1 Thursday, 27 October 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- On commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Very briefly, the position on the Djosan war diary. It
7 was provided last night after hours, and I'm afraid too late for any work
8 to be done on it. It will be looked at this morning. I cast an eye over
9 it, but that's as far as I've been able to go.
10 I don't yet know in those circumstances whether I would want
11 either, A, to have Mr. Djosan back today to ask him some questions or, B,
12 whether I would be applying for him to come back in due course to deal
13 with the diary in more detail. I'll be in a position to make my position
14 clear later this morning.
15 On diaries generally, and just so that the Chamber has the picture
16 as a whole, the Chamber will recall that the OTP's requests for war
17 diaries was rejected by the Chamber on the grounds that it was over-broad,
18 the authorities' observations on this point being accepted. Thus whereas
19 at an early stage both the Djosan diary and the Delic diary had been the
20 subject of request, the thinned down request left extant the request for
21 the Delic diary but deleted the Djosan diary because we were told we were
22 asking for too many.
23 The Delic diary arrived, as the Chamber will recall, from his case
24 and with some resistance and reluctance. It was marked for identification
25 pending translation. It only became clear very recently that the Chamber
1 had identified it as a Prosecution exhibit, so that whereas we were simply
2 waiting for a translation, we now have to take the initiative to have it
3 translated at our instigation. It hasn't yet been translated save for a
4 very limited number of passages.
5 The Djosan diary is, of course, entirely untranslated save for
6 those few passages that the accused produced as his sample through Djosan
7 and in the tabs that were there available for us.
8 Accordingly, there is either very limited or no translation of
9 these diaries, depending on which diary it is, available, and the diaries
10 are likely to be very valuable material, or may be very valuable material
11 for the Chamber and may have to be looked at beside each other because
12 they cover the same -- in part they cover the same area and the same time.
13 I would be very grateful to know from the accused if the Chamber
14 can ask exactly the provenance of the full Djosan diary. It may be that
15 the diary has been with the accused's representatives throughout and that
16 there's only a sample been provided and that would explain the oddity of
17 there being an English translation for the 26th although the 26th was not
19 If, on the other hand, it has really been possible for a document
20 of this apparent sensitivity to be produced within something like a
21 five-day period, I'd be grateful for sight of the correspondence that
22 reveals that, because if there is a method whereby this material can be
23 obtained from the authorities in such a short period of time, it's a
24 method completely outside the experience of the Prosecution who have never
25 been able to obtain these documents at all and has never been able to
1 obtain documents of this general level of asserted sensitivity in a short
2 period of time.
3 In short, then, can I come back to you a little later today with
4 my position on the diaries, but that's the position overall that we face.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness then would remain until you let us
6 know later.
7 MR. NICE: If he could remain until a little later this morning,
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: The registrar will take note of that.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Chamber would like to hear
13 from you a little more about the provenance of the diary; how you got it
14 and when you got it and any communication that might have led to your
15 receiving it.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I will inquire during
17 the break and let you know of the details that you're interested in. As
18 far as I'm concerned, I received the diary this morning, which means after
19 Mr. Nice received it because I wasn't able, of course, to receive it last
20 night. It is integral. All the pages are there. But I'd like to remind
21 you of the following, something that I'm sure you already know: The
22 translation service does not accept documents like this to be translated.
23 When they are provided, they return them to us and say that we should
24 provide only the excerpts, selected excerpts. And then one of my
25 associates selects a few examples with the witness and then they are
1 provided as examples during the testimony, because if we were to go into
2 detail and have the entire diary translated and considered here, that
3 would need -- we would require a vast amount of time for that. That's the
4 only reason. There are no other reasons.
5 But I'd like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to
6 the witness who is testifying today, Colonel Vukovic. In his exhibits
7 there are a few excerpts from more lengthy documents, which I have here
8 before me. I haven't read them nor would I have enough time to do so.
9 But, for example, the war diary we have here, a notebook of telegrams sent
10 out, a notebook of telegrams received, and this thickest book, the daily
11 reports notebook. I just have that one copy, or those one copies, and so
12 do my associates. So that is the only copy.
13 Now, if Mr. Nice would find it useful, I can hand these documents
14 over to you, to be returned to me once they're photocopied, because we
15 don't have any other reserve copies. But from all those books we have
16 chosen just a few examples for the requirements of this testimony, because
17 it would be impossible to go through all this without spending overly much
18 time. So it's quite clear that this can be placed at the disposal of
19 anybody who would be interested to take a look at it.
20 That's all I have on that subject.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, if you know, as indeed you should,
22 the passages that you wish to excerpt, then you should have had them
23 copied. You have the passages excerpted or is it --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Those passages have been copied,
25 Mr. Robinson, and they are to be found in your binders. All I'm saying is
1 that I have here those complete books which I received, and if Mr. Nice is
2 interested, he can read through them all.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I understand now. Yes. If Mr. Nice wishes,
4 then they can be passed over to him. He does, so will the usher pass them
5 over to him. But you are to obtain the information that I requested about
6 the provenance of the diary and let us have it at the beginning of the
7 next session.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. Robinson.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness be called.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 WITNESS: VLATKO VUKOVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: In order to take account of the health problems
14 of the witness, we'll sit in intervals of one hour today. The first
15 session will end at 10.00, then 10.15 to 11.15, 11.30 to 12.30, and 12.45
16 to 1.45.
17 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
18 Examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel. Would you please open
20 this binder to Exhibit 18, which is where we left off yesterday.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Our binders seem to finish at tab 7.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is already exhibited, is it?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That is why you have a
24 separate list before you with the numbers of the already admitted
25 exhibits. And the new ones have the numbers that Mr. Bonomy mentioned.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, proceed.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. How, Colonel -- or, rather, as you said yesterday, Colonel, in tab
4 -- or, rather, under number 18 of the exhibits admitted into evidence
5 already --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And let me stress, Mr. Robinson,
7 that this exhibit was marked for identification in actual fact, not
8 admitted into evidence because it was a statement of this witness, and I'm
9 now going to ask that it be admitted finally as an exhibit.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So what is contained in document 18? As we can see, it is the
12 activity of the units -- unit operations between the 25th to the 28th of
13 March and your statement dated the 10th of January, 2003. Is that it?
14 A. Yes. But just not to be confusing to the Trial Chamber, you will
15 notice that all the statements have a subtitle, "Unit operations between
16 the 25th of March to the 28th of March, 1999." That means that that is
17 the title and heading. So it is the time of the entire terrorist
19 Now, the commission, the expert team, in fact, asked that we had
20 separate statements to deal with each individual day. So in the
21 introductory part, among other things, I state which duties I had, what
22 assignment I had received, the composition of the combat group. But if
23 you look at the fourth paragraph down, that begins by saying: "On the
24 25th of March, 1999," and then in brackets it says, "The first day of
25 operations." And then it goes on to say what the assignment was and what
1 the combat group it. And I said something about that yesterday. I can
2 repeat it today. But anyway, on that day in that morning, which started
3 at 1.00, the combat group effected a march towards the village of Zub,
4 Djakovica, and Zrze. By the silos at the village of Zrze, which is at the
5 exit to the village, and that silo is to be found as you leave Zrze to go
6 to Bela Crkva, we waited there for part of our unit which had taken part
7 in this operation and which was marching from Prizren to pass by, and that
8 is where I received information that in the village of Bela Crkva there
9 were no -- as I was saying, that in the village of Bela Crkva, there were
10 no terrorists, that there was no shooting at the forward security group
11 that had already passed through Bela Crkva, and that contact had been
12 established with a unit of the Ministry of the Interior and that they were
13 already on the eastern sector of the village, that is to say looking
14 towards Velika Hoca village and Celine village.
15 While passing through the Bela Crkva village or, rather, passed
16 through the village in the early hours of the morning, and by 630 hours,
17 0630 hours, we were approaching features and facilities where the blockade
18 line had been established, the first positions at the blockade.
19 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure whether we are looking at the document
20 the witness is referring to. I couldn't find the passage which mentions
21 the first date of operation.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you take a look at number 16 --
23 JUDGE KWON: There's a confusion again. The witness is referring
24 to number 16, tab 16, while Mr. Milosevic said tab 18.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm looking at tab 18. I had the
1 statements mixed up yesterday, but in tab 18 you will find the statement
2 identified yesterday by Colonel Vukovic, which is the statement explaining
3 and where he says that in that fourth paragraph it refers to the 25th of
4 March, 1999, the first day of the operations, identical to what I have
5 before me.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Vukovic, tab 18 should start with the 27th of
7 March. The third day, 27th of April -- I don't remember. Anyway, it was
8 the third day of the operation. Do you have the document?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have that document, Mr. Kwon, but
10 quite obviously there's been a mix-up. 18 -- number 18 logically is the
11 first day, but I can, of course, address the third day if you wish me to
12 do so.
13 JUDGE KWON: Now Mr. Milosevic should have heard that.
14 MR. NICE: I hesitate to add difficulties, but I'm having trouble
15 locating some of these statements, and it might be that either the accused
16 or possibly assigned counsel could collect together all the Vukovic
17 statements, put them together in a sequential order and they could become
18 a single exhibit, a single tab, because that way we'll not suffer this
19 problem again, but it's -- it may be a suggestion that adds complexity to
20 a problem that's already complex enough, but ...
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is more than regrettable. I
22 thought the matter had been set right overnight, but we're faced with the
23 same level of confusion.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thought so, too, that the matter
25 had been set right. As you can see, the witness has the same number.
1 Mr. Tomanovic checked the numbers and the sequence of numbers, which is
2 where the mistake was made, but he has the same number now that I had. I
3 was not able to look through your binders to see the sequence of documents
4 that you have, but we can, of course, have this placed on the overhead
5 projector, if you so desire, and then the witness can address the matter.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let it be placed on the ELMO.
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, is that document on the ELMO is the
9 one you are referring to? I'm afraid not.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't see it.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's it.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. The highlighted portion
13 in yellow, the yellow marker, begins with the 25th of March, 1999, the
14 first day of operations, BG 2 in the region of the village of Zub. That's
15 the document I'm talking about. That's the one that has already been
16 marked for identification.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nort, can you identify an English translation for
18 that document? No. Can you see the tab number previously given of that
19 document? No.
20 MR. NICE: 300, tab 369, Ms. Dicklich tells me.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That should be tab 12 of current
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This document says D300, tab 406.
25 That's what it says on my list.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE KWON: No, that's tab D300, tab 369.
2 MR. KAY: We dealt with that one yesterday.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we did.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Mr. Milosevic, move on to another
5 document and then we can return to this. Hopefully by then we would have
6 resolved the numbering.
7 JUDGE KWON: If you could put it on. Yes, Mr. Nort. Yes, that's
8 the one we dealt with yesterday.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, on this document, the one we had on the overhead
11 projector a moment ago, you speak of the first day, which is the 25th of
12 March, the first day of the operation.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please. Microphone.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a colonel by rank. I think you
15 made a slip of the tongue and said general.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Ah, I see. That mistake was spontaneous, but I would have
18 promoted you anyway quite certainly.
19 A. Well, thank you for that. I'm talking about the first day of
20 operations, and I already explained this fourth paragraph partially. I
21 don't think I need repeat what I've already said.
22 Q. No, there's no need to repeat what you explained to us yesterday
23 and what you partially explained to us this morning.
24 A. I'd just like to draw your attention to one point which I failed
25 to mention yesterday because I was not asked, in fact, but part of my unit
1 on assignment was directed to the north-eastern feature, towards the
2 village of Brestovac and Mala Hoca. And that portion of the unit didn't
3 have any operations because the police was able with their own forces to
4 deal with the situation and to solve the problems or, rather, to fight the
5 terrorists on its known -- to fight the terrorists. But they entered
6 Brestovac and a certain quantity of ammunition was found. Topographical
7 maps were found, for instance, as were lists with terrorist groups named
8 and the names of individuals. And also parts of the equipment were found,
9 too, and quite normally that was brought in to me at the command post.
10 And I received a report on that occasion that the village was extremely
11 well fortified, which means that around the village there were shelters,
12 trenches, houses prepared for action, and so on.
13 I would also like to mention, although I did say yesterday when I
14 was referring to Celine, that there were encounters with the civilian
15 population and that the population was always directed away from the area
16 where the combat operations were taking or expected to take place.
17 Q. General -- in fact, Colonel Vukovic, in connection with this 25th
18 of March, another witness testified here, Rahim Latifi from Prizren. You
19 were not in Prizren but from what I know you were in Pirane. He testified
20 that on the 25th of March, the day in question for which you are
21 describing the activities of your unit, the village of Pirane, Prizren
22 municipality, surrendered to the Serbian police and army, and Serbian
23 forces set fire to the houses in the village whereas the population ran
24 away to Mamusa and Srbica. What can you tell us about this? This
25 witness testified on the 22nd of April, 2002, and the exhibit number is
2 A. The axis of my unit's activity can be seen on the map. However,
3 by radio communication I also monitored the activities of that unit which
4 was my neighbour and relevant to the performance of my assignment. I know
5 that in the early morning, before 7.00, before the operation began, from
6 the villages Velika Krusa and Pirane fire was opened at units that were
7 only in the process of developing for combat. There was action by
8 terrorists, and for that reason Combat Group 1 that was active on that
9 axis was able to advance no more than 400 metres by 1200 hours, emerging
10 on the northern border of Pirane village.
