1 Monday, 9 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you perhaps need just a few
7 minutes to conclude your examination-in-chief.
8 WITNESS: RADOVAN PAPONJAK [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. We have just one part of the video recording left to see. The
14 last part relates to the 25th of May when the people described earlier
15 were listed and buried.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you applying to have the video played?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. The last video clip that we
18 did not have the opportunity to see yet.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: The same fast forward procedure.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, fine. We can see it. Not even
21 -- it's not even necessary to see it all, just to see the procedure.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand no video has been submitted to the
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was there the last day we worked.
25 I don't know what could have happened to it in the meantime.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, while that is being investigated,
2 Mr. Milosevic, just carry on and we can return to it.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Very well, Colonel. We have seen in video clips the events that
5 took place in the correctional centre Dubrava from the 19th until and
6 inclusive of the 25th of May, that is once we have seen the last part of
7 the video recording. So bearing in mind all that we have seen and all
8 that you were able to ascertain on the spot, because you were there on
9 several occasions -- when were you there, Colonel?
10 A. I visited on the 19th of May, after the first bombing, and on the
11 25th of May. In the meantime, I also visited on the 21st of May after the
12 on-site investigation team survived the bombing.
13 Q. The 21st of May is the day when you found the on-site
14 investigation team in the section of the interior in Istok, the team that
15 survived the bombing.
16 A. Correct. I saw them in a rather serious condition when they were
17 at the section of the interior in Istok.
18 Q. So in view of all that we have seen on the recording and all that
19 you saw in those days, I will read out to you this entire paragraph 66(k),
20 which reads: "On or about the 22nd of May, 1999 --" so the 22nd of May
21 falls within this interval between the 19th and the 25th of May -- "... a
22 uniformed person in the Dubrava prison complex announced from a watchtower
23 that all prisoners were to gather their personal belongings and line up on
24 the sports field of the prison complex for transfer to the prison in Nis,
25 Serbia. Within a very short time, hundreds of prisoners had gathered at
1 the sports field with bags of personal belongings and lined up in rows to
2 await transport. Without warning, uniformed persons opened fire on the
3 prisoners from the watchtower, from holes in the perimeter wall, and from
4 gun emplacements beyond the wall. Many prisoners were killed outright and
5 others wounded."
6 Below that in subitem (i), it says: "On or about the 23rd of May,
7 1999, in the afternoon, forces of the FRY and Serbia threw grenades and
8 shot into the drains, sewers, buildings and basements, killing and
9 wounding many additional prisoners who had sought refuge in those
10 locations after the events of the previous day. Altogether, approximately
11 50 prisoners were killed."
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, let me tell you that it will not
13 be appropriate to ask one general question in relation to these several
14 allegations. There are many allegations in (k) and (i). So one general
15 question will not be appropriate. You must address a specific allegation
16 and get an answer to that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Colonel, you were there on the 19th and the 21st or, rather, the
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. During those days, was there a day or several days when
23 investigations were attended by journalists?
24 A. On the 21st of May, there were journalists attending the
25 investigation, after the days when I was there. However, I read in the
1 report made by the investigating judge that they also attended on other
3 Q. Tell me, were you able to notice any holes in the wall from which
4 somebody would have been able to fire?
5 A. No, I was not.
6 Q. Did you hear anything about any execution having been organised at
7 the prison?
8 A. No. There were absolutely no stories about that and no mention of
10 Q. During those days, were there any units present at the prison
11 complex apart from the prison guards?
12 A. No.
13 Q. In tab 8, there is a description of this event. You saw at -- you
14 saw on the videotape that, as you noted yourself the previous day, there
15 were mattresses and blankets on the grass outside.
16 A. Yes. And it would have been even better visible had we been able
17 to see the recording at normal speed.
18 Q. Could it have happened that somebody would have called the
19 prisoners outside to line up but also take their mattresses and blankets?
20 A. No. That would not have been logical.
21 Q. So do you have an explanation for the mattresses and the bedding?
22 A. Well, during the bombing, the prisoners slept outside, and it's
23 normal that they took their bedding with them. It was warm, and even if
24 it hadn't been warm, it is certain that they would have preferred to sleep
25 outside rather than in the building.
1 Q. In the transcript that we received accompanying the recording,
2 since we were not able to see -- or, rather, to hear the running
3 commentary on the recording which is part of the investigative material,
4 on that recording one is able to hear a voice, a voice that I will quote.
5 It says --
6 MR. NICE: This is not translated. We haven't heard it at a speed
7 that we can hear. I don't know how the Chamber wants to deal with it.
8 This is again the accused giving evidence himself of what he says is on a
9 tape that is in Serbian.
10 JUDGE KWON: However, we received the transcript in B/C/S, which
11 hasn't been translated. That's the problem.
12 MR. NICE: Yes.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you see the problem? We have not
14 heard this running commentary of the recording, and you're now seeking to
15 make reference to that. Perhaps if you could identify it in the B/C/S
16 version we could have it translated. Put it on the ELMO.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, since the entire
18 recording has been exhibited, everyone is able to check whether the
19 running commentary is indeed on the tape. It was transcribed from the
20 tape and the tape is in your possession here. I cannot tell you the exact
21 minute and second on the recording where any of these quotations can be
22 found, but it can always be checked subsequently.
23 I can quote from what was transcribed on this tape where you can
24 hear a voice. This is not a commentary made by anybody else.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I can ask the witness, since he was able to both see and hear the
2 recording, if he had noticed that there is a running commentary.
3 A. That is correct. The scene-of-crime officers described what they
4 saw during the recording. Among other things, they described the way in
5 which doors were forced open, broken from the inside, so that inmates
6 could leave the premises. And while we were watching the recording in the
7 previous days, I made a remark that we were missing important details.
8 From the recording we can see this and we can hear this.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, does it mean that you cannot locate
10 the relevant passage from this transcription in B/C/S?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You should be able to do that.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can locate it in the transcript.
13 Of course I can. I'm just saying that I cannot say now to the A/V booth
14 where it is on the tape. On the transcript of course I can find it. It's
15 in the last paragraph. And it can always be compared and checked.
16 Here it is in the transcript. The last paragraph on the first
17 page of the transcript. It says: "Traces on the door of the room
18 indicate the way in which inmates forced open the door in order to leave
19 the room, just like with the room across the hallway. For the main part,
20 every dormitory within the building that had been hit was forced and
21 broken by the inmates from the inside. In front of dormitory 35D, which
22 held four convicts, there was a security lock which looks this way after
23 the inmates broke the door open in order to save themselves and run away.
24 Upstairs, at dormitory 33D, there is also a lock forced open from the
25 inside. The place where the security lock was is just outside the door,
1 and we are showing exactly in which condition it is. These are metal
2 bars, probably the legs of beds, used as levers to force open and break
3 the doors. This is the appearance of the door from the inside.
4 "We are now in front of dormitory 54 holding convicts. They were
5 not able to force the door open, which is why they broke through the
7 And then the recording shows this passage through which six
8 prisoners ran out. And then they show how -- what the dormitory 54 looks
9 like on the recording. "We see also broken bars from beds used during the
10 breakthrough, as well as turned over mattresses, shattered glass, et
11 cetera. Upstairs, also in front of the dormitory, we cannot establish
12 exactly which dormitory it is, but we can see the door which were also
13 thrown out of the doorway, which means the convicts acted from inside. We
14 see traces of feet. In this dormitory we again see visible traces of
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. You can ask a question about that.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Colonel, after the airstrikes, did the prisoners from all these
19 destroyed pavilions in the course of those days take any part of the
20 inventory out? And here I mean, for example, blankets and the other
21 things and place them on the grass outside?
22 A. They left the premises and took out what they needed to survive
23 out in the open; their blankets and mattresses and their own personal
24 belongings. And they had time to do that, ample time, because the
25 situation after the bombing at the correctional centre was --
1 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ...
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: Is this a reported account of someone else or is it an
4 observation by the witness? I'm at a loss to know.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Colonel, what is the source of this information?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The source of this information is
7 both videotapes and the on-site investigation and what the people who were
8 there saw on the scene themselves.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Colonel, in tab 8 in the report, which speaks about all the events
12 in the Dubrava penal and correctional institution, does it also contain
13 the observation that a number of inmates tried to flee?
14 A. Yes, that is correct. That observation is included in the report
15 as well, the attempted escape on the part of the prisoners, and that the
16 prisoners were prevented in doing so.
17 Q. So there were attempts at escape but the prisoners were prevented,
18 is that it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you have any information as to whether anybody shot at the
22 A. No, I didn't have any information about that, and that wasn't the
23 topic of my attention and investigation at the time.
24 Q. And could it have happened that in somebody -- if somebody tried
25 to stop one of the prisoners escaping, that they might have shot at the
2 A. That could have happened, but it would be normal for something
3 like that to be resorted to.
4 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... disregard the
5 rules. He's trying to give evidence. He's leading questions through this
6 witness. It really, in my respectful submission, should be stopped.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the question is inappropriate.
8 It's leading and just too inferential.
9 JUDGE KWON: Can you put the second page of tab 8 on the ELMO. I
10 think it's the first paragraph as well on the B/C/S version. Could you
11 take a look.
12 Mr. Paponjak, while it is being put, I'll read out the passage for
13 you. In this paragraph, you reported that: "In this attack, the prison
14 perimeter wall was demolished in several places which enabled the inmates
15 to escape from the Institution." You remember that? And then later, at
16 the last sentence, it says like this: "A group of convicts attempted to
17 escape; the Security Service, whose members had been deployed around the
18 KPZ walls, took measures to prevent inmates from escaping."
19 My question is what are those measures to prevent inmates from
20 escaping? Do they include shooting at them and whether there were any
21 casualties at all.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't write this report myself.
23 It was compiled by the team that was appointed to do so by the Pec SUP.
24 JUDGE KWON: It is signed by you. I don't understand your answer.
25 This is a document which you signed, and you should be aware of these
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. That is quite
3 so, and that's what I wanted to say.
4 As I said, the team investigated this, and that is normal
5 procedure, there is a team to do that. And it is quite customary for me
6 to sign the report and to become acquainted with its contents, of course.
7 So I did sign it, but I didn't actually interview all those individuals
8 and go into all the circumstances and the details of them. So if the
9 prisoners did indeed try to escape, the security guards in the prison
10 prevented that, and they prevent that pursuant to the rules and
11 regulations. So quite normal -- it would be quite normal for them to
12 resort to firearms and shoot if they couldn't prevent it otherwise. We
13 didn't enter into the details as to how they prevented it, what measures
14 they took, because that comes under the Ministry of Justice and not under
15 the Ministry of Interior. It is their job to do that, the former. So in
16 this report, we didn't write down all the details because we didn't go
17 into all the details and investigate them.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Paponjak, this is on a different note, but were
19 you present at the place where the autopsy took place, and the place of
20 the region is Rakosi cemetery, which should have taken place sometime in
21 August 1999, for the victims of Dubrava prison.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was present at that location on
23 the 25th or the 26th of May, not in August 1999. I was there on the spot
24 when the corpses were buried.
25 JUDGE KWON: I mean the -- the autopsy conducted by the Spanish
1 forensic team. Are you aware of that autopsy?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do know that the autopsy was
3 conducted, but I wasn't there myself.
4 JUDGE KWON: Did you hear about the results of that autopsy at
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know what the results
7 were of the autopsy conducted by the Spanish forensic team.
8 JUDGE KWON: Did you not hear that some 30 bodies had gunshot
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't know about that fact.
11 They didn't send us any findings, nor did we establish or ask for any
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Go on, Mr. Milosevic.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, before you go on, there is by this
15 time a certain pattern in your examination-in-chief. When you're coming
16 to the end, you either try to finish with a flourish or you ask questions
17 which are really comments, which are more appropriate for you to use as
18 comments when -- in your final address. So we inevitably come to a point
19 of diminishing returns, and I think I see that setting in now.
20 If you do not have any other pertinent questions to ask of this
21 witness, I'm going to stop the examination-in-chief. There are matters on
22 which you can address us in your final speech, but those are not matters
23 on which the witness can help you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I asked questions that I
25 assumed the witness could give me answers to, that's all. I asked the
1 witness whether he had heard of anybody executing any of the prisoners in
2 the Dubrava prison, and his answer was that he hadn't.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, just proceed. Proceed with the
4 question. Let us now see if you have a pertinent question.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Colonel, had an event like that taken place, that is to say that
7 somebody had been executed in the Dubrava prison? Would you have had to
8 have been informed about the incident?
9 A. Quite certainly, yes. That kind of information would have had to
10 have reached us.
11 Q. Now, on the tapes that we played, we could see some of the bodies
12 and some of them were identified. We could also see some pieces of paper
13 that were placed on the bodies. Does that refer to the people that were
14 identified on the spot? Is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. On those pieces of paper, on the time recorded on the tape, 1.10,
17 we have Januz Krasniqi from Prizren, for example.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, does that name coincide with the list that you have in
20 Schedule J, that is to say the one -- the list of the alleged casualties,
21 those who fell victim of our forces in Dubrava allegedly?
22 A. I don't have that list. I don't have that schedule.
23 Q. Well, all right. It's in the middle of the list in Schedule J.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm just not clear on one thing,
25 Mr. Robinson: From your comments the previous working day, it would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 emerge that it would be up to me to prove that all the people listed in
2 Schedule A [as interpreted] lost their lives during the bombing, and I
3 think that Mr. Nice -- the burden should be on Mr. Nice to show that they
4 had been killed as specified here.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I've stopped that. I mean, it's a wholly
6 inappropriate comment. I have never suggested that the burden is on you
7 for anything in respect of this indictment. But to the extent that you're
8 leading evidence, I have given you advice as to how that should be done
9 best, and I have told you you can sit there and you can remain silent and
10 say nothing in relation to the allegations and walk free at the end of
11 this case. The burden is always on the Prosecution. It is mischievous of
12 you to suggest that anybody in the Chamber has said otherwise. Proceed.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let me just line up the facts that you testified about. Now,
16 Colonel, how many prisoners did you say there were in the prison?
17 A. One thousand and four.
18 Q. All right. Now, in view of the description in paragraph (k) and
19 (i), they were lined up at a gathering point, a collection point where
20 they were executed. Now, what are the facts that cannot be refuted?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. That doesn't -- that's not a question to
22 put, and you must know that.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right, then. How many hundreds of prisoners, after the attack
25 on the Dubrava prison, were evacuated to other prisons, specifically the
1 prison at Lipjan?
