1 Wednesday, 13 February 2002
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honours. Yesterday, in relation to the earlier
8 part of the history generally, the Croatian indictment and part of the
9 Bosnian indictment, I set out the range of links that may be shown
10 connecting this accused to various crimes with which he is charged, and
11 shortly I'm going to return, although I hope in swifter form this morning
12 or in a swifter manner this morning, to those links that exist in relation
13 to the Bosnian indictment. But it may just be useful to pause for a
14 couple of minutes and to take stock of where we are.
15 The Court will remember yesterday in relation to the Croatian
16 indictment - if we could just put that one on the overhead projector again
17 - that I made the point that the declared independent areas that are
18 shown there -- except they're not coming up on my screen at the moment.
19 Are they on Your Honours' screen?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. NICE: I can proceed without them. But in relation to the
22 declared areas shown there, they would not have been doing what they did
23 simply to achieve independence unless there was something else to be
24 joined to. We pause to observe that if any area such as any one of these,
25 simply fearful of a state it distrusted chose to seek to protect itself,
1 there could be no complaint of that.
2 For example, I suppose, if we look forward, if the Kosovo
3 Albanians, concerned about a state they found threatening, simply
4 protected themselves without any insurgency which might give rise to
5 inquiries by the Office of the Prosecutor, for example, then there could
6 be no complaint about that.
7 But going back to Croatia, it wasn't a case simply of seeking to
8 establish independence, it was absolutely a case of seeking to be joined
9 to something else; namely, to Serbia. And if we just look and remind
10 ourselves that there is a gap between Western Slavonia and Eastern
11 Slavonia, the evidence will probably reveal to the Chamber that there
12 would have been a desire and effort to take that area as well but that it
13 was impossible. But more significantly, what about Eastern Slavonia? Was
14 this an area of Serb population majority? No, it wasn't. The reverse; it
15 was an area where they were in a minority, and yet it was an area that was
17 Can we now turn to the map in relation to Bosnia and look at it in
18 just a little bit more detail. My video -- ah, here it is. It's coming
19 up now.
20 The various marks that Your Honours can see surrounded in red or
21 blue indicate the municipalities as declared. The legend at the bottom
22 tells us that. And the Chamber will see that those declared
23 municipalities do not include all the areas to the east that adjoin
24 Serbia, and yet the Chamber will see that it is those eastern areas that
25 were subject to the most, sometimes the most extreme force of ethnic
1 cleansing and violence.
2 In both the case of the eastern parts of Bosnia and the eastern
3 parts of Croatia, when in due course it's possible to analyse from the
4 evidence the degree to which the crimes -- and in our respectful
5 submission, there is going to be no doubt but that the most serious crimes
6 were committed. When one looks to see to what degree the crimes were
7 committed for - committed by the JNA as opposed to being committed by, in
8 the case of Croatia, those who represented the declared municipalities in
9 relation to Bosnia, the army of Republika Srpska - we will find that there
10 was a heavy preponderance of military crime being committed coming from
11 the east, coming from Serbia, whether in the name of the JNA or the VJ or
12 whatever, coming from the east.
13 These --
14 JUDGE MAY: Let me see if I've got the point. Eastern Slavonia,
15 you make the point there was not a Serb majority.
16 MR. NICE: No.
17 JUDGE MAY: But are you making a similar point in relation to
18 Bosnia or is it a different point?
19 MR. NICE: Certainly. No, it's the same point but it's even more
21 JUDGE MAY: Which are the areas without the Serb majority?
22 MR. NICE: Can I take it you -- I'll hand it back. My machine
23 isn't working. If you run down -- if you look at the right-hand side of
24 the map, you'll see that areas of Zvornik, Bratunac, Srebrenica, and
25 Visegrad are not included as the Serbian Autonomous Districts or regions
1 defined by proclamation on the 21st of November. But as you -- and let me
2 explain the map a little more.
3 The areas surrounded in blue or red are, as the legend reveals,
4 the proclaimed Serbian Autonomous Districts. The areas shaded in grey are
5 those that feature in the indictment. So that these areas - Zvornik,
6 Bratunac, Srebrenica, and Visegrad - are not declared on the 21st of
7 November, no Serb majorities, subject of ethnic cleansing and other
8 dreadful crimes, as we've already heard; and the evidence will show in
9 both this case and also again in the case of Croatia that the eastern
10 regions were subject of a high percentage of direct military involvement
11 coming from Eastern Serbia.
12 And the point is perhaps obvious, in our respectful submission,
13 powerful. These regions in both states, Croatia and Bosnia, declaring
14 their autonomy or independence, weren't just doing it for themselves.
15 They were doing it in order to be joined to something else.
16 Was it purely fortuitous that they wanted to be joined to
17 something that was going to be headed by this accused, or was he, as we
18 say, for all the reasons already advanced, a party to precisely that plan?
19 The facts I have just summarised, of course, indicate powerfully that of
20 course he was a party to that plan. We heard yesterday of somebody
21 saying that he would become their leader in the event of joinder. Of
22 course he would.
23 Whether, in the room where things were discussed, it was a
24 question of "Do this" or, "Here's a problem," leaving its resolution to
25 the others tacitly agreed, whether it was a question of others bringing a
1 plan and his approving it matters not, for criminal culpability would
2 always follow. But the events and, of course, his failure ever to stop
3 the events show the culpability there was.
4 We've rather assumed, and perhaps unhelpfully to some of those
5 watching, we've rather assumed that everybody knows the map of Yugoslavia
6 from working in this place. We haven't actually put one on the overhead
7 projector, and perhaps at some stage we ought to do so, although the
8 overhead projector isn't the best vehicle really for seeing maps. But --
9 if I can move the microphone.
10 For those who are less familiar, what I'm saying is that the areas
11 here are the areas subject of this particular concern by the accused, we
12 would say, and others. The consequence of success in these areas in
13 joining up Slavonia with Western Slavonia, the consequences of success in
14 Bosnia would be, of course, to create an enormous area joined up and going
15 round under Serb control.
16 Your Honour, with that recap of yesterday's position, can I return
17 to where we were, but as I've indicated, having given the accused an
18 opportunity to know the categories of material, the natures of connections
19 upon which we rely, I will now attempt to move more swiftly.
20 We ended yesterday with the listed connections between the army of
21 the Republika Srpska and Serbia itself. It's necessary to mention one or
22 two other personalities, but very briefly. Some of them will recur
24 Jovica Stanisic was a man who was a close associate of this
25 accused, one of his closest. The man responsible for establishing special
1 operations units which became known as the Red Berets. He's a man whom we
2 must have in mind. He's a man who features not only at this early stage
3 but who features significantly in Kosovo when we find, so far as he is
4 concerned, something of a change of mind.
5 He, Stanisic, founder of the Red Berets, had close, very close
6 contacts with this accused.
7 Another man, Frenki Simatovic, referred to as chief of the unit
8 that was initially known as something else and then came to be known as
9 the Red Berets, a man who would often brag to his men of a direct line of
10 communication that he had with this accused through the
11 previously-mentioned Jovica Stanisic. We've got a picture of somebody
12 wearing a red beret. Next we'll just put on that to show what the Red
13 Berets look like. This isn't anybody in particular - it is to him, of
14 course - but it's a Red Beret uniform.
15 The man Simatovic supplied Arkan with ammunition and supplies and
16 had a close relationship with Arkan until 1994, when Arkan's Tigers were
17 incorporated into the ranks of the Red Berets. Further connections and
18 connections to this accused.
19 Simatovic used the Red Berets to help distribute weapons in both
20 Croatia and Bosnia. And putting the Red Berets and Perisic together very
21 briefly, there was a time when Perisic was Commander in Mostar when he
22 initially may have objected to the Red Berets being there because they
23 took orders directly from Belgrade. He was overruled on that eventually.
24 I'm not going to say more about Arkan. I dealt with him at some
25 length yesterday, save to say that on one occasion when Arkan was engaged
1 in training some trainees, he was overheard by a witness who will be
2 before you, to say this: "Those who will not cut throats, kill, maim, and
3 eliminate all those who dare to stand against the Serb state will be
4 killed." And in light of the general conduct of that man, it will be
5 evidenced, it may be thought a genuine rather than -- a genuine
6 protestation rather than mere bravado.
7 I've already dealt briefly with the Serbian Ministry of Defence.
8 I say very little more about it at the moment save to say this; that the
9 accused was instrumental in passing or having passed a Serbian law on
10 defence on the 18th of July of 1991, which placed the police and the
11 Territorial Defence under his personal control. And, and I think we've
12 now got Article 39 of the order that dealt with that. It reads as
13 follows: "In times of war or an immediate threat of war and emergency
14 situations, the Territorial Defence may be reinforced with volunteers
16 The significance of that may become apparent a little later.
17 Arkan had dealings with the Ministry of Defence as established by
18 this accused; further connections. The accused himself had very regular
19 contacts with that ministry and daily contact with the man General
20 Simovic, who was its head for a time.
21 The Bosnian MUP, another body of which you'll become aware in the
22 evidence, established early in 1992 when the authority of the republican
23 MUP was abolished.
24 There's another intercept which you'll hear of in due course, or
25 you'll hear in due course, between Karadzic and this accused where
1 Karadzic told the accused this: "The Muslims were simply heading towards
2 division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will carry out the establishment
3 of regions and set up our MUPs wherever we are in power."
4 It will not be possible, in our submission, for this accused to
5 say that silence is anything less than involved participation when these
6 material and important telephone intercepts become evidence in the case
7 for the MUP played a leading role in the takeover of municipalities and in
8 the persecution of the non-Serb population.
9 Another key to the takeover of Bosnia was the arming of local
10 Serbs, something again that we'll find repeated in Kosovo, showing a
11 constancy of behaviour. Thus, then, several more connections beyond those
12 that I referred to yesterday.
13 As to the crime or crime base, as we refer to it in these trials,
14 in Bosnia it wasn't anything other than a takeover of towns. It was not a
15 conflict, it was a takeover of towns and municipalities. How was it done?
16 Well, maybe a good illustration is to be found in what was said by
17 somebody, a party member from Bosanska Krupa regarding the takeover of
18 that town; a speech or contribution to the 16th Assembly of the Bosnian
19 Serb Assembly, where a Mr. Vjestica made these remarks, informing his
20 audience of the situation in the theatre of war in the municipality of
21 Bosanski Krupa. "What have we done," he said, "in this municipality? I
22 must tell you to remind you that all there is, only 24 per cent are Serbs
23 in the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa. That is 14.500 of us, and
24 there are 47.000 Muslims. For a year and a half, we have been preparing
25 for the war in the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa." So indicating
1 preparation back to the beginning of 1991.
2 "I ask a question now," he went on, "which I have the right to
3 ask: How could it happen that two-thirds of the town were taken in two
4 days of operation? On the right bank of the Una River, there are no more
5 Muslims. In the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa, all the enclaves
6 that were Rapusa --" and he lists them -- "we have evacuated them so there
7 will be none there for the duration of war operations. Will they have a
8 place to return to? I think it's unlikely after our President told us the
9 happy news that the right bank of the Una River was the border."
10 Well, how was it possible to take over a municipality when they
11 were outnumbered three to one? Because arms had been distributed to the
12 Serb population; because there had been extensive party leadership in the
13 planning; and of course because of the military action supported from
14 elsewhere that was available to them.
15 Let's turn to Bijeljina. We've seen where it is in the northeast
16 of Bosnia. Sixty per cent Serb, 31 per cent Muslim prior to the conflict,
17 although 70 per cent of Bijeljina town was itself Muslim. So this is in
18 the autonomous region, as declared, of Semberija.
19 One of the first targets, it would appear, of those masterminding
20 this operation, and it was Arkan who made, perhaps, his reputation there.
21 He'd been seen in the town frequently enough, familiarising himself with
22 the streets before the attack, an attack which involved the JNA as well as
23 Arkan's men. The JNA which had helped distribute arms in advance to local
24 Serbs. The JNA which provided no protection for the town when Arkan
25 attacked. It did free some of Arkan's men when they were trapped by
1 Muslims. And when Arkan had finished, the JNA moved in to secure the
3 A former policeman from this town will describe seeing Arkan there
4 as well as seeing others, including Mrs. Plavsic and a man called Fikret
5 Abdic. Plavsic and Arkan met on plainly familiar terms, and the witness
6 was given the responsibility of collect bodies. As a former policeman, he
7 had some experience the investigation of crimes, and the corpses scattered
8 around the town had, for the most part, died from gunshot wounds in the
9 mouth, temple, or the back of the head, none of them wearing uniforms, and
10 their number including women and children.
11 Coming down the Drina River and now to one of those places that I
12 referred to earlier, Zvornik. Attacked without any provocation by the
13 JNA, as well as paramilitaries. Shelled from positions within Serbia
14 proper. The subject of the attentions of Arkan as well.
15 Kozluk I don't think we have marked. An entire community of
16 Muslims from there, 1.800 in all, gathered up in the Kozluk settlement of
17 Visegrad, and of course the Court will remember how I described one part
18 of this event as my opening passage to Your Honours' Court. But what was
19 interesting is perhaps the ending of Visegrad shown in part on the
20 photograph on the ELMO. Those moved were forced to sign over their
21 property to local Serb leaders and then board buses for Serbia. What
22 happened to them in Serbia? Well, they were kept in a train yard for
23 several days while they were given Serbian passports. With the Serbian
24 passports, they were then transported over the Serbian border into Hungary
25 and Austria. Whose involvement and what level of authority does that
2 Bratunac. Again to the east, again not within one of the declared
3 autonomous districts. Sixty-four per cent Muslim, 34 per cent Serb.
4 Again the local Serbs had been armed in advance by the JNA. Indeed, the
5 JNA went further, as they did elsewhere; armed the Serbs and disarmed the
7 In late 1991, the JNA started installing artillery weapons and
8 mortars into positions facing the town. I go back to my earlier
9 observations this morning: Is this the justified protection by a
10 community of itself or is it entirely the reverse, as this accused well
12 In April, tanks were deployed on the Serbian side of the river
13 with their cannons facing the town, and the takeover began when the JNA
14 Novi Sad Corps moved in on the 16th of April, together with Arkan's Tigers
15 and two of the other groups to which we've referred, White Eagles and
16 Seselj's men, most of them wearing balaclavas.
17 Well, as I said yesterday, we keep ourselves detached, but it is
18 perhaps worth thinking what it must feel like to be in a town, to face
19 that sort of occupation, with consequences that can have been only too
20 easily forecast by the victims-to-be.
21 On the 9th of May, in the Glogova area of Bratunac, south of
22 Zvornik and along the Drina River, 65 Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
23 civilians were killed by members of that 1st Novi Sad Corps acting with
24 paramilitaries. Eight thousand people were expelled from the
25 municipality, and in January of 1993, six months after the JNA allegedly
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 withdrew from Bratunac, they returned to assist Bosnian Serbs when they
2 were in danger of losing the municipality again. And when they got
3 involved on this occasion, it was with tanks and rocket launchers,
4 companies of specialised troops.
5 General Mandic, of the Yugoslavian army, stated in an interview in
6 Belgrade's daily Politika that the presence was pursuant to a decree of
7 the Republic and the Supreme Council. The Chamber will recall that, of
8 course, the accused was a member of that Council.
9 Visegrad, again as referred to earlier: In the course of that
10 takeover, Muslims gathered from the town and surrounding settlements,
11 systematically searched, told what was coming their way by White Eagles
12 who were controlling the town. Then the awful incident I referred to
13 yesterday where women and children were burned to death. I needn't go
14 into that.
15 In June of the same year, in the same area, execution of
16 non-Serbs, including women and children, who were executed and thrown into
17 the Drina River. Summary executions followed.
18 A witness will be before you at about -- covering this period of
19 time, who overheard Radmila -- Radmilo Bogdanovic, a sometime Serbian
20 Minister of the Interior, arguing with the man Seselj in a hotel in
21 Bratunac about the takeover in Visegrad. This is what was overheard: "We
22 gave you money. We gave you men. We gave you weapons. We gave you
23 freedom to do whatever you want. What else do you want from us?" Seselj
24 replied to that former Serbian Minister that in the coming days the work
25 would be done in all the municipalities along the Drina River.
1 Being given freedom to do whatever you want, should that ever turn
2 out to be some form of excuse, is no excuse at all. It is the clearest
3 revelation of criminal complicity.
4 Prijedor. So well-known that -- to the Chamber, I expect, that I
5 need not mention much about it. Can we just look at the picture, please.
6 In the municipality of Prijedor, hundreds of non-Serb civilians
7 systematically killed in various places. A large number of killings
8 continued in various camps, including Omarska and Keraterm, throughout
10 Karadzic had given a forewarning of the brutality that was going
11 to characterise the campaign. In an order issued on the 22nd of
12 September, 1991, he said this of his own aspirations and of those whom he
13 led: "Should these just and aspirations of the Serbian people be opposed,
14 have no mercy; an eye for an eye."
15 Is the accused detached from that approach if it's an approach
16 that will be established in evidence? It may be thought not thus far by
17 the things that he's said in the hearings here.
