1 Tuesday, 15 November 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I understand there is a matter
6 that you wish to raise in the absence of the next witness. What is it?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is this, Mr. Robinson: A
8 physician's report. I hope that you have it before you, that you received
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should just -- let me just stop you there. We
11 haven't received any physician's report. Do you reason the report from
12 Dr. Falke?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. No. What I meant was the
14 report by three prominent specialists who examined me on the 4th of
15 November. That means ten days ago. And I would like to mention that in
16 their report they present a joint view, a joint position by the consortium
17 of physicians, and they say, among other things: "The patient's state of
18 health has not stabilised and that complications are possible. [In
19 English] Accordingly, the patient should be prescribed -- prescribed a
20 period of rest; i.e., the suspension of all physical and mental activities
21 for a minimum period of six weeks, which will probably reduce or at least
22 stabilise the symptoms."
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Chamber is not privy to that
24 report. If you want us to make a determination on anything that arises
25 from that report, then you should submit it to us and we'll consider it.
1 MR. KAY: It is being copied at the moment by Professor Rakic, as
2 I understand it.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, we wouldn't be able to consider that
4 at this particular time. We haven't seen that report at all,
5 Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know why my microphone is
8 being switched off all the time. But that is the problem, where the
9 problem lies. You haven't seen the report, and in the report by Dr. Falke
10 it says that I was not here on Friday, as it says, due to exhaustion.
11 Dr. Falke knows full well that for several months now I have serious
12 health problems. I don't need to complain about them, nor is it my
13 intention to complain about anything here before you. I was in Bronovo
14 Hospital a few times for examinations, and he knows full well the kind of
15 problems that I'm suffering from. The doctors who came to see me came two
16 months after not having provided me with adequate and proper treatment to
17 make note of what they noted. And I should like to stress that we're
18 talking about highly acclaimed experts, professionals from Russia, France,
19 and Serbia. So this kind of contradiction to Dr. Falke's report is not
20 acceptable in any way, and I do feel that the position taken by the
21 doctors must be respected, especially as they are serious problems that
22 are involved.
23 And otherwise I would like to remind you that even if I were in
24 full health, which I am not, unfortunately, in the decision by the Appeals
25 Chamber, the ruling made with respect to the joining of three indictments
1 or a joinder of three indictments, in point 27 it says quite clearly the
2 following: "[In English] As has been shown to be necessary in all long
3 trials before this Tribunal, the Trial Chamber will from time to time have
4 to take a break in the hearing of evidence to enable the parties to
5 marshal their forces and, if need be, for the unrepresented accused to
6 rest from the work involved."
7 [Interpretation] In all these years -- well, I don't want to count
8 them, but I have never been accorded anything like that let alone the fact
9 that this was binding on the Trial Chamber and that the other side --
10 "... not to become unmanageable by overloading the Trial Chamber and the
11 Defence with unnecessary material."
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, as I indicated, the Chamber is not
13 privy to that report. We have not seen it. If you wish us to see it,
14 then you must ensure that we -- that we get it. And if you have any
15 submission to make arising out of that report, then -- then you may make
16 it. But it is pointless continuing the discussion on the basis of a
17 report which is not before the Chamber.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have brought up this
19 subject matter and quoted the position taken by the physicians, but it's
20 up to you what you do next. I'm not going to raise the question any more.
21 The fact that you have not been apprised of it, you should have been
22 informed because the Registrar is duty-bound to inform you about matters
23 like that. It is the Registrar who is in charge of health matters and
24 other similar problems.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you must ensure that we get the
1 report. You are the party involved. Let us have the report and we'll
2 see --
3 MR. KAY: I'm --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay?
5 MR. KAY: I do have copies here that have been prepared. I've got
6 the full bundles here with the original language. I don't know whether
7 you've got those there before the -- maybe these are the better reports
8 for the Court to have.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Kay has been good enough to
11 provide what appears to be the report to which you have referred. We are
12 seeing it now for the first time. We will look at it, but you must make
13 it clear to the Chamber what it is that you wish the Chamber to do arising
14 from this report.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Nothing other than asking the Trial
16 Chamber not to ignore what it says in the doctors' report, and that means
17 that they said quite specifically suspension of all physical and mental
18 activities [In English] for a minimum period of six weeks.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, Mr. Milosevic. The Chamber has the
20 report now. We will look at the report and give consideration to the
21 submission that you have made.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I would like to make it clear at this stage
24 that I don't understand any motion to have been made other than for the
25 Trial Chamber to look at the documents. In my opinion, if these are said
1 to give rise to a need for this trial to be adjourned, then that would
2 have to be the subject of a written motion. I don't think it's an
3 appropriate matter to be considered on the basis of the oral submission
4 that's been made so far in this case. I understand that's not the view of
5 my colleagues, but I thought it right to make my position clear.
14 MR. NICE: Sorry, in which case that should be redacted. Well,
15 can I, in those circumstances, invite the Court's attention to paragraph 6
16 of that report.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we have that report. We have that report.
18 MR. NICE: And possibly before the Court makes a decision, if it's
19 minded to make this decision, to embark on a reading and consideration of
20 the latest report provided, to deal with that paragraph.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No doubt that will be one of the matters that the
22 Chamber will consider along with the consideration of the submissions from
23 the accused.
24 Call your next witness, Mr. Milosevic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson, in
1 connection with this, I'm very grateful to Mr. Nice for moving that
2 question. What it says there is not correct. There's probably some
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are not going to discuss that now. Call your
5 next witness.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, just one sentence.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I do not wish to have it discussed now. Are you
8 deaf? Call your next witness.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I probably am deaf.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, if you are, we'll see about that. Call the
11 next witness.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But the fact that I'm deaf won't
13 stop me from working.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: No doubt that's to your credit.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The next witness is Husein
16 Sarvanovic, Captain Husein Sarvanovic.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
22 Mr. Milosevic, commence the examination.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 WITNESS: HUSEIN SARVANOVIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Captain.
3 A. Good morning, Mr. Milosevic.
4 Q. Captain, would you please introduce yourself.
5 A. Husein Sarvanovic, captain of the army of Serbia and Montenegro,
6 retired, born on the 14th of February, 1961, Modric municipality,
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I am a citizen of Serbia and Montenegro.
8 I completed my secondary military school in Sarajevo. After that,
9 I served in Pirot as a junior officer. In 1992 I completed the higher
10 military school and as an officer started working in Pirot. I continued
11 my service in Surdulica, Prizren, and Leskovac, where I was retired.
12 Q. When did you serve in Kosovo and Metohija?
13 A. I served in Kosovo and Metohija from the 11th of May, 1998, until
14 the end of the war.
15 Q. What are you by ethnicity?
16 A. I'm a Muslim.
17 Q. And what were you during the war in Kosovo and Metohija?
18 A. During the war in Kosovo and Metohija, I was the commander of a
19 motorised company in the 1st Battalion of the Prizren Brigade.
20 Q. On the map next to you --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And, gentlemen, that map was
22 introduced into evidence during the testimony of -- or, rather, map
23 already admitted during the testimony of General Djosan.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you show us on that map where you were and where your
1 movements were in Kosovo and Metohija during that time.
2 A. My unit was given its assignment for the region of Zur. The area
3 of responsibility was Zur village and to the east, bordering on the
4 village of Zur; to right or, rather, to the west, the Ceja [phoen] feature
5 and mortar, 82-millimetre mortar unit in the village of Vrbnica at the
6 border crossing with the Republic of Albania. And another rifle unit.
7 And that is where I carried out my assignment with my original unit.
8 Q. Thank you, Captain. You mentioned that among your unit you had a
9 mortar platoon; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I don't want to quote from the actual papers but in many places it
12 says that our army shelled villages and towns. So I'm going to ask you to
13 tell me, with that mortar platoon of yours, did you ever fire any shells?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you explain to us how that came about, what the situation
16 was, and what the target was.
