1 Tuesday, 31 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you are to continue with your
8 WITNESS: OBRAD STEVANOVIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
11 Q. Mr. Stevanovic, before we return to a broadly chronological line
12 of questioning, one overall sweep on a particular topic, and it's this:
13 In the society of which you were a policeman, assassination was common,
14 wasn't it?
15 A. I apologise, but I'm not receiving the interpretation. Yes.
16 Q. In the society of which you were a policeman, assassination was
17 common, wasn't it?
18 A. In what sense do you mean?
19 Q. I mean in this sense, to be specific: That over the years between
20 1997 and 2000, in particular, assassination of significant people was a
21 not uncommon event.
22 A. In Serbia, there were, of course, killings, that is true.
23 However, the greatest frequency of killings was perpetrated by the
24 terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija.
25 Q. I'm going to focus on that first section, the ones in Serbia,
1 because there were several of them, and they either go undetected
2 altogether or they're attribute to the MUP. Shall I list some? There was
3 your boss Badza, who was assassinated in 1997. Moving on to 1999, there
4 was the famous journalist Slavko Curuvija gunned down in his wife's
5 company. Then there were the most famous liberal lawyers, Kelmendi and
6 Agani. Then coming to 2000, you have Pavle Bulatovic, a former minister.
7 You have Arkan, and indeed Stambolic and Djindjic. These are just some of
8 the assassinations that characterised your society, and they've either
9 gone apparently unresolved or they've been levelled at, in three cases,
10 people from the MUP. Would you accept that?
11 A. All those killings that you mentioned I do, of course, know about.
12 Investigations in all these cases of killing was conducted as soon as the
13 killings took place. Up until the present time, I'm not certain whether
14 any of those killings have been solved, those cases solved, but I do know
15 that the police is working on all those cases and some of them are being
16 processed in court as well.
17 Q. Can you --
18 A. Prosecuted, that is.
19 Q. You sought to match your police force with, for example, the
20 police force of a country like France. Can you point to any Northern
21 European or Western society which has the level and incidence of unsolved
22 assassinations of top people of the kind I've just briefly reviewed?
23 A. I know that there are unsolved assassinations in Western countries
24 too. For Serbia, the important thing is that Serbia, during this period
25 of time, was confronted with extreme security related problems and risks
1 which affected, in other things, this increase in the number of murders,
2 in additional ones -- including the ones you mentioned. But Serbia was
3 facing very specific circumstances during that period. They were
4 circumstances not caused by Serbia. The war affected the situation in
5 Serbia to make it deteriorate and that the police had to focus on
6 preventing the war from moving into --
7 Q. Your answer may be a partial answer but let me just ask you this
8 blunt question: Is any of the assassinations I've identified associated
9 with the KLA or are they all associated in the public mind and public
10 discussion with people in Serbia, frequently with the MUP?
11 A. Every assassination, until it is solved, or any killing and murder
12 until it is solved can give rise to a series of different versions as to
13 what happened. Versions and assumptions in the police force are a
14 component part of policework. Now, the result of police investigation and
15 court investigations or investigations in general is to uncover the
16 perpetrator, just as it is to punish the perpetrator and that is the
17 business of the courts. Until the investigations are completed --
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... associated in the public mind
19 with the KLA. Yes or no.
20 A. In public, in the public mind, as far as I know, no.
21 Q. Thank you. I return, as we look at things chronologically, to the
22 proposition that this was indeed a police state and a police state
23 becoming ever more extreme as the 1990s passed, and I explore this topic
24 in the course of my questioning for this reason which I'd like your help
25 with --
1 A. I don't accept that.
2 Q. Do you accept from your knowledge of the world generally and from
3 the knowledge of the state in which you operated that where the police or
4 any other otherwise authorised user of force acts with impunity two things
5 follow: The population lives in fear. Would that be correct?
6 A. In Serbia, the police did not act with impunity. Fear in Serbia
7 was caused primarily by terrorism. Fear was the ultimate goal of
8 terrorism on the medium level. Of course, tactically speaking, the object
9 of terrorism was violence and killing. The source of fear in Serbia was
10 dominantly based in terrorism and the fear that the war would spread to
11 the territory of Serbia. The --
12 Q. Very well, I have your answer.
13 A. -- working of the police was the consequence and reaction of that
14 kind of situation and the way in which fear was stoked, et cetera.
15 Q. You realise, and you're going to realise as we look at one or two
16 bits of film, I'm not uniquely concerned with fear in Kosovo, I'm also
17 interested in fear in Belgrade. Now, you're not suggesting, are you, that
18 people in Belgrade were living in fear of KLA terrorism, are you?
19 A. People in Belgrade, too, lived with the fear that the war would
20 spread to Serbia. They lived in fear of what would happen in Kosovo.
21 They lived in fear of what the terrorists in Kosovo were doing that might
22 be -- might spread to Belgrade, and they would start doing that there too.
23 Q. The second consequence of the two I said I would ask you about of
24 a police state, as you know, is that a political leader with a police
25 force that can act with impunity need only tilt his head or give a general
1 direction and he will know that his wishes will be carried out, even
2 unlawfully, by such a police force. Now, that's a general proposition.
3 Do you accept it?
4 A. I do apologise, but once again you have two or three assertions
5 that you're making which make it difficult for me to follow, but let me
6 repeat that we cannot speak about a police state in any event. And
7 secondly, let me say that the police, to the best of my knowledge and
8 information - as you know I was assistant minister - the police never
9 listened to what politicians said and looked at the tilts of their heads.
10 The minister would create the policy of the ministry together with his
11 advisors. And as a member of the ministry myself, I followed orders and
12 guidelines from the minister.
13 Now, the third part of your question, as to whether they were
14 unlawfully carried out, his wishes unlawfully carried out, I can say that
15 I just received lawful orders, not unlawful orders, and I did not execute
16 therefore --
17 Q. If you wouldn't mind --
18 A. -- any unlawful orders.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... focussed on and related to my
20 questions. Now, let me make clear --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, that question wasn't amenable to a
22 short answer.
23 MR. NICE: Very well.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think one has to be fair to the witness.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Can we look again at tab 6. We had looked at it before. We have
2 never had a translation coming from the Defence side. I have a rough
3 translation, which I'm afraid I've marked, but if it can just go on the
4 overhead projector, and if the witness can take tab 6, please.
5 So that we understand the structure in which you operated as
6 between the public security and secret service - it has no translation -
7 we discussed this briefly the other day, Article 20 is along the following
8 lines -- first of all, Article 17 requires: Employees - that's employees
9 of the MUP - who do not know each other to introduce themselves.
10 Article 20 says that the employee - this is a MUP employee - has
11 the responsibility to warn another employee of his sector who is acting
12 contrary to this Code of Conduct --
13 JUDGE KWON: Let the witness have the document.
14 MR. NICE: He has it in front of him.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not have it in front of me.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. I'm so sorry. Tab 6. And I'm looking at Article 20.
18 A. I have Article 20 now.
19 Q. Article 20 is along the lines that: "The employee has the
20 responsibility to warn another employee of his sector who is acting
21 contrary to this Code of Conduct, but also to inform his supervisor. When
22 an employee from another sector is in contradiction with the code, the
23 supervisor will inform the organ with whom the employee is associated."
24 Now, this is a formal way, is it not, of requiring different parts
25 of the DB to require each other to behave legally?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thus, if you as a member of the public security at any time became
3 aware of illegal acts by the DB, it would be your duty to report it.
4 A. Absolutely.
5 Q. Particularly as you were a senior police officer. There's no way
6 you could excuse or turn a blind eye to illegality in the secret police.
7 A. Absolutely not. I wasn't able to turn a blind eye towards
8 illegality on the part of anybody, but I claim that I never did turn a
9 blind eye faced with any illegality on the part of anyone, not only
10 members of the MUP.
11 MR. NICE: If I can have that back, please, Mr. Prendergast.
12 Q. In 1992, various things coincided. Let me remind you of what
13 General Vasiljevic told us in part when he was here giving evidence. He
14 said that in April of 1992, Stanisic so organised events as for there to
15 be a single security service; namely, the security service of Serbia.
16 That was done in part by appointing a man called Nedeljko Boskovic to the
17 state security -- to the military security service.
18 Do you remember those events?
19 A. I don't remember any event surrounding the man Nedeljkovic, if I
20 remember the name correctly -- or Boskovic. I do not remember anything
21 about that man related to 1992. If you jog my memory, perhaps that will
22 help me remember something.
23 Q. Stanisic told us that his being appointed to the position that he
24 was given was a way of making military security intelligence available
25 effectively to this accused, and he linked it with the takeover of the MUP
1 building, the federal MUP building, in Serbia by the Serb MUP. Let's go
2 and deal with that in the two stages.
3 Do you know anything about the changes in the military security
4 service brought about by the change in positions of Nedeljko Boskovic?
5 A. Of all the things that you have just stated in these several
6 sentences, all I know is what relates to taking over security in the
7 federal MUP building during 1992. I know none of any of the other things
8 that you have set forth.
9 Q. Well, Boskovic to remind the Court, succeeded Vasiljevic in May of
10 1992, and we will now indeed turn to the takeover of the MUP building.
11 What was the purpose of that takeover?
12 A. The purpose of the takeover of security of the MUP building was
13 that the organisational units and resources of the Ministry of the
14 Interior of the Republic of Serbia, which were located in that building,
15 in that facility, should be secured in the proper way, provided security.
16 And before that, the leadership of the federal Ministry of the Interior
17 was opposed to a certain extent to that before. But let me repeat: That
18 was the building and facility in which certain units of the Ministry of
19 the Interior of Serbia were located as well as sensitive equipment used by
20 the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
21 Q. The territorial or security justification was all a sham, wasn't
22 it? This was a way that this accused could get control of federal MUP
23 archives and intelligence. That's my question.
24 A. That is absolutely not true. According to all the information
25 that I have, and I took part directly in that operation, I know full well
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 what units were located there. Well, I don't know exactly their names,
2 but I know who their leaders were, I know which equipment was there, and I
3 also know that there was a contract between the federal and republican
4 Ministry of the Interior which implied and meant that the republican MUP
5 in that space used the largest amount of the premises there apart from
6 what was already in existence there before. And apart from security
7 itself, the object was to enter the premises provided for on the basis of
8 that contract and agreement and which was to be used by the republican
9 Secretariat for the Interior or, rather, the Ministry of the Interior of
11 Q. Well, now --
12 A. And it was -- what you said a moment ago is absolutely incorrect.
13 At no point in time did I have any information that in relation to -- that
14 the president of the Republic of Serbia had information in that regard and
15 related to that.
16 Q. Were you aware of the existence of something called the Council
17 for Reconciliation on Standpoints Regarding State Politics, sometimes
18 called by a slightly different name, but were you aware of that, the
19 existence and the functioning of that council?
20 A. No.
21 Q. It's a body for which we have been provided with some stenographic
22 records. Before I come to the stenographic record concerned, because it
23 may be that I have failed to alert Ms. Dicklich to the possibility of
24 wanting to look at this one, and to deal with a general point, do you know
25 where records of important bodies such as the Council for Harmonisation or
1 the Supreme Defence Council, do you know where those records are kept?
2 A. First of all, I have to know whose council you are referring to.
3 I'm not able to identify it by the name you have given. Is it a federal
4 authority? Is it a municipal authority? Is it a governmental body?
5 Whose organ is it? That's what I need to know in order to be able to
6 reply. If there is a different name, perhaps.
7 Q. Generally, is it right that for important government bodies
8 there's a statutory requirement to keep records and to keep them in more
9 than one place in order that they may be preserved for posterity? Is
10 there a general requirement that that should happen?
11 A. I don't know which regulations governed that. I know about the
12 Ministry of the Interior, that there are regulations governing the
13 archiving and safekeeping of documentation. How it works in other bodies,
14 in other authorities, I don't know.
15 Q. You see, we've been provided only with the minutes of a particular
16 meeting, the meeting that covers the takeover of the MUP building, not
17 with the stenographic records themselves, and I was going to see if you
18 could help us know how that could have been and whether any such important
19 document could have been destroyed or not, but you don't seem able to
21 I'll have to read you a short passage from the minute that we have
22 been provided with. It's tab 45, I think. 469 is the Exhibit number.
23 And to assist you, this was a body presided over by Dobrica Cosic,
24 attended by this accused, President Bulatovic, Milan Panic, and various
25 others, and it said this, this is about six lines that I must read out:
1 "On the 18th of October of this year, 1992, officers of the republic
2 Ministry of Internal Affairs forcefully occupied the building of the
3 federal ministry. Once inside, they prohibited employees of the state
4 security service of the federal Ministry of Internal Affairs to enter
5 their offices."
6 And then this: "Taking over the building, the officers also took
7 over its communications system, its system of crypt-protection, all
8 equipment and technical devices of the state security service."
9 Is that right?
10 A. First of all, I would have to ask you again not to ask me several
11 questions in the framework of one question. Otherwise, I will have to
12 make notes before I answer. However, in this case, most of these
13 statements are not true. First of all, there was no occupation of the
14 building, one. Second, none of the employees in the federal Ministry of
15 the Interior were prevented from reaching their workplaces. What happened
16 was that a new reception desk and a new system of checking IDs and
17 official cards was set up. The purpose of the action was to take over the
18 security provided in the building, the equipment, and the archives. This
19 security means also the regime of entry and exit from the building. That
20 system was changed within one day. And the next day the employees did not
21 accept that system, and that's the reason why they didn't go into their
22 offices, some of them. The majority accepted the system and went to work
23 in their offices.
24 I don't know what else was included in your question, but I
25 remembered these two details.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Earlier you spoke of a contract that was a part
2 of the takeover. I didn't understand what that was all about. Could you
3 explain that for me.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will explain, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I receive that document, please?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Nice --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I suppose the witness should also
9 have it.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let a copy of the document be passed on.
11 MR. NICE: Yes. It's an existing exhibit in the case.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but --
13 MR. NICE: I'll bring it down at the break and make sure it's
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you'll receive a copy soon.
16 Would you answer the question.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think the witness should also
18 receive a copy.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: If the witness wants to have a copy to facilitate
20 his answer, yes, he should have it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I am going to continue to answer
22 questions related to that document, of course I should like to have a
23 copy, but let me continue.
