1 Monday, 16 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, everyone. I imagine it feels like
6 yesterday to you all when we last met. However, a bit of time has elapsed
7 and one or two issues have arisen during that period that should be
8 addressed before we proceed any further today.
9 I'm going to deal with two administrative matters first of all.
10 The final request that the Prosecution made for admission of documents
11 from the bar table, the third request, involved the absence at that time
12 of translations of certain of the documents. Time was allowed for the
13 production of these translations until today. The Prosecution seek a
14 further two days, that's until Wednesday of this week, to provide the
15 absent translations.
16 Obviously, if that motion follows its ordinary course, the time
17 will have elapsed before it could possibly be dealt with. It would be
18 helpful to us to know if there is to be any opposition to that motion. I
19 take the silence as an indication that there is no opposition to it. The
20 Chamber will therefore grant the motion.
21 The second matter is the -- or does relate to evidence today and I
22 suppose is not really a preliminary matter, so I'll deal with it in the
23 context of looking at where we are in the conduct of the Prosecution case.
24 The -- it was initially anticipated that today we would know the outcome
25 of the Prosecution appeal in relation to the evidence of General Clark;
1 however, that decision has not yet been taken.
2 Whatever that decision would have been, it was also open to the
3 Prosecution to call certain other evidence today, and I gather that
4 available is a witness, Shaun Byrnes, that the Prosecution intend to lead.
5 However, related to that is the other administrative matter I want to
6 raise and that is that there is a letter from Messrs. Lukic and Ivetic for
7 the accused Lukic which was sent to the government of the Rule 70 witness,
8 seeking authority to cross-examine him on certain matters which go beyond
9 the terms of the authorised examination -- or the limited
11 Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if I may. I'm getting an indication
13 from the US representatives that they have not seen that letter. Can you
14 tell me what date it was sent?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It's dated the 12th of April. Mr. Ivetic will tell
16 us where exactly it was sent. My copy is addressed to the headquarters,
17 but it may be that copies were sent to the office in The Hague.
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, it's my understanding that the letter
19 was presented to the Registry and it was via the Registry of the Tribunal
20 delivered to the State Department. That's what I was told, since there
21 was some concern as to which particular office or official would be the
22 appropriate one for that.
23 It's my understanding that Ms. Delic and other officials of the
24 Registry were in contact with my colleagues and that the letter was sent
25 through the Registry to the appropriate individuals at the State
1 Department. So I presume that would be the ones here in The Hague, but I
2 really cannot say with certainty that it would be the ones here in The
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The copy I have seen does say that it's a courtesy
5 copy, so let's briefly or quickly check what the official position is.
6 That -- it's not possible to clarify the position as quickly as we
7 would like. It will be clarified as soon as possible. If there is no
8 difficulty about the transmission of the communication itself, then
9 arrangements will be made to ensure that copies are distributed while we
10 are sitting here, in the hope that the issues can be quickly reviewed. It
11 may not be easy to get a clear answer to all of them; but even if some
12 were answered fairly quickly, it would help progress matters. I think
13 that's all we can ask in the circumstances.
14 Mr. Hannis, do you have any other preliminary issues?
15 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. We are ready to call Mr. Byrnes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there anyone, any Defence counsel, who has any
17 other preliminary issue? All right. When Mr. Philips gave evidence,
18 there seemed to be a degree of confusion about the exact role of the
19 representatives of the provider government in court. For the avoidance of
20 doubt, I would like to explain that we see their role as twofold: Either
21 -- in fact, both might apply depending on the particular issue. But
22 their role is either to alert you, the Prosecution to a situation where
23 it's felt that there should be a decision made not to allow a question,
24 for example, or to intervene in some respect. So we recognise that that
25 may be an appropriate way of relaying their concerns to the Bench.
1 But equally, we would recognise their direct intervention if it is
2 felt that that is necessary and appropriate, and that's a matter for their
3 judgement; but between you, I hope we can avoid the apparent uncertainty
4 there was the last time. Just bear in mind it is open to you to raise
5 matters either through the Prosecution or directly yourselves where that
6 seems necessary, and I stress necessary and appropriate. Obviously, it's
7 more satisfactory if it's always dealt with through the Prosecutor, but we
8 do not insist on that as a restriction that should apply.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 MR. HANNIS: I appreciate that guidance, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I have just remembered one other matter I should
12 have dealt with earlier. Mr. Byrnes could you have a seat for a moment?
13 We are dealing with one or two administrative -- and there is one that I
14 should have raised also.
15 Mr. Hannis, you have raised the issue over the possibility of
16 another witness, in addition to Mr. Byrnes, but one who is not available
17 today, and you ask that we reconsider the initial indication we gave that
18 that witness -- well, in the event that your appeal is unsuccessful, that
19 witness ought to be available immediately the Trial Chamber sits again
20 after the decision. I take it that's been intimated to the Defence, that
22 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. O'Sullivan, is there to be a response to
25 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We received notification that the Prosecution
1 would make an oral application, and we are prepared to make an oral
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So should we deal with that when we have to deal
4 with it; in other words at the end of the evidence of the present witness?
5 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Whenever it's convenient for the Court, Your
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I think that's the best plan. Let's see where we
8 get to and deal with the matter at that stage. I'm sorry about that, Mr.
9 Byrnes. Could you stand now, please? And would you make the solemn
10 declaration to speak the truth by reading aloud the document which you now
11 have in your hand?
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
13 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: SHAUN BYRNES
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated. Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours. This is a witness, Your
17 Honour, that we've called pursuant to Rule 70, and the conditions that
18 have been ordered pursuant to our application is that his direct
19 examination will be limited to the supplemental 65 ter summary that we
20 filed, that cross-examination will be likewise limited to the scope of
21 that examination-in-chief, and matters affecting his credibility, and any
22 others that the Rule 70 provider might agree to later on.
23 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
24 Q. Mr. Byrnes, could you state your name for the record, please, and
25 would you spell it for us?
1 A. My name is Shaun Michael Byrnes, and it is spelled in American
2 English, S-H-A-U-N, Michael, M-I-C-H-A-E-L. Byrnes is spelled
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes, and you're doing a good job of it so far.
5 Since we both speak English, it's important for the translators and the
6 interpreters if we give a pause between my question and your answer
8 Sir, I understand you're currently retired?
9 A. Yes. I'm happily retired.
10 Q. Okay. And what kind of work did you do before you retired? What
11 was your profession?
12 A. I spent nearly 30 years as an officer in the United States foreign
14 Q. In 1998, did you become involved in a mission that was known by
15 the acronym KDOM, K-D-O-M?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And can you tell the Court what KDOM stands for?
18 A. The initials "KDOM" stand for Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission.
19 Q. And can you tell us a little bit about how that came into
20 existence, and how you became connected with it?
21 A. The Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission came into being as a result
22 of an agreement that I understand was reached in Moscow in mid-June of
23 1998. The agreement was between the president of what we call
24 ex-Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, and the then-president of the Russian
25 republic, Boris Yeltsin. The agreement was intended to try to, as I
1 understand, to try to stabilise the situation in Kosovo which had become
2 increasingly violent, in the spring of 1998.
3 Under the agreement, Mr. Milosevic agreed that diplomatic
4 representatives would have full powers to monitor and observe what was
5 occurring then in Kosovo. The hope was that greater international
6 observation would lead to a calming down of the situations, to permit time
7 for a political solution to be found.
8 Ambassador Dick Holbrooke came -- let me back up a little bit.
9 Violence continued through June so much so that Ambassador Holbrooke was
10 sent to Belgrade to discuss the situation with President Milosevic. As a
11 result of those discussions, it was agreed that an international observer
12 mission would be established and that is how KDOM came into being.
13 Let me add one additional fact which I think is -- may be
14 important for subsequent discussion today. KDOM was the general acronym,
15 Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission; however, the agreement was that there
16 would actually be three international observer missions. One which would
17 be staffed by the Russian republic, and colloquially in Kosovo became
18 known as Russian KDOM. A second would be under the aegis of the European
19 Union. It became known as EU KDOM, and the third diplomatic mission was
20 the American one, which was called US KDOM.
21 To answer the second part of your question, I was the political
22 minister, counsellor, in Rome. At the time, I had extensive experience in
23 Yugoslavia. I had served in our embassy in Belgrade from 1980 to 1984. I
24 had also been sent back to Belgrade in 1992 for three months to help out.
25 Our embassy was under staffed at the time and conflict in Bosnia and
1 Croatia was growing.
2 The Department of State wanted somebody who knew something about
3 Yugoslavia, and I was close. I had the proper rank. I spoke some
4 Serbian, and I did know something about Kosovo because in the 1980s, one
5 of my portfolios as political officer in the political section of our
6 embassy in Belgrade was to follow events in Kosovo which, as I think all
7 of you know, had become somewhat troubled after the demonstrations and
8 riots of March 1981.
9 So they asked me to do it. I agreed to do it. The original
10 agreement was I would go for six weeks and set the mission up and come
11 back and the rest is history.
12 Q. Okay. So when did you start with U.S. KDOM?
13 A. I arrived in Belgrade from Rome on August 10th of 1998. I arrived
14 in Pristina to take over US KDOM, which had been initially stood up at the
15 very end of July and had an acting chief, an US army lieutenant-colonel.
16 In any case, I arrived in Pristina on August the 12th.
17 Q. And you say you were originally supposed to go for six weeks, but
18 I take it from your answer you ended up staying much longer?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. When did you eventually leave?
21 A. I left Kosovo finally at the end of July of 1999.
22 Q. Okay. Were you in Kosovo between the 23rd of March and mid-June?
23 A. No, sir, I was not.
24 Q. Okay. We'll get to that later. Who was your immediate boss when
25 you were acting as head of US KDOM?
1 A. US KDOM -- let me start over again. We had bilateral relations
2 with Yugoslavia, with Belgrade. So when Department of State agreed to
3 establish US KDOM, it was established as an entity of the US embassy in
4 Belgrade. So I reported directly to our chief of mission, Ambassador
5 Richard Miles, our chief of mission in Belgrade, and that embassy provided
6 us with full administrative support; and on matters of policy and
7 substance, I took directions from Dick Miles.
8 Q. And where were you physically stationed or your primary base?
9 A. US KDOM was established in a motel owned by a pair of Kosovo Serbs
10 that was located in a suburb of Pristina. The suburb was called Kosovo
11 Polje. If I recall, it was about six kilometres to the west of Pristina.
12 Q. And what was your mandate? What was your assignment as head of US
14 A. As the title of the mission suggests, our primary mission was to
15 observe what was occurring in Kosovo at the time. I think Holbrooke and
16 others who had agreed to the establishment of these missions felt that
17 one, they were not getting accurate information from about what was
18 occurring in Kosovo prior to the KDOM, the three KDOMs establishment.
19 They weren't getting accurate information from either side or even
20 from the international press which had begun to become interested. Both
21 sides were manipulating, I think, the press. That was the sort of sense.
22 So in the first place, if the international community and Belgrade were to
23 have any hope of finding a political solution to the Kosovo problem, they
24 required accurate information as to what was in fact going on. So that
25 was our primary mission.
1 There was also, I think, there was a hope expressed to me that an
2 intrusive international presence on the ground would help calm things down
3 and reduce conflict. And at the end of the day from my standpoint, and I
4 can say this sentiment was shared by every single member of my mission, at
5 the end of the day, we would -- we would save lives. We would save
6 Serbian lives, and we would save Albanian lives.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you go on, Mr. Hannis, can I ask one
8 question? I've lost one link, I think, along the way in what you said,
9 Mr. Byrnes, about the establishment of KDOM. My initial impression was
10 that these missions were established as the result of the agreement
11 reached in Moscow, and then you backed up and told us that violence
12 continued through June and Holbrooke was sent and following his visit,
13 there was agreement on these diplomatic missions.
14 Now, was the setting up of these missions a two-stage process or
15 have I perhaps separated the thing into too many parts?
16 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry for the lack of clarity, Your Honour, in
17 my presentation. The problem is mine. I'll try to be clearer this time.
18 What President Milosevic and President Yeltsin agreed in June in Moscow
19 was the principle, and that principle was that the diplomatic missions in
20 Belgrade would have greater access and would be indeed encouraged to
21 monitor the situation and collect information about what was occurring in
23 Second, so to be very clear, Your Honour, there was no agreement
24 to establish formal diplomatic observer missions. Dick Holbrooke, when he
25 went, the violence as I said persisted. Holbrooke then went to Belgrade
1 in an effort to try to calm things down and find a solution. Holbrooke
2 seized on the language in the memorandum or the letter, I can't remember
3 exactly what it was, that both President Milosevic and President Yeltsin
4 signed in June. He seized on the language providing for more extensive
5 diplomatic monitoring, obviously foreign diplomatic monitoring of Kosovo,
6 to propose the establishment of specific missions.
7 This would no longer -- the observation would no longer be left to
8 diplomatic missions in Belgrade. There would be established formal
9 missions, formal observer missions in Pristina to carry out that task, and
10 President Milosevic agreed to that. I hope that clarifies that question.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It does. Thank you. Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. You mentioned that there were three KDOMs then. There was US, EU,
14 and the Russian KDOM. Can you tell us roughly what were the differences
15 in terms of numbers between those three? Which was the biggest?
16 A. Initially, European Union KDOM was the biggest because European
17 Commission had a monitoring mission in Kosovo which they simply renamed EU
18 KDOM, and they had something, I don't recall the exact numbers, but they
19 had something like 12 or 15 officers already in Kosovo and they had been
20 there since April of 1998.
