1 Thursday, 13 July 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I remind you that the solemn undertaking which you
9 took yesterday continues to apply to your evidence today and for the rest
10 of your evidence. Do you understand that?
11 THE WITNESS: Of course.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Lukic, to continue your cross-examination --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a question for the Bench and
17 an appeal at the same time. It would take but a few moments and I would
18 kindly ask to go into private session, if we could. Since you've advised
19 me specifically that I wasn't to discuss my testimony with anyone and I
20 tried to come up with an answer that I was looking for from myself.
21 Therefore, perhaps I could clarify that in private session briefly. Now,
22 I wanted to present the problem that I have, and I promise to be brief.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Why is it necessary to go into private session?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I believe is the problem is
25 what I need to understand -- what I need to explain for you to understand.
1 If I speak about the issue now in open session, then there would be no
2 point in going into private session. And again, I can promise that I will
3 be brief.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, since you're anxious that you may say
6 something inappropriate in the course of this discussion, we will go into
7 private session for it.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 742-743 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: I will try my best not -- to follow your guidances
9 given to us today and hopefully I won't make any mistakes. Thank you.
10 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. We meet again it seems. Briefly I would like to go back to a
16 topic we discussed yesterday. I don't believe there is anything in
17 dispute concerning that, but I wanted to elaborate one thing we discussed
19 You mentioned the tragic events in Podujevo yesterday, and you
20 stated that your superiors probably helped to prevent any further
21 massacres and tragedies by removing the Skorpions from the area.
22 A. I said that only God knows what could have happened had they not
23 done so.
24 Q. Thank you. Therefore, I think we may conclude that in any case
25 your superiors, that is those from the SAJ, never ordered that civilians
1 could be fired upon?
2 A. That is absolutely true.
3 Q. Therefore, we may conclude that the killings of those people was
4 not intentional or planned by the SAJ or the police for that matter?
5 A. I've been testifying several times concerning that event, and I
6 kept repeating that no one had ordered anything of that nature. I never
7 ordered such a thing, and no one did. I'm quite positive about that.
8 Q. If I go back to the numbers from the sketch you made, could you be
9 able -- would you be able to follow me as to who I'm referring to?
10 A. If you were to use the names, I could follow, but as to the
11 numbers, I'm not sure. If I had them in front of me together with the
12 names, then that might work.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we could provide the witness a copy of
15 both the redacted and the unredacted versions.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what's necessary is an unredacted one so that
17 he can relate the number to the name, and the examiner can use the number.
18 MR. HANNIS: That's right. We have the number on the unredacted
19 version. So if we could have the usher hand him that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
21 Just for the avoidance of doubt, does the unredacted one have a
22 separate exhibit number?
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. HANNIS: No, I don't believe it does, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Then certainly the statement I have has a redacted
1 copy only attached to it.
2 MR. HANNIS: The unredacted version has a separate ERN number, but
3 I don't know if that's been loaded into e-court. Perhaps we can mark it
4 later and file it under seal.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. HANNIS: I should indicate I believe Defence counsel's put in
7 the statement to which the original unredacted version was an attachment
8 as well. So that should be in e-court.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the -- you mean the statement of the 6th of
11 MR. HANNIS: No, not the statement of the 6th of July, but his --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: But his 2003 --
13 MR. HANNIS: 2004 statement I believe, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we haven't reached that one yet. The one we
15 were exploring yesterday was 6D7, which is the November 2003.
16 MR. HANNIS: Well, I was just indicating for the convenience of
17 counsel if he wanted to look at an unredacted version to match it up with
18 the numbers to make it easier for him to do the questioning. It's the
19 attachment to the statement of --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: 24th of February, is it?
21 MR. HANNIS: It looks like it was several days in February and a
22 day in May in 2004.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
24 Now, Mr. Lukic, do you have a number -- well, do you have a
25 statement with the unredacted drawing or sketch attached to it?
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. LUKIC: I was just informed that we only have the statement
3 without the chart.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's proceed then on the basis of the document
5 that's just been handed to the witness, and the Prosecution can have that
6 loaded into e-court under seal and give it a number there, and that can be
7 intimated to us.
8 MR. HANNIS: And if it's helpful to Mr. Lukic, I can give him an
9 unredacted copy right now.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I suspect he might need it.
11 MR. LUKIC: I do have one.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, you do have that.
13 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, please carry on, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. HANNIS: Does the Court need one, Your Honour?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: That would be helpful, yes.
17 Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. One more thing before we
19 proceed with this witness. On page 6, line 6 -- 5 and 6 actually of the
20 transcript it says: "I never ordered such a thing." But I didn't ask the
21 witness whether he ordered and he didn't answer in that manner. He
22 said: "I never heard that anybody ordered." I would like just that
23 correction to be made.
24 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, line -- you're on page 5 --
1 MR. LUKIC: No, page 6, line 5 and 6.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's consistent with my note of the
3 evidence, I have to say, what's in the transcript. I don't really see
4 that there's any material difference. He said he didn't order such a
5 thing and no one did. It's pretty definite. The note I've made is: No
6 one ordered the Podujevo massacre, so it's consistent with my recollection
7 of the evidence.
8 So let's carry on as it is, please.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, I will now mention a number from
11 the sketch. According to what you can remember, the murders at Podujevo
12 were committed by the number 1. Isn't that correct?
13 A. One could say so, yes, although I don't believe the main person
14 led the whole thing is marked under the number 1.
15 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that members of the Serbian MUP, of the
16 Serbian police, immediately after the incident took all necessary measures
17 to provide assistance and medical assistance to the civilians injured by
18 the person and other people under the number 1?
19 A. There was an active SAJ officer who's a physician in civilian
20 life - I believe his name was Dragan - and he tried to save those that
21 were still alive.
22 Q. According to the judgement tendered yesterday by the OTP, which
23 is P291 --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
25 MR. LUKIC:
1 Q. P951, this incident -- in that incident, five children survived
2 and were administered first aid subsequently?
3 A. When I participated in that trial in Belgrade, I've learned that
4 there were several children there. At first I thought that only one or
5 two had survived, and you know very well that we were driven away by
6 Tutinac himself and we didn't have the time to see everything.
7 Q. Thank you. You've already stated that the SAJ commander was
8 upset, that he cursed at the people from the unit for the events at
9 Podujevo. Were you under the impression that he was upset because of the
10 fact that civilians were killed?
11 A. I still remember clearly his words, and I can quote them quite
12 precisely if you want me to do so.
13 Q. I don't believe that is necessary, but you may as well if you want
14 the Chamber to hear that.
15 A. His behaviour was such that one could conclude that he was very
16 worried about the things that took place, and in his brief speech he told
17 us: You are not the people to be counted on, or: One can't work with
18 you. I was under the impression that he wasn't very happy about the
19 things that took place.
20 Q. Were you under the impression that this incident was a shock for
21 the other policemen as well?
22 A. There was a person, a man, whose nickname was Vuk, Wolf. He was a
23 very good professional, an SAJ officer, and he was even -- he used even
24 harsher words. He even took one of the children out in the street to
25 bring him to the ambulance that was there. None of the members of the
1 SAJ, as far as I could see, was happy about that -- well, not happy, but
2 they were probably horrified. People at that time couldn't have known who
3 from the Skorpions did that. And when our officers spoke to us, they
4 addressed the entire unit.
5 Q. Therefore, we may conclude that the people who didn't participate
6 in the killing were all angry and upset over what had happened?
7 A. I've replied already as regards the SAJ unit. As for the
8 Skorpions, those who didn't participate were not happy about it, of
10 Q. The withdrawal of your unit from Podujevo back to Serbia, did you
11 see that as a sort of punishment, a sanction?
12 A. At first, when we arrived at Prolom Banja, we stayed there for
13 another few days. And my opinion was that someone at the higher levels
14 was probably contemplating what to do with us and what would take place.
15 I expected sanctions, an investigation, and prison sentences for the
16 perpetrators. And already in Prolom Banja we knew who the perpetrators
17 were. Some of them even boasted about it.
18 Q. The person under the number 1 --
19 A. You can mention his name.
20 Q. The person under the number 1 was arrested by the Serbian police
21 because of his role in all these events.
22 A. You probably mean the person under the number 4.
23 Q. You can see in the transcript the number 4, but what I think you
24 wanted to say --
25 A. Both people under the number 1 and 4 were arrested and spent some
1 time in custody in Belgrade. And after they were released, I spoke to
2 them in Novi Sad.
3 Q. Did you at that time go to Belgrade perhaps?
4 A. At that time?
5 Q. Yes, during the war.
6 A. During the war?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. I don't understand.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please be asked to pause
10 between question and answer and not to overlap. Thank you.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Be cautious about overlapping when the interpreters
12 have to deal with both question and answer in the one language. Thank
14 Try just to pause, please, Mr. Stoparic, before you answer the
15 question so that the interpretation can be completed. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. The person under the number 1 on the drawing, he was also
18 sentenced because of the events that took place at Podujevo. Isn't that
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. As regards that testimony, you were provided police protection by
22 the Serbian police. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Therefore, we may conclude that the Serbian police at the time you
25 testified never exerted any pressure upon you not to testify about the
2 A. None of the statements I've given concerning this mentions any
3 of -- anything of that sort. I've already stated who tried to pressure
5 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to have that clarified. Some of the
6 questions may see superfluous, but -- to you it may seem unnecessary,
7 although we still need to clarify that here. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If I may have a moment, Your Honours.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. To go back to your report, yesterday we stopped at paragraph 76 of
12 your report of the 21st of November, 1993 [as interpreted], that is
13 Exhibit 6D7.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's being translated as "report" but it should
15 be "statement."
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Paragraph 76 is on the fourth page of the English text and it is
18 also on the fourth page of the B/C/S text. Yesterday this was also
19 referred to on the 48th page, line 4 of the transcript.
20 In that paragraph you say: "The order was issued from the top,
21 that 60 per cent of our personnel should be from Republika Srpska and the
22 Republic of Serbian Krajina and 40 per cent of them from the Republic of
23 Serbia. That is because of the fact that the people on the top in Serbia
24 could always deny the connection because them and the Skorpions."
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'd like to point to a correction I
1 think needs to be made in the transcript. It refers to the statement as
2 being in November 1993, I'm looking at line 11 on page 13. I think the
3 statement is in 2003. And paragraph 76 is on the 15th page of the
4 English, I believe.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
6 Carry on, Mr. Lukic, please.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Correct, it is the 15th
8 page of the English text and page 19 and 21 of the B/C/S version.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, 19 and 20 of the B/C/S
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I should only like to ask you whether you ever saw
13 an order containing anything of the sort and what is the source of your
14 knowledge about this?
15 A. I believe that I replied to that question yesterday. The source
16 is Srdjan Manojlovic. But I'm quite sure that it is exactly the way I
17 said it, verbatim. Because I wanted to bring two or three people to
18 join -- two or three men to join the Skorpions, but of course I couldn't
19 do that without the knowledge of the commander or of Srdjan Manojlovic or
20 of his deputy.
21 This is what he replied. He said in his response to my question:
22 Why not? He said: Well, they could always claim that this is so or that
23 this is not so, so that when I was giving my statement I believe that I
24 gave that same explanation.
25 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 78 of the same statement, page 15 of the
1 English version and the 20th page of the B/C/S version you say, the third
2 sentence: "The Skorpions issued a military service booklet to me with my
3 photograph and my rank. It was written in it that I was a member of the
4 state security of the MUP of Serbia. In this military service booklet, it
5 did not say RSK. What was written in it was the Republic of Serbia."
6 Don't you think that it is contradictory, in fact, that somebody
7 wanted to hide the fact that the Skorpions were a part of the Serbian
8 forces, whereas issuing a military service booklet confirming exactly that
9 [as interpreted]?
10 A. Well, don't you think an egoist could have issued a document of
11 precisely this type?
12 Q. I'm not authorised to respond to questions. I'm not on the stand.
13 A. Let me tell you. What I tried to explain to you is that many
14 Skorpions had this service booklet in red hide with their photographs,
15 bound in red hide, with their photographs, their ranks, and authorising
16 them to use the communication devices of others, the transportation means
17 of others. I presume that many of them returned those service booklets,
18 but -- what was it I was going to say, explain. You pointed to -- you
19 alluded to a contradiction --
20 Q. Is it not contradictory that a state wishing to hide its
21 connection with your unit, as Srdjan Manojlovic puts it and says, is at
22 the same time issuing you with booklets, showing that you are indeed a
23 part of its forces. That is contradictory to me. What do you think?
24 A. It appears to be contradictory to me as well. There were many
25 mistakes, in fact.
1 Q. But precisely because you did have such a booklet, such a
2 document, don't you perhaps think that Srdjan Manojlovic was not telling
3 the telling the truth?
4 A. Srdjan Manojlovic, I would not like to really debate him or his
5 character, talk about him at any length.
6 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 81 of the statement, which in the B/C/S
7 version is on page 21 --
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, I think that we have to intervene
10 again regarding this transcript. It's page 15, line 25, one part of the
11 witness's answer is missing, because at the end he said: "Everything is
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, thank you, Mr. Lukic. It's confirmed that
15 that was omitted.
16 MR. LUKIC: May I proceed, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, sorry. Sometimes in this court we
20 have to deal with matters which take our time. Then we will have probably
21 such situations also in the future, so I apologise in advance to you for
22 having to also bear with that.
23 So let us go back to page -- paragraph 81 of your statement of the
24 21st of November, 2003, the 21st page of the B/C/S version; 15 and 16 are
25 the English version pages. In this paragraph you say: "The order for
1 operations -- orders for operations were received directly from Mrgud, the
2 minister of defence of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina."
3 Can we mention the name of this gentleman?
4 A. Why not?
5 Q. So this is Milan Milanovic. Was he a member of the Skorpions?
6 A. If he was a minister, why would a minister belong to the SAJ?
7 Q. So he did not?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And he was not a member of the MUP either, right?
10 A. I said -- the minister of defence is what I said. I'm not quite
11 sure that he was a minister of defence. He may have gone through a number
12 of ministries in his political career.
13 Q. But being a politician, he did not belong to the military either?
14 A. Well, if he was the minister of defence, then he had the position
15 of a commander.