24 For a while, perhaps for several months before this takeover of
25 security in the building of the federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs,
1 the federal secretary, or minister - I don't know how the position was
2 called at the time - and the republican minister of the interior had
3 signed a contract. The subject of that contract was a lease of the
4 greatest part of offices in the federal building to the republican
5 ministry. Part of their office space and part of the equipment of the
6 federal Ministry of the Interior at the moment of takeover was already in
7 possession of certain units within the republican Ministry of the Interior
8 of Serbia. Pending was the takeover of the remaining office space,
9 subject to the contract. However, in the council of ministers, in the
10 agreement between ministers, certain problems had occurred and these
11 problems had not been entirely solved at the time when the takeover took
13 I don't know if this was a clear enough answer.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the takeover was in fulfilment of the terms of
15 a contract.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You could say that. And the
17 fulfilment of those terms of contract had already taken place at the time
18 of takeover. In other words, the contract was partially executed at the
19 moment of takeover.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... may not be
21 the right word then. It has a certain connotation.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said takeover of security, of the
23 building, equipment and --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: They assumed certain --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- archives.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- contract.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In keeping with the contract. We
3 have a different term for takeover. We say "seizure" if we mean something
4 else. There was no violence. That's one more thing that I want to
5 mention. Mr. Prosecutor mentioned violence. Not in one single case was
6 there any violence.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. You were in charge of this operation, and indeed you --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- you accepted at one stage that, even if not violently, there
12 had been disarming by your troops of the federal staff; correct?
13 A. Only in part. Out of an abundance of caution, to prevent any type
14 of violence, armed members of the federal MUP were asked to hand over
15 their ammunition, to be precise. They kept their weapons. And not in a
16 single case was that done violently, because when one uses the term
17 "disarm," one usually means violent disarming.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... unlawful takeover and I'm
19 going to ask you some questions now about what Dobrica Cosic has written
20 about this. Do you have any reason to doubt what Dobrica Cosic might
21 recall about these events, before we look at what he said?
22 A. I hold Mr. Cosic in high esteem, but in order to be able to speak
23 about his positions, I would have to know them first, and I would have to
24 know the source of his positions. Maybe he was misinformed or labouring
25 under misconceptions.
1 Q. In the absence of a sufficiency of photocopies - my responsibility
2 entirely - may the witness have a photocopy of the Cyrillic version and
3 may the matching English-language versions go on the overhead projector.
4 This is from his latest book. We can just read a few passages, starting,
5 please, at 193.
6 You see page 193 in the book. Mr. Cosic records this: "We sat at
7 the council meeting for nine hours, arguing about the take-over of the
8 Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of State Security, which was
9 under the orders of Slobodan Milosevic. In addition to this take-over,
10 pressure was exerted on the workers of SDB Yugoslavia in order to convince
11 them to come to work for the Ministry of State Security."
12 And then this: "Milosevic is taking control over all mechanisms
13 of state authority."
14 Next page, please, Mr. Prendergast. Page 177, he records it in
15 these terms: "I came back from Geneva before midnight. While I was away
16 on the trip, Milosevic forcefully took control over the Ministry of State
18 Next page, please, Mr. Prendergast. 178, Mr. Stevanovic: "That
19 is an upheaval ... Matovic informed me how the deed was done. That is an
20 event which I cannot accept without adequate resistance."
21 Next page, please, Mr. Prendergast, I think the last.
22 "I did not go to the office today. I did not have the strength to
23 listen to people. In these last three days there were too many events
24 which occurred for me to be able to write them in my notebook. I am
25 shocked at Milosevic's act which he committed while I was away in Geneva.
1 His police forcefully entered the building of Ministry of Internal Affairs
2 and into the rooms belonging to the Ministry of State Security. They
3 disarmed the police, took over the command technology, documents,
4 archives, and they threw out the workers. The country was left without a
5 Ministry of State Security, which deprived the state of one of the main
6 Constitutional functions. The tyrant from Pozarevac committed this
7 uprising ... when Panic and I were out of the country. What is that man
8 thinking? The destructive coup against this sovereign state was committed
9 under the command of the chief of the SDB Serbia and with the knowledge of
10 the executive person for General Staff and Kos. The event received much
11 publicity. The event decreased the authority within the country and
12 internationally of Panic and myself."
13 Now, that's the way the president, who was taken unaware as being
14 out of the country, viewed this, and you were the officer in charge. You
15 were assisting this accused as early as the late autumn of 1992 in his
16 attempt to take over all organs of power. That's my question to you.
17 A. Unfortunately, that, too, is a very complicated question, but let
18 me say first that all this that you have read is something I'm hearing for
19 the first time, and with all due respect the only thing I can say is that
20 this is a political qualification of an event that is based, in my
21 opinion, on facts that are simply wrong. I never thought that such
22 commentary was possible on that incident. Maybe the whole thing was too
23 politicised to make this comment, this type of comment possible. But some
24 of the facts are maybe correct. I would, however, appreciate a more
25 precise question.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Which ones do you say may be correct?
2 A. Well, the fact that we took over the security in the building is
3 correct, but that this amounted to a coup is not correct. That this act
4 prevented the employees of the federal ministry from continuing to work is
5 not correct. That action amounted to taking over premises that were in
6 the possession of the republican ministry. Premises belonging to the
7 federal ministry were not taken nor were their powers taken away from
8 them. It was a simple -- no, it wasn't a simple, it was a complex police
9 intervention. But on the same grounds and in the same way, the police
10 lends assistance to other bodies and authorities in the execution of their
12 In this case, there was a decision of the state security sector to
13 take over security. The public security sector only acted in compliance
14 with Article 10 of the law on state powers as an executive body.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, at page 183, there's a reference to the
16 coup being committed under the command of the chief of SDB Serbia. Does
17 the witness know who that was, the chief of SDB Serbia?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992 it was Mr. Jovica Stanisic.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. And -- and since you were the officer in charge of the takeover,
21 is it right, as the article by Mr. Cosic suggests, that you were acting on
22 his instructions?
23 A. Whose instructions, I'm sorry?
24 Q. Stanisic's.
25 A. Of course not.
1 Q. Whose instructions were you acting on, then?
2 A. I acted upon the instructions of the then deputy minister,
3 Mr. Stojicic, because he was my superior yet.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not clear to me, Mr. Nice, whether one is to
5 understand that passage as meaning that Mr. Stanisic was actually present.
6 MR. NICE: No, I don't think that is intended.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's not the intention. Okay.
8 MR. NICE: Of course --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I clarify something? I'm not understanding
10 some of this at all.
11 The contract that you referred to, would that have left part of
12 the building under the control of the federal Ministry of the Interior?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: As a result of what happened on this occasion, did
15 they remain in control of any part of the building?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they did. They kept
17 supervision over the part of the building that they were using. The
18 federal MUP continued, even after that operation, to use that building.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That means that, according to you, what is said by
20 Cosic, that the country was left without the Ministry of State Security,
21 which deprived the state of one of the main constitutional functions, is
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether that is wrong
24 or not. I know it's not accurate. The federal ministry continued to
25 exist. This action --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Within that building. That's --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Part of the building remained
3 available to the federal ministry, and the federal ministry continued to
4 be. So this action in no way made the federal ministry disappear in
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would that contract be available?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am certain that a copy exists,
9 unless it was destroyed during the bombing. Unfortunately, the building
10 and the archives of the MUP of Serbia were both destroyed, just as the
11 building of the federal ministry, but I believe that the contract can be
13 MR. NICE: Can I have the documents back, please, Mr. Prendergast.
14 Q. Before we move on, I just want to move back in time to something I
15 meant to show you a little earlier. It's a short clip from a television
16 production called The Death of Yugoslavia, if we can just play it, and it
17 relates to a date in March 1991.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] -- was surprised because the
20 demonstration he saw on television, though massive, was peaceful. He
21 refused to vote for bringing in the army. Soon after this, the Serb
22 police were sent in."
23 "[Serbian spoken]
24 "The Serb leaders at first asked for tanks to be put on the
25 streets three hours earlier. Now their case was stronger."
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. What we saw of the behaviour of the police as early as 1991
3 typical of the behaviour of your police when dealing with demonstrators,
4 was it?
5 A. What was typical for the police of Serbia was to take certain
6 measures in case of violent demonstrations. Such demonstrations occurred
7 both in Belgrade and in Pristina, sometimes at the same time. But I still
8 don't understand the point of your question.
9 Every police force acts in a similar way faced with such
10 demonstrations, depending only on the intensity of violence.
11 Q. Is your understanding that that sort of response is what you'd
12 find in Norway, England, Germany, to take three countries at random?
13 A. I cannot speak about particular states, but I believe that in most
14 states the response of the police to violent demonstrations is similar.
15 Violent steps are possible, and in Serbia there was a tendency to
16 generalise them. One single sequence is sometimes multiplied ten times on
17 television to create an impression about the actions of a police force.
18 Such impressions are incorrect. There are many instances of footage where
19 you can see the police force facing demonstrators for three months without
20 taking a single violent step.
21 Q. The other --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated] ... that question,
23 because I've seen responses like that in Western countries. It all
24 depends on the situation.
25 MR. NICE: Whether they were generated, as was asserted there, or
2 Q. But another respective event that I want to remind the Chamber of
3 through you and see if you have any comments on it, very briefly, is this:
4 Do you remember that towards the end of 1991, as we've heard from a
5 witness in this court, Gajic-Glisic, there was an attempt to create a
6 Ministry of Defence of Serbia?
7 A. I don't know what you are referring to, but I know that there
8 existed a Ministry of Defence of Serbia in a certain period. I am,
9 however, unable to specify which period that was. But about any attempts
10 to create one, that's something I really can't tell you anything about.
11 Q. You see, the Ministry of Defence of Serbia didn't last for long
12 and came to very little, and by the end of 1992, which is roughly where we
13 started this morning, my suggestion to you is that, with your assistance,
14 the accused had the MUP at his control, had intelligence at his
15 fingertips, and was moving to ever greater control of all organs of power.
16 Do you accept that?
17 A. In relation to MUP, I do not accept that. I never had such an
18 impression. But it is quite natural for the president of Serbia to have
19 certain rights, such as to require reports from the minister of defence of
20 Serbia or the minister of the interior. But I believe that the attitude
21 of state authorities, including the president, towards the MUP was
22 absolutely not unusual in Serbia compared to other countries.
23 As to what the MUP was going to do, those kinds of decisions were
24 made in the MUP itself.
25 Q. The case against this accused includes that from this time
1 onwards, approximately, not sure of the VJ, or the JNA or then the VJ, he
2 relied upon and sought the enlargement of authority of the MUP. That's
3 the case in part. And I want to read you what General Vasiljevic told us
4 in a very short passage about what happened from the end of 1992. He said
5 this, and I want you to hear it and then tell me if it's accurate or not:
6 "... from 1993 onwards, the MUP of Serbia was considerably enlarged.
7 First and foremost, in view of the various MUP units that were being
8 formed and that practically constitute a small-scale army over which
9 absolute authority was exercised by the accused through Stojicic and
10 through the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia."
11 Now, what do you say to those sentences of Vasiljevic, a former
13 A. The statement by General Vasiljevic absolutely does not correspond
14 to the truth. I don't know in what way he is able to claim that the MUP
15 was enlarged. For 20 years the MUP had the same number of men. It was of
16 the same strength. It had special units as of 1972. The Ministry of the
17 Interior had a special unit as of 1979. Therefore, nothing serious in
18 organisational terms was changed, except for the fact that the MUP, after
19 1989, was centralised in organisational terms. Everything else can be
20 considered as being the same organisation, the same complement of forces
21 as it was before the 1990s.
22 Q. Well, Vasiljevic went on, and this is on the 6th of February of
23 2003 when he was a witness, he went on to say: "It was practically combat
24 units that were established, with helicopters, with weapons that are not
25 characteristic of what the police usually has. Special purpose units were
1 established and some officers of the Yugoslav army were taken over,
2 especially from the military police, those who were specialists in
3 particular operations and also helicopter pilots."
4 He concluded: "An imposing armada was established consisting of
5 tens of thousands of persons."
6 I'll break it down for you. He says effectively combat units were
7 established. Yes or no.
8 A. No. Of course not. Let me repeat: Those units of that kind of
9 structure and of that kind of purpose, with that kind of equipment and
10 uniforms had existed since 1972. Helicopters in the police force of
11 Serbia existed before I entered the police force. When I came to the
12 Ministry of the Interior, the police already had helicopters at that time.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... taking over of some army
15 A. Yes, in individual cases. For pilots, because it was logical that
16 the Ministry of the Interior should, in some other way -- that it was
17 difficult for them to find pilots. Otherwise, the police did train a
18 number of pilots, but it take over a number of pilots from the army on the
19 basis of a regular competition, opening posts for pilots in agreement with
20 the General Staff. But that was a small number, five or six pilots at the
22 Q. Now, in 1993 -- and I remind you that you have compared your
23 police force favourably with other Northern European police forces, and I
24 want your help with the following: Human rights organisations were
25 reporting on the former Yugoslavia right throughout the 1990s, weren't
2 A. I know of some reports.
3 Q. In particular, Mazowiecki was reporting to the United Nations,
4 Human Rights Watch reports were being published, and the Humanitarian Law
5 Fund in Belgrade was publishing reports. These documents were either made
6 publicly available or were specifically sent to ministries and to the
7 president of Serbia for action. Is that right?
8 A. What was sent to the president of Serbia I really can't say. I
9 don't know. But I do know that the police of Serbia did have some of
10 those documents, and I personally, if you find that important, had a
11 discussion with Mr. Izbir [phoen], a conversation with him. I don't know
12 what post he occupied at the time.
13 And secondly, quite certainly every event which those
14 organisations dealt with in their reports were the subject of attention
15 and investigation by the police; they checked it out.
16 And I said in response to one of your previous questions that the
17 only problem was with very bias and one-sided and incorrect reporting of
18 certain facts from the report from the Fund for Humanitarian Law which was
19 based on superficial, incorrect, and insufficiently checked out data and
21 MR. NICE: Just give me a minute, please.
22 Can we just look, then, please - I'm afraid they're in English.
23 They will be laid on the overhead projector. I shall identify when
24 they're existing exhibits and I shall identify when they're not - at some
25 of the reporting, for example, for 1993. The first one is a document that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 is exhibited, and it is Exhibit 772. And if we can just put the index -
2 thank you very much - on the overhead projector.
