1 Tuesday, 15 April 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Pavkovic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. We will now continue with
7 the cross-examination of Mr. Zlatkovic.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning again, Mr. Zlatkovic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Your cross-examination will begin in a moment.
12 Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the truth which
13 you gave at the beginning of your evidence yesterday continues to apply
14 to your evidence today.
15 Mr. Bakrac, do you have questions?
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I'll
17 be brief. I may have three to four questions.
18 WITNESS: RADOVAN ZLATKOVIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Zlatkovic, good morning. My name is
22 Mihajlo Bakrac. I appear on behalf of General Lazarevic before this
23 Tribunal. As I've already told Their Honours, I will have but a few
24 questions for you. In your statement in paragraphs starting with 30 and
25 ending with 34 you described the heavy bombardment of Djakovica on the
1 part of the NATO alliance. You mentioned the damage caused on the
2 various housing facilities. Did you know that at the very outset of the
3 bombardment the Army of Yugoslavia barracks in Djakovica was severely
5 A. I did know that because that VJ barracks is next to the Catholic
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zlatkovic, that is precisely what I wanted to ask
8 you next. Concerning the blast which damaged the barracks, did it also
9 damage the nearest building, this being the Catholic monastery?
10 A. Yes, there were great explosions and an ammunition and weapons
11 depot exploded as well, and that was probably what caused the damage.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zlatkovic. Yesterday you were asked by my learned
13 friend Mr. Ivetic at page 25284 of the transcript whether you knew of the
14 mixed check-point outside of Meja, and did you have occasion to pass
15 along that road. I wanted to ask you this: Would you agree with me if I
16 said that it was a joint check-point at the outskirts of Djakovica
17 towards Brekovac, Zub, and the border crossing of Cafa Prusit?
18 A. Yes, that check-point was a joint one.
19 Q. When Mr. Ivetic asked you yesterday the questions I put to you
20 from the page 25284, this is the check-point you had in mind?
21 A. That check-point at the check-point in Meja, these were the joint
22 check-points. Let us clear something up first. The check-point at Meja
23 was a joint check-point when the war began, that's when it was
24 established. The check-point in Brekovac when the police squad was
25 attacked in Ponosevac, that squad was not very active and they were
1 pulled out towards Brekovc and that's how it came about that it became a
2 joint check-point at the beginning of the war.
3 Q. But it is at the outskirts of Djakovica, it's not in Meja itself?
4 A. No, there were two roads and two check-points, the one in Brekovc
5 and the one in Meja. Both check-points -- well, the one in Brekovc was
6 set up after the police squad had been attacked in Ponosevac. Since that
7 police squad was no longer in operation, since they were under constant
8 attacks from Popovac, Smonica, Nivokaz and other places as well as Batusa
9 and Kosare and Morina, that's where the terrorists were coming from, and
10 they were attacking Planik and Ponosevac. The Djakovica SUP had to
11 create a defensive system to try and reach Brekovc and establish a
12 check-point there so as to be able to control any movement of terrorists
13 and to prevent them to come in from that area towards the town of
14 Djakovica. Later on the Meja check-point was set up, when the war broke
15 out. The 127th Brigade, I believe, kept attacking the police and army
16 there. They had their trenches. No one could go to Kosare to get
17 supplies for the army to deliver them since they were in Kosare and
19 Q. Just a moment. But you will agree with me that as you were asked
20 by Mr. Ivetic that it is at the exit of Djakovica when going to Meja?
21 A. Well, yes, the two check-points, the check-point was not in Meja
23 Q. Yes. When you leave Djakovica and move to Meja?
24 A. On the road to Meja.
25 Q. Mr. Zlatkovic, you were in the Djakovica SUP?
1 A. Yes, I was sent there by the Serbian MUP.
2 Q. What about the OUP of Decani, was it part of the Djakovica SUP?
3 A. Yes, it was; however, at a certain point in July it was besieged,
4 it was attacked by terrorists when they tried to take over that area. A
5 policeman of ours was wounded and somehow they prevented them from
6 reaching the OUP.
7 Q. Let us have a look at Exhibit 5D1459 next. Perhaps you can
8 recognise -- it's a phone book. It should be on the screen before you,
9 items 21 and 22. It says Decani switchboard and Decani, the officers --
10 officer on duty. Are these the extensions for the two offices in Decani?
11 A. What were the numbers you say?
12 Q. 21, 22.
13 A. Decani switchboard, 61817, is that it?
14 Q. Yes. Can you recall whether these were the extensions for the
15 two particular offices?
16 A. Well, this is a switchboard, well then we have the Radonjic lake,
17 it's the same OUP.
18 Q. I'm asking you this: Do you remember that there was a list of
19 phone numbers and that Decani had this particular extension?
20 A. I don't know, but if it says so it probably was that way.
21 Q. Thank you. Please have a look at items 1 and 2. It says
22 operational staff 1, operational staff 2. What does this refer to?
23 A. I really don't know. I wasn't interested in these matters. I
24 truly don't know. I would tell you otherwise -- or perhaps Vule termed
25 himself an operational staff or something. I don't know.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zlatkovic, I have no further questions.