17 A. Since the mortar platoon was within the composition of my company
18 and I was in command of the platoon because there were no other available
19 officers, high-ranking officers, the way in which the 82-millimetre
20 mortars acted was this: As my position was at the command post,
21 reconnoitering command post, I would go into action pursuant to orders
22 from the commander. So we would prepare for targeting and then a fire
23 point would be targeted from where shooting was coming from. We never
24 targeted any other features or targets which were not military targets or,
25 rather, targets used to fire at us from.
1 Q. So, Captain, what -- from what you've just said, it -- the
2 following would emerge: Your position was a position next to the
4 A. Yes, next to the commander at the observation post.
5 Q. At the observation post. I see. Now, were you personally able to
6 establish from which firing points your unit was being fired at?
7 A. Yes, because next to me we had two scouts for reconnoitering
8 purposes and reconnaissance and to tell us where the firing was coming
10 Q. Did it ever happen that you would target a feature or facility
11 from which you were not fired at or our units were not fired at?
12 A. No, we never did that nor did our unit ever receive orders to
13 target facilities which were not used as fire points and points of fire
14 towards our units.
15 Q. Did it ever happen that you would -- your shell would go amiss and
16 you would hit a civilian feature by mistake? Did you ever miss your mark,
17 in fact?
18 A. No, that never happened.
19 Q. Thank you, Captain. Captain, a document was introduced into
20 evidence here which was mentioned in General Delic's testimony and then
21 Colonel Vukovic's. It is a document that was entitled "Order for the
22 reinforcement and support of MUP forces to break up the Siptar terrorist
23 forces in the area of Orahovac, Suva Reka, and Velika Krusa." Are you
24 acquainted with that document? And it's to be found in tab 2 of your
25 binder. Otherwise, it was introduced and admitted into evidence.
1 A. The document meant nothing to me because I actually saw the
2 document for the first time when I was in a proofing session with the
3 lawyer here, and this is a classical order by a corps commander to brigade
5 Q. All right. But -- I know that, but were you able to find anywhere
6 in that record, once you had studied it, the position of your particular
7 unit mentioned or the activities that you had?
8 A. No, I was not able to find that anywhere in that order.
9 Q. Right. Now, since we've established that point, explain this to
10 us: During the events to which the order relates, did you take part in
11 any combat action?
12 A. I did take part in combat action, but pursuant to an order that I
13 received from my combat group commander.
14 Q. Right. Fine. Now, tell me this: Did you ever receive anybody
15 else's order except an order from the command of your combat group?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Every time you went into action did you go into action exclusively
18 pursuant to the order issued by the commander of your combat group?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In your company and when we're dealing with the artillery weapons,
21 mortars, and so on, was there any action where people would go into action
22 of their own free will without having received orders?
23 A. No, no action arbitrary of that kind.
24 JUDGE KWON: What's the exhibit number of this document,
25 Mr. Milosevic?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This document was admitted. It was
2 D30, tab 356. It was used on the 30th of June, admitted on the 1st of
4 MR. KAY: It's D300 rather than 30.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. D300.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
7 JUDGE KWON: Microphone.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you tell us, in connection with those activities, what your
10 particular unit was doing.
11 A. My unit, receiving its assignment from the commander of the combat
12 group, supported and reinforced MUP forces - that's the assignment it was
13 given in the army of Yugoslavia - in the breaking up and destruction of
14 the Siptar terrorist forces along the axis of Orahovac-Suva Reka.
15 Q. Bela Crkva is in the Orahovac municipality. Do you know Bela
16 Crkva? Do you know the place?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Now, please, could this map of Bela Crkva be placed on the
19 overhead projector. It is a large-scale map, so everything is clearly
21 Captain, can you say what this map represents? Can you explain
23 A. This is a map of the village of Bela Crkva. On it we can see the
24 initial deployment. On it we can see the initial deployment of the forces
25 of Combat Group 2 that was about to carry out its tasks, the direction
1 from which the units came in order to carry out this task. Also, there is
2 the line from which the group set off. It's about 700 to 1.000 metres
3 away from the village.
4 Q. Captain, the indictment, in paragraph 66(b), alleges that on the
5 25th of March, 1999, or around that date, the forces of the FRY and Serbia
6 surrounded and attacked the village of Bela Crkva, municipality of
7 Orahovac. Were you there then at the time?
8 A. First of all, that is not correct. On the 24th of March, between
9 1930 hours and 2000 hours, I went along the outskirts of the village of
10 Bela Crkva and deployed the units in Brnjaca, which is about 700 to 1.000
11 metres away from the village of Bela Crkva. As I passed through, I did
12 not have any problems in the village. It was peaceful.
13 I spent the night in Brnjaca and I was disturbed. We could not
14 get any proper rest because NATO aircraft were flying from the Republic of
15 Albania towards the territory of Yugoslavia. The village of Brnjaca is a
16 locality I left in the morning around 5.00, and I proceeded towards
17 Orahovac and Velika Hoca from where I carried out the assignment given to
18 me by the commander of the combat group.
19 I note once again that there were no problems during my stay in
20 Bela Crkva or during the course of the night.
21 Q. Was there any activity of any other unit in Bela Crkva?
22 A. No.
23 Q. It is stated here that many villagers from Bela Crkva fled along
24 the Belaja river and that they were forced to seek shelter and that the
25 forces of Serbia opened fire, killing 12 persons. Do you know anything
1 about this?
2 A. This assertion is not correct. There was no activity. I claim
3 that my own unit never did any such thing, and I have not heard of any
4 unit having done anything like that.
5 Q. Further on it is stated that the forces of the FRY and Serbia then
6 ordered the men and older boys to strip and then systematically robbed
7 them of all valuables. The women and children were ordered to leave
8 towards an adjacent village, and also 65 Kosovo Albanians were killed when
9 fire was opened. Do you know anything about these allegations?
10 A. These allegations are not correct, as I already said at the outset
11 when we were looking at the map of Bela Crkva; our units were outside the
12 village. That is to say it passed through the village without any
13 problems whatsoever and there was no one to do any such thing. There
14 weren't any soldiers or units of the military in the village.
15 Q. During the NATO aggression in Kosovo and Metohija or, rather, the
16 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, were you aware of any incident like that,
17 namely that our army and police attacked civilians or committed any crimes
18 against civilians?
19 A. No, I'm not aware of any such thing and I have not even heard of
20 such crimes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, just a minute.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Captain, you indicated where you were and where you moved in that
1 part of the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. In paragraph 55 here, it is
2 alleged that our forces deliberately and in a widespread and systematic
3 manner expelled and internally displaced hundreds of thousands of
4 Albanians from their homes across the entire province, using threats of
5 force and acts of violence.
6 Please, you commanded a company: Did the army engage in threats
7 and any kind of force against citizens of Albanian ethnicity?
8 A. No. I'm sure that my unit never did any such thing, nor have I
9 heard of any unit under General Delic's command having done anything like
11 Q. Did you expel anyone?
12 A. No, never.
13 Q. A few moments ago you said that you shelled certain firing points,
14 and you said that you only shelled those firing points that constituted a
15 military target, from where firing came from. Please, in paragraph 56 it
16 says that throughout Kosovo the forces of FRY and Serbia engaged in a
17 deliberate and systematic campaign of destruction of property and that
18 they were burning down homes, farms, businesses, cultural monuments, et
20 Please, did you shell towns and villages and destroy civilian
22 A. No. I never engaged in such shelling or did I ever receive orders
23 to target civilian property or citizens in Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Thank you, Captain. Do you know anything about the units of the
25 army of Yugoslavia escorting civilians to the border? You were near the
1 border, weren't you? Do you have any knowledge about that?