3 And the contents, Mr. Prendergast.
4 We can see the contents itself. Sorry, turn over to the next
5 page, please. We see the heading -- okay. Don't bother with the
6 contents. Move on to the next page, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you expect me to be able to
8 follow, I should like to ask you for the translation.
9 MR. NICE: Can we go back to what's numbered page 36 in the top
10 left-hand corner, Mr. Prendergast, please, and that's all I need trouble
11 us with at the moment. We needn't trouble with the index. Page 36 at the
12 top left-hand corner. There are we. And "Police Brutality," if we could
13 look at that passage there.
14 Q. I'm just going to read you something that came from a report, this
15 report being published for the United Nations, and it says: "Several
16 reports indicate that before and after the elections of 20 December 1992,
17 the police adopted a more severe and aggressive attitude towards the
18 Albanian population."
19 And then in the first sentence of the next paragraph, paragraph
20 161, it says: "Police action has gone beyond arrest and imprisonment and
21 cases of death as a result of shooting or brutality by the police have
22 been reported."
23 Well, now, that's a summary. Was this report investigated,
24 Mr. Stevanovic, this report going to the United Nations?
25 A. I not aware of this report, so I can't say whether it was or was
1 not. If in any way it reached the Ministry of the Interior, then quite
2 certainly it was. But what you've just read out is rather generalised and
3 I claim that with respect to any elections in the Republic of Serbia the
4 police never undertook additional, especially not violent, steps towards
5 the Albanians, and I understand that's what it says in this particular
7 Q. The next document I want you to consider, which is our Exhibit
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I consider that
12 Mr. Nice must provide a translation for the witness if he is going to base
13 his questions on a specific document.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, maybe the documents then should be
15 placed on the -- on the ELMO.
16 MR. NICE: These documents are available to us in English,
17 although I suspect originally served on the Yugoslav authorities in --
18 probably -- no, I'm not sure about that document. That document may only
19 ever have been in English, actually, served on the authorities.
20 The next report, the Human Rights Watch report, similarly is in
22 JUDGE KWON: Can I check at this moment. The previous one was
24 MR. NICE: Yes, it was.
25 JUDGE KWON: Was it translated ever?
1 MR. NICE: Of that I'm not aware. It's a United Nations document.
2 You mean was it translated in court?
3 JUDGE KWON: For the purpose of disclosure, whether it was
5 MR. NICE: No. As an exhibit, of course, it has to be in one of
6 the languages of the Tribunal and they don't have to be translated, and
7 I'm not sure that it would have been translated, no.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. If we can look at this next document. I'll just explain to you,
11 Mr. Stevanovic, what it is. It's a Human Rights Watch report and
12 published in New York but circulated, as we've heard from the author of
13 this report or similar reports, to government offices.
14 And if Mr. Prendergast would be good enough to take us, please, to
15 top right-hand side corner page 15.
16 A. Can you give me the date of it?
17 Q. I can. The date of the report was March of 1993. I think that
18 can't be right. It's 1993, and the reason I say that can't be right is
19 because I'm looking at something on page 15 that relates to August with a
20 footnote in October 1993. So the report itself must have a later date.
21 But the allegation that is being made - and this is a sample,
22 Mr. Stevanovic - on page 15 says: "On August 25, 1993, police shot and
23 killed sixteen-year-old Sefer Qukovci in ..." a particular Albanian
24 village, and then sets out the detail.
25 Can you tell me, please, how in your 17 binders of materials I'm
1 going to be able to track how -- whether and how such an allegation was
2 ever investigated?
3 A. In these 17 binders you certainly won't find that, but you will
4 certainly find that in the 1.015 files in the MUP. Of course, the number
5 is not the right number, I just chose it to illustrate my point.
6 On the one hand, you're criticising me for bringing in all this
7 voluminous material and on the other hand you're asking for more material
8 and more documents. I wasn't able to bring in the whole of the MUP
9 archives with me, and I'm quite certain that if you wish to know exactly,
10 then you should ask the MUP what was done specifically with respect to
11 that case. At this point in time I really can't remember the event or
12 tell you about it, but I can say with certainty --
13 Q. Let's look at page --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: He didn't finish his sentence.
15 MR. NICE: Very well, can say with certainty.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Conclude the sentence now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I can say with certainty that if
18 the document reached the MUP, and I do believe it did, then I'm quite sure
19 that this case was investigated and that the results of that investigation
20 exist. And I asked you intentionally the date of this document because,
21 if you recall, I have been explaining over the past days that at the
22 beginning of 1993 and the entire part of 1993 I spent in Bajina Basta, in
23 that area of Rudo, Priboj, et cetera, so that I do believe that that
24 period of time is something I recall -- actually, I recall less what was
25 at MUP headquarters at the time because I dealt with the border problems
1 and problems between the municipalities of Visegrad, Rudo, Visegrad and
2 Bajina Basta.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, is that report an exhibit?
4 MR. NICE: This report is an exhibit.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry?
6 MR. NICE: This report is an exhibit. It's 205.
7 Page 18, please, Mr. Prendergast.
8 Q. You see, here we have a record of how policemen were dealt with on
9 one occasion, and I'll summarise the history for you. It's the murder of
10 Arif Krasniqi in the Prizren police station.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Nice.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we're considering this matter of
14 translation. The particular document which was exhibited in your case
15 and, therefore, would have had to be disclosed to the accused, that was
16 not translated?
17 MR. NICE: No. There's never been any requirement for translation
18 into B/C/S of exhibits that come in in English.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: That come in in English or French.
20 MR. NICE: French, yes. And indeed it would be a very, very, very
21 large task to bring that about. Nor has it been the subject of complaint
22 by the accused or the amicus.
23 MR. KAY: There was, in fact, an issue concerning the provision of
24 trial documents to the accused in B/C/S. At the start of the proceedings
25 in June of 2001, July of 2001, originally it was the intention of the
1 Prosecution to only supply documents in the English language. The amicus
2 objected to that in October 2001, and there was a ruling by the Trial
3 Chamber that the materials for trial be provided in his language, B/C/S,
4 so that he was more familiar with the contents, and that was the order of
5 the Tribunal.
6 I've been unaware that any documents such as the Human Rights
7 Watch documents we're looking at at the moment, which came from Fred
8 Abrahams, which were obviously written by that organisation in the
9 language that it uses, the English language, that they had not been
10 translated into B/C/S as part of the Court-provided documents for trial.
11 It was the understanding that documents be provided for trial in the
12 language of the accused.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With respect to what Mr. Nice said,
16 that there were no objections regarding the documents from me, let me
17 remind you and Mr. Kwon - at the time the Presiding Judge was another -
18 that I on several occasions did object and complain because of the vast
19 quantity of documents that I was being given, and my objections were that
20 I was being given them untranslated. I assume that the results of that
21 objection of mine was the Trial Chamber decision that I be provided with
22 translated documents, so what Mr. Nice just said is not correct, that
23 there were no objections. There were certainly objections, but of course
24 they were ignored, despite the Trial Chamber's decision and ruling in
1 MR. NICE: I think the matter to which Mr. Kay referred related to
2 supporting materials, and I think that the practice in respect of exhibits
3 since then has been as I outlined it. That's all I have to say on it.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Trial Chamber will endeavour to find the
5 order which was made and will carry out further investigations into this
7 MR. NICE: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Continue, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. You see, Mr. Stevanovic, in this report we have - it's at page 18
11 if Mr. Prendergast could follow us through - the account of the death of a
12 man called Arif Krasniqi, where he was interrogated in Prizren police
13 station, where his interrogation was witnessed, and where two police
14 officers, one of whom was called Jasovic but with a different first name,
15 Momir, another was Tihomir, and as a result of his beating in prison he
16 died. Slavisa Dobricanin conducted the autopsy. Two officers were -- two
17 officers were charged.
18 And if Mr. Prendergast will take us to page 20, the summary of the
19 trial is reflected in this way: "Fellow policemen warmly greeted Jasovic
20 and Kosovic as they arrived in the courtroom for the trial on November 23,
21 1993, and threatened the Krasniqi family's lawyers. After a short trial,
22 the court found Jasovic and Kosovic guilty and sentenced them both to
23 three years imprisonment, but immediately released them pending their
25 Now, does that sound a reasonable description? Well, first of
1 all, do you know of this trial itself? You were a senior policeman at the
2 time. Do you know of this trial?
3 A. I don't know of this trial, although I have the impression that I
4 do seem to recall the event but possibly I have mixed it up with another
5 event. I thought that this event related to Kosovska Mitrovica, in fact.
6 But -- what was it you were wanting to ask me?
7 Q. My question to you was does this sound a reasonable description of
8 how police officers would be dealt with for killing someone in the course
9 of interrogating him: Three-year sentence, released immediately on
10 appeal. Is that the way your society was operating?
11 A. With your permission, I don't wish to respond to your term
12 "society." I don't know what you mean by "society." I know how the
13 police functioned, and as far as the police is concerned, everything is
14 quite clear here. The police, obviously, threw light on the event,
15 established or, rather, concluded that there was reasonable doubt that
16 these policemen had overstepped their authority which led to the death of
17 an individual, and quite obviously they filed a criminal report, and quite
18 obviously again, everything was given over to the court, and the court is
19 independent in the Republic of Serbia vis-a-vis the executive powers and
21 Q. How can you kill someone by overstepping your authority? What
22 could you be doing to someone at all that leads to his death merely
23 because you slightly overdo it?
24 A. Overstepping one's authority has a broad possibility. You can
25 overstep your authority if you kill somebody from a firearm without the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 necessary circumstances. So I used that form and term assuming that that
2 was the case. Of course, when we speak about killings we mean with
3 intent, premeditated. Here there was no intent, I'm quite sure, of
4 killing anybody. I don't know the specific circumstances that surrounded
5 the event, but from this we can see that a criminal report was filed and
6 the court acted upon it. Of course, the description as to the policemen's
7 behaviour and conduct is in a way not very clear and was probably written
8 on the basis of just one source of information. Your policemen here are
9 very cordial towards me, although I'm a witness, if I can put it that way
10 and use the example. And of course I could add that this description is a
11 description on the basis of facts presented by one side. I believe that
12 in the police files and the case there are other facts as well, and I do
13 believe that this description does not include all the information and
14 facts compiled by the police unit where the event took place. Of course,
15 I don't know and cannot say whether that is absolutely true, but I do
16 believe it is.
17 Q. Now, let me put the thing to you generally. Please listen. And
18 we may look at one more report, either just before or just after the
19 break, if the Court's disposed to take a break.
20 In the course of 1993, three different organisations recorded
21 against your police excessive brutality, physical and mental, shooting
22 people dead, killing people in police stations, displacing Albanians from
23 their homes, using excessive violence against demonstrators, mishandling
24 and arresting journalists. That can be found in the range of reports that
25 are available to us and, if the Court wishes to see them, available to the
2 First of all, is it your case that the authorities will have
3 carefully considered all of those serious, grave allegations made by
4 independent bodies?
5 A. It is my case that careful consideration was given to all
6 concrete, specific events described in the allegations. Now, if a
7 policeman or a group of policemen in one specific case applied excessive
8 force the consequence of which resulted even in death, it doesn't mean
9 that the police in Serbia was violent and that the police in Serbia
10 instilled fear.
11 So let me repeat: Very often one can conclude that one or two or
12 three events which cannot of course be justified, nor is it anybody's
13 intention to justify them, tend to be generalised and conclusions drawn
14 from it on the functioning of the police as a system. That is something I
15 cannot accept. And even the defence described - I accept that they
16 happened if you tell me - and in the latest one we can see that the police
17 did not, as you say, hurry to -- that it did what every police force is
18 required to do.
19 Q. Can you -- and again it's your evidence that I'm testing. Can you
20 identify any other Western society which to your knowledge has received
21 this level of recurring complaint about brutality by the police in the
23 A. At this point in time, of course I cannot because I don't have
24 information about something like that. But bear in mind, please, the kind
25 of security situation and security related problems Serbia was confronted
1 with at that time. You cannot compare the security situation and security
2 threats in Serbia during that period of time with the situation, for
3 example, in Holland or in some other West European country. They were
4 very specific and complex circumstances in which the police force had to
5 deal in quite an extraordinary way, faced with the security problems. It
6 had to protect the borders, it had to prevent the war from spreading into
7 its territory, it had to contend and fight terrorism as the core and
8 source of all problems. It wasn't the police that caused violence in
9 Kosovo. The police fought against violence. And you have to fight
10 violence, among other things, by using force sometimes. If you cannot --
11 Q. Another interpretation which I'm going to suggest to you both in
12 respect of the reaction of the police to peaceful demonstrations already
13 seen and in the reaction of the police under your command to
14 demonstrations at the end of 1996 and 1997, when the accused was slowly
15 giving way to recognising democratic votes in local elections, we'll look
16 at that later, but I'm going to suggest to you that the violence of the
17 police was aimed at retaining power for this accused and you know it.
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you mentioned 1996 and 1997. I assert, and you
19 can check this out in all the video archives, that three months -- for
20 three months the police was very peace loving and tolerant, and for three
21 months the police activities out in the open from those three months, you
22 can extract just two or three sequences where you can see police violence.
23 But let me repeat, they are typical exceptions, because you're not showing
24 us everything else that goes to the advantage of the Serb police force and
25 what it was doing for three months, three months of maximum tolerance
1 without a single instance of violence. And then in one day there was
2 intervention, and you know full well how difficult it is to forecast any
3 intervention once it is unleashed when there is violence, and then from
4 that you film ten or 15 seconds of violence and you make your conclusions
5 about the violence that -- violence of a whole police force. That is
6 quite unacceptable.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honours --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're going to take the break now, Mr. Nice. We
9 will adjourn for 20 minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. I'm going to move to a new topic almost immediately,
15 Mr. Stevanovic, but before I do, just this: You will accept, will you
16 not, that at least the three bodies I referred to before the break
17 continued reporting on police brutality, violence, killings, and expulsion
18 of Kosovo Albanians right throughout the period 1993 to 1998?
19 A. Well, I cannot agree with that because I don't have the relevant
20 facts in my possession. But again you ask me a question, "You will agree,
21 will you not," or "You will accept, will you not." If I say "No," will
22 that mean that I accept or I don't accept? If you cannot change the way
23 in which you formulate your questions, of course I will have to adjust,
24 but --
25 Q. Mr. Stevanovic, you perfectly well understand what I'm driving at.
1 Do you accept or do you not accept that there was reporting on the police
2 alleging extreme brutality of a criminal kind right throughout the 1990s?
