1 Thursday, 30 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Kryeziu.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Questions by Mr. Lukic will now continue. Please
9 remember that the solemn declaration to tell the truth, which you gave at
10 the beginning of your evidence, will continue to apply to that evidence
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation].
14 WITNESS: HYSNI KRYEZIU [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
17 Q. [No interpretation].
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. [No interpretation].
20 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, the court transcriber tells me she's not
21 getting any interpretation.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Nor am I at the moment, Mr. Hannis. Can we try the
23 question again, please, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 Q. [No interpretation].
1 MR. LUKIC: No interpretation again, as I can see.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the explanation appears to be the absence of
4 MR. LUKIC:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kryeziu. Maybe we can proceed this way. Have
6 you ever heard of a name --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think you can, because there's no
8 translation of the answer into English, which is fundamental, so --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that the Albanian
10 interpreters, who are doing Albanian to English, are here. We can do it.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Anyway, I think the problem is now resolved,
12 Mr. Lukic, so please start again with your question.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Let us try again. The name is Xhimshit
15 Krasniqi. Are you aware of that name and are you aware of the fact that
16 he had the war name "White Bear"?
17 A. No, I don't know him, and I never heard of him.
18 Q. So you haven't heard that he was the leader of the KLA in your
19 region. Have you heard of Rifat Sulejmani, former officer in the Army of
20 Yugoslavia? And he was also the OVK leader in your region.
21 A. No, I never heard of him, even through the media.
22 Q. All right. Have you heard that the father of Snjezana Djordjevic,
23 a local teacher in your village, was tied to a tractor and then dragged
24 from Dusanovo to the nearby vineyard until he was killed? Have you heard
25 of this incident?
1 A. I heard that Nikola was dead. He was a teacher, but I never knew
3 Q. Is it a fact that on the 24th of March, 1999, there were Serbs in
4 your village? Or had they all left the village by that date?
5 A. On the 24th of March, at 2000 hours p.m., NATO air-strikes started
6 and it struck the Serbian barracks. And the Serbs of Dushanove were
7 mobilised in the Yugoslav army, all of them.
8 Q. I'm interested in the following: Were there any villagers in your
9 village --
10 A. Yes, but because of the Serbian forces, we didn't dare come out.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: There's something not right with that answer,
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. We can assume that women and children who were underage were not
15 mobilised. What about your village? Were there any Serb women and Serb
16 children on the 24th of March, 1999?
17 A. I didn't go out to see because we were afraid to leave our houses
18 because of our fear of Serbian police and army.
19 Q. But you know that there weren't any Serbs in your village on that
20 date; is that right? There weren't any there because members of the KLA
21 were attacking, and that is the reason why all the inhabitants of your
22 village left your village.
23 A. On the 24th of March, sir, there was no KLA in former Dushanove
24 Arban neighbourhood and no attacks were undertaken against Serbian forces
25 in that area.
1 Q. In paragraph 8 of your statement, you say: "At that time, nearby,
2 there weren't any members of the KLA who would have protected us in a
3 way." When you say "at that time ... there weren't any," tell us, up
4 until when were the members of the KLA in your village?
5 A. There were never KLA in my village.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 6D104 displayed
7 on e-court, page 39.
8 Q. In paragraph 12 you say that from a woman, whose name you do not
9 know, you heard that Serb policemen executed Nebi Bucaj and his two sons
10 and his son-in-law.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That was changed yesterday to an unknown visitor.
12 MR. LUKIC: That's right, but I'm more interested in Nebi Bucaj
13 and his sons.
14 Q. [Interpretation] One of his sons was called Enver; is that right?
15 A. In the document that we're going to see on our screens now, on
16 page 41 of this book "Fenikset e Lirise," in position number 2 we see --
17 MR. LUKIC: No, sorry.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It's obviously not that page. It's page 39,
20 MR. LUKIC: It's page 39 in the e-court, and that's exactly the
21 page I need, Your Honour. Only we have to make one correction into the
22 transcript. After my question on page 4, line 13, I got the answer "Yes,"
23 and then the next line marked as an answer is actually a question.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kryeziu, we have agreed that the name of one
25 of the sons of Nebi Bucaj is Enver.
1 A. [No interpretation].
2 MR. LUKIC: Can we go to a page of this book, 39 in the e-court,
3 and it has number 41 on top of the -- page 41 of the book.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's two pages earlier than this one.
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes. Can we --
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You have it now.
8 Yes, Mr. O'Sullivan.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Page 5, line 1, I believe the witness said "Yes,"
10 but there's no interpretation.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: He did say yes, so --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the answer.
13 MR. LUKIC: Can we enlarge to see the second name from the top
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, I think it's clear enough, Mr. Lukic, is it
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kryeziu, this is a book that has been used
19 before in this trial. The publishers are ethnic Albanians from Kosovo.
20 The names of fallen members of the KLA are listed.
21 Concerning Enver Nebi Bucaj, we read that he was born and died in
22 Dusanovo. Do you know that Enver Bucaj, father's name Nebi, got killed in
23 combat in Dusanovo in 1999?
24 A. Enver Bucaj and his father, Nebi Bucaj, and Ymer Bucaj and a
25 friend Ferit from Randobrava, they were killed as civilians. I didn't see
1 them, but half an hour ago I saw these civilians because my land borders
2 his land. But whether he was a soldier or not, this I cannot say. I can
3 only say that I never saw him dressed in military uniform. At that
4 moment, they were all civilians. And I saw it with my eyes when they took
5 the father, because the house is close to my house, and the police and the
6 army killed him. We saw the tanks, the APCs of the army and the police
7 shooting at the houses, at the doors. And when they took away my car, I
8 heard from a woman that --
9 Q. We've seen it in your statement --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Could both of you just hold on.
11 What do you mean, Mr. Kryeziu, when you say "I saw it with my eyes
12 when they took the father ..."?
13 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, who took him?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nebi Bucaj, the father, was taken by
16 Serbian police and soldiers. I was about 50 metres away from the place.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, just --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And they made him go inside the
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Now, again there was a clear answer of yes. I can hear the
22 witness saying "po" in answer to questions which are not being
24 Are you sitting close enough to the microphone? You, perhaps, are
25 not. So could you come forward a little, please. The usher will also
1 adjust the microphone, which I don't think has been done properly, so that
2 the interpreters can hear this clearly. Thank you.
3 Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Kryeziu, in your statement, the paragraph subsequently marked
6 as 12, you do not mention that you personally saw it; instead, you
7 say: "As we were travelling, from a woman, whose name I ignore, I heard
8 that Serb policemen had executed Nebi Bucaj and his two sons," and so on.
9 You have reviewed this statement; you have made certain
10 corrections -- excuse me. Can I just finish. You have made certain
11 corrections to the part where you say that it was not Nebi's son-in-law
12 but a visitor. You did not correct it to the effect that you had seen it
13 personally. It remained standing that you had heard it from a woman whose
14 name you don't know. Today you are telling us that you saw that with your
15 own eyes. Both cannot be true.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the foundation for that question is not
17 correct, Mr. Lukic. All he has said is that he saw the father being taken
18 away. He hasn't claimed to have seen his fate, nor has he claimed to have
19 seen anything happening to the two sons or to the visitor.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did you see what happened to Nebi Bucaj and how his sons died?
24 A. No.
25 Q. How can you then claim that one of his sons did not get killed as
1 a member of the KLA when you don't know how he died?
2 A. I know because half an hour ago I saw him dressed in civilian
3 clothes, and he was not dressed in military uniform at that time. But he
4 was barbarously killed at home, and, as His Honour said, I saw only the
5 father being taken, Nebi Bucaj, from the stairs and asked to go inside.
6 And I know no further. But from that woman, as I said yesterday and
7 today, I heard that Nebi Bucaj and his two sons and the visitor were all
9 Q. Can we then conclude that you do not know whether the son of Nebi
10 Bucaj, Enver, got killed in fighting? Is that correct?
11 A. He was not killed in fighting, but he was killed at home. He was
13 Q. And you heard that from a woman whose name you don't know.
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Very well. Mr. --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you something, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: The heading "Vendrenia" in the book is the place,
19 is it, of death?
20 MR. LUKIC: I know that one is place of death and the other one is
21 place of birth, and here we can see both places are Dusanovo. So maybe
22 the witness can --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell me, please, Mr. Kryeziu -- in fact, if
24 you look at the screen, you'll see that there are headings on this page,
25 and the one on the right-hand side, the heading on the right-hand column,
1 could you read that, please. Just the single word.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Vendrenia" means the place he was
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Lukic, if you've got a version of events
5 explaining that this happened in combat, then perhaps that should emerge
6 at this stage to give proper notice; but if all you're going on is the
7 fact of "death in Dusanovo" and general information about conflict in the
8 area, then are you really putting to the witness anything inconsistent
9 with his evidence? I mean, he may have jumped to conclusions; we can all
10 see that. But are you really putting in anything inconsistent with what
11 he said?
12 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, this book is about the killed KLA
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but is it those killed in combat or is it
15 those killed as the result of events over a certain period of time,
16 identifying those killed as having some connection with the KLA?
17 MR. LUKIC: Unfortunately, we haven't translated this book yet --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
19 MR. LUKIC: -- and probably it will be clearer when we have the
20 translation how come all these names ended up in this book.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So it just sounds to me as though, perhaps, you're
22 putting a question too far in the propositions you're putting to the
23 witness, and what will help us best is if we can get factual
24 information -- as much factual information as possible to see the
25 limitations of the knowledge of individual witnesses.
1 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with this
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
5 Q. [Interpretation] In your statement, Mr. Kryeziu, paragraph 6, you
6 say that you had heard that Serbs broke into houses and burned them down
7 from the 28th of March, 1998, in Lez, Vrinje, Leskovec, Hoca.
8 A. That's true, because on the 28th of March, from our houses,
9 because that part is situated across the place where my house is, we saw
10 flames and smoke coming out of that place. But that day, when we went
11 to -- on the way to Albania, when the Serbs drove us out, we saw flames
12 and smoke because we passed nearby.
13 Those houses were shelled between Landovice and Dushanove
14 villages; the place is called vineyards. And I worked there myself. We
15 could see the military tanks attacking Suhareke, Rahovec, and Vrrin, but
16 there were certainly police and military who set fire to these houses, at
17 least this is what I heard.