18 Yes, we have a video of Prijedor camp. Just have a look at that,
19 please. It's the Trnopolje camp. Sorry.
20 [Videotape played]
21 "INTERVIEWER: It was the second camp, Trnopolje, where 2.000
22 refugees were living. We were not prepared for what we saw and heard
23 there. How long has he been here? Several hundred said that they'd
24 arrived from Omarska that morning or from another detention camp, released
25 to this refugee centre after days, sometimes months, of interrogation. We
1 asked if the allegations of beating in the detention centres were true.
2 "INTERVIEWEE: Can't say much about that. See people are hungry,
3 it's true. I'm not sure if I'm allowed about that. Can you understand
5 "INTERVIEWER: Tell us the truth.
6 "INTERVIEWEE: I'm afraid. 250.
7 "INTERVIEWER: Killed? What happened?"
8 MR. NICE: A pattern repeated elsewhere frequently, in far worse
9 circumstances and with many deaths, as we shall hear, resulting.
10 Sanski Most. Adjacent to Prijedor and Banja Luka. During the
11 takeover in 1992, a hundred non-Serb men brought to Sanski Most from the
12 Keraterm and Omarska camps in Prijedor and killed, detention centres
13 established, and a place to which Arkan returned as late as 1995, when he
14 had been incorporated into the Red Berets, taking the opportunity to kill
15 many Muslims in different locations.
16 Back to Northern Bosnia and the town of Brcko, critical for its
17 position as part of the corridor along the north, adjacent to Bijeljina.
18 It may not be shown on the map -- yes, there it is. Again, not actually
19 originally declared and, of course, a municipality that's had special
20 status since. A place where there was an execution of Bosnian Muslim
21 males at the Hotel Posavina on the 4th of May. And, of course, where
22 there was a Luka camp presided over, at one stage -- or not presided over,
23 the scene of the killings by a man called Jelisic who gave himself the
24 name of Serbian Adolph.
25 Interestingly enough, in that area and on the 20th of May, 1992,
1 the body of a man called Branislav Filipovic was found, apparently a
2 senior member of a paramilitary group. From his body, a number of
3 documents -- or not from his body but from the clothes he was wearing, a
4 number of documents were recovered. They included written authorisation
5 addressed to the JNA headquarters in Belgrade, authorising him to collect
6 weapons; a document stamped the 13th of May, 1992, with a JNA military
7 postcode from Belgrade; documentation that weapons had been delivered --
8 documenting that weapons had been delivered to the Brcko garrison; travel
9 records from a JNA vehicle; and also passes from Brcko and also from
10 Semberija, the declared municipality to the east, allowing him freedom of
11 movement. Well, what was he doing there with all those documents in the
12 absence of active involvement by Serbia in what was going on at this area
13 of Brcko?
14 A short reference to what was going on down in the south in
15 Herzegovina and near the Montenegro border: Significant loss of life
16 there in Foca and Djidevo and so on; the notorious KP Dom prison; in
17 Nevesinje, many Muslims killed.
18 Finally, I suppose, in reference to Bosanski Samac and Doboj, two
19 municipalities in the Northern Bosnia semi-autonomous district, names
20 well-known here. In the Crkvina camp in Bosanski Samac, 17 non-Serb
21 detainees killed on the 6th of May, the camp not being closed until 1992;
22 seventeen hundred people expelled; and a number of prisoners from Bosanski
23 Samac flown by helicopter into Serbia to a JNA military base of Batajnica,
24 just outside of Belgrade.
25 Well, a report of the VRS in 1993 discussed the results of the
1 takeover, said this: "It could hardly be simpler. Corridors were secured
2 to link Serbian territories with mother Serbia."
3 Your Honours, our case is, I hope, clear. Can I detach us from
4 the events on the ground to something slightly different? Because it
5 comes at the end of 1992 and can fit before I deal, as I must briefly,
6 with Sarajevo and Srebrenica.
7 It's a document that reflects the view of the Secretary of State
8 Eagleburger of the United States, and it may provide an interesting view
9 -- I'm sorry, it's not within your papers. My mistake. I'll get a copy
10 printed and provide it. I'll read it from the overhead projector to make
11 sure that it's legible.
12 "Secretary of State Eagleburger, on Wednesday -" this is December
13 the 16th, 1992, is the press release - "said that Serbian President
14 Slobodan Milosevic and the leader of Bosnian Serbs must answer 'in a court
15 of law, I would hope,' for atrocities committed by military and detention
16 camp commanders in shattered Yugoslavia."
17 It went on to dealing with the question of lifting of the embargo
18 and later said this: "The fact of the matter is that we know that crimes
19 against humanity have occurred, we know when and where they occurred. We
20 know, moreover, which forces committed those crimes, and under whose
21 command they operated."
22 Then later: "In short, Eagleburger said, Milosevic and Radovan
23 Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, 'have systematically flouted
24 agreements to which they had solemnly, and yet cynically, given their
1 And over the page: "Milosevic, Karadzic, General Ratko Mladic,
2 commander of Bosnian Serb military forces, 'must eventually explain
3 whether and how they sought to ensure, as they must under international
4 law, that their forces complied with international law.'"
5 Well, no doubt the accused will make further reference, as he had,
6 to what was to happen later. Dayton and so on. Well, this Tribunal is
7 only concerned, perhaps tangentially, with the workings of politics. Let
8 there be no doubt, first, this accused was already being identified,
9 well-identified for complicity; but second, and the point of irresistible
10 importance in this case, he was on notice from the highest authority of
11 his duty to comply with international law. It will be for the Chamber to
12 decide in due course whether he took any notice of that warning and others
13 like it at all.
14 Sarajevo. We've already seen, of course, what Karadzic said in
15 his six points about what should happen in Sarajevo. And in response to
16 what was happening in Northern Bosnia, the Bosnian President, Alija
17 Izetbegovic, issued a mobilisation call for the Bosnian Territorial
18 Defence. The Bosnian Serb leadership said they regarded this as an act of
19 war. And I have one picture here of a victim of what was to follow in the
20 awful events of Sarajevo. That declaration of war led to some changes in
21 the joint Presidency, particularly insofar as Plavsic was concerned.
22 The day after that declaration, the 5th of April, 1992, Serb
23 paramilitaries laid siege to their police academy in the southern part of
24 the city. Forces moved down from Vraca hill. And this town or city, a
25 clear and long standing example of integration of ethnic groups and
1 tolerance, a place where Muslims, Serbs, Croats, Yugoslavs, and Jews had
2 co-existed, indeed their places of worship cheek by jowl together in the
3 Old Town were subject to the following, as it may be described: The siege
4 of Sarajevo - for that's what it was popularly known as - was an episode,
5 it may be decided, of such notoriety in the conflict of the former
6 Yugoslavia that we must go back to World War II to find a parallel in
7 European history. Not since then had a professional army conducted a
8 campaign of unrelenting violence against the civilians of a European city
9 so to reduce them to a state of medieval deprivation in which they were in
10 constant fear of death. In the time period of this indictment, nowhere
11 safe for a Sarajevan, not at home, at school, in hospital to be free of
12 indiscriminate attack.
13 The civilians who chose to remain in Sarajevo, about 350.000 of
14 them, deliberately targeted by those forces of the VRS that encircled
15 Sarajevo. Through the actions of snipers, civilians were shot in their
16 homes as they watched television, drank coffee or prayed, shot outside
17 their homes as they crossed the street, cleared rubbish, collected wood
18 for heat, or fetched water, as they rode in buses or on trams.
19 In addition, shelling by the VRS, particularly through the use of
20 mortars specifically designed to kill and maim, targeted civilians that
21 queued to collect water at some of the wells, targeted groups of children
22 playing near residences, schools, hospitals, targeted funeral processions,
23 and, of course most notoriously it may be, crowded marketplaces.
24 We accept that our proof against this accused, certainly at this
25 stage, for complicity in these awful events is via his support for the
1 Republika Srpska and via his support for its army. We do not, of course,
2 exclude the possibility of being able to go further in due course.
3 Srebrenica, the safe area so declared until, on the 11th of July,
4 1995, troops of the Republika Srpska's VRS army and MUP troops under the
5 command of Mladic and others executed over 6.500 Bosnian Muslim men and
6 boys from the Srebrenica enclave. A picture of a mass grave. And that
7 was carried out over a five-day period by firing squads in the area south
8 of Zvornik that we've been looking at.
9 Bratunac. Fifteen hundred men and boys murdered in Bratunac
10 during this period of time in various villages, 5.000 men and boys
11 murdered in Zvornik. The largest single massacre in Europe since World
12 War II. The one distressing photograph we show, the important point
13 perhaps being what can be found around the man's head.
14 In addition to these matters, we expect -- we intend to lead
15 evidence in support of the indictment of extensive systematic plunder and
16 destruction of private property of those expelled, the intentional
17 destruction of mosques, historical and cultural institutions, churches and
18 other buildings; destruction carefully calculated to ensure that when the
19 conflict ended, those expelled had little, if anything, to which to
21 Again, as in the previous indictment, I do not need to relate that
22 which is publicly available in the listing of charges against this
24 As a post script and a further link back to Croatia, this small
25 detail: A witness before you will testify that as a member of the
1 military intelligence, he was aware in 1995 of the accused's intention to
2 stop supporting the Krajina and to allow it to fall back into the control
3 of Croatia. Well, whether his measure of control is exactly as
4 substantial as that, something the Prosecution assert, is, of course, for
5 the Tribunal to establish on all the evidence. But the witness can help
6 us further. He and thousands of other Serb refugees crossed into Serbia.
7 We looked, in 1993, at how this accused was prepared to treat his
8 own people when they did things he didn't like. How was he prepared to
9 treat these people? Did he welcome them back or did he use them for his
10 own purposes? They were prevented from leaving the highway by police
11 officers who funneled the fleeing Serbs down to Croatia where they could
12 affect the Serb populations in areas in a minority; all part of an overall
14 I turn to Kosovo. Can we have the Yugoslavian map up, please.
15 Kosovo's rather a small area, really, and it's being marked by Ms.
16 Graham on the map for us.
17 Under the ICTY Statute -- sorry. If I said they were funneled to
18 Croatia in relation to the previous witness, I should have said to Kosovo.
19 And I'm grateful for that.
20 Under the ICTY Statute covered in this indictment, offences
21 charged include crimes against humanity, deportations, transfers, murders,
22 persecution, and violations of the laws and customs of war, such as
24 I dealt yesterday with the overall statistics for Kosovo. A word
25 about its historical context, and we'll put on another map. Shows Kosovo
1 itself, bordered by Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, and so on, rather better.
2 It was one of the two autonomous provinces of the socialist
3 republic, as I explained yesterday, had its own Constitution, local
4 government, and police under that 1994 Constitution, and right up until
5 1989. It's been tested territory for much of its history, various claims
6 made about people's ancestors and so on.
7 It remained Ottoman or Turkish by rule until 1912 when it was
8 taken by Serbian and Montenegrin forces in the Balkan wars, then to be
9 occupied by the Austro-Hungarians in 1915. Serb troops returned in 1918
10 and Kosovo became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. In
11 the Second World War, it was again occupied by Bulgaria, Germany and
12 Italy, and at the end of the Second World War it was formally annexed to
13 Serbia. It's an area that's always been ethnically mixed, containing, of
14 course, Kosovo Albanians and Serbs but also many other groups, including
15 Turks, Roma, and some Croats, and some Bosniaks, and so on.
16 I played yesterday the -- or had played yesterday the Kosovo Polje
17 "No one should dare to beat you" video clip and also the 28th of June,
18 1989 speech.
19 Between 1989 and 1992, with its autonomy dismantled by Serbia and
20 with its provincial institutions being dissolved, it was effectively being
21 taken over by the Republic of Serbia, and Kosovo Albanians found
22 themselves dismissed from their institutions and jobs and businesses, the
23 majority of them state or socially owned. Discriminatory measures were
24 put in place, it may be thought clearly aimed at altering the ethnic
25 balance in Kosovo; the Serbs were able to come and take jobs, even when
1 they were not particularly qualified for them, getting housing and
2 benefits to lure them there. And indeed, there were the Serb refugees
3 sent there, as I eventually when correctly -- when corrected, reminded
5 I think we last picked up the history, and I'm going to deal with
6 the history as briefly as I can, but I must deal with Kosovo in some
7 detail. We picked up the history, I think, with the 7th of September 1990
8 declaration by the Assembly, the Kosovo Assembly of the Republic of
9 Kosovo. There was then, in 1991, an unofficial referendum where they
10 voted overwhelmingly for independence from Serbia. And in May 1992, they
11 held unofficial elections for an Assembly and a President of what they
12 called the Republic of Kosovo, a parallel government whose dominant
13 political attitude was non-violent resistance.
14 You heard yesterday, of course, of how not so very many years
15 earlier and following the death of Tito, there'd been the cry of Republika
16 Kosovo. That was something that had actually been heard before but we're
17 concerned with its occurrence here and in the relevant part of the history
18 that will drive conclusions in this case.
19 In the face of this legal, social, and economic Serbianisation of
20 Kosovo, the Serbian Assembly denounced its Albanianisation of Kosovo and
21 denounced that as the greatest ethnic cleansing in Europe, carried out, it
22 was said, with the goal of cutting Kosovo off from Serbia and Yugoslavia,
23 arguing at that time, in 1992, that there were many illegal immigrants
24 from Albania inhabiting Kosovo. How detached was it to take this view?
25 How detached from reality was it to take this view when ethnic cleansing
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 by Serbs was going on in Eastern Bosnia?
2 Well, we pass through those awful conflicts and come, of course,
3 to Dayton in 1995. The effectively non-violent Kosovo Albanians were
4 disappointed in Dayton. Some -- and I said how detached we must be in
5 this Tribunal from the world of politics. Some may have thought that, by
6 Dayton, some aspects of ethnic cleansing had been rewarded. That may have
7 affected the view that those Kosovo Albanians would hold as to the future
8 utility of a non-violent approach.
9 As we look at what was to come and the Dayton peace negotiations,
10 of which no doubt the accused will speak, it's worth reminding ourselves -
11 I needn't list them - that although President of Serbia and not until
12 much later President of Yugoslavia, it was this accused who the
13 politicians turned to between 1991 and 1995. The reason, it may be, as I
14 suggested yesterday, because he did have the power and it was hoped that
15 he was the person who was going to be able to deliver. It may be that he
16 was the person who impressed international negotiators with charm or even
17 seeming reasonableness and moderation, even if appearances were different
18 from what was revealed on the ground.
19 I think he told Your Honours at his initial appearance he should
20 be given credit for peace in Bosnia and not for war. Well, it may be that
21 by the time of Dayton he didn't want war any more, at least not at that
22 time, because peace meant securing for Bosnian Serbs about half of the
23 country that they had devastated. It would mean an end to sanctions that
24 were then in place and it would, of course, end the massive drain of the
25 Bosnian war machine.
1 The Chamber may remember my suggestion yesterday that the first
2 two battles are battles he could afford to win, at least afford for a time
3 until he could go no further. The last one was one he could not afford to
4 lose. But of course, whatever decisions the accused made in 1995 have no
5 effect on his involvement in what was done before if the evidence reveals
6 those to have been crimes. I've already made the point about Secretary of
7 State Eagleburger's view some years earlier.
8 I move on from Dayton because I'm concerned with its effect on the
9 Kosovo Albanians and on the history of what was happening in Kosovo, save
10 of course simply to say this: It would always have been possible, after
11 Dayton, for this accused to have reflected the position he's already
12 represented as being his to this Chamber and to bring to justice men such
13 as Sljivancanin, Mrksic, Mladic, and Arkan if he was sincere. You judge a
14 man, of course, sometimes for his sincerity not by what he says but by
15 what he does. Those men he gave a home and refuge in Serbia, rewarding
16 some of them with promotions and the access to great wealth.
17 Following Dayton, in September 1996, there was an agreement signed
18 by the accused and Ibrahim Rugova, the leader of the Kosovo Albanians, an
19 agreement that should have provided some of the educational rights that
20 had been taken away from the Albanians. Some hoped, actually, that the
21 agreement would be implemented, but it wasn't. But Rugova pursued the
22 non-violence strategy, even though he may have been having little success
23 and getting little for it.
24 So it was in the mid-1990s that a faction of Kosovo Albanians
25 organised a group that we know as the KLA, Kosovo Liberation Army, or UCK
1 in the language of the Kosovo Albanians. And this group advocated a
2 campaign of armed insurgency and violent resistance to the Serbian
3 authorities, and indeed in 1996, mid-1996, started launching attacks
4 primarily on Serbian police forces to which the Serbian police responded
5 forcefully against suspected KLA bases and against suspected supporters of
6 the KLA in Kosovo.
7 In 1996, back in Serbia, or in Serbia generally, the accused may
8 have felt himself under some pressure when local elections did not go his
9 way. This probably followed economic pressures or may have reflected some
10 entente between opposition parties. In any event, it led to the accused
11 having some difficulties between November 1996 and January 1997 with
12 demonstrations against him and so on.