2 A. After all these events, about 750 prisoners were evacuated to the
3 correctional centre at Lipjan.
4 Q. And how many prisoners were killed as a result of the NATO
6 A. About 100.
7 Q. All right. Now, how many prisoners were hospitalised, sent to
8 different hospitals, including the hospital in Pec, Lipjan, and others,
9 those who were wounded?
10 A. I don't know about that off the bat, but I do know that all those
11 who were wounded and injured whom we came across there were transported to
12 the Istok health centre and then to the Pec hospital where they were
13 hospitalised. And I don't know how many there were in Lipjan.
14 Q. All right. Fine.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, gentlemen, according to what it
16 says here, the description of the event that took place according to the
17 indictment, it would emerge that the authorities had executed prisoners,
18 and there were a thousand of those, 1.000, and then those prisoners whom
19 they did not kill, who were wounded, they took to hospital, and the people
20 who they did not wound were evacuated to other prisons. And the figure
21 for those evacuees was 800. Can anybody imagine anything like that
22 happening at all?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. That has to be reformulated. We are coming
24 to the end now, Mr. Milosevic. One more question like that and I'm going
25 to stop it.
1 JUDGE KWON: I didn't follow, Mr. Milosevic, when you referred to
2 tab -- no, recording 1.10 referring to one of the victims, Krasniqi, Januz
3 Krasniqi, what 1.10 meant. What do you mean by that?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps it wasn't recorded properly.
5 It says 1.19.10, which means the minutes, the minutes on the tape, the
6 time on the tape where that person who -- that killed person can be seen
7 with his name recorded, because a piece of paper was placed on the body
8 with his name. So that's the time that is shown on the tape. It is
10 JUDGE KWON: That being the case, I think we should see the
11 record. It's one of the victims of the schedule.
12 MR. NICE: In case my observation is of value, I entirely agree
13 with His Honour Judge Kwon, and it's quite possible that in
14 cross-examination I will be taking the Court to one or two passages of
15 this video for my own reasons.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to mention ...
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Following on Judge Kwon's suggestion, I'll ask
19 for the tape to be played at the point of 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 10
21 That may take some time to prepare. While that is in preparation,
22 Mr. Milosevic, if you have another question, ask it.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to read out -- actually,
24 can I just say something before that? On the tape, this can be seen, a
25 few persons who had been identified, and there are pieces of paper on
1 those persons, and I have the exact minute reference as to where these
2 bodies are.
3 Januz Krasniqi is one of them, and that corresponds with Schedule
4 J. The others do not, but they had also been identified.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honours, as to Krasniqi, I think that the time
6 reference the accused has given may be wrong. It's 1.17 -- I think 1.17
7 and 49. 1 hour, 17 minutes, 49 seconds.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Will the booth first try 1.17.49. If
9 that's not right, then we'll go to 1.19.10.
10 JUDGE KWON: Is it on Sanction?
11 MR. NICE: I think it is on Sanction, but I think that's
12 Ms. Dicklich playing it. I'm quite happy to put it on Sanction if the
13 Chamber is happy to see it that way.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
15 [Videotape played]
16 JUDGE KWON: Could we play it back so we can see the name.
17 [Videotape played]
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that's it.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Januz Krasniqi, yes.
20 MR. NICE: This is where we started the clip initially and it ran
21 on. Your Honour may have missed this. This was the first couple frames.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: [Microphone not activated]
23 MR. NICE: It may be a different body but this is what we were
24 trying to show you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I see, Mr. Robinson, that the
1 technical people do have the tape now. Could they please play the 25th
2 and the 26th of May now, that video footage. Perhaps it can be fast
3 forwarded in order to see what was done with the casualties at the Dubrava
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes, that may be done.
6 [Videotape played]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is to be done in the fast forward mode.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The voices can be heard here, the
10 investigator dictating what can be found on the body for the purposes for
11 identification. For example, he says blue trousers, black shirt, shoes,
12 and so on. That is important for identification purposes.
13 Numbers are affixed on everyone.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is to be fast forwarded.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We can move on to the next one
16 immediately where they are buried, because this way it goes all the way up
17 to number 93, so that will take awhile.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Colonel, from number 1 through 93 -- actually, you've viewed this
20 tape, have you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How many numbers are there on these corpses?
23 A. On orders from the investigating judge, the corpses were processed
24 from the point of -- from a criminal technical point of view in the
25 village of Rakos on the 25th and on the 26th. So two days. There was a
1 total of 93 corpses. They were photographed, they were videotaped, all
2 their characteristics were described, they were fingerprinted with a view
3 to further identification, and then they were buried at that locality.
4 The graves were marked with the same numbers that were used when the
5 corpses were photographed. This went on for two days. I was there, as I
6 already mentioned in response to His Honour Judge Kwon's question.
7 So on the 25th or on the 26th of Nay, I was there and I'm fully
8 familiar with what happened then.
9 Q. All right. In tab 46.4 are there photographs of all the
10 casualties? And further on in the same tab are there the fingerprints
11 that you referred to just now?
12 A. Yes. That is the criminal technical documentation of SUP Pec,
13 what was done on the spot that day.
14 Q. I'm just going to read something else to you now.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Professor Rakic looked
16 at Mr. Nice's material and extracted a sheet of paper from it, and their
17 number is ERN 03030807. That is a conclusion. It says "[Seal] Ministry
18 of Justice." I assume since it says down here "Signed Dr. D. Emilio Perez
19 Pujol," I assume those are the findings of the Spanish experts. I would
20 like to draw your attention to the following: The date is the 3rd of
21 June, 2000. That is to say 13 months later. In the document it says:
22 "[In English] The cadavers from the Rakosh cemetery that were inspected
23 match the following characteristics:
24 "1. All are male.
25 "2. They are between 18 and 60 years of age.
1 "3. Regarding causes of death, it can be concluded that 45
2 deaths occurred as a result of the use of weapons from aerial bombardment,
3 and 53 deaths occurred as a result of weapons or munitions used to contain
4 or suppress the escape attempts."
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Now, Colonel, on the basis of this analysis that was made, could
7 it have been established whether all of these persons were prisoners from
8 Dubrava and whether they were killed in their attempt to flee, part of
9 them, or whether they were killed during the aerial bombing? This
10 happened a few months after their burial.
11 A. I don't know on the basis of what --
12 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ...
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, that is another question that the
14 witness is not able to answer.
15 MR. NICE: I think that the document -- and I'm grateful to
16 Ms. Dicklich for her speedy retrieval of detail -- I think that the
17 document to which the accused has been referring may be Exhibit 165 tab 7
18 but that comes from, obviously, our electronic records at the moment.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Colonel, on the basis of what you saw yourself and what you saw on
21 the videotapes, was a single corpse found at this collection point on the
22 concrete runway where the prisoners were lined up?
23 A. No. No. They were all found on the grass or in the dormitories
24 or in the facilities.
25 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I'm not going to put any other questions to
1 you regarding Dubrava. There is yet another incident involving loss of
2 life which is not mentioned here in your brief, but it is mentioned in
3 this indictment. Actually, in paragraph 66(f), it says: "On or about the
4 26th of March 1999, in the morning hours, forces of the FRY and Serbia
5 attacked the village of Padaliste (Istok municipality). As the forces of
6 the FRY and Serbia entered the village, they fired on houses and on
7 villagers who attempted to flee. Eight members of the Beke Imeraj family
8 were forced from their home and were killed in front of their house.
9 Other residents of Padaliste were killed at their homes and in a streambed
10 near the village. Altogether, forces of the FRY and Serbia killed
11 approximately 20 Kosovo Albanians from Padaliste. (Those persons killed
12 who are known by name are set forth in Schedule E...)"
13 Let me just find Schedule E. Yes. Since Padaliste is in the
14 Istok municipality, it would have to be in the territory of your SUP,
15 Colonel. Are you aware of this event from the area of responsibility of
16 your SUP?
17 A. No. First of all, I have to say that Padaliste does not exist in
18 the territory of the municipality of Istok. There is no such locality
19 there or within the area of responsibility of my SUP.
20 Q. All right. But it says here that it was the village of Padaliste
21 in the municipality of Istok that was attacked. Are you aware that a
22 village like that does not exist in Istok municipality?
23 A. I am sure. I know that a locality called Padaliste does exist,
24 but it doesn't belong to the municipality of Istok. It belongs to the
25 municipality of Srbica. It is possible that we are talking about a halo
1 effect. Everything that is bad has to be here.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: How far would the one be from the other? The
3 place where you say Padaliste is in the municipality of Srbica, would that
4 be neighbouring the Istok municipality?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, yes. It is a
6 neighbouring municipality in terms of Istok, but it belongs to a different
7 region of Kosovska Mitrovica. Had we had this information, we would have
8 submitted it to the SUP of Kosovska Mitrovica, but we had no information
9 about this event.
10 JUDGE KWON: Am I right, Padaliste is in the middle between Istok
11 and Srbica?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, approximately, yes. It is by
13 the road between Pec and Kosovska Mitrovica.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. All right. Since you don't know anything about any such event in
16 Padaliste -- it's my understanding that you don't know anything about
17 anything that happened in Padaliste.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Then I'm not going to ask you anything about the village of
20 Padaliste, although there were a few important questions in this regard.
21 However, I hope that I will be able to put them to another witness.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, can I ask you to have
23 these exhibits admitted into evidence, those that I submitted along with
24 this witness. We analysed in quite a bit of detail some of these binders.
25 I assume that you bear in mind the fact that these are official documents
1 only of the relevant authorities, and this is a witness who, from his
2 official position, had insight into all of this and is testifying on that
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, for various reasons I'd ask that the whole
5 question of admitting any of these documents is reserved until the end of
6 cross-examination. The principal objection at present would be the lack
7 of translations of nearly all of them, but there may be other reasons for
8 rejecting them in due course.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll defer the decision, Mr. Milosevic, on their
11 admission to the end of the cross-examination.
12 So Mr. Nice.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I have no further questions.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
17 Q. While we're looking at geography just because it may be helpful to
18 have it in mind, as His Honour Judge Kwon says, Padaliste is broadly
19 halfway between Istok and Srbica, but Dubrava is broadly halfway between
20 Istok and Padaliste, isn't it?
21 A. Well, Dubrava is not by the road.
22 Q. No. I mean as the crow flies, it's roughly halfway between.
23 MR. NICE: Put it on the overhead projector, please.
24 JUDGE KWON: Page 5. Further up a bit. No, no.
25 MR. NICE: Up. Right.
1 JUDGE KWON: No, you should show the left part.
2 MR. NICE: Mr. Nort, could I have the map back and I'll show you
3 the bit I want.
4 JUDGE KWON: It was too enlarged.
5 MR. NICE: If the Court's got its maps, I'm not going to take
6 time. Thank you very much.
7 Q. Now, if you look at that we can see Srbica to the right, Istok to
8 the left, Padaliste just to the right of centre, and then just to the left
9 of centre, in a diamond shape shading, we can see Dubrava prison. Yes?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to the right of that Susica,
12 to which we may return for other reasons later.
13 The reason I mention that Dubrava prison is halfway between Istok
14 and Padaliste is this: You haven't mentioned it, and I'm going to deal
15 with Dubrava later, probably now tomorrow, but the very witness who
16 described the killing of her family in front of her eyes coming from
17 Padaliste, Witness Lirij Imeraj, was also able to tell us about the air
18 base that operated at Dubrava prison, because you can see from this map
19 it's not very far away. It's right, isn't it, and you haven't told us a
20 word about this, that there was a military function operating beside or at
21 Dubrava prison, wasn't there?
22 A. I understand that -- that it was actually a misunderstanding by
23 NATO. The terrorists must have misinformed NATO about this alleged air
24 base operating from the Dubrava prison and the NATO did the dirty work for
1 Q. I'm going to invite the Chamber to cut you short whenever you
2 start commenting. Just yes or no, and we'll come back to it with other
3 material later: There were military functions performed at or from the
4 area of Dubrava prison in the period leading up to the bombing. Mrs.
5 Imeraj from Padaliste, whose mind was later much more concentrated on the
6 loss of nearly her entire family, saw it happen.
7 MR. KAY: Well, that's a comment. Shall we establish whether the
8 prison was a NATO target in the sense that it was a military function or
9 is it nearby that there is some place where there's a military function?
10 Let's get it clear exactly what we should be dealing with.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And Mr. Nice, avoid the comments.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Paponjak, was it near or at the prison that
14 there was a military function?
15 A. I don't know which military installation you mean.
16 Q. Very well. Is it your evidence that there was no military
17 function performed at or near the prison at all?
18 A. I assert that. I assert, I affirm that in the correctional
19 facility of Dubrava there was no military installation whatsoever, neither
20 was there one in the immediate vicinity of the Dubrava prison. However,
21 during the bombing there were military positions that were a couple of
22 kilometres away from the Dubrava prison. That is, trenches, positions
23 occupied by the army, and shelters and covers, but there was no military
24 installation or military function inside or in the vicinity of Dubrava.
25 Q. And before the 21st of May of 1999, when was your most recent
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 visit to Dubrava prison?
2 A. Before that, I never visited the prison.
3 Q. The 21st of May your first ever visit to that area?
4 A. Sorry. Sorry. My first visit was on the 19th of May.
5 Q. And your first ever visit --
6 A. On the 21st I wasn't there at all.
7 Q. The 19th of May, your first ever visit to that area?
8 A. To the correctional facility of Dubrava, yes, it was my first
9 visit. I went to places around or in the vicinity of the prison before.
10 Q. Apart from military presence in the area, was there any special
11 MUP presence in the area of Dubrava to your knowledge?
12 A. In the area of Dubrava, there was the presence of patrols, police
13 patrols, that went about their usual business.
14 Q. Very well. I'm going to try and deal with matters chronologically
15 and shall thus return to Dubrava later, but I want you to help me a little
16 bit with these documents you've provided before we go back in time to
17 where we must start.
18 Who gave the order that these documents should be produced? You
19 said there was an instruction. Who gave the instruction?