2 A. Thank you as well.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
4 Mr. Zlatkovic, you'll now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,
5 Ms. Kravetz.
6 Ms. Kravetz.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Cross-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zlatkovic.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. Yesterday during your evidence you told us that you were involved
12 in late April in an investigation that took place in Reka Kec or Caragoj
13 valley in Djakovica; correct?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. And you told us this investigation took place over a period of
16 approximately a week and it involved several teams including your own?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This investigation was carried out under instructions of the SUP
19 chief of Djakovica; is that correct?
20 A. Not the chief -- or maybe I misspoke yesterday. I was ordered
21 that by the chief of the OKP, the crime police department. Following the
22 chief of the OKP, you have deputy chief and chief of sector. I may have
23 misspoken yesterday when I said "chief," but it's quite a common term.
24 Perhaps I should have been more precise. Chief of the crime police,
25 Mr. Stanojevic, Milan
1 Q. And you said that you were informed that there were bodies in the
2 valley, that that's why this investigation was being carried out?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know how this information was received by the SUP -- by
5 the SUP Djakovica, that there were bodies in the valley of Reka Kec
6 A. I don't know how they came about that information. I was the one
7 who was told to go there, and the chief of the crime police organized us
8 in several teams and we set out. As I explained yesterday, there were
9 problems. We tried for a couple of days to go there but we couldn't
10 because of the air-strikes in Zub, Ponosevac, and Planik, as well as the
11 part along the border. And then we worked on it in the next -- in the
12 course of the next few days. We wouldn't work there for a whole day but
13 for a few hours at a time when there were no sorties and we would go out
14 and come back and so forth.
15 Q. Approximately how many people from your crime police department
16 were involved in this investigation over this period of a week that you
17 say it lasted?
18 A. Each team had one crime scene technician, one or two, they would
19 take photographs, and one or two inspectors depending on the lie of land.
20 So one would usually have four to five people within any given team.
21 Q. So in total would be approximately 12, 15 people that were
22 involved in this investigation?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Now, you told us that during the course of this investigation you
25 discovered approximately 20 to 25 bodies; correct?
1 A. Yes, that's how it was, but on several locations. We were in
2 Ramoc and Popovac and in Korenica, my team I mean.
3 Q. So these were discovered in several villages is what you're
4 saying, these bodies?
5 A. Yes, exactly, in several villages. For example, in Ramoc there
6 were two or three, then in Ponosevac, Popovac, Korenica, et cetera.
7 Q. And your fellow colleagues were also deployed in these same
8 villages, they also conducted investigations in these same villages or
9 were there other locations where they were investigating?
10 A. There was some in Nivokaz, in Smonica, in Racaj, in Pacaj and the
11 work-mates went to those villages as well all the way up to Junik.
12 Q. Were you also in Meja during this time when you were conducting
13 this investigation?
14 A. As I said yesterday, I passed by the check-point in Meja because
15 one had to move along that road. I passed by Meja, by the check-point.
16 I didn't go into Meja itself.
17 Q. And all these localities that you mentioned are in this same
18 area, I mean these are neighbouring villages around the Meja village?
19 A. Yes. It is some 15 kilometres from Djakovica towards the border
20 and next to it, that's where the villages are, all of them, it's 15 or so
21 kilometres from Djakovica.
22 Q. So these are villages that are basically one next to each other
23 on the road from Djakovica?
24 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour -- well, okay --
25 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. --
2 MR. IVETIC: I was going to say it's a vague question as to what
3 next to one means. If counsel wants a map there's several in the system.
4 It's fairly evident where these villages are from looking at the map, but
5 next to when you're talking about an area of multiple kilometres can be
6 somewhat vague and misleading. I don't know if it's helpful to the
7 Trial Chamber.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that's an objection to the question,
9 Ms. Kravetz; it's a suggestion that the answer may have its limitations.
10 It's a matter for you how you proceed.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: I don't intend to get into a map. I was just
12 asking the witness if these were neighbouring villages, that's all, and I
13 think the witness responded --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the --
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Oh --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The response isn't recorded. I think you're
17 right, but the response isn't recorded in the transcript.
18 MR. IVETIC: He did respond and I think he said yes.
19 MS. KRAVETZ: Okay.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: So there you have it.
21 MS. KRAVETZ:
22 Q. Sir, you told us that these bodies that you found, these 20 to 25
23 bodies were male bodies and that they bore gun-shot wounds; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I take it you prepared a report on the findings of your
2 investigation during the course of these days?
3 A. At the on-site investigation itself everything was recorded and
4 filed properly; however, since we worked every day this continued after I
5 left. It's not that the on-site investigation was over. Some of my
6 colleagues, as appointed by the chief of the OKP, was supposed to file a
7 criminal report and that was supposed to be sent to the district public
8 prosecutor in Pec in order to investigate whether this was a crime or
9 something else.
10 Q. Do you know how many bodies, if any, were discovered by the other
11 teams that were taking part in this investigation together with yours?
