1 Wednesday, 20 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, everyone.
6 Mr. Ivetic, I raised yesterday with Mr. Lukic the question of the
7 additional information about the PJP commanders that the Prosecution seek,
8 and he said that he would check during the day what the position was. Can
9 you assist further on that?
10 [The witness entered court]
11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, we have provided to the Office of the
12 Prosecution the information that we have, that is the exact names of the
13 persons and the exact units that they were involved in. We do not have
14 the additional information that the Prosecution's office has sought. We
15 have sought that information from the Serbian authorities, but obviously
16 they have a lot more on their hands in recent days than our various
17 requests. But we will reiterate them -- to them and ask for the
18 information to be sent as soon as possible, and again we will advise the
19 Prosecution accordingly. But we have provided the exact names of the
20 individuals and the exact particular units that they were involved in.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you what may sound a naive question, but
22 why don't you ask your witnesses for the names of their fathers and their
23 dates of birth and give it to the Prosecution.
24 MR. IVETIC: We would, Your Honour, if we had been in contact with
25 these persons. We just got this information from the Serbian authorities.
1 We have not been in contact with all of these individuals.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
3 MR. IVETIC: Because --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Do they not have telephones or means of contact?
5 MR. IVETIC: Some of the telephones are out of date that are on
6 the information given from the Serbian authorities, Your Honour, but
7 obviously where that's possible we would use that means to give the
8 information and obviously if I had that information I would have no reason
9 to not give it to the Prosecution.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But you have given names for witnesses, is that all
11 you've told the Prosecution, the names?
12 MR. IVETIC: And the specific unit that they were involved in.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's it?
14 MR. IVETIC: I think --
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MR. IVETIC: Yes, that's what we've given to the Office of the
17 Prosecution, I believe.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: And tell me, how many of these witnesses are you
19 able to make contact with?
20 MR. IVETIC: One commander of a "ceta" that's it, out of the group
21 that was given.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, at least that one you can presumably get the
23 information and give it to the Prosecution.
24 MR. IVETIC: I'll do that, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: What I'd also like you to do is let the Chamber
1 have such communications as have taken place on this with the Government
2 of Serbia so that we can see what we can do to assist and expedite this.
3 We find it very difficult to understand why simple matters like this take
4 so long to resolve, and we'd like to become involved ourselves in
5 assisting with the difficulty -- to resolve the difficulty.
6 MR. IVETIC: Fair enough.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: In the course of today, please, would you let
8 Mr. Dawson have copies of all that's passed between you and the government
9 so that we can see how we or consider how we might assist in this matter.
10 Good afternoon, Mr. Lekoski.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Your examination by Mr. Zorko will continue in a
13 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the
14 truth which you made at the outset of your evidence continues to apply
15 throughout your evidence.
16 Mr. Zorko.
17 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 WITNESS: ZIVKO LEKOSKI [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Zorko: [Continued]
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Lekoski.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Yesterday we spoke about you crossing the state border on the 27th
24 of March, 1999.
25 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown again
1 6D1496, page 12 in e-court, please.
2 Q. Mr. Lekoski, do you see the document?
3 A. Yes, I do, that's my passport.
4 Q. Can you identify the two stamps on the document, one bears the
5 inscription Donje Blace and the other one Djeneral Jankovic?
6 A. Yes, the 14th of April, 1999.
7 Q. If I'm right, you crossed the state border on 14th of April, 1999,
8 going into Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia, through
9 the border post Donje Blace-Djeneral Jankovic?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. Typically I would cross the border on foot.
11 I would first like to explain to the Trial Chamber why I went to Kosovo
12 frequently. I have mentioned to you already that I had a sister in Blace.
13 During the bombing, she was very ill and she also had a broken leg. So I
14 was quite concerned for her, and I had to visit her frequently in order to
15 take medication and other supplies that she needed. Given that she lived
16 on meager means, her pension was 50 to 60 euros a month only, I also had
17 to help her financially. And that was the main reason for me going into
18 Kosovo at the time.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. That's quite enough as an answer to this
20 question. You said that you crossed the border crossing on foot. Did you
21 notice something unusual as you were crossing the border?
22 A. When I arrived at the border crossing at the Donje Blace, which is
23 in the Republic of Macedonia, I saw a number of journalist crews, both
24 local ones and foreign ones. Some of the foreign ones were CNN and BBC.
25 I don't remember who the others were.
1 Q. Just to clarify, you mentioned here crews of journalists. Did you
2 see them on the Macedonian side of the border or on the Yugoslav side?
3 A. They were at the Donje Blace border crossing, which is to say on
4 the Macedonian side.
5 Q. That's the Macedonian side of the border I assume?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. All right. Thank you. When you crossed the border and you
8 stepped on the Yugoslav soil, did you notice something? Did you notice
9 some civilians there?
10 A. As I crossed the border on foot and reached Djeneral Jankovic,
11 which is on the Yugoslav side of the border, as soon as I passed through
12 the passport control I noticed some 150 to 200 persons waiting to cross
13 the border, the Djeneral Jankovic crossing, to enter Macedonia.
14 Q. Did you approach those civilians?
15 A. Given that I had previously made arrangements with a friend from
16 Pristina to take me to Pristina in a car and given that I had called him
17 on the phone and he told me that he would reach the border crossing in 10
18 to 15 minutes, I simply stood there waiting for him to arrive.
19 Q. Very well. These civilians, can you describe whether among them
20 or on them you could see some bruises or torn clothing or anything that
21 would indicate some mistreatment?
22 A. No, I saw nothing of the sort. I just saw that they had some bags
23 they were carrying.
24 Q. Thank you. You mentioned civilians. Did you see any members of
25 the police or the army present there?
1 A. Yes, I saw about ten policemen and several members of the Army of
3 Q. Very well. Thank you. Would you be able to tell us what these
4 policemen and members of the army did based on your recollection. Did
5 they have any contact with civilians?
6 A. Yes, they were talking. The police stood in front of them and
7 they had an ongoing dialogue about why they wanted to cross the border and
8 go into Macedonia, or rather, why they were fleeing Kosovo. At that time
9 the police were saying to them, You shouldn't flee, you should stay in
10 your own homes, we can guarantee your safety, nothing would happen to you,
11 go back to your homes. That was the gist of what they were saying to
13 Civilians were not willing to accept that immediately, and they
14 persisted in wanting to cross the border. And then the police asked them,
15 Well, why do you want to flee? Nobody is chasing you away. We are
16 offering you protection. Those who were talking to the police were saying
17 that they had to leave Kosovo because that were the orders of the KLA,
18 that's what the KLA had ordered them. Some of them mentioned that some
19 ten days before the bombing started, the bombing of Yugoslavia, members of
20 the verification mission came to their villages saying them that they
21 needed to leave the country because the country would be bombed.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. These civilians who engaged in the
23 conversation with the policemen, did they eventually cross the border or
24 did they go back to their homes?
25 A. No. Before that some officers -- I guess they were officers, I
1 couldn't really tell what rank they were, officers of the Army of
2 Yugoslavia approached them and joined the conversation. One of the
3 officers said the same thing to them as the policemen did. He said, You
4 should go back to your homes, you shouldn't flee, we shall guarantee your
5 safety. If necessary, we will send guards to protect you in your
6 villages, and they even offered escort that would take them to their
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Perhaps this will be a repetitive
9 question, did they eventually cross the border or did they go back to
11 A. While I stood there, they did not cross the border. They turned
12 as if they wanted to go back. Now, as to whether they did go back, I
13 don't know, because at that point in time my friend from Pristina arrived.
14 I got into his car and continued on my way.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. After crossing the border on this
16 occasion, when did you go back to Macedonia from the Federal Republic of
18 A. Well, that was in the afternoon. I can't remember exactly, but I
19 think it was between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lekoski, why was it you went to Pristina?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I travelled to Pristina with my
23 friend, who drove me to Pristina, and then from Pristina to Blace to visit
24 my sister I travelled in a taxi; which means that my friend just drove me
25 to Pristina.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Is Blace not on the way to Pristina from the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but Blace comes after Pristina.
4 So you need to pass through Podujevo and then another small town, I can't
5 remember its name, and then comes Blace; and then from Blace you can
6 continue on to Krusevac.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zorko.
8 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a clarification.
9 There is a town called Blace and there is a border crossing called Donje
10 Blace. The border crossing is between Yugoslavia and Macedonia, and
11 that's called Donje Blace; and as for the town of Blace it is a bit
12 further away, and as far as I know it is not in the territory of Kosovo
13 and Metohija.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it surely is -- is it not somewhere near
15 Stimlje, Blace?
16 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] No, it is not close to Pristina, Your
17 Honours, it's a bit further away.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, is it not near Stimlje is my question.
19 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Your Honours, not near Stimlje either.
20 Most likely what's causing the confusion are the place names in Kosovo and
21 Metohija which are similar or in some cases identical. We can see that,
22 for example, there are several towns called Dubrava in Kosovo. Blace is
23 located outside of Kosovo and Metohija.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Please continue.
1 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Lekoski, on that occasion, as you were travelling back from
3 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, did you talk to members of police at
4 the border crossing; and if so, what about?
5 A. As I was going back, as I reached the border crossing at Djeneral
6 Jankovic, I asked a policeman about what had happened with the civilians.
7 Did you manage to turn them back or did they go back or not? And he said
8 to me that he knew that one group went back and that he didn't know about
9 the rest of the group, and then also in passing he told me that on that
10 same day a column of refugees had been bombed by NATO aviation, column
11 travelling on the road from Prizren to Djakovica.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. Could I kindly ask you to speak a bit
13 slower so that the interpreters can interpret everything accurately.
14 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown 6D1496
15 again, page 8 in e-court.
16 Q. Do you see the document, Mr. Lekoski?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Do you see the stamp with inscription Donje Blace?
19 A. Yes, the 26th of May, 1999.
20 Q. If I'm right, you crossed the same border crossing on the 26th of
21 May again?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. As you crossed the border on this occasion, did you notice
24 something peculiar?
25 A. I didn't see anything on the Macedonian side of the border,
1 nothing unusual; and then I crossed the border on foot and as I was
2 approaching Djeneral Jankovic somewhere midway on the no man's land
3 between the two borders, as I was some 40 to 50 metres away, I saw a group
4 of people engaged in a passionate argument. And as I approached them I
5 was able to discern what they were saying.
6 I saw two or three young men standing there, and one of them said
7 to civilians who were in front of them in Albanian: "bjere pasorshim,"
8 which in translation means: Give me your passports. When the civilian
9 gave his passport to the man standing in front, he tore the passport
10 immediately and then gave it back to him. The man whose passport had been
11 torn immediately reacted and he said in Albanian: "pse e shkyn
12 pasorshim," which in translation means: Why are you tearing my passport.
13 The young man who had torn his passport reacted and said: "mos fol, ose te
14 vras," which in translation means: Shut up or I'll kill you. He took his
15 pistol out, he pointed it at him, and then he said in Albanian: "do folish
16 policia e Maqedonise, pasoshin e ka shkye policia serbe," which in
17 translation means: You'll tell the Macedonian policemen that your
18 passport had been torn by the Serbian police, that's what I saw in passing
19 and I passed by them and went on my way.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lekoski. During 1999, given that you told us that
21 you live in Gostivar in Macedonia, during that year did you have occasion
22 to talk to people who had fled the area of Kosovo and Metohija?
