1 Thursday, 21 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone.
6 Mr. Ivetic, yesterday we instructed you to upload into e-court the
7 document that also has the number IC189. In the circumstances where there
8 is no B/C/S version of that document, it's unnecessary, I think, for it to
9 be uploaded into e-court and it's sufficient that it has an IC number.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Ognjenovic.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The cross-examination by Mr. Stamp will continue in
14 a moment. Please remember that the solemn declaration to speak the truth
15 which you made at the outset of your evidence continues to apply to that
16 evidence today.
17 Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 WITNESS: NEBOJSA OGNJENOVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning, sir.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Under the then-existing law, the law on personal identification
25 cards in Serbia at the time, persons above the age of 14 years old were
1 obliged to have in their possession an identification card; that's your
3 A. As far as I remember, I believe it was after 16 years of age that
4 it was obligatory, but you could get it earlier if you wanted it. I'm not
5 quite sure, but I think that's the way it was.
6 Q. Yes. I think if maybe I could remind you of until the 31st of
7 April it was 16 years old and then thereafter the president,
8 Mr. Milutinovic, passed a decree lowering the age to 14. Is that your
10 A. Possibly.
11 Q. Okay. And wasn't that law to be strictly adhered to, at least
12 enforced, particularly in Kosovo and Metohija because of the conditions
14 A. Yes, certainly. We enforced it. I just can't remember it exactly
15 at this moment, but I'm sure we did it. I can't remember the age limit
16 precisely at this moment.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
19 MR. IVETIC: With respect to this line of questioning, I think it
20 needs to be taken into account that the witness testified that documents
21 are issued by the SUPs and that he actually was a member of the border
22 police and not the entity that would have been issuing ID cards. So I
23 think that Mr. Stamp is really asking for speculation.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Two things I think in response to that,
25 Mr. Ivetic. One is that it can be covered in re-examination; and
1 secondly, it's not self-evident that the proposition you've stated is
2 right, that the witness would have absolutely no involvement in this
3 matter, bearing in mind the significance of proof of identity to cross a
4 border in normal circumstances.
5 So please continue, Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. When on the 27th these persons showed up without ID cards, did
8 they not tell you, all of them tell you, that their ID cards had been
9 seized by the Prizren police?
10 A. I said these people came to the border crossing. I didn't ask for
11 their IDs, because an ID is not a document that enables you to cross a
12 border. I asked for a passport from people over age. There were many
13 women and children and there were very few men over 18. I talked to them
14 and they told me that their documents were held from them at SUP Prizren.
15 It was my -- not my duty to ask them for IDs. I was interested in seeing
16 whether they had valid travel documents, whether they meet the
17 requirements for crossing the state border or not. After that I checked
18 with the SUP Prizren and they said that none of their documents were being
19 held there, which means they probably deceived me by saying that their
20 documents were being held there. But maybe that's not true.
21 Q. When did you check with SUP Prizren?
22 A. After they left. I again checked whether any IDs were held at the
23 duty service of SUP Prizren and I got a negative answer, that nobody's
24 documents were held there. Because at that time there were no column of
25 refugees, those were among the first persons who came to the border
1 crossing intending to leave Serbia.
2 Q. But you are now telling me now that you checked whether the IDs
3 were held at the duty service at SUP Prizren? I thought that you were not
4 interested in IDs, you were interested in travel documents.
5 A. I wasn't checking IDs. I just asked if any personal documents
6 were held at SUP Prizren. I didn't ask specifically about IDs or travel
7 documents. I asked in general whether any personal documents were held by
8 SUP Prizren for their territory. I didn't ask specifically for IDs or
9 travel documents. I just asked if any personal documents were being held
11 Q. You have said --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not clear who that answer refers to.
13 Who did you ask in general whether any personal documents were
14 held by SUP Prizren?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I asked the employee at the duty
16 service of the secretariat of internal affairs in Prizren.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not the question Mr. Stamp was asking you.
18 He was asking you how this arose, this issue, because you weren't
19 interested in ID cards at the border.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said in my reply that I asked them
21 for travel documents, a valid document allowing you to cross a state
22 border. These persons stated that they had no documents at all. To my
23 question: Where are your documents, they said they were being held at SUP
24 Prizren. Then I inquired whether any documents were held at the duty
25 service of SUP Prizren, whether they were found lying around taken from
1 anyone for any reason at all whether any documents were held at SUP
2 Prizren. Because if they were found on their territory they would first
3 arrive at SUP Prizren before being passed on to other services.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. That answer again, I don't wish to belabour this, can you just
8 give me one answer. You seem now to be saying while the people were there
9 you checked SUP Prizren to see if their documents were held. I wanted to
10 know earlier and I asked you when did you check and you said after they
11 had left. So I will ask you again. When did you check to see if SUP
12 Prizren had the identifications of these -- the documents of these people?
13 A. I wrote an official note about that incident. Those persons came
14 to the border crossing at 12.30 and they left the territory of the Federal
15 Republic of Yugoslavia at 1430. So for two or two and a half hours we
16 were in contact with Albanian state authorities because of their
17 attempt --
18 Q. [Previous translation continues]... SUP Prizren?
19 Mr. Ivetic: Let him answer the question, Your Honour. He's
20 answering the question that counsel asked him specifically. I think that
21 counsel is starting really to step the line as to what is proper cross and
22 what is just interrupting the witness and trying to disrupt the record of
23 these proceedings.
24 MR. STAMP: I asked the witness a simple question, when did he
25 check with SUP Prizren.
1 Mr. Ivetic: And that's what he's answering. If you listen,
2 that's what he's starting to answer.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Witness, I want to --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Stamp, until we allow Mr. Ivetic
6 a moment to calm down.
7 The witness does appear to be getting to the answer at the stage
8 where you interrupted.
9 So can you deal with that question again, please, Mr. Ognjenovic.
10 When did you check to see if SUP Prizren had the identification documents
11 of these people? You should be able to tell us that in a fairly short
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An hour after they left the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP:
18 Q. I take it you are aware that these people -- well, withdrawn,
19 question withdrawn.
20 Let's have a look at P3086. Is it up -- yes.
21 Is this an official note that you compiled on the 27th of March,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And were you shown this document or told about this document since
25 you came here?
1 A. It's my document, I wrote it, and I have it with me. I know it.
2 It's my document.
3 Q. Could you just read the second paragraph there where it speaks
4 about 1230 hours on the 27th of March, 1999.
5 A. "At 1230 hours on 27 March 1999, at the border crossing of
6 Vrbnica, a group of Albanians turned up wanting to cross the
7 Yugoslav-Albanian border without travel documents, ID cards, or any other
8 documents. They stated that their ID cards have been taken from them and
9 kept at the Prizren SUP."
10 Q. Well, firstly, you will note, sir, that you do not record in this
11 document that four men said their ID cards were taken; the document seems
12 to indicate that you are saying that all of them told you that their
13 documents had been taken. Isn't that a fair assessment of what is written
14 here, that they told you, that is, the Albanians who turned up, that their
15 documents had been seized?
16 A. Yes. An official note is normally made after the fact, after an
17 event. It is a record that gives a general account of what happened. By
18 telephone I informed the concerned people of what was going on in the
19 meantime. Most of those people I knew because those were mainly people I
20 knew personally and played sports with them.
21 Q. Yes, yes, yes --
22 A. There were very few men who were driving tractors, et cetera.
23 The rest were all women and children.
24 Q. What I want to ask you and what I ask you firstly about this
25 document is that from this record that you made, is it still your
1 testimony that four men said that they did not have travel documents -- or
2 four men say that their travel documents had been seized or that all of
3 them said that their documents had been seized? Looking at the record
4 that you made.
5 A. I couldn't talk with all the hundred people. Those who knew me
6 came to see me personally. I talked to them, interviewed them, asked for
7 their travel documents. I wasn't able to talk to every woman and child
8 there. Later on when I wrote that official note, I wrote that they had no
9 documents at all. When talking to them, I asked them only about travel
10 documents; but later, when I wrote the official note, I formulated it as
11 no documents at all because most of them --
12 Q. Very well. Now, those that you spoke to told you that their
13 travel documents had been seized by the Prizren SUP?
14 A. He didn't say they were taken away from them. He said they were
15 kept there -- maybe they were lying to me, maybe nobody stopped them on
16 the road at all, maybe they just wanted to get out as soon as possible. I
17 didn't search any of them, anyone, not women and not children, and the
18 children were small, 3 or 5 years old. You don't expect me to ask them
19 for ID, do you?
20 Q. How many of them told you that the Prizren SUP had seized their
21 documents? How many told you that?
22 A. Those who talked to me. I'll give you a number. The two who
23 played football with me, who came to see me in my office. I sat with them
24 for an hour talking. They told me on behalf of everyone else. I didn't
25 talk to everyone. I couldn't talk to everyone and I wasn't interested in
2 Q. Now, ten minutes after they arrived there, that's at 1240 -- or
3 perhaps I could ask you, please read the second or the third paragraph of
4 this note that you made: "At 1240 hours ..."
5 A. "At 1240, SUP Prizren and the MUP of the Republic of Serbia - the
6 administration of border police - were informed by telephone. Approval
7 was received to allow the aforesaid persons to leave for Albania."
8 Q. Now, when you spoke to the SUP, the Prizren SUP at 1240, did you
9 inform them or inquire about these identification or these documents which
10 these persons that you played football with were sitting in your office
11 for over an hour told you had been seized by the police?
12 A. At the secretariat of internal affairs in Prizren, there is a
13 department of border police. They have a direct line to the border. I
14 informed them, because they are the competent secretariat on that
15 territory, and this matter concerned citizens of Prizren, I informed them
16 that I have in my office persons who want to cross the border without any
17 travel documents. I wasn't interested in IDs or anything else. They had
18 no travel documents. Later on in that official note I covered all sorts
19 of documents, all types; but at that moment when I was talking to them I
20 was only interested in travel documents, because travel documents such as
21 passport are the only legal type of document allowing you to cross the
22 state border.
23 Q. Sir, the question is: While these people were in your office for
24 over an hour, according to you, these people --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp --
1 MR. STAMP: Sorry.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: -- just give us a moment, please.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, Mr. Stamp, please continue.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. Just to get back to the context. These persons were in breach of
7 the law on identifications. These persons were people that you knew well,
8 they were sitting in your office for over an hour. Many of them, you
9 said, were women and children in a distressed condition. You had to spend
10 hours. You said it took you three visits or three contacts with the
11 general on the Albanian side while they waited at the border post to get
12 them to cross. Why is it when these people were sitting in your office
13 did you not inquire of the Prizren SUP about the travel documents?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the way the question is phrased, just to
16 get back into context, if counsel wants to have the full context, he must
17 state the full context. He must take into account also the testimony
18 yesterday that a majority of the Kosovo Albanians, especially women and
19 children, did not possess passports and only males did that. That's the
20 testimony that was on the record yesterday, and if counsel's question is
21 going to say let's get into the context, we need the full context instead
22 of having counsel take things out of context.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Look, though, Mr. Ivetic, at the question. The
24 question is at the end.
25 MR. IVETIC: I agree, but it comes with that caveat, let's get
1 things into context. If we're going to use caveats like that, they must
2 mean something, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed, but the question doesn't require the
4 proposition that you've just suggested has to be added into this
5 narrative. Indeed, one has to ask the question from here why this
6 particular question doesn't just consist of the last two lines.
7 But, Mr. Stamp, please -- you may continue with that.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. Why is it you did not while these people were at the border post
10 inquire of your colleagues at the SUP Prizren about the documents which
11 these people told you were seized by SUP Prizren?
12 A. As they arrived at the border crossing, they came to my office and
13 said that they had no documents; then I dialled the number. I cannot
14 cover all that in the official note. It's -- the official note is just a
15 general outline. I had to call on the phone and find out what exactly is
16 the procedure because it was the first time that people wanted to go to
17 Albania. So I asked in Belgrade what to do about these Siptars who wanted
18 to go to Albania. They told me, You have your own administration, see
19 what to do with them. So I was told to concentrate on my administration,
20 the only one that's competent for border affairs. That's when I told them
21 they had no documents. That's the administration of border affairs at the
22 SUP Prizren. I didn't ask the duty service immediately. I contacted the
23 duty service only after they had left. Those are two different services
24 in the SUP, the one I called, the border police department and the duty
25 service. Those are not the same crews.
1 Q. Well, I understand that, but -- and the question really is: Why
2 is it you didn't inquire of the duty service or the relevant people in SUP
3 Prizren about the documents which these people claimed had been seized by
4 SUP Prizren?
5 A. Well, perhaps it was my omission, that I didn't do it right away.
6 I asked later. It was a surprise for all of us for these people to appear
8 Q. Do you know of any valid reason that the police in Prizren could
9 have had to seize these people's travel documents or these people's
10 personal documentation?
11 A. There was no reason, and I don't believe that anyone seized the
12 documents. They just told me that in order to leave our territory as soon
13 as possible. Probably no one stopped them or checked them on the road, I
14 am sure of that.
15 Q. If we look at the fourth paragraph of your record you say that: "A
16 total of 94 people, women and elderly, crossed over. We took their
17 personal details as they stated them and finger-printed them all."
18 Is that a correct record of what you did?
19 A. That's how it was. I took it for me, it was not an official
20 action, just so that I could later have a list of who left the country. I
21 took their finger-print and their names so that I knew who were the people
22 who left, so that I had a document for myself of the persons who left the
23 territory. It was the first case of people leaving our territory. It
24 means that it was not an official action. I did that just for me.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: One moment, Mr. Stamp.
1 Mr. Zecevic.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, a part of the answer that the witness
3 gave was not entered into the transcript. He said he took the
4 finger-prints of the people who were of age, that he assumed should have
5 had the travel documents.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Ognjenovic, where is the list of the names of these people and
8 where are their finger-print records?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The documents were in my office,
10 with me.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Where are they now?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I assume you would send a copy of this to your
14 administration in Belgrade?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't send it because it was
16 not an official action. I did that for my own security. It was not my
17 duty to do that. I only did that for me and it was left in my office.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not following you, I'm sorry. What's it got to
19 do with your security?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not security, it has nothing to do
21 with security, but to provide a justification for my actions, to have a
22 record of people who had left the territory of the FRY, and this is why I
23 took the finger-print. This is why I did that, for my own reason.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, you have me completely lost. I would be
25 grateful if you could assist me. Why would you keep a personal copy of
1 people's finger-prints?
2 Sorry, Mr. Zecevic has an intervention.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, a part of his answer was not entered
4 into transcript again.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And you say it was?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: It was that he says: I needed a justification for
7 letting these -- this group of people without travelling documents passing
8 the border. That is why I did it. That is what he says.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 It doesn't help me, I'm afraid. I still have no idea why you
11 would want to keep a personal record of finger-prints of people crossing
12 the border.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I took it because if after a certain
14 amount of time these ID cards were found, then using those finger-prints
15 we could establish that these were those people. This is the reason why I
16 took the finger-print because when personal ID cards are issued
17 finger-prints are taken. So if this was found then we would know who left
18 the territory. We didn't know that columns would start arriving later.
