1 Tuesday, 8 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Pavkovic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good afternoon, everyone. On the 1st of
7 July, the Trial Chamber fixed this hearing of the evidence of Aleksandar
8 Dimitrijevic to be held by videolink conference. Following the
9 completion of his evidence, the Trial Chamber will review the dead-line
10 for the final briefs in light of the evidence of the witness and the
11 circumstances at the time we do so.
12 It is the illness of the witness which makes it inappropriate for
13 him to travel to The Hague
14 therefore, decided to order the videolink to enable it to hear what he
15 has to say on a number of issues.
16 I wish, first of all, before administering the solemn declaration
17 to clarify with the Belgrade
18 comes from the identity of those present in that room.
19 Can those present please identify themselves to us.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Good afternoon, Your Honours, my
21 name is Riaz Haider, court officer for the registry.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And I think you have beside you Mr. Dimitrijevic.
23 Is that correct?
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Indeed, it is.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there anyone else in the room with you?
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] I have Dr. Sasa Rafajlovski, and
2 I have someone from the registry with me.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: We were told the doctor would not be there for
4 another 15 minutes or so. That has changed, I take it, and he is now
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Indeed, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That arrangement was made obviously to
8 ensure the welfare of Mr. Dimitrijevic during the giving of this
10 THE WITNESS: Doctor is here.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Dimitrijevic, would you now please make the
12 solemn declaration to speak the truth by reading aloud the document now
13 being shown to you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We basically cannot hear
17 the witness.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
19 Mr. Haider, there is a problem in the level of sound coming
20 through to the interpreters. Is there anything that can be done about
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] That's being looked into, Your
23 Honours, right now.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
25 Mr. Dimitrijevic, we are conscious of your ill health and have no
1 intention of causing distress. We are grateful to you for being there to
2 assist us to try to establish the truth in relation to a number of
3 matters. Arrangements have been made, obviously for the attendance of a
4 doctor in case you should feel the need to consult him. It is for you to
5 tell me if at any stage during this you feel unable to continue and want
6 a break, and we will accommodate that, but our normal schedule would
7 require us to break after 90 minutes in any event. So it is not as if we
8 are going to have lengthy sessions without any interruption.
9 I would now like to proceed to examine you along the lines that
10 the Trial Chamber considers appropriate.
11 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR DIMITRIJEVIC
12 [Witness appeared via videolink]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE BONOMY: First of all, could you give the Trial Chamber
16 your full name.
17 A. Aleksandar Dimitrijevic.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Your date of birth?
19 A. The 26th of June, 1947.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: We know that in 1998 and 1999 you were an officer
21 in the Army of Yugoslavia
22 enlisted in the VJ?
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear this. We
25 just heard 1965 and not the rest.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I stop you there. We do have a difficulty,
2 and we have to resolve our technical problems with sound levels.
3 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We're not getting any English interpretation
4 here, just -- the B/C/S is coming through, just -- and there's no
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That may be because the interpreter could hear
7 nothing, Mr. O'Sullivan.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We're on the English
9 channel, the English booth.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. That part's been resolved, but the --
11 just hold on, please, Mr. Vasiljevic -- Mr. Dimitrijevic. We have a
12 difficulty in assessing -- in establishing an adequate communication for
13 interpretation purposes.
14 I'll ask you another question, and then we shall -- in fact, I
15 will ask you that question again, and we'll see if in fact there's any
16 improvement. Tell us again, please, when you were first enlisted in the
18 A. In 1965, I joined the military academy. In 1968, I became an
19 active-duty officer of the then-JNA.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I have a problem in that I'm getting both
21 languages together. So we solve one problem and create another.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The sound level is still
23 very, very poor.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What's puzzling about the sound level being poor
25 is that it's very clear for me. Now, if it can be done for us, why can't
1 it be done for the interpreters?
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Please bear with us, Mr. Dimitrijevic. We are
4 trying to find out how long it will take to put everything into good
5 technical order.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Dimitrijevic, to assist us perhaps I could ask
8 one further question and see if the sound level has improved. Prior to
9 enlisting, were you in higher educational studies; and if so, where?
10 A. I graduated from high school in Cuprija, and then I attended the
11 military technical academy in Zagreb
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Which position in the VJ did you
13 occupy in 1998 and 1999?
14 A. Up until the 24th of March, 1999, I held the position of chief of
15 the security department of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: At any earlier stage in your career prior to the
17 Kosovo troubles, were you involved actively in action as a member of the
19 A. I did not quite understand your question. What do you mean
20 "involved actively in action"?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, did you ever see action on a front during
22 any of the earlier conflicts in Yugoslavia
23 A. No, no, never.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: At any stage in your career have you been
25 decorated or received any order, honour, or award?
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you be more --
3 A. Yes, while decorations were being given in the JNA; after that,
4 there was a vacuum. When the Army of Yugoslavia was created, there were
5 no more decorations, and no such orders were bestowed upon people. The
6 last one I received sometime in 1988 or perhaps one of those years.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you received any decoration of particular
9 A. No.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you regard as the highlight of your
11 military career?
12 A. Well, the duty I had until I retired because I did everything to
13 help in order for the country to avoid all the horrible things that did
14 happen. Now, it's not for me to say to which extent I succeeded in that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: When did you retire?
16 A. On the 23rd of March, one day before the bombing. I was told
17 that I was no longer chief of the security administration and that I
18 would be retiring at my own request.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And were you effectively retired from that date?
20 A. The paper, the decision, on my retirement I actually received
21 within ten days or so; and from that moment onwards, yes, I actively went
22 into retirement.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What rank were you at that stage?
24 A. At that stage I was colonel-general of the Army of Yugoslavia.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you had any other jobs since?
1 A. No.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: The position you held latterly as head of the
3 security administration of the General Staff, we would like to have a
4 little more information about exactly what your responsibilities were;
5 and in giving us that information, it would be helpful if you could
6 distinguish that position from the head of intelligence of the General
8 A. Mr. President, if I could say to you before that that I did not
9 receive approval from my state, or rather, a decision was not passed,
10 that I have received a waiver in terms of guarding secrets regarding
11 Kosovo and Metohija. However, since in a way some kind of a climate was
12 created that for some reason I did not wish to testify, whereas I do wish
13 to do that, I ask you that we continue; and I'm expressing my good-will
14 in that respect, that I continue answering your questions by way of
15 testimony. However, I do ask you that I be provided with this document,
16 this waiver, by the end of my testimony because I do not want to be
17 prosecuted after this testimony by my very own country for revealing
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand what you say, Mr. Dimitrijevic, but
20 let me put your mind at rest. Every document to which I will refer in
21 the course of these questions is now a public document as a result of the
22 cooperation between the authorities of Yugoslavia, various parts of the
23 former Yugoslavia
24 into anything that might be regarded as a state secret on which you were
25 forbidden to testify.
1 You should also bear in mind that the subpoena for your
2 attendance here was served upon you through proper channels at the
3 instance of the Government of the Republic of Serbia
4 to provide to us every cooperation in arranging your attendance to give
5 evidence. Any further re-assurance you require, we will take steps to
6 try to provide for you as you request. So I will act upon your request,
7 but I hope I've set your mind at ease to proceed with the evidence along
8 the lines that we intend to pursue, which as I say is simply to explore
9 issues which are already in the public domain in the course of this
11 So could you, therefore, tell us what in 1998 and 1999 were your
12 principal responsibilities in that post and how that role differed from
13 the head of intelligence.
14 A. The security administration, or rather, the counter-intelligence
15 service consisted at that time of four departments, that is to say the
16 level of the security administration we had the operative department, the
17 analysis department, the general department, and we also had a military
18 police department. In actual fact, at that time the military police in
19 terms of its professional nature was linked to the security
20 administration; and as for the professional use of the military police,
21 the security administration always had to provide its view on that.
22 As for the main tasks of the security administration, at that
23 time this is what they were. First of all, it was counter-intelligence
24 activity, or rather, protecting the Army of Yugoslavia, its members, its
25 facilities and installations from intelligence and other subversive
1 activity that would come from elsewhere, from foreign countries;
2 furthermore, protection from terrorism, that is to say everything in
3 relation to that; and finally, protection, or rather, discovering,
4 following, documenting, and putting a stop to activities of organized
5 crime that would jeopardize the army, the members of the military, and
6 its facilities and installations.
7 The difference between the security administration and the
8 intelligence administration was in the following: In terms of its
9 duties, the security administration was supposed to carry out
10 intelligence activities outside the country, abroad. Practically, it did
11 not have any authority to work within the country in collecting
12 information about the activities of foreign armed forces and others that
13 were relevant at that time in terms of commanding the army as a whole, as
14 we all know what was going on then.
15 Every now and then, sporadically there were clashes because
16 operatives and intelligence services tried to carry out some duties
17 within the country and establish some contacts, which was not in
18 accordance with the powers vested in that administration. So basically,
19 the security administration was in charge of security, if one can put it
20 that way, internally, within the country in terms of all attacks that may
21 be launched against the military, whereas the intelligence department was
22 supposed to work abroad and protect the army from external activities.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I think there is one error in the transcript
24 following that answer. You have been recorded as saying the security
25 administration was supposed to carry out intelligence activities outside
1 the country, abroad.
2 Is that what you said?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: No, it was a mistake
4 by the interpreter.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, obviously it was a mistake
6 in interpretation. That was the task of the intelligence service, the
7 intelligence administration; it was their duty to collect information
8 outside the country, whereas the security administration was supposed to
9 work against all activities against the army within the country.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for clarifying that.
11 Just one other matter arising out of your answer. You said that
12 you have a military -- you had a military police department. Can I take
13 it that the security administration was also responsible for dealing with
14 routine criminal activity within the VJ?
15 A. Within the administration, as I have already mentioned, there was
16 a department for the military police. The responsibility of that
17 department was equipping, training, everything that would mean logistics
18 so that the military police units would be trained and equipped to carry
19 out their duties, equipped properly, and so on.
20 As for the use of military police units, that was exclusively
21 within the domain of the commander's decisions. They would decide when
22 they would use military police units, whereas our duty and obligation
23 was, as I said, that they should be trained and equipped to carry out
24 their specific tasks: Regulating traffic, general security measures, all
25 the way up to those tasks that all police forces in the world do, more or
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you have any responsibilities at all in
3 relation to the military justice system?
4 A. No, Mr. President, none whatsoever. Quite simply, whatever was
5 supposed to be done by way of prosecuting, say, military police and other
6 departments before this is handed over to the judiciary, then we were
7 still in charge; but once we handed them over to them, then our authority
8 would cease.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I was simply curious to know whether you had
10 anything at all to do with logistics in relation to the military justice
11 system; in other words, seeing that they had offices, equipment, and
12 personnel, or was that nothing whatsoever to do with you?
13 A. No, this had nothing to do with me.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I now want to ask you about a number of individual
15 people. I will be asking you about others through this examination, but
16 I just want to be clear about your relationship with a number of these
17 and your knowledge of their activities before we proceed.
18 Could you tell us, first of all, who was Aleksandar Vasiljevic?
19 A. Aleksandar Vasiljevic was a general who was head of the security
20 administration up until 1992, I think; then he retired. Later on, I
21 found out from the media that he was re-activated during 1999.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And was that after you had been retired?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: John Crosland, who was he?
25 A. During those years, he was the British military attache in
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, he has provided the Trial Chamber with
3 information, some of which you might at first sight think was
4 confidential but has been openly disclosed information. So again, we are
5 simply exploring matters which have already been aired before the
6 Trial Chamber.
7 What was your relationship, your personal relationship, first of
8 all, with him? How did you get on with him?
9 A. I have to tell you, Mr. President, that I did not have any
10 personal relationships with any one of the military attaches. We did not
11 socialise outside working hours. We did not visit. We were not family
12 friends. Our families didn't know each other. We did not have any
13 informal contacts, as it were. In all fairness, we did meet at various
14 receptions, but all our conversations were of an official nature, and for
15 the most part they were conducted on the official premises of the Office
16 For Liaising With Foreign Missions.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: In what circumstances did you meet with him
19 A. Well, contacts with military diplomatic representatives on the
20 part of the representatives of the Army of Yugoslavia were carried out in
21 accordance with the official regulations through the liaison office with
22 foreign missions. So if any of the military envoys or attaches of
23 representatives of any country whatsoever wanted to be received by the
24 Chief of the General Staff or to meet with any of the generals, officers
25 of the Army of Yugoslavia, that person had to submit this request to the
1 liaison office, and then it would be relayed to whoever the addressee
2 was. And then the decision was made whether to accept the request or to
3 reject it, and then contacts would follow, only then.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Who is Momir Stojanovic?
5 A. Momir Stojanovic was at that time a lieutenant-colonel, I
6 believe. He was the chief of the Pristina Corps section -- the security
7 section of the Pristina Corps.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Branko Gajic?
