1 Wednesday, 24 January 2007
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: To enable us to continue the debate with which we
6 concluded yesterday's session, we will now go into private session.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 9027-9029 redacted. Private session
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Following our deliberations, the Trial Chamber have
16 decided to hear a limited amount of evidence by posing questions
17 themselves to a witness in closed session, and then we'll make a final
18 decision on the application made by the Prosecution. That hearing will be
19 later in the day. Meanwhile, the evidence of Mr. Vasiljevic will
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic. The
23 cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic will now continue.
24 Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic. I'd like to finish up a few points
5 about the operative sweep groups, which you've mentioned at various times
6 in your testimony, including at paragraph 30. Now, you testify in very
7 general terms how a security operative from Djakovica told you about
8 alleged mass expulsions and robberies committed by the OPGs.
9 First of all, is this the same operative covering Djakovica,
10 Pristina, and Mitrovica, because your statement at this paragraph covers
11 all three municipalities. Is it the same operative, or are we talking of
12 multiple persons?
13 A. The same operative.
23 Q. Okay. Now, did you take measures personally to verify,
24 double-check, or further investigate these claims from your operative,
25 (redacted), apart from speaking with him?
1 A. My job was not to verify the data from the field but to receive
2 reports and briefings from security officers. At the concluding meeting
3 held at the security department of the Pristina Corps, the corps chief of
4 security provided data on the activities of the groups, which tallied with
5 what had been said to me by (redacted) Therefore, I didn't try to verify any
6 data; there was no need and no time for it.
7 Q. Okay. Now, just the previous paragraph, paragraph 29 of your
8 statement, you clarify that only certain members of the OPG units were
9 linked to these crimes, I suspect rather than the whole units. Do you
10 have any details such as who the specific members were that committed
11 these -- any specific crimes?
12 A. I don't know them by their names. It wasn't the way it was put to
13 me during the briefing as to who was in the groups. What they -- what was
14 said was there was a group by the name of Legija, and I already mentioned
15 who was their superior; then the Kosovska Mitrovica cases were mentioned,
16 the one from the Muslim cemetery where they took away a child and they
17 asked for a ransom of 3.000 German marks; then another one at the flea
18 market where bric-a-brac is sold.
19 They came there, fired a few bursts in the air, and the stand
20 owners fled; and that's when they took away the merchandise that was
21 there. This was along the lines of information he put to me. He learned
22 that along the way, and it wasn't the type of information that I was
23 supposed to verify or run checks or investigations on. This was not
24 within my purview.
25 Q. So these are the details that you -- that you had. And can I take
1 it from that - and I believe you did testify that you did not recognise
2 any of the enumerated acts or victims from the indictment - can I take
3 from that, therefore, that you have no hard evidence or specific evidence
4 to link either the OPGs or this group you've called Legija or Magla to any
5 of the crimes set forth in the indictment in this case?
6 A. Well, I didn't draft the indictment, and I didn't -- couldn't
7 decide what would be included in it. I, in fact, didn't read it in its
8 entirety. I'm just talking about the sections that I knew about and that
9 I was asked about. What for would I actually go into all this?
10 Q. Okay. Now, am I correct that as far as these allegations that
11 you've made here under oath as to what was reported to you about crimes
12 committed by these groups, am I correct that you actually have no idea
13 whether any of these were investigated or prosecuted by the relevant
15 A. Well, you can't really say that I don't have any idea. That is
16 not an appropriate thing to say.
17 Q. I apologise, but that might have been an error in translation. I
18 actually asked -- I did not intend it in that type of manner. I thank you
19 for your response.
20 Now, with respect to these crimes that were reported to you by
21 your operative, do you know whether your operative personally
22 eye-witnessed these crimes as they occurred or was he operating on second-
23 or third-hand information?
24 A. I don't know. I assume that those were -- this was the
25 operational intelligence that he gathered. He seemed rather convincing as
1 he said that, but I think he was not on the site. But he did have
2 reliable operational sources in the field who relayed this information to
3 him. But as far as the bodies on the bus station are concerned, I think
4 there were about 20 corpses there and he knows about it quite well.
5 Q. All right, sir, before we return to that I just have to clear one
6 thing up for you. At page 8, line 15, in response to the question that I
7 asked you whether you had any idea whether any of the crimes were
8 investigated or prosecuted by the authorities, I thought I heard you say
9 in Serbian -- well, you said that you can't really say that I don't have
10 any idea. I thought I heard you say, "I don't know."
11 Is that accurate that you don't know whether any of the events
12 were investigated? Because it has not entered into the transcript.
13 A. I don't have any knowledge of that.
14 Q. That's what I thought I heard you say, so I thank you again for
16 Now, you mentioned the bodies at the bus station. Do you know
17 whether your security organ (redacted), whether he informed
18 his commander(redacted), regarding the bodies at the bus station?
19 A. I don't know. I assume that he should have informed him, but that
20 was probably a rather notorious fact.
21 Q. Did (redacted) say that Kovacevic formed a group, Legija, and
22 that Djakovica had a separate OPG? Are we talking about two separate
24 A. I didn't understand the question.
25 Q. We were talking about the OPGs and then we started talking about
1 this group Legija in Djakovica. Was it the --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was it the information that you received from your operative that
4 these were two distinct groups; that is to say, in Djakovica that there
5 was in group Legija as well as an operative sweep group?
6 A. I think that that was the case because he spoke about the
7 activities of the operational sweep groups in Mitrovica; and as far as
8 Djakovica was concerned, he was talking about the Legija group that he had
9 formed that consisted of 15 members. And my conclusion was that this was
10 not an OPG, because an OPG should have been -- should have included much
11 more people.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. Now, was this Legija then some sort of private armed band?
15 A. Well, this was not the usual term. You could say that this was
16 some kind of paramilitary unit.
17 Q. How is it that (redacted) was able to speak about three
18 municipalities at once, Mitrovica, Djakovica, and I believe also Pristina?
19 A. This was not about Pristina. This unit was deployed in the field
20 in a larger area. I had information as to where all the groups were
21 deployed, the military groups. So a battalion would cover a front that
22 would be about 35 kilometres wide and 7 kilometres deep. And three
23 military territorial detachments as part of the operational tactical group
24 would cover a front line that would be 105 kilometres wide and 30
25 kilometres deep.
1 So because of the nature of the terrain, they covered a lot of
2 ground and they -- he had sources that would come to him to Djakovica from
3 the field and, he didn't even have to leave Djakovica at all if he
4 received this through his operational channels.
5 Q. Yesterday, I recall you testified that you had no way of receiving
6 information from Suva Reka because you did not have an operative in Suva
7 Reka itself. That's a little bit confusing in light of what you've just
8 told us and in light of the fact that according to my information, you did
9 not have a security operative in Podujevo either but you did receive
10 information from Podujevo.
11 Would you agree with me that just because you do not have an
12 operative in a particular municipality, does not preclude the possibility
13 of obtaining information from that municipality; that is to say, the
14 operative need not be based in a particular location to have knowledge of
15 that location?
16 A. First of all, it is not correct that I did not have an operative
17 in Podujevo. When I got to Kosovo, we first visited Podujevo. The
18 commander of the unit was there and the security officer was there, and I
19 got introduced to them. So there was an operative in Podujevo. Second,
20 all those questions that you're asking now, I am duty-bound to explain
21 that I did not go to Kosovo to check what the MUP was doing. I went there
22 to receive reports from the security organs in the counter-intelligence
23 work, and in addition I received reports about the events in the field.
24 So this is the intelligence that they gathered in the course of
25 their work, but they did not specifically seek that information. As far
1 as Suva Reka was concerned, I mentioned that there was a military
2 territorial detachment in Musitiste. As far as I know, it is in the area
3 of Suva Reka and I mentioned the Albanian that they had said.
4 So I spoke only about the areas that I received reports about from
5 them. I was not some kind sort of a supervisory commission, a part of a
6 commission as we know had proposed to be established. I received
7 information from the security organs, and I simply am now relaying the
8 information that I got from them to you.
9 Q. Do you know who the commander of the 37th Brigade of the VJ was?
10 A. I would now have to think. I did not really communicate with him,
11 so I can't give you his name off the cuff. I know the security organ
12 there. It was Major Bojkovic, B.
13 Q. Now, getting back to these crimes you say the OPGs committed, I
14 take it from your information that it can be concluded that these crimes
15 were undertaken by individuals in their personal capacities and were not
16 ordered as a part of a plan on the part of the RJB; that is to say, you
17 did not have information that these crimes were committed or planned by
18 the organs of the public security service of the MUP of Serbia.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: There are two questions in there. The first one's
20 inappropriate; the second part may be okay.
21 So the question for you, Mr. Vasiljevic, is whether you have
22 specific information that these crimes were planned by organs of the
23 public security service.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't have any such
1 MR. IVETIC:
2 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like to clear up -- I have three questions
3 relating to the meetings in May before we move to the June meeting where
4 I'll also have some questions. First of all, regarding the meeting that
5 took place on the 16th of May, between various officers of the VJ. At
6 that meeting --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you proceed, we're finished -- we've
8 completed a section of your evidence at this stage, have we, of your
10 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: We will go into private session briefly to consider
12 an issue affecting the security of an individual.
13 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: The matter discussed will be the subject of
2 consideration by parties. Meanwhile, the evidence so far this morning
3 will not be published until the parties have made their submissions about
4 it in relation to the matter I've raised with them.
5 Please carry on now, Mr. Ivetic.
6 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, if we can focus for a moment on the meeting that
8 occurred on May the 16th between various individuals from the VJ. At that
9 meeting, did General Pavkovic talk about "asanacija terena" or "asanacija
10 bojista," clearing of the terrain or the battle-field?
11 A. I think he actually did.
12 Q. Did General Pavkovic, at the meeting on May the 17th with Mr.
13 Milosevic, make any complaints that the MUP was either not participating
14 in asanacija, or was only doing it on part of the territory?
15 A. Well, I have my notes as to what actually was said in the meeting
16 in the debate when he said about problems in the cooperation with MUP; and
17 in his introductory presentation, I think he spoke about the problem, who
18 was in charge of the sanitization or clean-up, and that this depended on
19 who was actually conducting activities in certain parts of the area, so
20 who was in charge of the sanitization.
21 So there was an accusation levied against the military that day
22 conducted -- that they had conducted the activities and that now they had
23 to conduct also the sanitization. I don't know the exact word, but that
24 was the gist of the debate.
25 Q. Okay. Now I've one more question dealing with this meeting, and
1 it relates to paragraph 62 of your statement. Can you please explain for
2 me your word choice in the statement in describing the allegation of
3 bodies between the VJ and the MUP. For the VJ, you say 271 bodies of
4 people who "died" in areas covered by the VJ, but then you say 326 people
5 were "killed" in territory where the MUP was active.
6 Am I correct that with respect to both groups of bodies there
7 were, as I think you testified earlier, there were various causes of death
8 such that it would have been proper to say that the people had died in
9 both areas, rather than putting the bias "killed" on the group that were
10 on the territory that you say is under the jurisdiction of the MUP?
11 A. First of all, you are right that two terms are being used. Died,
12 that could be from natural causes. I think that the best term would be
13 casualties, and those people died in various circumstances.
14 Q. Thank you for clearing that up.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: In relation to both instances, VJ and MUP, are you
16 referring to violent deaths?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Basically, it would be violent
18 death, that would not be death caused by some kind of illness. But as to
19 the actual cause of death, whether these people died as a result of fire
20 from any of the sides or whether these people were executed, we're talking
21 about 326 bodies on one side and 271 bodies on the other side. They were
22 killed in all kinds of activities, so there were individual executions,
23 some were killed in artillery fire, some by NATO air-strikes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Now, sir, I'd like to move to the meeting that you termed as being
3 the Joint Command that you attended in Pristina in June of 1999. I have
4 some questions on that topic. First of all, in the signed, sworn
5 statement that you have provided us at paragraph 81 of that statement, you
6 claim that General Lukic began the meeting with a briefing and a short
7 report about the presence of MUP forces and their activities before the
8 army generals began their briefing.
9 Now, the prior, albeit draft, and unsigned statements that we
10 received from the Prosecutor for you listed that MUP General Djordjevic
11 was actually the one who gave this report and Lukic was not mentioned at
12 all; then the next draft that we received for you listed General Lazarevic
13 as having made this report.
14 Is it your sworn testimony that you are absolutely positive that
15 this paragraph is correct and that Sreten Lukic opened the meeting of this
16 so-called Joint Command by presenting a briefing on behalf of the MUP?
17 A. I'm absolutely positive, first of all, that I had never said that
18 General Lukic opened the meeting. I said that he held the first briefing,
19 that he was the first person to take part in the debate. And his rank was
20 not such that he would be the presiding -- the chairperson of that
21 meeting. It was actually Mr. Sainovic who opened the meeting. He made a
22 few introductory remarks, and that's why we had to wait for him. We had
23 to wait for him so that we could start the meeting.
24 So he did not chair the meeting, he did not open the meeting, he
25 did not conclude the meeting, but he was the first to take part in the
1 debate. And had Djordjevic and Stevanovic made any interventions, I would
2 have noted that down in my notebook. I don't have any such notes in my
3 notebook. The first thing that I have is General Lukic, then the
4 commander of the Pristina Corps, very briefly and I made a couple of brief
5 notes; then General Pavkovic; and, finally, Mr. Sainovic made a few brief
6 closing remarks.