19 So then people started leaving en masse, so we didn't do this anymore,
20 only the first time.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. I'll have a read at this again later,
22 but it was your reference to you did it for yourself, whether you used the
23 word security or not, and it's that I'm trying to understand. I can
24 understand you doing it officially as you've described, but why did you
25 say you had done it for yourself personally?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did it because the action that I
2 did, I permitted people who do not possess documents, valid documents to
3 leave the country to leave the country; that is why I did it. They did
4 not meet the conditions to be able to leave the country. This is why I
5 did that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I think this is a suitable opportunity to deal
7 with an issue that is concerning the Bench, and that is that statements
8 are constantly being made from the Defence side of this case that can
9 be -- that are audible and they are made not only in English but they are
10 made in what is described in this institution as B/C/S, or here Serbian.
11 The Bench wish to ensure that witnesses are not being prompted by comments
12 made from the Defence, whether in the heat of the moment or deliberately
13 doesn't matter for this purpose at the present moment.
14 So I ask all involved to restrain themselves from making audible
15 comments of any kind during the course of the evidence of any witness, and
16 this direction applies to counsel, all lawyers, and other legal staff in
17 court, and to the accused themselves, because there are examples of all
18 being involved in this.
19 Now, please continue, Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Let's move on, but before we leave this document, if you look at
22 the bottom of the document you will see handwritten, and it is on page 2
23 of the English, handwritten, if we could move to page 2, sent to MUP of
24 the Republic of Serbia, UPP, that's -- I think you said that's your
25 department; the Pristina MUP staff. Why was this sent to the Pristina MUP
2 A. I wrote this by hand at the bottom so that I know to whom I sent
3 this official note. I sent it to the MUP of the Republic of Serbia, the
4 border crossing administration, as those authorised; and to the rest I
5 sent for their information, to the staff, to the state security centre, in
6 order for them to inform themselves about it. And one copy was left for
7 the station. So the MUP, as the authorised party, and the rest of the
8 parties for their information only. Each action that is done at the
9 border crossing must be recorded and certain services need to be informed
10 about it.
11 Q. Was it a requirement that you should inform the MUP staff of
12 actions like the one you had taken?
13 A. [No interpretation].
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter would like the witness to repeat
15 his answer.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you repeat that answer, please. The
17 interpreter did not catch it. I think I caught it but the interpreter
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We informed the staff only for their
20 information. We didn't have any obligation to, just for their
21 information. It was not something that derived from an order. That's why
22 I said that official notes were written in four or five copies so that we
23 would inform the others.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry. I thought your answer was "ne," but it
25 was obviously a bit more complicated.
1 Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: Can we look quickly at 6D666.
3 Q. This is a document that was on the list of documents to be used by
4 the Defence but has not been used. I just want to ask one question about
5 it before I move on. Now, there is translation for this. Can I just ask
6 you -- or I could just indicate, this is a document of the 3rd of April,
7 1999, and you see where it says "official note," can you read that and the
8 succeeding sentence for me aloud, please.
9 A. "Drafted by the head of the staff of General -- of Major-General
10 Sreten Lukic on the order conveyed to the SUP chiefs in the autonomous
11 province of Kosovo and Metohija in relation to the manner of behaviour of
12 members of the police." Should I read on?
13 Q. No, I just wanted -- is this -- have you seen documents like this
14 before referring to orders that were issued by the MUP staff or by General
15 Lukic to SUP chiefs?
16 A. I could have seen this only if I were at the chief of the SUP
17 Prizren secretariat Milos Vojinovic that would be the only time I would be
18 aware of this. As for orders of how we should act at the border crossing
19 was something that we could only be ordered by our SUP in Belgrade. So
20 this didn't really refer to us. I could only have been informed about
22 Q. Very well. During -- and I'm moving on --
23 MR. IVETIC: One correction for the transcript, Your Honours, line
24 20 of this page he informed the -- I think the word he used was "uprava,"
25 which would be the administration in Belgrade, not the SUP in Belgrade --
1 or it might have been the MUP. I apologise but maybe we can clarify that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I think you must be right, Mr. Ivetic, and we note
3 what you say. Thank you.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. Do you recall in the course of the -- of 1999, as a matter of
6 fact, on the 9th of May, 1999, your border post being visited by members
7 of the press?
8 A. As far as I know, this was on the 7th of May, not on the 9th of
9 May. A group of journalists came numbering eight persons. Among them was
10 David Davi, who introduced himself as an advisor of Jacques Chirac.
11 Together with them there were also two members of the SUP, members of the
12 Prizren secretariat for internal affairs. They came to me, they entered
13 my office, and we had some talks for some 15 minutes or so. Then we
14 actually came to the border, we returned, and then they went in the
15 direction of Prizren. David Bowie, I think that's what his name.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: He's a popular singer. Are you suggesting that he
17 was a journalist and also a --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm sorry, I made a mistake
19 about the name. It's Resid Davi, that was his name, Resid Davi, if I'm
20 not mistaken.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: How's his singing?
22 Are you suggesting that this person was both a journalist and a
23 government advisor to the French government or was he different from the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name Resid Davi, that's how he
1 introduced himself. I didn't know who he was. He just introduced himself
2 as an advisor of President Jacques Chirac. I didn't ask him anything
3 more. Again, I'm not sure about the name, but I think that was it.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Very well.
7 Could we have a look at P3091.
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if I could be heard on this.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC: This document was only intimated to us a few days
11 ago, but we have several concerns with it. First of all, this does not
12 appear to be --
13 MR. STAMP: Your Honours.
14 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can this be dealt without -- or should it be dealt
16 with with the witness out of court?
17 MR. IVETIC: For the sake of things, we probably should. I would
18 rather err on the side of caution.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We have a matter of law to deal with,
20 Mr. Ognjenovic. Could you please leave the court while we deal with this
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC: First of all, we don't know the providence of this
24 document. It appears to be someone's recitation or recollection of an AFP
25 service that, according to this information, appears to have been
1 broadcast rather than a printed report, so we don't know whether this is
2 actually a news report or not. We've had problems with news reports and
3 recollections by journalists in this case already and documents have been
4 questioned or some have even been denied admission based upon that
6 But in this case, this is not even an official publication. This
7 is, I suspect, what the Prosecution has in the past done, is give us
8 documents from a certain government agency in the United States that is
9 closely linked with the intelligence sector, which identifies documents
10 for -- which spreads documents for what would be called propaganda
11 circumstances here.
12 This particular document also for me is somewhat troubling in that
13 there appears to be some sort of redaction in the upper left-hand corner
14 of the same that is not explained and makes it impossible to undertake any
15 steps to completely verify this document, if indeed it can be verified, so
16 the number -- the time has passed and the inability to know the exact
17 source of the said document. And there are comments at the bottom of the
18 document indicating that this is not an original-source document because
19 it describes that this is a -- a -- someone's recollection or transcript
20 of the independent French press agency, Agence France-Presse. I submit
21 that without bringing the person -- so we don't know whether this is
22 transcribed properly from transmission of Agence France-Presse or not and
23 it causes great issue as to whether what is represented in here is
24 authentically represented or not, but even apart from the usual concerns
25 relating to newspaper articles and news coverage of events in general.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have it on the screen, please. Magnify it,
3 MR. IVETIC: And it goes without saying that the text of the
4 article does not support the title or the by-line, as it would be called
5 if there were a written publication, which it's not.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the question or the line of questioning that
7 you wish to pursue, Mr. Stamp?
8 MR. STAMP: This is a news report of the interview which the
9 witness just spoke of, and it quotes him as saying certain things. And it
10 refers to certain things that the news reporter observed. The line of
11 questioning is whether or not this is an accurate news report, if he
12 remembers saying these things and if the circumstances that the reporter
13 observed are correct.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if I can make just one more submission.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. I thought you were finished.
18 MR. IVETIC: The testimony of the witness thus far has not
19 identified any such interview. He said that he talked with this Resid
20 Davi or whatever -- the person who has a similar name to a singer, let's
21 leave it at that for purposes of clarity. But I don't believe that
22 there's been any evidence that an actual interview took place or, for the
23 matter, that there's been any contact with news journalists that has been
24 elicited from this witness.
25 And there's also an issue where there are two dates mentioned in
1 this document and it's unclear, at least to me, whether we're talking
2 about an incident on the 9th of May or the 7th of May, since both dates
3 are identified in this report and thus far this Aleksandar Mitic who's
4 referenced here has not been identified as having been present at all.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness has already said it was the 7th of May
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, we think your objection is misplaced.
8 All the points you've made are good arguments, let me put it that way, if
9 you were resisting the presentation of this as a free-standing document.
10 But what it's being used for is to refresh the memory of the witness with
11 a view to seeing how much of this he agrees with or disagrees with. And
12 only to the extent that he accepts it will it become evidence in the
13 case. We are not going to treat this at this stage as free-standing
14 material that contradicts him. So on that basis we reject the objection
15 and we'll allow the line to be pursued.
16 We can have the witness back, please.
17 Could we have the witness back, please.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your
20 patience. The matter's now been dealt with and we can proceed.
21 Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. This visit you had from the journalist on the 7th of May, do you
24 recall if one of them or a member of the party was Aleksandar Mitic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Do you recall that some of the journalists were from the Agence
3 A. No.
4 Q. The journalists who went there, did they interview you in your
5 office? You said you met with some of them in your office.
6 A. It wasn't an interview. It was a conversation.
7 Q. Now, in front of you is a document. Do you read English at all?
8 A. No.
9 Q. The document purports to be a report of what you said to
10 journalists, and the report is that on the left side of the border --
11 sorry. Can you hear now?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. The report is that there was a pile of licence plates scattered on
14 the ground at the left side of the border check-point. Do you recall
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the report quotes you as saying: "'We are taking the licence
18 plates away because we do not want the Kosovo Liberation Army to come back
19 in these cars pretending to be refugees.'"
20 Do you recall saying that?
21 A. I certainly didn't state it in those terms. It depends on how he
22 took my words, but I never stated anything of the sort. I don't know
23 anything about the reason for licence plates or the return.
24 Q. Well, did you tell them anything in relation to the taking of
25 licence plates?
1 A. In an informal conversation, when we talked in the office, I never
2 mentioned nor would I mention, nor did we confiscate any document
3 whatsoever or any licence plates. People discarded them on their own. I
4 would have never stated anything of the sort nor did we ever do this. We
5 just found these things in the area of the border crossing. We did not
6 confiscate them. There was a pile of licence plates on the left side. I
7 immediately wrote an official note about this, not only about this but
8 about whatever happened at the border crossing and then I forwarded this
9 to competent authorities.
10 Q. Did you also speak to them about identification cards?
11 A. Yes, I spoke about ID cards as well, about all events and all
12 observations that were of interest to them. It was an informal
13 conversation, it was no interview, nothing was written down. We just sat
14 down and talked informally, exchanged opinion, and so on.
15 Q. You're recorded here as saying: "'Most Albanians threw their
16 identity cards in our faces saying: 'We don't want this trash.''" ?
17 Did you tell them that?
18 A. There were such cases, perhaps, I'm not sure, but there were such
19 cases. Not just IDs, any documents that they had issued by the Republic
20 of Serbia was thrown away by them, especially after crossing the
21 borderline. It did happen, they threw everything away. They cursed, they
22 made provocations, and they did all that after crossing the border.
23 Q. So you might have told them -- told them that?
24 A. I don't remember.
25 Q. The report goes on to say: "But he added," that is you, that is
1 you said, "that identity papers were sometimes taken away from those
2 crossing into Albania."
3 Didn't you tell them that identification cards were sometimes
4 taken away?
5 A. No, that's not true.
6 Q. That you also said -- or did you also say: "'They say they do not
7 respect this country. If you don't respect your country and you spit on
8 it, you do not need the papers.'" ?
9 Do you recall telling them that?
10 A. I don't remember. I don't know how they translated that. I speak
11 only Serbian. Perhaps we didn't understand each other linguistically.
12 Q. I'm just asking if you remember saying that. When -- did you
13 tell --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Just --
15 MR. STAMP: Sorry.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: -- one moment.
17 Did you not tell us that you spoke fluent Albanian?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Albanian, yes, but they didn't speak
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps we should have a translation of page 25,
21 lines 12 to 14 from CLSS.
22 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Hysni Kryeziu, your neighbour, came here and testified to the same
25 thing, that -- or similar things. Do you recall seeing him when he
1 crossed the border into Albania?
2 A. I remember, I do. Every resident of my village who left the
3 country asked for me and said good-bye to me personally.
4 Q. And so you remember asking him what happened to his car?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Well, you noticed that he and those members of his family that
7 accompanied him were on foot, were trekking on foot out of their country
8 into Albania?
9 A. Yes, there were such cases. There also were cases where people
10 had deserted their cars on the road and continued on foot. They didn't
11 want to wait in the column any longer. They just abandoned their vehicle
12 and continued on foot. There were such cases, and I can't remember
13 because there were so many people and I can't remember to who I spoke
14 about what. But I remember seeing him and talking to him. I know him
15 very well. He's a neighbour of mine.
16 Q. He said that while he was there he saw policemen taking money from
17 people, taking away people's cars and documents, and taking off the
18 licence plates of cars. Wasn't that, in fact, occurring at that post or
19 in the vicinity of that post while you were there?
20 A. I didn't see that. Had there been such cases I would have taken
21 action against those who did that. I'm 100 per cent sure that had this
22 been done to any of the people, they would have come to see me to complain
23 to me, the people leaving the country, because they trusted me enough to
24 come to me to complain; however, nobody came to complain about the conduct
25 and attitude of policemen at the border crossing. I'm 100 per cent of
2 Q. Hysni Kryeziu left Albania on the 27th of April. Another witness,
3 Lizane Malaj, was expelled, according to her testimony, on the 27th of
4 April and may I correct myself, Kryeziu was expelled on the 27th of
5 March. Another witness, Lizane Malaj, passed through your border post on
6 the 27th of April and she said that that conduct by the police there of
7 seizing people's identification documents and licence plates was
8 continuing up till that time. Isn't that true, sir?
9 A. No, I don't have such information.
10 Q. After you were visited by these journalists on the 7th of May, did
11 you ever see a news report or hear of a news report that they published in
12 respect to their visit to the border post?
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: In your discussion with journalists, was there any
15 mention made of the KLA?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What was said?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They asked, Why aren't there any
19 young men? And I told them, Most likely they are in the KLA and they do
20 not leave the territory of Kosovo. They remain while they sent their
21 families out of the country. They inquired about all of the events there,
22 and then we went out together to the borderline and they found their
23 journalists on the Albanian side. Our journalists talked to them who were
24 on the Albanian side, they talked, and then we took them to the borderline
25 to see the barricades, to see the people crossing. They wanted to see
1 why -- why was there a bottleneck, why was there a delay; and the Albanian
2 side started recording all the people crossing the border. This is why
3 there was a huge backup on our side of the border.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that all that was said about the KLA?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. Perhaps.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I ask because it might seem to some people a very
7 good reason for taking the registration plates to avoid the vehicles being
8 used to bring KLA fighters back into the country, but you didn't say
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. Could Albanians or any other person for that matter return to the
15 country without identification papers or travel documents?