3 A. It sounds easier now. There were reports in that sense, but they
4 cannot be qualified in the way you qualify them, that the police was
5 brutal and so on and so forth. There were events in which the police
6 overstepped their authority or applied force contrary to the law and in
7 which certain consequences occurred, as we have already discussed.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, amongst the exhibits that touch on this,
9 which I haven't the time nor the present disposition to go into, are 188,
10 190, 204, 205, 772, and 773.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: These are reports by whom?
12 MR. NICE: They're a range of reports from either Mazowiecki or
13 Human Rights Watch. They cover various aspects of life in the former
14 Yugoslavia, but all of them include passages on police brutality and
15 similar and they cover a wide range of topics.
16 Q. There are in addition, Mr. Stevanovic, as you know, reports
17 published by the Humanitarian Law Centre, and I want to ask two questions
18 about that, or three of you. You said earlier today that those reports
19 are biased. Does that mean that you've read them in order to say they're
21 A. Some parts of those reports I have read. Certainly a long time
23 Q. All I want to know is do you accept that those reports wherever
24 possible name victims and give details of circumstances so that you, the
25 authorities, could, if you chose, investigate further?
1 A. Those reports or, rather, parts of reports that I've read cite
2 certain incidents, and those that contain factual information were, I
3 repeat, subject of police attention and verification. The reason I said
4 they were lopsided and biased is that those reports predominantly speak of
5 violence against Albanians and say nothing or next to nothing against --
6 about violence against the innocent by terrorists. Almost nothing is said
7 about the murders -- I would like to finish. Next to nothing can be read
8 about murders, mutilations, intimidation and terror against uninvolved and
9 innocent citizens, leaving aside policemen and soldiers. That is the
10 reason why I call this reporting biased and one-sided. Maybe there are
11 other reports --
12 MR. NICE: This witness makes long answers to every question --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, he was explaining why he characterised
14 the reports as biased, and I think he's entitled to.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. The question was whether these reports named victims and details
17 so that further investigation would have been possible.
18 My third of three questions, Mr. Stevanovic, which is appropriate
19 in light of your last answer, is this: Are you aware that Natasa Kandic,
20 who is the principal of this humanitarian organisation, humanitarian
21 rights organisation, has indeed published material about the suffering of
22 the Serbs? Just yes or no will do. Are you aware that she's done that?
23 A. She did not.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I want to move on now. In a
25 sense moving on. You told us that you went to Kula in 1996 and are aware
1 that there was a similar -- another anniversary in 1997. Correct?
2 A. To the first part of your question I can answer yes. To the
3 second part also yes. I found out about that other anniversary in 1997
4 from an interview in Belgrade.
5 Q. An interview had by whom with whom?
6 A. With your investigators. Approximately three months ago.
7 Q. I'm going to have played a portion of the video of the 1997
9 MR. NICE: Your Honours, it's, of course, already an exhibit. We
10 have made available for you some -- I think they really count as courtesy
11 copies of the transcripts that you've already got as an exhibit, because
12 otherwise it would be difficult to follow or more difficult to follow
13 something when the screen is occupied with the -- yes.
14 Just -- I'll revert to the previous point while the matter is
15 literally in my mind and the book is in my hand.
16 Q. Natasa Kandic, Mr. Stevanovic, was publishing a book on the
17 disappearance of non-Albanians in Kosovo. I take it it's not a book
18 you've ever acquainted yourself with, that you've ever read? This is an
19 English version, but --
20 A. I'm not sure, but it's possible that I have read some of it. I'm
21 not sure, I repeat.
22 Q. Can we --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the point you make -- or made, Mr. Nice,
24 was that she was publishing about violence towards Serbs.
25 MR. NICE: Yes, that's right. Non-Albanians is inclusive of
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It could be, but are you telling us it is?
3 MR. NICE: Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
5 MR. NICE: Serbs and Romas I think are the two categories that are
6 specifically dealt with.
7 Can we now play this. There are certain segments, and Your
8 Honours will see in the courtesy copy provided the segments are outlined
9 in black line.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry, Mr. Nice. What is the year of the
11 publication of that book?
12 MR. NICE: We'll find out and get back to you. If the publication
13 date isn't given, the context will identify it probably.
14 The transcript was already exhibited as 390. There have been one
15 or two, I think, corrections made on this version for sense, and I don't
16 know whether they're on the 390 original.
17 Can we play the first clip, please.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. NICE: We should be getting a translation over the headphones.
20 I'm sorry we're not. It would help if we could have one.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have a copy of this
22 transcript that they can find.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let a copy of the transcript be passed to the
25 MR. NICE: I gather one has been passed to them. Mostly this is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 largely ceremonial at the moment.
2 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Members for the unit of special
3 operations, greetings.
5 MR. NICE: That will do, thank you very much. The rest is words
6 and not ceremonial.
7 Q. You recognise there, do you not, the man Legia? Milorad Lukovic.
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. The man - and this reverts back to what I said right at the
10 beginning - the man now charged with the assassination of Djindjic.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Allegedly under an operation code named Stop The Hague.
13 A. That was the commentary in the media.
14 MR. NICE: Next clip, please.
15 [Videotape played]
16 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Mr. President, veterans of the
17 Special Operations Unit of the Republic of Serbia state security are lined
18 up for inspection. Colonel Zika Ivanovic reporting.
19 "Hello, Colonel Ivanovic.
20 "Mr. President, allow me to introduce the unit's veteran
21 officers. Mr. President, Colonel Radojica Bozovic.
22 "Milosevic: Hello, Bozovic. I read those reports of yours.
23 "Colonel Bozovic: Thank you. God forbid there should be more of
24 them ..."
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Help me with this, Mr. Stevanovic: This colonel, it appears, has
2 written reports that have been read by the accused. What would be the
3 content of reports written by somebody ascribed the rank of colonel?
4 Would they be operational?
5 A. That depends on the subject of the report or the orders received.
6 Based just on this question, I cannot give you an answer. I don't have
7 sufficient facts. I don't know what you mean.
8 Q. You've been in the army. What rank -- what military rank did you
9 hold as a reserve officer when you were promoted to general in 1995?
10 A. I have already answered. In 1990 but not later than 1993, I held
11 the highest rank in the police force at that moment.
12 Q. Before that --
13 A. The rank that I had while I was assistant minister is not the
14 highest possible.
15 Q. Mr. Stevanovic, please listen to the question. What was the
16 highest military rank you ever held? Because you finished military
18 A. I graduated from the military academy and was then given the rank
19 of second lieutenant in the army. Later on I was promoted in the reserve
20 force of the army and I held the highest rank of captain, or maybe major.
21 I wasn't particularly interested because my profession was policework.
22 Q. In -- I dare say. But a colonel reporting on the activities of
23 his troops is going to be providing, is he not, a review of what has been
24 accomplished by him and his troops. Yes?
25 A. Well, every leader in general submits reports of that kind to his
1 superiors. The act of writing a report does not say much about the
2 contents. It is the rank that tells us more.
3 Q. Very well.
4 A. We should have to know what assignments this colonel had, what
5 his --
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Colonel Dusan Borovic.
8 "Milosevic: Pleased to meet you.
9 "Colonel: Likewise, Comrade President.
10 "Colonel Ivanovic: Colonel Vasilje Mijovic.
11 "Milosevic: Pleased to meet you.
12 "Colonel Ivanovic: Colonel Goran Opacic.
13 "Milosevic: Hello.
14 "Colonel Ivanovic: Colonel Predrag Prica.
15 "Milosevic: Pleased to meet you.
16 "Colonel Ivanovic: Lieutenant Colonel Zvezdan Jovanovic.
17 "Milosevic: --"
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. We don't seem to have a picture of Zvezdan Jovanovic, but that's a
20 name known to you as well, isn't it, Mr. Stevanovic?
21 A. Yes, since he was charged with murder. I know about him since he
22 was arrested and charged with the murder of Prime Minister Djindjic.
23 Q. Thank you very much. We'll move to the next part, the next clip,
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Mr. President, we thank you for
2 accepting the invitation to attend the ceremony marking the anniversary of
3 the formation of the Special Operations Unit of the State Security
4 Service. It was constituted on the 4th of May, 1991 at the time of
5 break-up of the former Yugoslavia, and since it emerged it has constantly
6 worked to protect national security in circumstances where the existence
7 of the Serbian people was directly jeopardised throughout its entire
8 ethnic area. Its combat operations were anti-terrorist, directed at
9 preventing war crimes, mass retaliation and genocide.
10 "From the first moment of its existence ..."
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. No reason to doubt what Frenki Simatovic is saying about this
13 unit, whatever it was called, being constituted on the 4th of May of 1991?
14 A. I made a similar statement in my interview some two months ago in
15 Belgrade because that question was leading, in a way, and I didn't want to
16 go into greater detail and deal with the question more deeply because I
17 was in the capacity of a suspect, and I wanted to focus on issues that had
18 to do with my own work.
19 Q. No question at any time of Frenki Simatovic's unit being
20 subordinated to the army?
21 A. Whether the unit of Frenki Simatovic was resubordinated to the
22 army, to the best of my knowledge it never was.
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. And I never asked myself that question.
25 Q. From all the material available to you and to us, his unit was
1 either subordinated to the MUP or personally to the accused. Which was
3 A. This unit that we are discussing here now was part of the sector
4 of state security; therefore, part of the MUP.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. But more precisely within the sector of state security.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Due to the international
9 circumstances we are all well aware of, we were forced to operate in
10 complete secrecy. And despite wartime conditions: Fighting with Croatian
11 and Muslim troops, the presence of numerous United Nations international
12 forces - later IFOR and SFOR - and numerous instruments of foreign
13 intelligence services in the field where the unit is not --" the rest is
15 "The contribution of the Special Operations Unit is enormous.
16 Forty-seven soldiers were killed and 250 wounded in combat operations at
17 50 different locations. We are proud of the unit's level of professional
18 training, which meets the highest international standards, and the unit
19 has never experienced defeat. One of its most recent successes was its
20 engagement in the freeing of 400 UNPROFOR hostages in Republika Srpska,
21 which met with a very positive response in the international community and
22 made our country's position stronger. One of the unit's most successful
23 actions in our territory was the capturing of the National Guard Corps
24 terrorist group, caught in the Apatin area in 1993.
25 "Mr. President, allow us to inform you briefly about the unit's
1 history, its combat record, present situation and function. When it was
2 formed, its corps was made up of members of our service, Republic of
3 Serbian Krajina Police, and volunteers from Serbia. The Second War
4 Service Intelligence Administration, which was also set up at the time,
5 included a special team for offensive and logistical support of the
6 Special Operations Unit.
7 "From the 12th of October, 1991, in battles with armed Croatian
8 police forces --"
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Just from the passage we've just been listening to, a secret
11 organisation; correct?
12 A. That's what I understood him as saying.
13 Q. Including --
14 A. If I understood correctly.
15 Q. Including people identified as volunteers from Serbia?
16 A. That's what he said.
17 MR. NICE: Press on.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... in the zones of Benkovac, Stari
20 Gospic, Plitvice, Glina, Kostajnica and others, the unit provided
21 important support in the liberation of all areas of the Republic of
22 Serbian Krajina. Around 5.000 soldiers were engaged in these battles and
23 their actions were coordinated by the unit Command and an intelligence
24 team from the Second Administration.
25 "In May 1991 an air-helicopter squadron was formed which
1 transported tons of special shipments, equipment, troops and machinery
2 from the improvised airfields of Medeno Polje, Petrovac, Velika Popina,
3 Srb, and Udbina and carried out numerous complex tasks while war
4 operations were ongoing.
5 "In September 1991 a part of the unit was transferred to Serbia,
6 where its reconstruction was conducted and high-quality professional
7 training organised."
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Incidentally, the man standing beside Milosevic, or the accused,
10 is of course Stanisic, isn't it?
11 A. That is Mr. Stanisic.
12 Q. So far on this part of the tape the places described as places
13 where the unit went with Croatian police forces in Benkovac, Stari Gospic,
14 Plitvice, Glina, and so on, those are not places about which you told us
15 when you gave evidence a couple of days ago, are they?
16 A. Those are not the places.
17 Q. Is that because you weren't kept informed of where these units
18 were fighting or because you chose not to mention these places?
19 A. It's absolutely not the case that I decided not to say something
20 that I know. Whatever I know I will say loud and clear. However, what I
21 heard now from this footage in no way corresponds to what I know. That's
23 And second, everything I heard here is different than the words of
24 the same man in another speech in 1996. I know that the description
25 Frenki Simatovic gave in 1996 of the activity of his units was much
1 different from this one, and he described the traditions of his own units
2 in a drastically different way than what we hear here.
3 Q. Do you have -- sorry. Do you know if there is a video recording
4 of that ceremony?
5 A. I don't know whether there is a video recording. I really don't
7 MR. NICE: Let's move on with the video, please.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] These two units were involved in
10 operations in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. Twenty-six
11 training camps for special police units of Republika Srpska and the
12 Republic of Serbian Krajina were also formed in that period. In the
13 Republic of Serbian Krajina in Golubic, Dinara, Obrovac, Gracac, Plitvice,
14 Samarice, Petrova Gora, Licki Osik, Benkovac, Lezimir, Ilok and Vukovar,
15 and in the RSK, Republic of Serbian Krajina, in Banja Luka, Doboj, Samac,
16 Brcko, Bijeljina, Trebinje, Visegrad, Ozren and Mrkonjic Grad.
17 "Units of Serbian [inaudible] joint operations in Eastern
18 Slavonia, the corridor of Brcko, in the Drina, Sarajevo, and Maglaj
19 operations. In Western Bosnia, the unit was the backbone of Fikret
20 Abdic's army with around 15.000 soldiers who freed most of the Cazin
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Again, the training camps identified and the places this unit
24 served, vastly different from the places you identified in the territories
25 of Croatia and Bosnia a couple of days ago.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I mentioned only those places where certain assignments were
2 executed by special police units, and I named specifically the places that
3 I visited. The presence of units from Serbia in these places quoted here
4 is something I know nothing about.
5 Q. If that's true, and if what Frenki is saying is accurate, does
6 that mean that the DB of the MUP was kept hermetically sealed from the
7 state security?