11 As for the claim itself that the entire village had surrendered to
12 the army, I simply don't understand. Civilians cannot surrender. In our
13 military terminology, only combatants, only armed men can surrender.
14 As for the claim that they went to Mamusa and Srbica, that's
15 possible, because I already said that there was quite a lot of civilian
16 population in Mamusa village, and some of them were probably from Pirane
17 as well. They were also able to go to Srbica, but only the army could
18 have directed them to go there because that side -- that village was
19 outside the area of operations on the 25th.
20 What else is noteworthy about Pirane village? In the afternoon of
21 the 26th of March, smaller terrorist groups tried to break through our
22 lines precisely through Pirane and across Beli Drim river, probably
23 towards the Albanian border, but they were prevented from doing so because
24 one of our units was holding the blocking line on the asphalt road all the
1 That's all I can say on this issue.
2 Q. General -- Colonel Vukovic, you have given evidence about many
3 events in which you were directly involved, and you described the details
4 very clearly. You have a considerable number of daily reports.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Just before you came in, I produced full volumes of daily reports,
7 incoming, outgoing telegrams, diaries, logbooks, et cetera. Please look
8 at tab 2. Do you see daily reports in it?
9 A. Yes. There are daily and combat reports both in tab 2, because
10 until the beginning of the aggression, that is until the beginning of the
11 war, daily reports were made, describing the work of the unit, whereas
12 once the war began, this whole volume and these reports were named combat
14 Q. Since this is very voluminous material, I should like to ask you
15 to go through only some of the daily reports and ask for your comment.
16 So this is your document.
17 A. Yes. This is a document of my unit and my command. You will see
18 my signature's there. They could only have been signed by me or my
19 deputy, depending on who was on the command post at the time the report
20 was sent.
21 Q. Just tell me very briefly, how does one compile such a document,
22 and is this a contemporaneous document, day by day?
23 A. Yes, it is a contemporaneous document, and as any other report, it
24 is written based on information received; i.e., based on reports received
25 from subordinate units or based on information gained by personal insight.
1 Q. I will ask you to look at pages 9 and 24. On page 9 --
2 A. It is a -- an interim report. It's not complete, because it
3 begins on the previous page, but it's an interim report complementing the
4 regular report. It doesn't have a date, but it says: "From 1300 to 1310
5 hours, at the reception desk of the camp premises in Zub village, a
6 British observers mission arrived in the intention of going to Cafa Prusit
7 pass. I turned them back and informed the garrison command and the
8 liaison officer. The head of the team was Patrick Brook, passport number
9 such-and-such. He did not want to produce his passport for us to see
10 because he is a liaison and he has a proper certificate. He is also a
11 temporary attache at the British embassy in Belgrade.
12 I turned them back, primarily for reasons of their own safety, and
13 one of the measures of security applicable to verifiers was they were not
14 able to enter -- they were not allowed to enter dangerous territory unless
15 accompanied by liaison officers. When they were with liaison officers,
16 they were allowed to move where they wanted as long as they kept in touch,
17 with the application of usual measures of security.
18 Now, on page 24, we see something that is based on the order of a
19 superior brigade. It says in paragraph 1: "In the area of responsibility
20 of the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade, no movement or
21 activity of armed persons has been noticed."
22 Point 2 deals with communication. Point 3 says there were no
23 violations of the state border or any other incidents. Point 4 says the
24 conduct of the civilian population was satisfactory. There were no
25 incidents or provocations. Point 5 deals with activities and status
1 within the unit. The activities are enumerated. Point 6 deals with
2 logistical support. Point 9 suggested activities, proposals to the
3 superior command, et cetera.
4 I suggest, for instance, that due to low temperatures and a small
5 number of commanding officers, ambushes be laid only as required, only
6 when clues have been detected.
7 And then point 10, request to the superior command. Movements
8 were very short. The -- there was an observers group present. We list
9 their names, including their interpreters and drivers.
10 The observers required to be allowed to continue towards Cafa
11 Prusit pass. They were not allowed to do so. They were told to contact
12 the liaison officer. The observers replied that it was all part of the
13 game, and of course this comment was not answered.
14 One of them, called Shillemore, had a coded map of foreign origin.
15 Members of the group returned to Djakovica. However, already at 1320,
16 less than an hour later, in the area of Kadar Ruska [phoen], which is less
17 than a kilometre away from the previous village, a patrol from Combat
18 Group 2 stopped a vehicle, licence number 33K35. That's the same vehicle
19 and the same people who had visited me an hour earlier and who had been
20 told that they are not allowed to go into the border belt without a
21 liaison officer. They tried to go to Zulfa block house and Cafa Prusit.
22 They were turned back. They said that they would lodge a complaint, a
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you must ask a question. You know
25 that this is not the approach that I favour. I appreciate that the
1 document is not translated, but merely to have the witness read pages and
2 pages, I don't find that very helpful.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Colonel Vukovic, you're now talking about your unit, and I don't
5 want you to tell me your assumptions, only your knowledge. Was your
6 treatment of the observers completely in compliance with the agreement
7 signed and all the other documents signed?
8 A. The conduct of myself and my unit was completely in the spirit of
9 the orders and prescribed norms of conduct. I have to tell you it wasn't
10 easy at all, but we have -- we had to comply.
11 If you allow me to give you some examples, you'll see why it
12 wasn't easy.
13 Q. You may, but very briefly.
14 A. Well, on page 27, which I happened to open now, they did not want
15 to show their IDs. They even made statements that they were from the
16 Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom. That was not correct behaviour at
17 all. And it also happened that the same teams would be found by us in the
18 border belt several times within one day. And they knew, it was known,
19 that they were not allowed to be in the border belt at all.
20 There were also other examples when they were accompanied by a
21 liaison officer and then they were subjected to no control.
22 Q. Just let us get this clear. When they were trying to do it
23 regularly, that is with the liaison officer, they were not subjected to
24 control and they were not hindered in any way. However, when they tried
25 to act irregularly, they were stopped or turned back.
1 A. Yes. They had no problems when they acted regularly and had a
2 liaison officer with them. And on one occasion, as I said, when they were
3 found in the -- without a liaison officer in the border belt - and
4 incidentally, it was me who found them there --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... verifying
6 group impact on any of the charges that you face?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The entire context is relevant,
8 because from these original documents that we find here we can see not
9 only what the regulations and orders were but we also see that the army
10 strictly complied with those orders. And these reports cover the entire
11 period, and you can see no exception from the army's general compliance
12 with the rules and orders. And if they really complied fully, then it is
13 not surprising that Colonel Vukovic is astonished to hear some of
14 Mr. Nice's claims about the conduct of the army.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us move on.
16 MR. NICE: The position with the --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's only marginally relevant, in my view.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the position with these documents is
19 deeply unsatisfactory. The documents are not very easy to read, even, I
20 think, for readers of the language. They come in untranslated. In fact,
21 the witness - and I make no complaint about this so far as the witness is
22 concerned - in fact the witness isn't even reading them verbatim, he's now
23 summarising them, so that at some stage one would want to be able to check
24 whether his summary accords.
25 The material we've been dealing with, prefaced as it was by a
1 leading question by the accused a few questions ago, is, I agree with Your
2 Honour -- I don't agree with Your Honour, I respectfully adopt the point
3 Your Honour is raising, is of tangential value. And when we come to the
4 more obviously important passages in the 23rd to the 30th of March, or in
5 April, if this witness is going to be dealing with Meja, that's where
6 we're going to want to hear these things word for word. We're going to
7 want to know exactly what these documents say. No English translations of
8 them. It may be the best we can do is get this witness to go through them
9 line by line so that we can know what's being reported.
10 Very unsatisfactory. And the accused can't say any longer that he
11 doesn't know how he's supposed to present evidence or it's somebody else's
12 fault. It's not; it's his fault.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I endorse what Mr. Nice has said. It's
14 really very unsatisfactory, Mr. Milosevic. When we come to the passages
15 that are of crucial importance, we will have to decide what to do. Maybe
16 then the witness will have to read them verbatim. But proceed. Let us
17 move on quickly.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Colonel Vukovic, you pointed out page 27 to us. Now, what is on
20 page 33, 34 in the briefest possible terms?
21 A. Well, for the most part, in addition to the regular activities set
22 out there during that period, and indeed there were no other operations
23 launched in by the unit except to provide security in-depth and to supply
24 security for the border belt, they are for the most part reports about
25 encounters with the verifiers, members of the Verification Mission.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Were there any incidents concerning members of the Verification
3 A. No, no incidents arose except for the fact that, as I said a
4 moment ago, they would frequently state that they would launch a protest
5 with the superior command because we didn't allow them to enter into the
6 border belt, although they knew full well that they had no right to do
7 that. Otherwise, the -- what is termed an incident is when some
8 unauthorised person enters the border belt.
9 Let me just remind you that every country in the world has a
10 border belt, a designated border belt, and regulations regulating the
11 border crossing regime. And that implies and clearly defines procedure on
12 the part of the citizens and the army and police and all other organs
13 which are performing any sort of duty at the border, at the border belt.
14 And the regulation of entries, movements, sojourns and fishing and hunting
15 and many other things in this area.
16 Q. Just to make this quite clear, you used the word "entry" or
17 incursion. You meant incursion into the border belt, not entry and
18 crossing of the border.
19 A. Yes, that's right. Entry as incursion from the depths of the
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into the border belt.
21 Q. So you mean incursion into the border belt?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Colonel Vukovic, the army otherwise provides security at the
24 border apart from the border crossings themselves?
25 A. Yes, of course. The army provides security and guards the border
2 Q. You mean where there are no border crossings?
3 A. Yes, that's right. The border police sees to the border crossings
4 themselves, and this is provided for by the law, but the army protects the
5 rest of the border and frontier.
6 Q. All right. In order to save time, we're not going to dwell on
7 this series of reports here that I did intend initially to go through, but
8 let me ask you, when do these daily reports become combat reports?
9 A. When the war begins, on the first day of the war. Daily reports
10 become combat reports, as prescribed by the instructions given to the work
11 of the staffs and commands.
12 Q. May we now take a look at when that begins? In this book here,
13 book of daily reports, when do they become combat reports? I think it's
14 on page 126 that that transition takes place.
15 A. On the 24th, we had a regular daily report sent out. At around
16 1700 hours the reports were sent out, I believe, and the aggression
17 started on the 24th at 2000 hours. So that the very fact and act of
18 aggression is described in the following, the first -- next report.
19 Q. So on page 126, it says that commander 2/549 - that is to say the
20 2nd Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade - on the 24th of March, 1999.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let's have a look what it says there, just by way of example.
23 That is the first day of the aggression. What does it say in that report
24 for the 24th of March?
25 A. It says, under point 1 -- I'll read it in detail, not to create
1 any confusion: "In the area of responsibility of the 2nd Battalion of the
2 549th Motorised Brigade, no movement or activities were noticed on the
3 part of the Siptar terrorist forces. On the 24th of March, 1999, at
4 around 2000 hours, from the direction of the Republic of Albania, an
5 attack was launched by a bombing and air -- fighter planes of NATO pact,
6 which is when the aggression started on the Federal Republic of
7 Yugoslavia. During these strikes, there were no consequences on members
8 of the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade. All security
9 measures were undertaken to protect the units from the effects of those
11 Q. Of the NATO and Siptar forces, it says.
12 A. Well, it's a poor photocopy so I wasn't able to read that part of
14 Point 3: "An armed aggression was effected by NATO by a
15 synchronised operation setting fire along the edges of the border with the
16 Republic of Albania," and in brackets it says: "This marked the border
17 and frontier of the Republic of Albania. In-depth reflectors were noticed
18 which signalled and lighted up the targets of Milanovac" and so on.
19 This report continues.
20 Q. What reflectors are you referring to? What sort of reflectors?
21 What is that? What's that all about?
22 A. Very strong reflectors were used, and we assume that they were
23 turned on or, rather, these reflectors or floodlights were turned on to
24 show the position of the army and army facilities. However, as far as
25 military facilities are concerned, the NATO Air Force had very precise
1 information and data which was -- which had been amassed in 1998 and 1999.
2 That information was collected up then. And information was also gathered
3 precisely by members of the verifying commission. The verifiers collected
4 most of that information, and I can say that because I became convinced of
5 that myself. I can tell you why, if you wish.
6 Q. Go ahead.
7 A. Well, in my barracks, the Devet Jugovica barracks in Djakovica,
8 they came to visit the barracks very often, very frequently, because among
9 other things there was the liaison officer who was stationed there with
10 his team. So my office was directly hit, for example, and so was the
11 office of the head, the chief officer, liaison officer. It was Colonel
12 Kotur at the time.
13 In the village of Zub, they would only go to the command post
14 once, when there was a change of shift. When the verifying teams changed
15 over, there was a liaison officer with them there, and I think his name
16 was Captain Ivanovski from the brigade command. And my command post at
17 the village of Zub is -- was hit with a direct hit three times. And the
18 same thing happened to the command post of combat group 3 in the village
19 of Damjan, and so on and so forth. And any way, I would come across them
20 many times taking the coordinates of the facilities and features and
21 drawing maps of the communication network, and they were well trained.