23 A. Yes, I did have occasion. Gostivar is a town that is mostly
24 populated by Albanians, they are the majority population, and in the
25 vicinity of Gostivar there were two refugees camps. One camp was set up
1 in the village of Cegrane and one could see it with the naked eye
2 travelling from Gostivar towards Tetovo, it was on the right-hand side.
3 It was set up in the foot of the Suva Gora mountain so that one could see
4 it from a distance, one could see white tents. The other camp was set up
5 in the village of Gradac, on the other side of the highway, and it wasn't
6 visible. The refugees arrived in thousands on a daily basis. They came
7 to Gostivar to buy the supplies that they needed in their camps.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lekoski. Did you manage to talk to any of the
9 people from the camps or to talk to somebody in Gostivar?
10 A. Yes, I had occasion. I can't remember the exact date, but I know
11 that sometime in May, I know it was a Saturday, since I didn't go to work
12 to Skopje on that day, I just went to town to buy something for my house.
13 I went to the market where they were selling vegetables, greengrocers
14 market. At the time it was in the centre of the town, and as I approached
15 a stand I could hear the conversation between the buyer and the seller
17 The buyer said that he was a refugee from Kosovo and that he lived
18 in the camp in Cegrane. He was complaining about the accommodation, the
19 food, saying that a lot of them there were ill, that they regretted the
20 fact that they had fled Kosovo due to conditions in the camps, and he said
21 that they were not faring well in Macedonia at all. And when he mentioned
22 Macedonia I joined in the conversation and then I asked him, Why did you
23 then flee to Macedonia? He said that he had been ordered to do that by
24 the KLA. If they had not fled, they would have been killed. After that I
25 asked him, Did you have some other problems? Did somebody else persecute
1 you? And he said, No, I had normal contacts both with the police and the
2 Army of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. Mr. Lekoski, was that the only
4 conversation you had from any refugee from Kosovo?
5 A. No, I had another conversation, I think it was in late May or
6 early June, I don't quite remember. I went to the hospital, since my
7 brother worked there and continues to work there as a doorman, and I went
8 to talk to him on that occasion. I asked those people there, Where's my
9 brother? And they said to me that he was around but had gone to run an
10 errand. So I stood in front of the hospital waiting for him, and a person
11 was standing next to me, I guess waiting to have an examination or
12 something like that. He and I started talking informally. I asked him
13 where he was from. He said that he was a refugee from Kosovo. And then I
14 asked him, Well, what are you waiting for here? And he said, Well, I'm
15 waiting to see a doctor because I'm sick.
16 I continued talking to him and I asked him, Well, why did you flee
17 to Macedonia? And he said that he had fled due to NATO bombing solely and
18 that he was afraid of the war. As I continued talking to him, I asked him
19 whether he had any other problems, and he said, No, I am from Kacanik and
20 I frequently cross the border between Serbia and Macedonia, and I never
21 had any problems, either with police or with the army. He even told me
22 that one month prior to that the verification mission people came to see
23 them and that they were trying to convince them to leave Kosovo. And
24 since they were close to the border they told them to go to Macedonia,
25 saying that they would only be in transit in Macedonia, and that from
1 there they would be taken to Western countries. The person I talked to, I
2 remember this well, is called Kuma Hamid, he was from Kacanik and he was
3 living in a private accommodation in a village called Forino, the village
4 of Forino is not far from Gostivar, some 7 to 8 kilometres. It is
5 practically right next to the village of Cegrane, where the refugee camp
6 was. The man where he lived was either a friend of his or a relative, I
7 didn't ask him. I waited there for a few more minutes, and since my
8 brother didn't come and I was in a hurry to go to work I went away from
9 the hospital and continued on running my errands.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lekoski. I have no further questions.
11 A. Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Zorko.
13 No other Defence examination?
14 Mr. Lekoski, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
15 Mr. Stamp.
16 Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
19 Q. Mr. Lekoski, are you or were you in 1999 the coordinator of a
20 group called the Association of Clubs of Serbs and Montenegrins and
21 Macedonians in Macedonia?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was that club aligned to any political movement?
24 A. No. It was a purely civic association, non-political, totally
1 Q. Well, when you say "civic," what do you mean?
2 A. It wasn't a club. It was associations that primarily dealt in
3 humanitarian affairs, cultural affairs, bringing people together, that's
4 what those associations were.
5 Q. Well, as the leader or coordinator of that club, did you have
6 occasion in 1999 to visit Kosovo, Pristina in particular?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How many times?
9 A. No, no, I beg your pardon. During 1999, no; but before that, I
10 did pay visits.
11 Q. How many times did you visit Kosovo before 1999 in that capacity?
12 A. I don't know exactly how many times I visited, but when I would
13 visit it would only be for humanitarian work.
14 Q. Mr. Lekoski, did you not visit Kosovo and Metohija in your
15 capacity of leader of this group at all in 1999?
16 A. No, not at all.
17 Q. As leader of that group, did you not hold a press conference in
18 Pristina on the 11th of February, 1999?
19 A. That was before the bombing.
20 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you to focus on my questions now because I
21 didn't ask you anything about bombing as yet. I've asked you more than
22 once about 1999. Is your answer yes, you -- as leader of the group you
23 conducted a press conference where members of the press attended in
24 Pristina in February, the 11th of February, 1999?
25 A. My understanding was that you had asked me whether I was there as
1 that kind of a leader during the bombing. As for what you're asking now,
2 yes, that is correct, I did have a press conference at the Grand Hotel.
3 Q. How many times in 1999 did you go to Pristina in that capacity?
4 A. Well, I don't know. I can't remember how many times I went there.
5 I went perhaps about 20 times to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but
6 that was primarily because of my professional work, because I worked and I
7 was head of a firm from Yugoslavia, that was Toza Markovic, that was the
8 company, so I travelled on official business and --
9 Q. Excuse me, I'm so sorry. I'm just asking you how many times in
10 1999 that you went to Kosovo and Metohija in the capacity as head of the
11 group. You have told us about the third occasion in February. I'm just
12 asking how many times.
13 A. Well, I can't remember. I told you. I went, say, 20 times or 30
14 times that year, in 1999, to Serbia. And as for what I testified about
15 until now, that is that I visited my sister three times, that is correct;
16 but how many times I was there -- well, if you have specific information
17 remind me, please.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lekoski, you're only being asked how often you
19 went to Kosovo, Kosovo, in your capacity as the head of the association,
20 the coordinator of the association in the year 1999. That's the question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I've already said. Once
22 when I held that press conference at the Grand Hotel, and I don't remember
23 about the rest.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. Who attended with you at that press conference in 1999, the 11th
1 of February, 1999?
2 A. If I remember correctly, there was this one man with me from
3 Kumanovo, his name was Marijan Miteski.
4 Q. What was his -- who was he?
5 A. He was president of a political party.
6 Q. Was there not also a Miroljub Zaric who also attended with you?
7 A. Yes, a Tanjug journalist from Skoplje, at that time he was Tanjug
9 Q. Was he not also a leader of a political party or a group?
10 A. No. Perhaps he was a member of some party. He did not head a
11 party, no.
12 Q. Did you issue a statement that was published in Tanjug in which
13 you expressed full support to the leadership of Serbia and FRY in their
14 efforts to resolve the Kosovo crisis?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. Is it possible that you might have done so and not recall? Don't
17 you -- well, let me ask you this: Don't you recall that your attendance
18 at this press conference was reported in the press?
19 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I would object on the grounds of
20 relevance. This -- we've had I think several witnesses talk about
21 Rambouillet and how everyone in the international community was hoping to
22 resolve the crisis in Kosovo. So I don't see what this has to do with the
23 witness's testimony or with what is relevant for these proceedings, apart
24 from trying to badger the witness.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: For all the reasons Mr. Ivetic gives, this is very
2 relevant evidence.
3 Please continue with the questioning, Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. The purpose of your attending a press conference in Pristina was
6 for the press to publish what you had to say. Weren't you aware that what
7 you said was reported in the press, including Tanjug?
8 MR. IVETIC: For the records, Your Honours, we have not been
9 provided any documentation by the Office of the Prosecution that they
10 intend to use for cross-examination with this witness that bears on this
11 topic. If Mr. Stamp has a document, I believe he's trying to go by the
12 back door around the rules that we have established in this courtroom.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I have not tendered a document or
15 attempted to use a document with the witness just now, and in addition to
16 that if I were to use a document, the document is an open-source document,
17 the document is a -- read in newspaper reports.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean you don't have to intimate it?
19 MR. STAMP: I would have to, yes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Proceed with the question. Let's see
21 where you get to.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. Weren't you aware, for the third time, Mr. -- sir, that your
24 statements in Pristina on the 11th of February were reported in the press?
25 A. I was aware of that because journalists were there and it went
1 without saying that that would be made public, but I have to tell you that
2 it was Marijan Miteski who talked most of the time at that press
3 conference. So I state with full responsibility that I don't really
4 remember what it was that I said then. If I did say something, could you
5 please present it to me now.
6 Q. Did you not say that you give full support to the leaderships of
7 Serbia and the FRY in their efforts to resolve the Kosovo crisis?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
9 MR. IVETIC: Again, Your Honours, if he's relying on a document or
10 not, I would like to know the foundation for this question. I think I'm
11 entitled, especially since we asked the Office of the Prosecution for any
12 and all statements they claim came from any of our witnesses, and thus far
13 I believe that we received nothing for this witness. If this is another
14 situation where they say they have nothing and then all of a sudden they
15 have something later on, I believe this is an issue of fair play that must
16 be addressed.
17 I apologise for having to stand on this issue, but counsel says he
18 no document, but all his questions indicate he does have a document. So
19 what are we talking about here?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: We're talking about an oral statement that it is
21 alleged the witness made and that is what the question is about.
22 So please continue, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Do you recall making that statement?
25 A. If you're asking me, I do not remember. I've already told you
1 that I don't remember. Please present to me what it was that I had said
2 because it's been nine years since then, and we cannot really remember
3 everything that we said, can we?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lekoski, you've given us a very clear
5 recollection of a number of events in 1999, you've even quoted what people
6 were saying on these occasions in 1999. Now you say you can't remember
7 what you said yourself. That's what counsel is asking you about, what you
8 actually said. Would you do your best to try to remember, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to address
10 you and say the following. In addition to my professional
11 responsibilities and the life I've had in Macedonia, at this point in time
12 I am a lay judge at my court in Gostivar. At the proposal of the court in
13 Gostivar, I was an officially elected person by the parliament of
14 Macedonia. What I'm saying here is the truth. What I experienced, what I
15 saw, not more, not less.
16 I wish to assure you, Your Honours, you can check this, you can
17 check what kind of a lay judge I am at my court in Gostivar, and if you
18 find a single judgement that I signed and that was not on the side of the
19 truth, I am prepared to be held accountable here before you in terms of
20 criminal liability, moral liability, material liability, whatever you
21 wish. Throughout my life, I have pursued the truth and suffered for the
22 truth, and that is the case until this day.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lekoski, you were asked a question and we would
24 like you to try to answer the question. We can only judge your
25 credibility as a witness once we've heard everything that has to be said.
