1 Wednesday, 2 April 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. The position in relation
6 to Judge Nosworthy is the same as yesterday and we will continue today in
7 her absence on the same basis.
8 Mr. Stamp, the remaining parts of the eighth motion for Lukic to
9 amend the 65 ter list. Can you assist or can Mr. Hannis assist?
10 MR. STAMP: Yes. I could assist poorly, but I know we filed a
11 response. SO I don't know if you want to add to that.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the problem is that a decision may be
13 necessary for witnesses today.
14 MR. STAMP: Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And I'm not aware of a filing.
16 MR. STAMP: Yes.
17 MR. HANNIS: We did file something last evening, Your Honour, and
18 Mr. Oren will be taking the next witness, Mr. Pantic, and it does pertain
19 to him.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that maybe no action will have been
21 taken as yet because it was after hours when it was filed. Do you have a
22 copy of that --
23 MR. HANNIS: I don't have a copy at the moment but I'm sure we
24 could print one out here and hand it up.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you could do that perhaps it can be
1 printed and I can see what the position is as we progress. Meanwhile, we
2 shall continue with the witness.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, while we're waiting for
4 the witness to come in, during the course of the day (redacted)
7 Another thing I wanted to say: If that is not sufficient, I am
8 here and my material is in Belgrade. Could you please postpone your
9 decision until Tuesday? By then I will have brought you piles of
10 material to read to support my material. Thank you.
11 JUDGE CHOWHAN: So piles of materials on lies.
12 MR. FILA: Yes.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: That's very interesting.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 WITNESS: DRAGAN FURDULOVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Furdulovic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: In a moment we will continue with
20 cross-examination by the Prosecutor. Please bear in mind that the solemn
21 declaration to speak the truth in all your answers which you made at the
22 beginning of your evidence, that applies to your evidence today.
23 Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
1 MR. STAMP: May I just indicate for the record as I proceed that
2 yesterday the witness clarified that the person who they had taken a
3 statement from, the driver, was Ursuljanovic. I think that was one of
4 the last things he said, and I could just indicate that that statement
5 taken by the working group is in evidence, P578.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that -- is that a statement -- yes.
7 Ursuljanovic, yes. Thank you. Are all the statements not part of the
9 MR. STAMP: All the statements that we obtained are part of the
10 record. (redacted), but I got confused
11 because I thought he was saying Jovanovic, and later on I realised it was
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. You indicated, sir, that you were at least involved in obtaining
16 a statement from Protic in 2002. Is that correct?
17 MR. STAMP: And while the translation is going on, could I have
18 P3134 [Realtime transcript read in error P1314"].
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Was head of the operative team at
20 the meeting of the operative team members of the operative team were
21 appointed who were to take Protic's statement. After his statement was
22 taken, I was made aware of the content of the statement. Directly in
23 2002 I did not take a statement from Protic.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. Very well. Could you look at the document that should come up
1 before you if we can -- I'll ask could we show the first page briefly
2 and the last page. Just to put you in a position to say whether or not
3 you could identify.
4 But in all of his statements and in all of his interviews,
5 Mr. Protic did tell you that he had transported corpses to Batajnica and
6 to Petrovo Selo, didn't he?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, P1314 --
9 MR. STAMP: Sorry, 3134. I beg your pardon.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: 3134, very well.
11 MR. STAMP: I'm so sorry.
12 Q. That's the first page there. Can you make it out?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And could we have a look at the last page briefly.
15 A. Yes. Yes, I've had a look.
16 Q. Yes. Is that the statement that officials from the working group
17 took on the 28th -- or 27th of August, 2002 from Mr. Protic?
18 A. I recognise the first and last page. I do not see the content,
19 but the members of the operative team are Lakcevic Dusan and Gvozden
20 Gagic, that is correct. The minutes were taken by Aleksandar Kostic, who
21 was an inspector in the sector for investigating war crimes. So these
22 were the members who were appointed to do this job, to interview
23 Mr. Protic.
24 Q. Could you have a look, please, at page 3 of this document and
25 it's on page 3 in both the English and the B/C/S copy.
1 You see the second paragraph after the Roman numeral II. Could
2 you read that aloud, please.
3 A. I can't see it.
4 Q. There it is now.
5 A. "He gave me a telephone number (Belgrade line) and a certain --
6 and a certain person whose instructions I would follow will call me at
7 that number."
8 Q. Does it say that the person will call him or he would call the
10 A. According to what is written here, a certain person was supposed
11 to call him.
12 Q. Now, he's saying that -- sorry, go on, please.
13 A. I do apologise. If I take a more careful look, this a bit
14 confusing. He gave me a certain telephone number (Belgrade line) to
15 which I was to be called by a certain person whose instructions I was
16 supposed to follow." That would mean that this person would call him or
17 that he would call this person. It is written in an ambiguous way.
18 Q. I see. And if you look to the preceding paragraph. Am I -- can
19 we understand him to be saying that General Petar Zekovic gave him the
20 number, gave him that number, with instructions that the person on that
21 number, using that number, would give him instructions?
22 A. Regardless of the first paragraph, I think nevertheless that this
23 is ambiguous, that the second paragraph is ambiguous.
24 Q. Yes, I understand that. It's not quite clear whether or not he
25 would call or the person would call him, but what he's saying here is
1 that he got that number from General Zekovic and that he was to receive
2 instructions by telephone contact with the person on that line. Is that
3 a correct understanding of what he said?
4 A. Correct. It says that he got this telephone number from
5 General Zekovic and that contact would be established on that line.
6 Q. I'd like you also to have a look very quickly at page 4 in the
7 English, B/C/S -- page 4 to 5 in both the English and -- and the B/C/S
9 Can you read the last paragraph on that page.
10 A. "I was accompanied by Ceda Sakic who lives in Pancevo and who is
11 now retired. General Zekovic gave me the Belgrade telephone number in
12 order to call him when I arrive in Pristina."
13 Q. Can you continue?
14 A. There is nothing more. I can't see anything else.
15 Q. And can you go to the next page, please. I'd like to just
16 confirm the ...
17 A. I repeat: "I received all instructions and the telephone from
18 General Petar Zekovic in the office of Nenadic Dragic in Autokomerc in
19 the street of Omladinska Brigada in new Belgrade.
20 "Now General Zekovic doesn't recognise me and does not remember
21 what he ordered me.
22 "The liaison person told me to contact such-and-such a person,
23 asked me whether I knew where Petrovo Selo was, how many bodies I had on
24 the truck, he gave me instructions to enter Kosovska Mitrovica and load
25 the rest of the corpses. Already in Pristina I received an order from
1 the same person to go to Petrovo Selo after having loaded the corpses and
2 to unload them there.
3 "I also make the following statement:
4 "The first transport --"
5 Q. Do you recall from reading those passages that Protic always
6 maintained that he will receive instructions from someone on that
7 Belgrade line as to where to collect and take the bodies to, but he did
8 not tell you who that person was in 2002?
9 A. According to his statements, and there were several of them made
10 orally, he changed his story. Once, as a matter of fact, he mentioned
11 the name of --
12 Q. Witness -- okay. Go on. Sorry.
13 A. So he mentioned a name that he refuted later. He first said that
14 that was his contact person.
15 It is true that several times he mentioned that out in the field
16 he would get further instructions.
17 Q. Now, you said that in the course -- and I'm about to move on from
18 this document.
19 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I asked that much be read because this
20 was a rough draft translation and I think we will be applying in due
21 course to get a CLSS translation of this document for the Court. This I
22 should also indicate while I'm on this document is the full version of an
23 extract 6D196 [Realtime transcript read in error "CD 196" ], which had
24 been introduced in evidence earlier when Mr. Protic was testifying.
25 Q. In the course of investigating the -- this new story and the
1 press release from the public prosecutor for Negotin, you interviewed,
2 and I think you said that, a significant number of police officers, and
3 the procedure was that you would send a note, a request for approval to
4 Mr. Lukic and that he approved every one. Is that correct?
5 A. Immediately at the very outset we went out and conducted
6 interviews with over 30 persons, most of them policemen. At the very
7 outset we received approval and consent from Lukic to conduct interviews
8 starting with the chief of SUP of Bor and then with all the policemen who
9 we believed had certain knowledge in respect of these events.
10 Q. And was it a normal procedure in the police at that time that in
11 the course of investigations you would seek the approval of the chief of
12 the police, the chief of the RJB, in order to interview someone?
13 A. At that time we were not duty-bound by law to start the kind of
14 activity that we did start. Our task in accordance with the decision
15 made by the minister was to check the reliability of the information that
16 was made public. However, we made a plan, an operative plan of our work,
17 and then following the information that was published in Timocka Revija
18 we thought that first we should go to the Bor, Negotin, and Kladovo areas
19 and conduct interviews with all persons, police and civilians. That is
20 to say that at that time that was not the usual procedure. However, we
21 had General Lukic's oral approval, and we went out into the terrain and
22 did this job immediately.
23 Q. So in other murder investigations, and you'd agree with me I'm
24 sure that this was a murder investigation once, but you had discovered in
25 other murder investigations you would not necessarily or it was not the
1 norm to be seeking the consent of the head of the department before you
2 interviewed persons that might have information?
3 A. I'm sorry. It is always customary to ask for approval of one's
4 immediate superior. Not a single policeman can make a statement unless
5 his immediate superior is aware of that beforehand.
6 Q. Yes. But not necessarily the chief of the RDB.
7 A. I didn't understand you.
8 Q. The standard practice would be to get the consent of the police
9 officers' immediate superior but the standard practice would not be to
10 get the approval of the chief of the RDB.
11 A. The chief of SUP in Bor is the ranking officer there. Below him
12 is the chief of the OUP of Kladovo. That is to say that in order to talk
13 to policemen of the OUP of Kladovo where Tekija is, where the
14 refrigerator truck was found, we had to seek approval first from the
15 chief of SUP as the ranking police officer in the area. When we received
16 approval to talk to him, then we automatically got a possibility to talk
17 to the rest of them. That is to say that we had the approval of
18 General Lukic to conduct these interviews with all these persons.
19 Q. But -- but you also, I think from those documents that you were
20 shown yesterday by learned counsel Mr. Aleksic -- sorry, Mr. Ivetic,
21 you -- I think you indicated that you sought his approval even to
22 interview civilians in some investigations.
23 A. No. Approval is never sought for civilians. According to the
24 Law on Criminal Procedure and other laws that are in force in Serbia we
25 have the authority to interview civilians according to Article 226 of the
1 Law on Criminal Procedure.
2 Q. Very well. Can we -- sorry?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps you think the question has been answered.
4 I'm afraid I don't share that.
5 As an example, can we have on the screen 6D1610.
6 That's one of the documents you were referred to yesterday, and
7 one of the witnesses you wished to speak to is flag bearer Jovic Rade.