2 A. My unit, the unit I commanded, never escorted the civilian
3 population as it moved towards Albania nor was I given that kind of
4 assignment. My basic assignment was not what is mentioned but the defence
5 of the territory; protection from NATO Air Force attacks and protection of
6 the territory.
7 Q. Captain, how did you keep up your communication with the superior
8 command? Did you have meetings with your superior officers?
9 A. Every day I had meetings in the evening with my battalion
10 commander, and in addition to that, I had wire communication and radio
12 Q. At these meetings of yours did you hear at any time any
13 information about crimes being committed against civilians or that
14 somebody's property was being destroyed or that a town or village was
15 being shelled?
16 A. No. During these briefings I never heard of any such information.
17 Q. Did you have specific information as to what was going on in the
18 terrain throughout the zone where you were moving?
19 A. I did have information, and I reported about all of that to my
20 superior command.
21 Q. Briefly describe what happened in the terrain where you were
22 moving about.
23 A. In the terrain where I was moving about, my basic task was the
24 struggle against Siptar terrorist forces, the protection of the state
25 border, and the protection of the territory of the Federal Republic of
1 Yugoslavia, and the protection of my own personnel, my own unit, and
2 defence from NATO airstrikes while we were completing our task.
3 Q. Did you in your units have any contacts with civilians?
4 A. No, because I was deployed outside the village.
5 Q. Could your soldiers arbitrarily go into the village and do
6 something impermissible without you knowing about that?
7 A. They could not do it and they wouldn't dare to do it.
8 Q. Did any such thing ever happen?
9 A. In my unit, no such thing ever happened.
10 Q. Let us just deal with one more thing. The seizure of documents of
11 Albanians is referred to often here. You were near the border. Do you
12 know anything about documents being taken away from Albanian inhabitants
13 of Kosovo and Metohija?
14 A. I don't know anything about that. What I know for sure is that my
15 unit did not take away anybody's documents nor did I hear of any unit
16 taking away the documents of a civilian population. I was near the
17 Vrbnica border crossing.
18 Q. Can you remember -- do you have any idea how many shells you fired
19 during the course of the war throughout these combat activities, roughly?
20 A. I cannot recall because it's been quite a while now. It's been
21 six years since the war ended, and the exact information is contained in
22 archives, because every day, when completing our tasks, we submitted
23 reports to the superior command about the materiel used.
24 Q. All right. But do you have a rough idea of how many shells you
1 A. One or two 82-millimetre shells were used for engaging military
2 targets, firing points.
3 Q. How often did you engage in this kind of activity?
4 A. In the Orahovac-Suva Reka area, I fought the Siptar terrorist
5 forces at Opterusa, two or three targets at Trljiste, a fortified point
6 from which they were firing at our positions. So that's about four or
7 five times that I opened fire.
8 Q. Was this always only at firing points from which gunfire was
10 A. Only.
11 Q. Thank you, Captain. I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Captain, can I ask you, when was it you retired
14 from the army?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 3rd of March, 2004.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
18 Q. Who was your commander?
19 A. My battalion commander was Lieutenant Colonel Uros Nikolic.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness's other
21 microphone please be turned on. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please have the witness's microphone turned on.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. And you left on the -- on the evening of the 24th of March, is
25 that right, on deployment?
1 A. I set out from Prizren in the direction of Orahovac, and I was
2 staying with my unit in Brnjaca.
3 Q. Well, we can see Brnjaca on a map which we'll return to in a
4 second, but tell us this, please: As a company commander, what records
5 did you keep of what you were doing on that particular evening or night?
6 A. As company commander, I do not keep any written records about what
7 I do with my unit, because I was the leader of a platoon. That was my
8 role when carrying out these particular tasks.
9 Q. So you keep no written records. You reported back to your
10 commander, is that right, Nikolic, what you were doing?
11 A. When carrying out this task, I reported to Zoran Djokic. And as
12 for my own unit, I reported to Uros Nikolic, Lieutenant Colonel Uros
14 Q. So that either Djokic or Nikolic may have contemporaneous records
15 of what you were instructed to do and what you reported on having done; is
16 that right?
17 A. First of all, I report to them orally. I don't know. My
18 commander writes things down in his own notebook, and he probably does
19 have some traces of what I said about what I did.
20 Q. Did you make any report to the VJ Commission for Cooperation with
21 the ICTY, any statement to that commission?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Or to something called the Expert Committee or Expert Commission?
24 A. No.
25 Q. As a platoon commander or company commander, you've used platoon
1 and you've used company, so I'll let you decide which, did you have a map
2 showing what you were to do and recording what you had done?
3 A. On the basis of the map of the battalion commander, I worked and
5 Q. Did you -- did you carry a map with you, marking on it what you
6 were doing and when and where?
7 A. I only have the map when I worked as company commander about the
8 deployment of the units on the ground.
9 Q. Well, does that apply to what you say was happening when you were
10 at Brnjaca outside Bela Crkva? Is there a map showing or was there a map
11 showing your location there?
12 A. First of all, I did not have any positions in Brnjaca. My unit,
13 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Djokic, came there to carry out an
14 assignment and to rest and prepare for carrying out an assignment which
15 was to take place on the 25th, and this was based on my commander's
17 Q. Is there a map showing that? Just yes or no.
18 A. On this map of Bela Crkva we can see where Brnjaca is. That is
19 where I deployed my unit, in a basement. That's where the unit was. And
20 when I was near Velika Hoca and Opterusa, the positions of the mortars can
21 be seen too.
22 Q. Well, we're just concerned with Bela Crkva at the moment.
23 MR. NICE: The map you were looking at, Your Honours, it wasn't
24 actually identified properly for the purposes of the record. It's a Delic
25 exhibit, so that's exhibit whatever it is, 300 or -- it's tab 360 of that.
1 Q. When did you first see this map?
2 A. I saw this map at the commander of my combat group, but with the
3 total combat deployment of forces on it.
4 Q. Yes. I mean you -- it's very helpful. And this particular map,
5 let's just get it on the overhead projector, shall we, so we can look at
6 it. And I want you to take your time with it. Tell me again, you saw it
7 at the commander of your combat group. Where was -- where was it that you
8 saw it; before the operation, during the operation, or after?
9 A. Only Bela Crkva, this map?
10 Q. Yes, this map.
11 A. This is the first time -- the first time I saw this was during the
12 preparations, but the commander had a map for carrying out the assignment
14 Q. Well, let's focus on this map. The first time you saw this map
15 was during preparations for what?
16 A. For my testimony.
17 Q. What did you discover about who'd written or drawn this map?
18 A. When I got the map, I didn't ask who it was that drew it. I know
19 that commanders made decisions, and then they made the appropriate
20 markings on maps.
21 Q. Did you understand this to be a map that related to the operation
22 that you'd been on, or what did you understand this map to be? You've
23 been asked questions about it. What's your understanding of what that map
24 is, please?
25 A. This map is Bela Crkva and Combat Group 2 deployed to carry out
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 its assignment. Combat Group 2 at the initial line, and the units that
2 were moving towards Orahovac were deployed there.
3 Q. What did you understand the map to be? Who prepared it, when, and
4 all that sort thing? It's got a date on it, but what did understand this
5 map to be?
6 A. A map or document, a written document that had to do with the
7 execution of the task involved.
8 Q. Prepared at the time or prepared subsequently? That's what I want
9 you to help us with, please.
10 A. The map was made before the task was carried out.
11 Q. This particular map?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And this is the sort of map, is it, that you as a company or
14 platoon commander saw in your commander's headquarters? Is that right?