18 Q. Excellent. You have just told us that those places actually face
19 the place where you lived. So you were able to see them before, to
20 observe them before, so you must know that Lez, Leskovec, and Hoca, were
21 major strongholds of the KLA; correct? And these fires were, in fact, a
22 result of fierce combat between Serb forces and the KLA; isn't that
24 A. I don't know that there was fighting, but the Serbian army had to
25 fight against the KLA soldiers and not against civilian population - men,
1 women, elderly people or children - and to commit massacres.
2 Q. Mr. Kryeziu, shall we agree that if KLA members within villages --
3 are located within villages, then combat must occur within villages?
4 A. Yes, but an army should fight against an army, not against the
5 civilian population. The Serbian army should find out where the KLA was
6 positioned, and they should fight against each other and not against the
8 Q. You say that on that day nothing happened to you or your family,
9 but you describe that the village was surrounded; the salvoes were fired;
10 fire targeted houses; shots were fired in the air; there was shooting all
11 around. How many people were killed on that day in your village, if there
12 was shooting all around?
13 A. Only four people got killed at that moment; Nebi Bucaj, as I said,
14 with his sons and his visitor. Then there were maltreatments, beatings,
15 setting of houses on fire, destruction of property, and all such things.
16 Q. Those volleys of gun-fire, the shelling, was it all aimed at the
17 village? How come nobody died if that really happened?
18 A. Volleys of fire was addressed to the village. Houses were -- the
19 doors of the houses were broken; shelling of houses took place, and you
20 can see the traces even today. But fortunately, with the exception of
21 these four people, no others were killed. But women, children, men were
22 maltreated; that's a fact.
23 Q. Did the shelling and the mistreatment last all that time?
24 A. I can't remember, because once the shelling started, I remember
25 seeing a white coloured jeep. I don't know what make it was because I
1 didn't see it carefully. I went into the house of my neighbour because we
2 happened to be outside, without knowing what was going to happen. So the
3 shelling started, volleys of fire, as I said, and we entered the houses.
4 And I can say that there were over 2.000 police and army, but mostly they
5 were army members.
6 Q. Let me ask you something different now. You told us yesterday
7 that you had seen that all the armed men had Chetnik caps and Chetnik
8 emblems, cockades. You also said, however, that some of them wore
9 stockings over their heads. How many men were there wearing stockings on
10 their heads; do you remember?
11 A. I didn't say men, I said soldiers. It's one thing to say men;
12 another to say soldiers. I saw soldiers, not men. Of course they were
13 men, but dressed in uniforms of the army -- of the Serbian army.
14 Q. I'm asking you how many men did you see wearing those stockings on
15 their heads?
16 A. I couldn't count them, but I know that when I -- that man with a
17 long beard and long hair and a black stocking and the cap with a cockade,
18 the Chetnik cockade, when I saw him I remembered that when Drazen
19 Mihajlovic was captured, he thought that the Chetniks had come back to
21 Q. All right. All right. We've heard that. So you can't remember
22 how many wore those stockings.
23 A. I can't tell you how many there were.
24 Q. Actually, I'm just trying to jog your memory. All right. Fine.
25 On the same day you say you saw Milos Scekic wearing the same stocking
1 over his face; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's true, but not a black one - I said it was a mistake in
3 the statement - but it was light brown colour stocking, because I spoke
4 with him myself and I asked the commander --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: We got that yesterday. But did you say that he had
6 a stocking over his face?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did he have a stocking covering his face?
9 A. Yes, but you could still see his face.
10 Q. You knew Milos Scekic from before; is that right?
11 A. Yes, because we lived together for 40 years. After I moved from
12 Reti village to this village, we lived together.
13 Q. Was Milan Scekic a difficult, volatile man?
14 A. I don't understand the question.
15 Q. Was he prone to conflicts with other people? Was he inclined to
16 pick fights?
17 A. Before the war broke out, we lived in very good terms with all the
18 Serbs in the village, but they joined the ranks when the war started. He
19 had maltreated me and my son even earlier with other policemen, but as I
20 said, before the war we used to live in very good terms together.
21 Although that happened during the war, if I see him today, I would greet
22 him and I would still be friends with him.
23 Q. Is it true that before the war broke out an explosive device was
24 thrown at his estate?
25 A. I heard that Milos Scekic himself threw this explosive device
1 through the wall of a neighbour. Together with Nikola, that I mentioned,
2 I heard that they threw this bomb with a purpose of creating some unrest
3 among the people.
4 Q. So Milos Scekic threw an explosive device on his own property; is
5 that your testimony today?
6 A. As I said, I don't know myself, but I heard that he threw this
7 bomb. If that bomb was thrown by an Albanian, he would have probably got
8 caught. As I said, there were over 1.200 houses in the village, and
9 considering what happened, I think that the population quite lived with
11 Q. On that day, did you speak to Scekic?
12 A. Yes. On the 28th of March, I asked Milos Scekic to allow me to
13 use one of the cars because my brother was an invalid; however, he did not
14 allow me to use one of the cars. And, as I said, immediately after, some
15 Chetniks surrounded me and threatened me with knives.
16 Q. And while you were talking to Scekic, he had his face covered by a
17 stocking; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, women's stockings, light brown. I could recognise his face
19 because I knew him very well, and I addressed him with "Commander." And
20 he said, "I'm not a commander. I'm a military person." And when I told
21 him, "I know who you are. You are Milos Scekic," and as soon as I said
22 that, these people with beards approached me and threatened me with
24 Q. And masked with that stocking, he was just talking to you and
25 telling you that you can't use -- you can't use your car.
1 A. He took my car, the car keys, the 3.800 Deutschemarks that we had,
2 the gold from the women. Everything remained in the car. And as I said,
3 my late wife tried to get something from the boot of the car, and someone
4 then hit her with the automatic rifles. She lost consciousness. We had
5 some water with us; we threw some water on her face until she regained
6 consciousness. We waited and then we proceeded towards the border. And
7 my brother, though handicapped, he walked on crutches up to Prizren.
8 Q. Was anybody else present while you were talking to Scekic on that
9 occasion? That's the only -- the last thing I want to know about this.
10 A. There were many, because it was a large convoy of people, and in
11 addition there were soldiers and policemen. I said there were 2.000 of
12 them, but maybe there were even more, because the village road is quite
13 wide and there are other junctions nearby, three or four different
14 junctions leading to different places, and all these roads were covered
15 with soldiers, policemen, and vehicles.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kryeziu. I have no other questions for you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to add
18 one thing. They were asking for my eldest son, Bekim Kryeziu, and they
19 would curse our Albanian mother. And that was something we couldn't
20 bear. We could bear everything else, but not when they were cursing our
21 Albanian mother.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Cepic.
24 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kryeziu. My name is Djuro
2 Cepic, attorney-at-law. I would like to ask you a few questions.
3 In paragraph 4 of your statement, you speak about the period up to
4 August 1999, and this same Milos Scekic, commander of the police, comes to
5 the village and inquires about the weapons. Do you know that in September
6 1998, more precisely on the 15th of September, several rifles, in fact 25
7 rifles, were surrendered in the village, one mortar, and a number of
8 shells were hand-held rocket-launchers? Do you know that, Mr. Kryeziu?
9 A. I know that Milos Scekic, together with another commander, Denic,
10 whom I used to drive together with a Serb and Albanian policeman - we
11 lived together very well - in the past, they came in civilian clothes. He
12 even had one of his arms bandaged. Can I continue?
13 Q. Mr. Kryeziu, I'll try to phrase my questions concisely and
14 clearly, and I would appreciate shorter answers.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kryeziu, the question was very specific, that
16 it was said that weapons, and they were described, were surrendered in
17 your village on the 15th of September, 1998, including 25 rifles, a
18 mortar, a number of shells. Now, do you know about that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that there were weapons
20 at all or that someone surrendered weapons.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Kryeziu, do you know whether a considerable quantity of
24 rifles, machine-guns, hand-held rocket-launchers, uniforms, and so on,
25 were distributed in other villages nearby? Do you know that or not?
1 A. No, that is not true.
2 Q. Apart from the village of Dusanovo, or rather, near the village of
3 Dusanovo, the main Prizren-Djakovica road passes, as well as a railway
4 line. Have you heard of incidents on that route when civilian vehicles
5 were shot at?
6 A. That is not true. Fire was never opened against the Serb forces
7 in Dushanove.
8 Q. I didn't ask you about Serb forces; I asked you about civilians
9 travelling next to Dusanovo on the Prizren-Djakovica road in their own
10 cars. Do you know of individual incidents on that road when fire was
11 opened on civilian vehicles? That was my question, Mr. Kryeziu.
12 A. I don't know. I have no information about these incidents. I've
13 never heard of them.
14 Q. When you were leaving Dusanovo around that day, you heard bombing,
15 and the barracks in Prizren was being targeted, as well as other locations
16 near Prizren and not far from Dusanovo. Isn't that so?
17 A. I don't remember that. I don't know the barracks you're talking
18 about. I don't remember what these barracks are.
19 Q. Did you hear a single explosion from the 24th of March onwards?
20 Should I repeat my question, Mr. Kryeziu?
21 A. I don't know of any other explosions but for those by the Serb
23 Q. So you can tell what caused an explosion by its sound; is that
24 your testimony today, yes or no?
25 A. I don't know where this explosion occurred that you're putting to
1 me. Which explosion are you talking about?
2 Q. Yesterday, you claimed that on the 24th of March, or rather, in
3 today's transcript it says that you know that on the 24th of March, the
4 barracks in Prizren was bombed. Now you're testifying that you don't know
5 where the barracks is.
6 A. These barracks were bombed by NATO.
7 Q. Apart from that explosion or explosions in the barracks compound,
8 throughout your stay in Kosovo, you heard no other explosions?
9 A. We could hear explosions every day and every night, explosions on
10 behalf of the Serb forces.
11 Q. When you were going towards the Albanian border, you were stopped
12 by a group of forces who were taking jewellery from women's necks. Those
13 were the same White Eagles you had seen before, weren't they, Mr. Kryeziu?
14 A. They were mixed. I did not name them individually, but throughout
15 the journey, they were taking all the jewelleries from the women. And
16 I've seen this with my own eyes.
17 Q. And, for the most part, they had rather long hair, some of them;
19 A. I was not in a position to count how many were there, but on one
20 occasion I counted five or six with them. But we were going through a lot
21 of trauma at that time. At that time I didn't know where my daughter was,
22 where my son was. We didn't know where we were going. If I had a camera,
23 I would have recorded that, but probably they wouldn't have allowed me
25 Q. And you didn't see any insignia on them, did you, since you were
1 traumatised, as you said?
