1 Monday, 25 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. We'll continue now with
6 the evidence of Mr. Vucurevic.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Vucurevic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Your examination by Mr. Lukic will continue in a
11 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the
12 truth that you make at the outset of the evidence continues to apply to
13 that evidence today.
14 Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: RADOVAN VUCUREVIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vucurevic.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. On Friday, we finished on the topic of having documents taken
22 away. Does the loss, destruction, or seizure of documents mean loss of
23 any kind of civic status in the FRY at that point in time?
24 A. Well, the loss of any document does not mean the loss of status of
25 a citizen of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I've already mentioned,
1 if a passport is lost abroad, there is an appropriate procedure to be
2 applied, and the same goes for things that happen within the country; that
3 is to say, that whoever loses his or her passport is duty-bound to report
4 that to the closest police station.
5 The procedure is fully prescribed. The document is proclaimed
6 invalid and a new document is issued. The same goes for personal identity
7 card. That is also a public document that is used for showing a person's
8 identity or proving a person's identity.
9 As for personal identity cards and passports and other documents,
10 there are registers that are kept. For personal IDs and passports, in
11 addition to registers, there are files as well. There are also IS
12 records; that is, the unified information system. So the details of each
13 and every person are kept in several places.
14 I would particularly like to point out the register. The register
15 registers every passport that is issued, that goes for travel documents
16 and personal IDs. Files of issued passports and IDs are kept in
17 accordance with the alphabetical order or either in the Cyrillic or the
18 Latin alphabet. So we can always establish who this person is. If all
19 documents were lost, we look at the print of the right index finger or
20 also statements can be taken from two witnesses.
21 I would like to note that, in addition to the ministry, records on
22 citizens are kept in other services, too, like the register of birth
23 certificates and the register of citizens. They belong to the ministry of
24 state administration and local administration. So this is an independent
25 ministry that also has the details of all the persons who were born in the
1 territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
2 Q. Now, these registers, is there a specific register of a particular
3 ethnic group? For example, is it possible to destroy the register of
4 citizens of Albanian ethnic background or are registers mixed, so to
6 A. There is a single type of register. I said that documents are
7 registered in the order which they are issued. There is a decree with a
8 very long name on archive materials, and it states -- I can't remember its
9 exact name now, but it states that records have to be kept permanently,
10 that's the way it's been since 1945. I don't know if there are any
11 registers before that year.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not clear from that answer. Is it possible to
13 destroy the register of citizens of Albanian ethnic background or are
14 registers mixed? The English translation does not make a clear statement
15 in answer to that. Could you answer that again, please, just the simple
16 question whether the registers are kept on an ethnic -- according to
17 ethnic background.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. There is only a
19 single type of register. There are no registers on the basis of ethnic
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Registers are compiled in the order
23 in which documents are issued and requests received.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. What was done with records just before the bombing started?
3 A. As far as I know, I think that these records were relocated, and I
4 think that this was done by employees from the administration of the
5 border police. I think they were relocated from the secretariats because
6 it was assumed that these would be targets of NATO attacks. So this was
7 done with a view to preserving these records. Where it was that they were
8 taken away, I really don't know.
9 Q. Do you know whether these records were handed over to UNMIK?
10 A. I think that I heard at the administration that this was, indeed,
11 handed over.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the source of your information on this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I've already said, in
14 contacts with employees of the administration because that is my own line
15 of work, too.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, if there's only one record, why give it to
17 UNMIK when it obviously will contain records of people who will no longer
18 be in Kosovo after the war?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really don't know why
20 this was done; but, as I said, in addition to these registers, all the
21 information is kept in computers as well. According to our system, this
22 is called a databank of persons; that is to say, that there are electronic
23 records of all the persons to who personal identity cards were issued to
24 and who lived in which area.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I may have missed it, but I didn't hear an earlier
2 reference to computers.
3 Are you saying they were computerised records in 1999?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, not only in 1999 but
5 also the years before that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I would also like to clarify something. Is there just one record
9 or several records or several types of books or ledgers where the status
10 of citizens is registered?
11 A. As I've already said, the Ministry of the Interior keeps records
12 on personal identity cards that were issued, on passports issued, driver's
13 licences issued, and traffic licences issued; whereas, the Ministry for
14 State Administration is the ministry to which local registry officers
15 belong, and that is where birth certificates are issued and kept and death
16 certificates and all other records pertaining to citizens.
17 Q. Now that we're dealing with this particular area, a minor, a
18 person under age, a child of the age of 10, does such a person have a
19 personal ID?
20 A. Such a person does not have an ID and does not have the obligation
21 to have an ID.
22 Q. Let's assume that this person doesn't have a passport, does this
23 person have the status of a citizen and is this person recorded in
24 records; and if so, in what records to the best of your knowledge?
25 A. First and foremost, in the records of birth. Every child that is
1 born has to be registered. Also, there is a register of the population.
2 Parents are duty-bound to register their children at the SUPs, too, so
3 records can be found about them in the SUPs stating that such persons are
4 citizens of a particular town.
5 Q. What about the record of citizenship, are they registered there,
7 A. As soon as a child is born, the child is registered in the
8 register of citizenship; although, I would like to say that the rules on
9 registration changed several times in our country. So information on
10 citizenship were sometimes registered in birth registers and sometimes in
11 citizenship registers. But I cannot give you the exact periods of time
12 when the records were kept and in which way; but, at any rate, it was
13 always at the local registry offices.
14 Q. Now, one of these records, the record of births, how many copies
15 exist of each and every one of them?
16 A. I think that a register or record of births is kept in a single
17 copy, but the register of citizens in two copies.
18 Q. The register of citizens that is kept in two copies is kept in how
19 many places?
20 A. Records of citizenship are kept in two different places, primarily
21 at the local register offices; and the second copy of the register of
22 citizens is kept in the Ministry of the Interior.
23 Q. Are all of these records kept on a mixed basis, irrespective of
24 the ethnic background of the persons concerned?
25 A. All records are kept on the basis of the order in which requests
1 were received; that is to say, once a child is born and once the parents
2 come to register the child, then an entry is made in the book of births
3 and in the book of citizenship. If I'm being clear, all the records are a
4 single one, so to speak, so there is no particular record of different
6 Q. We heard testimony here that in depth, in the territory of Kosovo
7 and Metohija, personal identity cards were being taken away. We heard
8 stories about border crossings, when people were leaving Kosovo and
9 Metohija, personal IDs were being taken away.
10 Is there any point in that, to take a personal ID card away from a
11 person if one wishes to destroy his identity as a citizen of the Federal
12 Republic of Yugoslavia?
13 A. Well, in my view, that is totally pointless. As I've said, in
14 several places, there are records that are kept about each and every
15 citizen. So someone's identity can always be established. I would like
16 to give an example here. Asylum seekers, quite a few citizens of the
17 former SFRY and of the FRY went illegally to Western countries, and then
18 they were deported or re-admitted into our country. As for documents,
19 they didn't have any on them. They gave information; and on the basis of
20 the information they provided, we established that they were our citizens.
21 For those persons who were our citizens, we sent replies to the
22 state organs of the other countries saying that, yes, these were our
23 citizens; and, of course, we have to be prepared to have them re-admitted
24 into the country.
25 Q. Nebojsa Ognjenovic testified before you from the Vrbnica border
1 crossing, and he was asked about that, whether personal IDs were taken
2 away at the border crossing.
3 Nebojsa Ognjenovic, as a member of the border police station, as
4 he carries out his duties at work, does he have anything to do whatsoever
5 with personal IDs? Does he ever ask a person who comes to his border
6 crossing to show him his or her personal ID card?
7 A. On the basis of the law on crossing the state border and moving
8 within the border area, the procedure is prescribed in full. Identity of
9 persons is checked in this area and identity is established on the basis
10 of a travel document, or rather, a passport. As I said, there are several
11 types of travel documents in our country, and that's why I use that
12 terminology, but the jargon is invariably passport.
13 In this area, the officials only check whether a person does have
14 a travel document, whether it is that person's travel document, whether
15 it's a valid travel document, and whether the person has a visa for
16 travelling to a particular country that requires a visa; that is to say,
17 they don't ask anyone for a personal ID. A personal ID card is a document
18 that is used internally, only within the country within which it was
20 Q. If a person would have a regular, valid personal ID card and would
21 show Nebojsa Ognjenovic or one of his colleagues that personal ID card,
22 could he let such a person leave the country on the basis of the personal
23 ID card?
24 A. No. The said person could not leave the country because in order
25 to leave the country one has to have a travel document?
1 Q. What about Yugoslavia in 1999, were there any international
2 agreements with Albania and Macedonia in place at the time that would have
3 allowed for the movement of citizens across state borders carrying nothing
4 more than an identification document?
5 A. No. Our country had no such agreements with these countries or at
6 least none that I knew of. Since I had been dispatched to Kosovo and
7 Metohija for that sort of business, I should have been informed by the
8 administration itself of any such agreements that existed.
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Just a minute. This thing is not very clear.
10 Were there cases where people, now before all this crisis, travelled
11 across the border to Albania or other places without a passport on the
12 basis of some other identification material? Did they ever travel like
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. As far as I know, people
15 couldn't travel to any country with an identification document alone. You
16 could have travelled with a passport or with border passes, which was
17 another type of travel documents, and this applied only to those countries
18 with which our country had an actual agreement on this. A border pass is
19 only used by citizens who live in the border belt and only in order to
20 travel to the neighbouring -- to a neighbouring country.
21 There is an agreement that specifies the distance, normally
22 between 20 and 50 kilometres, and maybe there is a list of particular
23 towns and villages of places to which citizens of one country are entitled
24 to travel by using only those border passes, potential destinations in the
25 other country.
1 There are even special border crossings that are sometimes set up
2 for this sort of transit, low-intensity transit across the border.
3 Whoever is in possession of such a border pass can go to a particular
4 number of places in the other country. If you want a more graphic
5 explanation, let's take the case of Albania.
6 They could have travelled to Kupres, for example, but not Tirana,
7 Tirana being too far away from this border pass; or, for example, Romania,
8 which is something I happen to know more about. This is the country that
9 concerns the work of my secretariat. And on the basis of these border
10 passes, the people could only travel to these neighbouring countries and
11 only to a very limited list of places.
12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you. And I have one more question. Now,
13 you talked of the registration of citizens in unique registers, not that
14 they were mixed registers or different registers. But did these registers
15 have a column mentioning about the ethnicity of a person? Was there any
16 indication there where somebody had to show his ethnic background in those
17 registers or in the ID cards?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, whenever there was a request
19 for personal identification documents to be issued, that there was a box
20 that stated a person's ethnicity, but no citizen was under an obligation
21 to have this sort of information recorded. They could have if they had
22 opted to; and, normally, this type of information was something you could
23 always find in the records. None of the state bodies had the power to
24 impose on citizens the obligation to state their ethnicity or their ethnic
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. I'll try to pick up where His Honour left off. On an
4 identification document, is there a special category showing any person's
6 A. No, not on personal identification documents. Personal
7 information is all you can find there: One's name, one's father's name,
8 the date of birth, the place of birth, the date the document was issued,
9 the authority that issued the document, and validity or date of expiry.
10 Q. What about passports, is ethnicity displayed on a passport of the
12 A. No. Ethnicity is not indicated on a passport either.
13 Q. Let me go back to what you discussed with His Honour Judge
14 Chowhan. You mentioned Romania, you said you knew more about that, the
15 cross-border traffic by citizens. Was there any such agreement in place
16 back in 1999 between the FRY, on the one hand, and Romania, on the other?
17 A. As far as I know, it did exist. I can't say when the agreement
18 was reached, but it must have been reached about 30 years ago at least,
19 and the same situation applied to the Republic of Hungary. The Novi Sad
20 secretariat is right on the border. It straddles the border to the
21 Republic of Croatia. So we have such an agreement in place with Croatia,
22 as well.
23 Q. Was there any such agreement between the FRY and Albania in 1999,
24 as far as you're aware?
25 A. I was not aware of any such agreement.
1 Q. I think we have now sufficiently clarified this area, and I'd like
2 to move on to something else.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have 6D130 brought up in
5 Q. We see the document now. Let me ask you this first: Who issued
6 this dispatch?
7 A. It was issued by the public security sector.
8 Q. Who is it addressed to?
9 A. If you look at the header, you see the Federal Ministry of the
10 Interior mentioned there, for their information; secretariat of the
11 interior from 1 to 33, to the chief; all border police stations, to the
12 commander; the MUP staff in Pristina, to the head of staff; and the last
13 name mentioned there is administrations within the police headquarters,
14 police administration, traffic police administration, crime police
15 administration, operations centre, for their information.
16 Q. What about the location of the HQ, I mean the one mentioned among
17 the addressees, can we actually tell the location in the reporting chain
18 or in the reporting system?
19 A. If you look at the document, you see that it was sent directly to
20 all the secretariats of the interior and border police stations, because
21 they are the ones receiving the certain kinds of instructions here. And
22 only underneath can you see the headquarters of the interior in Pristina;
23 although, in my opinion, the staff only received this for information
25 Q. Thank you. What about the head of the MUP staff, was he in a
1 position to issue any instructions to the chief of your -- to the head of
2 your administration in purely professional terms?