1 So will you please address the question of whether you can remember saying
2 what Mr. Stamp has quoted to you in the context of the extremely important
3 tense international situation surrounding Rambouillet around the 11th of
4 February, 1999.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assert before you with full
6 responsibility that I do not recall what it was that I had said. If I am
7 shown what it was, perhaps I may remember; but I state with full
8 responsibility that I do not remember.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. Do you recall if any member of your party at that press conference
12 made that statement?
13 A. Maybe somebody did say something, and if somebody did say
14 something it must have been the president of the party, Marijan Miteski
15 from Kumanovo, because he was the one who was really in charge of the
16 press conference, he did most of the talking.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's look at it from a different point of view.
18 What was the purpose of the press conference?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I do not remember exactly now
20 why this press conference had been called, but it was probably in order to
21 express what the Prosecutor said.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You seriously -- do you often give press
23 conferences? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the situation. You often give
24 press conferences?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At that time we just happened
1 to be together in Pristina. I was there as coordinator of these
2 associations in order to discuss humanitarian matters. Since at that
3 point in time the president of that party was there, we went out together
4 at this press conference.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And are you telling us on full responsibility that
6 you don't remember the purpose of the press conference?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I did not say that. I said
8 that a press conference had been called, as the Prosecutor claims.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. Witness, you seem to be saying now that you were in Pristina for
12 some business and you were just invited to a press conference that you
13 attended, but you told us earlier just a few minutes ago, and this is at
14 line 22 of page 15 of the transcript: "Yes, yes, I've already said. Once
15 when I held that press conference at the Grand Hotel, and I don't remember
16 the rest."
17 MR. IVETIC: For the record, Your Honour, we've just received a
18 copy from the Prosecution of the document they claim they're not using --
19 they don't have.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not clear to me at the moment, Mr. Ivetic,
21 that a document is being used. There are two separate matters that could
22 arise: One relates to the conduct of the cross-examination and so far no
23 document has been referred to; the other, however, is one of disclosure.
24 Are you saying this was not disclosed to you?
25 MR. IVETIC: I would not be up on my feet if it had been, Your
2 JUDGE BONOMY: At any stage? It has never been disclosed to you?
3 MR. IVETIC: It is my understanding it has not. We specifically
4 asked for all of our witnesses, any documents the Prosecution had in their
5 possession, particularly anything they claimed to be statements, and we
6 received a negative response.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, my understanding is that we are not
9 obliged to disclose to the Defence matters -- well, when I say "disclose,"
10 I mean directly disclose to the Defence, documents which do not fall under
11 Rule 68 or Rule 66, when the document -- especially documents which are
12 on -- which are open-source documents which can be located by the Defence
13 by searching either the electronic database, which we give them access to,
14 or by doing web searches themselves.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just make a
16 comment regarding what it was that the Prosecutor just said?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This document cannot be found when
19 searching the internet using the name of this witness, and I hear from my
20 colleagues now that the document doesn't seem to show up on EDS either.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you help me on that, Mr. Stamp?
22 MR. STAMP: Well, I would need to check actually to see if
23 documents which are part of the -- which are open-source documents which
24 we can search and find are not on the EDS. My information, and I will be
25 prepared to be corrected, is that these documents are on the EDS.
1 Secondly, I cannot understand why it is that the name of the
2 witness would not appear on the document, on the EDS.
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, for the record, every document in EDS
4 has an ERN number. This document that was just disclosed to us does not.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What Mr. Visnjic is saying that by putting the
6 witness's name into a search engine this document is not disclosed.
7 MR. STAMP: Well, the document would not be located -- as I said,
8 I will check that, whether or not it could be searched. This document is
9 a translation, I believe, of -- of a Tanjug report, and my understanding
10 is that this document appears on the EDS system. But I would have to
11 check that. If Mr. Ivetic says it can't be found, I can't say that just
13 JUDGE BONOMY: In any event, what do you intend to do with it?
14 MR. STAMP: I do not intend at this stage, since the document was
15 not disclosed to the Defence, to use it with the witness.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
17 MR. STAMP: But the document is a foundation I can use to ask this
18 witness [indiscernible].
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Please continue with the
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. I think when we broke off, Witness, you were saying that the
23 reason why you don't remember what the press conference was about was
24 because you were in Pristina for some other business and simply invited to
25 a press conference. And I'd like to remind you that you said earlier
1 today in your testimony that you held a conference, a press conference.
2 So I ask again, did you hold that press conference in your capacity as
3 leader or member of this group? Or is your earlier testimony not true?
4 A. No. According to this principle that we have in Macedonia, press
5 conferences are predominantly held by political parties. I said from the
6 very outset that this association, whose coordinator I was, had just one
7 task, and that is for -- I mean, these are non-political, non-party
8 organizations. And it was humanitarian and cultural work that they
9 focused on, and that is the only reason why I was there. And then this
10 party leader happened to be there, we happened to meet in Pristina, and
11 that's how I came to this press conference. I don't remember that I said
12 anything at this press conference. If I did say something, could you
13 please present it to me so that I remember because, indeed, it has been
14 nine years since then.
15 Q. Do you remember while you were in Pristina on that occasion
16 meeting Zoran Andjelkovic?
17 A. I did not meet Zoran Andjelkovic. I met with the Red Cross on
18 that occasion.
19 Q. Have you ever met Zoran Andjelkovic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How many times in 1999?
22 A. Maybe once or twice.
23 Q. For what purpose?
24 A. Precisely for that purpose, we were talking about humanitarian
25 work. Because at the time, not only before did I bring in the help that
1 was needed, but before then I sent a lot of humanitarian help from
2 Macedonia. And besides that I made my personal contribution in
3 humanitarian aid when the Muslims from Bosnia were located at Mavrovo in
4 1993 in the village of Bunec. Then I made my own personal contribution.
5 Also when the tsunami happened in Indonesia. I was a humanitarian worker
6 in general. I donated blood over 25 times in my own country and my work
7 in that organization was actually based exclusively on humanitarian work.
8 Q. And when this CNN or this person, a party from CNN with the mike,
9 assaulted this lady on the 27th of March you said, was -- weren't there
10 numerous newspaper and press -- well, media persons on the Albanian side
11 of the border at that time?
12 A. I don't know about the Albanian side of the border. It's a
13 mistake, the Albanian -- or on the Albanian side of the border. Are you
14 thinking of the Macedonian side of the border.
15 Q. Are you going -- I'm sorry. Sorry, the Macedonian side of the
17 A. When I was passing through the border, there was only one camera
18 placed in the middle of the road, and that was a CNN camera.
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Nothing further
20 from this witness.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
24 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask for
25 a short break before we start our re-examination in order to be able to
1 consult with my colleagues. The situation is a little unusual. The
2 source of the document is unknown, and my learned friend quoted some
3 things from the document but not completely. So I would just like to be
4 allowed to have a brief pause before continuing. Thank you.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: How long is it you're asking for?
7 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] 15 minutes, Your Honours, would be
8 quite sufficient.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What we'll do is take 20 minutes, resume at quarter
10 to 4.00, and then re-arrange the length of the other two sessions for the
11 afternoon to ensure that we still sit for the same length of time. And
12 meanwhile, you can take whatever steps you require to take to investigate
13 the matter you wish to check.
14 Mr. Lekoski, counsel wishes time to consider the position before
15 deciding on re-examination and what to ask you. While that happens, could
16 you please leave the courtroom with the usher. Please remain in the room
17 to which you're taken, and we will see you again at quarter to 4.00.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 3.23 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.
22 [The witness takes the stand].
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zorko.
24 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Since my learned friend drew his questions from material that was
1 not disclosed to us earlier, we believe that it would be in the interests
2 of justice to show the document to the witness on the ELMO so that we
3 could see what is written in the document and to put questions to him
4 about the exact spoken words at this press conference, with your
5 permission, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP: I have no objections, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
9 Re-examination by Mr. Zorko:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lekoski, can you see this document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you please look at the third paragraph, and I'm going to read
13 to you what it says and the interpreters will translate what is written
14 here. [In English] "'We give full support to the leaderships of Serbia
15 and FRY in their efforts to resolve the Kosovo and Metohija crisis
16 peacefully and through a political dialogue, and we are opposed to any
17 blackmail and military threats to Yugoslavia.' Lekoski said and stressed
18 that the problems in the Balkans should be resolved by the nations of the
19 Balkans, who knows each other best."
20 [Interpretation] Mr. Lekoski, several questions were put to you.
21 I would just like to put this to you. Do you stand by the words you
22 stated here and do you recall stating this at that press conference?
23 A. Yes, having seen the document, yes, this is what I said on that
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Can we please tender this document for
2 an IC number.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now that we have this, perhaps we should look more
4 closely at it, since this is the first time the Trial Chamber has seen it.
5 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I continue?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you going to ask more questions from the
8 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] No, no, no, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Let us just keep it there for a moment.
10 Mr. Lekoski, was the Socialist Christian Party a Macedonian party?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was a Macedonian party.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What was your link with President Gligorov?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't have any connections with
14 President Gligorov, but if you insist I did have one encounter or meeting
15 with President Gligorov, this was in 1991.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: This report starts by saying: "Macedonia and its
17 president, Kiro Gligorov, whose views we are conveying, absolutely favour
18 a peaceful solution for the Kosovo and Metohija crisis. Zivko Lekoski ...
19 stated in Pristina today."
20 So the report says that you're speaking for the president. Is
21 that accurate?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I was not in a
23 position to speak on behalf of the president because I was not a member of
24 parliament or of the government or anything to do with the president.
25 Before that we had one meeting with President Gligorov where we asked him
1 to -- or for Macedonia to be neutral as far as the arrival of NATO troops
2 was concerned because they were passing through Macedonia. On that
3 occasion we also urged that this be done in a peaceful, principled manner,
4 which President Gligorov also confirmed that that's what he was also
5 committed to. So the main commitment of the association that I headed was
6 economic, cultural, and overall civilizational links among the countries
7 of the Balkans and broader.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: When was that meeting?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember exactly, but I
10 think that it was a few days or maybe ten days before the bombing. I
11 can't remember exactly.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And who attended the meeting?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember all that well who
14 was there, but the people who were mentioned here were definitely not
15 present. I know that -- just let me remember a little bit. One of my
16 deputies of the association was there, his name was Slobodan, but I cannot
17 remember his last name, Slobodan Vukovic.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: And was that meeting before the press conference?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really cannot remember.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you suggest then any basis on which Tanjug may
21 have reported that you were conveying views of the president of Macedonia?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know why this was
23 done. First of all, I could not be conveying the positions or the views
24 of the president. I was not an important player in any of that and I
25 didn't have any authority to convey anything of that nature.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell us now that you've seen this who
2 organized the press conference and how you came to be involved?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who organized the press
4 conference. I was in Pristina at the time, at the Red Cross; and after
5 that we went together to the conference. I think the conference was
6 organized at the Pristina Grand Hotel.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: When you say you went together to the press
8 conference, together with whom?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the people I see here, Miteski
10 and Miroljub Zaric.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And did they also meet with the Red Cross?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So how --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, they were not with me. I
15 was by myself.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: How then did you come to meet up with them and go
17 to the press conference?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We came together to Pristina from
19 Macedonia, and then I went on my way and they went on their way; after
20 that we met up. We went back together, too, in one vehicle.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you give this a number, Mr. Haider?