20 A. The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
21 Q. You have a copy of the instruction with you?
22 A. No, I do not.
23 Q. What did it say? Tell us from memory.
24 A. It was about the methodology to be used in drafting this
25 documentation and stipulating the procedure in which the documents would
1 be compiled.
2 Q. As well as the methodology, it presumably instructed you to
3 prepare the documents at all. I mean, you needed instruction before you
4 prepared these documents, wouldn't you? What did it say about that? Why
5 should these documents be prepared?
6 A. I never went into reasons why my superiors took certain decisions.
7 Q. Then let's --
8 A. I just executed.
9 Q. What was the scope of the instructions you received? Was this to
10 provide a comprehensive analysis of all criminal activity between certain
11 dates, for example?
12 A. The time period was 1998 and 1999. Documents concerning the work
13 of the police in Kosovo and Metohija over those two years.
14 Q. That was all, was it?
15 A. I cannot tell you from memory now what exactly it said. It was a
16 very comprehensive documentation specified by chapter, which chapters need
17 to be included, what the headings should be, and the approximate time
18 period. There are many more chapters than have been presented here. It's
19 not a problem, however, to obtain this.
20 Q. What was the apparent purpose of this exercise that you engaged
22 A. Well, you see, we saved this documentation from the area. We
23 transported it in various means of transport, whatever we could lay our
24 hands on in the chaos that suddenly set in. We placed documentation in
25 passenger vehicles, in vans, and took it to the town of Kragujevac in
1 Sumadija. And the teams who were unloading this put it in storage places,
2 in warehouses, without any order at all. You must have in mind this was
3 the state of war. It was towards the end the war. And now we were facing
4 the huge job of taking all this documentation from warehouses, sorting it,
5 gathering in one place everything that was linked to one case and placing
6 it in an envelope to form a case file. Then these case files had to be
7 put into a certain order and processed in order, one by one.
8 So everything that was available to us concerning one case -- to
9 achieve what? To complete all the unfinished cases, to lay a groundwork
10 for future work, because we reckoned we would continue to work. We had a
11 lot of unsolved crimes. We were unable to work on them at all during the
12 war, and we were counting on being able again to continue to work on these
13 cases, to shed light on these unsolved crimes and close the files. So we
14 started sorting out the documents even before we received the
16 Q. How many people were there, how many police officers and ancillary
17 staff were there working in the Pec SUP in, say, December 1998? Very
19 A. I don't have this piece of information. Because in December
20 1998 --
21 Q. Give us a clue; hundreds or thousands for the police officers and
22 ancillary staff.
23 A. In the hundreds. Close to a thousand.
24 Q. Very well. In June 1999, you all quit the territory, and you
25 moved to --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. The interpreter made a slip
2 of the tongue. They said June 1999. So the -- 1998. So the witness
3 won't be able to answer you properly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In June 1999, we left the area.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. You quit the territory and you become, as it were, a SUP in exile
7 in Kragujevac. How many of the close to a thousand, if it was, remain as
8 an exile SUP?
9 A. In organisational terms, yes, but in working terms that's not
11 Q. Well, presumably Kragujevac has its own MUP or SUP. It has its
12 own police force. It doesn't need a thousand new recruits. So what
13 happened to your exiled SUP?
14 A. That's precisely why I said that organisationally those people
15 stayed in the SUP of Pec but not in actual terms. They were actually
16 employed in other Secretariats of the Interior within the republic, and
17 the necessary number of workers were engaged in the secretariat in
18 Kragujevac for the work that we continued to do.
19 Q. Well, you've spoken of heads of department and so on helping you
20 in the preparation of this report. With the active policemen distributed
21 elsewhere, so we can have a picture, from June 1999 until 2002, roughly,
22 how many people were working with you in the secretariat of this exiled
23 MUP -- SUP, sorry.
24 A. The number varied. It varied depending on current needs. At any
25 moment, I was able to take any of my men from any Secretariat of the
1 Interior and transfer him to Kragujevac before returning him to the
2 secretariat from which I took him.
3 Q. How many actually worked in this office of yours in the period
4 1999 to 2002?
5 A. From 30 to 100, depending on the needs.
6 Q. Apart from dealing with any individuals who might walk in with
7 either historical or current complaints of crimes committed in the Pec
8 SUP, did this 30 to 100 people have anything active to do apart from
9 sorting through these old documents?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What crimes were they investigating, and how, because they
12 couldn't go back to the territory.
13 A. On all the cases we had on record in our files in the outpost of
14 the Secretariat of the Interior of Kragujevac, we received people from
15 Kragujevac or from people who were currently in Pec but they resided in
16 Serbia or in Montenegro. They came to be issued with passports, driving
17 licenses, and other documents, which is all within the competence of
18 Secretariats of the Interior.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. My men interviewed them and gathered information.
21 Q. But what investigative -- what prospect was there of doing any
22 investigative police station -- policework - you knew you weren't going
23 back - as from June 1999? There was no prospect of doing investigative
24 policework, was there?
25 A. We didn't know for sure that we were not going back. I wasn't
1 certain of that, and I'm still not certain that we wouldn't go back.
2 We interviewed all people who came to Kragujevac about all sorts
3 of subjects, and that was precisely the work of my policemen.
4 Q. I have two more detailed questions on this general topic at the
5 moment, and they are these: So we can understand the documents even
6 though we can't read them because they're not translated, if we look at,
7 say, tab 1.4 and find material -- I'll let the Chamber find it.
8 Starting at 2. -- 1.4, at nearly -- towards the end of it, at
9 number 262, we can see the first entry after June of 1999 in August,
10 number 262. If we go on to look at the last one in this collection, which
11 is 285, for September of 2001, what should we make of these entries?
12 Because we can't read them. Are these simply people bringing complaints
13 to you or is this you investigating matters that you'd learnt had happened
14 in the territory of Pec?
15 A. I don't understand what's your problem with this. This is our
16 work that we were performing in keeping with our authority in Serbia. We
17 were not doing anything illegal. We were putting on record all the
18 incidents on our territory regardless of the fact that they happened
19 subsequently. The incidents involved criminal acts and crimes. If
20 something happened in 2001, does it mean that we're not allowed to put it
21 on record?
22 Q. Do I take it from that answer, which is my next of effectively
23 three questions at this stage, do I take it from that answer that
24 information from any source suggestive of crime in the area of Pec is
25 something that you should have investigated?
1 A. We record every information we get regardless of whether it is
2 accurate or not. Then it's our job to check it out.
3 Q. And information can come in a number of different ways, can't it?
4 It can come from an individual who lays a complaint, or it can come from
5 public information which suggests a crime needs investigating; correct?
6 A. You know perfectly well all the ways in which we are able to work.
7 Are you questioning me about the methods of police work? As a Prosecutor,
8 you should be aware of that. We have many ways in which we can get
10 Q. Very well. And I think you're confirming that it doesn't matter
11 how the information comes in, it's your duty, whether before or after June
12 of 1999, it's your duty to investigate it if you can.
13 A. Yes. And it's not precisely investigation; it is the preliminary
15 Q. Now, these documents produced at Kragujevac in May or thereabouts
16 of 2002, did they have another function, a public relations function?
17 A. That is something I don't know. We did not present it to the
18 public. I never expected that it would be presented to the public,
19 because I deemed that unnecessary.
20 It is, on the contrary, in our interest to keep this away from the
21 public as far as we can because there are things contained in these
22 documents that we would not like to leak out because they could become
23 accessible to persons whom we are targeting, among other things, who are
24 of interest to us, and that is why I would like this session, among other
25 things, to be private.
1 Q. You see, the MUP had its own website on which it posted various
2 reports, didn't it?
3 A. Probably.
4 Q. Were any of these reports published on websites at some period
5 since their production in May of 2002?
6 A. That is something I don't know. I worked in very modest
7 circumstances in my exile, as you called it, and I had no access to
9 Q. The format of these documents is fairly uniform; report and
10 appendices generally. Do you agree?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could another purpose of these reports have been specifically to
13 assist this accused in his trial? Because they were prepared in May 2002,
14 well after the trial had started.
15 A. As you said more than once, I can only speculate. But, no, in
16 fact it could not have been the purpose. This documentation was not
17 drafted for the purposes of this Tribunal. It would be unfit for the
18 purposes of the Tribunal. It was done for our purposes, the purposes of
19 the Ministry of the Interior.
20 Q. Entirely independent of this trial, was it?
21 A. As far as I'm concerned, it is completely independent. And you
22 can see from the documents themselves that they were not made for the
23 purposes of this Tribunal because the underlying methodology is unfitting.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just ask something. Mr. Paponjak, I am
25 having difficulty understanding the purpose of the documents, and I want
1 to be clear about that. Am I correct in thinking that behind every one of
2 these cases referred to in 1.4 that there will be a case file from which
3 the details were taken to be put into this document?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely. As I pointed out so many
5 times, behind each of these cases that has a number, there is a case.
6 It's in fact a dossier. We called it a case file.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It has its own cover.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So what is the purpose of this document? If you
10 have all -- if you've gone to all the hard work of finding all the case
11 papers which had been spread over the countryside when you had to leave,
12 why was it that this document was then compiled?
13 Now, I think at the outset of your cross-examination you said you
14 didn't know because you were not privy to the purpose of this document.
15 Is that right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very practical and convenient
17 to me, at least, that this was done in this particular way, because
18 generally speaking, we always keep a -- called log of incidents in our
19 service. We record every single piece of information that we receive in
20 this log. Some of those logbooks were lost, some were destroyed. In this
21 way, we made a journal of incidents divided by -- into subheadings, and we
22 are able to work using it if something new comes to our attention.
23 Maybe you have noticed, maybe you haven't, that we even ordered
24 things in alphabetical order in order to be able to recover lists more
25 easily, because all our secretariats worked in very modest conditions with
1 very few premises, very few workers, and it would be very difficult in
2 such circumstances to find a specific case file within a short time. In
3 this way, we have a systematically ordered material where we can find a
4 case file on a crime within a minute. If it is a crime where the injured
5 party's an Albanian, we will be able to find it because we have the
6 alphabetical list of injured parties. If we did not have this, we would
7 need days.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
9 MR. NICE: May I ask two more questions?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Would you take, please, your tab 2.4, one of these several
13 informations that you've signed. Would you just look at the first page
14 for me. Just the first page. Now, the first page -- not the first page.
15 There it is. There is a headline which is underlined. Could you just
16 read it out for us, please.
17 A. "The information is not correct."
18 Q. What information is not correct?
19 A. The information about forcible deportation.
20 Q. What information about forcible deportation, please? Because you
21 haven't identified it. We're going to have to go through this document
22 with you in some detail later, but tell us now, what was the information
23 that was not correct, Mr. Paponjak, or would you like to reconsider your
24 answer as to whether this actually -- this document, at least, relates to
25 this trial and was prepared for the purposes of this trial? You tell us.
1 What information? Because you're dealing here, you see, with the
2 allegations made in this trial. Can you help us?
3 A. It's like this: When I spoke about the methods in which the --
4 this documentation was compiled, I said that there were different chapters
5 that are prescribed by methodology. You have A, which is the chapter on
6 events resulting in deaths; and B -- if you interrupt me, you won't be
7 clear on what this is about, because we have tried to explain on several
8 occasions, or, rather, I have, what this is about but I was always
9 interrupted. B is the chapter on crimes against Albanians. B asterisk is
10 where the Serbs were victims. That's the methodology. And now under the
11 DJ, we have forcible deportation. That's according to the methodology
12 applied, and that's why we applied this method and compiled this kind of
13 document. Otherwise, we had no knowledge of forcible deportation but it
14 was our duty to compile or, rather, to write down what we had, the
15 information we had, to set it out. So this is an assignment from the
16 Ministry of the Interior by using the set methodology to present
17 information about forcible deportation, and that's what we acted upon.
18 And let me stress that I personally did not compile this report or this
19 piece of information either.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... before with the Court's
21 decision we break, if that's what we do, would you go to the last page of
22 this document and read the annexure for us.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Will that answer the question that hasn't been
25 MR. NICE: He haven't answered the question but this will, yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. NICE: As Your Honour knows, we have to deal with things
3 sometimes more swiftly than one would in other environments.
4 Q. Go to the last page of this document, please. Now, read out what
5 the annexure was to this particular document.
6 A. Yes. Yes. It says: "Response to point 7, or count 7, of The
7 Hague indictment."
8 Q. This document, and I'm going to suggest to you all of them, were
9 probably designed to try and defend this accused because you were
10 answering there, and you didn't tell us this, you were answering
11 allegations in The Hague indictment, weren't you? Or trying to in this
12 document 2.4.
13 A. And what's it say in point 7 or count 7?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us -- we're going to take the break. We'll
15 return to this in 20 minutes.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, please.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Mr. Paponjak, please, what was the attachment to tab 2.4?
22 A. Yes, probably it was an attachment of some kind. I don't know
23 what kind.
24 Q. What was it? Let me just remind you so you can understand the
25 importance of this. The accused took you through a large number of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 passages of this document in order to establish that the things contained
2 in the document were true. You now tell us that you didn't personally
3 compile the report or this piece of information, but I want you to tell us
4 what was the attachment that should be with this report.
5 A. Well, I don't think it's a problem to find the attachment. Just
6 now, off the top of my head, I can't say what the attachment contains.
7 Probably it does contain something pertinent, but one would be able to
8 find it in the documentation. It can be sought and found, no doubt.
9 Q. Do you have that documentation with you?
10 A. What I did have, what I received and brought here with me I hope
11 is here. I don't know, as I say, off the top of my head all the documents
12 that I had.
13 Q. Every report comes with attachments, and we've seen other reports
14 coming with attachments. You'd expect the attachment to be there. This
15 attachment refers to, apparently, point 7 in The Hague indictment, and we
16 know that point 7 in the indictment about Kosovo is a short matter of
17 history. It's not relevant. So the document that was attached would
18 explain why the author of this document wrote what he did, and I want to
19 know from you what it was. You can't tell us, can you?
20 A. I can't tell you, no, because I don't know, but quite certainly
21 the attachment does exist, just as the other attachments exist which have
22 not been supplied together with the rest of the documents.
23 So every information or report contains a list of attachments
24 which we don't have here, but they exist in the SUP of Pec. So I assume
25 -- actually, I'm quite sure that that attachment is to be found over there
1 but not here since it says attachment, and I can't speak off the top of my
2 head about something that I can't see.