3 A. If so, I was certainly not aware of that. I don't think that he
4 was in a position to issue any instructions or orders to the head of my
6 Q. Could the head of the MUP staff use you as a channel to change any
7 rules or any methods that were in your professional purview?
8 A. No. The head of the MUP staff could not do that through me;
9 however, this document is one of the examples showing that anything
10 concerning the line of work that I was involved in came directly from the
11 Ministry of the Interior and was passed along to lower-level
12 organizational units.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Lukic. We seem to be without
14 counsel for Mr. Ojdanic for the moment without any indication of why.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know why. I know that some guard came in
16 and talked to him, and there seemed to be something going on over here
17 that required his attention, but I'm not sure what it is.
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, we were concerned that your client was
20 unrepresented in your absence.
21 MR. VISNJIC: Your Honour, I went out because I received some
22 information which confused me completely, so probably there was some
23 misunderstanding and I thought it was something. I even don't know what
24 it is about. I received some information that I was called out, so I
25 wanted to check what it was about.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I suppose if you give me a confusing enough
2 explanation, it might solve the problem, but that shouldn't happen. If
3 there is a reason why you have to leave the courtroom and leave the
4 accused unrepresented, then you have to draw that to the attention of the
5 Bench, so that we can decide what action to take, whether to permit it or
6 not, whether to adjourn if necessary. So, please, in future, deal with it
7 before leaving the courtroom.
8 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. I asked you if the head of the MUP staff could use you to change
12 any rules or any methods that were part of your professional field of
13 work. My question now is: Could he do it without you, I mean change any
14 rules or work methods, the head of the MUP staff, back in 1998 or 1999?
15 A. As far as I know, he couldn't change any rules or methods in a
16 professional sense, because as far as I know he was never involved in this
17 line of work himself; therefore, he could not have changed the rules,
18 could he?
19 Q. Before this time you mean?
20 A. Yes, before this time.
21 Q. You were a member of the staff. Were you the superior of those
22 working in the border police stations in Kosovo and Metohija?
23 A. No. I was not their superior.
24 Q. You, as a member of the staff, were you superior to members of the
25 divisions of the border police in the secretariats of the interior?
1 A. No. I was not their superior in any way, nor did I, in fact,
2 interfere with their work.
3 Q. Were you in a position to punish any of these persons?
4 A. No. I didn't have that power.
5 Q. Did you take any personnel-related decisions regarding persons
6 working in your field in Kosovo and Metohija?
7 A. No. I didn't take any such decisions because I didn't know all
8 those people, nor did I have those powers.
9 Q. Let me ask you first about 1998, the summer of 1998, between July
10 and October. Who was the highest-ranking MUP officer of the Republic of
11 Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija?
12 A. In the summer of 1998, in the autonomous province of Kosovo and
13 Metohija, there were General Djordjevic and General Stevanovic. I can't
14 be more specific than this in terms of saying whether they were always
15 there together at the same time; but as far as I remember, one of them was
16 always in Kosovo and Metohija.
17 Q. What about 1999, from just before the air-strikes to the end of
18 the war, who was the highest-ranking officer of the MUP of the Republic of
19 Serbia who was staying in Kosovo and Metohija?
20 A. I think General Stevanovic.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vucurevic, which of the two, Djordjevic and
23 Stevanovic, was the higher-ranking officer?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't remember their
25 specific ranks. I think they were both generals, maybe lieutenant-general
1 or colonel-general; but I think in terms of his function, General
2 Djordjevic was higher-ranking than the other. He was the head of the
3 public security sector, and under him there were all the different
4 services and all the public security officials. General Stevanovic was
5 assistant minister, which would place him, in my opinion, a single rank in
6 the ladder under General Djordjevic.
7 As far as I'm familiar with the system within the Ministry of the
8 Interior, there's the minister of the interior, the deputy minister of the
9 interior, and then sector heads.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You say that Stevanovic was an assistant minister.
12 Did Djordjevic hold a ministerial position?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. There is only one minister.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I understand there's only one minister, but I
15 think you've given us the title assistant minister for Stevanovic. Was
16 Djordjevic an assistant minister or not?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, was he? Was he not? I really
18 don't know. All I know is he was head of the public security sector. So
19 within the ministry, there is the ministry and two sectors. Based on
20 that, I draw the inference that, under the minister, the only people
21 remaining were the sector heads, and there are a number of assistants who
22 are in charge of certain areas. I did not personally know all the
23 assistant ministers that were there.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: So your understanding is an assistant minister
25 comes somewhere lower in the ranks than a head of a sector?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there a deputy minister in 1998?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not as far as I remember.
4 Before that time, it was General Radovan Stojicic, who was deputy
5 minister; and, at the same time, he was working as head of the public
6 security sector.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And what had happened to him by 1998?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Stojicic, and I can't remember
9 the year, back in 1996 -- but I can't give you the exact year. I simply
10 don't remember. Anyway, he was killed. After that, as far as I know,
11 Mr. Djordjevic was the person who he replaced.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Tell us, where were the offices of the MUP staff in Kosovo and
15 Metohija? Actually, you've already told us, but could you please repeat
16 it for the sake of the next question.
17 A. The offices of the MUP staff were in the premises of the SUP in
18 Pristina, in the building where the Ministry of the Interior was.
19 Q. Where did you move after the bombing started?
20 A. Well, we moved to a shelter, the shelter of the MUP building in
21 Pristina, and the shelter is in the basement of that very same building.
22 Q. Is that the place where you were injured?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On that occasion, who else was also injured?
25 A. Desimir Slovic was also injured, he was a member of the staff; and
1 Dusko Adamovic; Tomislav Blagojevic, also a member of the staff, was
2 injured, but the his injuries were lighter; and an employee of the MUP of
3 Pristina got killed on that occasion.
4 Q. How many storeys did that building have?
5 A. I think it was a three-storey building or a four-storey building,
6 I can't remember exactly now, because the SUP of Pristina used several
7 buildings, three I believe, that were interconnected.
8 Q. And how long were you under the ground?
9 A. I'm telling you that we were in the basement.
10 Q. So, that is to say, underneath the surface of the earth?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At the same time, was that a shelter from the bombing?
13 A. Yes, that was the shelter.
14 Q. The place where you were?
15 A. Yes, the place where I was.
16 Q. You remember the meetings that were held at the staff. Do you
17 remember who it was that you saw there? Which top people of the MUP did
18 you see there?
19 A. As for the top people of the MUP, it was the minister who attended
20 these meetings; then General Djordjevic as the head of the public security
21 sector; and then I can't remember now whether it was once or twice that
22 the head of the state security sector came as well; and General Obrad
23 Stevanovic came, too.
24 Q. We were talking about the offices where the staff was. Can you
25 tell us, to the best of your recollection, who sat in which office, if you
1 can just give us a description of that. Whose office was next to whose
3 A. Novica Zdravkovic sat in one office. Opposite his office was my
4 office. Next door to my office was Desimir Slovic 's office. And right
5 next to our offices was a biggish office where Dusko Adamovic and Goran
6 Radosavljevic were. Of course, there was also the office where
7 Mr. Mijatovic was and the office where the head of the staff was,
8 Mr. Lukic.
9 Q. Apart from these offices, were there any other rooms at the SUP of
10 Pristina that were used by the staff?
11 A. No. We didn't use any other rooms.
12 Q. Is that to say that all the members of the staff were present on
13 that same floor in those few offices?
14 A. We were all on the same floor.
15 Q. We were talking about documentation and records. Do you know what
16 a green card is?
17 A. A green card is a card that is issued to a citizen when he
18 registers at a place outside his official place of residence. I can give
19 you an example. If someone lives in Nis, for example, and comes to Novi
20 Sad to study, for instance, or to take care of some work, he is duty-bound
21 to register and that is when he is issued with a green card; that is to
22 say, that he is temporarily residing outside his place of permanent
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Would that also apply to someone from Nis who went
25 to study in Belgrade?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That applies to all citizens,
2 regardless of what town they go to. As soon as a person, or rather, a
3 citizen leaves his place of residence, he is duty-bound to register his
4 temporary place of residence.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Was this green card issued -- or rather, was an attempt made to
9 regulate records of citizens in Kosovo and Metohija during the war? I'm
10 sorry. I'm sorry. By then you had already left. I've gone a bit too
11 far. So you don't really know that.
12 Was such a green card issued to Serbs who had left Kosovo and
13 Metohija after the withdrawal of the Serb forces from Kosovo and Metohija,
14 when they withdrew into the interior of Serbia?
15 A. Yes. They were issued with these green cards. Too. That is
16 regulated by the Law on the Residence and Domicile of Citizens. Lest
17 there be any confusion, this applies to all citizens of the Republic of
19 Q. Now let me ask you something about the border belt. What is the
20 role of the Ministry of the Interior in the border belt?
21 A. The Ministry of the Interior issues permits for moving and
22 residing in the border belt, and it issues permits for building facilities
23 in the border belt. In addition to that, the Ministry of the Interior
24 checks movement within the border belt but only in urban areas. Outside
25 the urban areas it is the Army of Yugoslavia that is in charge of such
2 Q. Do you know what the width of the border belt was in 1998 and what
3 the width was in the beginning of 1999?
4 A. The law prescribes that the width of the border belt on land is
5 100 metres from the borderline. This applies to rivers and lakes, too;
6 however, in the sea, it is two nautical miles. I cannot remember the
7 exact year, but I think that this width was extended to five kilometres,
8 and I think that, just before the bombing started, it was extended to ten
10 Q. Thank you. Earlier on, we talked about the decision on the
11 establishment of the staff dated the 16th of June, 1999 [as interpreted].
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have P1505 in e-court.
13 MR. HANNIS: Can I inquire, it comes on the transcript as June
14 1999. I think that was June 16th, 1998.
15 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, 1998.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Do you have the document in front of you,
17 Mr. Vucurevic?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. I'm not going to ask you about the context of the document any
20 longer. I'm going toll ask you whether you ever received this decision on
21 the establishment of the staff.
22 A. I do not recall having received such a decision. The only
23 decision that I received and signed was the decision on my own appointment
24 to go out and implement these tasks.
25 Q. Did you receive any other decision, because we saw that there were
1 some decisions that were passed before this and while you were in Kosovo
2 and Metohija?
3 A. I do not remember having received any such decision.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please have in e-court
7 Q. You have the document in front of you?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. On page 1, it says that Mr. Sreten Lukic took the floor, and I
10 asked you about this one particular sentence. I know that we even joked
11 about that, since you remembered this particular detail.
12 On page -- or rather, in the sixth line from the bottom, there is
13 a sentence stating: "The elaborated plan of the public security sector
14 with a view to preventing and disabling the entry of the military forces
15 of NATO into our territory."
16 I'm going to ask you something, first of all. The public security
17 sector, is it in charge of defending the state border?
18 A. As far as I know, the public security sector is not in charge of
19 defending the state border.
20 Q. To the best of your knowledge, does the public security sector
21 have the strength and ability to defend the state border?
22 A. As far as I know, they do not have the ability to do that because
23 the employees of the Ministry of the Interior, as far as I know, are
24 equipped with light weaponry only.
25 Q. So what's this all about then? What did this sentence mean, this
1 sentence of Sreten Lukic's? What is this that they had conceived in the
2 public security sector?
3 A. Well, I think that this has to do with the following: The barrier
4 should be brought down at the state borders; that is to say, that the
5 state border would be closed. If someone would cross the border
6 individually, then that would be an illegal entry. If someone would do
7 this in an organized manner with military force, barging through that
8 military crossing, then that would be considered an act of aggression.
9 Q. Thank you. During the proofing, I showed you a document that is
10 not part of our case.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move from this document, the earlier
12 part, Mr. Lukic, which is talking about the service and its work, what is
13 that a reference to?
14 "The service has increased its activities in towns. The annual
15 meetings, headed by the head of staff and the deputy head of staff, were
16 devoted to last year's work. The service has particularly stepped-up its
17 activities towards the borders with Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro in
18 order to thwart terrorists from entering the country."
19 What's the service that's being referred to there? I can't see
20 the rest of the document.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, when they use the word "service" at these meetings,
23 what does that mean?
24 A. When they say "service," they mean the Ministry of the Interior.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're clear about the meaning of the part
1 before the reference to the plan that you've just dealt with, where it
2 says: "The service has particularly stepped-up its activities towards the
3 borders with Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro in order to thwart
4 terrorists from entering the country, prevent weapons, ammunition and
5 other goods from being smuggled and sold on black markets"?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I find that clear. I think
7 this is in reference to members of the entire service. Everyone was
8 involved in cutting or disrupting those illegal channels. As I have said,
9 the Ministry of the Interior runs checks along the border, the border
10 crossings, the settlements that straddle the border, and all roads leading
11 to the border. This is the task of the police, the general police unit
12 and the traffic police, as well as those employees whose duty it is to
13 work in the border stations.