9 A. Branko Gajic was a colonel at the time in the Army of Yugoslavia.
10 He was first the chief of the operations department, and then he became
11 my deputy in the security administration. So he was the man that I
12 worked with very closely on a daily basis.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And then four who have no obvious link with the
14 VJ. First of all, Milomir Minic?
15 A. Comrade or Mr. Milomir Minic, I may have met him in those years
16 maybe twice or three times, not more than that, at some receptions for
17 the independence day, the national holidays, and so on. And in 1998, I
18 think that we may have met four or five times at various meetings
19 organized by the then-president, Mr. Milosevic. I do know that he was an
20 official of the Socialist Party of Serbia and that he was a high-ranking
21 official, but I did not really communicate with him at all.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Dusan Matkovic?
23 A. As for Dusan Matkovic, I know him from the media as an official
24 of the Socialist Party of Serbia
25 face-to-face was at a meeting in President Milosevic's office, and we may
1 have met three, four, or five times. You will allow me this hesitation
2 because ten years have passed, so I can't remember whether it was three,
3 four, or five times. I couldn't be more specific than that, but you will
4 accept that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Zoran Andjelkovic?
6 A. Mr. Zoran Andjelkovic - Baki, that was his nickname - the first
7 time that I was formally introduced to him was at a meeting with
8 President Milosevic, and we saw each other at those few meetings that
9 were held in the -- in July and August 1998. I believe that was the
10 time-period. That's where we would meet. After that, I left. They went
11 their own way, whatever it is that they did; and after that time-period,
12 I did not have any contacts with him. We did not communicate.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And lastly, Nikola Sainovic?
14 A. Nikola Sainovic was the deputy prime minister in the federal
15 government at that time, and as the other three he was a high-ranking
16 official in the Socialist Party of Serbia. He may even have been the
17 deputy president of the Socialist Party of Serbia. I met him on a couple
18 of occasions when there was an issue of the funding for the army, and the
19 previous prime minister Radoje Kontic convened some meetings to deal with
20 this problem of the funding for the army, and he would attend those
21 meetings. And in 1998, we saw each other at the meetings that I've just
22 described at President Milosevic's place, and of course I met him at
23 various receptions held to celebrate national holidays, and we would
24 exchange a few words. So I never really did socialise with him or
25 anything of the sort. I know -- what I know about him is what I believe
1 most of the citizens of our country know, not more than that. And I
2 remember him as a man who in 1998 as the deputy prime minister in the
3 federal government went to Kosovo to carry out certain tasks.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: When in relation to each of these last four you
5 say that you met them on a number of occasions in 1998, is it the case
6 that the first time you met them you met all of them together along with
7 others at one meeting?
8 A. Well, I suppose, yes. Well, it was at a meeting, definitely. It
9 was definitely not outside of any official meetings, but I can't really
10 recall when it was. I cannot recall the date.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give us a little more information, then,
12 about who apart from them and you attended the meetings at -- generally
13 speaking, at which you met them?
14 A. Mr. President, I have to say that that year, in this time-period,
15 there were quite a few meetings held in -- at Mr. President Milosevic's
16 place involving various participants, and I attended quite a few of those
17 meetings. When we're talking about those persons that you've just
18 mentioned, I can say that -- I think it was four or five times. I cannot
19 really be more specific than that. And now, as to who attended those
20 meetings, the meetings that they attended, the army was represented by
21 the Chief of the General Staff, General Perisic; the commander of the 3rd
22 Army, General Dusan Samardzic, Colonel-General Dusan Samardzic; I think
23 that General Pavkovic attended all those meetings, maybe apart from one.
24 As for the MUP, the representatives were the minister, Vlajko
25 Stojiljkovic; Generals Djordjevic, Obradovic, and Lukic; it appears to me
1 they attended all the meetings. Sometimes there was also the --
2 sometimes it was also President Milutinovic. I don't think that he was
3 there on all occasions. And the gentlemen that you asked me about,
4 Sainovic, Matkovic, Minic, and Andjelkovic, and myself, of course.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Did all of these meetings involve President
7 A. Yes, Mr. President. There would not have been those meetings if
8 he hadn't been there. I suppose he organized those meetings, convened
9 them, and he chaired them.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Where were they held?
11 A. I think that all of those meetings were held in the room that was
12 called the library in Beli Dvor, the official premises, the official
13 residence where President Milosevic moved in as soon as he was elected
14 the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And what period of time to the best of your
16 recollection are we talking about?
17 A. Well, as far as I can recall now, since I was not told what I
18 would be testifying about, but to the best of my recollection I think it
19 was in July and August 1998, maybe some 10 or 15 days before that
20 time-period and perhaps a couple of days later. Let's say until
21 September and maybe even into October. But the -- most of them were held
22 in July and August.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there a common theme?
24 A. Mr. President, the theme that was discussed at those meetings --
25 well, except for one where some other themes were also discussed, but the
1 issue discussed was the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and how to
2 resolve that problem.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And can you remember whether there was some
4 significant item on the initial agenda at the very beginning of this
5 exercise in relation to controlling the situation in Kosovo?
6 A. Well, if you would be so kind and be more specific because I
7 didn't quite understand. Items that was in common: Do you mean some
8 introductory remarks or something like that? Well, could you please be
9 more specific, and then I'll answer.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm trying to establish whether you recollect that
11 there was a particular reason for getting this group of people together
12 apart from simply to discuss the problem of Kosovo, whether it was some
13 particular way of dealing with it that was an issue.
14 A. Well, I don't know that there was any special way. When we're
15 talking about the civilians, they probably saw President Milosevic much
16 more frequently. On some occasions before the meetings started, when we
17 from the army would come, they would already be there, and they had
18 obviously been dealing with some issues with President Milosevic, or they
19 would stay on after we left to discuss some other issues. I cannot tell
20 you about that because I did not participate in that. But once President
21 Milosevic opened the meeting, then the only item on the agenda would be
22 the situation in Kosovo. And I failed to mention that General Susic,
23 chief of President Milosevic's military cabinet, was also present there -
24 I forgot to mention that - at all those meetings.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: One account we have before us in this case is that
1 the result of the meeting - and this is the first of these meetings,
2 which is probably the same as you're talking about - the result of the
3 meeting was to start with realization of the plan for fighting terrorism
4 in Kosovo. Does that help you to remember what was the purpose of
5 getting this group of people together?
6 A. Well, Mr. President, I've already said that the purpose always
7 was to get an assessment of the situation and measures that should be
8 taken in Kosovo and Metohija. So I do remember that at the first of
9 those meetings - I can't really tell you when it was, the date - we were
10 told that a plan should be put together, and it might be the case that we
11 came to the first meeting and that General Pavkovic had already drafted
12 that plan. But it would be a more likely scenario that this task was
13 issued at the meeting, that he should put together a plan for dealing
14 with terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija. And then once he drafted this
15 plan, he reported this about the concept that he had in his head as the
16 commander of the Pristina Corps, and then everything just followed after
17 that and went in this direction.
18 Why General Pavkovic? I was present, or rather, I participated
19 in a conversation at President Milosevic's place when he called the Chief
20 of the General Staff and myself to discuss just one issue. It happened
21 sometime in late May or perhaps mid- or late June. President Milosevic
22 had this idea to appoint General Pavkovic the commander of all the forces
23 in Kosovo and Metohija, to appoint him commander of all the military and
24 MUP forces there. General Perisic and myself opposed this idea, and our
25 justification was that it would be a bad solution both for the military
1 and for the MUP for a very simple reason, because there would probably be
2 obstruction and refusal on the part of the MUP to subordinate its units
3 to General Pavkovic's command. So since this didn't work out, and I
4 think that it was in early June, it was at a later stage -- well,
5 Milosevic accepted our suggestion and this meeting ended on that note.
6 After that, I think it was perhaps in the second half of June - I
7 believe that's when the first of those meetings was held - and President
8 Milosevic in the presence of this same group of people ordered that a
9 plan be put together for the solution of the problem of terrorism in
10 Kosovo and Metohija. But if I remember correctly, that particular
11 meeting at Milosevic's place I think was preceded by another meeting of
12 the Supreme Defence Council, where the Chief of the General Staff
13 presented the assessment of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and made
14 some proposals as to how those problems should be solved. And I think
15 that a political decision was made at that meeting or a military decision
16 because the Supreme Defence Council was the highest organ that was in
17 control of the army, so a decision was made to draft a plan and to start
18 solving the terrorist problem in Kosovo.
19 I may be a little bit too broad in my explanations, but ...
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now you -- in the beginning of that answer you
21 referred to being at a meeting with Milosevic and General Pavkovic at
22 which the question of Pavkovic commanding all forces in Kosovo was
23 raised. Who --
24 A. No, Mr. President, that's not what I said. I said that I
25 attended this meeting with General Perisic, the Chief of the General
1 Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I ...
3 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: You're quite right, Mr. Dimitrijevic. It's my
6 Now, the account I gave you a moment ago of recollection of the
7 purpose of the meetings was a quote from -- of something said by General
8 Pavkovic, and he puts the first of these meetings at which there were a
9 large number present as the 30th of May, 1998, which would suggest that
10 the meeting with Perisic and Milosevic was possibly earlier than that.
11 Is -- does that fit with your recollection?
12 A. Well, I'm not sure, Mr. President. I would put this meeting in
13 the period between the 30th of May and the 10th of June. Why do I say
14 the 10th of June? Because --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Now -- yes, carry on.
16 A. Because as I followed this trial in the media, I recollect that
17 on the 10th of June the Main Board of the Socialist Party of Serbia made
18 the decision that a certain number of persons, in particular those that
19 you mentioned, should be sent to Kosovo to solve various problems
20 involving the refugees, the health service, the economy, and so on. So
21 it somehow stuck in my mind that it may have been before this meeting and
22 after this conversation, but I really can't be very definite about that
23 given the time lapse. So it may have happened after that, but I would,
24 rather, put this meeting sometime in the period between the 1st and the
25 10th of June, but I cannot claim that with 100 per cent certainty.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Dimitrijevic, the name Joint Command has
2 been associated with these meetings. Is that a name or title that you're
3 familiar with?
4 A. Mr. President, I think that this name came into being later. At
5 the time when those meetings were held, that name did not exist. If it
6 was mentioned sporadically as the Joint Command, the MUP and the
7 disciplinary team, the coordination team, those terms were used -- a
8 number of different terms, in fact, for this command, if I may call it
9 that. So I never really addressed this. I never really sought any
10 explanations because in military terms this was something that was
11 completely unacceptable to me --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I stop you there. It's important, bearing in
13 mind, also, your own condition of health, that we try to have answers as
14 directly to the point as possible. I don't want to stop you where you
15 feel an explanation is necessary, but my simple question is whether you
16 were familiar with this name Joint Command, and I don't think you're
17 really addressing that question. You're addressing what a command is.
18 Like so many others before you, you're so defensive about this name. I
19 just want to know if it means anything to you, you recollect anything
20 about it.
21 A. Well, Mr. President, I have no reason to be defensive, but at
22 those meetings this name was hardly ever mentioned. It is my impression
23 that at a later stage it was supposed to serve somebody's purposes, and
24 by that I mean General Pavkovic, to cover some of his activities so that
25 he could say, I have the Joint Command behind me. To my knowledge, this
1 Joint Command was never established, and I was never told about the
2 existence of this command that would purportedly exercise command because
3 what else would it do apart from that?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Why, then, did the thinking of Milosevic leap from
5 let's put Pavkovic in control of everybody to let's have a great big
6 committee that discusses and deals with anti-terrorist activities in
8 A. Well, I'm not sure that you could really establish this link
9 between those two things. If I recall correctly, sometime in March 1998
10 the State Security Service carried out an action in the village of
11 Drenica, it was in Gornji Prekaz where several dozens -- dozen of persons
12 were killed. And after that, the MUP was given a task, to prevent the
13 rampaging of the terrorist gangs who went out on to the roads, robbed
14 people, checked their IDs. But it was apparent that all of those
15 measures were not sufficient, and I assume - and this is nothing else;
16 this is just my assumption - that a coordination should be set up so that
17 the tasks should be issued to the army by the supreme commander, who was
18 also the head of the Supreme Defence Council, and that the same -- those
19 same orders would be relayed through the minister of the interior to the
20 MUP organs because it was quite obvious; it was a fact at that time that
21 it would be very difficult for anyone else to issue any tasks to the MUP.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, just two or three more questions on this
23 topic. You mentioned Mr. Milutinovic as being present. Have you a clear
24 recollection of his presence at any of these meetings?