22 If you look at the make-up of the verifiers where there -- there
23 were a lot of retired officers. They had excellent maps, satellite maps.
24 They had GPSs, which means global positioning systems, for automatic
25 determination of coordinates in space over the territory, and so on and so
1 forth. I could go on to tell you about this for days, but I don't want to
2 take up too much of your time.
3 Q. Colonel Vukovic, let me just ask you this, a professional
4 question, if you can explain this to us: On the 24th of March when the
5 aggression started, you saw in-depth these floodlights, these reflector
6 lights switched on. Now, the person switching on these reflecting lights,
7 do they have to have communications and give signals to the individual to
8 determine where to beam the lights and at what distance the operation is
9 supposed to be conducted? Because I assume that nobody is going to direct
10 the floodlights, beam the floodlights to the actual target. Is it
11 possible to have coordination like that without direct communication
12 between those doing the bombing and those switching on the reflector
14 A. Well, of course, otherwise there would be no sense to it. Unless
15 there was excellent coordination and as we -- we soldiers term an
16 organised communication line. And in that sense, the terrorists did have
17 highly sophisticated devices, including satellite telephones. And in 1998
18 already, as far back as 1998 when they came into the country from the
19 Republic of Albania, when they entered the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
20 we found that they had that kind of weapons and equipment because we
21 seized a large part of cutting-edge, state of the art, sophisticated
22 communication devices. So that communication did exist. It was very well
23 organised from day one. And among other things let me remind you that
24 already previously it was -- an operation had been planned, an
25 anti-terrorist organisation had been planned and executed, the one I
1 talked about yesterday, with the aim of preventing this cooperation
2 between the Siptar terrorist forces on the one hand and NATO Air Force on
3 the other.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we are going to take the first
5 break for 15 minutes. We are adjourned for 15 minutes.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.03 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.21 a.m.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Colonel Vukovic, on the first day of operations, the 24th of
11 March, you noted here the coordinated action between terrorist forces on
12 the ground and NATO planes, NATO -- the NATO Air Force.
13 Let us now take a look at the following pages, combat reports.
14 144, for example, page 144.
15 A. That is a combat report for the 21st of April, 1999.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honours will note we passed over completely page
17 126, which would appear to be one day, in any event, of particular
18 relevance to our interests which we have no translation, because that
19 appears to be the 24th of March.
20 Incidentally, while I'm on my feet, one of the problems I was
21 having before the break -- sorry, we've done that. The page for the 24th
22 of March was the page we were looking at. We assumed we were looking at
23 the bottom right-hand corner of the 24th of March, but I couldn't actually
24 tie up the evidence that the witness was giving with the passage we were
25 looking at and I'd be grateful for clarification of that, because in
1 relation to item 3 he spoke of something in brackets and I can't find
2 anything in brackets on the text. So I assume we were looking at the
3 bottom right-hand corner of page 126.
4 If we're now going to page 144, then we are passing over a page
5 the date of which is hard for me to find and the relevance of which may or
6 may not be greater than the material we've looked at already.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the one which has been passed over is the 24th
8 of March, at the bottom right-hand corner of page 126.
9 MR. NICE: No, that's I think what we were looking at and what was
10 being presented, and probably was, as the foundation for the witness's
11 evidence. My trouble with that was that I could never find the bracket he
12 referred to in item 3, so I wondered if he was looking at another page and
13 I simply don't know. There's certainly no bracket in item 3 that I can
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: There's no bracket as far as I can see either.
16 Perhaps it's there in B/C/S.
17 Mr. Milosevic?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I see it here in writing,
19 handwriting. And this page wasn't skipped over. Colonel Vukovic, to the
20 contrary, read the beginning of the note for the 24th of March, every
22 And then it says in point 3 that an armed aggression, a NATO armed
23 aggression was carried out. It's difficult for me to read the
24 handwriting, but it goes on after that. And then putting up fires along
25 the frontier with Albania, which marked the frontier, close brackets, and
1 then it says, comma, and then it says in-depth, reflector lights were
2 noticed which marked the targets at Milanovac mountain, and everything
3 that the witness read out. And if you place that on the overhead
4 projector, you'll be able to see the brackets easily, which means how they
5 marked the frontier with the Republic of Albania.
6 MR. NICE: I think it shows up as an oblique line and not as a
7 bracket as we would conventionally understand.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] After Republic of Albania, you have
9 the parenthesis. Can you see that? And then the second parenthesis or,
10 rather, close bracket.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... writing,
12 which makes it difficult to determine what is a bracket and what isn't.
13 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, we're clearly passing over the
14 balance of that entry for the page 127, which is the same day, and then it
15 appears the following day, the 25th of March, at least in part, which are
16 days of course particularly important in light of the evidence given by
17 the witness --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to ask you to have the
19 witness -- take the witness through page 127.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, yes, but all I'm doing
21 is highlighting some examples, and I think that what Mr. Nice is
22 interested in or, rather, anything that he's interested in can be raised
23 in the cross-examination.
24 Now, page 127 --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Just a minute.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you so desire, let's look at page
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do you wish to take a look at page
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Colonel Vukovic, on this page, on the left-hand side you have the
9 continuation of the report of the 24th, and on the right-hand side is the
10 report of the 25th.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is there anything characteristic there that you'd like to
14 A. Point 4. I have highlighted point 4. At the beginning of the
15 page it says the civilian population in our encirclement and in the area
16 of responsibility of the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Motorised Brigade
17 behaved satisfactorily. That -- let me remind you that my command post
18 was along the ridges of the village of Zub, and with that population
19 never, neither in 1999 or 1998, were there any problems with the
20 population. No situations of excess.
21 And then point 5 goes on to speak about the activities in my unit.
22 Do you wish me to read out the entire report, or do you wish me to
24 Q. Well, I think that it would be better if we just stuck to the
25 comments. Anybody interested in the report can read it for themselves.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. All right. Very well. During that day, too, in point 5 I list
2 the activities that that particular unit had for that day. That is to
3 say, that in-depth security was continued for the state border, the border
4 belt, and then mention is made about a group for setting up obstacles and
5 pinpoint certain features and facilities to be knocked down, and organises
6 a protective service.
7 And I'd like to draw your attention to 5.5, that paragraph, which
8 says that when the march was carried out, the march linked to the
9 activities in the Bela Crkva area, that one of the motor vehicles in the
10 motorcade collapsed, tipped over. So we're informing the brigade of that.
11 In point 8, it says that the focus of activities for the following
12 day, and then it lists the activities, security -- in-depth security for
13 the state border. So although this had been started, the combat group or
14 part of the battalion was in the area and carrying out its daily
15 activities, because we still had not received orders to organise our
16 defence as such.
17 The second alinea says take measures and steps and procedure to
18 mask and camouflage to protect the units from airstrikes and NATO planes.
19 And under 3, to effect tasks 1278/2 of the 23rd of March, 1999.
20 So this act regulated the participation of a unit in the execution of its
21 assignments. And this particular assignment was in the region of Bela
22 Crkva. That's what that referred to.
23 Then point 9 are the requirements of the superior command and
24 proposals. And if you go on to page 127, you'll see the rest of it.
25 Point 10, which says proposals to the superior command and from
1 them, and permission. The first point is permission for dislocation of
2 the command and the units. From the present location of Zub village to
3 some other location, the proposal was for it to be either Brekovac village
4 or Vogov [phoen] village.
5 You can see from that proposal that the approval of the superior
6 command has to be required, requested, for every movement of the unit.
7 And down where the signature is, you can see that Major Radic
8 signed on my behalf because on that day I was out in the field, executing
9 a task on a different axis, so I was not present at the command post of
10 the battalion. I spoke about that both yesterday and earlier today.
11 Q. Yes, you have. Just look briefly at the combat report on the 22nd
12 April, page 144.
13 A. 22nd.
14 Q. Page 144.
15 A. Well, in item 1 it deals with activity by enemy aviation. On that
16 day, there seem to have been no airstrikes. Enemy aeroplanes flew over
17 the defence area from 7.45 to 8.30, from 1200 to 1500 hours, without
19 Further below are listed requests we made on that day and the
20 strength of the units. However, please look at the left side of the page,
21 which deals with the 21st. If I may comment on that.
22 Q. Please go ahead.
23 A. 21st April, item 1 says: "Enemy NATO forces struck the refugee
24 settlement Maja. The pulling out of wounded and dead is under way."
25 The refugee settlement of Maja is along the Djakovica-Prizren
1 road. It housed exclusively civilians. In particular, refugees, Serb
2 refugees, from the war in Croatia.
3 Never has a single military unit or a police unit been present in
4 that settlement. I know that for sure, because it was in my area.
5 Item 2, units are engaged in the engineering preparation of the
6 defence area.
7 Item 3, request for replenishment with materiel and equipment
8 according to our request 50-1, dated 19th of April, 1999. From this we
9 can see that we were already experiencing problems with the supply of
10 units, but we can see one more thing; namely that combat reports as
11 prescribed by the rules are very brief because they are communicated via
12 radio. For the very well-known reason that communication centres are a
13 regular target, we opted for short transmissions. This particular report
14 was probably sent in writing through official mail. It was carried by a
16 Item 4 says numerical strength: 36 officers, non-commissioned
17 officers 30, 1.602 soldiers. That's for that day.
18 And item 5, supplement to the previous report, which means this
19 happened a day earlier. It says, "We established forces to secure the
20 civilian population following your record, strictly confidential, 1469-2,
21 dated 17 April, 1999."
22 And in the next line it says on the 20th of April, 1999, around
23 1400 hours, the platoon commander on Cafa Prusit block house observed a
24 group of Siptar terrorist forces.
25 I draw your attention to the first paragraph, namely the
1 establishment of forces to secure the civilian population. They were one
2 platoon strong, and their task was -- I have, by the way, that order from
3 the superior command. I can show it to you if you want me to. They had
4 the task to cooperate with the civilian authorities in Djakovica
5 municipality, to alert the civilians of air danger, danger from the air,
6 to shelter civilians and assist them in case of imminent airstrikes, to
7 alleviate and remove the consequences of airstrikes and the fallen
8 projectiles, and to help with supplies. I must say that I had no strength
9 to deal with this particular task because I was commanding my basic
10 tactical unit. I left that to larger commands.
11 And one task was to protect civilians from any incident of abuse
12 of authority by army members. This unit did have several cases of such
13 intervention, and I can enumerate them if necessary.
14 Q. On page -- or, rather, sheet 147, we find combat reports for the
15 27th and 28th of April. But before that, I noticed something while
16 leafing through this large volume of your reports.
17 On page 136, we see an interim report. Do you have page 136 in
18 front of you?
19 A. It hasn't been copied for me. You would have to give it to me.
20 Q. I have one copy available. I handed it in for copying, for their
21 needs, but I won't dwell on it with you. I won't detain you.
22 Just look at the pages that have been copied. You have -- on page
23 147 you have a combat report. What does it deal with?
24 A. Well, in point 1 we read about the disposition of the enemy,
25 specifically during those days, and the activities of the aviation.
1 In point 1, it says: Enemy aeroplanes flew over the defence area
2 during the night from 1.30 to 4.00 and during the day from 9.15 to 10.45,
3 and from 12.00 to 13.45. In the course of the day, they struck with one
4 projectile without consequences. That means no human loss. And that was
5 in the area of the block house Dejan Radanovic, to the south.
6 Point 2, the unit -- or, rather, part of the unit is engaged in
7 the blockade of the area on the following axis: Korenica village --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a second, please, Mr. Vukovic.
9 Mr. Milosevic, what are you seeking to establish by the reading of
10 these reports?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm trying to demonstrate that every
12 day of the war was monitored, that every single action of the unit was
13 recorded, very briefly, of course, like diary entries are normally made.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: So what if every movement were monitored? Where
15 does that take us?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To show that the unit acted strictly
17 in accordance with the rules.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, you might consider, then, that you have --
19 you have been through enough of these reports. If the Prosecutor wishes
20 to raise any particular matter, then he can bring it to the attention of
21 the witness and the witness will read it again. We do have the
22 unfortunate situation that the report is not translated, but he could then
23 go through the same exercise with the Prosecutor if the Prosecutor wishes
24 to cross-examine on any particular matter that you have not dealt with.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Then I'm no longer going
1 to dwell on these combat reports.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Colonel Vukovic, you have also brought your war diary --
4 MR. NICE: Before we move from the reports, may I make a point
5 which I hope won't arise but may. I would respectfully suggest that any
6 court inquiring into these very grave allegations and being presented with
7 what is said to be the contemporaneous account of a relevant unit for the
8 material time will want to have available to it to consider those accounts
9 in translation and will want them to be explored to the degree necessary
10 with this witness to deal with the various possible propositions that the
11 Prosecution may raise in due course; i.e., we simply can't pass over these
12 documents now that they are available. They're exactly the sort of
13 documents we've had an interest in, although I accept, of course, we've
14 never extended our request, formal requests, down to this level of
15 operational reporting because it would have been far too broad and would
16 always have been said so to be.