3 Q. In translation you stressed that you personally didn't compile
4 this report or this piece of information. In light of that, do you wish
5 to disown this report?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Well, how can you --
8 A. I did not personally compile any one of these pieces of
9 information. I said somewhere along the lines that the head of the
10 Secretariat of the Interior can be equated with a manager. So he doesn't
11 compile any documents, he doesn't interview any individuals. That's not
12 his job. He doesn't study any documents. All he does is sign documents
13 in his official capacity as an official. Among other things, of course.
14 He has other jobs as well.
15 Q. So who compiled this information, 2.4?
16 A. I've explained that too. All the information --
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the name. Who compiled 2.4?
18 A. Well, this was compiled in 2000 and something. What year was it?
19 2002. I can't remember now who was the person who did it. And that
20 wasn't the essential point for me then or now. They were my close
21 associates, experts from each particular field.
22 Q. You can't speak to the contents of this document because it wasn't
23 your knowledge -- it was compiled by someone else -- can you?
24 A. As to the contents of this document in front of me, yes, I could,
25 and I could tell you about the contents of the other document, too, were I
1 to have it in front of me here now.
2 Q. But how can you speak to the contents of the document? It was
3 prepared by someone else. You can't name him. You can't tell us what his
4 sources of information were. How can you speak to the contents of this
5 document, Mr. Paponjak?
6 A. Well, following on from that logic, I wouldn't be able to speak
7 about anything here, because not a single job, the specific tasks, were
8 something that I did. I couldn't speak of the work of the SUP at which --
9 at whose head I was because I didn't personally carry it out if you follow
10 along from that kind of logic.
11 Q. I think you can speak about one or two things that the SUP did,
12 but at the moment I'm just focusing on the documents.
13 None of the informations that we've looked at was prepared by you.
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Can you name the authors of any of them?
16 A. I can name you the team, the team working on this kind of thing,
17 the entire team. It is teamwork. It is the result of teamwork, not the
18 result of an individual's work.
19 Q. Even this document is not the reflection of observations or
20 experience or knowledge of an individual but is some way a composite, a
21 compilation of views, experience of a number of people. Yes?
22 A. Not only with respect to experience but based on the interviews,
23 talks, the other documents and all other ways of gaining information, on
24 the part of a number of people, yes, that's right.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 A. All the chiefs of departments, sectors, commanders of police
2 stations, and so on. So it was a team which, depending on the case,
3 numbered between five and 15 members.
4 Q. And were these people permanently working with you in the exiled
5 SUP or were they distributed around the territory of Serbia and
6 Montenegro, sending in their contributions by letter, telephone call,
7 e-mail, whatever? How was it done?
8 A. These people would come to the command post, forward command post
9 if you'd like to call it, and they were withdrawn from the SUP for a
10 period of time in order to complete their work, and then, having completed
11 that work, they would go back to their original SUP.
12 Q. Are there any records of their meetings?
13 A. Minutes and records. Now, minutes were not kept, if that's what
14 you mean, but there were, of course, notes that were kept, or records.
15 Q. And are they available to us?
16 A. We're talking about the working notes that each of us keeps during
17 the course of our work, and if you should so request, they will be made
18 accessible to you.
19 Q. Now, you say you can identify the team. Do you actually have -- I
20 don't want to have a list of names at the moment because it will take some
21 time, but you could name them all, could you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At the next break, with the Court's leave, I'll ask you to write
24 the names down on a piece of paper to save time.
25 We'll now go back in time, Mr. Paponjak, if we can. You are a
1 traffic policeman; correct?
2 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Subject to things that happened in Kosovo after your move there,
4 you'd always been a traffic policeman. Most recently, what, in Uzice in
6 A. No. That's not correct.
7 Q. Were you ever posted at Uzice in Serbia?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Where was your last posting in Serbia before you came to Kosovo?
10 A. In Cacak.
11 Q. What was your rank and position there?
12 A. My last position was head of the department for traffic safety and
13 security. I don't think there was a rank there. There was -- the
14 position had a name, and I was a higher inspector first class. That was
15 my last post and position. I wasn't a traffic policeman throughout.
16 Before that I worked in the SUP Cacak department as an inspector.
17 Q. Dealing with what sort of matters?
18 A. Operative and preventive matters, professional training, and the
19 legality in the functioning of the police force.
20 Q. Operative and preventive matters. Does that include detective
21 work, anti-terrorist work, or not?
22 A. That includes the entire proceedings, operative and preventive, in
23 the work of a police force generally. So that means if it is to prevent
24 crime and to stop crime from taking place, if that's what you mean by
25 detective work, then the answer would be yes. I was an inspector in the
1 SUP, which comprises all these areas of activity within the secretariat.
2 Q. Just to be concrete about it, had you ever been seen as the
3 leading policeman investigating a murder, a domestic murder, in Serbia,
4 for example?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Had you ever been the leading policeman to investigate a serious
7 drugs offence in Serbia?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Had you ever been the leading policeman investigating a household
10 burglary in Serbia?
11 A. No. Those kinds of things come under the criminal police
12 jurisdiction. I didn't work on matters of that kind.
13 Q. At the beginning of your evidence there may have been some
14 uncertainty as to the date of your arrival at Pec. There was a reference
15 to one year, but can you please tell me, what year did you actually arrive
16 in Pec?
17 A. 1992, in the month of August. I was sent from Cacak to take up my
18 duties there doing the same kind of work that I did in Cacak.
19 Q. Is there any possibility that your deployment to Pec was earlier,
20 in 1990?
21 A. No. No. I wasn't deployed there previously, but I was in Pec
22 before that date for a brief period of time.
23 Q. Doing what?
24 A. I undertook different activities within the compiled police
25 detachment and unit.
1 Q. I'm sorry, that doesn't help us very much. Was it traffic
2 policework or was it something else?
3 A. No, it wasn't traffic policework. It was the work of the police,
4 the general purpose police force. I was a commander of a unit or units.
5 Q. When was this?
6 A. That was before 1990 and 1990.
7 Q. Did that have anything to do with terrorism?
8 A. Well, we didn't view it as terrorism at the time, but there were
9 violent demonstrations, and it had to do with things like that.
10 Q. Even if you only arrived in 1992, you knew and know that nearly
11 all the Kosovo Albanian policemen had been sacked in 1990 from the Pec
12 police station, hadn't they?
13 A. They had not been sacked. They left of their own accord.
14 Q. And were you there when you came in 1992, as it were, in
15 replacement of a Kosovo Albanian policeman?
16 A. No. I was not a replacement. It was a newly established
18 Q. They didn't have a traffic police department before?
19 A. They did not.
20 Q. Having arrived at Pec, did you in the early 1990s go training in
21 another country, or at least in another state?
22 A. No.
23 Q. With a detachment of men?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You were the deputy, one of three deputies, to Vlahovic, weren't
2 A. That's not correct.
3 Q. Who was the head of the SUP?
4 A. At the time I arrived, you mean?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. It was Mr. Ljubomir Mikulovic.
7 Q. And later was it Vlahovic?
8 A. Yes, later on it was.
9 Q. And was the structure that Vlahovic had three people at your level
10 answering to him?
11 A. He had more than three people at my level answering to him who
12 were subordinated to him and who reported to him.
13 Q. Did those people at your level, even if you didn't, go off for
14 training in Bosnia?
15 A. At my level, you mean?
16 Q. Uh-huh, at your level.
17 A. No. No. No.
18 Q. Did people at any lower level go off for training in Bosnia?
19 A. I can speak about my department, things about -- things that I
20 know about. So nobody went from my department. Now, whether anybody went
21 from any other department, I really can't say.
22 Q. Mr. Paponjak, you have been able to speak very generally about all
23 activities of the SUP as a result of all your inquiries and the work of
24 your team. Think back, please. Did people go from Pec SUP for training
25 in Bosnia? Try and help us.
1 A. I could speak about the general activities based on the fact that
2 -- of what my team did later on, the kind of work it performed, and I was
3 very interested in knowing about that work. Now, what happened during
4 that period of time I don't know because I wasn't interested in knowing.
5 I was interested in doing my own work. So it is for those reasons that I
6 can't actually answer that and say whether there were or were not. I was
7 primarily interested in work done by my department and to organise the
8 work there as best as possible.
9 Q. Did you hear of training being done, perhaps by Arkan or his men,
10 for people from Pec, possibly in Amajlije, Bosnia, south of Bijeljina?
11 Did you hear of that?
12 A. Never heard of that.
13 Q. You've given an account covering the period of the 1990s where,
14 unless I've missed it, the Albanian Kosovo -- the Kosovo Albanians did all
15 things bad and the Serbs did almost nothing bad, did they, in the period
16 of the 1990s leading up to the conflict?
17 A. I didn't put it that way.
18 Q. Tell us, then, if you didn't put it that way, what the Serbs did
19 do against the Albanians in that period. Shall we start with the
20 teachers. Were they dismissed because they wouldn't take loyalty oaths
21 from their jobs? Because you spoke of the teachers.
22 A. I never spoke of category -- in categories; Serbs, Albanians, good
23 guys, bad guys, in those categories. I always divided people according to
24 how they work, how they behaved, and things like that. So anything -- if
25 you try and put words in my mouth and say that I said that the Albanians
1 were the bad guys, that's just not true.
2 Now, why teachers were dismissed, if they were dismissed, I don't
3 know. I can't say. My wife is a teacher, for instance. She worked in
4 Kosovo and Metohija, and she worked both with Albanians and with Serbs
6 Q. Can we look, please, at Exhibit 205. Have you got -- I'm afraid
7 this is only in English, but we'll lay it on the overhead projector and
8 I'll read out the short passages I want you to deal with. While it's
9 coming to you I'm just going to give you one more opportunity to see if
10 you can, in general terms, tell us, what did the Serbs do against the
11 Albanians in the 1990s leading up to the conflict, that was bad, that was
12 criminal, that was unacceptable to you? Tell us, what did they do?
13 Mr. Paponjak, what did they do?
14 A. Yes. Oh, I see. I thought you were going to show me something
15 first. What I can -- I can talk about what members of the traffic police
16 did, if they did anything bad, because that was the subject of my
17 interests. I cannot address other areas and say whether there were good
18 things or bad things on either side for that matter.
19 So if you have a piece of information by which members of the
20 traffic police did something --
21 Q. Is it really your evidence that you had no knowledge of the
22 activities of policemen other than traffic police? Is that really your
24 A. No. You can't say that I had no knowledge of any other
25 activities. But even if I did have knowledge of those activities, I need
1 not necessarily remember them or recollect them or speak in qualified
2 terms about them.
3 Q. And may we take it that you have no knowledge of activities by
4 Serb civilians that might have been reprehensible because you were but a
5 traffic policeman? You weren't dealing with crime.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. And you had no knowledge of the activities of paramilitaries who
8 operated in the area of Pec, did you?
9 A. I have no knowledge of them having been active at all.
10 Q. You see, I'm going to come back to this when we deal with the
11 exhibits later, but if that's your state of knowledge, then when you
12 signed off all those documents in 2002, save and so far as the documents
13 related to traffic police, you were in no position to underwrite or to
14 guarantee the accuracy of those documents at all, were you?
15 A. No, that's not correct. I wouldn't have been in a position to
16 work with my people if I were not certain and didn't believe in the kind
17 of work they were doing until it was established that they had been
18 working contrary to the rules. But as far as I was concerned, I believed
19 they were doing their job.
20 Q. Let me restate my question with the addition of one other clause.
21 When you signed off all those documents in 2002, save and so far as the
22 documents related to traffic police, you were in no position from your own
23 knowledge to underwrite or guarantee the accuracy of those documents at
24 all, were you?
25 A. On the basis of my own personal knowledge, I could not. However,
1 for the head of the Secretariat of the Interior to be able to find
2 something, according to you, it would appear that he would have to check
3 each and every detail out himself, to interview each criminal, to read
4 through each of the documents. That would emerge from your question.
5 Now, I say that I sign what the head of the crime police prepares, those
7 Q. Now, here we have a document before us that's a Human Rights Watch
8 report, and this one comes from March of 1993, and I'm going to ask
9 Mr. Nort to display the bottom of page 25 on the overhead projector and
10 then to look at page 26.
11 While he's finding that, as a matter of general knowledge, you
12 knew in the 1990s international human rights organisations were deeply
13 critical of the operations of the police and other bodies in Kosovo,
14 didn't you?
15 A. I'm not aware of that.
16 Q. Help me: Did nobody ever draw to your attention as a policeman,
17 or even in 2002 when reviewing the work of other policemen, did nobody
18 ever draw to your attention complaints of serious wrongdoings by the
19 police in your territory?
20 A. In 2002, no one drew my attention to that. I don't know. There
21 were different organisations but I wasn't following their work, what they
22 wrote and what they were dealing with.
23 Q. Let's look at this passage, and I'll read it out. Not a very long
24 passage. This is the -- under a heading that's "Police abuse of civilians
25 in response to purported Albanian violence," and the passage reads: "For
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 example, on July 4, 1993, a policeman was killed at the police checkpoint
2 entering Pec. No one was arrested in connection with the incident.
3 Serbian authorities claim that the death was the work of Albanian
5 Do you remember that incident?
6 A. I do not remember that on the 4th of July, 1993, a policeman was
7 killed in Pec.
8 Q. You see, the report, which is based on interviews with people at
9 the time, goes on to describe how the chairman of the Human Rights Council
10 of Pec said he knew nothing of the incident but how what happened after
11 that was that the police searched homes, detained, and interrogated, and
12 beat suspected village leaders, beating at least 148 people.
13 Now, this is your police area. Is it right --
14 JUDGE KWON: Next page, please.
15 MR. NICE: Next page. Page 26.
16 Q. Is it right, Mr. Paponjak, so that we can have a true flavour of
17 Pec for the decade you've told us about, or nearly a decade, is it right
18 that in response to perceived Albanian terrorism or otherwise the police
19 force of which you were a member was violent in its dealing with
20 civilians? Yes or no.
21 A. This is the first time I hear of this case. I don't know that a
22 policeman lost his life in Pec on the 4th of July, 1993, let alone all the
23 rest that I heard from you now.