2 A. I wasn't paying attention. As I said, we were trying to save our
3 lives, because there were a lot of people in the column and a lot of young
4 men were being separated from the column.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. No further questions for this
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
9 Mr. Aleksic.
10 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. No
11 questions for this witness.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
13 MR. SEPENUK: [Microphone not activated].
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. SEPENUK: No questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Dragulev.
21 MS. DRAGULEV: No questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kryeziu, that completes your evidence. Thank
25 you for coming to come to the Tribunal to give it. You're now free to
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope I
3 will not be misunderstood. I tried my best to explain everything. Maybe
4 I did not explain everything in detail, but my great wish was to come here
5 and testify to the events that I went through.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Have a good day.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, tell us you're going to surprise
10 us with a witness.
11 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, no surprise. I understand that we
12 will have General Loncar on this afternoon. I'm not sure what time now.
13 I had heard 1345 and then most recently I've heard, perhaps, 1350.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: It's now been suggested 1.15. So when we rise just
15 now, I'll make final arrangements with all the staff that need to be
16 involved, in particular the interpretation staff, and let you know whether
17 we might manage two sessions, albeit they are shorter than we've been used
18 to, but perhaps overall a little more than an hour and a half. We'll see
19 what can be achieved without going too far beyond 3.30.
20 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honour, I suppose I should alert you and
21 the Defence at this time that I think I'm probably only going to be 10 or
22 15 minutes on direct, just to have him verify his statement and the
23 supplemental information.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And the aim will be to ensure that his evidence
25 does not extend beyond 1.00 tomorrow.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Our overall feeling is that we should make use --
3 maximum use of the time available, albeit it's going to mean far more
4 cross-examination than examination, and even allowing for the fact that
5 much of it may well be in support of a positive Defence case rather than
6 cross-examination of the statement, although that remains to be seen. But
7 we do intend to set a deadline on the evidence that the witness will give
8 at this stage, and if we run out of time, then the Defence will have to,
9 in due course, make an application to bring the witness back for their own
10 purposes and we would consider it at that time. But hopefully that will
11 not be necessary.
12 It may also be that part of tomorrow's time will have to be
13 allocated to the positive Defence case. We will have to review that once
14 we see the nature of the cross-examination; we can't determine that in
16 So informally, by e-mail, as soon as the position is clear, we'll
17 confirm the sitting times for this afternoon. But what I can confirm at
18 the moment is that we will resume at 1.15.
19 --- Recess taken at 9.56 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.14 p.m.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, who is your next witness?
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, our next witness is General Dusan
23 Loncar, by videolink, and we'll be presenting him as a 92 ter witness with
24 some little live evidence to lead.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Loncar.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I want to, first of all, express my gratitude to
3 everyone who has assisted in making arrangements for this evidence to
4 commence this afternoon, and to say to you, Mr. Loncar, that the Trial
5 Chamber is particularly grateful that you have altered your own
6 arrangements to enable you to come in today to start this evidence,
7 because that will enable us to ensure that your own arrangements for
8 treatment next week are not in any way disrupted.
9 Now, the first thing I have to do is to invite you to make the
10 solemn declaration to speak the truth by reading aloud the document which
11 will now be placed before you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Your evidence will begin by
15 examination, on behalf of the Prosecution, by Mr. Hannis.
16 Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: DUSAN LONCAR
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 [Witness appeared via videolink]
21 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
22 Q. Good afternoon, General. Would you please state your name for the
24 A. Good afternoon. Dusan Loncar.
25 Q. Thank you, sir. I understand from your statement that you are a
1 retired JNA general, you were a career soldier; that you are an Orthodox
2 Serb; you're married, with two sons, and have four grandchildren. Is that
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. General, you gave a statement to an investigator of the OTP named
6 Annette Murtagh in March -- in February and March of 2004.
7 MR. HANNIS: For the record, Your Honour, this is Exhibit 2521.
8 Q. General, before coming to testify today, did you have a chance to
9 review that statement?
10 A. Yes, I received a copy in a timely fashion. It is in
11 Serbian/Serbo-Croatian. I had sufficient time to study it, and the day
12 before yesterday I was able to compare parts of my statement in the
13 presence of a Tribunal representative.
14 Q. Yes. I think on Tuesday, General, you had a chance to speak, via
15 videolink, with investigator Jonathan Sutch and myself. At that time did
16 you point out to us some changes or corrections that you wanted to make to
17 that original statement, Exhibit 2521?
18 A. Yes, and I am grateful for that.
19 Q. And before today, have you had a chance to see Exhibit 2530, that
20 is, the supplemental information sheet dated the 28th of November, 2006?
21 A. Yes. I received it, I studied it, and I agree with it.
22 Q. Now, General, with those changes you made in the supplemental
23 information sheet, are you satisfied that when that is read together with
24 your original statement, that that is a truthful and accurate statement of
25 your evidence; and that if you were asked those same questions, you would
1 give those same answers now, under oath?
2 A. Yes, precisely.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, General, one of the reasons we arranged for a
4 videolink was because there was some health issues. I want to let you
5 know that if at any time you need to have a recess, let us know, and we'll
6 be happy to do that for you.
7 I just have a few questions for you before the Defence --
8 A. I thank you.
9 Q. -- will have an opportunity to cross-examine you.
10 In paragraph 21 of your statement, you mention Colonel Kotur, who
11 was part of the commission on cooperation that met in Pristina. Do you
12 know what Colonel Kotur's assignment was with the Pristina Corps before he
13 came to assist you in working with the OSCE mission?
14 A. Colonel Milan Kotur was a member of my team and my assistant in
15 military affairs. Apart from this additional task, he was a member of the
16 operations office of the Pristina Corps, or to be more precise, he was
17 assistant Chief of Staff for the infantry.
18 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 28 of your statement, you mention that
19 sometimes when you would phone Mr. Sainovic to inform him about what had
20 happened on the night before, you would learn that he had already been
21 informed by General Lukic. Do you recall, approximately, how many times
22 during your work in Kosovo that that happened, when you made your daily
23 phone call to Mr. Sainovic, he had -- you learned that he had already been
24 informed by General Lukic?
25 A. Your Honours, Mr. Sainovic always insisted on being informed in a
1 timely fashion as regards the latest events, especially if what was
2 involved were important incidents or incidents involving a number of
4 As part of our daily routine in our liaison with the mission,
5 there was a regular exchange of reports; however, General Pavkovic and
6 General Lukic were under an obligation, if an important incident occurred,
7 to inform Mr. Sainovic in person. This was to keep him abreast as to the
8 events in the field, because he was the chairman of the commission, of the
9 Federal Commission. Sometimes there was a need to contact General Lukic
10 and Sainovic twice or even three times a day, but for the most part - I'm
11 trying to recollect the nature of the incidents - it would occur two,
12 three, or four times a week, when Pavkovic and Lukic were supposed to
13 inform Mr. Sainovic.
14 Q. Let me direct you to paragraph 38 of your statement. You
15 mentioned that Mr. Sainovic often came to Kosovo. Can you tell us,
16 approximately, how often he would come to Kosovo during the time that you
17 were there.
18 A. I can only discuss the period when I was in Pristina, in Kosovo.
19 Depending on the intensity of contact with Mr. Sainovic, who was the
20 then-deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia and the president of the Federal
21 Commission as well as a prominent official of the Socialist Party of
22 Serbia, which was at the time the strongest political party in Serbia,
23 apart from other tasks concerning his duty as the president of the
24 commission for relations with the OSCE, what I could say as regards all
25 that was that he would come down once or twice a week. But, for example,
1 in the case of Racak, he would spend two or three days in a row in Kosovo
2 on incidents of that magnitude.
3 Q. And so we're clear, on the time that you were in Kosovo, I
4 understand from your statement that you first arrived on the 12th of
5 November, 1998, and then you left on, approximately, the 21st of March,
6 1999; is that correct?
7 A. It is correct.
8 Q. During that time, General, how often were you in Kosovo?
9 A. Undertaking the obligation to participate in the work of the
10 Federal Commission, which was a political body, I was in Kosovo for the
11 first time in mid-November. Since the scope of activities of the
12 commission included cooperation with the OSCE, the OSCE mission began
13 functioning in mid-December, because it was at that time that they had a
14 sufficient number of observers. Therefore, from mid-November until early
15 December, I spent five or six days in Kosovo, or one week at the most.
16 The rest of the time I was in Belgrade. There was no need for me to be in
17 Pristina when my primary task was to liaise with Mr. Walker and other
18 members of the mission. Therefore, as regards my work within the Federal
19 Commission, I spent some 35 to 40 days in total in Kosovo.
20 Since I am a family person with strong ties to my family, I tried
21 to use any available opportunity to go to Belgrade during the weekend and
22 then return at the earliest available opportunity, if there are no -- if
23 there were no important incidents in Kosovo.
24 Therefore, to sum up, a spent a total of 35 to 40 days in Kosovo.
25 Q. And during those days that you were in Kosovo doing the Federal
1 Commission business in cooperating with the OSCE, how often would you
2 meet? Would you meet every day that you were in Kosovo?
3 A. Meetings were of such a nature that we tried to deal with the
4 current issues. At first, we worked on establishing channels and modes of
5 communication with the OSCE; therefore, we met almost every day or every
6 other day for a fortnight, because we had to discuss the issue of
7 accommodation, movement, documentation, and the diplomatic status of the
8 observers. Therefore, we first worked on the status issues.
9 Later, apart from the basic tasks of the mission and its
10 observers, we would have an average of three to four meetings a week,
11 although there were days, on occasion, when we would meet once or even
13 Q. And, generally speaking, who were the persons who attended these
14 meetings, in addition to yourself?
15 A. As part of my team, its membership was constant; it didn't
16 change. I always presided or chaired the meetings. With me were always
17 Mr. Kotur, Milan, who was my military assistant, as well as Colonel
18 Mijatovic, who assisted me in police matters; then a representative of the
19 federal foreign ministry in Pristina, and that was Mr. Slana Velja; and an
20 interpreter. That was the composition of the team. My secretary also
21 took part, Mr. Rapajic, who kept minutes.
