to say a few
22 minutes ago. It is not the SUP that is in charge of that struggle.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: If you look at the Pec secretariat chief's
24 comments, you'll see that he talks of: "Control of the territory has been
25 established, anti-terrorist operations will ensue in the areas of Istok
1 and Rugovo (it is estimated that there are 350 terrorists)."
2 So why is he reporting on that if it's not his responsibility?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to explain this to you in
4 the following way, Your Honour. He, as the chief of SUP, has to know
5 whether the patrols can go to all areas covered by his secretariat,
6 whether it is safe, whether there were terrorist attacks against them,
7 whether there were some problems in relation to that. Also, the chief of
8 SUP, when he cross-references the intelligence he has and the operative
9 information he has from this area covered by security, he has to know
10 whether there are terrorists in that area or not, whether it is dangerous
11 or not dangerous, and so on. So all of this information we had from the
12 ground were yet another contribution to a better awareness of the
13 situation as it was in the field. The chiefs of SUP had to know what was
14 happening and they had to control the territory according to sectors.
15 Every sector has its leader and they have to report about the state of
16 safety and security. If they say civilians complain to patrols that it is
17 not safe in a particular area, there are attacks against patrols, that
18 means that there is in effect no control over that territory. So they
19 gave their own assessments. Now, I don't know to what extent they were
20 taken into account because these evaluations or assessments were received
21 from different security structures, but we gave our own opinions on what
22 the situation was in terms of security there in the area of our respective
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. If we look at page 2 of the same document, you will see that you
3 yourself, you are reporting about terrorist groups being crushed and parts
4 of groups are being inserted in the Zegovac sector. So again you see here
5 you are not only reporting on the presence of terrorist groups, but action
6 taken in respect of the terrorist groups. Why would this be your
7 responsibility, especially when as we can see on this page the members of
8 the PJP detachments or the leaders of the PJP detachments are present?
9 And it would be their responsibility, if I understand you correctly, to do
10 that sort of reporting.
11 A. May I explain?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. This second paragraph, I mean my report was as follows. Terrorist
14 gangs from the area of Pristina are infiltrating the area of Zegovac, and
15 my report had to do with the fact that this territory was under jeopardy
16 and that I could not control it because terrorist gangs from the area of
17 Pristina are moving to the area of Zegovac, and later on I think an
18 action, an anti-terrorist action would follow, a joint one between the
19 army and the police, in that area. That is to say that the SUP cannot
20 report on the breaking of the terrorist gangs because I could not and did
21 not carry out anti-terrorist actions in the territory of my SUP. Not a
22 single chief did that. That was done by the PJPs, members of special
23 police units, they did that in accordance with their own plans. So the
24 point of this was that terrorist gangs should be broken up. Zegovac is to
25 the south of Pristina, and on the left, on the west, it borders Urosevac.
1 Terrorist gangs showed up there and the police did not dare go there any
2 longer and they could not keep this area under their own control because
3 police vehicles were fired at. I was warning about that, that in that
4 area there were terrorists. And everyone knows who is supposed to fight
5 terrorists. We as the SUP are not trained and equipped for anti-terrorist
7 Q. We'll get back to the role of the SUP a little later, but since
8 we're on this document, if you look at page 3 and you see item 2 there.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What does that say?
11 A. The following tasks: "Sreten Lukic MUP carries out all tasks like
12 in peacetime and --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would kindly ask for the text
14 to be adjusted, it was read out very fast. It's towards the bottom of the
16 MR. STAMP: This is --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment--
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I read on.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Mr. Stamp, we don't have the text and it's
20 difficult to follow. Yeah.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. I just want you to read the first two lines at paragraph 2. Could
23 you --
24 A. May I?
25 "Forthcoming tasks.
1 "Sreten Lukic, head of the staff of the ministry" --
2 Q. And you will see that he goes on to issue one, two, three, four,
3 five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten tasks. Under what authority did Sreten
4 Lukic as head of the staff issue instructions and tasks to the heads of
5 the MUPs and the heads of the PJP?
6 A. General Sreten Lukic warned us here practically that we should
7 step up all the things that we were doing anyway. If you look at the
8 second bullet point, the MUP in time of war, just like in peacetime, does
9 everything it is supposed to do; that is to say that as far as
10 perpetrators of crimes are concerned, the attitude is the same. Quite
11 simply, he instructs us to act as expeditiously and as efficiently as
12 possible in carrying out our regular work, of course in a situation that
13 is more difficult. I really don't know now --
14 Q. Very well. I mean I just focus --
15 A. -- what it is that you -- what I was supposed to explain to you in
16 addition to that.
17 Q. Just focus on the question I asked you, and if you look at those
18 tasks, some of them are quite specific instructions. The question is
19 this: Under what authority does Sreten Lukic, as head of the staff of the
20 ministry in Pristina, issue tasks to SUP chiefs, PJP commanders, JSO
21 chiefs, what authority? That's all I ask.
22 A. I don't know that. I don't know on the basis of what, but he did
23 not issue any special tasks to us that were not in accordance with the
24 tasks that we were already involved in according to our own plan of work.
25 So there is nothing new there, nothing that we hadn't already been doing
1 in the first place, I'm talking about the SUP, that is.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, this is rather different from what
3 you indicated yesterday was the purpose of the staff and that you wanted
4 to repeat earlier today. You told us about this auxiliary body that would
5 give you assistance. Now we see the head of the staff doing something
6 quite different from that, and that's what Mr. Stamp is looking for an
7 explanation for. How does he fit in, where does he fit in, giving this
8 type of instruction about use of ammunition, the use of radio
9 communication, clearing up the battle-field, dealing with paramilitary
10 units, and so on?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said already what the
12 SUP expected from the staff, and what we received from the staff were
13 different reports, too, cumulative ones about the state of security
14 generally speaking. It was their analysis man who worked on that. And
15 very often we got dispatches and information of different kinds from them
16 when we were cautioned that we should work as SUPs do, equally, in terms
17 of crime prosecution. I already explained that we were being urged to
18 have some things carried out, or rather, I would ask them to make an
19 effort on our behalf. That was one way.
20 Also, very often from the staff we got different reports,
21 analytical reports, how our colleagues acted in different secretariats and
22 how we should act. And so we could follow the situation cumulatively in
23 that way and we could all take equal measures and work efficiently. I got
24 a multitude of dispatches from the staff via courier, involving tasks in
25 relation to how to treat civilians, the population that is outside urban
1 areas, that is a different kind of communication. I got that from the
2 staff. So it's on the basis of that that we acted, on the basis of that.
3 But the SUPs don't really have anything to do with anti-terrorist actions
4 or did the staff send anything to us about that or did they issue any
5 tasks to us about that. I never received anything from the staff along
6 those lines. Because probably when we sent reports on the basis of these
7 instructions and information, you could see that we acted differently as
8 chiefs of SUPs. Some had crimes, others did not. Some had many crimes of
9 one particular kind, others of a different kind. After analysing these
10 dispatches, the SUP warned about this and asked for equal processing.
11 That was the line: The staff-the SUPs, the SUPs-the staff, and that is
12 how I understood it.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. I'm going to come back to this document, but having regard to your
16 answer now can we look at P1996, a document that you have been shown by
17 counsel. This is the minutes of the meeting held in the MUP staff for
18 Kosovo on the 7th of May, 1999. If you look at page 10 in the English,
19 and I'll remind you that you were present at this meeting.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At page 10 of the English we see where it indicates that the head
22 of the staff gave it to assistant minister Lieutenant-General Obrad
23 Stevanovic, and if we go to page 11 in the English which is page 9 in the
24 B/C/S, we see what General Obradovic [sic] told you and we see item 2. To
25 ensure that there's no issue in respect to the translation, can you read
1 item 2 of the instructions the assistant minister Obradovic [sic] gave
2 you. Read it aloud, please.
3 A. Assistant minister Obrad Stevanovic under 2: "Anti-terrorist
4 actions. In some areas they progressed slowly, encountered major
5 problems. After the end of some of the larger actions, such as
6 the 'Budakovo-Jezerce' one, each SUP will be expected to work
7 independently on organizing anti-terrorist actions in their own areas.
8 The plan must be approved by the staff" -- I apologise.
9 "The plan must be approved by the staff and will be carried out
10 with manoeuvre detachments."
11 May I explain this?
12 Q. Yes, but what I want you to explain is your evidence given to us
13 now and yesterday that the SUPs were not involved in anti-terrorist
14 activity, and here you have the minister precisely and expressly telling
15 you that you should be involved. And secondly, when you said that the
16 role of the staff was to supplement your supplies, for example, with
17 passports and they were merely auxiliary, when we see here that the
18 plan -- your anti-terrorist plans had to be approved by the staff. Can
19 you explain that, please?
