Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 45733

1 Wednesday, 26 October 2005

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you may continue.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Re-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

10 Q. [Interpretation] General, I asked you yesterday about an event

11 that you raised in cross-examination in Suva Reka when you were explaining

12 why you believe you had no trust in investigators. What actually

13 happened?

14 A. We received a report --

15 Q. What do you mean by "we"?

16 A. I was head of the commission for the application of the Military

17 Technical Agreement. It was a commission that was an official body of the

18 KFOR, and I was heading our side of that commission. My opposite number

19 in KFOR was Major Bruno Nevaj [phoen].

20 At one meeting we asked why in Suva Reka a mass grave had been

21 opened at the request of The Hague Tribunal, and when the body of Milivoje

22 Ristanovic, a Serb, was found in that mass grave, the mass grave was

23 closed down and the whole case was closed. Following orders of General

24 Nevaj, Sergeant Guido [phoen] answered our question. He was heading or,

25 rather, representing the police force on the commission. He said that he

Page 45734

1 couldn't see anything strange about it and wanted to know why we are

2 interested in the issue. He said that all these mass graves are in fact

3 cemeteries and he's confused by our question. He promised to give some

4 more explanation but it never happened.

5 Q. Very well, General. According to the agreement between

6 Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin Agreement and the Resolution 1244, was it envisaged

7 for the KLA to be demilitarised and disarmed?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did it happen?

10 A. No, it didn't happen. The KLA just changed its name.

11 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... cross-examination

12 best identified first. It looks like a new topic but it may be not.

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry, I missed your point, Mr. Nice.

14 MR. NICE: I'm not sure what this relates to in

15 cross-examination. It may do, but we need to have the topic identified

16 for clarity, otherwise we're just going into something new.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, what is the area of the

18 cross-examination from which this arises?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Regarding the part where Mr. Nice

20 asked the witness why he doubted the objectivity and proper conduct of

21 KFOR members and UNMIK members in Kosovo and Metohija.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. General, is it the task of the protection force --

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you must wait until I have ruled.

25 What is your line of questioning now in relation to Resolution 1244?

Page 45735

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Mr. Nice asked the

2 witness why he doubted the objectivity of KFOR and UNMIK in Kosovo, and

3 I'm asking him now if, according to Resolution 1244, KFOR and UNMIK had

4 the task of protecting the entire population in Kosovo. Was it their

5 task?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have not been asked a question. I have not

8 yet ruled on it.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.

10 [Trial Chamber confers]

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Ask the question.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. So did they have the task of protecting the entire population of

14 Kosovo?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did they protect them?

17 A. No, they did not. Many killings and expulsions have shown that,

18 and the 17th of March was the best evidence how they are performing their

19 task.

20 Q. Mr. Nice showed you "As Seen, As Told." Reading that book, were

21 you able to conclude that what is written there has been seen by the

22 authors?

23 A. No. I never read anything like such-and-such a person saw this.

24 I think it was just a conveniently selected title to produce an effect.

25 Q. Mr. Nice showed you a footnote concerning an event involving

Page 45736

1 alleged crimes, and the footnote listed about 15 witnesses. Do you think

2 it can be taken as authentic --

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's not for the witness to comment --

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. -- and do you believe that --

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's not for the witness to comment on. We'll

7 make our minds up about those matters.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. At one point Mr. Nice asked you on the basis of what you gained

11 your insight, and he mentioned the book, the book I just referred to. My

12 question is very specific: Did you gain your insight into the situation

13 in Kosovo based on books or based on personal experience and firsthand

14 knowledge and information?

15 A. In Kosovo and Metohija, and primarily in Djakovica, I was present

16 most of the time. Besides, I had my command in Djakovica. There were

17 commanding officers who had lived in Djakovica even before my arrival and

18 before the beginning of the aggression. There were two of my battalions

19 in Djakovica, so I had direct knowledge about the events that was not

20 gained on the basis of books or brochures.

21 Q. General, you mentioned the 24th of March. You said that on that

22 day you were on Cabrat hill, overlooking Djakovica when the bombing began.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you said that something was burning in Djakovica. Why was it

25 burning?

Page 45737

1 A. From the bombs.

2 Q. You mentioned the church of St. Anthony that was on fire. You

3 said it was in the direct vicinity of the barracks. How did it come

4 about? Why was it burning?

5 A. The church wasn't burning. It's a Catholic church that is right

6 next to the barracks. It wasn't burning, and it wasn't damaged until the

7 11th of June when we left Djakovica. For a while, part of our medical

8 capacities were put up in that church, and we had a very good relationship

9 with the priests of that church.

10 Q. You mean to say it was not damaged during the war at all, it was

11 damaged after our forces left?

12 A. When I was leaving Djakovica on the 11th of June, the church was

13 not damaged. I know that for certain. I know that very well.

14 Q. What was destroyed and what was burning on the 24th of March?

15 A. The Catholic Street was on fire. It's a street directly under

16 Cabrat hill. It's almost part of Cabrat. It's a neighbourhood called

17 Cabrat. It's an old street, lined mainly with wooden houses, very old

18 houses dating back to the Turkish time. It is a very beautiful street but

19 it was on fire that night.

20 Q. Why was it burning?

21 A. Because of NATO bombs.

22 Q. Mr. Nice insisted on paramilitary units. Did you have occasion to

23 learn about any paramilitary unit in Djakovica?

24 A. There were no paramilitary units in Djakovica, if we don't count

25 the members of the terrorist organisation KLA.

Page 45738

1 Q. Mr. Nice said several times that your evidence has to be shrunk

2 exclusively to events concerning your unit. Did you hear that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Since you were commander of the garrison, did you have insight

5 into the situation in Djakovica as a whole?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Were you aware of everything taking place in Djakovica?

8 A. I knew about every major event in Djakovica.

9 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... leading question,

10 especially when the witness has by and large retracted most things he said

11 when he himself said he knew everything about something. I don't know

12 where this re-examination is going.

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Reformulate the question, Mr. Milosevic.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. General, have you withdrawn any of what you said?

16 A. No.

17 Q. When I asked you about events in Djakovica and I questioned you

18 after you explained you were garrison commander in Djakovica, and

19 Mr. Bonomy also questioned you about that, should you know of an incident

20 if it had happened as described in the materials of Mr. Nice?

21 A. I answered if an event had happened, I would have known about it.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, that's not a proper question. It

23 may be a technical matter that you're unable to formulate the questions

24 properly.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 45739

1 Q. Mr. Djosan, I was questioning you point by point, paragraph by

2 paragraph, about all events that happened in Djakovica.

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Was it possible for some of these things to happen, like Qerim?

5 You explained you were in Ljug Bunar, 500 metres away, and a number of

6 other events. So would you have known about those incidents if they had

7 happened?

8 A. If they had happened, I would have known about them because I had

9 briefings and reports, and I said then that part of my unit was in

10 Djakovica. I had my commanding officers in Djakovica, Nik Peraj was in

11 Djakovica all that time, and if such a major event as the one alleged had

12 indeed happened, I would have had to have found out about it.

13 Q. Just a couple of more questions regarding your war diary.

14 Mr. Nice said that the format differs from day-to-day. Are all the pages

15 the same in terms of format?

16 A. Do you mean in terms of size?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Well, their size is the same. All the pages are the same, but the

19 writing is different.

20 Q. Every page has a number. Are they all paginated in the same

21 handwriting?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. What is then the difference between pages where entries are made

24 horizontally or vertically?

25 A. It depended on the style of the person who happened to be in

Page 45740

1 command at the time and who made entries.

2 Q. Did one or more persons make entries in the diary?

3 A. Several people.

4 Q. Who usually keeps that diary?

5 A. One of the operatives in the operations department or one of my

6 deputies or assistants.

7 Q. Was it always the case with your diary?

8 A. Yes, but it was not always the same person.

9 Q. Thank you. On page 7, a question of volunteers was mentioned. Do

10 you have this diary in front of you?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Well, I can't give you my copy because I have only one before me.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But since the witness doesn't have a

14 copy, Mr. Robinson, can we save time if I read from that page in order to

15 ask the witness a question?


17 JUDGE KWON: What's the date and time?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The date is the 2nd of April, 1999.

19 It is a Friday. It says the tenth day of the war. The page is page

20 number 7.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have it.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Please read out what it says in the middle of the page, roughly.

24 It says 1700 hours. What does it say after that, in the line beginning

25 with 1700?

Page 45741

1 A. It says at 1700 hours a group of 80 volunteers arrived in the

2 barracks of Metohija and they were deployed among the units.

3 Q. That will suffice. Thank you. So that is the only sentence which

4 refers to volunteers; is that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So when the volunteers arrived, were they organised into a united

7 formation, unit, or was the procedure different?

8 A. The volunteers were always brought in by an officer from the

9 personnel department of the corps command, and he brought them in with all

10 their documents, their IDs, their military booklets, and everything that

11 accompanies those.

12 Now, on the basis of that and their age and principally where they

13 had done their military service and what their speciality was, military

14 speciality was, we would distribute them amongst the units. And so if

15 somebody had done their military service, for example, as a signalsman, he

16 would go to the signals company. If he had manned a P cannon, PA cannon,

17 then he would go to a company where cannons were used.

18 So there were volunteer -- some volunteers who did not have any of

19 these special training courses but were educated people and were able to

20 work at the headquarters, the staff, and be in charge of documentation,

21 for example, administrative work, and so on and so forth. There were

22 those who were infantrymen, and they were assigned to the infantry units,

23 for example, to provide security.

24 For the most part that is how we assigned individuals to different

25 jobs and posts, but they were never in the same unit, all in the same

Page 45742












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13 English transcripts.













Page 45743

1 unit, and there was not just one single unit, and he was never -- these

2 units were never commanded by the people who came with them.

3 Q. So they were distributed amongst the different units, just like

4 any other military recruit and conscript; is that right?

5 A. Yes. And they were in fact military conscripts but those who were

6 not on our lists and weren't called up in a mobilisation call.

7 Q. Mr. Nice showed that the 26th of April was lacking, was missing in

8 the diary, and then Mr. Kwon said that the 26th of April does exist in the

9 typed-out text. So would you now take a look at that date, the 26th of

10 April. It is page 4 from -- the fourth page from the back of the copy of

11 the diary. It's in the diary that you have before you.

12 A. But I can't find that page.

13 Q. It's towards the end.

14 A. What date did you say?

15 Q. The 26th of April. That is the day before the 27th, because

16 Mr. Nice found it strange that that date, the 26th, was missing.

17 A. I don't have it here.

18 Q. Before. It's one page before the 29th.

19 MR. NICE: Well, obviously if it's the original and since the

20 accused has drawn to our attention that the page numbering at the top

21 right-hand corner is in hand, it should be page number 32. Page number 32

22 I don't have.

23 JUDGE KWON: It's only in the typed-out version.

24 MR. NICE: If it's in the typed-out version, the story becomes

25 even more odd, because the accused has represented to us through the Court

Page 45744

1 and directly to Ms. Dicklich via one of the accused's associates that we

2 were to be provided with and thus have been provided with everything of

3 the original documentation that was provided to the accused. So if

4 there's a typed-out version of this day, the 26th of April, and I'd

5 overlooked it, it's evidence that there is more of the original document

6 that the accused has than he's provided us, and I'd like to see it,

7 please.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't wish to be sidetracked by this issue but,

9 Mr. Milosevic, can you comment on that briefly?

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, in the briefest possible terms

11 and the clearest comment I can give you is to say that during the course

12 of the day you will be provided with the entire diary. Mr. Tomanovic has

13 informed me that the entire diary will be available in the course of

14 today.

15 Now, this printed page, this typed-out page is the typed-out page

16 of the handwritten page from that missing page that Mr. Nice is missing.

17 But once you receive the diary in its entirety, you will all be able to

18 look through it from first to last page in the original or, rather,

19 photocopy of the original which was in the archives.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I think the sooner we get the entire diary,

21 the better for the proceedings.

22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice. Microphone,

23 please.

24 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated] -- of the accused's exhibits

25 for this witness. And if Your Honours' papers are in the same format as

Page 45745

1 mine, there were three -- there were originally some three parts to it;

2 the first two, separately stapled, were in English, and if you go to the

3 second of those two parts, if it's the same as in my papers, the second of

4 those two parts and to the second page, you'll find an entry for the 26th

5 of April. But it, of course, remains extremely unsatisfactory if the

6 accused has had all the time had either all of the diary, as may be found,

7 if he's able to produce it today, or even these relevant dates in the

8 originals, that they weren't made available before cross-examination. And

9 this is not, in my respectful submission, sidetrack, it's a very important

10 issue. The production of documents like this which have simply never been

11 available to us.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you're coming very close to imputing

13 ill motives to the accused without any proper foundation, and I cannot

14 sanction that.

15 MR. NICE: I beg Your Honour's pardon, but I'm not doing any such

16 thing. What I'm doing is drawing to the Court's attention, in the course

17 of a forensic process that needs to be rigorous, first of all the

18 extraordinary fact that documentation like this which we've sought - not

19 these particular ones, the generality - time and time again first comes to

20 our attention in the circumstances it does; and secondly, that the two

21 critical dates for this witness were not made available to us until I

22 requested them; and thirdly - and this is the point to which I was going

23 to refer and that Your Honour will no doubt want to have in mind - there

24 is now clearly a document, the Reka plan, which is of extreme importance,

25 possibly, to one of the most serious and notorious events that happened in

Page 45746

1 this region at the time, and it's a document we've got to get our hands

2 on, if it exists, and before there's any question of its not being

3 provided, whoever holds it, in its best form.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think we'll have to consider what to do when

5 the diary becomes available later today by the time the -- this witness's

6 testimony may have concluded.

7 MR. KAY: Sorry, Your Honour.


9 MR. KAY: Disclosure issues between the Prosecution and the

10 government of Serbia and Montenegro are nothing to do with this accused

11 and Mr. Nice continually makes his complaint as though it's against the

12 accused, but it is not an issue with which he is concerned, and that must

13 be borne in mind. This is not a matter under his control, and therefore

14 to make continually points against the accused on this matter is indeed

15 unfair.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I've already said enough on that issue and I

17 don't wish to have it commented further.

18 MR. NICE: Very well, I'll come back to it later today --

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: But I'm going to consult about the implications

20 of the diary becoming available later.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Milosevic.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just to draw your attention to one

24 thing, Mr. Robinson. I received just those pages which you received

25 yourselves. The previous selection was made by my associate with the

Page 45747

1 witness, and some pages were provided by way of example.

2 Now, since Mr. Nice insisted that the diary be produced in its

3 entirety, as you can see it has been produced and you will be able to see

4 whether anything -- any attempts were made to conceal something or not.