14 They check any persons crossing the border, approaching the
15 border, or leaving the border. If someone came to the border and was not
16 carrying weapons or any other illegal goods, we could still stop him after
17 the border crossing itself, and we had the power to check this person and
18 inspect whatever the person was carrying.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: It's immediately after that that Mr. Lukic is
20 recorded as saying: "A plan of the public security department has been
21 worked out to prevent and thwart entry of NATO troops in our territory."
22 The same word "thwart" is used in relation to NATO troops as was
23 used in relation to terrorists. And you say that that cunning plan was to
24 put down the barriers at the border? Are you serious about that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I didn't see that
1 plan myself. What I'm giving you is my opinion as to what that could
2 mean. At the meeting itself, I don't remember that this was something
3 that was elaborated on in terms of what the plan actually implied.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: You were at this meeting?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Lukic, please continue.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I don't know how relevant this is at this point in time, but was
10 it me who asked you, Mr. Vucurevic, whether you meant this in all
11 earnestness when you told me this about preventing NATO from getting in,
12 something that was to be done by the public security sector?
13 A. I said that this was simply something that was supposed to show
14 that someone was illegally entering the country. Take a border crossing,
15 I'm not sure what the strength of that unit might be, but between ten and
16 20 police officers, let's say, they're hardly in a position to stop anyone
17 forcing their way into a country, are they?
18 Q. I was about to introduce a document that's not part of our case.
19 This is an overview of the interesting security-related information dated
20 the 1st of March, 1999. This was put together by the staff.
21 Let me ask you this: Were any attempts made to cross the border
22 with no travel documents during the presence of the Kosovo Verification
23 Mission monitors in Kosovo and Metohija?
24 A. As far as I remember, there was an attempt like that that was made
25 at the Djeneral Jankovic border crossing, I think. This is a border
1 crossing that faces the Republic of Macedonia. I can't remember how many
2 citizens were involved. At any rate, they wanted to leave FRY territory
3 without appropriate travel documents. I remember that at the time we got
4 in touch with the High Commissioner for Refugees.
5 As far as I remember, they offered certain guarantees for those
6 people, saying that they would get them across the border without
7 appropriate travel documents, but we put a stop to that simply because it
8 took no more than a couple of days to get those documents issued in a
9 regular procedure. We said that all those citizens should go back to
10 their own local register offices, have proper documents issued, and that
11 they would then be free to leave the country.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have P1224.
13 Q. You see that document, sir, don't you?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. This is a document that the OTP are likely to be using in their
16 cross-examination. You'll probably be returning to this document, but let
17 me ask you this: What sort of a document is this?
18 A. I see that this is an overview of the numerical strength of the
19 police in the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija. The date is the
20 16th of October, 1998.
21 Q. Who issued this document?
22 A. Ministry of the Interior.
23 Q. Of the Republic of Serbia, right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have page 4 in e-court.
1 Q. What sort of a table is this?
2 A. This is an overview of the organizational units of the Ministry of
3 the Interior of the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija. What we
4 see here is an overview of all the secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija.
5 If you look at this, you see that there is no other organizational unit
6 aside from the secretariat.
7 Q. Of course, we can also see the police stations, can't we?
8 A. Yes. There's a full list of all the police stations that were
10 Q. All the organizational units in Kosovo and Metohija, that would be
11 a fair summary, wouldn't it? Well then, there was something else that you
12 mentioned that we need to go back to.
13 This is an official chart or overview that was put together in
14 October 1998. If we look at it, do we see the MUP staff for Kosovo and
15 Metohija in it?
16 A. No. No indication of the MUP staff in this chart, which means
17 that it wasn't there as an organizational unit.
18 Q. What about Sreten Lukic or anyone else from the Ministry of the
19 Interior, did any of those people ever tell you that there was a plan to
20 expel ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija?
21 A. No. I never heard anything like that.
22 Q. You worked with Sreten Lukic, didn't you? What sort of a leader
23 is he?
24 A. He is a true professional. He is strict but unbiased.
25 Q. Did he tolerate any sort of illegal behaviour by any of the MUP
2 A. No. He had no tolerance for that sort of thing. As far as I
3 remember, there were daily reports that were produced; and whenever there
4 were police officers who were suspected of having committed crimes,
5 criminal complaints were filed and disciplinary procedures were
7 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vucurevic. At this point in time, I have
8 no further questions for you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
10 Mr. Petrovic.
11 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vucurevic. I have a number of
14 questions for you on behalf of Mr. Nikola Sainovic's Defence. Last
15 Friday, you testified that on the 22nd of July, 1998, you attended a
16 meeting that was also attended by General Djordjevic and General
17 Stevanovic, a meeting that was also attended by members of the MUP staff,
18 as well as the heads of the secretariat in Kosovo. You say that you
19 attended that meeting, too.
20 What I want to know is this: At that meeting, did any of those
21 present mention the need to set up some sort of a Joint Command or,
22 indeed, that such a body had been set up for Kosovo and Metohija?
23 A. I don't remember anyone mentioning a body like that.
24 Q. Was this perhaps something that General Djordjevic or General
25 Stevanovic mentioned?
1 A. No, not that I remember.
2 Q. Generals Djordjevic and Stevanovic, did they perhaps inform those
3 present that Nikola Sainovic was now the commander of this sort of Joint
4 Command for Kosovo and Metohija?
5 A. As far as I remember, no, they never informed anyone of anything
6 like that or anything about Mr. Sainovic being the commander of such a
7 command. I don't remember them mentioning his name at all, in fact.
8 Q. You said that you were in Kosovo between March 1998 and March
9 1999. Throughout that time over that year, did you see any document or
10 any order displaying the header of: Joint Command for Kosovo and
12 A. As far as I remember, I never set eyes on any document like that.
13 Q. What about during your time in Kosovo, did you receive any order,
14 any sort of instruction from a body called the Joint Command for Kosovo
15 and Metohija?
16 A. No. In my area, I never received any orders or instructions like
18 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I have no further questions for you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm not sure when you normally break.
21 Is it 10.30?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vucurevic. My name is John Ackerman. I'm the
1 counsel for General Pavkovic here, and I have some questions for you just
2 because I have become confused about some things that not only you have
3 testified about but that some of your predecessor witnesses have testified
4 about. And I'm going to at least make a stab at trying to clear up some
5 of my own confusion about some things that I've heard. Okay?
6 A. Go ahead, please.
7 Q. Now, it is my understanding, and I'm pretty sure that I'm right
8 about this, that you left the MUP staff in Kosovo in late March of 1999?
9 A. That's right. The 29th of March, to be more specific; 1999, of
11 Q. So you were there for like five days of the NATO bombing and then
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Did you ever return and visit there during the subsequent NATO
15 bombing period?
16 A. Where exactly do you mean?
17 Q. Kosovo.
18 A. No, never.
19 Q. You told us, at the beginning of your testimony, that you're a
20 lawyer, so we have that in common. I think one of the things that you and
21 I both know about large organizations, like police and military, is about
22 all of the reporting and paperwork that goes on, and there's lots of it,
23 isn't there?
24 A. That's right, but everyone knew only about what they were doing.
25 For security reasons, it was part of the general security culture.
1 Q. Of course. This paper that we have seen a lot of through the
2 course of this trial is used to -- for a couple of purposes at least; to
3 communicate and to create permanent records of events that were occurring
4 during the time. Would you agree with that?
5 A. I am not quite sure I understand your question, sir, or rather,
6 the statement that you are putting to me.
7 Q. Well, there are at least two kinds of documents, at least I am
8 familiar with. There are those that are intended to communicate between
9 individuals and organizations, and there are those that are designed to
10 maintain a record, daily record, weekly record, a monthly record of events
11 going on within organizations. That's true, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, that's true.
13 Q. And certainly, especially as a lawyer, you would agree that
14 accuracy in those communications and those records is highly important?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And, just from watching you here, I'm convinced that you were very
17 careful yourself to make sure that any records or communications you
18 authored were as accurate as they would possibly be, right?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And I suspect you would say that was also true of your colleagues
21 who you worked with during your stint on the MUP staff and otherwise?
22 A. Yes. I think they did the same sort of thing.
23 Q. You looked a few moments ago at a document 6D130, and I'd like
24 that brought back up again because there are a couple of questions I want
25 to ask you about it.
1 What I'm interested in is right underneath the date. It shows the
2 organizations to whom this was sent. You see that, don't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And, for instance, there's an indication it was sent to the
5 Federal Ministry of the Interior, SMUP; and after that, there's the
6 designation "for your information," right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then if you go down toward the bottom, there's an indication
9 that it's going to traffic police, crime police, operations centre. It's
10 hard to distinguish what's being talked about there, but it's to the chief
11 of those operations. And, again, that's another one that's "for your
12 information," right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, tell me if I'm correct if I conclude, from looking at this,
15 that if they're using the language "for your information," then what
16 they're saying is this is just so you can know what is going on; and if
17 they're not using that language, it means the organization it is sent to
18 has specific tasks to fulfil with regard to that document. In other
19 words, if it's not for your information, then it's for your action and for
20 your responsibility to take action with regard to it?
21 A. That's how it should be. But if we look at the substance of this
22 document, you see that it is the secretariats of the interior that are in
23 charge of taking these steps because they keep these records, as well as
24 the border police stations that are expected to check any persons entering
25 and leaving the country.
1 Q. Well, I'm really not interested in the substance right now. We
2 may get into that with some other documents, but I now want to move on to
3 another matter.
4 I want to talk to you about the period of time in 1998 when you
5 actually were in Kosovo. There was terrorist activity going on during the
6 time you were there, wasn't there?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And I'm wondering if you ever saw any volunteers among the ranks
9 of the police?
10 A. I didn't. I worked in an office. I did sometimes go to the
11 secretariats of the interior to familiarize myself with their methods and
12 to meet my colleagues who were performing those jobs. I had no way of
13 telling whether someone, a particular person, was a volunteer or not.
14 Q. I suppose that makes sense. Let me then ask you this: Did you
15 ever see any personnel that were identified to you as being volunteers or
16 as being paramilitaries that were among the ranks of the police?
17 A. I didn't see any such persons, and I don't think I would have been
18 able to distinguish. I didn't know every single police officer. It
19 wasn't possible. No one ever introduced another person to me as a
21 Q. So I take it that if you -- if you didn't know whether you were
22 seeing someone who was a volunteer or a paramilitary, then you wouldn't be
23 able to tell us anything about what kind of uniforms were worn by the
24 volunteers and the paramilitaries, would you?
25 A. No. This is not something that I'm aware of.
1 Q. I want to show you a document. It's 6D269. All right. We now
2 got both versions on the screen.
3 The first thing I want to call to your attention is there at the
4 top, where it shows where this document was sent. You'll notice that one
5 of the places it was sent was to the head of the MUP staff in Pristina,
7 A. Yes. This was sent to all the organizational units, all the
8 secretariats, all the units.
9 Q. The question I focused on was just: It was sent to the head of
10 the MUP staff in Pristina, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And it was also sent to the RDB, to the chief of the RDB, but it
13 just says there "for information," right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It doesn't say that it was sent to the head of the MUP staff just
16 for information, does it?
17 A. That's right, it doesn't.
18 Q. And this is dated 18 February 1999. You were still there at the
19 time, weren't you?
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. Now, I don't know if you're familiar with this document. We can
22 look at it if you want. In fact, we probably should look at the last page
23 where the signature and name is.
24 It appears to me that this came from General Djordjevic. Do you
25 agree with that?
1 A. Yes, I do. It says head of the public security sector, Colonel
2 Vlastimir Djordjevic.
3 Q. Let's go back now to paragraph 7; that's the paragraph that I'm
4 basically interested in. We have it in English. Now we'll get it in
5 Serbian. There it is. Now you should be able to see it.
6 The translation I have says that this paragraph says this:
7 "Through intensified intelligence and other measures and actions, carry
8 out the necessary checks, compile lists, and establish complete control
9 over volunteer and paramilitary units and their members."
10 That's what that says, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And this is directed to the MUP staff, instructing them to do
13 this, right?
14 A. Well, I don't know. The document says that it was forwarded to
15 all the secretariats of the interior, not just the MUP staff. As to what
16 this means, specifically I don't know and I don't wish to speculate. I
17 could give you my opinion, though. Since in the territory of our country
18 earlier on, there had been war operations. There were members of such
19 volunteer units. I think they're being told here to establish some sort
20 of control over them, so they knew what they were doing and so that they
21 wouldn't come to Kosovo and Metohija to cause any problems or incidents
22 there. That is my understanding of what it says.
23 The police were gathering intelligence, and they knew of the fact
24 that something like this existed. So the instruction here is for all the
25 secretariats in all the areas, because there were people like this from
1 all over Serbia, Belgrade, Novi Sad, and so on and so forth, to establish
2 some sort of control to keep them from organizations themselves into units
3 and to keep them from doing anything on their own and without any proper
4 authorisation. So that's my understanding of what it says.
5 Q. Well, I suggest to you that your opinion and understanding of what
6 that says is totally wrong, and we'll go into that after the break.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vucurevic, we have to have a break at this
8 stage for about 20 minutes or so. While we do that, could you please
9 leave the courtroom with the usher.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And we shall resume at ten to 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Before the break, Mr. Vucurevic, we were talking about this
18 document that's still on the screen, 6D269. At paragraph 7, it talks
19 about compiling lists of these units and their members, so it's a
20 two-phased operation, a list of the units and a list of their members.