15 A. Commander of the combat group, yes.
16 Q. Yes, because -- I mean, they're very conveniently sized, these
17 maps. Maybe they're the sort of maps that commanders would take with them
18 in their small units. Is this the sort of size of map that was made
19 available to you to take with you?
20 A. This is not the size of the map that is otherwise carried around.
21 This is made smaller.
22 Q. But it's the sort of map, or the map, whichever you tell us it is,
23 that you saw before the operation?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Well, let's just look at it and then we'll look at an aerial view.
1 Just tell us, how far is Brnjaca --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, I'm certainly confused. I understood the
3 witness to have said that he saw this for the first time during the
4 preparations to give evidence.
5 MR. NICE: Yes, but he also, unless I misunderstood it, he also
6 said --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: There are two maps.
8 MR. NICE: The map was made before the task was carried out, and I
9 said, This particular map? and he said Yes. Page 21, lines 4 and 5.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: So that is a map for the operation.
11 MR. NICE: This particular map is what we're looking at.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Help us, please, if you will: What's the distance from Brnjaca to
15 the centre of Bela Crkva?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice is confusing the witness.
19 Please. The witness said that he saw this map during the preparations,
20 and when he says whether this is a concrete map, the witness understood
21 this to mean whether it is the map of a concrete terrain, not whether this
22 is the map that he was shown during preparations. It's so obvious.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: It's certainly not obvious to me. And it's not the
24 questions that are confusing, it's the answers, as far as I can tell.
25 MR. NICE: I must press on because obviously with the limited time
1 of the examination-in-chief, I must be brief.
2 Q. Just give us an idea, please, of the distance from Brnjaca to --
3 from Brnjaca to the centre of Bela Crkva. You can see the grid squares.
4 We haven't got the scale marked on this particular map, so you just tell
5 us, you know the area: How far?
6 A. About 1.000 metres, as the crow flies.
7 Q. Each of these squares you would say is 500 metres; is that right?
8 We can no doubt check it elsewhere, but just you tell us.
9 A. One centimetre on this map denotes 250 metres in actual fact. So
10 about three or four centimetres. Up to 1.000 metres.
11 Q. Have a look at this picture, which comes from Exhibit 157, tab 2.
12 On the overhead projector, please. Do you recognise this? This is Bela
13 Crkva. If you want to orientate yourself, I think you can see the mosque
14 pretty well in the middle. Slightly to the right but pretty well in the
15 middle. Do you recognise this as Bela Crkva? You don't recognise it or
16 you do? You're a military man, terrain --
17 A. No, I cannot recognise it.
18 Q. Because I wanted you to tell us if you could, but if you can't, it
19 doesn't matter, in which direction and at what distance, viewed from this
20 area, you were located on the night of the 24th/25th.
21 This is the centre of Bela Crkva, so it's at least half a
22 kilometre and probably a kilometre away from here that you were based, is
24 A. I can't show you on this map, but I can show you on a map where I
25 was quartered together with my unit.
1 Q. Well, you've shown us on this map. You've shown us where Brnjaca
2 is. Tell me --
3 MR. NICE: Just leave that map on, please, Usher, if you would be
4 so good. Could you leave the aerial on. I just don't have enough time.
5 Q. Do you recognise the streambed there that you've been asked about
6 by the accused? He asked you about a streambed. Do you see it there?
7 A. No, I don't see it here. Is it in the village?
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... help us. We need your
9 assistance. Maybe I can help you. If you -- if you look at the map, on
10 the right-hand side you'll see a line of trees or bushes, wiggling it's
11 way up to the top of the map. Now, do you think that, with all your
12 military experience, might be a streambed? Do you think that might be a
13 streambed? Have a look at it. Hmm?
14 I mean, it could be a hedge, or I suppose it could be a covered
15 road taking a particularly wiggly route, or it could be a streambed. What
16 do you think it is?
17 A. Mr. Nice, I'm an infantry officer, retired currently, and I don't
18 normally deal with aerial pictures. I walk on the ground. This can be a
19 streambed, whereas the Belaja river does have its source in the village.
20 Q. Now, if you look towards the top of the village - and just to
21 orientate you if you don't remember, this will be on the way to Rogovo --
22 Rogova - you'll see a line crossing it which is the railway line, and at
23 the railway line and the streambed, there's a bridge. Do you know that
25 A. No.
1 Q. You see, it's that bridge, on the evidence from many survivors and
2 eyewitnesses, that people were massacred on the morning of the 25th. You
3 were nowhere near that point, were you? You were a kilometre or a couple
4 of kilometres away. Weren't you?
5 A. In an earlier answer, I told you literally that my unit did not
6 execute such tasks. I was near Brnjaca, but it was peaceful, and I didn't
7 hear about any other unit doing such a thing.
8 Q. In terms of being disturbed on the morning of the 25th, what was
9 it disturbed you? Because the evidence is to the effect that Bela Crkva
10 was occupied from earlier than the time you say you left, from about 3.00
11 and 4.00 in the morning. Was it occupation of Bela Crkva that disturbed
13 A. Mr. Nice, I said that during the night, around 2400 hours, we were
14 disturbed by the overflying NATO aviation. Nothing else disturbed us.
15 On the 25th in the morning, I raised my unit after the
16 preparations and we set off towards Velika Hoca.
17 Q. A few last questions in the time available. Have a look at this
18 similar but slightly more detailed photograph, aerial photograph of Bela
19 Crkva, taken in June of 1999. You see all the damage to the houses? Can
20 you explain that to us?
21 A. Well, it's probably due to NATO airstrikes on the village.
22 Q. I see. What, selectively picking off houses and burning them from
23 the bottom up so that their roofs disappear; is that what you're saying?
24 A. I did not say that the NATO burned them. I said they shelled and
25 fired in those places. I can enumerate the places where there were NATO
2 Q. Just looking at that photograph -- actually, have a look at this
3 one, as an infantry officer. Perhaps you will. It's all from the same
4 exhibit. This is even closer still. See the sort of damage to the houses
5 where the walls are standing but the tops are gone, the roofs are gone?
6 You can't see any bomb crater or blast damage. You're saying this is the
7 sort of damage that a bomb caused, or is this the sort of damage caused by
8 artillery destroying a village? Which is it? It's the latter, isn't it?
9 A. What you are doing now, Mr. Nice, is making statements.
10 Q. I'm asking you a question. You tell us, please. Are you really
11 saying that this is consistent with bomb damage, or is this consistent and
12 only consistent with artillery damage?
13 A. This is probably due to NATO airstrikes.
14 Q. I see. Tell me, what was your function on the following day, the
15 25th? Were you there going on -- were you out to cleanse villages?
16 A. My task was to support other forces in the breaking up and
17 destruction of Siptar terrorist forces in the direction of Velika Hoca,
18 Opterusa, Samodreza, and Trljiste; that is, to support other forces in the
19 role of the commander of firing mortar unit.
20 Q. Were you engaged in cleansing villages? Yes or no.
21 A. No. No. No cleansing of villages but fight against Siptar
22 terrorist forces.
23 Q. It would be quite wrong to describe what you were doing as
24 cleansing a village, wouldn't it?
25 A. Mopping up of villages does exist as a tactical activity in a
1 populated area, but support of other forces in fighting Siptar terrorist
2 forces, which was my task, and as such I was active in Trljiste, Opterusa,
3 et cetera.
4 Q. "Cleansing" was not the word appropriate to the activity you were
5 engaged in on the 25th on your own account, was it?
6 A. I told you a moment ago, mopping up exists as a tactical action by
7 infantry forces when you want to break up and destroy the enemy, in this
8 case the Siptar terrorist forces, during combat in a populated area.
9 Q. You were a witness, weren't you, at a trial involving somebody
10 called Mancic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Kosovo Albanian shot by whom, a member of your unit?