13 The Serbian MUP was pressed to use force against demonstrators.
14 The man Stanisic, to whom I've already referred, resisted. Perisic also
15 signalled he was against the use of the army, and it may be that it's at
16 this time that we will see the beginnings of a rift between these two men
17 and the accused. If so, was he beginning to feel vulnerable? If so, does
18 that perhaps explain some of his subsequent conduct?
19 Although the Chamber will be concerned to establish particular
20 events and particular states of mind by hard evidence, it will inevitably
21 from time to time hear or become acquainted with views about the
22 motivation and driving forces of this accused, and it may be that at some
23 stage it will need to consider as a possibility that this was an accused,
24 a man who, when things were difficult, could find an advantage in, for
25 example, the chaos of war from which he would be subsequently, he hoped,
1 able to rebuild something and move on.
2 Well, if he was facing difficulties at home of one kind or another
3 and even the beginnings of dissent from those upon whom he had to rely,
4 was he reaching the stage where, as I suggested yesterday, the forecast
5 that Kosovo's turn would come was becoming an inevitability?
6 In June of 1997, in speech in Kosovo, the accused made it quite
7 plain that there was to be no international mediation for Kosovo, that it
8 was forever an integral part of Serbia.
9 Milosevic was elected as President of what was called the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia on the 15th of July of 1997, taking up office on
11 the 23rd of July. And we have another wiring diagram.
12 Now, this is slightly different from --
13 JUDGE MAY: Have you got this? We should have it, if not.
14 MR. NICE: I hope so, yes.
15 JUDGE MAY: It's the new bundle that you're going on to, is that
17 MR. NICE: It's the new bundle that was given yesterday, and I
18 hope it's towards of middle of that, I think. Oh, the third item. Thank
20 This is headed differently from the other two because, of course,
21 everything that happens in Kosovo definitely happens within Serbia. It's
22 headed, "De jure command, Yugoslav army, Serbian Ministry of Internal
23 Affairs." The top right-hand dotted line box represents the Supreme
24 Defence Council. We've heard of that before. I'm so sorry if people
25 haven't had these.
1 The accused, along with the presidents Djukanovic and Milutinovic,
2 respectively of Montenegro and Serbia, constituted the Supreme Defence
3 Council, and the precise functioning of this council will be a matter of
4 evidence but what it may come to is this; that the President, commanding
5 the army both in war and peace, acted pursuant to decisions made by the
6 council. How that took effect, of course, will depend on the individuals
7 and their true independence or otherwise of the accused, but in any event,
8 he remains - and he told us about this himself - Commander-in-Chief. And
9 we can see that, therefore, he had command of the General Staff, Colonel
10 General Ojdanic, the 3rd Army Colonel General Pavkovic, and then down
11 through them we come to the Pristina Corps and the Pristina military
13 Underneath the Supreme Defence Council but not connected to it on
14 this diagram is the President of Serbia, Milutinovic, with a connection,
15 and again a matter for evidence how direct, to the Ministry of Internal
16 Affairs, Stojiljkovic, and the MUP. From there, a number of divisions,
17 some of them simply fighting units. And if we come down on the left-hand
18 side through the State Security Division under Markovic, the Special
19 Operations Unit, JSO, under Simatovic was a fighting unit. If we come
20 down on the right-hand side under the Public Security Division of the RDB,
21 Djordjevic, the secretariats of internal affairs, the special police units
22 and the special anti-terrorist units, SUP, PJP, and SAJ, all fighting
24 The Prosecution's case is that whatever the technical division
25 under law may have been, in fact the accused had influence on all these
1 bodies, and it may well be effective control. But in any event, under the
2 law on defence, as commander of the army, he had the advantage of control
3 over all units in time of imminent threat of war or a state of war because
4 there was then subordination of the MUP to the VJ.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you concede that your diagram shows his
6 authority as being confined to specific units.
7 MR. NICE: I'm not conceding that his practical authority was
8 confined in any way. This is what the de jure position was in time of
9 peace. In time of war, the subordination of the MUP to the VJ, in any
10 event, so that he would have complete control at that time, and the
11 evidence may well reveal that he had effective control at all times of all
12 units in any event, but this is a diagram to take us forward in looking at
13 the legal position when we have it before us.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we'll await the evidence.
15 MR. NICE: Yes. Certainly. This is the legal position. And it's
16 in very short form. I hope, really, a useful way for the Chamber to start
17 its approach to matters of fact and law that it will have to analyse or
18 may have to analyse.
19 So in his position as President, thus in part his powers.
20 In 1987, August, student demonstrations at Pristina. In September
21 1987 --
22 JUDGE MAY: 1987?
23 MR. NICE: 1997. I'm sorry, Your Honour. Yes, of course, 1997.
24 September, the position didn't improve and there was further armed
25 activity by Kosovo Albanians.
1 In October 1997, the police breaking up non-violent student
2 demonstrations in Pristina. In October of 1997, we have the following
3 apparently sincere dialogue being opened up by the DB with representatives
4 of Kosovo Albanians. But further student demonstrations.
5 And in November, as we will hear from the very first witness in
6 this case, an approach made to leaders of the Kosovo Albanians by those on
7 behalf of the Serbian government where the possibility of Kosovo attaining
8 republic status within the federal Yugoslavia was raised.
9 The Belgrade side of this discussion, if we can so characterise
10 it, rejected that possibility out of hand, saying that if the Albanians
11 insisted on such a demand it meant war.
12 It was also explained at that meeting, as we will hear from the
13 witness, that there was a plan, a "scorched earth" plan that could be
14 implemented within 24 hours to destroy Albanian villages. And the witness
15 was told that the accused and the man Jovica Stanisic knew about the
16 meeting that was being conducted at that time, that it was a meeting with
18 A second such meeting occurred in December of 1997. On this
19 occasion, the witness, from whom we will hear, and Stanisic spoke
20 privately, Stanisic saying that there was a nationalist circle around
21 this accused that would go to war before accepting as a possibility a
22 Kosovo republic.
23 January 1998. The Chamber will, of course, remember that the
24 indictment for Kosovo doesn't start until 1999, but nevertheless, a little
25 of the background of 1998 must be sketched in.
1 In February, the conflict intensified between the KLA and the
2 forces of the Republic of Serbia. A number of Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo
3 Serbs were killed and wounded during this time. The forces of the
4 republic engaged sometimes in shelling Albanian towns and villages,
5 destroying property and expelling populations from areas in which the KLA
6 was or was thought to be active. And indeed the United Nations estimate
7 was that by mid-October of 1998, over 298.000 persons, about 15 per cent
8 of the population, had been internally displaced within Kosovo or had been
9 forced out of the province by what was happening.
10 As early as March of 1998, the Security Council, in its Resolution
11 1160, condemned the use of excessive force by Serbian police forces
12 against civilians and peaceful demonstrators in Kosovo and imposed an arms
13 embargo on the republic. Six months later, a further Resolution, 1119,
14 was passed, which said that the deterioration of the situation in Kosovo
15 constituted a threat to peace and security in the region and demanded
16 that all parties cease hostility and that the security forces used for
17 civilian repression be withdrawn.
18 It's pretty clear that as a result of what was happening the armed
19 insurgency was enjoying wider sympathy that had formerly been the case and
20 demonstrations supportive of an independent Kosovo, frequently large
21 demonstrations, took place.
22 A mention of a man we've heard before, Vojislav Seselj. In March
23 of this year, 1998, he became the Deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.
24 He, the Chamber will remember, President of the Serbian Radical Party,
25 founder of the Serbian Chetnik Movement, and a Deputy Prime Minister of
1 Serbia from this date until 2000 throughout the period of the war in
2 Kosovo. An outspoken advocate, I remind the Chamber, of the Greater
3 Serbia plan and an express approver of the notion of the ethnic cleansing
4 of the Kosovo.
5 Within Kosovo in 1998, there was one particular attack on the
6 family of Ahmeti in a compound in Likosan [phoen] or Likosane. Sixteen
7 people killed. Ten more killed on the following day.
8 I use the word "compound." There's one feature of Kosovo Albanian
9 life that distinguishes them from others. They live in, for the most
10 part, I think, multi-generational homes, many families or families,
11 extended families, in the same location, and their properties are
12 surrounded by substantial walls that make, quite genuinely and simply,
13 compounds. So when we use the word "compound," it's that we'll be
14 describing. I don't think we have a picture of a typical Kosovo Albanian
15 residence. We will probably find one during the course of the trial.
16 It's a singular feature of the place.
17 Between February 1998 and March of 1998, Perisic and Stanisic
18 suggested to this accused that he should conclude a deal with the leader
19 Rugova, but at the same time special MUP and anti-terrorist units were
20 being sent into Kosovo to deal with the KLA.
21 It was at about this time that the accused was heard to say or
22 said that the actual number of Kosovo Albanians was around 800.000. Does
23 the Chamber remember yesterday how I explained that because of a boycott
24 of the 1991 census estimates only are available of the true population of
25 Kosovo by groups at the material time? Because of that, you will have
1 evidence of demographers and so on to help you. But it may be that there
2 will be little doubt, in due course, but that the figures are radically
3 different from what was being suggested by the accused, this low figure of
5 Why did he say things like that? Why did he seek to persuade, if
6 that's what he was doing, that the population was as small, so far as the
7 Albanians were concerned, as he said? Was it because that's what he was
8 hoping would come about or was it in order to make less terrible the
9 presumption he was to take of trying to move the enormous population that
10 in due course he did try to move?
11 The point that he made to the witness I've referred to already was
12 something he made to others. And the Court may wonder whether there was
13 emerging in his mind an exit strategy, as it were, for Kosovo along the
14 lines of the exit strategy that had worked, in a sense, for Bosnia. By
15 the Dayton Agreement, the Serb part of Bosnia, as it had been, was still
16 almost wholly monoethnic in favour of the Serbs. He may have thought,
17 this accused, that blame had been forgotten. He may have thought that
18 whereas the decade of enticing Serbs to Kosovo, luring them there, had not
19 achieved the objective he had in mind that he could do again what he'd
20 done before and not be blamed for it.
21 Your Honour, I don't know if that's a convenient moment or if
22 that's too early.
23 JUDGE MAY: You'll finish before the next adjournment, I take it.
24 MR. NICE: I certainly hope so.
25 JUDGE MAY: And then we'll hear from Mr. Ryneveld.
1 MR. NICE: Mr. Ryneveld will help us a little bit about the crime
2 scenes and will save me that burden.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now until half past eleven.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in 1998, ahead of the indictment period,
8 of course, you will hear of a heavy attack on a compound of the Jashari
9 family where 54 people were killed. It's probably quite clear that there
10 were KLA members or a member or even criminals involved in that compound.
11 The excessive use of force, however, the death of women and children,
12 couldn't be justified or excused. We have a picture of the building. It
13 doesn't actually show the compound nature of the building very well. And
14 then, after that, we have a picture of those people who were killed there,
15 some of them, after they'd been laid out.
16 Next we have, or we will have, a letter or reference to a letter
17 sent by Perisic to the accused from a witness who was protected but whose
18 name has now been revealed to the accused, so he knows where it comes
19 from, explaining that his strategy in Kosovo was to produce casualties,
20 destroy villages and would lead to rebellion. It will be for the Chamber
21 to decide whether the account of this letter is accurate.
22 In April of 1998, the MUP and the VJ were bombarding buildings in
23 the location of Decani. The suggestion is they were ordered from the top,
24 despite the recommendation of the local commander for a surgical
25 intervention, to behave in the way they did.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The first witness to be called before us in a day or so's time met
2 the accused again in April of 1998. The accused spoke of terrorists he
3 was willing to annihilate. There was some negotiation about the position
4 of the Kosovo Albanians. The witness told the accused that what was
5 happening in this fight against terrorism involved attacks on innocent
6 civilians, women and children. So he was on notice, if he had no earlier
7 notice - we say of course he did - of what was being involved.
8 In May of 1998, a group of five Kosovo Albanians met with the
9 accused and his chef de cabinet. They discussed that attack on the
10 Jashari compound, saying it was a case of police brutality. Interestingly
11 enough, the accused - and this may make further relevance to this incident
12 - seemed very well-infomed as to that particular incident. He said it
13 was under investigation, said he had many problems. "I have many
14 nationalists around me," he said, "but we'll solve those problems," and
15 claimed to have full control of Kosovo.
16 We have evidence that there was the arming of the Serbian
17 population of Kosovo in preparation of what was to come. And there's a
18 document - I don't think we're going to produce it at the moment, unless
19 I'm mistaken - going to show quite clearly that weapons were to be
20 distributed to Serbians and the Montenegrin population.
21 In the spring or summer of 1998, there were heavy-handed
22 offensives against the KLA with the shelling of villages, paramilitary
23 shock troops being used, and there was, in June of 1998, the beginning of
24 some attacks on the village of Racak which features, of course, in the
25 history of Kosovo. It may be that there were KLA present there and that
1 that explained why Racak in particular was targeted.
2 In June of 1998, I have some exhibits. I have a document, an
3 order of the 125th Motorised Brigade, a ban on operations without the
4 knowledge and approval of the joint command. We can see that. The joint
5 command thus identified, and the document is dated the 7th of July, comes
6 into existence. Pursuant to the order of the joint command, strictly
7 confidential, number so-and-so, is the aim of increasing effectiveness in
8 performing assignments and so on.
9 Incidentally, I'm sorry that it's always impossible to go into all
10 these documents at length in an opening. To do that, the opening would
11 become far too long. But both was to documents and as to things like
12 speeches, what will matter in due course is the context in which
13 particular passages are placed by the Chamber when it has the document or
14 the exhibit as a whole.
15 But back to the joint command or the joint headquarters,
16 including, as we will discover, apart from the accused, Milutinovic and
17 others, including Pavkovic, Lukic, Sainovic, Stanisic and others. Was
18 this creation of the joint command a turning point and was it something
19 that was going to lead to the events of 1999? Was it a means, the joint
20 command, involving all these people, of circumventing any resistance to
21 the will of this accused or to smooth the way to what was to be unlawful
22 use of the army? Witnesses will speak of that before you.
23 One witness told the accused that the MUP was engaged in
24 operations - this is in the summer of 1998 - against the civilian
25 population. The accused denied it, said the only target was the KLA. But
1 -- and indeed he would continue to insist on that as his explanation.
2 Several witnesses will deal with that in due course and I needn't go into
3 that in any more detail.
4 On the 28th of July of 1998, Peter Ilic, head of the Pristina
5 Defence Administration, issued to all Kosovo municipalities, the joint
6 command for Kosovo, regulations for the defence of inhabited areas
7 including the separation of populations and the use of force by the army,
8 including artillery, support for the MUP, and so on. So plans were in
9 hand at that stage, including separation of the population, including use
10 of the army, to deal with points to come under the joint command for
12 And I move on, trying to save time. On the 24th of June of 1998,
13 still, of course, before the indictment period, a captain Srdjan Perovic
14 from the Pec MUP secretariat reported that during an operation called
15 Thunder, conducted in May and June, platoons of the 24th detachment of a
16 special police unit called the PJP had been subordinated to a body called
17 the JSO which was the body of Frenki's Boys, Frenki being a person we've
18 heard of before. Further recurring connections.
19 The same Captain Perovic also reports flatly that, during the
20 operation, no one "demolished, torched or looted facilities." Why, one
21 might ask, was it necessary to put such a thing in a report?
22 In July of 1998, heavy army and MUP assault on Dulje, Blace,
23 near Junik or in Junik, 30.000 Albanians fled. At the same time, at
24 widely spaced out places in the province of Kosovo, similar things were
25 happening. Suggestive, it may be, even at that stage of coordinated
2 Meanwhile, the arming of Serb civilians continued. We'll hear a
3 great deal of detail about that. And there was distribution of weapons in
4 Mitrovica. Some 7.400 weapons distributed to reserve police members in
5 Kosovska Mitrovica SUP area, which was several municipalities.
6 I'm going too fast. Thank you, and I apologise.
7 In August of 1998, the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission and
8 other diplomats found themselves involved. The army and the MUP often
9 denied freedom of movement to these international monitors and observers,
10 saying that they were denying them movement for their own safety.
11 Therefore, those observers were only ever able to verify shellings or
12 excesses after the event and/or from a distance. Nevertheless, the
13 Chamber may be left in no doubt from them that there were joint army and
14 MUP operations and the use of heavy artillery and tanks against villages
15 at this early stage, or comparatively early stage.
16 Paramilitaries presence was also confirmed, for example, in
17 Dubrava Prison and in a place called Istok. Dubrava Prison, a very large
18 prison in the north-west or thereabouts, north-west centre of the
19 province, is going to feature in the crime base evidence that you'll hear
20 in due course.
21 There was looting and burning going on, again attributed to the
22 MUP and to their special forces, the PJP, in the summer.
23 The accused, when told of these things, denied that there were any
24 such activities, denied that there was fleeing of the police. And when
25 told that there were Albanians crossing the border, he said that they were
1 just fabricating a story for some reason.
2 By the summer of 1998, 200.000 Kosovo Albanians had been expelled.
3 They were astray within Kosovo. They found refugee status, as it were, in
4 the towns and villages that were still under government control, huge
5 numbers staying in the open without shelter, for example, in areas held by
6 the KLA and so on. You'll hear about these displacements and dispersions
7 of individuals.