21 Did you ever see the lists that were compiled of the volunteer and
22 paramilitary units and their members?
23 A. That was not my line of work. I do not remember ever having seen
24 such lists.
25 Q. All right. I have another document for you to look at then. It's
1 6D238. That first document we looked at, 6D269, was 18 February. This
2 one's a little over a month later, 24 March of 1999; and, of course,
3 you're still present there in Kosovo at this time. Correct?
4 A. Yes. I was in Kosovo and Metohija.
5 Q. And one of the addressees was the head of the MUP headquarters in
6 Pristina, correct?
7 A. Yes, you're right.
8 Q. It doesn't say "for your information," right?
9 A. No. It doesn't say "for your information."
10 Q. And the document comes from Vlajko Stojiljkovic, who was the
11 minister, correct?
12 A. Yes. It says Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
13 Q. In paragraph 5, he says in this document directed to the head of
14 the MUP staff in Pristina: "You shall register all volunteer and
15 paramilitary units and their members, and keep them under control in case
16 that you might need to engage them," right?
17 A. I don't understand what your question is.
18 Q. Is that what it -- look at paragraph 5. According to the
19 translation I have, it says: "You shall register all volunteer and
20 paramilitary units and their members, and keep them under control in case
21 that you might need to engage them," right?
22 A. Yes, yes. That's what's written there, yes.
23 Q. And you told us a moment ago that you thought that initial order a
24 month earlier was to keep them from coming into Kosovo, to get them under
25 control and keep out of Kosovo; but this is talking about getting control
1 of them and possibly engaging them, isn't it?
2 A. Well, I'm not sure what this is all about, and I don't want to
3 engage in guess-work. I just presented my own view when you asked me in
4 relation to the previous question, when you asked me what it meant, what I
5 thought that it meant. As far as I can remember, as for the other
6 document and this one, I don't remember having seen either one of them, or
7 rather, I do not remember that anyone showed either one to me.
8 In this paragraph, it doesn't say who it is that's supposed to do
9 that, but I presented my view, my opinion. Once again, I underline that
10 this is not my line of work. I'm not an expert in that field.
11 Q. I'm not going to ask you any more about that. I'm going to ask
12 you about another document. It's P1989.
13 A. I don't have the document here.
14 Q. Well, it will be on your screen. This is a document from the 4th
15 of April of 1999. It says it's the minutes of a meeting with senior
16 police officials in Kosovo and Metohija, and people there are Obrad
17 Stevanovic, Major-General Sreten Lukic, the chiefs of all secretariats,
18 PJP detachment commanders, SAJ commander, RDB, and JSO; so lots of people,
20 A. You are right.
21 Q. Now, I know you were not there. I know you had already left
22 Kosovo; but if you look -- I think it's probably on page 2, Colonel Dusan
23 Gavranic makes a report. It is -- it's right there about halfway down
24 page 2. And you'll notice Dusan Gavranic tells that group: "34 persons
25 have been arrested so far, and there have been problems with volunteers in
1 Zegra," right?
2 A. That's what's written here, yes.
3 Q. I want you to look now at P1990. We're back to 17 February of
4 1999 when you are still in Kosovo and Metohija. These are the minutes of
5 a meeting of the MUP staff on that date. I don't know if you were present
6 at that meeting or not, were you?
7 A. I think that I was present.
8 Q. If you look at page -- probably on page 2, this might be difficult
9 to find, but it -- General Lukic is speaking and he's talking about a plan
10 of the RJB, the public security department. Can you find that?
11 He says: "A plan of the RJB has been worked out to prevent and
12 thwart entry of NATO troops in our territory."
13 Do you see it?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. It goes on to say: "The Staff plans to carry out three mopping-up
16 operations in the Podujevo, Dragobilje, and Drenica areas and has
17 allocated around 4.000 policemen, around 70 policemen of the operative,"
18 something, "group and around 900 police reservists."
19 Now, that's something that Sreten Lukic said at this meeting,
21 A. Yes, that is what is written here.
22 Q. Yes. And he's clearly talking about a plan of the RJB, and he's
23 clearly talking about a plan of the staff to carry out these mopping-up
24 operations, isn't he?
25 A. Well, that's not my understanding of it. What is written here is
1 that something will be carried out once it is ordered. Well, all these
2 forces that are mentioned here, I understood that to be reporting to the
3 minister as to the number of personnel of the police. Now, was it in that
4 part of the territory, I really don't know. I cannot say with any
5 accuracy because this was not my line of work. I heard about this more or
6 less by way of information.
7 Q. Well, I hear what you're saying. Can you point me to the part of
8 that paragraph which says that the staff plans to carry out these
9 mopping-up operations when it is ordered? Where are the words "when it is
11 A. Do you allow me to read this in Serbian? The sentence precisely
12 reads as follows: "The Staff planned to carry out, when this is ordered,
13 three actions of mopping-up the terrain from terrorists ..." I don't need
14 to read on any further.
15 Q. Okay. So we have a bad translation I guess.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: So perhaps, Your Honour, this needs to be
17 retranslated and resubmitted, because that does significantly change the
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. We will require that sentence to be revised.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. If we go over to, in the English, it's on page 5, and it's
22 Minister Stojiljkovic who's speaking at this point, and it's very close to
23 the end of what he has to say, right before a bunch of bullet points.
24 I don't know if we'll find that in the Serbian or not; but
25 according to the translation I have, he says this: "Within two or three
1 days of an attack, we have to put our plans in motion and use the time to
2 mop-up the territory from terrorists."
3 And we've found it. It's just right above those bullet points.
4 It's on the screen.
5 Do you see it?
6 A. Yes, I found it.
7 Q. And he speaks about "our plans," right?
8 A. I really don't know which plans the minister meant.
9 Q. Well, I'm sure, you know, when he talks about "our plans," it
10 could have been any plans that had been put together by the MUP, but the
11 plans he's talking about are something that he's going to put into action
12 within two or three days after an attack to mop-up the territory from
13 terrorists, right?
14 A. That's what's written here.
15 Q. And, finally, if you go down through those bullet points, you'll
16 see some more language about volunteers where the minister says:
17 "Approach and engage volunteers carefully, linking their engagement
18 through the reserve police force when assessed as necessary," right?
19 A. I really don't know what the minister meant by that, and I
20 wouldn't like to engage in guess-work. Yet again, I can just give you my
21 opinion. I know that the police does have a reserve force, so these are
22 people who do their own work; and when necessary, they are engaged to do
23 police work.
24 All of these persons had completed their military service, and I
25 think that it says here, "when we deem this necessary." So that is the
1 only possibility that's referred to here, that somebody will be engaged
2 when it is deemed necessary. I am not sure that all of these members,
3 well, of the reserve police undergo training in order to be able to carry
4 out police work.
5 Q. Okay. I'm going to shift a little bit to something you may know a
6 little more about, and it's in this same document. It's back right before
7 Minister Stojiljkovic begins to speak. It's on page 3 in the English, and
8 we're back to General Lukic again.
9 And just to remind you, we're talking about 17 February of 1999,
10 before the bombing started. General Lukic -- the paragraph begins with
11 language, "the chiefs of SUP in Kosovo and Metohija and the PJP ..."
12 And then down just a little bit, it's the paragraph right above
13 where it says Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
14 General Luke says: "There have not been cases of Serbs leaving,
15 but the number of requests from Siptars for travel documents and personal
16 identity cards is on the rise."
17 Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I see that sentence.
19 Q. So it looks -- would you include from that that the Albanian
20 residents in Kosovo were already starting to plan leaving the territory?
21 MR. LUKIC: I have to intervene at this point, just that it's not
22 Mr. Sreten Lukic who said this, but chiefs of SUPs, as it is written here
23 in the document.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: That's fine with me. I just misread it I think.
25 He's right. It is chiefs of SUPs, which probably makes even more sense.
1 Q. But that doesn't change my question. Would you agree with me that
2 it looks like the Albanian residents of Kosovo were, as early as February,
3 beginning to plan their departure?
4 A. I agree. But I can say that, as far as I can remember, there was
5 information to the effect that members of the KLA were exerting pressure
6 on the Albanian population to move out of the territory of Kosovo in order
7 to cause a humanitarian catastrophe; and, in this way, preconditions would
8 be created for an aggression of NATO troops.
9 Q. Okay. I want to ask you now about another document. It's P1505,
10 which we've seen many times recently, and you saw again today. This is
11 that document of 16 June 1998 signed by Vlajko Stojiljkovic, the minister,
12 his decision to establish a ministerial staff for the suppression of
13 terrorism, right?
14 A. That's right, yes.
15 Q. Do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of the date on this
16 document, 16 June 1998?
17 A. I have no reason to doubt it. I personally cannot recall the
18 exact date; but if this says the 16th of June, then that's it.
19 Q. Would you look at the last page, please, and you see a stamp and a
20 signature. Would you tell us what that stamp is and whose signature is
21 there, if you know.
22 A. Well, I think that it's the minister's signature. The stamp is of
23 the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
24 Q. Do you have any reason, as you sit there now looking at that
25 document, to doubt its genuineness and authenticity? It's a real
1 document, isn't it?
2 A. Well, since this is a photocopy, but it does have a signature and
3 a stamp, there is no reason for me to doubt that this is a valid document.
4 Q. In paragraph 6, you see that this decision takes out of force,
5 removes from force, three prior documents of 21 April, 15 May, and
6 11 June, right?
7 A. Yes, and they're listed here.
8 Q. And that's fairly typical, if you're going to change a situation
9 like members of a staff or something like that, you want to take out of
10 force prior decisions and replace it with the new decision, don't you?
11 A. Yes, you're right.
12 Q. And I want to know if you ever saw a decision after the 16th of
13 June taking this 16 June decision out of force and rendering it not valid?
14 A. No. I did not see such a decision, but I think I've already said
15 that I'm not sure that I've seen these decisions before, those that are
16 mentioned here and this decision of the 16th. I said that I only received
17 a decision sending me personally to the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
18 I really cannot remember whether anyone showed me this.
19 Q. Well, I'm really not even asking you if you ever saw it. It
20 wouldn't have been directed to you in any event, would it? You wouldn't
21 have been one of the recipients of it?
22 It was to go to the head and the deputy head and the members of
23 the staff and to the minister's office, right? So maybe it should have
24 gone to you, as a member of the staff. What do you think?
25 A. Well, as a rule, the decision should always say who it was sent
1 to; that is to say, all the recipients should be listed. And those
2 persons who are recipients have to confirm with their own signature that
3 they had received it, indeed.
4 Q. You've told us --
5 A. Write, I mean.
6 Q. Yeah --
7 A. To write this in their own hand, to place their own handwritten
8 signature there, including the date when it was submitted to them.
9 Q. You've told us that there are several things about this document
10 that you think are not correct. There are six of those, as near as I can
11 tell. The first one is you told us that David Gajic never served as
12 deputy head of staff pursuant to this decision, correct?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, is this not a matter for submission?
14 Can we get to the question?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, maybe it is. I'll try to short-circuit,
17 Q. Would you agree with me that there are six items in that document
18 that you have told this Chamber are not correct and not true, were not
19 implemented or were not true?
20 A. Well, I cannot say now how many points I said were not true. We
21 really have to move from one to another. When I was speaking, I wasn't
22 speaking in terms of points, point 1, point 2, point 3. We'd really have
23 to look at the decision, and then I could say what it is I had said.
24 Q. That's what I thought, so we can do this rather quickly: The
25 deputy head of staff, David Gajic; the assistant head for special
1 operations, Milorad Lukovic; the paragraph that says "the expanded staff
2 shall include chiefs of the secretariats"; the paragraph that says "other
3 members of the ministry may be appointed to the staff on request of the
4 head of staff"; and the next one is "the staff is tasked with planning,
5 organizing, and managing," and it goes on and on; and the last one, "also
6 the staff is tasked with planning, organizing, directing," and it goes on
7 and on.
8 In other words, each of those paragraphs, I think you told us on
9 Friday, were not activated or were not true. Do you agree with that?
10 A. I agree with that.
11 Q. We talked at the beginning of my questioning of you about the
12 importance of documents being correct and accurate.
13 Can you explain to the Chamber how it is that this document,
14 signed by the minister of the interior, could have six items in it that
15 are just bogus, not true? How could that be? How could that happen?
16 A. Well, I cannot explain that. When we were talking about the
17 personnel on the staff, I already said who I saw every day and who had an
18 office there as a staff member.
19 Q. I mean, if this is the kind of documents that we find coming out
20 of the MUP, can we rely on any MUP documents that we see in this case for
21 being true and accurate? Do you think we can?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Not a matter for the witness, Mr. Ackerman. A
23 statement that wide is one for us.
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. Finally, let's go back to a document you saw earlier today, and
1 that's P1990. You were asked about who the highest-ranking MUP officers
2 were in Kosovo and Metohija, and you said that Stevanovic and Djordjevic
3 at various times were the highest-ranking officers.