25 A. Well, it is difficult for me to give you a specific answer
1 because President Milutinovic, as the president of Serbia
2 Milosevic was elected the president of Yugoslavia, chaired some meetings.
3 So now I can't really distinguish between the two, the meetings in the
4 Serbian Presidency building or -- and the meetings in Beli Dvor, so I
5 can't really be very sure about that. But if he attended those meetings,
6 he did not attend all of them. I'm sure about that. But after -- now
7 that you've asked me this, I can't really be very certain whether he
8 attended any of those meetings at all.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Does the name Operations Inter-Departmental Staff
10 For the Suppression of Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija mean anything to
12 A. No. No, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I think I'm right in saying that --
14 A. I beg your pardon. I do apologise. As for that name, I really
15 don't know what would fall under that.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, perhaps the court deputy there would put in
17 front of you our Exhibit P2166.
18 Now, you'll see that that bears to be minutes of a meeting under
19 that title held in the Beli Dvor palace in October 1998 at which you are
20 recorded as being present and which was chaired by Milosevic and
21 attended, among others, by Mr. Milutinovic and generally by the personnel
22 you've referred to as being at the other meetings.
23 A. Mr. President, this paper is something that I see for the very
24 first time, absolutely. The first thing that I wish to say in relation
25 to these meetings as regards this document is the following: There
1 weren't any stenographic notes kept at these meetings or minutes, either.
2 Since I usually sat somewhere near General Susic, the chief of the
3 military cabinet, and I see now that he is the signatory of this record,
4 that he compiled it, I must say that I am completely taken by surprise.
5 I see that the record consists of 16 pages. Now, when this was done and
6 on the basis of which information he wrote this record, I really cannot
7 say. However, what I find striking at this very instant is the
8 conclusion that I read just now where it says: "At the end of the
9 meeting of the Operative Inter-Departmental Staff For the Suppression of
10 Terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija," so I had never heard that name then,
11 "the president of the FR of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic proposed and
12 the staff unanimously accepted the following conclusions."
13 The presented assessments are being adopted from the statements
14 made by Generals Pavkovic; General Lukic; the president of the Council of
15 Citizens of the Assembly, Milomir Minic; and the last one is to --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have the text.
17 It was very fast.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- delimit the border belt towards
20 imagined that anything like this existed on paper. To write that at the
21 very end of the meeting President Milosevic proposed and that the staff
22 unanimously adopted conclusions, I think that that absolutely does not
23 correspond to the truth for a simple reason: Milosevic did not make
24 proposals. He made decisions, and others could make proposals. On the
25 basis of this, it seems that he proposed conclusions and that the staff,
1 as Susic calls it, adopted the -- his proposal, his proposed conclusions,
2 rather. As far as I'm concerned -- well, I assume there is not enough
3 time for me to read all these 16 pages, but at any rate the first thing
4 that strikes me here is that this is something that does not correspond
5 to the truth or to my recollection, for that matter.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
7 A. Another thing, if I may. Perhaps if this were to be read up --
8 well, if there is this record, then there are probably records or
9 transcripts from other meetings too. Perhaps that could be analysed, and
10 it could then be concluded with full reliability whether it was written
11 at the time or later on.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I would be quite happy if the court deputy gave
13 you that document at the break --
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: -- at the break we will have and allow you to read
16 it in the half-hour or so that will be available, and then you would have
17 an opportunity to make any other comments you wish to make on it.
18 Mr. Petrovic.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just in
20 relation to the transcript, page 25, line 8: [In English] "... at the
21 time or later on," [Interpretation] ... for who knows what reasons. That
22 is what the witness said.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much. Just give me one moment.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: This is the only document that looks official in
1 relation to meetings of this nature, so there aren't others,
2 Mr. Dimitrijevic, of this nature with which to compare it.
3 And I think just one other -- one final question on this theme.
4 The anti-terrorist activity that was the subject of these earlier
5 meetings, can you recollect that there was a plan to address the problem
6 in stages and that there was a title for at least some of the stages of
7 that plan?
8 A. Mr. President, if I remember correctly, since at the Supreme
9 Defence Council a decision was made to the effect that a comprehensive
10 assessment should be made as well as a plan for dealing with terrorism, I
11 think that after that -- I think it was the beginning of June, actually,
12 1998. I think that after that, the Chief of General Staff ordered that
13 such a plan be made. You said that there was no information involved
14 that are a state secret or a military secret and that I can freely speak.
15 I think that the name of the plan was Grom, thunder. A plan was made --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We're aware of that name, so you can speak about
17 it freely.
18 A. Thank you. So the task was to make a plan if there were to be an
19 escalation in Kosovo in order to forestall such an escalation so that
20 there would not be a spillover of activities to the rest of the territory
21 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This plan was actually something
22 that I saw often in literature in the west. It was a contingency plan.
23 That's what it's called. It contained -- or rather, it consisted of two
24 stages, two stages. The first stage -- or rather, tasks are given to the
25 strategic groups, to the armies, to the command of the navy; and the
1 first stage involved that absolutely all activities should be carried out
2 in terms of guarding the border, protecting the border; then protecting
3 units, commands, facilities, members of the army, vehicles when
4 travelling, and so on. So in this plan, this was the first stage for all
5 the strategic groups.
6 I have to say that in the security administration when we would
7 work on paper on the work of the security administration, and that
8 involved various tasks, in the security administration when all these
9 things were done my deputy, then-Colonel Gajic, went to these meetings.
10 If I remember correctly, the second stage entailed the use of units for
11 eliminating and suppressing terrorist groups, but I think that what was
12 written everywhere was only on the order of the General Staff of the Army
13 of Yugoslavia
14 So if I can put it this way, no one would -- could assess on his
15 own bat that that would be the right time to use the unit. The order had
16 to come from the very top, from the Chief of General Staff, or rather,
17 the General Staff and, of course, that is what he gets from the Supreme
18 Defence Council. So this second stage involved that, and this second
19 stage related to a period of, say, 15 or 20 days.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Dimitrijevic, what -- to what extent did
21 the plan for combatting terrorism involve the MUP?
22 A. Mr. President, our plan, that is to say the plan that was
23 elaborated in the General Staff and that was entrusted to the General
24 Staff by the Supreme Defence Council, went down the chain of command to
25 the strategic groups, and they further conveyed this to their
1 subordinates, that is to say to the corps; and every army, every
2 strategic group, made its own plan on the basis of that plan, and then
3 the corps would make its own plan, and then every brigade would make its
4 own plan and so on and so forth. In this plan as far as the MUP was
5 concerned, what was invariably present was there, that is to say effect
6 cooperation with the MUP in terms of controlling territory and all the
7 other tasks where the MUP was supposed to be engaged. Actually, in the
8 General Staff we firmly advocated the view that as far as terrorism in
9 Kosovo is concerned it had to be resolved through anti-terrorist actions
10 that were to be carried out by the MUP and that the army was only
11 supposed to do what the constitution said; namely, protecting the border,
12 commanding units, personnel, and so on.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
14 microphones please be switched off. Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I now want to turn to certain things that we
16 already have before us reflecting statements you have made at various
17 times in 1998 and 1999, and I would like you to look first of all at the
18 exhibit we have, 3D664.
19 Now, just look at the outside page of that, first of all, and
20 tell me if you recognise that document in general terms. Is that the
21 sort of a document of a type that you're familiar with?
22 A. This document was made and submitted only to the Chief of General
23 Staff. I must tell you that I have never seen it before in this form.
24 Even that is not the entire truth. I saw it in some book that came out
25 after the year 2000. I think its title was "Military Secret," and
1 allegedly it published parts of collegium meetings that were held. So
2 this first part, this formal part - if I can put it that way - that is
3 something I have never seen before.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it consistent with your understanding that the
5 meetings of the collegium of the Chief of the General Staff were recorded
6 and that minutes were compiled from these recordings?
7 A. Yes, Mr. President. Meetings were recorded and then the office,
8 the cabinet, of the Chief of General Staff had the task of putting these
9 statements on paper, and then it would be archived as documentation of
10 the collegiums that were held.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, in this one, if you look for your own name,
12 you'll see more than two pages recording things that you said. And if
13 you go about two-thirds of the way through the passages that relate to
14 you, you'll see that one of the things you were saying to the meeting was
15 that it would take time for the OSCE Verification Mission to become fully
16 operational and that this would be advantageous to the KLA. Is that an
17 accurate reflection of something you said regularly at meetings of the
19 A. I'm trying to skim through this, and this does look like the way
20 in which I addressed the collegium and how I presented the problems that
21 were within the domain of my work, if I can put it that way. Since we
22 are talking about the 6th of November here, 1998, that is to say after
23 those night-time negotiations, if I can put it that way, and this
24 solution that was finally found between Milosevic and Holbrooke with
25 great difficulty. So then the situation -- this is the situation ten
1 days after that.
2 During these talks that Milosevic had with Holbrooke that night,
3 I think it was the 24th, the night between the 24th and 25th of October,
4 1998 --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I didn't really want to create any problem here.
6 I was hoping that I was simply summarizing something that you felt quite
7 strongly about and mentioned a number of times at meetings, that the OSCE
8 would take time to get up and running and that that, in fact, did -- not
9 only would it give an opportunity to the KLA to regroup but it did in
10 fact give an opportunity to the KLA to regroup. Now, is that stating it
11 too simply?
12 A. You are absolutely right. That is what I was saying. That's why
13 I wanted to say it. When negotiations took place that night on the
14 withdrawal of the units that were in the area into barracks, my fear was
15 that as the units of the Army of Yugoslavia withdrew into barracks, as
16 the territory was abandoned, this would most certainly cause the return
17 of terrorists to these areas because regardless of some of the assurances
18 made by civilians that terrorism had been eradicated, that was simply not
19 the case. They were simply dispersed in the woods, so it is correct.
20 When we found out that inter alia Milosevic had agreed that a
21 verification mission should come in, we already had some operative
22 information at the time that this mission would not be completed very
23 quickly because that was not in the interest of those who had offered it
24 in the first place. Time will show that I was right at the time. If I
25 can remember correctly, it was supposed to consist of 2.000 people
1 instantaneously, and it never reached that personnel level, not even
2 after several months. I think the maximum personnel level was 1.200 or
3 1.500 people. Indeed -- yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, we've been told that it was even worse than
5 that, that the KLA were not signatories to any of the agreements which
6 were entered into, and therefore, there was nothing that anyone could do
7 to hold them to the state of status quo that the agreements were designed
8 to establish.
9 A. Mr. President, I really don't know whether the KLA was the
10 signatory of any agreement, but I know for sure that many activities of
11 the KLA were well-known in the west to people who were involved in all of
12 this, that a lot of assistance was coming from the outside, training as
13 well. After all, at that time through the mission, through various
14 humanitarian, non-governmental organizations we knew that the KLA was
15 assisted financially and that weapons were being provided to them in
16 order to have them armed and so on --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me stop you there because we have a great deal
18 of information about that.
19 Was there a general feeling among officers at your level in the
20 VJ that the agreements that had been entered into were unfair to the VJ
21 and the MUP?
22 A. Well, it's possible. I don't know. I know that as far as the
23 agreement was concerned, to accept the verification mission of the OSCE,
24 that we found out about that agreement only some ten days after the
25 negotiations were over, we in the military, that is. So what was agreed,
1 all the things that were agreed, and what were all the contents of the
2 agreement that was signed I really cannot say because I was not made
3 aware of any of that.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you obviously knew enough to be able to say
5 that you were going to be presented with a growing problem because of the
6 KLA filling the vacuum that was created by the withdrawal of your forces.
7 A. Absolutely, Mr. President. I don't know what the talks,
8 negotiations, were formally; but I know what was happening on the ground,
9 and we cautioned about that all the time. I personally issued warnings
10 many times to the effect that we would have a serious problem. We as a
11 service then had information to the effect that somewhere in Switzerland
12 a decision had been made to wait for the spring in order to start a
13 general uprising.
14 Everything that happened after the signing of the
15 Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement went in that direction. They were being
16 trained; they were being armed; training centres functioned in Albania
17 weapons were being into Kosovo in a variety of ways; instructors were
18 coming in; I remember that there were people from Iran there and people
19 from the west who sat with them, helped them, and so on.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Let me --
21 A. So all of this was done --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me then -- we'll have a break then in a
23 moment, but just before we do that let me ask you to look at one more of
24 these documents, which is 3D557, and in the English it's page 19 of that.
25 You go -- almost towards the end of the document. It's very long. It's
1 21 pages in English. If you go to fairly near the end, the third-last
2 page, there's an entry where you say something about personnel carriers.
3 A. Just a moment, please. Let me have a look. Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now --
5 A. This is the collegium that --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you're making a point about the MUP being
7 given personnel carriers that were the property of the military police
8 battalion, so therefore logistical matter for which you are responsible.