16 A. I have already said that that wasn't a regular procedure. We
17 didn't control or check on any passengers. There were cases where people
18 came back and went back to their homes. There were such cases. I think
19 that I even quoted an example to them where a group of our citizens had
20 returned on that day or on a previous day. I don't remember because it
21 wasn't so busy. But I think that there was an example where a smaller
22 group had come back and gone home. There were such cases.
23 Q. Yes. Could Albanians enter the country without identification or
24 travel documents at your border post?
25 A. I have already said that under regular circumstances, no, it would
1 have been impossible; but the situation wasn't regular. The documents
2 were not checked when people were crossing the border, going in and going
3 out, because it was so busy. We didn't have enough personnel, nor was it
4 possible to have regular checks. But naturally they came and they said
5 that they wanted to go back to their homes and we allowed them but without
6 any control whatsoever. We let them in but we didn't check on them.
7 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. I have nothing further from
8 this witness.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
10 Mr. Stamp, the document that you referred to P3086, what's the
11 date of that?
12 MR. STAMP: That's the 27th of March, if I could just confirm.
13 3086 is dated the 27th of March.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And what about 6D1497, that's also the 27th of
15 March. Are these two documents identical?
16 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour --
17 MR. IVETIC: No, Your Honour. If you -- if I could be of
18 assistance. The P3086 is number 71 and the other one is number 72.
19 Yesterday he testified that there -- relating to this 71 and 72 with
20 respect to this incident. They're talking about the same incident;
21 they're not identical documents.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I was actually looking for a note from yesterday
23 which must be inconsistent with -- or at least about which my recollection
24 must be wrong. I thought something was said yesterday about it being
25 possible to return to the country without a passport. Is that an
1 inaccurate recollection of what was said yesterday, Mr. Ivetic? Can you
2 help me?
3 MR. IVETIC: I'd obviously -- I'd obviously defer to the
4 transcript. I don't have a chance to --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It's all right. I for some reason can't find the
6 note, so my recollection must be wrong.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ognjenovic, the first group of people trying to
9 leave the country arrived on the 27th of March at your border post and
10 then there were a series of people leaving, and you told us of efforts you
11 made to persuade these ones to return. Did you try to persuade other
12 groups to return?
13 A. Yes, I did try. In the first group I knew a lot of people and I
14 asked them three or four times to go back. And then in other columns that
15 arrived, whenever I knew people, I asked them to go back, also my
16 neighbours, I asked them not to go, telling them there was no need to
17 leave the territory; however, they were persistent and they left.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Had you been given orders to tell them to turn
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Bearing in mind the explanation you've given, that
22 they were in danger from NATO bombs, why did you want them to go back?
23 A. How should I say it? NATO didn't bomb houses. They bombed
24 military facilities, but out of fear, out of there being a possibility for
25 them to be attacked, they believed they were safer if they went to
1 Albania, that was their opinion. I asked them to stay, telling them that
2 it wasn't so, but they probably had some sort of an order telling them all
3 to leave in order to cause a humanitarian catastrophe so that they would
4 all be in one place. And as we can see, they have succeeded in that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So are you saying the official position, government
6 position was that NATO bombs will hit only military targets so you'll be
7 safe in your houses?
8 A. No, no, that was just my opinion because I have experienced all of
9 this myself and that's why I'm saying so.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you clarify as best you can the time at which
11 the road immediately before the border crossing was mined?
12 A. I don't remember the exact date, but I think it was towards the
13 end of our withdrawal. Anti-tank barricades had been set up earlier, and
14 as for mining, that was done towards the end of our pull-out, perhaps late
15 May. I'm not sure of the exact date, perhaps even a bit earlier. I'm not
16 sure. I don't remember the date.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: So the family that was killed from Pristina, was
18 that in late May?
19 A. I don't know the exact date. I don't remember, but that was just
20 a little bit before then.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: You've given us a lot of detail about events at the
22 border, and laying mines along the side of the road must have been one of
23 the most significant things that happened there about which you would have
24 to take protective measures. Have you no recollection of when that was?
25 A. No, I don't remember the date. It was only the tip of the border
1 crossing area that was mined, at the very edge of the border, because if
2 you look at the terrain, on one side we have Pastrik mount, on the other
3 side we have --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Just answer my question, please. Whether it was
5 one mine or 101 mines, it was obviously an important danger to be avoided
6 by any police officers on duty. You said that once that happened, there
7 was a VJ presence?
8 A. The Army of Yugoslavia came after the on-site investigation was
9 done in order to de-mine the remaining area, after the investigation was
10 conducted by the Prizren SUP personnel.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I got the impression that there was a
12 presence of the VJ to guide people away from the mines at the side of the
14 A. According to my information, the army was alongside the road from
15 the village of Zub [as interpreted] to Vrbnica, and in the area of the
16 border crossing there wasn't a single member of the Army of Yugoslavia
17 except for those people employed at my station.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So why were they lined along the road from Zub to
20 A. I don't know that. I think it was in order to ensure that people
21 wouldn't turn off the road, so that they wouldn't hit a mine. We had a
22 police patrol where people were injured when they took a turn off the
23 road. It was a police patrol of the Zur police department and two
24 policemen were injured or killed on that occasion.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now we have two references there. Zub and Zur are
1 two separate places, are they?
2 A. Zub is near Djakovica and Zur is in Prizren municipality, 6
3 kilometres from the border crossing.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, so what we've been discussing so far is the
5 road from Zur to Vrbnica; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, are you saying there were mines along the side
8 of that road for a distance of 6 kilometres?
9 A. I don't know. I'm not aware of that. I know that there were, but
10 I wasn't present in order to know this myself.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, you've just told me that the VJ were there
12 to keep people away from mines.
13 A. I'm talking about the Zur-Vrbnica road. There were patrols, a
14 patrol, perhaps a patrol passed, warned people when there -- whenever we
15 had traffic congestions there would be a patrol coming to regulate
16 traffic. So it would be congested. So we tried to avoid catastrophe at
17 any cost --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ognjenovic, I am talking about VJ. Now, you're
19 not telling me, are you, that the VJ were directing the traffic? So let's
20 stick to the point, please.
21 What I want to know is whether there were mines along the road
22 from Zur to the border crossing at Vrbnica.
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And I thought that's what you told us yesterday,
25 and what I was trying to establish is when these mines were laid.
1 A. I don't know the exact date.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, at one point you were going to tell me that
3 mines were laid for only a very short distance before the border. Is that
4 a separate mine-laying arrangement or exercise?
5 A. That was in the area of the border crossing, not along the road,
6 but in the border crossing area. I told you that four mines, or I don't
7 know how many were laid, only in a very limited area where there was a
8 possibility to cross in from the territory of Albania.
9 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, intervening for the transcript, he used
10 the term -- I don't know if it would be in line 13 or 14, but "kopnene,"
11 which we've had before which is for infantry to cross.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Now, yesterday's note I have is that there were two exit lanes to
14 the bridge at the border. The left lane was mined and there were
15 anti-tank barricades. And then you said that there was for a distance of
16 6 kilometres on both sides of the road from the Zur intersection to the
17 border, there were also mines. That's correct, is it?
18 A. There were mines.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And these mines were laid by the VJ?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what I'd like to know is what was the extent
22 of the presence of the VJ along the road between the Zur intersection and
23 the border.
24 A. I'm not aware of how many of them there were, but I did see them.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, were they along -- were they in a visible
1 line along both sides of the road all the way? Were they at a
2 check-point? What was the distribution of the soldiers?
3 A. No, there was no check-point. When I was passing by in my car, I
4 saw them going, walking, on the road. I don't know what they were saying
5 to the passengers. I just saw them in that section. I don't even know
6 whether they were soldiers from the border post or from some other unit.
7 I just saw them as I passed by.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And they were there every day?
9 A. Well, I don't remember about every day, but I did used to see
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, were they there to prevent people straying
12 into the areas mined?
13 A. I said I didn't know why they were there. I didn't ask them.
14 They didn't report to me. They didn't stop me. We had no contact. I
15 just saw them. I don't know what their assignment was.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And when did this -- these VJ soldiers first appear
17 on that road on a regular basis?
18 A. I don't know. I don't know which day it was.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you not tell me roughly when it was, try to
20 help us get to the truth of all this?
21 A. I really don't know. Most probably as soon as the column of
22 refugees started to form, but I'm not sure.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now can you help me with the working arrangements
25 in the Prizren SUP. What were the normal office hours of the Prizren SUP?
1 A. I don't know what the office hours were, the office hours were 24
2 hours/7, the SUP is always open, but I can only speak about my own
3 station, Prizren, I don't know about the other SUPs. I was only talking
4 about my own post.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's all I've asked you about.
6 A. In my station it was organized 24/7 --
7 MR. IVETIC: There might be an error in the translation. The
8 B/C/S wasn't exactly what Your Honour said.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I'll ask the question again.
10 What were the normal office hours of the SUP Prizren?
11 A. I don't know. I don't know about SUP Prizren.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You've indicated that there would be occasions when
13 you had to contact that office. You as a serving police officer, albeit
14 in a different department, did not know anything about the opening hours
15 of the SUP Prizren; is that your position?
16 A. No, I know about the office hours of SUP Prizren. I don't know
17 what you're interested in because the border police administration worked
18 from 7.00 to 1500 hours, that's the department that I was working for.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: There must be a translation problem. It sounds so
20 simple in English, though, and I'll ask the question for the third time.
21 What were the normal office hours of the SUP Prizren?
22 A. SUP Prizren is a broad concept. There are uniformed police who
23 worked 24 hours a day, the duty service works 24 hours a day, the
24 department to which I reported worked normal hours, from 7.00 to 3.00 p.m.
25 It was directly connected with my post, that is the department of border
1 police within the secretariat of internal affairs in Prizren.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, 7.00 to 3.00 p.m. how many days a week?
3 A. Monday to Friday, Monday through Friday.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The 27th of March was a Saturday. Can you tell me
5 how you managed to make contact with someone in SUP Prizren in your -- in
6 the building in your border post section there?
7 A. The department of border affairs is directly linked to us, that
8 means that anything that happens within a period of 24 hours from Sunday
9 to Sunday, we were able to contact them. We had a contact telephone
10 number and a contact person. If they were not in their -- at their desk,
11 we had a telephone number to find them wherever they were. We were able
12 to contact them at any time, including Saturday or Sunday, but their
13 regular hours were Monday through Friday.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you now tell me then what happened on the
15 27th of March again so that we can be clear about it.
16 A. You mean the whole incident?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: No, about the contacts you made and who you spoke
18 to. We know the events as you've described them, but we'd like to be
19 clear about who you contacted and how you made these contacts.
20 A. When the passengers arrived to the border crossing, I informed the
21 administration of border police in Belgrade immediately. I explained to
22 them why I was calling and asked what to do next with them, what to do
23 with the persons who were at that time standing at the border crossing.
24 The answer I got was that if Albanian border authorities allow those
25 persons to cross the border, I should let them go. I had three contacts
1 with Albanian border authorities, and when they said that these persons
2 could come over I allowed them to cross the border. And then I informed
3 SUP Prizren about the event. I informed personally the section chief
4 Ljubomir [as interpreted] Zdravkovic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The name, I think the witness said
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you repeat the name of the person who was the
10 chief, section chief.
11 A. Miomir Zdravkovic.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Now, at one stage earlier today you told Mr. Stamp that you spoke
14 to the border police office in the SUP building. That's missing from the
15 account you've just given us. Can you clarify for us, please, what
16 contact you had on Saturday, the 27th of March, 1999, with the border
17 police office within the SUP building.
18 A. The workers of the border police office work in mufti, they are
19 operative offices, but the duty service in Prizren is manned by uniformed
20 police. I informed them just to inform them that there was an incident at
21 the border crossing that such and such things happened. That's the reason
22 why I called them, to inform them all. It was just for their information
23 that I contacted the border police office and all the other services, but
24 I asked for instructions from my administration.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic may wish to re-examine you on this to --
1 if he can help us further from his own more extensive knowledge of the
2 circumstances. I have just one final question at this stage. You have
3 regularly used the expression "travel documents" in answers you've given
4 rather than the word "passport." Can you explain to me why you use the
5 expression "travel documents" and indeed what you mean by "travel
7 A. Travel document and a passport, those are the same things.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it possible in any circumstances to travel
9 across the border from Serbia to either Albania or Macedonia with a
10 document other than a passport or a combination of documents other than a
12 A. It's possible.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: What -- with what combination of documents?
14 A. One can cross the border also carrying a lesse passe. A lesse
15 passe is normally issued to a person who is stranded abroad without a
16 passport. They are issued with a lesse passe to enable them to come back
17 to their home country. Also, a tourist card can be issued to a person on
18 the border if they produce a valid ID, that tourist card is valid for 30
19 days. There are also minor border passes, people who live in the border
20 area can move from one state to another, cross the border frequently with
21 a border pass unless otherwise stipulated by an international agreement.
22 Yugoslavia and Bulgaria had a border that local residents in the
23 border belt were able to cross on national holidays to visit family, et
24 cetera, without any documents in certain sections. One can cross the
25 border without any documents in case of a natural disaster such as a war,
1 a flood, an earthquake, things like that, without that being considered as
2 an illegal crossing of the border. Those are exceptional cases.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Could a Kosovar Albanian with a valid identity card
4 obtain a tourist card to cross into Albania for a limited period of time,
5 and thus cross without a passport?
6 A. Tourist cards were something we issued to enable people to get
7 into our country, not out of our country. We issued tourist cards only
8 for incoming passengers who wanted to come for tourist purposes. They had
9 to produce tourist vouchers from tour operators, and then on the basis of
10 that we could decide whether to issue them the tourist card or not. But
11 first we had to contact our administration in Belgrade to get approval and
12 we have a record kept about the tourist cards issued.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that you're saying that the only way
14 in which a Kosovar Albanian can visit Albania in normal circumstances is
15 with a passport?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 We need to have a break now, Mr. Ognjenovic, so could you please
19 leave the courtroom with the usher while we have the break, and we will
20 resume at 20 minutes past 11.00.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Recess taken at 10.49 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.21 a.m.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, does anything arise for you from these
2 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Re-examination, Mr. Ivetic.
5 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me, perhaps
8 one question follows from the cross-examination that is relevant, and you
9 asked several questions along that line. So I would like to show this
10 witness one document that could clarify this point.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it a document that he will know anything about?
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] It's a military document.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, but can you answer my question --
14 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: -- is it a document he will know anything about?
16 You say he will?
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] The document describes an event in
18 which members of the MUP were killed on that route, and he testified
19 precisely about this. The incident in which members of the police were
20 killed on that route that we were discussing, Prizren-Vrbnica.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: But --
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] That is Vrbnica-Zur.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What then is to be your question?
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Whether regarding the movement of
25 refugees and other persons along that route he received perhaps some
1 information from members of the army.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall allow you to proceed that way.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] 5D891, please, could we call that up
4 in e-court.