4 Do you recall saying that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, this is a meeting from 17 February of 1999, and present are
7 both of those people, Vlastimir Djordjevic and Obrad Stevanovic, right?
8 A. Yes, they're present.
9 Q. But it looks like the person in control of the meeting is General
10 Sreten Lukic. He opened the meeting; he did virtually all of the
11 speaking. Finally, Minister Stojiljkovic speaks starting on page 3 of the
12 English, but General Lukic seems to be basically leading the meeting and
13 in charge, doesn't he?
14 A. Again, all I can give you is my opinion. It says here that the --
15 this is a record of a meeting that was held at the staff. General Sreten
16 Lukic was the host, and he probably opened this meeting.
17 Q. And General Djordjevic only spoke right at the very end, where he
18 said five officers were promoted. That was his only contribution, wasn't
20 A. Yes, that's what it says.
21 Q. All right. That's all I have for you. Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
23 Mr. Vucurevic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
24 Mr. Hannis.
25 Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
3 Q. Good morning, sir.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. You told us that, from 1991 until 1992, you were employed with the
6 state security sector of the MUP; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. It's just that it wasn't called sector at
8 the time. It was State Security Service. I said "sector" just to make
9 myself clear because that's what it's called now.
10 Q. Okay. What was the general nature of your work in state security?
11 A. I worked as an operative there.
12 Q. Why did you change from state security to public security?
13 A. At the time, there were certain changes in terms of personnel that
14 were occurring of the secretariat of the interior in Novi Sad. The head
15 of the secretariat was replaced. We knew each other, so he asked to see
16 me and he asked me whether I would agree to work as a head of a
17 department. I accepted that since that in my case was a promotion. So it
18 was for that reason that I went back to work with the secretariat of the
19 interior in Novi Sad.
20 Q. Okay. After 1992, did you maintain any contact or did you do any
21 work for the state security side of the house?
22 A. No. I no longer worked for the State Security Service because I
23 had my own job. I did have a number of contacts because I knew a number
24 of people who I worked with. Some of those were acquaintances and some or
25 friends. Then of course was the department that I was working for. There
1 were contacts with the State Security Service in terms of us forwarding to
2 them lists of foreigners who were entitled to temporary or permanent
3 residence in Novi Sad territory.
4 Q. Okay. You told us, at page 23041, line 22, that your primary line
5 of work was to maintain contacts with international humanitarian
6 organizations, and I think that referred to 1998 and 1999 before the war
7 started in Kosovo; is that correct? Is that the time-period you were
8 referring to?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Who instructed you on how you were to interact with those
11 international organizations?
12 A. Before I left for Pristina, I had spent two days consulting with
13 the border police administration. This was an administration that I, too,
14 belonged to. They explained in brief what my remit would be at the MUP
15 staff in Pristina. It was then that I learned that I would be receiving
16 operations reports from the border police station, and that there were
17 humanitarian non-governmental organizations that were active in Kosovo and
18 Metohija; and I was also told that I would be in touch with them, that I
19 would be familiarizing myself with their methods and with their work,
20 generally speaking.
21 Q. Can you give us the names of the persons who instructed you about
23 A. I think I had spoken to the person who was then the head of the
24 department for foreigners in the border police administration.
25 Q. Yes. Could you give --
1 A. I can't quite remember whether I spoke to Mr. Dujkovic, too, or
3 Q. Do you remember the name of the person besides Mr. Dujkovic that
4 you referred to?
5 A. Mr. Milorad Urdarevic, I think, but I'm not certain because
6 different people came and went, different heads; and I can't quite put my
7 finger on it, but I think he was the person at the time.
8 Q. You were first sent to Kosovo pursuant to a decision of General
9 Djordjevic on the 9th of March, 1998, and we've seen Exhibit 6D1048.
10 MR. HANNIS: If we could put that up on the screen.
11 Q. There's a handwritten note on it: "Received 19th March, 1998,"
12 and I believe you told us that's your signature. Do you remember what you
13 were told at the time you received this document?
14 I mean, did anyone explain to you why you were being sent there
15 and what they expected you to do?
16 A. I was served this document by the then-chief of the Novi Sad SUP,
17 Mr. Kresoja. There was a replacement in the leadership of the Novi Sad
18 SUP that year, and Mr. Kresoja was now there to replace Mr. Zavisic. I
19 was on annual leave on Mount Zlatibor with my children. Mr. Dujkovic
20 phoned me and said that I was now appointed to the MUP staff of the
21 Republic of Serbia in Pristina. It was on my return from annual leave
22 that this decision was served.
23 Q. Did anyone explain to you what your duties were supposed to be as
24 part of the staff of the Ministry of the Interior in Pristina; and if so,
25 who was that and when did it happen?
1 A. No one told me specifically what my duties were supposed to be,
2 nor was I shown an actual decision setting up this staff or, for that
3 matter, any other document listing my rights and duties. We talked and I
4 was told that, as I said, I would be receiving reports and information;
5 and whenever the chief of the staff required, I would be reporting to him
6 as far as my line of work was concerned.
7 Q. Okay. In that answer, you just made when you say "we talked," are
8 you referring to the people from the border administration?
9 A. I don't understand your question.
10 Q. Well, you just said in your answer: "We talked and I was told
11 that ... I would be receiving reports and information ..."
12 When you say "we talked," are you referring to Dujkovic and
14 A. Well, in addition to Dujkovic, I think I spoke to him; and
15 Urdarevic, I am sure about him, though. I think I also spoke to the head
16 of the border police administration. I think that was Mr. Bogdanovic. I
17 had spoken to two chiefs who briefly told me what I have just conveyed to
19 Q. And when you actually arrived in Kosovo, did anybody from the MUP
20 staff in Pristina explain to you what your job was to include? Anybody in
22 A. No, I don't remember that anybody did.
23 Q. Who was the chief of the MUP staff when you first arrived in 1998?
24 A. When I first arrived in 1998, the chief of the MUP staff was
25 Mr. Aco Vesovic.
1 Q. And after you arrived in Kosovo and worked for the staff, who did
2 you report to about your contacts with international humanitarian
4 A. I'm not sure whether I've stated this already; but as far as I
5 know, the greatest number of contacts were with the International Red
6 Cross and the High Commissioner for Refugees, and this was something that
7 was done by Mr. Vesovic. I was in touch with other NGOs, for example,
8 Medecins Sans Frontieres.
9 Q. Maybe it was a translation problem. My question was: Who did you
10 report to about your contacts with international humanitarian
11 organizations? Were you reporting to the border police administration or
12 to Mr. Vesovic or both?
13 A. No. I did not report to the administration about those contacts.
14 Initial contacts were just for me to get to know these organizations.
15 Q. So who did you report to?
16 A. Mr. Vesovic. We had occasional meetings, I would say. I had been
17 in touch with this or that organization, I got to know their leaders, I
18 got to know about their activities, and that was the extent of it.
19 Q. Okay. And were those oral reports or written reports?
20 A. Oral.
21 Q. How often? Once a day? Once a week?
22 A. I can't quite remember. Probably once a week, sometimes more.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, have we seen any documents compiled by
24 this witness?
25 MR. HANNIS: Not that I'm aware of, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you ever write reports?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in relation to my job. I did
3 write reports, as I said. Sometimes, we would get daily overviews of what
4 was going on, after the Kosovo Verification Mission had been set up, and I
5 was in charge of some technical business there for Mr. Mijatovic. As far
6 as I remember, the reports were signed either by Mr. Mijatovic or by
7 Mr. Lukic.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. What you just described, were those the daily reports on security
12 matters that went to the minister and Djordjevic and Rade Markovic and
13 others in Belgrade?
14 A. No. I think there was a dispatch determining precisely that the
15 ministry should be informed about this; who were the Kosovo verification
16 people in touch with, I mean who from the Ministry of the Interior; what
17 were the questions and what were the answers.
18 Q. Back to your contacts with international humanitarian
19 organizations, you told us about your oral reports to Vesovic. Did you
20 have any interaction or contact or sharing of that information with the
21 DB, with state security?
22 A. No, no interaction.
23 Q. With regard to those interactions with the international
24 humanitarian organizations, you told us, at page 23042, that you sometimes
25 warned them that in certain areas you couldn't guarantee their safety.
1 With regard to those kind of warnings, did you personally convey those
3 A. Well, I can't remember specifically but I do think so. I do think
4 that I did. They would phone me to announce their ambition to visit
5 certain areas, and then I would tell them that a specific area was not
6 under the control of the MUP. Back in 1998, we were having a very
7 difficult year in Kosovo and Metohija because most of the roads, so to
8 speak, were under the control of the terrorists, members of the KLA.
9 Q. Did you -- when you did pass along those kind of warnings, did you
10 make any kind of written record of it?
11 A. No, no official notes.
12 Q. Any unofficial notes? Did you keep any kind of diary yourself?
13 A. I had no notebook, but I recorded whatever it was that I was
15 Q. So would you still have records of those kind of warnings that you
16 had conveyed?
17 A. No, no such records. These records were destroyed when the SUP
18 building in Pristina was targeted.
19 Q. Let me see here. I'd like to have you take a look at
20 Exhibit 6D262. This is a dispatch from the ministry dated the 18th of
21 June, 1998, from the minister.
22 Do you recall having seen this document?
23 A. I think so.
24 Q. And it does talk about some of the international humanitarian
25 organizations, including the Red Cross and the UNHCR. Do you know to whom
1 it was further circulated to, because we see it going to the ministry
2 staff in Pristina, but did you independently make any further circulation
3 of it?
4 A. No. I did not circulate this document to anyone. As far as I can
5 tell, all the organizational units of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
6 are listed here.
7 Q. You can see, on the first page, there's some handwritten
8 notations. You see those?
9 A. I'm not sure if I'm able to read it properly. It says police
10 department; traffic police, OSP; and then OKP, crime police department;
11 and then this is quite illegible, but I think what it says is OPP, might
12 be border police department; followed by PS, police stations; SSP, meaning
13 traffic police stations; and, finally --
14 Q. That's okay. I want to ask you to look at the last page as well
15 of the B/C/S.
16 It looks like two handwritten lines in the first paragraph on that
17 page and another handwritten line at the bottom of that second one.
18 Do you know who wrote those in handwriting?
19 A. No, I do not know that.
20 Q. Okay. And I don't suppose you can tell us whether those
21 handwritten entries were on the document received at the MUP staff when it
22 got there or if they were put on later. You're not able to tell us about
23 that, are you?
24 A. Well, given the space between these lines, I think there's a line
25 missing or it simply can't be found in the document. Probably something
1 was left out, but I really don't know who wrote this and for what reason.
2 Q. At the very last entry on that page, in the bottom left, is typed
3 the number "2" and then two words, which looks mike "kom" and then "cirk."
4 Do you know what "2 kom cirk" means?
5 A. No, I have no idea.
6 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that in your job with the staff you
7 received reports from border police stations, and you informed the staff
8 leader or the manager of any security-related events.
9 Would you -- during your last few days at the MUP staff, after the
10 bombing started and before you were injured, did you receive any reports
11 from the border police station about the number of people leaving Kosovo?
12 A. I can't remember exactly whether I received a separate report or
13 whether this was part of the normal reporting done by the secretariat of
14 the interior. However, as far as I remember, there was a bulletin that we
15 produced. I produced some of those myself, and we spoke about the
16 situation that prevailed at the border crossings, and something that had
17 been observed was Albanians, people of Albanian ethnicity, leaving the
18 territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
19 I think there was a specific report in relation to each day in
20 terms of how many people left on each given day and what the breakdown was
21 for these people leaving. As far as I remember, for the most part, the
22 people leaving were ladies and children.
23 Q. We've seen another document from the end of April, after you were
24 already gone, in which there is an indication of the number of Siptars who
25 left. Now, I think you told us earlier today in your testimony that at
1 the border station it wouldn't be normal process to ask for identity
2 documents, and it wasn't necessarily a requirement to have ethnic
3 information on those documents.
4 How was that information being gathered and reported to the MUP
5 staff about the ethnicity of those people leaving?
6 A. Well, whenever someone tries to leave the country, their travel
7 documents are checked, the name and surname. Based on a person's name,
8 you can conclude whether this person is, in fact, an ethnic Serb or a
9 member of the Albanian ethnic minority.
10 Q. And in that document that I was referring to, it's in P1693, it
11 indicates that by the 30th of April, some 718.000 Siptars had left Kosovo.
12 Are you telling us that all of those people had travel documents?
13 A. I was speaking about the time that I spent in Pristina and about
14 them leaving with travel documents on them. I really know nothing about
15 how they were leaving at a later stage, and I don't wish to speculate
16 whether they had any travel documents or not, whether they were checked or
17 were, in fact, not checked. By this time, I had already sustained an
18 injury and I was off sick. I didn't even follow the press on a regular
19 basis at the time.
20 Q. Well, during the first week of the war, we have evidence in this
21 case that tens if not hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians left
22 Kosovo in that first week of the war. Is it your position that they all
23 had travel documents that had to be shown and checked before they were
24 allowed to leave?
