1 Wednesday, 12 July 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Visnjic, do you have, either yourself or
6 through Mr. Sepenuk, further submissions to make?
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated].
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: Mr. Sepenuk -- [Microphone not activated].
10 MR. SEPENUK: [Microphone not activated].
11 On the question of the admissibility of this -- I'll call it
12 report for the time being, and that's Prosecution Exhibit 473, I take it
13 that's what Your Honour wants argument on.
14 I will analyse -- we attempt to analyse this question based on the
15 order on procedure and evidence that the Chamber issued yesterday.
16 Needless to say, I'll be guided by that in my comments. And there are
17 three relevant areas of that order that I think we should consider. First
18 the admissibility or not of hearsay evidence; secondly, the admissibility
19 of -- and I'll call it for the moment a book; and third, the admissibility
20 of a report, because your order is directed to those three areas.
21 And I'd like to start first, before I get into the hearsay
22 matters, I'd like to start first with the book part of your order. And as
23 the order states in general, books and other similarly lengthy documents,
24 which of course this is of some 400 pages, will not be admitted in
25 evidence in their entirety, but only parts will be admitted by the Trial
1 Chamber if you consider it appropriate to admit it in light of the
2 submission of the parties.
3 In this case, as I understand it, the OTP is not making any kind
4 of a claim as to part of the book. I've seen no submission by them that
5 they want parts of this report admitted into evidence. They want the
6 whole report admitted into evidence. Of course we'll hear from the OTP on
7 this, but I'm assuming right now that they want the entire report in
8 evidence for reasons I'll get to in a moment. I think that's
10 The second part covered in the recent order are reports. And the
11 Prosecution 473 is called an analysis of the human rights finding of the
12 OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission. But certainly, for the sake of
13 argument, we can call it a report. But obviously we don't have the
14 situation of a report here because Your Honour's comments on reports are
15 really directed to expert witnesses. And it's traditional that all or
16 part of an expert witness report might be admissible. But we don't have
17 that here. Ms. Mitchell was not called as an expert witness, nor does she
18 qualify as an expert witness.
19 Now, the report, of course, is classic hearsay, based, as it is,
20 on unsworn, anonymous statements not subject to cross-examination. But I
21 know that in the Tribunal that's not the end of the matter; it might be in
22 some jurisdictions but it's certainly not the end of the matter, as we all
23 know, in the Tribunal. And under Rule 89(C) in the cases of interpreting
24 it, we have to determine whether despite the -- its hearsay nature, this
25 document is reliable. As Your Honours have said in your recent order in
1 paragraph 4: "The Trial Chamber considers that reliability of a hearsay
2 statement is a necessary prerequisite for probative value under 89(C)."
3 Now, what does the evidence under this point show about
4 reliability? First, as the Trial Chamber noted yesterday, we have to look
5 to the teachings of the Appeals Chamber in the Aleksovski case, quoted
6 again in your order. We have to look as the Appeals Chamber noted in that
7 case - and I'm going to quote now - to "the infinitely variable
8 circumstances which surround hearsay evidence."
9 And the first thing we should look at, I respectfully suggest, is
10 the report itself; OTP Exhibit 473. So we open this document, and the
11 first thing that greets us on page 6 - as I understand in the scanned
12 materials it's little 5 in the booklet I have - is the acknowledgment by
13 Ambassador Gerard Staudmann who is the director of the OSCE and he says
14 after noting the generous --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold a second. I happen to have a copy of
16 this but other Judges don't because it's not available in hard copy but
17 it's on here. So let's have that page on --
18 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: -- the e-court. You say it's page 5 in e-court, is
21 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, it's page 6, as I understand it, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, it's page 6.
23 MR. SEPENUK: On OTP Exhibit 473.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I have it on the computer screen but not on
25 the -- yeah, we have it now on both.
1 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, please.
3 MR. SEPENUK: Okay. As noted in that acknowledgment after
4 first -- after Ambassador Staudmann first notes the generous financial
5 support of certain western European countries and the United States in
6 making possible the report, it goes and says: "The OSCE ODIHR is grateful
7 for the advice and assistance of staff of the International Criminal
8 Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, in the development of this
10 And of course as we know from the evidence that we've heard, the
11 ICTY and the OSCE were in daily contact in assembling information for this
12 report, and the OTP, I think it's fair to say, took a very significant
13 part in the assembling of information and in the writing of this report.
14 If we turn to page 7 of the report, if that could be put up on the
15 screen. Next page, yes, the foreword. And of course that's the foreword
16 from Justice Louise Arbour who, as we all know now, was the lead
17 Prosecutor of the Tribunal during this period in 1999. She said a number
18 of complimentary things in this foreword. And she, of course, is the
19 Prosecutor who signed the indictment in this case in 1999 when it was
20 initially brought against three of the defendants in this case.
21 So even though the OSCE was not technically employed by the OTP,
22 as a practical matter it was the OTP's chief investigator in this case.
23 This report, OTP Exhibit 473, provided the blueprint for the OTP in this
24 case. If this report is considered admissible by the Trial Chamber, you
25 might as well admit the Prosecution's pre-trial submission in this case,
1 you might as well admit Mr. Hannis's opening statement in this case, you
2 might as well admit the government's closing argument in this case. That
3 analogy, I respectfully suggest, is apt and suitable. This report should
4 not be admitted into evidence. This report is a series of allegations not
5 based on reliable evidence or proof.
6 Finally, in determining the reliability of the report we ask the
7 Trial Chamber to consider the testimony of Sandra Mitchell. Now, what was
8 the importance of her testimony? I would like to read very briefly from
9 the OTP's summary of what -- of what they regard as the importance of
10 Ms. Mitchell's testimony. This was simply a summary they furnished in the
11 case about Ms. Mitchell. And they said, OTP said: "All information used
12 in the preparation of 'As Seen, As Told' was collected and managed under
13 the direct supervision of the witness. At all times she had primary
14 responsibility for ensuring the credibility of the human rights findings
15 made and the integrity of the conclusions drawn."
16 Now, what do we know about Ms. Mitchell? What have we learned
17 about her in this courtroom? We know that to this day she is deeply
18 engaged in the welfare of the Kosovo Albanians. She is to this day the
19 head of the United Nations mission for return of refugees to Kosovo.
20 Second, she was the OSCE "primary liaison" with the OTP, dealing with that
21 office on virtually a daily basis of supplying information to them
22 regularly and repeatedly. Three, she had as she conceded a very "special
23 relationship" with the Albanian population from Kosovo; again, a
24 relationship which continues to this day.
25 Now, let me digress for a second here. I'm not deprecating
1 Ms. Mitchell. I take my hat off to anybody involved in humanitarian work.
2 They do marvelous work, and again I respect them. But those qualities of
3 passion and commitment that go into that work sometimes will create -- at
4 least it's my experience, and again the collective experience of this
5 Chamber is far greater than mine, but I will simply note something that I
6 think is a matter of common sense, those qualities of passion and
7 commitment that go into this kind of work sometimes create: We're the
8 only good guys in the room philosophy. We're the good guys and the other
9 people are the bad guys. And I suggest that those kind of qualities are
10 not quite the qualities one wants for detached dispassionate analysis, for
11 objectivity, for reliability.
12 Now, I think hat it's clear that Ms. Mitchell show these -- this
13 lack -- and again I'm saying it with respect for her. I don't mean to
14 unduly deprecate her. But I think that she showed a certain lack of
15 objectivity in a number of ways in her testimony. I'll simply cite a few.
16 Her grudging concession that the NATO bombing might have been responsible
17 for the departure of the KVM on March 20, 1999. It took a series of
18 questions for her finally to make that concession.
19 Secondly, the question of thousands of interviews, she originally
20 stated in Milosevic trial and in her statements about thousands of
21 interviews and she gradually paired that down. At one point she said a
22 little less than 10.000. And then finally she came up with a 3300, 4300
23 figure. And I mentioning that -- and I want to mention that, too, in
24 connection with -- not to beat this point to death either, but Mr. Stamp
25 saying tens of thousands of interviews. That alone at least is giving the
1 Defence a lot of concern here, but where are these -- to this day we
2 haven't received a single refugee verification form in the form noted when
3 she testified yesterday. I think it was Prosecution Exhibit 765. We've
4 had reports about that form. We've yet to see one of those forms and
5 we've yet to be given any intimation about all these thousands of
6 interviews and what happened there.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps I misunderstood Mr. Visnjic yesterday, but
8 he was saying that you had received a very small number of these forms.
9 MR. SEPENUK: No, we actually have not received the forms
10 themselves, Your Honour. Remember the refugee verification form, it says:
11 Reasons for leaving and that kind of thing, and it was made out in
12 handwriting. We have not received a single one of these forms.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: None of these -- so all you have received --
14 MR. SEPENUK: Is a typewritten report about what, presumably, was
15 in that form.
16 And finally I want to -- I am asking the Chamber to recall - and I
17 know you do recall - Ms. Mitchell's testimony about the word-for-word
18 duplication of the International Crisis Group report and the OSCE report.
19 And if I could just quote briefly from her testimony. And I asked her
20 after showing her two instances in which the ICG report was exactly the
21 same as the OSCE report, I want to represent to the Court that my
22 colleague, Mr. Visnjic -- I make this representation to the Court. My
23 colleague, Mr. Visnjic, has now found three more reports which are
24 literally word for word the same. And I asked her: "So is the only
25 conclusion that we can draw from this is that somehow the ICG was privy to
1 your information?"
2 She says: "No, as I've stated we had the measures in place to
3 ensure as best we could the security and the confidentiality of the
4 information. There were a lot of people following and getting statements.
5 People were working together. The rule was, you know, the information was
6 only being shared with ICTY. And if, you know, somebody breaks the rule,
7 they break the rule. But that's as much as I can say on it, Your Honour.
8 "Q. So what you're saying here is that at least based on what
9 you're saying it appears that one of your investigators shared information
10 with the International Crisis Group against the rules of your
12 "A. It's a possibility. It's also that possibility that this
13 person re-interviewed somebody hat we had interviewed and came up with the
14 same story."
15 I said: "Word for word?"
16 Ms. Mitchell said: "Sure."
17 I then said: "That's your testimony?"
18 She said: "Anything's possible. I have given, you know, the
19 reasons that I can think of as honestly as I can, and if they shared a
20 form, they shared a form, and, yeah, the rule was broken."
21 I found that testimony very, very disturbing. Here's the person
22 charged with ensuring the credibility of this report, and she actually
23 testified under oath that, yes, in this terribly chaotic situation with
24 all these Albanian interviews in this horrible refugee camp situation
25 that, in at least two instances, and I'll be charitable now and I'll
1 confine it to just this one instance, she said it's possible that word for
2 word it still could have been a different interview. That defies
3 credibility. And if that's her notion of credibility, I think is this
4 report should be considered very -- to be a very dubious document if she
5 is the person in charge of ensuring the credibility of the report. I
6 think at the very least it casts very severe -- it casts very serious
7 doubt on her judgement.
8 And again, let's assume also, let's assume that a rule was broken,
9 a rule was broken. How many other rules were broken? I mean, was there
10 was a trafficking -- and I don't mean this frivolously, because again I
11 admire deeply the work these people were doing. But based on her
12 testimony it seems like there was almost some sort of trafficking in these
13 refugee forms. People were following along. One organisation was
14 following another organisation, and if one or more members of her
15 organisation broke the rules, what other rules did they break? Did they
16 break the rules on objectivity, on credibility, on being fair, on being
17 dispassionate? And I ask Your Honours to consider that, and we ask Your
18 Honours to reject this report.
19 We respectfully submit that receiving this report into evidence
20 would be a mistake, it would be unfair, it would be unjust.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Sepenuk.
22 Mr. O'Sullivan.
23 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 I'm going to ask you to not admit Prosecution P473, As Seen, As
25 Told, and I have two basic submissions. And they are first that this is
1 inadmissible hearsay; and second, that as a result of breaches in the
2 rules of disclosure on the part of the Prosecution they should be barred
3 from presenting this exhibit.
4 I will not repeat what Mr. Sepenuk has said; I will adopt it.
5 What I would like to direct the Chamber to one further Appeals Chamber
6 decision, which we say may be helpful in the resolution of this issue, and
7 that's from the Kordic case, IT-95-14/2 AR 73.5, a decision of the Appeals
8 Chamber of 21 July 2000, where the Appeals Chamber stated that Rule 89(C)
9 must be interpreted so that safeguards are provided to ensure that the
10 Chamber can be satisfied that the evidence is reliable.
11 The point being that there's a threshold question which the
12 Appeals Chamber spelled out at paragraph 22 of that decision. It's the
13 following: "The reliability of the hearsay statement is therefore
14 relevant to its admissibility and not just to its weight."
15 We say that the lack of reliability, given the full context of the
16 way in which these hearsay statements were used, does not satisfy the
17 threshold question of admissibility.
18 What do we have? The report contains an assessment of the
19 statements of others, which we say is based on unreliable and biased
20 methods of data collection. There can be no probative value to hearsay
21 taken in that regard.