17 So that now that we've been provided with documents which cover
18 the relevant days, even though the accused hasn't had any of them produced
19 in his selection, or almost none and has gone through none of them, it
20 really will be my duty one way or another to explore them and possibly to
21 ask questions about them in some detail. That has time and timing
22 implications. I'm doing everything I can to ensure that I will be in a
23 position to deal with these by tomorrow morning. Whether that's remotely
24 possible at the moment, I don't know, but I would alert the Chamber to the
25 fact that the Chamber, I imagine, will want to have this material
1 available to consider with this witness before he leaves the court
2 finally. I'm very anxious not to have to ask to postpone
3 cross-examination for a range of reasons, but ultimately that's the only
4 course I'll be able to take.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't quite see it that way, Mr. Nice. If -- I
6 don't think it's appropriate to carry out investigation on the hoof. If
7 you don't have time to consider the documents properly, then no doubt
8 you'll make an appropriate application, but I don't think the appropriate
9 way to cross-examine the witness is to go through the document, looking
10 for something that might be helpful. I think it's your job to identify
11 before asking the questions what might be helpful to the Court.
12 Now, having said that, I fully appreciate the difficulty you're
13 in, and I would discourage you from using time simply to go on a voyage of
14 exploration and discovery in the course of cross-examination.
15 MR. NICE: I certainly have no intention of doing that. The
16 position to be contrasted is as follows: Had this material been available
17 in advance in translation, then of course cross-examination could deal
18 with the things singly and comprehensively. If what happens is that the
19 document is produced now, either just the extracts or the whole document,
20 translated later without the witness come back, then the document is
21 available for comment on one side or the other in closing arguments
22 without the document having been properly explored, and that's always a
23 danger, and that's the danger I'm seeking to avoid.
24 What I will try to do, if resources make this possible, is to look
25 at the relevant days, or what seem to be the relevant days, with the
1 witness tomorrow. If I can't do that, it seems to me I'll have to ask for
2 an adjournment. And I certainly have no intention of just going through
3 the documents to find out what they say. I agree with Your Honour Judge
4 Bonomy that would not be an appropriate use of time.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: In case you envisage us sitting tomorrow, I
6 certainly wasn't aware of it.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour is quite right. Next week.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, do your best in the circumstances,
9 Mr. Nice.
10 Yes. Go ahead, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Once again, I'd like to stress that
12 the translation service doesn't receive whole documents. And in the
13 binders with the tabs linked to the testimony of Colonel Vukovic, you will
14 find these brief excerpts which have been provided as exhibits, and it
15 says here "Daily report, translation pending," for example. Another
16 report, translation pending. And then for the rest, "Translation
17 provided." So for the two we have translation pending, and for the four
18 other ones, it says -- or, no, for two of them translations provided and
19 then translation pending, it says, on the others again.
20 So that has been given over for translation. Some it have has
21 been translated, and you have the passages translated marked. What has
22 not been translated and was submitted for translation on time, pursuant to
23 practice here, is placed on the overhead projector and can then be
24 commented on. I don't know how else we can proceed.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let us move on, bearing in mind what I
1 said, that you may have already referred to enough of these reports.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Demonstrated the point.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Fine. It is my intention to present
5 these exhibits as evidence. I'd like to have them admitted. They refer
6 to events as they took place. They are original documents, and I'd like
7 to tender them into evidence.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Of course marked for identification pending
10 THE REGISTRAR: D322 for the binder.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Colonel Vukovic, you have brought your war diary with you as well.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So I'm now going to ask you to go briefly through some of the
15 portions of the war diary.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I ask you, Colonel, first of all, how you
17 obtained the war diary.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, I obtained the war diary
19 and, generally speaking, all the other documents here which I have in my
20 binder I obtained during the preparation stage, through the legal advisors
21 and representatives Mr. Tomanovic. And I had with me in handwritten form
22 -- all I had myself were the statements in written form that I provided
23 for the International Commission for Cooperation with the International
24 Criminal Tribunal.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Colonel, is this your war diary?
3 A. Yes, it is. It is my war diary, the war diary of the 2nd
4 Motorised Brigade -- Battalion, and we can see from the previous page, and
5 I do apologise straight away for the very poor handwriting for the first
6 three or four days because I was absent. I was away from the command post
7 during that period of time so these entries were made, as far as I can see
8 from the signature, by my assistant for moral guidance, Major Radic. And
9 later on, I took it up from -- let's just see the date. I'm missing a few
10 pages. I don't know why. From the 3rd -- or, rather, from the 3rd on I
11 made the entries myself. I kept the war diary precisely because it is
12 prescribed that an officer must keep this war diary. And from the first
13 few pages you can see that this is highly illegible. So then I wrote in
14 the entries myself. And therefore this is a document which came into
15 being at the time specified on the pages, first few pages of the diary,
16 beginning with the 24th of March and ending with the 26th of June, 1999,
17 when the federal government abolished the state of war that had been in
18 force up until then, or declared an end to the state of war.
19 Q. Here we have just a few pages just for illustration purposes so
20 that you can see what this war diary actually looks like, and I'm going to
21 give you -- well, if there are any additional necessary points to quote
22 here, I shall be happy to provide you with the integral copy, the diary in
23 its entirety which my associates have in their possession.
24 So you can see the 24th there and the 25th, the 26th, the 27th,
25 the 28th, the 29th, the 30th of March, and the days following on from each
1 other in order. So you have all the days covered there, all the days that
2 you testified about.
3 A. Yes, that's right. The war diary covers the period of the war,
4 from the 24th, and the first piece of information, the first entry was
5 made on the 24th of March, at 1959. And the dates are very precisely
6 recorded, and perhaps for the benefit of the Trial Chamber I can also say
7 that this diary includes the following matters: The most important orders
8 issued from the superior command, the most important decisions made by
9 myself pursuant to those records, the most important activities that the
10 unit engaged in, and the most important enemy actions. So those are the
11 pieces of information that are recorded for each individual day and with a
12 recording of the time.
13 And you will see in the diary, for example, that an event is
14 recorded first in, say, at 1700 hours and then at 1200 hours, which means
15 that we received at the command post information or reports of something
16 that happened later on. And that was because the battalion command was
17 capacitated to effect defence on a front which was three to five
18 kilometres long, and in depth it was two to three kilometres. And the
19 zone, the area was about 38 kilometres along the front line and four to 12
20 in depth. So what happened sometimes was that from the more distance
21 units we would receive reports later on, which explains why the times are
23 Q. So in the diary you have entries recording information as it
24 arrived, as it came into the command post and not in the chronological
25 order in which the events took place; is that right? Is that what you
2 A. Yes, precisely that.
3 Q. But this was solved by the fact that you record the exact time of
4 an event. So there can be no misunderstanding or mix-up on that score.
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Fine. Thank you. Now, Colonel, in this complete diary, day by
7 day, we see entries made of all those days, all the days that you
8 testified about. So I'm not going to ask you about that now because
9 you've already testified about them, and the diary exists. And if
10 Mr. Nice needs to ask you any more detailed questions, he will have an
11 opportunity, I'm sure, of doing that in due course.
12 Now, do you consider it necessary for us to look at some other
13 pages of the diary? Would you like to do that? Anything special that
14 you'd like to tell us about, individual portions of the war diary?
15 A. Mr. Milosevic, all those days are important, as far as I'm
17 Q. Well, you heard Mr. Robinson say and indicate that we only want
18 examples, not to waste too much time. So point out the most important
19 points. And I, too, set aside a certain number of pages related to the
20 24th, 5th, and 6th, and then the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th of April, for
21 example, those days.
22 A. Well, from these first few pages you can see the beginning of the
23 aggression, how the units left to take up their positions and assignments.
24 I commented on that yesterday and today.
25 On page 4, for example, you can see an additional entry to the war
1 diary, because it was only when part of a unit had returned to the
2 battalion that we were able to write in additional entries linked to the
3 counter-terrorist, anti-terrorist operation that was carried out in the
4 broader area of Bela Crkva and Orahovac.
5 If you take a look at the report -- or the entry, rather, for the
6 4th of April, that one might be characteristic, perhaps, precisely because
7 of the passing through of civilians or pass -- the Cafa Prusit --
8 civilians passing the Cafa Prusit border crossing point, which was in my
9 area of defence. If you want to, I can comment that.
10 Q. May we have it placed on the overhead projector. It's a short
11 entry for the 4th of April, 1999. Can we look at what it says?
12 A. Point 2, it says during the course of the day in the direction of
13 the Cafa Prusit border crossing, about 4.000 civilians passed through.
14 And the transport of children and elderly persons was organised. And this
15 same was done, that is to say that relates to the border crossing, on the
16 30th of March as well. The same thing happened, but let me explain what
17 that's about.
18 That means that near the command post, which was as far as the
19 civilians were able to come on tractors and motor vehicles, among other
20 things, and then they weren't able to go on further on vehicles and in
21 vehicles because the road from the village of Zub to the border crossing
22 Cafa Prusit had been mind and prepared for destruction at various points.
23 So we weren't able to use that road either for our own needs, and we
24 weren't able to pass that way in motor vehicles.
25 The border crossing itself and the border belt along the border
1 and frontier with the Republic of Albania had been -- obstacles had been
2 set up in the anti-armoured protection devices. Anti-tank obstacles had
3 been set up which were concrete boulders weighing several tons, and also a
4 large number of anti-tank mines had been planted as well. So it was quite
5 impossible in that short period of time to de-mine the area and do away
6 with the obstacles, because you need a crane to get rid of those obstacles
7 and any technical machinery would have been noticed and it would have been
8 targeted. Machinery and equipment was targeted with high-precision
9 weapons, that's why we didn't use it. But we enabled the civilians who
10 wished to leave and go to Albania to go on foot.
11 And let me tell you straight away that on the 30th of -- or, I
12 rather -- I spoke to the civilians myself and offered them a number of
13 options. One of those options were to go back to where they had come
14 from. The second option was to put up -- be put up in the villages around
15 the village of Zuga. The village of Zuga, for example, wanted to take in
16 those elderly persons, and there were some 30 elderly persons, mostly, and
17 a few women with children, and quite simply they were not able to continue
18 their journey, and I had to use an interpreter because they didn't speak
19 Serbian. But they didn't take me up on any of the options that were
20 offered to them, and then I ordered my deputy to --
21 JUDGE KWON: If you could keep your answer very simple.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Do we need all of this detail?
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. Milosevic, I would like you to deal with
24 27th and 28th of April from this war diary, which should refer to Meja
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I will do that, Mr. Kwon.
2 There's no problem there. However, please bear in mind that in these
3 fabricated charges that Mr. Nice keeps putting forward, we have the
4 leitmotif of the army expelling civilians, escorting them to the border,
5 expelling them, looting, and so on. Those allegations are made
6 constantly. So what it says here in the war diary contemporaneous with
7 that time completely denies that, just like the testimony of the colonel
9 MR. NICE: I'm not sure why the accused feels the need to embark
10 on that sort comment in answer to a very simple request from the Bench.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I reprimand you, Mr. Milosevic, for the
12 comment about fabricated charges. We have been through that before.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, they're not comments, they're
14 assertions, Mr. Robinson.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Colonel Vukovic, would you read out the entry for the 30th. What
17 does it say there under the -- or, rather, the third point of your diary
18 as recorded by you.
19 A. The 30th of what month?
20 Q. The 30th of March.
21 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... request. Unless
22 I'm having a problem with comprehension, I thought there was a very simple
23 request that the witness might be taken to the 27th and the 28th, being
24 the days that deal with Meja. They can be found quite clearly on page 21
25 of this document.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go to those pages, Mr. Milosevic.
2 JUDGE KWON: 30th of March is not included in the binder which we
3 have. Why don't you deal with 27th and 28th of April and then come back
4 to other items.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, the 28th and 29th of April. No
8 JUDGE KWON: 27th and 28th.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The 27th and 28th of April are to be found on the 21st page of
12 your war diary. Have you found it?
13 A. It's on page 20 and 21.
14 Q. That's right, 20 and 21. I was just looking at the upper,
15 right-hand corner. Sorry.
16 But could you go through the 27th and 28th of April now, please.
17 A. For the 27th of April, the entry made is this: At 0600 hours a
18 blockade was effected along the line of the SAO Korenica, and in brackets
19 we have trig point 360, close brackets, the cemetery, the crossroads, the
20 village of Meja, Orize with Kodra Kikes, and I can show you that position
21 on the map if need be.
22 Q. You can show it on the map over there.
23 A. Well, Mr. Milosevic, the scale is 1 to 30.000 here, so of all
24 these projectiles that fell on the area of responsibility of my unit
25 you're not going to be able to see anything, so we would have to take up a
1 different map where the scale is different.
2 Q. I think we have -- do we have in fact of Meja here?
3 A. Yes, we do, and I'll tell you, here in my binder it has been
4 marked -- just a moment, please. And as far as I know, General Djosan
5 testified about that, and in the list it says it was admitted. It is
6 number 21 in my binder, and it says Meja, the 27th of March till the 28th
7 of March, and this -- the scale of this map is 1 to 50.000, so you'll be
8 able to see that there.
9 Q. I did not return General Djosan's binder into the documents I
10 prepared for today, but I see that the map is here. So show us on the map
11 what is written in your war diary.
12 JUDGE KWON: Can you not put it on the ELMO?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that would be better.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Colonel Vukovic, first of all would you please read what is
16 written in your diary for the 27th, and then you will give explanations on
17 the map.