25 A. No. I said that in relation to the previous period. After the
1 air-strikes had begun, and I can't remember the exact day, I think I was
2 told at one point about something at the border crossing of Vrbnica and
3 the fact that there were people there who were leaving the country with no
4 travel documents. I can't be entirely certain, but I think there was a
5 report like that that reached the MUP staff, yet I can't remember whether
6 I, in fact, told Mr. Lukic about this or not.
7 Q. Well, if --
8 A. I think --
9 Q. Go ahead.
10 A. I think the report stated that those people had left and that
11 everything had been resolved by an agreement between that particular
12 border crossing and the border police administration that was within the
13 MUP. This was a single day before my injury, I think.
14 Q. And is your only information about that written information in a
15 report from the border police? Is that your only information about that?
16 A. Yes, as far as I remember.
17 Q. And, indeed, if there were such a report, it would come to you
18 given the nature of your job, right?
19 A. I was not receiving interpretation right now.
20 Q. That kind of report from the border police about Siptar civilians
21 leaving would have come to you because of the nature of your job, right?
22 A. The border police station would have sent something like this
23 along to me, yes.
24 Q. And wouldn't you automatically have conveyed that information to
25 General Lukic? You just said you can't remember whether you did or not.
1 Is that right?
2 A. What I'm saying is I can't remember, but I can't remember
3 specifically whether this was a Friday or a Saturday. As far as I
4 remember, the Chief of Staff and some other members of the staff had moved
5 on to a different location outside the Pristina SUP building. And if I
6 remember correctly, the only people remaining back at the building were
7 Mr. Adamovic, Mr. Slovic, and I.
8 It was perhaps for that reason that I didn't inform Mr. Lukic.
9 Perhaps, I simply didn't know his whereabouts at the time. But as far as
10 I remember, if there was a document that said that something had been
11 resolved, that meant that it had been resolved and would have implied no
12 urgency in terms of me needing to get in touch with General Lukic
13 immediately and report this to him.
14 Q. As a member of the MUP staff after General Lukic had arrived in
15 July of 1998, how frequently would have contact with him? Daily? Once or
16 twice a week? How often?
17 A. As far as I can remember, when Mr. Lukic came, we had meetings
18 more frequently than in Mr. Vesovic's time.
19 Now, was it twice a week or perhaps at first it was every day,
20 because there was the need for us to get to know Mr. Lukic. Later on, I
21 saw him only when it was necessary; that is to say, that I attended
22 certain meetings between Mr. Lukic and members of the Kosovo Verification
23 Mission and members of the UNHCR and the International Committee of the
24 Red Cross. I think I actually took the minutes of those meetings.
25 Of course, when they wanted to have contact with Mr. Lukic, I mean
1 international humanitarian organizations, they would first talk to me,
2 asking me when he had the time to see them, and then I would schedule
3 their meetings with him.
4 Q. Mr. Lukic asked you about your personal role in daily reporting.
5 You explained that you received reports about state security. Those
6 reports were reviewed, and you said: "We also wrote a report that we sent
7 to the ministry."
8 And with regard to this information, you said: "Yes. Analytical
9 processing did take place, and only the most important events would be
10 included in these reports."
11 Who in the MUP staff did that analysis that you described in your
13 A. I have to make a correction here. What I heard mentioned here was
14 that we received reports from the state security sector. I never received
15 or saw any such reports, and the State Security Service did not submit any
16 kind of reports to us.
17 As for your question, this work was carried out by Mr. Slovic. He
18 was the analyst and he compiled these reports. From time to time, I would
19 stand in for him when he would go away for a weekend.
20 Q. All right. In further describing your work at the staff, you were
21 asked about what legal regulations you applied in the course of your work.
22 You said you did, indeed, use many laws; first of all, the Law on the
23 Personal Identity Card, then the Law on Domicile and Residence, and the
24 Law on Travel Documents.
25 What exactly was the work that you were doing on the staff that
1 involved using these laws?
2 A. Then this was not properly translated either. As far as I can
3 remember, Mr. Lukic asked me what regulations I applied in the course of
4 my work as head of the department, or rather, what regulations are applied
5 in the line of work that I belonged to. I did not state that I applied
6 all these regulations while on the staff.
7 Q. Okay. What did you do on the staff besides these contacts with
8 international humanitarian organizations?
9 A. I didn't have any other duties.
10 Q. As I understand the decision appointing you to work on the MUP
11 staff, did you not get additional pay for that assignment?
12 A. No, no. All who were sent there received, on account of lives
13 separate from their families and I don't know for what other reasons, a
14 salary that was 50 per cent higher than before.
15 Q. I want to ask you about your appointment then, and let's look
16 again at Exhibit P -- or 6D1048. This is the decision by General
17 Djordjevic appointing you. It makes reference to the fact that you're
18 being dispatched to carry out the duties and tasks of the assistant head
19 of staff of the Ministry of the Interior in Pristina.
20 MR. HANNIS: I'm waiting for it to come up on the screen so we can
21 all follow along.
22 Q. It makes reference to that staff. It says: "Formed by a decision
23 of the deputy minister, head of public security department ST 01, strictly
24 confidential number 2793/93 of 15 April 1994."
25 Did you ever see that decision that's referenced there, the one
1 from 15 April 1994? Do you know what it says?
2 A. No. I never saw that decision.
3 Q. And this decision by General Djordjevic, in addition to that
4 reference, in the very first paragraph, it says: "Pursuant to Article 72
5 of the Law on Internal Affairs and Article 2 on the Law on Employment,"
6 the decision was made to send you there.
7 I ask you to keep that in mind, and I want to refer you now to
8 Exhibit P1251. I'll give you a hard copy of this because I'm actually
9 going to ask you to speak to both 1251 and 1252 in sequence, so I'll hand
10 you both.
11 You see, in P1251, there's a printed number in the bottom right of
12 that page. This is a decision on the formation of the staff of the
13 ministry in Pristina. And the top of the page, it says: "Pursuant to
14 Article 10 of the Book of Rules on the," it says, "International
15 Organization of the Ministry of the Interior." I assume that's a typo,
16 and it should be the "Internal Organization of the Ministry of the
17 Interior"; is that right?
18 Did you hear my question?
19 A. Yes. It says here: "Rules on the Internal Organization of the
20 Ministry of the Interior ..."
21 Q. Do you know what the Book of Rules of the Internal Organization
22 are? Are you familiar with those?
23 A. Well, we say that that is a book of rules on systemization. I've
24 never actually seen the entire Book of Rules. I've just seen excerpts
25 from it. But these rules clearly refer to all the organizational units of
1 the ministry and all the jobs therein. Every organizational unit has its
2 own number and every job has its own number.
3 While I worked there, I just received the rules on the
4 organization of my own department. I did not have insight into the
5 entirety of these rules; that is to say, that every head would receive
6 only that which pertained to his own unit, that is to say, what the number
7 was of that particular organizational unit and how many jobs were in
9 Q. Did you see a copy of this decision prior to coming here to
11 A. I don't remember. Let me just have a look. I saw some decision,
12 but I don't know if it was this one.
13 Q. Okay. If you could look at the very bottom of page 1 in the B/C/S
14 and it's item number 2(e) in the English on the first page, among the task
15 of the staff, it includes: "Training organized units to perform
16 successfully special security assignments ..."
17 It goes on to talk about "special units of the police, special
18 anti-terrorist units, and mechanised brigades of the police for proceeding
19 according to Kolubara-1."
20 That looks like the name of a plan. Do you know what Kolubara-1
22 A. No. I don't know what that is.
23 Q. Okay. If we go to page 2 of the English and the B/C/S, number 4
24 indicates that: "The composition of the staff will be laid down in a
25 separate decision," which we'll see in a minute in P1252.
1 Item number 5 says: "The staff leader is responsible to the chief
2 of the public security department for his own work and the work of the
3 staff ..."
4 To your knowledge, to whom did General Lukic report during his
5 tenure as Chief of Staff or head of the staff in Kosovo?
6 A. Well, if it says here that he is responsible to the head of the
7 sector, then he was responsible to the head of the sector and the
9 Q. Okay. And if you'll go down to number 8, it says: "This decision
10 supersedes the decision on the formation of the staff of the Ministry of
11 the Interior for the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija ..."
12 It makes reference to that confidential number of 15 April 1994
13 that we saw in Exhibit 6D1048 that appointed you to the staff, right?
14 You may want to refer back to 6D1048, which was the document that
15 appointed you to the staff of the MUP.
16 A. I can't see where this number is. If you're referring to
17 2793/93 --
18 Q. Yes. If you'll look --
19 A. Oh, I see it. I found it.
20 Q. That's the same document it's referring to, right?
21 A. Well, this seems to show that the staff was established in 1994
23 Q. Yes. That decision establishing a staff in April of 1994 is the
24 one under which you were appointed to the staff in March of 1998, right?
25 A. Well, I don't understand what the question is. I mean, I can say
1 if what you mean is what number this is. In the decision, it says it is
2 the staff that is organized in 1994; whereas, here it says that this
3 decision was no longer in force. So this is contradictory to one another,
4 unless I have a careful look at the dates.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the contradiction's resolved by the next
6 document, Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't know that analysing it with the witness is
9 really all that helpful.
10 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, he is a lawyer and he was on the
11 MUP staff, and he's my best chance, I think.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. Be patient with me, sir, we need to go through about two more
15 documents to get to the end of this.
16 Now, if you will look at 1252, that's another document from
17 General Djordjevic, and this is naming the leaders and members of the
18 staff of Ministry of the Interior for the autonomous province of Kosovo.
19 Number 1 is General Lukic. Number 8 is yourself. I think in the English
20 translation your name is not spelled correctly, but I believe it's clearly
21 you. You see that?
22 A. I see that, yes; although, it's not a very legible copy, but I do
23 see it.
24 Q. Yeah, I apologise for that. That seems to be the best copy we
25 have. And on the back page or the second page, we see a date that's sort
1 of illegible. We have the date of 11, something, 1998. I think, from
2 other evidence, you'll probably find that it's probably the 11th of June,
4 Now I need to take you to P1505, which is one that you've seen a
5 couple of times already.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Taking, though, these two together, 1251 and 1252,
7 Mr. Vucurevic, do you see that they in combination appear to replace the
8 1994 document under which you were originally appointed?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's what it says in the
10 last paragraph, that by the adoption of this decision, 1251, that is, the
11 other decision from 1994 shall no longer be in force.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So 1251 creates a different staff and 1252 appoints
13 personnel to that staff who may largely have been there anyway.
14 MR. HANNIS: Correct.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that correct?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Next I'd like you to take a look at P1505, and you may have it. I
20 have a hard copy if you want, so you can look at these all at the same
21 time. This is a decision by the minister.
22 A. Just a moment, please. They took those papers away.
23 Q. Yeah, we'll give you 1251 and 1252 to keep for a while. This is a
24 decision by the minister dated the 16th of June, 1998. And the first
25 thing I'd like you to look at is on the last page, page 3 of the B/C/S,
1 page 2 of the English, item number 6. It says: "With this decision
2 coming into force, the following shall come out of force ..."
3 There's a reference to a decision to establish an operational
4 staff of 21 April 1998. I don't know what that is. I don't think we've
5 seen that one here yet. But then there's a reference to the decision to
6 establish a staff of the ministry and dated the 15th of May, 1998. It
7 makes reference to number 1206/98.
8 I think if you look at that document, even though there are some
9 parts that are difficult to read, you'll agree with me that that must be a
10 reference to P1251? Would you agree, based on the name of the decision
11 and the date and the number, that that's probably what it refers to there?
12 A. Two decisions are referred to here, the decision on the
13 establishment of 1998 and then yet another decision from May 1998, and the
14 third decision is on the appointment of the actual composition.
15 Q. Yes. And, right now, I'm trying to go step by step.
16 Would you agree with me the one from May of 1998 is Exhibit P1251
17 entitled: "Decision to establish a staff of the Ministry of the Interior
18 for the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija"?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And --
21 A. The date is clear here, the 15th of May, 1998. Yes, that's the
22 decision. That is Exhibit P0251.
23 Q. 1251 I hope, 01251.
24 A. 01251.
25 Q. Thank you. And then the last one referred to here in item 6 is
1 the decision on the appointment of the staff group; that is, the head and
2 members of the staff of the ministry, 11 June 1998. Would you take a look
3 at 1252, P1252, and would you agree with me that that's what it must be
4 referring to here in P1505?
5 A. Well, I assume that that's it because you can see here the 11th,
6 you cannot see the month, and you can see 1998. And if you look at the
7 very name where it says appointing the actual composition, that
8 corresponds to what this decision says.
9 Q. Okay. Now, this portion of this decision to take out of force
10 those two prior decisions of General Djordjevic does not make any
11 reference to that April 1994 decision that was referenced in your
12 appointment; do you agree with me there? There's no reference to that
13 confidential number 2793/93 of 15 April 1994?
14 A. There is no reference here.
15 Q. Okay. So when 1251 and 1252 were taken out of force, then, in
16 effect, the April 1994 decision is reinstated and now is in force, and
17 that was the one under which you were appointed; right?
18 A. Well, I don't know what these decisions said. It's a bit strange
19 that a decision from 1994 would be in force and other things that were
20 adopted after that would not be in force. I don't know whether this is
21 still in force or whether it is being superseded by something else.