22 Your Honour, we take issue with the qualifications, competence,
23 and bias of the persons who took this information which is -- forms the
24 basis of this document. We've heard and we can see, as a matter of common
25 sense, that there was selective sampling. There's indications that there
1 may have been a manipulation in the selection of individuals who came
2 forward, chosen by community leaders, who one would have to think were
3 sympathetic to the cause of the KLA. Ms. Mitchell has acknowledged that
4 there was a lack of training of people performing the task; they received
5 on-the-job training, as she put it. And she acknowledged that their
6 training was not followed up and, at best, was haphazard and sporadic.
7 Your Honour, we say that against Rule 89(C) you must consider
8 Rule 95 of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence. It's a very short rule,
9 and it states that: "No evidence shall be admissible if obtained by
10 methods which cast substantial doubt on its reliability or if its
11 admission as antithetical to, or would seriously damage, the integrity of
12 the proceedings."
13 I'll stop there on this first point that I wish to make, given
14 that Mr. Sepenuk has canvassed it quite fully.
15 The second point I wish to make in support of our request to not
16 have this exhibit admit is what we say is a violation of Rule 68(ii) by
17 the Prosecution. Now, I commend my learned friend from the Prosecution
18 for informing us, quite candidly, that there was a large amount of
19 material which was never -- has never been disclosed by the Prosecution to
20 the Defence.
21 I do take issue, however, with my learned friend from the
22 Prosecution when he suggests that the obligation was on the Defence under
23 Rule 66(B) to request that information. With all due respect to the
24 Prosecution, Your Honour, we disagree. Rule 68(ii) places an affirmative
25 obligation, a mandatory obligation on the Prosecution to make available to
1 the Defence under the EDS system materials which it has at its disposal.
2 We've heard from Ms. Mitchell that the Prosecution has had this material
3 for years.
4 Why do I say that Rule 66(B) does not apply? The Chamber will be
5 aware of the legislative history of these rules and Rule 66(B) is the
6 remnants of the old reciprocal disclosure rule. As you know, reciprocal
7 disclosure is no longer part of our rules of procedure. Rule 66(B) does
8 say that Defence can make a request for certain materials; it does say
9 that. But the primary rule in regard to disclosure, the disclosure
10 obligation by the Prosecution is Rule 68(ii). That's an affirmative
11 obligation that the Prosecution must disclose to us under that provision
12 using the electronic disclosure system.
13 We say that there's been a breach of their disclosure obligation,
14 and Rule 68 bis provides for a consequence for failure to comply with the
15 disclosure obligation. Rule 68 bis says: "The Chamber made decide at the
16 request of other party on sanctions to be imposed on a party which fails
17 to perform its disclosure obligations pursuant to the Rules."
18 We say that the only relief that would be meaningful now that we
19 are in trial, now that we have learned that there has been a breach of
20 their obligation under 66(ii), some seven years later, is that this report
21 should not be admitted since the underlying material has not been made
22 available to us. We say again Rule 95 comes into play, and it would put
23 these -- it would bring these trial proceedings into disrepute to do
25 So on either score, whether it's the inadmissible hearsay or the
1 violation of Rule 68(ii), in conjunction with the jurisprudence of the
2 court and Rule 95, we respectfully submit that you should rule in our
3 favour and not admit this Prosecution Exhibit P473 into evidence.
4 Those are my submissions.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan.
6 Can I deal just now with what might seem a very petty point but it
7 actually has a purpose in due course. These divisions of Rule 68 are
8 Roman numeral divisions. I know there are questions of alphabet and
9 approach to letters between the two languages and it's easily understood
10 what you're referring to here, Mr. O'Sullivan, but a difficulty can arise
11 in relation to the indictment because the letter I appears in
12 subparagraphs of the indictment, and you can end up with an I -- I don't
13 know if it actually happens in this indictment, but I and then
14 subparagraph, as you would describe it, (ii) or (iii). So I think we
15 should adopt a routine approach to this and use -- it regard these as
16 Roman numerals, and you'll see the same feature in the indictment itself.
17 Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will not reiterate
19 the words of my colleagues, since our position is to adopt everything put
20 forth by our colleagues. We intended to mention several things, but due
21 to the lack of time we will try to narrow that to the very basic
22 objections we have as regards this document.
23 I wanted to draw your attention to several decisions of this
24 Tribunal which may be relevant, in my view, in your -- for your
1 In the Tadic case, decision -- motion on hearsay dated the 5th of
2 August, 1996, inter alia, it states that the Rules of Procedure and
3 Evidence implicitly require that the reliability be one of the components
4 of admissibility. In that decision, one also reads that in order for the
5 Trial Chamber to be able to examine the circumstances, it is necessary to
6 assess the reliability of every given piece of evidence and draw
7 conclusions based on that.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, we haven't received the text
9 of the decisions.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Another decision dated the 19th of
11 January, 1998, it states that reliability is an implicit component of
12 admissibility of evidence in case it is clear that any submitted exhibit
13 is clearly unreliable cannot be considered of any probative value. Based
14 on everything stipulated by my colleagues and based on the jurisprudence
15 of this Tribunal, in our view, and according to Rule 98(D) -- 99(D) --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] 89(D) shows -- or rather, mentions
18 the actual points I've made previously as regards the admissibility of
19 this report. In our view, it should not be admitted.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic, the name of the case on the 19th of
22 January, 1998?
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Prosecutor versus Delalic and
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Mr. Aleksic, do you have any submissions to make on this?
2 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] No, not as regards this. But I was
3 told by my lead counsel to read out a text of our objections, should I be
4 permitted to do so. And I believe this would be a favourable time before
5 we move on to the next witness.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: This is an objection to what?
7 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, regarding the right to
8 counsel of General Pavkovic. And, with your leave, I'd like to state a
9 couple of points that we would like to have in the transcript.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: This is not an appropriate time for you to be
11 making a general point in relation to the conduct of the trial. If you
12 have a submission to make, then you should make it in writing. If you
13 have a particular submission to make on the question of the admissibility
14 of this evidence, then I will hear you on that.
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] No. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I simply follow the instructions of
18 my lead counsel.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I believe
21 everything has been said and we second the things that have been said.
22 What I wanted to add is that the document discussed here also
23 contains some legal arguments or positions which are inadmissible, in our
24 view, and they comprise a very important portion of the report itself.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour. If I may briefly
3 start by responding to some of the objections raised today.
4 It is submitted that the OTP took a significant part in the
5 assembly of the information, and that is a quote from one of the
6 submissions. There is no evidence that the OTP participated in the
7 collection of the information. There is evidence, and it is agreed, that
8 when the analysis was being done there was advice and assistance from the
9 ICTY and that the raw material, the refugee forms, were delivered to the
10 ICTY and there was contact with the ICTY quite frequently. The mere fact
11 that the then-Prosecutor of the ICTY wrote a congratulatory foreword to
12 the report does not, in any way, detract from its reliability or its
13 objectivity. The ICTY is a Tribunal set up by the United Nations for the
14 prosecution of crimes of the nature charged in this indictment. The KVM
15 mission in Kosovo was a mission acting under the auspices of a United
16 Nations resolution, and it is normal, practical, indeed it is desirable,
17 that there should be amicable relations, cooperation, and advice and
18 assistance between the parties. And the fact that there was this type of
19 relationship does not detract from the independence of the OSCE-KVM
20 mission and does not in any way suggest that there was undue or improper
21 interference from the ICTY.
22 It was said in addition to that that the witness, Sandra Mitchell,
23 may have been tainted by -- I'm not sure, maybe bias because of her
24 ongoing work in human rights or humanitarian issues. It is suggested that
25 she is presently engaged in the welfare of the Kosovar Albanians, and
1 that's another quote from the submission. There is no evidence as to
2 that. She is the director for the return of refugees, refugees. There
3 were refugees of various ethnicities leaving Kosovo. Indeed she testified
4 that she prepared a report in respect to offences that were committed
5 against the Serbs in Kosovo after June of 1999, and the evidence in
6 respect to the return -- her work as the director for the return of
7 refugees is indicative of her work in respect of the return of Serb
8 refugees. So it is not correct to say that she's engaged -- still engaged
9 in the welfare of Kosovar Albanians. And in fact if she was still
10 engaged, it is my submission that that would not sufficiently detract from
11 her credibility so as to render the report inadmissible.
12 The issue of Rule 95(F). It is submitted that Rule 95(F) is
13 relevant to the issues in respect to the report. It is the Prosecution's
14 submission that the Rule 99 -- 95, I beg your pardon, Rule 95, which is
15 what I'm discussing, was primarily intended to ensure the integrity of the
16 Tribunal's proceedings, rendering inadmissible evidence which was obtained
17 through oppressive conduct. The method of obtaining the evidence is a
18 critical issue when Rule 95 is being considered. For example, evidence
19 which might be obtained on an involuntary basis. So a mere reference to
20 Rule 95 in this context, it is my submission, does not suffice to invoke
21 it insofar as we are talking about a report of this nature.
22 And there is an issue in respect to disclosure. The issue of
23 disclosure, as Your Honour well knows, is a complex thing, what is Rule 68
24 and what is within the knowledge of the OTP. The -- there are criticisms
25 from the Defence on many occasions in this case about material being
1 disclosed to them which is of marginal Rule 68 value and of them being
2 flooded with material disclosed to them under Rule 68 which they find
3 useless. I've heard many complaints about that. The approach -- one of
4 the approaches that could be made in respect to huge databases of material
5 is that once the Defence is made aware of what it is, then if they
6 consider it to be Rule 68, or if they think that it is useful to the
7 preparation of their Defence under Rule 66, then being so forewarned they
8 ought responsibly to make a request for the information.
9 As I indicated before, what we are speaking about is raw data,
10 thousands of forms from various sources collected in the field, some
11 processed and put on the EDS and therefore available to the Defence; and
12 some not so. The witness who has been on the -- a previous witness list
13 filed said in this statement which is now evidence -- in her statement,
14 which is now evidence before the Court, that the material was delivered to
15 the OTP; that is, the raw data. The raw data is generally, insofar as
16 I -- as the results of my inquiries have revealed, not Rule 68. It is the
17 opposite of Rule 68. The Defence --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: You seem to be suggesting that this is some lower
19 category of material, raw data. I would have thought that raw data was
20 exactly what the Court should be most interested in, the basic material,
21 the source material.
22 MR. STAMP: The Court ought -- and of course the Defence ought to
23 be most -- or at least generally interested in the source material. I
24 refer --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Remind me of why it is you say that the Defence
1 ought to have been alerted to the existence of all these statements.
2 MR. STAMP: The exhibit itself, which has been on the exhibit
3 list, indicates that the statements were -- were given -- the originals
4 were given to the OTP in 1999. So the Defence would have been aware of it
5 from that. But the statement of the witness, which has been served on the
6 Defence many times over the years, the last few months, also says quite
7 clearly that the material, which I refer to as raw data, was handed over
8 to the OTP after they were photocopied.
9 So I would submit that the Defence, in preparation for the trial,
10 would have, if they thought it fit and thought it's something that the
11 Court would want to look at, these thousands of forms, that would be
12 useful to the deliberations, would have asked for them. They asked for
13 those in respect to those persons who are going to testify. We have made
14 efforts to give them those forms. We gave them the data reports -- I
15 shouldn't say "the data reports," the print-outs from the database. We
16 are now searching for the originals of those individual persons because
17 they are among batches, huge batches, of material which we received some
18 six years ago. It was yesterday that a general request for the first time
19 was made for all the material, and we are now in the process of gathering
20 together all the material. And it is a process that involves work and
21 deployment of staff and effort.
22 So the disclosure of this material is a matter which the Defence
23 could have achieved, could have enforced, if they thought it relevant to
24 the trial from long before we came into this court to proceed in the
25 trial. And without being critical or anything, I would submit that it
1 would not be the time now, in the course of a trial, to use this setting
2 to criticise the Prosecution for non-disclosure of material of that
3 nature. Indeed, I suspect that if all of this material had been
4 disclosed, then we might have been criticised for inundating the Defence.
5 I think -- I submit that it was sufficient that we gave them adequate
6 notice that the material existed, and therefore if it was appropriate for
7 them to use it in their preparations, they could have asked for it.
8 And much has been said about hearsay. It is agreed and accepted
9 that -- I think by all that hearsay is admissible in the Tribunal. And
10 reliability, of course, is an important issue in respect to the
11 admissibility of hearsay. I don't think we would need authority on that.
12 There is a lot of evidence before the Court in respect to the
13 reliability of the methods of collections, notwithstanding the criticisms
14 which have been made by the Defence. The -- indeed, it is my submission
15 that Your Honour may well consider the answers given by the witness in
16 cross-examination yesterday, when counsel elicited material which are
17 apparently consistent with the averments -- the averment of the Defence in
18 respect to the facts in issue. The -- this material suggests that the
19 witness in the discharge of her responsibility to gather the material and
20 to write this report approached her work with objectivity. The evidence
21 is that they took appropriate steps to train their staff in the collection
22 of these reports; to employ, as far as possible in the circumstances -
23 which must have been somewhat chaotic at the beginning - but to employ, as
24 far as possible, persons with adequate experience. And after they had
25 gathered the information, when they were forced -- not forced. When they
1 were allowed to return to Kosovo, as the report indicates and as the
2 witness said in testimony, they took steps, whatever steps possible, to
3 verify the accuracy and the reliability of the information that they were
4 using to formulate the report.