8 Where there was looting, and there was looting from time to time
9 in excesses against Kosovo Albanians, no intervention by the -- or no
10 satisfactory intervention by the MUP on their behalf.
11 In September of 1998, in Golubovac, some 14 Kosovo Albanians lined
12 up and shot, it may be that the Chamber will be satisfied by MUP special
14 In September of 1998, on the 28th of September, the Serbian Prime
15 Minister, Mirko Marjanovic, publicly stated that government forces had
16 regained unchallenged control of most of Kosovo and that the rebellion of
17 the KLA had largely failed. Peace had returned to Kosovo, he said.
18 However, of course, contemporaneous documents and other evidence reveals
19 to the contrary. And it reveals that the army, the territorial army, was
20 mobilising, that the MUP was calling up reserves, that there was a
21 vigorous effort that was creating tensions with the army reserve
22 mechanisms as both bodies were calling up the same people.
23 The Serbs were being armed, training was being provided, and peace
24 had not returned to Kosovo.
25 On the 29th of September of 1998, Paddy Ashdown told this accused
1 that his troops were violating the Geneva Conventions, and his exchange
2 will be of value to you, that witness having particular experience of his
3 own of relevance.
4 This led to the negotiations between US Ambassador Holbrooke and
5 the accused, involving NATO Generals Naumann and Clark. It's well known,
6 of course, that General Clark has detailed these events in his book, and
7 we'll be hearing from General Naumann, I trust.
8 But statements about Albanians by Milosevic it may be could be
9 characterised of dehumanisation of another group. Straight incitement to
10 ethnic cleansing. And General Naumann will further testify as to the
11 conduct of these negotiations, including that the accused's control
12 appeared to be not only of the VJ, of the army, but of the MUP as
13 well, for whom he appeared to speak. He will also speak of the role of
14 that Deputy Prime Minister Sainovic over both the army and the MUP.
15 In October of 1998, Stanisic was replaced by Markovic as head of
16 the state security of the Serbian MUP, one of several replacements of key
17 positions of the army and the MUP that the Chamber may be satisfied were
18 driven by the accused's need to remove voices of dissent to his policies
19 in Kosovo. A more forceful role for the army with the MUP in Kosovo may
20 have been required than that which the previous office-holders would have
21 approved of.
22 In the area of international politics, the accused was going
23 through the motions of political settlement. Domestically, he was
24 gathering around him persons who, as one witness will explain, were
25 prepared for a brutal resolution of the Kosovo question. Still the
1 documents tell the same story; ethnic division, ethnic mobilisation of one
2 part of society, disarming another.
3 We will hear further how the accused spoke at one stage of knowing
4 how to deal with the Albanians, that in a way that they'd been dealt with
5 in 1946. Albanians who he described as murderers and bandits, saying that
6 they could be killed although it would take -- how they had been handled
7 in 1946. "It had taken several years to kill them but we killed them
8 all." Some such quotation. Not quite clear what it refers to, but in
9 1946, there was a counter-insurgency in Kosovo, it appears, where there
10 was much destruction of Kosovo Albanian communities and villages.
11 And agree -- a component of the agreement between Holbrooke and
12 Milosevic was the agreement on the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission,
13 signed on the 16th of October by chairman of the OSCE Geremek and the
14 Foreign Affairs Minister Jovanovic for the Republic. This agreement,
15 together with an agreement between General Clark and General Naumann
16 signed by Sainovic and the MUP general, Djordjevic, together with a
17 further agreement between KDOM and MUP, provided for the partial
18 withdrawal of forces of the FRY and Serbia from Kosovo, and also provided
19 that there should be a limitation on additional forces and equipment into
20 the area with the deployment of unarmed OSCE verifiers.
21 At that stage, what was the presence of police in Kosovo? Very
22 considerable. And I will have a look at a picture of the police in due
23 course quite shortly.
24 In October of 1998, 14.500 uniformed police in Kosovo, plus
25 additional 2.000 on leave, some 4.500 of these police were from outside
1 Kosovo already. The numbers included special anti-terrorist units.
2 Ambassador -- the KVM mission included meetings where Milosevic
3 was told that -- I beg your pardon, where Milosevic explained that
4 Albanians were indeed less than 50 per cent of the population. I've dealt
5 with the potential significance of this type of observation before.
6 In October 1998, Perisic stated privately that the situation in
7 Kosovo was the result of one man's action. At a meeting in October 1998,
8 that same General Peresic, normally of a hard tone, was softened when he
9 was able to have a private conversation and able to explain that it was
10 obvious that NATO, if they wanted to, could destroy the army which he
11 wanted to save, saying it was the only democratic institution left in
12 Yugoslavia. He was not prepared for the army to be used for the type of
13 operation that may have been in mind for it. He made it clear that it was
14 the accused who had the authority to decide on agreement and no one else.
15 Tanks and artillery continued, however, to be used or to -- I beg
16 your pardon. At further meetings it was made quite clear to the Serbian
17 leadership that tanks and artillery in use against civilians and villages
18 was not acceptable and that if that wasn't accepted so far as the Serbians
19 were concerned, then NATO would act. The accused rejected all allegations
20 made, claiming that Serb forces were acting in accordance with the law.
21 On one view, it may be - and I've referred already to theories
22 that the Chamber may have to countenance and weigh - the accused was
23 getting exactly what he wanted; a war from which he could pick up the
24 pieces and move on. If this was his recurring strategy, then - and this
25 was a meeting that we'll hear was characterised by his nerves, by
1 nervousness rather than by his nerves - if he was nervous, then perhaps it
2 was because he knew he was about to take a risk, a risk with the lives of
3 other people, which he may not have regarded as highly as the risk that he
4 was taking in his own -- in respect of his own career. But in any event,
5 he rejected the suggestions made, rejected the reality of NATO
7 That joint command we referred to earlier features again in a
8 report on the 16th of October where it was said that there was a danger of
9 extremist Albanians importing cameras through the offices of the OSCE in
10 order, it said, to provide documentary evidence of alleged crimes and the
11 excess use of violence and repression by state organs against Albanian
12 civilians. Those writing that report were more concerned with the
13 reporting of excesses than the fact that excesses had occurred.
14 We then come to a meeting on the 24th and 25th of October
15 involving Naumann, the accused, and others where he was told that the
16 hammer was cocked and he was told of the shelling of villages by
17 artillery. The accused asked Perisic, who was still there, who denied it,
18 although that same Perisic privately appealed to others to try and settle
19 with the accused. The accused appeared to agree in principle, saying that
20 he had to negotiate further with others, but he then changed any
21 indication of agreement and never signed the agreement that it was open to
22 him at that stage to sign.
23 So that by October, the accused had control of the army, the
24 Federal Ministry of Defence, he had de facto control of the MUP. He
25 designated Sainovic, the federal Deputy Prime Minister and a long-time
1 ally as his representative in Kosovo, and he'd strengthened that position
2 by coordinating the MUP or having coordinated the MUP, the VJ, local
3 defence, Civil Defence, and other institutions on the ground by order of
4 the joint command headed by Sainovic.
5 Serbs and Montenegrins were being armed. Operations of the MUP
6 and the VJ were continuing.
7 A senior official of this very time was still able to see one of
8 the villages, a village called Makrmal, on fire immediately after an
9 attack by the MUP. The question in relation to such events always
10 arises: If this was just an attack on the KLA, why destroy a whole
12 The process of disarming the Kosovo Albanians continued, and we
13 have evidence of how they were forced to surrender their weapons.
14 In November, General Dimitrijevic told a witness called Crossland,
15 a military attache, that Perisic was visiting the army in Kosovo, telling
16 them not to react to provocations but that a man called Pavkovic might act
17 outside of the army command, and if he did so, it would be on the orders
18 of this accused via Sainovic. He admitted, indeed, that the army had
19 overstepped the mark that summer.
20 In November it was that the accused finally made the critical
21 replacements of key senior staff. Chief of Staff Perisic was replaced by
22 General Ojdanic. Closely linked was the replacement of General Samardzic
23 by General Pavkovic as the commander of the 3rd Army, and the subsequent
24 elevation of General Lazarevic to fill the post of commander of
25 the Pristina Corps left vacant by Pavkovic's promotion. And what we're
1 looking at is a picture of General Ojdanic.
2 Compliant commanders in Ojdanic and Pavkovic would be needed if
3 this accused was to -- was fully to engage the army and the MUP from the
4 attacks in Kosovo. Ojdanic had been seen, interestingly, at rallies of
5 that party that was associated with the accused's wife. Pavkovic was
6 present at SPS functions, the party of this accused both before and after
7 the war of 1999.
8 In November, the KVM deployed monitors in implementation of the
9 agreement between Holbrooke and the accused but violence continued.
10 As to the man Sainovic, he took an active role in negotiations
11 involving the OSCE, he participated in numerous other meetings, he acted
12 as the accused's liaison to Kosovo Albanians, he exercised control over
13 numerous individuals. He is a man of importance in the story that will
15 A snapshot: Late 1998 or early 1999, when told that a MUP officer
16 had been seen driving away with a trailer full of looted goods and that
17 other MUP officers were burning a village with gasoline, the accused
18 became agitated. He said this was unacceptable. He took responsibility.
19 He ordered somebody to have the unit that was said to have committed these
20 offences moved. An interesting reaction, but it may not be an uncommon
21 one. Much worse things were to come in Kosovo. Did he take
22 responsibility then? More significant, why just move the unit? Why not,
23 consistent with his duties, investigate, punish, and prevent recurrence?
24 January 1999: Scores of OSCE verifiers throughout Kosovo observe
25 the continuation of hostilities. During this period, verifiers documented
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 a number of killings of Kosovo Albanians, the most famous or notorious
2 being Racak. Small, a very small community, quite remote from the village
3 or town to which it is connected. One road in or one small road in,
4 possibly one small road out, a further road out.
5 What happened there in Racak in the municipality of Stimlje was
6 that it was shelled and the fleeing villagers were shot. Twenty-five men
7 found in a building were moved to a nearby hill and shot. Forty, in
8 total, were killed.
9 I said already it was clear that the KLA had been present in
10 Racak. It is also clear that there had been a killing of a policeman,
11 perhaps arguably by the KLA, for which this may have been a revenge
12 attack. The attack doesn't feature in the allegations reflected in the
13 indictment, nevertheless, it will be investigated, perhaps in the
14 evidence, for it had an important effect on what was to follow, and it may
15 be the Chamber will be quite satisfied this was a wholly unjustified
16 attack of the worst kind.
17 Yes. This is an acknowledgement in a document of the 15th of
18 January, 1999, from the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of
19 Serbia. It says this: "Overview of occurrences and developments and
20 activities: Starting at 0300 hours on the 15th of January, measures were
21 taken to seal off the village of Racak with a view to capturing and
22 destroying a terrorist group which, according to our information, had
23 committed several terrorist attacks with lethal consequences in the
24 territory of Urosevac SUP. At 0630 the village was completely encircled."
25 You've cut out the light.
1 "About --" and then a number is illegible -- "members of the
2 Albanian terrorists were liquidated." And it goes on, materially, "No
3 civilians were hurt during the execution of the operation."
4 Inaccurate and untrue. Intentionally so? A matter for the
5 Chamber to decide. Here are some of the pictures that reflect what was in
6 due course found.
7 A member of the MUP secretariat told a witness that he had indeed
8 been responsible for the attack on Racak, as that document, in a sense
9 we've looked at, would confirm.
10 Shortly after Racak, the accused told a senior policy witness that
11 investigations would show that, "Our people didn't do this." He seemed to
12 have a knowledge of the outcome before any investigation had done to the
13 same -- had been done. He said to the same witness, "Kosovo is more
14 important than my head."
15 General Naumann will explain how, on the 18th of January of 1999,
16 the accused was confident he could solve the Kosovo problem by military
17 means and in a short period of time. Milosevic had been told by now by
18 countless people and through many channels that the means he was using in
19 Kosovo were criminal, were resulting in widespread suffering amongst the
20 civilian population. His own staff were telling him he was generating
21 recruits for the KLA and weakening the moderate voices among Kosovo
23 He spoke of using military means. Did he have any other approach
24 in mind or was he simply anticipating the final resolution that was to
1 There was a third meeting between Naumann and others and this
2 accused on the 19th of January concerning Racak in particular. He was
3 given a list of incidents in which disproportionate force had been used.
4 He said he'd look into it.
5 On the 29th of January, 12 people were killed in the area of
6 Rugova Djakovica.
7 And we move on to February. Sainovic, along with the President of
8 Serbia, Milutinovic, were involved in the negotiations at Rambouillet.
9 Putting it very shortly, evidence may satisfy the Chamber that while the
10 world was holding its breath, there was a lack of sincerity in these
11 negotiations and that, in any event, those in Rambouillet didn't
12 have the authority without reference back to negotiate.
13 Some witnesses believe that some of those present on the Serb side
14 were trying conscientiously and that will all have to be taken into
15 account, as will the fact that Albanians were perhaps hesitant to sign.
16 The chamber will, if it decides this is an important matter to
17 investigate, will have to see things from all sides. The Prosecution's
18 invitation will be that there was a lack of sincerity.
19 While the peace negotiations were going on, the violence continued
20 and Serbia launched a series of offensives against many or several Kosovo
21 Albanian villages and towns.
22 Coming forward and on the 10th of March, the accused stated he
23 knew that if he hadn't signed in October, he could have cleared up the
24 problem in a week, meaning, no doubt, the KLA problem. He rejected
25 comparisons he was invited to make at that stage with Vietnam or
1 Afghanistan, saying of himself he knew how things should be done, he knew
2 how to do it.
3 On the 20th of March, the party majority on the Serb Assembly
4 rejected what was described as the Paris accord. The situation in Kosovo
5 was unchanged and that throughout the Rambouillet and Paris processes,
6 forces of the FRY and Serbia were massing on the borders. No one will
7 contest that Yugoslavia had a legitimate interest to defend itself against
8 an impending NATO air campaign. No one would contest that of course it
9 had a legitimate interest in preparing for combat against any armed
10 insurgency on its territory. But the accused had been told all that he
11 had been told and had said in reply that he had the intention to provide a
12 definitive resolution. And this was a resolution to use his military. He
13 couldn't help perhaps revealing his obsession with the demographic
14 balance. The Serbian population in Kosovo had been mobilised, as it were,
15 on his behalf and the majority Albanians disarmed.
16 May it be that the NATO campaign he brought upon himself provided
17 him with the opportunity to accomplish those goals while purporting to
18 defend his country.
19 One participant at Rambouillet, a member of the Serbian
20 delegation, was heard to say that if NATO falls, there will be a massacre
21 in Kosovo. Will be. They weren't, of course, the accused's words nor
22 were they true, in a sense, for the massacre effectively came before.
23 Even if there was no devious plan of the kind I summarise, as many
24 think, to lure external violence on Kosovo to justify pushing the
25 Albanians out, the doing of it when it happened is without excuse or
1 justification of any kind and would remain offences as described in this
3 Agreement was impossible, and in consequence and as a result, the
4 orange vehicles, the KVM monitors, pulled out of Kosovo; the NATO bombs,
5 as we know, began to fall. As they did so and even before, the forces of
6 FRY and Serbia began their systematic attacks against the Albanian
7 population of which we will hear in sufficient detail to equip the Chamber
8 by Mr. Ryneveld in due course.
9 At that stage, there was other evidence of the accused being
10 uninterested, apparently, in further discussion. And on the very eve of
11 the war, he made further personnel changes, replacing the head of the army
12 counter-intelligence, Dimitrijevic, General Farkas. And so it was on the
13 23rd of March he declared an imminent threat of war which had in law as
14 we've already seen the effect of subordinating the VJ -- the MUP to the
15 VJ. And on the 24th of March, the FRY Prime Minister who had made the
16 earlier declaration - not the President - declared a state of war.
17 The Prosecution's submission is that by this time, the decision
18 had been made pursuant to whatever earlier intentions or plan that the KLA
19 would be annihilated and that as promised, there would be substantial
20 depopulation of large parts of Kosovo of its Albanian population.
21 On the eve of the heightened conflict, of what were the forces
22 available to the accused comprised? Elements of the VJ's 3rd Army, the
23 52nd Corps, known as the Pristina Corps, several brigades, and also --
24 these are VJ soldiers that we're looking at. In addition, there were the
25 police forces taking part. I said earlier we'd just show you what police
1 forces looked like. This is just one picture of many. They were, of
2 course, armed units that to the uninitiated would look probably like an
3 army. And we'll see more pictures, then, in the course of the trial.
4 They're equipped with APCs, mortars, heavy machine-guns, having special
5 units with yet more powerful weaponry.
6 The totality of units, I think, includes military terrorist
7 units, civil defence units, reserve MUP units, as well as the armed Serb
8 civilians, all organised at the municipality level where necessary falling
9 within official chains of command.