7 This is the truth, this is what is contained in my notebook, and I
8 don't think that I used the phrasing that he opened the meeting. I said
9 that he held the first briefing.
10 Q. Well, I thank you for your testimony.
11 MR. IVETIC: I'm going to ask that 4D180 -- excuse me, 6D170 be
12 placed on e-court.
13 Q. Sir, this is the transcript disclosed by the Office of the
14 Prosecutor of your interview with them, specifically the interview
15 conducted on the 23rd of November, 2001. And this is the -- I've
16 extracted from the interview some short quotations therefrom, and I'd like
17 to direct your attention to the first part which we're not getting on
18 e-court. Maybe I'll just read it and then hopefully the e-court will
19 catch up with us.
20 At lines 23 to 25 of page 51 of the transcript, which I believe
21 should be the first page in e-court, when talking about this meeting in
22 June that you attended and asked about who the speakers were, here's what
23 you said then in 2001, sir:
24 "Pavkovic spoke first about the events of the day in the field as
25 far as the Yugoslav Army was concerned, but this was just in Kosovo, not
1 it the whole of Yugoslavia."
2 Sir, this quotation from your transcript doesn't seem to comport
3 with your testimony here today about who spoke first at the meeting, does
4 it, who gave the first report?
5 A. What I said today is true. In 2001, in fact in both situations, I
6 did not take part in those conversations, interviews with the notebook,
7 and I did not know what the interview would be about. And this was based
8 on my recollection at the time. Two years had passed since the events;
9 and when I was in fact preparing for the statement, this is not on the
10 basis of the statement. These are the interviews that I gave when I had
11 the status of a suspect. I did not sign any statements.
12 It is quite possible that I did state this at the time, but at
13 that time I did not really focus on this and I did not have my notebook
14 with me at the time. So what I said here in court today is the positive
15 truth, and I think that it doesn't really matter who took part in the
16 debate first and who was the second person to take part.
17 Q. Is it your testimony then that Sreten Lukic was the second person
18 to take part in the meeting and give a briefing on behalf MUP?
19 A. No. He was the first and the only person that I have listed in my
20 notebook as taking part in the discussion at the meeting.
21 Q. Then I would ask for the second page of this exhibit to be placed
22 on e-court, which is page 52 of the actual transcript. And, sir, at lines
23 5 to 11, you state to the Office of the Prosecutor:
24 "Then General Djordjevic from MUP spoke about the activities of
25 the day from his side, where -- in other words, where MUP had been
1 commencing the terrain also in terms of losses, people who were wounded,
2 and then he mentioned a place which I don't remember which it was. He
3 said that there was a group located there and that they needed to be dealt
4 with tomorrow, and they would block off this terrain with MUP units and
5 carry this out."
6 Now, Mr. Vasiljevic, you would agree with me, would you not, that
7 for the past six years or so you have consistently stated that General
8 Djordjevic was the one who presented the report on behalf of the MUP at
9 this meeting; and for the first time the other week before coming here to
10 testify -- before starting your testimony here, you for the first time
11 insert General Lukic as the man who gave the report for the MUP?
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I object to the characterisation. That
13 question says, "you consistently maintained for the past six years." Six
14 years ago he made a statement at an interview where it was said to come up
15 for the first time and he didn't have the notebook. It's not as though
16 he's been repeating it every day for six years.
17 MR. IVETIC: He testified in Milosevic, and we have an unsigned
18 statement from 2005 [sic] that also had Djordjevic. It's been
19 consistently for the past six years until to 2007, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: There's three examples, Mr. Hannis. Do you accept
21 the characterisation of the question?
22 MR. HANNIS: If we could have references to those.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: I can gladly upload the unsigned statement that was
25 tendered to us by the Office of the Prosecutor on I believe it was January
1 the 4th, 2007. I could put that into the system.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's be clear. Mr. Hannis, are you saying
3 that that was not in the unsigned same time?
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if that was in a draft, that was before
5 this witness had reviewed it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
7 MR. HANNIS: Okay, if that's what he was talking about. But I
8 thought he was also talking about prior to testimony.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: He was talking about testimony in the Milosevic
11 MR. HANNIS: That's what I am asking.
12 MR. IVETIC: That I would have to double check on the reference
13 for that, Your Honour.
14 MR. HANNIS: That's what I want a reference for, Your Honour.
15 MR. IVETIC: If the problems is the six years, I can take that
16 out. I mean, I can ask the question without reference to that. I think my
17 point is rather clear in any event, and I would just ask for the witness
18 to explain how it is --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, rephrase the question.
20 MR. IVETIC: Okay. That's what I'll do then, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, how do you explain the fact that General Lukic is
22 not mentioned as the person who chaired -- who gave a report on behalf of
23 the MUP at this meeting, when your testimony -- your statements during
24 your interview are rather clear and rather full of details as to who
25 presented this report on behalf of the MUP? How do you explain that
1 change in your recollection?
2 A. First of all, I think that you misunderstood -- you said that I
3 testified in 2005 or that I made a statement in 2005. I don't understand
4 English, but I see that 2005 is referred to. In 2001, I made my own
5 statement which I did not even sign or verify. It was recorded publicly,
6 and that is what you said just now. I've explained that; that at that
7 time I did not use a notebook.
8 I was a suspect suspected of taking part in the enterprise in
9 Croatia. So I had been called in for Croatia, and then the conversation
10 was expanded so as to include Kosovo, so I wasn't even prepared for that.
11 I repeat once again, when I was preparing for this testimony, this
12 statement, I had an opportunity to look at my notebook and I said what I
13 said. If I made a mistake in 2001 as to who said it, I claim now what I
14 have in my notebook, that the first person to speak was General Lukic,
15 then Lazarevic, then Pavkovic, and finally Mr. Sainovic.
16 Mr. Djordjevic just mentioned who was absent from the meeting and
17 why. That's the only thing there. I didn't even write that down in
18 particular. So I really don't know what is controversial now when I say
19 under oath that he was the first person to take part in the discussion. I
20 did not use the expression "opened the meeting." I did not use that
21 expression at all and I don't think it's contained in my statement either.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's forget that, that's not an issue, opening the
23 meeting; that's a distraction from what this is all about.
24 Mr. Ivetic, is there, in addition to the interview, a statement
25 given by the witness in 2001?
1 MR. IVETIC: No, we -- the first statement we received is from
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's only the interview?
4 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, the procedure of the Tribunal would
6 normally require you to receive a copy of the recording of your interview
7 in 2001. Did you receive such a copy?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I got this recording. When the
9 conversation was over, I signed and verified that those were the cassettes
10 concerned. I got the cassettes themselves later. As for the verified
11 statement made then, I never received that.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're saying that in addition to being
13 interviewed by the Prosecution, you also gave a statement, which would not
14 be as a suspect but as a witness? Or was there only the one occasion that
15 you were required to give information?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was giving information in the
17 capacity of a suspect, and at that time I was not given any statement to
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No, but you were given a recording -- a copy of the
20 recording of that interview?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Which you could verify if you wanted?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I had time to check it but
24 I didn't check it. There was no need for me to check it.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Second question I have is in the trial of
1 Milosevic, did you there say that the MUP report was given by Djordjevic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly. Maybe I put it that way
3 because I gave a statement here when I came to The Hague and then, again,
4 I did not have the notebook.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So you gave a statement to the Office of the
6 Prosecutor in 2002 before actually giving evidence in the Milosevic trial?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 2003 I made a statement that I
8 signed to Mr. Nice, because the trial began in 2003 in the month of
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the impression I'm getting from the Defence
11 side of the trial is that they haven't seen that statement.
12 Does such a statement exist, Mr. Hannis?
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know of a statement. I know
14 there were proofing notes, because they were referred to by Mr. Nice
15 during the testimony they're referred to.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness is saying he signed something.
17 MR. HANNIS: I'm not aware of that.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Which would undoubtedly make it into a statement.
19 MR. HANNIS: I'm not aware of a signed document, Your Honour.
20 I'll do some checking during the next break.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The one in 2005, Mr. Hannis --
22 MR. IVETIC: 2006, Your Honour. Sorry, that was a mistake. 2006.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The unsigned version in 2006, what was that?
24 MR. HANNIS: That was a draft that was furnished to the Defence
25 before it was reviewed and signed by the witness.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: A draft of what?
2 MR. HANNIS: A draft of his signed statement that had been
3 presented as evidence in this because, Your Honour, we were running close
4 for the time for him to appear. I sent the draft based on my
5 conversations with the witness.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: So that must have post-dated the 27th of October?
7 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, that was between the 27th of
8 October and the 7th of January, when it was finalised. It was a draft of
9 what he had told us in October.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Ivetic, do you have the transcript pages
11 for the trial of Milosevic in which this is referred to?
12 MR. IVETIC: I do not, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know from memory that reference is made to
14 Djordjevic or are you unsure?
15 MR. IVETIC: The only thing I know from memory is that there is no
16 reference to Lukic. Whether he actually was asked to testify about this
17 or not, I don't know.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't think you have a basis then for
19 putting any other point to the witness other than the one that you've just
20 put, so we can perhaps move on.
21 MR. IVETIC: I agree. I would just ask that if there is a -- any
22 kind of signed statement from 2002 or 2003 that that should be provided to
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You've already heard that from Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
1 Q. Now, if we can move to the next topic, resubordination of the MUP.
2 Sir, first of all, I would ask for Exhibit P985 on the screen.
3 Sir, relative to the Law on Subordination, would you agree with me
4 that in Article 17 Law on Defence, which should be on e-court shortly,
5 merely foresees the resubordination of the MUP to VJ forces but only for
6 the carrying out of combat activities and not permanently in all aspects
7 of life?
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't think Article 17 is on the
9 screen for the witness.
10 MR. IVETIC: We've found the Milosevic transcript where he indeed
11 testified that General Djordjevic gave the statement on the MUP. It's
12 page 15971 of the Milosevic beginning at line --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's take this one thing at a time. Do you
14 want to go back to that first of all?
15 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: So let's have the Milosevic transcript page on the
17 screen, please.
18 MR. IVETIC: We can't get it on the screen.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We can't do that.
20 MR. IVETIC: I can read it into the record, that's all I can do.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
22 Listen to this extract, please, Mr. Vasiljevic. It's an extract
23 from your evidence in the trial of Milosevic.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Sir, at the stated page in Milosevic in response to a question
1 from the Prosecutor your answer at line 12 starts:
2 "Yes. This was a brief routine report as to what had been going
3 on over the past 24 hours. First, General Lazarevic gave some brief
4 observations regarding NATO operations and then General Djordjevic from
5 the MUP spoke about MUP operations. There was nothing special going on
6 there that I would remember. It all ended with a brief summary as to what
7 should be done during the following day. For the most part, the general
8 from the MUP said that during the course of the next day, the terrain
9 should be cleaned in the area of Drenica, so that was briefly that
10 particular meeting."
11 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your response, Mr. Vasiljevic, to that
12 evidence you gave in Milosevic, which seems to be inconsistent with what
13 you're saying here? Bearing in mind that you were on oath in that trial
14 as you are in this one.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Basically, what was being discussed.
16 I didn't present any other facts. It said the general from the MUP said
17 such and such a thing. No reference was even made to what it was that
18 Djordjevic said. I repeat. I looked at my notebook. Djordjevic said why
19 a person was absent and he -- rather, General Lukic made a report about
20 the situation of the terrain in Kosovo, and he was effectively in charge
21 of the units in Kosovo.
22 If I can provide a free interpretation, it is the commanders who
23 are taking part in the discussion and the reporting, the commander of the
24 MUP forces and the commander of the units of the Army of Yugoslavia.
25 Again, I'm saying that this is just something that was just marginally
1 stated at the time; and as for any disagreement as to what Lukic said or
2 what Obren Djordjevic said, the truth -- the whole truth is this, and I
3 even have expanded knowledge in respect to these few sentences that I said
5 Now that I saw my notebook, as I was preparing for my testimony
6 here and now, I did not make any false statements. Perhaps there were
7 some imprecisions as to what person said what, but from here you can see
8 that I did not mention Pavkovic taking part in the discussion; whereas,
9 objectively speaking, he did take part in the discussion.
10 MR. IVETIC:
11 Q. Okay. Now, if we can --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I think I asked you about the notebook the other
13 day. I can't remember what the evidence was. Do you have it with you?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, not right here, of course, but
15 I could get it.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
19 Q. Now, if we can return to Article 17 of the Law on Defence. My
20 question for you, sir, had been: Relative to this article, that it
21 foresees the resubordination of the MUP to the VJ forces only for the
22 carrying out of combat activities or to offer armed resistance and does
23 not apply to other aspects of life. Is that correct? Is that your
24 understanding of that law?