22 As for the other party, in matters concerning Mr. Walker, he would
23 attend and he would chair, or rather, lead their mission. And there was
24 also Mr. Drewienkiewicz and some other -- and Ciaglinski, as well as some
25 other people who were needed on a particular day. The most frequent
1 people I met with were Mr. Drewienkiewicz, who was Mr. Walker's military
2 assistant, and Colonel Ciaglinski would come with him, together with two
3 or three other operations officers. This would account for the
5 Q. Thank you. We understand from your statement and from Exhibit 2D8
6 and 2D9 in evidence that Mr. Andjelkovic, who was a member of the
7 temporary Executive Council, was also a member of the Federal Commission.
8 Did he take part in your meetings in Pristina in connection with the
9 commission work?
10 A. Mr. Andjelkovic did not participate in a single meeting, in any of
11 the meetings of my team or the meetings that I chaired. He was the
12 president of the temporary council for Kosovo and Metohija, and as far as
13 I know, Mr. Sainovic introduced him to Mr. Walker. This was the first and
14 the last meeting between a representative of the mission and
15 Mr. Andjelkovic as regards the framework of my activities. However, I
16 know that Mr. Andjelkovic saw some other OSCE mission people when it came
17 to issues such as power-supply, water-supply, and so on and so forth.
18 However, Mr. Andjelkovic never attended our meetings and never dealt with
19 the issues that I was responsible for.
20 Q. Did Mr. Andjelkovic attend the weekly meetings in Belgrade
21 concerning the commission's work?
22 A. Sometimes he would attend; sometimes he wouldn't. At that time,
23 the president of the temporary council, by his duty, had to be in both
24 places at the same time, so to speak. Therefore, sometimes
25 Mr. Andjelkovic would attend and on other occasions he wouldn't. However,
1 I believe that he was there more often than not.
2 Q. And in connection with those Federal Commission meetings in
3 Belgrade, you mentioned Obradovic would attend and report on VJ issues.
4 Can you tell us Mr. Obradovic's rank and first name, if you recall it.
5 A. I recall it well since I know Mr. Obradovic rather well. He was
6 the representative and he was present more than other generals in meetings
7 with Mr. Sainovic. At that time there was a change at the helm of the
8 staff; however, he represented both people who rotated at that time. His
9 duty was to monitor the situation in Kosovo. He was in the General Staff,
10 in the operations administration --
11 Q. I don't think --
12 A. He was a lieutenant-general.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the very last
14 sentence of the answer.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. General, the interpreters here say they did not hear the very last
17 sentence of your answer. Did you indicate General Obradovic's first name?
18 A. Yes. I ended by saying that his rank was that of
19 lieutenant-general, and his name was Milorad Obradovic. He worked in the
20 operations administration of the General Staff of the VJ.
21 Q. Thank you, General Loncar. I don't have any questions for you
22 right now. Thanks.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: General Loncar, the counsel representing the
24 various accused here have a number of questions for you, and it's of great
25 assistance, I think, to all concerned if we deal with these questions at
1 this time while you're here with us. So I'll, first of all, ascertain the
2 order in which these various counsel will address you.
3 First of all, Mr. O'Sullivan.
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: The order will be: Mr. Sainovic, General
5 Lazarevic, General Lukic, General Ojdanic, General Pavkovic, and
6 Mr. Milutinovic.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Well, the first counsel to ask questions of you, Mr. Loncar, will
9 be Mr. Fila.
10 Mr. Fila.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Loncar.
13 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Fila.
14 Q. I have a few questions for you, but first I'd like you to receive
15 D08 -- 2D08. It is a decision on the establishment of the commission, and
16 I will have a few questions about that. 2D08. The Prosecutor mentioned
17 it a minute ago.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I take it what's happened here is that you've
19 provided detail, in hard copies, of the various documents to Belgrade.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have it before me.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we now have it, Mr. Fila.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Loncar, if you take a good look, you will see that it begins
24 by stipulating that based on Article 42 of the rules of procedure of the
25 federal government, the federal government is hereby establishing the
1 commission. When the rules of procedure are used to base a decision, does
2 it mean that this is supposed to be a working body of the SFRY government?
3 A. Yes, it was supposed to be a political working body of the SRY --
4 FRY government.
5 Q. Does that mean that each of the members continue with their
6 regular function, apart from being a member of the commission?
7 A. Yes. Their primary task is to continue with their regular duties
8 and their additional task is to take part in the work of the commission.
9 Q. Thank you. We will have to wait for the interpretation, since we
10 use the same language.
11 If one takes a look at the composition of the commission, you see
12 there Mr. Sainovic, who was deputy prime minister, and his deputy was
13 Mr. Zika Jovanovic, who was the foreign minister of foreign affairs -
14 first name Zivadin - and that there various federal ministers, such as the
15 minister of defence, of internal affairs, of communications, of justice,
16 as well as a lieutenant-general of the VJ and the Chief of Staff and the
17 customs director, as well as the president of the temporary council for
18 Kosovo. There is also the minister of the internal affairs of Serbia, the
19 federal information secretary, and in addition, there was you there as
20 well as the minister of justice of Serbia.
21 If we have a look at those names, may we conclude that it
22 comprised the top officials of the federal government as well as of the
23 Republic of Serbia?
24 A. I agree fully, and it was structured in such a way so as to cover
25 all areas pertaining to everyday life in Kosovo.
1 Q. Does this structure show the intent of the authorities in Belgrade
2 to cooperate with the OSCE mission in Kosovo to the full extent?
3 A. Absolutely. In my contact I had with Mr. Sainovic when working
4 with the Federal Commission, they always insisted on thoroughness and good
5 conduct of the commission. I believe that was one of their priorities.
6 Q. Since you were made member of the commission at a later stage, you
7 were introduced into the commission because they sought to improve the
8 cooperation since you had previously cooperated with Mr. Walker, who
9 headed the OSCE mission in Kosovo.
10 A. Yes, while I was employed with the Army of the Republika Srpska
11 Krajina, and I was the corps commander there. Also, after the Erdut
12 Agreement which was signed, which was annexed to the Dayton Agreement, I
13 remained in the area so as to ensure that the greatest number of Serbs
14 remain in the area of Eastern Slavonia and Western Serbia. The first
15 administrator was Mr. Jacques Klein, followed by Mr. Walker. Therefore, I
16 had a long and fruitful communication with Mr. Walker for over a year.
17 That was the reason I was chosen to work on this issue with Mr. Walker as
19 Q. Would you agree with me that this commission was a very high
20 political body of the FRY government and the Government of Serbia rather
21 than a command structure of the VJ, or of the MUP for that matter?
22 A. Beginning with the fact that the agreement between the FRY
23 government and the corresponding structures of the UN and Europe - and by
24 this I mean the political agreement - anyone taking part in the process
25 had his own political duties. I stated a minute ago that this commission
1 was a political working body; otherwise, we couldn't have been engaged in
2 implementing the political agreement. Therefore, my answer is yes.
3 Q. Therefore, Mr. Sainovic, as the FRY deputy prime minister and the
4 president of the commission, was a politician with the political
5 responsibility for the cooperation with the OSCE.
6 A. I understood it that way. Having in mind his other positions
7 outside the commission, which were of purely political nature, I believe
8 this was also part of his political duties and activities.
9 Q. Therefore, I conclude that Sainovic, personally or through you,
10 conveyed the positions of the government and of the commission rather than
11 his own position.
12 A. On the 20th -- the 28th, this Tuesday, I was able to go through
13 parts of my statement again, and I had previously described the
14 relationship between Mr. Sainovic and the late Mr. Milosevic. When being
15 proofed for this testimony, I was able to confirm that. Mr. Sainovic was
16 a member of the federal government; he was its deputy prime minister.
17 Therefore, anything he did within the commission was within the part of
18 his duties as the deputy prime minister, based on the tasks and position
19 he received from the federal government.
20 Q. How are we then to understand what you stated in paragraphs 18 and
21 19 of your statement concerning the instructions you received from
22 Mr. Sainovic after the mission was established? If you have the statement
23 before you, you can review it again.
24 A. I do have the statement, and I'm looking at it right now, 18 and
25 19. In this statement - and I will not read paragraphs 18 and 19 - I
1 spoke of Mr. Sainovic and his general attitude in his relationship with
2 the OSCE, which was completely honourable, sincere, and professional. And
3 he was trying to provide them with proper accommodation and all the other
4 required conditions for a successful implementation of their mission.
5 In every contact, in every suggestion that was tabled, in every
6 assignment that was given, he insisted on a fair and honourable
7 relationship; and I believe, therefore, that the commitment of all of us,
8 and especially Mr. Sainovic, was to ensure that the success of the mission
9 was complete.
10 Q. Throughout your statement - and we can find it in paragraph 65 and
11 in other places - you speak of the pattern of work, the procedures.
12 Mr. Walker, for instance, would submit to you a major problem or an
13 incident; you'd pass it on to Mr. Sainovic, and he doesn't give you his
14 decision immediately. You say that instead a certain lapse of time
15 passes. Is it the case that you were not able to give immediate answers
16 because the questions had to be forwarded first?
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could we just have a correction to the
18 transcript. On page 34, line 12, it shouldn't be "decision" but "answer."
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's been corrected, Mr. Fila.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So Sainovic was not able to give you his answer immediately
22 because, first of all, he had to pass on the demands to the bodies that
23 were in charge, that were competent, to resolve the problem. Is that the
25 A. Well, let me tell you one thing. The demands put forward by
1 Mr. Walker on his own behalf or on behalf of the mission of the OSCE
2 usually went beyond the specific points of the agreement. Mr. Sainovic,
3 although he was not a formalist and he could sometimes react ad hoc, but
4 he had to consult the federal government. Therefore, it took some time,
5 and the answers concerning escort, helicopters, and everything else could
6 not be given immediately, especially if it was not in the immediate
7 jurisdiction of Mr. Sainovic.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] We have another problem. Page 35, the
9 answer was not quite correctly recorded. Can we have the answer again.
10 Maybe the interpreters can look at it later.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Tell me the point you think that's not reflected,
12 Mr. Fila, please.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me,
14 maybe -- on page 35, line 1: [In English] "... he could sometimes react
15 ad hoc."