5 Further cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] While we are waiting, Mr. Ognjenovic, just one
7 question. You testified that members of the MUP were killed on
8 Vrbnica-Prizren road, they ran on a mine, a land-mine, along that road.
9 Would you look at the first paragraph here. It was recorded that on the
10 17th of April, 1999, some MUP members were killed. Is that the incident
11 you mentioned?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ognjenovic.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
15 further questions.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
20 Q. Mr. Ognjenovic, hello again. When talking about the incident on
21 the 27th of March where the group of persons came without the necessary --
22 without travel documents or passports, you indicated at transcript page
23 38, line 10 through 11, to Judge Bonomy that you informed personally the
24 section chief Miomir Zdravkovic. Where was he the section chief of the --
25 where was he the section chief?
1 A. He was not the chief of that branch. He was chief of the section.
2 Q. And where was that, was that in Belgrade or at the level ...
3 A. He was chief of sector of the department of border police in SUP
4 Prizren, so it's a department within the secretariat of internal affairs
5 in Prizren.
6 Q. Now, focusing for a moment on the Vrbnica border crossing. Could
7 you tell us how much distance was there between the Yugoslav exit ramp and
8 the Albanian entry ramp at the Vrbnica border crossing area?
9 A. The distance was approximately 250 up to 300 metres.
10 Q. And do I understand correctly that the actual physical border, the
11 so-called red line, is within and somewhere in the middle of this
12 inter-area between the two ramps?
13 A. The red line is on the bridge roughly between these two
15 Q. And in this inter-area between the two ramps, are your police
16 officers or the Albanian authorities on that side of the border, are
17 they -- are they in this area when civilian traffic is crossing the actual
18 red line?
19 A. There were policemen there, both ours and theirs, as required, to
20 warn people or children if they were running in that area not to veer off
21 the road. Our policemen and Albanians did the same thing. It was not the
22 primary reason why the policemen were there. We had to do it because of
23 the anti-tank mines and the barricades.
24 Q. Now, the question I have for you is that at page 24 of the
25 transcript, first at lines 7 through 8 and then lines 20 through 24, when
1 talking about the documentation and the plates that the persons leaving or
2 crossing the border would discard, am I correct that the discarding of
3 these items occurred after they had passed the Yugoslav exit ramp, and in
4 fact after they crossed the red line and entered into Albanian territory?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Ivetic, we would very much like it if you
6 would refrain from asking leading questions on significant matters in
7 re-examination. It is not a helpful way to deal with the situation.
8 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, I'm trying to -- I believe I'm
9 reading back the testimony that he's already given on cross-examination.
10 I don't recall from -- whether this was from Mr. Stamp or the Chamber, but
11 if you look at the lines that I've referenced --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if that's what he says, you don't need to ask
13 him again. If you want it verified, then you must ask the question:
14 Where was it that they deposited the material? It's a very simple
15 exercise, not rocket science.
16 MR. IVETIC:
17 Q. Where were the personal documentation and the licence plates found
18 that you testified that you collected and took the other steps that you
19 testified to?
20 A. These discarded objects could be found in the entire area of the
21 border crossing. There were even cases when people took off their licence
22 plates, put them in the boot of their car. Such things happened too.
23 Q. Okay.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: While Mr. Ivetic is preparing his next question,
25 can I go back to the first matter he had asked you about, where I had
1 clearly misunderstood part of the earlier answer. Where was it you were
2 able to contact Miomir Zdravkovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that very moment I contacted the
4 duty service, and they gave me Zdravkovic's telephone number so that I can
5 inform him; and I immediately informed him by telephone. The duty service
6 has a list of numbers for duty officers at the secretariat. I got his
7 contact number and immediately informed Miomir Zdravkovic about the
8 situation that has occurred at the border crossing.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: I have no further questions for this witness, Your
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. IVETIC:
15 Q. Thank you, sir.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just on the same subject, Mr. Ognjenovic, who was
18 it that you spoke to in the SUP Prizren office about the identity cards
19 and whether they had them?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I asked the employee at the duty
21 service of SUP Prizren.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Ognjenovic, that completes your
23 evidence. Thank you for coming here to give evidence. You may now leave
24 the courtroom with the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Our next witness is Dragan Milenkovic.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. IVETIC: While we're waiting for the witness I could raise a
6 preliminary matter, Your Honour, so that we don't waste time later. I
7 don't know whether the Prosecution intends to utilise this document in
8 cross-examination, but they did send a copy of the document to us saying
9 that it was going to be with respect to this particular witness. It's a
10 document that came into this case approximately one year ago, at which
11 time another witness was testifying and at which time there had been an
12 issue of Ms. Kandic, Natasa Kandic, in Belgrade making public certain
13 information that had been subject to non-disclosures, and at that point in
14 time I believe it was Mr. Marcussen had indicated that his office was very
15 interested and concerned with finding out where their leak was for this.
16 And I to date have not heard any of the results of their inquiries or
17 investigations, except for the fact that the same document is now being
18 given to me for use with this witness. So I would inquire what the
19 results of the investigation were to discover who at the OTP side, whether
20 it was the OTP or the witness that came here to testify, leaked
21 information to Natasa Kandic that was subject to a non-disclosure order of
22 this Court.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: There are two perhaps separate issues here,
24 Mr. Ivetic. First of all, what's the number of the document?
25 MR. IVETIC: The one that was disclosed to me does not have a
1 number. I believe in -- I believe a year ago we did give it a 6D number.
2 One moment, sir. Now we're getting the information that it's P03092.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your objection to the use of the document?
4 MR. IVETIC: Well, apart from it being a newspaper article, I'll
5 just say as long as it's not being submitted for the truth of the matter
6 asserted, my inquiry is whether, in fact, there has been any follow-up on
7 this, an issue I brought up last year, about the -- about the providence
8 of the information that Ms. Kandic had that caused a great stir, because
9 as I might recall indeed Ms. Kandic had more information than had been
10 disclosed to us by the Office of the Prosecution in relation to this
11 particular document.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that may or may not be a matter for us, and
13 therefore it's not necessary to explore the detail of this in court just
15 Mr. Hannis, Mr. Ivetic is asking for the result of an
16 investigation which he understood was to be carried out.
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, frankly, I have to confess I wasn't
18 aware of that issue or that investigation. The purpose that I propose to
19 use this exhibit for has to do with the photograph that's in the newspaper
20 article, which I believe is a photograph of this witness. And it may come
21 depending on how he answers questions, what he talks about, I may ask him
22 if he's aware that this photograph was published in the paper in January
23 2007, and if so, did he take any action in response to that, et cetera, et
24 cetera. I'm not going to ask about the contents of the article or what
25 Natasa Kandic says.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I take it that you will look into what was
2 actually said in court before and see if there is unfinished business?
3 MR. HANNIS: I will.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And just if so, convey the result of that.
5 MR. HANNIS: I will.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
7 We can proceed with the witness I think, Mr. Ivetic, and if a
8 question is asked that you deem objectionable, then no doubt you will let
9 us know.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Milenkovic.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
14 speak the truth by reading that document aloud.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Ivetic on behalf of
20 Mr. Lukic.
21 Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 WITNESS: DRAGAN MILENKOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
1 Q. Good day, Mr. Milenkovic. As you know, my name is Dan Ivetic, and
2 I would ask you to briefly introduce yourself for purposes of the written
4 A. Good morning. My name is Dragan Milenkovic, born 28th January
5 1965, in a small beautiful village called Lipovica, municipality, Serbia.
6 Father's name Stanko, mother's name Smiljana. I finished four years of
7 primary school in my village and graduated from the eight-year primary
8 school in the neighbouring village, Sasala near Vlasotince. And after
9 primary school I finished two years of secondary education in Vlasotince.
10 I wanted to become a policeman and applied to enroll for the secondary
11 school for internal affairs in Sremska Kamenica. After detailed vetting
12 that applied not only to me but to my entire family, I was accepted as a
13 cadet of that primary school in 1982. In 1984 I graduated from that
14 school and by a decision of the then-minister of internal affairs I was
15 assigned to become a policeman on general duties in the police station
16 Crna Trava.
17 I'm married to Marija and I have two sons, one of whom is a
18 policeman employed in SUP Novi Beograd, the branch police station
19 Bezanijska Kosa. My second son is currently in the secondary civil
20 engineering school. He's not married. From my first son I have a
21 grandson, two years and two months old.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, could you kindly tell us specifically about your
23 employment within the Serbian Ministry of Interior, including the
24 positions that you held in 1998 and 1999.
25 A. After graduating from school, as I said before, I became a
1 policeman on general duties at the police station of Crna Trava, where I
2 stayed until 1997 when at my own request I was transferred to Vlasotince
3 police station, about 40 kilometres from Crna Trava.
4 Q. And did you at some point in time become a member of the PJP; and
5 if so, when and what formation or detachment?
6 A. I became a member of the PJP, I can't remember the exact date but
7 it was in 1997, in the B formation, the 87 Detachment of the police as it
8 was then.
9 Q. And what about 1998 and 1999, did you remain a member of that
10 formation or did that change?
11 A. That changed. After a while at my own request I was transferred
12 to A formation, 4th Company [Realtime transcript read in error "for the
13 company"] of the 37th Detachment of the PJP.
14 Q. And with respect to the 37th Detachment of the PJP, could you tell
15 me what companies comprised that detachment?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the translation was A formation for the 4th
17 Company of the 37th Detachment. Is that right, Mr. Ivetic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MR. IVETIC: [Previous translation continues]... Was also -- well,
20 let me ask him again.
21 Q. Were you -- was it also -- was it the A formation or the 4th
22 Company or both or neither? Just so that all possibilities are at play
23 and the witness can clarify.
24 A. It's A formation of the 37th Detachment, 4th Company of the 37
1 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me what other companies comprised
2 the 37th PJP Detachment and where they -- where the -- where they hailed
4 A. The 4th Company of the 37th Detachment consisted of six companies
5 from Pirot, Nis, Krusevac, Prokuplje, Vranje, and Leskovac.
6 Q. Thank you. And could you tell us the manner in which the ranks of
7 the PJP companies were filled?
8 I apologise. There's a problem with the translation. It's back
9 on. Let me just repeat the question for sake of clarity. How were the
10 ranks of the PJP filled?
11 A. The PJP company was replenished from the regular police force of
12 the secretariat in charge.
13 Q. And can you describe for us the training that you underwent as a
14 part of the PJP of the Serbian MUP?
15 A. Training was effected in keeping with the rules prevailing in the
16 police force, and it consisted of theory and practical components. A
17 company commander was in charge of carrying out the training, and he was
18 at the same time employed by the police department in Leskovac.
19 Q. And if you could tell us what criteria were there that had to be
20 fulfilled for one to become a member of the PJP.
21 A. The criteria were set that each member of the PJP had to meet,
22 these would be physical and mental fitness, conduct itself, or -- of each
23 individual employee in the service.
24 Q. And could you explain for us what would be the difference between
25 employees of a secretariat of interior that are on the PJP list and those
1 that are not members or not included on the PJP call-up list?
2 A. There was no particular difference, except in terms of a small
3 salary differential. I can give you an example. As a member of the PJP,
4 or rather, as a member of a general duty policeman, I had hundred dinars
5 salary. On the other hand, if I was -- were to be on the list of members
6 of the PJP, it would be, from what I can remember, because it was a long
7 time ago, it would be 0.45 or 42 differential, meaning that my salary
8 would have been 110 dinars. So the difference would be these negligible
9 10 dinars. I'm just giving you a hypothetical example because I really
10 don't remember specifically what the salary was.
11 Q. Thank you. Within the PJP company of the 37th Detachment that you
12 were a part of, were there any volunteers, that is to say members, who had
13 not previously been employees of the Serbian MUP?
14 A. Can you please clarify your question. Volunteers who were not
15 active policemen at the station where they were working.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Volunteers, that is, persons
17 who were not employed by the police that were volunteers in your
18 detachment or your company in 1998 or 1999 specifically?
19 A. I state responsibly that there were no volunteers in my company.
20 Q. And how about within the detachment?
21 A. Since we -- the whole 37th Detachment in specific situations were
22 there in its entirety, I never heard of any volunteers being members of
23 the 37th Detachment.
24 Q. We have had some testimony from a Prosecution witness of some 10
25 or so Russian volunteers within your detachment. Based on your knowledge
1 of the personnel that were in the detachment, do you consider that such
2 thing to be possible in 1998 or 1999?
3 A. This is absolutely not possible. There were no volunteers other
4 than regular members who carried out regular duties at their home units.
5 Q. Now, if you could just briefly describe for us what the jobs or
6 tasks of the PJP would be when called up out of your home secretariat.
7 A. The primary task of all members of my company when we were used
8 outside of our home stations was to prevent violations of public law and
9 order, major such violations, securing larger gatherings like risky
10 football matches, capturing perpetrators of serious crimes, catching
11 specific terrorist groups, and arresting members of such groups.
12 Q. And in 1998 or 1999 was your detachment called up for duty in the
13 Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. We'll get back to that. If you could tell us now what were
16 the specific weapons that you were trained and authorised to use as a
17 member of the PJP when so engaged?
18 A. As a PJP member, just like other members of my company had
19 weapons, that was in accordance with the rules for weapons for members of
20 the police. I had a personal side-arm, a CZ pistol and a 72-millimetre
21 rifle. There were some others who had an M-72, 7.62-millimetre calibre
22 machine-guns, meaning that some persons in the unit were also issued some
23 heavier weapons.
24 Q. The transcript may or may not have caught all of that. Could you
25 repeat what the heavier weapons were that other persons in your unit were
2 A. I already said that I was issued with a pistol, a 9-millimetre
3 pistol, and an automatic rifle of 7.62-millimetres calibre. Some members
4 had a M-72 machine-gun of 7.62-millimetres -- or actually, it was an M-84
5 of 7.62-millimetre calibre. There were also some mortars of 60-millimetre
6 calibre and 82-millimetre calibre mortars and a special squad was trained
7 for the use of these particular weapons.
8 Q. In the course of -- strike that.
9 In 1998 and 1999, can you describe for us what the official
10 uniform worn by the PJP out in the engagement and exercise of its duties
12 A. Pursuant to the rules on carrying or wearing uniforms for police
13 members, in 1998 a blue camouflage uniform was worn. I don't remember the
14 exact date, but I think that sometime in September, I'm not sure if it was
15 September, green camouflage uniforms were issued, which were then worn on
16 our bodies.
17 Q. With respect to both sets of camouflage uniforms, can you describe
18 for us the insignia or markings on the same?
19 A. The left shoulder was where a visible police patch was worn, then
20 we had a blue cap or a beret with the same insignia. There was also a
21 green combat jacket or a combat vest that had a visible sign written on
22 the back, "policija," police. That was written in large letters that were
23 white and it could be seen from as far as 80 to 100 metres away. As for
24 the green camouflage uniform insignia, the sleeve was also where a PJP
25 patch was visible, the left sleeve, and we had an emblem on our cap with
1 two crossed swords and the emblem of Serbia and we also had a "policija"
2 sign on the vests that was very, very easy to spot.
3 Q. For purposes of clarifying the transcript, at page 55, line 2,
4 you're recorded as saying you had a blue cap or a beret. Did, in fact,
5 you say that and did the PJP have berets?
6 A. There were no berets. Actually, the regular-issue caps were --
7 that's what they were, they were caps.