13 A. I was not concerned with that part, and I know nothing about it.
14 Q. Well, what was the trial of Mancic about, then?
15 A. It was the trial of Mancic, but I was not a witness called for
16 that particular part that you are mentioning.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... then. Mancic was charged
18 because he told some of his soldiers to shoot Albanians. Correct or
20 A. I cannot tell anything about somebody who is not my superior or my
21 commanding officer.
22 Q. You've been asked to give the most broad and general answers about
23 whether anything happened in Kosovo. Last time I'll give you a chance:
24 Was Mancic charged with causing -- or instructing his soldiers to shoot
25 Albanians? Yes or no.
1 A. He was convicted.
2 MR. NICE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination, Mr. Milosevic?
4 Re-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Just one question, Captain, if you can answer it
6 based on your experience and your knowledge. If we're talking about
7 consequences of a shell fired from an anti -- sorry, from an airborne gun
8 versus the consequences of a shell fired from a ground-based gun, can we
9 distinguish between the two?
10 A. We can distinguish between various effects of the shell.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Captain, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
12 for attending at the Tribunal to give it. You may now leave.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My next witness is Lieutenant
17 Colonel Zlatko Odak.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, it is Mr. Janos Sel who is outside
19 - there is some confusion - not Lieutenant Colonel Odak. So why don't we
20 just proceed with Mr. Janos Sel.
21 Let Mr. Janos Sel be brought in. What's his status,
22 Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Sel? Is he an army officer?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes; lieutenant colonel.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we're back to the original schedule. It's
25 Mr. Odak. Let Mr. Odak be brought in.
1 Perhaps the court deputy will take in consideration that all these
2 witnesses today are short witnesses, and so the witnesses who are to be
3 called should be alerted to that.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
9 Mr. Milosevic, you may begin.
10 WITNESS: ZLATKO ODAK
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. Good morning, Lieutenant Colonel.
14 A. Good morning, Mr. Milosevic.
15 Q. Would you please introduce yourself as briefly as you can.
16 A. My name is Zlatko Odak. I was born on the 8th of May, 1971, in
17 Belgrade. I am Serb by ethnicity. I graduated from the military high
18 school, Military Academy of the Ground Forces, and the advanced training
19 school for staffs in headquarters. I occupied various positions from
20 commander of rifle platoon to chief of staff of a brigade. That would be
21 the briefest I could make it.
22 Q. Where did you serve?
23 A. From 1986, when I finished the military academy, I served in the
24 Djakovica garrison until 1999 when we pulled out of Kosovo. And later --
25 Q. Yes, go on.
1 A. Later in garrisons in Belgrade and in Kragujevac.
2 Q. That would make you one of the few officers in the army of
3 Yugoslavia, and before that the Yugoslav People's Army, who had spent 15
4 years in the Djakovica garrison -- almost 15 years?
5 A. To be exact, 13 and a half.
6 Q. I suppose you know very well the circumstances, the situation, the
7 conditions in Djakovica?
8 A. Yes, I know all about that.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you now a serving officer?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Robinson. My current rank
11 is lieutenant colonel.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Where were you during the war in Kosovo?
14 A. During the war in Kosovo, I occupied two positions, practically.
15 I was commander of the Logistics Battalion in Air Defence Brigade at the
16 beginning of the war. That was the 52nd PVO Brigade. And I later asked
17 to be transferred back to the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Brigade, and
18 that's where I served the second half of the war, as deputy commander.
19 Q. Up to the middle of the war you say; what would that be precisely?
20 A. Well, I don't remember the exact date, but it was around the 20th
21 May, something like that. Until then I was in the 52nd Brigade, and then
22 I moved to the 549th Brigade.
23 Q. So until the 20th May you were commander of the logistics
24 battalion of this 52nd Anti-aircraft Defence Brigade in Djakovica?
25 A. Correct.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Until approximately the 20th of May. Now, tell me, please,
2 Lieutenant Colonel, your battalion was stationed in Djakovica all of the
3 time. Yes or no.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there any other unit stationed in Djakovica at the same time?
6 A. In the town of Djakovica itself, there was only the command
7 artillery battalion. No other units were there.
8 Q. So apart from the command of your brigade, you were the only unit
9 in Djakovica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We have heard various references here to various crimes committed
12 in Djakovica, allegedly committed by FRY forces. That's why I want to ask
13 you again: Only your unit was in Djakovica at the time?
14 A. Yes, plus the command battalion that caters to the command of the
16 Q. Yes, but tell me very briefly, what was the situation in
17 Djakovica, since you lived there 14 years? What was the situation there
18 as long as you lived there? Did you have social bonds, friends? Did you
19 socialise with Albanians, for instance? They are numerous in Djakovica.
20 Quite simply, what was life like in Djakovica?
21 A. I actually got married in Djakovica. My father-in-law and
22 generally my wife's family grew up together with Albanians, and through
23 them I came to know a lot of Albanians and I socialised with them just as
24 I socialised with Serbs and members of all other ethnicities.
25 Q. Did any problems arise due to different ethnicities?
1 A. No.
2 Q. When did the first problems begin to occur? Because as somebody
3 who lived there for more than a decade and a half, you could tell us that.
4 A. Well, the first problems started to appear elsewhere in Kosovo,
5 not exactly in Djakovica at first. In 1979, there were unrests, and until
6 1997, 1998, there were no major unrests.
7 Q. What exactly happened in 1998 and 1999 prior to the beginning of
8 the war? What was going on?
9 A. In 1998, I was commander of Combat Group 2 of the 549th Brigade,
10 and I got a task to provide in-depth protection for the state border in
11 the broader area of the Mitar Vojinovic watchtower. That is the area
12 overlooking Popovac village and another village, Babaj Boks, somewhere
13 halfway between the watchtower and the state border.
14 We were given this task because smuggling of weapons across the
15 border was an increasingly frequent occurrence. So our combat group
16 secured this area all the way until September 1998. In this period, from
17 Smonica village and Popovac village there would be several attacks per day
18 on vehicles that supplied the watchtower personnel, and my job was to
19 provide security on these routes used by our personnel to reach Kosare,
20 Kosare, Molina, the watchtower, et cetera.
21 In the course of execution of these tasks, I also captured six
22 terrorists somewhere above Popovac village. I think it was in early May.
23 Q. You mean May 1998?
24 A. It was actually end May. I captured six terrorists who were
25 turned over to the authorities. In this period, there were unrelenting
1 attacks by terrorists from Smonica, Bezanic, and other villages. Kvetz
2 [phoen] village as well, injuring many soldiers.
3 In early August I received an order to attack terrorists in Kvetz
4 and Smonica villages, which I did. And in one of our actions, they were
5 defeated in the course of one day and withdrew towards Racaj village.
6 Several days later, I mounted an attack -- or, rather, I went into
7 pursuit of the terrorists. However, they hid in the woods in this area,
8 which is a very inhospitable terrain. That area was important to them
9 because of the proximity of the state border, and they kept a constant
10 presence in that area. Seremete, Koc [phoen], Racaj, et cetera, so that
11 they could transfer arms across the state border deep into the territory
12 of Kosovo and Metohija.
13 Q. At the same time you were providing security on a road?
14 A. Yes, Djakovica-Ponosevac.
15 Q. And why was that communication line or road important for us or,
16 rather, you, given this assignment to provide security for it, and why was
17 it important to the Siptar terrorists?
18 A. Well, it was important to us because it was the supply route for
19 the Morina, Kosare and other watchtowers.
20 Q. So these watchtowers were supplied by that supply route?
21 A. Yes. And at one point the terrorists blocked off that
22 communication line, cut it off, and for the terrorists it was an important
23 communication line because it was close to the border. And in fact, they
24 were trying continuously, as they did in 1998 and 1999, to join up their
25 forces or join up the territory with Albania, that territory with Albania,
1 so that they would be able to bring in weapons along that route. That
2 would be the easiest way.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's time for the break. We will adjourn for 20
5 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have we lost the witness?