20 A. Yes, I can. This is taking place in May. I read the second
21 paragraph. The second sentence reads as follows:
22 "After the end of some of the larger actions, such as
23 the 'Budakovo-Jezerce' one, each SUP will be expected to work
24 independently on organizing anti-terrorist actions in their own areas."
25 What does this mean? If there are any terrorists in the territory of the
1 Gnjilane SUP--I will try to be specific by giving you a specific example--
2 if there were terrorists and they were controlling a certain territory and
3 if the reports were received that they were active in some areas, then,
4 since every SUP had its own company, the PJP company, the plan for such
5 activities was drawn up by the commander of the company, and
6 this commander would take this to his detachment commander. In the
7 Gnjilane SUP example, that was the commander of the 124th Intervention
8 Brigade, and they agreed on how to carry out this anti-terrorist action.
9 So what was my task, me as the chief of SUP in that area, and the task of
10 the SUP in general in that area? I had to know when this action was to be
11 carried out in order to take all measures necessary so that patrols would
12 not go on their routine duty in that area. I had to prepare hospitals to
13 accept any injured or wounded persons. Also, we had to ensure accommodation
14 for people withdrawing from the area due to anti-terrorist activities and so
15 on. So people from the SUP had to know what was going on in the area.
16 Chiefs of SUP had to know what was going on, otherwise there would have been
17 chaos because if an anti-terrorist unit in the form of a company or several
18 companies or in the form of a detachment, if they were active in their area,
19 I as chief of SUP had to know about this, otherwise I would have carried on
20 with my routine daily work without knowing what was happening in my area,
21 and my routine work was crime prevention and so on, combatting crime and so
22 on. And I had to prepare the entire logistics in connection with the
23 consequences of these anti-terrorist activities. Any reported murders, if
24 there were any… The wounded had to be taken care of. We had to ensure that
25 there were people constantly on duty in hospitals and so on. That was the
1 role of the SUP and that was the plan that I had to have if such an anti-
2 terrorist activity was announced to me through my company commander.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues]...
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Wrongly translated.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Which are you referring?
7 MR. LUKIC: In line -- 66 page, line 12: "And I had to prepare
8 the entire logistics for these anti-terrorist activities." The witness
9 didn't say that. He mentioned aftermaths of these anti-terrorist
10 activities, but it can be heard if you listen to the tape, but we can
11 clarify it with this witness as well.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I think that's one where I'll invite CLSS to
13 translate that sentence again. That's page 66, lines 12 and 13.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP:
18 Q. The Gnjilane SUP had how many PJP brigades or units attached to
20 A. There was not a single brigade in the Gnjilane SUP. There were no
21 units resubordinated to the Gnjilane SUP. In the Gnjilane SUP we had a
22 PJP company numbering about 120 people, and when they were not on a
23 mission within their brigade they were carrying out routine activities
24 just like all other policemen.
25 Q. Very well.
1 A. When they were not engaged in anti-terrorist activities, they
2 carried out routine, regular tasks.
3 Q. The company in the Gnjilane SUP, they were also associated with
4 the PJP brigade?
5 A. Correct. They were part of the 124th Intervention Brigade for
6 Kosovo and Metohija. This brigade had several companies and they were
7 just a part of that brigade.
8 Q. Now, when the company prepared anti-terrorist plans or plans for
9 anti-terrorist actions, wouldn't you as SUP commander see these plans?
10 A. No. First of all, I'm not a SUP commander. I don't know if I
11 received good interpretation. I'm chief of SUP. The chief of SUP didn't
12 see these plans, nor did he approve them. These brigades [as interpreted]
13 were drawn up at the level of a brigade.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, briefly, it went away
16 from our screens, but since you wanted CLSS to check this I think it needs
17 to be expanded from page 65, line 13, to page 66, line 13. I think that
18 there is several mistakes in the transcript and I would like them to
19 listen to the entire page. At 66, line 10, line 11, and so on I see --
20 perhaps it should be checked --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it all on page 66 because it --
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I guess this happened, somebody made
23 a mistake in interpretation because of the speed, and if they listen over
24 to the tape perhaps they could correct it.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: My question is whether all the problems are on page
1 66 because that's half the translation or other mistakes you say possibly
2 on page 65 as well.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] What I see are mistakes on page 66,
4 but since it was going quite fast and it's obvious that the mistakes were
5 due to the speed and not to some other reason, perhaps it would be a good
6 reason to check the entire answer of this witness. It would be good to
7 check the entire answer. It's just additional ten lines, not more than
9 JUDGE BONOMY: For the avoidance of doubt, then we will agree to
10 your request. That's from 65, 13, to 66, 13.
11 Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: Yes --
13 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I think that I mentioned line 12 before
14 so it --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Of what page.
16 MR. LUKIC: So line 12 should be included as well, 66.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, line 12 comes before 13, Mr. Lukic, so you
18 should be okay.
19 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, my mistake. Sorry.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. So I know that you're saying now that as chief of the SUP Gnjilane
24 you were concerned about your regular duties and the PJPs would be
25 involved in the anti-terrorist activity. And I think you are saying that
1 you had to make provisions, for example, to ensure that there would be no
2 patrols going into the area where anti-terrorist activity would take
3 place. In those circumstances, am I to understand that you would not see
4 the plan for anti-terrorist activity at all?
5 A. We obviously misunderstood each other. The patrols did not go to
6 those areas when anti-terrorist activities were undertaken there. This
7 was probably another mistranslation. I told them that the patrols did not
8 go there. If we had an assessment that there were terrorists there --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's exactly what Mr. Stamp put to you, that you
10 would have to make sure that there was no -- there were no patrols in the
11 areas where the action was to be undertaken. And he's asking you how you
12 can do that if you don't see the plans.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will explain this to you simply.
14 So if an assessment was made that in the territory of a particular SUP
15 there were terrorists, then those assessments were made public, or rather,
16 I would give those assessments to my company commander. If you saw the
17 minutes where I was recorded as saying that there were problems in the
18 territory of Zegovac, if this was a small-scale anti-terrorist action,
19 then a commander would go see his brigade commander, they would draw a
20 plan together, and I would only be informed about the area where this was
21 to be conducted.
22 I was not informed about how this was going to be conducted. So I
23 would be expecting consequences and I would inform public utility
24 companies, hospitals, and so on, I would inform the people that there
25 would be an anti-terrorist action, and this action would be planned
1 without the SUP involvement. Nobody informed me about this, this was not
2 something that was routinely done. PJP would go, my company commander
3 would inform me so that I wouldn't plan the people for regular, routine
4 tasks, and the people would go out. Chiefs of SUP knew nothing about
5 their future, or rather, further engagement. So the company commander
6 would inform me.
7 It just so happened that my company commander was also head of the
8 police department, and he would inform me that he was expected to show up
9 at the brigade command, which would mean that for the following day or two
10 I was not to plan these people for routine activities in fighting crime,
11 in keeping law and order, and so on, because 120 policemen were leaving my
12 area to go on a different mission. What they were to do, where they were
13 to do that, is something that chiefs of SUP were not informed about.
14 These are two different things. I hope I was clear enough.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. But again, I don't want to belabour the point. What you just said
17 when asked is that where they were to go, you were not informed about
18 that. How could you not be informed about where they were to go or where
19 the action was to take place if you had to make provisions to ensure that
20 no patrols would be present or you had to advise public utilities?
21 A. I want to ensure that we understood each other. When I said where
22 they were going, if they were going outside of the jurisdiction of the
23 particular SUP, if the company received summons to report to the brigade
24 command in Pristina, naturally I knew in which area there would be
25 activity when it came to my jurisdiction.
1 Q. The assistant minister Stevanovic also instructed that the
2 anti-terrorist plans were to be approved by the staff. Were you aware
3 that the staff had responsibility to approve these plans?