8 MR. IVETIC: I think that clears up the translation issues, Your
10 Q. Now, in 1998 and 1999 were there instances of non-standard
11 uniforms or non-standard appearance by PJP members within your detachment?
12 A. In 1998 and 1999, when I was a member of both of the formations,
13 we had a strict order from the company commander at the time to strictly
14 and responsibly adhere to the rules on wearing uniforms that were set down
15 by law at that time.
16 Q. How about personal appearance and grooming, was that also
17 regulated strictly by the PJP company commander?
18 A. Yes, absolutely. This was strictly monitored, the manner of
19 wearing the uniforms and personal appearance. There were only a few
20 people, including myself, who for a while wore a beard, small beard, and
21 this was tolerated. I wore this beard because I had serious infections on
22 my face and I suffer the consequences from that to this very day, and all
23 the consequences were a result of the unhygienic conditions in which we
24 were staying.
25 Q. And did that facial condition affect the ability to shave; and if
1 so, how?
2 A. Could you please repeat your question.
3 Q. You mentioned a facial infection. Could you describe how that
4 affected your appearance.
5 A. It was horrible. I had some sores or scabs appear on my face and
6 they were getting infected and there was pus which was very painful, also
7 for the others who were close to me to look at.
8 Q. And were you able to shave as a result of this infection?
9 A. I did shave for a while, but after I would shave this would get
10 even worse, the scabbing would get even worse. So that then I did wear a
11 beard for as long as I could stand it, and all of this was in order to
12 prevent the further spread of the infection that was on my face. And I am
13 actually suffering from the effects of that infection to this very day
14 because no beard is growing anymore on certain parts of my face.
15 Q. Can you tell us if at any point in time during the course of your
16 engagement in the PJP in 1998 or 1999 whether coloured ribbons were used
17 as part of the -- or affixed to the uniform in the course of undertaking
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us what colour ribbons were used in 1998.
21 A. From what I can remember, blue, yellow, and red ribbons were used.
22 Q. What colour ribbons were used in 1999?
23 A. I think that the same colours were used, blue, yellow, and red.
24 Q. Were coloured ribbons used throughout 1999 or only for a certain
25 period in 1999?
1 A. I cannot remember precisely when the ribbons were used, but I
2 think it was either in early or late April 1998 [as interpreted] and I
3 believe that they were worn until the end of the war in June 1999.
4 Q. I don't know whether it's a translation issue or not, but were --
5 when were the ribbons first utilised in the year 1999? Because the answer
6 in the transcript talks about 1998.
7 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I object. The transcript says
8 also until the end of the war in 1999.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: The question had nothing to do with 1998, and
10 therefore the clarification's legitimate, Mr. Hannis.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat your
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. Sir, when in 1999 were coloured ribbons first utilised, to your
16 A. From what I know, but I'm not sure, I think they were used
17 immediately after the war, sometime in the month of April, but again I'm
18 repeating since this was a long time ago I don't remember everything 100
19 per cent.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. IVETIC:
22 Q. When you say "immediately after the war," would that be after the
23 commencement of the war or after the conclusion of the war?
24 A. I think that I said earlier also that this was after the start of
25 the war, and later I can explain why these ribbons were worn.
1 MR. IVETIC: And for the record, Your Honour, we do have Exhibit
2 6D761 and 6D237 which relate to the use of coloured ribbons.
3 Q. Could you tell us why these coloured ribbons were introduced?
4 MR. HANNIS: Can we clarify whether we're talking about 1998 or
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
7 MR. IVETIC: Well, unless there's a reason -- I'm --
8 Q. In 1998 or 1999 why were these ribbons utilised?
9 A. The ribbons were used for only one reason. In the field it would
10 happen that Siptar terrorists obtained both the blue camouflage uniforms
11 and then later the green camouflage uniforms and they would easily with
12 those uniforms enter the facilities, houses, and the towns and the
13 villages where members of the police were billeted or members of the army
14 or just regular citizens, and then they would be able to commit crimes
15 without hindrance.
16 Q. Can we now focus on the time-period in 1999 when you were -- when
17 you were sent to -- strike that.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
20 Q. 1998 first of all. Did you have occasion to be sent to Orahovac
21 in Kosovo and Metohija in 1998?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you tell us when that was?
24 A. I really cannot say exactly what the time was, what month it was.
25 Q. Could you describe the time-period in terms of what was going on
1 in Orahovac at the time?
2 A. Could you please repeat your question.
3 Q. When you were sent to the Orahovac area in 1998, what was the
4 situation in Orahovac at that time?
5 A. When we as a unit were sent to carry out regular tasks and
6 assignments in Orahovac, or rather, to help the Orahovac SUP, from what I
7 can remember the situation was tense in the sense that people were afraid
8 of the actions of the so-called KLA.
9 Q. Was there a period of time when the UCK activity in Orahovac
10 increased dramatically?
11 A. Yes. In July the town of Orahovac was held by the KLA.
12 Q. And did your PJP company become engaged in any activities
13 addressed at the KLA that held the town of Orahovac in July of 1998?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you tell us about the activities of your company relative to
16 this time.
17 A. In July, more specifically on the 18th of July, a part of my
18 company was stationed on the Djakovica-Pristina section of the road near
19 the village of Drakovina. Pursuant to orders of the company commander, a
20 part of the unit was tasked with liberating the town of Orahovac. The
21 company arrived on trucks to the settlement of Zrze, I believe, which is
22 on the Prizren-Djakovica road, where we were informed by members of other
23 units that Orahovac was under the control of the terrorists who were very
24 well-entrenched and well-armed so that they were firing quite forcefully
25 in the direction of our forces.
1 For security reasons, the company commander, since he assumed that
2 the roads were mined, my company set off towards Orahovac on foot.
3 Naturally, by applying combat tactics, we were moving towards Orahovac.
4 When we reached after certain time the entry point into town we heard very
5 intense firing that was taking place in the down-town area as well as in
6 the area that was populated exclusively by the Serbs in an area known as
7 Vran Stena. The very entry of our people into Orahovac -- actually, I
8 have to correct myself. At the very entry point into Orahovac I noticed
9 several tanks of the Army of Yugoslavia which were not active at that
10 point in time but were stationed in that area.
11 Q. Among the units taking part in this action to deblockade Orahovac,
12 were there elements of the SAJ?
13 A. I as a member of the reconnaissance squad was by establishment
14 envisaged to enter first in the down-town area and in the area around it I
15 did not register any members of the SAJ. Later on I heard that they had
16 been there, but some 5 to 600 metres further near the settlement which was
17 populated exclusively by Serbs, as I have told you, known as Vran Stena,
18 which is in the direction of Malisevo.
19 Q. Did you happen to see any dead civilians near any fuel stations or
20 gas stations in Orahovac?
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object. That's leading.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Undoubtedly leading, Mr. Ivetic. Please try to ask
23 open questions.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Were there any fuel stations in Orahovac --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You know that that's not the way to ask that
2 question. You know you've picked up the wrong part of it to ask an open
3 question. Move to something else. It's now valueless.
4 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, I apologise but under the
5 conditions we've been working under, we've had a lot of strain.
6 Q. You already told us about the resistance of the --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, just before you move on.
8 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: It's only a couple of days, the end of last week
10 probably, that we actually had been in court as long as we had been out of
11 court for the immediately preceding period. Everyone in this trial has
12 worked under the same conditions and you've had longer than everyone else
13 to deal with your issues. So it's becoming tiresome to hear every
14 submission in writing or orally that you make preceded by a reference to
15 the conditions under which you are working. Please concentrate on the
16 work and spend your time on that rather than complaining.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, we have been --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Please move on.
19 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour's making representations on the record
20 that I have to address then. Your Honour's raising these issues.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I am not raising an issue that you need to respond
22 to. Move on.
23 MR. IVETIC: Okay. Fine.
24 Q. How were the relations and interactions between members of your
25 company towards civilians during the course of the operation to liberate
2 A. The relations between my members -- members of my company and
3 other units participating in deblocking Orahovac and civilians were quite
4 good. All of us acted in accordance with the law. Given that previously
5 we were warned several times by senior officers, specifically my company
6 commander, to strictly abide by the rules on warfare in relation to
7 civilians. I can tell you that the relations with civilians were
8 excellent and at a very good -- on a very good level.
9 Q. Did you encounter fire upon your company, the PJP, from the side
10 of the KLA or the armed opponents?
11 A. Yes. Fire was opened from the area known as Vran Stena as well as
12 Mala and Velika Krasta. Orahovac lies in a valley, that's the
13 configuration of the terrain, it's surrounded by hills. So they could
14 open fire, and then once they withdrew from the town they had the dominant
15 position so they could fire at us both with snipers as well as heavier
16 weaponry. And later we established that they had this heavier weaponry
17 entrenched in the place called Vran Stena and Mala Krasta, and those were
18 new 12.7-millimetre Brownings.
19 Q. Focusing for the moment still at 1998, can you tell us about any
20 other places where you were engaged in activities against terrorism?
21 A. Well, that was in several locations. Solely in places where we
22 had received information that there were strong terrorist forces
23 entrenched there and active in that area, where they put at risk security
24 of all citizens of Kosovo and also posed a danger to security forces,
25 meaning both police and the army.
1 Q. Do you recall any specific locations where you were so engaged?
2 A. Well, we were engaged in a place called Rakovina in order to
3 deblock the road which under -- in that time was under the control of
4 Siptar terrorists and where the safety of traffic wasn't good. So it was
5 difficult for residents to move on the road in that area.
6 MR. IVETIC: One correction for the record. I earlier mentioned
7 Exhibit 6D761 and 6D237. 761 is a -- that's at page 58, lines 9 through
8 10 of the transcript. 761 is a duplication of 237. 237 is the only -- is
9 the document, relevant document that is of record in these proceedings.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. IVETIC: If we could --
12 Q. If I could ask you, did you participate in any actions in the
13 Bajgora region in 1998 as part of your PJP company?
14 A. I claim with full responsibility that I did not take part in any
15 actions in Bajgora and I don't know to this day where that, I suppose it's
16 a mountain, is located.
17 Q. Now, in the course of -- strike that.
18 You've already told us how your company commander instructed you
19 to act properly towards civilians. Did you at any time in 1998 or 1999
20 receive orders to act improperly towards civilians, to commit crimes
21 against civilians?
22 A. That's not how it was. No instructions or orders came to us from
23 our company commander. I claim with full responsibility that we were
24 explicitly ordered under penalty to strictly abide by the Geneva
25 Conventions as well as other legislation that pertains to wartime. So we
1 received no orders whatsoever from our superiors in relation to any crime
2 that we were allegedly supposed to commit.
3 Q. Can you tell me specifically with respect to 1998 or 1999 with
4 respect to the hand-held radio communications in the course of activities,
5 did you have occasion to use code words; and if so, what form did those
6 code words take?
7 A. Every company, or rather, company commander and deputy commander,
8 commanders of platoons and commanders of squads had hand-held radio
9 stations which they used for their communication, to communicate with each
10 other. I was just an ordinary member of a reconnaissance squad and I did
11 not have a radio with me; rather, the commander of my squad had it.
12 Q. In the course of 1998 and 1999, in the course of your fulfilment
13 of your duties as a member of the PJP, and in the course of activities out
14 in the field, did you ever hear of the use of such code words as "sibice,"
15 Serbian word for match; or "gumica," the Serbian word for eraser;
16 or "obelezje," the Serbian word for mark?
17 A. I didn't hear such terms.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you hear any code words?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard when I was in the vicinity
20 of my squad commander who had a radio and who communicated with his
21 company commander, it was only then that I heard.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it only his code word you heard?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And what was that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat, who do you
1 have in mind, squad commander or company commander?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So there were several you heard, several different
3 commanders' code words were heard by you?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You know what? Company commander
5 had a code-name within our company. Since our company had five platoons,
6 each platoon had its own commander, "komandir," platoon commander who had
7 his own code-name. And within a platoon there were three squads with
8 squad commanders, "komandir," who also had hand-held radio stations and
9 they also had call-signs. And I can give you some examples if you want.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC:
12 Q. Did you -- did you in -- at any point in 1998 or 1999 eye-witness
13 any crimes against civilians undertaken by members of your PJP company?
14 A. I claim with full responsibility that I did not eye-witness a
15 single crime nor were there any crimes when I was a member of that unit.
16 Q. Did -- strike that.
17 How were you instructed by your superiors to react in situations
18 where KLA were mixed with civilians?
19 A. We had such situations very frequently on the ground that a group
20 of Siptar terrorists was active from an area, and upon noticing that they
21 could not put up resistance to our unit, given that we had better
22 equipment and were better trained in tactics, they would desert their
23 positions, discard their weapons as well as parts of uniforms, and
24 mingle -- intermingle with columns of civilians who were there. As to an
25 order from company commander or platoon commander or squad commander, we
1 would always be warned not to open fire on such people because in a column
2 of refugees there were innocent men, women, and children, and the
3 elderly. And we were strictly forbidden to use any sort of weapons.
4 Q. Now, you identified -- you identified parts of uniforms that these
5 KLA would discard. Could you describe what types of uniforms you saw the
6 KLA to possess?
7 A. We came across discarded parts of uniform, mostly top parts of
8 uniforms, shirts, camouflage uniforms with green and red colours. I heard
9 that those were mostly Chinese manufacture uniforms. And sometimes we
10 would come across a better-quality camouflage uniforms with red and yellow
11 dots on them, and later on I learned that those were German-make uniforms
12 that they had discarded.
13 Q. You indicated that they would discard their weapons. Did you have
14 occasion to capture such discarded weapons after the activities of the
15 KLA; and if so, what types of weapons were these and what actions were
16 undertaken with respect to these weapons once they were collected?
17 A. Our procedure was as follows. When our company was active we
18 would frequently come across discarded weapons such as semi-automatic
19 rifle with a wooden butt and also a machine-gun of Chinese make. We would
20 also frequently come across pieces of heavy weaponry, 12.7-millimetre
21 Browning. When encountering such weapons, given that we scouts would
22 frequently go out on reconnaissance mission and after we certified that
23 the area was safe so that others and other units could pass through it, we
24 would inform the platoon commander. That is to say my squad commander
25 would inform the platoon commander because that was the hierarchy chain of
1 command, and then platoon commander would in turn inform the company
2 commander who had a different line of communication with detachment
3 commander. Usually those weapons would be assembled in one location, and
4 if the terrain was such that it was easily accessible then weapons would
5 be loaded onto a vehicle and then turned over to the command in some
6 larger towns, such as Djakovica or Prizren.
7 Q. Now --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, can you find a suitable time to
10 MR. IVETIC: Since I'm about to move to another topic, we should
11 probably do it now.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Just before we break, you asked us to try to deal without undue
14 formality with the substitute translation for 6D1004. There is no
15 objection to that, and we will therefore authorise substitution of the new
16 translation for the old.
17 Mr. Milenkovic, we need to break at this stage; that will be for
18 an hour. Could you please now leave the courtroom with the usher and we
19 will see you again at 1.45.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.46 p.m.
23 [The Accused Pavkovic not present]
24 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Milenkovic, I'd like to touch at first on an area that we did
4 previously embark upon. You were talking about code-names and you
5 indicated some of the various commanders within the -- within your
6 company, et cetera. Could you tell us who was the commander of your
7 reconnaissance squad? In Serbian I believe that would be "odeljenje."