22 It is illogical that a document that was passed earlier on is
23 later on changed with another document or amended by another document, and
24 then a third document is passed saying that the first one is no longer
25 valid. I'm don't know if I'm being clear on this.
1 MR. HANNIS: I'm not sure, but Perhaps this is a good time for our
2 lunch break, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I certainly am not clear how it is revived, if that
4 is what you are suggesting, Mr. Hannis. Bearing in mind also that in
5 P1505, this witness is named as one of the staff.
6 MR. HANNIS: I know, Your Honour, and we'll address that a little
7 further after the break.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We need another break at this stage,
9 Mr. Vucurevic, this will be for half an hour. Would you again leave the
10 court with the usher, and we shall resume at ten to 1.00.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
14 [The witness takes the stand].
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, I want to continue with Exhibit P1505, that 16 June
18 1998 decision. Would you take a close look at the title of that decision
19 on the first page. My English translation says: "Decision to establish a
20 ministerial staff for the suppression of terrorism." Is that correct?
21 A. It says here: "Decision on the establishment of a staff of the
22 ministry for the suppression of terrorism."
23 Q. And that's all in capital letters, right?
24 A. Yes. All of it is in capital letters.
25 Q. And if you'll look at P1251, which I think you still have there,
1 that was the 15th of May, 1998 decision by General Djordjevic.
2 You'll see that one I think says: "Decision on the formation of a
3 staff of the ministry in Pristina"?
4 A. Yes, that is what is stated in the decision.
5 Q. Okay. And one more, if you will, is the decision that appointed
6 you in March 1998. Exhibit 6D01048 said you were dispatched to carry out
7 the duties and tasks of assistant head of staff of the Ministry of the
8 Interior in Pristina, formed by a decision of the deputy minister, et
10 So those two earlier documents from March 1998, your appointment
11 document, and the decision in 1251 simply refer to a staff of the ministry
12 in Pristina; whereas, 1505 is referring to a ministerial staff for the
13 suppression of terrorism. Were there two separate staffs, one
14 particularly devoted to the suppression of terrorism and another one that
15 was just a general, more administrative kind of staff in Kosovo?
16 Isn't that one way we can try and understand how all these
17 documents work together?
18 A. As far as I know, there was just one staff of the Ministry of the
19 Interior of the Republic of Serbia. I do not know of the existence of any
20 other staff.
21 Q. And even though your name in P1505 as a member of this ministerial
22 staff for the suppression of terrorism, I think your testimony before was
23 that you don't recall ever having seen this document or received a copy of
24 it. Is that right?
25 A. I don't remember having seen this decision.
1 Q. You told us that when you were there, in 1998, you said David
2 Gajic was not a member of the staff. Do you know who David Gajic was?
3 Did you ever meet him personally?
4 A. Yes. I used to see him in the Pristina SUP lunchroom.
5 Q. And I take it that was in 1998?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Did you ever see Milorad Lukovic, also known as Legija, in Kosovo
8 in either 1998 or 1999 before you left?
9 A. I think I saw him once, too, in that same hall, and I asked myself
10 who he was -- rather, I asked the question, and then I can't remember who
11 exactly it was who answered the question and said that was Milorad
13 Q. What about Colonel Zivko Trajkovic, did you ever meet him or know
14 who he was?
15 A. I think I met Zivko Trajkovic at one of the meetings at the staff,
16 and I can't remember whether there was any other time that I met him, but
17 I knew who he was. I knew based on what people had told me.
18 Q. You told us that Miroslav Mijatovic was the deputy head, but I
19 understand he didn't arrive until sometime in mid-July 1998. Who was the
20 deputy head of staff when you first arrived in Kosovo and before
21 Mr. Mijatovic came?
22 A. When I first arrived in April 1998, and as far as I know, the
23 deputy head of staff was Mr. Radislav Djinovic.
24 Q. Who told you that?
25 A. I can't remember right now whether it was the head of staff who
1 told me, Mr. Vesovic, or the other members of the staff that I found
2 there. We were then introduced to each other.
3 Q. Okay. In answer to a question about this document where there's a
4 reference to the expanded staff, including chiefs of secretariats and
5 centres and branches of the RDB, you said, at page 23057: "I don't know
6 what this term 'expanded staff' means."
7 Sir, you're a lawyer. You must have some idea of what "expanded
8 staff" means in this context, don't you?
9 A. I'm not sure that's what I said. I think the question was were
10 they members of the staff, and my answer was I did not see them at the
11 staff regularly, only every now and then when the minister of the interior
12 was there or one of the aforementioned generals when the meetings were
13 held at the staff itself.
14 My assumption is this: If a body had been set up, then every now
15 and then it would have had to meet in its complete set-up, so that
16 everybody knew what they had to do; and then there would be another
17 meeting to see what the result of those actions were.
18 Q. You mentioned Goran Radosavljevic having an office in the same
19 area where you other members of the staff were located. What was your
20 understanding of his job on the MUP staff in 1998 and 1999?
21 A. I really don't know what his specific job was; but based on what I
22 knew about his qualifications, and I think he had told me this, himself,
23 that he was into training police units, my conclusion at the time was that
24 he was there on behalf of the police administration.
25 Q. The nature of your job was such that you really didn't have much
1 involvement with that part of the MUP that dealt with the PJP and the SAJ,
3 A. That's right. Throughout my career, I never worked in a police
4 department or administration. I never wore a uniform. I was a civilian
5 working for the Ministry of the Interior. I knew that there were such
6 units around, but I never learned exactly what the scope of their activity
8 Q. You were asked some questions about whether the MUP staff had the
9 ability to change any order that arrived from the Ministry of the
10 Interior, and you explained, no, it did not, because it didn't have the
11 power to change orders not issued by them.
12 That leads to my question of: In fact, did not the MUP staff
13 issue certain orders or instructions or directions to either the SUP or
15 A. I can answer about my own line of work based on what I remember.
16 The head of staff or I myself never directly issued an order. There may
17 be one exception, and I can't remember specifically, but I think it was
18 about the Kosovo Verification Mission or about the signing of the
19 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement. I had looked at quite many documents, and
20 I can't be certain now, but I think there was this one situation where we
21 sent a letter to all the secretariats throughout the autonomous province
22 of Kosovo and Metohija.
23 Q. Can we take a look now at Exhibit 6D768. I can hand you a hard
24 copy of this one, and I think you can return those others now. I'm done
25 with 1505 and 1251 and 1252, I think.
1 This is a document dated the 7th of August, 1998, from General
2 Lukic to the SUP in Pristina, Pec, Prizren, Djakovica, et cetera, and to
3 the commander of the PJP joint detachment.
4 Have you seen this document before today?
5 A. I think I saw it during the proofing.
6 Q. We know from other witnesses and documents that there was some
7 joint VJ and MUP actions, anti-terrorist actions, in late July and early
8 August 1998. In paragraph 2 here, you see there's a reference to: "After
9 actions or operations had been carried out, it was noticed that certain
10 police officers in manoeuvre and territorial detachments and members of
11 the reserve force, including officers in those units, behaved highly
12 unprofessionally." It mentions stealing from houses, stealing vehicles,
13 torching houses, et cetera.
14 Were you aware that there were complaints or concerns about that
15 problem in August of 1998?
16 A. I had heard that there were problems, but I can't be certain now.
17 I think this even was mentioned in the daily reports that were sent to the
18 Ministry of the Interior. I'm not certain if there was perhaps a meeting
19 where someone from one of the humanitarian organizations came up with
20 this, what we see stated here, but I can't remember specifically.
21 Q. Okay. If you'll go on down to the fourth paragraph, it's two
22 below the one that I just read from.
23 It says: "There are many diplomatic and consular representatives
24 in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, many representatives of the
25 International Red Cross and other international organizations, as well as
1 journalists who move around, shoot footage, and take photographs."
2 In your job as contact with the international humanitarian
3 organizations, do you not recall that some of them were bringing to your
4 attention complaints about that kind of conduct by the police?
5 A. I can't remember exactly, but I think this was something that was
6 done by the International Red Cross Committee. I think they mentioned
7 several times their information on things that had been done by police
8 officers on the ground; unprofessional things, illegitimate things, and
9 illegal things.
10 Q. And did you include in any of the reports that you assisted in
11 that kind of information, those complaints from the internationals about
12 police misconduct?
13 A. I attended meetings and I think that everything that is stated
14 here was included in the report. However, representatives of the ICRC or
15 any other organization were, as far as I remember, always required to
16 state exactly the time and place that something happened, so that all the
17 facts and circumstances might be verified.
18 Q. Okay. And if you'll go on, in light of these mentioned problems,
19 General Lukic says: "In order to fight and prevent such occurrences, it's
20 necessary to do the following," and he lists three things.
21 Number 1: "Ensure full control over employees of the ministry."
22 Number 2: "Vigorously institute criminal and misdemeanour
23 disciplinary proceedings."
24 Number 3: "Record all such instances and events and immediately
25 inform the staff of the ministry in Pristina."
1 The last paragraph says: "Chiefs in the secretariat and
2 commanders of the PJP joint detachment shall be personally responsible for
3 the implementation of the above measures and for preventing such
5 Now, this document is not entitled, "Order," but that reads to me
6 like that's an order, that's a direction to the SUPs and the PJP, is it
8 A. No. It's not entitled, "Order," but again this document, too, was
9 probably produced based on contacts with representatives of international
10 organizations. If you ask me, it has the nature of instructions. This is
11 something, instructions, that should be followed, because what we see
12 stated at the end of this document, that the heads of secretariats were
13 responsible, well that's nothing new. They are normally responsible for
14 ensuring that all their members work in a way that is legal.
15 Q. I understand that it is not entitled: "Order," but my question
16 is: In real life, how did that work? Were the SUP chiefs and the PJP
17 commander free to ignore this without any consequences?
18 A. I don't know how this worked in practical terms and whether they
19 were, in fact, free to ignore anything. But I know that I previously
20 stated that I remember criminal complaints being brought against members
21 of the Ministry of the Interior who were found to have committed crimes,
22 and I think this was actually included in the reports that were dispatched
23 to the ministry.
24 Each member of the secretariat is responsible for taking
25 disciplinary action as soon as they learn that something has been done.
1 If it's a crime, then people from the crime police join in, and members of
2 the ministry are treated exactly the same way and on the same terms as any
3 other citizen who commits a crime.
4 Q. Well, based on your answer, this document, would you not agree
5 with me that General Lukic appears to have the authority to issue such a
6 direction and that those who received it, the SUP chiefs and the commander
7 of the PJP, abided by it because you tell me they took actions against
8 those who misbehaved?
9 A. I believe that this is, above all, a warning, since all the
10 international organizations, first and foremost, would address the head of
11 staff and not the chiefs of the secretariats. Certain irregularities had
12 been observed in the conduct of the police, and this was a reminder that
13 measures ought to be taken and that everyone ought to be taking measures
14 within their own field of competence.
15 As far as I know, representatives of international organizations
16 only presented their remarks to the staff of the ministry, I mean those
17 remarks that actually had to do with the conduct of members of the
18 Ministry of the Interior.
19 Q. Well, as a lawyer, are you saying this document has no legal
20 effect, or is this an area outside your expertise?
21 A. I'm not sure what you mean that this has no legal effect.
22 Q. Well, does this carry more weight than if I'd written a letter to
23 the SUP and the PJP and said, "Don't do that again," and make sure that
24 everybody follows the rules? Doesn't General Lukic have higher standing,
25 or is he just writing this document to hear his own words? If this is not
1 an order, what is it?
2 A. I don't know what it is and I don't wish to speculate.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. But what I gave you is my opinion.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis's first question might have been helpful
6 if he had just adhered to it. Does it have any more force than if
7 Mr. Hannis had written to the SUP chiefs?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think any random
9 citizen could send a letter like this to people working for the Ministry
10 of the Interior. There could have been an individual letter by an
11 individual citizen about particular violations of his rights by a member
12 of the Ministry of the Interior in the line of duty.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vucurevic, we've had evidence in this case of
14 citizens writing to the ministry to tell them about general problems,
15 international organizations observing the situation and then communicating
16 with members of the government and government departments.
17 Now, does the letter from Mr. Lukic have any greater force than a
18 letter from some international humanitarian organization saying, "Please
19 obey the rules"?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, if you ask me.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because this is a document that was,
23 after all, signed and dispatched by an officer of the Ministry of the
24 Interior who had knowledge, I suppose, to the effect that there had been
25 the cases of unprofessional conduct. He wanted to, again, draw everyone's
1 attention to the fact that they were under an obligation to obey the law
2 and implement the law.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that, but why should this have any
4 more force because it comes from Mr. Lukic, or are you, in fact, saying it
5 doesn't have any force?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not sure you
7 understand me correctly. Given the fact that international humanitarian
8 organizations were in touch with the ministry staff, and as I said we were
9 receiving reports from all the different secretariats, this is a summary
10 of all of that, and that was why it was probably dispatched to all the
11 secretariats of the interior as a general description of what was going
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Vucurevic, I want to ask you now about 6D798. I'll hand you a
16 hard copy of this one. I think you saw it before. It's the minutes of a
17 meeting held on 22 July at the Pristina MUP conference hall.
