1 Tuesday, 19 July 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Rabrenovic, you wish to address us?
6 MR. RABRENOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 42466-42474 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I use the time in between the
5 witness coming in now - it's got nothing to do with this matter - to raise
6 an administrative matter? And it is this: I received your decision with
7 respect to the acceptance of exhibits along with General Stevanovic's
8 testimony. I think that there has been an omission in that decision and
9 ruling and it is this: Before you interrupted my re-examination, before
10 General Stevanovic, and here on the overhead projector two documents were
11 shown, and as I was stopped they were returned to me, but General
12 Stevanovic, and you can see that on the transcript, he did state his
13 opinions. And they are important and vital because they refer to those
14 parts of the cross-examination by Mr. Nice where he did not deal with
15 examination-in-chief but opened up the question of Srebrenica. So it was
16 quite logical for me to ask those questions in the re-examination because
17 the questions had nothing to do with Serbia or General Stevanovic.
18 Now, those two exhibits which General Stevanovic read on the
19 overhead projector and said that he was aware of them, that the facts were
20 correct, are the following: One was the criminal report against Drazen
21 Erdemovic, who was tried here, and it was placed on the ELMO and it was
22 read by General Stevanovic. It's a criminal report dated the 6th of
23 March, 1996, in which it says -- it sets out what happened there. And the
24 second document, the second exhibit was a public document. I had a number
25 of them but only one was placed on the ELMO just before we adjourned, and
1 that was the press conference of the federal information minister, dated
2 February 2000, in which the federal minister of information, in the name
3 of the government, informs the public about the apprehension of the
4 perpetrators of the crime in Srebrenica, the members of that infamous 10th
5 Sabotage Detachment.
6 Now, the fact that -- the very fact that the minister of
7 information does this on behalf of in the name of the government at that
8 time challenges and contests the stand of Mr. Nice as to what happened in
9 Srebrenica to the present time. That is why I should like to have these
10 two exhibits brought out again --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are there any numbers attached?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- admitted.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we can look at them. We'll look into the
14 matter, and if it requires a change in the decision, then we'll make the
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These exhibits did not have numbers
17 because they came up in the re-examination, additional examination of the
18 witness. And Mr. Nice, in the cross-examination, did raise the question.
19 So they are two documents, two exhibits. One is of a public character,
20 the press conference in February 2000, and the other is the criminal
21 report on the basis of which -- and it is identical with respect to the
22 facts almost.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you have described them
24 sufficiently to enable the Trial Chamber to find them, and we'll look into
25 the matter.
1 Let the witness --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, the documents were
3 returned to me from the ELMO when the cross-examination was stopped. So
4 your officials didn't actually take them. But they were on the ELMO, both
5 these documents.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are in possession of them, of the documents?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They were returned to me by the
8 usher from the ELMO when the re-examination was stopped. But before that,
9 General Stevanovic had read both these documents and confirmed their
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Pass them back through the usher to the clerk and
12 we'll attend to the matter.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, obviously if we could have sight of those
14 two, or a copy, if we have any observations to make, we will.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. The Prosecution should have a copy as well.
16 MR. NICE: There was, incidentally, one document about which I've
17 been minded to ask a supplementary question --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: My gosh, Mr. Nice. You never lose an
20 MR. NICE: But I'll have a -- there's something I wanted to
21 clarify first, and I will, but I may come back on that.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: BOZIDAR DELIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 MR. NICE: With Your Honour's leave.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please continue.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
3 Q. One of the exhibits you produced, Mr. Delic, was tab 627. The
4 Chamber doesn't need to go to it. It was a video and its identification
5 is: "Village Osek-Hilj Djakovica (statements by Albanians/Siptars) 13 May
6 1999." Remind the Chamber of that. Ms. Dicklich will play a short
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. This man whose interview you produced actually identified himself
11 as a doctor. Do you recall?
12 A. No.
13 Q. It's your exhibit. That's why I asked if you recall.
14 A. There were no doctors there. There were no doctors there. You
15 said Osek-Hilj. He was not a doctor. As far as I could recall, there
16 were two farmers.
17 Q. He said he was a doctor on the video, and he's being located. Can
18 we distribute, for the same purpose as yesterday but this time a written
19 statement. It's not in your own language. Time has not permitted that to
20 happen. Or limited time. But this man you see on this video was seen.
21 He was shown the video. He's given his account of things, and I want your
22 comment on it by reference to some of the things that he's been able to
23 tell us. I shall deal with it quite quickly.
24 First of all, the area with which we are concerned is the same
25 area in general as we were looking at yesterday, which can be seen on page
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 10 of the atlas Exhibit 83. And while -- I'll put mine on the overhead
3 MR. NICE: Mr. Nort. No, Mr. Nort. Can we just use this marked
4 copy on the overhead projector. Bottom part. Thank you very much.
5 Q. We can see on the overhead projector that -- if we could have the
6 overhead projector displayed, please. We can see that he gave an
7 interview, as we already know, in Zim village -- Zjum, rather. Or we will
8 do in a second.
9 MR. NICE: Well, if the Court has its own atlases they'll find it
10 on page 10, because the overhead projector isn't functioning at the moment
11 and I haven't got time to waste -- wait. Ah, there it is. Right.
12 Q. Where we can see at the bottom is the village we were looking at
13 yesterday in the circle. Zjum is just slightly to the north and east of
15 So this area would be in the same area as that of the commander
16 you spoke of yesterday?
17 A. That was the zone for which my brigade was responsible.
18 Q. Very well. And if we look at the paragraph 24 of this particular
19 statement before we come to the circumstances of the interview, we are
20 informed that on the 31st of March the Serb army, described by this
21 witness as the JNA, but never mind, he no doubt means the VJ, arrived at
22 his village. Is it right that your brigade or part of your brigade
23 arrived at that village on the 31st of March?
24 A. This village is in the border area, and my units were constantly
25 in the border area.
1 Q. Well, is it right that at that time the purpose of your unit's
2 presence there was to expel the Muslims, in particular Muslims from the
3 Cakaj neighbourhood?
4 A. That is completely incorrect. These are your insinuations.
5 Q. As you please. Do we have any contemporaneous record of what your
6 group was doing -- or, sorry, this battalion was doing on the 31st of
8 A. Yesterday, you took my war diary in an illegal manner, so you were
9 able to read what it says there about this battalion.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Delic, I'll not allow you to say that. If
11 that work had been done illegally, the Chamber would have prevented it.
12 You did say, and I recall, that the Prosecutor could look at your diary.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said he could look at it but not
14 take it away. He could have asked for it through the Defence and he would
15 have received it without any problem in a completely legal way.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honours will recall several things about this
17 document apart from the fact that it's been the subject of a request for
18 many years that's never been answered. It was produced in court at my
19 request through the Court. It was made available to me for inspection
20 through the Court, and at the end of the day it was handed back to the
21 Court and it wasn't kept by us overnight. I'd quite like to have it back
22 now, please, so I could view it.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 MR. NICE: I notice the recurring approach of the witness. I've
25 told him already I don't mind what he says, but no doubt the Chamber will
1 accept that his observations are effectively challenged when they impute
2 ill-purpose to me, but it's a matter for him.
3 Q. Mr. Delic, at the moment all I know is that there's no reference
4 or there may be no reference in your war diary to events on the 31st of
5 March. We haven't had time to look at it in detail. Please help me: Is
6 there any contemporaneous record here from the battalion that went to Zjum
7 on or about the 31st of March?
8 A. No battalion went to Zjum. Zjum is located in the border area. A
9 border patrol could have entered Zjum, one of the border patrols that
10 patrolled the border daily.
11 Q. Do we have any contemporaneous document of a border patrol going
12 to Zjum on about the 31st of March?
13 A. It probably does exist in the unit that was responsible for this
14 part of the state border.
15 Q. You see, the material coming to us suggests that four people were
16 called at Cakaj - or it may be Cakaj, I'm not sure - on about that date.
17 If your troops, border patrol or otherwise, would have been involved in
18 the killing of four people, there should be a contemporaneous record,
19 shouldn't there?
20 A. Certainly. Had they taken part in that, there would have been a
21 record of it. But your knowledge stems from statements taken a few days
22 ago. I do not wish to comment at all on those statements. I've already
23 explained the way in which statements are taken on Kosovo -- in Kosovo.
24 Q. I see. Zjum was a village that contained Kosovo Albanians of the
25 Catholic persuasion, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes. They are in the majority there, certainly.
2 Q. And so when the Muslim Kosovo Albanians had been kicked out, or to
3 some extent killed, what was left was Kosovo Albanian Catholics who could
4 be relied on for propaganda purposes; correct?
5 A. Your statement is absolutely untrue that someone was expelled and
6 that someone was killed because they were a Muslim. As for Catholic
7 Albanians, they did not join the KLA and they respected the state
8 authorities of Serbia. They did not participate in the smuggling of
9 weapons, they did not cross the border to get weapons, and they never
10 attacked army units.
11 Q. Because of their position, they felt vulnerable in the course of
12 the NATO bombing, didn't they? They felt vulnerable not least because
13 they might be accused by KLA of being cooperators with the Serbs. They
14 were not kicked out, they were favoured, and they were then liable to be
15 thought of as collaborators; correct?
16 A. Yes. One could see it that way, yes.
17 Q. That's why when told, as this man told us he was told, that they
18 had to go and take part in protests against the NATO bombing by members of
19 the armed forces, they simply did as they were told. Paragraph 30. Is
20 that right, that they would be used as fodder for demonstrations?
21 A. That is absolutely untrue. Mr. Nice, for two days you have been
22 giving me documents that are not in my language, and then you refer to
23 paragraphs in those documents. I feel this is improper. I'm not being
24 enabled to give my responses in the proper way. I want to have every
25 document you are using in my own language. I don't wish to work in this
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: General. General, that's a matter for the
3 Chamber to deal with. If you feel you're disadvantaged, what we will do
4 is have the document placed on the ELMO, paragraph 30, and the
5 interpreters will interpret it for you.
6 MR. NICE: Mr. Nort. Can we give a copy to Mr. Nort. Paragraph
8 Q. Paragraph 30 of this man's statement reads: "I also remember that
9 sometimes during NATO bombing we were ordered by JNA officer, I do not
10 know the name, to get organised and attend a protest in Prizren against
11 NATO bombing. I also had to join this protest."
12 Now, that's the sort of things, or if I may put it in the
13 vernacular, tricks, it was possible for the armed forces to get up to at
14 that time.
15 A. That's what you say. I reject it utterly. He speaks of the JNA
16 here. The JNA had not been in existence for years at that point, and army
17 officers had far more important things to do than to organise protest
18 rallies. I think this makes no sense at all.
19 MR. NICE: If Mr. Nort would be good enough to place paragraphs 7
20 and 8 on the overhead projector.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only wish to be told on what days
22 these protest rallies that you're mentioning were organised.
23 Q. It may be that the person concerned didn't write it in his diary,
24 but I'm not in a position to give you a precise date.
25 Shall we look at paragraph 7 and 8.
1 A. The date is very important to me. I know whether or not there
2 were protests in Prizren and when they took place. We can't talk about
3 something that happened without mentioning a date. I demand to know the
4 date of those protest rallies.
5 Q. Mr. Delic, it's not for you, I think, to make demands. You must
6 understand that people have varied recollections of events. But your
7 suggestion that you're entitled to things, is that a way of avoiding
8 answering questions because you don't find them comfortable questions to
10 A. The questions are not uncomfortable at all. You know I'm willing
11 to answer every question.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... let's press on. The witness
13 -- not the witness, the person says the following: "I recall the time
14 when I gave this interview in Zjum village to the people, who introduced
15 themselves as being from Radio-TV Prizren. I never met any of them
16 before. I do not remember the exact date of the interview, but I think
17 that the date on the title of the video clip, reading May 1999, might be
19 Mr. Delic, I'm not going to demand it, but can you give me the
20 precise date of the interview?
21 A. The date on the videotape is the right date. There's no reason
22 for there to be any other date there, and it is the editor of the TV
23 programme who stands by that date, and there were other people present
24 there as well.
25 Q. Let's move on to paragraph 8: "The interview had been taken by
1 persons in the JNA -" well, you've made your point about that - "uniforms.
2 They were not armed, but in the nearby cafeteria just 10 metres away from
3 the place where I was interviewed were sitting three policemen, and they
4 were armed. Before the TV crew showed up in the village, I was just
5 sitting in this cafeteria. They approached the above-mentioned policemen
6 and I heard, as they were explaining to the policemen that they are from
7 TV Prizren, that they would like to interview with somebody from our
8 village. They did not mention what they would like to ask our villagers.
9 I never saw any of these persons before. One of them introduced himself
10 as being Sokol Qysja from Prizren."
11 Pausing there, do you know Sokol Qysja?
12 A. Yes, I do know Sokol Qysja.
13 Q. Who was he?
14 A. He is the president of an Albanian party.
15 Q. Thank you. We'll move on. He said: "Good afternoon, gentlemen.
16 I am Sokol Qysja from Prizren. How are you doing, are you having any
18 "One the policemen addressed them to me, saying, 'He is a
19 doctor,' and then one of the policemen told: 'Doctor, go and give an
20 interview.' I did not dare to refuse from fear of potential consequences.
21 I was afraid that they could arrest me and later execute me. Following is
22 explanation of my fears."
23 Well, now, this is a doctor. Do you have any reason to doubt you
24 that he was in fear in the circumstances in which he found himself?
25 A. Why would the doctor be afraid of people from the local television
1 station, the president of an Albanian party and policemen, state organs
2 securing the village? There was absolutely no reason for that doctor to
3 be afraid, and you can see that in the interview he gave. He gave the
4 interview quite openly and without any fear at all.