9 Now, what was it that was concerning you at that stage?
10 A. Mr. President, when you say "responsible," I as head of the
11 security administration did not have the right to give anyone any
12 resource from the battalion of the military police to anyone else. This
13 could only be done by the commander under whose command the said
14 battalion of the military police was. What was all of this about? After
15 the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement, after the insistence that all units be
16 returned to their garrisons, buildings, except for three that remained in
17 the area, that all the technical equipment that was given to the MUP for
18 their use be returned to the army, my concern was since the MUP were
19 dragging their feet on this, that this indeed be returned because our
20 units, that is to say without the military police battalion and 20 APCs,
21 that is a considerable weakening. So we really had to have that in the
22 arms control agreement as military equipment, equipment in the hands of
23 the military, not of the MUP. That's what I'm talking about, and I see
24 that the same goes for helicopters.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: What actually happened?
1 A. It was supposed to be returned to the army.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it?
3 A. And they were not supposed to be in the hands of the MUP, this
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And was the equipment returned to the army?
6 A. I don't think it was, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And was it recorded as being in the hands of the
8 army or the hands of the MUP?
9 A. Mr. President, even though I really want to give you an answer, I
10 cannot give you an answer to that question. This equipment was dealt
11 with with the operations department and the logistics department. They
12 were keeping tabs on that, so I really don't know where and how it was
13 presented. I assume that from the point of view of the law it could not
14 be in the hands of the MUP but, rather, in the hands of the military.
15 But I really don't have any specific knowledge.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, just to complete this, would you look,
17 please, at P924, and in this instance it's an even longer document. In
18 English, the section I'm looking at is a bit beyond the middle. It's
19 page 26 in English, and it's where General Ojdanic is speaking, and he
20 refers to General Clark. The part I'm interested in is at the top of
21 page 26 in English, if that helps to identify it, where it starts:
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think that's in the middle of page --
24 page number 24 of the B/C/S hard copy.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So middle of page 24, please, in your copy. And
1 the reference to: "Clark
2 Now, just read that -- the rest of that paragraph to yourself --
3 A. Yes, I can see it.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Just read it to yourself, and then tell me whether
5 this is General Ojdanic dealing with exactly the same point. It may be
6 you've already read past the part that matters --
7 A. Yes, I'm reading.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: But what General Ojdanic appears to be saying is
9 that Clark
10 agreement to withdraw all heavy equipment that had been given to the MUP.
11 Now, is that a reference to the same problem?
12 A. Yes, Mr. President. Since he mentions General Clark, this is
13 what was concluded as part of the Milosevic-Holbrooke Agreement that was
14 reached in October 1998. So the equipment was not returned, and that's
15 what he's talking about here.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And this is a discussion on a meeting on the 24th
17 of December, 1998. Had General Ojdanic continued after reaching
18 agreement with Clark
19 things with him on any other occasion?
20 A. Mr. President, when talks were held in October by Milosevic and
21 Holbrooke and we in the General Staff, the Chief of the General Staff and
22 his team were involved in talks with General Clark and his team, General
23 Ojdanic did not attend those talks as far as I can remember. Now, as to
24 whether he met with him, I don't know about that. I'm not aware of it,
25 but it appears to me that on the 24th of December he did speak to him on
1 the phone, and what he recounted for us was what transpired, what had
2 transpired during the course of that telephone conversation, and this
3 concerned that the heavy equipment that remained in the MUP hands could
4 be misused and that the results of this misuse could then be blamed on
5 the army. And if I recall it correctly, sometime in January or February
6 1999 General Ojdanic, again, at a collegium meeting, recounted his
7 conversation with General Clark. And if I remember correctly, I think
8 that he said that that conversation was also attended by General Krga,
9 who was the chief of the intelligence administration, and this was,
10 again, a telephone conversation. So this is all I know about that.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Dimitrijevic.
12 We will now have a break for half an hour. We'll resume at 25
13 minutes past 4.00, and meanwhile, please relax and make yourself more
14 comfortable. And if you do have time to read that other document, we
15 could return to that when we resume at 4.25.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.27 p.m.
18 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Dimitrijevic, we're now ready to resume. Have
20 you had an opportunity of looking a bit more closely at that document
21 which we have numbered P2166?
22 A. Yes, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell us whether it looks genuine to you?
24 A. Mr. President, as far as the stamp and the signature are
25 concerned, it does look like an original; but as far as the contents of
1 this document are concerned, I did not attend any such meeting. And
2 after all, my first question, my first remark -- the last note here, I
3 quote, is "no shorthand notes were kept."
4 I would like to know, although this is outside of my purview, how
5 could the person compiling the minutes - and this is General Susic - how
6 was he able to memorise all those details and there were no shorthand
7 notes and I never saw him keep any records or notes in any way. As far
8 as the contents of this document are concerned, this looks to me like a
9 paper that was supposed to serve a purpose but to be a compilation of
10 everything that was said at all of those five or six meetings. What is
11 not logical in this document, so we're talking about the Serbian version
12 at page 3 where General Pavkovic has the floor, and he actually presents
13 a report about the implementation of the plan, and at page 3, he says:
14 "The declaration of the state of emergency was not acceptable for several
15 reasons. First, we would have caused the response of the external
16 factor," and so on. "Secondly, that would call for the mobilisation of
17 the wartime units and so on."
18 And the third reason -- I do apologise to the interpreters. So
19 the first would be the response of the external factor, the foreign
20 factors who would intervene militarily; secondly, this would call for the
21 mobilisation of wartime units, and as indicated here that would cause
22 distress among the people in Serbia
23 stronger forces to fight the terrorists would draw the attention of the
24 domestic and international public. And now we come to a part which is
25 completely incomprehensible to me in light of the fact that there would
1 be quite a few casualties on the terrorist side but also among our own
2 forces. So we're talking about the plan to combat terrorism, and here we
3 explain -- we're explaining why the state of emergency was not declared.
4 And the last thing here, it says: "Our plan was not to kill all
5 Siptars" -- well, I never heard anyone say that, to put it in those
6 terms, or to expel them from Kosovo and Metohija.
7 So, Mr. President, this looks to me like a document that was made
8 in accordance with some plan that was to be used to cover some things. I
9 have no other way of describing it, and then General Pavkovic goes on to
10 brief those present. And when he says about the effects of the
11 implementation of the plan, he says the following: "The mass importation
12 of military equipment and weapons from Albania was stopped and the
13 infiltration of the terrorist forces."
14 So at that time, this was stopped en masse, but it was never
15 stopped definitely. Under item 2, the escalation of terrorism was
16 stopped; the promotion of the so-called KLA was stopped. Unfortunately,
17 all of those items appeared on the agenda at a later stage and so on and
18 so forth.
19 The next thing that drew my attention. In front -- talking about
20 the villages that were disarmed, the consumption of ammunition and all
21 those other details, talking about all those things in front of President
22 Milosevic, well, this never happened while I was there, telling him how
23 much ammunition was consumed calibre by calibre, how much fuel was
24 consumed. I don't know of any instance of this kind of detail being
25 explained to him. I can see here that in item 12 it says -- it is the
1 assessment of the Joint Command. I don't really recall if this term was
2 used and what this Joint Command was, and I can tell you why I asked this
3 question as I go on in my analysis of this document.
4 And then we have the briefing or the report by Major-General
5 Sreten Lukic, and this is where I come across the first great
6 contradiction, and he says: "In the execution of the tasks," he talks
7 about the tasks that were executed, "the control and protection of the
8 roads and their liberation from the assaults by terrorist groups.
9 "2. Reinforcement and protection of the areas that are not
10 covered by terrorist" -- "where there is no terrorist activity.
11 "3. Protecting the towns of Pec, Prizren, and Mitrovica.
12 "4. Training the reserve force of the police."
13 Mr. President, so after all this the question that I ask is, how
14 could the MUP carry out any anti-terrorist activities in Kosovo? What
15 kind of such activities they carried out when we have General Lukic
16 presenting this report on behalf of the MUP, and he's talking about the
17 tasks that were carried out. Pavkovic talked about the tasks that were
18 carried out, and the plan was for the army to secure the border - I
19 already talked about that - and for the MUP to carry out
20 counter-terrorist actions and to deal with the problem of terrorism.
21 At the next page in the Serbian version, that's page 8, the
22 president of the Chamber of Citizens, Mr. Minic, says that the terrorist
23 forces had been defeated and that they cannot be consolidated again.
24 Unfortunately, he was proven wrong quite soon as time went by, and then
25 he says in paragraph 3 the terrorists were defeated but not completely
1 destroyed. And in item 7, it says that no -- there are no major
2 terrorist forces in Kosovo, only remnants of those groups, which is of
3 course not true. But given that Minic is a civilian, obviously
4 unacquainted with the military issues, I don't really want to criticise
5 him because he couldn't really know anything about that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. We have your --
7 A. Well, I do have some more remarks which are quite important, if I
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you can make these as briefly as
10 possible, please, because we have many things to deal with.
11 A. Yes, I understand. Well, the last thing that I want to comment
12 on, the commander of the Pristina Corps General Pavkovic then goes on to
13 note the tasks that should be implemented in the forthcoming period, and
14 he says under 1: "Assist the OSCE verification mission; 2" --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- "with the increased security at
17 the state border through line and indepth security," and so on and so
19 So first we're talking about things that were done. Nobody says
20 that actually he did that, or it's not specified who did that, but -- and
21 now we're talking about securing the state border and all those other
22 things. So all in all -- or for instance, the 3rd Army commander,
23 General Samardzic, at the next page says in item 2: "Analyse the
24 possibility of keeping three military units in Kosovo for three weeks
25 after the completion of achievement of the agreement."
1 Why would General Samardzic make this proposal when in accordance
2 with an agreement with General Clark those units were there and he knew
3 that because those were his units? So there are quite a few things here
4 that indicate to me together with this conclusion that the president
5 proposes and the staff accepts those conclusions, this is an indication
6 that this paper was not done at the meeting because I can't recall any
7 meeting that proceeded in this manner where all those things that are
8 listed here were actually said. I think that this paper was simply
9 drafted at a later stage for whatever reason.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me just clarify a couple of things about that
11 with you. Information before the Trial Chamber coming from General
12 Pavkovic indicates a plan comprising four stages, one of which was
13 equipping and mobilising units of the MUP and deblocking Kijevo village
14 in Malisevo municipality; the second stage was restoring communications
15 in Kosovo in five to seven days through the use of both the MUP and VJ
16 forces in taking over selected facilities and points; the third was
17 disarming terrorist groups in Kosovo in nine to ten days; and the fourth
18 was manoeuvring units of the MUP to secure and control the territory in
19 eight to ten days.
20 Now, that suggests activity of the VJ other than simply in the
21 border belt, does it not?
22 A. Well, from what you say, that would follow, yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And the other thing I'd like you just to look at
24 briefly, and we will move on. If you look at P1011. This is an extract
25 from Vojska. Is it just one page that you have? And you'll see that
1 that contains some of the figures, the detailed figures about refugees
2 that match the figures in the operations inter-departmental staff
3 minutes. Do you see that? In other words, they match figures that are
4 attributed in the minutes to General Pavkovic's report.
5 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It's page 72 in the English.
8 A. May I just ask you what is the date for this issue of Odbrana or
9 Vojska, whatever the publication is. What date was it published? When
10 was this published, Mr. President, if I may ask?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: This was published in 2001, but you'll see that it
12 refers to the report and conclusions on the implementation of the plan
13 for stamping out terrorism.
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So what do you understand Vojska to be?
16 A. Well, Mr. President, I did not understand your question. What do
17 you mean when you say what was Vojska?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What is it?
19 A. It's the armed force.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but do you know of a publication by the same
22 A. Oh, yes, I do apologise. You're referring to the journal Vojska.
23 Yes, I do know, and when I asked you when this was published, this was
24 the point of my question because as I sit here, I ask myself the
25 question, why was it necessary for somebody to publish this in 2001?
1 What purpose might it serve to me, and I do apologise for saying this,
2 but to me it looks like finding an excuse, covering up for something
3 because at that time, 2001, General Pavkovic is the Chief of the General
4 Staff and, of course, he has the right to decide what gets published and
5 what doesn't get published. So if I had seen that at the time, I would
6 probably have told somebody that a criminal report should be filed
7 against the person who provided this data, those data, to be made public.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, that --
9 A. The Vojska is a journal that you can't buy at the newsstand.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, if you look at the part immediately after the
11 heading: "Care for the temporarily displaced Albanian population,"
12 you'll see it refers to the plan, and it refers to this being a quotation
13 from the report and conclusions on the implementation of the plan signed
14 by the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija. So here we have a
15 publication that attributes a report, as do the minutes themselves, to
16 the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija. It makes it sound official;
17 do you agree?