12 A. They must have found some bodies too. People were saying they
13 had found some bodies, 10, 15, I don't know exactly how many, up until
14 then. Later on perhaps more were found after I had left. I really don't
15 know about that.
16 Q. Did you not discuss this with your colleagues at the SUP or with
17 your chief during the course of this investigation, whether bodies were
18 being found by other teams?
19 A. That's why I'm telling you. They found 10 to 15 bodies, that's
20 what they said to me; later on perhaps they found some more after I left,
21 maybe they found some more but I had already left the SUP of Djakovica by
22 the 15th of May and they probably continued working. Let me tell you one
23 thing. This is not a plain, this is mountainous area, there are valleys
24 and hills and trenches from which the terrorists were operating and the
25 army and the police were still being fired at by the citizens themselves,
1 it was mined and so on and so forth. So it's hard for people to find
2 their way there, very hard, and certainly they went on working and they
3 found some more and most probably -- well ...
4 Q. What happened to these 20 or 25 bodies that your team discovered?
5 A. Our team that found these 20 to 25 bodies, the crime technician
6 took finger-prints - and I mentioned that yesterday - and an examination
7 of the corpses was carried out. There was a doctor, a surgeon, on our
8 team who established death and he looked at the tattoos, all of that was
9 inscribed; and the persons who could not be identified were buried at the
10 Muslim cemetery in Djakovica. People who were identified, that was a
11 different matter, their family members were called in so that they could
12 have them buried. Are we understanding each other?
13 Q. And were you there when these bodies were handed over to these
14 family members? Is this something you took part in, the hand-over of
15 bodies to the family members?
16 A. No. My colleagues, crime technicians, took part, that is a rule
17 in our area. They record this by video recorder and cameras, and then
18 there is a number that is attached saying whether it's a male or a female
19 corpse and that is recorded so that people could later on find their
20 nearest and dearest and have them buried in a proper way. As for the
21 people we found, we put them in plastic bags, special bags for corpses,
22 and the burials carried out were as humane as possible. They were
23 carried out by the public company that was involved in that kind of work
24 for years. Graves were dug and these bodies were buried. Also, the
25 bodies that were found by the lake and that had not been identified were
1 buried in the same place, at the Muslim cemetery.
2 Q. Despite this detailed analysis that you say you carried out or
3 investigation on these bodies, you were unable yesterday to tell us the
4 circumstances of how these persons had met their death. You have no
5 information as to how these persons met their death?
6 A. I said yesterday, and let me tell you, there was a war going on.
7 There must have been fighting otherwise the trenches and the
8 communicating trenches would not have been dug around the houses and
9 villages. These communicating trenches led to the main roads where we
11 Q. Sir, I'm asking you a simple question. Were you able to
12 establish how these persons met their deaths, how they were killed?
13 A. I think they were killed in fighting. In my view, they were
14 terrorists, that's for sure -- well, perhaps some civilians got killed
15 too. I cannot say anything for sure, but in combat it is combatants and
16 civilians that get killed.
17 Q. So these were persons that had been killed by the VJ and MUP
18 forces that were deployed in the area; correct?
19 A. I am saying that the Army of Yugoslavia and the MUP forces were
20 defending the territory of the then-Yugoslavia. It is certain that they
21 had been attacked, provoked --
22 Q. Sir --
23 A. -- and there was this contact as it was. Yes, please go ahead.
24 Q. So I take it based on your answer that the answer to my question
25 is: Yes, these persons were killed by members of the VJ and MUP that
1 were deployed in that area?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I would object to the question, it's
4 been asked and answered. He's given the extent of his knowledge and
5 he's -- well, I don't want to be provoke -- I don't want to be said to be
6 leading the witness, but --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, the position is not clear. I asked
8 questions about this yesterday, and all that Ms. Kravetz is trying to do
9 is establish whether the witness has any information about who was
10 responsible for these deaths, whether they were in self-defence, combat,
11 or whatever, that's all.
12 MR. IVETIC: And he's answered that very clearly prior in the
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you say the clear answer is?
15 MR. IVETIC: The investigation needed to be undertaken and
16 completed to find out what the circumstances were, whether it was a
17 criminal act or something else.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that doesn't tell us whether he had
19 information about who did it. The objection to this is repelled,
20 Ms. Kravetz. If you want to reformulate a question it might assist us I
21 think to know exactly the extent of the witness's knowledge as compared
22 with speculation.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, I will, Your Honours.
24 Q. Sir, what I'm asking is if you have any information. I'm not
25 asking you to speculate on what you think the circumstances might have
1 been. I'm asking you whether you have any specific information on how
2 these persons whose body you discovered met their death, how they were
3 killed. Do you have any information that you can provide us with today?
4 A. I do not have such information for the time being.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zlatkovic, was your investigation designed to
6 establish who had killed them or was that not part of the job that you
7 were actually undertaking?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our job was go out to the scene to
9 carry out an on-site investigation, and upon completing the on-site
10 investigation to do operative work on the matter, to see what's what.