22 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honours, that will be IC 189.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: You should also upload this in e-court and give it
24 an appropriate number when you do that.
25 Mr. Zorko, please continue.
1 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's what
2 we will do.
3 Q. Mr. Lekoski, I'm just going to have a couple more questions for
5 A. Go ahead.
6 Q. You said that you lived in Gostivar?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Predominantly inhabited by the Albanian population?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you please tell us if you have and how many friends do you
11 have among members of the Albanian community?
12 A. Well, it's like this, my first next-door neighbours are Albanians,
13 they live next door to me --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP: My objection is that this doesn't arise from the
17 Mr. Zorko.
18 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you say in response to that?
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] I can say that the questions of my
22 learned friend were also something that created doubts about the
23 credibility of the witness in a kind of indirect, round-about way. Since
24 the information from this document was used only partially, so I'm only
25 putting questions that can point to the weight one can attribute to the
1 testimony of this witness, with your permission.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: The particular question you've asked, which I don't
3 think has anything to do with the document, does seem to us to arise from
4 the line of cross-examination that was pursued, and we will allow you to
5 ask the question.
6 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Lekoski, I'm going to repeat my question. Do you have, and if
8 you do, how many friends do you have among the Albanian ethnic community
9 in the community where you live?
10 A. The first thing that I have to say is that my next-door neighbours
11 are Albanians and we have excellent relations, we visit one another every
12 day. That is the first thing. Secondly, I have many in town that I see
13 every day. We have coffee, we talk, and so on and so forth. And thirdly,
14 when I was working in the company in Skoplje, my best buyers and the most
15 honest buyers were Albanians. None of the Albanian companies owed
16 anything to my company. The Macedonians were left owing my company
17 something, but not the Albanians. So I have excellent cooperation with
18 them, and we lived very well together then and we still do today.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Just one more question. Since after my
20 examination-in-chief you also said that you were a lay judge, are you
21 aware of the gravity and the seriousness of your testimony before this
22 Tribunal and the consequences of your testimony?
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. ZORKO: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Zorko.
2 Mr. Lekoski, that completes your evidence. Thank you for coming
3 here to assist us. You are now free to leave the courtroom.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, before we proceed, can I say something.
6 Since I said something in respect to the document before, I have consulted
7 about the circumstances and the document on a search of the EDS, the
8 electronic disclosure system, would not be available, but the document is
9 an open-source document that could have been discovered by the Defence
10 with a diligent search of the internet.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't know if you've done another diligent search
12 just to confirm that, but Mr. Visnjic's point was that he tried and
14 MR. STAMP: I don't know if he -- a diligent search includes a
15 variation of spellings of the names in Cyrillic, in the way Tanjug is
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I suspect he's conscious of that.
18 MR. STAMP: Very well. That is what I have been advised. I have
19 not done so myself.
20 Secondly, the Prosecution maintains that the results of these
21 open-source searches, unless they fall under the Rules, Rule 68 in
22 particular at this stage of the case, are not disclosable; under the
23 Rules, we are not obliged to disclose them. However, seeing how it can
24 cost some time we will consider just handing them over if we find anything
25 on the net with the name of a witness on it.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm grateful to hear you say that, but
2 there's a separate issue which is one related to the actual use of the
3 document in cross-examination which has to be intimated.
4 Now, Mr. Ivetic is identifying a fault-line in the definition of
5 use of the document for cross-examination, and therefore it's necessary
6 for you to give careful thought to whether albeit you don't actually put
7 the document in front of the witness, you're effectively using it in such
8 a way that fairness demands that a copy is or that intimation's given that
9 this would be the source of your cross-examination.
10 MR. STAMP: Indeed, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not an order that you do it; it's an order
12 to be cautious in considering which documents do, in fact, require to be
13 disclosed in terms of our rule about requiring disclosure of documents
14 being used in cross-examination.
15 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour. Can I just say this, it had
16 been intended to be disclose that one along with another one a few days
17 ago and by some oversight it was not, and therefore we thought it could be
18 used as a -- well, as a foundation, a good-faith foundation to ask
19 questions, but not to impeach. So its use would have been limited in
20 those circumstances.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you very much, Mr. Stamp.
22 Mr. Ivetic, your next witness?
23 MR. IVETIC: Next witness would be Nebojsa Ognjenovic, Your
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 MR. IVETIC: I hope Mr. Stamp saying that there was another one
2 that was not disclosed to me, and I hope this won't come back to bite me
3 with the next witness. If there's any another document not disclosed
4 then, assuming he means with respect to the witnesses already past, but
5 we'll deal with that if it comes to that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Ognjenovic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you now please make the solemn declaration to
11 speak the truth by reading aloud the document now being shown to you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated. You'll now be
15 examined by Mr. Ivetic on behalf of Mr. Lukic.
16 Mr. Ivetic, the re-arranged schedule would require a break at 5.15
17 for half an hour.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 WITNESS: NEBOJSA OGNJENOVIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
22 Q. Good day, Mr. Ognjenovic. For purposes of the record, can you
23 please introduce yourself giving your full name.
24 A. Good day. My name is Nebojsa Ognjenovic.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the witness.
1 MR. IVETIC:
2 Q. And can you tell us briefly about yourself and your educational
4 A. I was born in Prizren, where I completed elementary school and
5 secondary school as well as a post-secondary teacher's college in Prizren.
6 Now I live in Belgrade as a temporarily displaced person from Kosovo and
8 Q. Thank you, sir. Could you please now tell us about your
9 employment history within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic
10 of Serbia.
11 A. I started working in the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1982, and
12 I was assigned to the traffic police station in Kosovska Mitrovica up
13 until 1983. In 1983 I was assigned to the Vrbnica police station for the
14 control of border crossings, that is near Prizren. All the way up until
15 1999, when we withdrew from Kosovo and Metohija, I worked there; and then
16 from 1999 until 2003 I worked at Belgrade airport at the police station at
17 the border crossing there, so that was until 2003. Until the 30th of
18 June, 2006, I worked at the department of the border police in the
19 Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade. Since that date, the 30th of June,
20 2006, I've been a pensioner.
21 Q. Thank you, sir. And can you tell us what your specific work
22 assignment was in the time-period 1998 and 1999 and what specific duties
23 that position entailed.
24 A. As for the police station for border crossings, in 1998 and in
25 1999, I worked there as the commander, "komandir," of the station. My
1 tasks involved planning and exercising control over the work of the
3 Q. Can you tell us about the police station at the Vrbnica border
4 crossing, such as where the scene is located and how large of an area the
5 border crossing comprises.
6 A. The building itself of the Vrbnica station is 17 kilometres away
7 from Prizren on the road going to Tirana. The building is a proper house,
8 solid, consisting of 25 rooms. We used only four rooms because of the
9 scope of our work. Four were used by the police and four by the customs
10 officials who were there at the border crossing.
11 The area of the border crossing, according to the agreement,
12 included 50 metres to the left and right of the middle lane of the road at
13 the Albanian border crossing and 200 metres from the borderline that is on
14 the bridge between the two border crossings into our territory. That was
15 the area of the border crossing.
16 Q. And can you explain for us the difference between the border
17 crossing and the border belt area?
18 A. The border crossing is a place that is designated for crossing the
19 state border, for persons who meet the requirements set by law in order to
20 cross the state border. Staying and moving at the border crossing is
21 under the control of the police that works at the border crossing police
22 station. The border belt area, however, is the area from the borderline
23 itself into the territory of the country itself. That was 100 metres, but
24 sometime in the 1990s this border belt was expanded and it became 10
25 kilometres long.
1 The villages that are along this area were not duty-bound to have
2 special permits for moving about in the area. Movement in the border area
3 was checked by the members of the Army of Yugoslavia or, to put it more
4 precisely, the guards from the border post at that border crossing. It
5 was the Veljko Vlahovic border post in my specific case. And there was
6 only a metal fence between us. This means that -- this means that if a
7 person has a permit to move about and stay there and wishes to do so, that
8 person will be checked by the members of the Army of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Thank you, sir. Just waiting for the transcript to catch up with
10 us. Could you or any of the policemen at the Vrbnica station move out
11 with the border crossing into the border belt area on your own?
12 A. We could not go on our own. If we needed to go, we would have to
13 report to the closest border post, or rather, the Vrbnica border post.
14 Q. And if you could please tell us, who controlled the transport of
15 goods at the border crossing and how was this regulated?
16 A. The control of traffic of goods was carried out by the customs
17 officials at this border crossing in accordance with the laws regulating
18 customs, so they were in charge of that.
19 Q. Could you tell us to what governmental structure or organ this
20 customs service was subordinated; that is to say, was it a part of the
21 Serbian Ministry of the Interior?
22 A. No. The customs service did not belong to the Ministry of the
23 Interior. The customs service belonged and does belong to the Ministry of
25 Q. And is the Ministry of Finance a republican level or a -- or was
1 it a federal level ministry at the time, in 1998 and 1999?
2 A. At that time it was at federal level.
3 Q. Now, sir, focusing on the -- on your station, the police station,
4 at the Vrbnica border crossing, which organizational structure within the
5 Ministry of Internal Affairs did your station belong to and how was the
6 line of work within that structure set up?
7 A. The border police station belonged to the administration of the
8 border police, whose headquarters were in Belgrade. We were directly
9 under them, or rather, they were our direct superiors. According to the
10 structure of jobs, there was the commander, the deputy commander, the
11 assistant commander of the police station, then four shift leaders, and 17
12 policemen. That was the job structure for the station that I was in
13 charge of.
14 Q. Can you tell us with respect to the station where you were at how
15 police officers would be -- what their appearance would be, what they
16 would wear in the course of their duties?
17 A. The members of this station had regular uniforms.
18 Q. And how many other similar police stations fell directly under the
19 subordination of the headquarters -- the administration of the border
20 police whose headquarters were in Belgrade?
21 A. The administration of the border police in the ministry has 38
22 stations within it.
23 Q. During the course of your work at the border police station of
24 Vrbnica, what regulations did you utilise?
25 A. At border police stations, all the laws applied in the Ministry of
1 the Interior were applied there too. Due to the subject matter that we
2 dealt with, we mostly relied on the law on border crossings and on staying
3 and moving about in the border area, then the law on passports of
4 Yugoslavia and the law on the movement of foreign persons.
5 Q. What were the specific daily tasks undertaken by employees of your
6 station at the Vrbnica border crossing?
7 A. The primary task of the employees was to enable unhindered
8 crossing of the border by persons who wished to cross the state border
9 with proper documents, passports; then to provide security for the
10 building and the area of the border crossing too. Those were the primary
11 tasks of the employees of this station.
12 Q. Could you please tell us what basic documentation was necessary
13 under the law existing in 1999 to permit a person to cross the state
15 A. The only relevant document for crossing the state border is a
16 passport, a passport, that document. There are several types of
17 passports. If necessary, I can mention all of them. Children's
18 passports, joint passports, diplomatic passports, service passports, then
19 also there is the institution of the lesse passe. A lesse passe is
20 issued to persons who lost their passport in a foreign country.