18 JUDGE KWON: The diary should be put on the ELMO again. He's
19 reading diary, so -- thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At 0600 hours, a blockade was
21 carried out on the line Korenica village, (trig point 360), cemetery,
22 crossroads, Meja village, and Kodra Kikes.
23 0830, in the area of the cemetery on the blockade line there was
24 shooting at soldiers holding the blockade line from a group of civilians
25 that included children. Soldiers and volunteers from the 1st Motorised
1 Company were wounded. Dobrica Vuckovic from Smederevo and Miroslav
2 Lapadatovic from Kostolac. Soldiers have been given medical aid whereas
3 Vuckovic was transferred to the military medical centre in Pristina due to
4 the fracture of the femur.
5 At 1420, enemy aeroplanes dropped one projectile on the Grm
6 feature. No losses caused.
7 2105, two projectiles were used to strike at the barracks. No
8 victims, no casualties. That was for the 27th of April.
9 Q. Now, read again what you said at the beginning, 0600 hours,
10 blockade carried out on the line Korenica village, cemetery, juncture on
11 the road, Meja village, Orize, Kodra Kikes. Show us all that on the map.
12 A. I don't know how much you will see here.
13 Q. Well, we can't see anything, that's why it would be better to put
14 it on the ELMO. Mr. Kwon actually suggested we do that.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let it be placed on the ELMO.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So Combat Group 2 that was
17 established to perform this mission was on the southern slopes, southern
18 parts of Korenica village, on the level of the road which reads from
19 Djakovica to Junik.
20 Second, it weaved through this intersection on the road, which is
21 clearly indicated, covering Meja, Orize village, and curved towards Kodra
22 and Kikes feature, trig point 421. That was the right edge of my unit.
23 My command post is drawn in here. It was an abandoned house on the road
24 between Korenica and Djakovica.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: In accordance with the revised timetable for
3 today, we will take a 15-minute break now.
4 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE INTERPRETER: No microphone.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We had just gone through what Mr. Kwon asked about, and now please
10 look at 28th March. What is written in your war diary?
11 A. You must have made a slip of the tongue. It's the 28th of April.
12 Q. I'm sorry. Yes. We were talking about the 28th of April. We've
13 gone through the 27th of April. Now we're on the 28th.
14 A. On the 28th of April, the following is written in the war diary:
15 Part of the unit is blocking the Reka feature.
16 0220, Siptars tried to pull out from the blockade in the area of
17 Kodra Kikes. The group was crushed, one person liquidated. Large amount
18 of ammunition and mines for hand-held launcher seized.
19 1435, a soldier, volunteer, Branimir Letic from Brcko, wounded in
20 the head. After medical assistance was given, the soldier was transferred
21 to the military medical centre in Pristina. Enemy planes flew over all
22 day without striking on the area of defence.
23 Q. Is that all for the 28th of April?
24 A. Yes. Those were the most important events for that date.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Kwon, have we dealt sufficiently
1 with the 27th and the 28th of April?
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, thank you. Proceed.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Now, Colonel, I would appreciate it if you would read from these
6 initial days entries for the 30th of March.
7 A. I don't think I have a copy of the 30th March page.
8 Q. I'll give you a copy to be put on the ELMO. Would you read only
9 the last bit, the last entry for the 30th of March on the page you will
10 receive in a minute, and the next page, the entry containing a reference
11 to the passage of civilians. You mentioned a passage of civilians on the
12 4th of April. Now, on the 30th of March, the last few lines.
13 A. In the course of the day, around 2.000 people passed on their way
14 toward the border crossing Cafa Prusit. Organised transport of children
15 and elderly people.
16 Q. Turn the next page and read the rest.
17 A. Djakovica, Prizren clogged up with columns of refugees. There is
18 nothing more sad than to look at columns of poor people moving out of
19 their homes, following somebody's orders. Soldiers, the way soldiers do,
20 give juice and biscuits to the passing children.
21 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Is there anything noteworthy among these
22 events from your war diary, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of April? You have
23 already commented on the 4th. Four thousand civilians passed. You helped
24 them. Do you think there are any other noteworthy entries?
25 A. We can see in the following days that work is done on the
1 organisation of defence. And later, when you deal with my combat orders,
2 you'll see that I made the first one on the 3rd of April.
3 So the unit worked to organise defence. Soldiers were received
4 from the reserve force. Also a large group of volunteers arrived. They
5 were assigned across various units.
6 I'm telling you, each of these dates is equally important in my
7 eyes, but if you want us to go through it quickly, maybe we should look at
8 the 17th of May. Here in my copy I cannot see what page it is because
9 it's a bad copy.
10 Q. The 17th of May. It's either the 31st page or the 39th. The date
11 is the 17th of May.
12 A. With your leave, I'll read this.
13 Q. Go ahead.
14 A. Planes are flying again. Normally -- the previous day, the 16th,
15 was a rare day when there was no airstrikes. So planes are flying again
16 from 0320 to 0830. Enemy planes were flying over. No strikes.
17 1330, enemy aviation struck with three projectiles on the false
18 position of the 1st Motorised Company and the watchtower of Veva [phoen].
19 The watchtower is destroyed, no losses.
20 1340 to 1500 hours, fire opened on the 2nd platoon of the 3rd
21 Motorised Company in the area of trig point 902. The fire was not
22 responded to. This trig point is on the very border with the Republic of
24 1410, two projectiles expelled at the watchtower Cafa Prusit. No
1 1620, in the area of Car village, nine tanks and ten trucks
3 1705 until 1720, two tanks escorted by infantry fired on the
4 position of the 2nd Border Company in the area of Cafa Prusit. After fire
5 of the 120-millimetre mortar and 155-millimetre howitzer, one tank
6 withdrew to the area of trig point 816, one kilometre to the north of Maja
7 and Sukit. The infantry scattered and one tank was hit and started
8 burning. We had no losses.
9 1740, six tanks observed in the area of Dobruna village.
10 2230, from the area of Dobruna village, tanks were heard. They
11 went towards Car village.
12 From this we can see, first of all, synchronised, coordinated
13 action of the armed forces of Albania, because they were the only ones who
14 had tanks, the terrorists, who were the infantry, and the aviation of the
15 NATO alliance that gave them air support.
16 Incidentally, this principle of action was very common and almost
17 a daily occurrence to a smaller or higher extent.
18 Q. What was this infantry attack on the 2nd platoon of the 3rd
19 Motorised Company? It says fire was opened from infantry weapons and
20 enemy infantry scattered.
21 A. On which page?
22 Q. Just after what you read.
23 A. Oh, that's the 18th May. From 0310 to 0330, there was an infantry
24 attack on the 1st platoon of the 2nd Motorised Company in the area of Guri
25 Bard. Fire was opened from infantry weapons and the infantry of the enemy
1 scattered, occasionally opening fire. There were no losses.
2 On the next page, 0400 hours, two lorries were observed on the
3 road from Vlah village to Nikolici village. This probably an aborted
4 mission and the lorries were withdrawn to the depth of the territory.
5 1230, three freight helicopters flew over from Zogaj village to
6 Maja Sukit.
7 NATO was the only one who had helicopters. We assumed they were
8 carrying terrorists, which was a frequent occurrence.
9 1410, six tanks observed in the area of Mahala Camerai. That's a
10 village approximately two kilometres from our border in the depth of
11 Albanian territory.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I have two questions arising out of what you've
13 just been saying. You say that the tanks you encountered were part of the
14 armed forces of the Republic of Albania; is that correct?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: These armed forces were on Yugoslav territory.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Maybe I wasn't clear enough,
18 Mr. Bonomy. I'm talking about enemy forces on the territory of the
19 Republic of Albania from where they launched an attack at my unit that was
20 in the process of organising defence.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: It's now clear. Any action came from their own
23 And the second question I have relates to what you said about
24 three freight helicopters, and you said, "We assumed they were carrying
25 terrorists, which was a frequent occurrence."
1 So you're saying it was a frequent occurrence that NATO
2 helicopters were carrying terrorists. Is that your evidence?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is my evidence, because
4 usually after those helicopters landed, an infantry attack by terrorists
5 would immediately follow from those areas and the armed forces of Albania.
6 As for tanks, quite fortunately, they acted only from the
7 territory of Albania, because we didn't allow them to come into our
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But they shot at our territory.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't interrupt. But you say now that
11 shortly afterwards an infantry attack by terrorists -- or immediately an
12 infantry attack by terrorists would follow from these areas and the armed
13 forces of Albania.
14 Now, are you saying in that context that the armed forces of
15 Albania were on Yugoslav territory?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I was not saying that. The
17 armed forces of Albania, among other things, found themselves on the
18 territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia only on two occasions.
19 The first case was on the 9th of April when there was a ground aggression
20 in the direction of Kosare watchtower. And the second case was on the
21 27th of May when the largest ground operation was carried out. It was a
22 joint ground operation, called Arrow, of the armed forces of Albania,
23 specifically parts of the 2nd Infantry Division, the terrorists from
24 Kosovo and Metohija, mercenaries and others supported by the air force and
25 rockets of NATO. Those were the only two cases when they successfully
1 entered our territory.
2 Here I'm not saying that they are acting from our territory.
3 They're acting against our territory, shooting at our territory.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Colonel Vukovic, since we don't have much time, we will not deal
6 with entries from this diary any more.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I wish to tell you
8 something about what I just mentioned while reading the list of exhibits
9 where it says "translation pending." That was handed in for translation
10 40 days ago. Everything that you received in the list. Some of that has
11 been translated, but what has not been translated says "translation
13 Mr. Robinson, I'd now like to make a request that this war diary
14 in its entirety be admitted into evidence as I handed it over.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honours, the war diary as handed over this morning
16 is - if I hold it up - that thick. The extract that we previously had as
17 tab 3 is that thick. So it's about probably double the number of pages
18 but it's not a huge document.
19 You have been referred in the evidence to one, at least, page from
20 the fuller rather than the extracted version. I only mention that so that
21 the position's clear and so that we avoid confusion later. With the
22 earlier document, which is a very, very substantial document, the Chamber
23 has indeed only exhibited the extracts, leaving it for me to cross-examine
24 on additional pages, but here the accused's request that the whole
25 document go in would at least cover the problem that he's referred to a
1 document from here, put it on the overhead projector, and reviewed it.
2 If you take the course he's invited you to take, then you should
3 take out the extract, throw it away, and replace it with this one.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we'll admit the -- only the
6 excerpted pages. They will be marked for identification pending
8 We note that you have submitted the diary in its entirety, and it
9 will be a matter for the Prosecutor to determine whether he wishes to
10 utilise the rest, the remaining pages in the diary, in his
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, apart from what the --
13 what was extracted as an example, Colonel Vukovic read out some portions
14 from this entire diary relating to events of the 30th of March. He quoted
15 some things, read out some things, we placed it on the ELMO. He said that
16 it was a sorry sight to see poor people going away from their houses, that
17 soldiers were giving biscuits and juice to the children. I think that
18 what we saw on the ELMO could be exhibited as well.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, the pages that he read out will also be
20 marked for identification pending translation.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Now, Mr. Vukovic, you have notebooks of telegrams received as
24 well, do you not? And that is provided in tab 4.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. As we can see, part of the excerpts have been translated, or,
2 rather, the excerpts that we see are the translated ones. Tab 4, log of
3 telegrams received.
4 May we just briefly go through them, go through tab 4.
5 A. As far as I'm concerned, yes, we can, but I don't think we can do
6 that briefly because there are exceptionally important documents. And
7 also, let me tell you that there's this document with the following
8 document that we're going to discuss later on makes up a whole, and it was
9 kept at my communications centre. Since I was at an independent axis away
10 from my brigade headquarters, I had this kind of device which allowed me -
11 and I'm referring to a radio device - which allowed me to send out and
12 receive messages in written form, and that is how these two logs were
13 compiled, and they contain every message sent out to the brigade command
14 by the RUP20 device, the radio communication device, every message going
15 out to a company, because they had a compatible device to pick up the
16 messages. And also, all the reports coming in and orders coming in from
17 the brigade command sent out by radio and reports sent by my command of
18 the 2nd Motorised Company also went that way.
19 But these notebooks -- these logbooks aren't complete. There were
20 more of them. And we made our entries for 1998. This is something that
21 was saved from that period of time. A lot of my documentation, combat
22 documentation and other documentation, was destroyed, because as I said,
23 my office received a direct hit and was destroyed and the documents in my
24 office burnt down. And my command post, as I've already said, was
25 targeted three times. So documents about that action were also destroyed.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Can you just briefly go through some of the received documents,
2 received telegram logs that you consider to be relevant and
4 A. Well, I can choose, for example, this one -- or, rather, orders
5 from the brigade command. If you take a look at page 2. And in the
6 middle of that paragraph, it says that the command of the 549th Motorised
7 Brigade, 1600/1 of the 26th of April, 1999. And the brigade command
8 wasn't satisfied there with the manner in which the combat reports were
9 sent to other units.
10 JUDGE KWON: Colonel, if it is 26th of April, unfortunately we
11 don't have that translation.
12 Mr. Milosevic, it is for you to choose an important item, not for
13 the witness.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Fine. I wanted to speed
15 up the process of going through these documents. But you should have the
16 translation of everything contained in tab 4.
17 JUDGE KWON: It was my mistake. I was corrected by my colleague
18 that it is on page 4. It was received on 27th, but it was dated 26th.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's the relevant passage here, Mr. Milosevic?