11 After I left most probably my colleagues worked on this or they are still
12 working on it, and we will see what happened.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a well-known practice in -- certainly
14 throughout Europe
15 into a death to try to establish who might have caused the death, whether
16 that person's guilty of a crime or not. It's part of the European
17 Convention and human rights that anyone killed and the relatives have a
18 right to a full investigation of the circumstances including the person
19 responsible. Now, does your investigation aim at establishing who
20 actually did the killing or was that not -- were you not interested in
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I mourn every victim
23 on both sides, and our objective was certainly to establish what happened
24 and we certainly would have established what had happened. But what
25 happened was that the population moved out of the area and we could no
1 longer do any work. Let me say that to you. I left earlier and they
2 left 15 days later and --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zlatkovic, there may be reasons why you were
4 unsuccessful in establishing what you would like to have established.
5 What I want to know is what it was you were trying to establish, what is
6 the purpose of this investigation within your system. Now, was it the
7 purpose of this investigation or one of the purposes to discover who was
8 responsible for the actual shots that killed the victims?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, precisely. That was our
10 objective, to see who fired first, who defended himself, but that could
11 not be established at that point. There was a war going on and we
12 thought that we'd do it later --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We're the last people you need to tell there was a
14 war going on. Now, we've seen countless documents in this case where
15 there is a report, an official report, that says there was a combat and
16 there were X number of casualties. So you can relate that report to the
17 bodies that either were found but in most instances were taken away by
18 those who were involved in the combat. In this instance the bodies are
19 there. Were you able to tie these bodies to a report of any organization
20 forming part of the Yugoslav authorities or the Serb authorities that
21 actually accepted responsibility for killing these bodies?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand what it was
23 that you told me towards the end. Could you please repeat that to me.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I was explaining that we've seen a number of
25 reports in which it's recorded that Yugoslav authorities were involved in
1 combat and there were casualties and a number of casualties on the other
2 side. Were you able to find any such report relating to this case which
3 indicated which body within either the Yugoslav authorities or the Serb
4 authorities engaged in combat and fired the shots which killed these men?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the on-site investigation
6 itself, we could not establish that and material was being prepared that
7 would later be elaborated upon, this operative work would be carried out,
8 interviews and so on. And certainly the proof would have been there, but
9 this was probably in the SUP of Djakovica. And the SUP of Djakovica
10 people say, I wasn't there, but they say that it was bombed. That's what
11 I heard later, after the war that it was bombed and destroyed. Now,
12 whether that remained there or somewhere else, I really don't know.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, let's look at the possibilities, were there
14 any paramilitaries operating and your area?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I swear by my life,
16 and I don't know what else here, that with the exception of the KLA there
17 was no other paramilitary structure in the area of Djakovica. There was
18 the regular army, there was the reserve army, there was the police, and
19 the reserve police. The paramilitary that is referred to was only the
20 KLA, I mean in a state that --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And were there any PJP units in your area?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The PJP did exist.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: No. Were they operational in your area, around
24 you -- around Djakovica?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. We are
1 separate from them, I mean certainly they were working, that's a unit
2 that's trained for anti-terrorist action, most probably they were
3 operational, but we are a separate department from them. They belong to
4 one police and we belong to the crime police, and I am not very
5 well-versed in all of this.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Would a group of policemen who are not part of the
7 PJP ever engage a large group of terrorists in combat?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If someone orders them, if a
9 commander of theirs, a leader of theirs, the commander of the squad, the
10 commander of the station, they certainly have to carry out that task
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And have you experience of that happening in your
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went after such things happened
15 only if some of our people were wounded or killed or if some people from
16 the other side were killed or wounded. I'm not aware of this.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but here we've got at least 40 bodies,
18 according to you. Now, were ordinary police officers other than PJP in
19 our experience ever engaged in a combat where there might be 40
20 terrorists killed in the combat?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do beg your pardon. Could you
22 please repeat your question because the interpretation seems sort of ...
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm trying to establish whether in your experience
24 there were occasions when ordinary police officers, not those forming PJP
25 companies, were engaged in combat that might result in 40 casualties
1 because they were fighting such a large force?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of that.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So the only option here on your analysis would be
4 the army?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that the army was
6 involved -- actually, I don't know about the army or the police.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zlatkovic, did your scientific tests not
10 establish whose weapons had been used to shoot at those who were killed?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are in the field, the crime
12 technicians in the field actually collected all the cartridges -- not all
13 but the ones they found. And it was only through ballistic expertise
14 that we were able to establish what weapons had been used. The
15 terrorists mainly used the Chinese weapons, but in the war towards the
16 end of the war they had got hold of some other armaments, also of our
17 manufacturer, and this is the only way we could establish --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: But in this case did you establish which weapons
19 had been used?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were cartridges, rifle
21 cartridges, and I didn't see anything else. I saw that rifles had been
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you relate these to the standard-issue
24 equipment of the Yugoslav and Serb forces?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not an expert on this --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: But you're one of the senior officers in the
2 inquiry. You're the man that needs to know.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm the lowest-ranking
4 of the officers, I was the lowest-ranking. I never got promoted and I
5 only remained a captain. I was nobody's pit.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: So in the team that found the 25 bodies, where
7 were you? Were there others in that team who were superior to you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of the OKP was there as
9 well, Milan Stanojevic, that is.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: As part of your four- or five-man team he was
11 there, was he?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz -- just a moment.