21 Diplomatic and service passports are issued by the Ministry of Foreign
23 Q. With respect to these passports, in order to leave the -- in order
24 to legally leave the country, would the passport have to then at that
25 point in time be valid and in force?
1 A. At any rate, if the person wishes to leave the country, the
2 passport has to be a valid one. If the passport is not valid, the person
3 will not be allowed to leave.
4 Q. Under what circumstances would FRY citizens be denied exit across
5 the state border?
6 A. FRY citizens would be denied exit across the state border if they
7 do not possess a valid passport or if the passport was damaged, is
8 technically deficient. That means that if it was damaged or if there is
9 no room left for affixing a seal. Then that person will be sent back to
10 correct this passport at the organ that issued the passport in the first
12 Q. Was it possible under the law to cross the state border outside
13 the border crossing and without the paperwork foreseen for such a
14 crossing; and if so, under what specific circumstances?
15 A. The border could be crossed only at specified border crossings.
16 Exceptionally, the border can be crossed without documents if there is a
17 natural disaster involved. This means a flood, an earthquake, war
18 operations, that is to say that it was only in those situations that a
19 person would be allowed to cross the state border without creating a
20 border incident.
21 Q. Do you recall what article of the then-current law on crossing the
22 state border would have been applicable to such circumstances?
23 A. I think that it was Article 8, Article 8 of the law on crossing
24 the state border and movement in the border belt.
25 Q. Thank you. Now if we could focus for a moment to the time-period
1 before the start of the war with the NATO forces. We have heard here in
2 this court of plans for defence brought at the level of the RJB including
3 measures in case of an aggression against the FRY. Did you receive any
4 documentation relating to any such matters?
5 A. I certainly did.
6 MR. IVETIC: If we can please have Exhibit 6D269 up on e-court.
7 Q. And, sir, I would ask you if, first of all, you could look at the
8 title of this document and then the list of recipients that says SPP --
9 oh, I see the English does have the translation, but could you confirm for
10 us what the acronym SPP stands for.
11 A. This acronym stands for: To the border police stations, all of
12 them, from 1 to 35, to the commanders, "komandir," of these stations,
13 which is to say that this dispatch was sent to all border police stations.
14 It was a circular letter. This means that we were an independent station.
15 As you can see in the heading, all SUPs received it, the MUP staff in
16 Pristina, we as an independent station, and underneath RDB just for their
18 Q. If I can ask you, do you recognise this document as being the one
19 that you received regarding any defence plans brought at the level of the
21 A. Yes. In case there was an aggression against SFRY, or rather, FRY
22 by NATO and underneath it lists the measures that all above-listed
23 entities need to undertake.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You said a little time ago, Mr. Ognjenovic, that
25 there were 38 border police stations. This says 1 to 35. It may not
1 matter, but what is the correct number?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time there were 35. I gave
3 the new figure because after that two stations were added, the one at the
4 Belgrade airport and the one at the harbour in Belgrade.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. If we can look at page 2, paragraphs 6 and 8 of this document,
8 sir, this should be the same in both the English and the Serbian. I would
9 ask you do these paragraphs spell out the concrete measures for stations
10 such as yours in the event of aggression and could you explain them for
11 the members of the Trial Chamber.
12 A. Item 6 and item 8 pertain to stations. So this is a mandatory
13 dispatch. We had to abide by it and undertake measures listed in this
14 dispatch, which is what we did.
15 Q. And for purposes of the information of the Trial Chamber, was the
16 border crossing at Vrbnica officially open to travellers prior to the
17 start of the air war with NATO?
18 A. From the 21st of May, 1998, this post was closed for travellers.
19 It was only open for crossing to our citizens who were abroad and also for
20 foreigners who wanted to leave our territory. There were several cases
21 where several Germans crossed the border going from Albania into our
23 Q. I'd like to take the time to delve into the work of the border
24 police stations. With respect to the employees of the -- of the police
25 station Vrbnica, who decides -- who decided on their assignment and scope
1 of work at the station?
2 A. It was the administration for border police that decided on their
3 assignment and I as their immediate superior.
4 Q. And who would be empowered to decide on personnel changes,
5 personnel promotions, commendations, or disciplinary actions for employees
6 of the border police station?
7 A. It was the administration of border police in Belgrade that
8 decided on appointments when it comes to police employees. When it comes
9 to commanders, it was the chief of the public security sector who decided
10 on appointments. My decision on my appointment was signed by Radovan
11 Stojcic. Decisions for employees or concerning employees are issued at
12 the proposal of the commander, "komandir," of a police station and with
13 his approval.
14 Q. In 1998 -- in 1998 and in 1999, what role or impact could either
15 the MUP staff in Pristina or the secretariat of interior in Prizren have
16 with respect to the foregoing matter, that is to say the personnel
17 changes, promotion, commendation, or disciplinary actions of employees of
18 the border police station Vrbnica?
19 A. Not only during this period of time but in general, nobody except
20 for the border police administration could decide on these issues.
21 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the national ethnic make-up
22 during the 1990s at the Vrbnica border police station?
23 A. In the 1990s, there were nine police employees working at the
24 station, out of which six were Albanians, of Albanian ethnic minority, and
25 three were Serbs. And then in late 1990s the Albanian workers left the
1 ministry of their own free will, four of them did. So if necessary I can
2 give you their names. Out of which two met the requirements for
3 retirement. The remaining two Albanians stayed on working for some time;
4 however, Ahmed Ramaj, under pressure from his son, who was irredenta was
5 forced to leave the service. He left the service under sad circumstances.
6 So that the ministry was forced to send in additional workers from other
7 provinces of Serbia to help out with work.
8 Q. Were there any disciplinary proceedings instituted against members
9 of your border police station that you are aware of?
10 A. There were no disciplinary proceedings against members of this
11 station or employees of this station except in two cases where policemen
12 were fined financially due to light violations of their work duties. This
13 was a 20 per cent reduction.
14 Q. In those two cases, what were the circumstances of the light
15 violations of their work duties and what can you tell us about the two
17 A. Regarding these two, a light or minor violation is, for example,
18 disorderly appearance in terms of their uniforms, being late for work, and
19 similar minor violations of work duties and obligations. When it comes to
20 minor violations of work duties and obligations, a commander of the police
21 station gives a proposal and the border police administration issues a
22 decision on how they are to be punished.
23 Q. And with respect to these two, what was the final outcome of the
24 decision or the proceedings?
25 A. They were fined in such a way that 20 per cent of their monthly
1 salary was deducted, one month.
2 Q. Was the border police station required to operate under or prepare
3 any plans of work and reports relating to the same; and if so, to whom
4 would these reports be sent?
5 A. Every station within the ministry drafted plans and submitted
6 reports. Our particular station received forms from the administration,
7 based on which we submitted reports.
8 Q. Did you also receive any plan of work from any other structure
9 within the Ministry of Interior?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And to whom would reports on these drafted plans be sent and why?
12 A. The plans and work reports were the following. There were daily
13 reports, monthly, and annual work reports. Daily and monthly work reports
14 were sent to the regional secretariat, to the RDB, and one copy remained
15 at the station. As for annual reports, we sent them to the border police
16 administration. I will correct myself. We also sent monthly reports to
17 the administration.
18 Q. And when you say the border police administration, again, where
19 would that be located?
20 A. The border police administration is in the ministry seat in
22 Q. Thank you. And did this procedure remain the same and in place
23 the entire time from when you were appointed in the early 1990s to the
24 Vrbnica border station all the way up until June of 1999 when you
1 A. That's how it was before and that's how it is now, when it comes
2 to reporting.
3 Q. How would you receive dispatches, or "depese," before and during
4 the air war with NATO?
5 A. We received dispatches via the regional secretariat, which was the
6 one in Prizren, the Prizren SUP, since we did not have technical resources
7 to receive it ourselves at the border crossing. However, during NATO
8 bombing the situation was difficult. So on a number of occasions, we had
9 to send a courier.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, with respect to the Vrbnica border crossing and
11 your station there within, what types of documentation were kept in the
12 ordinary course of operations of that station?
13 A. You mean the records? Is that what you have in mind, the records
14 kept at the station?
15 Q. Yes, sir.
16 A. At the border crossing police stations, there are about 38 types
17 of records, various books, forms, and so on. Books that we kept
18 concerning the crossing of the state border were as follows. The book on
19 the travel of passengers, book on visas that were issued, on issued
20 tourist passes, on permits for movement and stay of foreigners -- I mean
21 persons who came to the area of the border crossing, records kept on the
22 entry of foreign damaged vehicles entering the country, and then other
23 kinds of registry books that I can't remember now.
24 Q. Now, you've already discussed reports relating to the monthly,
25 daily, and yearly planned work of the border station. Did you also have
1 occasion to report about any unusual activity at the police station; and
2 if so, to whom would those reports be transmitted?
3 A. There were official notes made regarding every action of employees
4 at the police stations, either notes or reports. These official notes or
5 reports were sent by us to the border police administration in Belgrade,
6 to the staff in Pristina, to the border police department in the relevant
7 secretariat, which was the one in Prizren, the SUP in Prizren. And then
8 depending on the issue involved, we would also send it either to the
9 traffic police or to the crime investigation police depending on the
10 subject matter of that particular official note.
11 Q. Thank you. Moving on.
12 MR. IVETIC: If we could have Exhibit 6D129 in e-court.
13 Q. This is a document I'd like to have your assistance with, sir.
14 You'll see it's a dispatch dated the 1st of September, 1998, and the
15 origin is the MUP Republic of Serbia UKP. Could you tell us whether the
16 UKP was a structure that you fell under or reported to?
17 A. The UKP is the criminal police administration. We didn't submit
18 any reports to them, but since we're talking about aliens here who
19 committed crimes and there is a possibility that they would leave the
20 territory of our country, then all the border crossings in the -- on the
21 territory of the republic were informed immediately as independent
22 stations. So the SUPs and the border stations were each informed
24 Q. With respect to any actions that you would undertake if said
25 criminal perpetrators found themselves at the border, how would those
1 actions or your steps be governed? That is to say, what would -- how
2 would you -- based upon what would you act?
3 A. Each dispatch has a measure that should be adhered to. Here it
4 says if the -- if you find something out in connection with the
5 aforementioned, then you should notify the person. There's a number here.
6 So if this person should turn up at the border crossing, such and such a
7 person responsible for that would be informed and then they would tell us
8 which measures would need to be taken in relation to these persons.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to start focusing for a moment at 1999 and the
10 time-period of the NATO bombings. Did you, sir, in the course of your
11 work at the border police station at Vrbnica become aware of the existence
12 of any plan on the part of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia to forcibly
13 displace and/or deport members of the ethnic Albanian national minority
14 from Kosovo and Metohija?
15 A. No, I never received that or saw anything like that, nor would I
16 do something like that.
17 Q. Did the border police station Vrbnica ever receive any written
18 orders or oral instructions from your superiors within the MUP of the
19 Republic of Serbia to take personal documentation and travel documents
20 from persons of the ethnic Albanian national minority as they crossed the
21 state border?