5 As the report indicates, where there were inconsistencies they
6 reported it; where there were weaknesses, they reported it. And the
7 report, in that sense, speaks for itself. The report is, in fact, a
8 well-documented analysis with appropriate citations of the victim reports,
9 and that is very important. This is not second-hand hearsay; these are
10 identifiable victims. And it was carried out under the mandate given to
11 them by United Nations resolution.
12 So the objections in respect to the evidence of the witness and
13 her -- whether she's biased or not, whether she's -- she's pro-Albanian or
14 anti-Serb are really objections which go to weight. They are objections,
15 which it is submitted, refer to matters, if they are worthy, but they are
16 matters which we could leave to the good judgement of this Chamber when
17 considering the weight of the document. But it is submitted they are not
18 matters that should be considered in the initial deliberations in respect
19 to the admissibility of the documents.
20 The Strugar case was referred to yesterday. This was a case in
21 which a report which, according to the Defence, was of a similar nature to
22 this one was rejected. It is the submission of the Prosecution that the
23 report in Strugar is quite distinct from this one, and I will just give
24 two other reasons, and there are other important reasons why it is really
25 distinct. The --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Who referred to Strugar, Mr. Stamp?
2 MR. STAMP: I think it was Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was I who
4 mentioned it.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. STAMP: Mr. Robinson is not here. I think I'm wrong there.
7 The critical point in the Strugar decision in rejecting that
8 report was that the date, the date of the incident that that report
9 referred to could not be ascertained. Or if I could put it this way, the
10 report referred to incidents that occurred between October and December.
11 The issue in that case was an incident of one day in December, and it
12 could not be clearly discerned whether or not a report which covered that
13 broad period could be narrowed on the focus on that issue before the
14 Court, the one being in December.
15 The other distinction with that case is that the report in Strugar
16 was a preliminary report, and I think that was the main reason why it was
17 not accepted. It was titled a preliminary report to the extent that one
18 of the consultants involved in preparing the report, when he came to
19 testify in Strugar could not even vouch for the accuracy of that report.
20 So that report in Strugar is clearly distinguishable from what we have
22 The said same report, As Seen, As Told was received in evidence in
23 the Milosevic case. And I'm not suggesting for a minute that because it
24 was received in a previous case that you are bound by it.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I would be assisted if someone could explain
1 to me how it was received in the Milosevic case, and you may care to have
2 a look at that. I've tried myself to work out on what basis it was
3 admitted and it's far from clear. Although you're right, it was given an
4 exhibit number.
5 MR. STAMP: I was trying to work that out myself, and I think --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it slipped in in circumstances where an
7 accused was not adequately represented at that stage and perhaps not quite
8 as switched on, as he later was, to the conduct of the proceedings.
9 MR. STAMP: In that case, though, I think that the Court did go to
10 distinguish As Seen, As Told from material which would not be acceptable
11 in evidence because --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I've been unable to find the decision
13 admitting it. So if you could find it, I would be grateful if you were
14 able to assist me.
15 MR. STAMP: I will endeavour to find the decision admitting it.
16 But it was referred to in the transcript by the Court at page 5643, in
17 which the Court indicated -- and here I'm going off of a reference to it
18 in an appeal judgement, in the same Milosevic case, a judgement --
19 decision on admissibility of Prosecution investigators' evidence, a
20 judgement of the 30th of September, 2002. It was distinguished from a
21 non-admissible document because it was not prepared for the purposes of
22 that particular trial, and it had been prepared by a body independent of
23 the parties, and thus has a quality of independence.
24 As submitted before, the association, close association, amicable
25 and cooperative relationship between the ICTY and the KVM-OSCE mission
1 does not detract from the independence of the report, and neither was it
2 prepared for this trial specifically.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Is your transcript reference to the trial
4 transcript in Milosevic?
5 MR. STAMP: The trial transcript.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And then the appeal decision separate, or was that
7 transcript -- is that a page in the transcript where the appeal decision
8 was being discussed?
9 MR. STAMP: The appeal decision that I just referred to --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
11 MR. STAMP: -- referred to the Milosevic decision on As Seen, As
12 Told and cited that transcript number.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
14 MR. STAMP: It was also received evidence in the Limaj case, where
15 the accused was represented, as Exhibit 150. And while I'm on the Limaj
16 case, the report by Human Rights Watch under orders was also received in
17 that case as evidence and, indeed, cited in the Judgement.
18 As I say, I don't claim at all that the Court is bound by these
19 decisions; I know that the Court is entitled to exercise its discretion on
20 the basis of the facts before it in this case. And I submit that the
21 evidence from Ms. Mitchell not only indicates -- and we're not talking
22 about beyond a reasonable doubt, but well beyond prime facie that proper
23 efforts were made to induct appropriate staff, to train them where
24 necessary, and to collect the information on an objective and reliable
25 basis. So there are sufficient indicia of reliability for the report to
1 be admitted. Unlike a previous report, this is not a report based on
2 double hearsay; this is a report based on identifiable victims, the actual
3 victims. The Court is entitled, within the exercise of its
4 good judgement, to use the whole report - and here I refer to the
5 objection based on the submission that the whole report should not go in -
6 to use the whole report in its deliberations.
7 I pause here to ask the Court to consider the objections in
8 respect to the opinions expressed in the report in respect to law. There
9 are many areas of the report where the law is discussed. Now, clearly if
10 any party to these proceedings should submit to the Court that you should
11 take the law as discussed in As Seen, As Told, then the Court, in the
12 exercise of its good judgement, could deal with that appropriately.
13 However, the discussion of the law in the report is relevant to the
14 context in which the persons who did the analysis conducted their job.
15 The whole of the report provides the context in which the various parts,
16 the various areas of the analysis, was done. And the Prosecution has
17 faith in the judgement of the Tribunal, of the Trial Chamber, should
18 inappropriate submissions be made at a later date as to how the various
19 areas of the submission -- of the report should be used. The Prosecution
20 does not proffer the report or tender the report as direct evidence in
21 proof of any of the specific incidents or crime sites referred to in the
22 indictment, but submits that if -- or will submit at the appropriate time
23 that if, as we anticipate, direct evidence which we will call establishes
24 to the satisfaction of the Trial Chamber that these offences were, in
25 fact, committed, then the report can assist the Trial Chamber and give it
1 whatever weight the Trial Chamber thinks appropriate.
2 In corroborating the evidence the evidence in respect of these
3 crime scenes, it can assist the Trial Chamber in its deliberations on the
4 issue of the widespread and systematic nature of the offences charged. It
5 can assist the Trial Chamber on the issue of notice to the higher level
6 political and military figures of crimes committed, not only in 1998 but
7 also in 1999. And it can assist the Trial Chamber in respect to its
8 analysis of evidence relating to the background of the conflict and the
9 parties involved in the conflict.
10 In all of these areas, the degree to which it is of assistance is
11 squarely, it is my respectful submission, a matter of judgement for the
12 Trial Chamber.
13 But the whole document is admissible, may it please Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I have a number of matters to raise with you.
15 First of all, do you wish to address the point made by Mr. Ivetic
16 about Rule 92 bis?
17 MR. STAMP: The submission in respect to Rule 92 bis is that the
18 Prosecution at this stage does not submit the evidence of these 2.800
19 persons in evidence. The statements are the basis of the report. If we
20 had sought to put in directly the evidence of any one of them, we would
21 have either to call the witness here or ask for it to be received under
22 Rule 92 bis. The witness called was Sandra Mitchell, and the issue
23 really, I think, which Mr. --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I must have misunderstood because I thought
25 12 of them were to give evidence? Have I got that wrong?
1 MR. STAMP: Yes. That's correct.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: 12 will give evidence. But you won't be submitting
3 their statements?
4 MR. STAMP: Some of them, I believe. We applied for them to be
5 received under 92 bis. Some were live. All of them will come to testify,
6 having regard to the recent ruling of the Court.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Ivetic's point is that that's just a way
8 around Rule 92 bis, which says that where you're relying on a statement,
9 then there are certain requirements, and these aren't followed in this
10 case. And you get around them by saying somebody else will report on what
11 that witness has said.
12 MR. STAMP: The -- it is submitted that Rule 92 bis - and I hope
13 I'm not being repetitive - applies to the direct evidence of the witness,
14 if the witness's testimony is being placed before the Court, or if an
15 attempt is made to place the witness's testimony before the Court. Here
16 we have an analysis of the statements of witnesses who are not called to
17 testify and it is submitted that the appropriate consideration is really
18 whether or not the hearsay has sufficient indicia of reliability for
19 limited purposes.
20 For example, if the Court accepts the other evidence we lead in
21 respect to the several crime bases, the Court will have to at some point
22 deliberate upon matters of widespread, systematic nature in which the
23 offences were committed. While the report, it would not be our
24 submission, could stand or prove by itself something of that nature. The
25 Court may, it is my submission, refer to the various statements used in
1 the report and give it whatever weight it thinks fit. But it is a vexed
2 issue. How many witnesses does one call to prove widespread and
3 systematic? Certainly not the 800.000 that we allege left Kosovo. We
4 call a fraction of that. But could a report which covers a large amount
5 of those persons assist the Court in its deliberation? And it is the
6 Prosecution's submission that in that area, for example, the report is of
7 legitimate use.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, in the -- in the report there is an index and
9 there are 30 municipalities in the index.
10 MR. STAMP: 30?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: 30. And there are 13 in the case. What's the
12 Trial Chamber to do with the ones which are not referred to in the
14 MR. STAMP: In respect to the ones not referred to in the
15 indictment, the report itself could not provide any collaboration of any
16 evidence led because we will not be leading evidence in respect to those.
17 However, the indictment does charge for all of Kosovo. The
18 specific -- incidents specified in the indictment are a representative
19 sampling. Indeed the Chamber did reduce them. It is impractical for us
20 to prove or attempt to prove all of them. But at some point the Court
21 will have to consider the core allegation of the indictment, that this was
22 a Kosovo-wide endeavour, not limited to the illustrative sampling that is
23 represented or identified in the indictment.
24 So the report, it is submitted, can be used by the Trial Chamber
25 in its deliberations under evidence in respect to the specific crime bases
1 or crime sites charged and in respect to the report's discussion of areas
2 which are not within the indictment. It can assist the Trial Chamber in
3 its deliberation on the bigger picture, the Kosovo widespread, systematic
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, can you remind me how that's presented in the
6 indictment so I see how it would match with the evidence.
7 MR. STAMP: Without referring to specific passages in the
8 indictment, the indictment, in my submission, refers to the averment in
9 the indictment, that the offences were not limited to those charged
10 specifically in the indictment but were widespread and systematic and were
11 persecutory of the general Kosovar Albanian population in Kosovo. I think
12 that averment is made at various places in the indictment, which I don't
13 have with me now.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Certainly it's something I've overlooked. So far I
15 thought this was an indictment about 13 municipalities, which was a basis
16 for saying that this was widespread and systematic behaviour. I would be
17 assisted by being shown where the indictment says that it extends beyond
18 these areas.
19 MR. STAMP: I'm having a look at the electronic copy. I would be
20 able to assist the Court in a moment.
21 For example, it has been pointed out to me,
22 paragraph 26: "Throughout Kosovo, forces of the FRY and Serbia engaged in
23 a deliberate and widespread or systematic campaign of destruction of
24 property owned by Kosovo Albanian civilians."
25 Paragraph 27 reads on: "In addition to the deliberate destruction
1 of property owned by Kosovo Albanian civilians, forces of the FRY and
2 Serbia conducted widespread and systematic acts of violence and brutality
3 against Kosovo Albanian civilians."
4 Again, I think still better yet, paragraph 25 illustrates what I'm
5 saying. "Forces of the FRY and Serbia, in a deliberate and widespread or
6 systematic manner, forcibly expelled and internally displaced hundreds of
7 thousands of Kosovo Albanians from their homes across the entire province
8 of Kosovo."
9 [Microphone not activated].
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
11 MR. STAMP: So the point I respectfully submit is not that the
12 Prosecution intends to prove with direct and specific evidence, and the
13 Court could not make findings in respect to the non-charged incidents or
14 sites which are referred to in the report, but the Court will deliberate
15 on the widespread, systematic nature and the questions of the scale
16 throughout the -- to quote the indictment "throughout Kosovo." And the
17 report, in those circumstances, can offer some assistance in those
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And are you saying that you won't be leading
20 evidence, direct evidence, from witnesses that would be sufficient to make
21 the finding of widespread and systematic conduct?
22 MR. STAMP: No, I'm not saying that. In fact, with -- the -- the
23 report would support a finding, it is the submission of the Prosecution,
24 that the Court would be entitled to make from the evidence, the direct
25 evidence, given by these witnesses.
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Now, it has been said here that there were
2 facsimile reports, at least two others, and this report has nothing -- as
3 if it is not something original. But there were two other reports of the
4 same kind, verbatim. Would you like to comment on that, please?
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, I -- and please forgive my remission in not doing
6 so earlier. I had intended to comment on that by submitting that --
7 Mr. Visnjic is indeed right. There probably were even more than two where
8 the identical verbatim information were on different forms, allegedly or
9 apparently submitted by different collecting agencies.