16 [Interpretation] What I heard instead is that the witness said he
17 was not an absolutist and he had to consult the federal government. Maybe
18 we can ask the question again. This he wasn't a formalist, that simply
19 wasn't said, and it wasn't said that he reacted sometimes ad hoc.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Loncar, could you answer that question
21 again so that we can clarify this difficulty.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was listening to your polemics,
23 and I said, in fact, that since the demands of Mr. Walker most often went
24 beyond the agreement, Mr. Sainovic could not behave as an absolute ruler,
25 and he didn't dare and could not give answers ad hoc. He had to consult
1 the federal government and on the basis of the responses of the federal
2 government he could pass the answers back.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could we say that Mr. Sainovic, in the government, was the first
6 among equals, especially in view of the discussion of his role that we had
8 A. We had all the same duties and responsibilities and he was
9 leading --
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on, please, General.
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: I object. I think that calls for speculation on the
14 part of this witness to say whether Mr. Sainovic was the first among
15 equals, without indicating who all the other supposed equals are.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, and it's asking a question about the
17 government, which is not really a matter for this witness to answer at
18 all. So let's concentrate on what the witness has knowledge of, Mr. Fila.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this witness was a member
20 of the commission chaired by Mr. Sainovic, and when we ask him about his
21 status on the commission chaired by Sainovic, it's not speculation and I'm
22 not asking about the government. I'm asking him, as a member of the
23 commission, how did a regular member of the commission defer from
24 Sainovic, who was the chairman? That was my question.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Two things about that, Mr. Fila. First of all, the
1 question you asked has been translated as: "Could we say that
2 Mr. Sainovic, in the government, was the first among equals," so -- well,
3 that's how it's been translated and how it came over to me and to Mr. --
4 please don't argue while I'm speaking. So you can clarify it by asking
5 the question again, and if you're confining it to his role in the
6 commission, then that question will be admissible.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I already apologised if I said that.
8 I'm sorry. That's not what I meant.
9 Q. So the question is: Compared to other members of the commission -
10 and you were one yourself - was Mr. Sainovic just the first among equals?
11 Was he just the chairman or did he have greater powers than you?
12 A. I don't know who could have powers over me, but it's a fact that
13 he was chairman of the Federal Commission. And I hope nobody minds my
14 saying so; in some missions and in some tasks, I held more responsibility
15 than Mr. Sainovic. But generally I agree with your assessment.
16 Q. Thank you. If you were to describe --
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't think he's finished answering
18 the question. Maybe it's because they're both speaking Serbian, but it
19 sounded like he was still talking.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the answer looks complete to me, Mr. Hannis,
21 and if you want to re-examine on it, you may.
22 Please carry on, Mr. Fila.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You have answered quite extensively my questions about the work of
25 Mr. Sainovic. Maybe some questions will sound strange to you, but lots of
1 people have been heard here and we have heard a lot of stories and we have
2 to clarify some of them through you. If some things sound odd to you, you
3 can believe me they sounded odd to me, too. But this is our job.
4 In his work, was Mr. Sainovic conscientious?
5 A. Absolutely. Now, let me tell you - and I've said it before in my
6 statement - Mr. Sainovic held great authority, both formally and
7 substantially; formally in the sense that he had the official role of the
8 deputy prime minister, chairman of the Federal Commission, and he also
9 held the role in the party that he did. But in Kosovo, he tried to do
10 much more than his various functions strictly compelled him to. He worked
11 together with Mr. Andjelkovic in establishing the local authorities at
12 that level, establishing the police force at the local level. And I would
13 say, indeed, that he worked very conscientiously.
14 Q. I'm asking you this because --
15 A. Excuse me, Mr. Fila. I'm only speaking about the time when I was
16 engaged in that commission. I am not speaking at all about before or
18 Q. That's what I'm asking you, about that period from November to the
19 21st of March. Did you notice that he personally obstructed cooperation
20 with the Kosovo Verification Mission, or did he give you instructions to
21 obstruct it? Yes or no?
22 A. That's a very strange question, indeed. If somebody insists in
23 speaking to me many times that we should work conscientiously and
24 seriously, that everything depends on it, that we should cooperate with
25 the OSCE mission, that we have to honour all their demands, I don't see
1 why I would act differently and especially obstruct the cooperation. It's
2 not logical.
3 Q. It's not logical to me either.
4 A. And, anyway, nobody can instruct me to do contrary to what my job
5 is. I don't think he did it. He appreciated the efforts of all of us,
6 and he invested a lot himself.
7 Q. So you concluded that Sainovic was committed to peace, not war; is
8 that correct?
9 A. I think that was his mindset and his nature. He's a peace-loving
10 man, not a warrior.
11 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 76 you spoke of the fact that he was
12 politically committed to establishing a multi-ethnic police force or
14 A. Police.
15 Q. Police, all right. Was it his political position that it was
16 necessary in order to appease the situation? What was the reason?
17 A. You know, there was such high tensions. The situation was so
18 fraught in Kosovo. It was very complex, and everything was possible. We
19 needed to defuse [Realtime transcript read in error "diffuse"] that
20 tension and defuse all situations. And the political atmosphere was such
21 that Albanians accepted the decisions of Albanians more easily. They
22 wanted their own police, their own authorities, and Mr. Sainovic
23 understood that. And he achieved good results in the establishment of the
24 multi-ethnic police, which was short-lived, unfortunately, in view of the
25 events that followed.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Ordinarily, things like this would be caught in the
2 review, but I'm not sure it will. Page 39, line 20, the word is "defuse,"
3 like take the fuse off the situation, not to "diffuse." And that may not
4 be caught and that certainly changes the meaning.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I note what you say, Mr. Ackerman. This particular
6 English expression has always caused me difficulty, and there may not be
7 any difference between the two. But I note the point you make and we
8 shall take account of it.
9 Carry on, please, Mr. Fila.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Loncar, in paragraph 30, I believe, you say that there was a
12 meeting of the Federal Commission attended by Milomir Minic. If I
13 understood well, Sainovic was absent then. It was at the time of the
14 Rambouillet negotiations, wasn't it?
15 A. If I remember correctly, it wasn't Rambouillet, it was
16 Mr. Sainovic's visit either to Belgium or Sweden. Mr. Minic did attend
17 then, and in view of the importance of the issues discussed at that
18 meeting, although he was not strictly a member of the commission, he
19 attended as a member of parliament, because after that meeting we had a
20 consultation about how to organise a session of the Government of Serbia
21 in Pristina. Mr. Minic came to the session for that reason, and it's
22 probable that he, as the doyen, chaired as well. That's my opinion.
23 Q. In other words, the commission convened even when Mr. Sainovic
24 wasn't there.
25 A. It was the only case. He was always there and he always chaired.
1 Q. Let us now go through your statement. In paragraph 21 of your
2 statement, you explain your first arrival there, your way of work. You
3 mentioned the representative of the VJ, representatives of the MUP, and
4 you mentioned Mr. Velja Slana from the foreign ministry. What I'm
5 interested in is this: Did Mr. Velja Slana send his reports to the
6 governments of the FRY, Serbia, and the provincial government,
7 independently of you?
8 A. You see, I had no influence on that at all. It was his
9 responsibility, not mine. Velja Slana, and when he was absent, his
10 deputy, attended all meetings between me, Walker, Drewienkiewicz, Keller,
11 Ivanov, or whoever else, and they made their minutes and records
12 independently of me. When they make minutes in five copies, we all read
13 it and sign it. And it was their job to distribute the minutes. One went
14 to the federal government, the republican government, to the provincial
15 government, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and one to --
16 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is speaking too fast. Both counsel
17 and the witness are speaking to fast. We missed the last thing.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] There is a mistake in the
19 transcript. Line 20 on the previous page, it was a session of the
20 Assembly of Serbia in Pristina, not the Government of Serbia.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was a session of the
22 Assembly. I don't know if I made a slip of the tongue, but it was indeed
23 a session of the Assembly.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. The point has been clarified.
25 Please bear in mind, Mr. Fila, what the interpreters are saying
1 about pausing to allow them to catch up.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. The conclusion I wish to draw is that neither you nor anybody else
4 had any influence on the contents of the minutes sent my Mr. Slana or the
5 report sent by Mr. Slana, nor could anyone get access to these reports in
6 order to modify or amend them.
7 A. We had a stamp. These were stamped and registered in the
8 log-book, and nobody could alter them. They were kept in the archives of
9 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that this possibility was absolutely
11 Q. In paragraph 28, you say that you made some reports and sent them
12 on to Mr. Walker, that you drew up such reports. Could anybody influence
13 or change the reports you sent, or were they authored by you and do you
14 abide by these?
15 A. Mr. Fila, these were reports sent to Mr. Walker and the OSCE
16 mission with respect to the territory. Every morning, the police and the
17 army, through Kotur and Mijatovic, sent reports to my office as to what
18 had happened over the past 24 hours, referring to any incidents that may
19 have occurred. I simply compiled those reports, put them together without
20 altering them. I stamped and sealed these and sent them on to
21 Mr. Walker. These are reports coming from the military and police
22 structures. Although the OSCE did not wait just for my reports. Colonel
23 Mijatovic and Colonel Kotur sent their individual reports to the
24 representatives of the OSCE mission by 700 hours. All I did was to put
25 them together, give them the proper form, and then send them on.
1 Q. The fact is that these reports were not changed in any way; they
2 were just passed on.
3 A. Well, what would be the need? What need would there be to change
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment, Mr. Fila.
6 In an earlier answer, when there was a problem with the speed of
7 speech, you were telling us, Mr. Loncar, of the five copies of a minute
8 that anyone at a meeting might compile, and you said that these went to
9 the federal government, the republican government, the provincial
10 government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then the interpreter did
11 not pick up the fifth one. What was the fifth one?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The archives. The federal
13 government, the republican government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
14 Mr. Sainovic, and the archives, not the provincial council. Federal
15 government, republican government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
16 Mr. Sainovic, and the archives.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not Mr. Andjelkovic, not the
19 provincial government.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. But, Mr. Loncar, this refers to Velja Slana's reports; right?
22 A. It refers to the reports sent after the meetings between me and my
23 team with members or representatives of the OSCE. The reports you
24 mentioned a while ago, Mr. Fila, those were reports sent by the police and
25 the army to the OSCE every morning concerning any incidents that had
1 happened over the past 24 hours. So those were two different kinds of
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, it's not clear, Mr. Fila, what the answer
4 to that question about Slana was, because it would appear that, while you
5 were asking about Slana's reports, the answer you got was confined to
6 where the minutes that were kept -- the minutes of the meeting were sent.