5 And I can tell you that I didn't have any other of the pages than you did.

6 And if I were to read the whole diary from start to finish, I don't know

7 when I could be expected to have the time to do that.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...

9 Mr. Milosevic, is that we're getting it very late in the testimony of this

10 witness, but we'll see what happens when we get it and then make a

11 decision as to what course to take, if any.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Just let's clarify this point. You have in front you page 33 on

15 which we find the 27th of April, which is the critical day, and yesterday

16 you quoted what it said there.

17 A. I don't have the 27th of April here.

18 Q. It's page 33. You have the same copy of the diary that I do.

19 A. In my copy the pages are not numbered. I read it from the

20 overhead projector yesterday. It was placed on the overhead projector,

21 and I read from that. I haven't got it here before me now. Let me have a

22 better look.

23 Q. Very well. In order to save time --

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness should have the handwritten pages.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is the 27th, but it's

Page 45748

1 handwritten.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. That's right, handwritten.

4 A. Yes, this is from my diary, handwritten.

5 Q. It says there -- or, rather, what does it say? It starts --

6 something started. Read out that first line, please. The 27th.

7 A. From the beginning of the page, you mean?

8 Q. From the beginning of the page. Well, not really from the

9 beginning because there's mention of the bombing first.

10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak

11 slowly, read slowly.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Djosan, you're -- just a second. Just a

13 minute. The interpreter is asking you to read more slowly.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Operations are being conducted by

15 the air force in the Devet Jugovica barracks," and then it says: "At 0600

16 hours an operation started to clean the Siptar terrorist forces 'Reka.'"

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. You needn't go on to explain who participates in it because that's

19 what you do after that.

20 So what kind of operation is that recorded there? What does that

21 entry mean?

22 A. It was an action against the Siptar terrorist forces in the region

23 called Reka.

24 Q. Does this give any possibility for broader interpretations? If we

25 say Siptar terrorist forces, that it can relate to anybody else except to

Page 45749

1 terrorists?

2 A. No. Exclusively to terrorists.

3 Q. Thank you, General. Mr. Nice asked you a question related to a

4 stenogram of the Supreme Defence Council of 1995, and I used, when I

5 intervened once, the proverb "Fear keeps the house safe." Do you know of

6 that proverb?

7 A. Yes. It's quite a customary, traditional proverb.

8 Q. So what barracks were empty when the army arrived?

9 A. Yes, the barracks were empty.

10 Q. And how old was the barracks?

11 A. I started to say yesterday that the barracks dated back to 1932.

12 The army had been there since 1932.

13 Q. So this proverb "Fear keeps the house safe," who was it who should

14 have felt fear?

15 A. The terrorists, of course.

16 Q. Does that have anything to do with the citizens?

17 A. No. Why should they fear anything? Why should an honest man be

18 frightened of the army or of the police, because the barracks had been

19 there for a long time.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,

21 Mr. Robinson. That completes my re-examination. As you can see, I kept

22 it short.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.

24 Mr. Nice, we are considering whether, in the event that you might

25 have questions to raise once you see the diary, we should ask the witness

Page 45750

1 to remain.

2 MR. NICE: I would invite you to do that, in case. And I'd invite

3 the Court also to seek clarification from the accused of what he's

4 explained to us. The provision of documents is, as Mr. Kay says -- he's

5 not, I'm afraid, reflecting the reality. Provision of documents is an

6 extremely important matter. As against the authorities, we've made it

7 quite clear that we believe we are being obstructed and have been

8 consistently obstructed. We have laid out before you in various ways the

9 difficulties we have in obtaining documents and, from time to time, have

10 suggested that there may be different standards applied to us than those

11 applied to the accused. That may not be the accused's fault, I'm just

12 saying that.

13 Now, as to what he said this morning, and he said that we've had

14 in handwritten form all that he's had, that obviously can't be right

15 because without the provision of the handwritten version for the 26th of

16 April, it wouldn't be possible for the 26th of April to have been

17 transcribed and translated into English. So clearly there has been more

18 in the possession of the accused than we've seen with this witness.

19 If the -- the second point is that if this -- if the accused is

20 going to be able today to provide the whole version of the diary in its

21 original format, we'll be interested indeed in reviewing it, then either

22 A, someone on the accused's side has had it for a long time, or B, and

23 this is even more interesting from the Court's point of view, there is a

24 process whereby such documentation can be found overnight. And that is of

25 extreme value to know, because if that really is the case, then there may

Page 45751

1 be more documents --

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's wait until it happens. This debating

3 speculatively about what might emerge is pointless. That's number one.

4 And number two is it does appear to me Mr. Kay is quite right,

5 that applications for documents made by the Prosecution are ex parte of

6 the accused and therefore he isn't involved in that process. It's

7 important to distinguish that situation from the provision by the accused

8 of material that he does get in an entirely unsatisfactory way, in dribs

9 and drabs, as has apparently been the case with this diary. So we mustn't

10 confuse the two situation. You may be perfectly justified in your

11 criticism, but it's important to get the right basis for that criticism.

12 MR. NICE: I agree with the distinction and I actually hope to

13 keep it in mind at all times. Those the points I want to make, but

14 immediate point is would the Chamber think it helpful to know how it is,

15 if and when we get the original, the diary in full, how it is that it's

16 become available not least because if it appears that there is a way of

17 getting material in 24 hours, then we needn't -- then we should act on

18 that basis in the future because it would be of great value to all of us.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: What I'm interested to discover, speaking for

20 myself, Mr. Milosevic, is how soon will the diary be available today?

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it's supposed to arrive from

22 Belgrade, and I gave you the notification that I received from

23 Mr. Tomanovic yesterday, namely that last week when this issue was raised,

24 he immediately submitted a formal request, marked "urgent" since testimony

25 was under way, to get original diary from the archives in its entirety,

Page 45752












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13 English transcripts.













Page 45753

1 and he told me earlier today that it should be arriving later today, and I

2 suppose it's supposed to be brought by somebody who is arriving today. As

3 soon as it's here, you will get it.

4 Second, as to what Mr. Nice said, that I had a typed-out page and

5 that that is proof that I had had a manuscript page, that would have been

6 true only if I were the person who types things out, which is not the

7 case. I get typed-out pages just as you do.

8 There is no intent to withhold portions of the diary behind it.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.

10 [Trial Chamber confers]

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: General Djosan, that concludes your testimony,

12 but in view of the developments, we are asking you to remain today and to

13 make yourself available for tomorrow morning in the event that it might be

14 necessary to ask you further questions arising from the examination of the

15 diary which will be received later today. So you may now leave.

16 [The witness withdrew]

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the next witness.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, before I call my next

19 witness, I should like to raise an administrative issue and to provide you

20 with a piece of information. May I do this?


22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It won't take more than two minutes.

23 You informed me, Mr. Robinson, that I have received a confidential

24 Prosecution witness list, something the Registry provided by day of

25 testimony during the Prosecution case. That's what the Registry provided.

Page 45754

1 And this practically consists of two documents. One relates to the Kosovo

2 stage, which began on the 12th of February, 2000, and the other one

3 relates to Croatia and Bosnia stage that began on the 26th of September,

4 2002. I suppose you received the same documents. At least, I hope so.

5 From these documents, one can see that, by dates contained

6 therein, there is a total of 279 days of the Prosecution case. I suppose

7 the difference to the total --

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm not hearing that now. I'm not

9 hearing any submissions on that issue now. Call your next witness.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But, Mr. Robinson, I will be done in

11 30 seconds.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's out of order. It's out of order, entirely

13 out of order. Had I known that was the purpose of the request for you to

14 intervene on an administrative matter, I would not have allowed it. I'm

15 not hearing it. Call the next witness.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And can you tell me when you will be

17 hearing this?

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any submission you have on that issue should be

20 put in writing. Call the next witness.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here, I'm going to call the next

22 witness. I just want to say that the hours are missing amounting to at

23 least 70 days.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I cut you off, Mr. Milosevic, because that's a

25 flagrant abuse of the ruling that I made.

Page 45755

1 Call your next witness if you have one.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My next witness is Colonel Vukovic.

3 [The witness entered court]

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

6 the truth -- excuse me. I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth,

7 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you may commence.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but the volume is very

13 low in my headphones. It's all right now.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may commence, Mr. Milosevic.

15 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would appreciate it if the map of

17 Kosovo could be put up behind the witness so that he can show us his area

18 of responsibility to begin with. We will start, in the meantime, while

19 it's being done, to save time.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Colonel Vukovic, would you please introduce yourself.

22 A. My name is Vlatko Vukovic. I was born on the 15th of August,

23 1960, in Mramor village. It's a very small village in the municipality of

24 Kovin in the autonomous province of Vojvodina in Serbia. I was born to a

25 family of workers. My father's name is Momir; mother's name Stana.

Page 45756

1 Q. Could you please describe your career briefly.

2 A. Military academy of the ground forces, which I completed in 1983.

3 My first place of service was the garrison of Pirot, in which I occupied

4 initial duties, as an officer, of course.

5 In 1988, I was transferred to the academy of ground forces of

6 Yugoslavia, where I acted as a commander and lecturer.

7 In 1998, I was transferred to the Djakovica garrison. I had

8 certain duties in Medvedja, Leskovac garrisons also, then in Belgrade as

9 well, and in 2002 I was retired.

10 Q. Could you tell us where you served during the war in Kosovo, and

11 could you show us your area of responsibility.

12 A. During the war in Kosovo and Metohija, I was commander of the 2nd

13 Motorised Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade.

14 I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time with this because I have a

15 problem with my legs.

16 The battalion that I commanded was south of Djakovica. I can tell

17 you precisely if you need to know the borders, the boundaries of the area

18 of responsibility of my battalion. It was Belaja river on the west;

19 Cafavanas [phoen] pass on the south, the state border from Cafavanas pass

20 to the Mount Pastrik; on the east from Pastrik mountain to Beli Drim

21 river; and on the north, Beli Drim River --

22 THE INTERPRETER: And another river that the interpreter did not

23 catch the name of.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Colonel Vukovic, if I understood you correctly, before the war you

Page 45757

1 were in perfectly good health?

2 A. I was in perfectly good health, Mr. Milosevic, and I was even a

3 good athlete. I loved sports and was very active because my service

4 allowed me to.

5 Q. Now you have serious health problems; walking, speech.

6 A. Well, that's perfectly obvious and I take this opportunity to

7 apologise to the Trial Chamber and the interpreters as well, because

8 sometimes I swallow an entire word or a syllable.

9 My condition first occurred during the war, in 1999.

10 Unfortunately, our doctors do not deal with causes. They only deal with

11 consequences, and they only treat consequences and symptoms. I must say

12 that after full six years, they haven't been able to give a precise

13 diagnosis, but it may be the use of all sorts of weapons and materiel

14 during the NATO bombing of my country. And generally speaking, this area

15 south of Djakovica is marked on all maps as the area with the densest

16 number of various projectiles that fell, projectiles carrying depleted

17 uranium and other material that cause evaporations --

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry, I didn't understand. Did you say that --

19 did you say that the illness which you have, your medical condition, was

20 in some way associated with weapons and materiel during the NATO bombing?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I can say that safely, because

22 I know that before the bombing I was in perfectly good health and fully

23 able, whereas on the 14th or the 15th of June that year, after just three

24 months, I was a serious invalid. I weighed 54 kilos, and I had trouble,

25 serious trouble, walking and talking. I am now much better than I was at

Page 45758

1 that time. So I do link it exclusively to the use of NATO weapons and

2 materiel in the aggression against my country.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's your speech and your gait that are affected?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, my speech and my gait. That is

5 the most noticeable part. However, there are many other things. I have

6 poor coordination and I'm not very stable on my feet. I have trouble

7 swallowing. I don't want to go into all the details now, but, yes, speech

8 and gait are the two most adverse consequences and most noticeable.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: In what sports were you involved prior to your

10 illness?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All kinds of sports that you would

12 expect an army officer to engage in. I was also a ski instructor, a

13 swimming instructor, and all the other sports; athletics, sports with

14 balls, et cetera, ball games and so on.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Continue, Mr. Milosevic.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Colonel Vukovic, we're now going to go on to specific places

18 within your area of responsibility, and let's start with the municipality

19 of Orahovac. We introduced an exhibit here that General Delic testified

20 about. It was the order for the support of MUP to destroy Siptar

21 terrorist forces in the area of Orahovac, Suva Reka, Velika Krusa, and

22 that was compiled on the 23rd of March, 1999.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, you have that document

24 in your list. It is tab 356, used on the 30th of June this year, and it

25 was admitted into evidence on the 1st of July. So it is an exhibit. It

Page 45759

1 has been exhibited.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Colonel, you have the document before you?

4 A. Yes, I do.

5 Q. Tell us, please, did you act upon that order and what did this

6 document mean to you?

7 A. This is an order. I've looked through it. It is an order by the

8 corps commander for support and reinforcement to MUP forces to destroy the

9 Siptar terrorist forces in the area of Orahovac, Suva Reka, and Velika

10 Krusa, as it says. Of course, pursuant to this order and generally

11 speaking, the law provided for the fact that each unit and each individual

12 must act within the spirit of the order given by their superior command.

13 That means that I acted and my unit acted in this operation exclusively

14 pursuant to the order received from my superior command. And I can

15 briefly comment this order if need be. You tell me if I need to do so.

16 Q. No. We're not going to comment on that order now because it is

17 very precise and was commented on by General Delic in his testimony.

18 And during that testimony, it was admitted into evidence, so it is

19 entitled "Order for the destruction of the Siptar terrorist forces in the

20 area of Retimlje and the block Suva Reka and Orahovac and control of the

21 territory," and that was brought in by General Delic himself, and that is

22 to be found under number 3, and it is D300, tab 357, and it was admitted

23 into evidence, as I said, on the 1st of July, Mr. Robinson.

24 Now, what does this document mean? Did you act upon it?

25 A. Mr. Milosevic, this was the basic document and starting document

Page 45760

1 on the basis of which, among other things, I was able to view the role and

2 place of my own unit in this anti-terrorist operation. Of course, I was

3 able to see the place and role of the neighbours and everything that a

4 command would do once it receives an assignment and orders. So on the

5 basis of this order, I was able to assess and size up the overall

6 situation and make the decision to engage part of my unit in the

7 operation.