8 A. Within the MUP there is both the sector of public security and the
9 sector of state security. In organisational terms, state security was
10 clearly divided from public security, but of course both these sectors
11 belonged to the Ministry of the Interior.
12 Q. And ultimately answered to this accused.
13 A. No. They answered to the minister of the interior.
14 Q. To whom did he answer?
15 A. He answered to the government.
16 Q. So is it --
17 A. He had certain responsibilities toward the president of the
18 republic, as I've already explained, which was to submit a report to him
19 on his request. However, the minister was a member of the cabinet, and he
20 was responsible to the cabinet.
21 Q. On your understanding of the accused's structure of government,
22 can you explain how that colonel's reports were read by this accused?
23 A. First of all, I don't believe he did read these colonel's reports.
24 I believe he read the minister's reports, in accordance with the law. I
25 don't know --
1 Q. Why do you believe that? You heard the words he said. Why should
2 they be interpreted differently from how they read?
3 A. I didn't hear him say that he had submitted a report to the
4 president. Perhaps I overlooked it. I am basing my previous replies on
5 my general knowledge. I did not deal with the links between the minister
6 and the cabinet or the minister and the president. It's simply something
7 I know about from my general knowledge. I did not attend either cabinet
8 meetings or meetings in the president's office apart from those few
9 meetings I did attend which I have already mentioned.
10 Q. As to what you say are the differences between the 1996 and the
11 1997 accounts given by Simatovic - one that you heard of, one on the tape
12 - are you asking us to consider that Simatovic was making up this account
13 to this accused?
14 A. I believe -- well, it's hard to reach this conclusion, and I've
15 been thinking about why he did that, and the only thing I can conclude is
16 that he wanted to portray himself in a favourable light before the
17 president of the republic, and this is usually a part of such reports on
18 such ceremonies when somebody wants to advertise his unit and its
19 tradition, to promote it. I believe that in that previous year, with
20 respect to the activities of members of his unit, he ascribed to them
21 things done by other units. It might be a good idea to look at a video,
22 if there is one, of the ceremony in 1996, because then we could see
23 whether I'm right.
24 Q. So you're -- incidentally, have you had an opportunity to discuss
25 this with Mr. Simatovic after he was interviewed by the investigators?
1 Have you?
2 A. No, I didn't.
3 Q. Did you not see this video on national television when it was
4 broadcast in 2003?
5 A. I was able to see part of this video from this trial. I didn't
6 see this part. I did see the review, but I didn't really follow it in
7 great detail.
8 Q. So your proposition includes that Simatovic would make up details
9 about the establishment of training camps and about fighting battles in
10 territories of Bosnia and Croatia when he did no such thing. That's
11 really what you're asking us to believe, is it, as possible?
12 A. No. I'm not insisting on anything you're supposed to believe.
13 I'm just telling you what I know, but my reply here was really about what
14 I think, what my opinion is, because that's how your question was
15 formulated, if this deserves special attention to be sure.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. NICE: So here we see Stanisic pointing out on a map to the
19 Pause there, please.
20 Q. Do you remember to whom that plaque was dedicated?
21 A. Absolutely not, no. And you can't see anything on this video
22 clip. I don't remember any similar plaque.
23 Q. Do you remember that the centre now bears the name, or did at a
24 recent stage, Radoslav Kostic?
25 A. I think it did bear the name.
1 Q. He died in action in 1994. Do you remember that?
2 A. No, I don't remember when he was killed.
3 MR. NICE: Carry on, please.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. NICE: Pausing there.
6 Q. When you went there in 1996, did you see that map?
7 A. I did see a map. I don't know whether it was this map and whether
8 this is what it looked like.
9 Q. You see, it's marked with places, as we can see and hear, where
10 it is said actions took place.
11 MR. NICE: Can we lay on an overhead projector first of all one
12 version of that map overdrawn with the markings for Bosnia and Croatia.
13 Q. Does this look to you to be the map that you saw in 1996? It's a
14 relief map. It's not a flat map, it's in relief.
15 A. I don't think I saw this map. In fact, I'm sure I didn't see a
16 map like this.
17 Q. Very well. Have a look at another -- that's from the video. Now
18 have a look at another version, please. Same map, same overmarkings, but
19 there have been some town names put in, or some location names. Showing,
20 in Bosnia, Bosanski Samac, Brcko, Bijeljina, Doboj, Zvornik; all places
21 referred to the video and all places for which we have evidence of action
22 having taken place during the course of this war.
23 You told us before -- or you told us in answer to a question of
24 the accused this: "I am aware of all the engagements of the police of
25 Serbia outside the territory of Serbia."
1 A. Yes. I still abide by that.
2 Q. And you told us about a few events happening on the east of
3 Croatia and Vukovar and thereabouts and a few activities on the far east
4 of Bosnia. Do you have any reason to doubt that this unit of Simatovic
5 operated on all those places and others, but all those places marked on
6 the map and now named?
7 A. There are two questions in my mind. First of all, all the
8 geographical terms I mentioned I abide by, but the names mentioned here
9 that I did not mention are something I know nothing about.
10 Q. Very well. Next clip, please.
11 A. Of course, special purpose police units were also in Western
12 Bosnia, not just Eastern Bosnia, as you said.
13 [Videotape played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Mr. President, dear guests, let us
15 pay tribute to Deputy Minister Radovan Stojicic Badza by observing a
16 minute of silence."
17 MR. NICE: Pause there, please.
18 Q. Badza was your boss and he was assassinated, wasn't he?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in a minute we're going to look at another event concerning
21 that. We'll just end with this video first.
22 MR. NICE: Next clip. Next clip, please.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. NICE: The video ends with -- we can see Legija on the left,
25 the accused, and Stanisic on the accused's right, now on the accused's
1 left, reviewing the military equipment. I'm not going to take time doing
2 that, but we'll just get to the first vehicle and then perhaps --
3 Q. When you went there in 1996, did you see a personnel carrier, an
4 armoured personnel carrier that had been seized from the Dutch at
5 Srebrenica there?
6 A. I saw more than one vehicle, but I don't know that a vehicle was
7 taken from the Dutch in Srebrenica.
8 Q. Very well. Let's deal now very briefly with Badza Stojicic's, or
9 Badza as he's known, funeral. Gunned down as he was, he had a benefit of
10 a large ceremony.
11 A. Yes.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. NICE: Pause there. We can see middle, dead centre, Arkan.
14 To the left of the screen in the darkened glasses, Sainovic; to Badza's
15 right -- sorry, to Arkan's right we can see Lilic; to his right, obscured
16 by a hat, we can see the accused.
17 Press on, please.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. NICE: Now the next, please. And now this:
20 [Videotape played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] For Radovan Stojicic there were no
22 secrets in policework. He participated directly in numerous very complex
23 actions in which he showed exceptional courage and commitment. Radovan
24 Stojicic did not demonstrate his patriotism by talking about it but
25 immediately on the scene of events taking part in them, always wherever
1 this was most necessary and most difficult."
2 MR. NICE: Very well.
3 Q. So this is, on your account, the leader of the police, the
4 national state police. What patriotism was required of somebody running
5 just the national state police?
6 A. It's logical that patriotism is required of everybody. Everybody
7 living in a country should love his country and be prepared to defend it.
8 That's what I understood by that word.
9 Q. And what were the complex arrangements that he was dealing with?
10 Were those events across the border in Croatia and Bosnia?
11 A. I have already explained the complexity of the situation in Serbia
12 in the 1990s and compared those conditions with those in other countries.
13 This is not easy to compare.
14 I am aware that Mr. Stojicic spent time in Baranja and Eastern
15 Slavonia during 1991 or 1992 when I was in Kosovo and Metohija, but he was
16 not there with his units, but according to my information, he went there
17 as an individual. Perhaps some other members of the ministry were there
18 with him, but as far as I know, certainly there were no units of the
19 Ministry of the Interior there.
20 Q. And is the truth this: That Badza's patriotism which you praised,
21 for it was you speaking at that funeral, was the same quality looked for
22 in the JSO?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Yes. And that was Serb patriotism. I'm going to deal with the
25 former Yugoslavia. It was the interests of the Serbs.
1 A. Verbally, criminals can also be classed as terrorists who call
2 themselves patriots. The word "patriot" is a positive word, but it can
3 take on different meanings, depending on who uses it and in what way.
4 The way I used here was in a positive sense.
5 Q. And finally, how could Badza with his senior position before he
6 was killed, have gone as an individual to these other territories? How
7 could he have done that?
8 A. I have already said that at that time I was in Kosovo dealing
9 exclusively with the tasks presented to me by the situation and the
10 leadership. I really do not know specifically according to what model he
11 was there. What I do know is that he was not there with units. I know
12 that he was appointed a leader there, whether of the Territorial Defence
13 or something similar I don't know, but he was not leading a unit.
14 According to what model he spent time there, whether as a
15 volunteer or in the form of some sort of cooperation, I really don't know.
16 Q. And was it these complex events of which you were ignorant that
17 you referred to elliptically in your funeral address when you spoke of the
18 complex missions he'd been engaged on?
19 A. Of course this was a long time ago. My opinion is that when I
20 referred to complex events, I was not referring to any events outside
21 Serbia. Serbia was confronted with enormous problems. The police of
22 Serbia was facing enormous challenges. Of course this doesn't apply just
23 to the police.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. Anyway, you know how eulogies are written and what they're
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 supposed to contain.
2 Q. Would you be good enough, please, with Mr. Prendergast's
3 assistance, to look at the original of this document, the English copy of
4 which can be placed on the overhead projector, it being Exhibit 277.
5 Is this a document you've seen before?
6 A. Not the first one, no.
7 Q. Well, let's read it together then. Oh, no, sorry, it's not that
8 document. That's the covering letter. The next document, please,
9 Mr. Prendergast, in English, and the accused, I hope, has the second
10 document, dated 1997.
11 Is this a document you've seen before?
12 A. This document, the covering letter is something I have certainly
13 not seen before.
14 Q. We're concerned with the fundamental -- the underlying document.
15 Have you seen that before?
16 A. Let me just read it. I don't think I have.
17 Q. What it reads, and we'll read it together: "During the period of
18 preparation for passing the law on carrying out the security affairs of
19 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Department of the State Security
20 will perform its duties in accordance with the guidelines of the President
21 of the Republic and the Republic of Serbia government ..." Signed by this
22 accused, dated April 1997.
23 Completely unconstitutional, isn't it?
24 A. That's not a question for me, whether it's constitutional or not.
25 I really don't know, because it does refer to an article of the
1 constitution. I have not seen this document before. I have heard
2 something about this, but I really don't know what the purpose of this
3 document was or why it was written.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... tell us what you'd heard
5 about it.
6 A. I think I heard about this from a broadcast emanating from this
7 Tribunal, but I can't say I understood it very well.
8 As for the document, I repeat, I've never seen it before, and I
9 don't know when and under what circumstances it was compiled. This is the
10 first time I've seen it.
11 Q. You remember when I asked you a question a little earlier about
12 the lines of the DB reporting to this accused. You corrected me straight
13 away and said no, not at all, it goes up to the government. Can you
14 explain how in 1997 it would be necessary for this accused to have the DB
15 formally answering to him in the way this document suggests?
16 A. I really don't know that. I would have to look at the document
17 more closely. I didn't even understand it as saying this, that the
18 department of state security was answering to the president.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: To be more precise, it says that "The Department
20 of State Security will perform its duties in accordance with guidelines of
21 the President of the Republic ..."
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and the government of the
23 Republic of Serbia. What this means in effect I really can't say at
24 present. What I know now is that the department of the state security was
25 subordinate to the minister of interior affairs. This is the first time
1 I've seen this document and I don't know what it means. I have the
2 impression that you're putting questions to me that fall outside my sphere
3 of competence, but of course that's your right.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. In 1997, according to witnesses in this Tribunal, Bakalli and
6 Haxhiu, the following people, Gajic, Stijovic, and Hadzic, gave details of
7 a Serb policy that then existed in respect of Kosovo.
8 Now, Gajic was what, Stanisic's deputy?
9 A. Are you referring to David Gajic who was in Pristina? I don't
10 know. It's possible he was an assistant. He was certainly one of the
11 high-ranking leaders in the sector for state security, and in Kosovo I
12 think he was the leader of some kind of coordination centre of the state
13 security department, but I'm not sure of its precise title.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Since the decision purports to be pursuant to
15 Article 83 of the constitution of the republic, it would be useful to
16 ascertain what that provision says.
17 MR. NICE: I'll add it to my list of things to do. There's
18 something that was outstanding from the first session that I've not
19 delivered on, and indeed I've forgotten what it was. I'm sorry about
20 that. There was another document you wanted me to bring and I've
21 forgotten it. It'll be on the transcript and we'll --
22 Q. Well, on the evidence we've had, in late 1997 Gajic and others
23 spoke of the Serb authorities having a plan described as burnt or scorched
24 earth. "Sprzena zemilja," I think. Were you aware of a plan with such a
1 A. There was never such a plan. I have no knowledge of that plan. I
2 am certain that in the police, in the Ministry of the Interior, no such
3 plan existed. And I'm also certain it did not exist at the level of the
4 state, because this would run totally counter to the government policy and
5 the policy of the Ministry of the Interior. It would be contrary to all
6 the facts that I am aware of.
7 Of course one would have to know what is meant by that concept,
8 but I assert that such a plan with such a title or such a code name is
9 something I have never seen in my life and I assert that such a plan never
11 Q. Just moving ahead for a second before we return to the chronology.
12 Generals Clark and Naumann met with this accused in the autumn of 1988 for
13 the October agreements. Were you there?
14 A. Yes. As I've already said, for three days and two nights I was at
15 the negotiations with that NATO team.
16 Q. Were you there then on the occasion which shocked those witnesses,
17 they explain, when the accused said that why didn't he do what had
18 happened in 1945 at Drenica, kill them all? Were you there when he said
19 that to Clark and Naumann?
20 A. I did attend several meetings there but I absolutely do not
21 remember that statement.
22 Q. Very well. Let's go back, then, to June. You're aware, aren't
23 you, that a decision was made that there should be direct authority
24 through assistant ministers for the administration of Kosovo?
25 A. I'm not aware of any such decision.
1 Q. Well, Minic and others, including Sainovic, came to be running a
2 body called the Joint Command, didn't they, in 1998?