8 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sometime in May 1998 when you went into anti-terrorist action, you
12 captured six terrorists.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you tell us of the circumstances and where that was exactly.
15 A. Well, during that period the terrorists had blocked off the road
16 towards the Morina watchtowers and Kosare watchtower and cut off the
17 supply route to our units, and so I was given the task of providing
18 security for lateral movement of the unit to lift the blockade and to make
19 it possible for supplies to come in to the watchtowers on that supply
20 route. Above the village of Popovac itself I came across a group of
21 terrorists who had set up an ambush and were preparing to attack the
22 column. That's just one part of the terrorists who were in Popovac. And
23 I captured them. Then they attacked the column that was moving. And
24 since we started heavy pursuit of them, they went off in the area of the
25 village of Smonica.
1 Q. All right, and what were the proceedings, steps taken with those
2 you captured?
3 A. The people we captured we took to the camp and then handed them
4 over to the MUP forces.
5 Q. Did anybody abuse them in any way, mistreat them?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You said a moment ago something about what was happening along
8 that Djakovica-Ponosevac communication line, along that road, and the
9 surrounding villages, the villages that you enumerated where the terrorist
10 groups were located that you engaged with. Now, what happened in the town
11 of Djakovica itself? Was there any violence there, any incidents of any
13 A. You mean during the war?
14 Q. No, I mean at that time in 1998 and before the war actually broke
16 A. Well, no, there were no incidents in the town itself. People
17 lived normally. There were no untoward events happening. The terrorists
18 otherwise avoided large towns because they found their strongholds in the
19 villages where they actually forced the population to help them, to join
20 up with them, and they felt safest and most secure there.
21 Q. On many occasions here we had saw -- well, I'm not going to ask
22 you to indicate on the map because this was pointed out a number of times,
23 but you had your area of responsibility in the region of Djakovica itself
24 and the town of Djakovica itself; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, that general area of Djakovica, how was it significant as an
2 entire region? Was it significant for the terrorist forces in any way?
3 A. Well, I said a moment ago that it was one of the most important
4 regions, and this was seen later on during the war, because there were
5 constant attacks launched on the -- our forces along the border belt, and
6 from the Republic of Albania as well as from our territory in-depth. They
7 tried to link up the terrain with Albania and thus create grounds for the
8 easier transport of terrorist forces from the Republic of Albania into
9 Kosovo and Metohija.
10 Q. Where was the most intense concentration of terrorist forces?
11 A. Well, the villages I've already mentioned; Nec, Smonica, Bezanici,
12 Racaj, Pacaj, Dolosaj, Seremete, Meja. It was a circle or circular
13 territory which is fairly heavily forested and allows for terrorists to
14 hide there. So they used that general area quite a lot, both in 1998 and
15 1999 as well.
16 Q. All right. Let's move on to 1999 now, please. In paragraph 63 of
17 the indictment, 63(h), in fact, it says that by March, and we're talking
18 about 1999, the number of inhabitants in the town of Djakovica
19 significantly increased because of a large number of internally displaced
20 persons who fled their villages to escape deliberate shelling, deliberate
21 shelling by forces of the FRY and Serbia during 1998, and to escape the
22 armed conflict between these forces and members of the Kosovo Liberation
23 Army, the so-called Liberation Army.
24 Now, as you yourself were present in Djakovica itself, what can
25 you say about those allegations?
1 A. Well, first of all, there was no, to use the term that is used
2 there, shelling. There was no shelling, I don't know of this term as part
3 of military terminology. I don't know of any shelling. What the army did
4 was to target targets where the terrorists were firing from, facilities,
5 features, bunkers, and any other points, firing points, terrorist firing
6 points. There was no deliberate shelling.
7 Q. And what about this large concentration of population in Djakovica
8 by March 1999? You have been living in Djakovica yourself for a decade
9 and a half. What can you tell us about that?
10 A. Well, all I can say is to explain it through the way in which the
11 terrorists acted, if I may be allowed to do so. The terrorists acted in
12 the following manner: They would arrive in a village, they would effect
13 forceful mobilisation, force the population to mobilise, force the
14 population to purchase weapons, usually rifles which cost between 200 to
15 300 German marks - that was the going price - then they would order the
16 population to fortify, to dig trenches around the villages, and by doing
17 so they created the impression that the village was defending itself.
18 And the army -- or, rather when, the army did not attack, the
19 population was in the village, of course, and then the next form of action
20 was that the terrorists attacked the army or the internal affairs forces.
21 When the army retaliates, the terrorists order the population to leave the
22 village, creating the impression in that way that the population had moved
23 out under pressure from the army, whereas what was actually happening was
24 quite the reverse. And I was a personal witness of this. Wherever we
25 attacked a village, the population moved out of those villages in the
1 course of action because the terrorists forced them to flee, to leave
2 their villages.
3 Q. Furthermore, it states that the continual movement of these
4 internally displaced persons increased after the 24th of March, 1999,
5 when, as it says here in the indictment, following violent expulsions -
6 violent expulsions, mark you - in the town of Djakovica, many internally
7 displaced persons returned from the town of Djakovica to the outlying
8 villages only to be expelled from these villages again by forces of the
9 FRY and Serbia.
10 Now, you were in Djakovica yourself. What kind of violent
11 expulsion was this?
12 A. There was no violent expulsion, not only in the town of Djakovica
13 but nowhere in the region that I was in, nor did I ever hear there were
14 incidents of violent expulsions. And I told you how the terrorists acted.
15 I described that, how they made the population move out and how they
16 displaced the population, et cetera. And what I do know for certain is
17 that the population fled from the NATO bombing. And when I talked to the
18 people personally, to refugees, I talked to them, they said they had taken
19 refuge with relatives in the internal regions of the country where they
20 thought they would be safer.
21 Q. Then it says that the Serb forces controlled and coordinated the
22 movement of these internally displaced persons as they travelled from
23 these villages to and from the town of Djakovica and finally to the border
24 between Kosovo and the Republic of Albania. Persons travelling on foot
25 were sent from the town of Djakovica directly toward one of several border
1 crossings. Persons travelling in motor vehicles were routed first towards
2 the town of Prizren before approaching the border and crossing.
3 Tell us, please, did the army control the refugee movements and
4 what is true in these allegations?
5 A. The army did not control the movement of refugees nor was it
6 assigned that task. Its prime assignment, the prime assignment of the
7 army was to defend the country from the NATO aggression.
8 Since I was in the town of Djakovica myself, I, unfortunately, saw
9 that population, those inhabitants, and I had a chance of talking to the
10 people who were moving, on the move. From Mitrovica there were a lot of
11 children among them. They were terrible images to behold. And I had
12 occasion to talk to these people, and principally they were afraid of the
13 bombing. And secondly, many of them claimed that the terrorists had
14 threatened them and that they were told that they had to go to Albania and
15 were not allowed to go back home, probably to create the impression of an
16 alleged humanitarian catastrophe.
17 Q. In paragraph 63(i), it says that from on or about the 24th of
18 March, which was the first day of the war, through the 11th of May -- you
19 were there until the 20th of May in Djakovica, were you not?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So this covers this entire period that you were there; is that
22 right? Anyway, it says from on or about the 24th of March through the
23 11th of May, forces of the FRY and Serbia began forcing residents of the
24 town of Djakovica to leave, and these forces spread out through the town
25 and went from house to house, ordering Kosovo Albanians from their homes.