21 However, our mission was established in late July and quickly
22 became larger than the European Union's mission. The Russian mission was
23 established somewhat later. As I recall, it was established in early
24 September and the Russian mission never became very large. I think, at
25 the maximum, the Russians had five or six officers, and they had no
1 four-wheel-drive or even armoured vehicles which would permit them to go
2 off road outside of Pristina. The Russians -- the Russian mission, I
3 think, did not become very large, very simply because Moscow had resource
5 Q. And eventually how big did the EU and US KDOMs come to be,
7 A. Six or seven or eight years later, my memory is not the sharpest,
8 but the US mission in late December or early January -- late December
9 1998, early January 1999, numbered, I recall, in the neighbourhood of 300
10 US officers and 600 or 700 Albanian and Serbian local national employees.
11 The European Union mission, I think, at one point had something like 37
12 officers. Let me just add, if I may, that that mission was made up of a
13 wide range of representatives of the European Union. It was headed by a
14 British officer but it had Italians, Germans, Slovaks, Frenchmen, and so
16 Q. What were your duties in KDOM? What -- you told us that you were
17 set up to observe. How did you go about doing that?
18 A. From the very beginning, we ran what we called missions. We
19 initially had three or four armoured Chevrolet Suburbans, four wheel drive
20 off road vehicles. And we would send them out in the morning with a team
21 that consisted of at least three people; one of those was a local national
22 interpreter, either a Serb or an Albanian. In each instance that local
23 national, regardless of his or her nationality, had to speak both
24 languages; the Serb had to speak Albanian, the Albanian had to speak
25 Serbian. There were plenty of Serbs, of course, that did speak good
2 In any case, these -- we would direct these vehicles and these
3 missions into areas that were contested or which we knew there were on
4 going confrontations or clashes or there were humanitarian problems. They
5 would spend the day in those areas, observing, talking to people of both
6 nationalities. Let me add, too, that because we had resource limitations,
7 particularly at the outset, and EU KDOM did as well. And there was a lot
8 of ground to cover. We coordinated very closely with the EU KDOM.
9 The EU KDOM chief and I met every evening and exchanged reports,
10 our mission reports. They knew what our people had seen and reported, and
11 we knew what their people had seen and reported. And we then discussed
12 where we should send vehicles the next day, what appeared to be potential
13 hot spots, the flash points; and then we would take and look what are the
14 resources the two of us had, and we would just divide up areas of
16 Q. You answered what was going to be my next question. How about the
17 Russians? How did they figure in this, even though there were maybe only
18 half dozen of them?
19 A. As soon as the Russian mission was set up, we made arrangements
20 to - we being the United States KDOM and the EU KDOM - we made
21 arrangements to take Russian officers along on our missions. As I said
22 earlier, the Russians lacked off-the-road vehicles and they lacked
23 armoured vehicles, and I would add that the Russian KDOM chief, who was
24 Sergei Lavrov, not to be confused with the present Foreign Minister, had
25 what I considered legitimate concerns about the security of Russian
1 missions off the road in areas where there was a lot of KLA activity. And
2 they simply didn't want to go there, but they would go there with us.
3 They had an obligation to report to Moscow.
4 I would add, if I may, that we found -- first, we worked very
5 closely with the Russians. We had an obligation to provide a weekly
6 report to the Contact Group ambassadors in Belgrade and that report was
7 drawn up together by myself, the EU KDOM chief, and the Russian KDOM
8 chief. The Russians were very, very good. The Russians were
9 cooperative. The Russians worked closely with us. We never had any
10 problems with them.
11 Q. In light of what had been happening before you started on your
12 mission, did you have some concerns about just hopping in your vehicles
13 and driving around Kosovo? Did you make any arrangements with local
14 authorities to figure out where you were going to go and when you were
15 going to go? How did that work?
16 A. My recollection is that we did not inform the Serbian police of
17 our planned missions; however, we did work closely with them. I think
18 it's important to add here that we had no contact with the Yugoslav army
19 in Pristina. We, of course, would -- our missions would encounter the
20 Yugoslav military in the field on occasion, but there was no official
21 contact. We did have official contact with the Serbian police, but we
22 didn't share our mission plans with them, I think, for obvious reasons.
23 Q. In the course of carrying out your mission, did you have dealings
24 with any political authorities in Kosovo or in Serbia, Belgrade?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who did you deal with?
2 A. See, I dealt -- on the Serbian side, I dealt primarily with the
3 prefect of Pristina Opstina, Pristina County, a man named Veljko Odalovic.
4 I met Mr. Odalovic, I think, the second day I arrived in Pristina.
5 Ambassador Miles took me to Mr. Odalovic office to introduce us. It was
6 important that we work closely with them. KDOM was there to assist both
7 parties, to try to make the situation better; and to achieve that goal, we
8 had to work with the local political authorities. So I had a good deal of
9 contact with Mr. Odalovic in Pristina.
10 Our teams had contact with local Serb officials in the field; and
11 in Belgrade, Ambassador Miles at one point introduced me to Nikola
12 Sainovic who was a Deputy Prime Minister, first Deputy Prime Minister, and
13 who Ambassador Miles considered to have the Kosovo, if you will, the
14 Kosovo portfolio in the government.
15 Q. That's what Ambassador Miles told you?
16 A. To be perfectly frank, I do not remember exactly. That was
17 certainly my -- my present impression is, that I understood at the time,
18 was that Mr. Sainovic was, if you will, the go-to, the point man
19 politically on Kosovo. And whether Ambassador Miles told me that, I can't
20 remember. Whether Mr. Sainovic told me that when I was introduced to
21 them, I cannot remember.
22 Q. Did you have subsequent dealings with Mr. Sainovic after that
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Okay. How often or how many, approximately?
1 A. I saw Mr. Sainovic on, I would say, a number of occasions. I had
2 a fair amount of dealings with him. They usually -- my recollection is
3 that they were always linked with a -- one or another of the continuing
4 crises that we had to deal with in Kosovo. I dealt with him in Belgrade
5 when I was there, and I dealt with him in Pristina.
6 Q. Okay. And those subsequent dealings you had with him, were they
7 consistent with the way Miles had presented him to you as being the point
8 man for Kosovo?
9 A. Yes, they were.
10 Q. You mentioned that the number of occasions you had contact with
11 him seemed to be crisis-related. Can you give us an example of what you
12 meant by that?
13 A. The crisis that most immediately comes to mind was the one with
14 one, for example, in early January, when eight Yugoslav army soldiers
15 misread a map on a patrol, in an area of Kosovo, a hilly, rough area in
16 Kosovo north of Kosovska Mitrovica, and they stumbled into a UCK
17 encampment of some sort and were captured. It was obviously very
18 important for Belgrade to get these soldiers back and very important for
19 us - by us, I mean the international community - to get these soldiers
20 back and resolve a crisis.
21 Any time something like this happened, there was a great fear that
22 there would be renewed fighting across the province, and in which case our
23 diplomacy would have completely failed. I worked -- I recall that I
24 worked very closely with Mr. Sainovic to find a resolution to this crisis.
25 Q. And we've heard other evidence about this but were you successful?
1 A. Yes, we were. Yes, we were.
2 Q. I want to back up for a minute. You mentioned earlier that you
3 speak some Serbian?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Do you speak any Albanian?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Any other languages?
8 A. I speak Russian and Croatian and Italian.
9 Q. And how good would you characterise your Serbian?
10 A. My Serbian, then, when I got there, was pretty rusty. I hadn't
11 used it in six or seven years. It got considerably better because I used
12 it over time.
13 Q. Mr. Byrnes, you said earlier that you didn't have any contact with
14 a VJ representative in Pristina. How about with the MUP, the Ministry of
16 A. I had quite a bit of contact with the MUP, particularly with
17 General Sreten Lukic at the time. It was part of my, if you will, work
19 Q. And how did you first get introduced to him?
20 A. I recall that I was introduced to General Lukic on August the
21 13th. I was taken to his office by Ambassador Miles is what I remember.
22 Q. And how often did you have dealings with him during your time in
24 A. I had many, many, many dealings with General Lukic, particularly
25 in the period up to and immediately after the establishment of the OSCE
1 Kosovo Verification Mission in late October or early November. After
2 OSCE - we called it KVM for shorthand - after the establishment of the
3 KVM, responsibility for dealing with the Serbian police, with the Serbian
4 authorities, on questions related to our mission passed from the KDOMs to
5 the new OSCE, Kosovo Verification Mission headed by Ambassador William
6 Walker, but I still had contact with General Lukic afterwards, often in
7 situations that were crisis-related.
8 Q. During the time period when you first started in August until KVM
9 got started up, were you seeing him on a weekly basis, a daily basis?
10 A. I often saw General Lukic on a daily basis.
11 Q. And what was the nature of your daily contacts with him? What did
12 you discuss?
13 A. The discussions centred on what was taking place in Kosovo. I
14 often brought to his attention the observations of our teams in the field,
15 observations of what we considered unacceptable or unacceptable behaviour
16 on the part of the Serbian police; for example, the burning of villages
17 and destruction of personal property that our teams had observed on the
18 spot. He, on his part, would often call me, call me in, to complain of
19 the activities of the Kosovo -- the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army.
20 Q. And what would you do when you got informed by him about KLA
22 A. Our obligation was to check those out. We could not do our job if
23 we did not, and we would -- depending on the allegation, it might involve
24 violence of some sort in a part of Kosovo. We could try to send a team
25 there to verify the report. Most often, what sticks out in my memory -
1 and let me stress for the Court that my memory, after close to nine years,
2 my memory of these events is certainly fuzzy - but what does stick in my
3 mind is either the killing or the disappearance of Serbs.
4 Whenever -- whenever this happened, General Lukic would be on the
5 phone to me asking for our help in trying to ascertain what had happened
6 and, of course, most importantly to try to find these people and get them
7 back. And we did -- we did honestly everything we possibly could. And
8 fortunately we were successful on some occasions, and unfortunately those
9 occasions were far too few.
10 Q. You told us before about your dealings with Mr. Sainovic. Did you
11 ever meet Mr. Milutinovic?
12 A. Mr. Milutinovic -- when I was there, Mr. Milutinovic was president
13 of Serbia. I met him formally on two occasions, both were centred on the
14 negotiations in Belgrade in late October that produced the so-called
15 October agreement. And I saw him -- I saw him at Rambouillet as a member
16 of the Serbian delegation. I never had any conversations or any dealings
17 with him, however.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, with regard to the VJ, even though you didn't
19 have any liaison or contact in Pristina, did you have any dealings with
20 high-ranking officers in the VJ?
21 A. Your Honour, may I ask a question?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, you may.
23 THE WITNESS: Sir, what do you mean by "dealings"?
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. Did you ever meet and speak with them? For example, did you ever
1 meet General Ojdanic?
2 A. To the best of my knowledge, I never met General Ojdanic.
3 Q. Or General Lazarevic?
4 A. To the best of my knowledge, sir, I never met General Lazarevic.
5 Q. How about General Pavkovic?
6 A. I recall meeting General Pavkovic on only one occasion.
7 Q. Can you tell us about that?
8 A. That occasion was in Pristina shortly after -- if my memory is
9 correct, it was shortly after the October agreement. General Pavkovic
10 summoned the KDOM officials to a meeting in his offices at Pristina corps
11 command centre in the centre of town, to go over based on what we
12 Americans would call the rules-of-the-road; reviewing the agreement, what
13 his obligations to us were, and what our duties were. That sort of thing.
14 Just as a footnote, October agreement established KVM, the OSCE
15 mission, but the KDOMs stood in for KVM until it was stood up and
16 operational. So we were the ones who went to this meeting. It was a very
17 professional meeting. I recall there were probably 30 people around the
18 table. General Pavkovic was very professional, very direct, and that
19 was -- I don't believe I ever saw him again or ever had contact with him
21 Q. During your tour of duty as head of KDOM when you -- well, did you
22 go out in the field yourself personally?
23 A. I did indeed. I tried to go into the field at least twice a week.
24 I felt that -- I felt that I could not deal with, particularly, I could
25 not deal with the Serbian leadership in Pristina, General Lukic or
1 Mr. Odalovic. I could not report accurately to Washington through our
2 Ambassador in Belgrade, Richard Miles. I could not report to the Contact
3 Group Ambassadors who periodically came down, unless I had some experience
4 of the field. I had some feel for what was transpiring there.
5 Q. And in the course of going out into the field to observe, did you
6 have occasion to speak with any VJ officers about the situation in Kosovo?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Can you tell us anything about any of those discussions and any
9 particular individuals you spoke to?
10 A. I had a couple of discussions when we would run into VJ units.
11 The discussions were always professional and always brief. My
12 recollection is we dealt with middle-grade officers, senior lieutenants,
13 captains, who were, I would say, professional in their conduct to us, with
14 us, and very reticent about what they were doing or why they were there
15 and the size of the units, that sort of thing.
16 That, I considered, a professional response, and I would add
17 that -- I would add two things. One, on one occasion, I don't remember
18 where or when, and I certainly don't have a name. These officers would
19 not provide that information, which was their right. On one occasion, a
20 junior officer hinted to me, since I spoke some Serbian, that he wasn't
21 particularly pleased to be there and doing what he was doing, but it was
22 only a hint and he did not go beyond that.
23 The other thing I would like to say is, about the VJ in the field,
24 was they were -- they were helpful in their contacts with us. In our
25 judgement, when they gave us advice about particular places to go and not
1 to go, it was given to us in good faith. Our sense of the VJ was they had
2 no desire to see us get hurt.
3 Q. Let me take you back to the MUP for a minute. You mentioned your
4 dealings with General Lukic. Did you meet any other generals or
5 high-ranking members of the MUP in the course of your tour with the KDOM?