3 A. I have explained everything I know about the joint command. It's
4 correct that in the sense in which I explained it Mr. Sainovic and
5 Mr. Minic were members of that body, as well as Mr. Andjelkovic.
6 Q. The idea for that body, do you accept, as we've heard, came from
7 this accused at first -- or not necessarily first but certainly once being
8 adumbrated by him at a political party session of the SPS in June of 1998?
9 A. I did not follow political sessions. Quite possibly there was an
10 idea like that. Now, whose it was specifically I don't know. What I do
11 know is what was in the field and how it functioned in the field.
12 Q. Well, that, incidentally, is D142A, I think as an exhibit.
13 Defence Exhibit 142.
14 You remember I asked you right at the beginning of questioning
15 whether the position throughout the 1990s was that the accused ran
16 anything of significance, military eventually and also police, and for
17 Kosovo do you accept that a decision as to how to administer Kosovo in
18 1998 would inevitably have needed the approval of or been made by this
20 A. I really don't know. I can't say. I don't know that. I know
21 exactly how the Ministry of the Interior functioned in Kosovo, of course,
22 and I also know that the staffs of the ministry in Kosovo and Metohija
23 functioned from 1990, perhaps 1989. The staffs the federal ministry from
24 1981. Therefore, what I can say with full responsibility and fairly
25 exactly, that as far as the Ministry of the Interior goes, the
1 organisation and structure there of the police organisational units
2 practically remained unchanged from the 1990s right up until 1999. All
3 that changed were the personnel, the composition of the staff in Pristina
4 and the leaders of individual organisational units. However, the system
5 remained intact, unchanged, throughout all those years.
6 Q. Next can we consider in a short summary what was being said of
7 Kosovo by Human Rights Watch in 1998?
8 This is Exhibit 191, so we'll place page 4 in the English -- 4,
9 top left-hand corner, Mr. Prendergast -- on the overhead projector.
10 And, Mr. Stevanovic, I'm going to read out a summary from Human
11 Rights Watch, an organisation you have not yet criticised for lack of
12 objectivity, and it says as follows: "The first major government
13 offensive began in mid-May, a few days after Milosevic agreed to US
14 demands that he meet with Rugova. The special police, together with the
15 Yugoslav army, attacked a string of towns and villages along the Albanian
16 border -- along the border with Albania in the west, with the specific
17 intent of depopulating the region. Until then, the UCK had been receiving
18 arms and fresh recruits from across the border."
19 Do you accept that summary of events for the early part, perhaps
20 the spring of 1998?
21 A. That resume is -- or summary is absolutely incorrect for the
22 spring of 1998. And for the spring of 1998, to the best of my
23 recollections, I can say that the sole activity which the police undertook
24 in the territory of Metohija was linked to the deblocking of the
25 Pec-Djakovica road or communication line. And the only and basic aim of
1 that operation was that. So nothing about depopulating anyone or any
2 attacks on any settlements of any kind. No retaliation regarding the
3 Albanians, just to deblock the roads and to ensure safety and security in
4 the passage of citizens between the two towns.
5 Q. What about the single sentence: "Until then the UCK had been
6 receiving arms and fresh recruits from across the border"? Would that
7 appear to be fair and accurate?
8 A. As to arms, that is quite certain. As to the recruits, I'm not
9 quite sure at this point in time. Probably that is true too.
10 Q. I'll read you the next paragraph. "Many villages from Pec in the
11 north to Djakovica in the south were shelled while civilians were still
12 present. Non-combatants who fled the attacks were sometimes fired on by
13 snipers, and a still undetermined number of people were taken into
15 Accurate or inaccurate?
16 A. Settlements weren't shelled in the sense that we explained
17 shelling. So the use of police weapons were aimed at eliminating people
18 from opening fire on the police and aimed at deblocking the road. I think
19 that a relatively small number of people were arrested, and I'm quite sure
20 that snipers -- that there was no sniper fire against civilians.
21 Q. The report goes on to suggest that in three cases helicopters
22 marked with Red Cross emblem reportedly fired on civilians. Was there, to
23 your knowledge, abuse of the Red Cross emblem?
24 A. I am certain that there was not. The Red Cross emblem was worn by
25 military helicopters. I used such a helicopter once or twice for
1 transporting injured or wounded policemen towards Belgrade.
2 Q. And the last part --
3 A. And I never saw any weapons in a helicopter of that kind. And as
4 I said, I used the services of that helicopter at least two or three
6 Q. And then to conclude this paragraph, it reads as follows:
7 "Landmines were placed in strategic points along the border as well as
8 along the southern border with Macedonia. Most villages in the region
9 were looted and systematically destroyed, and farmers' livestock was shot
10 to ensure that no one could return in the short-run. 15.000 people fled
11 to Albania and an estimated 30.000 went north to Montenegro."
12 Now, is there any part of those sentences that you accept as an
13 accurate account?
14 A. Well, the last quotation seems to be a semi-truth. There was
15 indeed quite a lot of livestock that had suffered, and there was partial
16 moving and internal displacement of persons. However, the basic context
17 of this quotation is not accurate. That was not the objective --
18 Q. Who shot the livestock? You're not going to suggest -- yes?
19 A. Well, the livestock was certainly not shot intentionally, killed
20 intentionally. In the combat zone is where the livestock were. You have
21 meadows between villages and settlements in the area and zone under the
22 control of the terrorists. Of course, not too many livestock were killed.
23 Not a lot of cattle were killed, but I just said that I know that some of
24 the cattle was killed because I moved along those areas. And that is what
25 you usually see when there's a war. You could see that throughout Kosovo,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 things like that.
2 Q. Finally for this report, it interprets government activity,
3 towards the bottom of the page, as an apparent attempt to crush civilian
4 support for the rebels, and in the last paragraph on the page says that
5 the majority of those killed and injured had been civilians and that there
6 were about 20 -- at least 250.000 people currently displaced, many of them
7 women and children living with their families or without shelter in
8 mountains and woods.
9 Do you accept that there were a large number of civilian
11 A. I've already said that there was displacement, persons displaced,
12 but this figure is certainly not accurate, and certainly there were
13 civilian casualties. However, this number and the extent to which these
14 are mentioned here, the problem is mentioned here, has not been
15 realistically assessed.
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. But the goal -- that goal did absolutely not exist, and I think
18 that in the quotation you read out there was mention of a goal and
19 objective. I told you what the goal and objective was. That's quite
20 clear. Of course the police nor any other state organ did anything
21 against civilians intentionally as a goal, especially not to prevent them
22 from --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: What would your assessment be of the civilian
24 casualties and persons displaced?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we're talking about this
1 particular period, the figure is exaggerated because those villages quite
2 certainly along the roads don't have that number of inhabitants, a total
3 of that number of inhabitants. So there could have been several thousand
4 displaced, a maximum of several thousand. Not tens of thousands. Here we
5 have hundreds of thousands mentioned. That is absolutely unrealistic.
6 You couldn't reach that number anyway, even if you were to count all the
7 displaced persons: Today, 10.000; tomorrow 10.000. Perhaps if you added
8 them up in that kind of way you might reach that figure, but over a longer
9 period of time that figure -- or, rather, in that period of time the
10 figure could not have been anywhere near the figure mentioned.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Thank you.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Where did you get your figures from? Did the Serb side keep a
14 record of displaced persons?
15 A. I said that that was my assessment. During that period, I don't
16 know whether any records were kept. And it was very difficult to keep
17 records anyway because you had to rely on assessments and estimations, and
18 I said that this was my particular assessment, although when you read out
19 the text I understood you to say that several hundred thousand people had
20 been displaced.
21 Q. 250.000 was the estimate of Human Right Watch.
22 A. Well, in the dozen or so villages this is an unnaturally large
23 figure. Compare it to the number of Albanians in Kosovo, the population,
24 and you will see that this is not realistic.
25 Q. You became intimately involved in the events in Kosovo from about
1 this time onwards, didn't you, as a member of the Joint Command?
2 A. I was not a member of the Joint Command, but at that time I did
3 spend quite a significant number of days in Kosovo. Nobody ever told me
4 that I belonged to any command at all, including the Joint Command. I did
5 -- I was present on several occasions at meetings for people who said --
6 whom we said could come under the name of members of a Joint Command, but
7 only in the sense that I explained it. I think that was during the first
8 couple of days of my testimony here.
9 Q. The Joint Command was meeting sort of every day, every other day,
10 wasn't it? It was a hands-on body.
11 A. Yes. My information tells me that those people did meet very
13 Q. Headed by either Minic or Sainovic and reporting directly to whom?
14 The accused?
15 A. First of all, let me say I don't know who was at the head of it.
16 The structure was such that who was first and who was second was never
17 established, and to whom they reported I really don't know. When I was
18 there, I reported to the minister.
19 General Lukic, I assume, and I'm almost certain that he reported
20 to the minister too. Now, who Mr. Sainovic and Mr. Minic reported to I
21 really don't know, I can't say.
22 Q. You've got a lot of reports of activities from various MUPs, I
23 imagine. Is that right?
24 A. I was in a position to use the reports of the organisational units
25 of the Ministry of the Interior. Not always, but always when I was in a
1 position to avail myself of those reports. When I was in Kosovo, for
2 example, I wasn't able to use the reports of the other secretariats
3 outside Kosovo.
4 Q. Did you get to know, for example, about units, groups of people
5 who were doing bad things? Let me remind you, for example, of one; the
6 group called Munja. Do you remember about Munja?
7 A. I remember different names of the Osa, the Wasps and the Munja and
8 so on, different names. The names of insects, birds, and so on were used.
9 Now, I can't link that name up with a specific group at this point.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, it's time for the break.
11 We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
15 MR. NICE: I have Article 83 for you, if I can hand that in. It's
16 part of Exhibit 319, tab 2.
17 Q. Mr. Stevanovic, so that we can proceed in an orderly way, by 1998,
18 residents of Kosovo were subject to the influence or effect or force of
19 the rising KLA. Would that be correct?
20 A. The residents of Kosovo and Metohija were under the influence and
21 pressure of the KLA, yes.
22 Q. On the other hand, they were facing a Serb government absolutely
23 determined in its objectives.
24 A. Yes, but in its objectives against terrorism, not against the
25 citizens of its own country.
1 Q. The Serb government was now effectively represented by delegated
2 powers run through the Joint Command?
3 A. In Kosovo, there was a provisional provincial Executive Council,
4 and as I understand it, that was the body that represented state authority
5 in Kosovo and Metohija. Perhaps I'm not quite right in saying that, but
6 that's my opinion.
7 MR. NICE: Sorry, we don't -- do we want that on the overhead
8 projector at the moment?
9 No. Thank you, Mr. Prendergast, that's just for the Court.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Pass it to us.
11 MR. NICE: Pass it to the Judges. I'm sorry. I didn't see that
12 was happening.
13 Q. You're not really suggesting, are you, that the provisional
14 Executive Council exercised real power over the MUP or the VJ or anything
15 like that?
16 A. No. The provisional Executive Council didn't have authority over
17 the army or MUP.
18 Q. Indeed, Andjelkovic appeared at or was a member of the Joint
19 Command and the provisional Executive Council thus responded to the Joint
21 A. Nobody reported to the Joint Command. They made up people from
22 different structures but at the same level. And the Joint Command and its
23 work boiled down to, as I have already said, an exchange of information,
24 horizontal cooperation, and so on, of different state organs, including
25 the police and the army and the Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija,
1 and representatives of other state organs from Belgrade as well.
2 Q. Going back to my earlier question that the Serb government was
3 absolutely determined in its objectives, the citizen of Kosovo, if he
4 wasn't facing pressure or force even, or violence by the KLA, was facing
5 effectively a determined police state.
6 A. The citizens of Kosovo and Metohija were not facing a police
7 state. I have been repeating this several times now. The terrorists were
8 facing the effects of a state combatting terrorism, but the citizens were
9 in that surroundings, and of course that overall situation had to have an
10 effect on them.
11 Q. If a citizen of Kosovo was confronted by a Serb policeman, that
12 Serb policeman would be almost the absolute power that he had to deal
13 with, wouldn't he? There would be nobody else to whom he could turn.
14 A. The citizen of Kosovo in principle was not confronted with the
15 police. The police was on the side of the citizens, against terrorism and
16 crime and all other forms of threatening law and order in Kosovo and
18 Q. If a policeman stopped somebody on the street and said, "Come to
19 the police station with me," for no known reason, the citizen would have
20 little choice but to comply.
21 A. It is the same relationship on the whole territory of the republic
22 as it was in Kosovo. The police, in conformity with its authorisations,
23 does have the right to call a citizen to come to the police station once
24 conditions for that are met. So there's nothing different there in Kosovo
25 and Metohija. No different conduct towards the population of Kosovo and
1 Metohija than was practised in other parts of the Republic of Serbia.
2 Perhaps I haven't understood your question properly.
3 Q. Let me ask you this: Was the level of violence that the citizen
4 in Kosovo could be -- could expect to find in the average police station
5 enormously greater than that which he could expect to find in Serbia?
6 A. If you mean violence, unlawful use of force, then excessive
7 behaviour on the part of the police force in Kosovo and other parts of the
8 republic could be equated except for the fact that when there was a clash
9 with terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija there were more cases and incidents
10 where the citizens suffered as well, which was not the case in Serbia.
11 But in principle, excessive violence by police towards citizens was
12 equally possible inside Kosovo and outside Kosovo. The same applied.
13 Q. Look at this document, please. It's Exhibit 320, tab 9. My
14 suggestion to you is that not only was Kosovo now by the middle of 1998 a
15 dangerous and frightening police state for these confronting the services
16 of the police, but the structure was further dangerous because the police
17 were acting together with illegal groups, paramilitaries of one kind or
19 This, you see -- I hope you've got the original version there,
20 Mr. Stevanovic. This is a document --
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. -- from the Republic of Serbia MUP dated the 24th of June and
23 coming from Pec, and it says: "Report on the measures and actions taken
24 to protect damaged and abandoned property and on the legality of police
25 actions during the Operation Thunder ..." And it says this: "During the
1 aforementioned period, the three platoons of the 3rd Company of the 24th
2 Detachment of the special police unit ..." I'm pausing there. The
3 special police unit is the public MUP. It's your organisation; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. "... were directly subordinated to --"
7 A. Public security, yes.
8 Q. " ... were directly subordinated to the JSO.
9 "While we were carrying out this operation, platoon Commander
10 Vidomir Salipur was hurt."
11 Now, Salipur was one of the Munja paramilitary groupings. You can
12 see that in many places. It's well evidenced.