4 A. I wasn't aware of that. I wasn't aware of that. What I as chief
5 of SUP knew about came to the level of the brigade command. So members of
6 my secretariat would report to their intervention brigade. I think that
7 Zarko Brakovic was commander of that intervention brigade.
8 Q. If we continue with this document, at the bottom of page 11 in
9 English, and I think you need to go to the top of page 10 in B/C/S, you
10 see that assistant minister Stevanovic said: "The commanders of the A and
11 B detachments are subordinated to the chief of SUP and must attend staff
13 What's the A and B detachments? Are these PJP detachments?
14 A. Yes. Each SUP had an A detachment, which was a manoeuvre unit, a
15 PJP company, and they had a B unit, which was a territorial company
16 covering a certain territory once anti-terrorist activities are over. I
17 did not have PJP detachments, but it is also not true that they were
18 subordinated to the chief of SUP. That's not true, nor were they ever
19 subordinated to him. I can give you an interpretation of this, based on
20 discussions with my colleagues who had detachments. So commanders of
21 detachment who were stationed in the territory of a certain SUP --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: How does that fit with your own area where you only
23 had one company of PJP?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that in Kosovo everybody had
25 just one PJP company. I had half a company, if I may say so, two
1 territorial platoons together with Urosevac. And they were guarding the
2 location near Crnoljevo, which is on Stimlje-Prizren road, people guarded
3 that road. And I saw them -- I found them there when I came, they were
4 there throughout in 1998 and 1999. So this B formation was practically in
5 that territory. It wasn't equipped for anti-terrorist activities. They
6 simply provided security on the Stimlje-Prizren road. And since in the
7 Urosevac SUP they had some problems with the strength, this is how we
8 achieved it. As I said, I found them there when I came and they
9 throughout assisted me in regular duties and tasks because we had huge
10 problems, and that was throughout the war and in 1998, as I told you, I
11 found them there in 1998 and then they were there in 1999 and this B
12 formation went there.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, it will help us if you try to confine
14 your answers to the particular question. I'm -- [Microphone not
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought you had one company, but now you tell us
18 you had half a company. And then you tell us something about working on a
19 particular road. It's not helping me understand the set-up, especially
20 since, as I understand it, this meeting was in May and the minister is
21 recorded as saying: "The commanders of the A and B detachments are
22 subordinated to the chief of SUP and must attend staff meetings."
23 Now, you can understand our difficulties when we see these two
24 very plain statements, and you certainly would appear to be contradicting
25 the first of these and then going on to tell us that none of the PJP
1 companies were big enough to provide two detachments for any SUP chief in
2 Kosovo. But the meeting's only to do with Kosovo, so it's an utterly
3 confusing situation as far as I can see. Now, can you briefly shed any
4 light on this? Please don't try to go over what you've said already. Is
5 there something you can say in simple language to clarify this for us, why
6 this would be said and be so contradictory apparently to the things you're
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will attempt to be
9 clear. Each SUP, even when I was in Zrenjanin, had an A and B unit within
10 their PJPs. They had two companies, A and B. The same applied in Kosovo
11 when I went to Gnjilane, there was an A formation, A company, of the PJP
12 which was a manoeuvre unit which took part in actions; and then there was
13 the B company, which was not independent but constituted one company
14 together with the people from the Urosevac SUP. So there was a joint
15 company of the Gnjilane SUP and Urosevac SUP. That was the B company. So
16 the A formation is a manoeuvre one, it goes into actions, it is equipped
17 for anti-terrorist activities. The B company is not a manoeuvre company,
18 it is a territorial unit, and it is engaged when there are anti-terrorist
19 activities in order to secure the territory where anti-terrorist
20 activities had already been conducted. I don't know if I was clear
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. So your SUP had two detachments, A and B, and were these
1 detachments composed of companies?
2 A. We did not understand each other again. We had two companies, A
3 and B. A detachment is something else. So we had an A company, which was
4 a manoeuvre one, and a B company that we shared with the Urosevac SUP. A
5 detachment is something larger and there were none in the territory of the
6 Gnjilane SUP.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have the witness read that passage. You
8 said it's on page 10.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. If you look at the first full paragraph of page 10 in B/C/S, could
11 you read the last sentence thereof, please?
12 A. "Commanders of A and B formations detachments are subordinated to
13 the chief of SUP and they must attend collegiums."
14 No, commanders of PJPs are not subordinated to SUP chiefs. How
15 this came to be included in this document, what this meant, I don't know
16 because I did not have detachments. But I do know that they were not
17 subordinated to the SUP chief when they were on a mission within their
18 PJPs or detachments. Commander of a company was subordinated to me only
19 when on routine tasks, when he went into his unit, he was not subordinated
20 to me. So it is my position that chief of SUPs are something quite
21 different from detachment commanders. There is no hierarchy relationship
22 of subordination between them. These are two completely different
24 JUDGE BONOMY: We have your explanation of that or your answer at
1 Mr. Lukic, earlier in the case I think we had evidence that a
2 detachment is bigger than a brigade, never --
3 MR. LUKIC: Detachment is approximately 400, 500 people; brigade
4 is 5.000 people.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Right. Okay. So detachment --
6 MR. LUKIC: But this brigade, police brigade, is different from
7 military brigade.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed. I understand that. But you're saying the
9 evidence so far is that the detachment is something smaller than a brigade
10 in the police; is that the position?
11 MR. LUKIC: Let me check that, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, detachment is 500 people, brigade in -- police
14 brigade, 800 people.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Right. The word that's used here for A and B was
16 translated in two ways by the interpreter, formation and detachment were
17 the two English words used. Is the word in Serb the same word as is used
18 for the detachment that normally has 500 people in it?
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: So there may be confusion caused in this minute by
21 the Serb language, never mind the translation --
22 MR. LUKIC: But both A and B are detachments.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But the witness is saying clearly that a place -- a
24 SUP like Gnjilane or any other SUP in Kosovo --
25 MR. LUKIC: Companies --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: -- would not have detachments, it would have a
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And we know a company -- he gave us a figure for
5 the numbers in a company, which is much smaller than a detachment.
6 MR. LUKIC: A company is 120 people.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
8 MR. LUKIC: It is included in SUP and there are eight companies in
9 Kosovo --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But the word -- yeah. But the word used here is
11 not company. The word used here is detachment; is that correct?
12 MR. LUKIC: Detachment is not part of SUP.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but the same word is used here
14 for detachment. It's the word for detachment that's used in relation to A
15 and B, and that doesn't make any sense bearing in mind that individual
16 SUPs do not have detachments.
17 MR. LUKIC: In the document we can see detachment, you are right,
18 in original, in Serbian version also.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All I'm wanting to be clear about at the moment
20 from you, because neither of us should be giving evidence, is that the
21 confusion here may stem from bad use of or careless use of the Serb
23 MR. LUKIC: Might be, but also I don't think that this witness is
24 good to -- good one to explain detachments because he didn't have any in
25 his area. He didn't have sent detachments from the Serbia in his area.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
2 MR. LUKIC: He didn't have a single one. He -- yeah.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 You may feel you've explored it enough, you may feel you want to
5 explore it more, Mr. Stamp. I'm inclined to think we've heard as much as
6 is going to be useful on this particular topic from this witness and might
7 be best to resume on something else after lunchtime.
8 Mr. Gavranic, we now need to break for lunch for approximately an
9 hour. Would you again leave the courtroom with the usher and we will
10 resume at 1.45.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, you've asked us with your client's
15 consent to agree to the examination of the next witness, Lekoski, being
16 conducted by Mr. Zorko.
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We are prepared in the circumstances to allow that.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We would appreciate more notice in future of such
22 applications which were -- this one was brought to our attention only this
23 morning in the course of the sitting.
24 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. We were looking at P1996 and if we could turn over to the next
3 page in English which was the last page, page 12, and this is page 10 of
4 the B/C/S. You will see there in his closing speech, head of the staff
5 Major-General Lukic said, and there is one point, and the second point
6 that General Lukic mentions is, I quote: "I especially mention that in
7 the work of the OPG, the chief of SUP gives his permission for certain
8 actions and informs the head of staff about them."
9 What were the OPGs?
10 A. These are operative pursuit groups consisting of ten men each. In
11 the Gnjilane SUP there were ten of them. These were the best-trained men
12 and they were from the company I mentioned, and they belonged to the PJP.
13 Q. So the head of the staff is telling you that you should give
14 permission for certain actions of these groups. What did you understand
15 General Lukic to be authorising you to do?
16 A. Well, in the following way. If there was a regular action, for
17 example, in the Gavran neighbourhood in Gnjilane in wartime we had
18 operative information that there were terrorists there, that there were
19 weapons there, that there were terrorists or ammunition or something
20 similar. I would inform my company commander. Such a risky and dangerous
21 operation cannot be carried out by ordinary policemen; it has to be
22 carried out by the best-trained policemen. That's why I needed the
23 agreement -- agreement for that. So the company commander would inform
24 the brigade commander and he would say that the chief of the SUP was
25 asking for an OPG, an operative pursuit group, to be engaged to search a
1 part of the neighbourhood or a building in the Gavran neighbourhood.