5 Q. You remember the doctor's interview now. You didn't remember that
6 he was a doctor before, did you?
7 A. You mentioned the name of a different village at first. You
8 didn't mention Zjum. You mentioned Osek Pasa [phoen] and Osek Kia
9 [phoen], and the people there were farmers, not doctors.
10 Q. Well, we'll press on as quickly as you allow it to be done.
11 If you look at -- if we look at paragraphs 10 and 11, we can read
12 them in full if it's absolutely necessary, but this person makes it clear
13 that Sokol Qysja was advancing the rumour or the suspicion that the doctor
14 had been assisting the KLA. Did you hear any rumours from this man you
15 knew, Sokol Qysja, that a doctor in Zjum had been treating the KLA?
16 A. I never heard anything of the sort.
17 Q. Very well.
18 MR. NICE: Apparently Ms. Dicklich says there are two clips in
19 627, 627 and 627A, and I may have read the description from the wrong one.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness has quite accurately stated the way in
21 which the matter was introduced to him, Mr. Nice.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Now, if we turn on to what he says is the consequence of this for
24 the questions that he was asked in this interview, he says at paragraph 15
25 that he was interviewed, or he was asked provoking questions but he was
1 not forced or told the answers that he had to give. Do you understand
2 that? He was careful to avoid potential conflict with the Serbian police.
3 Does that seem to you, in the setting of the environment you knew, to be a
4 reasonable attitude for a person in this position to take?
5 A. There was no fear providing the doctor was merely doing his job in
6 his own village. He had no reason to fear contact with our state police.
7 And I ask that the tape be played again so that we can see whether he
8 looks frightened or not and how he is answering the questions.
9 Q. I asked you a question earlier, didn't I, about whether Kosovo
10 Albanian Catholics might feel vulnerable, not least because they might be
11 accused of being collaborators, and you said yes they could see it that
13 Do you not think there was any vulnerability on the part of
14 witnesses of this kind, or people of this kind, to the pressures of armed
15 police or military?
16 A. They were completely loyal citizens of the state. There was never
17 any pressure exerted on them. On the contrary, all state organs were
18 especially attentive to those villages and those people and sent them
19 humanitarian aid and every other kind of assistance, because we felt that
20 by remaining on that -- in that territory they would be susceptible to
21 problems because the KLA would consider them to be collaborators, and I
22 understand their fears in this direction.
23 Q. Now, you made allegations yesterday, which you barely withdrew,
24 about the way in which interviews are conducted and about the objectives
25 of the Office of the Prosecutor. You'll be interested to note the
1 following: On paragraphs 20, 21, and 22, the doctor sets out the
2 questions and answers that he gave and says he has no comments on either
3 the questions or the answers. You see? He accepts that he said those
4 things and doesn't wish to qualify them.
5 However --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: When you say the witness made allegations
7 yesterday, do you mean yesterday?
8 MR. NICE: Yes, I do, Your Honour when, he was talking about the
9 circumstances in which the woman was interviewed by us. Yes, went to
10 great lengths. I'm reminded of the terms.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The went to great lengths was the fact that you had
12 organised at short notice a visit to try to locate witnesses. But you
13 took that as some sort of criticism, did you?
14 MR. NICE: That and other passages I did. Indeed, I made an
15 observation at one stage. I'm sorry, I don't have my finger on that.
16 Q. But you see, if we look at this, the witness accepts some of his
17 answers; third, fourth, and fifth answer. He gives explanations about the
18 first and second questions, and I'll just give you an example of those.
19 He says as to the first question in which he answered -- we're all
20 -- this is paragraph 17: "... in here we're all alive living, police is
21 here as well. We do not have any problems." He says this: "Since the
22 entire Muslims from Prizren HAS province were expelled, we as the Catholic
23 Albanians were ordered to stay in the village against our will. For that
24 reason we didn't feel comfortable, because it compromised us in Muslims
25 population eyes as Serbian collaborators. The order came from a man
1 called Tun Tomrecaj that all Catholics from the village have to stay."
2 Is he right about that, do you know, a man called Tun Tomrecaj
3 ordered them all to stay?
4 A. Absolutely never have I heard of that man.
5 Q. And then if we move on to the last passage that I want you to help
6 us with, which is the sixth question on paragraph 23, he says this: "The
7 sixth question was 'What about the ones that are bombing?' My answer was:
8 'What shall I wish for them? All is evil.'"
9 He goes on to say: "My comments to this question and my answering
10 are that the question was obviously provocative. If I was not afraid I
11 would like to say NATO bombing welcome. I heard about many of Serbian
12 armed forces brutalities on the territory of Kosovo before and during NATO
13 bombing, so that is logical I could never support the Serbian policy. In
14 addition, I experienced some evil in our villages, which I would like to
15 put in my statement." And I've dealt with that.
16 So you see, he explains his answer in terms of the pressure that
17 he was under. Did you not appreciate when you produced these videos that
18 they were produced by armed -- not armed, uniformed journalists in
19 circumstances where people would be frightened to give truthful accounts?
20 A. Well, you see, you're asking someone about something happened in
21 1992, and you're putting the questions in a --
22 THE INTERPRETER: 1999, interpreter's correction.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and you're asking them that in
24 2005. You know what kind of human rights and freedoms there are in Kosovo
25 and how people can speak about certain matters.
1 I ask the Trial Chamber for three things: Yesterday through your
2 witness's statement you levelled serious accusations against my unit and
3 therefore against me personally. I only ask for permission to have
4 telephone contact with the persons who were there on the spot and to ask
5 them in the course of today or tomorrow to send me their statements.
6 Secondly, I ask that the transcript you had here yesterday,
7 together with the video material, be delivered because I cannot pass over
8 it, because I have certain memories connected with that woman which alter
9 completely the story you told here yesterday. And in order to initiate
10 these proceedings before a special court, I need this. So either you can
11 hand it to me or it can be done through the special court in Belgrade, and
12 I only want to make a few telephone calls to the persons who were there on
13 the ground, on the spot.
14 As my recollections have to be confirmed by others, I don't want
15 to put them before the Trial Chamber before having had a chance to verify
16 them, and they refer to that woman. If you remember, the 14th of April is
17 the day when NATO bombed a column between Djakovica and Prizren. This
18 television crew that was filming this event, after the event went and
19 filmed the bombing of this column. I recall some things that I learned
20 that evening, but I wish to call the direct participants in that event
21 before telling the Court what my recollections are.
22 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honours, my observation on that is if there
23 are exist -- I don't know what he means by statements. If there are
24 existing documents that he asserts would assist the Chamber, then the
25 associates of the accused, acting in the role of solicitors or lawyers or
1 advocates, could contact the people concerned for production of the
2 documents, but that for the Chamber to accept in any form hearsay
3 statements via the telephone from other participants would be unusual if
4 not completely irregular.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness is not asking to submit
8 statements. He explained very clearly that what he wants is to reinforce
9 his own memory and to double-check it. I think that his request for
10 having the possibility of making telephone calls granted to him are very
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Delic, it would be very unusual to allow a
14 witness during his testimony to make telephone calls in relation to that
15 testimony. On the other hand, the accused has heard what you have said
16 and the associates have also heard, and it is a matter for them to take
17 the matter further if they can.
18 Proceed, Mr. Nice.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, Mr. Robinson. Since I
20 cannot contact persons who help the accused, I would have to tell someone
21 who should be called. Do I have permission to speak to the legal advisors
22 so that they call these persons? I know what I will do when I return to
23 Belgrade in connection with this case, because then it will remain as
24 Mr. Nice presented it and as it stands now, but I don't believe that's the
25 way it was. So could I please have permission to contact one of the
1 associates from the Defence so that they carry this through?
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: But, Mr. Delic, very exceptionally the Chamber
4 will allow you to contact one of the associates for that very limited
5 purpose and that purpose alone.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Before we turn from this topic, your answer, or your observation
8 as translated was you asked if you could have the transcript because you
9 have certain memories connected with that woman which alter completely the
10 story you told here yesterday. Please answer --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, I don't know if that's a fair representation.
12 The story that was represented, that was told.
13 MR. NICE: I'm reading out exactly the transcript. He meant -- by
14 "you" he meant she.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, yes.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. Can you confine your question to yes or no, please. Are you
18 saying that you now have active memories of that particular woman? Just
19 yes or no.
20 A. I spoke very precisely yesterday, and that's what I meant. I
21 never saw that woman in my life and that's why I cannot remember her.
22 However, something in connection with her, something that I need to have
23 confirmed, that's what I have on my mind and that is why I need to contact
24 people who were on the spot.
25 Q. You better tell me --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. All night I've --
2 Q. You better tell me what it is, but before you do, since you now
3 have some memory, remember that part of the evidence was given in private
4 session and part in public. Is this appropriate for public or private
6 A. No, there's nothing particularly secret about this in order to
7 require private session.
8 Q. Tell me what this memory is that's come to you connected to, as
9 you described, that woman.
10 A. I cannot tell you that until I check it, because I do not want to
11 deal with half-truths here. This thing that crossed my mind, I want to
12 check it out. I want to check whether it's that woman, and it's only
13 people who were on the spot that can tell me. It has to do with the
14 request that that woman on that day presented a -- presented on that day
15 to the people there during the filming. So I'm just wondering whether it
16 was that woman or another woman and whether we acted on that request of
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... now what is the request that
19 you now recollect a woman making?
20 A. Mr. Nice, that's just what I've been saying. I want to check it.
21 I want to check my memory to see whether it's correct. I do not want to
22 present a request now that I cannot confirm, that I can confirm only
23 later, having spoken to these persons. Maybe it had to do with another
24 woman. I do not want to deceive the Trial Chamber here in any way. The
25 legal associates are going to call whoever necessary, and the Trial
1 Chamber will probably allow for me to hear from them what they were told,
2 and then I will know more about this request and my memory in relation to
3 this woman. I cannot present half-truths here. It's been many years now,
4 and I have to check my own memory, whether it is right.
5 Q. You weren't there yourself so you're going to be seeking to
6 produce something that somebody else says, yes?
7 A. My officers who were there themselves, the cameraman who was
8 there, and the editor who was there, and something that one of my officers
9 said to me during the course of those few days.
10 Q. Mr. Delic, your credibility is in issue here, and I will be
11 grateful, please, now for an answer to the question. What memory of a
12 request by a woman do you have that you think may be material? I'd like
13 to hear it before you have access to documentation and make your own
14 decision about whether you're going to add to your evidence. So can I
15 know, please, what it is that you say you've recollected?
16 A. You are now asking me to say something that I'm not certain of.
17 That is very unfair. I have just asked the Trial Chamber to make these
18 telephone calls in order to confirm whether what I remember pertains to
19 this woman or another woman. So I don't want to say one thing today and
20 to say tomorrow that what I said on this day was not correct, and you
21 persist and you keep invoking my credibility. I realise that you have a
22 problem and I realise that you're trying to challenge my credibility
23 therefore, but that's a completely different matter. You are within your
25 MR. NICE: It's up to the Chamber whether the Chamber requires him
1 to answer the question. In the circumstances, it's, in my submission, an
2 entirely reasonable request and one that he should comply with. It's not
3 up to a witness, as it were, to choose to add or not to his evidence in
4 these circumstances, but I'm in the Chamber's hands.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Delic, you're talking about a recollection of
7 something being said by a woman, and in your mind there's the possibility
8 of two women; is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've been thinking whether it's this
10 woman from this village or another woman from another village. It is for
11 that reason that the legal advisors should call the people who were on the
13 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the other village?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other village, I think it's the
15 area of the village of Lipovac. That is further to the west ten or 15
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know the name of that woman?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but it's probably been written
19 down, the name of the woman who spoke on television, because as you can
20 see, on TV there were always captions stating the name. And as far as
21 this other woman is concerned, her name must be recorded too. But right
22 now I cannot say with any degree of certainty which one of the two women
23 is involved. Perhaps it's the other one, but perhaps it's this one.
24 At any rate, what is characteristic is that both women were from
25 Bosnia, and their request had to do with that.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, in the circumstances we consider it
3 reasonable for the witness to adopt the position that he has.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. Tab 629, please. We'll come back to that.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
7 MR. NICE: May the witness make his inquiries to the associates at
8 the earliest possible moment, because it's not a topic I want to let go
9 of, and I want to know what the final position is from him. May he make
10 those inquiries perhaps at the break?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Delic, you may make your inquiries through
12 the associates at the break.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I wonder if that is the way to deal with this,
14 Mr. Nice. I'm thinking aloud, but what I had envisaged when it was
15 raised was that the information would be obtained by Mr. Milosevic's
16 associates for re-examination purposes and the matter would be dealt with
17 that way rather than the witness be briefed for the purpose of his
18 evidence. I wasn't envisaging that there would be a two-way communication
19 of information.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I completely object to being excluded from
21 the possibility --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, I'm conscious of what would then concern
23 you and it seems to me a matter on which you would be entitled to come
24 back, if it was necessary, to explore it fully. But if you're saying that
25 there should be a two-way communication with the associates, then that may
1 be appropriate, but it certainly would be very, very unusual.
2 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, if this witness wishes, in the way
3 the Chamber has now allowed, to amplify his recollection and if it comes
4 out that his amplified recollection relates to this woman, I want to hear
5 about it obviously at the earliest possible moment so I can deal with it.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll proceed as indicated. Yes, as I
7 indicated, the witness can speak to the associates at the break.