25 A. I understand it that way.
1 Q. Okay, sir, now, that is to say that resubordination, apart from
2 combat, does not cover all MUP personnel and all MUP activities, such that
3 the VJ does not take over operation of police stations or subordinate the
4 Minister of the Interior, as you implied the other day. Isn't that
6 A. I was not saying that the Minister of the Interior is being
7 resubordinated. I am saying that within the Supreme Command Staff, there
8 could be a respective of the MUP or the Minister of the Interior; like a
9 general was sent from the Ministry of Defence in order to coordinate at
10 that level. As for the letter that was sent by General Pavkovic that was
11 shown here, it seems to me --
12 Q. Before you continue on, would you answer my question because
13 that's my next question. Would you answer my question --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. -- that in fact the Law on Resubordination --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Your question's been answered. I was not saying is
17 that the Minister of the Interior is resubordinated.
18 MR. IVETIC:
19 Q. What about other activities?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: You've already had that answer in relation to his
21 general understanding of the meaning of Article 17.
22 MR. IVETIC: All right.
23 Q. Now, if we could turn to the letter you talked about, Exhibit
24 P1459, a report purporting to be from General Pavkovic to the General
25 Staff complaining about problems with resubordination. This is a document
1 you said lacked a proper stamp evidencing its receipt by the recipient.
2 I take it since you testified you saw it for the first time here,
3 you were not given that report or made aware of it during your trip to
4 Kosovo, which occurred after the date of that report. Is that correct?
5 A. After what date?
6 Q. May the 25th I believe is the date on that document, and I believe
7 your travels to Kosovo were in June of 1999. At the time of your trip to
8 Kosovo, you did not have this report and you were not made aware of it.
9 Is that correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And, likewise, am I correct that at the time you went to Kosovo
12 you did not have and were not made aware of any similar report issued by
13 the commander of the Pristina Corps, General Lazarevic?
14 A. As for General Lazarevic, I did not have any individual contacts
15 with him while I was in Kosovo. I only met him at the meeting on the 1st
16 of June when I came to the command, and he was there, too.
17 Q. I take it then you did not have any such report or know of any
18 such reports issued by General Lazarevic at the time that you went to
19 Kosovo in June of 1999. Is that correct?
20 A. I don't know what kind of reports he sent. I did not have insight
21 into his reports.
22 Q. Okay. Now, I want to ask you specifically. Am I correct that the
23 first time that you learned of complaints of resubordination by Pavkovic
24 relating to the MUP was after the war in Kosovo was completed?
25 A. No. I first heard of that problem from General Pavkovic at that
1 preparatory meeting on the 16th of May when he reported to General
2 Ojdanic. I think that later he only spelled that out in official terms in
3 the document of the 25th of May; that is to say, nine days later.
4 Q. Okay. Now, resubordinated MUP units operating under VJ command
5 would still wear standard MUP uniforms and utilise MUP equipment, would
6 they not?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. During the course of the crisis in Kosovo in 1999, your security
9 organs in the field, they never reported to you of any significant
10 problems relating to resubordination of the MUP, did they?
11 A. No reference was made to resubordination problems. It was mutual
12 cooperation that was discussed.
13 Q. And just to be clear, when you're talking about the preparatory
14 meeting on May the 16th, 1999, we're not asking about any complaints about
15 the MUP trying to pass responsibility on to the VJ; we're talking
16 specifically about complaints that the MUP was utterly refusing to
17 resubordinate itself. Is -- was that specific complaint made?
18 A. Well, the complaint was made that at check-points, where the
19 military police is, they pass there. Their vehicles and their members
20 pass by ignoring these check-points; and, generally speaking, there is a
21 problem in coordination and cooperation with the MUP.
22 Q. Was the specific word or word phrase "problems with
23 resubordination" used? Was resubordination a specific topic that was
24 discussed in terms of complaints?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: That also has been answered, Mr. Ivetic. "No
1 reference was made to resubordination problems." Could you have a clearer
3 MR. IVETIC: Well, that was with respect to his security organs.
4 I'm talking about the meeting on May 16th, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. Do you need to have the question repeated, sir?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: It's arguably, but that's been answered as well
9 today, I think.
10 MR. IVETIC: All right, I --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You were told that that's where it was raised.
12 MR. IVETIC: But then he started talking about --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Ask this question. I want to draw your
14 attention to the fact that your 20 minutes are now approaching an hour,
15 but let's try and get this focused, please.
16 MR. IVETIC: I will try, Your Honour.
17 Q. Was the specific term "resubordination" listed as a complaint made
18 at that meeting?
19 A. Yes. It was said that the resubordination order had not been
21 Q. Okay. Now, moving on to another topic. During the course of your
22 official travel in Kosovo-Metohija, you did not obtain any information
23 whatsoever from your security organs and contacts about activities to
24 clandestinely remove bodies from Kosovo-Metohija and transport them
25 elsewhere in Serbia, did you?
1 A. Yes. There was no such information from the security organs.
2 Q. Did your security organs on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija, did
3 they report to the organs of the MUP in Kosovo-Metohija their complaints
4 or allegations of crimes? Did they exchange information at all with the
5 MUP organs in Kosovo and Metohija?
6 A. I assume they did. I did not express interest in that as to that
7 whether they sent any information and to what extent. However, at the
8 level of the security administration and the Ministry of the Interior of
9 Serbia and the state security at that level, we were preparing that and
10 they were discussing that. How many pieces of information we had sent to
11 the republic state security and to the MUP. And what did we receive from
12 them? Nothing. That was the topic of one of our meetings.
13 MR. IVETIC: I have just two areas left; a total of ten
14 questions. But the next portion would need to be in private session, as
15 it relates to part of his statement that was redacted from the public for
16 reasons that the witness stated relating to security?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll go into private session for that.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 9059-9062 redacted. Private session
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Now, the final area, sir. Yesterday you -- when I asked you about
1 the meeting in June in Pristina that you said was of the Joint Command,
2 and I asked you whether you had described Sreten Lukic as being the last
3 hole on -- you said something similar to him being the last hole on a
4 flute, you stated that you had not. You challenged me to obtain the
5 transcript of the interview to show you what your exact words were.
6 I've complied with your request, and we have Exhibit 6D170, which
7 is the transcript from your interview, and we also have the videotape of
8 your interview, which I would ask to be shown beginning -- on the
9 transcript it's line -- it should be the last page of that exhibit, lines
10 7 through 13, and the video which should hopefully be coming up soon
11 should follow that portion of your interview. And, again, I'm not
12 obtaining anything.
13 [Videotape played]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: We're getting no translation of this.
15 MR. IVETIC: I believe it's on channel 0, Your Honour. There's --
16 the floor --
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. IVETIC: I think that's ...
19 [Videotape played]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I still don't understand. We're not getting
21 any translation of this for some reason. Nothing's happening to the
22 transcript. This needs to be translated if it's to be of any value.
23 MR. IVETIC: [Microphone not activated]
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Unless there's a mechanism for this being read, it
1 will not appear in the transcript and at the moment it's not -- that's not
2 happening. So the interpreters have to do something to get this into the
4 MR. IVETIC: We also have the transcript available at 6D170, the
5 last page, just that there is two words that were indiscernible. The
6 transcript -- at least the stenographer from the OTP that took the
7 transcript, I assume it was an OTP stenographer.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can the interpreters actually not translate
9 the part that matters which we've now had played twice so that it appears
10 in the transcript. Nobody's speaking to me.
11 THE INTERPRETER: It is not the usual procedure, but the booths
12 will try to do as best we can.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand. I thought it was normal
14 procedure to translate film, the language on film, for us. And I
15 appreciate that this is being translated as we go along as well, but it --
16 it really needs to be done, otherwise it will not appear in the
17 transcript, unless there is some other mechanism for getting it into the
19 THE INTERPRETER: The recording is very poor and the official
20 transcript of the interview is in existence.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, we will need to proceed on this
22 occasion on the basis that the transcript that was compiled at the time
23 will be the transcript for the purposes of the trial. How that's to be
24 handled in the registry, I have no idea. I'll leave the -- those that
25 know more about these things to sort it out, but the part of the
1 transcript will have to be supplemented by reference to this official
2 translation that you have in your hand.
3 MR. IVETIC: I can perhaps maybe ask the witness if he could
4 repeat what he heard himself say on the tape. I don't know if that would
5 help any.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you do that, please, Mr. Vasiljevic, the part
7 that matters. Could you repeat the words that you heard at the time.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. It was in a different
9 context. It was in 2001, when we had a conversation. In my statement, as
10 was put to me, it was said that I said something along the line as him
11 being the last hole on the flute, the 13th piglet. I don't know how you
12 translate it to English. It is Serbian jargon --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: You've -- but you accept that that's the language
14 you used at that time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But not in the statement.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Have we reached the end of the cross-examination?
20 MR. IVETIC: Just one question, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
22 MR. IVETIC:
23 Q. If you could look at the image on the screen, isn't it correct
24 that that's your notebook in front of you on the picture, November the
25 23rd, 2001, the notebook you claim you didn't have with you?
1 A. No, it is not a nobody, it is merely a pad in which I noted some
2 things down. My notebook looks quite differently.
3 MR. IVETIC: [Previous translation continues]...
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I assume that's the end, Mr. Ivetic, is it?
5 MR. IVETIC: I had said that that's the -- I must not have been
6 turned on.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Well, it's time for us to break, Mr. Vasiljevic, if you could
9 again go with the usher. We'll resume at 11.15. And, in fact, we'll
10 resume with the other matter at 11.15, assuming the witness is here.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 10.47 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.17 a.m.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: To hear the rest of the Prosecution application, we
15 shall go into closed session.
16 [Closed session]
11 Page 9068-9071 redacted. Closed session
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
18 [The witness takes the stand].
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for your patience, Mr. Vasiljevic. Just
20 one more counsel to cross-examine before we return to the Prosecution's
21 final part, and that is Mr. Zecevic.
22 Mr. Zecevic.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Zecevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General. My name is Slobodan
1 Zecevic, and I am representing Mr. Milan Milutinovic. I have a couple of
2 questions for you, in fact, I will ask for your clarifications and
3 comments on what you said yesterday in your evidence.
4 It is the position of Mr. Milutinovic's Defence that on the basis
5 of the Serbian constitution and all the relevant legal provisions
6 regulating this issue and all the known facts, the President of Serbia,
7 Mr. Milan Milutinovic, had no jurisdiction over the executive branch of
8 the government, including all the ministers in that government and the
9 minister of the interior.
10 In your testimony, yesterday, on page 9122, page [as interpreted]
11 20 through 25, you said,"According to my logic, the MUP was subordinated
12 to President Milutinovic and then Vlajko Stojiljkovic was in Serbia and
13 Milutinovic was its president." I assume that you were not very precise
14 in what you said.
15 A. I know that the Minister of the Interior is part of the cabinet of
16 the Republic of Serbia; but from the point of view of a meeting that is
17 chaired by Milosevic and Mr. Milutinovic was the member of the Supreme
18 Defence Council, this is the context in which I said this. And I thought
19 that it would be quite natural for him to be at that meeting but that
20 Milosevic had not invited him.
21 This is all I have to say on this issue. I never saw Mr.
22 Milutinovic whenever I went to the command post in the Supreme Command
23 Staff. So it is clear to me that he was not the direct superior of Vlajko
25 Q. This is precisely the gist. Because the transcript, as it stands
1 now, reads that the MUP was actually subordinated to Mr. Milutinovic and
2 that is not correct.
3 A. Well, perhaps I was not very accurate in my depiction of the chain
4 of command. I was more referring to this -- to his position as a member
5 of the Supreme Defence Council, thinking that he should have been present
6 there at this meeting chaired by Milosevic, since the -- on the agenda
7 there were items that were -- that concerned Serbia. But Vlajko
8 Stojiljkovic was directly subordinated to the prime minister, but it is
9 the fact that Mr. Milosevic did have direct contacts with them.
10 Q. When you say "him," you mean the late Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. I think that we've now clarified this issue.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, I have nothing else.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
15 Mr. Hannis, re-examination.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Before I begin, you had asked a question of me, Your Honour on the
18 22nd on which January at page 8910 of the transcript, where there was a
19 reference in the witness's statement about the crimes mentioned above in
20 Podujevo, Gnjilane, Izbica, and Djakovica. Your Honour, I can tell you in
21 the statement there are references to the crimes in Gnjilane at paragraphs
22 38 and 65.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph is making reference to these
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. HANNIS: Paragraph 87.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It's paragraph 87 that refers to the above crimes,
3 is it?
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes. And Podujevo and Gnjilane are both mentioned in
5 paragraphs 38 and 65. Izbica is mentioned in paragraph 62, and Djakovica
6 in paragraph 30.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis hypothesis.
8 MR. HANNIS: And one related matter that came up during
9 Mr. Ivetic's cross. The witness mentioned signing something from Mr. Nice
10 in 2003. Exhibit 387, tab 8 in the Milosevic trial was a declaration
11 signed by this witness concerning or authenticating certain intercepted
12 communications that related to Croatia and I think Bosnia. So that's the
13 only signed document I have from him in 2003.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And does that appear to have been done in the
15 presence of Mr. Nice or can't you tell?
16 MR. HANNIS: I think so because I think Mr. Nice went over those
17 intercepts with him before the declaration was done.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. HANNIS: All right.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
21 Q. Now, General Vasiljevic, I want to go over some matters with you.
22 First of all, I'm going to go out of order and address first some exhibits
23 that Mr. Ackerman discussed with you.