6 A. Yes, sir, I did.
7 Q. Did you meet General Djordjevic?
8 A. Yes, sir, I did.
9 Q. When and how and what was the nature of that contact?
10 A. I met General Djordjevic on at least two occasions. The occasion
11 that I have the clearest recollection of was in, I think, 24, 25 October,
12 1998, in Belgrade, on the occasion of the talks that General Clark and
13 General Naumann from NATO came down to conduct and which led to the
14 so-called Belgrade agreement.
15 Q. Do you remember any other occasion?
16 A. Yes. I met General Djordjevic on one other occasion in Pristina.
17 It was very brief, and to be perfectly honest, I have no recollection of
18 the substance of that at all.
19 Q. What about Obrad Stefanovic?
20 A. I had contact with General Stefanovic.
21 Q. What can you recall about that?
22 A. I saw General Stefanovic both in Pristina and in Belgrade.
23 Q. And what was your understanding about his relationship vis-a-vis
24 General Lukic?
25 A. What I recollect is that when I arrived in Kosovo, and when I
1 first met General Lukic, my recollection is that he or somebody told me
2 that he, General Lukic, was replacing General Stefanovic as the Serbian
3 police chief in Kosovo; secondly, that General Lukic reported to Belgrade,
4 to General Stefanovic.
5 Q. And what was your understanding about the position of General
6 Djordjevic vis-a-vis Stefanovic and Lukic?
7 A. Well, General Djordjevic was head of the -- that part of the
8 Ministry of Internal Affairs that was responsible for public order, so he
9 was -- he was, if you will, General Stefanovic's and General Lukic's boss.
10 Q. Did you meet General Lukic's deputy in Kosovo?
11 A. Yes. I worked with Colonel - I can't remember his first name -
12 but his last name was Mijatovic.
13 Q. How often did you have dealings with him?
14 A. I had quite a few dealings with Colonel Mijatovic over time, in
15 part because General Lukic went to Belgrade once a week and Mijatovic
16 would step in and replace him; and then I recall that there was one period
17 of a week or so when General Lukic became, I understand, was quite ill and
18 stayed in Belgrade, and so Mijatovic was his replacement.
19 The other thing I remember about that relationship was that after
20 the October agreement, KDOMs were asked to try to see if we could work out
21 what I would call two cease fires in two places. They had been
22 traditionally very hot. One was the Malisevo area in central Kosovo and
23 the other was the area around Podujevo. I worked very closely with
24 Colonel Mijatvic in trying to accomplish something in the Malisevo area.
25 Q. Did you work with anybody on political side in connection with
1 that Malisevo effort?
2 A. Sir, to be honest, I can't remember.
3 Q. And were you aware of, in addition to just the regular police that
4 were part of the Ministry of the Interior, were you aware of any other
5 units or components of the MUP that you saw present in Kosovo?
6 A. Yes. The -- what were called the special police, the PJP, were
7 very, very much in evidence.
8 Q. And how did they differ from what I would refer to as the normal
9 or regular police?
10 A. There was a substantial difference, certainly organisationally and
11 structurally. The PJP were an organised light infantry. Basically, it
12 was an organised light infantry unit made up of young, fit, if you will,
13 soldiers or policemen. The PJP units were equipped with what I would call
14 light infantry weapons. They had -- and we saw this. We saw this in the
15 field. I saw this in the field. I'm not reporting simply what my teams
17 They were equipped with automatic rifles; light, certainly light
18 machine-guns; they had light armoured vehicles; scout cars; armoured
19 personnel carriers. They were effectively light infantry. If I may,
20 because I spent a great deal of my career in the Soviet Union, I would
21 compare them to the internal security troops that were organised and
22 operated under the Ministry of -- the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs.
23 The PJP was clearly an organised light infantry unit that could
24 backstop police in a situation where perhaps you had an insurgency or
25 something like that, but these were not your policemen who walked a beat
1 in a city or drove patrol cars in Belgrade or Novi Sad. They were to
2 respond, if you will, to crises.
3 Q. You said in part of your answer that you personally observed the
4 PJP in operations in the field in Kosovo. Can you tell us approximately
5 when and where that was?
6 A. I cannot frankly give you a date. I don't remember the date, but
7 I can still see the scene in my mind's eye. It was very good weather.
8 There were still crops in the field. What I saw probably occurred in
9 mid-or late September of 1998. I had chosen to go with a mission that day
10 that was going into an area where there had been a good deal of trouble,
11 and we turned south. We went west on the road from Pristina towards Pec
12 and Kijevo, which was a mixed Serbian-Albanian village. We turned south
13 towards Malisevo. And in the village, some several kilometres south of
14 Kijevo - and I don't remember the name of the village unfortunately - we
15 arrived as the village was being torched.
16 There were blue police buses and armoured cars and scout vehicles
17 there; police blue. They were not VJ, I'd like to stress. And I watched
18 as a number of these PJP officers, with their weapons, boarded the buses
19 and prepared to drive off. My team and I also watched PJP officers
20 emerging from the alley ways in the village. I need to stress this is
21 what I saw. I did not see a single PJP officer pull a trigger. I did not
22 see a PJP officer light a house on fire by whatever means, but there were
23 no Albanians. There were no Albanians about. They had fled and the
24 village was in flames.
25 Q. Did you see anybody fighting the flames?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. Who was with you on that occasion, if you recall?
3 A. I cannot -- it was -- I cannot recall. It was one of our teams.
4 It would have been -- there would have been two other Americans and at
5 least one interpreter-translator.
6 Q. Okay. That's one instance. Do you recall any other instance in
7 1998 where you were out in the field and saw PJP engaged in operations?
8 A. I saw PJP in the field on many occasions, but the occasion I just
9 recounted is the only occasion in which I saw what appeared to be PJP in
11 Q. In addition to that individual sighting, were you informed or
12 aware of other operations in 1998 by the PJP or the police, from your
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How often did that happen?
16 A. That -- we reported what we -- what our mission saw of this kind
17 of activity, unfortunately very, very regularly, during the period from my
18 arrival until the end of September of 1998. At that point, as I recall,
19 such -- there appeared to have been a stand-down on the part of the
20 Serbian security forces. Let me add here, for the Court, that the reports
21 that we submitted and reports that the EU KDOM submitted would contain
22 this information and those reports are publicly available. We ran an
23 unclassified operation.
24 Q. And, Mr. Byrnes, you said that this happened, I think, on a -- you
25 said very regularly you saw this kind of activity. What do you mean by
1 very regularly? Is that once a week, once a day?
2 A. Very regularly in that period, late August and September 1998, was
3 virtually every day.
4 Q. And was it always the police or only the police?
5 A. My missions reported if -- as I recall, my missions reported that
6 this only the police were involved. Our people on the ground, who saw,
7 particularly the consequences, the burning of villages, the destruction of
8 crops, the killing of farm animals, that sort of thing, only reported
9 seeing Serbian police in the area. Our clear impression, and I stress it,
10 our clear impression was the VJ was not involved in this kind of activity
11 during - let me add - during the time which I'm describing which is late
12 August and all of September 1998.
13 Q. After that, did there come a time where you began to see VJ in the
14 field in some manner, involved in this kind of activity?
15 A. I personally never saw VJ involved in this sort of activity;
16 however, I don't recall that any of my teams ever reported VJ involvement
17 in that kind of activity.
18 Q. Do you recall if your teams ever saw or reported any evidence of
19 use of heavy weapons like artillery or tanks, shell fire, of that kind?
20 A. Yes, we did.
21 Q. Okay. To your knowledge, did the MUP have that kind of equipment?
22 A. To the best of my knowledge, the Serbian police did not.
23 Q. To your knowledge, did the Albanian KLA have that kind of
25 A. You're talking -- sir, you're talking about heavy weapons.
1 Q. Heavy artillery or tanks?
2 A. To the best of my knowledge, the KLA did not possess such
4 Q. Okay. These activities that you observed personally and the ones
5 being observed by your team, did you bring these to the attention of any
6 of the Serb authorities?
7 A. That was my job, sir.
8 Q. Okay. And can you tell us how often you did that and by what
9 means you did it?
10 A. I brought this to the attention of particularly General Lukic, who
11 was my understanding was in charge of the Serbian police in Kosovo. I
12 brought such information, such reports, to General Lukic's attention
13 whenever we had this information. Sometimes I would make phone calls to
14 him. He was -- he was very accessible. I had his cell phone number, I
15 had his office number, and I would use it if it was necessary.
16 As I said earlier, we often met, and I mean often during this
17 period, often, every day. There were times when I saw him twice, three
18 times a day because of some problem. Yes, I brought it to his attention.
19 And on a couple of occasions, I brought it to Mr. Odalovic's attention. I
20 brought such things to Mr. Odalovic's attention.
21 Q. Okay. Did you bring it to the attention of any other Serb
22 authorities or was it only those two?
23 A. My recollection, sir, only those two.
24 Q. You mentioned --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not clear to me what it is we are talking
1 about here, what it is that you're saying was brought to Mr. Lukic's
2 attention. Can you help me on that? I know it's the use of heavy
3 weaponry; but in conflict situations, you inevitably get the use of heavy
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, what I'm addressing is something
6 broader, and perhaps I'm not answering your questions correctly.
7 MR. HANNIS:
8 Q. I understood it to be something broader, too, but please tell us
9 what your understanding was?
10 A. What I'm saying is that whenever we had reports from our missions
11 in the field of the burning of villages, destruction of personal property,
12 the -- on some instances the surrounding of Albanian civilians and the
13 efforts, clear efforts to intimidate Albanian civilians, or we would bring
14 such -- I would bring such information to General Lukic's attention. Is
15 that -- Your Honour, does that make things clearer?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: My misunderstanding. That is much clearer. Thank
17 you. Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
19 Q. So to be clear, Mr. Byrnes, it was not just instances of the use
20 of heavy artillery or heavy fire power that you were reporting, you were
21 also reporting instances where your people saw burning of villages and
22 burning of crops?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Did your people in the field also see what was happening to the
25 Albanian villagers in those villages?
1 A. Yes, sir, they did.
2 Q. And what was that?
3 A. Very simply, what we saw on, unfortunately too regular a basis,
4 was that Albanian villagers were being driven from their villages.
5 Q. Okay. And you reported that to General Lukic?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. What was the response when you provided this kind of information
8 to him? What did he say or do?
9 A. General Lukic -- as I recall, General Lukic's response was
10 generally that either this was not happening, or in some instances he
11 acknowledged that it was happening but it was in response to attacks from
12 those villages by KLA forces.
13 Q. Did you report to him the specific event that you had seen
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Okay. Did he deny that one happened?
17 A. Sir, I simply do not remember what his response was, to be honest.
18 Q. Okay. Among the events that you reported to him, do you recall
19 speaking to him about a specific event in connection with a sweep that the
20 MUP had done in September 1998 near the Pec area?
21 A. Yes. I recall several occasions on which we discussed ongoing
22 operations in the Pec area in September 1998.
23 Q. Do you recall what was happening with the civilians in that area
24 during that operation? Or during and after that operation?
25 A. If I -- yes, I do, and if I may provide some background?
1 Q. Please.
2 A. I unfortunately do not remember the exact dates but I do remember
3 that it was in the September time frame. The Serbian police had launched
4 an operation against a number of villages to the southeast of Pec, that
5 they believed harboured KLA forces. And in the course of those
6 operations, they drove from the villages those -- its residents, their
8 The international press got wind of the operation and provided
9 coverage of it, which apparently embarrassed Belgrade. The international
10 press focused particularly on the large number of displaced Albanians who
11 were forced with their families to live in the woods and fields and this
12 sort of thing. In response, the MUP sent forces to the area where these
13 people were gathered and effectively herded them home.
14 Q. And did you complain about this to General Lukic?
15 A. We did indeed. We complained about the way it was done. Many of
16 these people -- they were terrified. We had several teams, not one team,
17 we had several teams on the site and reported that unnecessary force was
18 being used by the police against some of the displaced Albanians. The
19 Albanians were terrified. They had no idea what was going to happen to
20 them, particularly if they were being herded on to MUP buses. And we
21 photographed much of what was going on.
22 Q. What would you say to the question about but weren't the police
23 trying to return the people to their homes?
24 A. That was General Lukic's response; this was a humanitarian
1 Q. But your complaint had to do with?
2 A. Our complaint had to do with the use of force against these people
3 and the way -- basically, the way it was being done. It was being --
4 fundamentally this was being done against their will.
5 Q. And what was his response to that?
6 A. This was a humanitarian operation.
7 Q. Now, I want to ask you about the events leading up to the creation
8 of the KVM. Could we bring up Exhibit P658? Mr. Byrnes on your screen in
9 a minute I hope you'll have a document. I think this is sometimes
10 referred to as the Geremek/Jovanovic agreement, or Branislav/Geremek
11 agreement, dated the 16th of October 1998. Can you see that on your
13 A. Yes, sir, I can.
14 Q. Have you seen it before, or are you familiar with its contents,
16 A. Yes, sir, I have.
17 Q. Okay. And is this the document that first set forth the
18 establishment of KVM?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. Subsequent to this agreement, did you participate in negotiations
21 at the White Palace in Belgrade on the 24th and 25th of October, 1998?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. How did you come to be a participant in those discussions?
24 A. I was present as part of the international delegation.
25 Q. Do you know who had set it up or arranged it?
1 A. Set up the talks?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. I believe General Clark had set them up with President Milosevic.
4 Q. And how did you get invited, Mr. Byrnes? Who invited you?
5 A. As I recall, Ambassador Holbrooke and General Clark invited me to
6 be there because they wanted somebody in the delegation who had had some
7 expertise on Kosovo.