8 MR. NICE: Thank you.
9 Q. Tab 629, again we needn't look at it, but the surrogate sheet in
10 the binder describes it as the video segment concerning "Albanians, Turks
11 and Roma in VJ units, April 1999." Can we look at a short extract of
12 that, please.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. NICE: Pause there for a minute.
15 Your Honours, apart from the doctor who was identified, none of
16 the people, I think, apart from the party leader referred to by the
17 witness, Sokol Qysja, is identified. We have identified a total of three
18 people, the doctor and two others, and we are making all the results of
19 our inquiries available.
20 On the screen now is one of the men in this trench-digging video,
21 and I distribute for cross-examination purposes a statement. It does
22 identify him by name and he has no objection to his name being known.
23 Mihill Bezhi. Again we'll lay it on the overhead projector as far as
24 necessary, very swiftly, it won't take long.
25 Q. This Catholic Albanian explains in paragraph 2 that he became a
1 member of the SPS between 1995 and 1999 just in order not to lose his job
2 and because of the promise that he would get a flat. Is that the sort of
3 thing that was happening in this state in that period of time, that
4 membership of the political party of this accused was either necessary for
5 retention of jobs and/or beneficial in bringing things like flats?
6 A. That is absolutely incorrect. My family had several members who
7 worked in Kosovo, too, and not a single member of my family ever got a
9 Q. Paragraph 3 explains that he was shown the video clip and that he
10 says in paragraph 4 he remembers the time in April 1999 when he gave the
12 Help me, Mr. Delic, with the precise date of the interview.
13 A. Well, it should be on the video clip itself.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... April 1999. Can you give me
15 the precise date?
16 A. I cannot give you the precise date, but, but --
17 Q. Yes. He says: "I remember the time in April 1999 when I gave
18 interview on this video to a Serbian journalist Ugrinovic." That's the
19 man, isn't it? Ugrinovic is your --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "I do not recall his first name. Ugrinovic was wearing JNA
22 military uniform." Yes. Well, we know about JNA. He was -- but first of
23 all, it's right, isn't it? Journalists wore uniform. It may not be that
24 surprising, but it's right, isn't it?
25 A. Not all journalists wore uniform. Ugrinovic, among other things,
1 was on the list of reservists of the army of Yugoslavia, but at the
2 request of the local self-government he was freed from this duty in order
3 to be able to do his own work. If necessary, he could have been called
4 back to his unit.
5 Q. And just staying with that and diverting, digressing for one
6 minute. Is it also right, as we've heard in paragraph 94 of an expert's
7 report -- it's not before you, a Mr. de la Brosse, a Frenchman. Is it
8 also right, as we've heard, that soldiers were posted in the offices of
9 media companies in order to keep reporting under control? Is that right,
10 as he has told us?
11 A. Absolutely. No soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia or of my unit
12 had anything to do with the media. It was only people who were employed
14 Q. I'll press on, then, with paragraph 5: "I didn't give the above
15 mentioned statement voluntarily, but under pressure of current
16 circumstances, which means, that if I didn't give the interview, I was
17 told, that I would be fired from my job. The person who forced me to give
18 the interview was Sokol Qysja from Prizren." And he is shown indeed on
19 this video. "Sokol is the only person who gave interview on the video
20 clip voluntarily as a president of the Albanian Reform Party with
21 pro-Serbian policy orientation."
22 Now, first of all it's right, isn't it, that Sokol Qysja has a
23 pro-Serbian orientation?
24 A. Sokol Qysja belonged to those Albanians who respected the state
25 authorities of the Republic of Serbia and who did their own jobs. He had
1 a party of his own, I don't know its name. As far as Prizren is
2 concerned, he had quite a few members. So it is not true that he was of a
3 pro-Serb orientation. He presented the views of the Albanians, and there
4 is nothing that would lead to the conclusion that he was pro-Serbian.
5 Q. I see.
6 A. He was oriented towards a co-existence, a joint life between Serbs
7 and Albanians.
8 Q. Paragraph 6 explains that that man Sokol Qysja visited the
9 director of Liria shop, a man called Alexandar Kamparevic who called
10 Mihill Bezhi to the office, saying give a statement or you will be fired
11 or we will take you to dig trenches. So this man who has three children
12 had little option but to agree to give the statement.
13 Do you accept that as a possibility? It was the territory upon
14 which you were work. Tell us, might this have happened?
15 A. This absolutely could not have happened the way you are putting
16 it. This man was already in the army units. There is no Sokol Qysja that
17 could have taken this soldier to see his director. He would have to get
18 permission from the military organs to leave the unit. The man you're
19 mentioning here Alexandar Kamparevic was the director of Liria. I don't
20 know what kind of relationship he had with Sokol Qysja. But for someone
21 to be able to take soldiers from the front line in order to have pressure
22 exerted upon them by somebody else is something that I challenge in its
23 totality, because from the moment they joined the ranks of the army of
24 Yugoslavia, it was only the army of Yugoslavia that was responsible for
25 them. And after all, what he says here is stated in his statement too.
1 In the units you could not have civilians strolling about. As far as I
2 know, this director Kamparevic never came to the unit.
3 Q. You see, he goes on to explain that on the same day he went to
4 Vrbnica village with Sokol Qysja and two journalists and a cameraman.
5 It's about 17 kilometres from Prizren. When he got there, there were
6 about a hundred to 200 people in uniform in a yard and in a house.
7 While he was in the house he heard somebody being interviewed
8 giving answers as directed by Sokol Qysja, and he then goes on to explain
9 that an officer told him, Mihill Bezhi, to put on a military jacket and he
10 gave the statement which was written for him on the spot, being held by
11 Sokol Qysja so that he could read it. That's his account, you see. Very
13 Any reason -- might it be correct, Mr. Delic?
14 A. As you can see, this soldier, this reservist, is wearing an old
15 type of uniform. M77 is that uniform. Soldiers were already wearing M89
16 uniforms. So there was no one to give him that uniform that you are
17 referring to because all soldiers were already wearing these more modern
18 uniforms, M89 and M93, whereas he is wearing the old type of uniform, as I
19 see here, M77.
20 As for this man that you interviewed, I do not support what he
22 MR. NICE: Just one more short one to go, Your Honours, but I
23 observe the time.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have one more?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone Your Honour, please.
1 MR. NICE: I have another statement to deal with.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take the break. We will adjourn for 20
4 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.57 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. On tab 627, this man was seen.
9 MR. NICE: Can you just play a small section of it, please.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Very well. Do you remember this man, Mr. Delic, and the interview
13 of him that you produced?
14 A. Yes, yes, I do remember that man.
15 Q. Distribute, please, a statement he's made.
16 Now, this man from Zjum eventually in his statement gives some of
17 the history. I'm going to deal with it very shortly. Paragraph 12. He
18 says this, that shortly after the NATO bombing, the first Serbian military
19 formations appeared in his village, and he would describe them as of
20 paramilitary appearance. He remembers that they arrived at the Cakaj
21 neighbourhood, which is sort of part of or detached from his village where
22 they forced the population out and then burnt three or four houses.
23 Sorry, burnt nearly all of the houses apart from three or four that were
25 Do you have any recollection of houses in Cakaj being burnt?
1 A. Absolutely not.
2 Q. If there was a paramilitary group or something that looked like a
3 paramilitary group in your area of responsibility at that time, what would
4 they be? Help us, please.
5 A. In my area there would be no paramilitary groups.
6 Q. If so, it would have to be a military group, and therefore it
7 would be under your command; correct?
8 A. That would mean that all the groups that were within that border
9 belt were groups which were under the command of the army. And they
10 weren't groups, they were units, whether larger or smaller.
11 Q. And of course the commission, the VJ commission of which you were
12 -- or with which you worked in preparation for this trial didn't prepare
13 documents in relation to what happened at the area of Zjum at about this
14 time, did it? You don't have any documents at all that cover it.
15 A. No, because in that area nothing unusual was happening.
16 Q. Let's see what he says. We press on rapidly. He says that on
17 paragraph 15, his recollection is that Serbian regular army appeared the
18 same day as paramilitary and burnt houses in the Cakaj neighbourhood, and
19 he recognised six Serbian JNA military jeeps but couldn't see how many
20 soldiers there were although they were passing his house. Right? But a
21 deployment of a unit with six jeeps is something that should be recorded,
22 shouldn't it, in the records of your part of the army, your brigade?
23 A. In my brigade I was the only one who had a jeep, and my military
24 police another jeep. So that's makes a total of two jeeps at the level of
25 the whole brigade.
1 Q. Could this be the police working together with the army on this
3 A. The police did not come closer to the border belt except the
4 villages that were on the fringes of the border belt, and this particular
5 village was within the border belt. And the police didn't launch any
6 operations in those villages at all.
7 Q. He says the soldiers told us not to leave the village and not to
8 allow any Muslims into their houses and made it clear that if they didn't
9 obey that order, they would have their houses burned and they would be
11 Can you think of any of your unit commanders who might have broken
12 rank or broken your rules to do that?
13 A. That is your observation that they broke my orders. My
14 commanders, on the other hand, had very precise orders, and I have no
15 knowledge or I'm not aware that anybody took it upon themselves to violate
16 the order. So this is a statement that was taken in 2005, and let me
17 repeat once again, in Kosovo in 2005 was when the statement was taken, and
18 you cannot get a different type of statement in Kosovo except for the one
19 corresponding to the present balance of forces in Kosovo and the present
20 situation in Kosovo.
21 Now, I have no intention of being angry at this man who gave the
22 statement, or any other person who gave you any statements at all, because
23 I know full well that if they wish to live in Kosovo they must need give
24 statements of this kind which correspond to the present state of affairs
25 and the present situation.
1 Q. Apart from the detail he's already given, in paragraph 17 he deals
2 with the four deaths that the earlier statement spoke of, and he gives the
3 names: Ibrahim Mallakaj, Agron Cekaj, Mesar Cakaj, and Ali Tanushaj. He
4 actually identifies four people killed by armed forces at that time.
5 You're unable to give us any account of how those people died, are you?
6 A. I can't say. If there is knowledge of that kind, then the witness
7 should have told you whether they were members of the KLA, for instance,
8 whether they were carrying weapons, whether they were trying to cross the
9 state border.
10 Q. He then goes on, and this is the last background matter that I
11 need deal with and I'll try to deal with it quickly, at paragraph 20 and
12 subsequently, to what he described as paramilitary soldiers entered his
13 house, abused him in foul language, and then at paragraph 21, he being
14 there with his wife and daughters, he was forced out, made to lie on the
15 ground, had a boot, I think, put on his body and certainly the butt of a
16 rifle or Kalashnikov on his back and then the barrel onto his back. His
17 family were made to come out, although paragraph 25 suggests not and until
18 his daughter Bernadetta had been told to hand over her necklace, otherwise
19 they would take it together with her head.
20 So this is a case of gross, terrifying violence used against a
21 family. Do you allow that as a possibility by your troops, please?
22 A. Absolutely not. I don't allow any kind of possibility like that.
23 Would the interpreter interpret paragraph 23 for me, please,
24 translate the paragraph, especially the last portion of paragraph 23.
25 Q. We're coming to that in a minute. I'm dealing with things in
1 sequence, and if you will be good enough to let me deal with the
2 questioning, we'll get on much quicker that way.
3 You see, he then says that as his family had come out, he was
4 lying on the ground for about five or ten minutes and they ordered him to
5 stand up, make him go to the main gate of the yard where he met his wife
6 and two daughters. They then went to the house of the neighbour Zef Lekaj
7 and there were gathered people from the neighbourhood in one room, about
8 22 people, and he was told by this armed group, "You are lucky that we
9 belong to --" now the way it's appeared in the text at the moment with a
10 rush -- not a rush translation but a translation by a non-English speaker,
11 but it's been translated to: "You are lucky that we belong to the
12 Medetirian group and we are not members of the Arkan group, otherwise we
13 would kill you..." What does "Medetirian group" mean to you?
14 A. It means that this is an absolute lie. In my zone no paramilitary
15 group was allowed in because they would have to settle accounts with my
16 military police and my army first of all. And I've been repeating that
17 for hundreds of times. Hundreds of times I've heard mention about this
18 Arkan group and for the first time this Mediterranean group, or whatever
19 it is. There was none of that in my zone. It was strictly forbidden by
20 an order of the corps command, and here during the trial we read out that
22 Q. Where did the Medetirian group work?
23 A. This group was just working and functioning in the mind of this
24 witness. The group didn't exist on the ground.
25 Q. So you've never heard of it before or anything similar to it?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Well, I've heard about hundreds of groups but this is the first
2 time that I hear of a group with this name.
3 Q. He then deals with other matters that we've covered already, but
4 it's with that background that he deals with the circumstances of his
5 making his statement. And we can find that on paragraph 6 and 7. He
6 explains that in paragraph 6 he doesn't remember the date but he thinks
7 it's after the beginning of the NATO airstrike. He says that he was
8 driving his car from Karashengjergj to Zjum village on that day. Upon
9 arrival to the village he was stopped by men in Serbian military
10 camouflage uniform, and in paragraph 8, his detailed account is this:
11 That he was addressed in the Albanian language, told he had to give an
12 interview in the Albanian language about his opinion of NATO bombing,
13 replied that his Albanian language wasn't good and he would prefer to give
14 the interview in the Serbo-Croat language. No reason to doubt any of
15 that, is there?
16 A. That's what he says. I can't know one way or another.
17 Q. You've told us quite a lot about how good the journalists are, and
18 you knew them quite well by name. See if you can help us with the next
19 bit. He reads on the microphone that the journalist had in his hand
20 Pristina TV. The man claimed he was a journalist from TV Pristina
21 although he'd never seen him before. The journalist was in the company of
22 two police officers and another two journalists in Serbian military
23 uniforms. So there's one in civilians and two in uniform.