24 Q. Let's go on, please, Mr. Nort, to page 33.
25 Because I want you to understand and to comment on publicly
1 available material describing life in your town.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't suppose you have a name for the policeman,
3 Mr. Nice?
4 MR. NICE: This particular policeman, I don't think I do from this
5 source. If I can find it, I will. It comes from an interview held in
6 October 1993. I may have it elsewhere, but I'll see if I can find it. It
7 may actually be -- it's possible it's in here.
8 Q. If we can look now, please, at page 33 under the -- the bottom of
9 the page, Mr. Nort, where it deals with raids on Albanian shops and
11 Now, traffic police are out in the town, aren't they? They see
12 what's going on. Don't they, Mr. Paponjak? Yes?
13 A. Yes, in the streets.
14 Q. So here we have this: "Numerous Albanians throughout Kosovo
15 reported police interference with their commercial establishments. In a
16 typical scenario, police raid an Albanian store and demand all of the cash
17 on hand. As Ismajl Kelmendi, an Albanian clerk in Pec explained..." and
18 then there's a passage on the next page dealing with how on September the
19 6th members of state security came in and demanded money from him and beat
20 him or hit him across the face, threatened to kill him and so on, to
21 achieve that result.
22 Is that the sort of thing that was happening from your police
24 A. Pec is not a big town. Citizens know policemen well by name and
25 surname. A citizen who gave this kind of statement would have had to
1 state who it was that beat him up. I'm not aware of any such case. Even
2 if such a case had happened, why would I have to be aware of it?
3 Q. You must understand, please understand, Mr. Paponjak, that you've
4 come in at the accused's invitation to cover the whole territory of Pec,
5 all the crimes alleged there, and to give all the background, and so I'm
6 just exploring what you know of what was published elsewhere.
7 Shall we go to page 86, under the heading "Trial of four Albanians
8 in Pec."
9 It says that: "On the 1st of October, 1991 -" or that's a little
10 bit before your arrival - "a group of 50 Albanians met in the house of
11 Sadri Shala, near Klina, in the village of Dobra Voda." Several of the
12 members of the national movement for the Republic of Kosovo. They dined
13 and discussed the political situation.
14 Two years later, police arrested four of the men, for several
15 days tortured them, until they signed confessions, it was reported.
16 Now, we can go into the trial in detail but we don't want to.
17 It's available. Is that the sort of thing that happened in your police
18 station and was reported on publicly by organisations like this?
19 A. No. I didn't read such reports. I didn't have them in my hands.
20 This is the first time I see any such thing, right over here.
21 Q. Could you explain to us, if such things happened, how it could
22 possibly be kept from a really rather senior policeman like you?
23 A. I'm not saying that it was kept away from me, that it was
24 concealed. The first question is whether it happened at all, whether we
25 have it recorded as an incident or not. All of this can be something that
1 never happened or something that we did not know about.
2 Q. Page 97, please, Mr. Nort.
3 Let me make it quite clear as we move through these few,
4 comparatively few, entries, the reality of life in Pec in the 1990s
5 following the removal of Kosovo Albanian police officers and other
6 developments, was that it was life under a police state and that you were
7 part of that police state. Do you follow me?
8 A. Yes, I understand what you're trying to say.
9 Q. So that if we look now at page 97, you would accept, wouldn't you,
10 that the presence on any state of paramilitaries has a destabilising
11 effect on the community because they can't be sure that they're going to
12 be properly protected by the other organs of authorised violence, the
13 police and the army. Would you accept that?
14 A. I accept that only as a particular way of looking at it.
15 Q. Well, in this passage of this report on page 97 where it deals
16 with paramilitaries elsewhere, and we'll see much more detail of
17 paramilitaries later, but it says here: "Albanian human rights groups
18 allege that the north-western city of Pec serves as one base for
19 paramilitary groups. According to the LDK of Pec and members of the Human
20 Rights Council of Peja, three kinds of army barracks exist in their city:
21 one for regular police, one for regular army, and one for paramilitary
23 And an interviewed Albanian is recorded as saying: "There are so
24 many Serbs with guns around here, in uniform, not in uniform,
25 paramilitary, not paramilitary. It is impossible to tell who is who."
1 Now, is this a rather more accurate picture of your town than the
2 one you gave us over the last few days?
3 A. This is not correct. It's possible that they made such statements
4 in order to justify the presence of their units that they had already
5 established or were already training in the forests around towns. This is
6 not correct, this kind of presence at that time, some kind of
7 paramilitaries or parapolice or whatever, because we knew each other. I
8 knew every policeman, and every policeman knew me. So it could not have
9 been anyone in a police uniform or even a unit without us observing that.
10 So these parapolicemen were only noticed by this Human Rights Watch source
11 or whatever the name may be.
12 Q. In 1994, there were a large number of trials of policemen, weren't
13 there? Hundreds and more.
14 A. There was talk about that in town, that a group of members of the
15 so-called illegal MUP of the Republic of Kosovo were brought into custody.
16 That is this parapolice that had been established. Parapolice of the
17 Albanians but not of the Serbs. And it's possible that this statement
18 refers to that.
19 Q. And they were tried -- I think the investigating judge was who?
20 Do you remember?
21 A. No. No, I had no contact with such things.
22 Q. Does the name Danica Marinkovic mean anything to you?
23 A. The name Danica Marinkovic means something to me, but it has
24 nothing to do with Pec. I first heard the name perhaps in 1999.
25 Q. And those policemen were given very long prison sentences for
1 being members of the parallel police force, weren't they?
2 A. I don't know what kind of sentences they were given.
3 Q. And many of them went to serve their sentences in Dubrava prison.
4 A. I don't know about that either.
5 Q. Just leaping forward for a second before we return to the place in
6 the chronology, by the time of the bombing of Dubrava prison, it was very
7 substantially occupied by political prisoners, wasn't it?
8 A. I don't know what "political prisoners" means in your books. The
9 persons there were persons who were convicted of crimes, accused persons,
10 or persons brought into custody on the suspicion that they had committed
11 serious crimes.
12 Q. Such crimes as gathering together to discuss politics, something
13 like that?
14 A. I'm not aware of anyone having been convicted for that.
15 Q. Let's look at Exhibit 188, please, which may help us get a few
16 things in chronological perspective.
17 Now, this is another report, this one again from Human Rights
18 Watch. It's dated December 1996. But if we go first to page 16. Just
19 about halfway down the page. And the year is 1996, so it's after the
20 policemen trial. We see this: "On August 28, three grenades were thrown
21 at the police station in Lolopak near Pec, causing no casualties but
22 substantial material damage. That same day, an inspector with the Serbian
23 police, Ejup Bajgora, was killed by automatic gunfire near his home in
24 Lupc near Podujevo. Finally ... a Serbian police officer, Inspector Milos
25 Nikic, and an employment office employee, Dragan Rakic, were ambushed and
1 killed by unknown attackers in the village of Surkis near Podujevo.
2 "Albanian leaders and Serbian officials both denied any
3 involvement in the violence and accused the other side of provoking
4 conflict. Meanwhile, a previously unknown organisation called the Kosovo
5 Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attacks."
6 Pausing there. Do you remember the grenades thrown at that nearby
7 police station?
8 A. I don't know. There is no such a police station.
9 Q. Do you remember the deaths of Serb police colleagues at about this
10 time in 1996?
11 A. I remember that there were killings of policemen in 1996 and in
12 1997. I cannot give you the exact time of death of these colleagues, and
13 it wasn't in my area either.
14 Q. And does the suggestion in this report that it's in 1996 that the
15 words "Kosovo Liberation Army" first come to be used in an acknowledgement
16 of gross violence and killings, does that accord with your recollection of
17 the time scale?
18 A. At that time, I was not involved in such things. I know that
19 there were different groups that were called the Liberation Army, the
20 People's Army. Their bases were at Cicavica and on the other mountains
21 where the training took place. I don't know exactly when this term was
22 first used, the Kosovo Liberation Army, because at that time I was not
23 dealing with such matters.
24 Q. Mr. Paponjak, even if you didn't read these reports at the time or
25 have them drawn to your attention, you'll observe that this report covers
1 violence done by Kosovo Albanians to Serbs, and I'm going to suggest to
2 you that this report, if you had an opportunity to read it, would be a
3 balanced document for you to consider.
4 And if you, Mr. Nort, go on, please, to page 18, the foot of, and
5 then page 19.
6 We see a reference to violations of --
7 A. On the basis of this one case I'm supposed to decide that this is
8 an impartial document?
9 Q. You will, of course, have an opportunity to consider it at leisure
10 if you can, but I just want to make it clear what I'm drawing to your
12 Now, here you'll see a reference to violations of due process.
13 You were, of course, a traffic policeman. But if we go to page 19, we see
14 a reference to Adem Bajri on the third paragraph. He was a Pec lawyer,
15 wasn't he? You've told us how everybody knows everybody else in a small
16 town. Adem Bajri was a Pec lawyer.
17 A. I assume he was.
18 Q. Do you not know him? He was famous for defending those charged
19 with what might be called political offences.
20 A. Why would I have to know him?
21 Q. If you don't know him and if you can't help us with what's said
22 there, I'm going to move on. So that -- but so that we can understand it
23 when we look at your documents, it goes this far, does it: No knowledge
24 of criminal investigations, and now no knowledge of how the process of the
25 courts operated; is that right?
1 A. What kind of knowledge can I have about that? You will probably
2 ask me about specific judgements and decisions, and I know that courts of
3 law operate on the basis of the law, and that is sufficient knowledge for
5 As for specific cases and the lawyer Adem Bajri, they didn't
6 really matter to me in my life. I had my own life and my own work. I
7 don't need Human Rights Watch to establish for me what happened there,
8 because I know for myself.
9 Q. Did you know him by name?
10 A. No. No. No. I read it here on the top of this paragraph.
11 Q. Let's go on to page 20, then, please, because there's a report
12 here of the trial of the policemen, and you do have some recollection of
13 that, and it says this -- towards the bottom of the page, please,
14 Mr. Nort. Further down. That's fine.
15 "In November and December 1994, 136 ethnic Albanians were
16 arrested for forming a parallel Albanian police force. All of them were
17 formerly Yugoslav policemen and were active in the police trade union."
18 And I think you referred yourself, didn't you, to the police trade union
19 when answering questions of this accused. Do you remember doing that?
20 A. They called themselves the trade union, but it was not a trade
21 union. It was their illegal police force.
22 Q. The report goes on: "At various times during 1995, 117 of them
23 were found guilty and sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from one
24 to eight years. As of October 1996, some of them had been released."
25 Do you remember that? Do you remember your former Albanian police
1 colleagues, as they would have been, being tried, convicted and some of
2 them being released?
3 A. No. No. I don't know about them being tried and convicted or
5 Q. And then it goes on to say in respect of these police defendants
6 that Human Rights Watch, or Helsinki, spoke with the lawyers of the
7 defendants and some of the defendants and suggests that torture was used
8 to extract confessions. Is that the way things happened in your police
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you. How do you know that?
12 A. Well, I know what happened in my police station and in police
13 stations, rather, because I had several of them. So that did not happen
14 in my police stations.
15 Q. If you weren't the investigating officer, if you weren't present
16 in the interview rooms, you have never been in charge of any investigation
17 even of a household burglary, how are you able to tell us that these
18 violent things didn't happen?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That something happened in the
21 buildings where I worked?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've been hesitating to intervene
23 because I expected a question to be put. However, since there's no
24 question coming, I have to intervene now.
25 Mr. Nice knows full well, because Investigating Judge Danica
1 Marinkovic testified here and there were other witnesses, too, who spoke
2 about laws. He would have to know that investigations are not carried out
3 by policemen. They are carried out by investigating judges, and that's
4 what Mr. Paponjak pointed out a few times as well. According to our law,
5 it is the investigating judge who carries out an investigation.
6 Mrs. Marinkovic explained here how she interviewed suspects in the
7 presence of the prosecutor, the attorney for the suspect, and this is just
8 witness badgering, nothing else.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I see nothing improper about the
10 question. The question was, "If you weren't the investigating officer, if
11 you weren't present in the interviews rooms, how are you able to tell us
12 that these violent things didn't happen?" It's for the witness to answer.
13 MR. KAY: If I can just raise a matter. I've been holding my
14 peace here, just listening with interest, because what's being put is that
15 someone from Human Rights Watch has spoken to some defence lawyers who
16 said that torture went on in the Pec police station. Well, if all cases
17 were brought on what defence lawyers said happened on that basis without
18 dealing with the real evidence, I think we'd probably be in a sorry state.
19 I'm not really sure we're getting anywhere with this, because on the one
20 hand the Prosecutor himself is just asserting the views and statements by
21 people in a book who happen to be defence lawyers, and the witness is
22 saying, "Well, I don't know about that," and really, the trial isn't being
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think he's trying to establish that the witness
25 does not or did not have a sufficient factual basis for the evidence that
1 he gave in chief.
2 MR. KAY: Neither does he, the Prosecutor. He's just reporting
3 what defence lawyers said to someone that's in a book.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see nothing improper in the question. Let the
5 witness answer it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was whether there was
7 any torture in my police station, and my answer was no, there wasn't. The
8 next question was how can I claim that? I can claim that because I never
9 received such reports. This did not happen. Had something happened, I
10 would have known about it.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Mr. Paponjak, I'm going to deal with the accused's intervention
13 where he says that under your legal system the investigating judge has the
14 role of investigating. He's quite right. But we have had evidence from
15 another area - Stimlje, near Racak - of how an officer, an investigating
16 officer, can be charged with the business of taking statements from
17 potential witnesses. Now, do you know that investigating officers take
18 statements from potential witnesses, either on their own initiative or at
19 the direction of an investigative judge? Do you know that?
20 A. We do take statements on a number of grounds. One possibility is
21 that it's required by the prosecutor or by the investigating judge or
22 maybe when the citizen himself has something to say, but we are not
23 investigators. We take statements as authorised officers of the Ministry
24 of the Interior.
25 Q. Do you know that there is either no right at all for people
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 interviewed to have a lawyer present with them, or alternatively, that it
2 is simply the unvarying practice that if the police want to interview
3 someone without a lawyer they can get away with it? What is the truth of
4 those two, do you know?