7 Now, if you want to clarify that, you'll need to ask about it again.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. At one point, Mr. Loncar, I asked you about the notes and reports
10 drawn up by Mr. Velja Slana and whether these could be influenced by
11 anyone. Your response was that he kept some records, that you later
12 signed these, and that they were sent on to the five addresses you
13 mentioned. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So that's one kind of report sent by you up the hierarchy towards
16 the authorities of Serbia.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. My last set of questions concerned the reports sent by the
19 military and the police about the incidents occurring overnight, and you
20 were to put these together and forward them to Mr. Walker. That would be
21 a second kind of report.
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, have I clarified that
25 JUDGE BONOMY: With the exception of the last sentence in
1 paragraph 26, at the end of the meeting I would make one report and we
2 would all sign it. Is that the same one as Slana compiled? Perhaps it
3 is; perhaps it isn't. I don't know.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's the same one.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 It's now clear, Mr. Fila.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As I was in charge and I was
8 the first to sign it, I spoke of it as my report. That's the report.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In paragraph 24, you said that you were an intermediary between
11 the commission and the OSCE, but in one sentence you say that you reported
12 to the army. Mr. Loncar, does this imply that you passed on to the army
13 information from the Kosovo Verification Mission and the other way around?
14 A. Mr. Fila, I have been a soldier since birth, so to speak, and of
15 course my profession implies certain terminology. When I say "report," to
16 me it's the same as "brief" or "inform," and that's how you should
17 understand this word. It means to inform or to brief.
18 Q. Thank you. That's how I understood you, but because various other
19 interpretations are possible, I wanted to clarify this.
20 In paragraph 25, you mention two occasions when Mr. Walker's
21 requests were not met. This refers to personal weapons and the
22 helicopter. With reference to the helicopter, you said that you informed
23 Sainovic about this, and I quote, that after a while he informed you that
24 this would not be accepted because it was not in compliance with --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the word.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. With regard to Mr. Walker's request and Mr. Sainovic's reply,
3 would the cabinet have to make this decision for Mr. Sainovic to pass on?
4 Because, as I understand it, it was not Sainovic's personal decision
5 whether or not to provide the helicopter. Can you clarify this?
6 A. With respect to the two questions you mentioned, the two issues
7 you mentioned, in the dialogue between Mr. Sainovic and Mr. Walker, there
8 were specific proposals put forward by Mr. Sainovic. He suggested to
9 Mr. Walker that he should consider our providing our helicopter --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Please stop. Please stop. Please answer the
11 question you've actually been asked, which is: Was this a cabinet
12 decision or was it Mr. Sainovic's own decision? It's important you deal
13 with the question, because we have your statement and we know what you've
14 said so far.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excellent. Thank you. Thank you.
16 I am convinced that Mr. Sainovic did not have the right to make this
17 decision, that this was a decision of the federal cabinet.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. With respect to personal weapons, there were two
20 agreements, as far as we can recall; Holbrooke and Milosevic, that's the
21 first one, and the second one was Geremek and Milanovic. And the federal
22 government was responsible for the protection and safety of the members of
23 the Kosovo Verification Mission. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Wouldn't it then have been more logical that if they wanted
1 something changed, they should ask for the agreement to be changed, and
2 then they could take care of their own security and own medical care
3 rather than asking you for all this.
4 A. If I remember well, that's precisely the gist of what Mr. Sainovic
5 responded. He said this is not provided for in the agreement. He said he
6 would pass it on to the proper authorities and get a reply, and, as you
7 know, the reply was negative.
8 Q. As an experienced person and a general, the two pistols requested
9 by Mr. Walker, to what extent would that have increased the security of
10 the Kosovo Verification Mission, which numbered a few hundred people,
11 asking for two pistols at this high-level commission meeting?
12 A. I don't know what motivated Mr. Walker to request this. He
13 probably felt personally safer if accompanied by two armed escorts. I
14 would exclude the possibility of it increasing the safety of the other
15 members of the mission.
16 Q. All this talk of weapons, two pistols, was this actually evading
17 the real topic, beating around the bush? Maybe that's my personal
19 MR. HANNIS: I think it is his personal opinion, Your Honour.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, certainly --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Just stop a moment again, Mr. Loncar.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object to that question. I'm having a
24 hard time articulating what my objection is, but that calls for
25 speculation and a conclusion. I don't know what "beating around the bush"
1 means in this context. It may mean one thing to Mr. Fila and something
2 different to the witness.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I think that's right.
4 The question is vague and it seems to invite speculation, Mr.
5 Fila. I think we should concentrate on fact.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] We'll withdraw the question.
7 Q. In that case, would you agree with me that a helicopter owned by
8 the army or the police of Yugoslavia, doesn't matter which, carrying a Red
9 Cross symbol would have been sufficient to protect anyone possibly
10 injured, who was possibly injured, and who was a member of the Kosovo
11 Verification Mission?
12 A. At the time the helicopter was being discussed, there were no
13 injuries, and more than half the members of the verification mission had
14 not yet arrived. Our helicopter would have carried out the same tasks as
15 the helicopter Mr. Walker was requesting from Switzerland, especially as
16 it had the similar tactical performances.
17 Q. If we take into account that no one had been injured, that the
18 Kosovo Verification Mission was supposed to ensure peace and separation of
19 the hostile parties, and ensure peace, how do you explain that Ambassador
20 Walker was spending time on two pistols and a helicopter when all the
21 helicopters owned by the Army of Yugoslavia, as far as I know, were of
22 foreign make as well? So how would you explain this?
23 A. Well, it's not an easy question to answer. I think that any
24 deviation from the primary task for which they were there was a waste of
25 time, to say the least.
1 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 30 you talk about the meetings of the
2 commission. In the last line, there is mention of the VJ and the MUP.
3 Would it be correct to conclude, from what you say, that the commission,
4 in fact, dealt with incidents concerning the VJ and the MUP? And is that
5 what you were referring to when you were referring to the engagement of
6 the VJ and the MUP? Because you said that at the commission you discussed
7 the incident.
8 A. No. With reference to paragraph 30 and the sentence you quote,
9 the question put to me by the investigator, if I remember correctly, was
10 whether at the meetings of the commission chaired by Mr. Sainovic there
11 was discussion of the work, tasks, and manner of execution of their tasks
12 of the VJ and the MUP. So it was not that the VJ and the MUP were being
13 discussed but their tasks that had to do with the commission. That's what
14 is meant here.
15 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 33 you mention requests by the Kosovo
16 Verification Mission to inspect facilities. I assume this refers to the
17 VJ and the MUP facilities, so let us first clarify the negative reply
18 passed on to you by Sainovic. Was that his personal standpoint or was
19 this the standpoint of the Yugoslav cabinet? And did he tell you this as
20 the president of the commission?
21 A. I received the reply from Mr. Sainovic. I heard from other
22 members of the Federal Commission that this had been a decision by the
23 federal cabinet because no one, including Sainovic, had the right to go
24 beyond the terms of the agreement.
25 Q. Are you aware that the negative reply given by the cabinet was
1 motivated by the fact that before the arrival of the Kosovo Verification
2 Mission there had been an organisation called KDOM on Kosovo? And are you
3 aware that KDOM had carried out monitoring of the withdrawal of the army
4 to the barracks and taken an inventory of the weapons?
5 A. Yes, I heard this from Mr. Sainovic and I also saw it on the
6 ground when I arrived. I saw KDOM there.
7 Q. Do you know that the UN and NATO, with respect to withdrawal of
8 the army to the barracks and the listing of the weapons, assessed this in
9 positive terms, and then the cabinet concluded that it was not necessary
10 to waste time doing something that had already been done and done well?
11 A. I know that the KDOM report to the UN Security Council and the
12 European bodies --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the remainder
14 of the reply.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Loncar, you will need to give us your reply
16 again; it was not caught completely by the interpreter.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With pleasure, Your Honour. I know
18 that KDOM's report to the UN Security Council and the European bodies for
19 security was the reason for the withdrawal of the decision on air-strikes
20 in Kosovo and Metohija.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So they, in their assessment, thought that our side had done this
24 A. Yes, and that the agreement had been fully complied with.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: NATO decision on
2 air-strikes, line 20.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
4 Q. In paragraph 38, and in one of your previous responses to my
5 questions, you mentioned an expression which occurs more than once in your
6 supplemental information sheet. I believe it's found in paragraph 8 of
7 the supplemental information sheet. So it's paragraph 8 in the
8 supplemental information sheet. Can we clarify this a little bit? I will
9 put questions and you will reply, and then I think it will be time for a
11 You said, and I will quote you, "Sainovic had de facto authority.
12 I'm not sure about de jure. I now believe that he got his authority as
13 head of," that's what it says here, it's actually "president of the
14 Federal Commission from the federal government and Prime Minister
15 Bulatovic rather than directly from Milosevic."
16 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your question, Mr. Fila?
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. My question is the following: Were you here trying to say that
19 his authority stemmed from the fact that he was one of the deputy prime
20 ministers of the federal government and the president of the Commission
21 for Cooperation with the OSCE and that was all, or did you mean to say
22 something else?
23 A. Mr. Fila, I have already said that Mr. Sainovic indubitably had
24 authority among all the structures in Kosovo and Metohija, especially, I
25 would say, he was the politician that was most accepted by non-Serbs in
1 Kosovo, Albanians and other non-Serbs. His authority stemmed from what
2 you say and from his personal activities in setting up the organs of
3 authority and getting them to function. I've already said that. So he
4 had de facto authority because that was his fear of competence, because he
5 belonged to the federal cabinet, federal government. And this could not
6 be, as I said in my first statement, that he got his authority from
7 Milosevic. It was from the federal government, not from Milosevic, and we
8 can all see and understand what the de facto situation is.
9 As for de jure, it's very hard for me to speak about that. So
10 what I'm talking about is the actual situation on the ground in
11 Kosovo-Metohija and Mr. Sainovic's behaviour, which was at a very high
13 Q. The last question before the break: The commission you worked
14 with in Kosovo and Belgrade had no command authority. It wasn't the VJ's
15 superior or the MUP's superior. Is that correct?
16 A. Mr. Fila, I did not command anyone. I had no escort. The only
17 person I had was a secretary and a driver and my typist. These were the
18 three people I could command, so to say. Other than that, there was no
19 command, no subordination, no superiority in any sense, and that was the
20 scope of my activity.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I believe we should take a break since
23 this is a good time.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it should now be possible for you to consider
25 progress and formulate a clear estimate of how we're going to achieve the
1 objective in this case in relation to this witness. And if you would
2 communicate with the deputy in front of me during the break, that will
3 enable us to judge how we should allocate the rest of the time available
4 for cross-examination.