24 MR. HANNIS: If we could have Exhibit 4D138 on the screen, please.
25 Q. General, these are the Rules of Service for the VJ for 1996 that
1 Mr. Ackerman showed you. Do you -- do you know if those were the rules
2 that were in effect in 1998 and 1999 for the VJ?
3 A. I think that they were. I have no knowledge of any other versions
4 of the Rules of Service being in force later on, so I assume that these
5 were the ones that were in force.
6 Q. And in the upper right corner I note the English translation says:
7 "Military secret for internal use." Is that a correct translation?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, the VJ was also governed by higher laws than these internal
10 regulations, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That included certain provisions in the federal constitution, the
13 Law on Defence, and the Law on the VJ or the Law on the Army?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I would like to show the witness
16 Exhibit P1021, please. Actually, Your Honour, this is the constitution of
17 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992. This is a proposed document
18 that we have reached tentative agreement on with the Defence; however, the
19 copy we have is from a textbook. And the Defence has indicated that they
20 would prefer to use the Official Gazette version, which we don't have but
21 we have agreed to use. I just want to make reference to Article 135, and
22 I believe -- I won't have any disagreement from counsel that it says what
23 we say it says.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, but there is one principal disagreement.
25 On the right-hand side, we have a constitution of the Federal Republic of
1 Yugoslavia; and on the left-hand side, we have the constitution of the
2 Republic of Serbia, which is a completely, completely different -- two
3 completely different documents.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think so, Mr. Zecevic. If you just look at
5 the one on the right a bit further, it's constitutions of dependencies and
6 special sovereignties and it goes on down to say, eventually, Republic of
7 Serbia by Albert Blaustein.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, but, Your Honour, I think that Mr. Hannis was
9 referring to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia constitution from 1992.
10 I'm not sure if my learned colleague wants to use the --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: That would suggest that he's got the wrong one on
12 both sides of the screen.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour for this clarification. I'm
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: I'm checking, Your Honour. The ERN doesn't match up
17 with what I believe this was, but perhaps I can have an agreement from my
18 learned colleagues across the hall. The provision that I'm dealing with
19 is one that provides that the VJ is commanded in war and in peace by the
20 president of the republic in conjunction with decisions taken by the
21 Supreme Defence Council. Now, I believe that's an accurate statement of
22 the constitutional provision.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And -- well, if you're content that that's accurate
24 and you then want to base a question on it, then please proceed.
25 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
1 Q. General, what I've just stated, is that your understanding of what
2 the constitutional provision was about who commanded the army in
3 Yugoslavia in 1998 and 1999?
4 A. Well, I have already told you what I know. On the basis of the
5 decisions of the Supreme Defence Council, President Milosevic had direct
6 command; and the executive persons below him were the Chief of General
7 Staff and in wartime the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. HANNIS: Could we go to Exhibit P985, please.
10 Q. General, this next one is the Law on Defence from 1994, as
11 published in the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
12 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to page 5 of the English, I'm
13 looking for Article 40 and 41. And I'm not sure if that's page 5 or 6 of
14 the B/C/S.
15 Q. And, General, were you familiar or acquainted with the provisions
16 of the Law on Defence as it related to who commanded the army?
17 A. No. I was not acquainted with this in particular, so that means
18 that I did not have this Official Gazette. I did not study it in depth,
19 but I can give you my interpretation of what it says here.
20 Q. Well, would you look at Article 40 and item number 2, which --
21 this is talking about the role of the president of the republic. And it
22 says: "Commands the Army of Yugoslavia in wartime and peacetime."
23 Is that consistent with your understanding at the time?
24 A. In my previous answer, this is what I said, and here it says: "In
25 accordance with the decisions of the Supreme Defence Council." In other
1 words, the president commands the forces in peace and wartime, the
2 president of the republic.
3 Q. And in Article 41, which talks about the Supreme Defence Council,
4 number 1 is adopt the country's defence plan?
5 MR. HANNIS: And on the English, we'll have to go to the next
6 page, page 6.
7 Q. And it also says it: "Renders decisions in accordance with which
8 the president of the republic commands the Army of Yugoslavia."
9 Is that also consistent with your understanding of who commanded
10 the army in 1998 and 1999?
11 A. I think it does correspond. It is consistent, but here the role
12 of the Supreme Defence Council is outlined in quite specific terms.
13 MR. HANNIS: And before we leave that article, if we could go back
14 to page 1, Article 4.
15 Q. Now, General, what was your understanding about who could make a
16 decision about whether or not to declare a state of war, imminent threat
17 of war, or a state of emergency?
18 A. I think this decision is made by the Assembly at the proposal of
19 the president of the republic.
20 Q. And you'll see Article 4 on the screen -- actually, I guess it's
21 on the bottom of the left column and continuing on to the top. Which
22 says: "If it determines that the sovereignty territory independence
23 constitution or security of the country are under threat, the Federal
24 Assembly shall proclaim one of those states."
25 And I think that's what you just said, correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to Exhibit P984, please.
3 Q. This, General, is the decree on the proclamation of the law of the
4 army as published in the Official Gazette. This is also from 1994. Were
5 you familiar with the Law on the Army, as regards what it says about who
6 commands the army in war and peacetime?
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honours, I'm going to object to this line of
8 questioning on several grounds. First of all, it doesn't arise out of
9 cross-examination; but more importantly on the first day of testimony of
10 this witness he said that when he was re-activated, he had not studied --
11 re-activated in 1999, he had not studied the constitutions or the
12 legislation we're talking about now.
13 He could speak about what he experienced first-hand. You
14 sustained that objection, Your Honour, and here we are back exploring this
15 with this witness and he's -- in fairness to him, he can't answer the
16 questions. He's told Mr. Hannis again this morning he's not comfortable
17 or in a position to speak to these matters. These are matters as he -- as
18 the witness himself has said are for an expert on the law and the
19 constitution. This is not appropriate.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, what's the purpose of this examination?
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, Exhibit 4D138 is one that Mr. Ackerman
22 went through with the witness, apparently trying to suggest that General
23 Perisic and later General Ojdanic could use the army basically any way
24 they saw fit if it regarded dealing with terrorist, sabotage, or other
25 armed groups.
1 And I'm using this to say that was language in the army internal
2 regulations, but that was superseded by the Law on Defence, the Law on the
3 Army, and the federal constitution. And this witness, as a 30-year member
4 of the army, should have a pretty good idea of who could command the army.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, if I may.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I was making no such contention. What I was
8 contending was - and it was very clear - that that rule permitted General
9 Perisic to issue that kind of an order without the declaration of a state
10 of emergency, which Mr. Hannis contends is constitutionally required.
11 Now, if he wants to contest something I did, let him show us the
12 portion of the constitution that requires a declaration of emergency
13 before the army can be used in that way. I don't think it exists. That's
14 what I was contending, not that these rules were there. Of course they
15 were there. I never contended they weren't, but I don't change my view.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 I assumed initially that these questions were a prelude to
18 something else. It's not appropriate to explore matters of law with this
19 witness in the way which it's being done at the moment; and therefore, we
20 sustain the objection.
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, then could we go to Exhibit 4D138,
22 paragraph 473. I guess we'll have to go to the second page of the B/C/S
23 for the witness to see it.
24 Q. This is an article that talks about the use of army units and
25 institutions in a time of peace. Article 473 purports that:
1 "Army units may be used to combat outlawed, sabotage, terrorist,
2 and other armed enemy groups, or to prevent and eliminate a state of
3 emergency as determined by the president of the federal republic ... or
4 the Supreme Defence Council."
5 Now, General, did you understand that the -- well, let me ask you
6 this question, because I think you answered Mr. Ackerman about this. Who
7 could decide on the use of the army? Who was the authority that could
8 decide on the use of the army? What person or what body was that?
9 A. One thing that I know for sure on the basis of my experience and
10 what we actually all know as active-duty servicemen, I know that the Chief
11 of General Staff, that his immediate superior is the president of the
12 republic, and I am sure that he cannot use the army without the approval
13 of the president of the republic. And the president of the republic makes
14 decisions of the use of the army on the basis of the Supreme Defence
16 This is actually what I already stated in general, but I did not
17 read or study those articles or paragraphs. This is based on my general
18 knowledge of the service. So the Chief of General Staff is not an
19 independent organ able to make independent decisions on the use and
20 deployment of the armed forces in the field. He cannot decide to take the
21 arms -- army out of the barracks and the decision to use the army to fight
22 certain terrorist groups in the field.
23 This actually leaves open the possibility for the army to be used
24 in case of any internal problems, because the MUP is, in fact, in charge
25 of dealing with any internal problems while the army has to protect the
1 country and protects its sovereignty. But when such groups appear, it is
2 then possible, on the basis of this article, to deploy the army, apart
3 from the MUP.
4 But the decision to use the MUP -- the army or not is not taken by
5 the Chief of General Staff but by the president of the republic, who in
6 turn makes such decisions on the basis of the opinions taken by the
7 Supreme Defence Council. This is my interpretation, and I cannot go any
8 further than this.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honour, we would tender Exhibit P984 and
11 direct the Court's attention to Article 4 which supports what the witness
12 just said.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, one has to doubt the value of what the
14 witness has said, Mr. Hannis, because the rules are for us to interpret.
15 And, again, we are in territory, I think, that is not helpful to us. But
16 what is P984?
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's the gazette -- Official Gazette
18 version of the decree of the Law on the Army.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can we --
20 MR. HANNIS: Article 4 is the president -- we can put it up on
21 e-court, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It was 985 we had earlier. 984, I presume, is a
23 different one?
24 MR. HANNIS: 984 was the Law on the Army; 985 is the Law on
25 Defence. They have similar provisions.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let us see the provision in question.
2 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to page 2 of the English, it's Article
4 Q. Article 4 states: "The president of the republic shall command
5 the army in war and peace in accordance with the decisions of the supreme
6 council," and then: "In his command of the army, the president shall,"
7 number 3, "decide on the deployment of the army and approve the plan for
8 its use."
9 MR. HANNIS: If I may I may move to exhibit -- I see two counsel
10 on their feet.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Help me with one thing. Who makes the Rules of
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know that.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it's in Article 4, number 7. The
15 president promulgates those rules that are the Rules of Service.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, this is open to endless argument that
17 4D138, the Rules of Service, were in fact made by the president in
18 accordance with a decision of the Supreme Defence Council. And these are
19 matters that will be dealt with as matters of law in due course. They are
20 not matters, I repeat, to be explored further with this witness.
21 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, are you saying that P984 has not previously
23 been exhibited?
24 MR. HANNIS: That's my understanding.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it a document on which you would like --
1 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. It has been admitted on the 10th of
2 October, pursuant to the Court's order.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. O'Sullivan.
5 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I just wanted to say for the sake of the Court
6 and Mr. Hannis, these two laws, the Law on the VJ and the Law on Defence,
7 are -- we are in agreement that the Official Gazette version are in
8 evidence or shall be in evidence very soon.
9 MR. HANNIS: My notes indicate that they actually are in evidence
10 based on your October 10th decision.
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: And what we've done is reviewed with the
12 Prosecution to make sure that the Official Gazette version is, in fact,
13 the one in evidence. And our position, as you have stated several times,
14 this is not the witness to look at these things.
15 And the rules of -- the regulations on the use of the army, if it
16 can assist Mr. Hannis, at the beginning of those rules, it clearly states
17 that those rules are promulgated in accordance with the Law on the VJ and
18 they were brought into force by the president of the FRY.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And we also know, of course, that the witness in
20 his evidence in cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman did explain the
21 circumstances in which he thought this might apply, and he distinguished
22 these circumstances from a state of emergency or from the use of much
23 larger groups. That's something to be evaluated in the light of all other
24 evidence at a later stage. But that was the sort of factual information
25 that was of some use to the Bench.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
3 Next could we show the witness 4D137.
4 Q. And, General Vasiljevic, this is General Perisic's directive of 28
5 July 1998, issued about five days after his letter, Exhibit P717, where he
6 complained about the misuse of the army. On this document, I have a
7 couple of questions about some items at the top of the page. On the left,
8 there is a reference to the first administration. Can you explain to the
9 Judges what the first administration is within the VJ.
10 A. The first administration is the operative administration that
11 elaborates, plans, and documents regarding the use of military units.
12 Q. And on the right we see a reference to GROM-98, G-R-O-M-98. Do
13 you know what that is?
14 A. That's a code within the war plan, probably. But it can also
15 refer to a special situation outside the war plan that pertains to the use
16 and engagement of the Army of Yugoslavia in terms of protecting the state
17 border, as it is stated here. So that is the code-name of this document,
18 and all documents pertaining to that are coded as GROM-98.
19 So in the roughest possible terms, this is a big file containing
20 all of these documents; this directive, the maps, the plans of the
21 communications and signals units, and everything else that accompanies
22 this kind of directive.
23 Q. And state secret-R. Do you know what the R refers to? It says:
24 "Defence state secret-R."
25 A. I've already said. It pertains to war planning.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: War is "rat," r-a-t.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. And in explaining or answering Mr. Ackerman the other day, you
4 indicated, in your view, this was a planning document not an order to
5 carry out an attack as of the date of this order.
6 A. Well, I could not see when these actions started and when the army
7 was engaged. This is a plan of use, and I've explained that even now
8 there are plans for the use of units under this kind of code, R. Now,
9 when this will actually be applied depends on a specific order.