8 Q. Okay. Do you recall how many participants there were at this
9 meeting, approximately?
10 A. What I -- I can't give you an exact number but there were quite a
11 few people around the table. I would guess we must have had 20 people
12 around that table.
13 Q. Twenty total or 20 on your side?
14 A. I would say 20 total.
15 Q. Can you recall who some of the participants were? First of all on
16 the Serb side, if you recall?
17 A. Well, in the Plenary, there were discussions on two issues, if I
19 Q. Sure.
20 A. One dealt with the VJ's role and responsibilities and the size of
21 its presence, I recall, in Kosovo, as a result of the Geremek/Jovanovic
22 agreement. The second set of talks dealt with the role and presence and
23 responsibilities of the Serbian police.
24 When the participants in both of these sets of talks met in
25 Plenary, we must have had 30 to 40 people. Now, to try to answer your
1 question, on our -- on the international side, General Clark was present;
2 a German general, General Naumann, who I believe was chairman of the NATO
3 military committee, was present; I was -- I was present; General Clark had
4 several aides present; General Naumann had at least an aide present.
5 On the Serbian side, the Plenary -- I recall the Plenary was
6 chaired by President Milutinovic, but my memory may be playing tricks on
7 me. The people -- the people I remember being present on the Serbian side
8 were General Perisic; General Dmitrijevic; I believe his name was; then
9 General Djordjevic; General Stefanovic; and General Lukic. I have a very
10 distinct memories of their being present. There were others but I either
11 didn't meet them or I can't remember their names. They were the
13 Q. After the Plenary Session where everybody attended, then did you
14 break into smaller groups?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And what group did you go off with?
17 A. General Clark asked me to sit on the group that dealt with the
18 police, the police responsibilities.
19 Q. And who else was in the police group from your side, the
20 international side?
21 A. There were several. The only one I really remember was General
22 Naumann. There were a couple of -- there were a couple of US military
23 officers from General Clark's staff. I think Colonel Atkins was one of
24 them, but my memory is blank.
25 Q. Okay. And on the Serb side, who attended the police discussions?
1 A. General Djordjevic chaired for the Serbian side. General
2 Stevantovic and General Lukic were present. There were several other
3 officers, but I -- I don't know who they were.
4 Q. During the discussions, did Djordjevic act independently or did he
5 ever consult, go out of the room, or go call someone to consult?
6 A. Yes, he did. I recall that General Djordjevic left the talks on a
7 number of occasions to -- we understood he was making phone calls.
8 Q. Do you know who he was talking to?
9 A. No, I do not.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, would this be a good time for our first
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Probably would, Mr. Hannis.
13 Mr. Byrnes, we have to break at certain intervals for various
14 reasons and now is one of these occasions. We will break for about 20
15 minutes so we'll resume about five minutes past 4.00; meanwhile, could you
16 go with the Court usher? He will show you where to wait.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Byrnes, when we broke, you had -- we had just talked about how
23 you'd gone off with the group to discuss the police matters. How long did
24 it take your group to reach an agreement?
25 A. Quite a long time.
1 Q. What was the sticking point for an agreement with the MUP, if
2 there was one in particular?
3 A. What I vaguely remember is sticking points had basically to deal
4 with definition of terms; what constituted check-points, what constituted
5 observation points, and that sort of thing.
6 Q. Okay. But you did eventually reach an agreement?
7 A. Yes, we did.
8 MR. HANNIS: And could we show the witness Exhibit P394? This is
9 in evidence already.
10 Q. Mr. Byrnes, I'll ask if you recognise what's about to come up on
11 your screen; not that one. I hope there is another one on the way.
12 That's the B/C/S and if we could have the English for you.
13 Do you recognise that document?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. What is that?
16 A. It's the document that was worked out during that one long day and
17 night of talks in Belgrade.
18 Q. Okay. And if we could scroll to the bottom or shrink to include
19 the signatures on the English version, is that your signature?
20 A. Yes, sir, it is.
21 Q. And General Djordjevic signed for the other side?
22 A. Yes, he did.
23 Q. How did you come to be the signer for the international side on
24 this particular agreement?
25 A. I believe that General Naumann, who actually negotiated the
1 agreement, asked me to sign it, and I think he did so because General
2 Naumann lived and worked in Brussels and I lived and worked in Pristina.
3 He felt that it made more sense to have a man who was there and could be
4 in a firsthand position to observe implementation.
5 Q. Okay. After you finally reached an agreement and signed it, what
6 did your group do next?
7 A. I believe that we went back into a Plenary, after which we went
8 to, I believe, it was the White Palace and President Milosevic hosted what
9 we Americans would call a brunch.
10 Q. Okay. And were you aware whether there had been an agreement
11 reached on the military side of the discussions?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 Q. Okay. Do you know who had participated for the internationals on
15 A. General Clark had, sir.
16 Q. And on the Serbian side of the military negotiations, do you know
17 who participated?
18 A. General Perisic and others but I don't --
19 Q. Okay. You mention I think before who the participants were, and I
20 think you said earlier that President Milutinovic was there. Was
21 Mr. Sainovic present?
22 A. I don't recall Mr. Sainovic being present.
23 Q. Okay. Could we show you the next exhibit? I see an objection.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. When
1 someone is being asked whether he was present, the proper question to be
2 put is who was present at the meeting; and then if the witness cannot
3 remember any one in particular, a name can be introduced. Otherwise, it
4 is a leading question, or perhaps Mr. Hannis can ask whether I was present
5 and I will have no objections. Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: In the context of a meeting where there were
8 perhaps 30 people present, and in the context where it's not a game show
9 memory test, there seems to us to be nothing wrong with asking the simple
10 straightforward question, "Was Mr. X there or not?" That is not, in this
11 context, what we would see to be a leading question and, therefore, we
12 will repel the objection and allow Mr. Hannis to proceed in that way.
13 It's already passed of course in relation to this particular part;
14 but unless we are in a situation where there is a genuine issue over the
15 recollection of the witness, that type of question does not seem
16 unreasonable to any of us, especially when that's confirmed by the
17 reasonable approach taken by the witness who says he doesn't recall.
18 So please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
20 Q. Next, Mr. Byrnes, I'd like to show you Exhibit P395. This is
21 entitled, "Record of meeting in Belgrade, 25 October, 1998." It will be
22 up on your screen in a minute.
23 Let me ask you, while it's coming up, did you have occasion to see
24 other documents that had been signed or created on that occasion, other
25 than the one you signed yourself?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Do you recognise this one that's on the screen now? And we can
3 scroll do you know if you need to see the top of it?
4 A. Yeah, I'd like to see.
5 To be perfectly frank, I don't remember seeing this. I probably
6 did but it's basically a protocolary document.
7 MR. HANNIS: And could we go to page 3 of this document of this
8 exhibit at paragraph 5.
9 Q. I'll ask you to take a look at that, and ask if you had seen that
10 portion of this document before or are familiar with the substance of that
12 A. Yes, I saw it and I'm familiar with the substance.
13 Q. Okay. And this sets forth some direction about what the VJ is
14 supposed to do under this agreement. Were you familiar with that
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 Q. Okay. And did you have occasion then after these October
18 agreements to be involved in monitoring or verifying whether or not that
19 provision was being complied with?
20 A. Yes, we did.
21 Q. Okay. Can you explain a little bit for the Court about this
22 provision and what area this covered in Kosovo?
23 A. Your Honour, by way of background, what this element of the
24 agreement was intended to do was, as it says, was get the VJ out of the
25 field and back into garrison. The underlying part of the underlying hope
1 was that this would permit or encourage Albanian displaced persons which
2 our reporting indicated, not only our reporting but that of International
3 Red Cross elements and UNHCR elements present in the field, indicated the
4 number of displaced persons was in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps
6 I don't remember the exact figure but it was quite substantial.
7 It was great concern on the part of the international community about what
8 would happen to these people. As they camped out on the hills, what would
9 happen to these people during the winter.
10 So this was in part to encourage -- to change the, if you will,
11 the environment there and encourage -- in the hope that people would
12 return home. Obviously, it was also intended to reduce the -- reduce the
13 possibility of further -- further conflict. As paragraph 5 lays out,
14 the -- General Clark and General Naumann understood that Belgrade had
15 certain imperatives, Kosovo was part of Serbia, and they were -- there
16 were several important lines, strategic lines of communication through the
17 province, and Belgrade needed to protect those.
18 Therefore, the VJ was -- it was agreed that the VJ would be
19 permitted to station, if you will, deploy, company-sized units, including
20 armour, as I recall, to protect -- to three different positions to protect
21 these strategic routes. If you look at paragraph 5 and look at a map,
22 you'll see that's precisely what General Naumann and General Clark, in
23 their negotiations with General Perisic and others, agreed to do. I hope
24 that's answering the question.
25 Q. It is. Can I ask you a follow-up question, Mr. Byrnes? Is there
1 some significance to lines of communication that are not included in this
2 list, if you understand? And in particular, I'm talking about the route
3 from Pristina through Podujevo into Serbia?
4 A. Yes. The lines of communication set out in paragraph 5, A, B and
5 C, are lines of communication inside Kosovo from -- basically, from the
6 capital of Kosovo, Pristina, to the other major cities which were of
7 strategic importance to Belgrade and of course to the Serbian security
8 forces. There was one other major and strategic line of communication and
9 that ran from Pristina north to the border, the Kosovo-Serbian border
10 near a place, a small city named Podujevo.
11 That two-lane asphalt highway then ran to Nis, which was the
12 headquarters of the Yugoslav army, to which the Pristina corps was
13 subordinate, and at Nis it connected with a major four-lane highway that
14 ran from Nis to Belgrade. This was -- there was also a parallel train
15 line to the highway, and it was on this highway that commercial and, of
16 course, military traffic would move.
17 There weren't really any other major strategic routes running from
18 Kosovo into Serbia proper, and, therefore, maintaining control of -- and
19 security of shall we say the Pristina-Podujevo-Nis road was of paramount
20 concern to Belgrade and, of course, to the VJ and the Serbian police
22 Q. So given its importance, do you have an understanding of why it
23 was not included among the three communication lines that the VJ was
24 permitted to deploy upon under the agreement?
25 A. I do not know the answer to the question. I did not participate
1 in this group.
2 Q. Okay. Subsequent to this agreement, and I guess before we move
3 on, the first page of it, as you indicated, was some sort of what you
4 described as a protocol page, but it reflects Mr. Sainovic and
5 Mr. Milutinovic having been present. Given that, does that refresh your
6 memory of whether Mr. Sainovic was there or not, or you still don't
8 A. I do not recollect.
9 Q. All right. Now, subsequent to this agreement, in December, do you
10 recall if there was an incident revolving around Podujevo?
11 A. Yes, there was.
12 Q. In connection with the terms of the agreement?
13 A. With the terms of what agreement?
14 Q. The agreement we were just looking at about where the VJ could
15 deploy, the three companies that were allowed to be outside the garrison.
16 A. Yes. Our understanding was that deployment of a VJ, PJP battle
17 group to the Podujevo area from the Marshal Tito barracks in Pristina was
18 a violation of the agreement that I see on my screen.
19 Q. And do you recall how that came to your attention?
20 A. We saw the -- we saw the units being deployed, and we and KVM
21 followed these units to their place of redeployment near -- east of
23 Q. Okay. And in your -- in your view, this was in violation of the
25 A. In my view, and in view of Ambassador Walker, chief of the KVM
1 mission, it was a violation.
2 Q. Did you personally or did KDOM or KVM bring this to the attention
3 of any of the Serb authorities?
4 A. I did not bring it to their attention personally because that was
5 no longer my responsibility. Ambassador Walker, as head of KVM, was the
6 principal international official. By the terms of the agreement, KVM --
7 it was KVM's responsibility to deal with the Serbian authorities on
8 this -- on the agreements across the board. Ambassador Walker or
9 certainly his operations chief, General Drewienkiewicz brought this to the
10 attention of the appropriate authorities in Pristina. That I know there
11 was a lot of discussion about this because this was a matter of
12 considerable concern. We considered it very serious violation.
13 Q. Okay. Do you know to whom attention it was brought?
14 A. I was not present. I know I was told. I would -- for the record,
15 let me say it was brought to the attention of the appropriate Serbian
16 authorities in Pristina. I assume that was General Pavkovic and General
17 Lukic because PJP units were involved in this, but I was not present at
18 those meetings and I, therefore, cannot confirm in honesty that these were
19 the people Walker or Drewienkiewicz -- I would add there was also one
20 other senior Serbian official who was a General Loncar that I know
21 Drewienkiewicz met with regularly on this kind of thing. It may have been
22 brought to Loncar's question, but an honest answer to your question is I
23 don't know.
24 Q. Okay. Do you know what the response was?
25 A. The response was that this was an exercise.
1 Q. Okay. And what was the significance of labelling it or calling it
2 an exercise, in terms of whether or not it's a violation of the agreement,
3 if you know?
4 A. I can only speculate as somebody who has done a lot of political
5 analysis in the course of their career. I can offer you what my own
6 judgement would be, but I don't know whether that's appropriate in the
8 Q. If the Court will allow it, I would be interested in hearing it
9 based on your experience.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is perhaps a bit narrower, though,
11 than simply looking for your analysis of what might have been behind that.
12 The question is confined to the context of the agreement. What was the
13 significance of labelling it or calling it an exercise, in terms of
14 whether or not it's a violation of the agreement?
15 Now, are you thinking of an answer that relates specifically to
16 this agreement and based on your understanding of the use of the
17 expression "exercise" and the way in which the agreement was reached, or
18 are you talking about or thinking about some general political theory?