8 If you take a look at point 5, point 5 on page 3, for example, it

9 says there Combat Group 2, 549th Motorised Brigade, and then it lists the

10 composition of the forces engaged. That means in that operation I engaged

11 186 men and materiel and technical equipment. And then it says the

12 assignment is to launch an energetic search of the village Kosa Brod, trig

13 342 and trig 440, and together with the forces in the blockade, to destroy

14 the Siptar forces in Celine, Nogavac, to cut off the area of Velika Krusa,

15 and part of the forces should be directed towards Amovac, and if the need

16 arises, to have wing action use the flank forces in order to take control

17 of the village of Brestovac and the village of Mala Hoca.

18 To reinforce the platoon 122 millimetres, the command post at trig

19 440. That means that on the basis of an assignment of this kind that we

20 received and the overall order, the order of -- in its entirety which came

21 to us from the brigade command, I decided to proceed in a manner which I

22 will describe to you later on, and to engage my forces.

23 I should also like to draw your attention, with the Court's

24 permission, to focus on a few other points which are a component part of

25 every combat document and combat order --

Page 45761

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- order for combat.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's time for Mr. Milosevic to put another

4 question. We have had a sufficiently long narrative.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. You have explained to us what this document means and meant to

7 you. It was a direct order which you acted upon; is that right? Is that

8 what the explanation you gave?

9 A. Yes, that is right. That is a direct order upon which all the

10 units acted, including my own. And my decision could not have been any

11 different from what was specified in the assignment given to us from -- by

12 the brigade command.

13 Q. Is there anything that relates to you especially that is

14 characteristic in this order?

15 A. Well, not really. No characteristic traits. The rest of the

16 document relates to all the units which are engaged. I can pinpoint

17 certain sections if you wish me to do so and go into them.

18 Q. Well, there's no need to go into the details of it. The essence

19 and crux of the matter is that you acted upon the order received.

20 Now, on the map, if we look at the map, does that reflect the

21 order? And the number is 358 there. It was an exhibit that was admitted

22 into evidence on the 1st of July, as I said. It's a map. Tell us what

23 the map represents. You have it before you.

24 A. Mr. Milosevic, that is the decision of the brigade commander for

25 this particular operation. Of course, the decision coincides with the

Page 45762












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13 English transcripts.













Page 45763

1 decision made in the order itself and expressed in the order itself. And

2 in principle, following recommendations and instructions, we indicate the

3 initial deployment of forces before the operation goes ahead and the plan

4 of the operation itself as conceived. Of course, it includes the

5 positions of the troops and the positions of the Siptar terrorist forces.

6 And here you'll be able to notice the red and green lines which represents

7 our forces.

8 What I'm pointing to now, that is the combat group, Combat Group

9 2, which I commanded. So from the crossroads here, from the village of

10 Bela Crkva towards the Celine village via trig 340 and 440, and the other

11 trigs 430 toward Buna Amovac. That was the line, the axis that I was

12 assigned to establish a blockade, and it is from that line that we moved

13 into operation, that is to say to search the terrain. That was our

14 assignment, to search the terrain along that axis.

15 Q. Tell us now, please, how this operation evolved. You showed us on

16 the map -- actually, you said that the map was contemporaneous with the

17 operation and the order for the operation.

18 A. Yes. This is the original decision of the commander of the 549th

19 Brigade, and we can see in the lower right-hand corner you have his

20 signature there. And that is a map which was a component part of the

21 order issued, the order we discussed a moment ago.

22 If you want to ask me about the operation itself --

23 Q. I'd like to ask you now whether you proceeded according to the

24 order given, and could you explain to us what your subordinates did, how

25 they acted.

Page 45764

1 A. I explained a moment ago that I acted in full conformity with the

2 order and assignment issued, the assignment and decision, and of course

3 the assignments and tasks that are issued in the field depending on how

4 the situation develops. It is normal and customary that I and my

5 subordinates had to act within the spirit of the order that -- orders that

6 I issued, and that is how every army and military organisation functions,

7 as indeed any serious organisation; that there is one person in command

8 and the others are there to execute that command and listen to orders.

9 Q. During the operation, were there any excessive situations which

10 were not in conformity with the orders issued, either by your superiors or

11 by you personally?

12 A. No. During this particular operation there were no situations of

13 that kind, and I'd like to say that the operation did follow the ideas of

14 the commander largely speaking, especially on the first day. We sized up

15 the situation very well, we collected information about the deployment and

16 strength of the terrorists, and throughout the operation the chain of

17 command was adhered to. There was no lack of discipline which would

18 jeopardise the fulfillment of the assignment.

19 Q. In the next document, which is D300 of tab 350, once again

20 introduced into evidence on the 1st of July, we have an analysis compiled

21 by General Delic. This analysis, which has to do with the destruction of

22 Siptar forces in Retimlje and a blockade of the Suva Reka-Orahovac

23 communication lines, as this has been set out here and described, does it

24 correspond with your knowledge of the situation; and if not, where do the

25 differences lie?

Page 45765

1 A. This corresponds fully, to my knowledge. Otherwise, an analysis

2 of every assignment carried out, including the one we're discussing now,

3 is done on the basis of a report by the subordinate commands, and one of

4 those subordinate commands --

5 MR. NICE: I'm trying to track the documents. This may be tab

6 359.

7 JUDGE KWON: As you can see from the ELMO.

8 MR. NICE: Yes. There it is. Thank you.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I think that's what I said, the

12 D number.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue?


15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Please go ahead, yes.

17 A. As I was saying, an analysis is the document which is compiled

18 first and foremost on the basis of reports received from commanders of all

19 the units participating. In this specific case, it is an anti-terrorist

20 operation, and what the commander himself, the brigade commander himself,

21 the knowledge he has gained. So that the analysis is a reflection of

22 everything that the 549th Brigade units did over those four days in that

23 particular area on that terrain. And I participated in compiling the

24 analysis myself, so I'm able to say that with absolute assurance.

25 Q. Bela Crkva is in the Orahovac municipality. Now, your movements

Page 45766

1 in Bela Crkva - and let me say that Bela Crkva has been mentioned here.

2 It is one of the places that are mentioned -- that have been mentioned

3 here on many occasions, but Bela Crkva is in the Orahovac municipality.

4 So your movements in Bela Crkva, were they part of the operation that you

5 have described to us?

6 A. Yes, that's quite right. My unit was, on the 25th, for a brief

7 time in Bela Crkva as well within the frameworks of an assignment, a

8 Combat Group 2, and I can demonstrate this on the map if you like. I

9 don't think it's necessary, though. But anyway, from the area of

10 deployment in the Zur village, Djakovica and Zrze and Bela Crkva, those

11 villages and that general area, there was a march which started at one

12 hour after midnight, 1.00 a.m., through Bela Crkva. We had to pass

13 through Bela Crkva in order to cut off the blockade lines. So that the

14 operation in Bela Crkva, if that's what you're asking me, and the

15 movements in Bela Crkva are a component part of the operation we are

16 discussing.

17 Q. On the next piece -- exhibit, you have D30 and tab 360 is a map of

18 Bela Crkva itself. It has already been exhibited. May it be placed on

19 the overhead projector now, please. There you have it in front of you.

20 A. Mr. Milosevic, here you can see the deployment of my forces, that

21 is to say Combat Group 2, at 0430 hours, roughly. We were in the Seros

22 [phoen] region here, right up at the border in Zrze village, and that is

23 where I received information from my security commander at the head that

24 in the -- everything was quiet in the village of Bela Crkva. However, he

25 had already passed through the village and set up security on the eastern

Page 45767

1 slopes of the Bela Crkva area. He informed me that in the village of Bela

2 Crkva there was no movement whatsoever, that it was completely calm and

3 that nobody was doing any shooting and that one police unit had already

4 entered the western part of the village and that the unit can safely pass

5 through up to the blockade line.

6 While passing through the village of Bela Crkva, Combat Group 2

7 marched through using motorised vehicles, we were in motorised vehicles.

8 We did not get out of the vehicles, and we passed by in a column towards

9 the blockade line, and a portion of our forces went towards Brnjaca and

10 then joined up at the blockade line following their own axis.

11 We can see that at 0600 hours Combat Group 2 had set up positions

12 along the blockade line and was ready to carry out the assignment ordered.

13 Q. What you have just explained, is that contained in your report

14 about what had happened, and who do you submit it to? So you passed

15 through a peaceful Bela Crkva. You said you went through in a motorcade

16 without stopping, there were no incidents, you set up a blockade line and

17 went on.

18 A. Well, after taking up positions on the line of blockade, it was my

19 duty to report to my superior officer. Military reports of that kind are

20 very brief. I said that I performed a march, that I passed through Bela

21 Crkva without fighting, that I emerged on the line of blockade and took up

22 positions unhindered, that I am on my command post and that I am ready to

23 perform my assignment. It's a brief report that you make through

24 communications equipment.

25 Q. In March -- in January 2003, you made a statement to the

Page 45768

1 Commission for Cooperation that existed at the General Staff --

2 MR. NICE: Before we move on, the last question, which is clearly

3 leading in form, probably does need exploration because it's suggesting

4 that there's an existence of a report. I don't know whether I missed it

5 in earlier answers, but it says: "What you have explained, is that

6 contained in your report about what happened, and who do you submit it

7 to?" I'm not sure whether we've covered that yet.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: His answer is that was his duty to report to a

9 superior officer.

10 MR. NICE: Well, as you know, there's a question of

11 contemporaneity of documents or otherwise, and I'm simply not sure what's

12 being suggested by the accused there, as it comes in leading format. It

13 might pass into the record and be interpreted at a later stage as

14 suggesting something that hasn't been explored.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: But the witness said the analysis -- well, that he

16 personally participated in compiling the analysis, so I assumed he was

17 referring to that report.

18 MR. NICE: If he's referring to that, then, that's fine. Well, if

19 he's referring to that, I understand it better. Thank you.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, the witness said that

22 he submitted his report when he passed through and when he had taken up

23 positions, to the brigade commander in the event, General Delic, saying

24 that he had completed that part of the task. He said his report was brief

25 and soldierly through communications equipment. That's what he said, his

Page 45769

1 words.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is -- if there is separate report, where is

4 it?

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, I don't know if you

6 noted what the witness said. He said he made the report briefly in a

7 soldierly way, through communications equipment, to his brigade commander.

8 So it was an oral report, as is commonly done in such situations. He's

9 maybe communicating a couple of words.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.


13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Colonel Vukovic, in January 2003, you wrote a statement to the

15 commission about your knowledge of alleged crimes in Bela Crkva village.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It has been exhibited here during

17 the testimony of General Delic, but I was unable to establish precisely in

18 what way. The statement was used here, but I don't think you actually

19 admitted it into evidence because it was not a statement of General Delic,

20 it was the statement of this witness.

21 Now that this witness is here -- it's D300, tab 362. It's

22 something that you have already dealt with, you've had occasion to

23 consider.

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let it be placed on the ELMO. It has been marked

25 for identification.

Page 45770

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I know it was marked for

2 identification, but I would like to tender it now. It says here,

3 "Translation provided 1st of July."

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Is this your statement, Colonel?

6 A. Yes. This is a statement that I gave to the Commission for

7 Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former

8 Yugoslavia, or more precisely, to the expert team of that commission.

9 Q. What is the contents of this statement, as briefly as you can.

10 A. Well, in the heading -- in the beginning I write which duties I

11 occupied and when. I indicate the time when part of my unit participated

12 in the blockade and search of terrain on the axis that I referred to

13 earlier. I indicate the composition of Combat Group 2 that was

14 established to perform this assignment. I indicate the time when the

15 assignment was received, the objective of the anti-terrorist operation,

16 copied from the order of the brigade commander, of course. And then in

17 the fifth paragraph we see when Combat Group 2 set out to perform this

18 mission, how the march was carried out.

19 The statement is rather more detailed than my earlier description.

20 We can see from the statement that the Combat Group 2 passed through

21 village Bela Crkva in their motor vehicles from 5.00 to 5.30. That is

22 very briefly. We did not notice anything in that village. There was no

23 activity in the village. And at 6.30, we already started performing the

24 assignment; searching the terrain and supporting police units in detecting

25 and destroying Siptar terrorist forces in this area.

Page 45771

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you carry out a search of Bela Crkva?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I have already said there was

3 no search in Bela Crkva.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: The reason I ask you is it is one of the

5 assignments you have, according to the order in front of us, was to search

6 Bela Crkva.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The search of Bela Crkva was not

8 carried out, because I said that my lead security, forward security, whose

9 assignment is to ensure unhindered march for my combat group on their axis

10 of movement, established through reconnaissance that there was no activity

11 from Bela Crkva village against our troops. Since there was no activity

12 against us, there was no reason for us to counteract. Counteract against

13 whom?

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Second, we had contact with the

16 commander of the police.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. So the search of the terrain was not conducted because there was

19 no action coming from that terrain.

20 A. Search of terrain, Mr. Milosevic, is, incidentally, one of the

21 most difficult and most complex military operations. If it's compounded

22 by terrorist action, it is the most complex operation that can be

23 performed by a unit or organised by a commander. There is no sense by

24 exhausting your men, making them search the terrain if you have reliable

25 information there are no terrorists there. We never did that, either in

Page 45772












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13 English transcripts.













Page 45773

1 1998 and especially not in 1999.

2 Let me just remind you that around 2000 hours on the 24th of

3 March, the day before, the aggression of NATO forces against our country

4 had begun. So it was far from my mind to engage in marginal matters.

5 Instead, we followed orders. We set out to uncover, destroy terrorist

6 forces, and free certain roads that had been occupied by terrorists, roads

7 that were extremely important primarily for the supply of VJ units but

8 also for supplying the civilian population and everybody who lived in

9 Kosovo and Metohija normally in our area, Djakovica, Prizren, and Orahovac

10 municipalities.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: As you can see, it's time for the break. We will

12 adjourn for 20 minutes.

13 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

14 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Colonel Vukovic, in the indictment, paragraph 56(b) -- or 66(b),

18 it says that on the 25th of March - that is the date that you were talking

19 about - forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded and attacked the village

20 of Bela Crkva, Orahovac. What can you say about that?

21 A. I can say that this is absolutely not correct. If we go back to

22 that map of Bela Crkva, we will see that the village of Bela Crkva had

23 never been surrounded. And again I say there was no need to surround it.

24 I'm talking about the original map of Colonel Delic, commander of the

25 549th Brigade, which constitutes the order to combat Siptar terrorist

Page 45774

1 forces.

2 On that map we see that Bela Crkva village is completely outside

3 the area of conduct of military operations. So this is absolutely

4 incorrect. We never surrounded Bela Crkva village, and we never performed

5 any operations in it because there was no attack.