5 A. An interview can take place without the presence of a lawyer if
6 the citizen in question is not asking for a lawyer. If he does ask for a
7 lawyer, then one is obtained.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us make sure that things are
11 properly understood. Mr. Nice noted that the witness was not a leading
12 policeman on an investigating team, investigating a murder or something
13 else. In this connection, I said that it is an investigating judge that
14 leads an investigating team, which doesn't mean that policemen do not take
15 part in any investigative action. But it is not true that a policeman can
16 lead an investigation. The fact that he did never lead an investigation
17 cannot be grounds for challenging that he has any knowledge about
18 anything, including investigations.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are hearing all the evidence, and we will
20 assess it and determine what to credit and what not to credit.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. Mr. Paponjak, I'm asking you these questions because when we come
23 to 1999 and what happened when all the Kosovo Albanians left, you would
24 accept, wouldn't you, that it's necessary to know the overall environment
25 in which they lived, in which the Kosovo Albanians lived? It's necessary
1 for us to know what was the overall environment, the nature of the overall
2 environment in which they lived. You'd accept that, wouldn't you?
3 A. I know that very well because I lived together with them.
4 Q. And I'm suggesting, which is why I'm going through this material,
5 that the picture you have painted is grossly misleading and intentionally
6 so, because you knew perfectly well, as you know now, throughout the 1990s
7 and increasingly this was a police state, as allowed and ordered by this
9 A. Is that a question?
10 Q. It is a question. I'm suggesting that's something that you know.
11 A. It's not only that I didn't know, it's that it's not true. I
12 would like you to find one single Albanian who will find any objection to
13 my work and who will say that he was discriminated against because he was
14 an Albanian.
15 Q. On --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, were you aware of an attempt by
17 Albanians to establish a parallel police force?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not attempt; they achieved
19 it. We had information, for instance --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a simple answer. But you were not aware
21 that a number had been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted, and indeed
22 some acquitted?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was aware of that, and I said I
24 was aware of that. But as for convictions, I wasn't able to assist the
25 Prosecutor. The Prosecutor asked me if I am aware of my colleagues who
1 were convicted and released. But I did say that I was aware that some of
2 them had been arrested on this charge, and that was in response to a
3 question by the Prosecutor that was interpreted.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The confusion may be --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: So I may have misunderstood this. You were aware
6 of the case being taken against a large number, but 176 I think was the
7 figure given, of policemen. You're aware of that case.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This figure was read out. I don't
9 know how many of them there were, but I know that the members of what was
10 then the illegal MUP of the Republic of Kosovo had been arrested. I
11 didn't know the number, the exact number. I didn't know their names. I
12 didn't know the name of the investigating judge. I didn't know what the
13 convictions were, and I didn't know that some of them were eventually
14 released. But I know that things happened. I know about the case.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't -- the witness has answered the question,
18 Mr. Milosevic. I'm content with that. If you want to raise the matter
19 again, you can do it in re-examination.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Can we just have a look at one entry --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. Have a look at one entry on the Human Rights Watch report for
25 1998, Exhibit 191. Just at page 54. This deals with part, in any event,
1 of the 1998 story, or history.
2 On page 54, that same lawyer, in 1998, Adem Bajri, is reported --
3 or reports that there were 251 ethnic Albanians in Pec gaol facing charges
4 of terrorist activity, criminal charges having been filed against 510
5 others. And he reported -- now, that may be a thoroughly good thing if
6 you've managed to find, or your police force managed to find 251 people
7 against whom charges of terrorism could be laid.
8 Were you aware of that number of terrorists being held, or alleged
9 terrorists being held?
10 A. I don't know how many were kept in prison, but we do have
11 statistics for 1998, and we have them here. And we probably have a list
12 of names to go with it.
13 Q. Forgive my inability to deal with the documents on account of
14 their time of delivery and lack of translation. Can you tell us where we
15 can find in your documents a reference to these 251 in gaol? Which
16 schedule should we look to, or is this the work of someone else that you
17 can't help us with? Can you help us? They're your documents, you see.
18 A. I think an entire tab is dedicated to this. Chapter Z is the name
19 I know it under. It contains specific data indicating names of people
20 against whom criminal charges were filed. Two hundred fifty-one doesn't
21 tell me anything. Maybe there are more, maybe there are less.
22 Q. One of the things that is reported through Human Rights Watch is
23 that this same lawyer alleged that -- and this is an allegation he made at
24 the time, that nearly all his clients, and he represented many of them,
25 24, had been beaten in prison, had bruises to the body. What do you say
1 to that?
2 A. Nothing.
3 Q. You could confirm this, couldn't you: It's a dangerous job to be
4 a human rights lawyer in Kosovo in the late 1990s, wasn't it?
5 A. Why would I be able to confirm or deny it?
6 Q. Well, you know, of course, what happened to the most famous
7 lawyer, Mr. Kelmendi, don't you? Everybody does. And his two sons. So
8 it would be dangerous for this man to speak out publicly about what he
9 says was happening to his clients. Do you not accept that it was
10 dangerous in the late 1990s to pursue human rights interests in Kosovo?
11 A. I do not accept that, because I was one of the people who was
12 always advocating human rights. Are you saying that this was said
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The colonel just pointed out that it
17 is in Chapter Z. It's to be found in Chapter Z. Those are tabs 9 and
18 9.1. They contain information about terrorists and terrorist
19 organisations and the consequences of the terrorist activity in the area
20 of the SUP of Pec from the 1st of January, 1998, to mid-2001. And as you
21 can see, 1.170 incidents are recorded, including, I suppose, all the
22 people who were arrested on this charge by the SUP of Pec.
23 So if the witness says it's Chapter Z, that means it is to be
24 found under tabs 9 and 9.1, including all the individual incidents.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you for the information.
1 Mr. Nice, you will have heard that.
2 MR. NICE: If the documents have been translated, I will do my
3 best to review them at the break. If they have not been translated, I'm
4 not going to be able to do anything with them, but I am, of course,
5 assisted by the information.
6 Q. I'm afraid the next document I'm going to ask you to consider is
7 again in English but it comes from a different source. It's a military
8 situation report from the British dated May of 1998, and I'm just going to
9 ask Mr. Nort to place it on the overhead projector. It's Exhibit 255.
10 While it's coming your way, you would accept, wouldn't you -- you
11 would accept, wouldn't you, that military representatives of various
12 countries travelled in the region to try and see what was happening on the
13 ground, didn't they?
14 A. I saw some of them occasionally, that's true.
15 Q. So this one reports the following: "Travelling from Pec to Decani
16 when they were ambushed in one of the villages to the north of the
17 checkpoint. One was killed and the other wounded."
18 I'm sorry, I've got the wrong reference. Can I have it back,
19 please. My mistake.
20 MR. NICE: If Your Honours would just give me a minute.
21 Q. What we see on this report, we see at the foot of the page: "This
22 morning we left Pec at 0736 and headed for Decani to see if we could get
23 through. On leaving Pec the road was deserted. We soon came across spent
24 cases --" 12.75 millimetre and other dimensions -- "on the road."
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. NICE: I'd better read it again.
2 Q. "This morning we left Pec at 0736 and headed for Decani to see if
3 we could get through. On leaving Pec, the road was deserted. We soon
4 came across spent cases ... 12.75 millimetres --" and other dimensions --
5 "on the road. Most of the buildings astride the main road in Ljubenic and
6 Gorni --" and I'm sorry, I can't read all of that word -- "had been
7 strafed. The spent cases had not been there more than a day or so. Some
8 of the houses were burnt out. One in Gorni Streoc was still smouldering.
9 The MUP was not in sight. The villages appeared deserted but after a
10 short while a number of Albanian men came out to tell us what had
11 happened. They said that the village had been attacked and 11 people were
12 killed. The attacks took place on May the 25th. Their descriptions of
13 the perpetrators match the JSO rather than the regular MUP."
14 And they go on to give details. I save time by leaving it there.
15 Now, an incident like this, close to your police station, must be
16 one of which you were aware and must be one which you can remember, 11
17 people being killed. Can you tell us about it?
18 A. I would have to know if it's a real incident that has been
20 Q. Well, what I'd like you to help us with is this: You've produced
21 all these records. This is a major crime. Can you point me to any record
22 that deals with it so that we can see how it was recorded at the time?
23 Because this is 1998, you see, so I think we're in the period of your
24 records, aren't we? Can you take me to the relevant record? Because I'm
25 afraid I can't work my way round your documents very easily.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Which date in 1998?
2 MR. NICE: The date's given on the previous page, but I think it
3 is -- it's Monday, the 25th of May is, I think, the date of the report, in
4 1998. Well, that's what -- indeed, that's what's said in the body of the
5 report as the date for the attack, even if the Sitrep came a little later.
6 Q. Can you point us to the place in your records if your records go
7 back that far?
8 A. In this Chapter A, you have reports on all incidents involving
9 loss of life in 1998 and 1999.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... right now, because A doesn't
11 help me very much because we've got it tabbed under a different method.
12 So we'll find it together. Where do I look? I'll get the index out. And
13 what should be the heading for this, so that we can see how it was
15 A. It should be headed "Brief for information on incidents involving
16 loss of life." There should be an index of victims plus an index in the
17 alphabetical order. We will easily find persons by alphabetical order,
18 and we will easily find incidents by date, because they were also recorded
19 listed chronologically.
20 Q. Have you got -- it may be the quickest way: Do the documents have
21 a Serbian language index at the beginning of tab 1?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Nice, it is time for the break. We
23 will adjourn for 20 minutes.
24 MR. NICE: Might the witness both take the index with him, because
25 that will help us save time, and if he feels he can, might he write down
1 the names of those who prepared the documents.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. The witness may take the index, and if he
3 can, then he can write down the names of those who prepared the documents.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With your leave, I would like to use
5 my break to rest, to have a cigarette and a coffee, if you allow me. If
6 you don't allow me, I will continue to work during the break.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, use the break to rest. And if you're -- use
8 the break to rest if you wish. If you're in a position to do the exercise
9 mentioned, then you can do the exercise, but I won't interfere with your
11 We will adjourn.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I haven't yet been able to track down the
17 name of the policeman who was shot and killed, responsive to Judge
18 Bonomy's question.
19 Q. Mr. Paponjak, we're looking still at the document recording this
20 very serious offence in Gorni Streoc. I shan't be able to conclude my
21 examination today, unfortunately, therefore if you could -- sorry, that's
22 too much. If you would, rather than go through the papers and take time
23 now, unless you can point me immediately to the tab reference to that I'll
24 ask you to find it overnight and to tell me where we can find it tomorrow.
25 Will you do that?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question is whether this
4 question can be asked of the witness at all, because this document we
5 still have on the ELMO says that a group of Albanians had come to those
6 foreign representatives, and it says they said that "[In English] ... the
7 group had been attacked and 11 people were killed." [Interpretation] That
8 means they told the foreign representatives "[In English]... was wearing
9 a set of an old-style ..." et cetera. "It was the same colour and
10 contained several full AK47 magazines."
11 MR. NICE: That's for re-examination.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Raise this in re-examination,
13 Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. What do you say about the description, Mr. Paponjak, from whenever
16 it was, May 1998, of buildings damaged and burning the way described here.
17 How did that come about?
18 A. I don't know whether it happened at all. And if it happened, I
19 can't tell you how.
20 Q. Is it really your case that as the officer in charge of the
21 traffic police, where you see a report from an international military
22 observer describing things happening to buildings like this, you can't
23 help us at all? That's really your position, is it? Or is it that you
24 don't want to help us?
25 A. My case is as follows: If that happened, it's in our
1 documentation. In that case, I will be able to assist you. If it didn't
2 happen, it's not on our records, and I can't comment on what didn't
3 happen. That is the gist of what I wanted to say.
4 Q. This is 1998. Was there any reason of which you were aware why --
5 why international military observers - everybody was still hoping for
6 resolution through peace at that time - would record things that were
7 completely untrue? Is there any reason of which you're aware why that
8 should happen?
9 A. I never said they put on record something that is not true. They
10 recorded a story they heard.
11 Q. Now, if you look at -- remember, if it's more difficult for you,
12 you don't, of course, read the English, perhaps. They actually record
13 houses being burnt out, you see.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. They actually record houses being burnt out. Why were houses
17 being burnt out in May of 1998?
18 A. They could have been burnt by anybody. They could have been
19 burned by terrorists, by some other people. And it's also possible that
20 it was burned down by policemen. I believe that's what the author of this
21 paper is trying to suggest.
22 But if you ask me what I think, I think the houses were burned
23 down by terrorists.
24 Q. I see. Well, having no knowledge of it, which was your initial
25 position, why do you think they were burned down by terrorists as opposed
1 to by the policemen?
2 A. Because policemen didn't do such things. If somebody's burning
3 down houses, then what can you call them except a terrorist?
4 Q. Exhibit 257 for a little later in August.
5 JUDGE KWON: Did you give the number of this exhibit?
6 MR. NICE: This is 255, and the next one is 257.
7 Q. If we just look at the bottom of the first page, you see this is
8 the 5th and the 6th of August, and the reporting military observer says:
9 "Most villages north or south of the Pec-Pristina road and Gornji
10 Klina-Rudnik-Rakos road wantonly destroyed..."
11 First of all, if the description is remotely accurate, wanton
12 destruction of so much property, you must have been aware of it yourself.
13 Were you aware of it?
14 A. The road Rudnik-Gornji Klina-Rakos was not within my jurisdiction.
15 It's the area of the Kosovska Mitrovica SUP.
16 Q. Pec-Pristina?
17 A. Pec-Pristina is a road that was within my jurisdiction, one
18 section of it. Zenica was not, Junik was not, Jablanica, I don't know
19 what is meant.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... can you explain it to us?
21 Because you will appreciate the suggestion is that this was Serb force
22 work, terrorising the Albanian population. Now, you tell us: What
23 actually happened?
24 A. That's not my understanding of this. This Pec-Pristina road was
25 not damaged in any significant way in the section that we had under our
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 control. I remember a period, though, where we were unable to -- when we
2 were unable to control the road beyond Klina on towards Kosovska
3 Mitrovica. We were able to control the Pec-Pristina road only up to Klina
4 and only with great difficulty. The rest of the road was under the
5 control of the terrorists, and it was blocked. The village of Kijevo was
6 completely surrounded. That's all I know about that road. From Klina
7 onwards, I know nothing.