10 As for this directive, it should be viewed as a plan and it has to
11 be verified by the president of Yugoslavia with his signature that he
12 approves of all of this documentation that accompanies this directive.
13 Q. And regarding some of the deployments talked about in this order,
14 there is reference to "as per a special order from the General Staff."
15 But there is no reference to an order number or a date. If indeed this
16 were an operational plan to actually begin attacking or to begin combat,
17 wouldn't there be a reference to a particular order number or a date?
18 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. Maybe we need to go to the second page so
19 I can show the general a specific reference of what I just talked about
20 and of the English, too, please. I'm sorry, I think we have to go to page
21 3 of the English.
22 Q. General, under Article 2.1, this is directions for the 3rd Army,
23 and the second paragraph which talks about: "Through quick actions
24 coordinated with the forces of the MUP, overwhelm and destroy, sabotage
25 and terrorist forces as per a special order from the Yugoslav Army's
1 General Staff." Do you see that reference?
2 MR. HANNIS: I think we may have to go back to the next page --
3 the prior page of the B/C/S. It's Article 1.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: No, it's on the screen now.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see that now, I see that part,
7 that it pertains to special order from the Yugoslav Army's General Staff.
8 But, again, this order has to be issued in accordance with approval of the
9 president of the republic. I've already said that the army can't be used
10 within the country in combat operations without the approval of the
11 president of the republic, and the president of the republic, again on the
12 basis of the conclusions of the Supreme Defence Council.
13 That is what I've been repeating here time and again. The
14 directive means, as I've already said, that it is a strategic document.
15 It pertains to tasks affecting the Army of Yugoslavia as a whole, and the
16 subordinate commanders elaborate this through concrete forms; that is to
17 say, through their own orders.
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. Thank you. I want to show you another exhibit now, number 4D122,
20 which Mr. Ackerman showed you yesterday. This is from General Pavkovic as
21 commander of the 3rd Army to the Main Staff on the 29th of April, 1999.
22 Mr. Ackerman showed this to ask you about some references to the criminal
23 cases being referred.
24 MR. HANNIS: I'd like to go to page 2 of the English and of the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to the second page of the B/C/S.
3 It's -- thank you.
4 Q. It's above item number 3. I believe it's four bullet points
5 above -- five bullet points above number 3, and it's a paragraph that
6 begins in English saying: "While searching the terrain and crushing the
8 MR. HANNIS: I think we have to scroll up on the B/C/S.
9 Q. It indicates that: "Measures were taken to block the said sectors
10 and resolve task in the spirit of the decision of the Joint Command for
11 Kosovo and Metohija."
12 This is in connection with searching the terrain and crushing
13 Albanian terrorist forces in the Malo Kosovo area. Do you recall,
14 General, the Joint Command order for crushing terrorist forces in the Malo
15 Kosovo area that we looked at on your direct examination, which included
16 an amendment signed by General Lazarevic related to that area?
17 A. I remember that.
18 Q. Now, this is a report from General Pavkovic to the General Staff
19 of the army or the Supreme Command Staff, including the reference to the
20 Joint Command. Now, I want to ask you about Exhibit 4D125. This is a
21 1st of August, 1998, document from the 3rd Army. General Samardzic was in
22 command at the time. And this is an order to the commander of the
23 Pristina Corps personally, General Pavkovic, with regard to a request of
24 the Joint Command for engagement of Pristina Corps units.
25 And General Samardzic forbids the use of those Pristina Corps
1 units, pending the approval of the plan for the execution of the third
2 phase in the office of the FRY president on 3 August and his preliminary
3 approval on the 2nd of August. Can you explain that to us. This is dated
4 the 1st of August.
5 A. Well, I don't know what this would pertain to. At any rate, he is
6 saying that the third phase should not start before verification is
7 obtained from the president of Yugoslavia. That is how I understand it.
8 I don't know what his previous information of the 2nd of August refers to.
9 I cannot interpret it.
10 I don't know what it was that was going on before that, what
11 decisions they made, and whether he is now withdrawing that decision until
12 it is verified by the president, and that is moving on to the third stage.
13 Now, one can also go back and analyse what the third stage is. I think
14 that the third stage is a more massive engagement on the part of the army.
15 Q. Thank you. I want to next go to --
16 MR. HANNIS: These are two documents, Your Honour, that Mr.
17 Ackerman did not show the witness, but they were included on the list that
18 we received for cross-examination, 4D100 and 4D119, that I would like to
19 show the witness.
20 First of all, 4D100.
21 Q. And, General, while we're waiting for that, yesterday at page 53,
22 line 9, you mention a unit that had rebelled and left Kosovo to go to
23 Krusevac. This was in May 1999, before your trip to Kosovo. Do you
24 recall what unit that was?
25 A. The 7th Brigade.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. Part of the military territorial unit from Brus as well and
3 Aleksandrovac, too.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that relates and corroborated testimony
6 of K73.
7 Q. This document, this is K -- this is 4D100 from the 22nd of July,
8 1998. This is from General Pavkovic to his superior, General Samardzic,
9 regarding engagement of the Pristina Corps. Could you read that, General.
10 It's -- he makes reference to: "At the meeting with the President of the
11 FRY in his office on the 21st of July, an order was given to implement the
12 plan for combatting terrorist ...
13 "The plan envisages the participation of MUP and Pristina Corps
14 units ...
15 "In view of the above, please work out in more detail the
16 engagement of the Pristina Corps units in implementation of the plan."
17 This is from the subordinate officer to the superior, and it
18 appears to be directing his superior to work out details of the plan. Is
19 that common in an order from a subordinate to a superior?
20 A. Well, I don't understand it as an order. I understand it as a
21 request that he be given more specific tasks, because probably in this
22 plan for combatting the terrorist forces those tasks had not been spelled
23 out with sufficient precision in the view of General Pavkovic. So he had
24 the right to seek more complete information and more precise orders.
25 Q. Typically would that be worded as a request, request for
1 clarification or a request for further orders?
2 A. Well, I think that this form is not contrary to practice or to
3 regulations. He is addressing him and seeking more precise tasks. It
4 would be of interest to see what the response of the army command was.
5 MR. HANNIS: Could we look at Exhibit 4D119.
6 Q. General, you're following my train of thought. This is also on
7 the same day, the 22nd of July, 1998, from General Samardzic to General
8 Pavkovic. And it appears to be the response, and he reflects. It says:
9 "The president approved on the 21st of July the plan for the second phase
10 as you General Pavkovic had personally proposed it.
11 "In view of the above, now General Samardzic is requesting a
12 proposal regarding the engagement of the Pristina Corps."
13 Do you have any comment on that?
14 A. If I may give a free interpretation here, I have the impression
15 that the commander of the Pristina Corps and the army commander are
16 corresponding with each other, and probably both understand what is to be
17 done. He is saying here that it was precisely General Pavkovic who
18 presented the plan of use at that meeting, and he believes therefore that
19 there is no need for him to elaborate it for him. Now he is asking for a
20 concrete proposal so that he could verify it for him, so that he'd have
21 sufficient elements for making a decision. That's how I interpret it.
22 I cannot be a direct witness, but what I remember is that there
23 was a problem there, up there in the top echelons of the General Staff.
24 Because at the meeting with President Milosevic, they accepted these
25 decisions. And as far as I heard, later on they would say to General
1 Pavkovic that he should not carry that out because the state of emergency
2 had not been declared, so don't go for engagement, and then he asked for
3 decided orders.
4 People who told me about this say that he said: "Well, why did you
5 keep silent while we were at the meeting there, and now you are forbidding
6 me to engage forces without your specific approval." Now, whether this
7 discussion has to do with the situation that we see here now, I don't
8 know. But that is what I had been told, and I told you that there were
9 these two people who told me about this. Whether that's correct, I don't
10 know, and I don't know to what extent it is correct, if so.
11 However, there were analyses as to how the army should be used and
12 for what. I believe at these meetings General Pavkovic was present; I
13 assume that he was present. And he was directly given a task then to go
14 into action in terms of the second stage of the plan, and he's the one who
15 had proposed that stage before that.
16 Q. Did your sources who told you about this indicate whether or not
17 General Samardzic had been at the meeting with the president?
18 A. Yes. Samardzic, Perisic, and I think General Dimitrijevic.
19 Q. And what about General Pavkovic?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Next I want to show you Exhibit P1439.
22 MR. HANNIS: And Mr. Ackerman and Your Honours should know this
23 was not on our list of exhibits we intended to show, but it is one I think
24 has been raised because of the questions on cross-examination.
25 Mr. Ackerman offered the general's personnel rating and talked about how
1 he abided by the chain of command. I think it has some bearing on that.
2 Q. This is from the 5th of October, 1998, from General Pavkovic to
3 General Samardzic regarding the Joint Command and the formation of rapid
4 intervention units. General, can you see item number 1? It says:
5 "Contrary to your orders, Pristina Corps command has not formed any new
6 combat groups."
7 Under what circumstances was it permissible for a subordinate to
8 disobey an order of a superior commander?
9 A. Well, orders have to be carried out. Only if they are contrary to
10 the constitution and laws and constitute a serious violation, then it is
11 the duty of the subordinate to warn the superior of that; and then he will
12 not carry out only that order which would constitute a grave criminal
13 offence. As for all others, they have to be carried out.
14 Now, what is this here? I don't think that there is any
15 controversy here. It was just stated that the Pristina Corps had not
16 formed these new combat groups yet.
17 Q. Could you look at -- and the paragraph right above item number 3,
18 the English is translated as saying: "As part of the conclusions from the
19 ZK," which in the context and as has been translated elsewhere is the
20 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija meeting, "I sent you the decision to
21 form rapid intervention forces which you forebade in your order on the
22 such-and-such of October."
23 Can you give us any comment on what, if anything, this says about
24 the relative relations between the 3rd Army, the Pristina Corps, and the
25 Joint Command? Who's in charge or can you tell?
1 A. I think that the commander of the 3rd Army still has jurisdiction
2 over the command of the Pristina Corps. And if you read this, the first
3 paragraph, it says here that the Pristina Corps did not form combat groups
4 in contravention of your order, and the order actually forebade the
5 establishment, the formation, of such groups. And they were not formed
6 and this was not in contravention; in other words, the order was complied
8 And now when it goes on to say the conclusions from the ZK, "I
9 sent you the decision to form rapid intervention forces," this means that
10 he sent the decision, yet he was forbidden from actually doing that. I
11 think that this is still the stage at which they have this correspondence
12 and the actually operations have not yet started, the army commander
13 forbid this. And at the meeting with Milosevic, he made this decision and
14 he instructed the Pristina Corps commander that the decision was accepted
15 and that he should comply with it; then there was a conflict with General
16 Perisic who wanted a state of emergency to be declared, but it all ended
18 He had a dissenting opinion, but he did not tell President
19 Milosevic in no uncertain terms that he forbids the use of this in --
20 until a decision is made. And General Pavkovic was then in a situation
21 where he had to comply with the orders he received from the president of
22 the republic, as the commander under the constitution. When he went back
23 to Pristina, he received a memo, a letter, to the effect that this should
24 not be done; and then he said, "Why did you keep quiet at the meeting?"
25 And I think this is evidence of this dualism. This is what I learned at
1 the meeting, and this is in line with what is written here.
2 Q. Thank you, General. Now I want to move on to some of
3 Mr. Visnjic's cross-examination. One of the documents he showed you was
4 Exhibit 3D481.
5 MR. HANNIS: I don't need that on the screen I don't think for
6 this question.
7 Q. This regarded the induction of volunteers and the standard for
8 them. You mentioned that psychological testing and screening was part of
9 the process in 1999. Do you know the nature of testing that was done for
10 would-be volunteers. Was that filling out a questionnaire? Was that an
11 interview with the psychologist? Was that a ten-minute affair or was that
12 a two-day affair? Do you know how that was done?
13 A. I don't know how it was done. I know how it is usually done. You
14 give a person a test; and then, if necessary, a more detailed examination
15 is carried out. I don't know what methodology was applied here.
16 Q. I do want to show you next Exhibit 3D482. This is the 16th April
17 1999 document entitled, "Warning" from General Ojdanic. Do you recall
18 that one?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. And I think you already made some comment about it, but my
21 question was: Is a warning a standard kind of military order?
22 A. Basically, this warning is an order. Its purpose is preventive,
23 lest somebody should do something that would contravene any previous
24 orders. So this is, in fact, placing an emphasis on how things should be
25 done, but this is not a standard document of -- that has a standard format
1 that is contained in the list of documents produced by the staff. But it
2 depends on what the warning is all about. So it is a reminder on the
3 following -- the previous documents.
4 Q. How about Exhibit P1487, if we could look at that. This is from,
5 I believe, the 17th of April, 1999, from the General Staff, and this one
6 is translated in the English as "suggestions to the 3rd Army." And I
7 guess I have a similar question. Are suggestions a typical kind of
8 military document from a commander to subordinates?
9 MR. VISNJIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think this order was not mentioned
12 in the examination-in-chief, and it is already contained in the statement
13 of this witness. And I don't see the point that Mr. Hannis wishes to make
14 here; in other words, I think I did not mention this in my
15 cross-examination. I did not do that and it is already in the statement,
16 so I don't know what Mr. Hannis wants to achieve through this.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the point arising from cross, Mr. Hannis?