2 That's what it referred to.
3 As we had operative knowledge from the ground, from the sector, we
4 would do that and these were risky tasks that could not be done by
5 untrained policemen engaged in everyday tasks. It would have to the PJP,
6 but if we were searching a building we would need somebody even better
7 equipped and that would be the OPG. They were the best equipped and the
8 best trained for such tasks. But in order to do that, I would need the
9 agreement of their commander and they were part of the PJP.
10 Q. But could you explain to me what does he mean when he says that
11 you give your permission. What do you give your permission to -- well, it
12 says you give your permission to certain actions. As chief of the SUP,
13 weren't you authorised by General Lukic to give your permission for
14 certain actions of these OPGs?
15 A. No, you can see that I am informing the staff leader or manager,
16 and of course I would have to plan this action. I had the necessary
17 information, but I didn't have approval. I have to make the assessment
18 based on information coming from the ground from my colleagues. So, for
19 example, I decide that it's necessary to search a building or to arrest
20 someone, and this was wartime. I've already said how difficult and
21 dangerous it was to arrest people. They were armed --
22 Q. Just a minute. I think we are sort of losing the focus because
23 you said that you would plan the action. How? How would you -- well, is
24 that what you said?
25 A. I'll explain.
1 Q. No, no, firstly, did you say you would plan the action in the
2 employment of these OPGs, is that what you said?
3 A. I would plan to conduct a search of a building, but I would not be
4 able to do it in the ordinary way with ordinary policemen as I would in a
5 less-risky situation. For example, I would plan the arrest -- I would
6 plan the fact that Zmajevic Vlado has to be arrested, but I couldn't do
7 that with ordinary policemen.
8 Q. And how would you inform General Lukic about this activity?
9 A. In the way I described earlier, through urgent informing, urgent
10 reports. That would be a significant event on that day.
11 Q. Before we move off this document if I may move on to something
12 else in the document, you said that Mr. Sainovic made a political speech,
13 but I think if we look at the document itself we see that he appeared to
14 be aware with the details of police operations. For example, he says at
15 one point: "After operation Jezerce, there will no longer being a
16 large-scale terrorist stronghold except for 30" --
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, the witness did not
20 hear the entire question, the entire question was not interpreted, that's
21 why I'm afraid there might be a misunderstanding. Could the question be
22 repeated and interpreted for the witness, please.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, can you repeat the essence of the
24 question, please.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. We have here, for example, General -- sorry, Mr. Sainovic
2 saying: "After operation Jezerce," and this is at page 2 of the English, I
3 think you have the B/C/S in front of you, "there will no longer be a large
4 terrorist strong-hold except for 30 to 40 smaller-scale strong-holds
5 numbering 500 to 700 terrorists in the areas in which the secretariats
6 themselves will destroy and completely neutralize."
7 It might be subject to interpretation, but this is not exactly a
8 political speech. Firstly, who -- how would Mr. Sainovic receive
9 information of that nature?
10 A. Well, I don't think I'm the right person to answer that question.
11 Q. You don't know that, if --
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you --
14 A. I said -- excuse me. I apologise.
15 Q. Go on. You were ...
16 A. I said if I see a document dated the 7th of May -- is that right?
17 Q. Yes, this is a document of the 7th of May.
18 A. That in essence there was the most politics in this, but as for
19 other matters I don't know. I'm really not the right person, I'm really
20 not competent to reply to that.
21 Q. Mr. Sainovic spoke in relative detail about police operations in
22 Kosovo, and all I want to know if you know who, if anybody, reported to
23 Mr. Sainovic about these police operations?
24 A. I don't know that.
25 Q. Very well. If we could quickly have a look at another one of
1 these meetings, P1990, and this is the MUP staff meetings for the 19th or
2 the 17th of February, 1999. This is another one that you attended I think
3 you said.
4 A. Yes, just let me take a look. Yes, yes.
5 Q. A meeting attended by the minister, the assistant ministers,
6 department chiefs, and we see that it was opened by General Lukic. And if
7 we go on to page 2 in English, and that's the bottom of your page 1, we
8 see that in his opening remarks General Lukic speaks about 4.000 policemen
9 and -- do you see that?
10 A. At the bottom?
11 Q. The bottom of page 1 and --
12 A. Yes, I see it.
13 Q. Can you read that sentence aloud, please.
14 A. "The staff planned," is that the sentence you want?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. "To carry out when the order is given three actions of cleaning
17 the terrain of terrorists in the area of Podujevo, Dragobilje, and Drenica
18 and has allotted around 4.000 policemen, around 70 policemen from the
19 operative pursuit group, and around 900 reservists."
20 Q. The language seems clear to me, but can you explain to me what was
21 the role of the staff in this operation involving 4.000 policemen?
22 A. It says here when the order is given. Who gives the order, I
23 don't know, the chief of the SUP, I am the last person to know that. The
24 staff planned to carry out when the order is given, three mopping-up
1 Q. But the role of the staff was to plan and prepare this operation,
2 wasn't it?
3 A. I've already told you, PJP -- I am not the right person to talk
4 about detachments. The chief of the SUP, this has nothing to do with the
5 PJP or the detachments when they are engaged with manoeuvre units, only
6 when they are carrying out ordinary tasks and then they are outside the
7 PJP and the detachments. And then you can ask me anything you like about
8 what they do. But as for this, I'm really not familiar with what they
9 were doing ask how.
10 Q. But you were at that meeting. Didn't you understand General Lukic
11 to be saying that his MUP staff in Pristina was responsible for planning
12 and carrying out this major operation?
13 A. I was at that meeting, I'm just reading what it says, that's how I
14 understood it, the way it's written down. I didn't understand it in any
15 other way. When the order is given, so somebody has to give an order for
16 this to be done.
17 Q. Very well. I understand that.
18 A. I'm really not the right person to answer this. I don't know
19 anything about detachments and units.
20 Q. In the next sentence here it says that: "On Saturday, 20th of
21 February, 1999, a meeting of the staff will be held with all police unit
22 detachments commanders for further consultations about their engagements.
23 Meetings have been held with all the RPO and they were attended by General
24 Momcilo Stojanovic and Lieutenant Blagoje Pesic."
25 The RPOs were the village -- what were the RPOs?
1 A. RPOs were reserve police detachments. I found them there. They
2 existed in 1998 also, and they were in the villages. Such reserve police
3 squads, there were about ten of them -- or police stations, rather. And
4 on my territory, the territory covered by the Gnjilane SUP, they simply
5 fell apart because they were all reservists and they had wartime
6 assignments. They were assigned to the reserves to the army, the military
7 territorial detachments, civilian protection, and so on.
8 Q. Now, these RPOs which you say were set up in 1998 or you went
9 there and saw them, were they not set up by order of General Lukic?
10 A. To the best of my knowledge, General Momcilo Stojanovic was in
11 charge of them and that's what it says here too. What I was told when I
12 arrived in the area, and later on I was able to see how they worked and
13 this was a time of great tension, they were used to defend the villages
14 should there be an aggression. But this never actually happened because
15 they simply fell apart. Through them we received certain operative
16 information at SUP level concerning the security situation and so on.
17 Momcilo Stojanovic and the Lieutenant-Colonel, I think was his rank,
18 Blagoje Pesic were tasked with their organization and work and so on.
19 Q. These units fell under the aegis of the SUP?
20 A. These were not units, these were reserve police stations of five
21 or six men, sometimes there were three or four. These were not units,
22 they were reserve police departments or stations, branch stations.
23 Q. I'm sorry, there must have been a mistranslation. These reserve
24 police, earlier I see where you were translated as saying they were
25 reserve police detachments. They are reserve police stations, correct?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Correct?
3 A. No.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
5 A. No. Reserve police departments or branch stations, these were
6 small departments numbering five or six men, and they were part of police
7 stations in the regular way of things. I had these in five or six
8 villages, but this is something else. These were reserve police stations
9 established in 1998, and they never numbered more than three, four, or
10 five men.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues]... Causing a
12 confusion a bit because it says several times branch stations. So I would
13 like to explore this with the witness, otherwise I would be suggestive.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You're saying that this is an inaccurate
15 translation, are you?
16 MR. LUKIC: He never mentioned this. In the system there are
17 stations and branch stations but not -- this is not what he meant when
18 explaining this formation.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The translation in the document, Mr. Lukic, is
20 reserve police station.
21 MR. LUKIC: Shouldn't be.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, can you read -- I need to find it in
23 the Serb as well.