10 If I may just reflect on the evidence first.
11 The witness was asked questions about how this might have
12 happened. And it is, no doubt, clear to the Court that she was put in a
13 position where she could only speculate. She did not know how that could
14 have happened because that would be a breach of the procedures that she
15 sought to enforce.
16 However, the documents that were shown to the Court were clearly
17 print-outs from a database, and the question I asked in re-examination I
18 think would have indicated to the Court that she would not be incognizant
19 of nor would she know about how the material was organised, prepared,
20 possibly merged for data-processing purposes. So that is completely out
21 of her knowledge. So it does not, as was submitted by counsel, reflect
22 prejudicially on her objectivity.
23 Firstly, it -- she was asked to speculate and said she didn't know
24 but it could have been so and so and so. The documents were received and
25 efforts were made to put them on a database. The merger of the
1 information in a document, apparently from the ICG and one from the OSCE,
2 was done in an attempt to put together a usable, searchable database with
3 all of these thousands of reports. So it does not impact on the evidence
4 of the witness, but it is a matter which could be further explained, and
5 I'm trying to get a precise statement as to how it happened. But it is
6 already clear, based on the investigations that I have made, that that was
7 something that was done here for electronic searching purposes of the
8 various reports. But the one person still at OTP who would be able to
9 give the details is not here this week I'm told.
10 But if the Court requests further information, I will find out and
11 submit it when it's available.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
13 Now, if I can go back to the contents of the report. Part I is
14 historical and political background, followed by something about the human
15 rights operation. Now, the first part of that, the historical and
16 political background, is not a matter in which the witness claimed to have
17 any expertise, nor did she claim to have any knowledge beyond just having
18 been in the area at various periods over a number of years.
19 Now, are you going to have her tell us, through this report, about
20 Prince Lazar and the Ottoman forces and the battle of Kosovo Polje, or are
21 now there going to be some limits on this evidence?
22 MR. STAMP: There has to be limits, it is the submission of the
23 Prosecution, in the way that the Tribunal judges it useful in what weight
24 can be given to and what weight cannot be given to. But in assessing the
25 credibility of other areas of the report of more directly relevant
1 analyses in the report, it may well be useful to the Tribunal to have --
2 to the Trial Chamber to have a knowledge or an appreciation of the context
3 in which the --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll have plenty of evidence about that, at
5 least hopefully evidence from one reliable source. And it's the same with
6 chapter 3, Yugoslav forces in Kosovo and the Kosovo Liberation Army.
7 You're going to be tendering evidence through a witness you describe as an
8 expert, Mr. Coo. Now, is that not adequate? What happens if there's any
9 difference between the two? What do we do with it? How do we assess the
10 reliability of this when we don't actually know who it was that compiled
11 this paragraph, or this chapter rather?
12 MR. STAMP: What I am submitting, I agree that there is
13 insufficient indicia of reliability in respect to certain areas. I think
14 I conceded that earlier.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
16 MR. STAMP: Including, to some degree, the first part and the
17 second part. But as I submitted earlier. It is a matter of context. The
18 Court is not only interested in the context in which the offences were
19 committed, which is what directly these parts of the report cover, but the
20 context in which -- or the state of mind in which it was written and
21 analysed. It is why, for example, in cross-examination one counsel for
22 the Defence asked various questions relating to facts and statements made
23 in various parts of the report. Because sometimes in understanding or in
24 coming to an appropriate understanding of a particular part of the
25 analysis in the report it might be useful to the Chamber to understand the
1 context in which the writers of the report operated. And to that
2 the Prosecution submits that the whole report would be useful, but some
3 parts, obviously, would not be of sufficient probative value or
4 reliability for it to form part of the deliberations or for a decision to
5 be based partly or fully upon it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, if you take also paragraph -- sorry,
7 chapter 7, rape and other forms of sexual violence, what are you going to
8 invite us to draw from that chapter?
9 MR. STAMP: The -- there would be significant amount of evidence,
10 including expert evidence, in respect to rapes being committed as part of
11 the campaign of persecutions, as alleged. Should the Chamber accept the
12 direct evidence of rape of these witnesses, the Prosecution would submit
13 that that section of the book can assist the Court in its deliberations in
14 respect to the whole issue of rape, the systematic and widespread
15 campaign, including the offences of rape as alleged in the indictment.
16 May I rephrase that? If I could go back to an earlier submission
17 I made. That section would not be a section that could stand alone. The
18 Prosecution would not be asking the Court to rely on a section like that
19 on its own. But there will be evidence presented to the Court by
20 individuals and by experts about rape in the course of the events that the
21 indictment refers to. And if the Court accepts that direct evidence, it
22 would be the submission of the Prosecution at a later stage in the
23 proceedings that the Court could use the section of the book in -- to
24 assist it in determining how widespread it was.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: On one view, that is using that type of evidence
1 for the most significant purpose. One rape has little impact on this
2 indictment, and if you prove two or three, that has little impact on this
3 indictment. And that's without, for a moment, suggesting that each one of
4 these is not a horrendous event; it is. But the thing that really matters
5 for you is to show that it's widespread and systematic. And that's what
6 you then invite the Trial Chamber to conclude from this material, I
7 suspect, in relation to --
8 MR. STAMP: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: -- rape. It may be different in relation to some
10 of the other crimes.
11 MR. STAMP: Yes, that is correct. But if I could put it this way,
12 we would invite the Court to use this material in support of other
13 material. We would not ask the Court to make that type of conclusion from
14 this type of material alone.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I follow that, but you're still using it to, in
16 that context, provide the bulk of your evidence, I suspect, the weightiest
17 part of your evidence.
18 MR. STAMP: I would submit not.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: There's just one final matter I want to raise with
22 you. This is not one report but two, and the second one covers a period
23 from June to October 1999, which is beyond the indictment. What is the
24 purpose of this report, or part of the report?
25 MR. STAMP: The exhibit being tendered --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it only the one --
2 MR. STAMP: -- in e-court is part I.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Only part I?
4 MR. STAMP: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
6 MR. STAMP: Although there is some relevant evidence in respect of
7 part II that we hope might assist the Court in the deliberations on the
8 integrity and objectivity of the witness and the procedure, because
9 part II, as she testified, was her investigations of offences committed
10 against the Serbs by the KLA and the Kosovar Albanians after the NATO
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, who is your next witness?
13 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated].
14 MR. HANNIS: Goran Stoparic, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So you'll have the witness ready for us when we
16 return after the break?
17 MR. HANNIS: I think he's been waiting for a long time.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
19 MR. SEPENUK: Excuse me, Your Honour, do you have any desire at
20 all to hear any further comments from the Defence in this matter?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: For example, in relation to what?
22 MR. SEPENUK: In relation to the admissibility of this report.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no. But give me an example of a point that you
24 feel --
25 MR. SEPENUK: Well, yes, Mr. Stamp says that they don't intend to
1 introduce this report as direct evidence of the crime scenes, but they do
2 intend to use it to assist the Trial Chamber on the issue of notice to the
3 higher-level political and military figures of crimes committed not only
4 in 1998 but also in 1999. That really concerns the Defence in this case.
5 That's a pivotal issue in this case, because even getting by the crime
6 scenes, the question is: Can any one of these six defendants be proven
7 beyond a reasonable doubt to have been part of a plan to create these
8 crime scenes, to instigate them, et cetera.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the report certainly can't achieve that
10 because it's not produced until after the events are all over. But if the
11 suggestion is being made that the evidence in there somehow or other
12 supports the notion that the accused are on notice, it certainly couldn't
13 do so on its own. He's not at any stage suggested that this material
14 would establish that on its own. But I accept what you say, the
15 submission was that it would assist the Trial Chamber in determining the
16 question of notice. We have to evaluate that.
17 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. And our comment, Your Honour, is that there --
18 the OSCE is almost being presented to the Court as an amicus curiae. I
19 think they have no right to be an amicus curiae in this case. It's up to
20 the parties, I submit, Your Honour, I respectfully submit, to offer the
21 guidance that's needed by the Court in determining the ultimate issues in
22 this case, not the OSCE.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
24 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The various submissions made will be considered.
1 We will not give an instant answer to this. I did say that we would try
2 to give a fairly quick response; however, whether that's a final answer
3 remains to be seen. There will be a fairly quick response, but it may not
4 finally determine the issue. That I can't say for sure until we've had a
5 chance to discuss it privately.
6 We will adjourn now and we will resume at 4.15.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.52 p.m.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
10 MR. STAMP: May it please Your Honour. Before we proceed with the
11 witness, I don't know if this would be a convenient time for me to put on
12 the record that the exhibits that we would be wished to be received in
13 respect of the evidence by Sandra Mitchell.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there any doubt about --
15 MR. STAMP: Yes, there might be an issue. We thought it would be
16 placed if it was placed on the record because in her statement some of
17 them are referred to ERN numbers and although she does give the
18 descriptions and the dates, but we would prefer to put the P numbers.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
20 MR. STAMP: First is P432, that is the agreement on the
21 organisation for security and cooperation in Europe, Kosovo Verification
22 Mission, signed by the chairman of the OSCE and the FRY minister of
23 foreign affairs dated the 19th of October, 1998; the next is P456, that is
24 the UN Security Council Resolution 1199, adopted on the 23rd of September,
25 1998; P473, As Seen, As Told; P615, that is a Kosovo atlas. We do agree
1 with the -- with you, Your Honour, that perhaps it is a little bit untidy,
2 but it does contain some material which is not in the other atlas, and we
3 could in due course submit upon it some more, but we ask if it is not
4 received it could be at least marked for identity.
5 P761, that is the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission human rights
6 task overview for November/December 1998; P763, that's the OSCE-KVM
7 mission standard operating procedure, allegations of serious violations of
8 humanitarian law of November 1999; P763 that's the OSCE-KVM human rights
9 division operational plan of 17th of December, 1999.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You've given us that number twice.
11 MR. STAMP: 763.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, you've just given us it and now you're giving
13 us it again.
14 MR. STAMP: I beg your pardon. The next is P764, the OSCE-KVM
15 refugee monitoring plan. Then P765, the form that was disclosed. That is
16 the OSCE-KVM refugee monitoring form. And finally P766, the OSCE-KVM
17 verification mission -- OSCE-KVM guidelines on classifications. That is
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And for the avoidance of doubt, P473 is simply
20 part I?
21 MR. STAMP: Part I.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Stoparic, if you would stand, please. And
25 I invite you to make the solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Please be seated.
4 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Stoparic, I'd like just to explain to you
6 a little about what's going to happen here. You're about to be asked
7 questions by a number of people, starting with the Prosecutor, who's on
8 his feet to your right. And he will be followed by others on behalf of
9 the accused. What you're being asked to do is answer the questions which
10 are asked of you. This isn't a situation where you're here simply to give
11 an account as you choose to give an account, but you're invited to confine
12 your comments to answers to the specific questions which are given.
13 Now, you may find that it's a nice easy time you have or you may
14 find that some counsel ask you difficult questions and perhaps even make
15 suggestions to you about the way in which you're answering questions. I
16 want to make it clear to you from the outset that that's the form of
17 procedure under which this trial is conducted. It may be one different
18 from that in your own country or any other procedure that you yourself are
19 familiar with. But it's important in the interests of everyone, and
20 particularly in the interests of the accused here, that what you do is
21 concentrate very closely on the question that's asked you and answer the
22 question, the specific question that is put you. Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
3 Q. Good afternoon. Mr. Stoparic, would you state your name for the
4 record and spell your last name, please.
5 A. My name is Goran Stoparic, S-t-o-p-a-r-i-c.
6 Q. And the first thing I'd like to do is have you shown a copy of
7 your statement, Exhibit P2224, the B/C/S version for you and English for
8 the rest of us, please.
9 Will you let me know when you see that on the screen.
10 A. Yes, I do see it now.
11 Q. Do you recognise what that is?
12 A. This is the front page of what is probably my statement.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. HANNIS: Can we scroll down so we can see the bottom of that
15 as well.
16 Q. And do you recall giving a statement on the 6th of July here at
17 the OTP?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I'm sorry. And you had a chance to review that at the time?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you were able to read it and have it read to you before you
22 signed it?
23 A. Yes, I was able to read it.
24 Q. And are you ready to confirm now under oath that that's your true
25 and accurate statement to the best of your knowledge and belief?
1 A. Sir, I can confirm that I see the front page.
2 Q. Would you like to see the rest of the pages one at a time?
3 A. You're asking me to confirm whether this is indeed my statement.
4 I can tell you that this is certainly its front page.
5 MR. HANNIS: Can we show him the next page, please.
6 As a matter of fact, Your Honour, it may be easier if we hand him
7 a hard copy that we have here, which I can confirm to the Court is the
8 same as what's in the electronic copy.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, please do that.
10 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, the -- I was expecting that if this was
12 a witness giving evidence under Rule -- or part of the evidence
13 under 89(F) that we would have been provided with a copy of his statement.