16 Q. A minister and a politician?
17 A. Yes, but a minister of defence is a very important factor in the
18 military, if he was indeed the minister of defence.
19 Q. If this gentleman, Milan Milanovic, were to claim that he could
20 have in no way whatsoever influenced the actions of these Skorpions, would
21 he have been telling the truth?
22 A. Probably not.
23 Q. Because in his -- in his statement given to the OTP from the 29th
24 of June, 2005, in paragraph 11, he says, he claims, that the command was
25 of -- by Slobodan Medic and that he reported to General Loncar. Is this
2 A. The names are familiar. But in order to disprove what Mr. Mrgud
3 is saying, in every field, in every terrain, including that to Kosovo,
4 after many years he took us there personally. Now, whether this only
5 involved a relationship of friendship with the commander or something
6 else, this is something for him to explain.
7 Q. Thank you. So you say that this gentleman did not have -- did
8 have operative control over you?
9 A. As far as I know, yes, he did.
10 Q. Of course he claims something else in paragraph 12 in his
11 statement of the 29th of June, 2005.
12 A. Well, I don't blame him. He is afraid of being accused of it, of
13 an indictment.
14 Q. Now I am going to move on to paragraph 108 of the same statement,
15 English 19, page 19, B/C/S page 26. You say there: "The so-called
16 blockade of the transfer of military equipment to the Republika Srpska was
17 such only in the beginning, but practically it was only for the
18 international community but in practice thousands of lorries crossed the
19 border over to Republika Srpska at night."
20 So I ask you: Is the natural boundary between Serbia and the
21 Republika Srpska the River Drina?
22 A. Yes, yes, and when I'm talking about the natural boundary in this
23 particular example, I'm talking about the River Sava.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the counsel
25 because of the overlap.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. How many bridges are there on the Sava between Serbia and the
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. Between Serbia and the Republika Srpska I know about the bridge at
6 Q. And there was also the Pavloviceva Cuprija, the Pavlovica bridge?
7 A. Yes, the Pavloviceva bridge on the Sava River also.
8 Q. And in the municipality of Bijeljina is it there?
9 A. I don't think so. I think it's in Zvornik municipality or
10 somewhere around there.
11 Q. Well, it doesn't matter right now. What I want to know is: Is it
12 possible that during night thousands of lorries should cross over to the
13 other side, across just a couple of bridges?
14 A. No one was referring to just one night. Neither did I.
15 Q. Sorry, that is what I understood you to have said.
16 A. It says at night, at night, during different -- on different
17 nights, thousands of lorries crossed over.
18 Q. I accept this correction. I just took it to mean one night. It
19 is my mistake.
20 A. I myself crossed that boundary, that border, sir.
21 Q. The English translation "at night" means that it is singular, but
22 okay. Were these --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, don't rely on me understanding it in that
24 sense, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: I stand corrected, Your Honours. Thank you.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, were these bridges overseen at
2 night by international monitors, observers?
3 A. If we are talking about bridges, let us please return to the Raca
4 bridge because I know much more about it than about Pavloviceva Most.
5 Because in my life I perhaps just crossed over this Pavloviceva bridge
6 once privately.
7 This bridge in Raca, it would be best if I actually described to
8 you how I myself crossed it in military uniform, with military equipment,
9 so that everybody would be clear on how this went on and how it was seen
10 by the European monitors.
11 Q. Were there any European monitors there?
12 A. You probably know where this bridge is and you know that it is
13 behind a curve. There is a restaurant before it, some 500 metres ahead of
14 it. There are bungalows of the customs administration, of the police, of
15 the Serbian forces are also there. In fact, that -- they are unable to
16 see the bridge in its entirety but just parts of it if they are standing
17 on the road. So the European monitors also were together, there together
18 with the MUP people and people who are manning the crossing and who worked
19 there as a matter of routine. So it is very easy. And when one went
20 clandestinely to the bridge, one went through the village of Visjnicevo by
21 a forest-path and reached the other part of the bridge. One would come in
22 front of the bridge, turn off the lights, and cross slowly and
23 clandestinely over to the other side.
24 Q. But if you don't see the -- if you don't cross the half of the
25 bridge which they also can see, what good does it do you?
1 A. Well, they never saw us. And if they did see something, they were
2 given some explanations, I'm quite sure.
3 Q. So you are saying today that the monitors were not doing their job
4 properly, right?
5 A. I cannot say that. I cannot claim that that the European monitors
6 didn't do their jobs properly. But that they were misled, I can claim
7 that, yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry.
9 Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour, but maybe I'm
11 burning counsel's bridges before he's crossed them, but I fail to see the
12 relevance of this at this point.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The difficulty I think is that you did lead
14 evidence about this period of time, and this seems to be a challenge to
15 credibility and reliability that's based on exploring what's been said in
16 statements and trying to expose these as in some way unreliable. So while
17 you may have a certain view about how effective it is, I doubt if it can
18 be said to be irrelevant, if that's the basis.
19 Now, please carry on, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 THE INTERPRETER: And can the interpreter please ask counsel to
22 slow down and not to overlap with the witness.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In paragraph 109 of the same statement, English text 19, 20, B/C/S
25 26 and 27, you referred to your contacts and your travel to Tara and your
1 encounter with a worker of the State Security Service. However, later on
2 you say after this talk with him - let us shorten it - you became a
3 reserve member of the JSO, the special operations unit of the State
4 Security Service?
5 A. Yes, yes. I called it a reservist.
6 Q. In the next paragraph, 110, in page 20 of the English version, 27
7 of the B/C/S version, you said that you left the JSO after the signature
8 of the Erdut agreement but that you sign an agreement for you to be a
9 reservist of the JSO. Is that correct?
10 A. After the signing of the Erdut agreement, I was taken - and not
11 only I, many of us were taken - to a base called Bajdos. This is a winery
12 near Ilok, a wine cellar near Ilok. And there I saw a man and there we
13 gave back the equipment that we were issued with. He gave us certificates
14 to the effect that we were members of the JSO from so-and-so to
15 such-and-such a date, and he told us if need be they had a lists of our
16 names and that they would call us again.
17 Q. But I'm not quite clear about this. How did you -- how were you
18 translated [as interpreted] from the JSO to the reserve force of the JSO,
19 the reserve unit?
20 A. There is nothing unclear about it. Once a reservist, you'll be a
21 reservist again.
22 Q. In paragraph 110, the last sentence reads -- that was at the time
23 when you were a JSO reservist. "I've also signed up for the JSO reserve
24 so that they could draft me if they needed me in case of war."
25 Since you were a JSO reservist, why did you need to sign a
1 separate agreement for you to become a JSO reservist?
2 A. Agreement, contract, well, this sentence is a bit unclear to me as
3 well, but it is nevertheless true. I was supposed to have been a JSO
5 As regards the need in case of war, that's what I was told by that
6 civilian man who issued us with the certificates and who took the
7 equipment. The way I put it here is the way I remember it.
8 Q. Did you sign that contract?
9 A. The contract that I'd be a reservist?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. I don't know what it was that I signed. Maybe it was just a
12 certificate or a receipt, but I think this was as I put it here, although
13 it doesn't have to be true. It was a long time ago.
14 Q. If something was a long time ago, then you can say "I don't
15 remember," but you explicitly state here that you moved from the reserve
16 forces to the reserve forces [as interpreted] by signing a contract. I
17 was just try to clarify that.
18 A. You know very well what the explanation was, and you know why
19 things may sound a bit odd in a statement.
20 Q. If you have no further clarifications, I would like to move on.
21 A. By all means.
22 Q. In paragraph 111 of the statement you state that three buses left
23 Sid. I will also refer to other paragraphs.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Should the Chamber deem it necessary
25 to it, we can a wait for it to be put on the screen, but this can be
1 easily checked later in order to save time.
2 Q. In paragraph 18 in the statement of the 20th of February, 2004,
3 which in this case is Exhibit 6D5, you state that two buses left Sid;
4 whereas in paragraph 39 of the statement of the 6th of July, 2006, which
5 is the compiled statement on page 7 of the English and the B/C/S you state
6 that there were three buses but that the third one was not full. Which of
7 the two is correct?
8 A. This refers to our first departure to Kosovo and Prolom Banja.
9 What I do know is that one bus was sent away. The commander told the
10 driver to go away. It wasn't -- the bus wasn't full, there were simply
11 not enough men. Maybe I said two and then on another occasion I said
12 three. In any case, those buses were there but not all of them arrived in
13 Prolom Banja. Believe me, sometimes it's difficult to provide a
14 statement. You get confused, although I know it for certain that one bus
15 was sent away because there were not enough people who responded to the
16 draft call. If there were 120 men, you can do your own math to see how
17 many buses are needed.
18 Q. Therefore, how many buses were there?
19 A. In my opinion, three of them left, although I am quite certain
20 that one was sent away. I can't remember at this time how it went exactly
21 the first time we went down to Kosovo. We stopped at Sid by the
22 commander's house and there was another bus there as well. So anything is
23 possible, but I can't remember. I don't pay much attention to such
24 detail. Maybe someone asked me about how many buses, gave this or that
25 answer, it didn't mean much to me. Perhaps it does to you, but I can't be
1 any more precise.
2 Q. Thank you. This is precisely my job here.
3 In the next paragraph of the same statement, in the English
4 page 20, in the B/C/S page 27, you state: "In a field outside Belgrade we
5 put on uniforms and were given weapons."
6 In paragraph 22 of the statement of the 22nd of -- of the 20th of
7 February, 2004, in the English that is page 4, in the B/C/S page 5, you
8 state: "We went as far as Prolom Banja dressed in civilian clothes."
9 A. I understand your question. Some of us put uniforms on. When I
10 said we put uniforms on, that means we were given, we were issued with
11 uniforms, and we were outside in a field. And I believe this was the
12 safest place because there were NATO air-raids at that time. Some of the
13 people put the uniform on, although we were told to travel to Prolom Banja
14 dressed in civilian clothes. And probably at that time I didn't know what
15 the exact destination was. Why in one statement it says we put it on and
16 in the other one it says we were dressed as civilians, well, both is
18 Q. What about the weapons. Did you receive weapons or not?
19 A. Were we issued weapons? Well, we each took our own weapon. Is
20 that what you mean?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Well, I think there was a blue truck that followed us, and then we
23 were issued with weapons at Prolom Banja.
24 Q. But in this paragraph you say that you were issued with weapons
25 there and then?
1 A. This is what I said?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. That is possible. As a soldier, if I say I was issued with a
4 weapon, it doesn't have to mean that I took it physically, personally. It
5 was there. It was supposed to be my weapon, and that is as best as I can
7 In any case, the weapons travelled with us. It would have also
8 been strange to travel in such conditions, having in mind the activities
9 of NATO and the KLA. To travel without weapons would have been silly.
10 I'm quite certain now that as we were leaving for Kosovo there was a blue
11 truck at the rear with our weapons in the same convoy. Of course we kept
12 our distance because of the NATO bombings.
13 Q. Being issued with a weapon, doesn't that presuppose that the
14 number of that weapon be linked up with the name of the person that was
15 issued with it?
16 A. From my experience, that seldom happened. You were simply given a
17 rifle. There is no number, there is no paper stating this or that person
18 was issued with this or that weapon.
19 At that moment, the distribution of weapons was carried out by
20 Srdjan Manojlovic. I don't remember him making any list of numbers,
21 although he was supposed to.
22 Q. Earlier you mentioned that at a certain point you gave that weapon
23 back. If you were not issued officially with a weapon, how could you give
24 it back?
25 A. If I was given a weapon, I will always return it to the person who
1 issued me with that weapon or to the commander. Whether someone put my
2 name next to any number of a rifle, I don't know, but I gave the weapon
4 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Excuse me, I just have a question. Did these
5 rifles have not even their own numbers? Did these weapons have their own
6 numbers? Because every weapon has a number as it is manufactured. They
7 had no numbers at all, you think?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, of course they had numbers. But
9 the person distributing the weapons, who was at that time some sort of a
10 headquarters master, wasn't making that list as to which piece was issued
11 to whom. For example, he knew that he had 150 rifles and that he was
12 supposed to be given those 150 rifles back.
13 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Do you remember the make of these weapons, make of
14 these rifles, where were they made, what name, what quality?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were automatic rifles of
16 domestic production, M-67, 7.62 millimetres --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, a quarter-master
18 instead of headquarters master.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Medic --
21 A. My name is not Medic.
22 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Stoparic. I'd like to conclude my
23 cross-examination concerning your statement from 2003.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could you please be shown another
25 statement dated the 20th of February, 2004, number 6D5. We have a copy of
1 this statement in B/C/S for Mr. Stoparic.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, does this statement deal with Kosovo?
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Basically this statement is
4 regarding Kosovo.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: In a major part.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I go to paragraph 21, page 4 and page 5 in the
10 B/C/S, on page 4 in the English version.
11 A. I don't know where that is, sir.
12 Q. Were you given your statement given on the 20th of February, 2004,
13 and then the 21st, the 24th, and the 1st of March?
14 A. What I have is the 21st, 23rd, and 24th of November, 2003, and
15 it's in English. Maybe they come together.
16 Q. No, they don't.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, please, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, if it may assist the Court, I have a
19 copy, hard copy, of this statement if it's easier for Mr. Stoparic to
20 follow. Or if the usher can put it on his screen. Whatever is better for
21 the Chambers.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No, he should be able to follow, I think, what's on
23 the --
24 Are you having difficulty following the screen, Mr. Stoparic?
25 THE WITNESS: I see that on the screen.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, he can see that on the screen.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. In paragraph 21 of your statement dated the 20th of February,
4 2004, you state: "We were also issued with black woolen caps with holes
5 for the eyes, the so-called Balaclavas."
6 This is the second sentence of the paragraph. Do you know whether
7 any other unit in Kosovo was given such caps, apart from your unit?
8 A. Not everyone in my unit had that, only the reconnaissance platoon.
9 Q. Except for your reconnaissance platoon, do you know whether anyone
10 else in Kosovo used such caps?
11 A. Yes, the KLA.
12 Q. What about other Serb forces?
13 A. It is possible. It wouldn't strike me as strange. They can use
14 that because of harsh weather or -- what we call it in Serbian is the
15 phantom cap. I don't know why it's so called. Maybe you can intimidate
16 someone by wearing it, but it's also an ordinary cap.