22 A. No, we never received anything.
23 Q. And a third, similar question. Did the border police station at
24 the Vrbnica border crossing ever receive written or oral instructions from
25 your superiors within the Serbian MUP to take car registration plates from
1 persons of ethnic Albanian nationality leaving the Federal Republic of
3 A. No, we didn't receive a document like that.
4 Q. And you say you didn't receive a document like that. Did you ever
5 receive any oral orders to that effect?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, from the commencement of the NATO bombing
8 onwards, was the border crossing at Vrbnica ever mined with explosives?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you tell us what knowledge or information you have with
11 regards to that, what areas were mined, when, et cetera?
12 A. There are two exit lanes while exiting the country. The left lane
13 until the very bridge on the line of the border was mined and anti-tank
14 barricades were placed there and --
15 Q. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
16 A. And nothing else was mined in the border crossing area.
17 Q. Were there minefields on the road or the area leading to the
18 border crossing Vrbnica?
19 A. The Prizren border crossing road at the Zur intersection, until
20 the very line of the border or the border crossing, some 6 kilometres of
21 the left and the right side were mined off the lanes, next to the
23 Q. And how far is the crossing road at the Zur intersection from the
24 very line of the border at the border crossing?
25 A. Approximately 6 kilometres.
1 Q. Thank you. And how often would you travel that road during 1999?
2 A. I went every day from my house in Prizren to the border crossing,
3 every day.
4 Q. And were there any control check-points located either in the
5 border crossing area or the road leading to the border crossing area?
6 A. On the road, yes, but not at the border crossing itself.
7 Q. Were these control check-points operated by legitimate state
8 authorities; and if so, whom?
9 A. Yes. The check-points were at the town exit where the Army of
10 Yugoslavia was. The intersection at the Zur village was a joint
11 check-point of the army and the police.
12 Q. Thank you. And did the -- did the police have any role in placing
13 the mines at the border crossing and the region leading up to the border
15 A. No. As the immediate superior, I did not know that the roads
16 would be mined at the border crossing.
17 Q. During the war with NATO, that is, in 1999, how many policemen
18 were employed at the Vrbnica border crossing station during each work
19 shift and how many shifts were there?
20 A. According to the classification mentioned earlier, it was 100 per
21 cent. We worked in 12-48/12-48 [as interpreted] shifts, meaning 12 hours
22 of a day shift, 24 hours off; 12 hours night shift, 48 hours off. There
23 could be four or five policemen at the most at the night shift.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It was we worked
25 12-24/12-48 shifts.
1 MR. IVETIC:
2 Q. The -- with respect to the shift, the five -- four to five
3 policemen on each shift, what would their duties be? Would each of the
4 officers or policemen have the same duties or would they be somehow
6 A. They could not have the same duties. Somebody had to be at the
7 duty service, somebody had to secure the border crossing area, somebody
8 had to check the passengers. So practically the number of employees was
9 not sufficient, in view of the conditions that prevailed in that area at
10 the time.
11 Q. And if we recall that you identified that there was an area that
12 was mined, did anyone secure that area so that civilians would not enter
13 the mined area; and if so, whom?
14 A. Yes, the police officers did this from the border crossing. They
15 directed the columns in such a way that no one would step on a mine.
16 Q. And when you say that the police officers did this from the border
17 crossing, are you talking about the same four to five police officers or
18 policemen that would be on a given shift, a given time?
19 A. Yes. But they switched. It wasn't always the same person. They
20 would switch. Sometimes I myself also did that.
21 Q. Can you tell us when was the first time that a group of citizens
22 appeared at the Vrbnica border crossing intending to pass without the
23 possession of valid travel documents?
24 A. A group appeared on the 27th of March, 1999, at about 12.00.
25 Q. And with respect to this particular group that appeared on the
1 27th of March, 1999, can you tell us what ethnic nationality were these
2 persons, how many of them there were, and what approximate age group they
3 fell in?
4 A. About 97 men, women, and children were there. They came to the
5 border crossing area on tractors and some agricultural machinery.
6 Q. And insofar as they did not have valid paperwork or documentation,
7 what steps did you take towards these individuals?
8 A. We did not permit them to leave our country, but because they
9 insisted persistently, we took some measures in order to resolve this
11 Q. If you could tell indeed what measures you took to resolve this
13 A. I informed the border police administration at the seat of the
14 ministry in Belgrade by telephone, and I explained what it was all about,
15 after which I received an answer that I should try to dissuade the persons
16 from going to Albania. But the persons persistently refused, only wanting
17 to go to Albania and not to go back in any event. These were women and
18 children that we're talking about, so I came to the border and I got in
19 touch with the Albanian border authorities and I explained to them what it
20 was about.
21 Q. And were these persons eventually permitted to leave the country,
22 that is, to leave the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and enter into
23 Albania; and if so, how did that come about?
24 A. I had to get in touch with the Albanian border authorities three
25 times. During the third contact the president of the local joint
1 commission personally came out, Gzim Goci was his name, who told me that
2 all Albanians can cross into Albanian territory without any documents at
4 Q. And if we could just -- if we could just focus on this for a
5 moment. The president of the joint local commission, Gzim Goci, which
6 country's authorities did he represent?
7 A. He was the president of the local joint commission on the Albanian
8 side. I think that he had the rank of a general. I'm not sure, but I
9 think that that was his rank.
10 Q. And would that local joint commission on the Albanian side be an
11 organ of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or of the Republic of Albania?
12 A. It was an organ of the Republic of Albania.
13 Q. And this local joint commission, is that a body that functions at
14 all of the border crossings of Federal Yugoslavia with other
15 internationally recognised countries?
16 A. The local joint commission was tasked with resolving border
17 incidents on the entire territory, meaning that all the sectors had a
18 local joint commission on either side.
19 Q. And backing up a bit, you talked about the phone calls you had
20 with the administration of the border police in Belgrade. Do you recall
21 the office that you called or the person that you spoke with?
22 A. I called the chief of the section because this was not an ordinary
23 event. I called the chief of the police department at the administration,
24 told him, and I got his permission that if the Albanian border authorities
25 were willing to receive these people, they should be allowed to leave
1 after their particulars were taken, and this meant even taking a thumb --
2 an index finger-print from of-age persons. Since the majority of these
3 people were women and children, I only took the finger-prints of some four
4 or five men.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, we're at the 5.15 point. I believe
7 that's the point that the break is scheduled under the new -- under the
8 revised sitting.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ognjenovic, can you tell us when the mines
10 along the road to the Zur intersection were laid?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the date, but I
12 know when there was a danger of land NATO forces coming or crossing into
13 the SR -- the FRY.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 We need a break now. Could you, while we have the break, please
16 leave the courtroom with the usher, and we'll see you again at quarter to
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Sir, we left off talking about this group of 90-plus persons that
25 came to the Vrbnica border crossing on the 27th of March, 1999. Can I ask
1 you to look at 6D1497, a document from the Vrbnica border station. And
2 once that comes up, sir, I'll ask you to take a look at this and let me
3 know if indeed this incident that is being described here is, in fact, the
4 incident that you have been talking about.
5 A. Yes, this is the official note number 72, dated the 27th of March,
6 1999. There is another official note on account of this particular
7 incident, and you can see here what we did.
8 Q. With respect to these persons, this group, you indicated there
9 were four men whose finger-prints you took. Was it the four men -- strike
11 Did you know any of these persons personally prior to the
13 A. Yes, because I was born in Prizren. Everybody knows me there. I
14 even socialised with some of them in the field of sports, that is.
15 Q. And you talked about how you had tried to persuade them to go back
16 to their homes. Did they have occasion to tell you why they were leaving
17 their homes?
18 A. Several times I tried to dissuade them, I even beseeched them to
19 go back to their homes, but they were so persistent, I simply had to
20 relent. It was children, women, and elderly people.
21 Q. And if you could please enlighten us. What was the reason that
22 they gave for having to leave their homes? What were they afraid of?
23 A. They gave several reasons. They said that it was due to NATO
24 bombing, because of the danger, that there were positions of the Army of
25 Yugoslavia near their village, and then since they were afraid of NATO
1 bombing, there they were afraid and they felt that they would be safer in
2 Albania. That's what they stated.
3 Q. You said that they did not have passports. Was it the custom --
4 was it the regular procedure or was it the regular expectancy to have
5 women and children to have their own separate passports among the Kosovo
6 Albanian ethnic minority in Kosovo-Metohija in the time-period prior to
7 this occasion?
8 A. Invariably -- actually, could you please repeat your question. I
9 didn't quite understand it.
10 Q. Let me try and rephrase the question. I'm told the translation
11 wasn't -- let me try and simplify the question.
12 Did you expect the women and children to have passports of their
13 own right and accord, given your knowledge and experience of the area and
14 the experiences you've had up until that point working at -- working in
15 the position that you were working?
16 A. Not only while working in this position. These people are my
17 neighbours. I was born in Kosovo and Metohija, and I know that the
18 Albanian ethnic minority as of late, that is to say after 1990, they
19 started ignoring our state organs, they did not get personal IDs, and
20 there are some people who actually never got a personal ID any time in
21 their life, let alone another document. They refused everything that had
22 to do with the state. So this was a singular case. We never had a case
23 like that before.
24 Q. And at line 4, page 58, they did not get personal IDs, I believe
25 in Serbian they did not ask nor get personal IDs.
1 Mr. Ognjenovic, is that correct? Is my intervention correct in
2 terms of what you said in response to my question?
3 A. Yes, they themselves did not ask for these documents, and hence
4 they did not get them.
5 Q. Now, with respect to these men, some of them you say you
6 personally knew, did they give you any reason why they did not have valid
7 passports on them when they came to the border crossing or identification
9 A. When they arrived and when they made their statement, they stated
10 that their personal IDs were kept at the Prizren SUP.
11 Q. And after you let these persons pass, did you take any steps to
12 investigate that particular claim, that the personal ID -- personal ID
13 cards were retained at the Prizren SUP?
14 A. I called the duty service at the Prizren SUP, and I was told that
15 no documents had been detained or retained or handed over to the duty
16 service of Prizren.
17 Q. Thank you. And I believe you had already identified that the
18 reason for letting these persons cross the border was humanitarian in
19 nature. Had there ever been similar situations previously to your
20 knowledge on the territory of the former SFRY where, for humanitarian
21 reasons, the rules were of such to permit persons to cross?
22 A. Yes. The example of the refugees from Bosnia, Croatia, Romania.
23 Q. Thank you. Now --
24 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry, I have just a question. What was the
25 use of the ID cards, identity cards?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand this question.
2 Could you please repeat it.
3 JUDGE CHOWHAN: The citizens were required to have identification
4 cards. Now, you are telling us that these people did not go for
5 identification cards and their story about having left them at -- at that
6 place with the SUP was not accepted. Now, how did they carry on then
7 their day-to-day business without the cards? I mean, that is why I have
8 asked that question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say that everyone did not
10 go out to obtain a card. Only individuals did not. When they really
11 needed something, then they would get these documents; otherwise, women in
12 particular almost never went to get personal IDs, whereas men who went out
13 to work did have identity cards and passports. Women, very few,
14 especially in the villages.
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
16 MR. IVETIC:
17 Q. Now, in answer to one of my previous questions you already
18 confirmed that you never received any orders of any kind to take ID cards,
19 travel documents, or car registration plates. Did, in fact, this
20 situation occur, did the police take such items from persons at the
21 Vrbnica border crossing in 1999?
22 A. I was at the border crossing every day. I did not notice and I
23 did not see -- had I noticed, I certainly would have taken measures
24 against that policeman, I mean a policeman who would do that.