14 And you've indicated that this is a recent statement, the 6th of July.
15 MR. HANNIS: It is, Your Honour. It's a compilation of three
16 earlier statements from 2003, 2004, and 2005.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, there's an order about --
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. HANNIS: It's my understanding, Your Honour, it was sent to
20 your principal Legal Officer by e-mail on the 6th of July, 6th or 7th of
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, as early as -- as recently as this afternoon
23 I was looking for it but I still haven't received it. I mean, the order
24 was to provide hard copy, wasn't it, of these statements or -- in e-mail
25 is fine, but it was to produce copies directly to the Chamber, not simply
1 to upload them into the electronic disclosure.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think that may have been sent to you
3 before we had the order in hand.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, all right.
5 MR. HANNIS: We certainly can provide you hard copies in short
7 JUDGE BONOMY: If you have copies there it would be helpful
8 because we haven't seen them.
9 MR. HANNIS: We have one, Your Honour. We can have some
10 additional ones made and brought to you in short order.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Please carry on with the checking of the statement,
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 And if the usher could assist me by handing the English version to
15 Mr. Stoparic as well. To the witness, please.
16 Q. And, Mr. Stoparic, would you take a look at that and tell us if
17 you recognise our signature or your initials on the bottom of each of
18 those pages.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now that you've had a chance to see both of those, are you
21 comfortable in confirming for the Court that that is your true statement?
22 A. Yes, that's my statement.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we would like to tender his statement at
25 this time. I have a second English copy we could provide to you from the
1 one that's in front of him.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Stoparic, I want to tell you that you do have a copy of
5 your B/C/S statement there on your table and I may from time to time ask
6 you to refer to a specific paragraph. But if at any time you're referring
7 to it, would you please let us all know. We want you to testify from your
8 memory and not from what's written down there.
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, with your permission, I'd like to lead
10 briefly the defendant [sic] on some background material.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, please do that in general where it's
12 background, and I'll leave it to counsel to draw our attention to any
13 concerns they have about the way in which you're proceeding.
14 MR. HANNIS: I will, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I want to ask you a brief series of questions. If
16 you'll wait until I finish and let me know if what I've just said is
18 You were born in 1968 in the town of Sid in Serbia. You completed
19 your high school in 1986. You joined the JNA for your one year of
20 military service in 1987 where you specialised in infantry reconnaissance
21 and you served in Pristina. Is that correct?
22 A. Except for the place of birth. I was born in Sremska Mitrovica
23 and I live in Sid.
24 Q. And after your service in the army in 1987, you worked with your
25 father in construction until 1991?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And we see in your statement that in July 1991 you volunteered at
3 your local office of Territorial Defence. Is that correct?
4 A. To be more precise, at the office of the Territorial Defence of
5 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
6 Q. In paragraph 5 of your statement you say: "I fell for this
7 nationalistic ideology as thousands of other Serbs did ..."
8 What nationalistic ideology are you talking about there?
9 A. Well, if a young man feels the need to engage in a war against the
10 other party, which in this case were Croats, of course it had a
11 nationalist aspect to it.
12 Q. And from whom or where were you hearing this nationalistic
14 A. From all sides. From the media, from the conversations with the
15 people at large.
16 Q. After you volunteered with the TO, you shortly had an opportunity
17 to join a different unit. What unit was that?
18 A. Following war operations in Slavonia and Baranja and Vukovar, is
19 that what you're referring to?
20 Q. Well, you first volunteered for the Territorial Defence. Did you
21 actually join them and work with them?
22 A. I apologise.
23 Q. That's all right. Go ahead.
24 A. After that we were joined with the 1st Guards Brigade.
25 Q. Was that a unit of the JNA?
1 A. Yes, yes. That was a JNA unit.
2 Q. And how long did you stay with them?
3 A. Until the fall of Vukovar.
4 Q. Do you recall when that was, approximately?
5 A. I couldn't give you the date. In November of 1991 -- I'm not
6 sure. I don't know exactly.
7 Q. And after that did you leave the JNA to join another group?
8 A. Yes. After that I went home.
9 Q. To Sid?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And what happened there?
12 A. In Sid, you mean?
13 Q. Yes. Did you join another unit?
14 A. Yes. Later on I joined the Skorpions unit at Djeletovci.
15 Q. Who or what were the Skorpions?
16 A. What I knew of them at the time -- well, I joined the Skorpions
17 upon the invitation of their commander. What I knew of the Skorpions at
18 the time was that they were stationed in the village of Djeletovci, that
19 one of their missions at the time was to monitor the borders or the area
20 within their responsibility and to guard the Krajina Oil Company
21 facilities, which was already in existence at the time, I believe,
22 although I'm not sure.
23 Q. Who was the commander who invited you to join?
24 A. Slobodan Medic.
25 Q. Do you know him by a nickname as well?
1 A. Yes, we all called him Boca.
2 Q. Now, what kind of organisation or group was the Skorpions? Was it
3 a military unit? A social unit? An army unit? If you know.
4 A. The Skorpions consisted of two companies, one reconnaissance
5 platoon and a working platoon. They were very well equipped in terms of
6 infantry, weapons, in terms of uniforms, all-terrain vehicles, and so on.
7 Of course it was a military unit.
8 I'm not sure I fully understand your question. A military unit?
9 Q. Well, that's my question. You mentioned uniforms. What kind of
10 uniforms did the Skorpions have?
11 A. They weren't always the same. As far as I know, they always had
12 better uniforms than the Serb army. It was more up-to-date, more modern.
13 Q. And were the Skorpions a part of the JNA?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Who did they belong to, if anyone?
16 A. From what I know, officially they were supposed to be part of the
17 Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. I also know that a lot of
18 influence over the unit was wielded from the MUP of Serbia, although I
19 don't know how this came about or how it was materialised.
20 Q. You used the term "officially" when you referred to them belonging
21 to the Army of Republic of Serbia [sic]. Was there some unofficial
22 membership in some other group?
23 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honours, just if we can pause for a
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: There is a mistake in the transcript. The witness
2 didn't say that they belonged to the Army of the Republic of Serbia but to
3 the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 I think the interpretation was accurate; it's the transcript
6 that's inaccurate.
7 MR. HANNIS: That's what I heard, too.
8 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let me ask that question again. You said officially
9 they belonged to the Army of the Republika Srpska Krajina. Was there some
10 unofficial membership in some other group?
11 A. Some other group. To my knowledge when we had meetings when the
12 commander and when he gave us assignments and from conversations with
13 other members of the unit, they always said that it was the Serb state
14 security that was behind that unit.
15 Q. And there's an abbreviation for the Serb state security that you
16 use in your statement?
17 A. It wasn't used by me only, it was used by everyone, and it was
18 the DB.
19 Q. In your statement in paragraph 10 you mention the Red Berets as
20 being the skeleton of all DB special units. You mention the Skorpions as
21 being a satellite. Were you aware of other satellite units?
22 A. According to the stories at the time and based on what I know now,
23 those were Arkan's Tigers, too, and there were some other units in the
24 Republika Srpska, yes, in Bosnia.
25 Q. In paragraph 16 of your statement, which I believe is on page 4 of
1 your B/C/S, I want to quote. You say: "The order came from the top that
2 60 per cent of our men should be from the RS and RSK and 40 per cent from
4 And you go on to say that: "... that was so people at the top in
5 Serbia could always deny the link between the Skorpions and Serbia."
6 First of all, in that statement where you're talking about the RS
7 and the RSK, are you referring to Republika Srpska and the
8 Republika Srpska Krajina?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who told you about this order from the top?
11 A. Once I asked Srdjan Manojlovic, who was person number two in the
12 Skorpions. He was the one distributing salaries and issuing us with
13 equipment. He was, I believe, formerly a JNA officer, a commissioned or a
14 non-commissioned officer. At any rate he was part of the Skorpions.
15 On one occasion I asked him about two or three friends of mine who
16 wanted to join the Skorpions, and he told me precisely what is written
17 here, that there was an order coming from the top that whoever joined the
18 unit from Serbia should stay, but that they should no longer receive
19 people from Serbia, only from Krajina.
20 Q. And based on what he told you, what was your understanding about
21 who the top was that the order came from? Was that a particular
22 individual or a particular organisation?
23 A. Yes. When one referred to the top at the time, to me it meant
24 Belgrade, certainly not Beli Manastir or any other town. That was my
25 understanding of it.
1 Q. And any particular person or organ in Belgrade?
2 A. Throughout the time there was stories going around in the unit,
3 and some platoon commanders used to say that we were there under the
4 control of the DB -- well -- but I wouldn't be able to go into that. I
5 can only tell you what Manojlovic told me.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, do you have English copies now?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And it may be that, Mr. Hannis, we should get --
11 move forward into 1998 and 1999.
12 MR. HANNIS: I'm coming there shortly, Your Honour. I think in
13 three more questions I'll be to 1995 and then I'll be to 1999 in three
14 more questions.
15 Q. In paragraph 17 you mentioned that certain persons that Boca,
16 Slobodan Medic, reported to. Could you give us their full names. You
17 mention Legija, Mrgud, Frenki, and Stanisic. If you know, can you tell us
18 the full names of those individuals?
19 A. Legija appears to be the first one here and his name was Milorad
20 Dulovic, and I know Boca reported to him when we were in the field in
21 Velika Kladusa. The next person is Mrgud, and I don't know what his name
22 was. All I know is that he became quite a popular person when he signed
23 an agreement. Then there's Frenki whose last name is Simatovic, and
24 Stanisic whose first name is Jovica.
25 Q. Do you know what position Mrgud held, even though you don't know
1 his name?
2 A. I forgot his name, but I may be able to recall it at a later
3 stage. He was one of the ministers within the government of the Krajina.
4 I don't know whether he was in charge of defence or perhaps he was in some
5 other ministry. I'm not sure.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, between late 1991 and 1995, when you joined the
7 Skorpions, did you, as a member of the Skorpions, take part in any combat
8 or military operations in Croatia or Bosnia? Just yes or no, first of
10 A. First you said Croatia. Our standing base was in Djeletovci, and
11 we were tasked to be there. There were no military operations, apart from
12 occasional reconnaissance and laying out mines as well as securing the
13 area that was within our responsibility.
14 As regards Bosnia, yes, we went out in Bosnia. We were in the
15 field in the Bihac theatre, as well as in Velika Kladusa. I believe in
16 Velika Kladusa we were headquartered in the village of Podzuvic [phoen]
17 and we went out to a part called Treskavica.
18 Q. Thank you. You tell us in your statement that you left the
19 Skorpions in 1995 and opened a cafe bar in your hometown of Sid. Is that
21 A. With my then-girlfriend, yes. Not in 1995, though, a bit later.
22 Q. I want to move forward then to paragraph 31 of your statement.
23 You mentioned that several former Skorpions and MUP police hung out at
24 your cafe bar, and you say: "Situation in Kosovo was a main topic of
1 In late 1998 and early 1999, can you tell us what was being said
2 by those former Skorpions and MUP police about the situation in Kosovo.
3 A. I don't know what was being said by the Skorpions because they
4 were not in existence then. They were disbanded after the signing of the
5 Erdut agreement. The policemen who returned from Kosovo mentioned of the
6 increase of terrorist attacks of the then-UCK, or the Kosovo Liberation
7 Army, as well as their terrorist organisation and that the situation was a
8 grave one, although it was never officially stated. But there was an
9 expectation that NATO would eventually be deployed, and it did at a later
11 Q. In paragraph 32 you mention that you noticed a number of the MUP
12 officers returning from tours of duty in Kosovo had large amounts of money
13 and jewellery. You say it was obvious to you that that was the proceeds
14 of looting. Can you tell the Court why you came to that conclusion. What
15 did you know about them or what was going on that led you to think that
16 that was the case?
17 A. Did you say "many" or "several" officers? I didn't quite
18 understand the question.
19 Q. You said you saw MUP officers returning, and it -- you said it was
20 obvious to you that the money and jewellery -- you didn't say a number.
21 A. Yes. I know of some cases. This was probably my answer to
22 someone's question. Nevertheless, it is absolutely true. Some people
23 boasted that they simply took those things from there.
24 As regards money, I believe that the people in the field did
25 receive increased salaries as well, but there was always the possibility
1 of someone appropriating something.
2 Q. In paragraph 5 [sic] you mention that Boca was reforming the
3 Skorpions. And he told you that if you were to re-enlist or join up
4 again, this time you would be attached to the SAJ of the MUP. Do you know
5 what SAJ was, and can you explain that to the Judges?
6 A. Up until then, until that visit by Boca, when he came to my house
7 to invite me to accompany him to Kosovo, I knew very little. I know that
8 his headquarters were in Batajnica and that they were an elite unit, being
9 the best special forces that Serbia had. And for me it was an honour to
10 fight next to him.
11 Q. And do you know what kind of unit it was and to whom -- to which
12 organ or agency it belonged?
13 A. What I do know is that they were an anti-terrorist unit of the
14 Serbian MUP that was in charge of public security.
15 Q. Are you aware of -- well, can you tell us what MUP is. I don't
16 know if we've talked about that before now. What was the MUP in Serbia?