24 Apart from the policeman, nobody else was armed. He didn't
25 recognise any of the people, and they spoke Albanian.
1 Any reason to doubt any of that detail?
2 A. Yes, we do have reason, because as far as these journalists are
3 concerned, the ones I know, they don't speak Albanian. Second, you
4 mentioned Television Pristina twice here, so those journalists couldn't
5 have said that because those journalists belong to Television Serbia but
6 the studio in Prizren, if that refers to the same case at all.
7 Q. I see. Then he says he gave -- and he says no more than this,
8 Mr. Delic, this man. He says: "I gave the interview as I assumed they
9 would like to hear it, at the benefit of the pro-Serbian policy in Kosovo.
10 I did it from fear that something wrong might happen to me or my family.
11 Since I have already explained on my own Serbian police and military
12 behaviour in our village." No doubt he discussed that before the
13 statement itself was prepared. "But during the interview they did not use
14 any kind of pressure on me," he says, "to give such comments about NATO
15 bombing in Kosovo."
16 He doesn't suggest they exerted pressure. He suggests that it was
17 his own fear in all the circumstances that made him say what he did.
18 Now, you told me at the beginning how these people would have some
19 anxieties. Do you not allow the possibility of somebody saying that and
20 doing that?
21 A. Just as he had fears then to give an interview, he has today when
22 he gave an interview for you, those same anxieties or, rather, your
23 investigators. The anxiety and fear is the same, perhaps even greater
24 now. So now too he has to think about all this and to hit the target to
25 see whether what he's going to say corresponds to what those people asking
1 for the interview want to hear. So as you interpreted this for me, he
2 therefore observed that he gave an interview pursuant his own free will,
3 he wasn't forced to do so, but that he himself assessed what kind of
4 interview he was supposed to give and which interview would correspond to
5 the prevailing situation. When he gave you the interview, he also wanted
6 to see that the interview was not detrimental to himself and his family.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... topic of free will can be
8 found at paragraph 28, where he says this: "I would like to say that the
9 interview I gave to the journalist as recorded on video clip tab 627, had
10 nothing to do with my own will, likewise in other above mentioned cases
11 where we were directly or indirectly forced to do it."
12 You see, Mr. Delic, I'm going to suggest to you that the
13 investigators of the ICTY, or the investigator, in response to the
14 material you've produced, displays the following, and I ask your final
15 comments on it: That the oppression and history of violence of the forces
16 in Kosovo by the time of the NATO bombing was such that people knew they
17 had to say what was wanted of them. Isn't that true?
18 A. That is absolutely not acceptable and not true.
19 Q. So it was always possible for journalists, especially in uniform
20 and with the presence of police and military, to have a good chance of
21 getting what they wanted without using force?
22 A. The journalists are professionals, and as such they do their job
23 professionally, and they wouldn't have jeopardised their professional
24 ethics because there was no need to do so. Mr. Nice, the truth is only
25 one. There is only one truth. Therefore you can't reach the truth
1 through force. And as for the freedom of the press today in Kosovo, there
2 is a lot of information and facts that you can arrive at, check them out
3 and see what kind of freedom of movement exists in Kosovo today and what
4 kind of freedom of the press and freedom of expression exists today there.
5 See for yourself.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... seen with these four people
7 who we've reviewed yesterday and today in reverse order is an escalator of
8 pressure, from the pressure of historical circumstances and the
9 circumstances themselves through the suggestion that you'll lose your job
10 if you don't comply, through more direct pressure right up to the terrible
11 pressure applied to that woman, as you describe her. And you must know in
12 your position and in the state in which you were living that those things
13 were going on.
14 A. What you're saying now is just not correct. People at that time,
15 even if it was true that they could lose their jobs, for example, today
16 can lose their heads if they don't give the kind of statements they're
17 expected to give. So it's not the same. To lose your job or to lose your
18 head are two quite different things because today people lose their heads
19 much more frequently in Kosovo today than during the time when I was
21 Q. Two other points. Have you --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. While we're on this
23 statement, I think it would be necessary for Mr. Nice to tell us what the
24 name of the group that was mentioned here in fact is, because what it says
25 here, Medetirian, doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean anything in
1 Serbian and it means nothing in English either, or any other language. So
2 nobody can understand why somebody would call a group by a name that means
3 nothing. And his investigators were the people who collected that
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think that is the term which is in the text. I
6 don't know whether that can be improved.
7 MR. NICE: Classic example of the investigators acting with
8 neutrality and recording what they're told.
9 Q. But on the topic of groups, and you'd heard so many hundred names
10 in Kosovo, what did you hear of the Skorpions?
11 A. I heard about -- I mostly heard about the Skorpions lately, that
12 it was a group that was active in Republika Srpska Krajina.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
14 A. And following this trial --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. At that time, I knew nothing about them in Kosovo, during the war
17 period. And let me repeat once again, paramilitary groups could not enter
18 my zone.
19 Q. Well, what about other zones? Why were they able to enter other
21 A. I didn't say that they could enter other zones. The orders by the
22 corps commander related to all brigade commanders. But what I'm talking
23 about is my own zone because I was responsible only for my own area of
25 Q. We've heard of the Skorpions being reactivated for Kosovo. Do you
1 know anything about that?
2 A. Well, I followed the trial when the Skorpions were mentioned, so I
3 know what was said in these proceedings.
4 Q. And then finally, I take it, you haven't made your phone call so
5 far to deal with the bit of evidence about the woman, have you?
6 MR. NICE: No, no, he may not have been able to. It's only the
7 one break.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: But he wasn't to make the phone call --
9 MR. NICE: You're quite right. Very well. I just want to know as
10 soon as we get the answer.
11 Q. Can we now turn back, then, to a few of the crime sites very
12 rapidly -- or not very rapidly but fairly swiftly. And if we can go to
13 tab 361. Volume, I think, 5. Yes, volume 5 in the English version. We
14 have to start, actually, at 360 just to remind ourselves that the material
15 that you provide is this.
16 This freshly drawn map, I mean freshly drawn or recently drawn
17 map. As a matter of fact, when were these maps -- I'm so sorry.
18 Materials you provide are this map, 360. When were these maps actually
20 A. I've already told you that they are not maps dating back to the
21 time when the events took place. They are maps dating to 2002. And their
22 purpose is to help explain the events, as required by the Commission for
24 Q. And then we see things like 361, your statement, and then we see
25 the statement of Vukovic who we know was in the area of the -- who was in
1 charge of the battalion that was dealing with the area we were just
2 recently looking at, and various other statements.
3 Now, so far as Bela Crkva is concerned, a great deal of evidence
4 has been given about it from various people; Fehim Elshani, Isuf Jemini,
5 Sabri Popaj, to name three. Do you know anything adverse to those people
6 as individuals?
7 A. I never heard anything linked to those people at all, and I don't
8 know them, of course.
9 Q. And the commission, the VJ commission, whether it investigated
10 these people or not, turned up nothing about them or adverse to them
11 despite having all the opportunities since 2002 to look into them if it
12 wanted to; correct?
13 A. That's a total lack of understanding of the situation under which
14 the commission works. The commission had absolutely no chance of
15 contacting those individuals at all. The commission could not go to the
16 territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and the commission first and foremost
17 dealt with members of the army.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... exhaustive records, didn't
20 A. All they could have had were records in possession of the army.
21 Q. Now, we've heard evidence of Serb police soldiers, as I think
22 they's described, but also Serb police and army entering the village on
23 the 25th of March, and of some 400 or thereabouts villagers gathering in
24 the stream, walking towards Rogova. Do you say that evidence is possibly
25 true, partly true, or definitely untrue?
1 A. At what time? What was the time when this happened?
2 Q. Well, you can't necessarily expect time, but it so happens that
3 one of the witnesses said about 4.00 in the morning the police and army
4 started shooting towards the village, looting and burning the houses, and
5 it was in those circumstances that the villagers fled in diverse
6 directions until about 400 of them gathered and went along the stream. So
7 if 4.00 in the morning helps you, tell us, please. And this is the 25th
8 of March, I think before your war diary starts, probably.
9 A. Yes. It's very important to me when you tell me the exact time
10 and date. I can now say that this is absolutely untrue, because the
11 soldiers entered that village in a column at around 500 hours, as can be
12 seen from the statements, and you can see from the map that no blockade or
13 search of the village of Bela Crkva had been envisioned. The troops
14 marched through the village in a column, and it was only when they reached
15 the hill of Amovac, the next feature, that they spread out and set up the
16 blockade line.
17 Bela Crkva was not considered because there was a police
18 checkpoint there, because the main road between the village of Zrze and
19 Orahovac passed through it, and because there was security there to
20 prevent attacks on vehicles passing through. It was estimated that there
21 were no KLA members in Bela Crkva and that therefore there was no need to
22 enter the village. So they only marched through the village.
23 Q. The difference between 5.00 and 4.00 is not so great when the
24 witness concerned says "about 4.00."
25 The description of shooting and burning of houses, are you saying
1 that this is necessarily a complete invention because your troops would
2 have seen it and recorded it?
3 A. Certainly. I'm testifying here about the period from the 25th to
4 the 28th inclusive. As I said previously, I passed through this village
5 several -- on several more occasions up to the 4th of April. This could
6 not have happened in the village of Bela Crkva.
7 Q. Very well. Now, we've heard from a witness by the name, or by the
8 pseudonym of K25. He's a member of the PJP. Have you considered his
10 A. This statement was not shown to me, and I have not had an
11 opportunity to read it.
12 Q. No. He explains how it was at about five to six that with the PJP
13 from the 23rd Detachment, deployed from Zrze to Mala Krusa, Velika Krusa,
14 and then from Zrze to Bela Crkva. Now, was there any involvement of the
16 A. Yes, the PJP participated.
17 Q. What did they do, then, on the 25th of March?
18 A. I've already explained this here, and it's in the maps. They had
19 their position in the blockade line, and they had their tasks in fighting
20 the terrorist 124th Brigade or parts of it. It was no longer just a
22 Q. So how do you say people died in Bela Crkva that day, if you
23 accept that they did at all?
24 A. To the best of my knowledge, after all the units had passed
25 through Bela Crkva and set up the blockade line outside Bela Crkva, it was
1 outside the zone of operations. I am not aware that anything occurred
2 there. On the following days, I passed through that part of Bela Crkva
3 through which an asphalt road runs in the direction of Orahovac.
4 Q. You see, and to take it shortly, as you possibly know, there's an
5 account of 14 people being killed by the stream, and that's dealt with in
6 detail as to how that came about; men being separated, men being made to
7 undress and so on. There's other accounts of those bodies being seen, and
8 there's accounts of the bodies being buried, and there's accounts of
9 nearly all the houses being burnt. Is all of this, this evidence,
10 entirely fabricated?
11 A. You say you have statements. Then we should go through each of
12 them in turn. Mr. Milosevic asked me about this too.
13 I am familiar with this entire territory. I know the village, the
14 stream, the field around the village of Bela Crkva, and as I have already
15 said, would it be logical, instead of going along the stream, into the
16 thickets where one could be concealed from view, or if Bela Crkva is here,
17 to go out into the open field. If people are frightened, they wouldn't go
18 there because they could be easily seen. Instead of going in the
19 direction of Orahovac where there are streams, gullies, various kinds of
20 bushes, hedges, copses of trees where they could hide, although of course
21 there was no reason for them to hide.
22 Q. As a matter of fact, the stream is quite sunken below the level of
23 the surrounding fields, is it not, providing some form of cover, and
24 consistent with the description that the men were told they had to get
25 down into the river or streambed to undress before they were executed. So
1 in fact, quite a useful way to escape detection.
2 A. Have you ever been there, Mr. Nice?
3 Q. You're not allowed to ask me questions, but you may have noticed
4 that I asked you those details without reference to any documents. I'm
5 right, aren't I? The bridge is rather a flat bridge and there's a sunken
6 stream and it's a stream down into which you can walk, which explains --
7 let me repeat it for you in case you overlooked, in your focus on finding
8 something to ask me, that they were obliged to get down into the stream
9 and to undress.
10 Now, then, not such a silly way to go by way of an escape route,
11 was it?
12 A. It would go against any kind of logic if one was fleeing. I have
13 been there. I know what this stream looks like. It's also used for
14 irrigation. There is a railway line running across it in one part, but
15 it's in a flat area, a plain where there are fields on which vegetables
16 are grown, and there is nowhere to hide there.
17 In the opposite direction, towards the north, one would find much
18 more favourable conditions for that.
19 Q. Two other points and then we'll leave Bela Crkva. Just to deal
20 with your last point -- or three other points.
21 Of course, a stream of the kind we've described lying, I think,
22 behind first either some houses and some growth or thickets of some kind
23 might not be something along which a tank could actually run, might it?
24 You can't run along a stream like this in a tank, can you?
25 A. Tanks usually are not driven through streams, no.
1 Q. Perhaps you would be good enough to consider a passage -- I've
2 just relayed to you in very summary form evidence from the live witnesses
3 here who were driven out of their village, they say.
4 MR. NICE: If we now look at "As Seen, As Told," the book prepared
5 by OSCE, in the English version at page 278, and lay that on the overhead
6 projector, please.
7 Perhaps we would just go back to page 277, Mr. Nort.
8 Q. You see, OSCE conducted its own independent investigation into
9 Bela Crkva in -- into Bela Crkva. And if you look at the page -- I know
10 it's in English but if you look at it, you'll see it starts at footnote
11 26, and we go to the end of the passage on Bela Crkva it goes to footnote
13 A. I don't see anything here. I don't understand anything it says
14 here. I ask again to be allowed to follow in my own language. You're
15 pulling things out of context here to suit your own purposes. This means
16 nothing to me.