6 Q. It goes on to say in the same paragraph that: "Many residents of

7 Bela Crkva fled along the Belaja river outside the village and were forced

8 to seek shelter near a railroad bridge. And as the forces of the FRY of

9 Serbia -- and Serbia approached the bridge, they opened fire on a number

10 of villagers, killing 12 persons including 10 women and children."

11 Since you were there, what can you tell us about what happened?

12 A. Well, this is absolutely untrue, so it's difficult to comment.

13 But I'm looking at this allegation. This Belaja brook, it's very short.

14 It starts in Bela Crkva from the confluence of two streams, one from east,

15 one from west, and they make up this Belaja brook. These residents had no

16 one to flee from, and I guarantee they didn't flee. And if they had fled

17 along the Belaja river, they would have been going north. And if you look

18 at the map, to the north of Belaja river there is no railroad. The

19 railroad is south of the village.

20 So the person who provided data for this indictment got it all

21 wrong. These allegations are completely incorrect.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness says that Bela Crkva was never

23 surrounded. The Bela Crkva village is completely outside the area of

24 conduct of military operations.

25 Is that -- is that the reason why you say it was never surrounded,

Page 45775

1 because it was outside the area of conduct of military operations?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, as soon as it is

3 outside the area of conduct of combat operations, it couldn't have been

4 surrounded. And I just explained a moment ago the activities of my unit

5 in Bela Crkva village.

6 We passed through in a marching column -- or, rather, motorcade.

7 The troops were loaded onto vehicles. There were other vehicles and

8 military equipment in the motorcade. And we passed unhindered through the

9 village. I don't know which other words to use to explain this.

10 In Bela Crkva village, there was absolutely no action. There was

11 no need to surround the village. I don't see any sense in it. Why would

12 we surround a village without it being followed by some action? That's

13 what I'm trying to explain.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. In the same paragraph it is also alleged that: "The forces of the

17 FRY and Serbia ordered men and older boys to strip and then systematically

18 robbed them of all valuables. They were ordered to go back to the

19 riverbed and later opened fire on those men and older boys, killing

20 approximately 65."

21 What can you say about these allegations? Do you know anything

22 about it?

23 A. I can say these allegations are completely untrue. I know nothing

24 about any of this for one simple reason: This never happened. That's

25 what I'm telling you. I was personally present there at the head of my

Page 45776

1 unit, and I had absolutely all the information about things that happened

2 not only in Bela Crkva village but in the entire area of conduct of

3 operations. I cannot accept that the army robbed or killed and whatever

4 is said here. That is absolutely not correct.

5 Q. But a Prosecution witness Isut Zhuniqi from Bela Crkva testified

6 here that 16 policemen opened fire at 13 Kosovo Albanian civilians who

7 were between the bridge and the police, about 50 metres away from him, the

8 witness. He testified here on the 6th of June, 2002. It's on transcript

9 page 6439.

10 So 16 policemen opened fire at 13 Kosovo Albanian civilians.

11 A. I've already said what I had to say. It seems that the witness's

12 testimony is the same as the indictment. I cannot comment upon something

13 that I know never happened for certain. I would like to see a proper

14 piece of evidence rather than such witness statements that would

15 corroborate this.

16 I absolutely reject the kind of statement you are presenting me

17 with.

18 Q. In this statement that we just looked at, the statement that you

19 provided and commented upon, you said in the last paragraph concerning

20 alleged crimes on the 25th of March: "I first heard in late 2001 and read

21 about it in the book 'As Seen, As Told.'" And you maintain that no crime

22 had been committed nor had there been any combat operations conducted.

23 You are also not aware of any crimes committed by other units.

24 A. Yes. I've just explained that, and that's the conclusion of my

25 statement.

Page 45777

1 Incidentally, the statement was asked of me not only in relation

2 to Bela Crkva. I wrote a total of ten to 15 statements where the expert

3 team of this Commission for Cooperation with the ICTY wanted me to clarify

4 certain points that were unclear and that were subject to differing

5 interpretation of events in which my unit was involved. That's why I gave

6 those statements to the commission. At the time I gave these statements,

7 I had already been retired for quite a while. And this last paragraph

8 confirms all that I wrote in the entirety of my statement.

9 Q. So you gave us a detailed explanation about Bela Crkva. You were

10 personally present in Nogavac during the war; right?

11 A. Correct. Part of my unit and myself went to Nogavac, performing

12 an action on that axis.

13 Q. Can you explain the map that is marked Nogavac TK50? It was

14 introduced during the testimony of General Delic and admitted D300, tab

15 433. You have it under number 8. Was it precisely your unit that was in

16 Nogavac?

17 A. Mr. Milosevic, here in the heading you see the 1st and 2nd of

18 April. Let me just remind you: Part of my unit from trig point 339

19 performed actions on the axis of Nogavac and later on Randubrava, but you

20 will notice that on the 1st of April there were no units of ours in this

21 area. And as far as I can see, this is an indication of NATO Air Force

22 action. It says 2nd April at 4.00 in the morning. So there was an

23 airstrike. NATO Air Forces targeted civilians who were hesitating whether

24 to leave the village or not. And they probably wanted to give them an

25 impetus to flee the village. This is my assumption, it's not based on any

Page 45778

1 documents.

2 What I do know is that the police -- or, rather, during that

3 period of time I was towards the north to continue the anti-terrorist

4 operation, and part of the terrorists succeeded in pulling out and

5 reaching Mount Milanovac and link up with the forces, the terrorist forces

6 who were active up there. So after this action, an anti-terrorist

7 operation was continued along the Orahovac-Malisevo axis, and so on and so

8 forth.

9 So on the 1st and 2nd I was not in Nogavac but I do know about the

10 event and I know for sure that this action was done by NATO planes.

11 Q. Thank you, Colonel. However, here in paragraph 63(i), we see that

12 on the 25th of March, 1999, a large group of Kosovo Albanians went to a

13 mountain near the village of Nogavac, also in Orahovac municipality,

14 seeking safety from attacks on nearby villages. That is what is stated.

15 Can you comment? Can you tell us what happened there?

16 A. Well, first of all, let me say that this is not at all correct,

17 and let me tell you why. Here's why: What it says here is went to a

18 mountain near the village of Nogavac.

19 Mr. Milosevic, you learn in primary school that up to 500 metres

20 is manoeuvre terrain and over 500 metres is where the mountain begins.

21 I'd like somebody to find you on anybody's map, whichever map you like,

22 where in the vicinity of Nogavac village there is a feature of 500 metres

23 or an altitude higher than 500 metres. And not to waste your time, I'll

24 tell you.

25 The first nearest mountain is Milanovac mountain, and it is at a

Page 45779

1 distance from Nogavac of some ten kilometres. Then there are mountains

2 south across the Beli Drim River, Pastrik and so on. I don't want to

3 enumerate them all. So this is quite incorrect. It's wrong that near the

4 village of Nogavac there is any kind of mountain whatsoever.

5 And then the following assertion is also incorrect, that the army

6 attacked nearby villages. The army did not attack a single village, and I

7 claim that with full responsibility. Just from the villages, all that --

8 from those places from which the Siptar terrorists opened fire on army

9 units and soldiers did the army respond when they uncovered a fire target,

10 which is quite normal. And this is provided for by all the rules of

11 combat for the engagement of an army. I don't think that is

12 characteristic only for the army of Yugoslavia. Any army would do that,

13 and that all armies, all armed forces from all countries have the same

14 rules and regulations as to when they engage.

15 So what is alleged here in the indictment is absolutely incorrect.

16 Q. But mention is made here that the forces of FRY and Serbia

17 surrounded these people. They surrounded them. It says they went to a

18 mountain near the village of Nogavac in Orahovac municipality, seeking

19 safety from attacks on nearby villages. And then it is claimed

20 that: "Forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded them and on the following

21 day ordered the 8.000 people who had sought shelter on the mountain to

22 leave. The Kosovo Albanians were forced to go to a nearby school and then

23 they were forcibly dispersed into nearby villages."

24 A. No. This is quite incorrect. The truth of it is this: On the

25 26th, in this area here, in the Sap [phoen] feature, I was informed by one

Page 45780

1 of my platoon commanders as soon as it was daybreak that we should -- this

2 is a depression here, Niskovlaz [phoen], with a shrubbery, and according

3 to his estimate - he didn't control or number them - but according to his

4 estimate, he thought there were about 500 civilians there.

5 Now, as since 7.00 a.m. we were supposed to carry on searching the

6 terrain, or they were searching the terrain, he asked what should be done,

7 and he personally took three soldiers with him, only three soldiers, and

8 went up to those civilians and asked them where they were from, what they

9 were doing in the area, and so on. And then he used our communication

10 lines to inform me about it and I issued him an order and told him that

11 since the civilians had said that they were from Celine and part of them

12 were from the village of Nogavac, that quite simply he should pull them

13 outside the area of combat operations, where we were expecting to engage

14 with the terrorists and where in the Randubrava village, where the

15 terrorists were, to pull them out and to have them return to their

16 villages because there would be no more action in the villages. There

17 were no more terrorists there and therefore no more action.

18 And that was what was actually done, because the combat group

19 commander informed me later on that the civilians had passed his positions

20 and went on to the village of Celine. Some said they were going on

21 further to Bela Crkva, and I think that a smaller number went to stay with

22 relatives and another part went to Velika Krusa.

23 So it's quite normal that the civilians should be pulled out of an

24 area where we expect action. And this figure of 8.000 people is

25 absolutely incorrect, just not true. As I said, we didn't count them, we

Page 45781

1 didn't control the -- we didn't look at their identity cards, identity

2 papers, but there certainly could not have been 8.000 people.

3 And furthermore, it says they were forcibly dispersed. That is

4 just not true. Who in their right mind -- if you were a civilian, I mean,

5 civilians -- get away from an area where their lives would be in jeopardy,

6 their lives and the lives their children? And let me just remind you:

7 These groups of civilians -- or this group of civilians was, first of all,

8 made up by women, children, and elderly males who were not military fit,

9 fit for military service. And it is quite logical --

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the witness tends to give answers

11 that are too long, and I'd like you to ask questions and for the witness

12 to answer more briefly.

13 MR. NICE: Your Honours, for the record, in case anybody has

14 difficulty making easy sense of it on subsequent reading, we've been

15 referring not to 63(i) but to 63 subparagraph (a)(i).

16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "Who in their right

17 mind would not get away from an area ..."

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, it is (i) and it says

19 (i). Otherwise, a Roman numeral does not have the dot above it. But I do

20 agree it is 63, paragraph 63(a)(i).

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. This is a very sweeping assertion, Colonel, if I can use the term,

23 and that is why I have to ask you to pay attention to all the details. It

24 says clearly the following: "On the 25th of March, 1999, a large group

25 --" that's the paragraph I'm referring to, (i), paragraph 63(a)(i):

Page 45782












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Page 45783

1 "... a large group of Kosovo Albanians went to a mountain near the

2 village of Nogavac ..." And you said a moment ago how far the mountains

3 are from the village of Nogavac. What did you say?

4 A. Ten to 12 kilometres. You can see that if you look at the map.

5 Q. All right. Fine. "... seeking safety from attacks on nearby

6 villages. Forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded them and on the

7 following day ordered the 8.000 people who had sought shelter on the

8 mountain to leave."

9 A. Let me repeat it again and explain again: My blockade stretched

10 from the eastern regions of Bela Crkva towards the town of Orahovac and

11 south-east of Orahovac. Even if these civilians wanted to flee to the

12 mountains, they would have to come across our forces that had set up a

13 blockade. But I state once again: They could not physically have reached

14 a mountain. That's the first point.

15 Secondly, the army never surrounded any civilians. There was no

16 need for them to do so. Why would they?

17 Q. This says here about these 8.000 people that they were forced to

18 go to the nearby schoolhouse and then dispersed -- nearby school and then

19 they were forcibly dispersed.

20 A. Mr. Milosevic, I tell you they were outside an inhabited area, a

21 settlement. This is Sara, which is a depression, and if you look at the

22 map --

23 Q. How many of them were there there?

24 A. Well, the free estimation of that commander was about 500. He

25 said there were roughly 500. So this figure of 8.000 just doesn't stand.

Page 45784

1 But if you look at this area, there is no school there. A school exists

2 in Velika Krusa, in Mala Krusa, and in Celine. But there's two

3 kilometres. So when you say "nearby school," that must have been close to

4 the people where -- close to the area where we had allegedly surrounded

5 them. So you can see that this portion of the indictment just does not

6 correspond to the truth.

7 Q. And later on it goes on to say: "After three or four days, forces

8 of FRY and Serbia entered the villages, went from house to house and

9 ordered people out."

10 A. Well, I just don't know how to interpret this or explain it. Why

11 would we send them back to the houses if we wanted to order them out

12 again? I don't see any logic there. There's no sound logic there. So

13 this is nonsensical, and it's very difficult for me to comment on

14 nonsensical assertions of that kind except to say that it is absolutely

15 not true, not correct.

16 I was present there myself. I know that the army never surrounded

17 civilians. I know that the army did not forcibly expel anyone, and I know

18 that it's just not true, and I won't accept that, and I cannot accept

19 this. I know that the army of Yugoslavia did not engage in things like

20 this, and I was an officer of the Yugoslav army.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, just to be clear, in relation to

22 this paragraph in the indictment and the previous one which dealt with

23 Orahovac, your case is that these incidents as alleged in the indictment

24 never took place at all?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here we have the commander of the

Page 45785

1 combat group which was there on the terrain, in the field, and that's what

2 I'm asking him about. And you heard his answer. You heard what he said.

3 Colonel Vukovic is talking about what actually happened there, and you

4 heard what he had to say about what it says here in the indictment; that

5 it is a lie. It's false.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, yes.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. And then it says they forced them --

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not saying that the incidents took place

10 but took place in a different manner than what is alleged in the

11 indictment, you're saying they never took place at all, they never

12 happened. I'm just asking you now what your case is, not the witness.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That it never happened. That's what

14 I learnt, and I can only learn that from the witness. He was in command.

15 He was the commander of the units which were precisely located in that

16 area at that time, and we're talking about the 25 of March, 1999. That's

17 the date. That's the date stipulated here in the indictment. On that

18 date was when the witness was there and his unit, his combat group.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right, thank you. Yes.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. And then it goes on to say: "Later on they forced them into the

22 houses again and told them not to leave. Those who were not able to fit

23 in the houses had to stay in the cars and tractors that were parked

24 nearby."

25 Did you see any civilians, cars, tractors?

Page 45786

1 A. Absolutely not. The people who I encountered were on foot. They

2 were only walking. There were no columns, no tractors, no motor vehicles.

3 Quite simply, as I say, this is just not true. There is not a single

4 piece of evidence that anything like that took place. Had there been

5 something like that, then I would have had information about it. And the

6 army is based on orders and the execution of orders and reporting back

7 once those orders had been carried out. That's how an army works,

8 functions.