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this relates -- he was asked about the
19 warning document, and I'm trying to make a -- I'm trying to join these two
20 things, warning and suggestions, and how they are to be interpreted by
21 subordinates in terms of whether or not that's an order that needs to be
22 complied with or whether it can be ignored in the chain of command.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right, you can proceed to do that.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. And that's my question, General. I don't know if you answered.
1 Are suggestions from a superior to subordinate a typical kind of military
2 document that you would see?
3 A. I said that basically orders would be typical documents, but I can
4 see this link between the order of the Joint Command dated the 15th.
5 This -- the reference is to this order and the actual date of this
6 document is the 17th. And I have this impression that there was a --
7 there was some extraordinary circumstances that prompted them to react in
8 this way. I cannot explain what happened, but a suggestion was made
9 because the order of the Joint Command dated the 15th already was in
10 existence, so two days earlier than this document.
11 Now, whether this order had already been executed or had yet to be
12 executed, I don't know. But some remarks were made of a practical nature
13 relating to this order, and some practical suggestions were made as to how
14 to supplement and implement this order. It has a certain legal weight;
15 and if any damage was to be -- to result from the previous order of the
16 Joint Command and if the 3rd Army had not accepted the suggestions, then
17 the commander would suffer the consequences of the failure to do so. So
18 this is a suggestion made in good will how to do this because this is from
19 the superior command.
20 There could have been a direct order; but because of the existence
21 of an order of a superior command, this was done in a more flexible
22 manner. So it was a suggestion made to the 3rd Army. Had I been the
23 commander of the 3rd Army, I would have accepted the suggestions and I
24 would have corrected the orders that I had issued accordingly. Because it
25 implies a certain obligation to comply with these suggestions, but it is
1 not as strong as it is in the case of an order. In the previous case,
2 there was an explicit order "I forbid the use," and so on, by General
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, have you ever seen this document
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, he was shown it on direct.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you saw it in -- before you saw it the other
8 day, had you seen this document?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, I had not. I don't know
10 what year it is. Yeah -- no, I hadn't seen it regardless the fact that it
11 is dated 1999.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you ever before seen a document between two
13 commands headed "suggestions"?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the answer you've just given your speculation
16 about this document, or is there any foundation for the answer you've just
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that this is not the usual
19 format for the communication with one's subordinates. Subordinates are
20 issued orders, loud and clear. And this is a little bit more peculiar
21 because a suggestion is given, but it does imply a certain obligation.
22 The -- to my mind, the subordinate is under the obligation to comply with
23 it. It is just a nuance in terms of how it is actually styled.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I --
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] If I may, just a clarification, not
1 regarding this. Mr. Hannis said that this document was shown to the
2 witness in the examination-in-chief, and I'm sure that we all missed it if
3 that was the case. When was it shown? This is what I wanted to ask.
4 Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have to check the transcript. It was
7 on my handwritten list and checked off, but I can't tell you now I
8 remember specifically when I showed it. I have to search the transcript,
9 if I can do that during the break.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] In that case, the witness should not be
11 examined on this document until you have been able to prove that you have
12 actually shown it to him because none of us here remember that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw this document. This document
14 was shown to me, but I don't know when it was.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, I don't think that is a rule that
16 applies. The only question is whether the document's relevant to the
17 issue that counsel is exploring at the moment, and that that is something
18 which arose from cross-examination and we've already determined that to be
19 the case. The clarification you seek, though, would be helpful for me as
20 well, and we'll get it after the break.
21 Now, Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
23 Q. General, one last question then. Can you tell us anything about
24 the fact that the Supreme Command is giving suggestions to its
25 subordinate, the 3rd Army command, regarding an order from the Joint
1 Command. Does that tell you anything about how the Supreme Command views
2 orders from the Joint Command?
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I'm going to have to object. That calls
4 for speculation. Surely, there's no foundation for that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that not a matter for argument, Mr. Hannis, in
6 due course?
7 MR. HANNIS: I think it is, Your Honour. But, as a 30-year
8 veteran and army commander who is familiar with subordinate/superior
9 relationships, he may be able to tell us something that we
10 non-professional soldiers would not know.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think you've established a foundation for
12 this, especially since the document pre-dates his period of service.
13 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour, I'll move on.
14 Q. The next Exhibit is 3D479. This was a report to the Supreme
15 Command Staff that Mr. Visnjic showed you. And at page 5 of the English,
16 there is a reference where General Ojdanic is speaking about the task of
17 the UB, your administration. And it says: "Its task is to continue
18 monitoring paramilitary organisations."
19 General, were -- was the UB monitoring paramilitary organisations
20 up to that date, during your time of re-activation? This would seem to
21 suggest this was an ongoing process.
22 A. Well, care was always taken to ensure that paramilitary
23 organisations are not present in the field and to eliminate them or remove
24 them, so this was a permanent obligation; not only on the part of the
25 security organs to do that, to ensure that this is done through their
1 operational work, but also the commanders in the field were supposed to
2 take measures and report up the chain of command. This is a permanent
3 task that was in place.
4 Q. Thank you. And at the --
5 MR. HANNIS: One more question before the break, if I may, Your
7 Q. At the end of this document, there's a reference to
8 Mr. Andjelkovic being at this meeting of the Supreme Command. Would it be
9 unusual for a civilian to be attending a meeting of the Supreme Command
11 A. I think this was not Zoran Andjelkovic, but it was General
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. He was the assistant in the communications and electronics
15 sector. So this was not a civilian, it was a general member of the
17 Q. Thank you. That clears up my misinterpretation.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can we take the break now. I have about
19 15 more minutes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: We've reached lunchtime, Mr. Vasiljevic. I still
21 think we're on track for you finishing today, although a bit later than I
22 thought yesterday. Meanwhile, could you go again with the usher, and
23 we'll see you in an hour at quarter to 2.00.
24 So we adjourn until 1.45.
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, as the witness is coming in, I can
3 advise you that regarding Exhibit P1487, I have checked the transcript.
4 It was not shown to him by me during his direct testimony. It was
5 discussed at pages 8800 to 8811, when we were discussing all the exhibits
6 that were on my list that I wanted to have admitted and that Mr. Petrovic
7 had objected to. There was no objection to that at that time; and at page
8 8808, line 11, it was admitted.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 MR. HANNIS: The had witness said earlier that he had seen it
11 before. It was an exhibit in the Milosevic trial, at tab 387 -- Exhibit
12 387, tab 40 and at page 15972, line 18 in the Milosevic transcript. In
13 open session, it was discussed with him.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
15 Well, you may now continue your re-examination.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
17 Q. General, I now want to go into some questions that Mr. Bakrac,
18 counsel for General Lazarevic, asked you. Yesterday, at page 8962, line
19 22, he was asking you about certain units in Kosovo, and one of them was
20 the 202nd logistics base. You said that was not subordinated to the
21 Pristina Corps. Can you tell us to whom they were subordinated, if you
23 A. [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please. The
25 interpreters didn't catch the first part.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- but I didn't know whether this
2 was directly subordinate to the army, because there was some logistics
3 base that was subordinated to the General Staff. But I do believe that
4 this was the logistics base that belonged to the 3rd Army.
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. And do you know where they were physically located?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Mr. Bakrac also showed you a couple of daily combat reports from
9 General Lazarevic and the Pristina Corps. One of them was Exhibit 5D85.
10 I don't need to put it on the screen to ask you a question. You
11 confirmed, I think, that it contained all the appropriate and typical
12 entries that there would be in a combat report.
13 One of those is an entry regarding ammunition used during the
14 preceding reporting period. And I think in that case it was item number
15 7.3, and it indicated that 150 bullets of 7.62 ammunition were used.
16 Would that be the total amount of those bullets used by all the
17 subordinate units of the Pristina Corps for the preceding 24 hours?
18 A. I don't know. I did not pay much attention to that. Was -- I
19 read the document, but this is probably what is referred to as one combat
20 set that contains 150 rounds. But I would have to look at the document in
21 order to comment on it.
22 MR. HANNIS: Could we bring up 5D85, and if we could go to the
23 page where item 7.3 is. I think we have to go to the third or fourth
24 page of the English.
25 Q. There you have the B/C/S at the very bottom, General, do you see
2 A. Yes, I see that.
3 Q. Can you tell us what that is. Is that 150 bullets or 150 some
4 other kind of units?
5 A. 150 bullets for an automatic rifle were used. This is a combat
6 report, isn't it?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. This is a report stating that that is the amount of ammunition
10 Q. And as I understand it, these were daily reports, so this would
11 cover a period of 24 hours?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. HANNIS: Could we show the witness Exhibit 5D84 and go to the
14 last page.
15 Q. This is another daily combat report, General; and on the signature
16 page, we see the seal and signature. Right above that there are two sets
17 of initials TJ/MT. Do you know what those would be, or who they would be?
18 A. I don't know who, but it is the person who wrote the report. And
19 the other two initials are the initials of the person who typed out the
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I want to ask you about some of the
22 questions that Mr. Ivetic on behalf of General Lukic asked you. And it --
23 in spite of the fact that you initially stated in your suspect interview
24 that General Djordjevic was a speaker at the meeting, are you convinced as
25 you sit here in court today that General Lukic, who is here in the
1 courtroom, was the one you saw give the first briefing at that Joint
2 Command meeting in June 1999?
3 A. Yes, I'm sure and I have that noted down in my notebook.
4 Q. And with regard to that, Judge Bonomy asked you if you still had
5 that notebook. Would you be willing to furnish us a copy of your notes
6 from that meeting of the Joint Command in June 1999, only that portion?
7 A. I think so, but the procedure has to be observed. I have to be
8 given approval for that.
9 Q. I understand, General. Thank you. Now, you mentioned that the
10 Minister of the Interior for the -- for the time-period we've been talking
11 about was Mr. Stojiljkovic. Do you know what his occupation or profession
12 was before he got put in that job?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. Now, one other question I want to clear up. At page 9005, line 6,
15 from yesterday, you were asked by Mr. Ivetic - let me get the exact
16 wording - you were talking about Boca and the Skorpions, and the question
18 "And you indicated that they returned to Kosovo. And I take it
19 from the fact that in your testimony, your statement, your interview with
20 the OTP, that insofar as no other incidents were cited pertaining to this
21 group, you have no explicit information that they committed any crime if
22 and when they were redeployed in Kosovo following Podujevo, otherwise you
23 would have mentioned it. Am I correct?"
24 And you said: "Yes."
25 In paragraph 38 of your statement that is in evidence, you make
1 reference to this group or some of this group having returned and
2 committed crimes in Gnjilane. Can you explain that to me, as there seems
3 to be a discrepancy between that answer to Mr. Ivetic and what's in your
4 statement. Can you tell us which is correct.
5 A. It's not said in detail what was done in Gnjilane; however, later
6 on when information was checked the case of the village of Zegra near
7 Gnjilane appeared, and I think it was cleared up who it was who had done
8 that. The first knowledge stated it was the group around Gnjilane;
9 however, when we checked later on it was confirmed that it was in the
10 village of Zegra near Gnjilane, and I do not have any confirmation that
11 they were there.
12 Q. Was your information about who the perpetrators were?
13 A. In Zegra you mean?
14 Q. Yeah.
15 A. A paramilitary group. Sorry for having interrupted you. It was a
16 paramilitary group that belonged to the army basically, a group of
17 volunteers I think it was.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean, Mr. Hannis, we should delete the
19 words "and in Gnjilane"?
20 MR. HANNIS: I believe so.
21 Q. General, when you say Zegra, that was the only incident you were
22 aware of in the municipality of Gnjilane, but not in Gnjilane itself?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. HANNIS: And the last thing I want to talk about, Your Honour,
1 I think I need to go into private session for this. This relates to
2 paragraph 87.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. This evidence -- or the evidence in relation
4 to this so far has been in private session and we shall resume private
5 session briefly while we hear this part of the case.
6 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I previously indicated that I wanted to
8 offer a portion of Exhibit 1898, which is Obrad Stevanovic's diary. And I
9 indicated I wanted to offer a page range that was both before and after
10 the specific items that the witness talks about in paragraph 72 of his
11 statement. Between the 7th of May and the 20th of May are the dates in
12 the diary that I wanted to include.
13 The last -- along the last three or four lines before the 20th of
14 May, there is a reference in General Stevanovic's diary about Fehmi Agani
15 that relates to this. And I wanted to let the Defence know that so that
16 no one thinks I'm trying to sneak that in past them. But there is a
17 reference about that which I think pertains to this issue.
18 MR. IVETIC: Could we perhaps get the page number so we can find
19 it quicker. It's a rather bulky document.
20 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Let me get that for you. It's pages 106 and
21 107 of the English, and I believe in the original that's page 89.
22 With that, Your Honour, I have no more questions for this witness.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
24 Mr. Vasiljevic, Mr. Hannis asked you about the availability of
25 your notebook, and you said that you would require formal approval. What
1 is the status of that notebook? Is it your own private document, or does
2 it belong to someone else?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It is my notebook, but it
4 contains quite a few elements from operative activities; and therefore, it
5 is an official notebook.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I think Mr. Hannis's concern only relates to the
7 particular issue that we explored in certain detail, and that was the
8 meeting and the role, if any, played by Mr. Lukic in that meeting. So far
9 as that part of your notebook is concerned, is there any reason why that
10 shouldn't be copied and simply left here before you leave The Hague?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that notebook here with
12 me now. I've already said. I did not bring any documents here. The
13 notebook is in Belgrade. And I can submit it to the office there, or I
14 can do it some other way from Belgrade.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Am I right in thinking, Mr. Hannis, that it's only
16 that part that you're interested in?