10 Can we look, please, at Exhibits 19 and 20. Yes.
11 Your Honour, there is one very simple point that I desire to make
12 in relation to the matters that are going to be dealt with by
13 Mr. Ryneveld. And it can be dealt with by this map. I've got a larger
14 version of it. I don't know if it shows up on the screen or if you've got
15 a copy of it at hand. We have a larger version, but I'll have to try
16 and --
17 JUDGE MAY: We have a copy of it.
18 MR. NICE: I'm concerned really. I don't know whether if we look
19 at the -- if -- see if the camera can focus on this and if it's any better
20 than the small version on the ELMO. I don't know if that can be done.
21 See if it's preferable. It may be. Perhaps I can try it, and we'll see.
22 And if it doesn't work, the AV unit tell me. Thanks very much. And I'll
23 go back to the small version, which is a little bit too condensed.
24 A couple of things. The indictment in this case breaks the events
25 that were to follow down into deportation matters and killing matters.
1 That's really a breakdown that's for the purposes of the indictment rather
2 than necessarily reflecting any distinction of activities on the ground.
3 So when we see references to deportation sites and reference to killing
4 sites, it's not to say that they are entirely separable events. They're
5 obviously integrated. But that's the way it's been done.
6 As the -- as the Court will know, the Prosecution's case is that
7 so far as Kosovo is concerned, the principal objective may have been or
8 was deportation, removal of the population, to be achieved by whatever
9 means were necessary, and killing was, of course, one of them. Killing
10 people, you frighten the others into going.
11 The map that you have before you deals with the sites where
12 deportation is the principal apparent objective of those committing
13 offences, and the sites that appear as deportation sites thus in the
14 indictment. As I say, there's always an overlap and in nearly all
15 deportation sites there were killings.
16 However, we see here the sites with the dates on them of when the
17 deportation activity started. Starting at the top, 25th of March, 29th of
18 March; going around to Pristina, 24th of March; going down little
19 further, 24th of March; coming across, 25th of March, 27th of March; going
20 down, 24th, 25th of March; and then further down, 25th of March
22 Can there be any doubt from that simple coincidence of dates but
23 that what was happening was an overall and planned deportation and nothing
24 else? That's assuming the Chamber finds the evidence supports deportation
25 starting at those sites on those days.
1 This map also shows, with the little red marks at the borders, the
2 places through which people were deported.
3 The killing sites map, which is the other document you have - and
4 I'll put that up as well - shows a similar story. 26th of March at the
5 top, with other -- 24th of March at the bottom, 26th of March here, 25th
6 of March at Prizren, 25th of March further up at Djakovica, 26th of
7 March just above that.
8 And as I say, there is, in any event, a greater integration of
9 killing sites and deportation sites than the indictment itself might
10 suggest, the indictment, of course, also being constrained by the
11 inability to put everything in and having to be selective.
12 JUDGE MAY: So as far as the sites are concerned, presumably we
13 can look at both types of site under the same heading.
14 MR. NICE: Yes, indeed.
15 JUDGE MAY: And we need to be looking at the sites, rather than
16 the particular categories which they pertain to.
17 MR. NICE: Yes. And indeed -- absolutely so, Your Honour. Indeed
18 in most deportation sites there will be killings as well, the significance
19 of which it may be all too obvious that the killing itself was part of the
20 pre-plan. The question arises: Was it just a natural incident of forces
21 sent to deport people that they will kill, or is it something that they do
22 because it was required of them?
23 And then one other part and one other point only -- because the
24 case can in a sense be dealt with in the most elementary way quite
25 properly in looking for the underlying intent of what was being -- what
1 was being done. The significance of the fact that everybody had their
2 identification papers taken away at the border, is that accidental or
3 intentional? If it was being done intentionally, was it a plan? What had
4 that plan got to do with NATO, as the accused would ask you to believe.
5 So with those merely prefatory remarks, I'll turn from the
6 crime base which -- I may make one or two observations in the course of
7 what's left of my address, but I'll leave the rest of that to
8 Mr. Ryneveld.
9 But the case is extremely simple. Of course the accused got away
10 with so much in the past maybe, but he thought he could get away with
12 We say, looking at it as it were from the top still, when you see
13 all the connections that can be established both in law and in fact, what
14 was being done was a coordinated effort by leaders of the republic and of
15 Serbia with their forces acting in concert. These were actions similar in
16 nature to what had happened in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina where
17 Serbian military and paramilitary forces had forcibly expelled and
18 deported non-Serbs from areas under Serbian control.
19 The evidence and an expert analysis of it in due course will show
20 that the army and the MUP operations correlate strongly with -- as
21 between deportations and killings. I've dealt with that already and why
22 it isn't just a coincidence. It's part of a plan.
23 The operations by the republic and by Serbian armed forces
24 happened in responsibility -- in the areas of responsibility of different
25 army brigades, different MUP stations, different zones of local
1 administration in a coordinated way. And such an operation involving
2 several different organisations under the threat of NATO bombing required
3 a high level of planning. Because in the midst of actions against the KLA
4 and against NATO, the narrow roads of Kosovo ended up being clogged with
5 the refugees that the accused wanted to exclude from their homeland.
6 We say that this is not a case of renegade local groups or
7 anything like that. The scale of the operations and the consistency
8 exclude that as a possibility. And you'll hear evidence directly of
9 coordination of the army and the MUP paramilitaries and other units, all
10 of which answered to this accused.
11 Again, I don't want to trespass on the area that's going to be
12 covered by Mr. Ryneveld, but you will hear area -- you will hear evidence
13 in short that reveals an atmosphere of impunity for crimes being created,
14 however brutal they may have been.
15 As to the suggestion that Albanians moved out of areas of likely
16 combat for their own good, we say the lie will be shown to that when you
17 hear the detail of what in fact happened and of how it was that these
18 people were driven out. And of course, being moved out for your own good
19 is hardly consistent with having all the documents of identification or
20 identification papers or your cards, documents taken away from you so that
21 you have no identity once you've left.
22 On the 24th of March, there was a discussion with Milosevic who
23 said there was no problem with Kosovo. We'll hear a little more from
24 Mr. Ryneveld about the significance of that conversation in due course.
25 The ruthlessness of the accused's project emerges too from his
1 callous attitude towards Serb victims during the NATO campaign. He said
2 to one person enough -- that they needed enough civilian victims to turn
3 the opinion of NATO countries against the bombing.
4 So in our suggestion to the Chamber, this is a simple, in a sense,
5 case to prove, and the Chamber should not in due course -- although it
6 will explore all matters of importance with great care, we know, it
7 shouldn't allow itself to be misled by the fog that may be created arising
8 from the international negotiations, their twists and turns in which the
9 accused took part, showed resistance, or handed matters over to others.
10 That fog shouldn't be allowed to hide the reality that what happened on
11 this occasion was the intentional, planned, criminal expulsion of his own
12 people because of the attitude they took to him.
13 Your Honour, just give me one minute.
14 Matters ended this way: By June 1999, about 800.000 Kosovo
15 Albanians, one third of the entire Kosovo Albanian population, had been
16 expelled. Thousands more were believed to be internally displaced, and an
17 unknown number had been killed.
18 On the 3rd of June, the FRY and the Federal Republic of Serbia
19 accepted a document of principles towards of resolution of the crisis
20 which was presented to their representatives by Martti Ahtisaari on behalf
21 of the European community and by Viktor Chernomyrdin for the President the
22 Russian federation. That was followed by a Security Council resolution
23 providing for a political solution to the Kosovo crisis, including an
24 immediate end to violence and a rapid withdrawal of the republic's and
25 Serbian's military police and paramilitary forces. There followed a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 military technical agreement. And what by way of post script to these
2 particular events? Well, just this: Ojdanic, Pavkovic, Lazarevic,
3 Vasiljevic were decorated, promoted by this accused.
4 I have a few other supplementary points to make. I just want to
5 check one thing with Mr. Ryneveld.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it's been, of necessity, a rapid and
8 abridged account of the accused's involvement over many years in three
9 areas of conflict. Abridged though it has had to be, I hope we have
10 revealed how there are going to be before you many lines of connection.
11 Some connections in law under Constitutions and proper authority, many
12 otherwise, that link him unavoidably to the events with which he is
13 charged. There will be many strands of evidence, starting in Kosovo,
14 ending in Kosovo, passing through the failures of, so far as he's
15 concerned, of Croatia and Bosnia, all of which reveal a single continuing
16 state of mind of his, transaction of his executed though it might have
17 been, indeed was, through a small but changing and changeable cast of
18 characters, and at the end of the day, what can be said to summarise the
19 awful tragedies into which we must now shortly start to inquire?
20 Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo shared in common that Serbia was
21 either their neighbour indeed more than their neighbour, so far as Kosovo
22 was concerned, and that the accused had a hand, a controlling hand, in
23 their recent destinies.
24 From the beginning, this accused has attempted to persuade those
25 who would listen to him that what happened was inevitable. His powers of
1 persuasion are considerable. I think I referred yesterday to the power
2 and quality of that speech of his where he made a reference to the use of
3 armed conflict in a speech that was otherwise apparently full of some good
4 things. He was a man capable of persuading. He was a man capable of
5 having others follow him. But as we look at what happened in the former
6 Yugoslavia, things that happened weren't inevitable. They were not the
7 acts of God but they were the acts of men. They were the results of
8 decisions of men and significantly of this one, taken with no regard to
9 the interests or even to the lives of others in a way that this Chamber
10 may in due course find hard or impossible to comprehend. And in truth, it
11 was having this accused, so far as Croatia and Bosnia was concerned, as a
12 neighbour, and indeed so far as Kosovo was concern, having him as a
13 neighbour that sealed so many fates.
14 In a career spanning 13 years, and we will say a career -- a
15 criminal career spanning at least eight years, it may be hard to express
16 briefly those elements which were constant, but throughout that period, as
17 the learned Prosecutor said in her opening remarks in perhaps slightly
18 different words, he sought two things; to maximise his power and control,
19 including territorial control by and of Serbs, to maximise control over
20 Serbs. He did this by denying basic fundamental rights to those who
21 disagreed with him. And, of course, in the brevity of my address, I've
22 understated the wider elements of persecution that the Chamber will be
23 familiar with from other cases and with which we will have to deal here,
24 but he denied all sorts of rights, some that initially looked minor,
25 progressing as they did ultimately to the denial of the right of non-Serbs
1 to live among their neighbours or, indeed, to live at all.
2 While he led his country, he always sought to assure them that
3 they were not at war. Serbia was not at war. That the wars he caused
4 were happening elsewhere, in other countries, not our own affair. Does
5 the Chamber recall what I suggested was one of his mechanisms of control,
6 of having things done by others over whom he had influence so that he
7 could absolve himself of moral responsibility and thus explain why, for
8 him, never regret, never shame. Well, he did the same thing with his
9 people. "Nothing to do with us." But of course, the distinction upon
10 which he relied for this part of his presentation in the world, the
11 distinction of state from state, mattered not at all to him as indeed --
12 as was said at an early part of my address yesterday, attributable to him,
13 he wasn't interested in borders but in only what was described, I think,
14 as nations. The only border ultimately that he was interested in and that
15 he did much to create, or to cement, was the border between Serb and
17 He made a point of bringing conflict to the point where the army
18 had to be used, but still Serbia wasn't at war but he was. He tells us
19 that he was defending his people. They have not asked for his protection.
20 They were not under attack. And Serbia today is again at peace, after
21 many years, rebuilding many years of war, or wars of a kind, rebuilding
22 its ties with its neighbours.
23 I remind the Chamber of what the Prosecutor said about the need to
24 look for individual and not for any kind of overall guilt. It's just the
25 individual guilt of this person with whom we are concerned. And of
1 course, what he did or tried to do was to make his people his unwitting
2 accomplices who, once drawn into his plans, despite never voting on them,
3 I dare venture to say could have no escape or no escape for a long time
5 the consequences of what he did.
6 What he did at the time in laying plans for the future was, I dare
7 say, that which often happens in crime. And war crimes are crimes. They
8 are things people do, knowing that they are acting contrary to law and
9 against the interests of humanity. What they do and what this accused did
10 was to try and dissolve himself away from the picture of events that was
12 The trouble with all that is, that dissolve yourself away from the
13 centre of events may leave a gap. There may be nobody else left to fill
14 that gap, nobody else to whom you can point as being responsible for the
15 events that are actually yours.
16 All the events into which this Chamber will now have to inquire
17 will, we submit, point towards a central personality, the existence of a
18 controlling human force. It's a personality the accused seeks to say is
19 not his, but there is no other. And we say when you've examined all the
20 evidence, that the silhouette of that personality, indeed the full-face
21 view of that personality at the centre of these events is unmistakably
22 that of this accused.
23 As with the other indictments, I don't need to review in detail
24 the allegations that are contained in the public indictments. And now, if
25 it's convenient to the Chamber, Mr. Ryneveld will deal with the crime base
1 matters and the evidence relating to that, unless I can assist you
3 JUDGE MAY: No. Thank you, Mr. Nice.
4 Mr. Ryneveld.
5 MR. RYNEVELD: I note the time, Your Honours. I would anticipate
6 that I will be easily done before the end of the next session. I wonder
7 whether you want me to start now and break it or would you rather take an
8 early break and have me start then?
9 JUDGE MAY: No, I think if you start now.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
11 If it please Your Honours, over a half a century ago, Mr. Justice
12 Jackson, the Chief Prosecutor before the International Military Tribunal,
13 opened the Nuremberg trial with these words: "The wrongs which we seek to
14 condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so
15 devastating that civilisation cannot tolerate their being ignored because
16 it cannot survive their being repeated."
17 He reflected on the grave responsibility imposed by opening the
18 first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world. At that
19 time, the world hoped that the verdicts in that case would act as a
20 deterrent to future war leaders by having sent a clear message that war
21 crimes and crimes against humanity would be prosecuted according to the
22 rule of law. They hoped that trials of that nature would never be
23 necessary again.
24 Unfortunately, that hope appears to be in vain. History appears
25 to have repeated itself. The lessons, if learned at all, were either
1 ignored or forgotten. The reign of terror perpetrated by Serb forces
2 during the Milosevic regime in Kosovo has sadly necessitated that today
3 will mark another historic legal first. With this trial, we start the
4 first prosecution of a former sitting head of state of any nation for
5 crimes committed while in office. And it is, accordingly, an equally
6 grave responsibility to be involved in a trial holding Mr. Milosevic
7 accountable according to the rule of law for the allegations of
8 deportations, forcible transfer, murders and persecution with which he
9 stands charged in the indictment now before you.
10 The Prosecutor of the ICTY, Carla Del Ponte, has given her
11 introductory remarks, and my colleague Mr. Nice has already outlined for
12 you an overview of the Prosecution's case with respect to all three
13 indictments which have now been joined as one trial. He has also outlined
14 how we intend to prove that Mr. Milosevic is legally responsible and
15 criminally accountable for the acts and omissions of the Serb forces who
16 committed these atrocities.
17 As the senior trial attorney responsible for the Kosovo component
18 of this trial, it is now my duty to outline for you on the balance of the
19 Prosecution's opening statement the nature and scope of what we will refer
20 to as the crime base evidence for Kosovo.
21 In so doing, I hope to give you a thumbnail sketch of what
22 happened during roughly the first six months of 1999. This overview is
23 intended to provide the Trial Chamber with a framework of the Kosovo
25 Your Honours, it is the Prosecution's submission that the trial
1 before you today is primarily a deportation case. You will hear from
2 witnesses and read in reports and statements that by June of 1999, over
3 800.000 Kosovo Albanian civilians had been forced from their homes by Serb
4 forces and had to flee to neighbouring states.
5 Now, when I say "Serb forces," I'm talking about the forces of the
6 FRY; Yugoslavia, the republic; and of course the MUP; the police; and
7 certain paramilitary groups.
8 For ease of reference, we'll refer to them as Serb forces.
9 You will see before you on the screen again a map of the Balkans
10 that my learned colleague Mr. Nice also showed.
11 In the process of the 800.000 or so Serbs being forced from their
12 homes, thousands of civilians were murdered. Many of the victims included
13 the elderly as well as women and children.
14 Now, before I go any further, it must be said that there was an
15 armed conflict ongoing in Kosovo between the FRY and Serb forces, on the
16 one hand, and the Kosovo liberation army, or KLA, on the other hand.
17 Further, it must be said that in terms of armed conflict, it is an
18 unfortunate, disturbing, but inescapable fact that people are killed.
19 Undoubtedly, during this particular armed conflict, certain armed
20 combatants from both sides of the conflict were killed as legitimate
21 casualties of war. The fact that people die during times of war does not
22 necessarily signify that a war crime has been committed.
23 That having been said, it must be stressed that is not what this
24 case is about. This case is about persecution in many forms, of civilians
25 on a widespread and systematic scale. These acts, when perpetrated
1 against civilian non-combatants, become war crimes and shall be prosecuted
2 pursuant to the jurisdiction of this Honourable Tribunal.