17 Q. After the 24th of March, the weather is not such that would
18 require the use of such a cap. It's already spring and temperatures are
19 relatively high?
20 A. Did you ever go to Kosovo at that time? I was there on the 2nd of
21 May and I saw snow.
22 Q. Paragraph 24. In that paragraph you state that: "50 per cent of
23 the volunteers had no previous combat experience."
24 Does that mean that this is not really the same unit that was in
25 Bosnia or in Slavonia?
1 A. Definitely the composition of the unit was not the same.
2 Q. Therefore, there were other people in that unit. Since 50
3 per cent of them had no combat experience, those people could not have
4 been in Slavonia or in Bosnia?
5 A. Most of the officers, that is commanders of attachments and
6 platoons, did; but as regards other soldiers, most of them didn't have any
7 experience. Most of them probably never fought in the field in any
9 Q. Let us go to paragraph 46 for a minute, please, that is page
10 number 9 of the B/C/S text and the seventh page of the English version.
11 In this paragraph you say that when you captured a village you
12 would usually withdraw from it to a distance of about 500 metres. Why did
13 you do that?
14 A. Me?
15 Q. Your unit.
16 A. Me? I, as the reconnaissance platoon, those who came first, this
17 is the normal practice of all units, those who come there first and then
18 pull out. That is the normal routine.
19 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 51 of the same statement you refer to the
20 time after you were wounded and transferred to hospital in Pristina. In
21 the last sentence you said: "The nurse who was of Serbian ethnicity told
22 me that I had nothing to worry about, in view of the fact that all the
23 Albanian staff had already gone or had been expelled."
24 Were you worried about there being any Albanian staff on the
1 A. This emanates from -- stems from my question posed to her. I was
3 Q. Why were you worried?
4 A. Because it was war. I was wounded in war. I was wounded by
5 Albanian terrorists, and probably I had heard somewhere that the staff of
6 hospitals, the nurses, the doctors, they had taken an oath to the effect
7 that -- of course they had taken their medical professional oath, but of
8 course being in war you can expect that they were perhaps not so happy
9 with treating members of another ethnicity.
10 Q. Did the fact that the Albanian doctors and nurses not been
11 working -- is it not a fact that there were no Albanian staff in
12 Serbian -- in hospitals there?
13 A. I didn't know at the time that it was a fact. We know that they
14 actually boycotted many state institutions.
15 Q. Did you know for a fact that they had been sent away, expelled, or
16 did you know that they had left of their own volition?
17 A. Well, that is a political question. I cannot give you an answer
18 for that.
19 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 52 of this statement, which is at the same
20 time paragraph 74 of the statement of the 6th of July, 2006. You say that
21 a member of the PJP told you that they threw Albanians into a well and
22 hand-grenades after them into the well also, but you cannot remember the
23 name of the village. Can you tell us - if need be, we can go into private
24 session - the name of the PJP member who told you this?
25 A. This is paragraph 52?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Had I known his name, it would have been in that paragraph. He
3 was my roommate for just a couple of hours.
4 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 57 on the next page of the B/C/S text,
5 page 9 of the English text, you say: "Counting the 24th of March, 1999
6 and the 2nd of May, 1999, I spent a total of 15 or 16 days participating
7 in operations in Kosovo as a member of the reserve forces of the SAJ."
8 So you were a member of the reserve forces of the SAJ and you had
9 documentation to that effect, right?
10 A. I'm proud of that.
11 Q. I don't say that you should not be proud of it. What I am saying
12 is that you were not a loose cannon, you were not a free-lancer, your unit
13 was not some sort of a unit that just went there because you wanted to and
14 could, but you were actually enrolled, registered, and dispatched as a
15 reserve force of the SAJ forces, S-A-J forces?
16 A. Can I answer in this way; it's very brief. When I set out for
17 Kosovo and when I found out that I would be an SAJ reservist, I said to
18 myself: Thank God. I'm going to be a part of a very normal unit where
19 work will be done normally and the way it should be. Of course I was paid
20 for it and I was paid for a year thereafter. I went to the 13th of May
21 base many times to say get my salary. I've told you about that. I was a
22 SAJ reservist with regular documents about my status.
23 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to paragraph 59 of your statement of
24 the 24th of February, 2004, which is identical to paragraph 71 [as
25 interpreted] of the statement of the 6th of July, 2006, when you say that
1 the cafe owner told you that the bodies were being transported to Obilic
2 to be burned there. So can you tell me, please, what the name of this
3 cafe was in which you were sitting and of the name, the cafe owner who
4 told you this?
5 A. I would gladly tell you that. It was a cafe, and it was a -- one
6 that was working at all, it being war and all, and the barracks barely a
7 kilometre away from there being shelled. I cannot recall its -- the
8 owner's name. I know that he had a waitress and she had a Bosnian
9 dialect; that's the only thing I remember. I only went there for a couple
10 of times. I did not stay long in the base in Kosovo Polje. I went out in
11 the field. But it is true that he said this the way I put it there. Also
12 I can say in advance that I don't know, nor did I have any instructions,
13 orders, to the effect that I should move anyone or bury anyone.
14 Q. It was the waitress who told you that?
15 A. No, no. It was the man who I assume was the cafe's owner.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Just to correct the transcript, it's actually
17 paragraph 81 of the statement of the 6th of July.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I can help you further, I just
19 had a rush of memory, as it were, if you agree, a surge of memory. I
20 think -- I'm not quite sure, but I think the name of that place bears an
21 association with the nine Jugovic brothers.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The name of the cafe, you mean?
24 A. Yes, yes, but I'm not quite sure. I'm not absolutely sure.
25 Q. Paragraph 62 [as interpreted], which is on the following page of
1 this text, 9 -- page number 9 of the English text. There you explicitly
2 state, speaking about your testimony probably before the court in
3 Prokuplje. You say: This is what I said. Giving testimony I claim that
4 I did not remember. That is the way I responded to all questions.
5 Can we then take it that at that time before the court in
6 Prokuplje you were not telling the truth?
7 A. Sir, at that trial no one discovered that I was not telling the
8 truth. I myself came out, came forward, and said: I am not telling the
9 truth, I was not telling the truth. I was obstructed and I was very, very
11 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 63, the following paragraph, you explain
12 how the situation further developed after your testimony and you said: "I
13 got in touch with some people informing them what is the truth about this
14 incident and what the facts were."
15 Can you tell us today who it was that you got in touch with?
16 A. Yes, I can, of course I can.
17 Q. Yes, please.
18 A. I called the Humanitarian Law Centre and I told them: I should
19 like to tell the truth, but what after that?
20 Q. Why didn't you address the police, go to the police, the
21 judiciary, those who were in charge of your procedure, proceedings, the
22 man was in detention?
23 A. Yes, exactly. That is exactly what they told me in the
24 Humanitarian Law Centre. That they had organised some action, that they
25 had called the state prosecutor, and in the end it turned out that I did
1 get -- did get police protection, although there was no legal basis for
2 that because it was the district court that was handling the case and not
3 the special court where you could be afforded such police protection if
4 you were a witness collaborator or whatever it is that they call them.
5 Q. Then you gave a statement to the Humanitarian Law Centre, right?
6 A. Yes, probably, about this case. If they asked me, I don't
7 remember any more.
8 Q. Did you tell them the truth?
9 A. To the best of my recollection and as I'm saying it here and the
10 way I put it -- I say it -- I said it before the court in Belgrade.
11 Q. We should go back to that statement a bit later.
12 Now in paragraph 65 of this statement, page 10 of the English
13 text, page 12 of the B/C/S version, there you say that -- you refer to
14 100.000 German marks, let me not say now why you referred to that because
15 we do not want to implicate or associate this with any people that we
16 marked with numbers so far. At that time German marks were no longer in
18 A. I knew that you would be asking that. I wonder myself. Perhaps I
19 did say so because it -- money in our minds was always equal to marks.
20 Perhaps it was euros. I'm not sure. Probably euro was already in
21 circulation at that time.
22 Q. So you're not quite sure that the amount offered was 100.000
24 A. It was 100.000. Whether it was German marks, probably it was a
25 slip of the tongue or of the pen. It was probably euros.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If we have time, can we please put a
4 new statement, this compiled statement, and only one paragraph from this
5 statement because it is the only one which I could not find in the
6 previous statements, and that would be exhibit of the Prosecutor 52224.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, perhaps it is P2224.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Paragraph 22. Page 5 of the English
10 Q. Mr. Stoparic, do you see this paragraph on your screen?
11 A. Not yet. I see something now. What number is it?
12 Q. Page -- sorry, number 22.
13 A. Yes, I see it.
14 Q. You say: "Whenever Boca went for meetings to Belgrade, Mrgud
15 would accompany him."
16 Did you ever go to these meetings?
17 A. To Belgrade?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. No. But I would be at the base when they would go.
20 Q. How do you know whom they reported to?
21 A. Whenever the commander returned, he would always call a meeting of
22 all the platoon commanders and he would inform us. He liked to sort of
23 orate, you know. And about Frenki and Stanisic, which is written in this
24 sentence, those are his words. He always said that they were the people
25 in charge, that they were gods, and that one did what they said was to be
1 done. That was as far as he was concerned. That was not how I felt about
3 Q. But you did not have direct knowledge because you did not attend
4 those meetings whether they indeed did that?
5 A. No, I do not have any direct knowledge of that kind.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, I think everyone here must realise that
9 you have to exercise a measure of judgement about the extent to which you
10 cross-examine the detail of statements that don't have a lot of direct
11 relevance to the case that we are considering but do have some relevance,
12 obviously, as I've already explained for points that you want to make.
13 And we have indicated that we do wish to avoid, if possible, imposing
14 time-limits. But I'm getting the impression you have a long way to go,
15 and I must express my concern about the way in which the -- and the extent
16 of detail that you've been exploring in matters not directly relevant to
18 Anyway, we shall break now and we shall resume at five past --
19 well, it may be slightly after five but we'll resume in 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And I'm sorry that we
24 received this warning from your side because you will see that this
25 cross-examination will be terminated very briefly.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I have my last question on this topic regarding the
4 information you received from the cafe owner. He told you that corpses
5 were being transported in the lorries to Obilicevo to be burned. Did you
6 know that after such information given to the UN, that there was an
7 inspection of Obilicevo and the UN experts found nothing. It was
8 established that no bodies were burned there. Did you know that?
9 A. I know that from the media, yes. But, sir, you also know that
10 these were not my words.
11 Q. You're absolutely right. Thank you. This concludes my
13 JUDGE BONOMY: [Microphone not activated].
14 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I think that after me only my colleague,
15 Aleksic, will have a few questions, and Mr. Visnjic will have also a few
16 questions, brief questions, for this witness. And that would conclude
17 this cross-examination. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
19 Mr. Aleksic.
20 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. My name is Aleksander Aleksic, attorney-at-law from Belgrade. I
25 appear here on behalf of Mr. Nebojsa Pavkovic. I have a few questions for
1 you, and I'll try to be as concise and as specific as possible in my
2 questions, and please do the same thing in your answers. If possible,
3 answer with a yes or no.
4 We will use your statement, the latest statement, given according
5 to Rule 89(F), which is P2224. My questions will concern two topics as
6 well as several paragraphs of the statement.
7 Before doing that, I would like you to clarify one thing for me.
8 Today, for the transcript, you stated during the cross-examination by
9 Mr. Lukic when he was asking you about the crossing of the bridge at Raca
10 you stated: I was a soldier in a military uniform. Is that correct?
11 A. A soldier in a military uniform.
12 Q. Yes. Could you please expand on that.
13 A. I see where you're going. No, I was a member of the Skorpions.
14 There is no similarity in the uniforms. You know very well when I said "a
15 soldier in a military uniform." At wartime we are all soldiers.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you have your statement before you given according
17 to Rule 89(F) in the B/C/S language? I will refer to pages 12 and 13 of
18 the B/C/S and -- if I may have a moment. And those are 11 and 12 in the
19 English. First of all, paragraph 67, the last sentence.
20 A. If I may be given a moment to find that. 67, you said?
21 Q. Yes. That is the last sentence at the top of the page. Did you
22 find that?
23 A. Yes, I'm looking at that sentence.
24 Q. Here it says: "We encountered resistance from the UCK and had gun
25 battles but they were not a well-trained army or force and we were
1 superior to them in both numbers and weaponry."
2 Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, precisely.
4 Q. On page 13 of the B/C/S in paragraph 72 you state that you were
5 wounded. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. By whom?
8 A. An Albanian terrorist.
9 Q. Was that a serious injury?
10 A. I'm permanently disabled.
11 Q. Were you treated for it for the next 12 months?
12 A. Yes, for a long time.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the counsel's
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Were you forced -- or rather, you were -- you were declared unfit
17 for the military service?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now to move on to another topic. In paragraph 70 on the same
20 page, number 12, you state: "We did not carry out any joint operations
21 with the VJ."
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. In the same paragraph you state: "The Yugoslav army couldn't
24 [realtime transcript read in error "could"] move around freely during the
25 day in their tanks and motor vehicles."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Because of NATO and their activities in the air-space?
3 A. That is correct.
4 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
5 questions for this witness.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
7 Mr. Visnjic.
8 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic. My name is
11 Tomislav Visnjic. I appear here for General Ojdanic.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. I have a few questions concerning the time material for the
14 indictment regarding your movements in the given period.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, before you go any further, I see in
17 the transcript that the last question that Mr. Aleksic asked quotes the
18 paragraph 70 as saying: "The Yugoslav army could move around freely
19 during the day," whereas the version I have says "could not."
20 Anyway, as long as that's noted. I take it that that's what you
21 assumed was the position, Mr. Aleksic? Yeah. Thank you.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, my questions will mainly regard
25 your statement given to the OTP on the 6th of July, 2006.
1 I will start with the 24th of March, 1999. As far as I
2 understood, on that day you were in Sid. Am I correct?
3 To assist you, that is paragraph 38, if you want to follow in your
5 A. On the 24th of March, 1999, I suppose I was in Sid.
6 Q. On the 25th of March you had a meeting, after which you boarded
7 the buses and went to Boca's house in Novi Sad. Am I correct?
8 A. Yes, as regards the events, but I'm not absolutely certain as to
9 the date. I have very poor memory as regards dates. But the sequence of
10 events indeed went the way you put it, and it was close to that date.