25 Q. And as a practical matter, do you believe you had the manpower to
1 accomplish such a task, given the number of persons that were crossing the
2 border on a daily basis?
3 A. I certainly didn't have enough people.
4 Q. And when you spoke with the persons of Albanian ethnicity at the
5 border, was this in Serbian or in their own language?
6 A. It was in their language. I speak excellent Albanian.
7 Q. Do you have knowledge of persons of other national or ethnic
8 groups that were leaving their homes in addition to Albanians within the
9 Prizren area of Kosovo and Metohija?
10 A. I do have such knowledge, and I saw members of the Turkish
11 national minority going to Turkey and Serbs were going to Serbia, my own
12 family included. I had to evacuate them from the house where I was born.
13 Q. And when and why did you evacuate your own family from the
14 familial home where you were born?
15 A. Well, I lived in the country, in the vicinity of my village there
16 were quite a few members of the KLA. In my village there were 10.000
17 Albanians and only about 20 Serbs. Because of possible clashes between
18 members of the KLA and our security organs, I was compelled to evacuate my
19 family, I had to.
20 Q. And do you know the fate of some of your ethnic Albanian friends
21 and neighbours in this regard, did they leave; and if so, do you know
22 reasons for which they left their homes?
23 A. Yes, I have quite a few examples of my neighbours who left their
24 homes, against their own will.
25 Q. Can you give us some concrete examples of some of your friends and
1 neighbours of ethnic Albanian background and the circumstances regarding
2 their departure from their homes?
3 A. I can. I know the names, but for the sake of their own safety and
4 security I don't know if I should give their names because they are still
5 in Kosovo.
6 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, for the safety of the third parties
7 that still live in Kosovo whom the witness has knowledge of, I would ask
8 that we go into closed session to deal with that part of the examination.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Private session will be enough for that.
10 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. Private session.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 22871 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
14 MR. IVETIC:
15 Q. Can you tell us of any specific acts undertaken by the Serbian
16 police at the Vrbnica border crossing station to help and assist persons
17 of ethnic Albanian ethnicity during 1999, and specifically during the
18 time-period of the NATO bombings?
19 A. Yes. We helped the sickly and frail. We gave them the little
20 food we had for ourselves, that is to say the packed lunches that we had.
21 Since the weather was warm, there was water running 24 hours a day so that
22 they could wash up, freshen themselves, and so on.
23 I have an example, when the village of Korisa was bombed, a
24 husband and a wife from the area of Djakovica who had been wounded came
25 there and they wanted to cross over to Albania, and I said that I should
1 call an ambulance so that we provide medical assistance to them. They
2 said that they didn't want to because they said that at the Albanian
3 border crossing there was an ambulance waiting for them, that they had
4 already agreed upon all of that with people from Albania.
5 Q. And just for purposes of clarification, you say when the village
6 of Korisa was bombed. What was your information about who undertook that
7 act of bombing?
8 A. I don't know who it was, but I believe that it was the NATO
10 Q. Do you recall any incidents at the Vrbnica border crossing where
11 persons died or suffered serious injury?
12 A. I remember very well. I remember a family from the outskirts of
13 Pristina who had a Lada type vehicle, and they disregarded the
14 instructions that the policemen gave them not to take the left lane and
15 they came across a land-mine and five members of his family got killed in
16 that car. Three days later I called the same person to cross the border
17 and to collect his wife's body that was in the chapel in Prizren. He came
18 to see me at my office and he said, I cannot go to Prizren. Let them bury
19 her wherever they want.
20 Q. If we could take this one step at a time. At page 65, line 2 of
21 the transcript you are recorded as saying: "Three days later you called
22 the same person to cross the border ..."
23 Is that, in fact, what you said?
24 A. Yes, because he was already in Kukes. That is the first inhabited
25 town on the other side of the Albanian border.
1 Q. And do you recall the name of this individual and any of his
2 family members who perished when he drove across the mine?
3 A. I had an official note compiled about that. I know Ibish was his
4 name and he was from the village of Vragolije from the area surrounding
5 Pristina. I don't remember any other details. I know that his wife got
6 killed, his mother, his son, and his daughter, as far as I can remember.
7 He's the only one who survived unharmed and another child was seriously
9 Q. And if I can ask you, was, in fact, the border crossing mined
10 before the commencement of the NATO air-strikes?
11 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated] -- a leading question --
12 well, it's too late to object that.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the question was asked earlier by me.
14 MR. IVETIC: I thought so as well, but I don't recall the answer
15 off the top of my head.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the answer, Mr. Ognjenovic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't mined before the NATO
19 MR. IVETIC: If we can --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Hardly leading in the circumstances, Mr. Stamp.
21 But it's a different answer from the one that was given earlier.
22 MR. IVETIC: As I said, I don't have in front of me the ability to
23 scroll the transcript, but in any event I can perhaps get back to that if
24 I feel that it's necessary.
25 Q. Did you have occasion to receive any notifications or
1 announcements from the MUP staff in Pristina during 1999?
2 A. Yes, I probably did.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The previous answer is on page 55 at line 19 --
4 sorry, line 20 when the witness said: "I don't remember the date, but I
5 know when there was a danger of land NATO forces coming or crossing into
6 the FRY." Now, that's a very broad answer, but I took it as being at the
7 time that they were first aware of that; obviously, that was the wrong
8 inference to draw from the answer.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. If we can -- I forget if I asked this before. Did you have
11 occasion -- prior to the NATO bombings, did you have occasion to interact
12 at all with members of the OSCE-KVM mission; and if so, could you describe
13 those contacts for us?
14 A. Representatives of the OSCE came on only one occasion to my border
15 crossing, they came to my office, we talked, they stayed for about half an
16 hour, and then they returned to -- in the direction of Prizren. They
17 wanted to know about the situation in the neighbouring villages which were
18 along the borderline, and I told them that that was not under my
19 jurisdiction, I was not informed about that, that they should go to the
20 SUP in Prizren and ask them there.
21 Q. All right. Now, are you familiar with an individual by the name
22 of Hysni Kryeziu, K-r-y-e-z-i-u?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How do you know this individual?
25 A. It's my neighbour.
1 Q. Now, Mr. -- do you know a Haki Cuni who would have been 65 years
2 of age in 1999?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How do you know that individual?
5 A. He was also my neighbour.
6 Q. Can you tell us anything you know about the circumstances
7 surrounding the 1999 death of Haki Cuni for whom Hysni Kryeziu testified
8 here that the same was killed by the Serbian police?
9 A. I know that Haki Cuni from the village of Dusanovo is still alive
10 and living in his village.
11 Q. And how do you know that?
12 A. I found out from a friend who came to Belgrade about a month ago
13 and he told me about this person, that he was alive.
14 Q. Would you be able to identify this person? First of all, was
15 he -- this person who told you about this, was he an ethnic Albanian and
16 where is he from?
17 A. Yes, from Dusanovo as well.
18 MR. STAMP: Could counsel assist us by pointing out the -- by
19 citing where the evidence is from Hysni Kryeziu in respect to --
20 MR. IVETIC: Sure, that's the 92 ter statement of Hysni Kryeziu,
21 P2514. And this particular incident in the -- and this particular
22 incident is on page 2. One moment. Pardon me, page 3, paragraph 3, on
23 that page about the Haki Cuni killing. In e-court it's page 9 in the
24 English the third paragraph -- the second full paragraph, but the third
25 breaking on that page since that OTP statement did not have paragraph
1 numbers I'm afraid.
2 Q. With respect to the individual from your village who told you
3 about the fact that Mr. --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Ivetic.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, please continue, Mr. Ivetic.
7 MR. STAMP: Before we do.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry.
9 MR. STAMP: A matter for the record, the name spelled in the
10 statement as indicated by my friend is spelled C with a -- C-u-n-i with an
11 accent on the C and it really reads that: "Haki Cuni, 65-years-old, was
12 taken out of his house into a van. I saw him taken away on the police van
13 and I later learned that he had been killed. I don't know any other
14 details about this incident or the reason why they took him."
15 So I don't think what my friend said about the witness Kreyziu
16 said is accurate.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's certainly something you can
18 cross-examine on and it's something you can in due course also address us
20 So please continue, Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. I'm sorry, we still haven't discussed this matter, sir. The
23 individual from your home individual, the ethnic Albanian who came to
24 Belgrade and who confirmed that Mr. Cuni is still alive, would you be able
25 to give us that individual's name?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. IVETIC: Perhaps, Your Honours, we should go into private
3 session for the name of this -- of this person for purposes of safety of
4 third persons not before this Chamber who still reside in Kosovo and
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there some reason why he should be at risk?
7 There's been a clear indication of a reason in each case so far, but in
8 this one is there a reason?
9 MR. IVETIC: Well, I can ask the witness.
10 Q. Sir, is there any reason why you would not want to identify this
11 individual in open court?
12 A. Perhaps the person could have problems where he lives.
13 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, in light of the turbulent
14 situation down on the ground in Kosovo and Metohija according to the news
15 reports, I would rather err on the side of the caution, especially where
16 the safety of an individual is concerned.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I generally would agree with you, but at the moment
18 I really don't see what the point in issue is in this instance. Is this
19 not an Albanian living in Albania who on the face of it --
20 MR. IVETIC: Albanian living in Kosovo and Metohija --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, in Kosovo, yes, but who on the face of it
22 has no reason to fear repercussions for simply claiming that someone is
23 actually alive? There's -- we -- there's no point in us wasting time on
24 this. Let's go into private session, but generally speaking we are
25 resistant to that unless there's a reason for it. And --
1 MR. IVETIC: Prosecution witnesses had us go into private session
2 to discuss the names of persons who actually came and testified later to
3 say the matters that they said were not true.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And we hope we've learned from that experience,
5 Mr. Ivetic, and it would be a sad Trial Chamber that didn't try to improve
6 as the trial progressed; however, we will grant your wish on this occasion
7 with reservation.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 22880 redacted. Private session
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
2 MR. IVETIC:
3 Q. Did there come to be a time at the Vrbnica border post crossing
4 and police station when ethnic Albanians or any persons, actually,
5 crossing the border would discard documents, personal documents; and if
6 so, could you tell us the circumstances behind the same?
7 A. When it came to the actual border crossing area, since the column
8 was about some 20 kilometres away from the border crossing, they probably
9 communicated amongst themselves, and whoever came to the border crossing,
10 whatever documents they had with them, they would throw them away. Some
11 people had IDs, some had passports. Some kept their passports, but the ID
12 cards were discarded by everyone.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat that last sentence.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the column was very long,
15 sometimes people would wait even for ten days to be able to cross. They
16 were tired, they were hungry. We didn't have the option of trying to
17 dissuade them from leaving. A couple of times we even lowered the ramp,
18 but this is not something that can be described, it's only something that
19 a person has to live through. They all had the desire to leave the
20 territory of Serbia. They would state different reasons, mostly the NATO
21 bombing and the conflicts between the KLA and members of our army,
22 although there were other reasons too. Some of them said that they had
23 relatives there and it would be easier for them to receive political
24 asylum without documents in one of the western countries. That is also
25 one of the reasons they would give.