9 Q. Colonel, I'm sorry to have to persist and tax you here, but this

10 is what is explained in paragraph 33. It says: "On the 2nd of April,

11 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia started shelling the villages, killing

12 a number of people who had been sleeping in tractors and cars."

13 A. Here this is partly true, but you know what part? Let me explain

14 to you. In one part, and I've already said it, actually, earlier on. Let

15 me take you back to the map of Nogavac, showing Nogavac. On the 2nd of

16 April and the 1st of April and already on the 25th from 1800 hours, there

17 was no army, no soldiers in the vicinity of the village of Nogavac at all.

18 The army, therefore, could not, even had it wanted to, it could not have

19 shelled them. It wasn't there. And most probably those villagers had

20 prepared to leave Kosovo and Metohija.

21 First of all, in the night between the 1st and 2nd of April was

22 when the NATO Air Force targeted civilians intentionally, I say, to get

23 them on the move, to get them moving. Not only them but all the other

24 villagers too. And as far as I am informed, and I am indeed informed,

25 that's where a horrendous crime took place against the civilian population

Page 45787

1 during the NATO bombing. Of course, in order to trigger a humanitarian

2 catastrophe in order to justify the aggression, which is an act of -- a

3 criminal act according to all international rules and regulations. But it

4 is not true that the army shelled. That was the consequence of the NATO

5 bombing.

6 Q. So on the 2nd of April there were no soldiers in the area, was no

7 army there. Is that what you're saying?

8 A. Yes, that's what I'm saying.

9 Q. And when was this area bombed by NATO?

10 A. Yes, the area was bombed by NATO then, and I know that the

11 civilian organs, the investigating judge conducted an on-site

12 investigation, and so on and so forth. Of course, these inhabitants, the

13 villagers were first helped by a police unit, a police unit that happened

14 to be stationed in Velika Krusa and had the assignment to ensure secure --

15 communication and the roads between Prizren and Djakovica. They were the

16 first people to arrive to help them and transport them to the hospital in

17 Prizren since Prizren was the nearest town with a hospital.

18 Q. Colonel Vukovic, a witness of the Prosecution, Ali Hoti, said here

19 in this room that he believes that on the 1st of April the Serb planes

20 dropped bombs on Nogavac. What can you say about that, about that

21 allegation? And he testified on the 22nd of April, 2002. The transcript

22 page is 3589.

23 A. What I can say is this: That is completely incorrect, because at

24 that time already our planes weren't flying. There was -- NATO had full

25 air control of the airspace.

Page 45788

1 Q. So everything that I have read out to you, you say that there were

2 none of our forces there and NATO planes were flying.

3 A. Yes. That's what I know for sure. There were none of our forces

4 there and on the basis of that I state that all airstrikes against the

5 civilian population was intentional.

6 Q. Well, I think that will suffice as far as these allegations and

7 this portion of the indictment is concerned about -- which refers to

8 Nogavac.

9 Now, during the war did you participate in any activities in Mala

10 and Velika Krusa?

11 A. Well, part of my unit, a platoon, passed along the fringes of

12 Velika Krusa. The outskirts. It wasn't involved in any direct action so

13 it was moving along the following axis: Along the Celine road towards

14 this area here and feature 440 -- 450, sorry. And action in Velika Krusa

15 was directed against the units and forces of the Ministry of the Interior,

16 who were there searching the terrain.

17 I can speak to those events if that's what you're asking.

18 Q. You can. We have a map here marked as Mala Krusa TK25 of the 26th

19 of March, 1999. And we have a map of Velika Krusa dated the 25th of

20 March. They have been admitted into evidence D300, tab 430. They have

21 already been exhibited.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, before I move on, you

23 said the statement of Colonel Vukovic was introduced during the testimony

24 of General Delic and marked for identification. I would like to tender it

25 now because Colonel Vukovic has just commented upon his statement.

Page 45789

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it will be admitted.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for that.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Colonel Vukovic, you remember what I just said, I hope, about the

5 maps of Mala Krusa and Velika Krusa that you have under tabs 9 and 10 in

6 your documents, Exhibit D300, tab 430, admitted in July of this year. Can

7 you put these maps on the ELMO.

8 A. First we've got the map of Mala Krusa that deals with the 26th of

9 March.

10 Q. You can deal with them in that sequence, or you can change the

11 sequence.

12 A. I don't know what is better for the Trial Chamber. Do you want me

13 to deal with them in chronological order?

14 Q. Please, as briefly as possible, explain what happened in Mala and

15 Velika Krusa.

16 A. We have to look at them comparatively to deal with the entire

17 action.

18 Around 7.00 on the 25th of March, the search of terrain began.

19 The first feature on which fire was opened was precisely Velika Krusa and

20 the wine cellar in Mala Krusa. Terrorists opened fire as the units were

21 arriving at their initial positions.

22 Let me tell you at the outset that Velika Krusa and Celine village

23 are connected. There is no clearly defined border between the villages.

24 Already at 7.30 action began, fire began from well-prepared trenches,

25 bunkers and communicating trenches against police from Celine village on

Page 45790

1 my left wing -- sorry right wing. And because the police units were

2 stopped before Celine village - the terrorist action was very strong - the

3 movement of my unit was slowed down.

4 I informed my superior commander, I got additional assignments

5 from him, and the action continued.

6 Here again you can see that the deployment of police forces at

7 1200 hours is this, and the deployment of my units in yellow. You can see

8 that until 1200 hours, search of Celine village had been completed, as

9 well as search of Velika Krusa, and preparations were made for continued

10 action.

11 As for this other map of Mala Krusa, I have already said that for

12 Combat Group 1 and the blocking forces, already during the deployment of

13 forces fire was opened from the wine cellar area. There was also fire

14 from Pirane, but you're now asking me about Mala and Velika Krusa.

15 And since our units had performed their nearest task, smaller

16 forces of the MUP remained in Mala and Velika Krusa with the exclusive

17 assignment of securing the Prizren-Djakovica road.

18 Q. During that operation, was there any action vis-a-vis the

19 civilians on your part or on the part of the police units with whom you

20 acted in coordination?

21 A. No, there was no action vis-a-vis the civilians, which is quite

22 normal. In most cases - in fact, I can say safely say always - civilians

23 got away from any area where they thought there might be action.

24 Concerning Celine village, we did not have precise information

25 because we had lost so much time during the day. Not a single artillery

Page 45791

1 projectile fell on Celine or Velika Krusa, because I was the only one who

2 had 120-millimetre gun that could perform such an action. But we didn't

3 use 120-millimetre mortar because precisely we were not sure whether there

4 were any civilians in Celine.

5 Q. So there was fire at you from Celine village, but you were not

6 sure it was empty of civilians so you didn't want to shoot?

7 A. Yes. We opted to destroy those firing points through manoeuvre

8 and smaller calibres to avoid adverse consequences for the civilian

9 population.

10 Q. Did you report these events to your superiors, that is the brigade

11 commander?

12 A. Of course. We were all part of one communication system, and

13 whenever there is something important to report to your superior

14 commander, or something that may affect another unit, or if assistance is

15 maybe needed somewhere, I report it. I may even decide to report things

16 on my own initiative. We were permanently within this communication

17 system, and I kept them informed about the course of this anti-terrorist

18 action.

19 Q. You are now talking about your unit. What is -- what was the

20 ethnic structure of your unit? I'm talking about commanding officers.

21 A. As far as soldiers are concerned, it was the same as other units:

22 In addition to Serbs, there were a lot of Muslims, quite a lot of

23 Hungarians, quite a lot of Roma from Kosovo and Metohija, the Gorani,

24 Turks as well, Czechs, Ruthenians; all able-bodied men fit for military

25 service who had received their call-up papers.

Page 45792












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Page 45793

1 And as for the ethnic structure of commanders, it was rather

2 variegated. I can tell you the names, if you wish.

3 Q. It would be interesting to me. Could you please try.

4 A. Well, the commander of the 1st company at that time was Captain

5 First Class Sel Janos, a commander from Vojvodina. The commander of the

6 2nd company was Captain First Class Slobodan Nangelov, a Bulgarian from

7 Dimitrov. Commander of the 3rd Company was Captain Zaim Ajdidovic, a

8 Siptar.

9 If you allow me, I want to say this: When I say "Gypsy" or "a

10 Siptar," I don't mean ill, I just mean an ethnic denomination.

11 The commander of the mortar company was a Gorani. I would not

12 like to mention his name because he and his family may have problems with

13 Siptars in Kosovo and Metohija.

14 Commander of the anti-armour rocket squad was a Macedonian. There

15 was another commander, Dobrica, whose ethnicity I sincerely don't know,

16 Mr. Milosevic, because I never inquired. The main thing for me was that

17 my subordinate commanders execute the orders that they are given and that

18 everything works well.

19 I myself am a Montenegrin. In order to be a Montenegrin, I first

20 have to be a Serb, but I don't want to bother the Trial Chamber with all

21 this.

22 Q. So practically all your commanders were of different ethnicities,

23 at least those you enumerated.

24 A. Yes. They were all of different ethnicities, but it was one of

25 the best units in the army of Yugoslavia.

Page 45794

1 Q. Do you know that in 66(c) that deals with Mala and Velika Krusa,

2 it says, and we have seen the movement of forces on the map, it says that

3 forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked the villages of Mala Krusa and

4 Velika Krusa. Is that correct?

5 A. It's not correct. In order to answer this question, with the

6 leave of the Trial Chamber, I have to explain the difference between the

7 traditional attack as a form of combat operation on the one hand and

8 search of terrain and combat with terrorist forces on the other hand. It

9 would be a very brief explanation.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it really relevant, necessary? Well, if it's

11 brief, let us hear it.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to explain this

13 term "attack" otherwise. In an attack, you have a clearly defined front

14 line, you have clearly defined own forces, supporting forces, and all the

15 other elements. You also know exactly the exact deployment of the enemy,

16 and you use the appropriate forms of manoeuvre to overwhelm the enemy.

17 In this combat action, such as search of terrain and combat with

18 terrorists, there is no classic attack. There is no fire preparation.

19 There is no aviation preparation or rocket preparation. You move the

20 front to search the terrain. When there is no action against the unit,

21 the unit has nothing to respond to and it doesn't act. The moment

22 terrorists start to act or fire, we start to fire, too, to eliminate those

23 firing points.

24 So I cannot accept that there was an attack on Mala and Velika

25 Krusa. It was not an attack. It was solely combat against terrorists who

Page 45795

1 were in that area. And all the villages that I enumerated so far were

2 extremely well fortified. Some of them fortified to the third degree,

3 which implies bunkers and shelters made of reinforced concrete, with

4 barriers over two and a half metres high made of the same material that

5 protects even from a mortar hit.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: As far as Mala and Velika Krusa are concerned,

7 you're saying that there wasn't an attack but there was some combat action

8 against terrorists who were in the area. That there was some activity

9 there on the part of Serb forces, but it is -- it should not be

10 characterised as an attack.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I do not accept that

12 the army is a Serbian force, because I just mentioned its ethnic

13 composition. It was a regular unit of the army of Yugoslavia.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks for the correction, yes.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. And second, what you

16 said is true: There was no attack in the traditional sense. It was

17 exclusively combat against terrorists. If you mean fire action, there was

18 fire action, which is normally part of every combat activity, but it was

19 exclusively directed at terrorists who opened fire at our troops.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: And there is an allegation that the forces of the

21 FRY and Serbia looted and burned -- burnt houses.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I just said a moment

23 ago that I do not allow for any allegation of that kind that the army of

24 Yugoslavia looted. It is impermissible.

25 It is my duty to speak the truth. I'm an officer, albeit retired.

Page 45796

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, there is a way in which your

2 witnesses give evidence that is interesting. There is a law that

3 prohibits something, there is a military order or regulation prohibiting

4 something, and your witnesses rely on this as the basis for saying that a

5 particular incident didn't take place. I mean, what a trust we are

6 supposed to have in their fidelity to orders. Your case can't be put in

7 that way. Let us deal with the actual facts.

8 Never mind that it was impermissible, that it is impermissible

9 according to the regulations for them to loot. Did they in fact loot? We

10 wouldn't be here today if -- if there were no breaches of regulations.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I'm afraid there's a

12 small misunderstanding. When the witness says "impermissible," he doesn't

13 mean impermissible according to the law. Of course it's impermissible

14 according to the law. I believe it is an expression of his astonishment

15 at such allegations in the indictment. He simply cannot understand that

16 anybody can claim things like that. That's his point proceeding from what

17 he knows from the ground, from being on the ground at the relevant time.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us hear his evidence as to what actually

19 happened on the ground.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Colonel Vukovic, could you please just tell us what actually

22 happened on the ground. In what sense did you use the word

23 "impermissible"? What do you mean by that?

24 A. Well, I used the word "impermissible" to say that I cannot accept

25 allegations in the indictment of this kind which say that the army of

Page 45797

1 Yugoslavia looted, burnt, and all the other things that are alleged. So

2 if I were to allow that, to permit that and accept that, that means that I

3 would have received an order to do something like that and that I

4 organised something like that, and I'm precisely saying the opposite, that

5 nothing like that happened.

6 If you ask me whether there were individual cases and instances,

7 then we can address individual cases and instances, although not in this

8 area because my unit didn't even have individual cases like that in this

9 particular region. But if we address the rest of the area of

10 responsibility, unfortunately there were instances like that. But then I

11 can also tell you of the measures and steps that I myself took, and I --

12 and the superior command took to uncover the perpetrators of such crimes

13 and to hand them over to the courts, to the judiciary, to deal with. But

14 as I say, in this part of the country there were no -- even no such

15 incidents, individual incidents. And had anything like that happened, I

16 would, of course, have had to know because it is impossible to cover up

17 things like that in a military organisation, a proper one.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. As we were saying, we stopped off discussing the attack on Mala

21 Krusa and Velika Krusa and you said there was no attack.

22 Then in providing us with your explanation, you say how terrains

23 are searched, how you conduct a search of the terrain. And you move

24 across a terrain. When do you open fire?

25 A. Well, you exclusively open fire when you are being fired at, when

Page 45798

1 our units were targeted.

2 Q. So you were moving and only if they shot at you did you shot at

3 the people -- shoot at the people shooting at you.

4 A. Yes, that's right.

5 Q. Is there any other circumstance under which you would open fire?

6 A. Mr. Milosevic, no other circumstance. That is the kind of action

7 that is undertaken. There are no preventive strikes, as our colleagues

8 from the West like to call them and use the term and concept.