24 MR. STAMP: Is this P1990?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's P1990, Mr. Stamp, and there's a reference to
1 RPOs --
2 MR. STAMP: This is --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: -- and we need a proper translation of RPOs, I
4 think. Must be --
5 MR. STAMP: I had it as reserve police station in the document and
6 I think in P1990 in the B/C/S I think it's the approximate middle of the
7 first page or towards the end of the first page.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic says it should not be translated as
9 reserve police stations, so that's what we need to get clear. Can you get
10 the witness to read a passage that includes reference to RPO. I don't
11 know if --
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. Witness, if you could look in the next-to-last paragraph of page 1
14 of that document, the 17th of February, 1999, document --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that in the official CLSS
16 database "odilenje milicija" is given as branch police station.
17 MR. LUKIC: Exactly. It's odilenje milicija policija, but this is
18 completely different. This is RPO, reserve police and that word that
19 should be translated.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's have it read, Mr. Stamp, please.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Can you see where it speaks of RPOs in nearly all the villages
23 inhabited by Serbs, could you read that out loud, please?
24 A. "Meetings were held with reserve police outposts where General
25 Momcilo Stojanovic and Blagoje Pesic were." Reserve police outposts have
1 nothing to do with police stations. A police station is something else.
2 And a police branch station is something else. This is a reserve police
4 Q. Can I ask you to look at the first --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, is it a place?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, those are villages.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that, but are the reserve police
8 based in a building in the village?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they don't have premises, they
10 don't have a building or a place to be in. They're there in case of
11 aggression. They can be engaged. We have an officer maintaining liaison
12 with them, and these are local men and there were three, four, or five of
13 them in each village, both Serbs and Albanians. So this was something
14 that was established in 1998.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I found it in Gnjilane.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, how would you translate the letter O and
18 the word that it stands for?
19 MR. LUKIC: It could be squad.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, reserve police will do.
21 Let's carry on, Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP: Very well.
23 Q. These reserve police entities, were they not established and
24 organized by order of General Lukic?
25 A. I don't know how they were established because they were there
1 when I arrived --
2 Q. Very well --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That's good enough. If you don't know, there's no
4 point in speculating.
5 Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Could we look quickly at P2804.
7 Q. This is a dispatch from General Lukic of the 10th of July, 1998,
8 before you are in Kosovo. Unfortunately the B/C/S is not very clear --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Stamp, could you please speak into the
10 microphone, thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: This document is also not announced, but Your Honour
12 should decide on this.
13 MR. STAMP: Indeed, the document was not on our original list. We
14 had sent an e-mail recently, as soon as it came to my attention, that we
15 would like to use this document. If --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Why is this one important?
17 MR. STAMP: Well, I think I can ask the question without the
18 document, but --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, try to do that and let's see where we get to.
20 MR. LUKIC: One clarification, we received the e-mail with the
21 number of another document, not this one.
22 MR. STAMP: And -- very well. Never mind. I'm told that there
23 was a correction subsequently, but ...
24 Q. Mr. Gavranic, weren't you shown documents when you took over your
25 post indicating that these reserve police entities were organized by the
1 MUP staff?
2 A. I don't remember this document. It wasn't shown to me, but I did
3 know in practice that there were these reserve police entities because
4 several times General Momcilo Stojanovic came and I remember --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You're -- you've --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see this dispatch.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered the question. In the
8 circumstances, we will allow you to use the document, Mr. Stamp, since it
9 may assist to clarify a measure of confusion about these squads.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. The document that perhaps I should ask you to read the second
12 paragraph where it speaks of organizing the defence of villages, can you
13 read that aloud, please?
14 A. "Carry out plan of combat training in all reserve police entities,
15 or squads, in accordance with the plan that was submitted to you."
16 It's July 1998.
17 Q. How many --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not what the current -- oh, it is in the
19 second part. Is that the bit you wanted read?
20 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You weren't interested in organizing the defence of
22 the villages?
23 MR. STAMP: Well, the part I wanted read was just for the
24 translation of RPO, but I don't know if there are any translation issues
25 in respect to the first part.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: They're obviously a group of personnel, and exactly
2 what they're called is neither here nor there.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. How many of these personnel did you find in Gnjilane SUP when you
5 were there?
6 A. I've already said that in about 20 villages that were there, to
7 the best of my knowledge, they had such squads. They existed for a very
8 short period of time, they fell apart when the war broke out.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's be clear about numbers. Earlier you said in
10 about 10 villages I think. Was it 10 or 20?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 20. I beg your pardon, Your
12 Honour, about 20, around 20. Now, was it 20 or 25 or 17, 18, but 20-odd
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. Now, these persons were issued with weapons by the MUP?
18 A. In 1998 I was informed that they were armed.
19 Q. What happened to the weapons when the war started?
20 A. As far as I know, they were not being armed by the MUP only. I'm
21 not sure, but to the best of my knowledge when the war broke out weapons
22 were collected, these reserve police squads fell apart, and the weapons
23 that were issued to them had to be returned, they had to return it to
24 whoever had issued the weapons to them. They went to the stations where
25 they had been issued with these weapons. They had to return these
2 Q. Do you know of the role, if any, that the MUP staff for Pristina
3 had in controlling and regulating these reserve police entities?
4 A. I really don't know what the role of the staff in Pristina was in
5 relation to these reserve police squads or entities. I know during this
6 brief period of time how they functioned and what our operative
7 information was regarding the situation in these villages and so on. I
8 really don't know what the role of the staff was, though.
9 Q. If I could move on to another area. We have heard testimony from
10 several witnesses, mainly brigade commanders of the VJ, that they liaised
11 with the chiefs of SUPs in order to coordinate anti-terrorist operations.
12 A. No.
13 Q. Are you speaking for yourself or are you saying that this didn't
14 happen in Kosovo?
15 A. I'm speaking in my own name, in the area of the SUP of Gnjilane I
16 never coordinated any action or did I cooperate along those lines with any
17 brigade commander of the Army of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Could it be that although you had a problem with terrorists in
19 Gnjilane, Gnjilane wasn't -- the terrorists' activity in Gnjilane wasn't
20 as intensive as in other places?
21 A. Yes, yes. I've already said in 1998 there weren't any terrorist
22 actions. I realized that when hand-over took place, hand-over of duty.
23 There were terrorists but there weren't active terrorists in Gnjilane as
24 opposed to other areas.
25 Q. Could we look at P1971. This is a Joint Command order dated the
1 13th of April, 1999, an order on routing and destroying terrorist forces
2 in the area of Zegovac. Zegovac is pretty close to Gnjilane, isn't it?
3 A. Yes, it is an area that belongs to Gnjilane, Zegovac and Zegovacka
5 Q. And if you look in the first paragraph of the order, that is
6 precisely the area it discusses, Zegovac Vrbica in Gnjilane and the
7 village of Plitkovic in Lipljan. And if you go to -- well, I think it's
8 page 1 on your page, if we go to page 2 of the English we will see under
9 2, tasks of the Pristina Corps as: "Reinforced and assisted by armed
10 non-Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija shall provide support to
11 MUP forces in routing and destroying the STS," that is the KLA, "in their
12 zone of responsibility."
13 A. I've already said in relation to that meeting that was mentioned
14 several times at the staff in Pristina on the 4th of April, I did refer to
15 this. Our information moved in that direction. You see Lipljan in this
16 area, the Gnjilane-Urosevac-Pristina area is the one that we're talking
17 about, and I do know that there was an anti-terrorist action there in
18 mid-April of the forces of the army and MUP, or rather, PJPs. I know
19 that. However, I've never seen this particular order.
20 Q. Do you know what MUP units were involved?
21 A. No. I know that the manoeuvre company of the Gnjilane SUP went to
22 join the intervention brigade, but I don't know which units took part.
23 Q. Did the -- in reference to the armed non-Albanian population in
24 Kosovo and Metohija, do you know what that reference is about?
25 A. I'm sorry, where is that? I can't see it written anywhere.
1 Q. First sentence of item 2. Do you see now?
2 A. It's not translated. I don't know.
3 Q. Item 2 of page 1 of your document, task of Pristina Corps, do you
4 see that?
5 A. I see that.
6 Q. Yes, can you read the first sentence there.
7 A. I see that, yes, yes. Oh, no, this is a military document, I've
8 never seen it and I cannot interpret it and I cannot interpret what the
9 military meant by this.
10 Q. And it says that the operation shall be conducted by the Joint
11 Command for Kosovo and Metohija.
12 A. I never heard of this Joint Command. I've already said that.
13 Q. Well, you have heard about the Joint Command today, so you must
14 have heard about it before. When is the first time you heard of the Joint
16 A. When the newspapers started following these trials. In Kosovo,
17 believe me, I never heard of a Joint Command. I never heard of this
18 concept, this Joint Command, or whatever it was. That is a concept that
19 is completely unknown to me. Later on a lot was said about that in the
20 press and at trials, but I've never seen a single document to be able to
21 say, Ah, yes, I have seen this document where it says Joint Command,
22 never, truly, least of all do I know what it means.