11 Q. On that same day you were taken to a meadow south of Belgrade,
12 where you spent some time. Am I correct?
13 A. It was already dark, it was night-time.
14 Q. Around 5.00 a.m., and that should be the 26th of March if that was
15 during the night, you arrived at the hotel in Prolom Banja?
16 A. Yes, very early.
17 Q. You stayed in Prolom Banja for two days. Is that right?
18 A. Two to three days.
19 Q. On the 28th of March you were in Podujevo where the tragic
20 incident took place?
21 A. I was in Podujevo when that took place. I don't know whether that
22 was on the 28th of March.
23 Q. In your statement in paragraph 45 you state that on the 26th of
24 March you arrived at Podujevo [as interpreted], you stayed for two days,
25 and after having left Prolom Banja you were taken to Kosovo and Podujevo,
1 which would be in paragraph 46. Could you please look at paragraph 46 of
2 the statement.
3 A. I don't have that statement.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to
5 give P2224 to the witness or to put it up on the screen.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, Mr. Visnjic, the transcript says: "In
7 paragraph 45 you state that on the 26th of March you arrived at Podujevo,
8 you stayed for two days," now should that be Prolom Banja?
9 MR. VISNJIC: Sorry, Your Honour. I have to switch this. Yes,
10 Your Honour, it should be "Prolom Banja."
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see paragraph 45 on the
13 screen, that is page 8.
14 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
15 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, I presume you see paragraph 45.
17 The first sentence says: "We were here for two days," and that means in
18 Prolom Banja. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On the 28th of April -- pardon, March, you were in Podujevo. Is
21 that correct?
22 A. It should be correct.
23 Q. In paragraph 62 it is stated that upon your return from Podujevo a
24 part of the group remained at Prolom Banja for five or six days. Is that
1 A. After the incident in Podujevo, it is true that we spent several
2 days at Prolom Banja.
3 Q. Then you returned to Sid. Is that correct?
4 A. I went back to Sid and the others went to their respective houses.
5 Q. Yes, I had you in mind. Some ten days later, as stated in
6 paragraph 63 of your statement, some Boca's men came for you -- to see you
7 and some other Skorpions, and they told you to gather at the same place as
8 previously. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes. Those people told me that we were to go again.
10 Q. By the way, while you were in Sid for the ten days, were you in
11 Sid or somewhere else, the ten days between your return from Prolom Banja
12 and the moment when you were again taken away by Boca's men?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, the interpreter is asking for a repetition
15 of the answer there.
16 What was your answer to that question, Mr. Stoparic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was asked whether I spent the ten
18 days in Sid. I said that I think I spent the whole time in Sid.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Having been assembled, and according to your statement you said it
23 must have been around the 15th or the 16th of April, 1999, you were taken
24 by buses straight to Kosovo Polje in Kosovo. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, we went via Pristina.
1 Q. You spent some time in Kosovo, during which you participated in
2 the operations of driving Albanian or KLA terrorists away. Is that
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. You said that on the 1st of May your unit was tasked with taking
6 over a transmitter on top of a mountain guarded by some 50 KLA terrorists.
7 Is that correct?
8 A. As far as I could see from the reconnaissance we did the previous
9 day, I was there with some other members of the SAJ, and we thought the
10 number or the figure of their fighters was around that number.
11 Q. Then you stated the next day, on the 2nd of May, around noon you
12 were shot by a KLA terrorist in the elbow?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. On the same day, you were transported to the hospital around
15 9.00 p.m. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, around that time.
17 Q. You spent two days at the intensive care unit at the hospital. Is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. Two days later, is it true that a jeep came to pick you up with
21 two people who dropped you off at Banjica in Belgrade?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. How long did you stay at the orthopaedic clinic at Banjica?
24 A. Not for too long. I don't know exactly.
25 Q. Perhaps to jog your memory, in paragraph 77 you state that your
1 elbow was operated on there, and as far as I understood you received some
2 skin grafts as well. Therefore, my question is: Were you at the military
3 medical academy throughout that time?
4 A. You mean at Banjica? That's not the same.
5 Q. I apologise.
6 A. Yes, I was in the hospital all that time. The first operation was
7 done in Pristina right after the wounding. The second one, as far as I
8 remember it, was done by a plastic surgeon and they transplanted some
9 grafts of skin at the orthopaedic clinic at Banjica.
10 Q. Do you have any sense of the time that you spent at Banjica? Was
11 it until the end of the war or a bit longer or did you leave before the
12 end of the war? Perhaps we could use that as a landmark.
13 A. I'll try to recall that. I was visited at Banjica by some members
14 of the Skorpions, which probably -- or should mean that they had returned
15 by that time from Kosovo. But whether the NATO air-strikes had ceased,
16 well, I don't know. I didn't pay much heed to that. I was dealing with
17 my injuries.
18 Q. Once discharged from the hospital, I presume you went back home to
20 A. Yes, of course.
21 Q. If I conclude, based on your testimony today, would I be correct
22 that in the period between the 24th of March and the 10th of June, when
23 the war ended, the 10th of June of 1999, you didn't visit the SAJ base at
25 A. Yes, you're absolutely right.
1 Q. Mr. Stoparic, am I correct if I conclude, based on your testimony
2 today, that you didn't know what the security system was at the SAJ base
3 at Batajnica between the 24th of March, 1999 until the 10th of June, 1999?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, as the counsel says.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know about the security
6 system refers to the period of time when I visited the base.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Would I be correct then to conclude that you don't know whether
9 the military police had any control or check-points in front of the SAJ
10 base between the 24th of March, 1999 until the 10th of June, 1999?
11 A. As regards that period, I have no knowledge of that. I don't -- I
12 know when I was there. First you had to go through the military police
13 check-point and then the actual gate of the SAJ base.
14 Q. But you don't know it for a fact whether that was indeed so
15 between the 24th of March, 1999 until the 10th of June, 1999. Is that
17 A. I can't know that if I didn't visit the base during that time.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
21 Does that conclude the cross-examination?
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I just have a very few
25 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
1 Q. Mr. Stoparic, when your group from Sid got on the buses to go to
2 Boca's house and then to Kosovo on or around the 24th or 25th of March,
3 1999, and you were told that you were being taken as a reserve unit of the
4 SAJ, were you taken as a group or individuals, if you understand my
5 question? Was it the Skorpions as your group, or did you get screened
6 person by person to go into the SAJ?
7 A. Boca, my then-commander, Slobodan Medic, actually, organised our
8 assembly as a group. I don't see that anyone went there on an individual
9 basis. We went there together, all of us together.
10 But then I'm not quite sure that I absolutely did understand your
11 question. Did you mean whether we went there -- whether we were summoned
12 either officially by post or by courier, or did we just assemble and board
13 buses and then set out towards our destination? No, if that is what you
14 meant. It was on a voluntary basis. We did not receive any such summons
15 in any way.
16 Q. And you were kept together as a group and not dispersed to
17 separate detachments or units?
18 A. Yes, we kept together as a group.
19 Q. Thank you. From today's questioning -- I think it was Mr. Lukic
20 at page 15, beginning at line 2, he was asking you about the service
21 booklets that you'd gotten that showed you as being members of the MUP of
22 Serbia, and he had a discussion with you about that seemed to be
23 contradictory with what you had said before when you'd asked if a couple
24 of your friends could join. Do you recall that discussion where you said
25 that Srdjan Manojlovic told you they wanted to keep the percentages so
1 that the percentage of members from Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska
2 Krajina were higher than the percentage of members from Serbia? Do you
3 recall that?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And you yourself are from Serbia, yes?
6 A. Yes, I am.
7 Q. So there's no reason that your book shouldn't show you a member
8 from Serbia. Correct?
9 A. No reason whatsoever why my address shouldn't be in it.
10 Q. But if your two new friends were to come in, they might change the
11 percentage to higher than they wanted it to be at the time?
12 A. You see, sir, I would not probably have said anything about this
13 at all, but what surprised me was that whenever I recommended a soldier to
14 be admitted, I was always trusted. So they did admit those soldiers to
15 join. That is why I talked with Manojlovic along those lines, and that is
16 why I transmitted the content of our talks of mine and Manojlovic's talk
17 to you in that way. That is the kind of response I got. And as a matter
18 of fact, he did not admit these two friends of mine.
19 Q. And then earlier, when Mr. Lukic was asking you about after the
20 shooting in Podujevo when you Skorpions were put on the bus and returned
21 to Serbia. He asked you if you viewed that as some kind of punishment. I
22 want to ask you: During that time period when you were sent back, did you
23 continue to get paid?
24 A. First you asked me whether I considered this to be punishment. I
25 was expecting punishment. I don't understand this about getting a salary.
1 What do you mean? While we are not in the field or during such periods?
2 Can you please clarify for me. Are you referring to the period of ten or
3 15 days spent at home? Is that the period you are referring to?
4 Q. I am referring to that. Do you view that as a punishment?
5 A. No, no, no. I was expecting punishment. It wasn't punishment. I
6 don't see what it is that you're alluding to, that I was sent on leave for
7 ten days, sent home for leave. I was, in fact, expecting a different kind
8 of punishment for the perpetrators and for all of us because we disgraced
9 that unit. You know what it means to disgrace the SAJ?
10 Q. Was anybody fined, charged a money penalty?
11 A. No, no, no, no.
12 Q. Did anybody get demoted?
13 A. How can a reservist be demoted? You can only not call him again.
14 No one was demoted. If what you mean is that they didn't call people
15 again, no. It wasn't the case. Whoever came to the bus would go.
16 Q. And I think you said when you -- when you returned after the 15
17 days or so, that many of the same Skorpions who had gone with you the
18 first time were in the second group that returned. Correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Including three of the four that you were aware of as being
21 involved in the shooting of those civilians?
22 A. That's correct.
23 MR. HANNIS: I have no further questions of this witness, Your
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
1 Mr. Stoparic, that completes your evidence. Thank you for coming
2 to the International Tribunal to give it. You're now free to leave.
3 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: I think that we might have a short opportunity for
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
8 MR. LUKIC: After re-direct.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this a new form of procedure that we're going to
10 be following? You've had your opportunity to cross-examine. Is there
11 some particular reason why you ought to have another opportunity?
12 MR. LUKIC: In cases I was before this Tribunal before this case,
13 I always had the opportunity to have a re-cross after re-direct.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I've never encountered that -- well, albeit my
15 experience here is limited, but I have neither encountered it in domestic
16 proceedings nor here. But what is it in particular you wish to raise?
17 MR. LUKIC: That would be the question that regarding this booklet
18 that this witness had, Serbian booklet, because he is from Serbia. I just
19 wanted to clarify whether other members of Skorpions had also Serbian
20 booklets, regardless of the place where they come from. One of the
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have any objection to that, Mr. Hannis?
23 MR. HANNIS: No.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
25 MR. HANNIS: As long as we make sure we're asking about which ones
1 he knew about and whether he knew about all of them.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Well, we will allow you to ask this
3 question, but bear in mind that this will not be the normal procedure
4 followed here --
5 MR. LUKIC: I hope that it would --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
7 MR. LUKIC: I hope it would.
8 MR. IVETIC: [Microphone not activated].
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Where, for example?
10 MR. IVETIC: [Microphone not activated].
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, is somebody operating you from behind?
12 MR. LUKIC: Yes, my colleague Ivetic is helping me.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm certainly not aware of it as being the
14 procedure here.
15 Has someone else got experience of this as the way in which things
16 proceed here? Well, it's -- I can tell you now it's not the way it's
17 going to be proceeding in this court, so you should be careful when you're
18 cross-examining to cross-examine completely.
19 If something in re-examination is raised that is unforeseeable by
20 counsel cross-examining, then you could make a special application to come
21 back. And indeed if Judges, for example, were to ask questions and that
22 was after you had concluded your cross-examination and those raised issues
23 that you thought you ought to have a chance to explore, then you might
24 come back. But in a routine situation like we've just experienced here,
25 that's certainly not the way in which this Tribunal has worked nor is it
1 the way in which this particular court will work. But on this occasion,
2 since you misunderstood the position, I will allow you to ask the question
3 you wish to ask.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I just want to draw your
5 attentions to cases of Foca, Omarska --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you -- Mr. Fila seems to wish to
7 intervene now.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, I just wish
9 to be useful. We have had such cases in our practice, especially because
10 in contrast to you questions [as interpreted] from England do not ask too
11 many questions; continental judges in Serbia, either ones asking the
12 questions mainly, not the Prosecutor and the Defence. So it's very
13 difficult for us to adapt when we come here.
14 In the Omarska case, all the Judges did the asking and then we
15 also followed with our questions. The president of the court, Cassese,
16 allowed the defence counsel one question each after the re-direct. So we
17 have had such cases in our practice.
18 That is my personal view. Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, thank you, Mr. Fila. Rule 85(B) of the Rules
20 of Procedure says clearly: "Examination-in-chief, cross-examination, and
21 re-examination shall be allowed in each case," and nothing could be
22 clearer than that in my view. Anything else that has occurred has been an
23 indulgence outwith the Rules.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's consistent with my limited
25 experience in the Tribunal in the Krajisnik case. There was direct, there
1 was cross, there was re-direct. And then if the Judges had questions that
2 opened up something new, then both parties were allowed to ask additional
3 questions, or in the event that on re-direct there was something brand new
4 that went sort of beyond the scope of the cross-exam, then certainly they
5 were entitled to ask about that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All of that is clear. Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
7 Anyway, Mr. Lukic, carry on.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour, I'll have only one question.
9 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, are you aware of the fact, or do
11 you know what kinds of military service booklets the other members of the
12 Skorpions had and was it connected with the places from which they came?
13 A. I see that there is a misunderstanding here. I said simply if you
14 were from Serbia your address was there. I didn't say Serbian in the
15 sense of Serbia proper. You had your address and it was written whether
16 it --
17 Q. Who actually issued those booklets?
18 A. Manojlovic brought them. As far as I can remember, they had been
19 made in Vukovar, and it has something to do with the Krajina.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Anything arising, Mr. Hannis?