8 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand the question sufficiently. Who was
9 the commander of the reconnaissance squad? Was that your question? The
10 commander of the reconnaissance squad was Mr. Zoran Markovic, called
12 Q. Thank you. And do you recall what his radio code-name or
13 call-sign was and the radio code-names or call-signs of any of the other
14 commanders within the structure?
15 A. His call-sign was Cegar 41/ -- 45/1, and the commander of the
16 fourth squad was Cegar 45. The other commanders, and there were three of
17 them, the commander of the reconnaissance squad had 45/1 as a call-sign;
18 commander of the 2nd Armoured Mechanised Brigade [as interpreted] was
19 45/2; and the commander of the third squad had the call-sign Cegar 45/3.
20 Q. Thank you. And now if we could focus on the time-period of 1999,
21 and, sir, in 1999 did you and your company of the PJP have occasion to be
22 in the village of Ljubizda near Prizren and could you describe the
23 activities of yourself and the PJP relative to that assignment?
24 MR. IVETIC: I apologise, Your Honour, we have a transcript issue.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have a problem with
1 the transcript, as my colleague said, page 69, line 1, it says 2nd
2 Armoured Mechanised Brigade, and this is not what the witness said. It's
3 not a brigade, so we want to avoid confusion in the transcript and later.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: You gave the call-sign Cegar 45/2. Can you tell us
5 whose call-sign that was?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the commander of the armoured
7 mechanised squad as part of the 5th Platoon. It was a squad that moved
8 around in an armoured truck, 110, that's what it was called, a truck that
9 was armoured. It was protected by some metal items as well as rubber
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Ivetic.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
14 Q. Now, sir, if we could focus for the time-period of 1999. In 1999
15 did you and your company of the PJP have occasion to be on assignment in
16 the village of Ljubizda near Prizren and could you describe the activities
17 of yourself and the PJP relative to that assignment?
18 A. Yes. My company did have activities in the village of Ljubizda,
19 it's a village close to Prizren. I cannot tell you exactly how many
20 kilometres it's away from Prizren, but I think it's maybe up to 10
21 kilometres away.
22 Q. Could you describe the activities that your company and the other
23 PJP engaged in in Ljubizda in 1999 during this time-period?
24 A. From what my platoon, or rather, squad commander informed me, and
25 he in turn was informed by the platoon and the company commanders, I
1 received information that there was a strong terrorist group stronghold in
2 that village that was very much entrenched, that they were firing quite
3 fiercely on the civilian population, also that there was sniper activities
4 and there was a lot of fear in that village. After preparation my company
5 went towards Ljubizda where we naturally by establishment, us from the
6 reconnaissance squad went first.
7 When we came to the centre of the village and before that, we did
8 not -- we were not exposed to any KLA fire or fire from the terrorist
9 group. We found out from the inhabitants that this was a village where
10 there was a headquarters of the Prizren city military department and that
11 the village was under the command of Colonel Tomislav Mitic, about whom I
12 know that he's actually from the same area as myself and that we actually
13 lived some 3 to 4 kilometres away from each other. I wanted to meet that
14 man because I had heard that this man was in Prizren.
15 We asked around and the inhabitants said where this staff of the
16 military department was, and we came to the house where the staff
17 headquarters was located. This is where Colonel Mitic met us, and that
18 was where I met him for the first time because as I said before, I had
19 heard of the colonel but I did not know him personally. We spoke there
20 for a little bit and he told us that there were no Siptar terrorist
21 activities in the village, that the village was very quiet, and that there
22 were no problems. He also informed us that the neighbouring village, the
23 village of Korisa that was maybe some 5 to 7 kilometres away from
24 Ljubizda, was where these strong entrenched terrorist groups were located
25 and who were using sniper rifles and rifles of larger calibre to fire at
1 civilians and other structures in the village of Ljubizda. We stayed. I
2 have to say this again.
3 Before that, my company commander also came, Mr. Nenad Stojkovic,
4 who also spoke with Mr. Mitic. I don't know and -- what Mr. Stojkovic
5 talked about with the detachment commander, but in about two or three
6 hours we left Ljubizda and went towards Korisa.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just to be clear that we've got the correct
8 information in English. The KLA were firing at you or firing at Ljubizda
9 from a range of 7 kilometres?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I think I said, from
11 what I can remember, that Ljubizda was about 5 to 7 kilometres away from
12 the place of Ljubizda and the Siptar terrorists from that place who were
13 entrenched there, because that village is at the foot of a mountain,
14 probably there were terrorists who were closer to the village of Ljubizda
15 and that is from where they fired at the inhabitants of the village and
16 the other structures.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you not know where they were?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please repeat the question.
19 Who do you mean when you say "where they were"?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The terrorists.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I didn't know, but I heard
22 from the colonel that the terrorists were in the nearby hills above the
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And how many of the civilian population had they
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. And to clarify, how long in total were -- was your company the PJP
5 in the village of Ljubizda?
6 A. I cannot really tell you for sure, but I think it was four, five,
7 possibly six hours.
8 Q. Thank you. And during that time-period did you have any other
9 interactions with civilians apart from what you've already identified for
11 A. Yes, yes, we did.
12 Q. Could you describe for me that contact.
13 A. This was when we entered the village. I was able to see that in
14 the village, and I even heard from Mr. Mitic, the population that was
15 living there was divided or mixed, it was Serbian, Montenegrin, and
16 Albanian. But I saw myself that when we entered the village people were
17 disturbed or got agitated in a way, most probably from what I heard from
18 them, they were afraid of the bombing of NATO aeroplanes and because of
19 the activities of a large group of Siptar terrorists who were in the
20 near -- immediate vicinity of the village and afraid of that, they were
21 leaving their houses and going in a column that was right next to the
22 village and then I really have no information about where they continued
23 after that.
24 Q. Do you have any information or knowledge of any of your superior
25 officers issuing orders for civilians to be forcibly evicted from this
2 A. Are you thinking of the village of Ljubizda?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. I don't have that information. There was no such information.
5 There was no order that people should be thrown out of the village,
6 Albanians and so on. I responsibly state that we did not have such an
8 Q. You mentioned the village of Korisa. With respect to Korisa, did
9 your company have occasion thereafter to go to Korisa?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry to interrupt you, and that question, you
11 will be able to answer in a moment.
12 Can I just be -- you've told us what orders you did not get. What
13 were your orders when you went into the village?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that, in
15 response to previous questions put to me by the Defence, that my company
16 commander had information, I assume that he received it from the
17 commander, that large terrorist groups of Albanian terrorists were in this
18 village of Ljubizda who were entrenched and very well-armed and that they
19 were firing at the civilian population that happened to be in the village
20 and this is why --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Obviously when you arrive you see the situation for
22 yourself. So what were the orders you had when you went into the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We couldn't see -- couldn't see if
25 there were these strong terrorist groups in the village, but when we
1 entered the village we received information from Mr. Mitic, whom I
2 mentioned before, that there was no terrorist group activity in the
3 village and that these groups were acting from the neighbouring village,
4 from encampments that were closer to Korisa.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Now, the question Mr. Ivetic asked you was: Did you go to
7 Korisa? Can you answer that now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC:
11 Q. With respect to Korisa, can you tell us of any activities in that
12 village undertaken at that time by your company of the PJP?
13 A. Moving from Ljubizda towards Korisa, the terrorists noticed our
14 movement and they were withdrawing systematically towards the mountain
15 above Suva Reka, so that when we entered the entrance to the village there
16 were practically no inhabitants left in the village.
17 Q. And do you have any knowledge or information or did you ever hear
18 of any order issued by commandant Mitrovic or any other PJP officer with
19 respect to Korisa, encouraging -- encouraging theft in Korisa?
20 A. This is not correct. I didn't receive any command from my platoon
21 commander or squad commander who had a hand-held radio who was connected
22 with the company commander. Since I was quite often close to the company
23 commander and he was often there immediately in our vicinity, we were able
24 to hear the commands being issued by the commander. So I did not hear
25 such an order. There was no order like that, any kind of theft or any
1 kind of crime that was counter to the Geneva Conventions or any other
2 laws, all acts in violation of these laws were strictly forbidden.
3 Q. Just waiting for the transcript and translation to catch up with
4 you, sir.
5 Now, sir, I'd like to move to another area of questioning and to
6 try and do this in a very open way I would ask for Exhibit P2629 to be
7 pulled up on e-court.
8 Sir, have you had occasion to be shown this photograph and other
9 photographs in this series previously?
10 A. Yes, I am familiar with these photographs. They were shown to me
11 at the district prosecutor's office for war crimes in Belgrade.
12 Q. And when were those photographs shown to you and under what
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you ask that again, Mr. Ivetic, since there
15 was an overlap.
16 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
17 Q. Could you tell us when these photographs were shown to you in the
18 district prosecutor's office for war crimes in Belgrade and under what
20 A. These photographs were shown to me, if I remember correctly, on
21 the 5th of March, 19 -- 2007 at the war crimes section in Belgrade.
22 Besides this photograph, I was shown four more --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I interrupt for just a moment.
24 Mr. Ivetic, these appear to be under seal. I don't know why. Can
25 anyone alert us to that?
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, they were I think initially shown in
2 connection with a protected witness.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So on their own, there is no problem?
4 MR. HANNIS: No, on their own I don't think there's a problem as
5 long as we're not making a connection between him and that particular
6 protected witness.
7 MR. IVETIC: And I believe these are the same pictures that were
8 published in the newspaper article that the Prosecution and I had
9 discussed earlier.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll -- we'll lift the confidentiality
11 from the photographs.
12 MR. IVETIC:
13 Q. Now, first of all, sir, are you depicted in this photograph?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And could you -- could you -- I see that you were in the middle of
16 answering the circumstances under which you were shown these photographs
17 and then we had the discussion about the confidentiality of the
18 photographs. Could you please finish your discussion about the
19 circumstances surrounding when and how this photograph and if any other
20 photographs were shown to you by the public prosecutor in Belgrade in
21 March of 2007.
22 A. In March, or rather, on the 5th of March, 2007, I was summoned to
23 report to the UPOBOK in Belgrade in order to talk about the circumstances
24 when these photographs were taken and about crimes that had taken place in
1 Q. And do you happen to know or were you informed by the public
2 prosecutor how these photographs had come to their attention?
3 A. Yes, yes, I was informed.
4 Q. And what were the -- well --
5 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I don't believe that we're treading on
6 any issue of identifying anyone, but for the sake of caution perhaps we
7 could just pop into private session to make sure that the question I asked
8 does not lead to any production of any -- anything. I'm at Your Honour's
9 discretion, actually. I was going to ask where -- what he was told about
10 the photographs coming into the attention of the prosecutor's office.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: I don't know what the answer will be, but it could
13 possibly raise an issue so I would join in that request.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session
16 [Private session]. [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
21 Q. Could you now, sir, please tell us how -- what the prosecutor of
22 the Belgrade district court told you with respect to how -- where these
23 photographs had come from or your knowledge of the same?
24 A. I received information from the prosecutor at the war crimes
25 sector that the pictures came or the photos came from a colleague who was
1 together in the company with me and who is from my area where I come from,
2 and that he had given the photographs to Ms. Natasa Kandic, who published
3 those pictures in the Danas newspaper, and this is what got them
4 interested in the case. He didn't tell me actually the name of the person
5 who provided the pictures.
6 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that part satisfies my question. If we
7 could go back to open session, I think that we could deal with the rest in
8 open session.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Any reason why that should remain private,
13 Mr. Hannis?
14 MR. HANNIS: No, I don't think so, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
16 The part recently heard in private session will be made public.
17 Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Milenkovic, could you, please, in as much detail as possible
20 explain for us the factual circumstances that led to the time in 1999 when
21 this picture was taken. What had transpired prior to this picture being
22 taken on the ground at this time?
23 A. I cannot remember the exact date when this happened, since this
24 was a long time ago. The company commander informed us that larger groups
25 of terrorists were to be found in the area of the locality of Vinogradi
1 above I think it was the village of Randobrava, but please don't hold me
2 to that. I'm not 100 per cent sure. I'm partially sure that it was above
3 the Randobrava village. And then pursuant to the order for us to prepare
4 in terms of what we needed to take with us of the equipment, we assumed
5 that this was going to be a slightly larger action where we were supposed
6 to free the road in that area of the territory that I mentioned earlier.
7 We set off on foot, and I'm not quite sure here either but I think
8 it's some 7 to 8 kilometres and there was a small wood where we, being
9 tired from the long trip and the equipment that we were carrying and being
10 tired from our previous stay in several places where these events were
11 happening, we received an order from the company commander to stop for a
12 while and to rest there. There was an armoured vehicle with us from my
13 personal company that was armoured and where different things were that
14 were essential for us, and I'm thinking here of food, water, ammunition,
15 and some other items that were essential to us. While we were resting one
16 of the members, since in that part of the cleansing there were other
17 companies of the 37th Detachment taking part, thinking of the companies
18 from Pirot, Prokuplje, Krusevac, probably, Vranje. One of the members of
19 the Pirot company needed to go to the toilet, and he went some 15 or 20
20 metres in front of us in order to relieve himself.
21 10 to 20 minutes [as interpreted] later the man came running with
22 his trousers down at his knees and shouted out to everyone: "Boys, I
23 noticed a large group of terrorists, they have a large fortified position.
24 Take up positions quickly. They're going to kill us."
25 We took this very seriously. The company commander confirmed this
1 and ordered that we take up positions and make ourselves as safe as
2 possible to save our own lives. As we were moving and taking up the
3 safest possible positions, the best-covered ones in the location, we must
4 have been noticed by the terrorists who were at an elevation 400 to 500
5 metres away from us. As soon as they saw us, they opened extremely strong
6 fire at my unit and the other units.
7 MR. IVETIC: Why don't you just hold there for a second, I see my
8 colleague's on his feet.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Sorry, line 6, page 80, the witness
10 said 10 to 20 seconds later, not minutes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. IVETIC: And if I can --
13 Q. If I can ask you, Mr. Milenkovic, what happened after fire was
14 opened up on you and how long did that fire engagement last?
15 A. That's what I was about to say. They opened extremely strong fire
16 with automatic rifles and heavy machine-guns. The fighting lasted for
17 about two hours. My company commander Mr. Nenad Stojkovic, since we were
18 very close, informed the commander that we were under heavy fire, the
19 Siptar terrorists had left their trenches -- in fact, they were firing
20 from their trenches from a position dominant over us and they could easily
21 take advantage of the situation and inflict losses.
22 When he informed Commander Mitrovic, he also asked for assistance,
23 meaning from the mortar squad. After about 10 minutes we received the
24 support of mortars, but since we were not able to communicate with them,
25 as the mortar squad was part of the 5th Platoon and was below the location
1 of this event, we could not inform the commander of the mortar squad about
2 anything and we could not guide him to the targets. However, those men
3 who were trained for mortars did their job well and mortar shells landed
4 in the heart of their trenches.