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm even more confused now. I
21 JUDGE BONOMY: But you see, you started your answer by saying I
22 can only speculate, as someone who has done a lot of political analysis in
23 the course of their career. Now, that suggests you were going to give us
24 your views based on some sort of political analytical experience but not
25 necessarily specifically related to this agreement.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I was -- I was not present at the
2 meetings in which this was discussed by Walker and Drewienkiewicz or the
3 other members of their staff. I personally, as I said earlier, I
4 personally considered this a violation of the agreement. My personal
5 assessment at the time, and it holds still, is to call it an exercise was
6 simply an excuse so that it was -- it was a way of rejecting the OSCE
7 contention that this was a violation.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: But I think that Mr. Hannis's question was really
9 whether, if this was a genuine exercise, that would somehow or other be
10 permitted by the agreement. Is that the question, Mr. Hannis?
11 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, it was.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean, it may be interpreted as not a genuine
13 exercise. That's one matter. Let's assume it was. Would it be permitted
14 by the agreement?
15 THE WITNESS: Without, sir, without looking at the agreement, I
16 don't -- my recollection of the agreement is not so precise that I can
17 answer that question directly.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the sort of thing I understood he was asking
20 THE WITNESS: Okay.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: There are two matters I'd like to ask you myself.
22 The size of the battle group that you referred to, was it bigger or
23 similar to what was permitted under the agreement in the other three areas
24 or three routes, communication routes, that could be protected?
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, my recollection was it was similar in
1 size to the other three, the other three company size groups.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And, secondly, am I right in thinking that your
3 description of the fourth route that doesn't appear here is in line with
4 the location of this particular exercise?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS:
8 Q. And did the battle group that deployed on this occasion in the
9 area of Podujevo include armour elements?
10 A. Yes. Yes, sir, it did.
11 Q. And was there any conflict or fire-fight between the Serb
12 authorities and KLA on this occasion?
13 A. Yes, there was subsequently.
14 Q. All right. Okay. Let me move on to something else. The KVM,
15 when did it first begin to set up in Kosovo, approximately?
16 A. The advance elements, as I recall, arrived in very early November.
17 Q. And how was the transition intended to be accomplished or -- and
18 in actuality how did it take place between moving from having these three
19 KDOMs - US, EU, and Russian - into having one KVM? Can you describe that
21 A. We -- the KDOMs were to be generally absorbed by the new OSCE KVM
22 mission. The KDOMs were basically to become the core of the new KVM
23 mission which was going to be considerably larger than the three KDOMs
24 combined. So while the three KDOMs were to be the core, a large number of
25 additional personnel and vehicles and that sort of thing were going to be
1 brought into Kosovo.
2 Q. And during this transitional period, did you, the KDOMs, sort of
3 retain responsibility and in actuality were you the primary observers
4 during that transitional period?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Okay. Did that eventually take place? Did the KVM eventually
7 absorb all the KDOMs?
8 A. Yes. KVM eventually absorbed most of the personnel and resources
9 of the three KDOM elements, three national KDOM elements. However, the
10 European Union and the United States decided to retain small, if you will,
11 representation in Pristina, and so a limited number of staff and vehicles
12 were kept out of the KVM organisation.
13 Q. And do you know what the reason for that was?
14 A. I can only -- I can only speak to the American decision, and that
15 was made because our ambassador of Macedonia was also the special envoy
16 for Kosovo and was engaged in intensive negotiations in Kosovo with the
17 then Kosovo Albanian president, Rugova, and eventually with the -- with
18 representatives of the KLA. Washington felt it would be inappropriate to
19 task an international organisation, the OSCE, with supporting a
20 multilateral -- a separate multilateral diplomatic operation or mission
21 that -- that inherent in that was even potential conflict of interest.
22 And I should add here that the European Union had a special envoy
23 for Kosovo, Ambassador Wolfgang Petric. He was the Austrian ambassador to
24 Belgrade at the time. Petric and our ambassador, Christopher Hill, worked
25 very closely together on this. It was a partnership between the United
1 States and the European Union. Certainly Washington felt, as I said
2 earlier, that it would be inappropriate to ask a very large international
3 organisation to support this diplomacy. That was not their mission. So
4 we were a very small number. A very small bit of our mission was retained
5 to support Ambassador Hill's mission.
6 Q. Okay. And I take it you were part of that remaining contingent?
7 A. Yes, I was. And let me add, just for general knowledge, our
8 mission was also tasked to provide any support necessary that we were able
9 to provide to Ambassador Walker and his mission, and we did.
10 Q. And what sorts of things, then, did you do after -- after this --
11 after KVM was set up and you were now remaining as this much smaller
12 contingent to support Ambassador Hill's efforts? Did you continue to go
13 out in the field and watch what was happening?
14 A. Yes, we did. We went down from probably 300 officers to about 15
15 by mid-January of 1999. We had four or five armoured vehicles. We ran
16 missions in coordination with KVM into areas that seemed to be hot, and we
17 provided unclassified reporting to Washington and to Brussels and to our
18 mission in Belgrade, on the general situation on the ground, on the
19 humanitarian situation, and that sort of thing. That's what we did on a
20 daily basis.
21 Secondly, as I said earlier, we supported Ambassador Hill; and on
22 occasion with the EU KDOM, we supported the visits of Ambassador Petric to
23 Kosovo. And by support, I mean we would arrange meetings for them,
24 particularly with the KLA in the field. We would provide transportation
25 for them. We would provide interpreter services. I spent a lot of time
1 delivering messages from Ambassador Hill in Skopje to various KLA leaders
2 and even to President Rugova's entourage.
3 Q. Is that the sort of thing you continued to do up until the NATO
4 bombing started?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. When did you leave Kosovo before the NATO bombing?
7 A. I left Kosovo probably about -- it's sometime in late February, I
8 would say around the 25th, 26th of February. All the EU KDOM and US KDOM
9 were pulled out at that point. I had been at Rambouillet and I had been
10 at Paris. When we came back from Paris, which was the second part of the
11 Rambouillet conference, which failed to secure an agreement between both
12 parties, what was left of KDOM was redeployed from Pristina to Skopje.
13 And we would run missions from Skopje into Kosovo primarily to
14 meet with Albanian and both Rugova's group and the KLA leadership, to
15 support what was left of diplomacy, in an effort to head off a conflict
16 but we were out of there otherwise.
17 Q. After KVM had become fully set up and you were the smaller
18 contingent, how did you interact and coordinate with them in terms of what
19 you were going to do each day?
20 A. It was a transition process. We had much, much more contact with
21 KVM at the beginning. We needed to put them in touch with our contacts
22 both on the Albanian side and on the Serbian side, contacts in Pristina,
23 contacts in the field. We had to transfer vehicles and equipment to them
24 from our operations. We took them to our meetings; for example, I used to
25 take a couple of KVM officers to the daily meetings we had with General
1 Lukic, which were established after the Jovanovic/Geremek agreement was
3 And, of course, in the early stages, we worked very hard to
4 coordinate missions into the field because the resources were still short,
5 and there were many, many potential points of conflict. As we became
6 quite -- we in the U.K. Dom became quite small, such coordination became
7 less necessary, and as I recall we did it often just by radio. It was --
8 in fact, it was usually the case of a KVM headquarters calling us saying,
9 Something is going on some place. Do you have anybody out there that can
10 check? We don't. So if we had somebody in the neighbourhood, we would
11 run them out.
12 Q. You mentioned --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Byrnes, was the second stage of Rambouillet not
14 later than the 25th or 26th of February?
15 THE WITNESS: I thought it wound up -- it wound up before March.
16 That's my memory.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry.
18 THE WITNESS: My memory, Your Honour, is it wound up before March.
19 I don't have a precise date in front of me. I'm sorry.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, did you pull out following the failure of
21 these talks.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. You mentioned, Mr. Byrnes, being in Rambouillet and then in Paris.
1 Had you pull out of Kosovo before the Paris talks?
2 A. Yes. We pulled out of Kosovo once before, in the middle of
3 October of 1998.
4 Q. I'm sorry. What was that about? You pulled out of Kosovo?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's because, I think, Mr. Hannis, that I
6 certainly when I was talking about the second stage of Rambouillet, was
7 speaking of what you've referred to as Paris, and I think Mr. Byrnes's
8 answer is that it was following the final failure of the efforts to
9 resolve the matter, so that's the second stage in Paris that the mission
10 pulled out. You then asked the question if they had pulled out before,
11 and now you've heard that on one prefer occasion in October, which may or
12 may not have any relevance to what we are discussing, there was a pullout.
13 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. I was confused.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that correct? Is that a correct summary of the
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. And you told us then that you went back into Kosovo in July 1999,
20 after the conflict ended?
21 A. I arrived back in Kosovo mid-June, after the conflict.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Mr. Byrnes. I don't have any other
23 questions for you at this time.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. Now, I understand that the
25 letter of 12th April has now been relayed to the United States government
2 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The correct procedure for these communications, and
4 the same applies to requests that might ultimately lead to applications
5 under Rule 54 bis, is that the parties themselves should be submitting
6 these documents directly to the government in question. We can quite
7 understand your anxiety to make is sure that we are informed and to lodge
8 copies in some form here, probably by filing them with the Registry, but
9 it will cause delay and on occasions confusion if the communication is
10 not, in fact, sent direct to the government, and that seems to be what's
11 happened here, that there was delay at least and possibly a measure of
12 confusion caused by the procedure adopted.
13 However, we are beyond that stage now and want to look at reality.
14 Now, a quick glance at these five categories on which authority is sought
15 to cross-examine suggests to me that they will not all be easily resolved.
16 Can you assist, Mr. Hannis?
17 MR. HANNIS: I agree, Your Honour. I had a brief discussion with
18 Ms. Manning and Ms. Schildge. I would also indicate, Your Honour, that I
19 would have an objection as to relevance and foundation for some of these
20 topics because, unless there is some basis for this witness being asked
21 questions about those matters, I would say it's just a fishing expedition
22 and I would oppose it, but I --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Give me letters for these, Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, B, C, D, and E. I'm okay with A. Your
25 Honour, the witness would like to have a short break and step out to the
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Certainly. We can --
3 THE WITNESS: I'll be right back.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: -- we can manage without you for a moment.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be best if we were to ask the witness just
8 to remain outside the room briefly while we deal with what you say about
9 matters B to E.
10 Mr. Ivetic, Mr. Hannis raises the question of relevance and
11 foundation in relation to items B to E. It's easy to see why he raises
12 the matter, and I think for us to explore this properly would require to
13 you address it in more detail first of all.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Well, I'm a little surprised
15 insofar as Mr. Hannis in his questioning elicited information relating to
16 item B.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, item D?
18 MR. IVETIC: Item B. We just had information at page 48 on that
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I think there may be a difference between what is
21 said in D and --
22 MR. IVETIC: B, Your Honour, B as in boy.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, in B?
24 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what do you say in B is not covered by A?
1 MR. IVETIC: Well, A was meant to talk about official discussions
2 and B was meant to be informal or private messages. I don't know to what
3 extent the messages that the witness talked about in direct were official
4 contact or private contact, giving instructions on the KLA for how they
5 should act and giving the KLA information about how NATO was prepared to
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now that that door has been opened in any event by
8 the questions in examination-in-chief, which Mr. Hannis no doubt contends
9 they fall within A any way, why is A not sufficient for your purposes?
10 MR. IVETIC: Well, I think it would be sufficient for the purposes
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You think it will be?
13 MR. IVETIC: Yeah.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Can we deal then with C?
15 MR. IVETIC: Okay. That one was to follow-up on some information
16 we had, and we just wanted ask some basic questions. I didn't expect I
17 was going to elicit much information relative to this and, in fact, don't
18 have many questions prepared relative to this topic. We just want to find
19 out the extent to which that particular US agency was involved in Kosovo
20 and whether it had people on the ground in Kosovo, particularly with
21 respect to the KLA.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: The relevance of that to the issues in the trial?
23 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, it would establish that perhaps
24 some of the international observers that were on the ground that were
25 reporting had a different agenda or motive. You will recall we have had
1 evidence from some of the -- that came in through some of the KVM
2 witnesses about some of the differences of opinion among some of the
3 various staff members of the KVM and in particular some allegations of
4 misreporting, based upon different allegiances in particular to members of
5 the KVM this were of the American nationality and had been former US KDOM
6 personnel. So that might help bring the truth to light.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the area of the accuracy of the reporting of
8 the US KDOM staff is plainly an issue that you can explore, and putting
9 the name of the Central Intelligence Agency into your request adds
10 something that doesn't on the face of it have a relevance to issues in the
11 trial. The issue is the accuracy of how matters are dealt with.
12 Nationality may have something to do with it, but --
13 MR. IVETIC: Affiliation to that agency --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: -- how do you see references to that agency as
16 MR. IVETIC: We also had testimony from one witness - off the top
17 of my head, I can't remember - who indicated that in his opinion there
18 was, in Rambouillet and elsewhere, efforts by the American administration
19 to get rid of the Milosevic regime through any means possible, basically
20 that the peaceful efforts were sabotaged and the -- that particular agency
21 could be said to be dealing with those type of things.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
23 MR. IVETIC: Again, there would be very minimal examination on
25 JUDGE BONOMY: As far as D is concerned, you've heard more of
1 Mr. Byrnes's involvement in diplomatic and politically diplomatic matters
2 than you were privy to before today, I gather.
3 MR. IVETIC: That's correct.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: And D, I take it, would be restricted to relevant
6 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Service that might be relevant to the issues that
8 we are dealing with today --
9 MR. IVETIC: To the Balkans, correct.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: -- rather than his full personal dossier. Can it
11 be read subject to that qualification?