9 Q. So you just move and open fire only when you're shot at, at the

10 people shooting at you; is that right?

11 A. Yes, that's quite clear.

12 Q. That's what you explained to us.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. I just wanted to check whether I'd understood you correctly.

15 A. Yes, you did.

16 Q. Now, the following claims made here, not to mention paragraphs and

17 subparagraphs, I've already mentioned that it's not important as far as

18 you're concerned, but it is claimed that in the morning of the 26th of

19 March, the forces of the FRY and Serbia ordered women and small children

20 to leave the area and go to Albania. And then that they held the men,

21 searched the men, took away their identification papers and valuables and

22 then ordered the men, on threat of death, to move on foot to an

23 uninhabited house in Mala Krusa.

24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would appreciate a reference.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 45799

1 Q. And then it further states that they forced these men, and it

2 always says the forces of the FRY and Serbia, and the young men to enter

3 the house and that they opened fire at them from a machine-gun --

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The interpreters are asking for --

5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: The interpreters are asking for a reference.

7 It's paragraph 66(c).


9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. 66(c), yes. I said that at the beginning when I started quoting.

11 I didn't think I needed to specify later on, but here I am repeating:

12 66(c).

13 On that morning of the 26th of March, they ordered the women and

14 small children to leave the area and go to Albania. They detained and

15 searched the men and boys and confiscated their identity documents and

16 valuables, ordered them to go to a small house in Mala Krusa and then

17 opened fire from a machine-gun, and then they set fire to the house so

18 that the bodies could be burnt. And allegedly during that shooting and in

19 those flames about 105 Kosovo Albanian men and boys died as a result.

20 So there you have it. That's what it says there.

21 A. Well, I don't know how many times I need to repeat that none of

22 this happened. There was no looting. There was no taking of personal

23 documents. There was no confiscating of valuables. And a soldier,

24 generally speaking, cannot loot during the fighting, during combat, even

25 if they wanted to because they wouldn't have anywhere to take the goods,

Page 45800

1 wouldn't know what to do with the goods. All they have is their combat

2 kits and combat kits and rucksacks with a bomb, reserve ammunition,

3 reserve socks, for example, and items of hygiene. So even if anybody

4 wanted to take anything, they wouldn't have anywhere to put it, let alone

5 the fact that there was nowhere any more than ten soldiers without an

6 active commanding officer, and the commanding officer would certainly not

7 have allowed them to engage in any such action.

8 Now, as far as killings are concerned, well, I don't know who

9 could have compiled anything like this because, look, this is what I want

10 to say: If in a closed space you use a machine-gun to shoot, your

11 eardrums would explode. So quite simply this is just not feasible. If I

12 were to analyse each of these allegations, I would see and you would see

13 that something wasn't already there, okay. And I claim, and I was there

14 personally, that this kind of event never took place.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did anybody die? Did anyone die in the shooting?

16 Because you have acknowledged that your forces would shoot back when you

17 were shot at. So I'm asking, if your forces were shot at and your forces

18 shot back, did anybody die in that shooting?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean terrorists or soldiers?

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, both. You can distinguish them, yes.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if we take a look at a

22 detailed analysis of the anti-terrorist operation, then you can see

23 losses, casualties on our side, and it is our estimate that, if I remember

24 well, about 80 terrorists, I think was the figure, was killed -- were

25 killed in this anti-terrorist operation. But I must say and I must add

Page 45801

1 this: The bodies of those killed, we rarely came across the bodies of

2 those killed because the terrorists used civilians first and foremost to

3 pull out both the wounded and the killed, their own members who were later

4 secretly buried. So we didn't encounter bodies.

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Your forces, you're saying, had nothing to do

6 with those who were killed, with the removal of the bodies of those

7 killed.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was like this: The asanacija or

9 clearing up of the battlefield, asanacija, is an act which is carried out

10 after the fighting has ceased, when there is no combat action and no more

11 danger and no threat to security and safety of one's own unit. And in the

12 order issued by the brigade commander - and I can find it here - in one of

13 the paragraphs of that order, with respect to the rear it says a clearing

14 up of the terrain, of the battlefield. "Asanacija" is the term, and here

15 we have the document. It is point 8(g), clear-up of the battlefield. And

16 this should be done by involving one's own forces and resources once the

17 combat action has ceased in cooperation with the organs and authorities in

18 the territory.

19 Otherwise, Mr. Robinson, for the clear-up of the terrain, we first

20 of all engage civilian structures and teams for clearing up the terrain.

21 They exist attached to the Civil Defence staffs or civilian protection

22 staffs in Prizren, Orahovac, and Djakovica. And the commanders of the

23 military units are duty-bound to locate the spots, to indicate the areas,

24 and to provide support and reinforcement with respect to safety and

25 security for the teams undertaking the clearing up of the terrain in

Page 45802












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Page 45803

1 discovering, uncovering bodies, the bodies of humans and animals and so

2 on. It's a long-lasting process.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the asanacija, did your forces collect any of

4 the Albanian bodies?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I answered that question. I

6 said that we didn't encounter any. We didn't come across any, so we

7 didn't collect them up, because this operation went on for four days. We

8 can't interrupt an action, an operation, to pick up the bodies of those

9 killed. And -- but as I said, we didn't come across any bodies because

10 they had been already pulled out.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: What were your losses?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our losses, the loss to my unit was

13 one soldier killed and three wounded, I think. And in the whole brigade,

14 and you can see this from the analysis -- just a moment, I'll find it,

15 that exact spot. I think three dead and seven wounded, but I stand to be

16 corrected.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]...

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know for certain about my unit. I

19 can give you the names of the soldiers, if you would like.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not really. What was the size of the terrorist

21 group that you were dealing with?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, according to our estimates,

23 1.500 terrorists. But on the map -- you can't see it on this map, but if

24 you put the Retimlje map on the overhead projector, then you will be able

25 to see that in the village of Retimlje there was a brigade -- or, rather,

Page 45804

1 the command of the 124th Brigade, if I'm not mistaken but we'll put the

2 map on the overhead projector and then we can see --

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, I don't want a map right now. Did you tell

4 us what was the size of your unit, the size of the forces that were

5 involved in the combat action against the terrorists?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in the first and second day,

7 186 people were engaged, and later on the brigade commander requested that

8 I send another platoon to close off an axis where the terrorists were

9 pulling out towards Mount Milanovac. So my total forces in that operation

10 numbered 220 men.

11 The forces of the army were around 800 and something.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us the weapons that your forces used and the

13 weapons used by the -- the terrorists.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as weapons are concerned, all

15 the weapons that an infantry battalion would generally have, including

16 120-millimetre mortars which throughout the operation did not shoot a

17 single mine because there was no need to do so. And I was reinforced with

18 a tank platoon and a mechanised platoon - they are combat infantry

19 vehicles - and a platoon of air defence guns, 30-millimetre ones.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: And on the other side?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Anti-aircraft guns, 30-millimetre.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the terrorists?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the terrorists, they also had

24 excellent weapons, which means they had automatic rifles of the

25 Kalashnikov type, most frequently made in China, but they are of the same

Page 45805

1 level. They had excellent sniper rifles, excellent optic sights, produced

2 in the West. They also had light machine-guns, 7.32-millimetres,

3 machine-guns of 7, 9 and 12 millimetres. PKT Russian produced or Browning

4 USA produced. They also had anti-armoured weapons, RPGs or Armbrust, the

5 German type. There was quite a lot of that. They also had recoilless

6 guns, US produced 70 millimetres, and mortars --

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did your forces -- did your forces also have

8 machine-guns?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said they did. We had the

10 weapons that every infantry motorised battalion would have. They are

11 calibres from 7.62 millimetres to 120-millimetres.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see, yes.

13 Mr. Milosevic.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, may I ask one thing. Is part of your

15 answer, Mr. Vukovic, you said that there was nowhere any more than ten

16 soldiers --

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving the

18 interpretation. I didn't get what you said. I didn't hear the entire

19 question.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Vukovic, at one stage in your answer,

21 your last lengthy answer, you said that there was nowhere any more than

22 ten soldiers without an active commanding officer. In what sort of

23 circumstances were groups of that size active without an active commanding

24 officer?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand you. I don't

Page 45806

1 understand your question. An active officer and NCO, they were the

2 commanders of a rifle platoon, for example, numbering 30 men. However,

3 when -- what I said was that the struggle against the terrorists and

4 searching the terrain is a very complex combat operation. Then we tried

5 to take as many officers with us as possible to avoid our own losses and,

6 of course, in order to carry out our assignment as best as possible. And

7 it was in that sense that I said that there were never more than ten --

8 that an active officer usually was in charge of ten men, talking about the

9 terrorist operation.

10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well -- well, it certainly was not translated that

11 way. It was translated on the basis that ten men might be acting without

12 an active commanding officer. You say that didn't happen.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't know what translation

14 you were getting, what interpretation, but I know what I said.

15 JUDGE KWON: The next sentence tells that there should be some

16 mistake. If I read the transcript again where you said that ten soldiers,

17 in answer to the question put by the Presiding Judge you said: "So even

18 if anybody wanted to take anything, they wouldn't have anywhere to put it,

19 let alone the fact that there was nowhere any more than ten soldiers

20 without an active commanding officer." And you said, "And the commanding

21 officer would certainly not have allowed them to engage in any such

22 action."

23 So what did you say actually?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I precisely said what you just

25 read out. That's what I said. I don't know what you wish to hear from

Page 45807

1 me.

2 JUDGE KWON: You said there's nowhere no more than ten soldiers

3 without an active -- so there should have been a commanding officer. I

4 follow. Thank you.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: I regret I don't, but perhaps it can be sorted out

6 in cross-examination.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. It says here that our forces had taken these people to a house,

9 opened fire, set fire to the house, and that about 105 Kosovo Albanians

10 were killed. And then the names of those killed are set forth in Schedule

11 C. I haven't counted them, but I'm sure that there are probably several

12 dozen of them. They were all male.

13 A. Do you happen to have the date of birth of those people, their

14 age?

15 Q. The average age military-able men, mostly. On the first page, for

16 example -- let me have a look -- there's just one who is 17. I don't want

17 to make a mistake. There is one who is 16 years old. Two are 17 years of

18 age, as far as I can see, but I stand to be corrected.

19 On the second page there's one of 16, one is 15, and one is 13.

20 And on the last page we have one more who is 13, but usually they are 68,

21 34, 36, 27, 33, 26, 72, 28, 22, et cetera. 23 and so on, 39, 50, 40, 70,

22 20, 33, and so on and so forth. I'm skipping some. And that's why I

23 said, generally speaking, military-able men have been listed there.

24 From this it emerges that all those who were killed were civilians

25 and that you killed them by collecting them up in a house, executing them,

Page 45808

1 and setting fire to the house.

2 A. No, Mr. Milosevic. If they were killed, they could have been

3 exclusively killed in battle. They could -- if they were killed, they

4 could only have been killed if they had opened fire and targeted members

5 of the police and army, not outside combat. And I guarantee that. The

6 army never did anything like that. And I can repeat it as many times as

7 you like. And you can bring in all 220 soldiers here who were engaged in

8 that operation with me, and they will confirm it and say the same thing

9 I'm quite sure.

10 Q. Was there any killing of a civilian in that action?

11 A. In this action? No.

12 Q. Was any prisoner of the KLA killed?

13 A. No, because you can see from this analysis that nobody was taken

14 prisoner. As for the tactics of Siptar terrorists in Kosovo, I can tell

15 you a lot about after initial failures, after we'd drive them away from

16 well-fortified positions they'd have to abandon, they conceal their

17 weapons or throw them away, they discard their uniforms, change into

18 civilian clothes, and blend with civilians, because they know, they are

19 certain that no repressive measures would be taken against them.

20 In my statements and other statements, you can see that in

21 Brezovac, in addition to lists of terrorists, lists of ammunition, et

22 cetera, we also found parts of military uniforms that belonged to the

23 terrorist organisation of the KLA. As the action proceeds, we find more

24 and more of those uniforms, and we find the most on the last day when they

25 had changed. There was a large group of civilians in Mamusa, and they

Page 45809

1 simply blended with them because they knew the police and army would do

2 nothing against them. That was their tactics in 1998 and, of course,

3 during the aggression.

4 Q. You say, therefore, that they were certain that the army and

5 police would do nothing against civilians.

6 A. Right. That's why they change into civilian clothes.

7 Q. Witness Ali Hoti, from Velika Krusa, said here that on the 25th of

8 March Serb forces surrounded Velika Krusa village and that he himself had

9 seen tanks and Pragas in the village as well as Serbian forces that had

10 started shelling the village.

11 What can you say about this claim? He testified in April 2002,

12 transcript page 3589.

13 A. I can say that it is not true. I have told this story before.

14 The village of Velika Krusa has never been surrounded, one. Second, tanks

15 and Pragas -- it can't be Praga, it must be a 35-millimetre tank. They

16 were never in Velika Krusa, because the police does not dispose of such

17 weapons. Only the army has such weapons.

18 On the road from Prizren to Djakovica or Prizren to Zrze, all up

19 to the 27th, in the evening, there was a blocking unit. Its only task was

20 to not allow the terrorists to run across the Beli Drim river and flee

21 into one the terrorist strongholds; in Rogovo, for instance. But the

22 police did not have such weapons, and they couldn't have gone with them to

23 Velika Krusa. So it's complete nonsense.

24 Allegedly tanks and Pragas, I suppose manned by some people

25 because they can't go in alone, went into the village, and then we

Page 45810

1 ourselves went into the same village, I suppose in order to be shelled by

2 our own. Nonsense.

3 I told you already there was no shelling of Velika Krusa because

4 there was nobody else able to shell apart from my firing group in that

5 terrain.

6 Q. And your own firing group didn't fire a single shell.

7 A. No. During the entire time of action, that firing group did not

8 fire a single shell. I did have smaller calibres as well, I admit, but

9 there was no shelling of Velika Krusa.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take the 20-minute break now.

11 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.

12 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Colonel Vukovic, let me just go through your comments on the

16 statement of Ali Hoti, namely that our forces surrounded Velika Krusa.

17 You say it was not surrounded. He claims tanks and Pragas shelled the

18 village. You say there was no shelling at all.

19 A. That's correct. That's my assertion.

20 Q. To that you add the fact that your mortars that were able to shell

21 the village were never used.

22 A. Correct. Not only then but throughout the four days that my unit

23 or, rather, the part of my unit involved was in this area.