17 Q. Do you have your copy, the one you believed to have been written
18 by Natasa Kandic, of "As Seen, As Told" with you for these pages?
19 A. Your allusions have nothing to do with me. I have no copies here,
21 Q. You see, if we look just first of all at the passage. It's in
22 English, but whether or not you read English I don't know, but you can
23 follow the format. If we look at the passage that's on the screen, the
24 first footnote is 26. The last footnote is 44.
25 If Mr. Nort now turns on, very briefly, to page 282, we'll see
1 that footnotes 26 to 44 sets out a large number of different -- where it's
2 got A/0234 or A/0490, these are all unique figures identifying people to
3 whom the preparers of this book spoke. And so without counting them up,
4 we can see several, or it may be many, some of who were given detailed
5 footnote references.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, it's barely legible.
7 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, yes. If we could just focus a little bit
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that's better.
10 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
11 Q. You see, so between footnote 26 and then footnote 44. You see the
12 way this book was prepared, on the basis of individual -- it may have
13 included some of those relied on by the ICTY, they may have been entirely
15 If Mr. Nort comes back, then, to page 277. The research of those
16 preparing this book, and I'll just take you to one passage of detail at
17 the moment, is to this effect. It's on the right-hand side of the page,
18 if we can enlarge it a little. Thank you. It deals with the incident
19 down at the ditch, as it's described in the previous paragraph.
20 "Fifty-five men were separated from the women and children. The women
21 and children were ordered to leave. The 55 men were forced to strip to
22 the waist and stand with their hands behind their head while they were
23 searched. A bullet was found in the pocket of a 13-year-old boy. Police
24 were told that the boy had picked it up on the road. The men were asked
25 if anyone supported the boy's statement and the boy's uncle stepped
1 forward. The uncle was taken to one side by one of the policemen. A
2 burst of gunfire was heard, and the uncle fell.
3 "The men were told to dress and face the water. With their backs
4 to the police, they were told to walk into the water. They were shoulder
5 to shoulder. One of those who was among the group of men in the water
6 heard an order given in Serbia to shoot. As shooting began, he was one of
7 the first to plunge into the water. He was up to his waist as men fell
8 all around him. A policeman went over to one man who was crying for help,
9 fired again and killed him."
10 You see, we can go into it all again but we don't need to. This
11 is an account of a grave crime in your general area of responsibility, and
12 you can't help us with it at all, I take it.
13 A. I can tell you absolutely nothing about it because this is
14 information which was not gathered on the spot. This is one-sided
15 information collected in Albania. You are relying on the OSCE, but this
16 is information gathered on the basis of hearsay.
17 I was there on that day and the following day until the activities
18 were concluded, and I have not heard of anything like this. I have not
19 seen anything like this. You are referring to the OSCE, wishing to make
20 this information appear legitimate, but I'm telling you that this is
21 one-sided information gathered in Albania by persons who had fled from
22 Kosovo and Metohija.
23 Q. And if Mr. Nort would turn over to page 278, the left-hand side of
24 it. And this is additional to what came from the live witnesses in Court,
25 because they'd all left the village. We read the paragraph to this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 effect: "Surviving villagers who'd either remained or failed to escape
2 Bela Crkva were eventually expelled from the village on or around the 16th
3 of April when the police entered at approximate 1500 hours and told
4 everyone to leave in 30 minutes, under threat of being killed by the VJ.
5 Later the same day, three large, heavily armed groups of soldiers with
6 paint on their faces entered the village. The police forced two young
7 brothers to undress. They fired their guns close to the boys, then
8 released them after forcing them to hand over DM 1.060. As everyone was
9 leaving the village, the police burned the houses after looting them, and
10 cars were confiscated. Villagers were beaten, and police and VJ threw
11 stones at them."
12 What do you say to that?
13 A. I can say that this is all pure fabrication. You are mixing up
14 the police and the army. One moment it's the police doing something, the
15 next moment it's the army.
16 You mentioned the 16th of April; is that right? The 16th of
17 April. I know where my units were and my troops on the 16th of April, and
18 no one was even a few kilometres near Bela Crkva.
19 Q. We'll see what your war diary says in a minute or so. It's taking
20 some time to review it. But the evidence we've had gives an account of
21 the burial of these people, and then there's evidence that's before the
22 Court, it's Exhibit 168, showing how a forensic team, a British forensic
23 team, I see, on the 30th of June and between then and the 3rd of July of
24 1999 performed 59 -- 54 post-mortem examinations on 42 identified and 12
25 unidentified victims from Bela Crkva, and in 98 per cent of those cases
1 death was by gunshot wounds.
2 Now, that's a large number of people on your area of
3 responsibility to be killed by gunshot wounds in an area where you say, as
4 I understand it, no person would have died in that way. Can you explain?
5 A. What you are saying, that a large number of people were killed
6 there from firearms, this means nothing to me. I know where my units were
7 on each day and what they were doing. And if forensic experts established
8 that someone had been killed by firearms, this still doesn't mean that
9 they know who did the shooting, whether the army, the KLA, or whether it
10 happened in some other ways. I am responsible only for the actions of my
11 units. I have explained how my units acted in Bela Crkva, and I even
12 illustrated this graphically. And there is also my report which I
13 submitted to the corps command.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't recall everything, but I
17 don't remember Mr. Nice having provided a forensic report of the English
18 team in connection with Bela Crkva.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was that done, Mr. Nice?
20 MR. NICE: Unless my records are incorrect and, if so, I'll
21 correct it at the break, he has been provided indeed with the exhibit
22 number that I gave him. 98, I think I said it was. And it will, of
23 course, be an exhibit in the case. I'll call for it and we'll see what it
24 amounts to.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Now, let's just have a little think about this book. We'll come
3 back to the book in a second.
4 If we go through the Bela Crkva pages in your file, which take us
5 from 360 to 366, we find, of course, nothing contemporaneous of any kind,
6 do we?
7 A. These are all statements.
8 Q. Nothing contemporaneous of any kind. A simple question. Nothing
9 contemporaneous with the events of any kind?
10 A. Everything connected to these events is contained here. It's all
11 explained. It's all explained in writing and also in diagrams.
12 Q. You remember yesterday when asked about this book here, you said
13 you brought it in case the Defence wanted it, and you were reluctant,
14 weren't you, to hand it over?
15 A. I'm willing to hand it over but in the proper way. I haven't
16 brought it here to give it to you. I brought it here in case I needed it.
17 You could have received it through the Defence if the Defence requires it.
18 Q. There are three possibilities for this book that I want you to
19 consider, and I may ask the learned Judges to consider in due course,
20 depending on your answers. One is that it's a contemporaneous and
21 properly kept book; two is that it was contemporaneous but that it
22 certainly wasn't properly kept when it excluded reference to matters of
23 the kind into which we are inquiring; and the third is that it wasn't
24 contemporaneous at all and was constructed since.
25 Let's deal with one point straight away. Recognising as you did
1 when I showed you the letters that this is a document that the OTP has
2 been seeking for many years, can you give any explanation as to why it
3 wasn't available? Was it in some sense lost or mislaid or overlooked?
4 Any reason why it shouldn't have been provided years ago?
5 A. As for my documents, I said that in 2001 or 2002. No document
6 from my brigade is in dispute, and each one can be submitted.
7 In my bag I have a request made by you for me to get the document
8 out of the archives. I cannot go and say, "Give me my diary." One has to
9 find the record of the documentation in the archives. You have to know
10 the file number. You have to be able to locate the diary in the archives.
11 You have to know what folder it's in.
12 Q. It's a long answer, but it was a simple question. Was -- and I'm
13 going to rephrase it: Was there any practical impediment or obstruction
14 that made it impossible for this book to be provided before we saw it
16 A. There is absolutely no obstacle, no.
17 MR. NICE: I wonder if Mr. Nort would be good enough to come and
18 take this book and hand it to the witness.
19 Q. The disposition of your troops on -- at the area of Bela Crkva on
20 the 25th of March is something, of course, that should be recorded in this
21 diary, isn't it? Can you just help us with the reference there?
22 A. The entry for the 25th is as follows: "The areas are in there --
23 the troops are in their places of deployment and they are acting pursuant
24 to the alert. At 5.00, the commander went to the positions in the area of
25 Retimlje to destroy the Siptar forces there. At 1100 hours, a signal was
1 given, an air raid warning, rather, was given. At 1200 hours, our
2 barracks were attacked by NATO. The civilian MUP facility was hit with
3 three rockets. A rocket hit the Ceja facility. The consequences were
4 such that none of our men were injured. During the combat operations
5 three men were slightly wounded, one was seriously wounded. They were
6 transported to the Nis military hospital. The morale of the men and
7 officers is high, and the rear and logistics are acting according to
9 This is what was recorded on that day.
10 Q. You say that covers Bela Crkva or not?
11 A. This covers that entire day, and Bela Crkva was covered by my
12 order, my map, and my analysis.
13 Q. Does -- Mr. Delic, maybe you're having trouble with a proposition
14 that I'm advancing, and if so, we must get over the problem.
15 Do you understand the difference between a contemporaneous record
16 and a document that's been written years later?
17 A. I absolutely understand that, but this is a document that was
18 written at the material time, and it is the way it's been written. Now,
19 whether it's of top quality is a completely different question.
20 Q. Does it contain any reference to the operation that you say was
21 lawful in Bela Crkva on the 15th, 16th of April -- I beg your pardon, on
22 the 25th of March? Does it?
23 A. Operations are mentioned where the brigade is involved. Bela
24 Crkva is not mentioned because there were no operations in Bela Crkva.
25 Q. No. Retimlje is mentioned.
1 A. Retimlje or, rather, the entire operation is called Retimlje.
2 Q. Let's look at one other detail and then I'll ask for the book
3 back, please.
4 According to the analysis of "As Seen, As Told," it was on the
5 16th of April that armed groups of soldiers and the VJ arrived. Can you
6 -- we haven't done this yet. Can you find us the 16th of April in your
7 diary, your war diary? Find it.
8 A. Yes, here it is, the 16th of April.
9 Q. Just for completeness, does that -- read it to yourself or -- I
10 don't want to take time reading it out loud. Does that contain any
11 reference to VJ forces being -- your forces being in the area of Bela
13 A. I'm reading the entire entry for the 16th of April.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please be asked to read
15 slower. The interpreters do not have the text.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Delic, please read more slowly for the
17 benefit of the interpreters.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. My only -- I don't desire you to read it in full. We will have
20 the resources to review it at some stage, I hope. I just simply want to
21 know if it makes any reference to your forces going to Bela Crkva.
22 A. There is no reference because my forces didn't go to Bela Crkva.
23 Q. Thank you. Let's move on.
24 MR. NICE: And, Your Honours, I'm going to necessarily pass over
25 various parts of the detail. Landovica I'm going to pass over. But if we
1 could now turn to binder 6 and go to 395, we come to Suva Reka.
2 If I could have the -- if Mr. Nort could bring me back that
3 document, please.
4 Q. Now, again if we look at 395, we have an untranslated document.
5 395 is the statement of -- statement to the commission made in March of
6 1999. And who is it by, please, Mr. Delic?
7 A. You said the document was 395?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. This was not written when you said it was. It was written on the
10 15th of January, 2003.
11 Q. Whose document is this?
12 A. This is a statement of Colonel Stojan Konjikovac, at that time
13 commander of combat group 5.
14 Q. And then the next statement, which is also still untranslated.
15 396, 397, similarly 2003 statement 398, similarly all untranslated, 399,
16 all untranslated, until we get to 400, untranslated; 401, still
17 untranslated; 402, still untranslated, and then we come to the next map.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I simply draw to your attention that it
19 is quite impossible to deal in any detail with a case advanced in
20 documents of this kind if they are untranslated as late in the stage as
21 this. I simply have not had the time or resources to have even draft
22 translations done of these for our own benefit and therefore wholly in the
23 dark with what they say.
24 Q. But I can deal with Suva Reka comparatively briefly with you,
25 Mr. Delic. Again, no contemporaneous record of any kind apart from what
1 may exist in the war diary that we were looking at. Would that be
3 A. We do not have any other documentation. We have the orders, we
4 have the maps, we have the small map, the statement made by me and the
5 statement made by the commander who passed through Suva Reka.
6 Q. And of course somebody else has all the other documents, the
7 intelligence listening records, the reports up and down the chain of
8 command, and any other daily diaries or records that were kept by the
9 units answering to you. We -- somebody else has those. We don't have
11 A. There's absolutely no other documentation. Everything that these
12 combat groups had, those that were in the area, and since I was in the
13 area, too, they reported to me personally. All of this is radio
14 communication. And upon completion of operations, then an analysis was
15 written and sent on to the corps command.
16 You are alluding that something has been hidden. There is no need
17 to hide anything. This was a perfectly legitimate operation that was
18 carried out on orders from the corps.
19 Q. How did this group of senior officers sitting round a table for
20 the VJ commission, how did they really think that the OTP and the learned
21 Judges would be assisted by what we can describe in a sense as secondhand
22 material, that is material that's drafted after the event, rather than the
23 raw material, war diaries, matters of that sort, when the OTP had been
24 pressing the authorities for that raw material day in and day out? How
25 did your group think that this was a better way of presenting the
2 A. You obviously don't understand how the military functions. An
3 army has its own regulations, and one knows exactly what is done and what
4 kind of documents are kept in the army. There are no other documents
5 about this event that somebody now put aside. This was not done for your
6 benefit. This was addressed to --
7 Q. Do you understand the word "contemporaneous"?
8 A. All documentation is here that is contemporaneous and has already
9 been shown to this Court, everything that pertains to this.