8 Now, why do you need the approval of the chief of the RDB to speak to
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the status was at
11 that time of Rade Jovic, but I think that these are commanders of the
12 3rd Platoon of the 37th Company of the PJP. I don't know what platoon he
13 commanded, but as far as I can remember he's a platoon commander.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: So why do you need the approval of the chief of
15 the RDB to speak to him?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it's a member of the ministry,
17 then there has to be approval.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: From the man at the top. Not from his immediate
19 superior. You say you have to get approval in all these cases from the
20 man at the top.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In all cases we had to get approval
22 from the man at the top.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So if you want to interview a cleaner in the
24 ministry, you have to get Mr. Lukic's approval.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to our work plans, we did
1 not use cleaners as sources of information. In the cases that we had,
2 that we handled, all -- they all involved policemen.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but what if a cleaner was a witness to a
4 crime being committed in the premises. Are you saying that that
5 person -- that before you could interview that cleaner you would have to
6 have the approval of Mr. Lukic?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We always needed approval for all
8 members of the RJB sector. We would get this approval from Mr. Lukic.
9 Sometimes it would be in writing and sometimes it would be oral, but in
10 every case we obtained an approval.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And that would apply to any inquiry, not just this
12 case, but any inquiry that was being made that involved interviewing
13 members of the staff of the MUP.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm now only speaking about the
15 members of the RJB sector. In cases at that we handled at the time, we
16 always sought approval of the chief of the sector.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: Yes.
19 Q. I'm not sure about what -- what you just said. Are you saying in
20 all criminal investigations you sought the approval of the chief of a
21 sector, like the chief of the RDB sector, prior to interviewing
23 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, this is the second time that instead
24 of RJB we have RDB. I don't know how it's being translated into Serbian,
25 but --
1 MR. STAMP: Sorry.
2 MR. IVETIC: -- if we could have that correction.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. The first mistake is mine.
4 MR. IVETIC: I didn't want to raise at that point, Your Honour,
5 but I think the witness understood at that time, but I understand -- I'm
6 following the translation that's coming through the way it is in the
7 transcript now, and for the record, I think I will have to -- well, I
8 think Mr. Stamp's question misstates the testimony of the witness, but I
9 can't go into further details without perhaps prompting the witness, so
10 I'll just let the witness answer.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It only misstates it in respect of not confining
12 the witnesses involved to those who are part of the public security
14 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Sir, I just want to understand you, and I'm not quoting you now.
17 Am I to understand you to be saying that in other investigations, not
18 these that we were discussing in these documents, in all other criminal
19 investigations that you know of you would seek the prior approval of the
20 chief of the RJB sector before interviewing witnesses who were attached
21 to the ministry?
22 A. No. I never said that. I said that my answer applied only to
23 the RJB sector. All cases that we handled, the refrigerator trucks,
24 Bitiqi case, Berisa, Berisa brothers case, were all the cases where
25 policemen were members of the RJB and they were our source of
1 information, and for that reason we sought consent of the chief of the
3 The cases where policemen were not members of the RJB there was
4 no need for us to seek consent of General Lukic.
5 Q. Okay. Can I just check one thing before I move on. I think you
6 have before you 6D1610. Can you just read item 4 for me. You will see
7 close to the bottom of the page a list of names. Could you just read
8 what item 4 says.
9 A. "Warrant Officer First Class Jovic Rade." Is that what you have
10 in mind?
11 Q. I see. Yes, I just wanted to clarify the translation.
12 Could we look at 6D --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm now, I'm afraid, further confused. Can you
14 give me an example of a policeman who is not a member of the RJB sector?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In these documents all of them are
16 members of the RJB.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: But you've just given an answer that in English
18 says: "The cases where policemen were not members of the RJB, there was
19 no need for us to seek consent of General Lukic."
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, give me an example.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the cases that we handled, there
23 was no such example. I can't remember one.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Give me just a general example so I understand the
25 distinction you're making.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If a member of the ministry worked
2 in the administration for combatting organised crime, we did not need to
3 seek approval of General Lukic.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And why is that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because the administration for
6 combatting organised crime does not belong to the RJB sector.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: In such a case who would -- who would you require
8 to approach for approval?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We would seek approval from the
10 minister or his deputy.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: Could -- could we look at 6D1611, please.
13 Q. These -- is it there yet? This is a document of March 2002 in
14 which you're also seeking the approval of General Lukic to interview
15 certain persons?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And this is in respect of the bodies of the Bitiqi brothers that
18 were found at Petrovo Selo; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you read out item 6 for me, the name that is at item 6.
21 A. "Ljubomir Andric, janitor at the MUP training centre in Petrovo
23 Q. Was he a member of the RJB, or was the janitor a civilian?
24 A. By your leave, I wish to clarify so that it's clear. In
25 addition -- or, rather, next to the names there is a position that the
1 person performed during that time. For example, if we say Ljubomir
2 Andric, janitor at the training camp of MUP in Petrovo Selo that means
3 that's the job he performed at the time. The approval was sought for all
4 of these people because at the time when the approval was sought they
5 were all members of the RJB sector.
6 Ljubomir Aleksic number 1 was the deputy chief of the police
7 administration of MUP for the Republic of Serbia and then all of them,
8 all the rest of them were members as well. This is where this
9 misunderstanding arises. Approval was sought from the chief of the RJB
10 because at that particular moment when the approval was sought they were
11 members or worked for the RJB. However, at the time when the event took
12 place they performed other duties or worked elsewhere.
13 Q. So are you saying that Andric Ljubomir was not a civilian, the
14 janitor was a policeman?
15 Just a moment. I don't wish to make any comment that might
16 appear adverse but I can hear counsel speaking in Serbian from here, and
17 I don't think --
18 MR. LUKIC: I have to try to clarify, Your Honour. I think that
19 the translation --
20 MR. STAMP: There are two issues, if I may --
21 MR. LUKIC: -- as the --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can deal with that by asking the witness
23 to read it in Serbian.
24 MR. LUKIC: Okay.
25 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, but there is another issue. I
1 would just want to say to the Court that -- and I'm not saying that
2 anything wrong but -- was said or done but counsel should not converse at
3 all so that I can hear from here.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We've dealt with this before, Mr. Stamp. I'm -- I
5 can hear -- I did hear sound. I don't know the circumstances because I
6 wasn't looking in that direction, but it often happens when earphones are
7 being worn and people speak louder than they would normally because they
8 forget that their hearing is dulled by the earphones. So everyone should
9 be particularly conscious of trying to remember to remove these before
10 conversing in court.
11 Please continue.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. I think it was indicated that there might be difficulty with the
14 translation. Can you re-read item 6?
15 A. "Ljubomir Andric, janitor at the MUP training centre in Petrovo
17 MR. LUKIC: I would rather translate it as a superintendent, not
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask the interpreter again to listen
20 carefully to what the witness says and see if that's appropriate or not.
21 Could you please read that line again.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Ljubomir Andric, janitor at the
23 MUP training centre in Petrovo Selo."
24 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, in our opinion superintendent is
25 an American term used in large US condos. That has the same meaning the
1 word "janitor."
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, it's a matter for submission in due
3 course but in any event it seems to me it doesn't matter. Even if he was
4 a civilian, my understanding of the evidence at the moment is that
5 authority would be sought because he was part of the staff of the RJB.
6 Mr. Stamp does appear in his questions to see it somewhat
7 differently, but the answers of the witness so far have conveyed to me
8 the impression that it wouldn't matter how low or high the employee was
9 and what status that employee held, authority would be sought from
10 Mr. Lukic.
11 However, don't be dissuaded from your line of examination by that
12 comment, Mr. Stamp, if you feel it requires further investigation.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. And prior to -- before those names you see at item 3, Goran
15 Radosavljevic, and at item 5 we see Radomir Djeric, who had
16 responsibilities in the Gendarmerie.
17 Was the place where the bodies were found at Petrovo Selo part of
18 a training camp that the MUP Gendarmerie used, and isn't that why you
19 sought to interview the janitor?
20 A. The pit where the bodies were found is outside of the compound of
21 the training centre. I personally opened up that pit together with
22 the -- with a prosecutor and a judge. We interviewed everyone we
23 believed might have useful information. It was done in accordance with
24 the plan and we made no exceptions as to who we would interview. We
25 interviewed people regardless of their position, title, and we always
1 sought approval to interview them.
2 By your leave, we interviewed over 17 persons, and the case was
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. Did Mr. Protic testify in that case?
6 A. I did not receive information to that effect, but I know that
7 Mr. Protic gave a statement to an investigator of the OTP and that he
8 also testified before the District Court in Belgrade.
9 Q. Do you -- in your evidence you said that the FBI were involved in
10 the investigation of the Bitiqi brothers. Do you know if the US
11 authorities charged anyone in respect to those -- sorry, I -- I withdraw
12 the question.
13 Did you seek to interview General Lukic having regard to the fact
14 that he was the head of the MUP staff for Kosovo and most of the bodies
15 were identified to be bodies of Kosovo Albanians? Did you seek to
16 interview him?
17 A. My apologies. We didn't seek to interview Mr. Lukic because we
18 had no information indicating that he had anything to do with the war
19 crimes or with these crimes that had been committed.
20 Yesterday I mentioned that we handled a couple of these cases,
21 that all of these cases were brought to trial and that we could not
22 conduct any investigation in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija for the
23 well-known reasons. I'm convinced that had we had any information
24 linking Mr. Lukic to this, we would have done it.
25 Q. Are you saying that you only interviewed persons who you had
1 information that they had something to do with war crimes, that is, the
2 exclusive category of person that you interviewed?
3 A. At the very outset we interviewed five assistant ministers,
4 generals. I tried to ensure the presence of the former minister of the
5 interior and also chief of the RJB.
6 Q. But those ministers, those persons on these lists, these
7 janitors, these members of the Gendarmerie, the people that you
8 interviewed, they were interviewed, I take it, because they were linked
9 by information you had to these war crimes. Is that the only reason why
10 you interviewed them?
11 A. I did not understand your question.
12 Q. You are saying you didn't interview General Lukic because you had
13 no information that he was linked to war crimes. I'm asking if that is
14 the only condition, if that's the only reason why you interview someone,
15 because you had information that the person was linked to war crimes.
16 A. The attempt to talk to the minister and the chief of RJB and the
17 generals, all those efforts were made -- already made in order to get a
18 general picture concerning the mass grave. If you remember the first
19 task of the working group was to verify the veracity, accuracy, of
20 information concerning the Timok region. So first we tried to talk to
21 people who would lead us -- may I continue?