3 Although the indictment covers the period of the 1st of January,
4 1999, until the 20th of June, 1999, it must be remembered that the
5 discriminatory campaign of persecution and expulsion directed at Kosovo
6 Albanians started much earlier. In our pre-trial brief, we point to the
7 fact that during certain periods of 1998, similar campaigns had already
8 resulted in the internal displacement of thousands of refugees. According
9 to UNHCR data which will be introduced at trial, by the end of October
10 1998, some 285.000 Kosovars had already been internally displaced. This
11 campaign of persecution and expulsion increased in intensity and ferocity
12 towards the end of March 1999, at about the same time that the
13 international monitors were withdrawing from Kosovo. UNHCR staff
14 nevertheless continued to monitor the number of refugees crossing at
15 border points throughout Kosovo.
16 Now, their data reflects that by the 30th of March, about 94.000
17 Kosovars, most of whom were women, children, and older people, had fled
18 Kosovo since the 24th of March, 1999. So we're talking about a one-week
19 period. Many reported deliberate expulsions and destruction of their
20 homes, and many of them didn't know the whereabouts of their men, having
21 been separated from them at the time of the expulsion. You will hear
22 about cumulative daily totals of refugees counted by UNHCR officials.
23 Those reports will show not only the daily tallies of refugees but will
24 also show that these people reported being forced to leave their homes in
25 freezing temperatures, at night, on foot, some barefoot. Thousands
1 arrived by bus and train, having been gathered together by Serb
2 authorities, awaiting expulsion.
3 The report goes on to describe that tens of thousands were on the
4 move inside Kosovo during weather described as freezing and rainy winter
5 conditions and that several children were reported to have died of
7 Finally, this report will indicate that, according to UNHCR
8 figures, an estimated 860.000 Kosovars left Kosovo between the 24th of
9 March, 1999, and the 10th of June, 1999. Now, that is what we mean when
10 we say that this case is primarily a deportation case.
11 Undoubtedly, at some time during the course of this trial the
12 suggestion will be made by Mr. Milosevic, or others on his behalf, that
13 the reason these people fled Kosovo was because of the NATO bombing and
14 not because of Serb forces attacks. I want to address that matter right
15 up front during this opening. It is the Prosecution's submission that the
16 witnesses will tell you that the vast majority of refugees fled their
17 homes because of the attacks by Serb forces and not because of NATO
19 You will also have the benefit of expert report prepared by
20 Dr. Patrick Ball. This report analyses the data obtained from sources,
21 including the UNHCR, about refugee movements during the relevant period.
22 In essence, the independent assessment in this report, if accepted by the
23 Tribunal, will corroborate the other evidence. Significantly, the analysis
24 suggests that the effects of KLA and NATO activity are inconsistent with
25 the observed patterns of refugee flow and killings. This report, we
1 anticipate, will corroborate what nearly every single witness will tell
2 you; they left because of fear and terror of the advancing Serb troops and
3 not because of NATO bombing.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld, what if the Chamber were to find as
5 a matter of fact that they fled because of NATO bombing? Will you be
6 addressing that, the legal position there?
7 MR. RYNEVELD: I certainly will later in the address, if I may.
8 Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: From the body of evidence you will hear during the
11 course of this trial, it will become patently obvious that the massive
12 refugee movement throughout Kosovo was a direct consequence of the Serb
13 forces. You see, they executed a concerted plan to terrorise the ethnic
14 Albanians into leaving. Villagers would hear the sound of artillery from
15 neighbouring villages, see the houses burning, hear horror stories from
16 the fleeing victims and feared that the same fate awaited them.
17 Consequently, many of them would load their families on carts or tractors
18 or any means of transport available and join the convoy to avoid being
19 beaten, raped, or murdered. The killings, lootings, rapes, and
20 destruction of property were specifically designed to terrorise the
21 population into leaving.
22 It will also become apparent that the architects of this ethnic
23 cleansing campaign took advantage of the onset of NATO bombing to
24 intensify their actions. You will note from the evidence that during the
25 week of the 24th to the 30th of March, Serb forces went on a major killing
1 and deportation spree, intending to blame the deaths and refugee convoys
2 on NATO bombing. The withdrawal of the KVM monitors in anticipation of
3 bombing and the onset of NATO activities gave the Serb forces the perfect
4 opportunity to escalate their campaign and put the blame on others, and
5 that, you will conclude from the evidence, we would submit, is exactly
6 what they did. You will hear evidence of mass executions and the
7 systematic process by which Serb forces went from hamlet to hamlet,
8 village to village, town to town murdering, raping, burning, looting, and
9 destroying property in their path.
10 On the monitor now you will see two photographs, which aren't
11 coming through very clearly. Perhaps if we do them separately. The first
12 photograph. There we are. The first photograph shows -- you can see a
13 burning house with two soldiers standing in front with the three fingers
14 raised. Another photo shows three different soldiers standing again in
15 front of a burning house.
16 This process had the intended effect of frightening the civilian
17 population to leave their homes, their villages, and ultimately their
18 province. The looting and burning had the desired consequence of ensuring
19 that there was nothing for them to return to.
20 You've heard reference to the burning of identification documents.
21 As you can see from the photo now on the ELMO, we see bits burned
22 passports and identification documents. That was typical of what occurred
23 during this expulsion campaign.
24 In many instances, their attackers told them to leave Kosovo and
25 to go to Albania. You will hear that the Serb forces consistently robbed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the refugees of their identity documents and their vehicle licence plates.
2 In so doing, they in essence removed all physical evidence that these
3 people had citizen status and prevented them from claiming their
4 legitimate and legal property rights should they attempt to return. All
5 this was done to ensure that they ethnically cleansed the Kosovo Albanians
6 from that province.
7 It will become obvious from the evidence you will hear during the
8 course of this trial that this campaign of deportation and ethnic
9 cleansing occurred throughout Kosovo. The indictment before you, at least
10 with respect to Kosovo, lists some 13 deportation sites and 12 killing or
11 murder sites, some of which overlap. These locations are by no means the
12 only sites where deportations or murders occurred. They are only a
13 representative sample of what actually occurred throughout Kosovo.
14 Before I turn to a discussion of some of the details of the
15 deportation and killing sites contained in the indictment, it may be of
16 some assistance to the Trial Chamber to refer to the maps of Kosovo
17 depicting those sites. Some of them were already shown by Mr. Nice, with
18 some dates on them. These show -- the first map we now have is the
19 deportation map.
20 You will note that the blue dots representing the villages or
21 towns that will be discussed in the evidence during the course of this
22 trial are not isolated to only one geographical area. Indeed, they cover
23 practically the entire province of Kosovo. This map demonstrates the
24 widespread and systematic nature of the deportation scheme.
25 When one considers that most of these locations were ethnically
1 cleansed in one week, between the 24th of March and the 31st of March, it
2 becomes obvious that there was a wholesale and concerted effort by the
3 Serb forces to round up and deport as many Kosovo Albanians as possible in
4 a short time span. The irresistible inference to be drawn from this fact
5 is that this did not occur by happenstance. This was not merely the
6 result of a confluence of coincidences. The evidence you are about to
7 hear will clearly show that this was the result of the coordinated attack
8 by various Serb forces; the Yugoslav army or VJ, and the police or MUP,
9 acting in concert. The pattern repeats itself from village to village.
10 This was a planned and deliberate modus operandi on the part of the
11 combined Serb forces carried out throughout Kosovo. That shall become
12 absolutely crystal clear when you hear the evidence.
13 I am about to turn to the killing site map. Is this an
14 appropriate moment?
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will resume at half past two.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Before I start, again it's been brought to my attention during the
5 break that the transcript shows that I may have inadvertently misspoken
6 with respect to the identity of the 800.000 civilians. I believe that the
7 transcript may show that I said 800.000 Serb civilians. What I intended
8 to say, of course, is that 800.000 Kosovo Albanian civilians had been
9 forced from their homes by Serb forces. So if the transcript reflects
10 Serb civilians, that was not my intention. So I thought I would correct
11 the record before I continued.
12 Now, I believe that just before we broke for the lunch break, I
13 had indicated I'd be turning to the map depicting the killing sites, and I
14 believe that is now on the ELMO. And I would ask you to look at that, if
15 you would, please, and see that those dots are scattered all over Kosovo
16 in generally a similar pattern to the map showing the deportation sites.
17 Again we anticipate you will hear evidence from the witnesses as
18 to how the combined forces of the VJ and the MUP surrounded their
19 villages. Often, surviving inhabitants from previously attacked villagers
20 were herded in their direction. The pattern would continue: The VJ would
21 often surround the village, sometimes shelling the town, but almost always
22 blocking most avenues of escape but leaving one corridor for their victims
23 to use to leave the area. The MUP and other forces would then go
24 door-to-door, killing and looting and burning property and religious
25 sites, thereby ensuring that all the non-Serb inhabitants were expelled.
1 I would invite you now to watch your TV monitors to see a very
2 brief clip of the typical aftermath following an attack on a village.
3 This particular clip is from a village taken in Vucitrn.
4 Is the video booth able to show that clip at this point?
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Ryneveld, it appears there is some
6 difficulty about it. Perhaps you can move on to another topic and we'll
7 come back to it.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, although the video might be in the -- in this
9 particular order on a master tape. But I will move on.
10 In effect, the modus operandi would involve public killings and
11 sometimes rapes to instil such fear in the civilian population that the
12 survivors would flee to avoid a similar fate. You will hear evidence that
13 many of these refugees were told to leave Kosovo --
14 JUDGE MAY: It's ready now.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Go ahead.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. RYNEVELD: As you can see from these images, the possessions
18 are burned, the animals have been killed.
19 As I was about to say, these refugees were told to leave Kosovo,
20 and frequently they were escorted to the border by uniformed Serb forces,
21 sometimes by way of buses or trains provided by the Serbs to hasten their
22 departure. In the wake of their departure, wholesale destruction of their
23 villages would take place, ensuring that nothing remained for them to
24 return to. This pattern repeated itself over and over and over again
25 throughout Kosovo. As you hear the evidence. You will see a similar
1 pattern developing from municipality to municipality and village to
3 Again I would ask you to turn to the video screen.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. RYNEVELD: When the witnesses refer to the police or MUP, we
6 might mentally picture the regular policemen we see daily on the streets.
7 The clip you just saw actually depicts the MUP police, armed with
8 automatic weapons and dressed much like soldiers. Witnesses will tell you
9 that these police were often armed with APCs, mortars, grenades and among
10 other weapons we might not normally associate with police. It may assist
11 the Court to understand the fear that such conduct might instil in the
12 minds of the villagers who were being attacked.
13 The surviving villagers would be driven out, usually left only one
14 avenue or corridor of escape in the direction that their attackers would
15 want them to go. Whole families would be forced from their homes. Men,
16 women, children, and the elderly would flee their attackers, joining other
17 villagers also intent on escaping. Tens would become hundreds, and
18 eventually thousands as they formed convoys, all being herded out of
19 Kosovo to Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro. As I indicated earlier, by
20 the end of the conflict in June, according to UNHCR tallies and estimates,
21 over 800.000 Kosovars had been internally displaced from their homes in
22 Kosovo, and most of them had been deported from the province altogether.
23 Now, few of us can forget the shocking photographs or the
24 heartwrenching images on television beamed into our living rooms in March
25 of 1999 when the world saw the seemingly endless columns or convoys of
1 refugees leaving Kosovo.
2 Again I'd ask you to turn to the video monitor.
3 [Videotape played].
4 As you can see, the images here of the convoys of people.
5 This was not an isolated incident. Numerous video clips of
6 different border crossings are available, but to give the Trial Chamber a
7 flavour of the evidence, you need to hear from the witnesses. I invite
8 you to follow on your monitors as we show a brief second clip showing
9 columns of suffering refugees being escorted by Serb VJ soldiers.
10 You can see the soldiers. There's one standing in the -- more
11 soldiers escorting whole families.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. RYNEVELD: If there is any doubt about the fact that these
14 refugees were being deported from Kosovo, consider the fact that the Serb
15 authorities planned ahead to lay on transportation to transfer them out.
16 Well, that kind of activity takes planning, coordination, and, in most
17 cases, permission from higher authorities. These were not regularly
18 scheduled trains, you will hear. They were trains specially provided to
19 speed up the deportation of civilians to the border. Note, if you will,
20 the refugees arriving at the Macedonia border by train from Kosovo.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. RYNEVELD: There's the trains and the families are lining up.
23 You can see that they're not leaving voluntarily.
24 And what did the architects of this campaign have to say when
25 confronted by these facts? When one senior international observer called
1 the accused on the phone to complain about Kosovo Albanians on horse carts
2 and tractor trailers, with all their belongings, being expelled, what was
3 the accused's response? The international official will tell that you the
4 accused told him that the people he had seen were on a picnic.
5 But in a way, these people were the fortunate ones, the ones that
6 escaped with their lives. Many of their relatives and neighbours did not
7 survive the expulsion campaign to testify at this trial. Their stories
8 will have to be told by the ones who did survive and by the forensic
9 evidence that their murderers did not expect would be discovered. In many
10 cases, the forensic pathologists patiently and meticulously pieced
11 together bits of bone, fabric, and identification documents during months
12 and years of exhumations all over Kosovo and other burial sites in Serbia.
13 During the course of this trial, the Prosecution will lead
14 evidence from a number of witnesses about what happened to them and their
15 relatives and neighbours. Because, of course, of time constraints, you
16 will likely hear from one or two witnesses from the witness stand for each
17 site named in the indictment. Their evidence will be corroborated by the
18 statements of other witnesses who have provided the equivalent of
19 affidavit evidence under our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, if the Court
20 chooses to admit that evidence. Their collective accounts of what
21 occurred point to a distinct pattern of expulsion from Kosovo by their
22 Serb attackers.
23 The Trial Chamber will have the benefit of a number of maps,
24 photos, charts, documents, videos, and reports in addition to the live
25 evidence of witnesses at this trial. One example of such a map, produced
1 by the Tribunal's evidence analysts, shows the various routes taken by the
2 refugees as they fled Kosovo, according to the statements of the witnesses
3 you're about to hear.
4 If you would turn with me to the coloured map on the ELMO, you
5 will see that each of the different coloured routes represents the
6 different corridors of escape used by the refugees. All routes lead them
7 out of Kosovo into either Macedonia, Albania, or Montenegro. These will
8 be explained in detail by the analyst who will be called to give evidence
9 in these proceedings.
10 Needless to say, I will not attempt to describe here what happened
11 in each of the sites listed in the indictment. I do, however, propose to
12 provide a thumbnail sketch of what occurred in a handful of sites, to give
13 the Trial Chamber an insight into the evidence you will hear from the
15 First of all I want to deal with Bela Crkva. You will see from
16 the photograph on or about the 25th of March, 1999, forces of the FRY and
17 Serbia attacked the village of Bela Crkva in the Orahovac municipality.
18 Many of the residents of Bela Crkva fled into a streambed outside the
19 village and sought shelter under a railroad bridge. As additional
20 villagers approached that bridge, a Serbian police patrol of about 15
21 policemen opened fire on them, killing 12 people, including three women
22 and seven children under the age of 12. Only a two-year-old child
23 survived that massacre.
24 The police then ordered the remaining villagers out of the
25 streambed, at which time the men were separated from the women and small
1 children. The police ordered the men to strip and then systematically
2 robbed them of all their valuables and their identity documents. The
3 women and children were then ordered to leave. The village doctor
4 attempted to speak with the police commander, but he was shot and killed,
5 as well as his nephew. The other men were then ordered back into the
6 streambed. After they complied, the police opened fire on the men,
7 killing more than 30 of them.
8 Well, the problem for the attackers with that method of execution
9 was that not everyone was killed outright. Some survived the shooting and
10 pretended to be dead, lying still within that pile of bodies.
11 Fortunately, those survivors lived to tell the story of what happened.
12 Subsequent exhumations of approximately 54 bodies confirmed their gruesome
14 I'd like to turn next, if I may, to Izbica. You see now on the
15 overhead the aerial photograph of Izbica taken by ICTY investigators on
16 the 8th of August, 2001. As you can see, Izbica is a rural village
17 located in a valley.
18 From around the 24th of March, due to heavy artillery fire from
19 FRY and Serbian forces, villagers from surrounding areas moved into Izbica
20 as a place of refuge. On the 28th of March, Serb forces surrounded the
21 village of Izbica. They found hundreds of refugees huddled together in a
22 large field, where they began to demand money from them. Approximately
23 150 adult males, mostly elderly or infirm, were ordered to line up on the
24 main road. At this time, the women and children were ordered to leave and
25 go towards Albania.
1 The men were then again split up and were told to walk in
2 different directions. A survivor from one group recounted that, in his
3 group, about 33 of them were made to walk toward the woods, and when they
4 reached a stream, they were told to kneel and, almost immediately, the
5 troops escorting them opened fire, killing many of them.
6 A survivor in the second group said that he and the 75 or so men
7 with him were made to walk towards the town of Vragadol, and after a short
8 distance they were also made to line up against the woods and they were
9 shot. Two elderly women were too fragile to leave with the main convoy of
10 women and children, and they had been placed on the back of a trailer.
11 Serb forces then simply set fire to the trailer, burning them alive.
12 You will hear that about 127 people were killed in that incident.
13 They, together with 12 people killed in other incidents, were buried by
14 local villagers.