24 Q. The same witness who testified on the 22nd of April, transcript

25 page 3589, says -- his name is Ali Hoti from Velika Krusa. He says that

Page 45811

1 on the 29th of March, 1999, Mehmet Krasniqi told him that on that day in

2 Mala Krusa the Serbian police and paramilitaries rounded up 109 men,

3 including this Krasniqi, took them to a house, covered them with straw,

4 poured petrol on them and set fire to them. This Krasniqi survived

5 somehow. So Ali Hoti learned this from this Krasniqi man.

6 A. All I can say is that none of this is true. There are several

7 untruths in it. It says Serbian police and paramilitaries.

8 Look, concerning paramilitaries, throughout my tour of duty in

9 Kosovo and Metohija I never saw any paramilitaries or, for that matter,

10 any armed member who was not part of the regular units of the army or the

11 police. And I can say with full certainty that Colonel Delic was there.

12 And where he was and where I was, not a single paramilitary soldier could

13 have been for any length of time because he would have been immediately

14 arrested.

15 Then he says they were practically incinerated, poured petrol on

16 and set fire to. There must have been burns. Why didn't this Krasniqi

17 come to show the burns? But there was no rounding up and covering with

18 straw and pouring of petrol and setting fire to. This is absolutely

19 untrue.

20 Q. In Orahovac municipality there is also the Celine village. You

21 personally were involved in the events in Celine; is that correct?

22 A. Yes. I and a part of my unit participated in the events or,

23 rather, combat against terrorists in the village of Celine as well. I

24 have already mentioned this.

25 Q. Under number 11 here, we have a map of Bela Crkva, Celine, 29th of

Page 45812












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13 English transcripts.













Page 45813

1 March, 1999. Sorry, 25th of March. D300, tab 367, admitted through

2 General Delic on the 5th of June -- 5th of July.

3 Could you tell us what happened in Celine on the 25th of March.

4 Where was your unit? What were you doing, pursuant to which order? What

5 were your movements?

6 A. On this map we see the deployment of my forces at 1200 hours on

7 the 25th, but I can tell you that in the morning action began from this

8 line that I showed earlier around 0700 hours. Already at 0730 in the area

9 of Celine -- or, rather, from the area of Celine and Velika Krusa, fire

10 was opened at a platoon of mine and a unit of the police that had set out

11 to search the terrain towards Velika Krusa.

12 Combat against fortified terrorists lasted for a little under an

13 hour. We assumed that the greatest part of the terrorists pulled out

14 towards Randubrava village. It was the police unit that entered the

15 village first, because it is their purpose to search populated areas,

16 whereas the army remained on the fringes.

17 After the police conducted the search and established there were

18 no terrorists left in the village, we emerged in our combat disposition on

19 the eastern part of Celine village. You see here the deployment of forces

20 at 1200 hours.

21 In the village of Celine, there was no civilian population before

22 combat operations began, and I've already told you earlier that we were

23 very slow in dealing with these firing tasks precisely because we were not

24 certain whether there were any civilians in the village or not.

25 Later on, during that day and the day after, I ran across groups

Page 45814

1 of civilians, some of which -- some of whom stated that they were natives

2 of Celine and said that they had fled deeper into the territory.

3 As for what I did, I gave specific assignments to my subordinate

4 commanding officers such as to neutralise certain firing positions to

5 protect the troops, to avoid losses among our own troops, and other normal

6 things that every commanding officer does.

7 As for the disposition of units acting towards Celine, that was

8 pursuant to the brigade commander's order to crush the terrorists and to

9 lift the blockade of roads.

10 That is the basis upon which I made my own orders and decisions,

11 adjusting them on the ground to match the developments.

12 As for my unit, you see that emerged on the eastern slopes of

13 Celine village at 1200 hours, and part of the unit was here in Amovac -

14 you can't see it well here - approaching Bela Crkva.

15 Q. You have described the course of events up to that point. Is it

16 described in the same way in your statement?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It has been provided here, D300, tab

18 369, introduced on the 1st of July this year during the testimony of

19 General Delic and at the request of Mr. Nice or, rather, at his objection,

20 it was your ruling that it would only be marked for identification.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Now, under the next number, 12, is this your statement, Colonel?

23 A. Yes. This is my statement given to the Commission for Cooperation

24 with the International Criminal Tribunal. Of course, in my previous

25 answer I only commented upon the map that is on display, whereas my

Page 45815

1 statement is more detailed.

2 Let me just note that after we passed Celine village, after the

3 completion of combat operations in the village, sometime around 1400 hours

4 - if I could have the map back it would be useful - in the Hoca riverbed

5 we ran into a group of civilians. In my rough estimate there were about

6 200 of them. One of my commanders found them there, informed me. I went

7 there personally. I talked to them. They were mainly women, children,

8 and elderly men, and I talked to one elderly man. He told me that early

9 in the morning of the 25th, they found shelter there, fleeing Celine and

10 Nogavac to protect themselves from the upcoming action, knowing that there

11 were terrorists in the said villages.

12 He told me, in fact, that the terrorists were not from his

13 village, but they forced them to dig shelters and trenches around the

14 village.

15 I told them -- in fact, I ordered that civilians remain in that

16 area until the army has passed by and then to return to Nogavac because

17 there would be no more action and there were no more terrorists left. I

18 know that at least where Celine is concerned the group reached the village

19 because one of my commanders informed me. I told this commander to change

20 the firing position to avoid any possible incident. And anyway, it was a

21 very small group of soldiers. Only ten soldiers and two commanding

22 officers. For their personal safety, I moved them to the Brinje feature.

23 In the course of the day, we emerged at trig point 450. You can't

24 see it well. There's also trig point 337 that leads to Donje Retimlje.

25 That is where we moved and organised some rest for the troops. And we

Page 45816

1 also made sure that terrorists could not move back or pull out towards the

2 features that we had searched already.

3 Q. In this statement, we can see in paragraph 4 what you told us a

4 moment ago, and that is that from the village -- it says: "The first

5 contact with the Siptar terrorist forces was at around 0730 hours when

6 from the area of the Celine village they opened fire on my right flank,

7 platoon right flank on the police units and we responded to the fire. The

8 fighting went on barely an hour when the Siptar forces were routed and

9 probably withdrew to the village of Randubrava."

10 And among other things you say something that you've already said,

11 that: "A police unit searched the village, that I passed by around 10.00

12 a.m. --" yes, 10.00 a.m., you're quite right -- "and I did not encounter

13 any civilian population."

14 So what you said a moment ago is what you set out here?

15 A. Yes, that's right.

16 Q. And then the next paragraph refers to the 200 civilians.

17 A. Yes. When it comes to civilians, don't take these numbers as

18 being final numbers because it's a free estimation. Nobody actually

19 counted them. It was a rough estimate of how many civilians there were,

20 so it might not be the exact figure but give or take. It's a rough

21 estimate. Mine, too, because I was on the spot and also the rough

22 estimate made by my commanders, commanding officers.

23 And we can see that that group later on did leave and went to the

24 village of Celine and went back to their houses. Of course, then came the

25 events of the 1st and 2nd of April.

Page 45817

1 Q. We've already gone through those.

2 A. Yes, we've gone through them.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, since this is -- was

4 produced during General Delic's testimony and was just marked for

5 identification, I'd like to tender it into evidence now, this statement by

6 Colonel Vukovic which he has just commented upon.


8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. We've just seen what you gave to the commission. Colonel, just

11 let us dwell for a moment on the statements you made to the Commission for

12 Cooperation. Were you in the expert group?

13 A. No, no. I was not a member of that expert team or commission.

14 Q. Explain how you worked, how you came to give the statements.

15 A. Well, I was personally contacted by a man whom I happened to know

16 during my years of service earlier on. Colonel Djurovic is his name, and

17 as I say, I had already retired. I was already a retired man when I gave

18 the statement. He told me -- said that we should meet. We did meet, and

19 he explained to me how the commission functioned, what its tasks were, why

20 it was set up in the first place, and he asked me whether I wished to

21 explain the action of my unit at that time and in that location, which I

22 accepted, because it is in my interests to tell the truth about these

23 events, to have the truth be told.

24 So, now, if you mean the actual technique of writing the

25 statement, I wrote it out in longhand and then he typed it out. I looked

Page 45818

1 through his typing, because it was a document, compared it with my

2 original, and signed it.

3 Q. What about your subordinate officers? Did they provide the

4 commission with statements as well?

5 A. Yes, they did. They made statements, those who took part in this

6 operation and those who the expert team managed to find, because some of

7 them had already left the army. That is to say they were no longer in

8 active army service. Another portion was engaged in combat assignments in

9 the security zone, for example, on the ground. So those who were

10 available, he contacted them and they provided him with statements.

11 I have some of those statements here, so if it is of interest to

12 the Court I can read them out too.

13 Q. Well, we might do that. We might take you up on that later on,

14 but do you know that in paragraph 63(a), devoted to Orahovac municipality

15 states that on the morning of the 25th of March, 1999 -- the 25th of

16 March, 1999, is the date, "The forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded the

17 village of Celine with tanks and armoured vehicles. After shelling the

18 village, they entered the village and systematically looted and pillaged

19 everything of value from the houses, set houses on shops on fire, and

20 destroyed the old mosque. Because of this, most the Kosovo Albanian

21 villagers fled to a nearby forest before the army and the police arrived."

22 A. Well, there are a lot of strange -- well, if I skip over

23 something, please point that out to me, but let me say that the village of

24 Celine was never surrounded, and no village was during this anti-terrorist

25 operation, if it comes to that. None of the villages were surrounded.

Page 45819

1 There was no reason to surround the village, to surround a village if you

2 want, by your own combat deployment, to do something we refer to as search

3 the terrain. And I claim that the village of Celine was never surrounded.

4 Next, I claim that the -- there was no shelling of the village,

5 and I've already said that. I said that earlier on. Because that group

6 capable of shelling a village did not fire a single shell.

7 Q. But you said you had some reinforcements, a tank platoon or

8 whatever. Did they do any firing perhaps?

9 A. No. Mr. Milosevic, there was an order in existence which was

10 given before the war started, and that was that care should be taken and

11 that all calibres should be placed -- the use of all calibre weapons

12 should be placed under control, because we expected to be attacked. So we

13 saved on calibres, on ammunition. And there was no sense in using a tank

14 cannon, for example, a tank gun, to destroy a sniper. So -- as there are

15 other calibres prescribed for that. Now, if you cannot do anything else,

16 then you would use it.

17 However, in the village of Celine, tank weaponry was not used

18 except for a machine-gun, a 7.62-millimetre machine-gun which was

19 positioned on it. Otherwise, permission for the use of tank weapons, a

20 tank cannon, for example, is given exclusively by the brigade command. It

21 is only the brigade commander that can issue such permission. And

22 lower-level commanding officers can only issue orders if a unit is

23 directly attacked, to use armoured vehicles.

24 Next, it says "... systematically looted and pillaged everything

25 of value from the houses." Well, I already said a moment ago that even if

Page 45820

1 a soldier wanted to, he would not have anywhere to put the things that he

2 had taken. Would it be normal to expect that he is shot at carrying a

3 television set on his back, because a television set is a valuable, after

4 all, from a house, let alone any more heavy furniture, items of furniture.

5 Next it says that houses and shops were set on fire. That is

6 absolutely not true. The army never did anything like that.

7 Then it says destroyed the old mosque. I don't remember the old

8 mosque at all. If it was destroyed -- if it is destroyed, then it could

9 only have been destroyed for one reason; because people opened fire from

10 the mosque and targeted the soldiers. And let me remind you if any

11 facility or building is used for military purposes, then it is a

12 legitimate target and may be targeted.

13 I really can't remember the mosque in Celine just now, but I do

14 remember the mosque in Donje Retimlje for sure where there was a sniper

15 and machine-gun nest and for three and a half to four hours they kept us

16 pinned to the ground because we weren't able to advance because of the

17 firing that was very precise and fierce.

18 So even if the mosque was destroyed, it was only destroyed because

19 there was shooting coming from the mosque targeting the army and police.

20 Then it says fled to a nearby forest. Please, around the village

21 of Celine, anybody who doesn't know this area and can't read a map -- or,

22 rather, who can read a map can see that around the village of Celine there

23 is nothing green, which means there are no forests. There are only some

24 orchards, and around the Kocanska river there's something that we call

25 low-lying shrubs, low-lying shrubs of a metre and a half to two metres

Page 45821

1 would be the highest vegetation there.

2 As for a forest, there were no forests in the area. It's all

3 barren. You have forests at Milanovac Mountain, which I mentioned a

4 moment ago, which is at a distance of 10 to 12 kilometres from here. So

5 they couldn't have fled to the nearby forest, as it says.

6 Q. All right. They said that they went to a nearby forest even

7 before the army and the police arrived, entered the village.

8 A. And I say to you there is no forest there so they could not have

9 fled to a nearby forest.

10 Q. Now, with respect to this assertion of surrounding a village, you

11 said that there was no surrounding the village.

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. And you said there was no shelling of the village.

14 A. Correct.

15 Q. There was no burning of houses?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. Looting, what about looting?

18 A. I said, right, there wasn't any.

19 Q. There wasn't any?

20 A. No. If you ask me whether there were any destroyed houses, there

21 were but only in this respond to the firepower from the terrorists. But

22 intentional burning, that certainly didn't happen.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's another example, Colonel. If there was

24 any -- any destroyed houses, it was only in response to the firepower from

25 the terrorists. But, I mean, can you state as a matter of fact that this

Page 45822












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 45823

1 was the position, that there was firepower from the terrorists and in

2 returning the firepower -- in returning fire, houses were destroyed?

3 I mean, that is what is important to us as evidence, what happened

4 as a matter of fact, not what ought to have happened on the basis of the

5 orders by which your forces are supposed to operate.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What I've just been saying are

7 just facts, and I'm telling you this on the basis of my own personal

8 experience. I was there throughout the time, in the first front line with

9 my soldiers. So everything that I'm telling you is fact.

10 Now, if you take a look otherwise at the axis of where my unit was

11 operational, the entire village of Celine is halfway -- is in the middle

12 of the width of that zone. So I was personally physically present in the

13 village of Celine, if that's what you mean, so I'm just telling you of the

14 facts.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you did see houses destroyed? You were a

16 witness to the destruction of houses?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not an eyewitness to the

18 destruction of houses. I'm telling you -- what I'm saying is that there

19 were individual houses which were destroyed but only as the result of the

20 effects of weapons and in destroying the fire positions -- firing

21 positions of the terrorists that were targeting us.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You were a witness to the destruction of these

23 individual houses?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was a witness. In every war

25 there is destruction of houses. You have houses destroyed in every war.