14 Judge Chowhan has a question.
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, I'm rather surprised that you were a part
16 of the investigating team, you discovered cartridges, and you were not
17 able to even know what calibre these -- of what calibre these were. This
18 is very strange. And may I refer you to -- this is a second thing I'm
19 telling you. May I refer you to one of your answers in the beginning
20 when you said: Yes, it was a war situation and these people, these
21 people were killed and were in their trenches or outside the trenches,
22 came in contact with the forces. Now, what are those forces? Now, you
23 have to tell us those forces, first of all, because you were near it when
24 there was interruption and then there was a second question; and
25 secondly, what was the calibre of the cartridges and what -- did you see
1 those reports later on but you should have known what are the calibre of
2 the cartridges and I would like to question you further.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When you said that I was close to
4 the events, in fact, I was far away from these events. I was some 15 to
5 20 kilometres away from the scene of the events. I was in town. As far
6 as the cartridges are concerned, these were cartridges -- automatic rifle
7 cartridges. Now, as for the calibre, frankly speaking, I cannot remember
8 at this point. Ten years have passed, and I am not an expert on weapons.
9 Of all weaponry, I only used a pistol. And when we were leaving -- when
10 we were going out in the terrain we were often attacked by terrorists,
11 then I had to carry an automatic rifle and how much I used it, then --
12 well, all in good time.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, we're not at all concerned with what type
14 of weapons you were carrying. We are concerned about your scientific
15 achievements while you were at the site. We are also not bothered what
16 distance you were when these episodes took place, but you were there
17 investigating and you picked up the cartridges and you saw them. Now, to
18 whom these belonged? And once you tell us that these were cartridges,
19 well, it rules out the possibility of bombing about which you were
20 mentioning. So it means they were shot at. Now, what is the calibre,
21 whose weapons these were, because there are standardised weapons given to
22 different military or paramilitary or police and so on, and these could
23 be easily compared. Why were not these compared?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a while ago that all the
25 material, both written and the objects, the material found in situ were
1 left in the Djakovica SUP for the file to be completed upon the entire
2 investigation having been completed. This would be sent to an institute,
3 the institute for ballistics, that we had in both Pristina and Belgrade
4 What could not be done in Pristina was sent to the Belgrade institute,
5 and they were the ones who should have completed the examination on that
6 score, so that I don't know anything else about it.
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Now, what did you write in the inquest report
8 which you formulated?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was a classical inquest
10 report, if I should quote, on the day when so and so an on-site
11 investigation was carried out in connection with the terrorist attack, it
12 was done under such and such conditions with bombing going on or without
13 bombing. Body number one was found at such and such spot, the corpses
14 were marked with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on, body found in trench,
15 bound found in bush, body found by a rock, found by a wall, in a
16 stable --
17 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to interrupt. I've seen inquest
18 reports. Please tell me what did you write as an opinion, what can be
19 the cause of the killing, who may have killed, what weapons were used?
20 I'm talking about that specific thing, not about general things, what --
21 the form of the inquest report, we know it, I've seen hundreds of these.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wrote that NN perpetrators,
23 unknown persons, perpetrated a shooting and we would be sending a
24 supplement to the criminal report which was filed if we established
25 subsequently who the NN persons were which we would submit to the
1 district public prosecutor's office in Pec and they would take further
2 action upon that supplement.
3 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Did you examine the wounds, did you examine the
4 injuries on the bodies, and did you report on their dimensions and then
5 connect them with the calibre? Did you do it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was a doctor there.
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And did you read what was the -- whether there
8 was charring or burning on the wounds or whether -- what was the size of
9 the wound, what was the inlet, what is the outlet? What did you see
10 there to find out the strength of the bullet, the calibre of the bullet?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We investigated this scene for some
12 ten days because much time had passed after the deaths so that there
13 might have been some shortcomings in our work because the bodies had
14 already begun to decay so that we were not able to establish everything
15 in detail.
16 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm worried about what you observed exactly on
17 the bodies to find out the distance from which it was shot, what was the
18 strength of the bullet, that you're not telling us. I mean, you are a
19 part of the investigating team and you were going here and there and
20 that's what surprises me. Please be specific on what we are asking.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
22 MR. IVETIC: There was a transcript issue, Your Honour. I didn't
23 want to interrupt the question of Judge Chowhan, but at the beginning of
24 the response to the prior question in front of: "We investigated the
25 scene for some ten days ..." there was -- in Serbian basically the gist
1 of what was said I think: We certainly did, but that could be cleared up
2 with the review of the audiotape.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Can you deal with the question, please, Mr. Zlatkovic, which was:
5 What investigation was there into the distance from which these people
6 were shot, the strength of the bullets?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not an expert on this matter.
8 In the forensic institute there are experts who are able to establish the
9 nature of the wound and ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz, are there any exhibits bearing on
12 these issues that have been raised in the last 15 minutes?