13 What was your police group doing working with someone like Vidomir
15 A. First of all - I have just refreshed my memory - I think that that
16 name Munja, as you said, belonged to a police detachment from Pec, and
17 this man Mr. Salipur was in that composition. He was a member of the
18 active police force. Therefore, I'm quite certain that he didn't belong
19 to any paramilitary group at all, and at that time different police and
20 even military units called themselves in some way, gave themselves a name.
21 Usually it was like a code sign from the communications centre. So if the
22 call-sign was Jastreb or Sokol, a bird name, for example, over a longer
23 period of time that name came to be associated with it and it took on this
24 name, the name it took on from the code name in communications and
25 signals. So I assume that this name Munja referred to that department
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 which was from the Pec special units composition to which Mr. Salipur
2 himself belonged. But I can say with certainty that we're not dealing
3 with any group outside the composition of the police and the PJP. It's
4 not even a reserve force.
5 Q. Pause, please, just to have a look at this picture and caption
6 from "Under Orders", Exhibit number --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I be given a copy of the
9 document that was provided to the witness?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes. Let a copy be provided. That should
11 be done as a matter of course.
12 MR. NICE: 145.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I haven't yet received the
14 document they were told to hand over to me at the beginning.
15 MR. NICE: Can you put this on the overhead projector, please.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
17 MR. NICE: Yes, the document is coming the accused's way.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Including the one that you were told to hand
20 MR. NICE: Yes. We will find that and make that available to him.
21 Q. You see, this is one account of the man Munja. I will read you
22 the caption in English. "Witnesses identified the man on the right as --"
23 no, further out, I need to read the caption, sorry. "-- as Nebojsa Minic,
24 known as 'Mrtvi' or ('death'). He is implicated in the extortion and
25 killing of six family members in Pec on June 12. On the left is Vidomir
1 Salipur, a Pec policeman and alleged head of the Munja gang ..."
2 Does "Munja gang" sound about right --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, stop. I'm not satisfied with the
4 attitude towards this matter of handing over the documents to the accused.
5 Has this particular document been handed over to the accused?
6 MR. NICE: Yes. If Mr. Prendergast would make the one that's been
7 placed on the overhead projector available to the accused, that can
8 happen. For the one for this morning, we'll get another copy provided for
9 that as soon as we may.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Bear in mind that he may -- it may be
11 something that he needs for his re-examination.
12 MR. NICE: Of course, yes.
13 Q. Mr. Stevanovic, Munja gang; was Salipur the head of a gang?
14 A. Please, Mr. Prosecutor. That name, that term "gang" is
15 derogatory. We're talking about a unit from the composition of the
16 special units of the police. We're talking about an active policeman or
17 leader, I'm not quite sure which, but an organisational unit of that kind,
18 of the police, cannot be termed gang in any way. A gang is group of
19 persons committing crimes on -- along the lines of organised crime.
20 And as to the other name, I have no knowledge about that.
21 Possibly he was a member of the police, but I really don't know.
22 Q. You see, just to alert you, the published material that includes
23 this particular exhibit we've been looking at has Munja as the leader of a
24 group that on the 12th of June in 1999 killed six members of one family
25 including children aged 5, 6, 7, 12, and 13. Do you know if that's a
1 crime you ever investigated?
2 A. I don't know of that crime. Of course if the crime took place, it
3 is a crime, and I never questioned that nor do I do so now. Now, whether
4 the quotation is proof of that or whether it is just information from one
5 source, I really can't say.
6 MR. NICE: Can we have, please, the minutes -- or the notes,
7 rather, of the meetings of the Joint Command. Do we have copies of those
8 for the accused as well as for -- right. So we have here for the overhead
9 projector and for the accused meetings of the Joint Command for Kosovo and
10 Metohija in the original language for you, Mr. Stevanovic, and in English
11 for the overhead projector. That will suffice.
12 Q. And I'd like you, please, just to turn to a few entries. First,
13 the 29th of July in the original, please, Mr. Stevanovic.
14 MR. NICE: And, Mr. Prendergast, if you look at the bottom
15 right-hand page, you'll see a number of 164. Could you take us to page 24
16 of 164. Beg your pardon, 25.
17 Q. Now, do you have the entries there, Mr. Stevanovic, for the 29th
18 of July of 1998?
19 A. Unfortunately, I cannot find it very quickly. If somebody can
20 help me, it would be a good idea.
21 Q. If you can't find --
22 A. I have 30, and the one before that is probably 29.
23 Q. And you'll see an entry by General Pavkovic towards the beginning
24 of the meeting.
25 A. Yes, I can see that.
1 Q. And he is recorded as saying: "There is still a region between
2 the villages of Crnolje and Dulje to be cleaned." I want to ask you two
3 questions on this page and you might as well have the context. A couple
4 of lines further down, he says, "The goal from phase 1 has been fulfilled
5 and we can be satisfied."
6 Are you able now to remember what the three phases were of which
7 this was phase 1?
8 A. I remember perhaps an earlier date. I know of the existence of
9 three or perhaps four phases in the combat against terrorism. They were
10 operationalised in the unified plan for combatting terrorism which I
11 mentioned in my earlier testimony, but I am not sure at this moment
12 whether this particular passage is a reference to that. I don't see what
13 it could --
14 Q. Okay. My second question is --
15 A. -- be reference to.
16 Q. -- what is meant by "clean"?
17 A. Well, in principle, I've answered that question as well. This
18 term "clean-up" means cleaning the territory from terrorists. There is
19 another meaning and that is clean-up in terms of sanitisation, as remarked
20 by one of the Judges some time ago.
21 Q. -- summary of activity in May described by Human Rights Watch.
22 This is a couple of months later. Are you sure "cleaned" doesn't have a
23 rather more sinister meaning and it means clearing people out?
24 A. By no means. By no means can that term "clean-up" be linked with
25 the clearing of territory of people or citizens. It can only mean
1 clearing of a territory from terrorists. That is the only meaning that
2 can be attached to this concept.
3 Of course, you can use any concept and place it in a negative
4 context, but that would require a certain bias if that intention is to be
6 Q. Could you move, please, to the 12th of August in the original.
7 Can you move to the 12th of August and go to the first entry of
8 Mr. Sainovic, which is early on in the record.
9 MR. NICE: And, Mr. Prendergast, it's page 50 of 164, please.
10 Q. Now, this, take it from me, if you'd be so good, Mr. Stevanovic,
11 is a meeting at which you were present because indeed we see you referred
12 to on page 51 of the English. Don't worry about that. But where you're
13 looking at now -- further down the page, please, Mr. Prendergast, yes.
14 It's the second entry by Mr. Sainovic, we see him saying this:
15 "In the border belt, the army is to look at its obligations.
16 "In this area, the police are to cover all the --" we don't know
17 what the word is -- "territory and consolidate.
18 "DB -" the secret police or security - "are to cover and take over
19 the third area."
20 Doesn't this note show clearly that the Joint Command was a
21 command and that it was under civilian authority?
22 A. Well, in my view, that's not what it shows. We can only talk
23 about the ways certain things are expressed or the way notes are taken.
24 This could have been just an opinion of Mr. Sainovic, but by no means
25 could it have been an order for the police to act. For the police to act,
1 it would have had to receive orders from General Lukic and Lukic would
2 have had to receive orders from the minister.
3 Q. Are we going to find --
4 A. This --
5 Q. Sorry. Are we going to find in these notes anywhere resistance by
6 Lukic to instructions effectively given him one way or another by Sainovic
7 or Minic? Is that your recollection? You were there at many of these
8 meetings. Or are we always going to find that what Minic and Sainovic
9 said went?
10 A. Well, I really cannot answer this question easily. I would need
11 to analyze the whole material in order to do that. But what is important
12 is to see whether what Mr. Sainovic said needed to be done was indeed done
13 the next day and who issued the orders. From this material, I cannot see
14 that, I cannot make that kind of analysis. But I do know that for any
15 serious assignment of the police regarding terrorism the orders had to be
16 given either by the staff or the secretariat or the minister himself
17 through the staff and the secretariat.
18 So the orders of Mr. Sainovic or Minic could not have been
19 executed --
20 Q. Did you have authority to give orders as an assistant minister?
21 A. I did not have powers to issue orders.
22 MR. NICE: Let's go to the next page, please, Mr. Prendergast.
23 Q. And it's, for you, the first entry by yourself. Yes, there we
24 are. We see you saying, "The 3rd and 4th did not participate and really
25 should become engaged."
1 Then Minic breaks in, and Minic, at numbers 8 and 9 -- right at
2 the bottom of the page, please, Mr. Prendergast -- says: "Refugees and
3 civilians are eager--" something illegible -- "on us such a humanitarian
4 catastrophe, but we have to call on them to return to their homes, and
5 that is where the main strikes will take place."
6 Can you recall what all that meant?
7 A. Absolutely not. I don't remember that sentence and I don't know
8 even now what it could possibly mean.
9 Q. What could main strikes on them in their own homes mean?
10 A. I really don't know.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It does not say main strikes on them
13 in their own homes, as Mr. Nice is trying to represent. It is very hard
14 to read, but there is a reference to refugees and civilians, indeed. It
15 says that they should be convinced to return home. That is incompatible
16 with strikes on their homes.
17 Maybe Mr. Stevanovic is better able to read this handwriting.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot find the line.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Para 8, item 8: "Refugees and
20 civilians ..." It's on the next page. "We need to appeal to them to
21 return to their homes."
22 MR. NICE: He can deal with it perhaps in re-examination when
23 they've had a chance to look at it more carefully.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. You may take this up in
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. 26th of August, next, please, Mr. Stevanovic. I have only got
3 another two of these to go.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honours, these are, of course, documents which
5 will take a great deal of time to go into exhaustively. They are
6 available for general review. I can only take us to a few points.
7 Page 74, Mr. Prendergast.
8 Q. And for you Mr. Stevanovic, probably the second page, where
9 Mr. Radovic speaks.
10 Radovic is speaking. I don't know if you found this place in the
11 original, and he says: "There are 16 to --"
12 A. Yes, but it's very difficult to make out.
13 Q. Well, the interpreters have made out the following for the
14 contribution of Mr. Radovic under his sixth bullet point: "There are 16
15 - 17.000 of people that took refuge in Albania, and 40.000 people that
16 took refuge in Montenegro."
17 Then it goes on about one journalist Batun says Klaus Kinkel is
18 losing in his theory that the autonomy will probably fail and then
19 something about the solution being unacceptable for Milosevic, but I'm
20 just interested in these figures of refugees because it comes from these
21 people attending this meeting.
22 Can you remember discussion about refugees on this scale?
23 A. I spent some time to find this quotation, and I didn't follow you
24 very well. You say it's on the first page, 26th.
25 Q. The first entry line, Mr. Radovic, which is probably the first --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the second -- the second entry by Mr. Radovic, actually. And it's
2 probably on the second page or thereabouts, and it's got bullet points.
3 16 to 17.000 people took refuge in Albania, 40.000 in Montenegro.
4 A. It's the month of August, if that is when it is written. I really
5 have no reason to doubt it at this moment, but I'm really unable to find
6 the passage.
7 Q. From what were these refugees fleeing?
8 A. Well, the 26th of August, from what I recollect, was a period when
9 several anti-terrorist actions took place, mainly in the area of Metohija,
10 and it's very possible that this is related to those anti-terrorist
11 operations. But I repeat, I cannot place this accurately in time. I
12 proceed from the assumption that this is what he said.
13 Q. Can you go over to the next page of notes, I think it will be,
14 where your name first appears. And it's page 75 for Mr. Prendergast. Can
15 you find your first entry on this note, or the first entry of what you
17 A. The same date.
18 Q. The same date.
19 A. Is it possible that my pages are all mixed up? I really cannot
20 find my own name anywhere. And we are talking about the 26th of August.
21 Q. Yes, 26th of August, 8.00 in the evening.
22 A. Radovic, Gajic, again Radovic, then Sainovic. Ah, here. Yes, I
23 found it.
24 Q. You say there is a big movement of civilians near somewhere or
25 other, we don't have the full name. "If we continue, we will have a
1 general movement of civilians." And then if you look down three entries
2 to somebody's contribution who can't be identified but the contribution
3 stands, and somebody says this: "Return of civilians with recognition of
4 Serbia without weapons and there will be the police to keep order."
5 Do you find that entry?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Don't take any more time. Can you give any explanation -- it's at
8 the bottom of the page. And in the original it is very hard, of course,
9 to read. The interpretation -- the translation is only that which is
10 legible to the translators.
11 You can give no explanation for this period of 1998 why there
12 should be so many thousand people on the reckoning of those present at
13 this meeting taking refuge in Albania or in Montenegro?
14 A. Can you tell me again those numbers? 16 to 17.000 in Albania,
15 40.000 in Montenegro.
16 A. It is my belief that that was a period of major anti-terrorist
17 operations in the area of Metohija and it is possible that these figures
18 are related to the operation that I told you about when I was explaining
19 the return of several thousand people to their villages from a place
20 called Istinic. That's what it could be but I cannot place it accurately
21 in time. Also, it is very realistic that there was a movement of
22 citizenry at the time. I don't remember this particular meeting, although
23 it is obvious that I attended it, so I cannot give you any additional
25 Q. My next question --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Explain how an anti-terrorist operation would
2 cause people to flee.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I tried to explain more
4 than once the reasons for such movements of citizenry. In places where
5 the police clash with terrorists, the citizens move, and I explained why.
6 Out of fear and out of their own desire to find cover while the
7 anti-terrorist operation is going on, but also because the terrorists
8 themselves tried to get civilians to move to create a semblance of
9 humanitarian catastrophe, sometimes using them as a shield.
10 There was sometimes pressure by international organisations to
11 have those civilians return.
12 For whatever reason, this movement happened. We on our part
13 wanted people to return to their homes as soon as possible, and we took
14 every step to achieve that, but such movements did occur, among others in
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... huge population movements is
18 that under cover of what might have been legitimate anti-KLA action, Serb
19 forces, police, and VJ operated the scorched earth policy that had been
20 mentioned earlier to people like Mr. Bakalli?