12 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what about E?
14 MR. IVETIC: E is more of a specific development of what was set
15 forth in C, so I think E and C could be combined to further specify
16 precisely the matters that would be sought for explanation, if the witness
17 even knows. If he doesn't know, it's going to be very short.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It sounds as though you don't have a foundation for
19 that --
20 MR. IVETIC: We have had one witness.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: -- in relation to this witness.
22 MR. IVETIC: Well, since this witness was the head of the US
23 mission, and we've had at least one witness who was deeply involved in the
24 negotiation process point the finger at the US administration and the US
25 officials for being the ones to try and sabotage the talks, I don't know
1 who else I should be asking the question to. This witness is here. If he
2 knows, he knows; if he doesn't, then I don't go any further with the
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So there are two questions really. One is did he
5 do anything to destabilise the government of Milosevic, and the second
6 question is does he know of anyone else who did that.
7 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Does he personally know?
9 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Now is there anything else you want to
11 say on any of these?
12 MR. IVETIC: No, Your Honour, I think that's it.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, if D and E are restricted in the way
14 suggested, do you maintain that there is no relevance?
15 MR. HANNIS: Yes, but with not as much vigour. The reason is,
16 Your Honour, I just have a general dissatisfaction with that kind of
17 questioning without some firm basis of some good faith foundation for
18 asking the question and the fact that there may have been some vague
19 allegation about CIA or efforts to destabilise. I don't think it's fair
20 to the witnesses.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm asking you about D and E at the moment. I'm
22 trying to steer clear of --
23 MR. HANNIS: Well, I guess I --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: -- vague references to -- not vague references, but
25 references to agencies whose role we are unlikely to be able to identify
1 specifically in the course of a trial such as this.
2 MR. HANNIS: You're right, Your Honour. I thought were you asking
3 about C and E because Mr. Ivetic had linked them.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No. I'm suggesting in relation to D, you've
5 already raised a number of matters about the service of Mr. Byrnes, all
6 relevant to the case; and if cross-examination is raised, it seems to me
7 not unreasonable. I know that that's a matter, material that they weren't
8 familiar with, but he certainly had no difficulty in dealing with your
10 And as far as E is concerned, the question is -- and you'll
11 understand why this question arises.
12 MR. HANNIS: I do.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is related to how well the US KDOM and
14 indeed the EU KDOM did merge into KVM and the extent to which they had
15 separate roles, and we've heard clearer indication today than before of
16 what happened and the reason for it happening. So there seem to be areas
17 there that might be explored.
18 MR. HANNIS: I agree.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, that -- and B really disappears because A is
20 wide enough to cover the issue subject obviously to control of the
21 questions, and that takes us back to C as being one on which I think we
22 would have to deliberate before we give you an indication of how we see
24 MR. HANNIS: Okay. So you don't need anything from me on C at the
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think so.
2 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, this discussion has helped to focus
5 attention on what may be the most important aspects of this for you, and I
6 think on certain elements of the request, which are in terms that would be
7 very unlikely to be granted, we can do no more at this stage than
8 endeavour to facilitate resolution of this, and we hope we've done that by
9 allowing parties to exchange more fully their views on the matter. You
10 may wish to consider, in the light of that, amending your request. It's a
11 matter for you. If you decide not to, then that, we understand, is the
12 position you take, and the US government would have to take a decision on
13 the terms of the letter as it stands.
14 On the other hand, if you feel that this discussion has assisted
15 in focusing issues more specifically and more helpfully, then you might
16 wish to amend the letter. We believe that to you. The trouble is you
17 don't have much time, if you want to have it dealt with and Mr. Byrnes
18 cross-examined, if that's permitted, at this time. I don't know what his
19 arrangements are because it looks as though we might have some time on our
20 hands and may be able to allow an adjournment for that without necessarily
21 requiring to bring him back at a later date.
22 MR. HANNIS: That may be possible, Your Honour. We would have to
23 check with him, but I should advise I saw my by an e-mail that we are now
24 scheduled to sit in the morning tomorrow instead of the afternoon.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Only if it's going to be convenient.
1 MR. HANNIS: In terms of seeking some information from the US
2 tonight --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. The reason for that was that my general or
4 our general understanding is that parties prefer mornings to afternoons
5 and because of events this morning, then the mornings are available this
6 week. But if you wish to adhere to the afternoon, then we shall. It's of
7 no particular importance to us.
8 If you think, Mr. Hannis, that tomorrow afternoon, if we sit
9 tomorrow afternoon, that's going to help, then we will do that.
10 MR. HANNIS: I think I'm getting a yes from over here.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, we will do that. It's unlikely
12 that. It is unlikely that the cross-examination will take the whole of
13 the day any way, so it's not likely to be a late finish. But Mr. Ivetic,
14 can we ask you to take a fairly quick decision, not to tell us, but a
15 quick decision on what you intend to do, and to communicate one way or the
16 other, but do not leave it unsaid, what your position is before we close
17 tonight, hopefully, so that there is some time at least for this to be
18 considered by the US government?
19 We can now have the witness back, please.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for your patience, Mr. Byrnes. We did
22 have an issue to try to resolve, and we have made progress on it.
23 Mr. O'Sullivan.
24 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, we'll follow the indictment, and I
25 have no questions.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I do, Your Honour, but I will be brief.
4 Q. Mr. Byrnes, it is not my intention to bother you, but I will try
5 to be as brief as possible. I appear on behalf of Mr. Sainovic. My name
6 is Toma Fila. I will pose a few questions but if you cannot recall
7 certain things, please tell us so.
8 The first thing I'm interested in is this: You mentioned Veljko
9 Odalovic. In this case, he will be brought by our Defence. I would like
10 to hear your opinion as to his credibility. In your view, was he
11 cooperative? Did you cooperate with him well? And what would be your
12 general assessment of that person, since he is an important witness for
14 A. Mr. Toma -- Mr. Fila, Veljko Odalovic was very cooperative. I
15 felt that we had a very good working relationship. He was always
16 accessible to me and to the other KDOMs, and there were several occasions
17 on which I went to him with very serious problems in the field and asked
18 for his help in getting a positive resolution to them.
19 And in my memory, on every -- in my memory, on every single of
20 these occasions, he was cooperative and responsive; and on at least
21 several instances, at least one instance in particular I recall, he
22 succeeded in getting -- in meeting my request, in getting the problem
24 Q. Thank you. When answering one of Mr. Hannis's questions, you said
25 that you were not informed as to the precise role of Sainovic. Were you
1 told this by His Excellency Mr. Miles or maybe Mr. Sainovic spoke of his
2 role? But I failed to understand, did you have any reliable information
3 as to the scope of his authority?
4 But before you answer, I wanted to show you a document.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It is a Defence document, 2D8, and it
6 keeps coming back, Your Honours. I'm fed up with it but there is nothing
7 else to do. Could we please have that on the screen?
8 When we are done with the trial, Your Honours, I will be -- I will
9 still be dreaming of this document.
10 Q. It is a document from the government of Yugoslavia, in which we
11 can see that pursuant to a decision by the Yugoslav government, the
12 federal commission for the cooperation with the OSCE mission was formed.
13 The president of the commission - now you can see it before you -
14 was the vice prime minister, Mr. Sainovic. The decision was signed by
15 Momir Bulatovic, who was the president of the federal government. Could
16 you please read items 2 and 3 -- actually, item 2? There, you can see the
17 scope of Mr. Sainovic's authority given to him by the Yugoslav government.
18 Further down, you see the members of the commission; Mr. Zivadin
19 Jovanovic, Pavle Bulatovic, then the Ministers of Defence and Foreign
20 Affairs, and so on and so forth. You will see that these are the top
21 officials of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time.
22 My question is this: Based on what you can see here, when you met
23 Sainovic and when you had a chance to talk to him, was he conducting his
24 duties? Was he going about his duties, the way as was envisaged by this
25 document and signed by the president of the commission --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: As the president of
2 the commission?
3 THE WITNESS: Yes.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. The following thing I wanted to ask you is this: We
6 have heard several witnesses here; for example, Mr. Philips, who confirmed
7 something that we found in certain documents but they are under seal;
8 therefore, I won't be specific here. He said that you felt safe in Kosovo
9 when in the presence of the MUP and the VJ and that you did not request
10 any additional security. Is that correct?
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: If I may, if Mr. Fila is going to be asking about
13 things that are in Mr. Philip's notes, those are under seal and the
14 substance, if we are going to discuss them, we should discuss in closed
15 session, because that was the order pursuant to our request for
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Then we don't understand each other.
18 It wasn't in Mr. Philip's notes, but rather in some other notes. I am
19 trying to stay out of private session.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The fact remains, Mr. Fila, that we are talking
21 about material which is under seal. You recognise that, so I presume
22 you're being careful to avoid disclosing anything publicly that is meant
23 to be protected. So proceed on that basis, please.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I wanted to ask you this: Did you feel safe in the presence of
1 the police and the army, and did you need any additional security? It is
2 a simple question.
3 A. The answer is yes, da.
4 Q. Thank you. The next question is this: In those meetings, and
5 based on your experience during your stay there, did you see
6 Mr. Sainovic's role as being of importance because, first and foremost, he
7 was an official who cooperated with you, and did you know what the system
8 of decision making was in place at the time within the federal government?
9 Did you have any knowledge of that?
10 MR. HANNIS: I object, Your Honour, that's compound. I'm not sure
11 which of three questions he wants to have answered.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Time for a break, I think.
13 Mr. Fila can sort out the order in which he wishes these various
14 questions answered during that break. This time, for half an hour,
15 Mr. Byrnes, so we'll resume at 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Byrnes, what do you know exactly about the functioning of the
21 Yugoslav state and government? Do you know what the decision system
22 looked like within the federal government and the government of Serbia?
23 Do you have any knowledge of that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. What is the extent of your knowledge?
1 A. Certainly, sir, not as great as yours but I think I had a basic
2 fundamental understanding of the basic decision making process, as
3 certainly as it was described on paper; you know, the organisation chart,
4 if you will.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you.
6 Would you agree with me if I said that Sainovic, in your meetings
7 with you, was cooperative, that he did not deliver propaganda or tirades
8 of sorts?
9 A. Yes. I would agree with you completely.
10 Q. Would you also agree with me if I said that Sainovic thought that
11 the situation in Kosovo should have been resolved by political means
12 providing for some sort of an autonomy for the province, which would be
13 established through negotiations with the mediation of the international
15 A. Mr. Fila, yes, I would agree with that; and if I may, let me add
16 that he and I had several discussions, general discussions, about this
17 issue. My clear impression, based on those discussions, was that he, as a
18 practical politician, sought to find a mutually acceptable political
19 solution to this problem and he was working in that direction.
20 Q. Would that include his attempt, when he asked you to try and
21 organise a meeting with the KLA leadership in Dragovlja, if you remember
23 A. Yes, it would.
24 Q. Did that show a clear intention on his part to negotiate with the
25 KLA so as to achieve the goals we've mentioned a minute ago?
1 A. I, Mr. Fila, understood his request as, in fact, an initiative on
2 his part to reach out to the KLA leadership in an effort to find some sort
3 of a solution; and if I may, I'd like to add that my recollection is that
4 his -- his question or request, if you will, about whether such a meeting
5 would be possible, whether I could arrange it, whether US government could
6 arrange it, whether he would be secure in an area that was in fact
7 controlled by the KLA, my recollection is that conversation occurred after
8 the successful release of the eight VJ soldiers taken by the KLA in
9 January and the subsequent release of nine KLA captured, I think, in
10 December by the VJ when they tried to cross the border from Albania into
12 I think, in the conversation, Mr. Sainovic even said something to
13 the effect that we had been successful in arranging this sort of -- this
14 sort of agreement, this sort of deal, if you will, perhaps we could use
15 that as a basis and expand it into something that had a broader political
17 Q. For example, to continue with prisoner exchanges, and he saw that
18 as an opportunity to calm the situation down and try to pave the way to
19 come up with a peaceful solution. Would you agree with me if I said that?
20 A. That I agree, and he actually posed the issue in those terms, as
21 you would say in Serbian, [B/C/S spoken]. He saw this as perhaps prisoner
22 exchanges could lead eventually to something bigger.
23 Q. Can you tell me this: The meeting he requested at Dragovlja, was
24 this on his own initiative, in your view?
25 A. Mr. Fila, I don't know the answer to that, and I, frankly, many
1 times posed the same question to myself. Was Mr. Sainovic, in this
2 particular regard, acting on his own or was he not? I don't know.
3 Q. Let us go to Rambouillet for a moment. At Rambouillet, were you
4 under the impression that Sainovic's approach was a flexible and a
5 constructive one, but that the work of the delegation was limited by
6 something back in Belgrade? How would you describe Sainovic at that time?
7 A. First, to be absolutely clear, at the Rambouillet conference, I
8 was only present for the first couple of days. I was then sent back to
9 Kosovo, and I had no contact with Mr. Sainovic at Rambouillet per se that
10 I can remember. At the second stage of those talks, the ones that took
11 place in Paris, I was present, and I did have a fair amount of contact --
12 I'd say some contact with Mr. Sainovic. We had several conversations.
13 And I remember distinctly on one occasion, when I was pushing
14 Mr. Sainovic to try to -- in order that the Serbian delegation be more
15 flexible, my basic point I recall was telling them that -- telling him,
16 who I knew well at that time, that the NATO threat of bombing Serbia was
17 not a bluff, that General Clark and NATO were absolutely serious about
18 this, and he needed to understand that.