13 MS. KRAVETZ: No, I was actually going to ask the witness if the
14 report of this investigation was available. We don't have it.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
16 Mr. Ivetic, are there any exhibits that bear on any of these
18 MR. IVETIC: Our investigations have not found these documents,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 So could you try and clarify -- we know that the SUP building did
22 suffer damage, but we don't know at the moment the extent to which that
23 may have had an impact on the investigation.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: I can ask the witness.
25 Q. Sir, you've spoken at length about this investigation. Do you
1 know if the report that was compiled at the end of this investigation
2 is -- still exists and if it's available somewhere?
3 A. I don't know whether one has been compiled -- was compiled
4 because the SUP was bombed after I had left. I am -- expect that my
5 colleagues, if they had the material, had submitted it to the proper
6 place. If it had been bombed and destroyed, then that would not have
7 been the case. I left on the 15th and later I heard that it had been
8 bombed -- actually, I read it in the papers, that is how I got that
10 Q. And if it had been completed during the month of May after you
11 left, this would have been submitted, this report, to the public
12 prosecutor in Pec; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But you don't know if it's still -- if this report still exists
15 and if it's available in the office?
16 A. I really don't know whether it was submitted, whether it exists.
17 This can be checked in the public prosecutor's office in Pec, which now
18 is in Leskovac.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: We don't have the document, Your Honour.
21 Q. Just a final question regarding this investigation. When you
22 were conducting it, did you not consider the possibility of speaking to
23 VJ soldiers and MUP personnel who had been deployed in the area when
24 these killings took place to try to establish the circumstances of these
25 deaths? Was that not something you considered doing or that you
1 undertook to do?
2 A. It was certainly planned, but the situation was what it was and
3 perhaps my departure also disrupted the procedure. But those who
4 remained might have done some work on that. It is -- everything is
5 possible, but we would certainly have completed the investigation, but
6 what happened. I had to leave and they too later left the area of Kosovo
7 and Metohija.
8 Q. I see. Sir, the evidence before this Court is that over 300
9 persons were killed in Reka Kec or Caragoj valley at the end of April by
10 Serb forces, both VJ and police. Are you aware of that, that the number
11 actually was much higher than the one you mentioned, there were over 300
12 people killed?
13 A. Well, I haven't seen that. I am just telling here what I have
14 seen, and I have sworn before this Court that I would be telling the
15 truth and I am telling the truth. This is the number that we found and I
16 cannot augment, increase, that number if I don't know if that is the
18 Q. And are you aware, sir, that the persons that were killed, in
19 particular in the Meja area during these days, their bodies were later
20 discovered at mass graves outside of Belgrade in Batajnica? Did you hear
21 of that?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, just a moment, there's another comment to be
24 Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: I think we're having a question that causes for
1 speculation and misstates the evidence. I certainly -- I mean, I --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's find out --
3 MR. IVETIC: Let's find out what he knows.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: -- what the witness's answer is because it may not
5 be of any importance.
6 Ms. Kravetz, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the
9 MS. KRAVETZ:
10 Q. I was asking whether you know of persons killed in Meja at the
11 end of April 1999 whose bodies were later discovered in mass graves at
12 Batajnica in Serbia
13 A. I read about it in the newspaper. It was a scandal of sorts. As
14 for whether they were from Meja, I don't know, it didn't say in the
16 Q. Okay. Very well. Sir, you spoke about a check-point outside of
17 Meja and you said it was a joint VJ/MUP check-point. Were members of the
18 Djakovica SUP responsible for manning that check-point together with VJ
20 A. They were together, certainly. They controlled at that place and
21 their role was not to allow terrorist groups to enter the town, since
22 there were many there already.
23 Q. Did a man by the name of Milan Scepanovic work at the SUP in
24 Djakovica while you were working there?
25 A. I don't -- it's a Montenegrin last name. There are many
1 Scepanovics. I came across that last name when their houses had come
2 under attack. If I saw the man, perhaps I'd be able to recall the name
3 as well. I really don't know. I don't know him personally.
4 Q. Okay. Very well. At paragraph 34 of your statement you speak of
5 an incident that you say you witnessed at another joint check-point. You
6 don't give the exact location of where this check-point was. I don't
7 know if you have your statement there. You don't, I see. Do you recall
8 speaking --
9 A. I don't.
10 Q. Do you recall speaking of being at a check-point and witnessing
11 an incident where there were some civilians crossing the check-point
12 accompanied by a Catholic priest?
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you very much.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recall that very well. I was
15 passing by and I saw a Catholic priest in a white robe with a large cross
16 on his chest. He was in front of a column of refugee --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: We have this in your statement. Ms. Kravetz will
18 ask you any other questions.
19 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes.
20 Q. I wanted to know first where this check-point was located. This
21 is not the same check-point outside of Meja, I presume, or it was the
22 same one you had spoken about earlier?
23 A. No, no. It is the check-point at Bistrazin. It is a Catholic
24 village where Albanian Catholic population lived exclusively. There is a
25 bridge there, and that's where the check-point had been established.
1 Q. This was again a check-point that was manned by VJ soldiers and
2 MUP members from the SUP Djakovica?
3 A. Both, both were there.
4 Q. Now, you described an incident where -- when you saw a Catholic
5 priest with some civilians. When did this incident take place exactly,
6 do you recall?