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Colonel, you speak about the way in which reporting was done here.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Explain the relevance of what you're going to do.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Well, I want to ask you, Colonel --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: You didn't hear me. Did you not hear me? You
1 are to explain to me the relevance, otherwise I will not allow the
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, there are many reports
4 here or, rather, orders received from the brigade, and the relevance of it
5 is to see what those orders relate to. The army does everything pursuant
6 to orders, so it would be interesting to see what those orders relate to.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't consider that that is very relevant.
8 Move on to another topic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have dealt with this topic ad nauseam.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I marked some portions here, but I
12 just can't find them now so I won't dwell on that any more now.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Just tell me this, Colonel, please: This is the original logbook
15 of telegrams received, is it not?
16 A. Yes, it is. It's a photocopy, in fact, of the authorised book,
17 the original book. And I assume that the original logbook is in the
18 military archives because it was handed over to them to be archived.
19 Q. In tab 5 we have a logbook of the outgoing telegrams.
20 A. Yes. This is another document that was kept at the communication
21 centre and by them. And the operator on the radio device made these
22 entries, and they relate to part of my reports and information received --
23 or information sent out to the brigade command and orders which went to
24 the 2nd Motorised Company that I mentioned a moment ago. But once again
25 let me say that this is a part of them, because part of the orders were
1 personally conveyed and recorded.
2 Q. Let me just take a moment to look through this, please.
3 This is rather a long logbook of outgoing and incoming telegrams,
4 so I won't dwell on that any more now because I can't go through them all.
5 That's why we're going to go back to some of the events that you took part
6 in and that we haven't dealt with yet.
7 Can we go back for a moment to some events that are mentioned in
8 the indictment; Retimlje, Prizren municipality, for example. Did you take
9 part in the Retimlje events in Prizren municipality?
10 A. Yes, but let me put you right, if I may. In the village of Donje
11 Retimlje I personally took part, otherwise this whole operation,
12 anti-terrorist operation that I mentioned yesterday, was entitled
13 Retimlje, because in Retimlje was otherwise where the command of the 124th
14 Terrorist Brigade was located.
15 Q. Let's just briefly go back to a document which we looked at
16 yesterday under number 3. It was the order by the commander of the 549th
17 Brigade, and it says: "Order for the destruction of Siptar terrorist
18 forces in the broader region of the village of Retimlje, deblockading the
19 communication line from Suva Reka to Orahovac, and establish control the
21 A. Yes. That is the order that relates to this village, Retimlje and
22 Donje Retimlje.
23 Q. All right. Fine. It is on -- number 3 on the list of previously
24 admitted exhibits. It is D300 of tab 357, and it was adopted on the 1st
25 of July, when General Delic testified.
1 Here we have a map which is marked as Donje Retimlje, TK 50/2160.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let it be put on the ELMO.
3 MR. NICE: Following the accused's list of previous exhibits is
4 not proving to be very easy.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is on the list of previously
6 admitted exhibits.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. What do we have on the overhead projector now? What is that?
9 A. It is Donje Retimlje, precisely what you were asking for.
10 Q. Is it a map?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right, fine. And it's on the list of previously admitted
13 exhibits and its number is 13. D300, tab 377, admitted on the 5th of July
14 this year, the map of Retimlje.
15 Can you just briefly explain to us where you were and what
16 happened there.
17 A. Well, this is a map which shows the, among other things, the
18 deployment of my own unit at 1200 hours. Up until 1200 hours, we had
19 managed to take control of trig 371, the village of Randubrava, and the
20 Grm feature. You can't see it well here, it's very small letters. And
21 Kabrin [phoen] here by 1200 hours. And along this line my combat group
22 and Combat Group 1 was stopped by heavy shooting, firing from the Donje
23 Retimlje village. The fighting against the terrorists, the combat in
24 Donje Retimlje lasted a little more than five hours, because there was
25 very high precision shooting coming, strong shooting. And one company
1 commander succeeded in using this area here, the depth of which was five
2 to 15 metres, the water, and -- gully, and he managed to reach the
3 terrorists from the north-western side. There was very precise and
4 intensive shooting coming from the mosque in the village of Donje
5 Retimlje. Otherwise, the minaret of the mosque had been organised as a
6 fire pyre spot -- spot. And when we searched it we found an enormous
7 number of casings and ammunition that they had not managed to pull out
8 from the minaret and from inside the mosque itself.
9 But when we're talking about Donje Retimlje village, let me say
10 that it was the most strongly fortified place that my unit encountered
11 during this anti-terrorist operation. And all the houses around the
12 village, on the outskirts of the village, were prepared to be shot from,
13 which means that on the windows, for example, they had put sandbags and
14 sacks containing earth, and that in the walls around the houses there were
15 rifle holes that had been made for rifles to be able to shoot through, and
16 shelters also made.
17 And in front of the village, that is to say from the southern side
18 of the village, several lines of trenches had been dug out, and
19 communicating trenches. And along the road which joins Donje Retimlje to
20 the village of Pirane, there were some 30 anti-infantry mines that had
21 been planted, produced by hand but nevertheless with high deadly powers.
22 In the village of Donje Retimlje itself, a large quantity of arms
23 were seized. Rifle grenade mines, mortars, parts of uniforms, several
24 kilogrammes of explosives, projectiles. And I said that my unit took them
25 by surprise, so that's how we came to seize those weapons and ammunition.
1 And they had to flee from the area very quickly.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we're going to take the third --
3 oh, it's half past twelve, half past twelve.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Colonel Vukovic, in order to be able to use our time as rationally
6 as possible, let us clear up some things that have to do with these
8 In this tab 13, the map in front of you, it's, generally speaking,
9 the map of that Retimlje area.
10 In tab 14 -- it all falls within the decision from the 25th to the
12 Tab 14 is the map of Retimlje and the disposition of forces on the
13 25th of March; and tab 15 is the map of Retimlje and the disposition of
14 forces on the 26th of March.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So now when you're explaining, lest I have to interrupt you all
17 the time, bear in mind that we have this general description of the
18 situation in tab 13 that gives a map of Retimlje with a general deployment
19 of forces, and then in tab 14 we have the disposition of the forces on the
20 25th; and tab 15 the disposition of forces on the 26th of March.
21 A. I'm sorry, but I do have to correct you. In these tabs and these
22 maps that are just called Retimlje, only general things are indicated,
23 whereas individual details are given in the maps of Retimlje, Brestovac,
24 Nogavac, Bela Crkva, and so on.
25 This number 14 that I have is a map of Retimlje of the 25th of
1 March. It shows precisely how this anti-terrorist action proceeded. And
2 yesterday when I was talking about Bela Crkva, Nogavac, Celine, Brestovac,
3 et cetera, I spoke about this. The only additional thing that we can see
4 on the map, if we put it on the ELMO --
5 Q. You mean the map from tab 14?
6 A. Yes, I'm talking about the map from tab 14.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, those were items dealt with by General
8 Delic. Do you have to go over, through them again? Can you not proceed
9 more promptly?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am trying to advance more quickly.
11 Mr. Kwon, please bear one thing in mind: I wanted to use the example of
12 one brigade, the 549th, to show you from the aspect of different levels.
13 Delic spoke about the entirety of the brigade. Colonel Vukovic is
14 speaking about his unit, which ranks practically as a battalion, 1.600
15 soldiers. And we'll have some more officers. So you can see all that on
16 the example of one brigade.
17 General Krsman Jelic will speak about his brigade so as to cover
18 the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija so that you can see what the
19 army in fact was doing and how drastically it contradicts the allegations
20 in the indictment in terms of diaries, documents, testimony of commanders
21 who were on the ground. So Colonel Vukovic was on the ground in this
22 area. He's talking only about the activities of his unit.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please go ahead, Colonel.
25 A. Speaking of this map, Mr. Milosevic, one more thing, important
1 thing remains to be said; namely Combat Group 2, that is my unit, by the
2 end of the day, by 1600 hours, emerged on the line of its primary task;
3 Celine, Nogavac, Brestovac, Mala Hoca, Velika Krusa. We stopped at those
4 positions because dark was already near. And let me remind you, search of
5 terrain and anti-terrorist combat is in principle not carried out during
6 the night. So we organised ourselves for rest and, of course, to block
7 the terrain as well so that terrorists would not flow over back into the
8 terrain that we had already searched.
9 I moved my -- the largest part of my forces to the right wing
10 because I expected the terrorists to attack from Randubrava the next day,
11 which turned out to be correct.
12 My unit did not experience any action that night, but I heard from
13 the distance and also via radio equipment that there was action in the
14 area of Studencani, Opterusa, and also firing from the direction of Pirane
16 That would be briefly about --
17 Q. The 25th. Now, move to the 26th. That is the map in tab 15.
18 A. On this map depicting the disposition of forces and the action of
19 our unit for the 26th of March, 1999, we can see the disposition of forces
20 at 0600 hours. Let me remind you it's the same disposition as in the
21 previous map at 1800 hours.
22 In the course of the 26th -- I mentioned yesterday that our first
23 activity, if you can call it an activity, was in the area of Shala Sahar
24 feature. A group of civilians was observed, and I told you that they were
25 pulled out of the area of combat activities. Search of terrain continued.
1 The first activities were against the left-wing platoon from the
2 Brestovac slope and from Randubrava village. In Randubrava village we
3 managed to neutralise the terrorists in some 30 minutes, which was strange
4 even to me because even that village was very well fortified. We assumed
5 that those forces had withdrawn to Donje Retimlje. There were no
6 civilians in this village. The search of the village was conducted by a
7 unit of the Ministry of the Interior.
8 Here, further on -- let me just mention that we had by that time
9 begun to find a lot of military equipment which testified to the fact that
10 terrorists changed clothes and started blending with the civilian
12 This yellow mark, yellow lines, are the disposition of our forces
13 by 1200 hours. By that time, we had taken up trig point 371, Randubrava,
14 Grm and Brinje.
15 Speaking about the previous map, I described action in Donje
16 Retimlje, and the only thing I can add is that in Donje Retimlje village
17 there were no civilians. There were lots of traces of blood, but no
18 terrorists were found wounded or dead.
19 The civilians had pulled out as early as on the 25th to the Mamusa
20 village. I spoke about that too.
21 Q. Thank you. We explained that entire situation on the 26th.
22 Now, in tab 16, and I hope that by now all confusion has been
23 dealt with.
24 MR. NICE: I see the time and I don't know if the Chamber is about
25 to rise, but in case it is, I better make my position clear about the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 witness who has been held back. Not only do we now have his material to
2 look at, but of course we've got a quantity of material that may relate to
3 it or to which it may relate. Obviously, it would require a very
4 substantial army of translators to deal with this material by Monday. It
5 may be possible by one means or another for me to consider some of the
6 more relevant material by Monday, and I forecast that I would have some
7 questions, were he to be retained, of Mr. Djosan. I will not be in a
8 position to deal with him this morning should the examination-in-chief
9 conclude, and would ask that he be kept back until Monday so that I can
10 deal with him then.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Mr. Milosevic, I must also bring to
12 your attention that your estimate of three hours for the
13 examination-in-chief of this witness has already been exceeded, and you
14 really have to tighten up presentation of your case.
15 We are going to adjourn and we'll take a 15-minute break.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. This anti-terrorist action from the 25th to the 28th being very
21 important, we will only briefly go through what we have here. You have
22 explained the 26th.
23 In tab 17 of earlier admitted exhibits is the map for the 27th.
24 And number 19 is the map for the 28th. Is it necessary to explain these
25 two as well?
1 A. There's no need to go into detail. What is peculiar about the
2 27th -- As I said, what is characteristic for this date is that on the
3 27th, the activity of the unit continued on two axes; the first
4 Retimlje-Neprebiste, and the second axis is Donje Retimlje village-Mamusa.
5 During this day there was less activity, minor activity by smaller
6 groups of terrorists because we mainly crushed them during the previous
7 day in the main areas, but there were lots of discarded uniforms and parts
8 of uniforms. That was typical of terrorist activity in 1998 and 1999.
9 When they see that they have nowhere to go, they discard their uniforms,
10 they put on their civilian clothes that they always carry with them and
11 blend with the civilian population, in this case, with the mass of
12 civilians that were in Mamusa village.
13 Around 8.00 I got the assignment to send a reinforced platoon to
14 assist Combat Group 1, because it had been stopped before Memlica [phoen]
15 village. That was decided at 12.00, and already at 12.00 one part of my
16 unit arrived before Mamusa village. We had information there were a lot
17 of civilians in Mamusa village, that nobody was shooting at the police or
18 the army from that village, and my brigade commander told me, and I told
19 my subordinate officer, to stay in the area they reached until we reach an
20 agreement on further action.
21 Since there was no hostile activity against us, we passed through
22 this area. We had established contact before that with the civilians in
23 the village. They told us there were no more terrorists because
24 terrorists had left before that towards Studencani and Samodreza.
25 The unit passed through Mamusa already at dusk, when from these
1 elevations north of Mamusa strong fire was opened against my unit. There
2 was fighting for just under an hour, and then my forces joined up with
3 Combat Group 5 that was acting in the north around Neprebiste village. I
4 received the assignment from brigade commander then to gather, to rally my
5 units and to prepare to go back to my main area of disposition, of
6 deployment, that is Zub village. You can see here also that part of the
7 units was already on the way back around 2000 hours to their areas, but I
8 was not with them, because just outside Mamusa village one tank capsized
9 outside of combat, and I stayed there to deal with the consequences, to
10 pull out the equipment, this time to Bistrazin village.