10 Q. Do you understand the word "contemporaneous," Mr. Delic? Yes or
12 A. I don't know if you understand what you're saying. I fully
13 understand what you're saying.
14 Q. Now, is a record that comes from one of your sub-units to you
15 written on the day in question saying, "We did this, we found that," is
16 that something that is contemporaneous?
17 A. These are combat groups, units of reinforced companies that do not
18 keep such documents. Since I was in the field, they reported to me either
19 personally or through radio communications. A single report was sent to
20 the command after completing the operation.
21 Q. I think this may be either new or different, Mr. Delic, from what
22 you told us at the beginning when we looked at the regulations for the
23 various records that had to be kept. Are you now saying that there were
24 no other written records of any kind extant at the time that these
25 documents were prepared?
1 A. Really, Mr. Nice, you should think before you put questions, or
2 you were absent during all these days. I'm going to tell you what tabs
3 are from that relevant time and that pertain to this period.
4 Q. No. I think, if you wouldn't mind, we'll have an answer to my
5 question. It was a very simple one. And would you like, please, to open
6 your bundle at tab 395. No. Let's go to --
7 A. Fine. I just want to tell you that what you have been talking
8 about is in tab -- what you have been talking about is in tab 356, 357,
9 tab 358, and tab 359. These are documents from the relevant time.
10 Q. Let's see what we've got here. One is the Joint Command order,
11 which we've spent a lot of time on, dated the 23rd of March, and that's
12 what was planned to happen. 358 is -- that's 356. 357 is another
13 command, your command of the same date, planning what is to happen. 358
14 is a map setting out what you say was planned to happen. 359 is a
15 document of the 30th of March and is a record of some events.
16 Now -- and indeed it deals with Velika Krusa but we'll possibly
17 come back and look at that, and Retimlje.
18 Apart from 359, which, incidentally, has strictly confidential
19 number, I see, but no number on it. Can you help us with that? What's
20 its serial number? It says "strictly confidential number" but then it
21 doesn't actually give a number.
22 A. I cannot explain that except if this number was written in pencil
23 and was therefore lost in photocopying.
24 Q. Apart from 359, to the extent that it covers the matters we're
25 looking at, is there any other contemporaneous document that you can turn
1 us to that deals with Suva Reka?
2 A. No, there is no other document that deals with Suva Reka.
3 Q. Are you saying that there were no bits of paper left that said
4 such things as report from you -- one of the units to you as the commander
5 setting out what happened? No such bits of paper were left? Is that what
6 you're now saying?
7 A. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that units kept those
8 documents that they were ordered to keep. In one of the previous binders
9 there was an order stating that an order had to exist, a map, and also an
10 analysis of the operation carried out. That is the only thing that we
11 were told to do for each and every operation. That is the order of the
12 superior command. It is in one of the tabs that have already been shown.
13 Q. Let's go to -- and we've had your answers on records you kept
14 right at the beginning of cross-examination. Let's go to 395. It's not
15 your statement but it doesn't matter, and it's not translated but it
16 doesn't matter because there are two points on this statement that are
17 self-apparent even to the non-reader of Serbian.
18 First -- have you got 395 there? First, this statement and all
19 these statements, as far as I can understand it --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- makes no reference by footnote - and you've done your doctoral
22 thesis so you know about footnotes - by footnote or otherwise to the
23 sources on which it relies, does it? It doesn't say I've looked at this
24 record, I've looked at that record for this detail, see report so-and-so.
25 No reference to records at all.
1 A. Why is it necessary at all for a person who was on the spot to
2 have this kind of information? He himself was a source of information and
3 describes his activity.
4 Q. Well, you see, although we haven't yet got the advantage of a
5 translation, and although of course we don't read Serbian let alone in
6 Cyrillic, we only have to look at the first paragraph to see that there's
7 references to 1200 hours, in the next paragraph to 1800 hours, I think,
8 the next paragraph to 1300 hours, just as one of the details this document
9 provides in 2003, looking back four years. Where did the person get that
10 sort of detail from if, as you are now saying, there were no written
12 A. Well, is it necessary for a person who directly commanded that
13 unit to have something jog his memory regarding these details? I recall
14 all details from the war period. Perhaps sometimes I forget a name or may
15 forget a name, but I remember all the details. Mr. Nice, you did not
16 survive bombing by NATO whereas I did, together with my commanders and
17 officers. Only a few of these details are mentioned, a few different
18 points in time, and to me this looks like a perfectly normal thing, the
19 usual kind of thing.
20 Q. Well, let's now look at the evidence about Suva Reka because we
21 don't have the advantage of translation of your account in detail, or your
22 officers' account in detail.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Are there any better examples than this, Mr. Nice,
24 that might illustrate the point? In other words, statements that have
25 been translated?
1 MR. NICE: I'll try and find something over the break. It's a
2 point that only occurred to me in light of the witness's answer about
3 there being no records, but I will try to find some more, and we will look
4 up for the dates upon which we have got evidence.
5 Q. But what do you say happened at Suva Reka, in a sentence, on the
6 24th of March and thereabouts, 25th of March?
7 A. On the 24th of March I was not in Suva Reka. On the 25th of
8 March, my unit only passed through Suva Reka. My unit was not involved in
9 any operations or any activities in Suva Reka except for the fact that
10 they passed through Suva Reka and went in the direction of the village of
12 In a tab that was provided here, that can be seen even on a
14 Q. Well, yes. And when did you return to Suva Reka?
15 A. Tab 427 shows my unit, and it shows where my unit was at a certain
16 point in time.
17 Q. Yes, but you see, tab 427 was prepared sometime in 2002, 2003,
18 when there were no other records, apparently, around. So somebody's
19 working from memory or -- I don't know what they're working from. You
20 tell us.
21 MR. NICE: Perhaps Mr. Nort would like to put this on the overhead
22 projector so that we can display how detailed is the map that was prepared
23 by the VJ commission in 2002 and 2003 when there were no written records
25 Q. You're saying this document was prepared, what, just from memory?
1 A. This document was not only prepared from memory. It was based on
2 the four relevant documents that I just mentioned. What you are saying,
3 that this is a good map, well, of course we use good maps. 1:50000, where
4 you can see something. We don't use the kind of maps that you display and
5 that may mislead witnesses. This is a military map, and the scale is
6 1:50000. This is an excerpt that shows Suva Reka. There is nothing I see
7 here that confirms what you've been saying. The unit left at
8 such-and-such a time from the garrison, they arrived at such-and-such a
9 time before Suva Reka, and at the time that was mentioned in the order
10 they arrived at their basic position. They only obeyed the orders that
11 were given at that time.
12 Q. What happened in the next few days at Suva Reka; anything or
14 A. As far as my unit is concerned, nothing happened in Suva Reka
15 because my unit only passed through Suva Reka and continued its combat
16 operations as envisaged in the order I gave and the order that came from
17 the corps. This unit that passed through Suva Reka on the 27th moved
18 towards the village of Dobrodeljane and the following day towards the
19 village of Pagarusa.
20 This unit did not return this way through Suva Reka, rather via
21 Pagarusa, the village of Milanovac, it got out to the Malisevo-Orahovac
22 road and took that road back to the Prizren garrison.
23 Q. The evidence includes evidence from Shyhrete Berisha - you made
24 some reference to that witness - Halit Berisha and Hysni Berisha and Agron
25 Berisha, who described the terrible massacre that occurred there. Now,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 what do you say about that massacre?
2 A. Last time I said what I knew about that.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... recorded, please.
4 A. That has nothing to do with my unit or with the army.
5 Q. When did you first learn about this apparent private feud that led
6 to this extraordinary tragedy? When did you first learn about it?
7 A. Well, I learnt about that after the war. I knew some things
8 earlier on, too, but I did not link them up.
9 Q. Tell us about what you learnt earlier on and where you learnt it;
10 who told you, where you read it, all that sort of thing.
11 A. From earlier on I knew that the person I mentioned then had a
12 motel of his own. That is not something that can be contested. That is
13 something that everyone living in that territory knows. Also, I knew that
14 two or three assassination attempts were made against that person's life.
15 One was either the end of 1998 or the beginning of 1999. I learnt about
16 that as a matter of course during my informal meetings with the chief of
17 MUP when this person was wounded and when the vendor at the kiosk where he
18 was buying cigarettes was killed.
19 At the time the OSCE came, when passing there, I saw that the OSCE
20 team was put up at that locality. But at that time I did not link up the
21 two. This was one of the possibilities, for the mission to be staying
23 Later on, when going to Pristina -- rather, to Dulje, I saw that
24 the mission had moved elsewhere. Again, I did not make any connection
25 because I thought that there were more members of the mission who came and
1 that they needed accommodation elsewhere too. That's what I thought at
2 the time.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Time for the break. We will adjourn for 20
5 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, a couple of outstanding queries. The
9 accused's concern about evidence of post-mortem on the bodies at the last
10 site is contained in, as I said, Exhibit 168, which is the expert report
11 of Baccard which itself is synthesised or summarised by a number of other
12 medicolegal analyses resulting from forensic missions in Kosovo in 1999.
13 In response to His Honour Judge Bonomy's question about one of the
14 2002, 2003 statements that have been translated that might contain some
15 details, Your Honours might generally like to look at about 369 and
16 thereabouts. 369 itself is quite a good example. It's Vlatko Vukovic,
17 the battalion commander we've been hearing about, and on that particular
18 one, if you look at it you will see several references to times and
19 various other details, some of which might be obtained from a map, some of
20 which might not.
21 There are others of that kind there, although it's true to say
22 that the vast majority of these statements have not yet -- have not yet
23 been produced in translated form.
24 Your Honours, the next administrative matter is although we were
25 able to do some work on the document produced by the witness as a war
1 diary in court, it would help us to have a copy of it. May it be returned
2 to the Registry at the end of this session, and may we be provided with a
3 copy of it for working on later today?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Returning to Suva Reka, Mr. Delic, there was a Defence witness,
7 Hutsch, who gave evidence of artillery support being present in the area
8 and of houses being on fire. Can you explain that? 28th of March, 1999,
9 is the relevant date.
10 A. You said a Defence witness, did you?
11 Q. I did.
12 A. You have to be more specific when you say artillery support and
13 houses were burning.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... get the transcript out and
15 I'll do that maybe. Just tell us this: Was there any artillery support
16 being deployed on the 28th of March in the area of Suva Reka? If so, how
18 A. When you say the Suva Reka area, Suva Reka is a municipality, a
19 broader area, and the artillery was deployed but it was deployed towards
20 the defence lines which are located between the village of Dobrodeljane
21 and Pagarusa, along my axis, but it was deployed along the axes of other
22 units too, so I'd have to take a look at the map to be able to answer
23 that, and it wasn't my brigade then. As far as my brigade is concerned,
24 it was deployed probably the Rad [phoen] feature and towards the village
25 of Pagarusa, the mountain there, which is the opposite side of Suva Reka.
1 Q. Well, it may be helpful if at this stage in any event we look at
2 the quality of your war diary generally so the Court can know what we're
3 dealing with.
4 Perhaps if Mr. Nort would lay it on the overhead projector for two
5 days before the 16th of March. And we'll then look at that and the next
6 two days, bearing in mind you just spoke about your troops being deployed
7 in Pagarusa. Let's just see the totality of your war diary.
8 26th of March, Prizren, between midnight and midnight. Would you
9 be good enough, please, to read out the entries for us and they'll be
10 interpreted for us.
11 A. "A blockade is under way of the STS in the village of Retimlje
12 area in cooperation with the MUP units, electronic interference on the
13 part of NATO is being undertaken, a blockade is under way of the STS in
14 the area of Dobrodeljane and Pagarusa village."
15 Q. So there is a blockade, is there, at Pagarusa?
16 Next page, please, Mr. Nort.
17 Pagarusa is where exactly? Just remind myself.
18 A. Pagarusa is to the north of Dobrodeljane, towards Malisevo.
19 Q. Now, if you'd like to read the 27th.
20 A. Activities are continuing to break up the STS in the area of
21 Retimlje and the Dobrodeljane-Pagarusa axis. NATO aviation is
22 reconnoitering and is functional against the barracks.
23 Q. And then the next entry. 28th. If you push it up the page a
25 A. Do you want me to read the whole diary, Mr. Nice?
1 Q. Mr. Delic, I repeat: I don't object to your making observations
2 like that. They don't distress me or upset me, if that's what you're
3 seeking to do, but it does take time.
4 Would you please read the entry for the 28th of March.
5 A. "Activities are continuing to break up the STS in the region of
6 Dobrodeljane Pagarusa. NATO aviation is constantly reconnoitering and
7 electronically interfering and and targeting barracks targets."
8 Q. Now, this -- so first of all, the thing we can see is there is
9 absolutely no reference there at all to action in the Suva Reka area.
10 A. Dobrodeljane and Pagarusa are on the territory of Suva Reka, and
11 that's what's mentioned. Suva Reka is not mentioned because that is not
12 where my forces were.
13 Q. Very well. So you say that's the general area but it's not dealt
14 with specifically.
15 The second point we can see is that at this stage, and it may
16 change later on and I'm not going to ask you to read any more for the time
17 being, if we just go back to the top of the page, we can see the 28th is
18 very similar in form to, and it's a very short form, to the 27th. Was
19 this really the only headquarters record that was being kept?