18 A. Well, Mr. President, I cannot fully agree with you for the
19 following reason: It is quite apparent that this was published in the
20 Vojska journal because somebody wanted to prove that everything that was
21 done was done the right way, but in the minutes, the document that I was
22 able to read during the break, all those things that General Pavkovic
23 stated, it doesn't say anywhere that he presented this on behalf of the
24 Joint Command. So when you asked me previously, I answered that the
25 Joint Command was never established, nobody ever said that it was
1 established, I never saw any documents, and you can publish or you can
2 write whatever you want in the media, in the press, especially if you're
3 in a position to influence the editorial policy of a paper.
4 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Just have a look at the second page of the minutes
6 where there is the first -- in fact, it's the -- if you look at the third
7 paragraph of the minutes, it starts: "The commander of the Pristina
8 Corps, Pavkovic, gave a brief report ..."
9 And then the next paragraph starts with the words: "Speaking on
10 behalf of the Joint Command ..."
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So there is a clear reference to Pavkovic speaking
13 on behalf of the Joint Command, but I want you to just look at one other
14 item, which is a document from the Government of the Republic of Serbia
15 P1317. Just read that to yourself.
16 What's your reaction to that document?
17 A. Complete confusion, Mr. President. So first of all, what you
18 asked me, what you noted, that he said "speaking on behalf of the Joint
19 Command," General Pavkovic, and so on, this is written here; but as I
20 indicated earlier, the minutes, this whole document, does not look real
21 to me. This document, the conclusion that I draw on the basis of this
22 document is that somebody said that this had been done because the author
23 of this document - and there's no signature; there's just the office
24 here -- well, I simply cannot find anything that would convince me that
25 this was how it was. This is all couched in general terms. It says it
1 was established at such and such a date without any specific document,
2 and it functioned in this time-period, and it says according to the
3 knowledge of the military organs. What does it mean? That's not the way
4 that military organs communicate with this office. They draft documents
5 or memos. There should be some kind of a memo that would accompany this.
6 To be quite frank, I'm quite confused with all this.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: On the 12th of July, 2002, what was Mr. Pavkovic's
8 position? That's the date the document you have was written.
9 A. I think that at that time he was still the Chief of the General
10 Staff. I'm not sure, but I know that sometime in 2002 or maybe 2003 he
11 was -- he retired. But I think that he was the Chief of the General
12 Staff at that time. Yes, yes, because it says up here, the Federal
13 Ministry of Justice, that's the letterhead, so this is the time when the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is still in existence. So as far as I can
15 recall, he was the Chief of the General Staff.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you, Mr. Dimitrijevic, aware of meetings that
17 took place in Kosovo, in Pristina, among members of the VJ, members of
18 the MUP, and some of the political figures we discussed earlier under the
19 heading or the general description of Joint Command meetings?
20 A. Mr. President, not under that name. I received information that
21 a certain number of civilians were in Kosovo and that they went to the
22 Pristina Corps command, that they frequented the command. I asked my
23 associates what this was all about, and Lieutenant-Colonel Momir
24 Stojanovic told me that in the evening, during the evening news, some
25 people would get together. He mentioned Sainovic, Minic, Andjelkovic,
1 and Matkovic, and that General Pavkovic, the commander, was also present
2 and that he, Stojanovic, did not attend those meetings. The way he
3 painted this for me was like some kind of informal meetings or some kind
4 of a coordination, and when coordination was mentioned I had this idea in
5 my head that this was coordination between the military and the MUP
6 because he never told me that MUP representatives were coming regularly
7 every evening to attend those meetings.
8 As far as the security administration is concerned, I can say
9 that we never --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, let me interrupt you there. There may be a
11 mistake in the transcript that may be important. You say you had in your
12 head that this was coordination between -- who did you say?
13 A. Mr. President, I said coordination of the MUP forces and the
14 military forces.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And you then went on to say you reached that
16 conclusion because he never told you that MUP representatives were coming
17 regularly every evening. Is that what you said?
18 A. Yes, that's it, and Stojanovic's explanation was that he did not
19 attend those meetings. And I can say, Mr. President, with full
20 responsibility that not a single document from the security department of
21 the Pristina Corps about those meetings containing the name of the Joint
22 Command ever reached the security administration.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: How often did you speak to Stojanovic about this,
24 or did he speak to you?
25 A. Well, not that often, Mr. President. He was the security chief
1 in the corps. In professional terms, his superior was the security chief
2 in the 3rd Army. That was Colonel Petar Kuzmanovic; and above them in
3 the professional chain of command, the chain of direction, was the chief
4 of the first department, the operations department. That was for a time
5 Colonel Milinac, and he was then replaced by his deputy Colonel Gajic, so
6 that there were four or five rungs before I was engaged. But I had an
7 opportunity to talk to him over the phone, and I had an opportunity to
8 ask him, Well, what is this whole thing? I hear that there are some
9 civilians there, and this is the reply that I received from him. And I
10 think that I still recall quite clearly what he told me even though ten
11 years have passed.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Did he report to you from time to time on what was
13 happening at these meetings?
14 A. I've already said, Mr. President, that no reports of those
15 meetings ever reached the security administration because Stojanovic
16 explained that he did not attend those meetings.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it fair to say you were interested in what this
18 was all about?
19 A. Well, quite frankly, yes, but after I asked some questions about
20 what was going on, whether this was just an opportunity for them to watch
21 the evening news or whether they discussed anything else, the reply that
22 I received was that Stojanovic did not attend those meetings and that
23 there was nothing for him to report. So the way this was presented to me
24 was some kind of a coordination meeting between the military and the MUP.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, could I return to some of the collegium
1 minutes we were looking at earlier, and would you have, please, 3D484,
2 and this is the minute of the 10th of December, 1998. Now, about
3 two-thirds of the way through, certainly on page 13 in the English, there
4 is a section attributed to you. It's after -- about a page from General
5 Obradovic, and then you start by referring to him.
6 Now, I wonder if you would go to the last part of your statement
7 there, which starts with the words: "Number three, about the discrepancy
8 between the Pristina Corps, the army, all the way to us here, that's
9 obvious. I think that so many unusual incidents and a lot of what's
10 going on in the Pristina Corps are precisely the consequence of, I am at
11 liberty to say, the alienation of the corps commander and with him the
12 command form the VJ, both from the 3rd Army and the General Staff."
13 Could you tell us more about what was causing you concern?
14 A. Mr. President, when at the collegia meetings of the Chief of
15 General Staff we discussed this, very often in actual fact we didn't know
16 what the real situation was because the operative reports that arrived in
17 the General Staff did not always portray the actual situation as it was.
18 My reactions here have to do with extraordinary events, but I say here at
19 one point by way of a comment that as far as I know the commander -- let
20 me just have a look at the date. Just a second, please.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the 10th of December.
22 A. The commander has already -- 10th of December, yes, yes. The
23 commander has been in Belgrade
24 extraordinary events are taking place, and obviously this leads to the
25 commander of the Pristina Corps in a way being alienated or going -- or
1 being above the General Staff in the 3rd Army. In support of that, I can
2 mention the fact that precisely due to a lack of adherence to orders,
3 that is to say he took certain steps on his own, the commander of the 3rd
4 Army at some point towards the end of June started disciplinary
5 proceedings in order to punish Pavkovic because he did not adhere to
6 orders. Unfortunately, once he was given this document stating that
7 disciplinary proceedings were to be instituted against him, I remember
8 full well that a few days after that there was a meeting at President
9 Milosevic's. My conclusion was that there was only one objective
10 involved, that he tell us that things could not be done that way.
11 After a brief discussion on Kosovo, the point was when President
12 Milosevic said, All right, now we are going to have a drink because
13 General Pavkovic has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand what you're saying about certain
16 factual developments, but my question related to the alienation of the
17 corps commander and the command from the VJ, both from the 3rd Army and
18 the General Staff. Now, what were you referring to? It's very difficult
19 to accept that all you meant was he was taking a two-weeks' unauthorised
20 leave in Belgrade
21 A. No, Mr. President. As a matter of fact, that's not what I said.
22 I did not say that it was unauthorised leave. I just said that he had
23 been in Belgrade
24 had. However, in response to your question this is the answer that I
25 wish to give. December is a point in time when General Pavkovic already
1 has direct communication with President Milosevic. When I said this,
2 what I said, alienation, I thought that due to this communication he
3 allowed himself to take certain steps without seeking approval from the
4 army command, or rather, approval from the General Staff.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you relate that to what you call "so many
6 unusual incidents." What were some of the unusual incidents that led you
7 to conclude that there was direct communication between General Pavkovic
8 and Mr. Milosevic?
9 A. Well, Mr. President, in the military from time to time unusual
10 incidents or extraordinary events were analysed throughout the army.
11 Every army and every corps did this at their own level. There was an
12 annual analysis involved too; however, there were periods when this
13 number would be on the rise. Now, what are these unusual incidents or
14 extraordinary events? It is soldiers who leave unauthorised, who leave
15 guard posts, traffic accidents, deaths, woundings, suicides. In the
16 military -- in a military organization all of these things are
17 extraordinary events or incidents. So when I said direct communication,
18 I did not link that up with this sentence, that he was in Belgrade for
19 already two weeks.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, in that case let's have clarification. The
21 first sentence I asked you to look at was the one that begins: "Number
22 three, about the discrepancy ..."
23 And then there's the sentence beginning: "I think that so many
24 unusual incidents ..."
25 Would you read that sentence aloud, please.
1 A. "I think that even this number of unusual incidents and what is
2 happening in the Pristina Corps is a consequence, I'm free to say this in
3 a way, of" -- here it says "of the non-alienation of the corps commander
4 from the Army of Yugoslavia, that is to say from the command of the 3rd
5 Army and the General Staff. Obviously there -- true to the obvious
6 inertia of Kosovo heroes, they can now take it easy."
7 What I meant --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, on you go.
9 A. What I meant is that Pavkovic had already secured for himself the
10 role of someone who had resolved the problems in Kosovo, who had become a
11 favourite of the president, if I can put it that way, and who would often
12 say that he is the only one who understands the problems in Kosovo and
13 Metohija and that the General Staff and the people who were sitting in
15 cares about the Serb people in Kosovo and having them saved and things
16 like that.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Dimitrijevic, I don't want to be
18 disrespectful, but if that's what's -- if that's all that's involved,
19 then it sounds as though you were jealous, and it's very difficult
20 sitting here, bearing in mind what we're dealing with, to think that that
21 alone would prompt you to say this at the meeting of the collegium. So
22 please think again and tell us what were the unusual incidents that were
23 leading you to the conclusion that there was disengagement between the
24 high command of the VJ and the Pristina Corps command.
25 A. Mr. President, I said what these unusual extraordinary incidents
1 were, soldiers who were fleeing and soldiers who were getting killed, and
2 this was the result of military organization, everything that is called
3 incidents of this kind in an army. I assume that the subject was
4 extraordinary incidents, that this is what General Obradovic had been
5 speaking about before I asked to take the floor.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: But how does that floor --
7 A. Further on, further on, if I may, if I may, just one more
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
10 A. It is page 12 in the Serbian version where General Obradovic
11 mentions provocations that could take place. That's where I raised this
12 question of what everybody else in the state was doing and how come
13 provocations always come by having the army units attacked, and the
14 reaction follows always after that. What I meant was that the reports
15 about this were not fully truthful.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I find it difficult at the moment to understand
17 how the killing of soldiers, or did you say desertion, flows from the
18 commander not obeying his superiors. Is that what you're trying to say?
19 A. Well, no. I wanted to say that extraordinary incidents for the
20 most part take place when discipline in units becomes lax, when soldiers'
21 problems are not dealt with on a day-to-day basis, and usually this lack
22 of discipline results in such tragic events. At that time, soldiers
23 fleeing from the Pristina Corps was a serious problem. If I'm not
24 mistaken, many of them, hundreds of them, were fleeing and trying to get
25 some kind of medical certificates in Belgrade declaring that they were
1 sick so that they could not go back to Kosovo and so on.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And what was your understanding of the
3 misreporting or inaccurate information about provocation? Could you
4 explain that more fully, please.
5 A. My understanding of this is, Mr. President, that whenever the
6 representative of the first administration reported at the collegium of
7 the General Staff where the army was attacked, what was going on down
8 there, invariably when the question would be raised how come something
9 happened, the answer was that some terrorist group had attacked, the unit
10 concerned, the vehicle concerned, the individual concerned, and so on;
11 and then there was a response that followed. So it is for that reason
12 that I put the question a few times as to how it was possible that each
13 and every time we're the ones who are provoked and that it's only then
14 that we resort to force, and rather than -- that this is done in a
15 planned way when one knows with full reliability that every command,
16 every unit, every movement has to be ensured and that every reaction
17 should be appropriate in case of every such attack. That is how I raised
18 these questions.