1 A. That is absolutely not correct. I and my unit were in Djakovica,
2 and I communicated with the population of Djakovica all the time, so that
3 those facts are certainly not correct ones. I don't know what else you --
4 I can say on that point.
5 Where my unit was, the population lived in Djakovica normally,
6 those who were not afraid of the bombing, of course, and who remained, who
7 stayed on where they were. Or they didn't have anywhere to go, perhaps.
8 Q. All right. Now, do you know anything about our forces going from
9 house to house, ordering and forcing the population to leave their homes?
10 A. Once again, I state that my unit was there, and my unit had the
11 task of ensuring supplies, the various health supplies and food and
12 anything else, and it's not true that that's what that they engaged in.
13 Q. Then they go on to state in that same paragraph that many were
14 killed and many were threatened with death and that many properties
15 belonging to Kosovo Albanians were set fire to where the properties and
16 shops of Serbs were protected. So that is the general image that is
17 portrayed here. Is it true? Is that correct?
18 A. No, it's not correct that anybody was threatened nor that people
19 were expulsed nor was the property of Albanians set fire to. What was --
20 what resulted in properties being set fire to was the result of NATO
21 bombings. And my battalion was in the northern parts of Djakovica,
22 towards Pec, the area towards Pec, where the population lived. The
23 population of Djakovica lived in that area, of course, and there were
24 strikes at my unit many times. So that many facilities, civilian
25 facilities, were hit during those strikes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Now, since you were there yourself, did you personally tour all
2 these areas that were targeted; and what did you see if you did?
3 A. Yes, I was there. My unit was on an assignment throughout the
4 town. I went into town myself frequently to tour the town. And what
5 sprang to the eye, what was most evident as you exit Djakovica was the
6 column of refugees that was hit. I think it was on the 24th, in actual
7 fact. 24th of April. I'm not quite sure of the date. Anyway, the
8 refugees were hit by the NATO bombs. As well always the Maja settlement,
9 where there were Serb refugees from Krajina. Another thing that was hit
10 was the factory of Erenik Sokara, which is an area predominantly populated
11 by the Serbs, and a number of people were killed when the factory was
13 Q. Sokara. It says "Sokora" here, but it's Sokara. You mean the
14 juice producing factory, fruit juice producing factory, and that's how you
15 refer to it in the local jargon?
16 A. Yes. And specifically targeted was area bordering on Mount
17 Cabrat, that part of town. And as far as I know, the mosque was destroyed
18 there and that part was burnt as a result of the NATO bombings, because at
19 Mount Cabrat was the positions of the rocket divisions until they
20 dislocated to other areas. They would move quite frequently, but that's
21 where their positions used to be, and they put models up there which were
22 constantly targeted by NATO. So these targets would be missed and
23 civilian targets would be hit.
24 Q. Now, since you were in command of practically the only unit that
25 was in Djakovica, do you know whether any one of your soldiers set fire to
1 any houses, for example?
2 A. Well, what I can tell you is that certainly was not done, at least
3 to the best of my knowledge. And I was considered to be a very strict
4 officer myself. My brigade commander, Djosan, who was a colonel at the
5 time, was also a commanding officer who would not allow anything like that
6 to happen, and any cases of criminality, crimes of any kind, steps were
7 taken to prosecute.
8 Q. It says here in this paragraph, in paragraph 63, that on the 24th
9 of March, 1999, the old mosque at Rogovo, the old mosque in Rogovo, then
10 the bazaar, the Hadun [as interpreted] mosque and the adjoining Islamic
11 library "were among the several cultural sites substantially and/or
12 totally destroyed." What do you know about that? You were there, on the
14 A. As to the mosque in Rogovo, I can't say one way or another. I
15 wasn't there during that period of time. However, I mentioned a moment
16 ago that that particular mosque was adjoining the Cabrat area. Are you
17 referring to the Hadum Mosque?
18 Q. Yes, Hadum. All right, very well.
19 A. So that part bordering on Cabrat hill was frequently targeted --
20 not frequently but daily targeted by NATO in the NATO strikes. So that
21 part of town was the part of town that was destroyed most, and that's
22 where that library was hit and -- the Islamic library -- the mosque and
23 the library.
24 Q. I'm not asking you about where you were not, but the Hadum
25 Mosque, the bazaar, the Hadum library. Tell us about the bazaar. What
1 was that all about? What is the bazaar in Djakovica? It's a marketplace,
2 is it?
3 A. Yes, it's a marketplace if we're thinking of the same thing, the
4 same mosque.
5 Q. No. The mosque is one thing, the Hadum mosque is one thing, but
6 the bazaar in Djakovica, what is that? Is it a centre or what?
7 A. The bazaar. The bazaar, yes, I'm sorry, yes, I see. The bazaar
8 is located, well, near the centre of town.
9 Q. And how was that destroyed?
10 A. Near the bazaar mosque was where my unit was, part of my unit, and
11 it was that unit that was targeted. I can't tell you the exact day that
12 this happened, but it was hit by a NATO bomb.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, the -- during the period from the 2nd to the 4th
14 of April, it says here thousands of Kosovo Albanians living in the town of
15 Djakovica and neighbouring villages joined a large convoy, either on foot
16 or driving in cars, trucks, and tractors.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me just ask the lieutenant colonel this:
18 You're saying, then, that it was a NATO bomb that destroyed the bazaar?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I mean, how do you know this?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I said, my unit was located
22 -- since the areas of deployment were changed frequently, at one time it
23 was close to the bazaar mosque, and areas were targeted frequently, the
24 areas that my unit was deployed in.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: And so you witnessed the bombing of the bazaar by
1 NATO, NATO planes?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not at that point in time, at
3 exactly that moment, but the testimony of my soldiers and those who were
4 there right then. I came later on. I don't remember exactly when that
5 was. Perhaps a half an hour later, an hour later. But anyway, wherever
6 my unit was targeted, I would turn up soon afterwards once they reported
7 back to me about what had happened.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say you don't remember the date, but do you
9 remember the day of the week when this took place?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm really sorry, Mr. Robinson. Six
11 years have gone by since then. I really can't remember just now. I can't
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: And was -- what else was destroyed, if anything,
14 by the NATO bombs?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned this a moment ago: Part
16 of Djakovica, the part bordering on the hill called Cabrat, above
17 Djakovica. And that was almost completely destroyed by the bombing, that
18 area. And I say again that that's where the firepower positions were and
19 where we had put up models. And there were daily NATO strikes in that
20 area, targeting that. And another -- or civilian facilities around the
21 barracks were completely destroyed.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the area of the bazaar, was anything else
23 destroyed by NATO bombing?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the surrounding houses were
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I asked you in relation to this allegation that between the 2nd
4 and the 4th of Albanians [as interpreted] thousands of Kosovo Albanians
5 living in the town of Djakovica and neighbouring villages joined a large
6 convoy, either on foot, or driving in cars, tractors and trucks, and moved
7 to the border with Albania. What do you know about this? Why did these
8 people go and was there a massive departure from Djakovica?
9 A. I've said a few moments ago that some inhabitants of Djakovica
10 left from fear from NATO bombings and others under threats of the
11 terrorists that they had to leave their villages and go to Albania. They
12 went where they thought they'd be safe. Some went to Albania. Others
13 stayed with their relatives in Djakovica. Others were staying in Raca,
14 Moglica, Petrusa, and other villages. So there was no expulsion. They
15 went where they thought they were safer.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Lieutenant Colonel, what would be the basis for
17 your conclusion that some of the inhabitants left from fear for NATO
18 bombing? What precise information do you have in this regard?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said in response to the
20 previous question: I directly spoke to people who were in the convoy of
21 refugees, a group of refugees, about 100 of them, women, men, children,
22 old people. Since they were passing by the Emin Duraku factory, they were
23 coming from the direction of Kosovska Mitrovica and Pec where my command
24 was in that factory. My command was in that factory. And at one moment
25 that hill of Cabrat was bombed. It's about 3 to 400 metres away from the
1 road where the column of refugees was.