22 Q. You're not answering my question. I just wanted to ask you one
23 simple thing. The only reason you interview somebody, I take it from
24 what you've said, is whether or not they had information --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: I'm going to object to the question he if he says
2 "from what you've said" when the witness is as we can see from the
3 transcript trying to say something and Mr. Stamp is interrupting when
4 he's talking precisely about this topic. If you look at page number 19,
5 line number 8, he's explaining this topic and Mr. Stamp's cutting him off
6 and then asking a question "based upon what you said," well, he can't ask
7 that question if he won't let the witness say and finish his answer.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the answer required of that question was yes
9 or no, so I think Mr. Stamp was quite right in interviewing -- in
10 interrupting because if he wants more information he can ask for it. But
11 the question demands a yes or no answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I can say to this question is
13 as follows: In addition to formal interviews that have certain records,
14 there is also operative work conducted by the police, and this doesn't
15 necessarily mean that a person is involved in commission of a crime if
16 this work is conducted by the police.
17 MR. STAMP:
18 Q. I think I take it from that that you are saying that a person did
19 not need to be involved in a crime for you to ask some questions. So I
20 come back to this then: The -- let's take a look at paragraph 8 of your
21 statement, and I'll get to this.
22 You had news reports in respect to the Berisa family in The
23 Guardian and the BBC. Do you know when these news reports were?
24 A. I don't remember the text of the report.
25 Q. When, when? I asked you when. Do you remember when they were?
1 A. No, but I know that at the very outset of our investigation on
2 the 30th of May, we opened up the mass grave in Batajnica. We commenced
3 our intelligence work at the time. Thirty-six bodies were exhumed.
4 Q. I asked you when. That's all I asked you, please.
5 A. I don't have that piece of information. I can't tell you that
7 Q. You -- you discovered that there were the bodies of the Berisa
8 family, an entire family, in that grave at Batajnica, and you discovered
9 at the time, I take it, that this was a crime that was committed in March
10 of 1999?
11 A. [No interpretation].
12 Q. In Kosovo?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. General Lukic was the head of the MUP staff for Kosovo at that
15 time? Is that so?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Well, as an investigator, weren't you interested to find out how
18 an entire family, a clan almost, three generations of one family -- or
19 four generations of one family, could have been killed, wiped out, and
20 transported to Serbia and it escaped the attention of the chief of the
21 MUP staff?
22 A. In my view the question is unintelligible. What we were
23 interested in, we performed. We proved that the crime had been
24 committed. We conducted all interviews, and the case was brought to
25 trial. I am really not able to discuss somebody's role in this.
1 Q. I just asked one question. If at that time you did not think
2 that General Lukic might have had information as to the circumstances --
3 or let me put it this way: Might have helpful information about the
4 circumstances in Kosovo at the time. Didn't you think so? Yes or no? I
5 mean, if you didn't, you didn't.
6 A. That's not what we thought, because we had original information
7 about the crime that was committed.
8 Q. Okay. Now, did you know at the time that that crime, the -- the
9 killing of the Berisa family, was one of a list of crimes that was on the
10 indictment charging Mr. Milosevic and others?
11 A. No, I can't remember that.
12 Q. So you would not know, then, whether or not General Lukic or
13 anybody asked your war crimes working group to investigate other crimes
14 that were listed on the indictment against Mr. Milutinovic --
15 Mr. Milosevic?
16 A. We did not deal with that issue because we were not equipped
17 either in terms of personnel or in terms of equipment to deal with cases
18 that were larger than the ones that we dealt with, and I left the service
19 in 2003.
20 Q. You left in 2003 or 2004?
21 A. On the 1st of February, 2004, I was appointed to the position of
22 the chief of internal control.
23 Q. Yes. What I really asked you, though, is whether or not your
24 having discovered the bodies of a family that the ICTY indictment claimed
25 were murders in Kosovo. You were asked to investigate the other events
1 that the indictment referred to, the other events of murder that the
2 indictment referred to. Simply were you asked by General Lukic or
3 anybody else to investigate those other claims in the indictment?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you -- you will agree with me that the -- this case we're
6 talking about, the Suva Reka case, the indictment in Serbia was issued on
7 the 24th of April, 2006? Do you know that?
8 A. I don't know the exact date.
9 Q. But when you had left these persons, these policemen, weren't
10 indicted, were they, or nobody was indicted?
11 A. I don't know which policemen you mean.
12 Q. When you had left, no one had been indicted for the killing of
13 the Berisa family, when you left your job in the war crimes section. Is
14 that so? Is that correct?
15 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, object on foundational grounds.
16 There's been no showing of the bases how this individual in the position
17 he was would know what the workings of the Ministry of Justice of Serbia
18 are since he's not a member of the Ministry of Justice or involved in the
19 Ministry of Justice 's work in preparing indictments.
20 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, the witness was one of the police
21 officers in charge of investigating the crime.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. You may answer the question. If you don't
23 know the answer, just tell us.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. While you were there in that role, nobody was indicted for that
1 crime in Serbia?
2 A. I cannot say that it's nobody, but I know that quite a few cases
3 that we worked on had to do with prosecutions before the judiciary. For
4 Bitiqi we sent an entire case file.
5 Q. I was asking about --
6 A. For us, as for police work, well, I told you about the Berisas.
7 Forty-four statements we sent to the prosecutor's office in charge. That
8 is the moment when our work stopped. It is the prosecutor who is in
9 charge of all the rest. When the prosecutor took over the case --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Furdulovic, you're being asked about the Suva
11 Reka case as you now recognise and it's a prominent case in your country,
12 isn't it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: There's an ongoing trial at the moment, is there
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard from a colleague, a
17 policeman, that the trial was under way.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So the question Mr. Stamp is asking you is when
19 you left your job in connection with the investigation of these crimes,
20 is it the case that no proceedings had been taken against anyone? Do you
21 know the answer to that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this specific case no
23 proceedings were taken.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Now, just give us a moment, please.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, I'm sorry I have to clarify something from
2 you. If you kindly go back to page 25, line 9 -- now, I would just
3 repeat what you have said and the translators may kindly give the Serbian
4 version of the same. You said and I quote in your answer: "In my view,
5 the question is unintelligible. What we were interested in, we
6 performed. We proved that a crime had been committed. We conducted all
7 interviews and the case was brought to trial."
8 Now, important thing is I quote: "I was really not able to
9 discuss somebody's role in this."
10 Did you know anybody's role in this, because you said that you
11 had the original information and so you did not require any other
12 documentation. Could you please throw more light on this after what you
13 have said, because what I suspect, that you have information. I'm very
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of the information
16 that we had available at the time and that we worked with at the time, we
17 had information that a specific person had committed a particular murder.
18 His nickname is Cegar, as far as I can remember now. This information
19 along with all the rest was sent on to the prosecutor in charge.
20 When I say I don't know whether someone was indicted, that is to
21 say that I don't know whether at that time an investigation was opened
22 against such-and-such a person, and I don't know whether an indictment
23 was issued. However, at any rate, I knew -- I heard, rather, that there
24 were proceedings under way against this person.
25 So this is our initial information, and I think that that is now
1 under way according to our information.
2 JUDGE CHOWHAN: You have mentioned about the perpetrator,
3 according to yourself, but there you are talking of the roles which can
4 be beyond somebody's actually doing something. So would you like to
5 speak on that, on the roles of different people into this incident.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say role, it means in
7 addition to the direct perpetrator of the crime there are persons who are
8 eyewitnesses to the incident and there are persons who have general
9 information, that is to say who are neither eyewitnesses, accessories,
10 accomplices or perpetrators but they do have information that could be of
11 assistance in a police investigation. That is what I meant.
12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: But when we talk of a role, it means somebody's
13 participation. It don't mean somebody witnessing. He doesn't have a
14 role. He's just an onlooker. So there's a difference between an
15 onlooker and a person with a role but what we understand in a criminal
16 law is a person having a role is a participant. Have you anything to say
17 on this, sir?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry. I do distinguish between a
19 role in the judiciary, namely whether somebody is an instigator, aider,
20 abettor, perpetrator, and on the other hand role in terms of operative
21 work. When I'm saying "role," I'm talking about everything that we did
22 as policemen and the role that a particular person had during the
23 incident itself.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Q. Can you recall approximately how many bodies were disinterred
2 cumulatively from Batajnica, Petrovo Selo, and Perucica? Perucica which
3 is lake Perucac.
4 A. As far as I can remember now, while I was there about 700 bodies
5 were exhumed in Batajnica. In Petrovo Selo, the pit that was opened
6 there -- in both pits, rather, there were about 70 to 77 corpses. I
7 cannot be more precise on that. In Perucac I think around 20.
8 Q. And these were the bodies of Albanians that could be determined
9 then, couldn't it?
10 A. I did not take part in the identification or the autopsy. It was
11 the judiciary organs that were in charge of that, so I really don't have
12 that information.
13 Q. Yes, but as one of the chief investigators you would want to know
14 whether the bodies were identified or if they were identified as coming
15 from a clan or a group of people, wouldn't you?
16 A. Yes. And at all meetings with international representatives, the
17 OSCE, the fund for humanitarian law, I insisted that an autopsy and
18 identification be carried out as soon as possible because we do have this
19 information linking us up to a particular location and the movement of a
20 unit, possibly an individual, a group in the area. So the very fact that
21 personal ID is found next to the body doesn't mean anything in a police
22 investigation. However, the autopsy in 2001 was very slow, very slow
23 indeed. It was even interrupted at the end of 2001. So that is the
24 basic reason why this case was worked on for a longer period of time.
25 Q. Now, did you have -- did anybody apart from Protic tell you about
1 how the bodies were transported from Kosovo to Serbia?
2 A. I cannot say anything for sure now, but I think that the key
3 information regarding the transportation came from Protic.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. I have nothing further.
6 There is one clarification I think I should make to the transcript. I
7 referred to the Exhibit P3134 and indicated that the Exhibit 6D196 was an
8 extract thereof. I think that the transcript did not record it.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: It might have said CD, I think.
10 MR. STAMP: CD, yes. I offer that correction. Thank you very
11 much, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Ivetic.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
16 Q. Mr. Furdulovic, just a few questions for you. First of all,
17 since there appears to be some confusion still in this proceeding -- in
18 these proceedings, under the system in place in Serbia at the time, and I
19 believe even now, who initiates indictments?
20 A. The prosecutor's office.
21 Q. And what entity is the prosecutor's office affiliated with?
22 A. The court.
23 Q. Can the police -- strike that.
24 Does the prosecutor's office have a legal obligation to inform
25 the police, even the investigating police, of the progress of any case
1 file submitted to them by the police?
2 A. The Prosecutor is dominus litus. He is in charge of the
3 proceedings. He does not have the duty to give -- return information to
4 the police. As a matter of fact, he can give instructions to the police.
5 Q. Just waiting for the translation and transcript. I think we've
6 got the full answer now.