15 A local doctor, Liri Loshi, recorded on video the dead bodies
16 where they were found and also their subsequent burial. Dr. Loshi's video
17 and still photo images from that video will form part of the evidence that
18 the Prosecution intends to enter at this trial. At this time, I propose
19 to show you some brief excerpts of that video to show you what occurred.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. RYNEVELD: You can see a line of bodies as the camera pans to
22 the right. We have edited this video to remove most of the most gruesome
23 parts of it; however, I still caution the viewers that this is a horrific
24 scene. At the end, you will see a close-up of an elderly man with
1 On the 17th of April, 1999, Dr. Loshi's video, together with
2 aerial imagery, were broadcast throughout the world by a NATO
3 spokesperson. Apparently the response from Belgrade TV was that the
4 images were fake and suggested that the video was recorded in either
5 Macedonia or Albania. In essence, they denied the reports of the
7 However, subsequent aerial imagery of this area taken on four
8 different days paint a conclusive picture of attempted subterfuge and
9 cover-up by the Serb authorities.
10 If you turn with me to the monitor, and I apologise for the
11 quality, but perhaps we could point out the area where you saw -- first of
12 all, on the left photograph, there's an area taken on the 9th of March,
13 1999, and there is a square drawn around the area. That is a photograph
14 showing an undisturbed field with no graves. A similar photo, taken on
15 the 15th of April, two weeks after the massacre, at least on the original
16 clearly shows rows and rows of disturbed ground, depicting a gravesite.
17 We move to the second photograph. As you can see from the
18 photograph taken on the 15th of May, on the left-hand side, the gravesite
19 is still there. You can see the rows of little lines. But then if you
20 look on the right, the photograph taken on the 3rd of June, it's a big
21 black mark. They're gone. It looks like one large mass of disturbed
23 Subsequent investigation revealed that on the 1st and 2nd of June,
24 1999, FRY and Serb forces returned to Izbica and removed the bodies from
25 the graves.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 On the 27th of June, 1999, a French forensic team examined the
2 gravesite at Izbica and found no bodies, but they did find evidence of
3 human remains having been buried there. They seized numerous artefacts,
4 made sketches, and photographed the site. Their conclusion was that 139
5 people had once been buried there, but the location of those bodies is
6 still unknown. To this date, the bodies have not yet been found or
7 identified. Serb authorities have recently admitted, however, that they
8 removed the bodies.
9 Now, I pause here to point out something of additional
10 significance, in my submission. It shows that Serb authorities attempted
11 at first to deny the allegations, but when evidence from the satellite
12 images confirmed the allegations, they embarked on a cover-up campaign.
13 The architects of this attempted subterfuge failed miserably. They never
14 expected that the international community would go to the lengths it did
15 to painstakingly investigate these gravesites. They never expected that
16 their attempts at cover-up would provide further evidence of the
17 purposefulness of their crimes. They mistakenly thought that they had
18 covered their tracks. They were wrong. The evidence from the survivors,
19 combined with the photographs and the forensic evidence, will leave the
20 Trial Chamber with no reasonable doubt as to what occurred.
21 I move next to Kacanik. The municipality of Kacanik is situated
22 near the border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It includes
23 two important border crossings, Djaeneral Jankovic and Gllobocica. The
24 main administrative town is Kacanik with the remainder of the municipality
25 comprising of about 80 smaller villages and hamlets.
1 During the course of the trial, I anticipate that you will hear
2 evidence that between March and May 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia
3 launched massive attacks against many villages in this municipality. In
4 particular, on the 9th of March, 1999, the village of Kotlina, situated in
5 the mountains near the Macedonian border, was shelled and entered by the
6 VJ and the police acting in concert, resulting in many houses being
7 destroyed and burned. Shops were looted and destroyed and animals were
8 killed. After the Serb forces left, the residents returned to their
10 About two weeks later, on the 24th of March, 1999, the village was
11 shelled from a different direction and the male population fled to the
12 nearby woods. Some of the men who fled were captured and taken back to
13 the village where they were detained in a field along with older men,
14 women, and children. The men were then made to lie down face down in the
15 field. The women and children were put into military trucks and taken in
16 the direction of Kacanik. The elderly men were made to walk in that same
18 But after the trucks had left, the captured men were taken to a
19 small hill where there were two shafts in the ground. And although they
20 tried to put up some resistance, they were no match for about 150 armed
21 police and VJ soldiers. As they reached the edge of the shafts, the men
22 were beaten and thrown down into the shafts. About 30 minutes later, an
23 explosive device was activated in each of the holes, with the expected
24 devastating results.
25 In September 1999, an Austrian forensic team excavated the bottom
1 of those shafts and recovered remains of 22 bodies, from which only 17
2 were capable of being positively identified.
3 I move next, if I may, to Vucitrn. One of the prime examples of
4 the methodology used by the Serb forces to implement their forcible
5 transfer or deportation campaign is evidenced by what occurred in the
6 municipality of Vucitrn. Again, this municipality is comprised of
7 numerous smaller villages and hamlets connected by a narrow dirt road and
8 small foot tracks.
9 As was the pattern in many of the other municipalities, Serb
10 forces followed on the heels of the departing international monitors
11 toward the end of March 1999 and escalated their attacks on villages in
12 the Vucitrn municipality. Refugees in this area fled to Vucitrn for what
13 they hoped would be safety. Many of those refugees were gathered up by
14 Serb authorities and sent by buses to Macedonia. Some escaped expulsion
15 by fleeing to rural villages such as Studime e Eperme. That village's
16 population swelled by 10.000 refugees within a short period of time.
17 Again following a pattern or a modus operandi seen throughout the
18 Kosovo deportation campaign, on the 14th of April, the MUP, in concert
19 with members of the VJ, set up an observation post, complete with four
20 tanks, on the hills above that village.
21 Then, according to the witnesses, the combined forces of the FRY
22 and Serbia started a massive sweep of all the villages and hamlets in the
23 municipality, starting from the north and literally driving or herding
24 refugees ahead of them towards Studime e Eperme.
25 This roundup resulted in the Kosovo Albanian refugees desperately
1 fleeing in a convoy of tractors, carts, various means of improvised
2 transport, as well as on foot. That convoy is reported to be 4 to 5
3 kilometres long and was comprised of approximately 30.000 people.
4 At some point in the afternoon, the Serb forces forced the convoy
5 to a halt near a large field. Many of the refugees were then robbed of
6 their money, jewellery, or other valuables by both police and soldiers
7 under the threat of death. Many were beaten and a number of them were
8 executed on the spot, seemingly at random. The convoy was eventually
9 escorted by MUP and VJ forces to a location just outside Vucitrn where the
10 men were separated from the women and children. The men were sent to
11 prison and the women and children were sent to Albania.
12 Local Kosovo Albanians who survived this attack later buried 104
13 victims who had been killed that day. During July 1999, the forensic team
14 exhumed and performed autopsies on 93 of the bodies, examining shell
15 casings, clothes, and other artefacts. Their report and findings will be
16 tendered into evidence by the Prosecution and summarised in the expert
17 report of the pathologist Dr. Baccard. Among the findings, you will note
18 that 97 per cent of the violent deaths were due to firearms. The location
19 of the entry wounds on almost half the cases was from the back, and the
20 firing was at generally close range.
21 Your Honours, my brief overview of these four deportation sites is
22 but a representative sample of what occurred in the balance of the
23 deportation sites contained in the indictment and, indeed, in the rest of
24 Kosovo. Time obviously does not permit me to provide an overview of all
25 the sites.
1 You will also note that we have charged a dozen of what we have
2 termed as killing sites. Some of these overlap, some do not. I propose
3 at this time to refer to only two of the killing sites because they
4 represent the kind of conduct prevalent for all the sites, including an
5 additional unique set of facts. I am referring, of course, to the
6 evidence of an additional cover-up whereby bodies of Kosovo Albanian
7 victims were exhumed from original gravesites in Kosovo, transported by
8 refrigerator trucks, and reburied in various locations throughout Serbia,
9 some near Belgrade itself.
10 Let me turn first, if I may, to Suva Reka. Suva Reka is the
11 principal town composed of about 90 per cent Kosovo Albanians within the
12 large municipality by the same name. It is situated in a mountainous
13 region in south Kosovo.
14 Now, you've heard my colleague Mr. Nice talk about the
15 Milosevic-Holbrooke accord. Following that accord, the OSCE KVM, that is,
16 the Kosovo Verification Monitors, were established to independently
17 observe and report on whether the terms of that agreement were being
18 adhered to. The KVM therefore moved, among other places, into Suva Reka
19 in November 1998 and eventually leased premises from a family known as
21 As a result of the threat of imminent NATO bombing, the KVM were
22 evacuated from Kosovo on the 20th of March, 1999, as a result of which in
23 Suva Reka, from the 22nd of March onwards, tensions escalated and shooting
24 began throughout the municipality, with Serbs ordering Kosovo Albanians to
25 leave the area. In effect, the Serb forces moved in hot on the heels of
1 the withdrawing KVM. The speed with which they moved is an indication
2 that they were prepared in advance and were just waiting for the moment to
3 do so.
4 On the 25th of March, Serb policemen went to the Berisha compound
5 and held members of that family at gunpoint while they removed all of the
6 property and equipment belonging to KVM and demanded money from the
7 Berisha family.
8 Then on the morning of the 26th of March, members of the Berisha
9 family saw two tanks, with their cannons facing towards them, parked on a
10 hill above their compound. At midday, witnesses will say between 30 and
11 50 policemen dressed in different kinds of uniforms left the police
12 station in a group and headed directly towards the Berisha compound.
13 Now, I invite you to turn with me to the photograph that is on the
14 ELMO at the moment. The area you will see with the yellow arrow points to
15 the Berisha house compound which had, for some time earlier, been the KVM
17 The area to the right of the road in front is very close to where
18 the police station was. The evidence will be that a number of policemen,
19 30 to 50, congregated en masse and left and went towards that Berisha
21 They then ordered the residents out of their houses, following
22 which, in panic and fear, the family started to try to run away to safety.
23 During this process, six members of the family were shot dead, and the
24 remainder, some of who had been wounded, were herded down the street - and
25 that is in the direction from the right to the left of the photograph, so
1 down the street, continue on to the left - into a coffee shop which was
2 situated about 70 metres from the Berisha compound. So down the road and
3 then down towards the blue arrow, there's a coffee-shop.
4 At this point, at least 41 civilians, consisting of 22 adults and
5 19 children under the age of 18 years were forced inside the cafe.
6 According to the witnesses, a local policeman, who appeared to be in
7 charge, walked into the cafe and said, "There will be no Albanians alive.
8 We'll eliminate them." With that, a number of policemen went into the
9 coffee shop and opened fire on them, killing nearly everyone inside. Just
10 to make sure they had accomplished their objective, they then threw
11 grenades inside. This is what the interior of the cafe looked like after
12 the bodies were removed.
13 Unbeknown to their assailants, however, not everyone was killed
14 outright. A few who survived lived to provide the evidence you will hear
15 or read about during this case.
16 According to the witnesses, a yellow truck known to be used by
17 that same policeman who appeared to be in charge earlier, pulled up
18 outside of the cafe and the bodies from inside were loaded onto it,
19 including two women who had merely been wounded, along with the 8-year-old
20 child belonging to one of them. The truck was then driven in the
21 direction of Prizren, but along the way, the two injured women and the
22 small child jumped off the truck and managed to escape.
23 Now, during this slaughter in Suva Reka on the 26th of March, 47
24 members of the Berisha family were killed, including men, women, and
25 children with ages ranging from 12 months to 81 years, including a
1 24-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant.
2 I pause to point that out because that will become significant in
3 something I will say later.
4 In June of 1999, after the Serb forces had left Kosovo, a mass
5 grave was located in the Suva Reka graveyard. A British forensic team
6 excavated the gravesite and tentatively identified the bodies of six of
7 the Berisha family.
8 A month later, in August of 1999, the British forensic team also
9 exhumed the gravesite located on the Suva Reka to Prizren road known as
10 the "firing range." At that gravesite, they found the remains of human
11 bodies, together with a large quantity of clothing which has since been
12 identified as belonging to those persons massacred in the coffee shop.
13 The forensic team concluded that the firing range gravesite had been
14 re-exhumed since the initial burial and that mechanical diggers had been
15 used in the process.
16 Well, you will also hear evidence about the results of exhumation
17 sites in an area outside of Belgrade called Batajnica. One of those sites
18 was located outside the perimeter fence of the grounds housing the
19 anti-terrorist police referred to as the SAJ.
20 Between the 12th and the 26th of June of 2001, approximately 37
21 bodies were recovered from that site. In addition to recovering the
22 bodies of 13 men, the remains of 14 adult females, 9 children, and a 7- to
23 8-month-old fetus were found. You will recall that one of the women
24 murdered in the cafe was eight months pregnant.
25 What was even more startling was the fact that the identification
1 documents found among the clothing of several of the victims revealed the
2 identification of at least seven people who had been victims of the Suva
3 Reka massacre which occurred on the 26th of March, 1999. It will be
4 submitted that this evidence clearly points to an attempted cover-up by
5 FRY and Serbian authorities who hid the bodies where it was hoped they
6 would not be found. Again, the architects of this cover-up failed
7 miserably. They obviously didn't expect that thorough and dedicated
8 forensic examinations would not only reveal evidence of their original
9 deeds but would also expose the botched attempt at hiding the evidence of
10 their crimes.
11 But exhumations did not stop even there. Between the 10th of July
12 and the 15th of September, 2001, forensic teams turned their attention to
13 a site now inside the barracks of the secret police in Batajnica near
14 Belgrade. This site revealed the bodies of at least 269 people. And
15 again, various identification items were discovered, eight of which
16 referred to individuals registered with the International Committee of the
17 Red Cross, the ICRC, as having last been seen at the village of Meja in
18 the province of Kosovo on the 27th of April, 1999.
19 And that, of course, leads me to turn to Meja as the second
20 killing sight I want to discuss.
21 Meja was another of the killing sites mentioned in our Kosovo
22 indictment. Again, we submit, this exemplifies further evidence of an
23 attempted cover-up by relocating bodies to where it was thought they would
24 not be found. Again, they miscalculated.
25 Meja is but one of the villages in the municipality of Djakovica.
1 The entire area suffered murders and various acts of persecution in
2 furtherance of what the Prosecution submits was an ethnic cleansing
4 In addition to Meja, during March of 1999, forces of the FRY and
5 Serbia launched house-to-house offensives in the town of Djakovica,
6 killing, looting, burning, destroying religious and cultural sites, and
7 expelling the population. The following video clip gives you but a brief
8 glimpse into the extent of destruction suffered by many of these towns and
9 villages. Although this is only a brief clip, and I could have played you
10 a 15-minute clip but I only selected less than two minutes, practically
11 the entire town had been laid to ruin. You will also note near the end of
12 the clip that the mosque has been severely damaged.
13 Can we play the clip?
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm not sure whether this requires narration, but
16 you can certainly see the massive destruction of all of these homes.
17 Nothing is left but empty shells. That this was once a thriving community
18 is hard to imagine when we see the amount of destruction. And this is
19 just one of the streets. Practically nothing is left, for anyone wanting
20 to return, to use.
21 One of the sites in Djakovica you will hear about is located at
22 157 Milos Gilic Street. It involved a four-room house. As you can see on
23 the ELMO now, this is one of the compounds that is so typical of what my
24 friend referred to as a multicultural type of Albanian home. The
25 photograph at the top shows basically a compound with what used to be a
1 home and a business premises near the front where there was a pool hall.
2 What happened on the night of the 1st of April of 1999, 20 women
3 and children, having heard of the problems and approaching Serb forces,
4 sought shelter in the basement of the building that is left standing,
5 which was, I believe, a sort of a pool room. A group of uniformed armed
6 men came in and ordered them upstairs, into the area that had once been a
7 house. You can see it's -- just rooms are left now. One of the gunmen
8 then shot the group of seven women and 13 children.
9 One of the children, a 10-year-old boy, survived. He could see
10 that his mother's body had shielded his toddler sister from the bullets,
11 and you could hear that his sister was still alive under the pile of
12 bodies because he could hear her calling to him to save her. Because he
13 was shot himself, he was unable to lift his mother's body to save his
15 If you look now, you'll see that's what happened when Serb
16 soldiers set fire to that house and the pile of bodies.
17 Imagine his horror when he saw the assailants set fire to the
18 house. Imagine his agony and sense of helplessness, images of which still
19 haunt him today, knowing that his sister was burned alive. That night, he
20 witnessed the gruesome executions of all of his cousins, his mother, all
21 of his sisters, two of his aunts, and their friends.
22 His survival will enable him to testify before this Tribunal about
23 those horrific events which otherwise would merely have added to the
24 statistics of numbers of persons killed. But these people are more than
25 just statistics. They were innocent civilian victims who could by no
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 stretch of the imagination be considered to be legitimate military
3 Speaking of statistics, you will hear that over 50 unarmed
4 civilians were killed that night in this neighbourhood alone.
5 These locations are not the only ones where killings took place in
6 that municipality. For example, in the village of Korenica, toward the
7 end of April, apparently in retaliation for an attack by the KLA on five
8 policemen, 34 unarmed civilian males and two women were summarily executed
9 and their bodies burned. The bodies were then buried by local Gypsies, or
10 Roma, on orders from the Serbian MUP but were subsequently dug up and
11 reburied elsewhere and have not yet been found.