22 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Well, Mr. Stoparic, that does now complete your evidence. Thank
25 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You're now free to leave.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good-bye. Thank you.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, before we go on to the next witness, one
3 matter I'd like to put on the record.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, the unredacted version of the diagram.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
7 MR. HANNIS: That's attached to his statement is P2229, and we
8 would ask that that be entered under seal.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, that will happen. Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS: Okay. That's all I had in connection with that.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I have something to ask you, Mr. Hannis,
13 before we proceed.
14 The Trial Chamber would welcome clarification of the purpose of
15 the evidence relating Podujevo. I notice that that atrocity is not
16 specified at all in the indictment. Why is that? And in light of that,
17 what is the purpose of the evidence about that?
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think the evidence concerning Podujevo
19 came to the attention of our office after the original indictment was put
20 together. It was not included. Why it was not amended later on to
21 include, I cannot say. Part of the reason for this evidence, though, Your
22 Honour, is to show the nature of the units involved, and it relates partly
23 to argument about failure to punish or lack of punishment.
24 You will recall in our pre-trial brief and some of our prior
25 pleadings we talked about one of the reasons that goes to the knowledge or
1 intent of these accused relates to the fact that they used some units for
2 whom they had an awareness, had engaged in illegal or criminal acts in
3 prior combat activities in the Balkans before that time period.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: But that can only be relevant if the event itself
5 somehow or other is to be the subject of a decision by the Tribunal at the
6 end of -- by the Trial Chamber at the end of the evidence.
7 Now, are you going to be asking us to make a decision that there
8 was an atrocity in Podujevo that we should just somehow or other filter
9 into the indictment, it never having been mentioned there?
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we're not asking you to make a specific
11 finding about Podujevo.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm now not clear about its purpose. To show
13 the nature of the units involved.
14 MR. HANNIS: The Skorpions were with -- 50 per cent of these
15 volunteers without any training who were --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. But are you going to tell -- is there going
17 to be evidence of the Skorpions committing some of the atrocities that are
18 in the indictment?
19 MR. HANNIS: Well, you heard evidence from this witness that he
20 was involved in operations in the Jezerce area in Suva Reka municipality
21 and in Strpce. And some of our evidence is about the removal of Kosovo
22 Albanians from the Suva Reka area. I think you'll see some documentary
23 evidence relating specifically to operations in that area. We think it
24 also goes to our allegations about joint operations between the VJ and the
25 MUP, which will be in that documentary evidence.
1 Your Honour, if you still have concerns about it, what I would
2 propose is that you delay a decision on that until you've heard further
3 evidence in this case.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not -- there's no decision to be made,
5 Mr. Hannis. It's to help the Chamber understand why we hear evidence
6 about something that each one of us instantly thinks: That should be part
7 of the indictment. Why is it not? It seems such a simple matter when
8 somebody speaks so plainly about an event that you would expect it to be
9 in the indictment. And I'm finding it difficult to understand why it's
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's a historical matter that relates
12 to a time in this case before I was on this case. I can't answer those
13 questions, not at this time.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: It -- yeah. All right.
15 MR. HANNIS: But our indictment does allege this programme of
16 deportations and killings that were done which added to the campaign of
17 terror resulted in those people fleeing. A part of our argument is that
18 they fled not because of NATO bombing but because of the activities of the
19 Serb forces.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. But, you know, especially when
21 this indictment was amended and there was -- it was very -- there was keen
22 debate about how much specification was required, you know, one has to be
23 concerned about this sort of omission which also -- and this particular
24 evidence, I'm speaking obviously from my own background knowledge in
25 another case, but this particular evidence and whether it should be
1 admitted or not was a big issue in the Milosevic trial. And as you know,
2 a decision was -- or you may or may not know, a decision was made not to
3 allow re-opening of the case to allow this among other evidence in.
4 MR. HANNIS: I do know that, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the other matter I want to deal with at this
6 stage is this: I indicated yesterday that we would have some preliminary
7 discussions of the status of As Seen, As Told. And as a result of that,
8 we have decided to order the Prosecution to make certain further
9 submissions, to which the Defence will have the opportunity to respond.
10 But we are not asking the Defence to take the initiative because these are
11 confined to certain specific subjects, and it will be adequate for our
12 purposes and to reflect the interests of the Defence if they respond to
13 the Prosecution filing on the matter. And there are three areas arising
14 out of the evidence of Ms. Mitchell on -- in relation to As Seen, As Told
15 on which we require further submission from the Prosecution.
16 Number one is: Which parts of the report does the Prosecution
17 accept should not be part of the evidence in the case? Secondly, we wish
18 expansion so far as possible upon the submissions already made about the
19 reasons for completion of the forms which are the foundation of the
20 report. And that is the forms about human rights abuses and the forms
21 about the movement of persons within Kosovo and also over the border into
22 Albania and Macedonia. And in particular, these submissions should deal
23 with the question whether one of the reasons for provision -- or indeed
24 the reason for the provision of the information was to transmit it to the
25 Prosecution for the purposes of litigation before the Tribunal.
1 Now, the request for this second submission arises out of
2 reference to the Appeals Chamber decision in Milosevic, which was on the
3 30th of September, 2002.
4 The third matter on which further submission is ordered is in
5 relation to how the Prosecution envisaged the content of the report being
6 used by the Chamber in its deliberations on the substantive issues in this
7 case, and that should be illustrated by specific examples which relate the
8 use that might be made of the report to other evidence that you anticipate
9 being presented, whether it's accepted or not. Let's assume for the
10 moment it will be evidence in the case. The various areas that Mr. Stamp
11 suggested yesterday would benefit from this report, while it wouldn't
12 provide a basis for any finding in relation to any specific offence, it
13 could assist the Trial Chamber in corroborating crime scenes. Well, we
14 have difficulty understanding that submission and would like it to be
15 expanded. We would like you to expand how it would assist our
16 deliberations on the question of whether conduct was widespread and
17 systematic. We require expansion on how you consider it can assist us on
18 the question of notice to the accused of events within Kosovo. And
19 lastly, how it might assist us on an analysis of the background to the
20 conflict, which -- I think that exhausts the various ways in which
21 Mr. Stamp submitted it could assist the Trial Chamber.
22 Now, Mr. Stamp, timing, we would like this done fairly quickly.
23 Do you have any specific request so far as time is concerned?
24 MR. STAMP: I would answer some time tomorrow, any time convenient
25 to the Court tomorrow.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. I'm seeking written --
2 MR. STAMP: Oh, written submissions.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: -- submissions. So if a week is what --
4 MR. STAMP: A week --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- you would wish, then we'll say next Friday,
6 which is the 21st, and that would allow us to give probably ten days, I
7 think to be fair to the Defence. I'll allow them over the weekend as
8 well. So that would be the 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st of July for the Defence
9 response, rather than the normal 14 days. I think so that prior to the
10 end of the recess this is dealt with and staff can work on it for the
11 assistance of the Chamber on their return. Thank you.
12 Now, you may care to note these concerns in relation to the person
13 I anticipate is the next witness, and you may, therefore, care to address
14 in the oral evidence, at least to some extent, the second issue that I've
15 raised with you.
16 Now, who is the next witness?
17 MR. STAMP: The next witness is Fred Abrahams. But before we get
18 him, may I just ask for clarification. I'm not sure if I heard Your
19 Honour correctly in respect to the second question.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
21 MR. STAMP: You said, I think, reasons for the completion forms?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Why were these forms being completed.
23 MR. STAMP: I see.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: In other words, why was this system established to
25 collect material? Was it for the purpose of prosecution before the
1 Tribunal? And if not, what was the purpose? And obviously, you'll have
2 to have regard to the evidence that the witness gave, but if there's other
3 assistance that you feel you can properly give to the Chamber, then you
4 should give it.
5 Now, can we bring in Mr. Abrahams now?
6 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated].
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Abrahams.
10 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I invite you, please, to make the solemn
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
14 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
16 Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: FREDERICK ABRAHAMS
19 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
20 Q. Mr. Abrahams, could you please state your full name.
21 A. Frederick C. Abrahams.
22 Q. What's your present occupation or position?
23 A. I'm a senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch.
24 Q. And did you give and attest to a declaration or a statement at OTP
25 on May 30, 2002?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. And subsequently, on the 11th of July, 2006, you gave another
3 statement that you signed?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. And you reviewed these statements, did you?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. And are they true and accurate to the extent that they are -- if
8 you were asked the same questions again, now, would your answers remain
9 the same?
10 A. Yes, I would, and I will.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what are the exhibit numbers of these
13 MR. STAMP: 22 -- sorry, P2227, P2228.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And the dates are 30 May 2002 and 11th July.
15 MR. STAMP: Actually, the -- by way of clarification, the document
16 of the 30th of May, 2002 is a composite of three statements. This was, in
17 fact, his declaration or a preparation made under Rule 92 bis. There had
18 been an intention in the past to seek to introduce his evidence under
19 Rule 92 bis. So P2228 could be described as his 92 bis statement.
20 Q. Now, among the matters which you discussed in your statement was
21 an investigation in respect to human rights issues in the Drenica region
22 in September of 1998?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Did you personally go to Drenica in that period?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Did you go alone or did you go with colleagues?
2 A. I was with one colleague, Mr. Peter Bouckaert --
3 Q. Could you spell his surname, please.
4 A. B-o-u-c-k-a-e-r-t.
5 Q. About when did you arrive in that area?
6 A. We arrived in Kosovo in approximately mid-September, but our
7 specific investigations in Drenica commenced in the end of that month,
8 around September 25th and 26th.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. And what were your observations when you arrived in the Drenica
13 A. At the time there was an ongoing offensive by Serbian and Yugoslav
14 forces in the Drenica area, in fact throughout Kosovo. And we were denied
15 access on numerous occasions into the Drenica valley, blocked by -- by
16 security forces. But --
17 MR. SEPENUK: Excuse me, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Sepenuk.
19 MR. SEPENUK: I just want to get a clarification here. As I
20 understand it, this event, September of 1998, pre-dates the indictment
21 period, the charging period. And I'd like to know what the particular
22 relevance is at this time -- at least I would ask for the Prosecution's
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, without having every page of the indictment
25 at my finger-tips, I'm pretty sure this is referred to in the indictment,
1 specifically towards -- if you go to the general allegations at the end, I
2 think it's in one of these paragraphs.
3 Mr. Stamp, can you help us with the paragraph?
4 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated].
5 It's probably paragraph 99. I know it's -- it certainly is
6 discussed -- or at least aspects of the evidence, it certainly is
7 discussed in the pre-trial brief at paragraph 95. Or paragraph 92 of the
8 pre-trial brief.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what we have in the indictment in 95 is
10 around 5 and 6 August operations were conducted in the area of Drenica,
11 Junik and Jablanica. And then by the end of September, forces of the FRY
12 and Serbia had shelled and bombed down about half of the villages in
14 MR. SEPENUK: But unless I'm missing a point, Your Honour, it does
15 pre-date the inception of the alleged joint criminal enterprise.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Well, that issue has been explored in detail
17 already, Mr. Sepenuk, and these averments have been held to be relevant,
18 at least in the context of the indictment amendment process. And you'll
19 see that there are averments from about the position from February 1998
20 onwards, and therefore evidence will be led covering that whole period.
21 And at the moment it seems to me that this is close enough to what's in
22 the indictment to allow the evidence to proceed.
23 MR. SEPENUK: That's a decision that's already been taken by the
24 Chamber, I take it?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yeah, you can see -- well, there was exception
1 taken to these paragraphs of the indictment, but they were allowed.
2 MR. SEPENUK: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
4 Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I just -- just before you do go on, I'm actually
7 having difficulty with this package of material you've given me in hard
8 copy, which is easier to work with I think in the context of these bulky
9 statements. There's something that was signed on the 11th of July which
10 you've referred to, and that is a statement extending to 19 paragraphs.
11 Is that right?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes. Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That's then followed by -- this must be -- yeah,
14 this is the Serbian version and then there's a 92 bis document which seems
15 to rope in three separate statements?
16 MR. STAMP: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. So where do we go to find the evidence
18 that you're now leading?
19 MR. STAMP: In respect to Drenica?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
21 MR. STAMP: Which is why I am covering it orally. The statement
22 does not completely cover that part. It refers to a report, and there are
23 some photographs which are attached or which are indicated to be exhibits,
24 which the Prosecution would like him to identify. And those photographs
25 relate to this incident.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And the date of that?
2 MR. STAMP: The date of the?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The incident.
4 MR. STAMP: Well, it's -- the -- between the 26th and the 29th of
5 September, 1998.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's not referred to in the indictment?
7 MR. STAMP: It is in the indictment and in the pre-trial brief.
8 I'm saying in the statement --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, where is it in the indictment? I mean, I
10 thought -- I found it for August, but this is something you say was three
11 specific days or four specific days in September.
12 MR. STAMP: The last sentence in paragraph 95 of the indictment,
13 which I'll just read. "On the 26th of September in the course of an
14 anti-terrorist operation in and around" --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So that's what we're about to look at?
16 MR. STAMP: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. So who what time did you and your colleague arrive in the area?
20 A. The first day that we entered was September 26th, the first day we
21 entered into Drenica. We visited the villages of Plocica and we saw what
22 we considered to be the systematic destruction of civilian property. And
23 we also saw in the distance the burning of another village called
24 Gornje Obrinje. We saw the smoke rising from that area, took photographs
25 of the village. But we did our investigations only in Plocica on that day
1 as well as another village, Mlecane nearby, where we observed Serbian
2 policemen in blue uniforms carrying what looked like personal goods out of
3 a private home, which we considered to be evidence of looting.
4 But we did not actually get into the Gornje Obrinje village until
5 September 29th. We heard about an incident in the village the previous
6 night, on September 28th, where reports had reached Pristina, where we
7 were staying, that a family of ethnic Albanians had been killed near their
9 Q. What is the family name; do you remember?
10 A. The family name was Delija.
11 Q. Can you spell that, please.
12 A. Well, there are various spellings but most common is D-e-l-i-j-a.
13 Q. So you went to Gornje Obrinje on the 29th?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. What were your observations there in that area?
16 A. When my colleague and I arrived in Gornje Obrinje, villagers were
17 in the process of removing bodies from the forest. They were carrying
18 three young children out from a wooded area to a nearby field for burial.