7 When the police -- in your specific case when you handed over
8 files to the respective prosecutors' offices for the proceedings that we
9 discussed here, could you tell us what was contained in the documents
10 that you -- generally speaking, could you describe what was contained in
11 the documents that -- that were presented? That is to say, apart from
12 the facts that you collected, the raw facts that you collected, did you
13 also submit any conclusions or recommendations?
14 A. I cannot recall right now but I know that all 44 statements were
15 sent after 38 persons were interviewed. I think that we compiled a
16 report on the basis of these statements. However, I cannot remember
17 specifically now, but in practice in order to make a concrete report we
18 have to sublimate all the most important information that we gathered
19 during the police investigation.
20 By your leave, we as the work group and later on the department
21 or division we always compiled reports on our action with regard to a
22 particular case. These reports are now in the dossiers.
23 Q. During the time period when the working group was doing its work,
24 at that time within the Ministry of Interior had the RDB been separated
25 from the Ministry of Interior at that point in time or was it still part
1 of the ministry?
2 MR. IVETIC: I'm told that the translation is again having
3 trouble with that acronym.
4 Q. The RDB the state security sector, was it still part of the
5 ministry of the interior at that point in time?
6 A. The RDB, the republican state security sector, got out of the
8 Q. And was -- one moment.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. IVETIC:
11 Q. Do you know when the RDB was separated out from the Ministry of
12 the Interior?
13 A. I cannot remember exactly.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I think that completes my redirect
17 Thank you, Mr. Furdulovic, for your assistance.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
19 Mr. Furdulovic, that completes your evidence. Thank you for
20 coming here to give evidence. You may now leave the courtroom with the
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, are you dealing with the next witness?
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, I am.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Who is that?
1 MR. LUKIC: It's Mr. Momir Pantic.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And this ninth application -- sorry, is it eighth
3 application relates to him, and we now have the response of the
4 Prosecution. So it might be best if we were to take the break now and
5 consider the position in relation to the application to amend the 65 ter
6 list. So if we break now and resume at quarter to.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: The outstanding matters in the eighth motion for
10 the accused Lukic to amend the 65 ter list fall into two categories, a
11 group of documents to be dealt with through the Witness Pantic, that's
12 6D1534 to 6D160, and secondly, two documents to be dealt with through the
13 witness Bogunovic, 6D1616 and 1617. In their response the Prosecution
14 have not dealt with the last two documents.
15 MR. OREN: Your Honour, objection only regards the documents
16 through Mr. Pantic.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. In these circumstances, we will allow
18 amendment of the 65 ter exhibit list to include 6D1616 and 1617.
19 So far as the others to be tendered through Pantic are concerned
20 we will not allow the list to be amended to include them, and that is
21 because of the timing of the presentation of such a large volume of
22 material, much of which is untranslated, which has given the Prosecution
23 inadequate time to prepare to deal with the evidence of the witness, and
24 therefore we refuse to allow 6D1534 to 6D1602 to be added to the exhibit
1 We will also require the Pantic 92 ter statement to be redacted
2 to reflect this decision. We are still working on the exact requirements
3 that follow, but I will be able to intimate these to you in the course of
4 the evidence of the witness. You can deal with his statement in the
5 normal way, and we will defer a final decision on its admission until the
6 situation in relation to redaction is clear.
7 So we can now have the witness Pantic -- sorry, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: Yes. I think that this representation is not
9 correct. In his statement, we have 27 documents of which all are
10 translated but one. So all exhibits from 6D1534 until 6D1559 are
11 translated, and only untranslated document is 6D1560, and only those
12 documents are included in Pantic's statement. And the Prosecutor has
13 these translated documents since the time we wanted to include it through
14 Paponjak. All those documents were translated at that time as well.
15 So ...
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you able to deal with that, Mr. Oren? The
17 suggestion is that your response totally misleading.
18 MR. OREN: Well, Your Honour, our submission relates to the
19 eighth motion.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
21 MR. OREN: Where all those documents are listed.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: My understanding is that there are 69 of them.
23 MR. OREN: Yeah. In --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Not 37 -- or 27 is it, Mr. Lukic? Sixty-nine is
25 my understanding. Now, which is correct?
1 MR. LUKIC: The motion includes 69, but Mr. Pantic's statement
2 includes only 27. I wanted to exactly avoid this situation, so I
3 included only translated documents.
4 MR. OREN: Well, Your Honour, if I may --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The position is therefore that the Bench has not
6 had a proper understanding of the situation. We shall need to skip this
7 witness and move to another one if you want to lead this evidence,
8 Mr. Lukic, because if you will continually present material at this stage
9 in the case that you've been in for three years, then inevitably you're
10 putting us under a pressure that we can't sustain and deliver proper
11 decisions. So who is your witness after -- we will revoke the decision
12 I've announced at the moment. We will reconsider the position as soon as
13 we can. Which other witness can we deal with?
14 MR. LUKIC: The other witness is scheduled for 12.00.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, that's hopeless as well. I've repeatedly
16 said there should always be another witness available in case of the
17 situation such as this developing. A witness can -- anything can happen
18 to a witness at any time waiting to give evidence here.
19 It's just not acceptable conduct of litigation of this nature
20 to be tendering material at this stage in this form. We can only do --
21 it would be very tempting to say we will refuse everything, but of course
22 that's not doing justice to you. We have to reflect on the accurate
23 presentation of the material, and we obviously have not done that, so we
24 will reconsider it, but we can't just snap our fingers and do that. We
25 need time to do that, just like you constantly bleeped about pressure
1 that's put on you.
2 MR. LUKIC: I don't know what to say, but regarding the
3 witness -- having another witness at the same time, we have the
4 instruction from the victims and witness unit not to have witnesses here
5 at the same time for too long.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, for too long, but in this situation where you
7 don't even know what position the Bench is going to take in relation to
8 your documents, there should be some back-up.
9 As it is, if that's the position, we shall go off and deliberate
10 on your motion further in light of the additional information. We shall
11 consider it further. We'll take our time. We'll use the time. That
12 time will be charged to you because you have created this situation, and
13 we will resume, if we can, at 12.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.01 p.m.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: In light of the misunderstanding about the extent
17 to which the documents would be spoken to by the Witness Pantic under
18 which we proceeded, we have reconsidered our decision on the outstanding
19 parts of the Lukic eighth motion to amend the 65 ter exhibit list, and we
20 have decided that where documents to be presented through Pantic have
21 been translated, in view of the nature of these documents the Prosecution
22 should be able to deal with them in spite of the late notification, and
23 given -- and bearing in mind the witness's familiarity with the documents
24 we should allow them to be added. However, we consider that it's too
25 late to add other documents, a large number of which are untranslated, in
1 respect of which no reason is given for the late intimation, and no
2 indication is given of why it is necessary to add them to the list at
3 this stage.
4 We will therefore allow to be added to the list numbers 6D1534 to
5 1559. That means that the only one being referred to by Pantic which is
6 not being added is 1560, which is untranslated. As a result, we will
7 ignore the reference to that document at the end of paragraph 56 of the
8 statement and will not require a redacted version of the statement to be
10 We will refuse to add items 1560 to 1602, and as we indicated
11 earlier, we will also allow to be added items 1616 and 1617.
12 I hope that that deals with everything now satisfactorily, and if
13 you wish, we can proceed with the evidence of Mr. Pantic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, we would like to call
15 Mr. Pantic as our witness.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 WITNESS: MILOMIR PANTIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Pantic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
22 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Lukic.
4 Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I would like -- I need help
6 from usher.
7 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pantic.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. Before you is a statement. Could you please take a look and tell
11 us whether that is the statement that you gave to the Defence of
12 Mr. Sreten Lukic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If you were to be asked the same questions today would you give
15 the same answers?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we would move and ask Your Honours to
18 admit this statement as Defence Exhibit number 6D1604.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: We don't have any questions for this witness.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Pantic. Now probably
23 some of my colleagues from the Defence will have some questions for you
24 and then the Prosecutor will ask some questions.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
1 MR. ALEKSIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pantic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. On the 23rd of March, 2006, did the Office of the Prosecutor of
6 this Tribunal conduct an interview with you in Belgrade, I think?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was this interview attended by our colleague Jelena Nikolic, I
9 believe, who is a lawyer?
10 A. I'm not sure if her first name is Jelena, but she's a lawyer from
11 Novi Sad if that's who you have in mind.
12 Q. Am I right if I say that you mentioned then that from October
13 1999 for almost three years you were unemployed -- or, rather, that you
14 were involved in court proceedings with the Ministry of the Interior
15 because of your unlawful dismissal from the position that you held in
16 1998 and 1999?
17 A. I was not unemployed. I was unsatisfied with the fact that I was
18 assigned a different job. I was still an employee of the Ministry of the
19 Interior, and I had a decision of appointment.
20 Q. I'm sorry I wasn't very specific. Were you involved in court
21 proceedings before a court in Belgrade because you were dismissed from a
22 position that you had held until then? As far as I understood, you were
23 head of the OUP of Istok in 1998 and 1999. That's my understanding of
24 your statement.
25 A. Yes, I was involved in court proceedings.
1 Q. Thank you. Am I right that on that occasion during that
2 interview you stated that even before the war with NATO started you and
3 not only you personally but the entire OUP of Istok, the entire staff
4 there, that you had some misunderstandings and conflicts with the local
5 leadership there? I'm primarily referring to the chief of district there
6 and to the chairman of the SPS there and the president of the
8 A. I did not have a personal conflict. We processed from a police
9 point of view the said persons because of the humanitarian aid that was
10 coming in from Serbia in 1998, and they abused that humanitarian aid.
11 They mostly used it for their own personal needs rather than having it
12 distributed to the population, because this aid was being sent from
13 Serbia proper and from Vojvodina.
14 Q. So that is why the police filed criminal reports against some of
15 them, because of the suspicion that they had violated Article 242, isn't
16 that right?
17 A. The police did deal with this and brought this to a very end,
18 however, politics stepped in. As far as I understood the matter,
19 Mrs. Gorica Gajevic intervened and said that this should not be taken to
21 Q. Am I right if I say that sometime in the beginning of March 1999,
22 precisely because they were not pleased with the fact that you were doing
23 your job a letter was sent to the minister or the leadership of the
24 administration of the Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade? They
25 complained not only of your work but also the work of the OUP of Istok in
1 general if I understood this correctly?
2 A. They complained about the work of the Ministry of the Interior in
3 Pec as well, because the processing of these persons was not only carried
4 out by the police officials of the OUP Istok but there was an entire team
5 that was set up by the Pec police.
6 Q. Very well. Is it correct that during that interview with the
7 authorised representatives of the OTP you said that from the 28th of
8 March of 1999 practically you were sidelined and that this decision was
9 made in Belgrade at the headquarters of MUP there and that another man,
10 another colleague, was sent from the Pec SUP who was practically the head
11 of the OUP of Istok?