19 And the second thing was that in another way I also came across
20 some information; for example, through military diplomatic
21 representatives who had access to KLA headquarters and staffs. I
22 remember very well that Mr. Crosland a few -- on a few occasions told me
23 that he saw excessive use of force, as he had put it. I also remember
24 very well that I asked him a few times that he document this for me in
25 some way so that I could deal with it at the collegium of the Chief of
1 General Staff, that I could raise the question quite openly, what was
2 being done. Regrettably, I never got anything from him, although I had
3 received promises that I would get video cassettes or whatever, some
4 other material.
5 So it is for all these reasons that I came to this conclusion.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: If I can go back to the first reason, the
7 questions you raised about why events occurred as a result of provocation
8 by the KLA. What answers did you get to these questions?
9 A. Well, almost regularly the representative of the operative
10 administration or the assistant Chief of General Staff for operations in
11 staff, General Obradovic, almost regularly replied that we received this
12 report from the Pristina command, the 3rd Army, through regular channels,
13 and that that was written in those reports.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you satisfied with that?
15 A. Well, I have to say that I wasn't and the Chief of General Staff
16 wasn't because at one point, as a matter of fact, he ordered that he be
17 provided with daily information about ammunition spent because
18 information was coming in that nothing was being done and ammunition was
19 nevertheless being spent.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you referring to General Perisic?
21 A. Afterwards, too, in December, General Ojdanic as Chief of General
22 Staff also put the question of the use of ammunition and the accuracy of
23 reports received.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, can we move to the next of these that I want
25 to ask you about, 3D494, and this is the minute of the 17th of December.
1 And in this one, in English I have you commenting at page 19, and it's
2 immediately after a very short question from General Ojdanic, and there
3 you're saying, stressing that the VJ should deal with things assigned by
4 the constitution, namely, the protection of the border. And you say:
5 "Neither the corps commander nor the army commander can keep on telling
6 us that they have undertaken everything while at the same time the forces
7 in the field are growing. We will again be blamed for that."
8 And you go on to say that "The army should be concentrating on
9 closing the border creating preconditions for the MUP to resolve other
10 problems because this is not the army's task."
11 Now, what was it that was happening that you did not think should
12 be happening?
13 A. Well, Mr. President, after I spoke with regard to this question
14 what the proposals were, the question put by General Ojdanic, I said what
15 is written here. The basic thing was to shut the border, not to allow
16 weapons to come in and to have terrorists who were trained in Albania
17 enter our territory, carry out actions, and have that kind of thing
18 spread, quite simply. Practically, the MUP kept accusing us all the
19 time - when I say "us," I mean the military - that they, lo and behold,
20 cannot carry out their tasks because the number of terrorists is going up
21 all the time; their weapons are on the rise, as well, because the
22 military are not securing the border properly. So that is why at these
23 collegium meetings I kept repeating that the border and its shutting or
24 closing down is something that should be done by the army primarily, and
25 that's why I thought it's not a good thing for the army commander or the
1 corps commander to say to us that they have done everything and on the
2 other hand the terrorist forces are on the rise. That is why I repeated
3 this proposal, that basically measures should be taken to close the
4 border down as much as possible, to a maximum, and to prevent people from
5 being brought in and ammunition and weapons; and in this way conditions
6 would be created for anti-terrorist actions to be carried out by the MUP
7 and to deal with the terrorists in this way.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for that, but I was really anxious to
9 know what the army was doing if it wasn't closing the border. How was it
10 spending its time?
11 A. Well, Mr. President, that is why I was putting these questions at
12 the collegium and issuing these warnings because obviously what was
13 happening was that at that time we had lots of these groups that tried to
14 enter the territory of Kosovo
15 stop such a group, and this group of terrorists would come in, and I
16 remember this one particular case - I can't remember the name right now,
17 of course - but this was a lieutenant who was head of a patrol, and a
18 group of terrorists passed by him. I remember that I ordered straight
19 away that criminal charges be filed, that the lieutenant be detained, but
20 I also remember that nothing came out of it because someone protected
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What was your complaint about?
24 A. Well, it's not that I complained, but I'm saying that what
25 happened was that in spite of all the measures taken, the leader of a
1 patrol or someone who was at the border itself would allow a group to get
2 in. And I remember one case when criminal charges were brought against
3 an officer who let that happen, but nothing came out of it ultimately.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Let's move, then, to P928, which is
5 the 30th of December. It's page 14 in the English I'm looking at, and
6 you speak after a long passage from General Marjanovic and before General
7 Obradovic. And about seven or eight lines, maybe a little more, into
8 what you say you turn to the situation in the vicinity of Podujevo, and
9 you refer to the so-called pretend or real planned exercises in which
10 this company took part in the field. And you say to General Ojdanic:
11 "These sorts of moves will lead us to disaster. The explanation that
12 this was a planned exercise, that is not true. It was planned that the
13 unit would provoke the terrorists so that the MUP would then have to do
14 whatever it had to do."
15 Can you amplify that for us, please, what was happening or what
16 had happened in that situation?
17 A. Mr. President, I don't remember these details, that is to say in
18 this specific case. But it is quite possible - I mean, I'm not
19 challenging that this was my reaction - or perhaps I had information --
20 actually, I know that soon after this things were checked, and General
21 Obradovic explained that after an additional report was requested they
22 established that, after all, this was not a provocation; rather, this was
23 a planned exercise. My reaction came precisely because there was
24 something planned all the time, and what happened after that would
25 happen. I think that one of our officers or soldiers got killed on that
1 occasion or wounded, and that was the reason we discussed this at the
2 collegium. However, if I'm not mistaken - and I don't have time now to
3 read this in great detail - I think that the then-Chief of General Staff,
4 that is to say General Ojdanic, said that he was asking for this to be
5 checked, and he was saying that he should be informed about this. There
6 is no reason not to know whether things were that way or were not that
7 way. I just found the part where General Dragoljub Ojdanic is speaking,
8 and he says here: "As for the assertions made here that with regard to
9 the situation in Podujevo what was caused was the presence of this unit,
10 and the only question was whether their marching orders were right in
11 terms of the location that they were supposed to be at. They were,
12 indeed, in camp.
13 So they -- so he, rather, checked this, and he also mentioned the
14 withdrawal of some groups. So what was controversial there? After all,
15 he as Chief of General Staff admits that too. The question was whether
16 the marching orders were right and whether the route was right and so on.
17 And I think at this collegium I think that he and I were involved in a
18 bit of a polemic, how we would plan this had it been the two of us on the
19 move, if that is what we are talking about here.
20 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: They're quite strong words you use,
22 Mr. Dimitrijevic, the explanation that "This was a planned exercise is
23 not true. It was planned that the unit would provoke the terrorists so
24 that the MUP would then have to do whatever it had to do."
25 And I don't think I see a withdrawal of these remarks anywhere.
1 Are you saying that you got it wrong?
2 A. No, I don't think I got it wrong. I think that later this was
3 checked and that it was precisely Obradovic who explained later during
4 the course of this collegium meeting that they checked this and that that
5 was that; and I see here that the chief of the operations team speaks at
6 the beginning of the collegium that in the village of Obrandza
7 lieutenant and a soldier from the 15th Brigade were wounded and so on and
8 so forth, and that was the reason why this topic was discussed a bit more
9 at this collegium meeting.
10 So in view of these contacts that I had and in view of the
11 different soldiers of information that I had, probably I had a basis for
12 saying this. I used that to issue a warning saying that such things
13 would definitely have negative consequences for us.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: We have to break again at this stage,
16 Mr. Dimitrijevic. We'll break on this occasion for 20 minutes and resume
17 just after ten minutes to 6.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.52 p.m.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, there is one further point from these minutes
21 I want to ask you about. Yes, there's an earlier part of the minutes
22 where you speak at greater length. It's up to page 9 in the English, and
23 it's towards the end of what you say. You're speaking just before
24 General Ojdanic says something quite brief, if you can find that part,
25 and you are concerned about increased terrorist activity, and you say:
1 "It's realistic to expect the security situation in Kosovo to become even
2 more complex. This leading question characterized by the brutality of
3 terrorist acts and the overall uncertainty and fear of Serbs and
4 Montenegrins which could result in extreme," and there's something
5 missing, "with perhaps deliberate intention on the part of individuals to
6 take advantage in an increased number of people leaving or taking counter
7 measures difficult to control."
8 And then you say: "When I say 'counter measures,' I'm thinking
9 about a figure of about 60.000 armed Serbs that can be mobilised outside
10 the control of the official organs."
11 Now, who are these 60.000 armed Serbs?
12 A. Well, Mr. President, I think that in this case -- well, there's
13 note that they may be mobilised. So I'm expressing the concern that
14 perhaps some individuals or groups might abuse the fact that terrorist
15 acts and general insecurity and the atmosphere of fear would be present
16 in the villages where Serbs lived. So when it comes to this, a certain
17 number of persons were armed, both by the military and by the MUP at an
18 earlier stage; and I think that by the decision of the 3rd Army commander
19 a certain number of Serbs, Montenegrins, and -- well, non-Albanians in
20 general were armed. That was a contingency against a pogrom being
21 perpetrated against them by those forces, and here also I am referring to
22 the reserve force of the MUP, too, because at those meetings, at those
23 presentations, reference was always made that the reserve force of the
24 MUP should receive weapons so that if there was an escalation those
25 people could be mobilised and used.
1 As far as the military is concerned, as far as I can remember, an
2 order was issued by the army to assign personnel, commanders, who would
3 be put in charge of making sure that weapons would not end up being
4 abused or misused. And as far as I can recall, we didn't have any cases
5 where civilians misused the weapons they had been issued with; in other
6 words, I'm talking about them using weapons for any other purpose. It
7 simply served to protect those people against any terrorist acts. That
8 was the purpose of those weapons.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Now could I ask you to look, please, at P939, which relates to
11 the meeting of the 21st of January.
12 A. No, that's the 24th of December.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry --
14 A. If that's correct.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I think I have the wrong number on mine. Just a
16 second. No, the 24th of December should be 924. Look, please, at 939,
17 which is the 21st of January. It has a date, 24th December, at the
18 bottom, but it's actually minutes for the 21st of January.
19 A. Yes, that's fine. I saw what was written at the bottom of the
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I am interested in certain information about
22 Racak in this document. The Chamber is not interested in the --
23 investigating the detail of the action within the village, if any. Now,
24 on page 9 in the English you speak after a short intervention by General
25 Panic and before General Obradovic, and you asked the question: "Was the
1 army engaged or not?"
2 And then there's a short --
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: There's then an answer about an exercise involving
5 the 8th Federal Mechanised Tank Squad, and then you say a part of the
6 243rd Combat Group was also carrying out an exercise. It also said
7 "planned exercise."
8 Now, you appear to have been concerned about the circumstances in
9 which units of the VJ came to be involved in the area. What was your
11 A. Mr. President, unlike the previous cases, I have a very good
12 recollection of this one. After Racak, a presidential press release was
13 issued stating that the action in Racak was carried out by the MUP
14 together with the army. At the collegium meeting, I raised the question
15 whether this was, in fact, true, whether the army really had taken part
16 in this action. From all the military diplomatic representatives, we got
17 the same response that an investigation was underway to determine whether
18 the army had participated in the action or not. The OSCE Verification
20 the Security Council indicating quite clearly that the army did take
21 part, and my question was aimed at the Chief of the General Staff. I
22 asked him whether he could tell us, all of us, the whole collegium
23 whether he had the actual correct information to the effect that the army
24 participated in the action or not. And I think that his response was
25 something along the lines that this was not in any reports; in other
1 words, that the army did not take part. And I think that I pressed the
2 point, and he ordered at that meeting that a wire should be sent through
3 the operation and staff department requesting that the commander of the
4 corps - at that time it was General Pavkovic - make a specific statement
5 answering whether the army was involved in this action or not. And I
6 think that after a second or a third check, the response was always
7 received that the army did not participate in the action. That led me to
8 issue a statement that the army did not participate in that, that it was
9 being blamed for no reason, but every time some excuses were made to the
10 effect that we should not really make any statements, I think that Krga,
11 I can see now that Krga says at this meeting that he heard from some
12 military attache that the artillery had been active in this area. So the
13 answers from the corps were all to the effect that the army did not
14 participate. And through my associates, I insisted on receiving an
15 answer from the security people down the security chain of command, and I
16 wanted Colonel Stojanovic to give us an answer, what he knew as the
17 security chief about any involvement of the army in this. And if I
18 recall correctly -- yes, please.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And is it fair to say General Ojdanic didn't know
20 the answer?
21 A. Well, I think you could say that he did not know the answer and
22 that he accepted my proposal that another wire telegram be sent asking
23 Pavkovic to clearly state whether the army had been involved or not. And
24 the finale was that perhaps a couple of platoons [as interpreted] were
25 involved to provide transportation for the MUP units, something like
1 that, if I'm not mistaken. But at any rate, ten years have passed.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, let's -- just go to the point after Krga that
3 you referred to, and you'll see that General Ojdanic speaking.