19 And, secondly, if it came to that, at the end of the day, Serbia
20 was unlikely to get a better deal than what they were being offered at
21 Rambouillet. And as somebody who knew something about Serbia, I
22 recognised this was not a deal that was going to be welcomed by most of
23 the Serbian population, but we were dealing with a very difficult
24 political reality. And the options seemed either to be war and more loss
25 of life on everybody's side or a deal that most Serbs would not like, but
1 might preserve the peace, would reserve Kosovo's organic relationship with
2 Serbia proper, and would return Kosovo to the autonomy that Slobodan
3 Milosevic had stripped from it in 1989.
4 It would return it to the autonomy that the constitution of I
5 believe 1974 had awarded it. And I distinctly remember Mr. Sainovic
6 sitting there thoughtfully and finally responding to my question with
7 words something to the effect that he did not have the authority to be
8 that flexible, that there were too many constraints on him imposed by
9 Belgrade, and at the end of the day, there was nothing he could do in this
10 direction, whether he wanted to or not.
11 Q. In other words, you will agree with me that Sainovic did his very
12 best to be flexible, he himself, that is, but that obviously he was
13 constrained in that by the actual powers he had from Belgrade. Is that
14 what you were actually trying to say?
15 A. What I would say is, first, I was not in Mr. Sainovic's shoes. I
16 do not know, therefore, whether he did everything he possibly could. He
17 told me he did. Fundamentally, I trusted that. I trusted what he told
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Byrnes. Your
20 Honour, this concludes our cross-examination.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
22 Mr. Sepenuk.
23 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Sepenuk:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Byrnes. I'm Norman Sepenuk, and I'm an
1 attorney for General Ojdanic. I have very few questions for you and they
2 are about Podujevo. You testified that according to Prosecution Exhibit
3 395, which was what I'll call the Clark-Naumann agreement, paragraph 5
4 thereof. There were three areas where the VJ was allowed to deploy
5 forces, and the Pristina Podujevo area was not one of them; is that a fair
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And this agreement was signed on 25 October 1998. Can you cast
9 your mind back to October 25, 1998? Do you have any recollection as to
10 the extent, if any, of KLA activities in that area at that time?
11 A. My -- I very frankly don't have very -- a very clear recollections
12 of day-to-day activity. To be very frank, my clearest recollections are
13 of the crises itself. What I can honestly feel I can say is that that
14 area was a very troublesome one for KVM and for us. The KLA commander -
15 they called it the lap zone - the lap zone commander was very aggressive,
16 and my recollection is that he was constantly pushing the envelope, if you
18 I think KVM had an outstation in Podujevo and they worked very
19 hard to keep both sides apart and, if you will, everybody on the
20 reservation; in other words, they worked very hard to ensure that these
21 agreements were respected.
22 Q. So you are talking about Commander Remi, correct, the lap
23 commander, Remi?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. He was very aggressive and sort of intransigent, was he?
1 A. Commander Remi was a very aggressive and militarily very capable
3 Q. But getting back to my question: It's fair to say you don't have
4 any particular recollection as to the extent of KLA activity, if any,
5 during that period of October 25th, 1998?
6 A. The answer would basically be yes, I don't have any specific --
7 very specific recollection of KLA -- specific day-to-day KLA activity
9 Q. But I take it you do have a recollection that once these
10 agreements were signed, I'll call them the October agreements, that Serb
11 forces did vacate that area?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And not long after they vacated that area, at least coming into
14 December of 1998, it's also fair to say, isn't it, that the KLA just
15 occupied the areas vacated by the Serb forces?
16 A. The KLA occupied some areas that had been vacated by the Serb
17 forces, particularly areas to the west. I guess it would be the north
18 west of the Pristina-Podujevo road. Other areas they vacated, we -- I
19 spent personally a lot of time immediately after the October agreement in
20 the Podujevo area in an effort to persuade Remi and his commanders to pull
21 their units back, particularly from those areas where they posed, in
22 purely military terms, they posed a threat to the strategic
23 Pristina-Podujevo road.
24 Q. So when they moved back into those areas, they did indeed pose a
25 threat to that road, correct, sir?
1 A. From a military standpoint, that's correct.
2 Q. And I suppose from a civilian standpoint, too, wasn't it? I mean
3 civilians had to travel along that road, too, did they not?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. In addition to the threat posed to the military, their supply
6 lines and what not, were you also aware, I assume you were, were you also
7 aware of the fact that the KLA was essentially driving out most of the
8 Serbian population of the area?
9 A. We heard reports to that effect from the Serbian authorities,
10 particularly from the Serbian police.
11 Q. And how about from Mr. Veljko Odalovic. I take it you had fairly
12 frequent contact with him?
13 A. Indeed, I did.
14 Q. And did you ever talk to him about this rather serious problem of
15 KLA driving out Serbs from the area?
16 A. I know Mr. Odalovic and I talked at least in general terms about
17 that general problem across Kosovo. With specific regard to the Podujevo
18 area, what I'd like to point out that at the time, which we are
19 discussing, in other words, early December 1998, KDOM no longer had a
20 presence there. That was a KVM responsibility.
21 As I pointed out earlier, KVM had an outpost in Podujevo once they
22 patrolled the area, once they maintained contact with the Serbian
23 community, with the Albanians, with the police, with the KLA, et cetera,
24 so forth. Our knowledge and my personal knowledge of what was going on in
25 that area at the time derived from KVM.
1 Q. Okay. So you didn't -- you weren't sort of on the ground there
2 observing what was going on?
3 A. No, sir, we were not, again, at that particular point in time.
4 Q. But had you heard from either Mr. Odalovic or anybody else about
5 the plight of the civilians there in Podujevo, the Podujevo area?
6 A. I honestly don't have a recollection of hearing something
7 specifically about the plight of the Serbian civilians in that area. I
8 did hear a lot on that subject from Mr. Odalovic and from General Lukic;
9 and also, the Serbian police provided us on a daily basis with their own
10 reports of activity across Kosovo, and there would be information about
11 this particular -- the question you're asking in those reports. So I was
12 not unaware of it.
13 Q. So let me simply read one paragraph to see if I can refresh your
14 recollection, to see if this jibes with your recollection. It's
15 Prosecution Exhibit 414, it's dated 11 December 1998, and it's from two
16 gentlemen who are members of the Podujevo municipal assembly; the
17 executive committee chairman and the president. Did you know either one
18 of those, by the way, Mr. Srevlos Beseric [phoen] and Milovin Tomic? Did
19 you know either one of those gentlemen?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. Okay. But let me just read this one brief part, just to see if it
22 jibes with your recollection of what was going on. This is a letter again
23 December 11, 1998 from these two gentlemen who were part of the Podujevo
24 municipal assembly, and it was sent to a number of people. Aside from
25 Slobodan Milosevic, it was also sent to Veljko Odalovic the chief of the
1 Kosovo district, with whom you had fairly constant contact.
2 It says, "They," meaning the KLA - this is on page 2, "They" -- do
3 you ever that? "They have become so strong that in addition to marauding,
4 literally armed to the teeth with automatic rifles, hand-held rocket
5 launchers on their shoulders, necklaces of hand grenades, and cartridge
6 belts and the camouflage and black uniforms of what they call their
7 police, they come right up to the town, they encircle individual isolated
8 Serbian houses, carry out searches, mistreat people, and make threats and
9 give deadlines to people to move out from Podujevo municipality."
10 Does this jibe with your recollection of part of what was going on
11 in the Podujevo area during that period?
12 A. A technical point: I don't see that in the letter here, but yes,
13 it does jibe with my recollections.
14 Q. Okay. And that was on, by the way -- for the record, it was on
15 page 2 of that letter, Exhibit 414. You mentioned black uniforms. Does
16 that ring a bell with you, black uniforms?
17 A. I saw black uniforms when I was in Kosovo. I don't know
18 immediately in what context I was quoted mentioning that.
19 Q. Do you recall that the KLA secret police wore black uniforms and
20 can you -- can I refresh your recollection by just stating that and maybe
21 you can tell us a little bit more about what you knew about the KLA secret
22 police wearing these black uniforms?
23 A. I recall that the KLA -- I recall being told the KLA secret police
24 wore black uniforms, yes.
25 Q. And did you at one time describe them, you, Mr. Byrnes, describe
1 them as "sinister"?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And the unit was commanded by a gentleman named Geci, correct,
5 A. My understanding was that unit was commanded by a man named Sabit
6 [phoen] Geci.
7 Q. Yes. And as I understand it, you described Mr. Geci as ruthless,
8 responsible for the murder of Serbs and Albanians?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, these are getting questions into the
11 substance of material that is subject to the protective order. So if we
12 are going to continue to ask questions that draw from those matters for
13 which there is a protective order, then we should go into closed session.
14 MR. SEPENUK: That was my last question on it, Your Honour, and
15 that calls for a yes or no answer.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes or no to that?
17 THE WITNESS: The answer is yes.
18 MR. SEPENUK:
19 Q. Thank you. So with the KLA posing a very serious threat to the
20 military, as you've stated, and with the rather desperate and appalling
21 situation the civilians in Podujevo, don't you think there is at least
22 some reasonable basis to say that the actions of the VJ forces fell within
23 that part of the Clark-Naumann agreement which allowed Serb forces,
24 consistent with the right of self-defence, to respond adequately and
25 proportionately to any form of terrorist activity or violation of law
1 which could jeopardise the lives and safety of citizens and
2 representatives of the state authorities? Isn't there really a basis for
3 that, sir?
4 A. We recognised the right of the Serb security forces to defend
5 themselves and their citizens, yes.
6 Q. Thank you, sir.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Sepenuk.
8 Mr. Ackerman.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
10 Q. Good evening, Mr. Byrnes, my name is John Ackerman. I represent
11 General Pavkovic, and I think I have one and a half questions for you
13 I think with regard to your knowledge of General Pavkovic, what
14 you have said about him was that he was direct and professional, and at
15 one point you referred to him as a soldier's soldier who did not get
16 involved in lectures on Serb history or politics. Is that a fair
18 A. Yes, Mr. Ackerman, that's a fair statement. But let me point out
19 for the record I met General Pavkovic only once, but I stand by what I
21 Q. And with regard to the VJ, as you pretty much told us here today,
22 your view of the VJ was that it conducted itself both professionally and
23 honourably, both before and during the conflict; and, in fact, what you
24 said about the shelling that was done with the heavy weaponry of the VJ
25 was that it was not intended to cause casualties but more in the nature of
1 causing harassment or fear. Is that fair?
2 A. That's -- that's what I said for the record earlier, yes.
3 Q. All right. That's all I have. Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
5 Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know whether I
7 have one and a half questions, too, or is it two, perhaps, but let me ask
8 Mr. Byrnes, or rather, let me add something to what Mr. Ackerman said, and
9 also if we look at the notes that we got I'm really not going to use any
10 material that would make it incumbent on us to go into closed session.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
12 Q. But Mr. Byrnes, is it correct, and you confirmed just now, that as
13 you had quoted,, it was a fact that the army of Yugoslavia, even after the
14 NATO air strikes began, it behaved in a decent and professional manner and
15 that that is the information you got from the Albanians themselves, who
16 said that the army of Yugoslavia gave them food, water, that they helped
17 in many situations. Was that the case?
18 A. I received information from Kosovar Albanians who had worked for
19 us at KDOM as interpreters, drivers, and that sorts of thing, as well as
20 from some members of the Kosovar Albanian political elite who fled Kosovo
21 after the conflict began, to the effect that the Yugoslav army, when they
22 encountered them - they being the Albanian displaced persons - had treated
23 them with respect; and in one particular instance had even intervened to
24 save the lives of one of my interpreters and his colleague, who they
25 thought, they thought - and I stress that - were about to be executed by
1 apparent Serbian paramilitaries.
2 My speaking more broadly - and I stress this is not eye witness
3 experience; it's second, third hand - speaking more broadly, however, my
4 general impressions are that the Yugoslav army generally behaved
5 honourably and well, after the bombing started.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes. Another question. After the agreement
7 that we discussed here, is it also correct that as for the deployment of
8 the army of Yugoslavia and the units of the army of Yugoslavia, was it not
9 transparent and were there ever any problems in terms of supervising the
11 A. Let me say, before I answer that question directly, in my position
12 as head of KDOM, we had very little responsibility, after the signing of
13 the October agreement, to monitor specific Yugoslav military operations,
14 activities, and particularly the deployment and redeployment of forces as
15 directed by the October agreements. That task fell to KVM, and a British
16 military contingent headed by General Drewienkiewicz arrived very quickly
17 after the agreement was signed and to bring the military expertise
18 necessary to do that, and they did it.
19 That said, my general impression, based on what I heard from
20 Drewienkiewicz and his colleagues, was the deployments were transparent,
21 as you asked. Does that -- is that -- is that a clear answer to your
22 question? I mean, I want to be sure I'm clear on that, sir.
23 Q. Yes, Mr. Byrnes. Thank you very much. Just an additional
24 question: Do you know that KDOM carried out 30 verifications of the
25 weaponry of the army of Yugoslavia without a single objection raised in
1 the process?
2 A. I frankly don't remember the numbers, but I know that the military
3 members of KDOM - and KDOM was made up half of US diplomats and half of US
4 military officers - our military officers were seconded to KVM for these
5 verification missions and what you said is what I generally remember.
6 Q. Yes, precisely. It was my mistake. It was American KDOM that
7 actually carried out the inspections of these weapons.