23 Q. Well, this document here seems to be referring to a fairly large
24 operation. How many of your men were involved in this operation in
1 A. I've already said, one company. It is that PJP company, this
2 manoeuvre company, it went out on this mission. How many people took part
3 in this area, I don't know.
4 Q. When these units -- I understand that you don't know because I
5 think I understand what you're saying. When your unit joined with other
6 MUP units in these operations, who commanded them? Who commanded the MUP
7 units in these operations?
8 A. My unit did not join these units in that operation. There is the
9 usual procedure that is followed, the company commander reports to the
10 commander of the brigade, and he goes there and receives an assignment.
11 So it's not that it is attached to it. It goes to be within its brigade
12 when called up, as invited by the brigade commander. It is not joint from
13 the SUP. It always goes to the headquarters to its own brigade, and from
14 there they go into certain actions, and chiefs of SUP don't know anything
15 about these actions. I already told you about that, that I knew about
16 this action, because I provided for everything that I told you about in
17 terms of the consequences of this action, but how many people took part,
18 how many members of the PJP, for example, how many companies were involved
19 and how many soldiers, for instance, no, I don't know that.
20 Q. Very well. You don't know. My last question on this topic, and
21 if you don't know, you don't know. When more than one detachment or units
22 of PJP are involved in large operations, who in the MUP commands or
23 coordinates these large MUP forces?
24 A. The chiefs of the MUP secretariats certainly don't know that. I
25 never had more than this one manoeuvre company that went out to its own
1 brigade. Now, who commanded, I just told you -- I told you that I just
2 know who the commander of the brigade was, Brakovic, I found out about
3 that; however, who commands the other brigades, I only saw some people
4 when they attended meetings and when I attended these meetings. I mean,
5 chiefs of SUP do not know anything about that.
6 Q. But you will agree with me, even if you might not know about the
7 large operation, but if there are small operations within your own SUP you
8 would have to send the combat plans to the ministry staff for approval?
9 A. No. I requested only if I needed that, but I didn't have such
10 cases, but there were some OPGs that were used for searches, then I would
11 ask for approval to use members of the PJP. I could not involve them
12 apart from regular tasks for anything else. Am I clear on that? So I
13 would receive approval to have them engaged in risky actions when we're
14 talking about the SUP of Gnjilane. I did not have any anti-terrorist
15 actions in the area of the SUP of Gnjilane where I would engage members of
16 the PJP.
17 Q. Would you receive approval from the ministry staff?
18 A. Approval for what? I didn't understand.
19 Q. For action by the units within your SUP.
20 A. No, no, I'm telling you that I did not have such actions, but I
21 would ask for approval. Had we planned on that if we had a smaller group
22 that we needed to eliminate, I've already told you that the company
23 commander would have to report to his commander, to his commander, and
24 then I would get approval for engaging them on this task.
25 Q. If we could just look at one last document in this area,
1 Mr. Gavranic, and move on. Could you look at P1993, the MUP staff minutes
2 of the 11th of May. Sorry, they are not MUP staff minutes, but it is a
3 record of a meeting held at the MUP staff on the 11th of May. And --
4 A. On the 11th -- oh, yes, yes, I see that now. I thought it was my
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Page 13 of the English and
7 I'm afraid I don't have the --
8 MR. LUKIC: What are you looking for? Maybe I can help.
9 MR. STAMP: Page 13 of the English where Lieutenant-General
10 Stevanovic addressed the meeting.
11 MR. LUKIC: It could be page 6 in B/C/S. Is it under number 1?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes, thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: Although I think that the witness wasn't present on
14 this meeting.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Can you read, sir, from the 7th of May or immediately after what
17 Lieutenant-General Obrad Stevanovic said when he's introduced.
18 MR. LUKIC: Only, this is 11th of May I guess.
19 MR. STAMP: The document is the 11th of May. I would like him to
20 read where the text says the 7th of May.
21 Q. Please read it aloud.
22 A. Which part would you like? I have the minutes dated the 7th of
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I? Somebody put some
25 kind of a sticker here if you look at the Serbian original on the
1 right-hand side, and Mr. Stamp would like him to read something that is
2 actually printed below this sticker. On the sticker there's a handwritten
3 note saying: "Less action," you see it says in Serbian less action,
4 "manje akcija," so he can't read what it is that you want him to read
5 from that page.
6 MR. STAMP: But the witness has documents in front of him which he
7 has brought. Perhaps he has a copy that is not obliterated blocked. I
8 would like him to read from what he has.
9 MR. LUKIC: He has my copy, my copy has the same sticker on it.
10 If you provide him with a copy that does not, then he might have without
11 the sticker.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's ask a question, Mr. Stamp, and then we'll see
13 where we go from there.
14 MR. STAMP: I understand that we have one in e-court without the
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Why don't you just ask a question. This is taking
17 forever. It must be something very significant, I appreciate, but let's
18 just ask a question. That's what you're here for.
19 MR. STAMP: I understand the witness has one without a sticker.
20 Q. The question I would like to ask would be to some degree dependent
21 on what the document reads. Do you have a copy of the minutes for the
22 11th of May meeting --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: He appears to be on the page that you're looking
24 for. What is it you want read? Paragraph 1 or what?
25 MR. STAMP: The section where Lieutenant-General Stevanovic
1 addresses the meeting.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And have we got that in -- yes, we've got that in
3 English on the page. So you want him to read on the 7th of May, do you?
4 MR. STAMP: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Could --
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. Do you have a copy of that -- of those minutes of the 11th of May
8 without the sticker which obliterates part of the sentence?
9 A. I don't have the 11th of May at all.
10 Q. Very well.
11 A. I mean, I've never attended a meeting, not on the 11th of May.
12 Q. Do you have the minutes for the 7th of May?
13 A. I have the minutes of the 7th of May. Just tell me what it is
14 that I'm supposed to read out. I have the minutes from the meeting held
15 at the MUP staff.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P1996.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What is before the witness is P1993.
18 Mr. Stamp, ask your question, please. Either that or we'll move
19 to something else.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. You will see on the document in front of you, Witness, that
22 General Stevanovic is ordering that every SUP and PJP will establish a
23 priority list of anti-terrorist action with details of plans which is to
24 be approved by the staff, and perhaps I'm belabouring the point, but this
25 is another document indicating that the SUPs were involved in planning
1 anti-terrorist action and the staff in Pristina would have to approve
2 their plans. Is that so?
3 A. No, I explained how the SUPs participated because I did not have
4 such things, but I have explained how the SUPs acted when members of the
5 PJP were supposed to be engaged.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, you have a document there which at
7 the top right-hand corner had the number K0497277. Is that correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: It's got something stuck on it obliterating part of
10 the writing so you can't read it, but then there is paragraph 1. Now,
11 would you read the third line, from the third line of paragraph 1, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood.
13 "Now we need to organize smaller-scale actions or plan dotted,
14 closely linked actions in more minor positions (places). Every SUP and
15 every PJP detachment will establish a priority list of anti-terrorist
16 actions with detailed plans which will be approved by the staff."
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, in English that sounds pretty clear and
18 straightforward that the PJP detachments and the SUPs have to establish a
19 priority list of anti-terrorist actions. Do you agree that's what it
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had I had detachments in my
22 territory, I would have known what this means, but I didn't have any
23 detachments in the Gnjilane SUP --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, please answer my question. Do you
25 agree that that's what it says?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what it says.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you also agree that these actions have to have
3 detailed plans?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And that these have to be approved by the staff?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not by the staff. I don't know
7 about that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that not what the --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The plans are approved -- it says
10 here the staff.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. That's all I want to know. Now, are you
12 saying -- are you saying that from your experience in Kosovo that that is
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no personal experience. I
15 did not have any detachments. I could simply give you my own opinion,
16 whatever it's worth. As for my experience, I simply don't have it because
17 we didn't have detachments, we didn't plan any actions, and I had no
18 experience regarding these matters.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. If we could move on. Do you know of a group called the Skorpions
22 being in Gnjilane, a group -- a paramilitary group known as the Skorpions?
23 A. I'm not area of them, and I don't think that there ever existed
24 any paramilitary group in Gnjilane called Skorpions.
25 Q. In which case we'll move on again. You spoke in your evidence
1 about the imam or the priest I think you called him from Prilepnica. Is
2 that Abdylhaqim Shaqiri that you're referring to?