4 Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours. Transcript 64, 16; I
6 believe the witness said couple of vehicles and not platoons.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Couple of vehicles.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. 63, 16. Yeah. All right.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters do apologise. We would like to
11 note that there is a echo and that leads to us not hearing things
12 properly. The two words in B/C/S are very similar.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I take it you're not saying there was one vehicle
14 and the other one was an echo?
15 A. No, what I said was -- no, no, I said --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry. It's okay. It's unboardly of me.
17 Now, General Ojdanic is speaking. If you go to the second
18 paragraph of what he says, he talks about this joint staff command or
19 whatever decided that the operation in Racak village "could not be
20 carried out without the assistance of the Yugoslav Army. We know very
21 well who must be asked for approval."
22 Now, do you know what that is a reference to?
23 A. Well, Mr. President, it says here that this action against the
24 village of Racak -- that's what it says. This is all about this incident
25 in Racak. But it may be an error in translation, but in line 2 General
1 Ojdanic says -- but this means that if this joint -- or whatever. So he
2 himself does not have a clear position; he doesn't say what he really
3 means. He says "concluded," not "decided," that this action could not be
4 carried out without support from the army. So he says quite
5 appropriately that it is quite well-known who can order that, the
6 president or the Supreme Defence Council; and if this order is issued,
7 this decision must be implemented. But in light of the restrictions that
8 stem from the Holbrooke Agreement, he does not have the right to do that.
9 In that case, this should have come from above, from the president
10 through the Chief of General Staff down to the army commander and all the
11 way down to General Pavkovic. And in second paragraph, if you will allow
12 me, he says precisely what I myself said a few minutes ago. In addition
13 to the oral order and the report that is received, at my request after
14 contacting the military representatives he is asking for an answer about
15 all this --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We understand that --
17 A. -- because this --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We understand that --
19 A. -- was an event that was quite important.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, we understand that these inquiries were
21 initiated. What I'm trying to understand is the reference to the joint
22 whichever it was, but to help me understand it perhaps you can explain
23 what was in the Holbrooke Agreement that created restrictions on the
24 actions of Ojdanic or Pavkovic.
25 A. Well, Mr. President, I don't recall the details of the agreement,
1 so there are several papers that were signed at that time. So if you're
2 talking about the military part --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what --
4 A. -- the part that was done with General Clark in the General
5 Staff, I can talk about that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It is you that's raised it, and you mentioned the
7 Holbrooke Agreement in the context of reading out the reference there to
8 the restrictions contained in the agreement. Now, what is it you're
9 talking about?
10 A. Well, this agreement, in light of the fact that the units of the
11 Yugoslav Army, of the Pristina Corps were for the most part outside of
12 their barracks, the agreement called for all the units of the Pristina
13 Corps to go back to their original garrisons. Second, that all the units
14 that had been brought to the Kosovo rim from other strategic groups that
15 are not part of the Pristina Corps in accordance with the establishment,
16 that they should also return to their original garrisons. So this
17 agreement --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I follow what you're saying now. So can you help
19 me, then, by reading that first sentence that you referred to, that's "if
20 the forces have to be used, no one is denying ..."
21 Could you read that aloud, please.
22 A. My sentence, what I said?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no. What Ojdanic says. It's actually the
24 second sentence of that whole section: "If the forces have to be used,
25 nobody is denying that right ..."
1 Just read it aloud for us, please, so that it can be translated
2 into English.
3 A. Just a moment, let me find it.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the section which you say refers also to the
5 Holbrooke Agreement. After General Krga, you've then got the reference
6 of what Ojdanic says, and it's the second paragraph of that. If you just
7 read the beginning of it, please.
8 A. Yes, yes, I found it. Yes.
9 "If the forces have to be used, nobody is denying that right to
10 those who have the right to order it, but what it means is that if this
11 joint staff, command, or whatever it is decided that the operation in the
12 Racak village cannot be carried out without the assistance of the Army of
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fine. Stop there. Now, what is the joint
15 staff, command, or whatever to which he is referring?
16 A. Well, Mr. President, I really can't say what this reference is
17 to, but it is quite clear that he was confused about what he meant,
18 whether he meant the coordination staff that we were told existed or
19 anything else. I really can't tell you what he was referring to because
20 he did not specifically say combined staff or command, "zdruzeni" staff
21 or "komanda." I really can't tell you what he meant by that, and I
22 wouldn't like to speculate here.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Doesn't it look like some body that can bypass
24 General Ojdanic and go directly to the president?
25 A. Well, I really don't know. It might be a reference to some body,
1 but it might be also a reference to the fact that there was a direct line
2 of communication leading from Pavkovic to the president. So I don't know
3 who concluded that this action could not be carried out, whether it was
4 Pavkovic or whoever it was representing the MUP, whether they sat down,
5 analysed the situation, and concluded that. I really can't tell you
6 that. I can't answer that question.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Now, can I ask you to look at one for
8 the 2nd of February, which is P931, and this time I'm looking at page 18
9 in the English where you speak after General Samardzic and before General
10 Borovic. And at that stage, it's known that there are to be negotiations
11 about the future of Kosovo; indeed, there are negotiations ongoing, and
12 you say something about what the politicians intend to do. Do you have
13 that part?
14 A. Yes, I just found it. Yes, I'm reading it.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you read aloud the first sentence of what
16 you said there.
17 A. Yes.
18 "In my opinion, it is not good for the General Staff to try to
19 guess what the state solution is. We have a state; we have the supreme
20 commander, and surely they should say what the army should do in order to
21 act in accordance with what the politicians intend to do."
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What was your concern in saying that?
23 A. Well, most likely, Mr. President, because we didn't know
24 anything, we didn't have any decisions about what would happen if the
25 negotiations succeed, partially succeed, or fall through. So I advocated
1 the approach whereby the state should bear its part of the
2 responsibility. So the supreme commander, the Supreme Defence Council,
3 should make a decision, prepare the army for such and such option, and it
4 was General Samardzic's proposal to do that because as Samardzic says, if
5 the negotiations fall through we know that the carrot and stick
6 approach --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to read more
8 slowly. The interpreters cannot keep up.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is why I responded in this
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry. I think that's adequate for this
12 answer. The interpreters are telling us that you're speaking rather
13 quickly for them. If you can possibly speak a little more slowly, that
14 would help.
15 Now, did you ever have occasion to attend meetings of the Supreme
16 Defence Council?
17 A. No, never, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We've heard some evidence that when it came to a
19 war, the Supreme Defence Council name may have changed. Is that your
21 A. Mr. President, I assume that you're asking me about something
22 that was already regulated by the rules. So the Supreme Defence Council
23 did not change its name in wartime, unlike in peacetime, so in peacetime
24 the Supreme Defence Council is in command of the army and deals with all
25 the other issues. In the war there is the supreme commander; that was
1 the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the Supreme
2 Defence Council no longer exists in wartime.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's --
4 A. -- so the Supreme Command --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Just in case anyone's concerned that I'm simply
6 accepting what you say, it's sufficient for present purposes. I say to
7 you that's not consistent with the evidence we have in the case, and
8 we'll have to review all the evidence before deciding what the overall
9 picture is.
10 But the reason I mention it at this stage is because you use the
11 expression "supreme commander" in the comment you've made in the minutes,
12 and you use it in a time of peace. So is that just loose use of
13 language, or is there something else behind it?
14 A. In an error but -- or a lapse, but the situation was such that it
15 was not difficult to guess who the reference is to here.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what we do know a bit more clearly is that
17 when war occurred, the General Staff had a different title; is that your
18 understanding of the position?
19 A. Yes. In the rules, it said that in the war the General Staff
20 becomes the Supreme Command Staff. So in wartime, the Supreme Command
21 comprises the president with his advisors and associates; and the Supreme
22 Command Staff is an integral part of the Supreme Command. So the
23 president as the supreme commander making all the decisions and the staff
24 that actually operationalises his decisions by turning them into orders,
25 plans, and other documents.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You may not be aware of rules that were passed on
2 the 23rd of March about the Supreme Defence Council, which may lead you
3 to a different view, but we don't need to explore that at the moment.
4 What I would like to know is whether the Supreme Command Staff was in any
5 way significantly different from the General Staff?
6 A. Well, as far as I know -- actually, Mr. President, first of all I
7 wish to say that on the 23rd of March I was definitely excluded from the
8 General Staff; secondly, I also have to say to you that already before
9 that, from the end of December onwards, I was on ice, so to speak,
10 because I was expected to leave that position, probably because I was
11 constantly saying certain things, cautioning about this and that and so
12 on. Of course this has nothing to do with this question. I'm not aware
13 of the document that was adopted on the 23rd of March because by then I
14 was no longer there. I assume that the General Staff remained the same,
15 or rather, in accordance with the rules and regulations, part was with
16 the supreme commander, and another part was at some forward -- at some
17 command post, and a third section was somewhere else. So basically,
18 during the war the General Staff was simply called something different,
19 the supreme defence staff, and -- Supreme Command Staff, and that was it.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Now, could we turn to the minutes of the 4th of February, P932.
22 Now, in this case, in the English version you're recorded as speaking at
23 page 5, 6, and into page 7, and I'm concerned about page 7, the end of
24 what you say before General Ojdanic speaks briefly. And you say there
25 that "34 telephones in the command of the Pristina Corps, including that
1 of its commander, are being wire-tapped by state security. I'm asking
2 you if someone has ordered the army to be controlled, what the purpose of
3 this is."
4 And you go on to say that there are moves to replace you and to
5 appoint a new chief of the administration, which is a different post from
6 yours. Now, you're then asked if you can prove any of -- prove the
7 wire-tapping, and you say that you've got proof for every single word
8 you've said.
9 Now, what did you understand was happening?
10 A. Mr. President, everything I said, I said at the collegium
11 precisely so that all members of the collegium would be aware of that. I
12 said what had been revealed by the security organs, and this was an
13 undeniable fact that later on in the presence of the Chief of General
14 Staff and the then-state of security I proved that to the president at
15 his office with documents, or rather, photographs. It is correct that
16 all telephones, all military telephones, were wire-tapped at the command
17 of the Pristina Corps. It is correct that this was done by the State
18 Security Service.
19 Now, whether this was supposed to control the army, I personally
20 think that that was the case. When we went with General Ojdanic, because
21 he made this possible for me, I asked at this collegium - I think that
22 Ojdanic said that he was not competent - I asked for a meeting with the
23 president, and we went together, both Ojdanic and I; a few days later we
24 went, and I said all of that to President Milosevic. Of course, he
25 expressed his surprise, disbelief. He called the then-chief of the state
1 security Rade Markovic. He told me what he had heard from me, and he
2 decided something that I was 100 per cent sure in advance that he would
3 do, that a Joint Commission be established, that would go to the actual
4 location involved, that would overview the situation and say whether this
5 was wire-tapping or not. Of course, this was done -- or it was done a
6 few days later; and after that, yet another meeting took place at
7 Milosevic's office - however, it was not attended by Ojdanic - where I
8 proved to him that there, indeed, had been wire-tapping. As a matter of
9 fact, I remember very well that I said the following sentence:
10 Mr. President, is this being done with your knowledge or without your
11 knowledge? Because if it is done with your knowledge, that proves that
12 you do not trust the army; if it's being done without your knowledge,
13 then you should give this some thought, where you are in all of this.
14 After that, he told me that I could leave. He stayed with Markovic, and
15 that was the end of that.
16 Roughly, all of those -- during the course of all of those days,
17 I was asking [as interpreted] to be called in and told that I was no
18 longer head of the service.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: You've been translated as saying you were asking
20 to be called in and told you were no longer --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter said "waiting."
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Waiting. Sorry. You were waiting to be called
23 in. Yeah, thank you.
24 And can I take you now to the 25th of February, and that's P941.
25 Now, in this -- this is again a meeting that you attended, and I
1 would like you to look at page 24 in the English where General Ojdanic is
2 speaking. Now, do you have that part, Mr. Dimitrijevic?
3 A. May I ask what it pertains to exactly?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. The part I'm concerned about is in the
5 middle of the English, page 24, where you are referred to by Ojdanic and,
6 it's to do with an anti-terrorist battalion being introduced into Kosovo
7 when it should not have been. And it's your objection to this course of
8 action that is being supported by General Ojdanic.