20 A. Yes. The only records. And you forget, Mr. Nice, that my
21 barracks was destroyed during those days, and my command had to move from
22 one feature to another and saw where best to put up and establish new
23 communication lines in view of the fact that both my telecommunications
24 centre was hit too.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 A. So my whole barracks were --
2 Q. No documents -- [Previous translation continues] ...
3 A. -- were destroyed. The documents that existed, or part of the
4 documents, were certainly destroyed in the barracks, but they were
5 documents that are not relevant to this period and don't address this
7 Q. They weren't destroyed in the bombing, were they, because you've
8 been able to produce all your pre-existing maps that lined the wall,
9 showing what the plan was. So you can't be suggesting that there were
10 documents destroyed.
11 A. But we can say that the people were not able to keep diaries or
12 records in the detailed way that should have been done. So these are just
13 short remarks that they managed to jot down during those days because
14 there was constant bombing from the 24th onwards.
15 Q. At the beginning of your questioning by me I took you to the
16 relevant provisions of the book which you said was a textbook, and you
17 gave an account that, unless we misunderstood it, explained that, yes,
18 records were kept from your sub-units to you and from you up. Didn't up
19 say that on that earlier occasion?
20 A. Yes, quite correct, and I stand by that now.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... what you're trying to say,
22 unless I misunderstood it, that records weren't being kept. Can you
23 explain the difference?
24 A. That's what you say, Mr. Nice. You hear something that I did not
25 utter, it seems, and records were always kept. But at the time when my
1 barracks were bombed and when my command was destroyed and when my
2 communications centre was destroyed, you can see that it is somewhat
3 different and that the entries are shorter, and that later on, as time
4 passed, when the command was established at another location, then the
5 records were kept the way they should be kept.
6 Q. Well, let's just take one example because His Honour asked me
7 about it, and I've forgotten the number I gave the Court, but -- 369.
8 Thank you. Can you just look at 369, please.
9 You see -- have you got 369 open in front of you? I don't think
10 so. It doesn't look like that to me, I don't think. 369.
11 A. Yes, I've found it.
12 Q. Ah. Well, there's a -- I think there may be a problem here. The
13 369 I've got in translation is from Vlatko Vukovic but the 369 you're
14 looking at is from whom? Oh, yes, it's Vlatko Vukovic with the name
15 reversed. Right.
16 Now, if you look at this document here that Vukovic prepared in
17 January 2003, he deals with some details, and if you look down, say, to
18 the third paragraph, we see references to 0630 hours, 0730 hours, I went
19 to the village at 1000 hours, 1400 hours I came across a group of
20 civilians, 200 civilians in the group. Then over the page -- no, we
21 needn't worry with over the page. That's his expressions about "As Seen,
22 As Told."
23 Where did Mr. Vukovic get the times to put them down in this
25 A. Mr. Vukovic was there. He's a first-rate officer. He's not
1 half-witted for anybody to have to remind him about what he did at what
2 time, and I think he'll come into this Tribunal anyway.
3 Q. So you think that he and all the other commanders and you did
4 everything in these statements from memory, do you?
5 A. They did have the relevant documents, such as orders by the
6 brigade commander, a map, and an analysis. So that then was sufficient
7 material for them to remind themselves of the activities at that time, and
8 everybody wrote down their own statement to the best of their
9 recollections, and there wasn't much time. I remember the entire war very
10 vividly and each operation that I took part in.
11 Q. What do you mean by the document analysis?
12 A. An analysis of the operation. The third document that there
13 should be, an analysis sent up to the superior officer after every
14 operation or event.
15 Q. The relevant document of analysis, for example, for Suva Reka is
16 where in the bundles? Can you tell me?
17 A. Mr. Nice, an analysis of the overall operation is where I told you
18 it was. An analysis for Suva Reka doesn't exist because, as far as my
19 unit is concerned, nothing happened in Suva Reka, so you must understand
20 this once and for all.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... overall event in Suva Reka?
22 So we can just see at the time what detail it contains.
23 A. This will make it the tenth time. This is the tenth time,
24 Mr. Nice, that I'm showing you the same thing. From tab 356 --
25 Q. Have you been advised to take the attitude you take with me as a
1 questioner or is it your own choice?
2 A. My attitude is proper. I am not provoking you as you are trying
3 to provoke me, but it's not having any effect on me.
4 We end with tab 3 -- from tab 356 to tab 359 inclusive.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I should say, in all fairness, I see
6 nothing improper in the witness's demeanour in the way he has answered
7 you. You're cross-examining vigorously and he's also answering in similar
9 MR. NICE: If that's the view the Court takes, I will press on.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Delic, going back briefly just to number 369,
11 that document records that there was some action, that Colonel Vukovic was
12 involved in combat on the 25th of March with terrorists. Now, following
13 -- following that action on the 25th of March, would he make a written
14 report to you?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Because I was with him on the
16 25th of March. I was there.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, in a situation where you were not there and
18 something of this nature occurred under the supervision of the colonel
19 rather than you, would he be expected to report if there had been action
20 between him and terrorists?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly. Mr. Bonomy, let's make
22 one thing clear: If we look at tab -- the tab I just mentioned a moment
23 ago, in my order there, it says --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: 356, I think that is.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 357. Yes, 357 it is. And if you
1 look at point 9: "Regular reports should be sent daily by 1900 hours with
2 the situation as at 1700 hours. Interim reports when the need arises, as
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, where are these reports now?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They are oral reports. You must
6 remember that. So they're oral reports by each commander to a combat
8 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be -- it may be in the translation again,
9 but the verb "submit" would tend to suggest something in writing.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Reports, when I am present with the
11 commanders in the field, are sent orally.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand, yes. But there must -- oh, you mean
13 if you're in the field at all, even if you're several kilometres away, the
14 reports would still be sent to you orally?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. While we're altogether in a
16 uniform system of communication and we're functioning in a united uniform
17 system, the commanders report to me throughout the day and report about
18 everything that is happening on their territory. And if you look at these
19 tabs, then the action was always interrupted at 1800 hours, and so up to
20 1900 hours they were supposed to send their report -- to report as to what
21 the situation in their units was. I knew about everything else because I
22 was with them there and was able to follow and monitor their action.
23 On the map that I showed you, I was at one particular point,
24 location, it was a hill, and I was able to follow the units down below me,
25 to see them.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you not have somebody with you who actually
2 recorded these communications as they came in to you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. That wasn't customary or usual,
4 and that in actual fact never happened.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. You see, to go back to 359, which you say is the analysis, and
8 we've looked at it a couple of times before, if you were working on that
9 document to prepare, for example, document 369, Vukovic's report which
10 details what he did at the line of blockade and the times he did it,
11 "right flank platoon and the police unit coming under fire from the
12 Celine sector," and all that sort of thing and the timings of that, can we
13 find all that in here? I'm not denying that it may be in there but it's
14 your document and I want you to help us find it.
15 A. You're interested in the analysis, are you? The analysis deals
16 with how the action evolved from the 25th and ending with the 28th and
17 29th inclusive.
18 Q. You referred us to the analysis when I was pursuing the topic of
19 the detail of tab 369, if you remember, one of the documents in
20 translation that the Court had asked me to find as an example of one
21 having detail in it. So 369 has the detail. You referred us to the
22 analysis. Can we find in the analysis, tab 359, the detail contained in
23 the statement 369?
24 A. An analysis is sent to the Pristina Corps, and it is not sent for
25 that commander. What it says here is for the entire unit, and the
1 analysis has been combined for the overall action, for all men and all
2 combat groups. And in the analysis there is certain details that are not
3 contained in any report. But an analysis is a general document. It is a
4 general analysis not following just one commander but following the
5 general operation and action day by day and what happened on what
6 particular day.
7 Q. Well, let me just explain why I'm asking you these questions. I'm
8 asking you because I suggested to you at page 77, line 7, asking you if
9 you were saying that the commanders produced these statements from memory.
10 You said, "They have the relevant documents such as the orders by the
11 brigade commander, the map, and an analysis."
12 I asked you what you meant by the analysis and you said -- because
13 I wasn't aware that you were referring to this document, but you said,
14 just to remind you, that you said that this will be the tenth time that
15 you'd taken us to it, and then we came back to it.
16 That's why I'm asking you the questions. Very simple.
17 Now, does this analysis document contain material upon which
18 Mr. Vukovic could have relied to write his statement?
19 A. It certainly contains elements which relate not only to Vukovic
20 but to all the commanders. If you take a look, you will see that the
21 analysis is a detail, but it doesn't deal with any commander separately
22 but deals with the entire operation, all the combat action, and contains a
23 great number of details.
24 Q. Yes. It's quite a long document. Incidentally, you had time to
25 write this analysis at the time, although it has no confidential number on
1 it but you didn't have time to write substantial entries in the war
2 diaries. Can you explain?
3 A. This analysis is written by the operations officer, the operative,
4 and he -- this time this was written by Colonel Konjikovac who was head of
5 the operational organ. The war diary was kept by the duty officer, and he
6 was located in the unit, and he had other things to attend to, so the
7 analysis was compiled after the combat operations had been concluded.
8 Q. We'll just take one paragraph from 369. On the 25th of March --
9 if you'd look at 369. 369. Keep your finger in 359.
10 On the 25th of March, third paragraph -- fourth paragraph: "On
11 the 25th of March... after the completion of a march, BG-2 took the line
12 of blockade: Brod elevation trig point 432 tt - 440 by 0630 hours. The
13 first contact with STS was at about 0730 when the right flank platoon and
14 police unit came under fire from the village of Celine sector. Fire was
15 returned. The fighting lasted for under an hour when the STS were routed
16 and probably retreated to the village of Randubrava. The village was
17 searched by the police unit. I went through the village at about 1000
18 hours and did not find the civilian population there."
19 Can we find that if we come back to 359? Can we find any of those
20 details? Probably here but I just can't -- or maybe they're not there.
21 A. You can't find details like this in a general document sent to the
22 corps command. The document would have to be huge if it were to include
23 what every squad or company leader saw on his axis. This is a general
24 analysis, describing how the combat operation was conducted as a whole,
25 what forces were engaged, what the enemy forces were, and how the combat
1 took place.
2 This is a lower-level commander describing his axis on only one
3 day only for his unit. And what he is referring to accounts for 10 or 15
4 per cent of the overall forces.
5 Q. May we have the war diary back, please, or the document described
6 as the war diary on the overhead projector.
7 You asked for the transcript of the witness, the Defence witness
8 Hutsch who, asked questions about where he was between the 25th and the
9 28th of March, said this, and I'll read it slowly: "I saw the
10 aftereffects of Suva Reka around the 28th. At that time, it was clear
11 that there had been attacks from the north, from the heights around the
12 Dulje pass, down into Suva Reka. It was also clear, and I'd actually been
13 able to hear that, that the artillery positions at Dulje pass had provided
14 artillery support for an attack on Suva Reka. It was also clear that at
15 that time houses were on fire, particularly on the margins of the village.
16 There were also isolated houses on fire. I saw them with my own eyes."
17 Well, now --
18 A. What witness are you referring to?
19 Q. It's a man called Hutsch, and he was called by the accused and who
20 was serving the purpose of a journalist, a form of journalist.
21 Now, what can you tell us that would explain that evidence?
22 A. Everything I can say runs completely contrary to this. The
23 artillery was never pointed towards Suva Reka. Suva Reka was never
24 targeted from any kind of artillery because our forces were in Suva Reka
25 throughout this time, police forces and the local government authorities.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 As for my unit, I said that operations were carried out from the village
2 of Rastane towards the village of Studencani, the village of Dobrodeljane,
3 and the village of Pagarusa. Artillery fire was directed in a direction
4 opposite from Suva Reka.
5 As for this unit, it was facing Malisevo and moving parallel to my
6 unit but in the opposite direction from Suva Reka. In 1998 and 1999, Suva
7 Reka was never the object of any kind of shelling. And there were police
8 forces there throughout this time. It was never under threat.
9 Q. Or is the reality that you and the police were engaged in an
10 unrecorded exercise in ethnic cleansing?
11 A. Were we perhaps fighting with the police? Were we fighting among
12 ourselves? I do not challenge that this witness heard artillery fire.
13 What I do challenge absolutely is that a single shell or grenade ever
14 landed in Suva Reka, especially one fired by my unit. Why would someone
15 fire on a town in which there were state authorities and the police, in
16 which there were never any problems, which had never been taken by the
17 terrorists? I simply fail to understand this. There's no logic in it.
18 Q. My last question on Suva Reka is this: You know, don't you, about
19 bodies being found in Batajnica and Petrovo Selo and elsewhere in Serbia
20 coming from Kosovo. Can you explain how it should be that bodies from
21 Suva Reka, within your area of responsibility, were subsequently found in
23 A. The army has nothing to do with Batajnica. I read in the
24 newspapers about what you have just mentioned, and I also heard that it
25 was mentioned before this Tribunal, but I have no knowledge of it, and I
1 simply don't know how bodies from Suva Reka could have ended up there.
2 Q. Remind us, please, what is the premises at Batajnica upon which
3 these bodies were found?
4 A. You should tell me that. I know they were found in Batajnica
5 somewhere close to the Danube, in a location there.
6 Q. You have no idea what sort of property they were found on, what
7 sort of premises? Really?
8 A. As for Batajnica, I do know the village or town of Batajnica, but
9 I'm not familiar with the banks of the Danube there. I know that we have
10 certain facilities in Batajnica, an airport and electronic surveillance
11 equipment. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Now, let's go back. For you and/or the police to dig up bodies
13 and move them from Kosovo to Batajnica would be quite a large exercise,
14 wouldn't it?
15 A. As for me, I would give up right away. I am not an undertaker,
16 and I would never ever engage in such morbid activities, nor would my
18 As for this, I reject any possibility that my units were involved
19 in such activities.