19 And seven other bodies still lay in the forest, most of them in a small
20 gully that ran up from a path. They were all women and children. The
21 youngest was an 18-month-old baby, and the villagers were in the process
22 of taking these bodies out from the area so they could be -- so they could
23 be buried.
24 Q. Well, did you receive information as to how these persons died?
25 A. My colleague and I divided tasks. Mr. Bouckaert took photographs
1 of the area while I began to interview the family members and neighbours
2 in the area, and we commenced an in-depth investigation that lasted -- we
3 returned, actually, to Kosovo again in December to continue the
4 investigation, so it was a matter of weeks, in which -- during which we
5 interviewed dozens of individuals with knowledge of the incident. And our
6 conclusion was that these were civilians, that they were hiding in the
7 forest because of ongoing fighting in the village between the Kosovo
8 Liberation Army and Serbian security forces. There was fighting going on
9 in that village --
10 MR. SEPENUK: Excuse me, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Sepenuk.
12 MR. SEPENUK: I think we're in the area again of conclusions. And
13 I would -- I would very much object to these conclusions. I suppose the
14 witness can -- can describe what he did and I suppose also under the rules
15 of the Tribunal, although I still think we would like to have a continuing
16 objection to what's obviously hearsay, regardless -- I realise we
17 have 89(C), but -- and he can testify to that, I say, over our objection.
18 But I do -- but we do object, at least the Ojdanic Defence team, I'm
19 assuming the other Defence teams, object to any conclusions that this
20 witness draws from these observations, for the same reasons that we've
21 previously expressed with the testimony of Ms. Mitchell. I think the fact
22 that he was personally there does not make a difference. He's still
23 making conclusions, and I don't think he's got a right to do that, Your
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the Lukic Defence team would concur and
1 join in the objection. And we would point out that, again, as with the
2 objections to the Mitchell report this witness seems to be making legal
3 conclusions as to specific matters that are the crux of the case.
4 I believe the witness in the transcript testified to certain
5 actions being systematic. I believe that those are the crux of the case
6 and, you know, he's making legal conclusions based upon that.
7 So we would again reiterate the same objections we raised with
8 respect to the testimony and the exhibits in the -- for Ms. Mitchell.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, we join the objection.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Lazarevic Defence
11 joins the objection as well.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I'm interested in the following, Your
13 Honours, whether we need to stand up one by one every time that we concur
14 and join, or perhaps maybe we can do that in a written form. In any case,
15 we second our colleague's opinion, but I just want to be instructed for
16 the future. Should we all nod at the same time or how should we go about
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it is important that you confirm that you
19 are supporting an objection. It's all you need to say if you're happy
20 with the argument that's already been advanced.
21 And I see Mr. Aleksic joins in to complete the hand.
22 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Precisely so, Your Honours. We join
23 the argument.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Your response, Mr. Stamp?
1 MR. STAMP: To a significant degree, my response would be the same
2 response in respect to the arguments raised yesterday in respect to
3 hearsay evidence. It is admissible --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's certainly admissible. That's -- the
5 objection, though, this time is that what the witness is doing is giving
6 us his conclusions rather than telling us the facts.
7 MR. STAMP: Very well. If I could put the question this way. Did
8 the witnesses that he interviewed tell him what happened and what did they
9 tell him happened?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. But if you think that makes a difference,
11 I'm afraid it doesn't, because it -- if you're going to ask the content,
12 then that's different, yeah.
13 MR. STAMP: Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Well, if you wish to withdraw the previous
15 question -- well, it really wasn't the question. It was an objection to
16 the answer which I think we should treat as an objection to the line which
17 sought conclusions from the witness. And if you want to approach it
18 another way, we'll allow you to do that.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. Just for the record, although this is in the 89(F) statement and I
21 did not want to ask too much that was already before the Court in the
22 statements, may I just ask for the record --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought you said this wasn't and that was why you
24 were when I asked you --
25 MR. STAMP: No, no, what I was about to ask about what he was
1 doing there then.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. What was your role and function in Kosovo in 1998.
5 A. [Microphone not activated].
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. That's fine.
9 A. Yes. My role was to monitor and document violations of human
10 rights law and international humanitarian law.
11 Q. On behalf of?
12 A. On behalf of Human Rights Watch.
13 Q. And Human Rights Watch is?
14 A. Human Rights Watch is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation
15 that operates in more than 70 countries around the world to document and
16 publicise violations of the law and to advocate on behalf of victims and
17 for international justice and accountability.
18 Q. Now, as a Human Rights Watch monitor, you interviewed these
19 villagers. What did they tell you happened to these people whose bodies
20 you saw?
21 A. We interviewed more than two dozen individuals in relation to this
22 incident in Gornje Obrinje. We always conduct our interviews in
23 one-on-one settings. They are lengthy processes to obtain detailed
24 information that we can corroborate, and in this case we heard from the
25 witnesses that fighting had taken place between the KLA and Serbian
1 security forces. We later learned that some Serbian police had died as
3 But this family from -- the Delija family, they had fled their
4 homes during the shelling by Serbian forces to seek protection in the
5 woods. And we spoke with individuals who then first found their bodies
6 because other people fled at that time. And according to three witnesses
7 we interviewed separately who discovered the bodies, these people had
8 been -- had been killed while hiding in the -- in this area.
9 Q. Killed by?
10 A. According to these witnesses, they were killed by the Serbian
11 security forces that were active in the Drenica valley. There were, if
12 I'm not mistaken, 14 people killed in the forest and 21 from the family in
13 total. So five were killed in other areas around the village and the
14 family compound.
15 Q. Did Human Rights Watch publish a report in respect of your
17 A. We did. We published a very detailed report, a small book, that
18 took many weeks to research and it includes all our detailed findings with
19 footnotes of the specific interviews and any secondary sources that are
21 Q. What's the name of that publication?
22 A. A Week of Terror in Drenica.
23 Q. About when was that published; do you remember?
24 A. I believe that was January, perhaps February 1999.
25 Q. Now, when you say "published," published in what sense. How was
1 it disseminated, can you remember specifically to who or to which
3 A. As is our normal procedure, Human Rights Watch publishes a printed
4 copy which gets disseminated widely to the media, to governments, as well
5 as universities, libraries, and other institutions. The material is also
6 posted on the web site, as well as sent around by fax -- at least the
7 press release and sometimes the summary of the report are sent by fax and
8 e-mail. And the organisation maintained a very lengthy list of contacts
9 within Yugoslavia that included all of the relevant government offices
10 which received this report and other reports we published subsequently.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, this report is referred to and discussed
13 in his evidence, his 89 bis -- his 89(F) evidence, so I will not go into
14 it anymore, but I could point to that it's Exhibit P -- P441.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Which page of the statement is it on?
16 MR. STAMP: Page 4 of the statement, paragraph -- in the
17 Exhibit P2227, that is paragraph 19. And in the --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Is it referred to any of the other
20 MR. STAMP: Yes, it's referred to in the other statement at page 6
21 where there is a discussion, that is P2228. It's referred there in -- at
22 page 6 where there is the discussion as to the method in which the
23 evidence was collected and the analysis was drawn --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 6 of 19? Is that the one with 19 pages?
25 MR. STAMP: Page 6 of -- yes, the one of 2nd of March.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't --
2 MR. STAMP: I should use the P number, page 6 of P2228.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's not easy because 2228 has several bits
4 to it, doesn't it? It's got three separate statements that all have their
5 own pages.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. STAMP: Okay. I think we'll have to --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: There doesn't seem to be separate numbering of that
9 particular exhibit.
10 MR. STAMP: We were using the e-court numbering. So page 6 is the
11 number in e-court. I'll get the ERN number shortly so you could --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's have it on the screen then.
13 MR. STAMP: Very well. P2228.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Page 6.
15 MR. STAMP: I could also indicate, if it might be of assistance,
16 the front page of the 92 bis statement is page 1, that is K0225261. It's
17 page 1 in e-court.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, two matters. One question for the witness,
19 first of all.
20 You said that 14 people were found in the forest and that there
21 were five killed elsewhere, but we have a total of 21.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, you're right. I'm sorry, Your Honour, that's
23 my calculating error.
24 There were -- there were seven people in the forest when we
25 arrived, and the -- I believe it's five people were killed in other parts
1 of the village. And the remaining had already been taken out; in other
2 words, when we arrived, the family was in the process of taking the bodies
3 out of the forest to -- for burial in a nearby field.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 And my question for you, Mr. Stamp, is the use to which this
6 information should be put in connection with the indictment, is it simply
7 a question of notice?
8 MR. STAMP: It is primarily a question of notice. It primarily
9 goes to the issues that will arise under Rule 73.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
11 MR. STAMP: May I just make an inquiry. There are many
12 attachments to the report which are referred to in the 82 bis [sic]
13 statement. I don't intend, except if you require, that I ask him to do
14 what is already done in the statement because I was hoping that we would
15 not have to use that much time in-chief so that we could ensure that he's
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think the answer to your question depends
19 on the purpose of the evidence. If it's simply a question of publications
20 which were brought to the attention of government authorities in
21 Yugoslavia, that's one thing. If you're asking us to look at the facts
22 and make findings in fact from what's declared as an account of fact in
23 the report, that's another matter.
24 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated].
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You then, I think, need to raise each one and give
1 us at least an indication of what it is.
2 MR. STAMP: And I will do so even if that is already done in the
3 documentary evidence.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it has to be done here because I think I've
5 indicated that we don't want -- simply want things thrown at us and left
6 to sort it out. We want your guidance on how to make use of the material
7 which is being provided, and that means some indication of the general
8 nature of a report and the purpose for which it might be used as part of
9 the evidence in this case. We don't have the documents, they're in the
10 e-court, so we can't deduce simply from a reference to the document in
11 this written statement what it is and what its relevance might be.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. You said that it took once -- sorry.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. You said either yourself or Mr. -- or your colleague --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Bouckaert.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. -- took some photographs. If you saw those photographs, would you
20 be able to identify them now?
21 A. Yes, I would.
22 MR. STAMP: Could we, with your permission, put on the screen,
23 the e-court screen, P642.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Abrahams, were they part of the report?
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, they were, Your Honour.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. What is that photograph depicting?
3 A. This photograph depicts two children of the Delija family who are
4 being carried out of the forest for burial.
5 Q. And could we quickly move on because we might have quite a few
7 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P702. Could we rotate --
8 yeah, right, thanks.
9 Q. And what does this one depict?
10 A. This photo was taken on September 26th in the village of Plocica.
11 It shows a distraught villager in front of a food warehouse. I inspected
12 that building, and it contained melons and other food items that were
13 obviously burning and was typical of the destruction we saw that day in
14 the village.
15 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P679.
16 Q. Could you --
17 A. This photo is also from the forest outside Gornje Obrinje
18 depicting one of the children from the family, which is how we -- how we
19 found the bodies when we arrived.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, would you find a suitable time to interrupt
21 please, Mr. Stamp.
22 MR. STAMP: This would be a convenient time.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll break now and we'll resume at five
1 past 6.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Could we move on now to P653.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I gather there are certain problems with this
9 document in e-court, and it would be helpful if you had hard copies. Is
10 that easy or difficult?
11 MR. STAMP: It is a photograph. I'm not sure if I have hard
12 copies. There is a black and white copy. I'm wondering if it's a problem
13 that might be resolved by tomorrow? Maybe I can defer that one --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it matter greatly that we see all the
15 photographs when we can see them attached to the report?
16 MR. STAMP: No, I think one could -- I'm not sure if that
17 particular one is attached to the report, but they are referred to in the
18 statement, his statement.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the witness told me in an answer to a
20 question I asked that the photographs were part of the report.
21 MR. STAMP: Were -- very well --
22 THE WITNESS: I mean, I would have to -- all of the photographs we
23 have seen thus far are in the report. I'm not certain whether the next
24 one is.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. Thank you. Now, you said that the human rights reports were
2 published and disseminated to various persons, including government
3 organisations. Within the FRY, what government departments or organs or
4 persons were these reports sent to directly that you know?
5 A. Typically these reports were sent to the government institutions
6 and agencies, bodies, that relate to either Kosovo or matters of justice.
7 So specifically in this case, it would have been the Presidency of Serbia
8 and the Federal Presidency of Yugoslavia, the Republican and Federal
9 Ministries of Justice and Interior, as well as the Yugoslav army.
10 Q. Did where do you also have mailing list, an e-mailing list?
11 A. Yes, we did.
12 Q. And had did this list include persons who occupied high office in
13 the Yugoslav government and the Serbian government?
14 A. Yes, it did.
15 Q. And if you could, in a sentence or two, elaborate on disseminated
16 in the media. When you say "disseminated in the media," like what media?
17 A. The organisation maintains a large collection of media contacts,
18 so our statements are sent to the wire services, Reuters, Associated
19 Press, Agence France-Presse, as well as the major newspapers in -- all
20 around the world, English language and otherwise. And we also made a
21 particular effort to distribute to the media in the countries where we
22 operate, so in this case Yugoslavia. And with regards to Kosovo, both to
23 the Serbian-language and Albanian-language media.
24 Q. Now, you said there were other reports that were prepared by Human
25 Rights Watch in respect to the affairs or the events that were taking
1 place in Kosovo. I'd like to refer you to another one of these reports,
2 and that is Exhibit P388 entitled "Kosovo Human Rights Watch flash
3 number 31, rape of ethnic Albanian women in the Suva Reka municipality."
4 MR. STAMP: For the assistance of the Court, if it might assist.
5 This is discussed in his statement P2228 at pages 6 and 7 -- e-court
6 pages 6 and 7, and pages 22 to 23.
7 Q. This is a Human Rights Watch flash. Could you tell us briefly
8 what that was and what was the methodology in preparing and sending out a
10 A. When the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia commenced in March 1999, we
11 immediately mobilised a research team to the borders of -- of Kosovo. We
12 were not allowed entry into Kosovo at that time. We also deemed it too
13 dangerous. So our researchers were on the borders of Albania and
14 Macedonia to interview the ethnic Albanian refugees who were fleeing and
15 being, in our view, according to their testimony, being expelled from the
16 province. And we had someone on the ground in both Albania and Macedonia
17 throughout the period of the NATO bombing. During -- and we produced
18 during that time what we called Human Rights Watch flash. It was a way to
19 disseminate information in a more realtime and rapid manner, quicker than
20 our normal reports allow because the information was so fast-flowing. We
21 wanted to disseminate what we considered to be very serious violations.