17 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So it should be possible to deal with it fairly
19 speedily, Mr. Vasiljevic, and it would be of great assistance to the
20 Tribunal if you were to deal with it immediately on your return to
21 Belgrade. We would be extremely grateful for that.
22 Mr. Hannis, what do you envisage as the time-scale for the
23 submission you were asked to make about other documents?
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I could do it by Friday.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Well, it should be possible for the Defence to respond to that by
2 Tuesday so that we can deal with the matter in the course of next week.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That now completes your evidence, Mr. Vasiljevic.
4 Thank you very much for coming again to the Tribunal to give it, and
5 you're now free to leave.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Since special arrangements have to be put in place
9 for the next witness, we will require to adjourn. We'll adjourn for half
10 an hour and resume at 20 minutes to 3.00. And I understand that parties
11 here in court and the interpreters are willing to continue until 4.00, so
12 that we can make up the time we would otherwise lose. And I'm extremely
13 grateful on behalf of the Bench for that.
14 So we'll resume at 20 minutes to 3.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 2.09 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 2.45 p.m.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: To hear the evidence of the next witness, we shall
18 go into closed session.
19 [Closed session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me correct what I said a short time ago. We
24 are in open session now. We were in closed session for the witness to
25 enter the courtroom.
1 Ms. Moeller.
2 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours. May we indeed go into
3 private session for two initial questions I would like to put.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
5 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 MS. MOELLER:
21 Q. Witness, how many years did you attend school?
22 A. Eight.
23 Q. So you attended elementary school. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes. I did attend secondary school, too, but I never graduated.
25 Q. At which -- around which age did you leave school?
1 A. I was about 16 and a half, maybe even -- in fact, 16.
2 Q. And were you at some point called up for national military
4 A. No. I actually volunteered.
5 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I see the Defence on their feet.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
7 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, if you allow me to say, we have technical
8 problems. We can't hear on our headphones -- actually, probably, it is a
9 problem with the channels, but we can't hear the witness on our channel.
10 I apologise if I disturbed with this interruption. Thank you. Thank you
11 very much.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that clear now? And you should be able to
13 follow what's happened so far fairly easily on the transcript with your
14 own knowledge of English. Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
15 Ms. Moeller.
16 MS. MOELLER:
17 Q. Witness, you -- we were talking about military service.
18 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was that a service that every young man in your country had to
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And was any part of these 12 months a training period?
3 A. Well, five months and 20 days of infantry training.
4 Q. And how long was your training in these 12 months?
5 A. Well, about two months.
6 Q. And were you given any reasons why your training was only two
7 months and not, as you said, the regular five months and 20 days?
8 A. Well, they didn't tell us why the training had been cut down.
9 Probably at that time because we had to go to Kosovo, because we ordinary
10 soldiers. We didn't know what was happening, and we didn't know why it
11 was shorter than usual.
19 Q. And during these two months, what was -- what were you trained in?
20 What were the topics the young soldiers would receive training in?
21 A. Well, first we learned how to clean our weapons, then target
22 practice, things like that.
23 Q. Did you receive during this time any training on how to behave
24 towards civilian population, how to treat prisoners of war, or about the
25 laws of war in an armed conflict?
1 A. No, no. We did not learn anything about the war, the civilians.
2 This was not an issue, and we were not taught anything about that.
3 Q. Now, you said your training ended because you were sent to Kosovo.
4 When were you first sent to Kosovo?
5 A. Yes. Sometime in late May, that's when we were sent to Kosovo,
7 Q. Had you ever been to Kosovo before?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you have any knowledge about Kosovo, about the cities there or
10 villages, the geography in general?
11 A. Well, I heard about the towns of Pec and Pristina, but I didn't
12 really know about that. And I had never gone there so I didn't know
13 anything about it.
14 Q. And in Kosovo, where were you first sent to?
15 A. Well, we went straight from Valjevo by train to Pristina, and then
16 we were bussed to Djakovica. This was the place that was designated as my
18 Q. Were any uniforms issued to you when you arrived in Kosovo?
19 A. Yes. We had kit with us, what we wore on our bodies, and then we
20 were also issued a spare uniform in Djakovica.
21 Q. Can you describe how these uniforms looked like, the colour?
22 A. The green camouflage uniform.
23 Q. And how about weapons, were you also issued weapons when you
24 arrived in Kosovo?
25 A. Yes. In the barracks in Djakovica, where we were issued a rifle,
1 helmet; that's what we were issued with.
2 Q. And upon your arrival in Kosovo, were you given any briefings
3 about what to expect in Kosovo?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were you at that point given any instructions or orders or
6 booklets regarding the behaviour in the field, the treatment of the
7 civilian population and prisoners of war?
8 A. No. No, nothing at all.
9 MS. MOELLER: Your Honours, I would like to go into some details
10 of his unit, and I would like to do that in private session if possible.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 9118 redacted. Private session
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
9 MS. MOELLER:
10 Q. At the location you were deployed, were there other units than
11 your own; and if so, which ones?
12 A. Yes. Right at the beginning, I didn't know about any other units
13 because the mortar company was there; and then three or four days later,
14 there was an infantry company there and the 82-millimetre mortar company,
15 the tank unit, and some other units, too.
16 Q. And how many mortars would a platoon have?
17 A. Well, we had two. One platoon had two mortars.
18 Q. And how many men would be needed to operate one mortar?
19 A. The crew would have five or six people; the sixth person would be
20 the driver. So that would be five to six people per each mortar.
21 Q. And before you were deployed in your position, did you ever
22 receive any training on mortars before?
23 A. No. I had never seen a mortar in Valjevo at all.
24 Q. So who told you how to operate them in the field? How did you
25 know what to do?
1 A. Well, there was a previous generation of soldiers there who had
2 gone to the front line, and the mortars were already in position. So we
3 simply worked alongside them. There was no time for us to undergo any
5 We simply learnt from them. We would observe them, and then they
6 would tell us. When they did not have to open fire, they would tell us,
7 This is how you do it, this is how you do it, and so on.
8 Q. And at the time you arrived at this location in May or early June
9 1998, were these mortars fired? Were they used?
10 A. No. That night when we got there, no fire was opened.
11 Q. I think my question was not clear. From that time onwards, let's
12 say from June 1998 onwards, were the mortars used?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. And how often would you and the others be asked to fire these
16 A. Well, it depended. Sometimes it would be at night and in the day,
17 and then a night would go by without any fire. It would all depend on
18 what the infantry would ask for fire support.
19 Q. And what was the range of the mortars you operated?
20 A. We had 9 to 70 kilometres [as interpreted], and everything would
21 depend on the charge, on the actual charge.
22 Q. I would like to ask you again because I'm not sure. Could you
23 again say what was the range.
24 A. Well, the range would depend on the charge, the actual shell used.
25 980, 70 [as interpreted] kilometres. When -- I don't know. I would
1 sometimes ask the actual charge that was used and the actual shell that
2 was used, but I think the longest range was 980 or 970 [as interpreted]
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: The record's becoming horribly confused. There's
7 not a mortar that I know of that will shoot 70 or 80 --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a matter for exploration in evidence. It's
9 all to do with the reliability of the witness. Just let the--
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's not what he's saying. He's 9.7 and 9.8 and
11 9.9. He's not saying 980 or 970.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean that's what he's saying in B/C/S, and it's
13 being wrongly translated?
14 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what I'm saying. He's putting a decimal
15 point between the 9 and the 7 or a comma as might be the case in some
16 places. He's not saying that there's a mortar that fires 70 kilometres.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood that, too. But just exactly what it
18 was is not clear. But if you're saying if it's 9.7 and 9.8 that's not
19 being properly translated, then I need to check that.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what I'm saying.
21 MS. MOELLER: Your Honour, that would actually would have been my
22 next question, because as you see I asked him twice because I noted that,
24 Q. Witness, to clarify that, do you mean 9.7 or 9.8 kilometres, so
25 less than 10 kilometres was the range, the firing range?
1 A. Yes, 9.7 or 9.8.
2 Q. With this range in mind, did you actually see what you were firing
3 at when you were operating the mortars, or was it out of your sight?
4 A. No. It was impossible because that was over the hill. We were
5 unable to see our target and to see what is it that we're actually firing
7 Q. Did you learn at some point, nevertheless, where you were
8 directing mortar fire at?
9 A. Yes. I knew on one occasion that the target was actually the
10 mosque and that the KLA troops were there, that they had their stronghold
11 there, and that they were returning fire on our infantry; and that's why
12 we were asked to fire on this target, but that was just once and that was
13 the only occasion.
14 Q. Did you learn where this mosque was, in which village?
15 A. It was in the village of Smolnica.
16 Q. And for how long did you stay in this position and to fire mortars
17 at this village, Smolnica?
18 A. Well, three or four, four and a half months, that's how long we
19 were there with fire sometimes more frequently. Sometimes there would be
20 a lull of maybe one or two days, but everything depended on the actual
22 Q. Was there a period when there was particularly heavy mortar fire,
23 when you were using it particularly often?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you recall when that was?
1 A. Sometime in August or September, I don't know what the exact date
3 Q. And that would still be in 1998?
4 A. 1998, yes.
5 Q. And during the month you were operating the mortar in the
6 direction of Smolnica, were there other artillery units also shooting in
7 this direction?
8 A. There were in some positions around us, but I don't know exactly
9 what we were targeting and I couldn't look at what other people were
10 doing. We had to focus on our targeting and firing. However, I heard
11 stories from others. When they would return, they would encounter the odd
12 soldier here and there and then they would tell us things. One of such
13 soldiers was a member of the tank unit, but I never saw something myself.
14 Q. And what did this soldier of the tank unit tell you?
15 A. We talked about it. I asked him if they were under a lot of
16 pressure, and I said we were targeting something yesterday. And he said,
17 We were targeting something as well, but I don't know whether we were
18 shooting at the same thing.
19 Q. After the three or four or four and a half months that you said
20 you stayed at this location, where were you deployed next?
21 A. We were sent to another position at Zub.
22 Q. And what were your tasks there?
23 A. The same. We used the mortars at our positions, and the direction
24 of our firing was more or less the same towards Smolnica, I think. The
25 tasks were not changed once we were deployed to Zub.
1 Q. How did you know that you were firing in the same direction?
2 A. Well, soldiers were talking about it. We knew we were targeting
3 Smolnica again because it was a stronghold of the KLA. They were dug-in
4 there, and we were told that our infantry cannot pass because of that.
5 And usually after five or six days I would learn about the exact location,
6 and this was the case on this occasion as well.
7 Q. Did you see other units in Zub, artillery or infantry or any
9 A. Yes, there was infantry. We were always close to them. I don't
10 know whether a tank unit was there. There may have been, but we and the
11 infantry moved along together. Maybe they were with us as well, but I
12 truly don't know.
13 Q. How long did you stay in Zub with these tasks?
14 A. We were there until the 24th of March when NATO began its
16 Q. And at this point did you and other soldiers with you receive any
17 specific orders?
18 A. Yes. Our 120 mortar unit was ordered to provide two mortars of
24 to remain in Kosovo and that their identification papers were to be torn,
25 so as to prevent them from coming back.
1 MS. MOELLER: Your Honour, I would request two redactions in the
2 past minutes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
4 MS. MOELLER: Yes, I see the registrar nodding.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
6 MS. MOELLER: I don't want to draw attention to them, but maybe if
7 we could communicate them in written form.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 MS. MOELLER: May I continue in the meantime?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment until we deal with this.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on, please.
13 MS. MOELLER: Thank you.
14 Q. Sir, we left off talking about the orders you received. What did
15 you understand these orders to mean? And I would ask you not to mention
16 names any more, if you.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you understand the question? What did you understand the
19 order to mean?
20 A. I don't know. I presume it meant that no Albanians were to
21 remain. It was my interpretation.
22 Q. And after these instructions were given, where were you then sent?
23 A. We went to Orahovac and its surroundings, the villages there.
24 Q. You said previously that you -- that you went to Djakovica. Was
25 that a mistake or ...
1 A. No. We were at the positions at Zub towards Djakovica, and then
2 we went towards Orahovac.
3 Q. And what were your tasks in the Orahovac area when you were
4 deployed there? What did you have to do there?
5 A. To search houses and to seize ammunition if any was found as well
6 as weapons.
7 Q. How would such searches be conducted? Which units would
8 participate in such searches?
9 A. The infantry were always in front of us. We covered their back.
10 In case they would run into trouble, we would provide mortar support.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry to just go back slightly on this. You
12 said that your commander ordered you to go with 20 men to a particular
13 place and said something about not a single Albanian ear to be left in
14 Kosovo. Now, which place was it you were told to go at that time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Towards Orahovac.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. That clarifies it.
17 Ms. Moeller.
18 MS. MOELLER: Thank you.
19 Q. You mentioned the infantry went first. Who do you include in the
20 infantry? Who was part of this infantry?