1 MR. IVETIC:
2 Q. If we could go back just a little bit. The interpreters could not
3 hear one of your answers. I will -- it's impossible to ask you to repeat
4 the whole thing. Let me try and direct your attention to it, and because
5 I believe there's also an error in the transcript at line 22. Was it ID
6 cards or passports that were being discarded by these persons as they
7 crossed the region of the border crossing?
8 A. ID cards and passports by individuals. Most of the passports were
9 red passports which had expired. They just wanted to show others around
10 them that they had hated the Republic of Serbia and they would throw them
11 away. We just watched this without saying anything.
12 Q. I think the -- at line 19 the "by individuals" relates to the
13 passports, but we can have CLSS verify that translation.
14 Do you have any idea of the percentage of those crossing the
15 border who discarded their documents, their ID cards in this manner --
16 pardon me. Strike that.
17 Do you have any idea of the percentage of those crossing the
18 border who discarded their passports in this manner, the red expired SFRY
20 A. I don't know the percentage, but about 1 per cent of those who
21 left were persons of age.
22 Q. And with respect --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That doesn't sound correct, Mr. Ivetic. Let's go
24 back a little.
25 What documents were being discarded?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the documents that were issued
2 by the SUP, all the documents by the Serb organs were discarded, driver's
3 licences, traffic licences, personal IDs, passports, and even licence
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The overall result of the answers you've given so
6 far indicates that there were some documents that people were inclined to
7 retain. Did you mention any documents that people were inclined to retain
8 rather than discard?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: What documents were they?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Passports, travel papers.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You also mentioned the discarding of certain
13 passports; is that correct?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Which passports were they -- were those?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were our red passports with
17 "SFRY" on the cover. These were replaced by new blue passports. So these
18 red ones were discarded, the ones that had already expired. This was not
19 something that happened in each case, but it was something that we did
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Over to you, Mr. Ivetic. If you want to check
22 percentages, it's a matter for you. That's too complicated for me.
23 MR. IVETIC:
24 Q. With respect to the ID cards that would be discarded, what did --
25 that were being discarded, what did the employees of the border crossing
1 at Vrbnica do with respect to the same?
2 A. We collected all the documents and placed them in a room, driver's
3 licences, car papers were something that we gave to the Prizren SUP, the
4 traffic police stations. Licence plates found in the border crossing area
5 were returned to the SUP Prizren, the vehicle registration department.
6 Since there was a large number of personal ID cards, we were unable to
7 sort them by place of issue. They remained in a room at the building at
8 the border post. Perhaps there was a full bag or sack of these left
9 behind after we had left the border post building.
10 Q. The documents that were returned to the SUPs, was that in
11 accordance with standing law on such documents when found or discarded?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And with respect to the red SFRY passports that you had described,
14 were these passports valid for exit of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
15 in 1999?
16 A. They were not valid for exit because new passports had been
17 issued, but if they were still valid the persons could return to the
18 country from abroad, they could come back to their country. But they
19 could not use them to leave the FRY.
20 Q. Did the members of the border police station at Vrbnica undertake
21 to do physical searches of the persons who were crossing the border in
23 A. No, they did not because there was no theoretical chance of doing
24 that. There were many people there. I mentioned that the column was 20
25 kilometres long, women, children, tractors, buses, trucks, there was no
1 time for anything like that.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ognjenovic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Just a couple questions with
9 your leave.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Ognjenovic, I'm Djuro Cepic and
12 I represent the Defence of General Lazarevic. I just have a few questions
13 for you. You mentioned two check-points, one mixed check-point near the
14 village of Zur and the other one at the exit from Prizren that was just a
15 check-point of the Army of Yugoslavia. I'm interested in the one by
16 Prizren. You said that you often travelled from Vrbnica to Prizren. Were
17 you ever stopped at that check-point?
18 A. No, no, I wasn't, not me.
19 Q. Thank you, sir. Would you tell me about this road from the
20 Vrbnica border crossing to the town of Prizren. You said that its length
21 is -- that 6 kilometres of that road had been mined. I would be
22 interested in the following. As you moved along, did you perhaps see
23 soldiers of the VJ warning civilians not to go off that road because there
24 were mines there? We heard General Bozidar Delic testifying about that
25 here. I don't know if you have any personal knowledge?
1 A. I saw policemen, I mean soldiers, but I did not hear what it was
2 that they were saying. But I did see them every time I went by. Now,
3 what it was that they were saying, I didn't hear that so I don't know.
4 Q. Thank you. You mentioned this bridge at the very border. You
5 mentioned the mining and the obstacles. Do you know that half of that
6 bridge is actually on our side of the border?
7 A. Yes, of course I know. The borderline is halfway along the
8 bridge, there's a red line.
9 Q. Thank you. And my last question, Mr. Ognjenovic. You mentioned
10 the reasons why people were leaving Kosovo and you pointed out that to the
11 best of your knowledge one of the reasons was that there was a danger of
12 NATO bombing the positions of the Army of Yugoslavia that were near the
13 villages which would jeopardize the population. My question: Did anyone
14 tell you maybe that members of the Army of Yugoslavia had forced them out
15 of their homes?
16 A. No one said that to me and they probably would have told me
17 because everybody knows me. They certainly would have told me.
18 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ognjenovic. No questions for you. Thank
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Ognjenovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
23 Mr. Stamp.
24 Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
2 Q. Mr. Ognjenovic, this column that was 20 kilometres long, when are
3 you speaking about? Do you remember the date?
4 A. I remember.
5 Q. And what was the date?
6 A. I don't know the exact date, but from the 24th when the first
7 group left up until the 10th of June. Sometimes there was a 5- or
8 10-kilometre long column, sometimes even 20 kilometres long. It depends.
9 Albanian border organs were there. There would be a bottleneck there in
10 the traffic, people simply couldn't get through and that is why there was
11 a long column.
12 Q. Yes, I just want to know if the evidence you gave about people
13 throwing away their documents and car licences and so, was this something
14 that occurred on one day with this column of 20 kilometres or was it
15 something that occurred on more than one day?
16 A. That occurred several times, but I am not claiming that everyone
17 discarded them. Most of them said that they don't have them, that
18 somebody kept their documents, that they forgot them at home. That is why
19 I said 1 to 2 per cent of the total number, so I'm trying to say it's not
20 everybody. They came up with all sorts of excuses for that.
21 Q. So people -- or let me ask you this: Approximately how many
22 people went through your border crossing to Albania during the period of
23 the NATO intervention?
24 A. According to my records, about 430.000 persons. The record day
25 was the 29th of March, 100.000 in one day.
1 Q. Now, the -- you saw them disposing of their ID cards, this 2 per
2 cent that you speak of, you actually witnessed this?
3 A. Sometimes I did see that, but we found these ID cards. It's not
4 that we were standing there when they were passing. I mean, it wasn't a
5 regular border crossing. This was extraordinary traffic of passengers.
6 It was not regular traffic, and there wasn't document control or any other
7 kind of control, any other kind of checks. It was impossible. Children,
8 women, full tractors, it was impossible to check everyone. There weren't
9 regular checks. They threw this away and they would pass by. Nobody
10 checked them. From the 25th of March onwards -- I mean, the 27th of
11 March, that's when the first group came, and no one checked anyone
12 anymore. We were not checking these persons who were leaving the
13 territory of Serbia on their own at the Vrbnica border crossing. No one
14 checked them.
15 Q. And what became of those documents that the people threw away?
16 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I believe that's been asked and
17 answered. I think he went into some detail with that in the direct,
18 unless there's a specific type of document that we didn't cover. I
19 thought we covered that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, what's to prevent cross-examination on
21 something you've covered?
22 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. What became of those documents you collected?
25 A. I've already said, everything that we collected in the area of the
1 border crossing, the driver's licences and the traffic -- to Prizren and
2 then the licence plates to the automobile association in Prizren. The
3 personal IDs remained in one room at the border crossing.
4 Q. Well, did you leave them there? Did you leave the personal IDs
6 A. After we withdrew, these personal IDs remained in that room. I
7 assert that.
8 Q. Were these personal IDs government property?
9 A. These personal IDs are issued by the secretariat of the interior
10 at the place of residence of the said persons.
11 Q. Were they government property?
12 A. They are just issued by the state. This is a personal document of
13 each and every individual.
14 Q. Well, did you keep a record of how many ID cards you collected
16 A. No. It was not technically possible to do any such thing.
17 Q. Well, you picked them up, put them in a bag, and put them in a
18 room. And am I to understand that after you did that you never had
19 opportunity to check and make a record of those IDs that you collected?
20 A. I said a few minutes ago that there was a sack full. We tried to
21 categorize them by the secretariats that had issued them at first, but
22 afterwards it became impossible. We just left it there, and when we
23 withdrew from the station that stayed behind in that room. As for the
24 driver's licences and the traffic licences, there were less of those, and
25 we collected them and returned them to the authority that had issued them.
1 Q. That included the licence plates on motor vehicles. You picked up
2 those as well and returned them. Is that your evidence?
3 A. Yes, yes. We returned that too to the secretariat of the interior
4 in Prizren, to the department for registration, the automobile
5 association, that is where all the licence plates were left.
6 Q. So did -- the vehicles that passed through without licence plates,
7 that passed through your border post without licence plates, did you see
8 the occupants of these vehicles, did you actually witness them taking off
9 their licence plates and throwing them away?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Then as a police officer it didn't occur to you that maybe these
12 vehicles were, therefore, stolen?
13 A. There were such cases as well when that was our suspicion, that
14 there were stolen vehicles. We would confiscate such vehicles with a
15 proper document. If a vehicle would come with a broken door or a broken
16 window, then we would keep such vehicles. We confiscated five such
17 vehicles and handed them over to the secretariat of the interior in
18 Prizren when there were suspicions that this was the result of a crime.
19 Q. Yes, but didn't you find it suspicious that somebody should be
20 driving a motor vehicle in columns across the border out of the country
21 and wanted to throw away the documents that identify the motor vehicle?
22 Didn't that raise your suspicions about these vehicles?
23 A. When I saw people taking off their licence plates, I would make
24 them put them back where they belonged, and there are others who I did not
25 see during the night. I mean, nobody could see them. They would just
1 throw away these licence plates. When we would see this happen, then we
2 would warn these people and then these people would return the licence
3 plates onto their vehicles.
4 Q. Oh, I see. Why I was asking you these questions is that you've
5 told us earlier that you just watched them doing it and did nothing; now
6 you are saying that you did something, you told them to put it back?
7 A. I've already said that those people who I saw doing that, I told
8 them to return it. As for those who I did not see, they discarded their
9 licence plates and they went by. I didn't see them. I mean, there
10 weren't regular checks anymore at the exit point from the country.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Stamp, can you find a suitable opportunity
12 to interrupt?
13 MR. STAMP: This is it.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ognjenovic, we have to terminate our sitting
15 for today and resume tomorrow. That means that you will require to return
16 to complete your evidence tomorrow; that will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning
17 in this courtroom. Meanwhile, it is essential that you have no
18 communication whatsoever with anyone, anyone at all, about the evidence in
19 this case. You can talk about any other subject, but absolutely off
20 limits for any communication is any aspect of the evidence in this case.
21 Now would you please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll
22 see you again at 9.00 tomorrow.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day of
1 February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.