18 Do you recall having seen this document before?
19 A. Yes, during the proofing.
20 Q. And you're listed as one of the persons in attendance. Do you
21 remember being at this particular meeting?
22 A. When I looked at the document, I remembered that I had attended
23 the meeting.
24 Q. And you'll see on the agenda the three different items. Would you
25 read out number 3 for us, because I think there's been an issue about the
1 translation of one term in there.
2 Could you read out loud what that says.
3 A. Item 3 reads: "Defining tasks about the implementation of the
4 global plan and the tasks to come."
5 Q. Now, from other evidence, we've heard that General Lukic and some
6 others had been at a meeting shortly before this with President Milosevic
7 and General Pavkovic and other representatives of the army and the MUP.
8 What was said at this meeting about that plan that you just read
9 out in item number 3? What do you remember?
10 A. I can't remember specifically all the things that were said at the
11 meeting, but basically I heard that there was some sort of a plan and I
12 think they talked about the different stages of that plan. I don't know
13 the exact number of these stages, maybe between 3 and 5, but I can't be
15 Q. And can you give us any more detail about the nature of that plan,
16 a plan to do what?
17 A. Well, as I've already stated, and I believe I did state that once
18 at least, the situation that prevailed in the autonomous province of
19 Kosovo and Metohija at the time was very difficult. As far as I remember,
20 the only road that was clear was the one leading from Pristina to
21 Urosevac. The one from Prizren to Pec could not be taken. There were
22 daily attacks along that road. I even think that some of those roads were
23 closed. That was my understanding of the reason for this plan. It was
24 meant to clear the road so that the citizens might again be able to travel
1 Q. Do you know who took the minutes of this meeting?
2 A. I think all the minutes were taken by Mr. Slovic.
3 Q. Okay. You'll notice that this document ends after the remarks by
4 the Gradimir Zekavica from the Prizren SUP, and he's apparently only the
5 third SUP commander or chief to speak. Do you know what happened to the
6 rest of the minutes for this meeting?
7 A. No, I really can't say.
8 Q. And you'll notice the second page just stops after one paragraph
9 and is completely blank after that. Do you know why this document is in
10 that condition?
11 A. I really don't know.
12 Q. And if the other two items on the agenda are assessment of the
13 security situation in the territory covered by the secretariat and an
14 assessment of the situation in the units, from what I've seen in other
15 minutes of these kind of meetings, would it not be typical for pretty much
16 all those SUP chiefs and all those PJP commanders to make at least a few
17 brief remarks? That's usual what happened at these meetings, wasn't it?
18 A. You're right. If you ask me, each of them should have reported
19 about this issue.
20 Q. Okay. And you don't remember any comment by General Lukic or
21 Djordjevic or Stevanovic about their opinion of this plan at this meeting?
22 A. No, I don't.
23 Q. Any concerns they had about the MUP's role in that plan?
24 A. I really can't remember.
25 Q. Okay. Mr. Vucurevic, during your time there with MUP staff, did
1 you hear anything about the term "the armed non-Siptar population"? Did
2 you ever hear that term used?
3 A. I can't remember a term like that being used. There is something
4 that I think was called "reserve police."
5 Q. That is my next question. What did you know about the reserve
6 police and the reserve police stations in Kosovo?
7 A. I don't really know much about that. I said that I heard the term
8 being used, "reserve police squad." I can't remember whether this was at
9 a meeting, but I think that their role was to perform police business in
10 those areas where there weren't a sufficient number of police around.
11 Q. Okay. Did you have any idea of the numbers of reserve police
12 stations that were being organized in 1998 in Kosovo?
13 A. No, I truly didn't know that. I didn't know their strength. I
14 simply heard the term used; that was all.
15 Q. Did you have any information about who was providing weapons to
16 those reserve police officers?
17 A. I'm not sure. I don't remember, but if -- I really don't know who
18 was providing weapons to them. I can't say. I wasn't involved in that;
19 therefore, I can hardly be expected to speculate and possibly provide
20 answers that might prove erroneous.
21 Q. Let me show you now Exhibit P1224. I think you saw this document
22 earlier. This is dated the 18th of October, 1998, and it's described as a
23 summary of the numbers of policemen in Kosovo and Metohija on 16 October.
24 Do you recall having seen this document before?
25 A. I saw it during proofing.
1 Q. Do you know who actually compiled the information in the attached
2 tables and who put together the text in this summary?
3 A. I don't know who it was that did that.
4 Q. Do you know when that was done? We see the dates on there,
5 but ...
6 A. Well, I can just see that this is a review of the situation on the
7 16th of October, 1998.
8 Q. Okay. And if you will look at the organization chart which I
9 think you talked about before, you commented that there was no reference
10 to the MUP staff. But is it correct that this document was supposed to
11 reflect all policemen in Kosovo at that time?
12 That's what it purports to be, right?
13 A. Well, this document does include all policemen, as far as I can
14 see. All the SUPs are listed here, all the police stations, and I'm
15 looking at the abbreviations here as well. Even the special
16 anti-terrorist unit is referred to there and the station of the traffic
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. So these are employees of the ministry who we call policemen who
20 wear uniforms and carry weapons. That is what I am particularly
22 Q. Okay. What can you tell me with regard to the reference to the
23 SAJ under the SUP in Pristina on this organization chart? There's a word
24 "alvalija." What does that mean? Is that a location?
25 A. Yes. Here it says, "SAJ alvalija." As far as I know, there were
1 three anti-terrorist organizations SAJ in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and
2 Pristina. What is written here, "ajvalija," I think that's a part of town
3 where their headquarters is or the premises where they were put up.
4 Q. Okay. And this number doesn't purport to reflect the number of
5 reserve policemen or the reserve police stations that had been formed by
6 this date, correct?
7 A. I don't see that here. I can -- I really cannot say anything --
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. -- because I don't know whether they were stated separately or
10 whether they were in the regular police stations. I am really not aware
11 of their structure.
12 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
13 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Lukic on his feet.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: I think mentioning RPO as stations could cause some
16 confusion, because I think the other day we clarified that those are not
17 stations but squads, RPO. They didn't have any stationary objects in
18 which they were placed in.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I think that's correct Mr. Hannis, on the
21 MR. HANNIS: I'll accept that, Your Honour. I was just reading
22 from a document.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. I want to ask you then, sir, about the purpose of that document.
1 Based on the timing and the numbers reflected therein, it seems to me that
2 that may have been prepared in relation to the discussions with
3 internationals that eventually led to the October agreements regarding
4 Kosovo. Is that correct or do you know?
5 A. As far as I can remember, that is correct. I mean, I cannot
6 remember the exact date when the number of members of the Ministry of the
7 Interior was supposed to be reduced in the territory of the autonomous
8 province of Kosovo and Metohija. I assume that that is why this document
9 was compiled, in order to have a review.
10 Q. During your time in Kosovo in 1998 and until the beginning April
11 1999, did you ever hear the term "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija"?
12 A. I think that I heard it once at one of the meetings; although, I
13 cannot remember exactly who it was that had used the term. But I do not
14 remember that I particularly memorised that term or that I paid any
15 attention to it. It wasn't clear to me what it was about.
16 Q. Well, I'll have you take a quick look at Exhibit P2086. This is a
17 meeting on I think it's the 5th of November.
18 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. I think I gave you the wrong number. I
19 need 2805. I apologise.
20 Q. This is a meeting on the 5th of November, 1998. You're listed as
21 being in attendance. I'll hand you a hard copy. And in addition to the
22 minister, President Milutinovic, several citizens, General Pavkovic, and
23 some 13 representatives of the army, among other regular attendees, were
24 present at this meeting.
25 Do you recall that meeting where President Milutinovic came and
2 A. I recall that I was present at that meeting. As far as I can
3 remember, that was the only time that President Milutinovic was in
4 Pristina. I think that he talked about resolving the problems of the
5 autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija.
6 Q. Well, in his remarks, in page 3 of the English - I'm not sure
7 where it is exactly in your copy - he does make reference to the Joint
8 Command. Do you think that's where you might have heard the term was in
9 this meeting where President Milutinovic made reference to it?
10 He said: "Everything remains the same for the Yugoslav Army; and
11 police, Joint Command, VJ units are not withdrawing and police forces are
12 reduced only by the part that has already been withdrawn."
13 Does that refresh your memory about when you might have heard the
15 A. If that is what it was that you underlined and that is in brackets
16 here, I think that that's the first time when I heard that term.
17 Q. Okay. Are you not aware that General Lukic attended dozens of
18 meetings of the Joint Command just between the 22nd of July and the end of
19 October, 1998, while you were there as a member of the MUP staff?
20 You didn't know about that?
21 A. I really don't know what meetings General Lukic went to. He was
22 my superior officer; I wasn't his. So I really don't know who he went to
23 meet and what he discussed at these meetings.
24 Q. Nor do you know what kind of plans may have been discussed at
25 those meetings, right?
1 A. I don't know. I didn't take part in such meeting.
2 Q. Okay. Now, I know you left around the 1st of April; but in your
3 preparations to testify, did anyone show you a decree that was signed by
4 President Milutinovic concerning identity cards that was signed, I think,
5 on the 31st of March, 1999, changing the law on identity cards?
6 Did you see that in preparing to testify?
7 A. Yes, I think so.
8 MR. HANNIS: If we could look at Exhibit 1D144, please.
9 Q. I can hand you a copy of this, sir. The cover page is a letter
10 from the Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Markovic, and the text of the
11 decree is on, I think, the second page.
12 I'm particularly interested in Article 3 that says: "A person who
13 loses a personal identity card or is not in possession of said for some
14 other reason is obliged to report it within 24 hours to the competent
15 organizational unit of the Ministry of the Interior in the place where the
16 personal identification card was lost."
17 My first question: The competent organizational unit in this
18 context would be, what, the SUP in that location?
19 A. The secretariat of the interior in terms of the residence of the
20 person to whom a personal identity card had been issued.
21 Q. But, here, it would be the SUP in the area where the card was
22 lost, rather than where it was issued, right? That's where they're
23 supposed to report the loss or other circumstances under which they came
24 to be without it, right?
25 A. Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't read this very precisely. It says, here,
1 at the place where the personal identity card had been lost. I think that
2 you were asking me who was in charge of issuing him with a duplicate card.
3 What it says, here, is what the obligation of every citizen is, to report
4 to the closest police station the loss of any form of identification.
5 Q. It says "any form of identification"? I thought this was
6 referring just specifically to the personal identification card. Isn't
7 that a unique document?
8 A. A personal identity card is a document that is used for
9 identification; however, I've already said that citizens also have travel
10 documents. Also, if a citizen loses a travel document, he is duty-bound
11 to report the loss of that document.
12 Q. But not according to this decree. This decree only refers to the
13 personal identification card, right?
14 A. Yes. Yes, only personal identity cards.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I'm not going to finish in the next
16 minute. I don't know if we could break now.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: How long do you have?
18 MR. HANNIS: Thirty minutes probably.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you finished with this document?
20 MR. HANNIS: No.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you finish with that? There's no pressure
22 today because there's no other case coming in here, Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If we could finish with one document, it would make
1 MR. HANNIS: I'll try and ask a couple more questions about it.
2 Q. We've heard evidence from a number of Kosovo Albanian civilians
3 about being directed to leave Kosovo and who indicated that as they were
4 passing through the border at Albania on the way sometimes their identity
5 cards and other personal documents were taken from them and torn up.
6 As a practical matter, sir, can you tell me how a person whose
7 card is torn up by a policeman could reasonably be expected to report that
8 loss to the police station in the area where it happened?
9 That's not realistic, is it?
10 A. Well, the citizen would be duty-bound to do that.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no questions about
12 this document at this time.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The article we're looking at obviously changes the
14 rule in some way. What is the change that was made by Article 3?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that what was changed here
16 was only the time. I don't have the Law on Personal Identity Cards here
17 on me now, so the period within which one has to report the loss. I think
18 that the law gives a general wording, as in immediately; whereas, here it
19 says 24 hours.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: If you look at Article 2, you'll see another change
21 that anyone over 14 was obliged to have a personal identification card,
22 and I think other evidence indicates that the previous age was 16. Is
23 that correct?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The law says that every citizen
25 who is of age is duty-bound to have a personal identity card. In our
1 country, persons become of at age at the age of 18. Persons younger than
2 18 may have a personal identity card but need not necessarily have one.
3 This is a change in relation to the law. This stipulates an obligation;
4 whereas, the law provides for the possibility of younger persons having a
5 personal identity card.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know why this change was made during the
7 state of war?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't understand why this
9 change was made, especially for persons who are younger than 18.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That brings the proceedings for today to an end,
11 Mr. Vucurevic, which means you'll have to come back again tomorrow.
12 Tomorrow that will be at 9.00 and will be in court 3 in this building.
13 Please remember what I said to you about not having communications
14 with anyone about the evidence in the case while you're a witness. Now
15 could you please leave the courtroom with the usher, and we will see you
16 again tomorrow morning at 9.00.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
20 February, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.