21 A. The infantry -- well, I don't know who exactly. Those who were
22 issued with automatic rifles and machine-guns. They did not have heavy
23 pieces. That's the infantry.
24 Q. And was this only VJ soldiers in this group you call infantry or
25 were there also police --
1 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour, this is really leading and
2 according to us wouldn't have any probative value after this.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I agree with that. I think that should have been
4 an open question.
5 MS. MOELLER: May I reformulate that?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
7 MS. MOELLER:
8 Q. Were there any other units than the VJ involved in these searches
9 or any other groups?
10 A. Yes. There was the police and some wearing blue camouflage
11 uniforms and Balaclavas. A friend told me that they were Arkan's Tigers.
12 Other than that, I had no idea who they were. They had blue berets, green
13 berets, the police, the infantry.
14 Q. How did the -- which uniforms did the police wear?
15 A. Blue uniforms.
16 Q. And where were they in relation to the searches --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MS. MOELLER:
19 Q. In relation to the searches conducted, where would you see police
21 A. They went with the infantry, but not together but to the other
22 side; however, they went in together.
23 Q. And you mentioned the other persons in blue uniform -- blue
24 camouflage uniforms, Balaclavas and blue berets, and that you were told
25 by a friend that they were Arkan's Tigers. Was it the first time you saw
1 these particular people during the searches after the NATO bombing started
2 in 1999, or had you seen them before somewhere else?
3 A. I had seen them sometime in 1998 when we were on the road to
4 Smolnica. Up until that moment, I had never seen them. I never had any
5 contact. I didn't know who they were until that friend told me who they
6 actually were.
7 Q. Now, in relation to all these other people you just described,
8 where was your unit and where were you when the searches were conducted?
9 A. We always followed them. We were a hundred metres behind. We
10 always followed them.
11 Q. During the searches, did you also see people participating who
12 would not wear any kind of uniform?
13 A. Yes. There were such people. I don't know whether they were
14 civilians or soldiers or reservists, but there were such people, no
15 uniform, but sporting a weapon and they would usually -- or they would
16 usually wear a VJ uniform as well [as interpreted].
17 Q. Sorry, the last answer is not quite clear. You said: "No
18 uniform, but sporting a weapon and they would usually ... wear a VJ
19 uniform." Can you clarify that?
20 A. No, no. They did not have any uniforms; we did, the VJ. They
21 wore civilian clothes and had weapons. They did not have VJ uniforms as
22 we did.
23 Q. And would they be together with any of the other groups that you
24 described, or were they separate from them?
25 A. No. They were with the infantry and police group.
1 Q. Now, I would like to ask you regarding discipline in the units as
2 you observed it yourself. Was there a difference between the discipline
3 among soldiers and other people you observed partaking in these searches
4 in 1998 and in 1999?
5 A. The discipline was very good until NATO began with air-strikes.
6 Soldiers were supposed to be dressed properly in those conditions, but
7 later it changed. Some people were getting drunk.
8 Q. And during these searches, did you observe any -- any people who
9 appeared to be drunk?
10 A. Not in our group. Our commander was tough and our group was okay,
11 but some others behaved improperly. There were drunken people around.
12 Q. And do you know members of which group they were? Were they from
13 the -- were they soldiers? Police? Or Arkan's Tigers? Or these
14 civilians that you described, if you can say?
15 A. I don't know exactly. Maybe they were soldiers or reservists,
16 those who had served their military term. I don't know exactly.
17 Q. Did you observe this behaviour about people who wore a uniform,
18 what uniform whatsoever?
19 A. No, I did not. Among the regular soldiers such cases were
20 infrequent; they behaved in a better way.
21 Q. How many villages did you approximately search in this way,
22 together with the other units?
23 A. I don't know exactly. I did not keep count. There were many
25 Q. Can you think about it and try to be a bit more specific. Are we
1 talking about two or three or ten or more?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, a couple of things. That last is a
4 bit leading, but my major concern is we have no time-frame at all. I
5 don't know if she's asking about searches in 1998, 1999. I have no idea
6 when these are. It's very difficult to deal with them if you don't have
7 some time-frame.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: My assumption is this is after the bombing has
9 started, but perhaps you can clarify the period we're talking about.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, the witness has never said after
11 the bombing started. That was something the Prosecutor threw in, after
12 the bombing started, but the witness has never said that.
13 MS. MOELLER: Your Honour, the witness said he was sent to
14 Orahovac only after the NATO bombing started and that this was then his
15 task. I thought the time-frame was clear, but I can ask.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I have him noted as saying that they were in the
17 Zub until the 24th of March when the air-strikes began, and I think these
18 are his own word.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I agree with that, Judge, until we went a little
20 further along and then Ms. Moeller says that -- she's asking him questions
21 about 1998 and 1999 again. And so then I don't know if we're -- which
22 spot we're in. I can find the --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: She will clarify it.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The only reference I've noted thereafter to 1998
1 was that that's when the witness had first seen these irregularly clad
2 people when he was on the road to Smolnica, but we can clarify it.
3 Ms. Moeller, please.
4 MS. MOELLER: Yes.
5 Q. Witness, we were talking about the different discipline in 1998
6 and 1999, and can you tell me about the discipline in 1999 during the
7 searches. What is your testimony in regards to that?
8 A. Yes. I said it was so before the NATO air-strikes. Everything
9 was fine in 1998. Up until the 4th of March, the discipline was okay.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The 24th of March.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the 24th, however, things
12 changed once the air-strikes began, and then all sorts of things began
13 taking place.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The intervention, though, from Mr. Ackerman came
15 when you were being asked how many villages you had searched in this
16 particular way. Now, when you're talking about searching villages, what
17 period of time are we talking about? Are we talking about before or after
18 the 24th of March?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the 24th of March.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And can you be even more specific about the period
21 in which you were involved doing this?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] NATO began bombing on the 24th, and
23 then on that day, around midnight or 1.00 or 2.00 in the morning, we were
24 told to pack up. And early in the morning, around 5.00, 5.30, on the 25th
25 we set off towards Djakovica and Orahovac.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And how many villages did you search in this way?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly. I cannot
3 recall. Not one or two, more. I could venture a guess. I don't dare say
4 seven or five, however more than three. I don't know exactly.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Over what period of time?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the 24th of March, we stayed
7 there for some 20 or 22 or 23 days.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Thank you.
9 Ms. Moeller.
10 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. In that period that we were just talking about or we are talking
12 about, were you ever asked or ordered to assist the police with anything?
13 A. I did not understand the question.
14 Q. While you were in the Orahovac area, did you ever receive an order
15 from your commander that you should assist the police with anything?
16 A. Yes. We were asked to do something concerning the mortars. They
17 had two 82-millimetre mortars. We were asked to instruct them how to work
18 with the shells, level, and the coordinates. All they knew to do was to
19 turn the barrel to the right or to the left, depending on where they were
20 supposed to fire.
21 Q. And did the police have, to your knowledge, a specific mortar
22 platoon or a mortar unit as the army would?
23 A. No. I don't know of it. Had they had it, they would probably
24 have known how to work with mortars, just as we did.
25 Q. So how did they use the mortars in the searches?
1 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I don't remember that --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: -- that anybody mentioned that mortars were used in
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've had evidence that the mortars were used
6 in some form of back-up during the search. How that was done is not
7 clear, but that evidence we've had so far, I think. Because this witness
8 wasn't involved in the searches as I understand it.
9 So you can deal with it in cross-examination.
10 Ms. Moeller.
11 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Witness, the question was if there wasn't any specific unit in the
13 police for the mortars, how did they use it?
14 A. I don't know exactly whether they had a mortar company. They used
15 mortars firing at a certain -- in a certain direction on that day, and
16 they asked our commander to assist them, to help them with operating them.
17 They fired perhaps three or four rounds because there was some
18 automatic fire coming from that direction targeting them, and they asked
19 for some assistance.
20 Q. I think the question is in relation to you with the mortar unit.
21 Were the mortars close to where you would be in the arrangement of the
22 units, or would they be somewhere else at some other location?
23 A. The mortars were behind us. The mortars were usually on the
24 trucks; and in case our infantry needed assistance, we would take them off
25 and use them. The mortars were always with us.
1 Q. So this is your mortars you're talking about, the mortars of the
2 army or also the mortars of the police?
3 A. Army; it's the army that has mortars.
4 Q. And the police mortars you were speaking about, were they also on
5 some trucks, or where were they in relation to where you and your mortars
7 A. Well, they were ahead of us, this mortar 82. There would be three
8 or four men who would be in charge of that, then they'd have to carry the
9 tripod, then have to carry the barrel, because the 82s were not hooked on
10 to trucks. They had to be carried.
11 Q. Okay. Now, you said that you cannot say the exact number of
12 villages you participated in searching. Do you recall any village name of
13 these villages that you passed through with the rest of the army and the
14 other forces?
15 A. I really cannot remember. Quite a few Albanian villages. I don't
16 know. I could just say this or that, but I really cannot remember. It's
17 been quite a while. I really can't remember.
18 Q. Okay. During these searches, did you ever see any killings being
20 A. Well, there would be columns of refugees and then they would
21 separate the men from women and children.
22 Q. Do you recall when -- approximately when you observed that, that
23 men were separated from women and children from a convoy?
24 A. Well, that was in April. Was it mid-April? It was then; it was
25 in April.
1 Q. And what happened to these men after they were separated?
2 A. Well, the men were lined up. They had some KLA uniform and they
3 ordered them to put it on, and then they killed them in order to prove
4 that they were not killing innocent people, civilians, but that they were
5 members of the KLA army.
6 Q. Who had some KLA uniforms?
7 A. Well, they did. They -- it was the Army of Yugoslavia. Now, how
8 come they had them, I don't know.
9 Q. You say "the Army of Yugoslavia." Can you be more specific. Do
10 you know who were the men who had the uniforms, and who did what you just
11 testified to? What uniforms would they wear?
12 A. Yes. Yes, I know.
13 Q. What kind of uniforms did these men wear?
14 A. These who were separating the men. I mean these people were just
15 civilians, regular people, and it was our army, our infantry, that was
16 separating them.
17 Q. How did you know it was men from the infantry, from the VJ
18 infantry, who was doing that?
19 A. Well, I knew one of them. One of these men was with me in Valjevo
20 and he was trained with me personally, and I knew him personally.
21 Q. And this person who was in the training with you, what did he do
22 exactly or what did you see him do?
23 A. Well, I saw exactly. We in the army call this the machine-gun,
24 and then there was this box for it that we called Ceca; we, the soldiers,
25 did. And he fired that machine-gun and killed these people.
1 Q. And these people, who were they, to your knowledge?
2 A. Well, they were Albanians, civilians.
3 Q. What kind of clothes did they wear, initially?
4 A. Initially, civilian clothes.
5 Q. And did you see yourself that they were given these KLA uniforms,
6 as you say, and ordered to put on before they were shot?
7 A. Yes, I saw that. There was that little hill there, and we would
8 always guard their backs. I didn't hear the order, Put on those clothes.
9 If they had their civilian clothes off and these uniforms on, there must
10 have been an order to make that happen.
11 Q. And how many men that you say appeared to be Albanian civilians
12 were killed this way?
13 A. Well, I don't know. I wasn't counting, but there was this line,
14 as they were lined up, it was a long line. Now, how many of them there
15 were exactly, I don't know.
16 Q. Can you give a rough estimate. Was it a small group or a large
18 A. Well, maybe 20-ish, maybe a bit more. Something like that. There
19 was this line and maybe there were even more of them. I don't know.
20 Q. Okay. And the VJ soldier that you knew from before, do you know
21 his name or nickname?
22 A. I just know his nickname, Zemunac. I don't know his real name.
23 He probably came from Zemun or maybe he just had this nickname pertaining
24 to Zemun. I don't know.
25 Q. After the men were killed, were shot, could you observe what
1 happened then?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Was this event the only one of its nature that you
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. One more time. But who was
7 killing them and doing what, I don't know. We took part in loading them
8 on to the trucks of the Army of Yugoslavia; and in the transport to
9 Pristina or behind Pristina, there's this power-plant called Obilic.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I didn't understand that answer. You said "one
11 more time." Did you see this happen on another occasion as well?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I didn't see that happening,
13 that they would wear these uniforms, put them on, and be killed; but
14 another time I saw a group who were killed.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, on this occasion where you did see what
16 happened, was Zemunac the only person to shoot?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. He used this machine-gun
18 that we called Ceca then. He did the shooting. Now, was it anybody else?
19 No. I just know that he did the shooting.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Were there other VJ soldiers there?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, there were others.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there anyone there who was in a superior
23 position to him?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably. Just like we always
25 had our own commander there, he probably had a commander, a komandir,
1 above him.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, my question to you is: Did you see any
3 commanding officer there?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not personally. It's not that
5 I saw someone like that, but he was probably there among them.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Moeller.
7 MS. MOELLER: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 I recognise it's two minutes to 4.00. Do you want me to move on
9 to another topic, or would you like to stop here?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I was going to say it's amazing what you can do in
11 two minutes, but that will be enough for today I think.
12 MS. MOELLER: Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: We need to go into closed session for the witness
15 to leave.
16 [Closed session]
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.00 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
8 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.