11 Q. What do we see on the map dealing with the 28th? That is number
12 19 of previously admitted exhibits. Just very briefly, what is
13 characteristic of that day?
14 A. You see that most units that had taken part in this anti-terrorist
15 action are absent from this area, which means that they had gone back to
16 their areas of deployment save for Combat Group 7 and Combat Group 5,
17 which continued towards Milanovac mountain.
18 As for my group, from Retimlje and Donje Retimlje part of my unit
19 went on a march starting at 0900 hours, returning to Bistrazin village.
20 This part of my forces in the area of Mamusa pulled out that tank that I
21 mentioned, and I returned together with them to Bistrazin, which is where
22 I talked to the natives of that village. And I must say the locals were
23 helping us with the tank that we needed to pull out. We had good
24 cooperation with them, and they were probably grateful and appreciative
25 that we had driven away terrorists from their area.
1 I could give you more details, but you have them in my statement
2 under number 20.
3 Q. That is all that I wanted to ask you about this operation in
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I would only like to
6 ask for the statement of Colonel Vukovic, which is on the list of prior
7 exhibits, under 16, since it had only been marked for identification, as
8 well as the statement under number 20 - the first statement relates to the
9 16th and number 20 relates to the 28th - I would like them to be admitted.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, they're admitted. Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We will now move on to events in Djakovica. Colonel, were you in
14 Djakovica; and if so, when?
15 A. I was in Djakovica from the 3rd of August, 1998, until the 14th of
16 June, 1999.
17 Q. Was the area of Djakovica significant for terrorist forces?
18 A. Yes. The area of Djakovica was extremely important for terrorist
19 forces, because it was one of the major cities that were very close to the
20 border with Albania. And let me remind you it was one of the axes through
21 which, in 1998 and 1999, terrorist forces were injected from training
22 centres in Albania such as Sahar and others, carrying with them large
23 amounts of weapons and other equipment.
24 The city itself -- or, rather, in the city itself we did not come
25 across any terrorist activity, but there were many villages around. In
1 the city there was no terrorist activity simply because we had our own
2 forces there as well as police forces. However, in the villages around,
3 there were strong terrorist strongholds. Ponosevac, Smonica, Nec, Raca,
4 Rogovo. There were more of them, but these are the most characteristic of
5 this municipality.
6 In the course of 1998, this road leading from Djakovica to Junik
7 was even cut off, and it was used solely to supply border units that
8 manned watchtowers.
9 Q. In paragraph 63(h) of the indictment, it says that the number --
10 the population of the town of Djakovica had increased significantly due to
11 the large number of internally displaced persons who fled their villages
12 to escape deliberate shelling by forces of the FRY and Serbia during 1998,
13 and to escape the armed conflict between these forces and members of the
15 What can you tell us about this?
16 A. I can say it is not correct. Until the 25th of March -- or,
17 rather, the 24th in the evening when the bombing began, but until the 25th
18 there were no major movements of the civilian population. And it's not
19 correct that the population of Djakovica increased significantly due to
20 the incoming internally displaced persons. It's not really in my zone.
21 It's on the outer bank of the Renik river [phoen], but I know that on one
22 occasion there were internally displaced persons from Smonica and Nec
23 villages. And let me remind you, those were strong terrorist strongholds.
24 Smonica was one of the major strongholds in Kosovo and Metohija. And even
25 before I arrived in that area, there had been another anti-terrorist
1 action, and as far as I know, after that operation, the civilian
2 population did not return.
3 As for this deliberate shelling of villages by forces of the FRY
4 and Serbia in 1998, that, too, is untrue. In those villages there was
5 only fighting against terrorists. But if you're interested in 1998 --
6 Q. We're not going to dwell on 1998.
7 A. I can tell you in detail. As for this claim that they were
8 fleeing armed conflict between the armed forces of the army of Yugoslavia
9 and the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, but what it doesn't say here is
10 that it was a terrorist organisation. That is partly true, because it is
11 quite normal that civilians who do not support terrorists pull out, before
12 fighting, to some other area. But I have already said that whenever
13 combat operations were completed, we always enabled those civilians to go
14 back home.
15 Q. Then it goes on to say in that same paragraph that the continual
16 movement of these internally displaced persons increased after the 24th of
17 March. Following violent expulsions in the town of Djakovica, many
18 internally displaced persons returned from the town of Djakovica to the
19 outlying villages only to be expelled from these villages again by forces
20 of the FRY and Serbia.
21 Did anybody expel civilians from the town of Djakovica?
22 A. No, nobody expelled civilians from the town of Djakovica. What
23 did happen were examples where the civilians, during the course of the
24 night between the 24th when the bombing -- on the night of the 24th when
25 the bombing started and part of the cruise missiles, which had a high
1 destructive power, fell on the residential areas of Djakovica. So part of
2 the civilians assumed that they would be -- first of all, assumed that it
3 would be military facilities that would be targeted. So around the Devet
4 Jugovica barracks, it was quite normal that people from there went to
5 other parts of town to stay with friends and relatives and so on. And
6 they moved out of the region of Nova Kasaba, the new barracks. That
7 barracks was never targeted. And probably they thought that the war would
8 be over in two or three days and then they could use that barracks for
9 their own purposes. But they did target the Devet Jugovica barracks every
10 day and destroyed it completely.
11 So it is not correct that anybody expelled civilians from the town
12 of Djakovica or from the outlying villages either.
13 Q. Then it goes on to say that Serb forces controlled and coordinated
14 the movement of these internally displaced persons as they travelled from
15 these villages to and from the town of Djakovica and finally to the border
16 between Kosovo and the Republic of Albania. Persons travelling on foot
17 were sent from the town of Djakovica directly toward one of the several
18 border crossings. Persons travelling in motor vehicles were routed first
19 towards the town of Prizren before approaching the border and crossing
20 into the Republic of Albania.
21 Now, my question is this: Did the army control the movement of
22 these refugees, as it is claimed here by the other side?
23 A. No, this is not correct.
24 Q. So what assignments did the army have, then?
25 A. At the time, the army dealt with the -- with organising the
1 defence, defending the state border, that is to say the territory of the
2 country. And as mention is made here of the 24th, 25th, and 26th, and
3 part of the units were on assignment in the Bela Crkva, Retimlje area.
4 Q. That's what we've been going through in detail and we needn't go
5 back to that. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, in paragraph 63(i), it says from on or about the 24th of May
8 through to the 11th of May, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia began
9 forcing residents of the town of Djakovica to leave. Forces spread out
10 through the town and went from house to house, ordering Kosovo Albanians
11 from their homes.
12 Is that correct or not? Is that true or not?
13 A. This is absolutely not true, because it says up until the 11th of
14 May, through the 11th of May.
15 Now, in the town of Djakovica, of the units there since the -- as
16 of the 3rd and 4th of April, all that remained was the logistics battalion
17 of the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade, the PVO. So just a non-combat unit
19 Now, during a certain period of time when the bombings became much
20 more intensive, much stronger, I moved my own logistics platoon to the
21 town of Djakovica, for instance, because I could not organise the unit to
22 be supplied with the supplies it needed.
23 Until the 4th of April, there was part of the military territorial
24 detachment in Djakovica, and it provided security for some vital
25 facilities, which was my intention. And then on the 6th or 7th, that
1 military territorial detachment was subordinated to me.
2 Q. It says which was my intention, and it ought to have said which
3 was the intention of that particular detachment. So not your intention
4 but the detachment's intention and purpose.
5 A. Yes, and purpose.
6 MR. NICE: For the sake of ease of reading the record, it's not
7 paragraph 63(i) but 63(h)(i) that the accused is asking questions about.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I have that.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not complete my answer. So
12 that military territorial detachment was then given quite a different
13 assignment. And once again, one of the purposes of it was to protect my
14 left -- my right wing. And so from Djakovica it was sent on to the north
15 or, rather -- sorry, south-west, four or five kilometres south-west.
16 But what I want to say in saying that is this: In the town of
17 Djakovica itself after that date, right up until it says here the 11th of
18 May, there were no combat units there. There were no parts of units able
19 to do this, so that this part of the indictment absolutely does not
20 correspond to the truth.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. It goes on to say that on the 24th of March, the old mosque in
23 Rogovo and the old historic quarter of Djakovica, which included the
24 bazaar, the Hadum Mosque and adjoining Islamic library were among the
25 several cultural sites substantially and/or totally destroyed.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Well, yes, that is quite correct. On that first night, the first
2 night of the bombing, the destructive projectiles, and I assume they were
3 cruise missiles but don't hold me to that, it was night-time so we weren't
4 able to ascertain that with any full certainty, but they did fall on this
5 part of Djakovica precisely. And that old bazaar was -- the old quarter
6 was totally destroyed, as it says here. The library was damaged quite a
7 bit. It was one of the oldest libraries in that part of Metohija. And so
8 was the mosque. The mosque was damaged too. It was only, unless I'm very
9 much mistaken, but I learnt that from what my colleagues told me who were
10 in Djakovica, because during that night I had left Djakovica, but they
11 told me that it was only at about 10.00 or 11.00 of the following day that
12 the fire brigade, the MUP fire brigade of Djakovica went in to put out the
13 fire where these facilities had burnt. And the fire had been caused by
14 the NATO bombings.
15 Q. Colonel, you issued an order for defence on the 3rd of April,
16 1999, and you say that the terrorist forces in the border belt, the area
17 behind the border belt in Albania and the places you mentioned were
18 training people and preparing to infiltrate them into the area of Kosovo
19 and Metohija.
20 So could you tell us something about that document? And it's tab
21 6 in the exhibits, your exhibits.
22 A. Yes. Mr. Milosevic, this is a combat document which I issued on
23 the 3rd of April, 1999. Don't be misled by what it says, the village of
24 Zub. My command post at the time was located in Zub village, but it
25 refers to the overall area of responsibility of my battalion. And
1 otherwise, it is a document which is written according to a precisely
2 defined way, including different points.
3 If you want me to, I can read through it in detail, but in
4 principle, in the first point, you give the deployment of enemy forces and
5 position of enemy forces and assessments are made of the possible targets
6 -- target axes of the enemy.
7 In point 2, one records the assignments of the unit, assignments
8 issued by the superior commander. In my case, the commander was the
9 commander of the 549th Motorised Brigade, at the time Colonel Delic,
10 Bozidar Delic, colonel as he was at the time.
11 In point 3 or section 3, pursuant to an order by the Supreme
12 Commander, data is introduced about neighbouring units, which influence
13 the carrying out of my unit's assignment.
14 Q. Just a few questions with respect to this document, Colonel,
15 please. At the very end of point 1, for instance, it says that: "The
16 attack will be preceded by NATO airstrikes and we can also expect the use
17 of armoured mechanised forces of the OS of the Republic of Albania and
18 operations by small Siptar terrorist forces from inhabited area in Kosovo
19 and Metohija."
20 Does that talk about the coordinated action between NATO, the
21 forces of the Republic of Albania and the terrorist forces in Kosovo and
23 A. Yes, certainly. It speaks of that coordinated action. And later
24 experience has shown us -- showed us that our estimates were quite right.
25 We were quite right in our assumptions.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, further on in point 2, towards the end of point 2
2 on that same page, your tasks are defined in the following way: Not to
3 allow the enemy to conjoin with Siptar terrorist forces in Kosovo and
4 Metohija. Do not allow them to link up with the Siptar forces in Kosovo
5 and Metohija.
6 A. That's right. That would have been the worst variant for us had
7 we allowed them a frontal breakthrough and the units to act in the rear,
8 in depth, and to have those forces link up. That would mean cutting off
9 our units, breaking up sections of our units, and therefore our
10 destruction, which would certainly have been the object the enemy wanted
11 to achieve throughout the war.
12 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, staying with page 4 of your order, in
13 point 19 can you see the following sentence where it says: "Behave
14 towards the civilian population properly, treat civilians professionally
15 and prevent unnecessary destruction of buildings, pay particular attention
16 to the protection and welfare of children and the elderly."
17 A. Yes, but what do you want to ask me in that regard?
18 Q. What was your relationship, your attitude in all those critical
19 situations, very difficult situations during the NATO aggression towards
20 civilians? How did you treat them?
21 A. Well, our attitude and our treatment of civilians was as it says
22 here, extremely professional, and not a single soldier, especially not
23 commanding officer, can -- he has his officer's honour so he cannot engage
24 in anything dishonourable and dishonest. And vis-a-vis the civilian
25 population, the treatment as it was, as it was set out and as ordered by
1 me. And I controlled the situation, controlled the work of my
2 subordinates, and wherever there was any deviation from this order and
3 these instructions, steps and measures were taken to uncover the
4 perpetrator and to hand them over to military courts, to court-martials
5 and to file criminal reports against them.
6 And in the order of the brigade commander there was this
7 provision. It did not only relate to my unit but to all units in the
8 area. And I have the brigade commander order if you would like me to show
10 Q. So an order from the brigade commander comes before your order.
11 A. Certainly. It is on the basis of that order, pursuant to that
12 order that I write my order and say that orders have come from the Supreme
13 Command, et cetera, et cetera. So there's a separate document which is
14 duty binding for me and enables me to assess the situation and to decide
15 further down the line to engage my units.