9 A. Yes. Mr. President, obviously that was my reaction because I was
10 not aware that the battalion for anti-terrorist activity, that basically
11 is a military police unit from the 72nd Special Brigade, is being sent to
12 the area of Kosovo and Metohija. That is when I expressed my
13 dissatisfaction, and I protested why this was being done without anyone
14 asking anything. Of course, I reacted to General Curcin and Obradovic,
15 as well, because they're the ones who wrote that order; but this order
16 probably came from the Chief of General Staff. So my reaction was - and
17 I think that it was quite justified at that point in time - because I was
18 afraid that this unit would not be used properly. The anti-terrorist
19 battalion is an exceptionally strong unit, and I believe that at that
20 point in time it was one of the strongest military police units. That is
21 to say, I saw no reason for it to go down there except to help that the
22 52nd Battalion, which I think was somewhere around Lake Radonjic
23 be allowed to rest a bit because people were exhausted by then. People
24 in the administration who were in charge of military police were telling
25 me about this. I think it was not right for that unit to go and to
1 replace the battalion that was in that area.
2 And the other reason why I reacted was because I assumed - and I
3 think that that proved to be correct later - that the unit would not
4 remain there as a whole, that it would be crumbled, so to speak, in
5 smaller parts, and then it wouldn't be used properly. Regrettably, that
6 proved to be the case later.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, in the next paragraph after the reference to
8 this, General Ojdanic in the middle of that next paragraph refers to a
9 state being proclaimed. Do you see that part? The paragraph begins:
10 "The fragmentation of units is a very bad practice ..."
11 And then about halfway through, just over halfway through, it
12 says: "Internally, if a state is proclaimed ..."
13 So he's expressing the view that you did about fragmentation. Do
14 you have that?
15 A. No, no, I haven't found it. On what page is that?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, I'm sorry. I'm giving you the English
17 page. It's page 24 in English and --
18 A. You must tell me --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: It's about one page --
20 A. So page 24 in English. In Serbian ...
21 MR. HANNIS: It's page 23 in the B/C/S, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 23 in Serbian.
23 MR. HANNIS: The middle of the page.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, do you see the reference in the middle of the
25 page --
1 A. [Previous translation continues] ... seem to find it, yeah.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: -- to fragmentation and Marjanovic and then
3 halfway through that paragraph: " ... if a state is proclaimed, both our
4 and MUP forces, only we will be spearheading combat operations, but no
5 one can relieve us of the duty regarding the state border ..."
6 Have you got that?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: What was General Ojdanic referring to when he said
9 "if a state is proclaimed"?
10 A. I believe that it was quite certain that if there is an
11 escalation of terrorism and if a state of emergency is proclaimed or a
12 state of emergency in part of the territory or a state of war, I think
13 that is what he was referring to, one of those states. But then in the
14 further text, it says that we, the army, are going to be the protagonists
15 of military activities or combat operations. I believe that there is no
16 dilemma there. He meant if a state of war is proclaimed or declared, but
17 then again he repeats in that same sentence: "However, no one can free
18 us as far as the state border is concerned" and so on and so forth.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you --
20 A. That is what I kept --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
23 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the significance of the army and the use
24 of the army of declaring a state of emergency or of a state of war
1 A. Well, in case a state of emergency is declared, the army is
2 issued with a task. It is the organizer and protagonist of all
3 activities in the territory where the state of emergency is declared,
4 starting with an imposition of a curfew and including all other
5 activities in which the MUP takes part, as well, but all of it is under
6 the army, that is to say that then the civilians, the state authority --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it --
8 A. -- carries out tasks.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Did declaring a state of emergency have
10 significance for the area of operation of the army? In other words,
11 could it operate throughout the territory to which the state of emergency
13 A. Well, if a state of emergency were to be declared in part of the
14 territory, then the army would operate within that part of the territory.
15 That does not mean that a state of emergency would apply to the rest of
16 the territory.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there a point in 1998 when you were concerned
18 that the correct course of action for the president to have taken would
19 have been to declare a state of emergency?
20 A. At that time, Mr. President, we heard explanations to the effect
21 that it's not good because of the world and so on and so forth, and there
22 was insistence all the time that the army was supposed to do things that
23 were not within its domain of work. So for those reasons, I was in
24 favour of declaring a certain state of emergency in part of the territory
25 because things would be clearest in that way and then engage the army in
1 that way, not to engage it ad hoc on the basis of decisions made by the
2 president without foundation in laws and regulations.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Were there other senior army officers who
4 supported that view?
5 A. Well, I think, Mr. President, as far as the General Staff level
6 is concerned that a majority were in favour of that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: If you look now at the next paragraph, you'll see
8 the issue being addressed there is unauthorised mobilisation. Can you
9 assist us by telling us what that related to?
10 A. Yes. Obviously, this is a reaction on the part of General
11 Ojdanic to the information provided by the late General Risto Matovic,
12 the then-assistant chief for personnel and mobilisation affairs.
13 Probably, Matovic was saying that thousands of people were being called
14 up from the reserve and that that had not been agreed upon because the
15 order was that things should go up to the quota that had been approved.
16 Now, this pertains to the 3rd Army and General Pavkovic because Ojdanic
17 says further on: "I don't want to make any further comments, just draw
18 attention" -- "Pavkovic's attention to this," and so on and so forth. So
19 they called up a larger number without that having been approved by the
20 General Staff. That is how I see it now, at least on the basis of what
21 is written here.
22 If you allow me, Mr. President, on one of the previous pages - in
23 Serbian it's page 15 - there is a part where General Risto Matovic is
24 speaking, and he says how some of the soldiers whose term is coming to an
25 end, how they can be kept longer in the army and with that being legal.
1 And then he also talks about the reservists who were called up and in
2 view of how much this costs, per diems, et cetera, that it was a lot more
3 than had been originally allocated. And it is on the basis of that that
4 the Chief of General Staff spoke and his conclusion, namely, that
5 Pavkovic was cautioned that that is not the way things were supposed to
6 be done.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, could I ask you to look at P933. That's the
8 4th of March, page 15 in English. It would help if someone can tell me
9 the B/C/S page reference.
10 MR. HANNIS: If it's the part where General Dimitrijevic is
11 speaking, Your Honour --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 MR. HANNIS: -- that's B -- that's page 13.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 13, Mr. Dimitrijevic. Now, there you're
15 talking about reports of attacks on the army, and in the third paragraph,
16 you say: "Why should we tolerate it that every morning I regularly read
17 combat reports which say everywhere precisely that a unit has been
18 attacked? I mean, we should not allow them to continue to tell us lies
19 because in the end it will end up at the door of the General Staff."
20 Now, is this just a continuation of what we saw earlier when you
21 expressed a similar view at the time of the Podujevo incident?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And was it throughout --
24 A. Yes, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you consider this to be a problem throughout
2 A. Well, already in March 1999 I had left the military, so in that
3 period --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I simply mean up until the 23rd of March.
5 A. Well, I think the answer is yes, and at quite a few of these
6 collegiums this question was raised in terms of checking reports, and the
7 Chief of General Staff was commenting on this, and he was angry because
8 he did not have full and accurate information as to what was happening in
9 the territory.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And if you look now at P938 and go to the English,
11 page 21, which going by past form might be 19 in B/C/S. Do you see there
12 a reference to things you said, again, about attacks on army units?
13 A. Yes, Mr. President. I've already said that. Practically at
14 every collegium meeting, in a way I raised the issue and voiced my
15 criticism as to why measures were not being taken down the chain of
16 command so that we really know what is going on. This question was
17 addressed to General Curcin. At that time, he was there on behalf of the
18 first administration, the operative administration, and my reaction was,
19 as is stated here -- of course, I don't recall all of these details, but
20 as it is written here, it looks like what my usual reactions were. 16
21 attacks against army units during the course of the week, and I'm saying
22 whether a single one of these actions was done on the basis of us
23 carrying out this action in a planned fashion or where we invariably
24 attacked first.
25 Indeed, most sincerely, Mr. President, I was trying to help the
1 Chief of General Staff so that he would have the right things at hand.
2 Sometimes I spoke in too strong terms. How is it possible that the Chief
3 of General Staff doesn't know certain things, how he is going to respond
4 if somebody puts questions to him, and of course, I realize that his
5 answers would not be sufficient.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And now please go to a little earlier in that
7 minute to page 11 in the English - that may be 10 in B/C/S - and there's
8 a lengthy account of you speaking over about three pages.
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And if you go --
11 A. Yes. This is the regular assessment I presented every week about
12 the security situation, not only in Kosovo but in the territory and in
13 the army, yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, if you go about a page into that, you'll see
15 reference to the theory that the MUP and the army are conducting
16 mopping-up operations of the territory.
17 MR. HANNIS: That's just over halfway down on page 9 in the
18 B/C/S, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
20 Page 9, halfway, Mr. Dimitrijevic.
21 A. Yes, yes, I found it.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It's, again, reference to the attacks on the army,
23 but you'll see there the theory that the MUP and the army are conducting
24 mopping-up operations. Now, what was --
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: What concerned you about that?
2 A. That is what I stated there unequivocally. We had a great deal
3 of information to the effect that in the west there is a thesis that is
4 omnipresent. That is what I'm saying here, that in the west there is
5 lots of information to the effect that territory -- mopping-up operations
6 are taking place in the territory. Every morning, I read combat reports
7 of the Pristina Corps, and not in a single case did I find a situation
8 that we were conducting something. Instead, it was always them - I meant
9 the terrorists - who were attacking us, and we would respond.
10 So information was coming in from many sides, and reports from
11 the corps stated that we weren't doing anything anywhere. Only when a
12 unit or someone was attacked, there would be a response and nothing more
13 than that. And further on, if you allow me, I read the next paragraph,
14 and I propose here that at the General Staff level, at least, even if not
15 everyone should know everything, I think that the Chief of General Staff,
16 who is a personification of the army as an institution, as a whole, at
17 least he should know the whole truth.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: You used the expression "mopping-up operations."
19 Was that an expression that caused you any concern?
20 A. No. What caused my concern was the fact that we had already
21 enough experience, that every time an argument was put forward by the
22 military diplomatic representatives from the west, we would always end up
23 being blamed, being the guilty party, and that is why I say that they put
24 forward this argument that we are conducting mop-up operations. And
25 since there was no mention of that in any of the reports, I here reacted
1 by warning the Chief of the General Staff that -- we're talking about the
2 18th of March. That's five days before I left the army. At that time, I
3 was already distancing myself from all those problems, but I'm warning in
4 good faith the General Staff that he should -- the Chief of the General
5 Staff that he should be aware of that because it would be an ugly
6 situation if he were to be found out not knowing about that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 We'll have to interrupt your evidence at this stage,
9 Mr. Dimitrijevic, for the evening. We cannot continue beyond 7.00. Just
10 let me check one thing first of all.
11 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That means, Mr. Dimitrijevic, we will resume at
13 2.15 tomorrow, same arrangements as today. You need to be in the office
14 where you are in good time to start at 2.15. Please bear in mind - and
15 this is vital - that between now and then, it is absolutely fundamental
16 rule of our procedure that you must not communicate with anybody about
17 the evidence in this case. That doesn't interrupt your normal routine
18 way of living, but whatever else you talk about to people you must not
19 have any communication, discussion of any nature about the evidence in
20 the case.
21 We'll now switch off the video conference link, and you are free
22 to leave the office and return there at -- for 2.15 tomorrow.
23 A. I understand.
24 [The witness stands down via videolink]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It follows from what's happened today that the
1 order requiring submission of final briefs today is suspended until we
2 get to a stage where we can determine when to require these briefs.
3 Can I have some indication from any parties of the time they
4 would like to occupy realistically?
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can I advise you of that tomorrow or by
6 e-mail later after consulting with my colleagues? This witness covers a
7 lot of territory. It impacts on a lot of areas in our brief. It's hard
8 for me to predict right now on my feet.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll --
10 MR. HANNIS: I --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Whatever I do tomorrow, I will not occupy more
12 than one session, and I'm keen to try to limit that. We've been very
13 selective about the things that have been asked, and everyone has to
14 follow that course, but obviously if we've raised issues that require to
15 be explored, then we cannot prevent you from doing that. But we invite
16 you to be very selective in any additional areas that you seek to
18 The Defence, also, is there anyone there who can give me any
19 indication of what's likely to be insisted upon so far as you can?
20 Silence. I do remember that with Mr. Djakovic there wasn't extensive
21 examination by parties. That was appreciated in the circumstances --
22 maybe it wasn't necessary, and maybe it's more necessary here. It's
23 difficult for me to judge that.
24 All right. Well, I will try to finish as quickly as possible,
25 but I could take up to one more session tomorrow, and we'll assess the
1 situation at that stage with the aim of completing the evidence tomorrow.
2 There is the possibility of some additional time but not very much at a
3 later stage in the week, and obviously from the point of view of the
4 health of the witness, it would be desirable to avoid that if we can.
5 But if need be, then we will use it.
6 So we will now adjourn until 2.15 tomorrow.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
9 July, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.