3 A. Yes, yes, from Prilepnica.
4 Q. He said that the persons who came to the village and forced them
5 out or told them that they had to leave on the 13th of April including --
6 included Binacka Morava -- sorry, included a lawyer from Binacka Morava
7 called Djilas Mladenovic. Were you aware of this?
8 A. A lawyer from Binacka Morava, no, I'm not aware -- he mentioned I
9 think Ljuba Palamarovic, not Mladenovic, and Ljuba Palamarovic is a lawyer
10 all right. I heard that he -- that such a person exists.
11 Q. Correct. He said that this Ljuba Palamarovic, whatever his
12 profession was, was one of the persons who chased them out of the
13 village. Did you know that in 1999?
14 A. No, I didn't know that. I learned that from the statement and
15 I've told you that we couldn't establish who it was who had given them
16 such order.
17 Q. Were you ever told that one of the persons there was also Djilas
19 A. No. I saw all that in the statement. I never heard about that, I
20 didn't know -- we didn't establish who it was to whom they belonged. No,
21 we never learned of that. All of the consultations we conducted then on
22 the 6th when they returned, indicated that none of the officers in the
23 army whom I knew had any idea who could have done that.
24 Q. I think you also said in respect to the moving out -- these people
25 moving out, you said in your evidence that the Serbs also moved out
1 because they feared revenge. What do you mean by that when you said they
2 feared revenge?
3 A. I mentioned that when I mentioned Zegra. When first murders took
4 place in Zegra in late March, since the population was mixed there and
5 those who were killed were Albanians, Zegra, which is a village with mixed
6 population, what happened there was that Serbs came to the centre of
7 Gnjilane, several hundred of Serbs came there, because they feared
8 revenge. They took their women and children out of the village because
9 they feared that the Albanians would take revenge. And in early April
10 they went back, they convinced them to go back to Zegra.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Shaqiri said that when he returned to his village at the
12 end of June, that's Prilepnica, he found that it had been completely
13 burned. Do you know that, that the village had been completely burned?
14 A. I don't know that Prilepnica was completely burned. Individual
15 houses were and, yes, the property was looted and I've already told you
16 that we arrested some people who were caught in the act.
17 Q. Do you know how many villages in your SUP region had houses burnt
19 A. I don't know that. I know how many fires resulted in
20 prosecutions, but as for houses, no.
21 Q. There was also a mosque at the Vlastica area in Gnjilane. Do you
22 know that mosque?
23 A. I know that in the village of Vlastica there was a mosque and I
24 also know that it was burned down, that it burned down. I also know that
25 upon receiving a report from an Albanian we organized some large machinery
1 to go to the ruins because he claimed that his parents were under the
2 ruins and we managed to get there some excavators and other construction
3 machinery and saw that what he said was quite right, his parents were
4 under the wreckage.
5 Q. Very well --
6 A. We conducted an on-site investigation and we filed a criminal
7 report, a criminal complaint, against unknown perpetrators.
8 Q. Who was the -- I take it that you don't know anything or very much
9 about the actions of your PJP units once they were in the field. Could
10 you tell us who was the commander of the PJP, your PJP unit or company?
11 A. Rizanovic Dragan was the company commander. He was also deputy
12 commander of the 124th Brigade, Zarko Brakovic. When he became deputy,
13 then Vasic Goran became company commander.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. STAMP: I have nothing further for this witness, Your Honours.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gavranic, you were asked just a short time ago
18 about your reference to Serb fear of revenge when you were dealing with
19 events in late March, revenge from whom?
20 A. From the KLA. We had information in that area, and that is the
21 area leading towards the Macedonian border, that it was the KLA, the KLA.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: But revenge for what then?
23 A. Concerning those first murders in Zegra. Three Albanians were
24 killed, and then the Serbs fearing revenge set out towards Gnjilane. They
25 were afraid to spend that night in Zegra.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you've left the impression towards the end of
2 your evidence there that a number of villages around your area may have
3 been burned and looted when the Albanians were not there. Is that a fair
4 impression for us to form?
5 A. Your Honours, yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And you've left me also with the impression that
7 the destruction of the Vlastica mosque was just a wanton act of damage.
8 Is that correct?
9 A. It burnt down. How that happened, we don't know, but it was
10 burned down to the ground.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: This is not a criticism, but in -- at the beginning
12 of your evidence when you were telling us about yourself there was no
13 indication that you had any formal training in police work. Did you have
14 formal training for service in the police?
15 A. No.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: How then did you come to be the chief of the SUP in
17 Serbia, first of all?
18 A. I came there from the position of the vice-president of the
19 Municipal Assembly. Up until that time, chief of SUPs were part of
20 municipal government, municipal authorities. They were members of
21 municipal government up until that time. Later on that was changed in
22 1992. So somebody believed that I was familiar with these matters and new
23 territorial SUPs had been established, and since I was from the area they
24 believed that I could help significantly with the organization. I thought
25 that it would be of short duration; however, that wasn't so.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: It was 1992, in fact, that you became chief of the
2 SUP; is that right, just before things --
3 A. That's right, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before the rules changed?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you at that time a member of a political
8 A. At that time I was a member of the SPS.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Judging by Mr. Cepic's introduction to you, you may
10 be well-known as a sporting star of the past. The football team that you
11 played for, how was it financed? Was it financed from a political
12 background or an army background or a police background?
13 A. The football club I played for Proleter Zrenjanin was part of the
14 town of Zrenjanin, it was financed by the Municipal Assembly of the town
15 of Zrenjanin. It did not belong to any political party or any
16 institution, be it military or police.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know why you were selected to go to
19 A. I truly don't know that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the total number of policemen in Gnjilane?
21 A. Your Honours, there was some 450 policemen in Gnjilane, about.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Lukic, re-examination?
24 MR. LUKIC: Just one, Your Honour. It will be a shame not to ask
25 this witness at the end.
1 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavranic, you spoke about arrests of
3 dangerous persons or terrorists and occasional use of OPGs, operational
4 pursuit groups. You said that occasionally you would report to the
5 staff. First of all, did you use these people as members of your SUP or
6 as members of the PJP?
7 A. I used those people as members of my SUP because I knew who was
8 trained for those kinds of assignments.
9 Q. These reports, did you send them before actions, in the course of
10 actions, or after actions?
11 A. After actions.
12 Q. I have no further questions. Thank you for testifying here.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you still play football?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I still do.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For recreational purposes, and I am
17 involved with children. I have a football school.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Watching you come in and out of the court, I envy
19 your fitness.
20 That completes your evidence, Mr. Gavranic. Thank you for coming
21 here to give evidence. You may now leave the courtroom.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, P1993, I think you ought to provide us
24 with a copy without a sticker.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, I was hoping -- I thought that the
2 witness had a copy without a sticker. But as it turns out, a copy without
3 a sticker was located and I could now seek your leave to put that copy
4 with the appropriate translation into e-court.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Please do that.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
7 There is another issue in respect to the exhibits, and this is in
8 respect to Exhibit 6D614, a large volume of excerpts of reports that was
9 used for the first time with this witness. Generally the practice has
10 been that where a document is shown to a witness in the course of his
11 examination and the witness can speak meaningfully about and it's relevant
12 in a forensic sense, the document is marked as admitted in e-court. And
13 there's nothing wrong with that practice in a general sense.
14 However, in this particular sense what we have here is a long
15 document numbering almost 800 pages I think in B/C/S. And the witness was
16 able to speak only in respect to certain extracts from the document. And
17 in those circumstances I'd respectfully ask that even if the document
18 itself is received in evidence for practical purposes, the parts of the
19 document that are treated as evidence be only those which the witness
20 could personally speak on and not the entire 700 pages.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. We'll bring the witness who
24 composed this document -- actually, this document serves us not to
25 translate thousands of pages based on which this compilation is made and
1 we'll have the witness who worked on composing of this document.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It's clear that so far only the parts spoken to by
3 the witness are admitted. He had personal knowledge of the individual
4 events that were highlighted in your examination, and we'll treat those
5 as -- those extracts as admitted.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll deal with the rest as and when the issue
9 Does that clarify it, Mr. Stamp?
10 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the next witness is the one to be led by
14 Mr. Zorko, is that correct?
15 Mr. Zorko, who is that witness?
16 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is
17 Zivko Lekoski.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Lekoski. Would you please make
21 the solemn declaration to speak the truth by reading aloud the document
22 that will now be shown to you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
1 You will now be -- you will now be examined by Mr. Zorko on behalf
2 of Mr. Lukic.
3 Mr. Zorko -- sorry.
4 MR. LUKIC: First me. Sorry.
5 We asked for the Macedonian interpreter for this witness, but we
6 were late. So the gentleman will be listening to Serbian translation and
7 will be answering in Serbian, but of course it's not his mother tongue.