5 Mr. Loncar, we need to have a break now for a number of reasons.
6 We will be away for 20 minutes and we will resume again at 10 minutes to
8 --- Recess taken at 2.30 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 2.51 p.m.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Loncar, we are back in session now.
11 Mr. Fila, can you give me some sort of projection? How does that
12 compare with what you've done so far? Oh, well, we're doing well.
13 MR. FILA: [Microphone not activated].
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Microphone for Mr. Fila, please.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I apologise.
16 Q. During your testimony today and before, you stated that in the
17 course of your duties you met Colonel Ciaglinski and General
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Since one of them testified and the other one will, can you
21 explain your cooperation with them? And as regards each one of them, do
22 you believe they were objective and whether there was a good-will on their
23 part, based on your conclusions and working with them?
24 A. I know the two aforementioned gentlemen well. Speaking
25 professionally, these were professional officers, true professionals, who
1 were fair, and especially I mean Mr. Ciaglinski. As I said, on the 28th
2 of this month, when I was being proofed for this testimony, I told -- I
3 was under the impression that Mr. Drewienkiewicz was much more inclined
4 towards the Albanians and biased against the Serbs. He tried not to give
5 away that impression, but in some of the contacts we had, when he would
6 get angry, it seemed that we were always the ones to blame. I was under
7 the impression that he was more tolerant to the other party. As for any
8 other aspects of his behaviour, both of them were men of principle.
9 Q. Would you agree with me if I said that while the KVM was in
10 Kosovo, the KLA gained in strength and the number of their ambushes
12 A. I can also corroborate it with the fact that it was
13 Drewienkiewicz's assessment as well and Mr. Ciaglinski's assessment, and
14 they expressed them during our meetings which we had during various
15 incidents. From one day to the next, more and more territory was
16 controlled by the Albanians. We were also informed that their units were
17 growing, because by that time they had formed brigades and zone staffs.
18 They intensified their attacks which grew in strength. They had better
19 weaponry. They had the so-called Black Arrow snipering rifles coming from
20 the west. Therefore, I agree with what you said.
21 Q. Did our side, so to say, have any suspicion as to the leaks from
22 the mission towards the KLA? And that's how the KLA knew when convoys
23 would pass through and when to attack. Was this a presumption on our
25 A. It is difficult to answer such a question. It was their opinion,
1 when I talked to Ivanov and Mr. Keller, as well as to Drewienkiewicz, that
2 they had two types of verifiers: Those who were professional and those
3 who did something else. I don't know what was degree of their insight,
4 but it was obvious that the KLA knew in advance what we were doing and how
5 we were doing things.
6 Q. You mean the Kosovo Liberation Army?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. At a certain point in your statement, you say that you asked for
9 the KLA to be called terrorists since they kidnapped, robbed, and killed
10 from ambush, because these were undoubtedly terrorist acts. What was the
11 reaction on the side of the mission?
12 A. Even today, as a professional soldier, I tend to -- I tend not to
13 express my views; however, I deemed all those to be terrorist acts
14 whenever the opposing side acted. The verifiers, and especially the top
15 officials of the mission, you always refer to them as the KLA or the OVK.
16 Only on several occasions, such as when a hand-grenade was thrown into a
17 bar in Pristina where 13 Serbian kids were killed, that was the only
18 instance when they referred to it as a terrorist act. It happened on a
19 few occasions, but I never heard Mr. Walker or anyone else say "terrorist
20 acts" or "terrorist forces." On the contrary. I heard this on two or
21 three occasions from Ciaglinski and once from Drewienkiewicz. They were
22 only prone to use the KLA or the OVK term.
23 Q. Did our side believe, therefore, that the KVM was trying to
24 minimise, to downplay, the importance of the KLA activities and at the
25 same time displaying their bias? Would you agree with me?
1 A. I thought about it a lot. They never accepted my proposition,
2 although at every meeting I always referred to them as terrorist forces,
3 terrorist acts; however, they always used the other term. With hindsight,
4 I could say that they were applying the criteria used these days. At that
5 time, when you had terrorist acts against property and civilians, it was
6 supposed to have been called terrorism; however, any action taken against
7 the police or the army, they deemed not to be terrorist but, rather,
8 actions undertaken by a liberation army.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Loncar, from a personal point of view, I
10 entirely understand what you're saying, but I wonder if I could ask you to
11 consider this: That, rightly or wrongly, agreement had been reached
12 between the federal authorities and the OSCE, which involved monitoring
13 the conduct of two sides: The forces for which you were the liaison and
14 the OSCE had, on the other side, contact with the forces ranged against
15 you, which you call terrorists - they occasionally did - but they were
16 more commonly known as the KLA. Perhaps they saw a difficulty in trying
17 to restrain or have any influence upon the activities of the KLA if they
18 branded them as terrorists. Is that a possibility?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree, absolutely. I agree it is
20 a possibility; however, I think it would have been fair on their part to
21 have addressed it differently. We asked them not to insist on it;
22 however, it was never accepted. And, of course, there is always a
23 possibility such as the one you suggested.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you. This was the last of my
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
2 Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] General, my name is Djuro Cepic, one of the
6 counsel for Mr. Vladimir Lazarevic, and I will have a few questions for
8 You mentioned the work of the federal cabinet and the commission
9 that you were a member of. Am I correct in saying that one of the basic
10 tasks of the commission, pursuant to the intention of the federal
11 government, was to distinguish between the members of the so-called KLA,
12 who conducted terrorist acts, and the other citizens of Kosovo and
13 Metohija, irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliation?
14 A. Yes, I agree with you in full.
15 Q. It was also one of the basic reasons why you asked for the
16 so-called UCK to be called by its proper name, to be termed properly?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You also state that you had cooperation with the representative of
19 the Pristina Corps, Colonel Kotur, and the representative of the Ministry
20 of Internal Affairs, Colonel Mijatovic; that you received daily reports on
21 the situation in the units and about the events and cooperation with the
22 OSCE mission. The reports you used to receive from the Pristina Corps or,
23 to be more exact, from its representative, were they clear, precise, and
25 A. I never had any objections or any reason to deny what was put
1 forth, and the OSCE representatives never contradicted anything that was
2 in the reports of the Pristina Corps. It was always done in a timely
4 Q. Thank you. The topic I wanted to put some questions to you
5 concerns the chain of command. We heard a witness here; it was
6 Mr. Ciaglinski. And we have Mr. Drewienkiewicz's statement. In part of
7 his statement, he says that Mr. Loncar did not issue any orders to the
8 army but that he is convinced that you were consulted before any VJ
9 actions or activities. Mr. Drewienkiewicz states that there are
10 indications that in Rogovo you were part of the police command chain. He
11 states: "Loncar was within the police chain of command."
12 Mr. Loncar, were you part of any chain of command?
13 A. In full responsibility, I claim that I did not order anyone; I had
14 no authority to. And this is a lie, a misinformation.
15 As for Rogovo, I was there on the spot because I was summoned
16 there by Mr. Sainovic. He told me, "Loncar, go there, so as not to have
17 another Racak again." I went there urgently, escorted by my secretary and
18 by my driver. I found OSCE personnel there as well as Mr.
19 Drewienkiewicz. I toured the whole site, and in the presence of some TV
20 journalists, I stated what my function was; that I came there as an
21 arbiter to try and determine who was to blame and to try and investigate
22 the indications and the leads there. At the conclusion of that, both Mr.
23 Drewienkiewicz and I gave a statement to the BBC, I believe.
24 Other than that, there's nothing further for me to add.
25 Q. Thank you, General. In one part of your statement, in paragraph
1 42, you state that all orders and commands came from the Pristina Corps
2 towards the 3rd Army and then up to the General Staff. The army had its
3 own chain of command and the MUP had its own.
4 While I was there, the MUP never commanded the army -- the MUP did
5 not command the army, nor did the army command the MUP. My question is
6 this: This practice is part of the lot that was in place, that each of
7 the structures had their own chain of command.
8 A. Absolutely so. The principle of subordination was clear and
9 agreed on.
10 Q. I apologise. It seems I will need to pause between question and
11 answer so that everything you say and everything I ask can be entered in
12 the transcript. Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: There was a part of an earlier question of
14 Mr. Cepic, which I don't think was answered, which referred to an
15 impression that Drewienkiewicz had that the army consulted with you before
16 taking action. Can you think of any basis that DZ would have had for
17 forming that impression?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe it was his opinion, and I
19 refute it completely. I believe his reason to conclude that was the
20 incident of our nine soldiers who had been captured. Everyone was
21 concerned then, including General Pavkovic, who was the then-corps
22 commander and his Chief of Staff, General Lazarevic, at the time.
23 For justified reasons, both generals called me almost every
24 half-hour, every full hour, asking me, "What is the mission about to do?"
25 and whether these soldiers would be liberated or not. I had frequent
1 contact with Pavkovic and Lazarevic. Therefore, Mr. Drewienkiewicz must
2 have asked himself how come I have such contacts which were frequent,
3 although I was not part of the chain of command. But I can reiterate that
4 I never wanted to take part in that. I was a retired general. This
5 concerns the Pristina Corps, and I had no authority of command. And I was
6 never consulted on any such matters, ever.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Cepic.
9 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] General, is it standard practice, is it a regular
11 occurrence, and is it something inevitable in the situation of terrorism
12 as it was in Kosovo, that there is an exchange of intelligence and other
13 data between the Army of Yugoslavia, the Ministry of the Interior, and
14 other structures, such as the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
15 A. Not only is it needed but very necessary as well. If we use the
16 illustration of the world today, just take a look at the level of
17 integration of information pertaining to terrorism. And I can expand on
18 it further. I believe it was very much necessary, and at that time we
19 should have forwarded some information to the general public as well, and
20 we may not have done it properly at the time.
21 Q. Thank you. In such conditions of daily terrorist attacks from
22 Albania across the state border, as well as the bringing in of weapons and
23 equipment and the incursions of new terrorist forces, according to the
24 law, the MUP was supposed to be engaged in trying to defend and preserve
25 the state border as well.
1 A. Absolutely so. To generalise or to speak in broader terms, the
2 MUP would have been more inclined and better trained to try and control
3 the border. As for combat activities, well, we can discuss that, but in
4 any case, a full cooperation was needed between the two armed components
5 of the state.