8 I have just one question left. It's my last question. Actually,
9 I didn't even introduce myself to you at the very beginning, and it has to
10 do with General Lazarevic. You mentioned that you were never in contact
11 with General Lazarevic. Is it also correct that you stated, when you
12 talked to the investigators, that no one ever mentioned him in your
14 A. That is my recollection.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Byrnes.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
19 Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, we have gone through this more quickly
21 than I anticipated. I have sent the amended request to the Prosecutor's
22 Office and asked them to rely that to the representatives of the United
23 States. I'm wondering at this time, since it looks like I've been
24 rewriting my questions and culling through them and getting rid of some
25 questions that are no longer relevant, it looks like I should be able to
1 finish with this witness within 45 minutes to an hour.
2 Would it be more efficient to wait until we hear the response from
3 the US and finish with it in one fell swoop tomorrow?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No. I think it would be better to start now and
5 finish at 7.00 and see how you get on.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
7 MR. IVETIC: All right.
8 Q. Sir, first of all, my name is Dan Ivetic, and I'm one of the
9 attorneys representing Sreten Lukic in these proceedings. Again, I would
10 just stress that since we are speaking the same language, we need to have
11 a pause between questions and answers and try not to overlap, and I think
12 we can get through most of this fairly quickly.
13 Now, first of all, sir, I'd like to take you back to the formation
14 of the KVM and the interactions between the US KDOM and the KVM. Now,
15 during the time period when the KDOM was standing in for the KVM, I
16 presume that the KDOM received much information and documentation from the
17 Serb authorities, including the Serbian MUP; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, sir, it is.
19 Q. And once the KVM mission got up and running on its feet in Kosovo,
20 am I correct that the US KDOM provided the fledging KVM with all the
21 information and documents at its disposal that it had received previously
22 from the Serb authorities, including the Serbian MUP?
23 A. That's my recollection, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Now, we have heard some testimony from various -- I shall
25 strike that. I'm probably getting into an area that I'm not supposed to
1 yet without a decision. Now, if I can ask you about the KVM mission in
2 general, was it a problem with the KVM mission that it had a variety of
3 persons who are not specifically trained for the role that they were
4 undertaking; for instance, observers who had no police training being
5 verifiers for the police? Do you have that knowledge of the KVM mission?
6 A. I would say it's a very difficult question for me to answer. I
7 would try to answer it by saying my personnel that we set out didn't have
8 any special training for observing the police activities. I suppose if
9 the KVM personnel assigned had been policemen or had prior training,
10 perhaps they would have done a better job. I'm sorry. That's the best I
11 can do.
12 Q. Fair enough, sir. If I can ask you about an observation that I
13 believe you made in your interview with the Prosecutor's Office, am I
14 correct that your observation was that --
15 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. If he's going to be quoting
16 from the interview, then we should go into closed session.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: That's your intention, Mr. Ivetic?
18 MR. IVETIC: It wasn't to quote but the question can be construed
19 as a quote, so perhaps I should ask a different question so we can avoid
20 perhaps going into close session for a very minor point.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Try again and let's see what happens.
22 MR. IVETIC: All right.
23 Q. Mr. Byrnes, do you have any personal knowledge about the
24 reputations that General Drewienkiewicz, General DZ, and William Walker,
25 the heads of the KVM mission, had among the Serbs? That is to say, was
1 any information communicated to you about the general attitudes of people
2 dealing with General DZ and with Mr. Walker or Ambassador Walker?
3 A. Mr. Ivetic, does this question concern their reputations before
4 their arrival or afterwards?
5 Q. During the time period that they were assigned to part of the KVM.
6 A. I don't recall anything directly regarding the reputation of
7 General Drewienkiewicz; in other words, if I understand the -- correctly
8 what the Serbs thought of General Drewienkiewicz, what his reputation was
9 among Serbs. With regard to William Walker, I had the very distinct
10 impression that the Serbs considered him anti-Serb.
11 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Did you have any knowledge of either the KVM
12 or the KDOM having problems due to the quality issues with the translators
13 that were employed, the local language translators that were employed out
14 in the field?
15 A. I vaguely recall complaints or hearing complaints from our
16 colleagues in KVM on occasion about, I guess, the quality of the language
17 expertise of some of their local translators.
18 Q. Okay. And if I can ask you a related question: With respect to
19 your meetings, in particular, your meetings with General Lukic, am I
20 correct that for the most part, these meetings took place without the use
21 of an interpreter; that is to say, you conversed in the Serbian language
22 with General Lukic?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Okay. And before we move on to another topic, let me just ask you
25 to see if I can perhaps clarify your recollection: You had testified that
1 you met General Lukic at his office on or about the 13th of August 1998
2 when you were introduced by Ambassador Miles. Do you recall perhaps that
3 the first time you met General Lukic was in fact at the federal Ministry
4 of Foreign Affairs office and that Ambassador Miles indeed was not the
5 individual -- was not present, and that the issue upon your first meeting
6 with General Lukic was the security of the US KDOM personnel, discussions
7 regarding providing for the security of the US KDOM personnel? Is it
8 possible that you were perhaps mistaken, and does this refresh your
9 recollection as to when you first met General Lukic?
10 A. It does refresh my memory. I do remember meeting General Lukic in
11 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and I do remember that the discussion was
12 of KDOM security. I frankly don't remember the date, but it stands to
13 reason that that would have been one of the first meetings I had on
15 Q. Okay. Now, while we are on the topic of the Serbian MUP,
16 regarding the various agreements from October 1998 onwards, I believe the
17 so-called Geremek/Jovanovic agreement, in Article 1, Section 9, sets forth
18 that the FRY government will designate former liaison officers to work
19 with the verification mission. Do you recall if in fact the FRY
20 authorities, specifically the Serbian MUP, designated a former liaison
21 officer to work with the KVM in Pristina, specifically Colonel Mijatvic,
22 whom you mentioned previously?
23 A. That's consistent with my recollections, yes.
24 Q. And is it also consistent with your recollections that formal
25 liaison officials were set up on the part of the Serbian MUP also at the
1 local level; that is to say, at field locations based around the various
2 SUPs or Secretariats in the Kosovo/Metohija province?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. And you mentioned that you would receive written summaries from
5 the MUP, written daily reports from the MUP, about the situation out in
6 the field. Am I correct that the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs
7 continued sending such detailed reports to the US KDOM, simultaneously to
8 sending those same to the KVM; that is to say, even though KVM was on the
9 ground, KDOM remained apprised on a daily basis by the Serbian MUP of the
10 situation in the field?
11 A. To be very precise, I don't know whether they were sent
12 simultaneously, to US KDOM and KVM, but I confirm that MUP did send their
13 daily reports to us religiously.
14 Q. And can you also confirm that the various MUP liaison officers
15 maintained in daily regular contact with the liaison officers, both on the
16 KVM side and with the US KDOM side, giving access to information and
18 A. Mr. Ivetic, I cannot confirm that the various MUP liaison officers
19 maintained daily contact in the field with the -- at the SUP level with
20 the KVM liaison officers. I simply wasn't privy to that information, and
21 our unit was so small at that point that we could not possibly track that
22 sort of thing.
23 The second part of your question relates to liaison officers, MUP
24 liaison officers with US KDOM. After KVM stood up, the only -- what I
25 recall is the only frequent liaison we had with MUP was in Kosovo Polje
1 itself, and it was a very cooperative relationship.
2 Q. Okay. Now, in your testimony and during your direct examination,
3 you touched upon the PJP, and you said that these were not regular police
4 doing traffic stops, et cetera. We had multiple witnesses, including some
5 members or former members of the PJP, who testified that in fact they were
6 regular police officers who would be called upon in times of need or
7 emergency to provide supplemental or separate services, especially when
8 dealing with emergency situations.
9 Is -- does that refresh your recollection as to your statement
10 that the PJP were not regular police officers; that is to say, are you
11 aware of the fact that indeed the members of the PJP were regular police
12 officers who were tasked when called up as part of the PJP to deal with
13 emergent circumstances?
14 A. What you say makes sense. They clearly were members of the police
16 Q. Okay. Am I correct that you never saw any official documents at
17 the time when you were stationed as part of the US KDOM setting forth the
18 structure, particularly the command structure, of the Serbian MUP and the
19 duties of the various organs of the Serbian MUP, particularly the MUP
20 staff in Pristina?
21 A. I think -- I think, I'm correct in saying yes, but I would like to
22 add, and by official documents I mean official Serbian government
23 documents --
24 Q. Legislation, acts, et cetera?
25 A. I'm sure I've seen that stuff, whether I saw it down there or
1 not. But I can tell you General Lukic walked us through that at one point
2 so that we understood it.
3 Q. Okay. Now, you talked about the incident that you saw in a
4 village near Kijevo. I wasn't sure if it was Kijevo itself or another
5 subvillage, since you could not provide any further details for it. Am I
6 correct that you came after there had been a fierce battle between the
7 Serb forces and the KLA in that village or area?
8 A. For the record, the village is located several kilometres south of
9 Kijevo itself. I don't recall the name of it. I don't know whether there
10 had been a fierce battle there or not. I told you, and I told the Court
11 what I saw. We arrived at this village which was burning, and we saw PJP
12 forces there.
13 Q. Had you asked for such information from anyone present; i.e., had
14 you asked if any combat had just taken place prior -- at any time prior to
15 your arrival?
16 A. I don't remember, but I would like to add that when we encountered
17 the police in such situations, they were generally quite uncooperative
18 and -- let me replace that word. They were quite uncommunicative.
19 Q. Okay. With respect to -- with respect to the KLA, why don't we
20 move for a moment to the KLA. Isn't it a fact that the KLA was
21 continually active throughout Kosovo/Metohija from August 1998 onwards,
22 based upon your knowledge and information being on the ground there from
23 August 1998 onwards, for the time period that you were there?
24 A. The answer is yes.
25 Q. And is it also correct that with the October accords being entered
1 into, the provocative activities of the KLA actually increased? I'll ask
2 that as the first question and then I have a follow-up question.
3 A. Mr. Ivetic, how do you describe -- how do you define
5 Q. Let's not use provocative. Let's use armed activities of the KLA
6 increased after the signing of the October accords.
7 A. I would say that in certain sectors of Kosovo, the armed
8 activities of the KLA seemed to increase, and the sector I have in mind,
9 in particular mind, was Malisevo in central Kosovo in the period
10 immediately after the signing of the October agreements. In other sectors
11 for a time activities seemed to be reduced is what I remember, but it was
12 reduced on both sides.
13 Q. Okay. Now, we had some evidence led through witnesses and through
14 documents from the KVM that in fact following the signing of the October
15 accords, the KLA was responsible for a majority of the breaches of the
16 cease-fires. Does that comport to your recollection of the events on the
17 ground at that time?
18 A. What I remember was that we had problems with both sides, with
19 respect to breaches, with respect to fire-fights, and that sort of thing.
20 There were problems on both sides, and they were regional-specific. As I
21 pointed out earlier, we had more problems in the Malisevo area initially.
22 My deputy and I and the head of EU KDOM devoted an awful lot of
23 time and energy to that sector trying to calm things down. Other sectors
24 were quieter.
25 Q. Would it be fair to say that there was a significant KLA presence
1 in the Malisevo region?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. We heard testimony from a Commander Zyrapi here regarding the fact
4 that following the October accords, the KLA held more territory than it
5 had before. Does that comport to the information you had available to you
6 at the time?
7 A. Yes, it does.
8 Q. Okay. Commander Zyrapi also provided information that the KLA had
9 plans to move into the urban centres and begin to form groups to carry out
10 attacks within urban centres and big cities. Is that something that
11 comports to your knowledge and recollection of events on the ground during
12 that time period?
13 A. We at US KDOM did not have specific information indicating that
14 would happen, but there were rumours. There was hearsay, if you will,
15 circulating in Albanian society that that was going to happen, and we at
16 US KDOM and our counterparts at KVM, I can confirm, were deeply concerned
17 about that prospect.
18 Q. Do you recall --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I was going to ask if this was a suitable time to
20 interrupt you, but I won't stop you if this is related to this same
22 MR. IVETIC: I can do one more question, Your Honour. It won't
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. IVETIC:
1 Q. With respect to the information circulating in the Albanian
2 society, am I correct that one of the items of information that you
3 brought to General Lukic during one of your meetings was that
4 approximately 30.000 pieces of long arms; that is to say, long-barrelled
5 rifles, had been transported or smuggled across the border from Albania
6 into Kosovo and were now in the hands of the KLA?
7 A. I honestly have no recollection of such a conversation.
8 Q. Fair enough, sir. We'll take up then I guess tomorrow if Your
9 Honours wish.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
11 The afternoon is still your preference, Mr. Hannis, is it?
12 MR. HANNIS: I have no strong preference. I don't know if the
13 witness has a preference but --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: But you indicated that you were more likely to have
15 answers, I think.
16 MR. HANNIS: Well, given the time difference, I think it probably
17 doesn't make a difference. We'll get the answer before tomorrow morning
18 either way.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
20 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, depending on when I get the answer, if I
21 get it first thing in the morning, it may impede my ability to prepare
22 questions for it, but I can perhaps work with Mr. Hannis and get that
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's adhere to the arrangement for the
25 afternoon in that case and resume tomorrow at 2.15, same time as today.
1 Mr. Byrnes, overnight, it's important that you don't discuss your
2 evidence, either what you have said already or what you might say in
3 evidence in this case, with anyone at all. Please talk about other
4 things. I'm sure you'll be delighted to, and there is no restriction on
5 what you can talk about.
6 It looks as though we should be able to complete your evidence
7 tomorrow but nothing is guaranteed. So we'll see you at 2.15 tomorrow.
8 You can now leave the courtroom with the usher.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 17th day of April,
12 2007, at 2.15 p.m.