17 A. The Ministry of the Interior.
18 Q. And the SAJ was on the public security side of the MUP?
19 A. As far as I know, yes.
20 Q. Were you familiar with another group called the PJP?
21 A. This is the abbreviation for the special or separate police units.
22 Q. And who did they belong to?
23 A. To the Ministry of the Interior.
24 Q. What was the difference between the PJP and the SAJ, if you know?
25 A. As I said, the SAJ was a special anti-terrorist unit of the
1 Serbian MUP founded in the 1980s, as far as I know. It was the MUP's
2 elite unit.
3 The PJP is the following. From every OUP, meaning from every
4 police station in Serbia, there were people taken who were well-trained
5 and strong and they were assigned to the OUP. They had their regular
6 duties to carry out, but in addition they attended special training and
7 they were members of the PJP, which would then be activated under
8 extraordinary circumstances.
9 In any case, these were police officers of the public security
11 Q. So if I understand correctly, then PJP were regular policemen who
12 had been sent for specialised training?
13 A. They were regular policemen and they had some special training,
14 perhaps a bit more extensive one than they would have otherwise received
15 in their hometowns.
16 Q. And after they got their special training to be PJP policemen,
17 where did they go? Did they get a different assignment? Did they go back
18 to their home police stations? How did that work?
19 A. Sir, I was never an active police officer; therefore, I can only
20 offer my opinion.
21 As far as I know, they were always employed with their home unit,
22 being the OUP. But in extraordinary circumstances, there was a need for
23 the state to take strong young people from those regular units and to put
24 them together, to intervene wherever it was needed. It needn't be in
25 Kosovo and Metohija itself, but anywhere in the state or even in their
1 respective hometowns.
2 Q. And I'm trying to understand the difference between PJP and SAJ.
3 I know you said SAJ was a special anti-terrorist unit. These were, as I
4 understand, also policemen who had gotten some special training. What
5 happened with them after they got their special training to be in SAJ?
6 Did they go back to the police stations or did they have some kind of
7 separate posting?
8 A. What I do know of the SAJ is the following. The SAJ wouldn't take
9 people from the civilian sector, meaning civilians. For someone to become
10 a member of the SAJ and to undergo their training, that person must have
11 been a police officer prior to that, or at least must have completed the
12 police academy.
13 Q. So could a civilian go straight to PJP for training?
14 A. No. Maybe in case they carried out some training with the
15 reserves, with the police reserves as well.
16 Q. What about -- between the two, between SAJ and PJP, was one better
17 equipped? Was one seen to be more special or more elite than the other,
18 to your knowledge?
19 A. All police officers are well-trained. The PJP was well-equipped
20 as well, but the SAJ is the SAJ, the chosen ones. They probably underwent
21 much more strict and heavier training. They are a special anti-terrorist
22 unit, as their name testifies, and they are but a few.
23 Q. And there's another acronym I think that you referred to in your
24 statement somewhere, the JSO. Can you tell us who or what they were?
25 A. The JSO, the unit for special operations, called by many the
1 Red Berets.
2 Q. And were they also a part of the Ministry of Interior?
3 A. Of course.
4 Q. Were they on the public security side of the Ministry of Interior?
5 A. No. They were on the state security side.
6 Q. And can you tell us what the acronym or the abbreviation is for
7 state security. You told us DB was, I think, the acronym. Is that
9 A. Yes. The DB means "drzavna bezbednost," state security.
10 Q. All right. And is there an acronym for public security?
11 A. I don't know. I would have guessed so.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I'd like to move on to -- well, let me
13 summarise a little bit and then ask you a question.
14 In paragraphs 39 to 49, that's pages 7 through 9 of the B/C/S and
15 pages 7 through 9 of the English, you describe how a group -- you and a
16 group of about 120 volunteers, Skorpions, went from Sid to Kosovo. And I
17 note in paragraph 45 of your statement, I believe on page 8, that you said
18 about 50 per cent of the volunteers in this group had no combat
19 experience. Do you know if they had any prior police experience?
20 A. I don't know. As far as I know, they didn't.
21 Q. And you tell us in your statement that this group of volunteers
22 were going to be a detachment of the SAJ, the special anti-terrorist unit,
23 the elite unit. Based on your past experience, did you think it unusual
24 that men with such a lack of experience would be assigned to that elite
1 A. I was quite surprised by that.
2 Q. You mentioned that you actually gave them some training in house
3 and street fighting during the couple of days before you actually arrived
4 in Kosovo. Did you -- during that time did you or did they receive any
5 training or instruction about the Geneva Conventions on dealing with
6 prisoners of war or civilians encountered in combat zones?
7 A. I didn't instruct anyone about that and I wasn't instructed by
8 anyone, but the only training I did have concerning that was back from
9 1987 when I served my military term with the armed forces.
10 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I want to go next to Kosovo. In your statement in
11 paragraphs 50 through 64, pages 9 through 11 in both versions, you date an
12 event in Podujevo, Kosovo, in which Sasa Cvetan and three other Skorpions
13 shot and killed a group of 19 Albanian civilians, including 12 children
14 under the age of 14. And then you talk about how you were all sent back
15 to Serbia and told to take ten days' leave. You then say around the
16 middle of April you and many of that original group that had first gone
17 there returned to Kosovo. When you returned, was Sasa Cvetan in the group
18 that returned?
19 A. Sasa Cvetan was not there.
20 Q. What about the other three shooters, were they in the group that
22 A. They all returned to Kosovo, the entire unit, except for Sasa
24 Q. Were the -- were the identities of the other three involved in the
25 shooting known to the superiors of the Skorpions at the time?
1 A. Probably, yes.
2 Q. Were those three ever disciplined or charged that you know of?
3 A. One man was charged. He was later acquitted.
4 Q. Do you know why the other two were not charged?
5 A. Someone must have obstructed the investigation, probably the
6 commander himself.
7 Q. I want to go forward to paragraph 64 through 79 of your statement.
8 I think it's pages 11 through 13. You describe how you had returned to
9 Kosovo in mid-April and you talk about your participation in some
10 operations to drive out the UCK or KLA and "seized the villages and
11 hamlets. This was called cleaning." And you say this took place in the
12 area of Jezerce in the municipality of Suva Reka and then north of Strpce.
13 During these operations, did you see any Kosovo Albanians? And let me
14 first say: Did you see any Kosovo Albanian civilians?
15 A. From a distance. I saw them in groups leaving.
16 Q. And you did encounter some KLA opposition?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you continued to be active in this operation until you were
19 shot and wounded on the 2nd of May, 1999 by a KLA fire?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I understand then that you were hospitalised first in
22 Pristina, then to the Belgrade Military Academy, where you had some
23 operations on your arm and your elbow, and that wound left you permanently
24 medically unfit for military purposes?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in May of 2000 you got an award for your work as a member of
2 the SAJ of the MUP of Serbia?
3 A. I don't see that as an award. I had been wounded and I received a
4 special commendation for my exceptional work on combatting terrorism in
5 the area of Kosovo and Metohija.
6 Q. And who was that from?
7 A. Vlajko Stojiljkovic signed it.
8 Q. And he was the minister of the interior of Serbia at the time?
9 A. I think so.
10 Q. Were the Serbians who were the volunteers with you when you came
11 back to Kosovo, they were the -- they were volunteers and you volunteer
12 Skorpions were attached to the SAJ. Correct?
13 A. I don't understand the question.
14 Q. Who were the Skorpions attached to when you came back to Kosovo in
16 A. As far as I know, they were attached to the reserve forces of
17 the SAJ.
18 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to go to paragraphs 83 to 87 of your
19 statement, which are on pages 13 and 14 of the English and page 14 of the
20 B/C/S. In those paragraphs, Mr. Stoparic, you describe the criminal
21 proceedings or the trials against Sasa Cvetan for the 1999 killing of
22 those civilians in Podujevo. You were called as a witness in both those
23 proceedings. Could you tell the Judges in your own words what happened
24 the first time you were called as a witness in that matter. Were you
25 spoken to by anyone from the Defence before you appeared on that case?
1 A. No. I spoke to the Defence counsel --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. Did --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stoparic, you're being asked to repeat that
6 answer, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was asked whether before
8 testifying in those proceedings I spoke to anyone, whether I spoke to the
9 Defence. I said not only did I speak with the Defence counsel but I was
10 also visited by the family of the accused as well as the Skorpions
11 commander and several of his men whom he used as body-guards. In total,
12 around 20 people spoke to me.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. And what did those people tell you or ask you?
15 A. That we needed to defend Sasa.
16 Q. Anything else? How were you going to do that?
17 A. I was supposed to appear at a proceedings at Prokuplje, I believe.
18 I met on several occasions with the Defence counsel. And on the day I was
19 to testify together with two other witnesses, we went in one car down to
20 the south of Serbia. Boca, the commander, ordered that we all -- all
21 three of us come to his property. And he said: Be careful what you do
22 there. If you spill your beans you won't live for long. And I was given
23 a paper by the attorney with a statement or with the answers I was
24 supposed to provide. It was rather brief, the way he authored that text.
25 And he gave it not only to me but to the other witnesses as well.
1 Q. So what happened when you actually went to testify in that first
2 trial? What did you do?
3 A. I was asked to say that once the shooting started and once we all
4 headed toward the place the shooting was coming from, that Sasa was
5 running alongside me and that the only thing he did was to fire a burst of
6 fire some 15 minutes earlier which was only meant to serve to speed up the
7 people as they were walking, merely that. And that was in fact my
8 statement at that trial.
9 Q. Was that the truth?
10 A. No, it is not.
11 Q. And how did you feel after that afterwards, knowing that you had
12 lied about it?
13 A. Well, of course I felt badly about it, especially in view of the
14 fact that so many children had been killed, but still my life was at
15 stake. It was terrible.
16 Q. What did you do as a result of that, as a result of feeling bad
17 about it? Did you do anything?
18 A. Many eye-witnesses of the incidents live in my hometown and we
19 talked about it a lot, and we all agreed that whoever killed those
20 children deserved to be punished. However, it was dangerous for us to
21 speak up and to voice these things at trial. First of all, one man was
22 standing trial, and we all know that one person was unable to kill 19
23 persons in one minute, even if the victims were children.
24 I don't know. I wanted to tell the truth, but I simply did not
25 have the chance to do that before that trial in Belgrade.
1 Q. Okay. You mentioned the first trial, and I think you said or you
2 say in your statement that was in Prokuplje. Where is Prokuplje? Pardon
3 my pronunciation.
4 A. It's in the south of Serbia.
5 Q. And you just mentioned there was a second trial in Belgrade. Do
6 you remember when that took place?
7 A. The second trial went on for quite a while. I know that I
8 testified in the month of December of 1993, I believe.
9 Q. 1993?
10 A. Or 4. I don't know. I must have forgotten. Well, two or three
11 years ago at any rate.
12 Q. I'm sorry. The transcript showed "1993," and since the events
13 happened in 1999 I assume that was just a mistake.
14 A. 2003, I apologise.
15 Q. All right. How -- did you come to be a witness in the second
17 A. Well, you see, the first time I was a witness for the Defence.
18 However, when the case was referred from the court in Prokuplje to
19 Belgrade, the prosecutor in that case called all the witnesses appearing
20 in the first trial as prosecution witnesses, and I was among them.
21 Q. Did you -- did you tell a different version of what happened in
22 the second trial?
23 A. At the second trial I told the things as they happened.
24 Q. And that was that Sasa and three others did the shooting?
25 A. During that trial I confirmed that the Skorpions perpetrated that
1 act and that I saw Sasa and other people coming out of that yard. I never
2 said that I saw them shoot.
3 Q. Okay. I understand. And was that the truth?
4 A. Sir, at that trial Mr. Tutinac said the same thing I did. Yes,
5 the Skorpions fired upon those children, and that's the truth.
6 Q. What -- what caused you to change your mind? How were you able to
7 tell the truth this time? Were you still in fear for your life?
8 A. Of course I was. Even at that trial in Belgrade when I received
9 the summons, I entered the courtroom and told the Bench that I did not
10 feel very well and that I should be invited some other time. And this was
11 because before entering the courtroom I met Boca in the corridor, who
12 again offered to give me money, vehicles, in exchange for a statement that
13 would enable Sasa to defend himself.
14 Furthermore, at the entrance to the court I saw two of his men
15 who, upon seeing me, went away. And probably he, having heard that people
16 would be invited again to testify, wanted to make sure that they told the
17 right story. That was why I went out of the courtroom that day, but I
18 came back to testify under police protection.
19 Q. I think in your statement you indicated that Boca had offered you
20 a large sum of money. Do you remember how much that was?
21 A. I think he said something along the lines of 100.000, but he could
22 have named any sum.
23 Q. 100.000 what currency?
24 A. Marks, euros, I don't know.
25 Q. Now, I assume that in addition to being afraid for your life,
1 being offered a bribe of 100.000 Deutschmarks, what did you think was
2 going to happen to you if you told the truth as far as your relationships
3 with other Skorpions or former Skorpions?
4 A. Many of the Skorpions did not hold this against me; those who did
5 were, in a way, related to these events and were afraid of being
6 imprisoned. Of course I was afraid what would -- of what would become of
7 me. And after my testimony at this trial, I was given police protection
8 for another month.
9 Q. And in spite of that fear, you went ahead and told the truth.
10 Why? Why did you do that? It seemed like it would have been easy to just
11 tell the same lie.