8 Q. Here is an incident of which you do know because you've already
9 referred to it; the Salihaj family. How many of those were killed?
10 A. I don't know if we recorded that as a killing.
11 Q. First of all, let's just deal with it in stages. You certainly
12 know about it; you mentioned it in your evidence-in-chief.
13 A. Yes, it's in our documentation.
14 Q. It's a family of people, or a number of members of a family of
15 people who were all killed. By whom were they killed?
16 A. If you would give me a moment to find this document here. It's
17 the 9th of August, 1998, in a place called Susica.
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. On the 9th of August --
20 Q. Susica is between Dubrava and -- we looked at it. It's close to
21 Dubrava, isn't it? Don't you --
22 A. I don't know by heart but we have a map, we can see.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... yourself, by the way,
24 Mr. Paponjak?
25 A. No, I wasn't there personally, neither at the moment when the
1 terrorist attack happened nor for the on-site investigation.
2 Q. Was it a terrorist attack or was it a revenge against the
3 terrorist attack that led to all those people being killed?
4 A. It is clearly written here that a terrorist attack was carried out
5 against the police patrol of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic
6 of Serbia, that members of the police responded to fire, and on that
7 occasion they killed eight members of the KLA. It doesn't say members of
8 the Salihaj family.
9 Q. And where is your evidence that all eight were members of the KLA
10 as opposed to perhaps just one?
11 A. There is a record of on-site investigation carried out by the
12 investigating judge of the district court in Pec, and the rest of the
13 documentation. There is the entire case file.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. It's tab 1. Tab 1.4.
16 Q. Number?
17 A. Number 59. Tab 1.4, number 59 in the list of incidents.
18 Q. It's not been translated. I'll deal with it tomorrow and look at
19 it overnight.
20 We've heard evidence that -- from a witness called Crosland, that
21 in the summer of 1998, Frenki Simatovic, commander of the Special
22 Operations Unit, was in and around Pec. A senior policeman. Can you tell
23 us what he was doing there?
24 A. I do not know Mr. Simatovic. I never saw him there, and I can't
25 tell you what he was doing there if he was there indeed.
1 Q. We've had evidence from Lord Ashdown that on the 27th of
2 September, in between then and the 28th of September of 1998, along the
3 Pristina-Pec road, there was arson of property on a large scale. Can you
4 explain that to us, please?
5 A. I can't explain that. That, too, is unknown to me.
6 Q. His evidence was to the effect that the houses seemed to have been
7 burnt systematically, cattle had been killed. Is this road within your
8 traffic duty area of responsibility?
9 A. I don't know which villages he spoke of. So if you give me the
10 name of a village or a place along that road, I would be able to tell you
11 whether we controlled it or not or whether it was the SUP of Pristina that
12 controlled it.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... area of Klina are in your
14 jurisdiction, aren't they?
15 A. Yes, in the area of responsibility, but not under control. Some.
16 I don't know who you're referring to, which ones.
17 Q. Are we going to be able to find in the documents that you brought
18 here, if we can read them, account of the burning, the trashing, as Lord
19 Ashdown described it, I think, of houses in that area on those last days
20 of September of 1998? Are we?
21 A. I can't tell you just off the top of my head whether we would find
22 them. I can take a look to see if there were any during that period.
23 Q. Perhaps again if you find the time you'll do it overnight because
24 I don't want to weary the Judges with waiting time rather than use it.
25 Waiting or wasting time.
1 Can we move now, then, please, to the presence of paramilitaries
2 operating in your area. Do you know about somebody called Srecko Popovic?
3 A. No. The name doesn't seem familiar at all.
4 Q. How about Zvonimir Cvetkovic?
5 A. I know a man by the name of Zvonimir Cvetkovic from Pec because
6 he's the brother of an employee of mine.
7 Q. Is he the man who died in 1999, Zvonimir Cvetkovic?
8 A. No, he didn't die in 1999.
9 Q. Well, perhaps you'd just like to have a look at this. "Under
10 Orders" is Exhibit 145.
11 And if Mr. Nort could show that page to the witness, and then
12 display that page on the overhead projector. First show the page to the
14 You're looking at a memorial there. Do you remember that
15 memorial? That is memorial to the man Cvetkovic, described as "The last
16 salute from colleagues and officers from the OPG and PJP units, the Pec
17 police department."
18 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not what I'm looking at, Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: I'm sorry.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes. I see the reference.
21 MR. NICE: Yes.
22 Q. Now, do you remember the memorial being erected to this man
23 Cvetkovic? I mean, you were number two in the police effectively. I mean
24 there were several of you at the same level. Do you not remember this?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not the number two in the Pec
2 police at the time; and secondly, I'm not quite clear on what this
3 document is. It's not clear to me.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. Turn over the page, please.
6 A. Because --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there an actual picture of the memorial?
8 MR. NICE: Yes. There is.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I can't see that.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Turn over the page, please, and display that. That's it, I think.
12 A. These are two quite different people.
13 Q. Yes, you're quite right. That's Budimir -- yes. Could we go back
14 to the previous page, then, please. Who is this man?
15 A. This is Zvonimir Cvetkovic, whom I know.
16 Q. What did he do?
17 A. He worked in a company called Petrans, that is to say a transport
19 Q. Can we now look at the left-hand page, please, Mr. Nort. And can
20 we have the picture at the bottom, the caption at the bottom. Could you
21 move it up, please. Thank you.
22 This photograph shows a man identified as Zvonimir Cvetkovic with
23 a group of unidentified men at the Petrans trucking company in Pec,
24 Kosovo, where he worked. He was seen with Serbian security forces on May
25 14 in Cuska when 41 ethnic Albanian men were executed. Was he
1 investigated for that?
2 A. These people in the photograph are not members of the security
3 force. None of the people here. They don't belong to either the police
4 or the army. This is Zvonimir Cvetkovic, and he is the one next to the
5 truck here in this photograph, to my right, on the far right. As to the
6 other men there, I don't know them, but I can say with certainty that they
7 weren't members of either the police force or the SUP of Pec because I
8 knew all the members personally.
9 Q. My question to you --
10 A. So none of these people here were in the security forces. Quite
11 possibly these were colleagues from the company he worked for.
12 Q. I'm not going to go through this exhibit, which is available, in
13 any great detail, but it makes the point, or suggests, that for Pec there
14 were several photographs of people identified as serious offenders. Here
15 is one, a man known to you. You've shown us records of investigations,
16 you've told us it was your duty to investigate crimes wherever the
17 information came from. Was this man investigated for the crime alleged
18 here to which he was connected? Yes or no.
19 A. I don't know who is giving that information, what the source is of
20 that information. I didn't have it available to me.
21 MR. NICE: Can I have the book back, please, Mr. Nort.
22 Q. I'm going to move on in order to leave only a few topics, if I
23 can, for tomorrow morning. I want to turn to -- back to aspects of
24 Dubrava prison because I want your answers tonight rather than tomorrow
25 morning in relation to matters that we may be able to deal with rapidly on
1 the video.
2 Your visits, you told us today, were on the 19th, the 25th, and
3 you then said after the on-site visit of the 21st. Let's deal with them
4 in order.
5 On the first visit on the 19th, did you make notes yourself?
6 A. Yes, I did, in my working notebook.
7 Q. Is that available here?
8 A. No. My notebooks are rather big ones, and I couldn't bring them
10 Q. You went -- did you go round with the people making the video?
11 A. No. No. I arrived before them on the site on the 19th. I was
12 close by. And as soon as we received information and the bombing ceased,
13 we went on location, and several people who were with me went as well.
14 And when I approached the site, a van with the wounded was moving towards
16 Q. So what is it you're able to tell us, if anything, about the video
17 that reflects the 19th of May?
18 A. What I can tell you is this: I can tell you who filmed the
19 videotape and that it was filmed by members of the crime technician
20 department of the SUP of Pec crime department when they went to do the
21 on-site investigation, and that the investigation on that particular day,
22 the 19th of May, was headed by the investigating judge of the district
23 court of Istok with the presence of the president of the district court of
24 Pec. That's what I can tell you about that particular videotape and that
25 it is an official material, an official document of the SUP of Pec.
1 Q. How many bodies were found on that day in the rubble?
2 A. Three bodies were found that day.
3 Q. I don't challenge that. We can move on to the next date
5 On the 21st, you arrived at what time?
6 A. I didn't say I was in Dubrava on the 21st. I saw the
7 investigation on-site crew on the premises of the Istok Ministry of the
8 Interior after the bombing at Dubrava.
9 Q. I must have misunderstood your answer. So what, if anything, are
10 you able to tell us about the, I think, comparatively small part of the
11 video that appears to be dated the 21st of May? Can you tell us anything
12 or nothing?
13 A. I don't know how long that footage is. It was shown fast
14 forwarded here. As far as I recall, what can be seen is the destruction
15 and the journalists going there and some other details. I can't remember
16 them all now.
17 Q. But it shows no more bodies, does it, that footage? It only shows
18 damage to buildings.
19 A. Well, we could probably see the bombings had there not been the
20 bombing. They didn't succeed in completing the on-site investigation
21 because while they were doing that the planes began flying overhead and
22 the prison was bombed again. And the investigating judge notes in his
23 minutes, in the records, that that's what happened, that the bombing
24 started and that they all left the site as soon as possible without having
25 completed their on-site investigation. Had they done so, they probably
1 would have filmed the bodies as well.
2 Q. What material do you point to that shows us the last occasion of
3 bombing by NATO at Dubrava prison? What's the bit of material or evidence
4 or document that shows us the last moment of bombing?
5 A. In the video footage, you cannot see the bombing at any point.
6 The video footage was done after the bombing every time.
7 Q. So I want you to help us if you can: When did NATO last bomb
9 A. I'm trying to help you by telling you what I know. Now, I cannot
10 even give you a rough estimate of when NATO last bombed Dubrava. However,
11 I'm sure you'd be able to find it in the information and report that was
13 Q. You see, NATO acknowledged in press briefings and also in a
14 letter, if anybody wants to see it, bombing on the 19th and the 21st of
15 May. Can you point to any piece of material that suggests there was any
16 bombing after maybe the night of the 21st of May, but any time after that?
17 A. There are the minutes, the records kept by the investigating
18 judge, the judge's notes, and the notes of authorised individuals as well
19 as our own notes. And my own working notebook, in fact, where I'm sure
20 one would be able to find that.
21 Q. What date does this material show?
22 A. Which material?
23 Q. All the material you've just listed. You're coming here to speak,
24 there's a body of material --
25 A. Well, it shows --
1 Q. -- and I want you to tell us what's the last date of bombing.
2 A. The material indicates the dates that are stipulated in the
3 information drawn up on the basis of that material, the reports.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I might be of assistance. Tab
6 46, for instance, point 3, of the Official Note of the Investigating Judge
7 Vladan Bojic, the last paragraph says the following: It says that the
8 NATO bombing was continued on the same day from 17 to 1705 [as
9 interpreted] and 23 hours -- 2310 hours [as interpreted], and then on the
10 following day, the 22nd of May, from 0610 hours. That's what it says in
11 this particular document. And I provide that document in tab 46.3.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. Let's move on.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I must find tab 46.3 now to see what it
14 does say. And, if anything shows the difficulty of working with
15 untranslated documents, this exercise does, because --
16 MR. KAY: This one's translated.
17 MR. NICE: It is? Thank you.
18 JUDGE KWON: The last binder, 7. I remember I asked some
19 questions on this.
20 MR. NICE: Yes.
21 Q. The passage that we have, then, this comes from -- is dated the
22 22nd of May --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't have it.
24 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, Your Honour. It looks like this.
25 Q. You see, if we look at this document, which the accused has read
1 out in part, it comes from the Investigative Judge Bojic, and it goes no
2 further than to suggest that bombs were dropped at 23.15 on the night of
3 the 21st, and it suggests at 6.10 on the morning of the 22nd.
4 Apart from this document, do you have any other material to show
5 bombing after the 21st of May?
6 A. It was not the practice for us to ask the investigating judge to
7 give us the material that he had compiled if he had happened to write
8 anything down. That's the first point.
9 Secondly, we all have in our working notebooks the exact record of
10 the time when each person saw the bombing take place.
11 Q. Well --
12 A. So most people recorded this. Now, I haven't brought that
13 material with me here because I didn't know it would be necessary. I
14 considered that it would be sufficient to have the records written by the
15 investigating judge. We didn't do this to use documents before this
16 Tribunal. We compiled them for our own needs and requirements. That is
17 why the material is lacking in terms of what you expect to find here, but
18 we compiled it for our own purposes and that was sufficient. We have what
19 we need to know.
20 Q. Well, if the investigating judge's report was accurate, then
21 whoever prepared the information on Dubrava bombing would have recorded
22 that there was bombing on the 23rd of May -- the 22nd of May; is that
23 correct? They must have done.
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 Q. Would you now take tab 8, please. Who prepared this one? This is
1 the summary on Dubrava prison.
2 A. This document was compiled by the same working group working on
3 the whole documentation, on all the documents.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... point me to an individual who
5 is going to bear responsibility for the contents of this document, apart
6 from yourself.
7 A. Well, I'd use the term "who compiled." I don't think you can say
8 responsible. That individual does not bear responsibility. But it says
9 here that the NATO Air Force, on the 22nd, at about 6.00, launched an
10 attack using a number of projectiles, in this piece of information, on the
11 22nd of May at 6.10 hours. That is page 2, third paragraph from the top,
12 you will find that there.
13 Q. A reflection of the judge's contribution. And it identifies the
14 buildings hit, doesn't it? The compound was hit, the boiler room, the
15 motel, administration building, motor pool, and almost the entire
16 infrastructure. And it makes it clear in the following paragraph that
17 there was no bombing on the 23rd, because on the 23rd NATO overflew.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where are you looking at?
19 MR. NICE: Page 3 in the English. Last page in the English. So
20 sorry. Second to last page in the English.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The only indication in mine of bombing on the 24th
22 is the title.
23 MR. NICE: Absolutely, Your Honour. We'll come back to that in a
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we not get there quite quickly?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes.
2 Q. Because if you look at the body of the document, Mr. Paponjak,
3 it's clear that no allegation of bombing after 6.10 on the 22nd is made,
4 the 23rd is overflight, but the title of the document, as His Honour Judge
5 Bonomy observes, suggests there was bombing on the 24th. You actually
6 have no evidence of bombing after the 22nd at 6.10 a.m., do you?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And as a matter of interest, can you explain why it's suggested in
9 the title that there was bombing on the 24th?