12 A. I said -- I didn't put it in those terms. I said that my
13 conflict happened when the commander of the 69th Detachment appointed the
14 president of the municipality as his deputy on the staff. The president
15 of the municipality beforehand asked me for a police uniform. He asked
16 me to put a police uniform on him. I refused to do that. After that he
17 was given a military uniform so that the president of the municipality
18 would be the deputy head of staff as well. He was a self-proclaimed
19 commander. And then the president of the municipality was proclaimed
20 deputy commander, and he abused that terribly. He asked me that I should
21 ask on his -- act on his instructions and his orders, and I refused to do
23 Q. Thank you. That is all contained in your statement.
24 Now I would like to ask you to have a look at paragraph 53 of
25 your statement, and you say there, I'm referring to the first sentence,
1 you say: "An erroneous understanding of resubordination by the commander
2 of the Territorial Detachment," and so on and so forth, "led to the fact
3 following constant complaints against you. The commander of the 3rd Army
4 adopted a certain document."
5 In relation to that could we see in e-court P1720. I'm just
6 interested in the very beginning, that is to say before this word "I
7 hereby order the establishment of the commission."
8 If you can read this, only the first paragraph.
9 A. "On the basis of reports from citizens of Istok municipality --"
10 I do apologise for reading so fast.
11 "On the basis of reports or information from citizens of the
12 Istok municipality regarding the arbitrary resolution of problems in the
13 municipality's territory by responsible persons and in order to establish
14 the facts,
15 "I hereby order: "
16 Do you want me to read the rest of it?
17 Q. No. On the basis of what you've read out just now, it seems that
18 the basis for this order that was signed by General Pavkovic was the fact
19 that they received anonymous information from citizens of the
20 municipality of Istok about the problems that were present in the
21 municipality. Do you agree with me?
22 A. I don't know what citizens. I know that this happened -- or,
23 rather, I assumed this happened on the 12th of April when Mr. Pavkovic
24 was in Istok.
25 Q. Very well. Mr. Pantic, can you please tell me when it is that
1 you first saw this document?
2 A. I haven't seen it before coming here to The Hague. Actually,
3 when I talked to The Hague investigators in Belgrade, I asked them to
4 show this to me but they didn't want to.
5 Q. Very well. Could we now please have -- rather, in paragraph 54
6 of your statement, you say -- or, rather, you refer to P1721. So could
7 we please call this document up in e-court.
8 My next question: When was it you first saw this document?
9 A. Also in The Hague when I came here three or four days ago.
10 Q. You say in paragraph 54 as well, that is one, two, three -- the
11 third subparagraph, the one-but-last sentence, you analyse this document
12 and you say: "Had they talked to me I would have explained and such
13 terms would not have been used."
14 In relation to that, I would like to ask you whether you know who
15 Major Blagoje Pesic is.
16 A. Yes. He's not a major, he's a captain.
17 Q. Sorry, captain. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber whether
18 he was a member of the staff of the MUP during the war -- or, rather, in
19 April 1999? Do you know?
20 A. I don't know whether he was a member of the staff, but I do know
21 that he was on the commission that was established then. Whether he was
22 a member of the staff, I don't know, because my communication ended at
23 the Pec secretariat.
24 Q. Am I right if I say that during the course of this interview with
25 the investigators of the OTP you stated that on the 14th of April you
1 made a statement -- or, rather, you talked to Blagoje Pesic about all
2 these events and conflicts?
3 A. Are you referring to 2006?
4 Q. Yes, yes, yes. Did you state that then, that on the 14th of
5 April, 1999, Captain Pesic talked to you?
6 A. I worked with Blagoje Pesic in 2002 and 2003 in the staff at
7 Kursumlija when I learned that he was a member of the staff. That was in
8 2002 and 2003. And in 1999 I didn't know that, but since he's my
9 neighbour, I knew that he was a commander of the police station in
11 Q. Mr. Pantic, perhaps we did not understand each other. My
12 question was did you, in talking to the OTP representatives on the 22nd
13 of March, 2006, did you tell them in relation to this commission and the
14 arrival in Istok that Captain Blagoje Pesic personally talked to you on
15 the 14th of April, 1999? That's my question to you.
16 A. He talked to me on the 14th of April, 1999, yes, that's true.
17 But at the time I didn't know that he was a member of the staff in
19 Q. That's fine. And that wasn't the point of my question whether he
20 was a member of the staff.
21 A. I gave a statement to him. Everybody else had left, and I
22 remained there to give him a statement.
23 Q. In paragraph 54, in the last sentence you say that you had never
24 received this report, and you just mentioned when was the last time you
25 saw it. Could we now once again see P1720 again on our screens. I'm
1 interested in paragraph 3.
2 Mr. Pantic, would you please read this sentence to us.
3 A. You mean paragraph 3, item 3?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. "The commission will work from the 14th until the 15th of April,
6 1999, following which they are to -- to provide a written report to me
7 and suggest measures concerning the situation established."
8 Q. So the president of the commission had duty to inform
9 General Pavkovic only about the facts?
10 A. I don't know. If the commission is established, then normally
11 members of the commission should also take part in compiling the report.
12 Q. Well, that's a different matter. I told you this: In the last
13 sentence in the paragraph that you read you said that this was never
14 submitted to you, and my position is that the commission did not have the
15 duty to provide a report about the situation to anyone else but the
16 person who had issued this order originally?
17 A. Item 3 speaks about the time period during which the commission
18 was supposed to work so the commission was established and they were to
19 compile a report and inform Mr. Pavkovic about that.
20 Q. All right. Am I right in saying that when you had an interview
21 with the OTP you stated that you were in charge of the town of Istok and
22 that you did not go to any of the villages outside of Istok and that you
23 have no direct knowledge about what was taking place, that you moved your
24 family to Istok, and that only on two occasions unless I'm mistaken you
25 went to a funeral, to a village that was outside of Istok, and that you
1 also attended an on-site investigation due to NATO bombing in late
2 January in the prison of Dubrava.
3 A. Can we take it point by point?
4 Q. All right.
5 A. Whether I moved my family to -- outside of Istok.
6 Q. No, to Istok.
7 A. Well, in the same building where we were when the bombing took
8 place, we together with Albanians cleared the area, and then my family
9 was moved to the basement of the same building where we lived.
10 Q. Did you leave and, if so, how often the town of Istok?
11 A. Only if it was necessary to attend a meeting in Pec with the
12 chief of secretariat or if there was any other need to go out in the
13 field to tour some places.
14 Q. I'm interested in just one more issue. Just a minute, please.
15 A. You also asked this and I don't want to leave it unanswered,
16 whether I attended any funerals outside of Istok, and I did when three
17 members of the army were killed in the village of Lubazde [phoen].
18 Q. Yes, I wanted to repeat my question because you were asked
19 whether in the vicinity of the prison there was a forward command post of
20 the army of Yugoslavia and you answered that question and you said that
21 the first time you left town was when there was this funeral of the
22 soldiers and the other time was on the 21st or 25th of February when the
23 entire team conducted on-site investigation.
24 A. In the vicinity of the prison there was no forward command post
25 of the army. It was located in another municipality altogether, not in
1 the municipality of Istok.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pantic.
3 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
4 further questions for this witness.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
6 Mr. Bakrac.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
9 Q. Mr. Pantic, my name is Mihajlo Bakrac, I represent General
10 Lazarevic. I will have a couple of questions for you. And I will follow
11 up on what Mr. Aleksic asked you which concerns the parts of your
12 statement where you spoke about the order of the commander of the 69th --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name of the
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I'm interested in this: You spoke about this commission. You
17 answered these questions of Mr. Aleksic. I'm interested in this: After
18 military and territorial departments were resubordinated to the command
19 of the Pristina Corps in the second part of April, do you know that the
20 corps commander issued an order whereby he cancelled or stayed all
21 decisions and disallowed the interference of units into the work of
22 civilian authorities, Crisis Staffs, and so on?
23 A. I don't know about the order, but I know when this 7th Infantry
24 Brigade arrived, and there was also either a platoon or a company of
25 military police under the command of Matic. When they arrived the
1 situation was drastically changed. Things started working properly. We
2 established cooperation with police. The military -- or, rather, the
3 cooperation between police, the military, and the civilian authorities
4 was established.
5 Q. Thank you. The exhibit I was referring to was 5D374, Your
6 Honours, and this is the order of the command of the Pristina Corps. It
7 has already been admitted into evidence and shown here a number of times.
8 I'm satisfied with this answer of Mr. Pantic.
9 Mr. Pantic, in item 23 of your statement, rather, paragraph 23 of
10 your statement you spoke about the killing of five soldiers. I would
11 simply like to get more details, and therefore I'll ask you whether this
12 pertains to the soldiers who worked in the signals units in the infantry
14 A. I don't know whether they were in the signals units but I know
15 that they were soldiers of the 7th Infantry Brigade and this happened on
16 the road between Mitrovica and Pec near the place called Citak. They
17 encountered a mine in their vehicle, and it was then that five members of
18 the army of Yugoslavia were killed.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pantic. In paragraph 31 of your statement you
20 spoke about the cooperation with the army of Yugoslavia and the military
21 police, and in the last sentence you said: "Sometimes we were unable to
22 do this because members of the army refused to provide even basic
23 particulars to us."
24 Who did you have in mind when you said "members of the army"?
25 A. Those were people wearing camouflage uniforms. Perhaps we were
1 unable to establish their identity. Perhaps they were civilians wearing
2 camouflage uniforms, because at that time people were selling uniforms to
3 hunters, similar looking uniforms to hunters, and what we had, we wrote
4 down what their appearance was and we gave it to the army to establish
5 their identity.
6 Q. So you were referring to people whom you noticed out there in the
8 A. Yes, whom we noticed and we apprehended as perpetrators of
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pantic. In paragraph 34 you spoke -- or, rather,
11 you provide an example which took place in the village of Zlokucane,
12 Glina municipality. Do you know that officer Maric and this military
13 unit belonged to 202nd logistics base and this is a quartermaster's unit,
14 a noncombat unit who was headquartered there providing assistance to
15 Albanian civilians?
16 A. I don't know anything about the brigade that they belonged to. I
17 personally went there because I had a moral duty to visit some Albanians
18 who were of Catholic religion because my family owed them a favour back
19 from 1941. So I took medicine and food to them. They were housed in the
20 village of Zlokucane. I saw the army there and I saw military vehicles
21 and I saw huge cooking pots and cauldrons so I suppose that this was a
22 quartermaster's unit.
23 Q. Tell me what did the Albanian friends of yours tell you about
24 that unit? Were they -- this quartermaster's unit people providing
25 assistance to them?