12 A. Well, I was offended by him. First of all, he offered me money;
13 second of all, he threatened me, although he did not always do it in
14 person. I received his messages through other members of the Skorpions,
15 and I mean threatening messages.
16 But anyway, I had decided to tell the truth six months earlier.
17 And I told the story at this trial. I was given police protection for
18 that one day of testimony, but I was actually given real police protection
19 after my testimony. I was testifying at the district court of Belgrade as
20 well as at this special court and I was a cooperating witness.
21 Q. I'm sorry. You said you made the decision six months earlier to
22 tell the truth. At that time what was the deciding factor for you to tell
23 the truth in spite of your concerns?
24 A. I would have wished you to have eye-witnessed the killing of so
25 many children, innocent children, and then I would be the one to ask you
1 that question.
2 Q. I think I understand.
3 MR. HANNIS: Will we break at 5.30, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I think 5.45. We started at 4.15, so --
5 MR. HANNIS: Okay. That's fine.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just --
7 MR. HANNIS: I just have two other things to --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think in the circumstances, perhaps we
9 should then adjourn just now and --
10 MR. HANNIS: I just have a couple more questions.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll adjourn now, I think, Mr. Hannis, and
12 we'll resume at ten minutes to 6.00.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 The first thing I'd like to do is ask the usher to hand hard
19 copies of two documents to the witness.
20 And for us on e-court I'd like to bring up first P951.
21 Q. Mr. Stoparic, if you could look first at the thicker of those two
22 documents. I think it has a date on it of 28 June 2005 and it's --
23 appears to be a matter concerning the district court in Belgrade.
24 When you prepared your 89(F) statement for today when we met last
25 week, did you have a chance to look at that document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you recognise it as relating to the trial proceedings in
3 which you've testified against Mr. Cvetan the second time in Belgrade?
4 A. Yes, I can see it. Yes.
5 MR. HANNIS: Now if we could bring up 952.
6 Q. And, Mr. Stoparic, if you would look at the skinnier document
7 dated 3 March 2006.
8 Now I'll ask you the same question: Did you have a chance to look
9 at that one as well?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And this appears to be an appeal related to that same case. That
12 also involved the trial of Sasa Cvetan? I'm sorry.
13 I don't know if you heard me. I asked a question. Did that
14 involve your trial? I didn't see your answer. Does that second document
15 involve the trial that you testified in in Belgrade against Sasa Cvetan?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we'd like to tender these two at this
19 time. And with that, I have no further questions of this witness.
20 But before we begin cross-examination, Your Honour, I would
21 request permission to go into private session for two minutes to address
22 an issue concerning to -- concerning this witness.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Private session.
25 Mr. O'Sullivan, sorry.
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I'm just wondering on the propriety of doing
2 it -- making these submissions in the presence of the witness. If
3 Mr. Hannis could make that determination perhaps.
4 MR. HANNIS: I don't know. I don't have a problem with the
5 witness being out of the room while I address this. However, I can see a
6 point where it may become necessary for the Court to inquire of the
7 witness regarding it as well. So I don't know which is more efficient.
8 Perhaps we can do it with him out of the room and maybe we can resolve it
9 that way.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You're satisfied, Mr. O'Sullivan, that there's a
11 risk of interfering with his evidence if he's here while we discuss this
12 issue, are you?
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I think Mr. Hannis can probably anticipate that.
14 That's my only concern. If, in fact, we came to that point that would be
15 a problem.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
17 MR. HANNIS: I guess I'd rather err on the side of safety and have
18 him step out of the room briefly while we discuss this.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stoparic, you've heard the exchange just now.
20 There is an issue of law to be dealt with. Could you briefly please leave
21 the courtroom. You'll come back in a moment or two, but please leave us
22 while we have this discussion on a matter of law.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And we should now go into private session.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 714-717 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, we'll proceed in the following
2 order. First, counsel for Lukic; Pavkovic; Milutinovic; Sainovic;
3 Ojdanic; and Lazarevic.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Stoparic, you are to be cross-examined by
6 counsel for the accused, and the first counsel to conduct that
7 cross-examination will be Mr. Lukic, who represents the accused Mr. Lukic.
8 Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. But before I address the
10 witness, I have to ask you for one procedural matter, and I'm sorry I
11 didn't raise it before. Do you wish to enter the prior statements of this
12 witness as exhibits, or you prefer me just to go through them without
13 entering them as exhibits? And the practice in this Tribunal is different
14 from Chamber to Chamber.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Are they Prosecution exhibits in the case?
16 MR. LUKIC: No, they are not.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: So you are presenting them as part of your library
18 of exhibits?
19 MR. LUKIC: I'm not sure. Should I or not?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Have they been introduced into the e-court system
21 as yet?
22 MR. LUKIC: We potentially put some of them, but I'm not sure if
23 we have English versions of all of them. But if it's not on the
24 e-court -- we have English versions copied for Your Honours.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it would be helpful if you would, in future,
1 follow the procedure which was set out in the order, that these should be
2 introduced into the e-court system, unless there is some reason why that
3 can't be done, in which case you will have to seek on good cause shown
4 relief from the Trial Chamber to allow you to make use of documents.
5 Now, in this case I see no reason why these should not have been
6 entered into the e-court system in accordance with that ruling.
7 However -- and if that happens, as soon as you refer to the document and
8 you give it its number, it will simply be a document that's part of the
9 trial process, unless someone has objected to its admission and we've had
10 a debate on its admissibility and then we have to take a positive
11 decision. But in the absence of objection, any document that's part of
12 your library of documents for the case will simply be part of the record
13 of the case as it is used. So in this case you don't need to do anything
14 formal. You can present these documents and see if any objection is taken
15 when you invite the witness to look at the document and deal with it.
16 MR. LUKIC: The only reason why we hesitated is we don't know your
17 position on prior statements of the same witness, whether they should be
18 an exhibit or not.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I -- well, are you raising this on the basis that
20 for some reason you shouldn't disclose it in advance? Or are you raising
21 it in a general basis is it an exhibit or not?
22 MR. LUKIC: In a general basis because those are the statements
23 given to the Prosecutor by the same witness.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If you introduce them and they're not part of the
25 Prosecution's library of exhibits, then they must be your exhibit.
1 MR. LUKIC: All right. We have all of them already in the system,
2 so I would like two of them to be released --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So they are in the system?
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Right. Good.
6 MR. LUKIC: The only problem again we have is that the first
7 one -- the first statement given by this witness is from 2003, and we
8 don't have English version in the system, but we provided printed version
9 for Your Honours so you can follow. And as soon as we find this English
10 version, we'll attach it to the system.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. All right. Anyway, let's get started
12 with the cross-examination, and when we come to the statements no doubt
13 you will alert us.
14 MR. LUKIC: I think that we are already there, Your Honour,
15 because I'll go through the statements.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, does that mean we need to go back into
17 private session now? I'm finding this very confusing.
18 MR. LUKIC: You are not the only one.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you're supposed to be in control of this.
20 MR. LUKIC: I don't have to go to private session yet because --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
22 MR. LUKIC: -- I'm not at that point yet.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on then.
24 MR. LUKIC: And with your permission, Your Honours, I would like
25 to conduct this cross-examination in B/C/S because it would be -- I could
1 be in more control. Thanks a lot.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. My name is Branko Lukic, and together with Dragan Ivetic and
6 Mr. Ogrizovic, I appear for General Lukic.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they don't have
8 copies of the documents used by the Defence.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. First of all, I would like to clarify one little point --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... just for a
12 moment because I've just received a message from the interpreters that
13 they don't have the documents that are going to be used.
14 Now, Mr. Sabbah, do the interpreters not have access to the
15 e-court? Well, all the documents except one are to be on e-court, as I
16 understand it, then there shouldn't be a problem for the interpreters.
17 So carry on, Mr. Lukic, thanks.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that they only have access to
19 what can be seen under the button "computer evidence" not to e-court as
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Stop. Sorry. Let's get this clarified now. The
22 next message is, Mr. Sabbah, that the interpreters don't have access to
23 the e-court button or what can be brought up by the e-court button.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the updated information I'm given now is that
1 that is what's intended in due course, but at the moment e-court is not,
2 fact, available to the interpreters. And therefore, if you have hard
3 copies of this material, then it may aid them if the hard copies are
4 available for the ELMO. So perhaps your case manager or assistant who's
5 there can do something about that while you start your cross-examination.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, let us resume your
9 Firstly, I will ask you briefly a matter about your statement you
10 gave on the 6th of July, 2006, several days ago, therefore. I'd like to
11 know whether you gave this statement or was it compiled by the OTP
12 investigators. Therefore, on the 6th of July, 2006, did you speak to them
13 and they wrote down what you said, or was it simply a compilation of your
14 previous statements?
15 A. I believe that the latter is true.
16 Q. That they compiled your statements?
17 A. Yes. I believe that they used two or three of my statements to do
19 Q. Who decided what should be inserted in the statement dated the 6th
20 of July, 2006? Was it you or was it them?
21 A. I don't understand. What do you mean? I or them? Who them?
22 Q. The investigators or OTP representatives, were they the ones who
23 decided what to select out of your previous statements, or did you tell
24 them which paragraphs of -- from those previous statements were to be put
25 into the 6th of July, 2006 statement?
1 A. I read the statement that I was given and I agreed to it. I
2 referred them to some of the mistakes that were there inadvertently, which
3 normally happens.
4 Q. Can we therefore conclude that you read this statement and then
5 signed it, nothing more?
6 A. No. I also participated in giving my input in terms of matters
7 that I disagreed with or I thought were inaccurate.
8 Q. In this statement it states that the interviewer was Philip Caine.
9 Do you know what Philip Caine's role was in compiling this statement?
10 A. I don't know any Philip Caine.
11 Q. Can you tell us who was present while you were signing the
13 A. The interpreter, maybe I know this person by sight but I don't
14 know him by name. There were people from the Prosecution of course,
15 several of them, as well.
16 Q. I wanted to go through several paragraphs from your latest
17 statement, and then we will go through your first and second statement.
18 In the statement of the 6th of July, 2006, in paragraph 47 you
19 described the MUP building in Podujevo, which was hit by NATO bombs.
20 During your short stay in Podujevo, did you see or hear of any other
21 targets being hit by NATO in Podujevo up until that time?
22 A. No, I don't remember. NATO was bombing all the time.
23 Q. In that statement of the 6th of July, 2006, in paragraph 59, you
24 described the situation after the murder of 19 civilians in Podujevo, and
25 you say: "Tutinac was very angry and used very harsh words with us. I
1 was afraid he would kill us all and he said that they were going to send
2 us back. I supposed we were being sent out of Kosovo."
3 In paragraph 60 you state: "Half an hour later all members of the
4 Skorpions, apart from one platoon, were on buses. They left Podujevo and
5 went towards Prolom Banja."
6 My question, therefore, is: Do you think that such behaviour of
7 your superiors prevented any further massacres of civilians?
8 A. Yes. It is absolutely possible.
9 Q. In the same statement of the 6th of July, 2006, in paragraph P67
10 you mentioned the operation in Jezerce in the municipality of Suva Reka.
11 You state: "We started operations to drive the Albanian terrorists out
12 and seize the villages and hamlets. This was called 'cleaning' or mopping
14 Could you explain to us what the units participating in that
15 operation were actually doing during the cleaning or mopping-up
17 A. We always used to do that when we were sent out for an operation.
18 As to what exactly they did, well, they would try to seize that area, take
19 control of it. Of course, if they met any resistance, they were supposed
20 to eliminate it, to eliminate the KLA terrorists.
21 Q. In the operation in Jezerce, did you kill any civilians?
22 A. No, we didn't see any, apart from those we saw from a distance.
23 Q. The term "cleaning" or "mopping-up" the way you used it in your
24 unit when carrying out operations, does that include any murders or
25 expelling of civilians?
1 A. Throughout the war whilst I carried arms, mopping-up for me meant
2 attacking the enemy forces [as interpreted], trying to seize control of
3 their territory or facilities.
4 Q. Thank you. In your statement you mention --
5 MR. LUKIC: Just one correction for the transcript. In the
6 transcript on the page 78, line 20, it is written "enemy forces," and I
7 think that the witness mentioned "enemy soldiers."
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In your statement you often referred to Tutinac. Do you know what
12 his first name was?
13 A. I even spoke on the phone with him once, but I don't know what it
14 is. I believe I was told once what his first name was, but for me he
15 always remained Tuta or Tutinac. I appreciate him greatly, a good
17 Q. Could his last name be Simovic?
18 A. That is possible.
19 Q. In the statement of the 6th of July, 2006, in paragraph 79, you
20 state that you spent a total of around 15 to 16 days in Kosovo as part of
21 the SAJ. Therefore, you were a remember of the reserve forces of the
22 police. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's what I've been saying throughout.
24 Q. As a reserve member of the police, do you know that you could have
25 been attached to any reserve police unit?
1 A. I don't know that, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were a
3 Q. Thank you. In the statement of the 24th of February, 2004, in
4 paragraph 53 you state that you were never ordered to kill civilians. Is
5 that correct?
6 A. Absolutely so.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher to deliver the statement to the
10 witness as well, please.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, I believe you have before you the
12 statement dated the 21st November 2003. Is that correct?