21 A. That is an absolute fabrication. It has nothing to do with the
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. You may rest assured of that.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... two things. Shall we go to
1 the 27th of August. My last entry, I think certainly at this time, on
2 these documents, which will be page -- the first page of it. This is the
3 27th of August. You see? The very first entry by General Lukic. Top of
4 the page. We see -- that's fine. Perfect.
5 We see at the end of the first block of type, and I hope you can
6 find in the original -- by the way, there was a note taker at these
7 meetings, wasn't there, Mr. Stevanovic?
8 A. That is obvious if this is an original copy.
9 Q. And it says: "The route Suva Reka-Orahovac is open without any
10 major -" something or other. Now, that's what's recorded in the note of
11 the meeting. I'd like you to attend, please, Mr. Stevanovic, to the
12 evidence we have heard from Lord Ashdown, of whom you will know, who gave
13 evidence about what he saw on the 27th of August, pages 2354 and onwards.
14 He said he came round a corner to see Suva Reka, the whole of the valley
15 which forms a sort of amphitheatre for this area.
16 By the way, do you remember, Mr. Stevanovic, the geographical
17 shape of the Suva Reka area? Does Lord Ashdown's --
18 A. I do.
19 Q. -- description of it as lying in a form of amphitheatre fit with
20 your recollection?
21 A. You could describe it that way.
22 Q. So you can visualise as I read on what Lord Ashdown says he saw.
23 He says he was deeply shocked by what he saw, as was the British
24 ambassador, who had been informed by the Yugoslav government that
25 operations which were continuing against the Drenica villages of Kosovo
1 had stopped the day or two days before, because what he saw was an entire
2 amphitheatre of hills in which every village was ablaze, and they both saw
3 and heard reports of shell-fire, and they saw the explosions.
4 Can you explain from the notes we've seen and your assertion of
5 how the forces conducted themselves, can you explain how, if Lord Ashdown
6 is believed as accurate, he saw this?
7 A. Well, the description, although it seems specific, is nevertheless
8 rather general. In that area, to the best of my recollection, there were
9 indeed clashes with terrorists at the time.
10 I will repeat once again: I am certain there was no shelling of
11 villages. That wording does not apply to all I know about these
13 It is possible that the anti-terrorist operation in question
14 covered a large area including what you call this amphitheatre since it is
15 positioned geographically in that particular way and in view of the fact
16 that it is desirable to conduct an anti-terrorist operation at the same
17 time in all the components of one area. It is possible that traces of
18 fire were visible in that region at the time. Fire is something that
19 normally accompanies anti-terrorist operations sometimes, but you cannot
20 say that the whole amphitheatre was ablaze or that shelling was common
22 Q. You may not know, but Lord Ashdown has his own military
23 experience, was in company with another military man as well as the
24 ambassador, and he told the Court that in their judgement, artillery was
25 being fired from the Dolje Blace feature that runs - I don't know if it's
1 north/south, east/west there - at some 7 to 10 kilometres from the
2 villages concerned. And he went on to explain that they could hear and
3 see the strike of shells, they could hear the boom of artillery. Their
4 judgement was that it was T-54 tanks probably and certainly tank fire,
5 that it was certainly 120-millimetre artillery, possibly as large as 150.
6 And he went on to say that there was the strike of mortar with its
7 particularly characteristic sound, and their estimate was of 82-millimetre
8 and perhaps 120-millimetre mortars. That's the evidence.
9 Is that what was being done to the villages of Kosovo under cover
10 of dealing with the KLA?
11 A. Nothing was done under any pretext. What was done I explained
12 more than once. I do not challenge the fact that in certain
13 anti-terrorist operations artillery was used, including mortars.
14 Sometimes recoilless guns, too, sometimes even tanks. I personally did
15 not observe the use of tanks myself. However, all the weaponry that you
16 named as being used was used, I'm absolutely sure of this, to achieve a
17 legitimate goal, that is not to shell villages but to neutralise
18 terrorists and their leaders.
19 The artillery fire that we are discussing was mainly used in
20 absolutely open areas, clearings, and against fortified terrorists
21 positions. Whether there were any exceptions to this rule, whether a
22 specific feature was targeted that was a gun emplacement of the terrorists
23 or another fortification, I don't know. I can only tell you about things
24 I have personal knowledge about, and this is not the case here.
25 Q. Incidentally, as to the police weaponry, did I understand you to
1 say that the police had anti-aircraft guns?
2 A. It did have anti-aircraft machine-guns, usually mounted on APCs.
3 Q. And were these used, in the course of dealing with the KLA, for
4 firing at houses?
5 A. It is possible that these were used only in order to neutralise
6 groups of terrorists if they were inside such buildings; houses or other
8 Q. By "neutralise" you mean eliminate, don't you?
9 A. I do not mean to eliminate in the sense of killing but in the
10 sense of repelling a unlawful attack. The term "elimination," too, has a
11 broader as well as a narrow sense and it means more than just killing.
12 To eliminate terrorism also means eliminating terrorism by making
13 terrorists disarm and disband their organisation. That is one of having
14 them eliminated.
15 Q. Did it occur to you as perhaps excessive force to be using an
16 anti-aircraft machine-gun against a house that contains individuals?
17 A. Against the house containing citizens, yes. But against the house
18 from which fire is opened at the police, no.
19 Q. Perhaps I could just trouble you then for one further reference in
20 this document.
21 MR. NICE: And, Mr. Prendergast, page 128 in the English, I think.
22 And it's the 25th of September. If you would be good enough to find that
23 in the original.
24 Q. Have you found the 25th of September?
25 A. I think I'm close to it. Just a minute. Yes. It's just one
1 page, if I -- if I'm not mistaken.
2 Q. I think if you -- I think if you turn over from the first page
3 you'll come to the first contribution -- I beg your pardon, the second
4 contribution from General Pavkovic.
5 MR. NICE: And if Mr. Prendergast could take us to page 129 on the
6 overhead projector.
7 Q. General, have you got the entry by General Pavkovic for this date,
8 the 25th of September, which begins: "The operation in the area of Donje
9 Obrinje and Gornje Obrinje is finished. Resistance was strong, but this
10 group was squeezed into a smaller area.
11 "The lack of participation of the JSO resulted with the following
12 consequences..." and so on and so forth.
13 But -- perhaps I should read the next sentence: "After the death
14 of one police officer from the MUP police force, the operations were
15 temporarily stopped. Actions from the south contributed in completion."
16 It does say, "Continue clearing tomorrow," you can see that
17 further down, and it suggests enemy losses, about 200 people. First of
18 all, do you remember this incident yourself personally or not?
19 A. I really don't know which incident is referred to, but after the
20 21st of September in my text, I see the 25th. That's only one paragraph
21 on one page, so I have the impression we are not looking at the same
23 Q. You're quite right. It's the 26th. My error. If you go to the
24 26th, you'll see the passages I've referred to under General Pavkovic's
1 A. Yes, I see it now.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, do you think that 200 deaths at Suva Reka,
3 recorded as having happened by the 26th of September, show proportionate
4 or disproportionate force?
5 A. I could respond to this if I knew what area was covered by the
6 anti-terrorist actions and for how long they lasted. From what you have
7 read out, if I followed well, this does not refer to Suva Reka at all
8 because Donje Obrinje, if I recall correctly, is in Glogovac municipality.
9 This is on the other side of a large watershed in relation to the area you
10 mentioned before, the amphitheatre, that is.
11 Q. Move to another area now. We're now concerned with Obrinje, the
12 two Obrinjes. Does it seem to you that within the area of Obrinje these
13 200 losses is disproportionate use of force?
14 A. First of all, this number is highly suspect to me. I don't
15 believe this information is correct. I would be surprised if General
16 Pavkovic mentioned that number. This is probably just an estimate.
17 Q. Well --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Roughly what would be the population in that
19 area, of that area?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would depend on the area
21 covered. But if we're referring only to those two villages, then it might
22 be seven, eight, or 10.000 at the most. I am completely sure that such a
23 small area was not an area that would be covered by an anti-terrorist
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. You see, the reason I choose this as an example for you to deal
2 with is that we've had evidence from a Mr. Abrahams, the man who works for
3 Human Rights Watch and prepares some of their reports, and he visited
4 Donje and Gornje Obrinje on the 29th of September, a couple of days later,
5 with a man called Bouckaert, and when they arrived bodies were being taken
6 out for burial, one of them an 18-month-old child. In the woods there
7 were seven bodies, including of five women and two children, who had died
8 from head wounds. They spoke to local residents and although it is clear
9 there was fighting in that area, it was also clear that the members of the
10 Delijaj family had been murdered, civilians who had been taking refuge in
11 the forest.
12 Now, we see a total of 200 casualties as ascribed to the enemy,
13 and we have on the ground an investigation that suggest innocent and young
14 civilians have been murdered. Does it look to you as though there may
15 indeed have been disproportionate use of force?
16 A. The killing of those five or six civilians - I am not sure how
17 many exactly were found - is indisputably a crime. This must not be
18 linked with the members of terrorist groups who were possibly killed. But
19 I did not see anything here that would confirm the figure of 200 killed.
20 Q. Well, you see, they also went and visited Gornje Obrinje -- sorry,
21 from Gornje Obrinje they went to Glogovac, where they heard of 13 men
22 being executed in a yard, lined up and executed. Executions of that kind
23 could never be justified, could they?
24 A. Certainly not. But as you yourself said, they only heard about
25 it, so this information was not verified.
1 Q. Maybe it fits, you see, with the very large number of casualties
2 of which General Pavkovic, on the record, was content to speak.
3 A. As I said, this is most probably an estimate, and you yourself
4 counted ten at the most based on this document, and this is hugely
5 disproportionate to the estimate you mentioned. Only civilians are
6 listed, and that is indisputably a crime.
7 Q. I'm going to break from my current exploration of documents, to
8 which I must, I am afraid, return to tomorrow, but ahead of tomorrow's
9 questions I want a little general assistance from you. First in relation
10 to Racak. The accused has asked you a lot of questions and brought you
11 here to produce a lot of documents. What is the position? Are you able
12 to help us with what happened at Racak or not?
13 A. Most of the facts I know I have already mentioned in response to
14 questions by the Prosecution. Perhaps you can assist me by putting
15 additional questions to me and I will certainly tell you everything I
17 Q. Well, let's look at the map, first, shall we? Or in fact it's not
18 a map, it's an aerial view. Are you capable of reading aerial views, with
19 your experience in the police and earlier in the army? Are you?
20 A. I think I am, yes.
21 Q. Perhaps you'd take one of these maps and see if there's one there
22 that the general would like to look at in order to, with his pointer, tell
23 us what happened at Racak, because that's what I'd like to know from you.
24 If the aerial doesn't help, tell me, and we'll approach it in
25 another way. But if the aerial does help, then a picture being worth more
1 than a thousand words, you can lay it on the overhead projector and with
2 the pointer tell us what happened.
3 A. I will, of course, put it on the overhead projector, but it's
4 important that I reiterate that I was never in Racak. The closest I came
5 to it was the village of Stimlje. I wasn't there, so I cannot explain
6 anything on the narrow area itself. I know only what I read in the
7 reports, and I know in general where that village is located in relation
8 to other villages and towns that I know.
9 From this general knowledge, I have the impression that this is
10 the Stimlje-Crnoljevo-Dulje road. If I'm right, then I can orient myself
11 in relation to that. This is the road most probably leading to the
12 village of Racak, but I do not know which of these settlements is Racak or
13 whether they are all Racak.
14 Q. And what happened, on your understanding, in Racak? Describe in
15 words or use the map as is most convenient to you. And I recognise that
16 your sources of information come from documents but also probably from
17 some word of mouth. Tell us what happened.
18 A. Of course it's very hard for me to make use of this aerial
19 photograph because I don't know precisely where things happened and from
20 what direction the unit came. So it would be very difficult for me to
21 reconstruct the event on this aerial photograph.
22 From the information I have and the documents I looked at, this
23 was an action to arrest a terrorist group which had its headquarters or
24 subheadquarters here after several violent acts in which people were
25 injured or killed.
1 As for the time sequence, the unit, as far as I know, was attacked
2 while it was still approaching the village. But not all parts of that
3 unit were attacked, only certain parts of it.
4 After approaching the village, fire was opened and this was caused
5 by the terrorists, as we've seen in several documents, and after this a
6 conflict ensued in a certain area or on a certain line. I do not know
7 what the relationship was between the positions of the police unit and the
8 positions of the terrorists because I wasn't there.
9 In this conflict, what happened happened. And of course, after
10 the event I know the sequence of events and all the problems connected to
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I know that we are coming
13 towards --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we have to stop at 1.43, there being
15 another case here this afternoon.
16 MR. NICE: Certainly.
17 Q. From what you've said is your understanding - I forecast it might
18 have been - that this was a confrontation between a group of terrorists
19 and the incoming Serb forces. A single group of terrorists.
20 A. The concept of "group" is not clear. Whether they were in several
21 groups or in one large group, I don't know. I wasn't actually -- I didn't
22 think of it in that way. But I assume that the terrorists in a place like
23 this would have been organised into a single group or unit.
24 Q. Your understanding of where the weapons that were found by various
25 individuals were found, where were the weapons found; with the fallen KLA
1 fighters or somewhere else?
2 A. I can't recall that with certainty. I do know that the police
3 left the scene of the event and that they were unable to secure the site
4 with the terrorists, those killed, and the weapons intact. I believe that
5 the weapons were found later, but I don't know in what location.
6 Q. And finally, because I see the time, and responsive to His
7 Honour's invitation that I should do so, you have never seen, have you, a
8 detailed report from the officer leading the Serb forces explaining what
9 he did.
10 A. I saw only the report that is in this exhibit. This was a report
11 from a working group tasked with establishing all the facts in relation to
12 this event. I did not see the report drawn up by the leader of the police
13 unit participating in the attack. I assume it is subsumed, or that the
14 elements of that report are subsumed in the report by the working group.
15 MR. NICE: If I may ask one question?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: One question.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Such a document, a report by the leader of a police unit, might be
19 the single most valuable document to help unravel the truth of events in
20 Racak, mightn't it?
21 A. It is certainly an important document, but this working group had
22 a broader and deeper mandate than that report itself and encompasses other
23 information besides the information obtained from the leader of the unit
24 who drew up that report.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn for today and resume tomorrow
1 morning at 9.00. We are adjourned.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day
4 of June, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.