1 A. Yes, there were no problems there. I had this family favour that
2 I had to return to these people. It was hundred years old or so. I
3 didn't hear about any problems being there, and the priest had played a
4 very prominent role in this communication between the army and the
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pantic. In paragraph 50 of your statement you
7 spoke about an order issued to somebody by the 7th Infantry Brigade about
8 controlling and regulating traffic, and you spoke about the planned
9 traffic regime that had been ordered at the time. Would you agree with
10 me that planned traffic regime under war circumstances during the state
11 of war or imminent threat of war implies that military vehicles have a
12 priority in traffic?
13 A. Yes. I can tell you that we had these check-points, and I think
14 that this order same from Milomir Cirkovic who was the commander of the
15 7th Infantry Brigade, and there were also senior officers from the SUP in
16 Pec, and they decided to establish mixed patrols that would patrol in
17 these locations that you mentioned, but they had separate individual
18 tasks. Members of the police -- military police could only control
19 members of police, whereas the policemen could control both civilians and
20 other policemen.
21 Q. And this planned traffic regime implies that in the state of war
22 military vehicles have priority over civilian vehicles.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Pantic, that's all the questions I had for you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, if you look at line 22 there in the
1 English transcript, "military police could only control" -- should that
2 be members of the army?
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. They could only
4 control members of the army. I apologise. I wasn't following the
6 Mr. Pantic, that's what you said.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You conduct a good cross-examination, so please
8 don't apologise for that. Thank you.
9 Mr. Pantic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor.
10 Mr. Oren.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Oren:
12 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pantic.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. Is it correct to say that you were dismissed as chief of the OUP
15 in Istok?
16 A. What period do you have in mind? You mean 1999, the NATO
18 Q. I was referring to October 1999.
19 A. Yes. I received a decision appointing me to a different
21 Q. Do you know why you were dismissed?
22 A. I suppose that it was at the proposal of my chief of secretariat
23 that he gave to the Ministry, and then the ministry took this decision
24 that I didn't meet the requirements at the position I was at the time,
25 and they reassigned me to a different position.
1 Q. Did you -- did you get any specific reasons why you didn't meet
2 the requirements?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And what was the background for your complaints against the MUP,
5 the court proceedings that you told us about earlier?
6 A. I believed that it was unfair that I was reassigned to a
7 different position.
8 Q. Were you demoted?
9 A. I haven't received interpretation. Yes, I was demoted and my
10 salary was reduced.
11 Q. And what was the outcome of the complaint against the MUP?
12 A. The court ruled in my favour, and I was returned to my original
13 position. The whole case lasted two years, and I won in the end.
14 Q. During your court case did you then hear some particulars
15 concerning why you didn't meet the requirements as chief of the Istok
17 A. No, I didn't know the details. I simply knew that a session was
18 at Mount Kapaonik and Vlajko Stojiljkovic, the minister took that
19 decision. That's what I was told.
20 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to intervene here. Could you kindly
21 apprise me of the fact whether you got no information about what was
22 against you while you were litigating in the court and you won the case?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to explain that to
24 you. Once you receive a decision the decision says that you are
25 appointed to a different position where you are more likely to meet the
1 requirements than at your previous position. That was the statement of
2 reasons in the decision.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You may have misunderstood that question. You had
4 a court case that lasted two years. During that time was there no reason
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They simply challenged my
7 case, my petition. They didn't provide their own reasons for that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that why you won?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Oren.
11 MR. OREN: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. In paragraph 48 of your statement you refer to an order of the
13 69th Military Territorial Detachment of 1st April, 1999, concerning
14 establishment of a staff at Istok. If we could have 6D117 in e-court.
15 This is the order that you referred to in your -- in your
16 statement, and in item 1 we see that it order that all government organs
17 of Istok are placed under command of the 69th Military Territorial
18 Detachment Istok, and in item 2 orders -- and item 2 orders the formation
19 of a staff for Istok and who is to be member of this staff.
20 If you could go to the next page of both the English and the
21 B/C/S version.
22 You see that an item is called (k). Or perhaps the B/C/S version
23 is on the first page. No, it's on the second page as well. We see that
24 (k) states that: "For public law and order and crime prevention,
25 fire-fighting and other tasks under the jurisdiction of the MUP, chief of
1 the Istok OUP and his deputy Istok OUP police commander."
2 Now, the chief of the Istok OUP, is that you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, if you could go to P1982. If we could have that up in
6 Now, this is an order of 12th April 1999 by the 7th Infantry
7 Brigade Command signed by Milomir Cirkovic concerning organisation of
8 life and work in the zone of combat operations. Have you seen this order
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you receive it straight after 12th April 1999?
12 A. Yes, yes. When members of the 7th Infantry Brigade arrived.
13 Q. Okay. And in item 1 it is ordered to establish a staff in Istok
14 for the organisation of life and work in the zone of combat operation.
15 Is there any relation between this order and the one that we just looked
16 at as referred to as 6D117?
17 A. Well, there is an obvious difference. Mr. Cirkovic formulated it
18 as it should be unlike the commander of the 69th platoon. I don't know.
19 This second paragraph where it speaks about the police. He said their
20 regular duties which we normally perform in war and in peace taking care
21 of law and order and everything else that falls under the purview of the
22 Ministry of the Interior. Although you see that here towards the end he
23 says the security of property, he said that I was in charge of it, and
24 the inspector listed here, Ranko Dizdarevic.
25 Q. But is this the same staff as we just saw, or is this another
1 staff? Did it exist two such staff in Istok at this time?
2 A. No, no. The previous staff was disbanded once this was issued.
3 As soon as he arrived, Mr. Cirkovic cancelled, annulled the order of his
4 predecessor, the commander of the 69th Detachment and other people were
5 brought in. Normally there would be 10 to 15 of us at meetings.
6 Q. You already yourself pointed out that you were responsible for
7 the protection of property and for public order, peace, crime prevention,
8 fire protection, and other tasks within the responsibility of the MUP.
9 Now, is there any difference between your tasks described in this
10 document compared to the other one that we saw?
11 A. In the previous document there is no paragraph mentioning safety
12 and security of property and so on, but otherwise --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you repeat the last part of that answer,
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that there are similarities
18 in the order issued by Mr. Cirkovic, but in the first order of the 69th
19 Platoon there is no mention of me being in charge of safety and security
20 of property, me and inspector Ranko Svilarevic. This order is formulated
21 somewhat differently in relation to the previous one issued by the
22 platoon commander.
23 MR. OREN:
24 Q. Did you ever attend meetings with this staff?
25 A. I did. Initially I attended the meetings of the staff when the
1 commander of the 69th Platoon was there, and then I had a partial
2 conflict with him and a partial one with the president of the
3 municipality. I didn't want to go to these meetings. I informed my
4 superiors about that, and my superiors sent Colonel Radovan Paponjak a
5 bit later on to coordinate the work between the staff headed by the
6 president of the municipality on the one hand and the army and the
7 Ministry of the Interior on the other hand.
8 Q. Also in paragraph 48 of this statement you refer to serious rows
9 between you and the commander of the 69th Military Territorial
11 Now, what was the name of that commander?
12 A. Milosavljevic Princip.
13 Q. Could you be a bit more specific about these serious rows, as you
14 call it? Could you explain to us what these were?
15 A. Well, from this point of view the rows were reflected in the
16 following: As soon as the state of war and mobilisation were declared,
17 he mobilised people, and he put them up, say, in kindergartens in the
18 centre of town, in schools. I advised him to the effect that that was
19 not a good idea, that the police would handle this. They would find a
20 different location. He refused that. He said that he was the commander
21 and that he would do what he thought was right. Then we had this serious
22 difference, and I asked my superiors to set up these joint military
24 On the first evening he gave me three men, and I knew that they
25 had had a criminal record and of course that they would not act in
1 accordance with the law, and they would not enforce the law properly in
2 terms of checking vehicles and persons. He simply would not give up on
3 this, on these orders, persistently trying to subordinate me.
4 I personally think that I did the right thing then from this
5 point of view as I sit here, I still think it was a good idea that I did
6 not allow him to subordinate me; otherwise all sorts of things would have
7 happened, things that would not have been right for the population or
8 anyone else for that matter.
9 Q. In paragraph 51 of your statement you also refers to daily
10 conflicts also with Princip deputy president of the Municipal Assembly
11 Malisa Perovic. Did your conflict with the president of the Municipal
12 Assembly relate to the same topics as with the commander or were they of
13 a different nature?
14 A. No. There were some other situations, some other things as well,
15 because we were processing Perovic and he was supposed to be processed
16 around the 23rd concerning the crimes he committed in relation to
17 humanitarian aid. These were enormous amounts of money, millions. I
18 still have the documents. We got orders from the ministry directly. I
19 think this is a dispatch from General Djordjevic that all materiel and
20 technical resources in relation to which there were thefts, looting, et
21 cetera, that all of this should be documented and that the documents
22 should be compiled, and once an inventory was made this should be handed
23 over to the Municipal Staff. However, the president of the municipality
24 wanted all of this to be handed over to him on the very same day without
25 any records whatsoever. So what we would do during the course of one day
1 or the financial inspectors or the market inspectors, because we never
2 went to a shop, a store, anywhere without being accompanied by the market
3 inspectors, crime police as well of the OUP and the financial police. We
4 went to shops and stores that had been looted.
5 I'll give you an example. If some medicine was taken from a
6 pharmacy, it was always handed over to --
7 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, but I think you have answered my
9 A. Very well. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the answer to your question? Is it yes or
12 MR. OREN: I think that the way he describes it is also of
13 another nature as the one with the command because it also relates to
14 other things.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You're right. Thank you.
16 MR. OREN:
17 Q. And you may mention the crimes concerning -- in relation to
18 humanitarian aid. Did you carry out investigation in that, in relation
19 to that?
20 A. I don't understand your question. Crimes related to humanitarian
21 aid, you have to explain this to me. What kind of action we took, is
22 that what you're saying?
23 Q. Yes. You said of the subject of humanitarian aid being misused.
24 My question is were an investigation in relation to that carried out?
25 A. I don't know. All the documentation in relation to this was
1 forwarded to Belgrade. We did establish a great many things that were
2 unlawful. Flour, for example. I'll give you the example of flour that
3 was part of this humanitarian aid, was sold to Albanians who had bakeries
4 in the territory of the municipality of Istok. And also material and
5 technical resources. Furniture, everything that was sent from Serbia as
6 humanitarian aid to Kosovo, cured meat and so on and so forth.
7 Q. When you say you did establish a great many things, was that
8 through investigation?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And were these investigation concerning specific persons?
11 A. The president of the municipality took part in this, and the
12 leaders mentioned at the very beginning. The head of district of the SPS
13 and the head of this committee, whatever it was called, for the Pec
15 Q. This investigation, was that the reason why Paponjak came to
16 Istok 12 April 1999?
17 A. No, no. We're talking about 1998, up until the 23rd of May,
18 1999. That is to say all of 1998, all the way up to the 23rd of March,
20 Q. So this investigation had nothing to do about the fact that
21 Paponjak came to Istok in April?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, what kind of authority did Paponjak have at Istok OUP?