6 Q. General, in the same paragraph that I quoted, 42, of your
7 statement, in the last sentence you state that, in addition to the two
8 operational chains, the MUP and the army ones, there had to be close
9 coordination between VJ and the MUP in Kosovo.
10 Since the highest state leadership and then, in keeping with their
11 decision, the General Staff of the VJ, in a situation of increasing
12 terrorism, accepted a plan that the army should support MUP forces in
13 combatting terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, was it necessary to
14 coordinate the activities between MUP, on the one hand, and the Army of
15 Yugoslavia, on the other hand, in order to accomplish certain missions
16 successfully? Coordination, therefore.
17 A. It was necessary and indispensable. And we have to proceed from
18 the fact that the vehicle of combat against terrorism in Kosovo was the
19 police force. I think it should have been otherwise; however, the army
20 had its hands tied by the agreement and it had to secure facilities, and
21 their larger components had to be stationary and only smaller units could
22 move. The police force had to be the main vehicle of combat against
23 terrorism. That's why it suffered great losses and that's why it was the
24 victim of most terrorist attacks.
25 If the army had a greater role, and if the coordination had been
1 better, the combat against terrorism would have been more successful.
2 However, in any case, the conduct of both the police and the army was in
3 keeping with the agreement. The coordination existed, but whether it was
4 sufficiently good and sufficiently mobile, that's another matter. It
5 existed, in any case, but especially in a situation of combat against
7 JUDGE BONOMY: That raises a question for me. You're saying that
8 the police had to take the leading role in combatting terrorism because
9 the army's hands were tied by the agreement. Prior to the agreement,
10 which I presume is the agreement in October 1998, prior to that, was it
11 the army or the police that had principal responsibility for combatting
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in my statement and in
14 all interviews, I restricted myself only to the time when I was part of
15 the Federal Commission. As for all activities before that, I told you I
16 was retired, and I also said, on the 28th, that before being engaged again
17 on the -- when I was, the activities of the police and the army were only
18 topics for me. As for what happened before, I was engaged. I hope you
19 can find other sources of information than me, because I really don't
21 In theory, I know what should have happened and how it should have
22 happened, according to our rules and textbooks and our military literature
23 in practice. But what actually happened, allow me not to comment.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Loncar, I think you misunderstand your
25 position as a witness in a court of this nature when you take that line.
1 Your evidence is not confined to the witness statement you have given to
2 the Prosecution; that must be obvious to you from the questions that the
3 counsel for the accused have already been asking you. And it's open to
4 the Tribunal to ask you any question that it considers you can answer.
5 You were not engaged in Kosovo and may not have knowledge of the position,
6 but if you do have knowledge of the position prior to 1998, then you're
7 bound to answer the question which I asked you, which is: Which force,
8 was it police or army, that led the fight against terrorism prior to
9 October 1998?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as to what seems logical to
11 me, and from what I read in the media, it was the army and the police.
12 But the army should have played the main role.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Cepic.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Concerning this last answer of yours, of course you don't have
17 direct knowledge; it is your assumption only, based on what you read in
18 the press. Isn't that so, General?
19 A. It is. I'm sorry, counsel. The first time in my military career
20 of 40 years, on the 12th of November, I set foot on Kosovo. I had not
21 been in Kosovo ever before that. So I wanted to say that to clarify. All
22 the knowledge I had before that was based on media reports.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in that entire time in
24 Kosovo-Metohija, whenever MUP and army activities had to be coordinated,
25 it was done at the level of cooperation, without disrupting the chain of
2 A. Allow me to say this: Cooperation is also a component of control
3 and command, so of course you are right.
4 Q. Thank you. General, I'll try to make my questions clear and
5 specific, and I would appreciate shorter answers.
6 A. All right.
7 Q. Is it true that in the rules of engagement of the Army of
8 Yugoslavia, it is clearly defined that coordination within units or
9 between different units is implemented on various specific levels and
10 that's why it is not necessary to have a third institution doing it, or a
11 special command, and it's not necessary for a special entity to assume
12 centralised command?
13 A. Yes, it is a responsibility of the commanders at all levels.
14 Q. You mentioned during cross-examination of my colleague Toma Fila
15 that the so-called KLA built up considerably during the tenure of the
16 Kosovo Verification Mission. Would I be right if I said that the
17 territory controlled by the KLA also increased considerably, that the KLA
18 took control of areas from which the police and the army had previously
19 withdrawn, and that at one point it controlled almost more of the
20 territory of Kosovo and Metohija than the MUP or the army. Is that true,
22 A. Yes, and I said that during proofing on the 28th, in precisely
23 those terms.
24 Q. Thank you. In this build-up of the KLA and the take-over of
25 territories that had been previously held by the MUP and the army, was
1 this ever presented by you as a problem to the KVM?
2 A. We tried to put such problems forward, but I would even get
3 information supporting that from Drewienkiewicz himself. He would say, "I
4 see that they are holding lines far in advance of what they held
6 Q. So the general conclusion is that they built up their forces,
7 their weaponry, equipment, everything.
8 A. Absolutely.
9 Q. Before this honourable Trial Chamber, the Chief of the General
10 Staff for that period also testified, the Chief of the General Staff of
11 the so-called KLA. In his testimony, he said that the number of fighting
12 men just before the NATO air campaign was between 17 and 18.000 KLA
13 soldiers. Do you have any numbers of the KLA's strength?
14 A. I have no specific figures. I know on the basis of our rough
15 assessments that the numbers escalated, that we had figures about 50,
17 Q. Can we conclude that the KLA took advantage of the presence of the
18 Kosovo Verification Mission in order to reorganise, consolidate, re-arm,
19 and re-equip and prepare for war against Serb forces?
20 A. Those are facts, that during their presence in Kosovo it
21 happened. Whether it was done with the help or without the help of the
22 Kosovo Verification Mission, I don't know. But the fact remains that it
24 Q. Thank you. In one part of General Drewienkiewicz's report, it is
25 said that in end March and early -- end of February and early March 1999,
1 in the area of Nerodimlje, Kacanik municipality, the KLA mounted attacks
2 simulating a refugee crisis and using civilians as human shields. Do you
3 know whether the KLA often used civilians as human shields in their
5 A. The situation was very difficult around Podujevo, and it confirms
6 what you just said.
7 Q. Can I repeat this question in a different way. Such situations
8 where the KLA used civilians as human shields were frequent.
9 A. Yes. Primarily women and children.
10 Q. Thank you, General. In the course of December 1998, you warned
11 the Kosovo Verification Mission against terrorist strongholds in Decani,
12 Malisevo, and Podujevo areas, didn't you?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Mr. Drewienkiewicz, in his statement, paragraph 114, stated that
15 the KLA had proclaimed the year 1999 as the year of independence. At the
16 meetings with the KVM, was there any discussion about the preparations
17 conducted by the KLA ahead of the spring offensive that seemed to be
18 heralded by KLA moves?
19 A. The press of the Albanian side also reported such things, and
20 there was frequent mention of the spring offensive by the Kosovo
21 Verification Mission, including General Drewienkiewicz specifically.
22 Q. Thank you. You just mentioned Podujevo, and there was one
23 incident that captured our attention in the statements of
24 Mr. Drewienkiewicz and Mr. Ciaglinski and in your statement. At the end
25 of December, more precisely on the 28th of December, 1998, a Serb, Milan
1 Radojevic, was killed from Obranje village near Podujevo. In order to
2 evacuate his body, the police was tasked and several policemen were
3 wounded trying to transport his body.
4 A. Yes, he was the last Serb in his village.
5 Q. Will you tell me, was it the last Serb that had remained in that
7 A. Yes, he was killed in a barbarous way.
8 Q. Do you know that the KLA in that area had expelled over 180
9 non-Albanian families?
10 A. Yes, I know about that.
11 Q. Mr. Ciaglinski stated that in that area --
12 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues]...
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can you find a suitable point, Mr. Cepic.
14 Complete the point that you're dealing with.
15 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, if you allow me to say, I can stop right
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. I think you, perhaps overnight, can
18 consider the extent to which it's necessary to ask the witness to confirm
19 things that are in other states anyway that are going to be tendered by
20 the Prosecution and about which there doesn't appear to be any
22 Now, we have to assess the situation and plan tomorrow properly.
23 Can you tell me roughly how long now you expect to be, since you started a
24 bit earlier than you expected?
25 MR. CEPIC: Roughly half an hour, probably up to 45 minutes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] About an hour, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
4 MR. IVETIC: Approximately one hour, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what do you reckon?
6 MR. HANNIS: It's hard to say, not knowing what the other
7 questions are going to be, but so far I would say half an hour, 45
8 minutes, just on Mr. Fila and Mr. Cepic.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I've got figures --
10 MR. HANNIS: Plus Mr. Ackerman.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I know how long Mr. Ackerman is going to be. He
12 was good enough to let the deputy know the position.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Actually, Your Honour, some of my questions have
14 been asked by others. I'm probably down to 15, 20 minutes, maybe.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Loncar, we have to stop now because there
16 is an Appeals Chamber hearing in this courtroom and we cannot continue any
17 further this afternoon. So we have to continue tomorrow to enable us to
18 finish so that your week next week is not disrupted. Now, I hope that you
19 will be able to accommodate us. We understand the difficulty that that
20 creates, but we're doing our best to ensure, if we can, that this is the
21 end of your involvement with the trial.
22 To make the position entirely clear, we would have to start at
23 8.00 tomorrow morning. Now, do you have to travel to Belgrade tomorrow or
24 are you staying in Belgrade overnight?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as it is, I'm going to stay
1 overnight. It's not worth while for me to leave.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: That's very helpful it. So we would be grateful if
3 you could be available for us at 8.00 tomorrow morning, and we will detain
4 you no longer than 1.00. That will be the end of your involvement at this
5 stage, certainly, and hopefully your complete involvement in the trial.
6 Counsel are doing their best to ensure all questions are asked within that
7 time. So we thank you again for your assistance so far.
8 Overnight, it is important that you do not have any discussion of
9 your evidence with anyone. You can plainly meet with and talk to
10 whomsoever you like, but one subject you must not discuss with anyone at
11 all is either the evidence you've given or the evidence you may yet give,
12 the subject matter of your evidence as a witness in this case.
13 The Trial Chamber now adjourns until 8.00 tomorrow morning.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.32 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Friday, the 1st day of
16 December, 2006, at 8.00 a.m.