Page 45824

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, not on the basis of supposition and what

2 happens in every war. What happened on the day when you were there? Are

3 you saying that you witnessed the destruction of individual houses; and

4 secondly, are you saying that that was done as a response to fire from the

5 terrorists?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you look at the transcript,

7 things will be clearer. So there was -- they opened fire from a number of

8 houses that were prepared to be fired from, which means on the windows you

9 would have sacks filled with -- sandbags and sacks filled with earth.

10 There was -- were windows and doors knocked down on the other side so that

11 they could shoot from the house, because if you fire a high calibre bullet

12 from a closed-in house, then your eardrums would explode. So the village

13 of Celine was a fortification of that kind, and as a result, these firing

14 points were destroyed when they were in houses.

15 So my answer is yes, I was present when individual houses which

16 were used by the terrorists were destroyed.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps that clarifies it, but you've just a short

19 while before said you weren't present. You are assuring us that you saw

20 it actually happen and that you didn't simply see the results of what had

21 happened earlier?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know what results you

23 mean.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: By "results" I mean the damage. You're not simply

25 saying, "I saw the damage later." Are you actually saying that you saw

Page 45825

1 the damage being done by the firing by your forces?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's clear, that you see it

3 straight away. If you shoot at the enemy in a house, of course the house

4 is damaged, and that is -- you can see that straight away.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you actually see that happening? Yes or no.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm telling you --

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes or no.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I was present.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. This is quite clear. Just let me take a look

11 at what it says further on. That same paragraph, for the benefit of the

12 interpreters, who have the document in front of them, I'd like to draw

13 their attention that I'm still dealing with paragraph 63(a). Towards the

14 end of that paragraph, it says: "On the 28th of March, 1999, forces of

15 the FRY and Serbia forced the thousands of people hiding in the forest to

16 come out. After marching the civilians to a nearby village, the men were

17 separated from the women and were beaten, robbed, and all their identity

18 documents were taken from them. The men were then marched to Prizren and

19 eventually forced to go to Albania."

20 There you have it. That's what it says in paragraph (a).

21 A. That is absolutely not correct. First of all, on the 28th of

22 March -- and I assume that this paragraph relates to Celine, does it?

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. The army was -- my unit specifically was in Retimlje, Donje

25 Retimlje, and part of Mamusa. So on that 28th, Mr. Milosevic, my unit was

Page 45826

1 not operational at all. It didn't go into action at all. We were just

2 replenishing our forces; fuel, gathering up our soldiers and preparing to

3 march to the village of Bistrazin.

4 So on the 28th, there were absolutely no soldiers. And even these

5 forces who were in the blockade, on the 27th returned to their own areas.

6 So there were no soldiers there on the 28th. There were no soldiers in

7 this area here on the 28th of March.

8 Now, as for forcible taking of identity documents and so on, I

9 state that none of that took place.

10 Q. You mean none of that happened there or none of that happened

11 anywhere?

12 A. I said that in my unit that never happened. And I think that

13 individual cases of abuse and individual cases of crimes can be addressed.

14 I can tell you of individual examples when you ask me, but not here; they

15 didn't happen here.

16 Q. A witness of the opposite side, Reshit Salihi, from the village of

17 Celine, said that on the 24th of March the Serb army was wearing black

18 uniforms and that it opened fire on houses and buildings including the

19 mosque in Celine and that on that occasion they set fire to the houses or,

20 rather, that the units of the army of Yugoslavia that day surrounded the

21 village of Celine, shelled it, set fire to it, and then the army entered

22 the village and that's when they opened fire and shot at the houses and

23 buildings there. And he testified from the 19th to the 22nd of April, 19

24 -- 2002. This is page 3542 of the transcript.

25 Therefore, he says that on the 24th of April, the army was there

Page 45827

1 in black uniforms, that they opened fire and shot at the mosque, that they

2 set fire to the houses, surrounded the village, shelled it, and then

3 entered the village and opened fire and shot at the houses and buildings.

4 A. This does not correspond to the truth. On the 24th of March, my

5 unit was in a village called Zup. It was not in Celine at all.

6 Q. Let us assume that he made a mistake about that.

7 A. As for black uniforms, the only black uniforms in Kosovo and

8 Metohija were worn by terrorists, members of the terrorist so-called

9 Kosovo Liberation Army. In our ranks, or in the ranks the Ministry of the

10 Interior, I have never seen a black uniform.

11 And incidentally, these black uniforms are appearing in Kosovo, in

12 Metohija these days. At least, that's what the media report.

13 As for his statement that the army opened fire inside houses, it's

14 complete nonsense. To open fire on empty buildings, not a single soldier,

15 not a single unit would do that, because among other things, for every

16 mission a certain amount of ammunition is approved to be spent. What are

17 we to do, to spend all our ammunition recklessly and then remain without

18 any when we face terrorists eventually? Complete nonsense.

19 Q. This witness says that men were separated from women and children,

20 men were robbed, their ID papers taken away, and later on the men formed a

21 line at gunpoint, walking to Prizren, and that at one point they stood for

22 six hours with their arms above their heads. That's what he testified. I

23 have it on the transcript.

24 A. I have already spoken about this group of civilians. It's not

25 true that anybody took anything away from them, that they were robbed of

Page 45828

1 their valuables and ID papers. We didn't even check their papers. I

2 don't see any purpose --

3 Q. Wait a minute, Colonel. You said that in some riverbed you found

4 a group of about 200 civilians, but what he says concerns Celine. He says

5 that an army unit entered the village that day, that they separated men

6 from women and children, and then robbed men of valuables and papers and

7 marched them in columns.

8 A. I have already told you, Mr. Milosevic, that in Celine village

9 there had been no civilian population before combat operations began. I

10 learned this from civilians who were hiding in the Hoca riverbed. They

11 told me themselves. And later on when we entered the village, we

12 established for ourselves that there were no civilians.

13 Q. This witness says that on the 26th of March, around 7.00 or 8.00

14 in the morning, a group of over 40 policemen reached Pisjak [phoen] woods

15 where 5 to 6.000 refugees were hiding and, under threat, took away their

16 valuables and identification papers. What can you say about that? 26

17 March in the morning.

18 A. To say the least, it sounds illogical, because he said earlier

19 that on the 24th we drove them away towards Prizren. Then how were we

20 able to find them on the 26th in some woods if we had already driven them

21 away towards Prizren?

22 Q. Let's assume that he got that wrong. Where was your unit?

23 A. Early in the morning on the 26th, my unit was already approaching

24 Randubrava and the search of that village was conducted.

25 Q. Where is this Pisjak woods?

Page 45829

1 A. I don't know honestly. It's not on the map. I suppose it's some

2 local name. But I keep telling you one thing: There is no woods in this

3 area. There are only orchards, vineyards, and trees here and there.

4 Q. All right. Is it possible for 5 to 6.000 people to hide in those

5 orchards and vineyards? Is it possible for 40 policemen to come there,

6 rob them of money, valuables, and ID papers?

7 A. It's simply impossible for such a large group to be in one area

8 without being seen.

9 Q. On the 26th, were you in the area?

10 A. Yes, of course I was, Mr. Milosevic. I have been telling you

11 where I was from the 25th until 28th. I was in that area. And a large

12 concentration of refugees was only in Mamusa village.

13 Q. Do you mean the Turkish village?

14 A. Yes, it's populated mainly by Turks. And at least twice as many

15 civilians were there from the neighbouring villages.

16 On the 28th, I spoke to the locals of Mamusa, and I can tell you

17 that they did not want to buy weapons from terrorists, because the

18 terrorists used to sell weapons to their own people under very serious

19 threats, at very high prices. The Mamusa people did not want any of that,

20 and they were maltreated by terrorists. And the Mamusa people complained

21 they simply couldn't cope with such a large number of people in their

22 village. They had nowhere to put them up.

23 But to speak of such a large number of people hiding anywhere,

24 it's simply not true. I told you, we came across groups of 100, 200 - in

25 one case there were 500 - but never more, except in Mamusa village.

Page 45830

1 Q. All right. The issue of how many people could have been in a

2 group is one thing. Did anybody mistreat these people, take anything away

3 from them, rob them, even if there were only 15? Did anybody separate men

4 from women?

5 A. No. The army never looted, robbed, separated men from women or

6 anything like that.

7 Q. Agim Zeqiri, another witness, says there was a convoy of refugees

8 escorted by army and police of Yugoslavia, numbering about 4.000 people,

9 moving towards Albania. Was there a convoy that was gathered in Orahovac?

10 Was anybody directing it towards Albania? Did anybody drive away these

11 people and make them go to Albania, as witnesses say?

12 A. Even if that convoy existed, it was certainly not escorted by the

13 army. As far as I know, it wasn't escorted by the police either. It's

14 true that after the aggression began on the 24th of March, and especially

15 on the 25th and throughout the first days of April, there was a lot of

16 civilians who were going to Albania. They could have gone to central

17 Serbia or Montenegro, but for reasons known only to them, most of them

18 decided to go to Albania, but the convoys were never escorted or directed.

19 Q. Did anybody tell them to leave their homes and go?

20 A. No. On the contrary. Whenever we had contact with them, we told

21 them to stay in their villages, not to leave. If that's what you're

22 asking me, my answer is that there was no attempt to persuade them or to

23 order them to go anywhere.

24 Q. Witness Jusuf Jemini from Celine - he could be Jemini or Jemini,

25 I'm not sure about the pronunciation, but from Celine - he testified on

Page 45831

1 the 24th of July, transcript 8559. He says in his testimony that over the

2 radio code 444 he heard a conversation between a policeman from Celine who

3 was saying that many people had been killed in Celine whereas the other

4 voice asked him, "Is it a larger massacre than in Racak?" And the first

5 one answered, "It's twice as big."

6 Now, what can you tell us about this massacre in Celine?

7 The statement of that witness was exhibited under number 276.

8 A. This massacre in Celine is non-existent, and I'm slightly confused

9 by this code 444, and I'm confused by how come a civilian can have a radio

10 device that is only used by police or army. And if he had a radio device,

11 how did he stumble upon the frequency used by the army or the police?

12 I'm absolutely -- I'm almost certain that in this operation we had

13 a code name Poljanica, and to this name Poljanica a certain number was

14 added for purposes of identification during calls. Although we could tell

15 each other's voice even without those code names. As for the police, I

16 believe their code name for the operation was Cegan, plus a certain

17 number. So this code is a fiction.

18 I told you I was in Celine and my unit was in Celine and there was

19 no massacre there.

20 Q. You also said there was no civilian population as such in Celine.

21 A. Yes. Only in the 20 -- in the afternoon of the 25th, part of the

22 civilians were told to return to the village after the completion of

23 combat operations.

24 Q. Let me just find this number.

25 A. That's number 18.

Page 45832

1 Q. Under number 18, we have your statement, a statement that you gave

2 in relation to the events from the 25th to the 28th of March.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, that's D300, tab 406,

4 also marked for identification during the testimony of General Delic.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Is this your statement?

7 A. Yes, this is my statement given to the Commission for Cooperation,

8 detailing the first day of combat, the 25th of March. Don't be confused

9 by this. It was the idea of the commission who required this statement to

10 separate actions by days, and later separate statements were given to deal

11 with specific places.

12 You can also see my personal details here, which duties I

13 performed.

14 Q. No, I mean number 18.

15 A. I'm looking at 18.

16 Q. No, number 18 does not contain your personal data. It only says

17 unit operations between 25th and 28th March, and it begins with: "I

18 received a report that in the area of Sarap a large group of civilians is

19 there, the third day of operations."

20 A. We obviously have different statements. That's precisely what I

21 was saying, that early in the morning, before combat operations began, my

22 platoon commander informed me that in the area of Sarap feature a large

23 number of civilians was located. He asked me which measures to take. I

24 went there in person, and I ordered that those civilians be pulled out

25 outside the area of combat operations. I said they can go to their

Page 45833

1 villages or choose any other village as long as it is outside of the area

2 of combat operations. Celine, Nogavac, Brestovac, Velika Hoca, Mala Hoca,

3 Bela Crkva, Zrze. They could have gone wherever they wanted. They could

4 have left Djakovica as such. The idea was just to move them from the area

5 in which maybe operations would take place before -- because before we

6 begin, we don't know if we will find any terrorists there and if they

7 would open fire.

8 My -- in my bundle, this statement is marked 16. I can read it,

9 if you want, but the substance is what I told you, even without looking at

10 the statement.

11 And one other thing you can see from the statement is that the

12 commander of the firing group informed me that a group of civilians had

13 passed, around 0800 hours, by his firing position on their way to Velika

14 Krusa. It also says that another group of civilians --

15 JUDGE KWON: We were dealing with your statement marked number 18,

16 not 16.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The statement is marked 18.

18 JUDGE KWON: Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Perhaps I mixed up my notes, Colonel, and I assume you're right.

21 But it doesn't really matter which order we take the statements in.

22 Under number 18 - do you have this document - the document which

23 relates to the 25th to the 28th where you say that: "On the 26th of March

24 at dawn I received a report that in the Sarap area there were a larger

25 group of civilians." Do you have that under 18?

Page 45834

1 A. Under 18, Mr. Milosevic, I have the first day of the operations,

2 which is the 25th of March. Now, the statement you're mentioning under

3 number 16 -- is under number 16, and that describes these events.

4 Q. Yes. My number 16 -- my number 16 is your statement. What you

5 just said to begin with, it says that you were commander of the 2nd

6 Motorised Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade, and then it goes on to

7 say that from 0 --

8 MR. NICE: Could we put it on the overhead projector because I

9 really don't know what I'm looking at. Perhaps it is there already.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we are in a state of confusion

11 resulting from the evidence you are --

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, we are indeed, Mr. Robinson.

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, take us out of it if you can.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm trying to unravel this,

15 but quite obviously when these exhibits were put in order, my number 18 is

16 this statement, whereas the colonel's number is different, has a different

17 statement. And I assumed that we had the same sets of documents in the

18 same order. I suppose there might have been a technical slip-up.

19 So under number 16 and number 18 are his statements. They are

20 both his statements, but it seems they have been placed in reverse order,

21 switched. From the 25th to the 28th is the one I have first, and then

22 another statement which relates to the 27th. And that's what I have under

23 number 18. So if number -- and number 16 is the statement that the

24 witness is referring to. And the time is Bela Crkva, Celine, Donje

25 Retimlje, dated from the 25th to the 28th of March, 1999, or rather

Page 45835

1 statement on unit activity. So the best thing would be to have it placed

2 on the overhead projector.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the 26th.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we have to adjourn in any event

5 because there is another case beginning here shortly. So I'm going to

6 give you the evening to sort this out, unravel it, and we'll return to

7 this tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Fine.

9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,

10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 27th day

11 of October, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.