24 A. He was sent without any kind of decision of appointment. He was
25 sent by officers outranking me to channel the work of the military and
1 the police, and after a while, since I kept refusing to attend these
2 meetings of the staff, he ordered me to accompany him. I observed that,
3 and up until the 11th of June we regularly went to attend meetings
4 together, meetings of the staff, that is, and meetings of the
5 commanders -- of the commander of the 7th Brigade wherever necessary.
6 Q. What kind of authority did he have in relation to you? Could he
7 order you? Could he give you orders?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So in practice Paponjak replaced you as chief of the Istok OUP;
11 A. Well, he didn't replace me. He coordinated this work. He
12 outranked me anyway and he could issue orders to me regardless of whether
13 he had come to Istok or whether he was in Pec. In terms of the
14 hierarchy, he was above me and he could issue orders to me.
15 Q. So it was Paponjak who supervised the OUP, right, of Istok?
16 A. Well, I used the word "coordinate." That is coordination. When
17 I didn't manage to get something done, then he would do it, and then we
18 acted together in this coordination with the local civilian organs of
19 authority, the president of the municipality and so on.
20 Q. Is it true that it was only on paper that you were chief of the
21 Istok OUP?
22 A. Well, it can be put that way.
23 Q. And is it also right that after Paponjak came you could no longer
24 issue orders or instructions to the OUP in Istok?
25 A. Well, I could when I could give -- get authority from him, but I
1 could also issue some orders independently. It's -- well, this was a
2 question of coordination, although of course it is only natural that he
3 was ahead of me.
4 MR. OREN: Could we have P1721 up in e-court.
5 Q. Now, you have referred to this document in paragraph 54 of your
6 statement, and you have already been asked some questions about it. At
7 that time, that is 14th of April, 1999, were you familiar with the
8 alleged existence of camps in Istok where Siptar refugees were
9 accommodated as referred to in the first paragraph of this document?
10 A. I put these people up there. They were not in a camp. Most of
11 them had houses.
12 Q. When you refer to "these people," are you then in item -- item 1
13 of the first page where it reference to around 544 people being
14 accommodated in the elementary school in the village of Suvi Lukavac?
15 A. No, no. In this area -- the areas that are referred to in the
16 first paragraph up here. These are displaced persons from Uka [phoen],
17 Mojstir, Susica, those villages, and Sinaj in part. What you are talking
18 about is the territory of the local commune of Djurakovac. That's on the
19 road between Kosovska Mitrovica and Pec.
20 Q. What was the village of Suvi Lukavac, was that within the Istok
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you know about this group of refugees, these 544 persons
24 that is referred to here? Did you know about that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And why was this group of persons situated in this elementary
3 A. Well, there was no room elsewhere. In this group that was in
4 Lukavac, for instance, it wasn't only Albanians from Istok that were
5 there. There were also some from the area of Kosovska Mitrovica. This
6 was the most appropriate location for their accommodation, because there
7 were operations taking place and this was the safest place for them to
9 Q. Who made the decision to accommodate them in this school?
10 A. The Municipal Staff was directly in charge of that, a woman,
11 Ljubinka Perovic, for that matter.
12 Q. Now, this report is dated 14th of April, 1999. Do you know for
13 how long this group of refugees had been in the elementary school?
14 A. Not in 1992. Perhaps you're referring to 1999. I don't know. I
15 don't know how long they stayed there. They were in this school for a
16 couple of days.
17 Q. Do you know where they went afterwards?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Now, the second paragraph of item 1, it refers to 221 refugees on
20 the outskirts of Istok. Do you have any knowledge about this group of
22 A. I know. I took that group in on orders from my superior from
23 Pec, and I put them up -- well, the rest were my friends, and they were
24 from the Lushaj family. They were near the high school there and they
25 had family houses there and there were houses opposite them. I had this
1 dilemma there. This was a new problem for me. In addition to the order
2 made by my chief of inspection [as interpreted], I gave myself the
3 liberty of phoning General Lukic and consulting him about this. My
4 instructions were is to consult the members of the military, whether they
5 could go home or not, and if not then they could be put up where I had
6 put them up in the first place.
7 Q. And what did General Lukic tell you?
8 A. General Lukic told me to talk to the members of the military. If
9 they are not involved in any kind of operations in this zone of
10 responsibility of theirs then these persons could go back home and if
11 they do then this proposal that I made to put them up there because these
12 were their family homes in Istok then I could leave them there and that
13 is what I did.
14 MR. LUKIC: Just one intervention to avoid any doubts. On page
15 60, line 4 -- actually 5, it says chief of inspection, and it should be
16 chief of SUP. I think that the witness said so.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you, Mr. Pantic, deal with that again. You
18 were being asked about the group of refugees, the 221 refugees, and you
19 said that you consulted General Lukic. What were the circumstances in
20 which you consulted General Lukic?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean how it was that I
22 consulted him? Over the telephone you mean. This was a new problem for
23 me the one that had cropped up, and my orders were from my superior in
24 Pec that I should return these people to their homes. Since actions were
25 under way, I thought that I should consult General Lukic. I consulted
1 him, and the answer I got was that I should first consult the members of
2 the military to ask whether they had some kind of activity there since
3 this was their zone of responsibility, if I could not return them to
4 their homes then I could leave them somewhere else, but my proposal was
5 since most of them had family homes in the villages where they were
6 staying and on the outskirts of Istok. So that's where I put them up, in
7 that area.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 Mr. Oren.
10 MR. OREN: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Do you know how long this grouped stayed on the outskirts of
13 A. Until the end of the war, until the end of the bombing, the very
14 end. It grew bigger. At the end it was about 250 people.
15 Q. Now, these people, these 250 people you refer to, they were in
16 fact detained, weren't they?
17 A. No, no, no, no. I kept insisting at staff meetings -- I mean,
18 they walked around town. I initiated that, and they were allowed to
19 visit doctors at the health centres.
20 Q. Now, in the same paragraph it is also referred to the fact that
21 this group of refugees that were intercepted by a group of Specials, it's
22 called here. Do you know what Specials here refers to?
23 A. You mean on the road near the village of Rausovic? That's the
24 road from Pec to Decani. I don't know exactly who or what.
25 Q. But there is a reference to a group of Specials there. Do you
1 see that?
2 A. I see that, but I don't know what group of Specials this is. I
3 really have no idea.
4 Q. But were you aware that these people were intercepted by such a
5 group and that they had seized vehicles, money, and jewellery from the
6 group of refugees that stayed there?
7 A. No, no. I was just told to take these people in and to have them
8 put up at their homes, and if that is not possible then I should find a
9 place where they could be put up.
10 Q. Did you have any contact with the commission in its work related
11 to these alleged camps?
12 A. What commission?
13 Q. This commission that was established pursuant to order of 13 of
14 April, 1999, P1917 like we just saw, the commission that have compiled
15 this report that you have in front of you.
16 A. On the 14th, on the 14th of April, that day my grandfather died
17 and I had to make a statement regrettably. There wasn't even enough
18 understanding in view of that.
19 I made a statement, and I had a bit of a discussion with
20 Mr. Djakovic, and I tried to explain to him that what he was saying was
21 untruthful and that it would not be a good thing to have things go that
22 way, but obviously he had his own ideas about this and things turned out
23 the way they did.
24 Later on I made a statement six hours after my grandfather's
25 funeral. I made a statement for about six hours. I enclosed a great
1 many documents where I refuted every word that had to do with the work of
2 the OUP and myself personally, anything that had to do with the
3 commission of crimes and any kind of action that could disrupt the peace
4 that was supposed to prevail in the area.
5 Q. This interview or statement, was it also related to the alleged
7 A. No, no. That was established on the spot. Otherwise, I know
8 where this was brewed and how this attempt was made to plant this on me.
9 When people came there, they realised that there was no camp there.
10 These 250 people still communicate with me to this day, after the 14th of
11 April as well.
12 Q. What do you mean that this was attempt was made to plant this on
13 you? What do you mean by is that?
14 A. This is a personal matter. Somebody was bothered by the fact
15 that I was there at that point in time, like the president of the
16 municipality. It didn't suit him to have me in that position at all.
17 I am not a yes-man. I act in accordance with the law and with
18 orders that are issued to me, but I was not a political yes-man.
19 Q. But what was tried to plant on you? Was that in relation to
20 these alleged camps?
21 A. Well, that's it. That's it. And a great many other things too.
22 For example, you see here towards the end that I received orders from my
23 superiors and not from members of the military. That is wrong. These
24 were orders that the president of the municipality tried to issue to me.
25 I didn't want his orders. I didn't want to accept that at all. And I
1 did not act arbitrarily. No member of the MUP ever arbitrarily acted --
2 well, you know, can I explain this? Mr. Prosecutor, am I allowed to
3 explain this a bit further, because it does have to do with what we're
4 talking about.
5 Q. I think we'll come to that, so if you can just answer the
6 following questions I think we'll come to that.
7 A. Very well.
8 Q. Just one last question concerning the alleged camps. The initial
9 order is issued 13th of April, P1720, as we've seen. And this report in
10 front of you is dated 14th of April. Now, it's not possible, is it, in
11 such a short time for a commission to conclude with certainty that such
12 camps did not exist and never had existed in the whole territory of Istok
14 A. I claim with full responsibility that no such thing existed in
15 the whole territory of Istok municipality, and the camps were not
16 established by the members of the MUP or the members of the military. So
17 I stand by my statement that that was the situation.
18 Q. But my question was if it were possible for a commission, this
19 commission that we have seen had been established to conclude in such a
20 short time.
21 A. They were put up in the centre of Istok so --
22 Q. Could you answer my question, please.
23 MR. LUKIC: I think that --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: I think that this calls for speculation whether some
1 other commission could conclude something. The witness already answered.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: He hasn't answered about the commission, though,
3 has he? Are you saying that there's something omitted from the
5 Did you say, Mr. Pantic, something about they could check in five
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: That does not seem to have been reflected in the
10 On the matter of speculation, there's no foundation in that
11 objection. This is a matter that the witness familiar with the area and
12 the subject could deal with.
13 MR. OREN:
14 Q. Do you want me to repeat my question, Mr. Pantic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In your opinion, is it possible for this commission in one day's
17 work to establish that there were no camps and never had existed any
18 camps in the whole territory of Istok municipality?
19 A. I repeat once again and I claim with full responsibility that the
20 MUP or the army did not have any camps in the territory of the
21 municipality of Istok, and whoever wanted to establish this could do so.
22 Whoever wished to do so could go there and see.
23 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, one day was sufficient for
24 the commission.