22 So this particular flash was produced in April. I was on the
23 ground in northern Albania, the town of Kukes at the time with a colleague
24 Joanne Mariner. She is the primary researcher who located the women who
25 gave very detailed and consistent testimony about the sexual abuse they
1 experienced in their village near Suva Reka. I was present at the time
2 and consulted with my colleague during her research, but she conducted the
3 interviews, due to the necessity of having a woman researcher interview
4 female victims on a sensitive matter. But I was involved further by -- in
5 the editing and preparation of this particular flash number 31.
6 Q. And was that disseminated in the same manner that you described
7 earlier in respect to human rights reports generally?
8 A. Yes, it was. In particular, the flashes were disseminated
9 by e-mail. And if I could just add one quick point.
10 Q. Yes, please.
11 A. These flashes and all the information we collected during the
12 period of the NATO bombing, we then followed up on once we were allowed
13 into Kosovo after the NATO bombing had stopped. And we returned to this
14 village to collect further information. And based on our investigations
15 there and more interviews, we confirmed that the facts, as we had obtained
16 them in northern Albania, were consistent -- we obtained the consistent
17 information, based on the further investigations.
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if I can have a brief objection.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC: -- to this particular document. I believe that
21 Mr. Stamp indicated that this material was being brought in for the
22 purposes of establishing prior notice on the part of the accused --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that applied to the earlier one. He hasn't
24 said anything about the purpose of this one.
25 MR. IVETIC: I would be willing to inquire about that insofar as
1 the date of this document appears to be 2000. It's updated on
2 February 22nd, 2000. So if that is indeed the purpose for which this
3 document is being presented, I would object on those grounds. And again,
4 if it's being presented for the purpose of proving the direct crime that
5 is alleged, then obviously my standing objection is relative to the
6 violation of Rule 92 bis, et cetera, would stand.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP: The dates at the top of the document -- perhaps a
9 couple questions to the witness might clarify the issue in respect to the
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. You see the first line of the document, it says updated on 27 -- I
14 beg your pardon, "updated on February 22, 2000." And then in the third
15 line you see, "New York, April 28, 1999." Can you explain the meaning of
16 those two dates, please.
17 A. The date April 28th refers to the day and time when this document
18 was made public from our offices in New York.
19 Q. Yes. And the date above?
20 A. The February 22nd?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. My belief, but I am not certain at this point, but my assumption
23 is this is based on the subsequent research we conducted after entering
24 Kosovo and were able to elaborate on this. But honestly speaking, I'm not
25 sure what that updated date refers to. I'm sorry. I could probably check
1 it if it's necessary.
2 Q. But in respect to the core allegation of rape in Suva Reka, the
3 flash was issued on the 28th of April, 1999?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is that an acknowledgment from you that the
7 purpose of this again is notice?
8 MR. STAMP: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And you'll appreciate the difficulty, of course, is
12 that we don't know what the notice was on the 28th of April, 1999, because
13 this one is dated the 22nd of February, 2000.
14 MR. STAMP: Well, there is an issue, clearly, but the evidence of
15 the witness is that the core allegation of rape in that district in that
16 area which is on the indictment. It was disseminated then.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. In paragraph 19 of the last statement that you gave, that is P2227
20 for the record, and at paragraph 19 you refer to a document called "a week
21 of" -- withdrawn. I'm on the wrong document.
22 At paragraph 18 you refer to a document called "human rights" --
23 "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo." And that for the record is
24 P437. And you say that you are the author of the report and it was based
25 on a search you conducted in the field between May and September 1998.
1 And in that statement as well at paragraph 5 you refer to a document -- a
2 report called "Kosovo: Rape as a Weapon of Ethnic Cleansing," and that
3 for the record is P386. You said that you participate -- you jointly
4 conducted interviews with some of the general witnesses, such as doctors
5 and human rights activists, and you also edited the report.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And the last report I wish to refer you to before I ask some
8 general questions about these reports is referred to at paragraph 17 of
9 your statement, and it is entitled "Under Orders: War Crimes in Kosovo."
10 And for the record that is P438. Would you say you are the coordinator of
11 that work and you are the principal author of this document?
12 A. That's correct. It was a collaborative effort, but I was the
13 primary coordinator of the project.
14 Q. In the collection of information that was used for the preparation
15 of these reports, how many staff did you have available to you?
16 A. Are you referring to any report in particular or the reports in
18 Q. The reports in general. If they are different, please tell us; if
19 they -- logistics are different, let us know.
20 A. They are different. For example, the report humanitarian law
21 violations in Kosovo was researched solely by me and written by me but
22 then went through a rigorous editing process, as is Human Rights Watch
23 standard procedure, so that at least two and usually three different
24 editors review the material before publication. The report "rape as a
25 tactic of ethnic cleansing," if that's the exact title, was researched by
1 an expert in women's rights and sexual violence, a woman named Martina
2 Vandenberg with assistance from a second Human Rights Watch researcher,
3 Joanne Mariner, and myself. But as I mentioned before, the interviews
4 with women were conducted solely by Ms. Vandenberg, while I participated
5 in the general interviews with doctors rather than specific witnesses.
6 And I also edited that report and gave Ms. Vandenberg guidance with
7 regards to the proper context in which those violations took place.
8 Q. What is the date of publication of that last report you mentioned?
9 A. If my memory serves me well, it was --
10 Q. I --
11 A. -- summer of 1999, but perhaps I'm mistaken.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, again on this particular exhibit the
14 date is March 2000, Kosovo rape as a weapon of ethnic cleansing. I submit
15 if it's being presented for notice it's improper. So perhaps the
16 Prosecution can clarify for what purposes this document is being tendered.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: May I just -- may I with your permission just check
19 for the date?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. STAMP: I move on to the next document, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: You're not able to assist us if --
24 MR. STAMP: The date is correct, so I will not press that one any
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. The date of Human Rights Watch report entitled "human rights
4 violations in Kosovo," the date of its publication was October 1998.
5 A. I think that's correct, yes.
6 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P437, just to verify that date
7 for the record. P437 is e-court page 3. That's the page. Could we
8 enlarge that page, please.
9 Q. You see there the first line of that page?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. So you will agree with me that that was published in October 1998
12 by Human Rights Watch?
13 A. Yes, I agree.
14 Q. And disseminated in the same way you indicated before?
15 A. That's correct. If I -- may I add one note?
16 Q. Please.
17 A. In addition to notification, we also took efforts to obtain the
18 views of the Serbian and Yugoslav government. So during my research for
19 this specific report in the spring of 1998 I met the representative of the
20 Serbian Ministry of Information in Kosovo, Mr. Bosko Drobnjak, to ask him
21 about some of the allegations we had heard and get the government's
22 opinion. And following the mission, I submitted a long list of questions
23 to various government officials in Belgrade, again asking for their
24 comment on -- on a range of topics from government abuses against ethnic
25 Albanians as well as KLA abuses against ethnic Serbs.
1 MR. SEPENUK: [Microphone not activated].
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
3 MR. SEPENUK: The witness is talking about letters he sent to
4 various individuals, but I've heard no testimony that letters were sent to
5 any of the six men sitting behind me or that any of these individuals
6 discussed the matter with any of the six men sitting behind me. Perhaps
7 the Prosecution intends to establish that, but absent that kind of line of
8 evidence I fail to see the relevance of this testimony.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this sort of thing is something you can
10 explore if you feel it will help in cross-examination. And if it's left
11 too vague, then it's not going to be very substantial evidence against
12 you. But we have already had reference to the very first document which
13 was explored, A Week of Terror in Drenica, was submitted to a number of
14 government offices, including the VJ. So I don't think it's the right to
15 say that there's no evidence so far of anything being submitted to an
16 office that might be relevant to any of the accused. But I don't think
17 it's a fundamental matter that rules the evidence out. It's all a
18 question of what it amounts to at the end of the day, and your comment is
19 one that may well be a valid comment when making final submissions.
20 So I repel that objection and invite you to carry on, Mr. Stamp.
21 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. That brings me to the matter of letters. Did the organisation
23 Human Rights Watch send letters of protest about human rights -- about
24 allegations of human rights violations or inquiries in respect to alleged
25 human rights violations to the relevant organs of government of the FRY or
2 A. Yes, we did. I would qualify those letters as letters of inquiry.
3 MR. IVETIC: If I could just interrupt for a moment, Your Honour,
4 since we're passing on the letters, have we -- I don't see whether we've
5 already discussed the exhibit Under Orders which we did have an objection
6 to as well, since the copyright date is October 2001. Just for the
7 record, sorry to interrupt.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: There was no objection taken to Under Orders. Are
9 you now taking an objection?
10 MR. IVETIC: I did not notice we had already discussed that one,
11 Your Honour. If it's being presented for the purpose of notice, it's well
12 after the events alleged in the indictment, so I don't see how it could
13 possibly do so, just not been able to open that exhibit up.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP: It is presented for the purposes of notice to a
16 limited degree, but for all other reasons that the report As Seen, As Told
17 was presented. And I would ask --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: If its date is as stated, which was 2001 I think,
19 then -- is that right?
20 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, Your Honour, October 2001, this is
21 on -- this is page 5 of exhibit -- of Exhibit P438, if you need --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: The report itself can't be submitted for notice.
23 MR. STAMP: As I say, it's a limited degree.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, no, to a limited degree. I mean, if it's
25 2001, it's not at all, surely.
1 MR. STAMP: In the text of the report it's conceded that the
2 report was published in -- I can't recall the precise date, but certainly
3 after the events that we are speaking of. But in the text, in the body of
4 the report itself, it refers to complaints that they were making before.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a separate matter, but that's something
6 you're now turning to. So notice is resolved so far as the ultimate
7 document is concerned.
8 What else have you to say on it?
9 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, if he's indicated that he's
10 presenting it for the same reasons as the report As Seen, As Told of the
11 OSCE, I think we would reiterate the same objections we had at that time
12 to the extent that the report purports to include statements of
13 individuals who are alleged to be witnesses who are, as far as I can tell,
14 not giving sworn testimony pursuant to 92 bis. If need be, I can prepare
15 a written submission --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, I think it's adequate that you indicate
17 that you take the same objection in general terms as you took before.
18 Because it can't be explored in detail until we've heard the evidence of
19 the witness. The decision we would inevitably make would be to reserve
20 the question pending the examination and cross-examination of the witness.
21 MR. IVETIC: I would agree --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And once that -- the situation is clear, then now
23 that you've made it plain that you oppose the admission of the document,
24 then we will have to address that issue in the light of the evidence and
25 your later submissions.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And I can indicate to other counsel that they will
3 have the opportunity, if they wish, to take the same point once the
4 evidence is complete.
5 Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. I'd like to move you quickly through some of those letters that
8 you referred to.
9 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P546, please, could it be put
10 on the e-court screen. Could we pan out a little bit so we could -- could
11 we move to the next page, please.
12 Q. Do you know --
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. Do you know --
15 MR. STAMP: Could we pan down to the bottom of the page, please,
16 or scroll down, sorry.
17 Q. This is a letter sent by Holly Cartner, the -- or signed by Holly
18 Cartner, the executive director of the Europe and Central Asia Division of
19 Human Rights Watch. Can you say who drafted this letter?
20 A. I drafted this letter.
21 Q. And this letter was in respect to?
22 A. This letter was to obtain information from, in this case, minister
23 Sokolovic, in preparation of our report on Kosovo.
24 MR. STAMP: Could we move on to P543 -- sorry, P545. Could we go
25 on to the next page, please.
1 May I just confer just for a moment.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. And this is another letter dated July 20, 1998, to the Serbian
5 secretary for information to Mr. Aleksandar Vucic.
6 A. Vucic.
7 Q. And this was in order to achieve what?
8 A. This was also to obtain information and the government's views in
9 preparation for our report. The particular questions to Mr. Vucic,
10 Minister Sokolovic and the others varied somewhat, depending on their
11 positions in government.
12 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at P543.
13 Q. Could you tell us about this very quickly, please.
14 A. This is also a letter to get the government's views in preparation
15 for our report.
16 MR. STAMP: P544, please.
17 Q. And this one, what is this one? Could you please move to the next
19 A. This is the cover sheet, and the subsequent letter that was sent
20 to the Vojska Jugoslavija, the Yugoslav army.
21 MR. STAMP: P542, could we have a look at that, please.
22 Q. And could you tell us about this one very briefly, please.
23 A. This is also a letter to prepare our report addressed to the
24 Serbian minister of the interior, Minister Stojiljkovic.
25 MR. STAMP: And P541.
1 THE WITNESS: This is a similar letter for your report addressed
2 to Minister Knezevic, the Yugoslav minister of justice.
3 MR. STAMP: And the last one that we have is P540. Could we have
4 a look at that, please.
5 THE WITNESS: This is the same letter addressed to the Serbian
6 minister of justice.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. The addressees of these letters that you have seen were also among
9 the addressees of the various reports that you prepared and published. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Were the terms of these letters different from one
13 another or are they all identical?
14 THE WITNESS: The general framework is the same, but the specific
15 questions varied slightly.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. STAMP: Could we move now to P438, the report entitled "under
18 orders, war crimes in Kosovo."
19 Q. You say that you are the principal author of the document?
20 A. That's correct.
21 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at page 4 to 5 of the document in
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that 4 and 5 or 45?
24 MR. STAMP: Page 4 first. And I'll find the -- I think the
25 language on the B/C/S version is page -- I beg your pardon, the page on
1 the B/C/S version is page 3. Are we on page 3? Sorry, on page 4 in the
2 English version.
3 I'm sorry. I have it erroneously here as page 4, but we really
4 need to go to page 19 in the e-court version. And in the B/C/S version it
5 is 11.
6 The report, Your Honours, I think is made available. Can I just
7 read a small passage from it while it's being found?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: No, you've --
9 MR. STAMP: Oh, it's there.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You've got it now.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. That part of the report refers to the purpose of the report, and I
13 am going to ask that you elaborate upon the purpose for which Human Rights
14 Watch set out to prepare this report. But I'll just read this section
16 It says: "First, it is crucial to provide a historical record.
17 Along with the other reports published thus far, under orders: War crimes
18 in Kosovo will hopefully help future generations to understand better both
19 the conflict and the region. Second, the evidence presented here will be
20 of assistance to war crimes investigators in putting together cases
21 against the Serbian and Yugoslav leadership, as well as against members of
22 the KLA. Assigning individual accountability can help dispel the notion
23 of collective guilt. Lastly, some sectors of Serbian society have
24 expressed interest in evaluating the past. This report might assist that
25 process by providing facts and analysis."