5 The fighting lasted for about two hours -- I'm sorry, I forgot to
6 mention that while the fighting was going on the company commander
7 communicated very frequently with the commander because the commander
8 wanted to know about the situation, he wanted to be kept posted, and he
9 regularly issued orders to the commander of mine and other companies to be
10 as careful as possible and to avoid losses and save the men.
11 After two hours, my commander informed the commander of the
12 detachment, Mr. Mitrovic, that fire had stopped and we were able to see
13 without any visual aids, with the naked eye, we could see the terrorists
14 running to the vineyards nearby. I heard distinctly that Commander
15 Mitrovic ordered Nenad Stojkovic on the radio to evaluate the situation
16 himself, and if it was possible to safely send the reconnaissance squad to
17 do some scouting and see what really happened at the position from which
18 the terrorists fired at us, to do it.
19 Q. And did you as part of the reconnaissance squad have occasion to
20 advance or move into the position where the trenches of the KLA had been?
21 A. No. We, the scouts, the six of us, took cover a safe position
22 from which we fired as best we could at the position of the terrorists
23 where they were firing from. The whole time that the fighting lasted,
24 nobody among us made any attempt to go forward and reach them because
25 their weaponry was very heavy and they could easily reach us and inflict
1 heavy losses, which we wanted to avoid of course.
2 Q. Could you lead us to the point in time what transpired leading up
3 to the picture and then after this picture was taken?
4 A. I said that a moment ago. When Mitrovic informed Stojkovic,
5 Stojkovic ordered the commander of the reconnaissance squad to go to the
6 position from which the terrorists had fired. Since there was still some
7 sporadic fire, we crawled and we managed with great difficulty, since we
8 were under fire all the way, we managed to reach the trenches where the
9 Siptar terrorists had fortified themselves.
10 When we reached the point of destination, we took up the combat
11 posture that we had learned well during training. We were well fanned
12 out, 7 to 10 metres between each two of us. When we reached the trenches,
13 we saw a horrific sight, several of them dead, blankets, ammunition,
14 equipment scattered about, four or five Chinese-made machine-guns, if I
15 remember correctly. And I recognised them easily because of -- because I
16 had seen those Chinese machine-guns earlier when we seized them and turned
17 them over to our commanding officers who drove them to their SUPs. We
18 were very careful observing all the time, trying to make sure that nobody
19 was watching us hidden in the vineyards from a position from which they
20 could kill us.
21 I heard our squad commander inform the company commander that we
22 had performed our assignment, that the site was horrific, and the order he
23 received then was to search the terrain very thoroughly and report back.
24 We combed the terrain crawling, trying to avoid being seen from the
25 terrorists hiding in the vineyards, trying to avoid getting killed. And
1 at one point we heard somebody moaning from inside a connecting trench.
2 As far as I can remember Dejan Mihajlovic, one of the scouts, and Zoran,
3 the commander of the reconnaissance squad, were the first to go in. I was
4 not far from there, and I heard from them that there were people wounded
5 inside. I came out from behind a bush holding my rifle in the combat
6 posture that I learned during training, and that's the posture you can see
7 on the photograph as I'm standing over this seriously wounded man who was
8 gasping for breath and there came a wheezing sound from his throat, he was
9 so badly wounded.
10 Nearby there was another wounded person. His wound was in the
11 arm, in his thigh, and there was blood all over his head, but I'm not sure
12 whether that was a shrapnel wound or there was just some staining from
13 other wounds. In another photograph you would see a different picture.
14 The commander --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat this.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Milenkovic. There's a part that
17 the interpreter did not pick up. You started off by saying: "In another
18 photograph there's a different picture ..." Could you continue from there,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant those photographs that the
21 judge from the war crimes chamber showed me in Belgrade. I'm sorry.
22 When Mr. Markovic, our commander, took that little bag from the
23 man's shoulder, we thought it was one of their commanding officers, he
24 opened the bag and found inside a telephone that we later realized was a
25 satellite phone. He took the telephone and gave it to Goran Velickovic,
1 deputy squad commander, who was also on this reconnaissance mission with
2 us. Searching on through that bag, Zoran found a red notebook and a
3 ball-point pen -- in fact, several pens.
4 When he opened the notebook he found many entries. On one of the
5 pages there was a list of persons, but I have to tell you that everything
6 written there was in Albanian and none of us could read or understand
7 Albanian. So we didn't know what it was. But when we came to one page we
8 found perhaps 70 or so names from Orahovac, and I remember that distinctly
9 because it wasn't the Serbian version Orahovac, it was in Albanian,
10 Rahovec, and that's what told us that these persons listed were from
11 Orahovac, Velika Hoca, Opterusa, and some other nearby villages. I can't
12 remember all of them.
13 Zoran was leafing through that notebook. The person whom you see
14 in the photograph was still breathing wheezingly, he was so badly
15 wounded. The commander of our squad took his portable radio, informed the
16 company commander Stojkovic about the situation and the wounded people
17 we'd found and what they were carrying.
18 As we were doing that, another one of the scouts out there
19 collected the weapons scattered around the trenches, and I believe there
20 were three to four light machine-guns that were typically Chinese made
21 with the round drum for ammunition. We put it all in one heap, and when
22 our commander Zoran informed the company commander what we had found on
23 the spot he probably told him to contact the detachment commander because
24 he was the only one who was able to. And our Commander Zoran Markovic had
25 another radio, providing direct link with the company commander; he must
1 have received orders to give maximum care to these two wounded men and try
2 to get them alive to the -- that truck, that armoured truck, 110, that we
3 had left somewhere behind. I heard Zoran say to the company commander
4 that one man was so badly wounded that he was about to die any minute.
5 There was still sporadic firing going on. We were still afraid
6 for our lives, and we had to execute that order and we tried to give them
7 all the assistance we could, both medical and otherwise, because we knew
8 we would need them alive for the sake of information they could provide us
9 because one of them had what looked like a list of Serbs and other people
10 from a nearby place who had been liquidated. We took some tent canvass
11 and put on it, not this one who is in the photo but the other man who was
12 carrying that little bag with documents. In addition to the bag, he also
13 had a belt with a pistol, and on his jacket -- on top of his jacket he had
14 a vest and in the vest there were stock ammunition clips for an automatic
15 rifle, which indeed we found lying next to him.
16 The person, the one who's in the picture, I noticed that he must
17 have already received some assistance from one of his fellow fighting
18 men. He had a tourniquet above his knee and his knee looked horrible. It
19 was like a flower in bloom, which was an indication of a shrapnel wound,
20 not a bullet. It must have been a mortar shell that hit him. The man was
21 about to faint, to pass out, and you have to remember we were in danger
22 ourselves. We put the other man on that piece of canvass and trying to
23 run under cover taking turns, because there was six of us, we somehow
24 managed to bring that wounded man to the truck where our company commander
25 was waiting. The man whom we got to the truck was much less seriously
1 wounded than the one we had left behind. He was able to speak Serbian. I
2 think he said he hailed from Velika Krusa or Velika Hoca, I can't be sure
3 now, and he asked for water.
4 Since we were carrying a lot of equipment that was compulsory by
5 regulation, there were very few of us carrying water and we must have used
6 it up on the way there and very few of us had water. When we needed it
7 for ourselves we would get some from our truck. So anyway, this man asked
8 for water. I felt really horrible, I must say. He was a harrowing sight,
9 he had a lot of blood on his head, he was bleeding from his arm and from
10 his leg, and there was a puddle next to the truck from the rain that had
11 fallen a few days earlier. We didn't have enough water in the truck so I
12 took this clear water from the puddle, because it was really clear, in a
13 plastic bag and brought it to the wounded man. He was unable to raise his
14 arm because he was injured in the arm. He was just opening his mouth. I
15 put the plastic bag close to his mouth, he tore it with his teeth and
16 started to drink. Then Commander Nenad Stojkovic ordered us scouts to
17 take up the circular defence position so as to make him safe because he
18 had already informed the commander to send an investigation team.
19 After this, we removed ourselves to 50 metres away and took up the
20 circular defence position. Perhaps an hour or so later, maybe two hours,
21 I can't be sure, one of us returned to the truck to get something,
22 probably food because there was not much water there anyway, and night was
23 already falling. I can't tell you now exactly which one of our scouts it
24 was. And when he came back to us, he told us the wounded man had died.
25 What happened later with him, I don't know.
1 Q. Okay. At -- was your --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that the one who's in the truck who died?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And the other one was left, the more seriously
5 injured one was left where he was?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that one, we tried to save him
7 as well somehow, but since we were under heavy fire -- it was sporadic but
8 still heavy --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic obviously wanted an awful lot of detail
10 from you. I don't for my purposes at the moment. I just want to be
11 clear. The one that we see in the photograph, he was the one left behind;
12 is that correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we tried to help him and he was
14 so badly --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes or no. He know how badly -- is he the one who
16 was left behind?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he was left there.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Did he die?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
23 Q. Did any --
24 A. Just one -- if I may just add, Your Honours. That other one, I
25 didn't see him die there on the spot. I heard only the next day when the
1 investigation team had arrived, the one that had tried to come even
2 earlier; however, after nightfall it was not safe for that investigation
3 team to set off from Randobrava and come to our position so the
4 investigation took place only the next day.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I only need answers very specific to the questions
6 I ask, and please bear that in mind if I ask you any questions.
7 Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Q. You mentioned in the course of the --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment, Mr. Ivetic.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: One thing is perhaps not clear. The person we see
13 in the photograph, were you present when he died?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: He was the one left behind, is it? Was he the one
16 left behind?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And he was injured.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Ivetic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was ...
22 MR. IVETIC:
23 Q. With respect -- let me try and clear up the other issue first.
24 Judge Bonomy asked you about this individual. The other
25 individual, were you present when the other individual died either,
1 physically present with him when he died?
2 A. No. I said that on the orders of the company commander ...
3 Q. Now, you indicated --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: There's an incomplete answer there, Mr. Ivetic,
6 You're recorded as saying -- and this problem is caused by you not
7 just answering the question that you're asked. You said something
8 about: "I said that on the orders of the company commander ..."
9 What were you trying to say?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You'll have to repeat the question,
11 because Mr. Ivetic had asked me for an extensive description of this
12 incident and I gave --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That's some time ago. You were just asked a moment
14 ago: "Were you present when the other individual died either, physically
15 present with him when he died?"
16 And you said: "No. I said that on the orders of the company
17 commander ..."
18 And then we have no more. What were you going to say?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have repeated that earlier as
20 well, perhaps a minute or two prior to that. When we brought that person
21 to the truck and we turned him over to the company commander and other
22 people around the truck, the company commander ordered us to organize a
23 circular defence to put ourselves in, circular defence position, in order
24 to protect both ourselves and the people who were there in the vicinity
25 and we did that. And that was 50 to 70 or 80 metres away, roughly, from
1 the site where the event took place and where this person was left.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. Were any of the members of your company trained to provide medical
6 A. There was a doctor in the logistics squad some 8 kilometres away
7 from the site of the event, and I've mentioned that earlier.
8 Q. Were you able to establish direct radio-to-radio contact with the
10 A. While I was standing by the truck, the company commander attempted
11 to call Cegar 45/2 or /3, I'm not sure, which is the personal call-sign
12 for the logistics squad where the doctor was. However, since we used only
13 hand-held radios, we didn't have other ones, since all relay stations had
14 been destroyed for radio communications and due to the terrain, the
15 configuration was not accessible, Nenad Stojkovic did not manage to
16 establish contact with that squad to ask for the doctor and them to come
17 to assist them. However, he informed Mitrovic, who I guess was in the
18 vicinity of Prizren where the frequency was good enough in order to
19 establish communication and they also had better radio equipment than the
20 one that was in possession of the company commander and squad commander.
21 Q. Now, with respect to when these items were shown to you at the
22 public prosecutor's in Belgrade, you indicated other photographs. What
23 was done with those photographs by the prosecutor? Or -- what did you ask
24 the prosecutor to do with those photographs?
25 A. The prosecutor in Belgrade showed me I think five photographs.
1 The first photograph that was shown to me is the one that we can see on
2 the monitors right now. Then I asked the judge, given that he claimed
3 that they were made on the same camera and same negative, that they were
4 developed from the same negative, I asked them to put the pictures in the
5 chronological order. I wanted to see the photograph that was taken first
6 up to the fifth, and the prosecutor did that.
7 In the first picture and the only one that we see now, you can see
8 me coming out of the bush with my gun at the ready. And when I put this
9 on my computer at home I could see that the barrel of the gun is not
10 pointed at this person at all. My finger is also not on the trigger.
11 Q. If I can ask you, do any of the other photographs that were shown
12 to you by Investigator Stankovic when put in chronological order show this
13 individual shown in this picture after you had -- after you had left, that
14 is to say Prosecutor Stankovic, I apologise, investigative judge or
15 Prosecutor Stankovic?
16 A. I don't know his name. I've forgotten it. I was shown five
17 photographs. Out of those I think that on four photographs you can see
18 the person who is shown on the first photograph. There is nobody else
19 other than him and me. When asked by the prosecutor, since I was allowed
20 to put questions, I asked the prosecutor, since it says at the bottom
21 there's a caption saying that this is photo documentation of a murder. I
22 asked him on the second or third picture, or rather, when I was asked on
23 the second or third picture, Does the person there look alive or not? I
24 said -- the answer was, He looked alive.
25 Q. And now to your knowledge -- strike that. Since you gave this
1 interview last year to the prosecutor, you have not been -- strike that.
2 Have you been charged with any wrong-doing relating to this
4 A. No.
5 Q. To your knowledge, have any of the various individuals from your
6 PJP company been charged by the prosecutor's office in Belgrade with
7 criminal responsibility for the events -- for the events --
8 A. I know very well that nobody was charged. You asked me but I
9 didn't manage to complete my answer. I offered to the war crimes
10 prosecutor who questioned me at the time to give me a test, a polygraph
11 test so that I could prove I was telling the truth. Because I know for a
12 fact that none of us killed that person. This person died as a result of
13 serious wounds. You can see in the picture the state that his leg was in,
14 and it is obvious that this wound didn't come from a gun or a
15 small-calibre weapon -- from a rifle or a small-calibre weapon.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Milenkovic. I know this has been a trying ordeal
17 for you. I thank you for your time and cooperation.
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
21 Mr. Aleksic, no questions?
22 Mr. Bakrac.
23 Mr. Milenkovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
24 Mr. Hannis.
25 Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
3 Q. Mr. Milenkovic, you told us that when you first were in the police
4 you worked at the police station in Crna Trava and then in 1997 at your
5 own request you were transferred. Why did you request a transfer in 1997?
6 A. Since I was born in a lovely town called Lipovica, as I've told
7 you, which is 8 kilometres from Vlasenica -- Vlasotince and since we built
8 our family home and we wanted our children to go to good schools and we
9 wanted general prosperity for our family, we wanted to move to Vlasotince
10 because the place where we were living at the time didn't really offer any
11 good prospects for me or for anybody else.
12 Q. Are you still a member of the MUP?
13 A. I am.
14 Q. Where is that?
15 A. Leskovac police administration, police branch office in
17 Q. And who is the current chief of the Leskovac police station? Or
18 maybe I should say the Leskovac SUP.