25 A. Sufficient.
1 Q. Now, if we go to part 2 of this report, item 2, it regards the
2 functioning of the system of defence and organs of authority in the Istok
3 municipality. So if we could go to page 2 of the English version, and it
4 is the penultimate paragraph on page 1 of the B/C/S version.
5 Now, the first sentence says: "After familiarising himself with
6 the order, the chief of the Istok OUP stated that it did not apply to him
7 and that he received orders only from his superiors."
8 You remember which order is referred to here? Do you know which
9 order is referred to here?
10 A. I received orders from the president of the municipality, not the
11 Staff Commander. I told president of municipality that his orders were
12 not valid for me and that I refused to accept his orders. That was at
13 the time when he was deputy of the Staff Commander.
14 Q. Now, if we continue to read, it says: "On his order, members of
15 the MUP entered private houses and shops without authorisation and took
16 goods from them ..."
17 When you comment on this in your statement in paragraph 54, you
18 say that you or the police don't give orders. So then I'll ask you if
19 you instructed, asked, instigate, or otherwise suggested to members of
20 your OUP to enter private houses and shops and take goods from them?
21 A. This is not true. What is stated here is not true. A dispatch
22 arrived from the Ministry of the Interior, chief of the sector, to the
23 effect that materiel and technical equipment were never -- it is
24 established that people who are prone to theft could get their hands on
25 them, that that needed to be warehoused if the owners were not there. So
1 afterwards when all of these goods and property were listed by the MUP,
2 then this was to be turned over to the local staff, and a problem came
3 about because the president of the municipality wanted this to be given
4 to him on a daily basis without any record, and I didn't want to do that.
5 This was not provided to the court, but I do have in my archives
6 a list listing down every single item, every medicine that was found by
7 members of the MUP and listed. If for example Marinko in Tripkovic
8 [phoen] was in charge of those issues by the staff in charge of
9 medication, then all of the medication was listed down and he signed a
10 list stating that this was turned over to the health centre.
11 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I think you asked -- you answered
12 my question.
13 A. I want to explain everything so that nothing remains unclarified
14 as to what was done, because we had situations when Albanians, say, had a
15 dental practice and they wanted to --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Pantic. Mr. Pantic, your job here in the
17 system that we have in this Tribunal is to answer the particular
18 questions that you're asked. It's not simply to tell us what you
19 consider you ought to tell us. If you think that it's necessary to say
20 something to explain an answer then that's fine, but that's the limit,
21 the extent to which you should elaborate.
22 Mr. Oren.
23 MR. OREN: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, concerning -- stated here that on your order members of the
25 MUP entered private houses and shops without authorisation and took goods
1 from them. Now, where did the commission get this kind of information
3 A. I don't know where this information came from, but that's not
4 true, because not a single item could be carried away unless a team was
5 established comprising one policeman, market inspector, and financial
6 inspector. So nobody could arbitrarily order anyone to enter somebody
7 else's house.
8 Q. But why would the commission put forward such allegation if they
9 were not well founded?
10 A. You have to ask that of them. I truly can't answer that, nor did
11 I know that the commission wrote this down. And if I may expand. I read
12 part of this in the daily Politika in 2000 or in 2001, and also in the
13 Vojska magazine, and I addressed both ministers, that of the defence and
14 that of the interior, to refute that, and they did not allow me to do
16 Q. If we go to the next paragraph of the document it states that:
17 "Despite warnings from the staff that the collection of goods was not in
18 his jurisdiction, the chief of the OUP said that he was collecting the
19 goods for his unit ..."
20 A. No. This is not true. This is not something that I know. I
21 simply didn't have this. My unit was mostly engaged. Fifty people from
22 my unit were engaged in PJP. So this is not true.
23 I performed my work. Everything that I did, I did with some 20
24 to 25 policemen.
25 Q. Did you receive such warnings as they are described from the
2 A. No.
3 Q. But were there any goods stored at Istok OUP?
4 A. No.
5 Q. What about the collected goods that you told us about? Where was
6 that stored?
7 A. It was warehoused at the department store in Istok and after the
8 list was drawn up of inventory it was turned over to the person
9 designated by the president of the municipality, Vlajkovic Desimir. So
10 anything that had been collected in terms of property, everything was
11 turned over to the president of municipality, that is to say president of
12 the staff.
13 Q. And what about the last sentence in that paragraph stating that:
14 "He also said that he had secured goods for his unit for a year."
15 It's true, isn't it?
16 A. No. And there are documents confirming this. If you're
17 interested, I can provide them.
18 Q. Accordance to this report, you said that he also said, that means
19 that you said, that he had secured goods for his unit for a year."
20 Did you say this to the commission?
21 A. I don't know who uttered those words. Everything that you're
22 showing me now is quite new to me. I haven't had occasion to see that
23 until now and to defend myself from these allegations.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Who -- who from the commission spoke to you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember that on behalf of the
1 MUP there was General Momir Stojanovic, Blagoje Pesic, and then a person
2 who introduced himself as Milan Djakovic and I can't rather the other
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So did they interview you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, very briefly. When I came
6 back from my grandfather's funeral they talked to me for half an hour
7 only and then Blagoje Pesic remained and I gave a statement to him.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much. Mr. Oren.
9 MR. OREN: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. I just want to ask you something in relation to what you said
11 earlier concerning the 250 people in the outskirts of Istok. Now, on
12 page 63, line 10, you said that, "These 250 people still communicate with
13 me to this day after the 14th of April as well."
14 Do you then mean that you have contact with all these 250 people
16 A. Not with all of them, just with some of them, some individuals.
17 Q. And how many of these 250 people you still communicate with?
18 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to say. With a lot of them. Naturally
19 some five to six. Those are the people that I grew up with, the people
20 that I have lived with for 39 years.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Oren, are these the same people as are
22 referred to in the report as 220 people?
23 MR. OREN: Yes. Yes, it is. And he said that it grew to 250,
24 and that's why I'm referring to 250.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
1 MR. OREN:
2 Q. If we go back to the document in -- in front of you, you see that
3 in -- you also refer to in the next paragraph that you on your own
4 initiative distributed the collected goods to members of the OUP,
5 supposedly along with the written record and the approval of the superior
6 officer Colonel Boro Vlahovic. Indeed did you distribute collected goods
7 to the members of your OUP? Did you?
8 A. What we gave away, five kilos of rice or so, that had arrived
9 from the Pec SUP via them, so no way we could have given anything of the
10 sort. Five kilos of rice can last you a month, not a year.
11 Q. And in the next paragraph it also states that: "It is our
12 assessment that the personal conflict is involved between the OUP chief
13 and the president of Istok municipality ..."
14 Is that the same personal conflict as you have already explained
15 to us?
16 A. I keep repeating to you that this is only a report of
17 Major-General Milan Djakovic. Other members of the commission did not
18 sign to this, did not confirm that this was true, relevant, or that this
19 is how it was.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Please just deal with the question. We've -- we
21 know your position on that. What is the personal conflict that's being
22 referred to here?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already explained this a
24 number of times. He asked me to commit crimes on his behalf, and I
25 refused to do that.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Oren.
2 MR. OREN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. And in the last sentence -- or at the end of that paragraph it
4 also refers to a conflict with officers of the Pec SUP and the
5 representative of the Pec district. Did you know -- do you have any
6 knowledge of this?
7 A. I've already said that this has to do with humanitarian aid from
8 1998 until 23rd of March 1999.
9 Q. So also that other conflict that is referred to in that paragraph
10 relates to the same subject as your personal conflict with the president
11 of Istok municipality?
12 A. He used his newly created position, and he tried to impose this I
13 suppose both to the army and to my superiors.
14 Q. In the next paragraph it again repeats the accusation of crimes
15 committed. I'll not go into that, but at the very end it says that:
16 "... and an investigation should be conducted in order to establish the
18 Now, did such an investigation take place?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And in the next paragraph it is stated that there are problems
21 regarding poor coordination which is leading to a parallel command and
22 that: "The criminal activities and incomplete functioning of the
23 security system in the territory of the municipality are also a
24 consequence of that."
25 Do you know what criminal activities are referred to here?
1 A. I don't know. It wasn't specified which acts, committed by whom,
2 where, how.
3 Q. Now, in your statement you say that it is obvious that Djakovic
4 alone wrote this report without the participation of the other commission
5 members. Now, how can you say that?
6 A. I can tell that based on the signature. No other members of the
7 commission signed it except for Major-General Djakovic.
8 Q. Yeah, he signed it, that's correct, but does that mean that he
9 was alone in drafting, writing it?
10 A. I suppose so considering that other people did not sign this
11 confirming that they approved his report.
12 Q. Are you by this suggesting that -- simply the fact that he was
13 the only one who signed the report, or do you also suggest that he was
14 the only one who did some work in relation to this commission?
15 A. He wasn't able to work alone. If this was a multi-member
16 commission, then this should list the president of the commission and
17 other members. So Momo Stojanovic's signature should be there as well as
18 other signature of other members of the commission confirming that they
19 agree with the report by Djakovic.
20 Q. But in your contacts with the commission was it only Djakovic
21 that you were in contact with or also other members of the commission?
22 A. All members of the commission. There were a number of people
23 whom I didn't know from the army and from the police.
24 Q. Now, in your opinion all these allegations against you in this
25 document from the commission, they are wrong; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So you think the commission didn't do a very good and thorough
3 job on this point?
4 A. I'm not referring to the commission. I'm referring to the
5 president of the commission. We don't have the opinion of the entire
6 commission. We only have the opinion of the president of the commission.
7 Q. But you think that the president of the commission, then, did --
8 didn't do a very good and thorough job on this point?
9 A. I think he didn't.
10 Q. But if he did that in regards to the conclusion related to you,
11 how couldn't that also be the same regarding his work in relation to the
12 existence of camps in the territory of Istok?
13 A. I can't say anything about the general, because I simply don't
14 know. I can only answer questions pertaining to what I see in front of
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, in --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Oren, where are you in the overall context of
18 your --
19 MR. OREN: I have a few more topics that I would like to address
20 with this witness, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And how long is that likely to take?
22 MR. OREN: Fifteen, 20 minutes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: You have already had, I think, what would normally
24 be appropriate in this context, but it is an extensive statement with
25 recently added documents, so the position would warrant allowing a little
1 more time, but it can't be today. We're now at 1.45.
2 So, Mr. Pantic, I'm afraid we've to bring our proceedings for
3 today to an end because another court occupies this courtroom later.
4 That means you need to return here tomorrow to complete your evidence,
5 and that will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
6 Meanwhile, it's a strict rule that you have no communication with
7 anyone at all about any aspect of the evidence in this case. Please bear
8 that strictly in mind. You may now leave the courtroom with the usher
9 and we'll see you again tomorrow at 9.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day
12 of April, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.