8 So please have some patience with this witness. We were late. We didn't
9 know that we have to apply two weeks in advance. We applied I think just
10 a week in advance.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Interpretation is an art that is in very
12 limited supply, particularly for certain languages, and arrangements do
13 have to be made well in advance of the attendance of witnesses who require
14 these special arrangements. And because there is a case which requires
15 constant Macedonian interpretation in this court, then you have to be
16 alert to the need to apply earlier for additional facility for Macedonian
17 in the courtroom.
18 MR. LUKIC: Maybe Mr. Fila could translate for this witness.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall do as you request, Mr. Lukic, and exercise
20 restraint and hope to make reasonable progress.
21 Mr. Zorko.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 WITNESS: ZIVKO LEKOSKI
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Mr. Zorko:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Lekoski.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. My name is Boris Zorko, I'm a lawyer in the Lukic Defence team,
4 and we were just explained here that we will not have the assistance of
5 interpreters here, so I would kindly ask you to speak slowly so that
6 everything can be properly recorded.
7 For the sake of the record, would you please give us your name,
8 last name, date and place of birth.
9 A. I'm Zivko Lekoski, I was born on the 6th of August, 1954, in
10 Gostivar, the Republic of Macedonia. I apologise if I make any mistakes
11 in terms and could I kindly ask the Defence to correct me.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: No one needs to apologise for language difficulties
13 in this court. We understand your position entirely, Mr. Lekoski, and we
14 are doing our best to conduct the proceedings in a way that will avoid any
16 Mr. Zorko.
17 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Can you please tell us what is your ethnic background? I will
19 repeat my question. Can you tell us about your ethnic background.
20 A. I'm a Macedonian.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, please tell us something briefly about your
22 education, about your employment, if any, and what is your current
24 A. I completed secondary school, I worked in several companies in
25 Gostivar. My last employment was as manager of the Toza Markovic company
1 from Kikinda in the FRY, this was a representative office in Skoplje and I
2 was its manager. I am currently unemployed. Sometimes I get work in
3 various companies as an advisor.
4 Q. Mr. Lekoski, do you speak Albanian?
5 A. As I completed primary school in an Albanian village and I live in
6 Gostivar, where 67 per cent of the population is Albanian, they are in the
7 majority, I understand a word here and there but I can understand more
8 than I can speak.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us in the course of 1999, did you travel
10 to Serbia or the FRY and how often if you did?
11 A. In the course of 1999 I travelled more than once. I can't recall
12 precisely, but I am sure that I travelled to Serbia four or five times
13 while the air-strikes were ongoing.
14 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Could we have in e-court Exhibit
16 Q. Mr. Lekoski, do you recognise this document?
17 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Can we have page 2.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I recognise the document, it's
19 my old passport.
20 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right. Thank you. I do apologise, but on page 2, do the
22 details you can read here correspond to the details in your old passport?
23 A. Yes, that's the passport.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you.
25 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Could this document remain on e-court
1 and could we look at page 6 of the document, which is page 11 of the
3 Q. Mr. Lekoski -- I do apologise.
4 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] But could the witness be shown the
5 image so that he can identify it.
6 Q. Could you look at the stamp? There should be a stamp which says
7 Donje Blace.
8 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] On page 6 of e-court if it could be
9 shown to the witness.
10 Q. Yes. Now we have the correct page on e-court. Mr. Lekoski, on
11 this page of your passport you can see a stamp marked Donje Blace?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the date on this stamp is the 27th of March, 1999?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it correct that you crossed the border on that date, the border
16 with the FRY, and entered Serbia?
17 A. Yes, I did go to the Republic of Serbia from the Republic of
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. Could you tell us what was the reason why
20 several days after the start of air-strikes you travelled to Serbia?
21 A. I have a sister in Serbia who lives in Blace, it's a town close to
22 Krusevac, and I went to visit her.
23 Q. Very well. For the sake of precision, Donje Blace is the border
24 crossing on the Macedonian side.
25 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Could the witness also be shown page
1 11 in e-court.
2 Q. And I'll ask you whether you passed through the border crossing of
3 Djeneral Jankovic on the 27th of March?
4 A. Yes, yes, here it is.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. Can you tell us how you crossed the border
6 on that occasion?
7 A. I came to the border crossing, Donje Blace, in the Republic of
8 Macedonia by taxi, and then I crossed the border on foot, as far as the
9 border crossing called Djeneral Jankovic.
10 Q. Very well. Thank you. When crossing the border you are now
11 talking about, on the 27th of March, 1999, did you observe civilians at
12 the border crossing; and if so, on what side of the border crossing?
13 A. When I arrived by taxi at the Donje Blace border crossing of the
14 Republic of Macedonia, I noticed about a dozen civilians crossing the
15 border at that point in time. They were mostly elderly people and there
16 were a few women with children in their arms.
17 Q. Thank you. Were there men in this group of civilians?
18 A. There were men, yes, but mostly elderly men.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. When you talk about these civilians, were
20 you able to observe any signs of mistreatment, such as torn clothing,
21 bruises, or anything else that might indicate mistreatment?
22 A. No, I didn't notice anything like that. What I did notice was
23 that they looked frightened, a little bit frightened.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. You mentioned civilians. Apart from the
25 civilians, was there anybody else at the border crossing; and if so, can
1 you tell us who?
2 A. Yes, there was a team of journalists, there was a camera in the
3 middle of the road bearing the words CNN and there were two persons
4 standing next to the camera.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. Can you describe the persons standing next
6 to the camera?
7 A. The man standing right next to the camera was tall. In my
8 assessment, he was about 180 centimetres tall. He was wearing a dark
9 jacket. The other one was a little shorter than the first one, swarthy,
10 dark, and he was holding a microphone in his hand.
11 Q. All right. Thank you. Did anything attract your attention; and
12 if so, can you tell us what it was?
13 A. Well, yes. What attracted my attention was the fact that a camera
14 which was standing on a tripod of sorts was some 15 metres or so away from
15 the border crossing in an area where usually cars cross the border. And
16 the camera was filming the civilians who were moving towards it. At that
17 point in time, when the civilians got close to the camera, the man holding
18 a microphone in his hand approached the people and he told them in the
19 Albanian language "Pseiku," which in translation would mean: Why are you
21 Q. Thank you. And what did the civilians reply and what did they do
23 A. When they heard this they started waving their arms about, looking
24 up at the sky, and they said NATO bombs and similar things. And when the
25 man holding the microphone heard what they were saying, he said to them:
1 "Jo NATO jo bomb," which would mean in translation, don't mention bombs,
2 don't mention NATO, but he said to them in Albanian that they should say
3 "vrau policia Serbe," which would mean they had been beaten by the
5 Q. Did anything else happen after that that you can describe?
6 A. Well, when they heard this, a woman with a child in her arms who
7 was right in front of the camera probably not able to understand why they
8 were asking her this, she moved on and passed by the camera. And the man
9 holding the microphone in his hand grabbed hold of her hands and started
10 dragging her back. He said to her in Albanian: "Shko prapa," which in
11 translation would mean: Come back. But this woman, again not
12 understanding why they were asking her this, wrenched herself out of his
13 grip and the man with a microphone in his hand hit her, he slapped her, in
14 fact. She started crying, and as a response to the mother's tears the
15 child began to cry too.
16 Q. All right. Thank you. What was the person next to the camera
18 A. When the woman started crying, the person standing next to the
19 camera took the camera off the tripod and came closer to this woman in
20 order to film her crying. And through her tears the man with a microphone
21 told her to say what he had told her to say and she in tears said "Me vrau
22 policia Serbe," which would mean I was beaten by the Serbian police.
23 Q. What did you do after this?
24 A. I didn't do anything. I crossed the border, and as I had agreed
25 with a friend of mine from Pristina, he was waiting for me at the Djeneral
1 Jankovic border crossing in the FRY and he gave me a lift and took me to
2 see my sister in Blace.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Your Honour, should I proceed?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a good time to interrupt if it's convenient
6 for you.
7 Mr. Lekoski, regrettably we have to bring our proceedings for the
8 day to an end at this stage. That means that tomorrow you will require to
9 return here to complete your evidence. That will again be in this
10 courtroom, but tomorrow at 2.15 in the afternoon.
11 Meanwhile, between now and then it is a strict rule that you have
12 no communication with anyone about the evidence in this case, and by
13 anyone I mean anyone at all. You can speak about any other subject, but
14 you cannot communicate with anyone about evidence in this case.
15 Now could you please leave the courtroom with the usher and we
16 will see you again tomorrow at 2.15.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.32 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day of
20 February, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.