7 A. I think that -- was it after the bombing or during the bombing in
8 Meja? People started fleeing. I arrived there and I saw a man, I
9 greeted him --
10 Q. Sir --
11 A. -- and I tried to speed up their movement. Let me finish, if I
13 Q. Sir, I'm just asking about when this happened, is this March,
14 April, May, June? When did it happen?
15 A. It was in April.
16 Q. How many people did you see there, sir, at this check-point when
17 you witnessed this incident?
18 A. A lot of people. There were women, children, young people, all
19 in all over 100 people perhaps.
20 Q. Okay. And how long did you remain there at this check-point? I
21 mean, were you just crossing by or did you remain there for some time?
22 A. No, no. I stayed there for a while, I brought them food -- I
23 brought the food for the people manning the check-point, and I came to
24 see whether there were any problems there. What we were told at the
25 Djakovica SUP by the chief of the OKP was that people should not be held.
1 There was an instructional dispatch that had arrived from Belgrade.
2 People were not supposed to be held or made to stay, but we were simply
3 there to identify the people and try to screen for terrorists. That's
4 why I was trying to rush them along. I had trust in the Catholic priest
5 as someone who wouldn't lead a group of terrorists, and I told them to
7 Q. And you said this was in April. You don't recall the specific
8 date of this incident which you said you recall very well?
9 A. It is possible. I'm very bad at remembering dates, but it may
10 have been around the 20th give or take a day or two. In any case, it was
11 in April. I'm positive about that and there was a drizzle. The priest
12 was something one remembers with his robe, that's why I recall it now.
13 Q. But you did have occasion to go through this check-point on other
14 dates? This wasn't the only time that you were at that check-point?
15 A. I went through it when I would go to Prizren for a weekend leave.
16 I would always go there, but if it was danger there I would go via
17 Rakovina and Klina, or if there was danger on other routes then I would
18 take this one, that's how I would get home.
19 Q. Okay. This was a check-point that you regularly travelled
20 through during the course of your stay in Kosovo? You were regularly
21 travelling through this check-point?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Very well. Moving on to --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just clarify one thing.
25 You mentioned a dispatch from Belgrade in your answers there.
1 What roughly was the date of that dispatch?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the beginning of the war
3 when we received the instructional dispatch, the Djakovica SUP, that is,
4 and we were told about it by the chief of the OKP. It instructed us to
5 treat persons in the most humane way, including civilians, children, the
6 elderly, and the rest. We should treat them humanely, they shouldn't be
7 mistreated, robbed, and so on and so forth. It was strictly stated that
8 whoever should be found committing such acts would be severely punished
9 and criminal reports would be submitted against such persons.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But for the avoidance of any doubt here, the
11 comment that you made that was of interest to us was that the dispatch
12 gave you directions not to hold people.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And that was issued at the beginning of the war?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: So did you understand that to mean if these people
17 wanted to leave you should just allow them to leave?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Ms. Kravetz.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Sir, yesterday you told us that you -- and today as well, that
23 you left the SUP of Djakovica in mid-May and requested to be sent back to
24 Vranje where you're from because you had been injured in your leg. Do
25 you recall saying that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Sir, wasn't the real reason you decided to leave or request to be
3 transferred back to Vranje, wasn't that because you didn't get along with
4 your boss, the chief of the crime police, and you didn't agree with the
5 way he managed your section? Isn't that why you requested to be moved
6 away, it wasn't because you were injured, was it?
7 A. I didn't ask for a transfer. My position was in Vranje. I had
8 spent 18 and a half months there. As for what you're saying, that I
9 didn't get along with my chief, well he wasn't issuing stupid orders, but
10 at a certain point he wanted me to be in five -- four or five different
11 places for on-site investigations. I wasn't able to do that. Just have
12 a look at my leg and the other one. That was the reason. The more
13 serious problem was the problem of the leg, I was injured. As for me not
14 getting along with him, that's a different matter. We didn't get along
15 because perhaps he wasn't very good at managing. He couldn't manage
16 people, he was a difficult person, he didn't know how to do it. He
17 cannot tell me to conduct on-site investigations in different locations
18 at the same time, four or five places, although, for example, there are
19 terrorists there waiting. I was in favour of the crime scene
20 investigations, but one had to wait. I didn't want to be killed in vain,
21 not only me but others as well, that was the problem. However, the more
22 serious problem was the leg, I had been injured. My knee was injured as
23 well, I limped and attended on-site investigations.
24 Q. So you requested to be sent back basically because you didn't
25 agree with the way your chief was managing you, and you didn't agree with
1 the tasks that you were being given so that's why you requested to be
2 sent back to Vranje?
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, he's -- he's answered the question.
4 I -- it's asked and answered.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My greatest problem was that I had
6 been injured. As for me not getting along with him, we were unable to
7 get along for a year and a half before that but I had to do my work. I
8 was under a lot of stress and burden. I would have to carry out six or
9 seven on-site investigations within a single day. It was physically and
10 psychologically difficult for me. We were under attacks while carrying
11 out investigations. Ambushes would be set up, that was a problem as
12 well. I had two children and one had to provide for them.