19 A. It's not SUP. Lieutenant-Colonel Slavoljub Sakic is chief of the
20 Leskovac SUP.
21 Q. And during your time with the MUP, have you ever been subject to
22 disciplinary procedures?
23 A. Yes, once or twice, something like that. Minor omissions in
24 service. If necessary, I can give you details.
25 Q. Yes, please. Would you tell us about the first time, when was
1 that and what was that for?
2 A. The first time was -- it will probably be funny to you, but I
3 didn't put a cap on my head and I had a commander who was quite strict so
4 I was fined with a fine of 10 per cent of my salary. On the second
5 occasion, either in 1989 or 1990, I think it was in 1990, I had a traffic
6 accident in a police vehicle, and at the time it was established that
7 there was an omission on the part of my commander and other colleagues and
8 I was punished by assigning me to a different job and I suffered the
9 consequences without going on a sick leave. I don't think that it was a
10 major violation of my work duty. A traffic accident can happen to anyone
11 in a company or a service vehicle too.
12 Q. Sure. And when approximately was the first time you got the
13 discipline for failing to put the cap on your head, what year?
14 A. That was long time ago. I think it was in 1986 or 1987. To tell
15 you the truth, I have to give you another example that would explain
16 that. At that time there was a celebration going on celebrating the day
17 of youth and there was a -- something of a relay race --
18 Q. I'm sorry. Let me interrupt you --
19 A. -- and I think up to my commander who was quite a strict person.
20 Q. Let me interrupt you there. Apart from those two occasions, are
21 you saying those are the only two times during your career in the MUP that
22 you were disciplined, right?
23 A. I think so.
24 Q. You told us then that after that first transfer you had another
25 request to be transferred and you went to the A formation for a company of
1 the 37th Detachment. Why did you request that second transfer?
2 A. I considered myself to be a stable person in physical and mental
3 sense and that I was able to do that job. It was -- I was personally
4 proud of being a member of the 37th Detachment. It wasn't a matter of
5 money. And in that formation I had my old friends, both friends from
6 school and from the police station where I worked, and this was the
7 decisive factor in my decision to join the A formation.
8 Q. Did you have a nickname you were known by by your fellow PJP
10 A. I did.
11 Q. What was that?
12 A. Sisarka.
13 Q. And could you explain the difference to us between an A formation
14 and a B formation in the 37th Detachment of the PJP or in PJP
15 detachments. What's the difference between A and B?
16 A. There is no particular difference, great difference, the main
17 difference being that members of the 37th Detachment were mostly men who
18 were psychologically ready, ready to carry out delicate, difficult, and
19 complex assignments at any time, assignments given to us by the command.
20 As I have said previously to your earlier question, we used that unit in
21 order to capture and arrest serious criminals, to locate terrorist groups,
22 and to maintain law and order in large competitions, football games, and
23 in large gatherings.
24 Q. Well, I may have misunderstood some earlier evidence in this
25 case. I understood that the A detachments were the ones that were
1 manoeuvre units and went out and did things, and that the B detachments
2 were territorial or perhaps reserve. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Okay. You told us earlier today at page 51, line 12, that I think
5 you were in the 4th Company of the 37th Detachment, which consisted of --
6 the 37th Detachment consisted of six companies, and you named the places
7 they were from. Which -- where were the people in the 4th Company from,
8 what geographic area?
9 A. The 4th Company comprised members of the secretariat in Leskovac
10 and other organizational units that belonged to the secretariat in
11 Leskovac, such as police station in Crna Trava, Vlasotince, in Medvedja,
12 in Lebane, in Bunik as well as two police squads which were part of the
13 Leskovac and that was the one in Vucje and in --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the last location.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. Can you repeat the last location for us. The interpreter didn't
17 hear that.
18 A. In Vucje and in Pecenjarice.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. Which was part of the police station in Leskovac.
21 Q. Were there six companies of the 37th Detachment in both 1998 and
22 in 1999 during the war?
23 A. I'm not sure about that.
24 Q. Okay. Do you know how many companies for sure there were in the
25 37th Detachment in 1999?
1 A. Yes, I'm sure about that.
2 Q. And how many was that, was that six?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you told us about the pay difference between being a
5 member of the PJP and being I guess just a general-duty policeman, and
6 that doesn't sound like very much of an incentive to join the PJP. It's
7 not for the money obviously, right?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. So what is the attraction? Do you get better uniforms?
10 A. Are you referring to me specifically?
11 Q. Or anybody joining the PJP. Do you have a better uniform than a
12 regular policeman?
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if he's asking about the witness, I have
14 no objection; if he's asking for the witness to speculate about why other
15 people join the PJP, I do have an objection, based on speculation and
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Well, my question now is just a generic question. Do
19 the PJP have better uniforms than the regular policemen. Now, it may be
20 an incentive for one guy and not another, but I'm right now just trying to
21 establish if there's some quality difference in uniforms.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. You can ask that.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Do I need to repeat the question, sir, or ...
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do the PJP have better-quality uniforms than regular policemen?
2 A. I don't think that the quality of uniforms was significantly
3 different. There were just minor nuances.
4 Q. How about equipment? Is the PJP equipment better?
5 A. At the outset I told you that according to the rules on weapons of
6 police employees, at the time when I was a member of the 37th Detachment
7 everybody received identical weapons and that was a CZ pistol and then
8 automatic rifle 7.62-millimetres.
9 Q. And what kind of weapon would a regular policeman have?
10 A. Absolutely the same.
11 Q. Your rifle --
12 A. Just a moment, please. By your leave. May I?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. You asked me previously if I understood it well, or rather, would
15 you please repeat your previous question.
16 Q. Well, I'm not sure how far back you want me to go. I asked you
17 about what kind of a weapon a regular policeman would have. Do you mean
18 the one before that?
19 A. No, no. What weapons does a regular policeman have. A regular
20 policeman performing regular duties within his police station would be
21 issued a CZ-99 pistol without an automatic rifle.
22 Q. Okay. And what brand or make was your automatic rifle?
23 A. My automatic rifle was a so-called Kalashnikov 7.62-millimetres,
25 Q. What kind of stock does that have? Is the stock made out of
1 plastic or wood or what?
2 A. It's made out of metal, the butt is made out of metal.
3 Q. Did you get any kind of per diem or combat pay when you were sent
4 to Kosovo over and above the usual salary?
5 A. I did.
6 Q. How much was that?
7 A. I wouldn't be able to say what the amount was. I'm not certain
8 any longer. I can't answer that question.
9 Q. Well, was it more significant than the pay difference between a
10 PJP and a regular policeman, which you explained to us was a negligible
12 A. I wish to inform you here that a salary was something we received
13 for our regular tasks and duties. As for the compensation for going on
14 special tasks, that's quite a different matter. Now, exactly what the
15 amount was, I can't remember any longer.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: This is rather different from my understanding of
17 this situation.
18 The extra that you got which you said was about -- instead of a
19 hundred dinars a month it would be 110 dinars, was that only when you were
20 actually on PJP assignment or did you get that extra all the time?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This 0.42 per cent or 0.43 per
22 cent quotient was something we received on the basis of the decision of
23 the chief of the secretariat, and that lasted for as long as we were
24 members of that detachment. Now, what the Prosecutor is asking about is
25 some kind of a compensation that was paid pursuant to some rules that had
1 been adopted at a higher level that I know nothing about.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. Thank you.
3 In fact, though, this 0.42 per cent that I found a very difficult
4 figure to comprehend before, when you put it into real money it's 10 per
5 cent of the salary. That may not be much, but that's what it seems to be
6 in real money. Now we're talking about something different --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so, and I told you that it
8 wasn't about the money.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I quite understand that. Thank you.
10 Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS:
12 Q. Mr. Milenkovic, were you -- during your time in Kosovo in 1998 and
13 1999 were you aware of some Russian volunteers fighting with you and/or
14 with the VJ in the Prizren area? Were you aware of such a unit?
15 A. I state with full responsibility that in my company as well as in
16 my detachment there were no volunteers, be it Russian or of any other
17 nationality. I did hear stories that allegedly there were fighters, both
18 on the side of the KLA and on our side; however, I didn't see them nor can
19 I tell you that I came across any of the Russian volunteers anywhere else,
20 least of all in our detachment.
21 Q. Okay. Did your detachment sometimes engage in joint activities
22 with parts of the 549th Motorised Brigade under -- which was under Colonel
23 Delic? You did, didn't you?
24 A. I have heard of that brigade. Now, whose brigade it was, under
25 whose command, I have no idea. I was just an ordinary policeman carrying
1 out orders of my squad commander, so I really wouldn't be able to answer
2 your question.
3 Q. I'll come back to that. Let me show you a photo. This is Exhibit
4 P1596. You were asked some questions about the PJP uniforms and about
5 wearing ribbons during parts of 1998 and 1999. Can you see that
6 photograph on your monitor now?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Based on those uniforms, can you tell us anything about what unit
9 or what organization these men are associated with? Is that --
10 A. I don't know these boys, but judging by their appearance and the
11 way they're standing and the way they're dressed, not according to
12 regulation, I believe they can't be regular members of the police and I
13 don't know these people.
14 Q. Are those not the blue camouflage police uniforms that were worn
15 in 1998?
16 A. Those are police uniforms, but the vests these people are wearing
17 do not belong to police uniform.
18 Q. Isn't it true that in Kosovo in 1998 and in 1999 at times there
19 were problems with shortages of uniforms and boots for both the MUP and
20 the VJ?
21 A. I don't know about that.
22 Q. Is that because in your detachment you never had any shortage or
23 problem with uniforms or boots?
24 A. That worked really well in our unit, in our company, because
25 organization was at an enviable level in our company. If you allow me to
1 continue, I would say that all of them -- may I?
2 Q. Yes, please.
3 A. All those who were sent to perform assignments would be issued
4 with uniforms that they kept at home, so they were always tidy and always
5 ready to put on their uniform according to regulation. And we were all
6 uniformly dressed.
7 Q. I don't know if you can tell from the photo on your monitor, but
8 you see the two men lying on their side on the ground. The one on the
9 right, can you tell us what's on that patch on his left sleeve? I don't
10 know if we're able to use the magnifying tool to enlarge that portion of
11 the photograph.
12 A. If you could. I cannot make this out. I have 20/20 vision, but I
13 still can't make this out. I cannot distinguish the inscription.
14 Q. Okay. You're familiar with police uniforms in Serbia in 1998 and
15 1999, right?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. And isn't -- wasn't there a similar patch in terms of the shape
18 and colours that were worn on some police uniforms that said
19 either "policija" or "milicija"?
20 A. There may be some similarity, I can't see properly, but if you
21 look at the left-most person on the picture, if you look at his trousers
22 and the trousers of the one next to him, you will see they are not
23 consistent with the colour of trousers that we were issued with. Ours
24 were blue camouflage with distinct insignia of the police. Another
25 remarkable thing is the boots worn by the left-most person. They are not
1 of army colour. We had our own boots that were standard issue.
2 Q. If you would take a look, you'll agree with me that these men are
3 all wearing on their shoulders, on the left shoulder, a red ribbon and on
4 the right shoulder a white ribbon; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. HANNIS: Could we now look at Exhibit 6D667.
7 Q. This is a document we've seen before, not you, sir, but before you
8 were here, which purports to be a plan for marking MUP and VJ units
9 between 25 and 31 July 1998. You were in Kosovo during that time-period,
11 A. I have a problem with interpretation. I didn't understand you
12 very well.
13 Q. Were you in Kosovo during the time of 25 to 31 July 1998?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you read this document where it says that this is a plan
16 for marking MUP and VJ units during that time-period? You see that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. And you'll see that on the 26th of July the markings were red
19 ribbon on the left shoulder and a white ribbon on the right shoulder. In
20 your company in the 37th Detachment did you wear ribbons during July of
22 A. We had ribbons, but they were yellow, blue, and red, and I believe
23 they started to be worn -- I can't be 100 per cent sure, but I'm 90 per
24 cent sure it was end April/early May. But it's more likely that the
25 beginning was on the 24th or the 25th of April, if my memory serves me
1 right. It was at that time that we started to wear ribbons precisely for
2 that reason, and I remember one specific case when one colleague was
3 kidnapped --
4 Q. Let me stop you there. You're going beyond my question at this
5 point. So to your memory you wore blue ribbons and not -- and not white
7 A. Not white ones.
8 Q. And no one's ever told you you've had problems distinguishing
9 colours? You're not colour-blind, right?
10 A. No, I'm not colour-blind.
11 Q. You told us --
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I'm a little confused here. He's
13 talking about April. I believe earlier he testified April -- I'm not
14 listening to the translation so I don't see that the -- if counsel could
15 ask what year we're talking about.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you want to clarify that, Mr. Hannis? The end
17 of April or early May which year?
18 MR. HANNIS: Well, actually I was talking about July 1998 first
19 and --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, we know that, but is the witness talking
21 about the same year?
22 MR. HANNIS: That's what I need to find out.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. Are you telling us that in July 1998 you wore blue, yellow, and
1 red ribbons and you didn't wear any white ribbons in July of 1998?
2 A. I can't tell you that. I really can't remember.
3 Q. You mentioned --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, just before moving off. You were talking
5 about this beginning on the 24th or 25th of April. Which year?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1999 I think.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Earlier in your evidence you told us of ribbons
8 being worn in 1998 and 1999.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't answer this question.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Q. You told us about your problem with your facial skin in the
13 beard. Did you get any kind of medical approval to not shave because of
14 that condition so that you could show it to officers who might give you a
15 hard time about having a beard?
16 A. The doctor informed my company commander himself. I even had a
17 problem when he didn't let me go home for the weekend because I had such a
18 long beard, I was so disciplined, and even the doctor late Branislav Bane
19 asked my company commander to let me not shave for ten days or so at
20 least. But I myself couldn't stand it anymore. There were no proper
21 conditions there to keep clean and I had to shave it off because I was
22 bothered by it.
23 Q. Could you tell us approximately when you were first sent to Kosovo
24 in 1998?
25 A. I think sometime in April.
1 Q. When you were preparing to testify here didn't anything about that
2 refresh your memory about when you first came to Kosovo?
3 A. No.
4 Q. That's the kind of information that would be contained in your
5 personnel file, right?
6 A. I don't understand this question. Can you repeat?
7 Q. Wouldn't that kind of information be reflected in your personnel
8 file, the date that you first were sent to Kosovo?
9 A. Yes, of course. Every member of the PJP had a special -- his own
10 entry in the register, so there is precise information when I was sent to
11 Kosovo, it's just that I don't have it at this moment.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this would be an appropriate point for
13 me if it's convenient to the Court.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
15 Mr. Milenkovic, we have to complete our hearing for the day at
16 this stage and resume tomorrow; that means that you will require to return
17 to complete your evidence tomorrow, and that will be at 9.00 in this
18 courtroom. Meanwhile, it is an important rule that you must have no
19 communication with anyone at all about any aspect of evidence in this
20 case. You can communicate about anything else, but absolutely off limits
21 is any communication about the evidence.
22 Now could you please leave the courtroom with the usher and we
23 will see you again tomorrow at 9.00.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.31 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Friday, the 22nd day of
3 February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.