20 Q. The activity -- let's assume -- it's a matter for the Judges in
21 due course. Let's assume that the activity happened. Somebody did it.
22 My question to you was carefully phrased. It would be quite a large
23 exercise, whoever did it, to dig bodies up, put them in trucks, drive them
24 up to Serbia.
25 A. Certainly it would be a major undertaking, and anyone doing such a
1 thing would have a purpose, a goal.
2 Q. There were only two bodies on the ground exercising authority,
3 because you've told us there were no paramilitaries. They were the army
4 and the police.
5 A. Whenever I mention paramilitaries, I am absolutely certain of this
6 with respect to my own area of responsibility, although the orders were
7 the same for the entire territory of the Pristina Corps.
8 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, there were just the two
9 bodies exercising authority. If it was the police who engaged in this
10 exercise of digging up bodies and taking them to a military or near to a
11 military establishment at Batajnica, they would run the risk of being
12 surprised by the army, wouldn't they?
13 A. What you are saying now are insinuations. You mention military
14 facilities. You mention the police. Let's understand each other: The
15 police and the army are not authorities. They are state organs, but they
16 are not exercising authority. That's not how I understand them. They are
17 simply organs with certain competencies. The police has to secure public
18 law and order and the army has to secure the state borders and the state.
19 They are not exercising authority.
20 Q. All right. Who else apart from the police and the army on your
21 part of Kosovo could ever have organised logistically the digging up of
22 bodies and the carting of them away to Serbia? Who else apart from the
23 army or the police?
24 A. It certainly wasn't done by the army, and I'm sure it wasn't done
25 by the police either. If it was done --
1 Q. Can you please - you were there, you keep telling us we weren't -
2 can you identify any other body, organisation, group that could have dug
3 up bodies buried in typically public places and take them to Serbia?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This question implies that a
7 previous question has been clarified. It could be put to the witness if
8 Mr. Nice has evidence that this happened while the witness was there. He
9 is claiming that the witness was there when it took place. What if it all
10 happened afterwards? It came out in the newspapers in the spring of 2001.
11 MR. NICE: Can we --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us hear whether the witness can answer the
13 question. Are you in a position to answer the question, General?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the transferral of the
15 bodies, I cannot answer any questions about this because the army did not
16 engage in such activities, and I believe neither did the police. The fact
17 that it was only mentioned in 2001 might provide an answer to some of the
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. My final question on this point which I'd like you to answer, the
21 same basis as the others, is if it's the case that the police moved the
22 bodies, they would have to have the knowledge and complicity of the army
23 to avoid being surprised and stopped in what they were doing.
24 A. Mr. Nice, this is quite like your other insinuations that the army
25 and the police were together doing something that was illegal. I
1 absolutely reject such a possibility.
2 Q. And as to the accused's interjection, the Kumanovo agreement was
3 in June 1999, and so from that moment on neither the VJ nor the MUP had
4 access to the territory, did they?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you were there until that agreement.
7 A. Yes --
8 Q. You see --
9 A. -- I was there.
10 Q. -- apart from bodies going from Suva Reka to Serbia, bodies from
11 Meja went there as well, also in your area of responsibility as I must
12 suggest. I think this is material that has come to light since the close
13 of the Kosovo case, but nevertheless I think it's a matter of public
14 record. Bodies from Meja went to Serbia. And, Mr. Delic, I'm going to
15 suggest to you in clear terms in light of all that you say about the
16 authority of the police, the absence of paramilitaries, that the movement
17 of those bodies must have been done with your knowledge and consent.
18 A. You are absolutely not right. You are not right. What you are
19 saying has nothing to do with my work or my actions.
20 Q. Of course you were jointly engaged with the police, weren't you,
21 on many occasions?
22 A. The police is a state organ with its own competencies, and the
23 nature of the activities in 1998 and 1999 was such that at certain points
24 in time we had to cooperate.
25 Q. Would you look, please, on the overhead projector at the first of
1 two entries that use the word "asanacija," and I'd like you to read the
2 entries and then to explain them to us, please.
3 The first one, as we can see, it's not very clear but it's the
4 best we can do, is the 4th of May. Would you like to read that for us,
6 A. "The brigade commander warned the subordinate units in the area
7 of responsibility about the irreproachable organisation of work,
8 discipline and complete combat control of the territory --"
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow down.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The 2nd Motorised Battalion --"
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: General, the interpreters are asking you to speak
13 more slowly.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "... engaged in engineering work in
15 the area of defence and the sanitisation of the terrain. The morale of
16 the unit is very high. The armoured battalion..." and so on and so forth.
17 What is your question, Mr. Nice?
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. Can we look at -- pause for a minute. Now can we go to the second
20 entry that Mr. Nort has. If you could just turn it over. There's another
21 one where the word "asanacija" is used. Can you find the date for this
23 MR. NICE: Go back a page, please, Mr. Nort, and we'll just see
24 what date is there, and then we'll come back to that paragraph.
25 What is the date on that page? I can't see it at the moment. Ah,
1 there it is. This appears to be the 18th of May. Over the page, please,
2 Mr. Nort. Right.
3 Q. Now, this entry here, I think it's in the -- maybe the next
4 paragraph. Could you read a little more slowly for the interpreters,
6 A. What do you want me to read?
7 Q. I think -- I can't see on this the "asanacija" word. I think it
8 may be in the second paragraph. If you can see it, that's the paragraph I
9 want you to read.
10 A. "The 2nd Battalion reported that work was focused on engineering
11 and obstacle construction in the area and the destruction of unexploded
12 projectiles. Sanitisation of the territory was carried out. The morale
13 in the unit is securing or is making possible the carrying out of the
15 Q. Well, these are sanitisation, or asanacija. What did that mean?
16 A. "Asanacija" implies clearing up a territory, clearing it of
17 corpses, of people or animals, carcasses, unexploded projectiles, toxic
18 materials, and everything else that might pose a threat to the population
19 of that territory or members of the army.
20 Q. Was that work you did alone or with the police?
21 A. Primarily the military carried out asanacija in terms of what it
22 was trained to do: Removing carcasses of dead animals, because there were
23 huge numbers of dead animals all over the territory; killing and removing
24 stray dogs; and something that only the army was able to do, destroying
25 unexploded cluster bombs and other dangerous materials. If you continue
1 reading, you shall see --
2 Q. I'm afraid we can't mark the book yet because we haven't got our
3 own copy for marking.
4 Now, if you look at these next pages, and I think Mr. Nort is
5 having to be careful that the book doesn't come to pieces. Now, this one
6 I think you'll find a reference here to a joint activity with the police.
7 Can you find it and then read it out to us, please. It starts at the top,
8 I think.
9 A. Could you please turn back to the previous page?
10 MR. NICE: Mr. Nort, could you turn it back to the previous page,
11 please. 16th of May it looks like, unless it changes the date --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just -- could you scroll up a little
13 bit, please. Very well.
14 This is about Hoca Zagradska. He also reported that "part of the
15 unit --" and now you can turn the page and scroll down.
16 Q. Right. What does that passage say about a joint activity?
17 A. "-- started clearing up the terrain in cooperation with the MUP.
18 The morale of the fighters is good." And we have a tab referring to this.
19 Q. Pause there. So that's clearing up the terrain in cooperation
20 with the MUP.
21 MR. NICE: Next page, please, Mr. Nort.
22 Q. Now, this one has got another reference, I think, to joint
23 operations with the MUP. Can we find it? It may be further down. It's
24 where the yellow sticker is, probably.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What does this say?
2 A. Yes. There's nothing in dispute here. All the units are in the
3 areas that have been taken. Parts of the units of the brigade, in
4 cooperation with the MUP, are clearing up the STS -- from the STS, and
5 then there's a sticker there so I can't read it. Remove the sticker.
6 MR. NICE: Mr. Nort, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In the broader area --" can you
8 turn the page, please. Could you scroll down, please. "In the broader
9 area of Tusus."
10 MR. NICE: And then the last entry, please, Mr. Nort, of the three
11 I asked you to point out. Again, take the sticker off.
12 Q. And this one refers to a joint MUP operation. Can you read it
13 out, please.
14 A. Could you move it a bit? This is what it says -- could you please
15 turn the previous page. Could you turn to the previous page, please. And
16 the end. A bit more.
17 "The 3rd Battalion reported that a part of the unit acting on the
18 commander's orders was engaged in clearing up the terrain in cooperation
19 with the MUP forces of the Siptar forces." We have been through the tab,
20 and we have seen the order and the analysis and the map pertaining to
22 Q. So we've got examples here of joint activity with the MUP in
23 clearing the terrain, and that would include clearing the terrain of the
24 dead bodies, wouldn't it, where there were any?
25 A. That is a pure fabrication of yours. It absolutely does not mean
1 what you say. It's clearing the terrain of Siptar terrorist forces. It
2 means joint action in combat. And we have seen the map, we have seen my
3 order, we have shown the analysis. And I said that five of my men were
4 killed or, rather, five men - three were soldiers and two were members of
5 the MUP - on the 17th of May, and you are now equating fighting with
6 removal of corpses. This is absolutely incorrect, and I have to tell you
8 Q. Can you tell us, then, what we should look for in your war diary
9 if we seek an account of the army disposing of dead bodies killed in
10 combat? What sort of entry should we be looking for?
11 A. There are no entries about this because the army did not remove
12 corpses of people. The army was unable to identify those who had been
13 killed. This was done by the MUP. The army only removed carcasses of
14 animals and also bombs and rockets and cluster projectiles, which were
15 dangerous both for the population and the army. The identification of
16 bodies was done by the MUP.
17 Q. Can you think of any way in which those bodies left Kosovo and
18 went to Serbia?
19 A. I cannot think of any way, no. Except that somebody organised
20 this with a special purpose in mind.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I will, with your leave, decide overnight
22 whether I can leave my exploration of the crime sites with the two
23 examples or three examples I've covered. I obviously can't cover them all
24 but I do have a few questions to ask of a general nature in any event.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Taking you back, please, to Croatia and your service there. You
3 told us how your time in Croatia and your time in Bosnia, I think, counted
4 for purposes of pension. As a matter of fact, did your time count at
5 double rate, in the way that active service time counted?
6 A. Yes, it did.
7 Q. So that although as you would say you went as a volunteer on both
8 occasions, in fact you were getting wartime benefits from your home
9 military service, yes?
10 A. These were not wartime benefits. I had a certificate stating that
11 I had spent a certain period of time on a territory affected by a war.
12 While I was in Croatia, there was still the JNA, and Croatia was then part
13 of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, and I was there as a
14 soldier of the JNA. On leaving that territory, I received a certificate
15 which I forwarded to my personnel officer, and he calculated my time.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: What does double the rate mean? Does it mean
17 that if you served six months there you would be -- you would have one
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Yes. If I was there for
20 six months, it would be credited in terms of my pension as one year of
21 service rather than six years [as interpreted]. In terms of service, it
22 would be eight months. So time spent in a war situation is doubled.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. You've accused one of your chiefs of general staff Perisic of
25 being, I think, a traitor, but do you have any negative views about Veljko
1 Kadijevic, an earlier top soldier in your army?
2 A. I don't know Veljko Kadijevic personally. After all, he was in
3 the army much earlier, and there is a great difference between our two
4 ranks. So I never really had the opportunity of meeting him close up let
5 alone hearing his views. However, General Perisic I saw several times
6 because I was brigade commander, and I carried out --
7 Q. You were active -- Mr. Nort, please. You were active in Croatia.
8 You told us of the apparently limited role you fulfilled.
9 Kadijevic described the manoeuvre at Croatia in the following
11 MR. NICE: At the bottom of the page, please, Mr. Nort.
12 Q. He said -- it deals with the stages, and he says: "The idea
13 behind this manoeuvre embraced the following basic elements:
14 "A total air and sea blockade of Croatia;
15 "The directions of offences of the main forces of the JNA directly
16 connected to the liberation of Serb regions in Croatia and JNA garrisons
17 deep into Croatian territory. To this end, cut Croatia along the
18 following lines: Gradiska-Virovitica; Bihac-Karlovac-Zagreb; Knin-Zadar;
19 Mostar-Split. The strongest group of armoured motorised forces would
20 liberate Eastern Slavonia and then move quickly westward, linking up with
21 forces in Western Slavonia and proceeding on to Zagreb and Varacdin, that
22 is towards the Slovene frontier."
23 And then this: "At the same time, strong forces from the
24 Herceg-Novi-Trebinje region would be used to block Dubrovnik from land and
25 break out into the Neretva Valley, thus linking up operations with forces
1 working along the Mostar-Split line."
2 Now, that's what the Chief of the General Staff, in a published
3 book, described as the purpose of the operations, including the purpose at
5 MR. NICE: This is an exhibit in the case, Your Honours. It's 4
6 -- 449A.
7 Q. Now, that's his description and you've had the text to follow in
8 Serbian. You were present not at Trebinje itself but at the -- no, no,
9 no, not at Trebinje.
10 A. No.
11 Q. You were present in Cavtat, of course, and in the area of
12 Dubrovnik. Is what you saw consistent with the plan described by your
14 A. What the general describes are attempts to safeguard the integrity
15 of Yugoslavia. Of course, all members of the military and most of the
16 citizens of this state were in favour of preserving the integrity of the
17 state. Probably what the general wrote here are attempts related to that.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, it's 1.45, so we have to adjourn now
19 and resume tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
20 I should let you know that we are exploring the possibility of
21 starting at 8.30 a.m. and concluding at 1.15 p.m., and we'll inform the
22 parties if we're able to do that.
23 We are adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
25 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day
1 of July, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.