16 Q. You issued another order, and it is to be found in tab 7. It is a
17 defence order dated the 8th of April. Do you have that before you?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before we go on to tab 7, I'd like
20 to tender into evidence tab 6 and the order contained in it.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
22 JUDGE KWON: Have we dealt with tab 4 and 5? I didn't hear the
23 position of the Prosecution. It's obvious it's -- he referred to it
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, on this occasion I'm in a position to
1 overhear the short exchange, and I think the position is they haven't been
2 referred to in detail at all. In reality, they haven't been relied upon,
3 and when the accused was asked to explain their relevance, he had
4 difficulty doing so. I would ask them not to be produced at this stage,
5 although of course, I may land up asking questions about them when I have
6 a chance to review them in light of his evidence overall.
7 JUDGE KWON: You'd like to keep it rather than returning them.
8 MR. NICE: I think that would be prudent.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I can go back to tab 6
11 and look at it in greater detail, but I considered that the document was
12 accessible, translated. I quoted just several portions --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: 6 we admitted.
14 JUDGE KWON: Tab 4 and 5.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The issue related to 4 and 5.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 4 and 5 relates to the books, the
17 logbooks of incoming and outgoing telegrams; messages, telegrams, which I
18 provided. I didn't deal with them. It would have taken up too much time.
19 That is true, yes.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Colonel Vukovic, what does this order contain, this order of
22 yours, tab 7?
23 A. It is the second order for defence, defence order, and before that
24 there was another order from the brigade command, because a company was
25 returned to my unit which had previously made up Combat Group 3. So a
1 completely new order was issued.
2 Once again, in point 1 we deal with the deployment of enemy
3 forces, their positions, and it says that rocket strikes had taken place,
4 because it's the 8th of April and rocket strikes throughout the territory
5 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been conducted, and that we
6 assumed that in ten to 15 days at the latest -- by the 10th there would be
7 a ground aggression, an aggression by the land forces, ground forces. And
8 this proved to be correct, because on the 9th of April one such all-out
9 attack took place in the watchtower of Kosare.
10 Q. Colonel, let's just clarify one point. In tab 1 we have a map.
11 That map in tab 1, is it a component part of this order of yours?
12 A. Yes. The map in tab 1 is indeed a component part of this
13 particular order, with the proviso that this order, the other order,
14 underwent certain corrections. And you can see that from the documents,
15 but you went -- unfortunately, you went over those documents much too
16 quickly, and you would be able to see that from the brigade command I
17 received corrections to the defence order. But anyway, these deviations
18 were slight in relation to this particular map.
19 And here we can see my decision for the defence of the state
20 borders, and marked here are the zones, the areas. This is the defence
21 zone of the battalion. I spoke about that yesterday.
22 Q. Just one moment, please. You issued this order on the 8th of
23 April, 1999?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is the map of the same date?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So the original map of that date is an integral part of the order.
3 A. Right. I drew the map myself. And this inscription, if I
4 remember correctly, was written by my deputy, or one of the commanding
5 officers present.
6 Q. So this document says that in the Republic of Albania, about
7 10.000 Siptar forces from Kosovo and Metohija have been trained by NATO
9 A. Yes. Those were reports from superior commands that had their own
10 intelligence. I can tell you more about the way intelligence is
11 collected, if you're interested.
12 Among other things, in the very town of Djakovica, there was part
13 of the 52nd Company for electric surveillance and anti-electronic action.
14 They monitored radio traffic and drew their conclusions about the number
15 of terrorists, their movements, the strength and movements of the armed
16 forces of Albania, but also of NATO, and the grouping of those forces in
17 the Mediterranean sector, in Turkey, in other countries, and based on that
18 information, this estimate was made.
19 I already mentioned earlier that for the most part I copy data
20 about the enemy from my superior command's order, and I only add the most
21 probable, the most likely axes of attack of the enemy against the area of
22 defence of my battalion. And I can tell you that our estimates were very
23 good as far as their axes of attack are concerned. And we didn't let them
24 break through our lines in this area. That was of extreme importance for
25 the entire Pristina Corps, because if you look at the map, there is only
1 six and a half kilometres between Djakovica and the border and
2 Pec-Djakovica communication would have been cut off. The
3 Pec-Djakovica-Prizren road would have been cut off had they been
4 successful, and that would have had a major impact on our defence in the
6 Q. While you were showing this, you thought you were showing it on
7 the screen but you were showing it on the map.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. In this order, you mention coordinated action between Siptar
10 terrorist forces with the ground forces from the Republic of Macedonia and
11 the Republic of Albania, and you forecast, this is in "The Aggressor"
12 paragraph, that it is to be expected that about 2.000 would attack
13 together with NATO air strikes. You say: "We can expect an attack from
14 2.000 Siptars and the attack will be preceded by NATO airstrikes." Did it
15 happen that way?
16 A. Well, there were two documents that we didn't deal with at all,
17 the volumes of incoming and outcoming dispatches. It was confirmed that
18 our assumptions were correct, and that was lucky for us, because had we
19 not anticipated this, our losses would have been much heavier.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do you think, Mr. Robinson, that
21 this explanation why the volumes of telegrams are important provide
22 additional reason to enter them into evidence?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not for you to ask me that, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Colonel Vukovic, in paragraph 14 of your order, the last sentence
2 reads: "In all situations consistently adhere to all provisions of the
3 international laws of war."
4 A. Yes. This is within the paragraph dealing with psychological
5 support. And I suppose that Colonel Delic had a similar sentence in his
7 Q. Towards the end of paragraph 19, it says that prisoners of war
8 should be turned over to the garrison commander in Djakovica and that
9 civilian population should be treated professionally and unnecessary
10 destruction of buildings should be prevented. Special attention should be
11 given to the protection and welfare of children and the elderly.
12 A. I was commander of one such unit, regardless of the number. I was
13 able to interrogate prisoners of war only to the extent that it concerned
14 my activities in my area. But we didn't do that either, because we had a
15 specialised organ, namely the chief of security of the 52nd Artillery
16 Rocket Brigade of air defence who was, professionally speaking, much
17 better prepared for that sort of task in case we took any prisoners,
18 regardless of who took the prisoners. If they were from the ranks of
19 terrorists, they would be turned over to him to be interrogated, for which
20 he was properly authorised.
21 As for the protection of civilian population, you can see how it
22 was done, in the spirit of orders issued.
23 Q. In paragraph 63, it says --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters would appreciate an exact
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC:
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the passage -- paragraph you're referring
5 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph number.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Paragraph 63.
7 JUDGE KWON: Of the indictment.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: There are many subparagraphs in that paragraph.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will tell you now. It's (h)(i).
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: (h)(i).
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You found it, Mr. Robinson? In the
13 third third of paragraph (h)(i), it says, "During the period from 2 to 4
14 April, 1999, thousands of Kosovo Albanians ..." et cetera, et cetera.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Why did these people leave, Colonel Vukovic? I'm asking you about
17 the cases you came across personally.
18 A. That's what I'm trying to say. On several occasions I had
19 opportunity to talk to people who were passing through the area of the 2nd
20 Battalion. On the map, this is a road that goes from the town of
21 Djakovica and leads to the border crossing Cafa Prusit in the area of my
22 command post, which is Zub village.
23 The first such column was stopped on the 30th March, which was
24 notified to me by my deputy via radio. To remind you, I was in Bistrazin
25 at the time.
1 Q. I remember we read about that day when dealing with your war
3 A. So on the 30th, I talked to a smaller group where there were
4 elderly, infirm persons, women with children who simply had no strength to
5 go on foot any more. And I told you why it was impossible to go through
6 this border crossing in vehicles.
7 I talked to them personally. I gave them several options. I told
8 them where we could find accommodation, but they still insisted on going
9 to Albania. I asked them why. Their first reason that they gave was
10 their fear from NATO airstrikes. Their second reason was that terrorists
11 had ordered them to leave their villages.
12 It's true that there were people who also said they were afraid of
13 the army, but the main reasons were the two first reasons I stated. And I
14 can give you my personal opinion as well, if you're interested, as to why
15 such large numbers of civilians left Kosovo and Metohija.
16 Q. On what is your personal opinion based?
17 A. It's based on my conversations with those civilians. It's based
18 on my presence there, and it's based on the fact that my assumptions were
19 later proven true. I personally believe that this course of action was
20 geared to engineer some sort of humanitarian catastrophe. Not only for
21 the benefit of their public opinion but also the public opinion of neutral
22 countries to justify --
23 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... preface this by
24 saying it's an opinion. He's not an expert and I don't know if he's got
25 access to material different from that which we have. It's a matter for
1 the Court.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't think it's expert evidence, Mr. Nice.
4 He's talking from his experience.
5 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 Continue, Colonel.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If Mr. Nice had heard me out 'til
8 the end, he would have understood --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... Mr. Nice. I
10 have ruled on the matter. So continue.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. So I came to the
12 conclusion that an alleged humanitarian catastrophe was engineered in that
13 way to justify the aggression. Why am I claiming this? I'm claiming this
14 for another; namely that this enabled NATO to target everything in Kosovo
15 and Metohija indiscriminately, and that proved to be true already in the
16 few coming days. Already on the 8th of April, massive strikes started on
17 all targets in Kosovo and Metohija, including targets in this border belt.
18 Furthermore, this theory of mine is also proven by the following
19 -- I'm sorry, my speech is beginning to slur already. But whenever there
20 were cases when civilians tried to go back home, they were targeted by
21 NATO aviation. And I can give you specific examples of this if you wish.
22 But naturally, in my area of responsibility, there is no populated area
23 that had not been targeted by NATO Air Force. So my forecasts were
24 eventually justified by specific events on the ground.
25 As for the targeting of civilian population, I can tell you more
1 about that if necessary.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic --
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness has indicated that he is beginning to
5 have problems.
6 You are to provide me with information about the provenance of
7 General Djosan's war diary.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I received information from
9 Mr. Tomanovic that in the afternoon of the day before yesterday his office
10 was informed regarding the request he had submitted last week, that
11 approval had been received to provide Djosan's diary. So his office was
12 informed the day before yesterday, his office received the diary, and they
13 sent it on yesterday, and yesterday it was handed in here to the other
14 side and to me.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: When was the request made initially?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That request was marked urgent and
17 made last week.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: When last week?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know that exactly. I
20 informed you when it was done, because you told me to make an effort to
21 get hold of that diary.
22 And incidentally, I want to tell you that my associates did not
23 have a single sheet of the diary in excess of what we all received. It
24 was only late in the night the day before yesterday that we received its
25 entirety in the manuscript. Mr. Nice will be able to check whether the
1 typed out pages correspond to the handwritten pages from A to Z.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it follow that your associates must have had
3 the diary at an earlier stage to make a selection of the pages which they
4 chose to produce in court initially?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They had only what you had, and
6 that's the same thing that I had, the smaller --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that's what they ultimately had, but I
8 take it that they initially had the whole diary to make a selection from
9 it and decide which pages to copy. No.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. No, they did not have the
11 entire diary, because they got hold of those portions of the diary through
12 private channels. They didn't have the whole diary. But now you have it,
13 all of it.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I see the time, so can I have two very
15 tiny points. I assume we're coming to the end of examination-in-chief. I
16 probably will have some questions for Djosan. Questions, should he be
17 interposed before I start cross-examination so that he's not detained
18 until Tuesday and so that to that extent you have material in order should
19 he come at the end of the witness. I'm neutral on the point but it's a
20 matter of convenience, and possibly his convenience.
21 Second point while I'm on my feet: I hadn't appreciated, because
22 my vision was restricted, but Ms. Dicklich did observe and has drawn to my
23 attention that the witness does appear to have been referring to a series
24 of handwritten notes, and I know the Chamber prefers to know when that's
25 happened. He moved them finally to the left of the monitor and I saw it
1 then. I'm sorry I hadn't observed it before. If I'd done so, I would
2 have drawn it to your attention.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, how much longer do you have with
5 this witness? I presume not much longer.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not much longer. I will be done
7 within the first session of the next day. I don't believe 15 minutes will
8 be enough, but 30 minutes hopefully. Because this witness has details to
9 give about Meja as well, although when Mr. Kwon asked for portions of the
10 war diary to be read, he explained partially, and we even had the map of
11 Meja on the ELMO, so we'll save time on that. There will be no need for
12 more detailed comment.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: General Djosan should be here on Monday.
15 Now, Colonel, it has been brought to our attention that you have
16 been making reference to some handwritten notes. Are these your notes?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I still haven't used
18 them, but I intend to. They are indeed my notes.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: When did you make them? When did you make the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A couple of days ago during the
22 preparation for this testimony, and when I received concrete questions and
23 the tabs and all this documentation on the basis of which I was supposed
24 to testify.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say you have not yet utilised them. If you
1 are going to use them, then you must bring that to our attention first.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. They are accessible to
3 you. There's nothing special there. It just lists dates and figures,
4 which you will agree with me sometimes one tends to forget on the spur of
5 the moment.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We will adjourn, and we will resume
7 on Monday, 9.00.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Monday, the 31st day
10 of October, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.