10 A. I don't have an explanation for that. Maybe the date was typed
11 out incorrectly.
12 Q. You went there on this day. Not on -- on the date of the second
13 filming, the 22nd, did you? I can't remember now. Which date did you go
14 on? The 25th you went, didn't you?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And by that time, the bodies were all lined up where?
17 A. I don't know that. I wasn't there.
18 Q. So you didn't go to the prison at all on the 25th?
19 A. No. No, I wasn't in the prison. On the 25th I was at the
20 cemetery, at the cemetery when the bodies were -- had already been
21 prepared for burial, and that's the location I was at, and I said that I
22 remember that day very well because there were a large number of bodies,
23 it was very hot weather, and the people were going about their business.
24 I stayed for maybe half an hour and returned.
25 That means that on the 25th I was at the cemetery during just one
1 stage of the work that was going on there.
2 Q. And what we know is that some of the bodies had labels on them;
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the labels gave names.
6 A. I know that there were numbers, labels with numbers. That's what
7 I saw when I was there. So what I saw on that particular day was that the
8 bodies had been labelled with numbers and that holes were being dug to
9 bury those bodies. I didn't attend the burial until the end. I might
10 have stayed for just half an hour.
11 Q. Some of them, because the accused drew our attention to one this
12 morning, had names on them as well.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And some of them --
15 A. Yes, we saw that.
16 Q. We'll look at these tomorrow. Some of them had the dates upon
17 which they were said to have died. Do you remember that?
18 A. I didn't pay attention to details like that.
19 Q. Because on the material produced, even at tab 8's highest, there
20 could be no justification for writing on a body that the person had died
21 on the 23rd or been killed on the 23rd, could there?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean killed by bombing.
23 MR. NICE: Or in any other way. Killed by bombing, certainly.
24 Q. There could be no explanation for somebody being shown to have
25 been killed by bombing on the 23rd, because your own report makes it clear
1 that the last moment of bombing, so said, was at 6.10 on the 22nd.
2 A. I don't know who did write that. What I saw when we stopped the
3 film appeared to me to be something that was written by somebody other
4 than members of the police.
5 Q. The prisoners wrote their own names -- or not their own names.
6 They wrote the names of those whom they knew, didn't they? That's how
7 they were identified.
8 A. I don't really know, but that was written by an Albanian. If we
9 look at the footage, we'll see that and I'll explain to you why I say that
10 that is the case.
11 Q. You've tried to suggest, or the accused has tried to suggest
12 through you that those of the Dubrava victims who were found to have died
13 through gunshot may have died running away. You have absolutely no
14 evidence of that of any kind, do you?
15 A. That's not what I said had happened. I didn't claim that. All I
16 claimed was that that possibility existed.
17 Q. Since you claim that the possibility exists, will you now please
18 confirm that you have not one scrap of evidence to support such a
20 A. I never claimed that that's what happened for me to be -- for me
21 to have to provide evidence to back it up.
22 Q. And just to conclude this, had you or any other policeman
23 suspected that people had been shot trying to escape from a prison complex
24 that might have been bombed by NATO, you would have had to investigate the
25 policeman who pulled the trigger, wouldn't you, or the prison guard who
1 pulled the trigger? You said as much yourself, actually.
2 A. We wouldn't have to do that, no, because that comes under the
3 competence of the Ministry of Justice. It's their job.
4 Q. Someone else would have to deal with that. Can you help us,
5 please: Was there any suggestion of an inquiry by the Ministry of Justice
6 into prison guards or policemen killing escaping prisoners?
7 A. I'm not aware of that.
8 Q. We've had extensive evidence in this case about what it is said
9 that happened at Dubrava. Are you acquainted with that evidence?
10 A. No. What I know about the event concerned is contained here.
11 Q. You, therefore, know nothing yourself to counter the suggestion
12 that people, prisoners after the first incidents of bombing on the 19th
13 and 21st, that prisoners were lined up in the sports field and that they
14 were shot. You know nothing and you have no material to counter that, do
16 A. I read a newspaper article about this. As for official material,
17 I don't have any. I don't have any other knowledge of this.
18 Q. You have no witness statements of people that you're going to
19 produce to us, suggesting that all these people died of bombing, do you?
20 A. No. I must have misunderstood your question. My understanding
21 was a few minutes ago that you asked me whether I knew of them being lined
22 up and shot, executed.
23 Q. And my question to you is that you have no evidence to show that
24 that didn't happen. You have no evidence one way or the other, do you,
25 about how they actually died?
1 A. The evidence that we have has been presented to you.
2 Q. Now, I'd like you to tell us this, please: Once you were a SUP in
3 exile, as your last answer but one reveals, you were aware of the
4 allegation made publicly that these men or many of them had died as a
5 result of excessive violence by prison guards and others. Was an inquiry
6 made by your SUP into that allegation? This is not shooting people by way
7 of stopping them escaping from the Ministry of Justice, this is shooting
8 them by way of straightforward crime. Was any investigation carried out
9 into that allegation?
10 A. These stories were not presented in public. I read this in a
11 newspaper article from the Albanian newspapers that I managed to obtain
12 during the course of my work. I had that article translated, and it is
13 from that article that I learned that there was such a story that was
14 going around.
15 We did not take any action in terms of an investigation, as you
16 call it, because that is not within the scope of our authority. If
17 firearms had been used by the security guards of the corrections facility,
18 then it is officials from the Ministry of Justice that carry out an
19 investigation, complete proceedings, and they take further action, not the
20 Ministry of the Interior. That was not under the authority of the SUP of
22 Q. You see, the allegation that has been made in this court on
23 evidence about what happened took them - this is survivors who speak - is
24 an allegation that fits the alleged killing in the prison yard at roughly
25 the time spoken of by the investigative judge and by your signature under
1 tab 8. You say 6.30 in the morning, and they give a broadly similar time.
2 Is your allegation about bombing - and it is your allegation in
3 tab 8 about bombing at 6.30 - a cover-up?
4 JUDGE KWON: 6.10.
5 MR. NICE: 6.10. I'm grateful to Your Honour.
6 Q. Is it a cover-up?
7 A. Oh, no. At that time, we did not even know of these allegations
8 that came later. The investigating judge compiled an Official Note on the
9 22nd of May, 1999. This story about this execution appeared when the
10 public in Serbia -- rather, not the public but when I and some of my men
11 in Serbia, perhaps in 2001 or 2002, got a copy of this newspaper where
12 that was written.
13 On the 22nd of May, 1999, when the Official Notes were written,
14 how could that have been known then? These stories of these -- this
15 alleged execution started later. There is no cause and consequence
16 involved between the two.
17 Q. The bodies that you saw on the first day, or on the film of the
18 first day, dragged from the rubble, the three bodies, were clearly killed
19 as a result of the bombing, weren't they? Their condition, everything
20 about them showed that to be the case.
21 A. If we are trying to tie everything up, then even that is not clear
22 either. Somebody could have killed them beforehand and then bombs could
23 have fallen on them. So viewed from a police point of view, it's not all
24 that clear either. But it is logical that they were killed as an effect
25 of the bombing.
1 Q. The bodies you saw lined up at the cemetery, what signs did they
2 show of all of them or some of them of dying in the bombing as opposed to
3 simply dying through being shot? And we'll look at the film, if
4 necessary, tomorrow.
5 A. I did not establish the cause of death, so I cannot speak about
6 that. At any rate, it smelled unpleasantly. The entire site had a most
7 unpleasant odour, and I did not stay there very long. This kind of work
8 is carried out by people who have to do it.
9 Q. One more question on tab 8. You can have it in front of you or
10 you can hear me read it to you. You signed --
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE KWON: Go on, Mr. Nice.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Page 3 in English, second to last page in the English --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Try to remember, Mr. Nice, the name of a witness
16 you called on the forensics aspects of this.
17 MR. NICE: Baccard, yes. Deals with the gunshots of the 30-odd
19 Q. Last page of your version, please, Mr. Paponjak. Top of your
20 page, I think, unless I'm mistaken, and in ours on page 3. You signed off
21 the following: "In this attack, the prison perimeter wall was demolished
22 in several places which enabled the inmates to escape from the
23 Institution. This was most probably one of NATO's objectives, bearing in
24 mind that there were notorious terrorists among the accused and convicted
25 who had committed a number of killings, including those of policemen,
1 civilian and soldiers."
2 So you're here raising as a real possibility that NATO demolished
3 the prison walls to let terrorists out. Can you tell me on what you base
4 that supposition?
5 A. This supposition is based on facts from the ground. First of all,
6 it was highly illogical for NATO to bomb a penal and correctional
7 facility. That is the gravest thing that could be done, to bomb
8 facilities where persons are detained and totally helpless. That is
9 highly illogical.
10 Secondly, we could not accept in any way that it was NATO's
11 intention to kill the inmates. The only thing that could be supposed was
12 to make it easier for them to escape.
13 And the third point was that this piece of information had been
14 planted to NATO that, instead of inmates, what was at the prison were
15 headquarters of the police or army. This was done for our own purposes.
16 This was not done for the trial. This should be treated as police
17 material, one of the versions. It was not our intention -- I mean, we
18 never knew that it would be used here some day. Perhaps we would have
19 avoided this particular wording for use in public like this, just like
20 many other things that are contained in other documents.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this is an excuse for what
22 you and all your colleagues knew had gone on at Dubrava. You knew
23 perfectly well that there had been a gross excess of violence and in one
24 way or another you tried to blame all the deaths on the bombing, and thus
25 you put down this ridiculous paragraph here, without any evidence to
1 support it.
2 A. No, that's not right. And I don't understand why we'd want to do
3 things that way. If we did not interpret other events in that way, why
4 would we interpret this one that way?
5 Q. Well, you realise, don't you, that the evidence in this court
6 includes not just the systematic killing on the 22nd but evidence going on
7 to killings on the 23rd, all of which would need to be kept away from the
8 watching public. Is that why you wrote this document, to hide what you
9 all knew had happened?
10 A. No. We did not know that that had happened. But also I could
11 interpret this as an attempt to justify these killings by NATO, and it's
12 done in the following way: Accuse us of having killed those persons.
13 Q. Tab 9, please.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honours, of course in referring to the exhibits,
15 I'm not necessarily in any way conceding that they should become exhibits.
16 I'm simply trying to discover a bit more about them.
17 Q. Tab 9 is another information signed off by you.
18 A. Yes. I would like to ask you something, please. If we are using
19 this particular piece of information, could we use all information
20 contained herein very selectively or in private session, because these are
21 operational materials, as we call them.
22 Q. Tab 9 is? Which bits of it are operational?
23 A. The part that has to do with knowledge of terrorists, their names,
24 their organisation, everything that indicates names and that is not the
25 subject of a criminal report. We still have an interest involved that our
1 knowledge of this remains secret. I think that I explained that
2 sufficiently. We would not be keen on having these names indicated in
3 public except for those where criminal reports were filed.
4 Q. Let's just look at the first couple of paragraphs of this
5 particular document. We don't have it in translation.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, it's only right that we should consider
7 the request.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll follow the procedure where you look
10 at one or two and we'll see whether any names arise.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. What I'm interested in knowing at the moment is this: If we look
13 at the first paragraph as an example, and we may manage to get part of
14 this translated for tomorrow, we can see that it includes something about
15 Greater Albania. Perhaps you'd just like to read the first paragraph out
16 for us.
17 A. It has to do with Albanian separatism and extremism in the
18 previous period.
19 Q. Please read it, just that first paragraph.
20 A. "The idea of creating a Greater Albania and proclaiming a struggle
21 for uniting all Albanian territories came into being in 1878 [as
22 interpreted] when the national movement known as the Prizren League was
23 established. The organiser was Abdul Frasheri, who on the 10th of
24 January, 1978, in Prizren, called a Congress of all Albanian leaders."
25 Q. Just pause there. Who wrote this bit?
1 A. This was also written by the working group, probably --
2 Q. Mr. Paponjak, to say something is written by a group is a very
3 easy way of avoiding the question. Please tell us which individual wrote
4 as the first paragraph of a police report a boiled down summary of history
5 of this kind? Who was it?
6 A. I can again give you the names of all persons who worked on this.
7 However, I would ask to deal with that in private session as well, because
8 in our country it is not customary for the names of members of teams
9 working on something to be made public.
10 Q. Is it not? Under which particular rule or protocol or practice is
11 this form of anonymity guaranteed to people?
12 A. I never invoked any regulation. Quite simply, we don't make this
14 Q. So if you have your way, the public will never know who is the
15 author of any one of these informations because it would, at best, be
16 given in private session. And that's what you'd like, is it?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. Why shouldn't the person who wrote this as part of a public
19 document almost, or document that's going to serve certain public purposes
20 eventually, like this, why shouldn't he be obliged to be shown to be
21 responsible for what he's written? Why shouldn't he?
22 A. It's not a question of responsibility. It's for the sake of
23 everything that follows. It's not this paragraph here. This paragraph
24 was probably copied from a textbook.
25 Q. Indeed.
1 A. So it's not that that is in question. It is the rest that
3 Q. Mr. Paponjak, what's it doing in a police report, please? What's
4 a paragraph copied from a textbook doing in a police report?
5 A. This piece of information, as I said several times, was not
6 compiled for the purpose of being presented here. This is a comprehensive
7 approach to the problem as we see it. Every problem has to have a history
8 of its own. This piece of information is perhaps a bit too extensive, but
9 we thought that it was not superfluous altogether. It was not meant for
10 you, and it was not supposed to give you any trouble here. It was for us
11 who were in this particular line of work.
12 Q. "We thought," et cetera, and then for who? Who thought this was
13 not too extensive?
14 A. I mean myself and the working group that compiled this.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Paponjak, how would that paragraph help you
16 in your work? And then we have to break after this.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps it cannot help me because
18 I'm aware of this, but perhaps it can help someone who was not aware of it
19 and who would come to my position. Then he could familiarise himself with
20 it. He wouldn't have to read all books, all the books written about this
21 to familiarise himself about it. This would be an introduction.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We will adjourn for today and resume
23 at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day
1 of May, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.