13 A. It says Belgrade, the 21st, the 22nd, and the 24th.
14 Q. What I meant was that the first one is the 21st of November.
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. In paragraph 10 --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I think this document should probably now have a
18 number. This must have a number in e-court, does it?
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Its number is 6D7.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: But only in Serbian, in B/C/S.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, in the statement of the 21st of
23 November, 2003, in the Serbian version in paragraph 10, which is continued
24 on page 4 of 30 you state in the second line: "I never hurt [realtime
25 transcript read in error "heard"] anyone. I saw (redacted) killing
2 Is that correct?
3 A. Is what correct, what you've just read out?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Did you report that to anyone?
7 A. No.
8 MR. LUKIC: My learned friends have some objections, so if you
9 bear with me, Your Honour, just to consult for a second.
10 Sorry, now I understand finally. In the transcript it says "I
11 never heard," and should be "I never hurt anybody."
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: Or harm.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. In paragraph 12 of the same statement it reads: "I saw many dead
17 bodies of Croatian civilians in the streets of Tovarnik. I also saw the
18 dead body of the grandmother of a friend of mine from Sid who was a Serb
19 lady. She was probably killed when she tried to protect some Croats."
20 Mr. Stoparic, do you know of this or is this a speculation on your
22 A. Is this what you have in mind?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I said here of a friend of mine from Sid, and this is what he told
25 me about what he thought had happened.
1 Q. But you don't know it for a fact, the way it really happened?
2 A. No, of course I don't. All I saw was her dead body.
3 Q. Let us move on to paragraph 21.
4 MR. LUKIC: On B/C/S version it's page 6, but as since we don't
5 have the English version I don't know the English page.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It's on --
7 MR. HANNIS: Page 5 in the English.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 5, yeah.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, in paragraph 21 you state: "We
11 were told by Chetnik Captain Ljuba Ivanovic during the training that we
12 had to make up for the 700.000 Serbs killed during World War II, meaning
13 that we had to kill the same number of Croats."
14 Did you consent to such conditions?
15 A. No.
16 Q. But you remained in the unit?
17 A. Well, sir, not for long. And this Chetnik captain Ljuba Ivanovic,
18 well, he met his sudden end by the same method he employed in his actions.
19 He was a Chetnik captain -- at least that's what he called himself. I
20 attended his funeral in Nis, and there was a letter from the Serbian
21 Radical Party read out there by Seselj. He thanked the Chetnik captain
22 for his fierce fighting in the liberation of the Serb territories. As for
23 what I stated here, that is precisely what the man said.
24 Q. But you never accepted such preconditions?
25 A. I didn't kill any civilians.
1 Q. Did other members of the unit accept such conditions?
2 A. That unit was soon -- well, throughout their so-called military
3 war career, I didn't follow what they were doing. But I saw some of those
4 people later, and they never told me they had -- they felt any urge to do
6 Q. In paragraph 25, there you state you were the commander of the
7 1st Platoon of the 1st Company.
8 A. I think I commanded the 2nd Platoon of the 1st Company.
9 Q. In any case, you commanded a platoon?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Let us move on to paragraph 30. That is page 9 in the B/C/S and
12 page 7 in the English. The last sentence reads: "Members of the
13 Leva Supoderica unit often killed Croatian civilians."
14 First of all, can you tell me what Leva Supoderica is?
15 A. Leva Supoderica is a settlement, a part of Vukovar, and that
16 detachment was called Leva Supoderica. I presume because they hailed from
17 that part of town, including their commander.
18 Q. Were you a member of this unit?
19 A. Yes. I was a member of the Leva Supoderica unit.
20 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry to intervene, Your Honour, but I realise
21 now that we've gone into the 2004 statement, and I don't think we've
22 mentioned the exhibit number for this one. We had referred to the exhibit
23 number for the 2003 statement.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's this one that is 6D7, I think.
25 MR. HANNIS: Okay. I'm sorry. Then we didn't mention a number
1 for the other one when we spoke briefly about the 2003 statement.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: That's -- I think that's correct, Mr. Hannis.
3 Mr. Lukic, do you have a number for the 2003 statement?
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I hope that I'm still on the same
5 statement from the 21st November 2003, and on paragraph 3-0, 30.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, yeah.
7 Mr. Hannis, the statement we're on is 21st -- it's actually signed
8 24th November, 2003.
9 MR. HANNIS: I stand corrected on that, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And that seems to be the only one we've explored.
11 MR. HANNIS: I think that's right.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
13 Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, we established that members of your unit
16 again killed civilians. Did you take part in the killings of those
18 A. No.
19 Can I offer an explanation? Based on the experience I have, in
20 every unit -- or rather, not really in every unit, not in highly
21 professional ones, but in the units composed of volunteers where killing
22 of civilians occurred, it was always committed by one group of people who
23 repeatedly go back to the front line. But you can't say that where a
24 person was a member of a unit that he automatically did what other members
25 of the unit did.
1 Q. Thank you, and I accept your explanation. However, we said that
2 you were a platoon commander. What did you do to sanction the people who
3 were killing?
4 A. I will tell you, and I speak for my platoon. These were members
5 of the Leva Supoderica platoon and there were many of them. There was
6 only one case where a man reported to me and said: Oh gosh, you have to
7 know what we were doing yesterday. I can't really quote his words, but at
8 any rate he told me that he had killed some people, that he had run them
9 through with a knife. I believe that it was the Ovcara people. I told
10 him: Oh, get away, you must be lying.
11 However, when the Ovcara trial in Belgrade commenced, this same
12 person was convicted of that crime.
13 You see, I've told you, I simply didn't believe him at the time.
14 Q. Did you ever report what you knew of the killing of civilians in
15 Vukovar to anyone?
16 A. Well, who was I supposed to report that to? If these dead
17 civilians were at the same time seen by my superior, my commander, then
18 who was I supposed to turn to?
19 Q. Thank you. I wish to move on to paragraph 41 of the same
20 statement. There you speak of Vojislav Seselj and say that the effect he
21 left on the volunteers was that of a drug, it was intoxicating. I don't
22 wish to dwell on Mr. Seselj now, but I'd like to ask you the following.
23 Do you have first-hand experience with drugs and their effects on people?
24 A. Not personally, but I was able to see the effects on other people,
25 and I learned quite a lot from books, as other people did.
1 Q. I wish to move to paragraph 65 of the same statement, which is on
2 page --
3 A. I've found it.
4 Q. Very well. It's page 13 in the English version. In this
5 paragraph you state: "I had had enough of Brcko and I was unhappy with
6 the behaviour of some members of my unit. One of my soldiers killed a
7 married Muslim couple in a beastly way in order to rob them. I helped the
8 police arrest the soldier."
9 Can you tell us the name of the soldier? We can move into private
10 session if you want.
11 A. I'm trying to remember his name at this time, but for many reasons
12 I prefer to tell his name in private session.
13 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, may we go into private session?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session
15 because of the nature of the evidence which the witness is being asked to
16 give which he says he will be unhappy to give if the evidence is heard in
18 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, I'd now like you to focus on
18 paragraph 66 of the statement. You state: "When I demobilised at Brcko
19 sometime in the spring of 1993, I took a few of the soldiers who shared my
20 beliefs or similar to mine and we went to Teslic to work with the HVO on a
21 joint operation against Muslims."
22 What were these beliefs that you shared with these soldiers?
23 A. Beliefs. Well, perhaps I didn't put it properly here, but at any
24 rate I'll explain what I meant when I said that we shared the same
1 I meant to say that a soldier is a soldier and has to kill another
2 soldier. Imagine if we took the late Ljuba Ivanovic to Zepce with HVO.
3 Do you understand what I'm saying? We need to have a strictly
4 professional relation. If we are ordered to do something, we have to
5 execute that. And I know that. I was there. That's why I decided to
6 select a few people for whom I knew that they would not cause any
7 incidents, and that was what I meant.
8 Q. Were you in Teslic when Micas -- the Micas operated over there?
9 A. I never heard that.
10 Q. Well, that's a legitimate answer. Thank you.
11 I've asked you about these beliefs precisely because I wanted to
12 ask you the following: Were these the same people who fought Croats with
13 you in Vukovar?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stoparic, you are being asked to repeat that
16 answer, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The answer was: Most of them were,
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Could we move to paragraph 69 on page 18. In this paragraph you
22 speak of the inception of the Skorpions and you say: "I learned that the
23 Skorpions were a special unit of the state security, formed as a satellite
24 unit of the Red Berets at a meeting in Novi Sad between Mihalj Kertes,
25 Dule Filipovic, Slobodan Grahovac, Radovan Stojicic, Badza, and Bozovic in
1 Novi Sad. Perhaps some other people were present too. This meeting was
2 held approximately three months before I joined the Skorpions."
3 In what way did you learn of this meeting?
4 A. I was invited to join the Skorpions by Medic, who was accompanied
5 by accompanied by his body-guards, or at least persons who were his
6 body-guards at the time, and many of them were his relatives. I wanted to
7 know more about the units and he told me: Well, I think you should steer
8 clear of Seselj's units or any other units of that sort. You should
9 really join units that are more professional. If you want to fight, then
10 at least fight with someone who's more professional. He wanted to present
11 himself as a connoisseur of all these people.
12 There was one other name that he mentioned to me and I omitted to
13 say. That name I think -- he also mentioned Zivko Sokolovacki who was a
14 manager at the time or something along those lines.
15 Q. So Medic told you about the meeting?
16 A. Yes, precisely as I said it here. And now I added Zivko
17 Sokolovacki. I learned it from him and the people who were sitting there
18 with him. Then I inquired after that. I wanted to know what sort of
19 equipment they had because I wanted to make sure that I was moving on to a
20 better post. I had had enough of these volunteer-type of units that
21 didn't even have uniforms, and I found the story as he put it to me quite
22 attractive. I thought it a certain post, one that was offered by the
23 state, and I said: Well, why not?
24 Q. So the only source of information in that regard was Medic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you receive other information concerning the Skorpions only
2 from him?
3 A. I had received all my orders from him, and everything that I had
4 to know, formally or informally, I learned from him.
5 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 70 of the same statement. At the same time,
6 paragraph 10 in the 6th of July, 2006 statement you state that one of the
7 satellite units was the CSB from Doboj. Do you know what the CSB is?
8 A. Based on what I heard, the CSB is the Central Security Service or
9 something of the sort. I know that they said that Mladen Kuzemka [phoen]
10 was the commander of the CSB. That's all I know, and the whole paragraph
11 contains the information that was told me.
12 Q. Do you want to say that the CSB Doboj was a satellite auxiliary
14 A. No, probably only their special platoon or special company.
15 Q. One part of the CSB therefore?
16 A. Please, I apologise if I made a mistake somewhere in these
17 acronyms. Whenever I heard over the communications lines "CSB" or words
18 to that effect, I thought that they referred to their specialists. I know
19 that generally speaking in police terms the CSB is something larger.
20 Q. Paragraph 73 on page 19, that's page 14 in the English version.
21 You state: "The state security of the RSK did not exist. There was only
22 the state security of Serbia."
23 You're speaking of the structure of the MUP in the Republic of the
24 Serbian Krajina?
25 A. Which paragraph is that, please?
1 Q. Paragraph 73, that's the third line of paragraph 73. "There was
2 no state security of the RSK."
3 A. Yes, that's as far as I know.
4 Q. Do you know that for a fact or as a rumour?
5 A. I wasn't a responsible duty holder there. You could say that I
6 heard that.
7 Q. Therefore, you were never in the head office of the Ministry of
8 the Interior of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina and you can't,
9 therefore, claim that the ministry lacked one of its sectors entirely?
10 A. I am absolutely clear about the fact that this is contained in my
11 statement. I did state that, but the context was different. What one
12 needs to add here is not an opinion of mine, but simply that this was the
13 sort of information that I received.
14 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I'm quite clear about that. I simply want to
15 establish with you that you do not have any direct knowledge of this but
16 that you're simply conveying what you heard.
17 A. Absolutely, yes.
18 Q. Very well.
19 A. May I explain this a bit further?
20 Q. Of course.
21 A. You see, sir, if something is said 100 times, even it is an
22 untruth, it will become the truth. To me, as an ordinary person, a
23 soldier, I simply had to grasp pieces of information and make conclusions
24 on the basis of that.
25 Q. This is precisely what we are afraid of in testimonies when
1 persons convey things that they are not certain of, and that's why we
2 appreciate you saying that clearly.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Lukic, would this be a suitable time to
5 MR. LUKIC: Any moment is suitable for the break, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Well, Mr. Stoparic, we have to end the proceedings for the day at
8 this time, and they will continue tomorrow. You should be here ready to
9 commence your evidence at 2.15 tomorrow. Meanwhile, it is absolutely
10 vital that you have no communication about your evidence, either that
11 you've given or are about to give, with any person. Do you understand
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand that
14 fully. After all, this is public testimony. I don't have to tell anyone
15 that I will be testifying tomorrow.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But the point I'm making is that you shouldn't be
17 discussing it in any form whatsoever with any other person overnight. So
18 please return here tomorrow, ready to begin your evidence, at 2.15.
19 The Court is now adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day of
22 July, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.