1 Can you elaborate a little upon that in respect to the reasons why
2 Human Rights Watch engaged in preparing this report?
3 A. Human Rights Watch was active in Kosovo documenting human rights
4 abuses since 1990, so we felt a responsibility to present our findings in
5 a comprehensive fashion, which is why Under Orders has substantial
6 background sections. We also felt that publishing this material would
7 contribute to a public debate internationally, but very important for us
8 was inside Yugoslavia, to push aside the rhetoric and established fact.
9 And also as a contribution to international justice, which is firmly
10 within our mandate as an organisation, striving to improve procedures of
11 accountability. So it was a very important objective for us to assist the
12 process of investigations, both in domestic war crimes trials and also
13 international tribunals.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you, Mr. Abrahams, what use you envisaged
16 a Prosecutor making of the material you gathered?
17 THE WITNESS: Firstly, to provide a context, a historical
18 background, a political framework in which the Kosovo conflict could be
19 better understood. Secondly, to present the various violations as we
20 documented them so that investigators would have an image of the patterns
21 of the chronologies, as well as the specific cases, essentially as leads.
22 So investigators can pursue on their own the specific villages or the
23 particular violations that they deemed to be of value.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That suggests to me that you envisaged -- your very
25 use of the expression "as leads" suggests to me that you expect the
1 Prosecutor's investigators to go and obtain their own evidence, guided by
2 your initial inquiry.
3 THE WITNESS: I saw my job as facilitating that process or my work
4 was -- was a contribution that would facilitate the investigations by
5 pointing in the right direction through the publication of our reports.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I have also a question. Excuse me, Mr. Abrahams,
8 I have a question as well.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: The question is that we -- the report has its
11 probative value and that is when it establishes, prima facie or otherwise,
12 that it has been prepared with a clinical disinterestedness, A; B, that
13 it's not been a reflex action in preparing reports on the basis of
14 documents; and the third is that whatever has been brought on in a
15 tangible shape was again verified by somebody independent within the
16 organisation to be a truthful report.
17 For these three things, I would request you to please dilate
18 because these things will bother us. I'm grateful.
19 THE WITNESS: Yes. One of the aspects of our work that I am most
20 proud of, personally and professionally, was our sincere attempt to
21 document violations by all sides in this conflict. So we published
22 reports that criticised the Serbian and Yugoslav governments, the Kosovo
23 Liberation Army, as well as the NATO Alliance. Two in-depth reports were
24 critical of IHL violations during the NATO bombing. In addition, the
25 reports after the Kosovo war looked in depth at violations against Serbs
1 by ethnic Albanians. So we bent over backwards to report in an objective
2 and complete manner.
3 As for the specifics in each report, our organisation's greatest
4 asset is our credibility, which is something that takes years to build but
5 can be destroyed in one day. So we have a rigorous internal vetting
6 process that requires every public document to be reviewed and
7 re-reviewed. And there were certainly times when the evidence we
8 collected did not meet the test and we withheld publication because we did
9 not feel comfortable putting that into the public domain.
10 And lastly, when -- we try to be as clear about the limitations of
11 our data so that when something a reported or alleged, we insert those
12 qualifying terms. And when we have interviewed X number of victims whose
13 testimony was consistent, we present that material, to allow the readers
14 to make their own conclusion -- come to their own conclusions. So we try
15 and present what we know and withhold what we don't so that the material
16 is of the most use.
17 Does that reply to your question?
18 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm thankful.
19 The next question would be that when these reports were published,
20 are there even critiques in your notice against these reports which may
21 also have been published or sent to you in -- through proper transmission?
22 THE WITNESS: The list of complaints is very long and --
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry, I mean the reports, on your reports.
24 I'm not talking of the facts.
25 THE WITNESS: No, I understand. We never received an official
1 criticism from either the Serbian or Yugoslav authorities or the Kosovo
2 Liberation Army in the form of an official communication, but our reports
3 were repeatedly criticised by -- by an -- in editorials and commentators
4 and analysts inside Yugoslavia and abroad. And -- but to my knowledge, to
5 my knowledge, no one to this day has found a fact to be in error. To my
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: So could you tell us what was that criticism
8 generally which may have been formulated against your reports by the
10 THE WITNESS: Most of the criticisms came from the
11 Serbian-language press, although not exclusively, which accused us of
12 being an anti-Serbian organisation or biased in some way against the
13 Serbian people or nation. Again, in my public speeches and in
14 interactions, I welcome concrete criticisms of our report in the interest
15 of making them more accurate, but no one was able to present specific
16 facts with evidence to make me believe we had written in error. Their
17 complaints were of -- that we were of a political or ideological nature.
18 My response to them was to look at our reports because we have issued a
19 long list that criticises every side in the conflict, as well as every
20 government in the Balkan region. And I personally have written three
21 human rights reports critical of the Albanian government. So the
22 arguments for bias for me are best refuted by the reports that we have
24 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. Just to follow up on that, did you make reports in respect to the
3 conduct of NATO?
4 A. Yes, we --
5 Q. And was it a report of approbation or disapprobation?
6 A. We published two reports directly in relation to the NATO bombing.
7 One criticised the Alliance's use of cluster munitions, cluster bombs,
8 which we considered to be indiscriminate in nature. And the second was an
9 in-depth survey conducted in Yugoslavia, Kosovo as well as -- all of
10 Yugoslavia, a survey of the NATO bombing, which analysed the impact of the
11 bombing on the citizens of Yugoslavia.
12 Q. When you say "citizens" you mean civilians or --
13 A. I mean civilians, thank you, yes. And I can elaborate on our
14 findings in more depth if questioned.
15 Q. Was it approving or did you criticise them?
16 A. No, it was a highly critical report. We determined that there
17 were roughly 90 incidents in which NATO bombs had killed civilians,
18 resulting in approximately 500 civilian deaths, about one-third of which
19 were inside Kosovo. And we considered this to be a violation of
20 international humanitarian law.
21 Q. The -- back to the report As Seen, As Told. How generally -- I
22 know this is discussed in your statement, but please tell us how generally
23 was the information that formed the basis of the report culled?
24 MR. SEPENUK: [Microphone not activated].
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. SEPENUK: [Microphone not activated].
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Sepenuk, please.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, counsel, I'm guided.
4 Q. Sorry, I was referring to Under Orders.
5 A. To answer your question requires a little prelude, and I'll be
7 Under Orders is a -- has some distinct sections. One section
8 deals with the background and the history of Kosovo, and this relied
9 mostly on research we conducted prior to the armed conflict. The second
10 section focuses on abuses in 19 -- from late February 1998, when we
11 believe the armed conflict began, until the NATO bombing, March 1999. A
12 third section deals with specifically the bombing period, NATO bombing
13 period, to March to June 1999. And the last section deals with post-war
14 violations after June 12th, 1999.
15 So each of those sections has a particular -- not methodology.
16 The methodology was the same, but to explain how the research was
17 conducted depends on the section you are referring to.
18 Q. Let's start with the first one, the background and the history of
20 A. Well, this section largely -- was largely a summary of the reports
21 we had published up and to that point. As I mentioned, our first document
22 on Kosovo was published in 1990. A second one -- well, I'm not sure -- I
23 believe -- I don't want to state exactly how many reports were published
24 in that -- over the next eight years. I'm not certain of the number, but
25 one of them was the report I researched in 1996 about police violence. So
1 the background section was based on the research missions that we had
2 conducted during that eight-year period.
3 Q. And you participated yourself in some of those research missions?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Incidentally, although this is in your statement, do you speak
7 A. I do speak Albanian.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Stamp, would you find a suitable point at
9 which to interrupt, please.
10 MR. STAMP: Yes, this is a convenient moment.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
12 Well, that gives me time to deal with a couple of matters.
13 Mr. Abrahams, we have to interrupt now. That's the end of the day
14 for us. We'll be resuming at 9.00 tomorrow morning, so we require you
15 back here in time to start again at 9.00. You've been here before and you
16 know the drill that you're expected and obliged not to communicate with
17 anyone overnight in relation to your evidence, either what you've given or
18 what you're likely to give.
19 With that reminder, you can now leave the court and we'll see you
20 tomorrow at 9.00.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 [The witness stands down].
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The matters I can deal with separately are the two
24 issue -- two minor -- well, preliminary issues that were raised in
25 relation to the expert witnesses Kristan and Coo.
1 The Chamber does not regard the involvement of Kristan in the
2 events about which his report talks as a barrier to his giving evidence.
3 However, there are more substantial issues to be debated about whether
4 it's appropriate for him to give evidence as an expert or whether it would
5 be more appropriate for him to give evidence of fact on which the Trial
6 Chamber -- or by which the Trial Chamber would be guided towards proper
7 conclusions. But as I indicated, the broader issue is one to be addressed
8 as we get nearer the stage of hearing his evidence.
9 As far as Coo is concerned, the Trial Chamber consider that in
10 this case he is too close to the team; in other words, to the Prosecution
11 presenting the case, to be regarded as an expert. That doesn't in any way
12 question his integrity or his effort to be independent. This is a
13 question of perception. Justice has to not only be done but seen to be
14 done in cases of this nature. And in this particular instance he -- the
15 clear impression is of someone far closer to the case than would be
16 appropriate for an expert who can express opinions on which the Chamber
17 might rely.
18 On the other hand, we are entirely satisfied that it's appropriate
19 for him as an investigator to give evidence on matters of fact, and indeed
20 we will be greatly assisted, we have little doubt, by his evidence in
21 relation to matters of fact, identifying what documents he found. And
22 we'll strike, I hope, the right balance in eliminating from our
23 consideration matters of -- which we consider to be matters of opinion and
24 concentrating exclusively on the matters of fact.
25 Indeed, much of what he would be able to tell us as matters of
1 fact at first sight look as though they might be opinions, but they're
2 not. It's going to be a difficult line to draw, but I think we'll all be
3 greatly assisted by the way the material is drawn together as long as its
4 authenticity and reliability are established.
5 Now, again, there will be a final opportunity to discuss his
6 evidence before he gives it, if there's any further objection to be taken.
7 But since we've decided that it's not appropriate he should be an expert,
8 it may be that that resolves the matter and it's simply a question of
9 hearing his evidence, and if there are objections to be taken as we go
10 along on one -- on some ground or other, then these objections can be
11 taken at that stage.
12 Now, I hope that's a clear indication to the parties of how we
13 view the preliminary issues that we undertook to address in relation to
14 these witnesses.
15 Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP: In respect to witness Coo, can I just take it, and I
17 think you will probably tell me that this is quite obvious from what you
18 say, that the decision is that his report will not be received as an
19 expert report for the reasons given.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. But we would expect you to make use of the
21 report as a means of presenting his evidence, and it would be presented
22 under Rule 89(F) as written material which he would be able to speak -- to
23 vouch from the witness box.
24 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated].
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So in other words, it would be similar to the
1 evidence in a broad sense to the evidence that we're hearing just now.
2 And plainly, his report refers to facts that undoubtedly will be part of
3 the evidence in this case.
4 MR. STAMP: I hear you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
6 Now, I hope I've also made it clear that there is a great deal in
7 the report which at first blush looks like opinion but really isn't. It's
8 simply a comparison of documents and a pointer to what these appear to
9 say, and that would be useful. But at the end of the day it will be for
10 the Trial Chamber having that guidance to make determination about what
11 facts to accept and what to reject and then what conclusions to draw.
12 MR. STAMP: Would Your Honour consider hearing further submissions
13 from the Prosecution in this regard at a later date?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it would be very difficult to do that,
15 Mr. Stamp, in light of the basis for the decision.
16 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And the opportunity is not lost to you. I mean,
17 we are still considering, and I think it is a very good decision.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Anyway, the -- that resolves the matter as far as
19 he is concerned, but leaves -- for example, it -- I don't think it
20 disturbs the first part of his report at all, and it doesn't do much to
21 the bulk of his second report. It does, however, rule out evidence of
22 opinion about whether there is an armed conflict or not, which we can see
23 in the Limaj report.
24 So that's a matter, plainly, for the Trial Chamber to determine,
25 whether there was an armed conflict. The facts are what you ought to
1 present for us to draw conclusions on. I don't think it's appropriate for
2 someone in Mr. Coo's position to be telling us that that's the conclusion
3 he's drawing in expressing that opinion as an expert. So that's the sort
4 of area that is excluded by this decision.
5 It may be appropriate to a further discussion about the extent to
6 which his opinion is ex -- or what bears to be opinion is excluded nearer
7 the time of his giving evidence. If that's the additional argument you're
8 talking about, then that I understand. But if you want us to change our
9 mind on whether he's an expert or not, no, it wouldn't be appropriate to
10 advance any further arguments.
11 MR. STAMP: As it pleases Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I know you want to end, but your ruling on
14 Kristan is a little unclear to me, whether you say he's an expert or a
15 fact witness or which one of the two?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We have not -- well, I thought I had made it clear
17 that that has not been decided.
18 The only question we undertook to decide at this stage in relation
19 to Kristan was whether the fact that he had participated in some of the
20 events was a barrier to him being regarded as an expert, and the decision
21 on that is that it is not a barrier.
22 I then expressed a preliminary view that his evidence might be
23 better viewed as simply evidence of fact. He draws together a lot of
24 material that it's useful to have in that form for the Trial Chamber to
25 make -- to draw its own conclusions because they are largely matters of
2 But I think I made it clear that that issue, whether he is an
3 expert or not, will be resolved shortly before he gives evidence by
4 further debate. And I was simply trying to give guidance about how we see
5 it at first blush. And if you're able to agree on how his evidence might
6 be presented as a result of that indication, then that would be of great
7 assistance to us.
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: All right.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: On Coo, however, the preliminary point rules him
10 out as an expert, so it's more a fundamental decision, but again we're
11 only deciding the point that we undertook to decide at this stage.
12 So we're now adjourned until 9.00 tomorrow.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of
15 July, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.