13 MS. KRAVETZ:
14 Q. Thank you, sir.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 You were probably right, Mr. Ivetic, but you got the same answer,
18 so --
19 MR. IVETIC: I appreciate that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: -- no harm was done.
21 MR. IVETIC: I appreciate that, Your Honour. I do have a few
22 questions in re-direct. I don't know if Your Honours had any questions
23 for the witness.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well -- there are a couple of matters, just
25 hold on -- in fact, only one.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE BONOMY: In your statement at paragraph 46 you refer to the
3 management of SUP Djakovica and you refer to collegiums. What do you
4 mean there by a collegium?
5 A. When I say "collegium," not only in the SUP of Djakovica but in
6 all SUPs, I mean the following. They have weekly and monthly collegium
7 meetings and daily collegiums as well, where you would have the chief of
8 the SUP, the chief of the OKP, the chief of the crime police, police
9 station commanders, and some junior officers. On all of the occasions it
10 was stated and stressed that concerning the people who were moving out of
11 their homes, that they should be treated in the most humane of ways.
12 That was contained in the instructional dispatch from Belgrade.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. I understand that. It was the concept
14 itself that I wanted to be clear about and now am. Thank you.
15 Mr. Ivetic.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
17 Q. Mr. Zlatkovic, you were asked about calibre of weapons. Do you
18 know what calibre of weapons were used by the KLA, the VJ, and the police
19 in 1999? Was there any difference in the calibre of the automatic rifles
20 used by these forces in 1999?
21 A. No, there was no difference in terms of calibre because the army
22 and the police and the paramilitary formations of the KLA had the same
23 rifles, the only difference being that they had Chinese-made rifles,
24 whereas the army and the police used the rifles produced in Kragujevac.
25 They also had some American rifles, very precise with a long range.
1 There was no difference; however, cartridges differed because they were
2 usually supplied by Chinese ammunition. And at a later stages it seems
3 after they had robbed some ammo depots they had ammunition from there as
4 well, and they had rifles which they had taken from our killed personnel.
5 They would take those rifles and use them. For example, in Rogovo there
6 was a rifle which was taken from a killed policeman.
7 Q. Is the OKP police required to come out to the scene to perform an
8 on-site investigation for any reports of bodies irrespective of the
9 nature and cause of death? When I say "on-site investigation, "I mean
10 the Serbian word "uvidjaj," which I understand is being translated
12 A. If a case is reported, one had to go and carry out an on-site
13 investigation except in such cases when we were unable to reach the
14 location because of the activity of terrorists.
15 Q. You were -- you were asked about this instructional dispatch or
16 depeche from Belgrade
17 of this dispatch with your own eyes?
18 A. Well, I did have the opportunity in terms of us having to respect
19 the Geneva Convention, all the policemen, that is. It was read at
20 meetings held in organizational units.
21 Q. Did -- do you recollect if this dispatch told where to allow
22 these persons to go or any other details, what was meant by -- and were
23 there any other measures to be taken to safe-guard these persons, do you
24 recall -- recollect any of the other subject matters of that dispatch
25 that was read to you or advised you -- to you by the OKP chief?
1 A. Well, the only thing I remember is that if these people had
2 already decided to leave that they should be allowed to do so along with
3 an escort so that they're not attacked by the roads because there were
4 various criminals out there who'd rob them. The dispatch said that they
5 should be given food, water, and everything else they need so that they
6 could leave safely. As a matter of fact --
7 Q. One moment.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. Based upon your -- hold on.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. IVETIC: One moment, let me check just one thing.
13 Your Honours, I think that's my re-direct. I was looking for one
14 thing but I think I misread one of the paragraphs, so I don't have any
15 further questions for this witness.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zlatkovic.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zlatkovic, that completes your evidence.
21 Thank you for coming to give evidence. Could you now please leave the
22 courtroom with the usher.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well. Thank you for
24 having been so fair to me.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, you apparently wish to raise certain
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour, I did. I know one matter we
4 need to deal with is regarding the motion filed for protective measures
5 for this witness.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
7 MR. HANNIS: I see last night Mr. Ivetic filed a motion
8 requesting closed session. I just want to say orally that we're opposed
9 to that. We don't think there's been an adequate showing made to justify
10 those excessive protective measures. We can go into private session if
11 we're having a discussion about a particular issue that might disclose
12 his identity.
13 The second matter that I wanted to raise, Your Honour, had to do
14 with the translation of the witness's statement. Because I had had some
15 concerns about the timing of --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we go on to that --
17 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: -- it said in the application that the -- in fact,
19 I think for a proper discussion of this we ought to be in private session
20 at the moment.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 25326-25336 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall hear the evidence of the next witness in
5 closed session, and as always we shall review that evidence when we've
6 heard it and decide whether that decision requires to be maintained in
7 respect of the whole of the evidence or not.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So we shall now go into closed session, please.
10 [Closed session]
11 Pages 25338-25411 redacted. Closed session.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.31 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
25 April, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.