12 In another incident of convoys, a convoy of refugees passed by a
13 MUP checkpoint in Meja, when a group of about 20 males between the ages of
14 12 and 70 were separated from the convoy and taken to an adjacent field.
15 They were then forced to kneel with their hands behind their heads and
16 peremptorily shot. Again, records from the ICRC show that over 340
17 persons were reported missing from the Meja area, and of those,
18 identification documents referring to at least eight of them were found in
19 a mass grave in Belgrade. Again, evidence of their crimes are being
20 discovered and continue to be investigated as this trial commences.
21 Again, piece by piece, the jigsaw puzzle becomes clearer, showing the
22 similar pattern all over Kosovo: Civilians are murdered and buried; then,
23 when there is a danger of the crimes being discovered, an organised
24 attempt is made to dig up the bodies and move them elsewhere. All to no
1 I pause here to indicate that perhaps the persons responsible may
2 have learned from their experience in Bosnia, including the ICTY
3 exhumations and investigations into Srebrenica and therefore took these
4 kinds of steps to conceal what had been done.
5 The means by which these bodies were relocated is no longer a
6 particular mystery. You will hear evidence from witnesses who I am not
7 able to name at this time in light of protective measures having been
8 granted, that Serb authorities ordered the bodies to be exhumed and
9 transported by refrigerator trucks to other locations.
10 Although it is not alleged that the truck in this video is the
11 particular truck used to transport bodies to Batajnica, Belgrade, it is an
12 example of one of the means by which these bodies were removed from Kosovo
13 as part of the cover-up to avoid discovery. This truck was found in the
14 Danube River and contained the bodies of about 80 Kosovo Albanians. You
15 will see the feet sticking out of the back.
16 I turn next, and very briefly, to sexual assaults and destruction
17 of religious sites. I have indicated that this case is primarily about
18 deportation and has, as a component, a massive amount of killings designed
19 to intentionally create an atmosphere of fear and oppression through the
20 use of force and acts of violence, but there are other charges as well.
21 You already know that in count 5 the accused and others are
22 charged with persecution, but that count also alleges persecution by
23 sexual assault of Kosovo Albanians and by the wanton destruction or damage
24 of Kosovo Albanian religious sites.
25 I expect that you will hear from a number of female witnesses who
1 were the victims of sexual assault. These witnesses will describe how the
2 soldiers taking part in the deportation roundup of civilians executed a
3 group of about 17 men and then selected a group of 50 to 100 women from
4 among their captives and raped them in front of the rest of the group.
5 You will hear of a 14-year-old girl being raped in front of her family.
6 You will hear from one witness that she was in a group of 27 women and
7 children who were held by soldiers in a cow shed. They were robbed,
8 threatened with violence, and then searched, consisting of being stripped
9 naked and sexually assaulted. Many of the women and girls were raped.
10 Various witnesses will testify that their sister and mother respectively
11 were among eight women who were taken out and did not return. Their naked
12 bodies were found dead in the wells near the shed.
13 Others will tell the various stories of how they were attacked by
14 Serb soldiers, robbed, their husbands or other family members murdered and
15 then they were raped. Still others will describe the horrors of being
16 gang-raped by soldiers in succession.
17 For these women, quite apart from the horror and trauma brought
18 about by these offences, the crime of rape and sexual assault carries with
19 it an even greater stigma and social consequence than for women from other
20 cultures or religions. Some have not even told their families they were
21 raped. For example, one young woman, engaged to be married at the time
22 she was sexually assaulted, was subsequently rejected by her husband once
23 the fact that she had been sexually assaulted was made known to him.
24 It takes great courage for these victims to come forward to tell
25 the world the truth of what happened.
1 As you can appreciate, some of these victims have sought
2 protective measures to protect their identities, which have been granted
3 by this Tribunal pursuant to the Rules of Evidence and Procedure.
4 Consequently, those who have been granted permission by the Court, will be
5 testifying either in closed session or by way of pseudonym and facial
7 Many of the witnesses, in the course of their evidence, will also
8 describe the destruction of mosques or other religious sites being
9 destroyed by Serb forces. You will hear the various witnesses tell of
10 their mosques being burned, or shelled, or subsequently destroyed by
12 Not only will you have the accounts by many as to what occurred to
13 the religious sites in their particular village, but you'll also have the
14 benefit of an expert report prepared by members of the Kosovo Cultural
15 Heritage Project from Cambridge, Massachusetts. A synopsis of that
16 report, which you will have for consideration in the course of the trial,
17 indicates a number of very interesting findings, all of which corroborate
18 the evidence of the local witnesses. Their research revealed that
19 approximately 225 mosques were damaged or destroyed in Kosovo during 1998
20 and 1999. Much of the damage resulted from explosive devices planted in
21 the mosque or inside the minaret, artillery aimed at the minaret, or fires
22 started in the mosque. Here is but one example of a damaged mosque. This
23 particular one, one of any one of a number we could have chosen, happens
24 to be a mosque in the village of Vucitrn.
25 In some cases, attacks were accompanied by anti-Albanian or
1 pro-Serbian graffiti written on mosque walls. Vandalism was also directed
2 at religious scriptures which were either torn, burned, or desecrated. In
3 some municipalities, the mosques and other Islamic cultural heritage sites
4 were the only buildings in a neighbourhood that had been singled out for
5 attack. In one municipality - Pec, or Peja - every one of the district's
6 49 Islamic monuments had been attacked.
7 Furthermore, this study dispels Serbian claims that most of the
8 damage was caused by NATO air attacks. In the majority of municipalities,
9 not one mosque was found to show any sign of damage attributable to an air
10 attack. Some, reputed by Serb authorities to have been damaged by air
11 attacks, were found subsequently by the researchers to be completely
12 intact. Others that were found to indeed have been damaged or destroyed,
13 were determined to have been damaged from the ground up and not from the
14 air. According to the report, only two of all the locations suffered
15 damage attributable to air attack.
16 The evidence, we submit, will lead you to the irrefutable
17 conclusion that these religious and cultural sites were specifically
18 targeted by the forces of the FRY and Serbia who were engaged in this
19 campaign of persecution.
20 As you listen to the evidence unfold, Your Honours, over the next
21 five to six months, you will undoubtedly be struck by the fact that, first
22 of all, there was a coordination between the VJ, the MUP, and the other
23 forces of the FRY and Serbia throughout the campaign.
24 Secondly, time and again the patterns repeated themselves: Men
25 were separated from the women; men were often murdered; women and children
1 were deported.
2 Thirdly, attacks predictably included verbal abuse, threats of
3 violence, removal of identification, looting and burning of property,
4 killing of livestock, murdering of non-combatants, rape of the women, and
5 destruction of religious sites.
6 Fourthly, people were herded into corridors and were either
7 escorted by uniformed Serbs or put onto buses or trains to speed up their
8 exit from Kosovo.
9 And fifthly, that same pattern happened at practically the same
10 time in different municipalities all over Kosovo.
11 At the conclusion of our case, the Prosecution submits that the
12 body of evidence submitted will leave the Trial Chamber with no reasonable
13 doubt but that the accused is guilty as charged on each count of the
14 Kosovo indictment.
15 Thank you, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Ryneveld.
17 Mr. Milosevic, it's now your opportunity to address the Chamber.
18 Before you do so, I should tell you this about your right to silence in
19 this trial: You have a right of silence during the trial. You're not
20 obliged to give evidence, to question witnesses, or to make submissions.
21 However, you may make a statement now. You may not be asked questions
22 about the content of the statement, but the statement will be made under
23 the control of the Trial Chamber, and the Trial Chamber will decide on the
24 probative value, if any, to be attached to the statement.
25 You may give evidence on your own behalf at the appropriate time,
1 in which case you will be subject to cross-examination.
2 Other than when giving evidence, you're not obliged to answer any
3 questions about the facts of the case but should be aware that if you make
4 statements about the facts during submissions to the Court, such
5 statements may be part of the material considered by the Trial Chamber in
6 reaching its decision on the case.
7 This ruling does not apply to questions on procedural and
8 administrative matters. This statement will be put into writing and given
9 to the accused.
10 Finally this: You may sit or stand to address the Court,
11 whichever you prefer.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do you stop work this afternoon at
14 JUDGE MAY: We stop at 4.00. So if you'd like to make a start
15 now, we will adjourn then and you can go on tomorrow.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think there's any sense in
17 me starting and being interrupted half an hour later. I have spent two
18 days listening to the speeches made by the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE MAY: Are you asking to start tomorrow morning? Is that
20 what you want?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You have -- you explained to me last
22 time when we were here, when we attended a Status Conference here, that I
23 would have the right to speak. And as far as I was able to gather now,
24 you are giving me that right. However, I consider that it would be
25 logical for me to begin without having to be interrupted less than half an
1 hour hence.
2 But I would like to take advantage of this opportunity,
3 nonetheless --
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You can address us tomorrow. But what is
5 it you would like to add?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to take advantage of this
7 opportunity before I begin speaking and delivering my speech to say that
8 as you know, several times here I have brought up some legal aspects. I
9 won't be mentioning those in my speech proper, but I have received no
10 response or answer from you.
11 You know full well that all international and national documents
12 and rules and regulations determine the fact that a court can be there to
13 judge only if it has been established on the basis of law, and I have
14 broached the question of the legality of this Tribunal.
15 You did not provide me with a response. You delved into the
16 question and looked into the aspects of court authority, although the
17 competencies of the court are not the same thing as the court's legality,
18 and I challenge the very legality of this Tribunal because it was not set
19 up on the basis of the law. The Security Council could not transfer the
20 right that it does not have to this Tribunal and, therefore, this Tribunal
21 does not have the competence to try.
22 I expect this Tribunal or, rather, you to respond to these legal
23 facts, and I had expected, as one of the amici curiae suggested, that I
24 seek the advice of the International -- that you seek the advice of the
25 International Court of Justice, which you failed to do. I consider that
1 this is a question of prime importance. It is of principled importance,
2 both for international law and for justice in general, and that it will
3 have to be resolved.
4 I think that I have sufficiently expounded and explained the issue
5 when I sent you a lengthy text with all the points that set out my
6 arguments. And I also did so orally here.
7 The second point that I wish to raise and wish to clarify is that,
8 at the Status Conference that was held here, I raised the question of my
9 illegal arrest, and the representative of the Tribunal had a part in that.
10 It took place in Belgrade, it violated the Constitution of Serbia and the
11 Constitution of Yugoslavia, and the Federal Government tabled its
12 resignation because of that, and criminal lawsuits have been the result in
13 Yugoslavia. They have been filed.
14 And on the other hand, I do know that every court is duty-bound to
15 deal with the habeas corpus question before the start of trial. You
16 failed to take that into account, nor did you schedule a hearing with that
17 respect, and which rule you were duty-bound to do, based on the Rules and
18 regulations. Those questions are regulated by all human rights and
19 political rights declarations, universal ones; European, American, and
20 others, and you, as men of the law, are well acquainted with that. And
21 through your own practice as well you have become acquainted with that
22 because you have been discussing the question of unlawful arrest in other
24 So this has been a great omission on your part. You were
25 duty-bound to call a hearing with respect to the hearing of unlawful
1 arrest that took place over my person and with respect to the fact that I
2 was brought here on the basis of a crime having been committed, a crime
3 which is not only treated in the laws of my own country, but it is an
4 issue treated in the laws of all states and is present in all
5 international conventions and so on and so forth.
6 Furthermore, I also broached a question which you too did not wish
7 to resolve, and I put forth many arguments to bear out my point. I said
8 that we cannot speak of a fair trial and an equitable trial here,
9 especially an unbiased stand on the part of the Prosecution. You know
10 that in 1990, the United Nations Congress adopted its own set of
11 instructions with respect to Prosecution and the Prosecutor. These were
12 general guidelines, demanding that there must be no prejudice and that
13 there must be impartiality.
14 From everything that we have heard here so far, we have become
15 more than convinced that, not only is it partial, but your Prosecutor has
16 proclaimed my sentence and judgement, and the Prosecution has orchestrated
17 a media campaign that is being waged and organised. It is a parallel
18 trial through the media which, along with this unlawful Tribunal, are
19 there to play the role of a parallel lynch process, which in advance,
20 without any insight --
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you. What do you mean by
22 saying that the Prosecutor has proclaimed your sentence and judgement?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In public. And the previous
24 Prosecutor, at a meeting with Albright said -- they both said that they
25 were engaged in the same business or job. And the indictment itself was
1 raised on the basis of the constructions of the British Intelligence
2 Service during the war against Yugoslavia. And we know full well that
3 intelligence services only give out selective information and details,
4 those that they are able to rig and not those which are not to their
5 advantage, and so on and so forth.
6 There are many arguments that could be raised here, but at all
7 events, I should like to indicate to you that you did not discuss these
8 matters nor did you make a decision of any kind. You did not call upon
9 the International Court of Justice as to the legalities of the issue, and
10 you did not schedule a hearing which you were duty-bound to do on the
11 basis of habeas corpus and on the basis of the fact that your
12 representative took part in the --
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you indicated earlier that you wanted
14 to make your submissions tomorrow. That's apparently not the case because
15 you want to address us today. But the matters on which you are choosing
16 to address us are matters upon which we have already ruled, as you would
17 know if you'd taken the trouble to read our decisions.
18 You had the right of appeal. You did not take it. The matters,
19 therefore, have all been dealt with, and your views about the Tribunal are
20 now completely irrelevant as far as these proceedings are concerned.
21 All the matters you raised you've argued before and we have ruled
22 upon, and there is no need for them to be raised again in these
24 We will hear the rest of your arguments and submissions tomorrow
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13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll just begin --
2 JUDGE MAY: Madam Prosecutor, there is one matter which we may be
3 able usefully to discuss in the time available. It's this: I said
4 earlier that we would discuss on Tuesday the future conduct of the
5 proceedings, and it may be helpful if you had in mind a possible timetable
6 in view of the need for there to be an expeditious hearing of this case.
7 Of course it's difficult to -- to lay down a timetable in advance, not
8 knowing how long cross-examination and the like is going to take.
9 But as far as the Prosecution case is concerned, there is this
10 consideration: The original rulings we made were made in the light of
11 Kosovo being a single trial. There is now a joint trial and that will
12 reflect on the general conduct. The original timetable we had in mind was
13 some 90 witnesses, finishing by the recess. We would wish to reconsider
14 that for this reason, that before we embark on Bosnia and Croatia, there
15 must clearly be time for the preparation for the accused, the amici, and
16 also the Court. So what we have in mind is this: that we should bring
17 forward the conclusion of the Kosovo case until a date towards the end of
18 June or the beginning of July. That would allow the Chamber and others
19 two months in which to prepare for the remainder of the case.
20 Now, we recognise that that will mean your having to cut down the
21 Kosovo case and also the number of witnesses, and no doubt you'll say that
22 you've been doing it as far as possible, but perhaps you'd like to have
23 another look at that, having regard to the time available for this case as
24 a whole. Because even with that timetable, it would seem that the
25 Prosecution is going to last a year at least, which is long enough, I
1 should have thought, for any Prosecution, given the -- even given the
2 seriousness and complexity of this case.
3 Perhaps you'd like to consider those matters and we'll discuss
4 them next Tuesday.
5 We will adjourn now. Perhaps I could remind everybody that we
6 shall not be sitting a full day tomorrow because this courtroom is needed
7 during the course of the afternoon.
8 Yes. Mr. Nice, I don't want you to respond to the timetable.
9 MR. NICE: No, I wasn't going to. It's an entirely different
10 matter I wanted to raise, a very small administrative matter that I've
11 been asked to raise.
12 Of course this trial is very well-publicised and the consequence
13 of that is that nearly all witnesses to come will very probably have had
14 an opportunity of hearing on their televisions or elsewhere what it is
15 that the accused may say tomorrow.
16 The first witness to come is a witness who deals with contacts
17 with the accused and who will be in this building probably tomorrow, has
18 asked very rightly and properly whether he may have permission himself to
19 see what it is the accused is saying. Normally, that would be thought
20 undesirable, but it seems in the circumstances of this case where every
21 other witness is likely to know in advance what the accused says, it would
22 be reasonable and fair for him to have that knowledge as well.
23 JUDGE MAY: Is there any particular reason why he wants to know?
24 MR. NICE: I think he's extremely interested. But he has asked,
25 and I transmit his request to you. It may in fact, indeed, save time,
1 because if the accused touches on matters that are of concern to this
2 witness and this witness's evidence, then it will probably save time.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: No. We think it more desirable if he doesn't.
5 MR. NICE: As Your Honour pleases.
6 JUDGE MAY: As I was saying, we'll sit tomorrow at 9.00, and from
7 9.00 until quarter to two.
8 MR. NICE: I'm also aware - one other point - that His Honour
9 Judge Robinson's question asked of Mr. Ryneveld hasn't yet been answered.
10 Perhaps we'll deal with that a little later and perhaps after the accused
11 has said what he has to say.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.45 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day
15 of February, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.