2 I received them in the compound of the factory. We gave them
3 food, water, whatever we had. And some people were complaining there
4 about the situation. They said they were afraid of the bombing, that they
5 had to go to Albania. Others were saying other things. But again, they
6 were afraid that someone might overhear what they were saying.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Let's just clarify another detail: What about the population of
10 the town itself? Were they leaving en masse? You said that some went to
11 stay in villages and some went to stay with relatives in Djakovica.
12 A. No, they were not moving out en masse. That became obvious at the
13 end of the war. Djakovica's population had doubled, I think.
14 Q. So as a rule, citizens were not leaving the town of Djakovica
16 A. No.
17 Q. Further on, it says that the forces of FRY and Serbia directed
18 those fleeing along pre-arranged routes and at checkpoints along the way
19 most Kosovo Albanians had their identification papers and licence plates
20 seized. In some instances, Yugoslav army trucks were used to transport
21 persons to the border with Albania. What do you say about that?
22 A. Well, as I've already said, the army did not control the movement
23 of civilians. All units were at the state border, where they were
24 deployed in order to organise the defence. I did not hear of anyone
25 exercising control there, taking IDs, taking them in vehicles to the
1 border. Those poor people who had vehicles went in those vehicles and
2 others even walked. So I certainly would have heard had something like
3 that happened, because I was in Djakovica non-stop. In town, that is.
4 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 63(ii), it says that in the early morning
5 hours on the 27th of April --
6 MR. NICE: The accused is making the same mistake that he makes
7 about citing paragraphs of the indictment, and it's only corrected for the
8 purposes of the record. In each case it's 63(h)(i) or (ii), and it would
9 help if we got that right when he cites from the indictment.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please bear that in mind, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In the early morning hours of the 27th of April, 1999, or around
14 that time, the forces of the FRY and Serbia launched a massive attack
15 against the Carragojs, Erenik, and Trava valleys, Djakovica municipality,
16 in order to drive the population out of the area.
17 What do you know about that?
18 A. I've already said in response to the previous questions that this
19 region was very important for the terrorists. Their concentration in that
20 area varied all the time. Their numbers varied.
21 At one point, according to the information I had, they jeopardised
22 the rear of our units or, rather, of the fighting echelons of the units.
23 So it was necessary to search the area and to make it impossible for the
24 terrorists to jeopardise our units. As far as I know, the only goal of
25 that action was to expel the terrorists from that region.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I quoted exactly. All
2 of Djakovica is in 63(h), and this is subparagraph (ii).
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's like Roman 2. But let us proceed.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it looks like an i. There's a
5 dot on top.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Milosevic's microphone please be
7 adjusted. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you see that the microphone for the accused
9 is adjusted. There is a request from the interpreter.
10 Yes, please continue.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In this paragraph that I mentioned to you a few moments ago, in
13 Meja, Korenica and Meja-Orize, a large number of civilians were separated
14 from the mass of fleeing villagers, and they were abducted and executed.
15 Further on, it says that this went on throughout the entire day.
16 Villagers under direct threat from the forces of the FRY and Serbia left
17 their homes and joined several convoys of refugees using tractors, horse
18 carts, and cars, and eventually crossed into Albania. And then again that
19 many had their identity documents confiscated before they crossed the
21 So what do you know about that?
22 A. You mean the 27th of April?
23 Q. Yes, the 27th of April. That's this entire subparagraph. I told
24 you, the 27th of April. This major offensive, as it is called here, and
25 then what I quoted to you, that in these villages a large number, as yet
1 undetermined, of Kosovo Albanian civilian males were separated from the
2 mass of fleeing civilians, abducted and executed.
3 A. I don't have any information that something like that happened - I
4 would have to know because part of my unit took part in that action, in
5 the blockade of that area - the order of the brigade commander, because
6 there weren't any other units in Djakovica, and there wasn't a unit that
7 would intervene in case the terrorists attacked the town itself.
8 I was given orders to establish a company about 100 men strong,
9 that is to say three platoons, that one intervene if the terrorists
10 attacked, or they would go on any mission as assigned by the corps
12 Q. So as commander of the logistics battalion, you don't really have
13 any combat function in this.
14 A. No. The battalion, simply because there weren't any other units
15 there, I singled out some soldiers and formed the unit of these men.
16 Q. Please go ahead. Please finish.
17 A. I took part in this action, and I don't have any information to
18 the effect that something like that happened. I would have had to hear
19 about this.
20 Q. In which capacity did you take part in that action?
21 A. Since I am an infantry officer, I commanded this company, and my
22 task was to take the blockade line above the village of Osek Hilja and
24 Q. All right. Now I'm just going to ask you to show that on the
25 overhead projector. I hope that you have this map in tab 2.
1 Unfortunately, I haven't got it here. Have you got the exhibits there?
2 This is a map of Meja. D321, tab 29.1.
3 A. My unit was at the blockade line. Trig 468. Trig 460. Have you
4 seen it?
5 Q. Yes, yes. And what is the length of the line of blockade that you
6 held with your unit?
7 A. Well, it's about a kilometre and a half. A kilometre or a
8 kilometre and a half.
9 Q. All right. You held a line of blockade that was at least one
10 kilometre long.
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. As you held this blockade line, did you see any of what is alleged
13 here, anything that is alleged here?
14 A. This is an area that is highly forested. This is near Osek Hilja
15 and Skivjane. It's very hard to see there. And when the blockade line
16 was taken, part of my unit went a -- a bit further up and saw terrorists
17 at the entrance of the village of Racaj. As a matter of fact, they even
18 found a shelter there where they were staying, and the terrorists left,
19 went back to the village, and our exclusive task was to prevent any
20 breakthrough through the line of blockade.
21 Q. So you did not enter the village in order to find the terrorists?
22 A. No, no, no. We were really not in a position to see anything from
23 the trees and bushes, to see what was going on there. But on the 27th and
24 28th, gunfire was heard, that is to say fighting with the terrorists.
25 Q. All right. When you set out to carry out that task, I assumed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that you received orders as to what your assignment was.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Bear in mind that 66(i) of the indictment says the same thing as
4 in paragraph 63: A massive attack against the Kosovo Albanians,
5 population of Carragojs, Trava and Erenik valleys, in order to drive the
6 population out of the area. That is what is written there. Now, tell me,
7 what was your task? What were your intentions? As commander of this
8 group or this company that you established and that was assigned to block
9 this line of one kilometre or kilometre and a half, what was your task,
10 your intentions, your objectives, what?
11 A. The task of that company that was established was to take that
12 line of blockade and to prevent the terrorists from withdrawing to the
13 villages of Racaj, Osek Hilja, and -- and Racaj-Skivjane. And if
14 civilians were to withdraw from the village, then we were supposed to
15 return them to the village. Why should we return them? For one reason
16 only. I already told you in which way the terrorists operated. So as
17 soon as the army attacked, the terrorists ordered the villagers to leave
18 the village. However, I didn't have anyone withdrawing in my area and I
19 didn't really have any contact with the terrorists. I didn't have any
20 fighting with them or anything.
21 So that's how the terrorists operated: They forced the
22 villagers to leave the village, and in this way they were pretending that
23 it was the army that was jeopardising the population.
24 The only objective was -- the only objective of that action was to
25 defeat the terrorists. They kept returning there all the time from 1998,
1 and they were threatening our units in-depth.
2 Q. You were battalion commander. You received orders from your
3 brigade commander.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was there any idea there or order or were any instructions given
8 to you to do anything hostile towards the civilians?
9 A. Certainly not, not in a single order that I received during the
10 war and while I was in the 52nd Brigade and in the 549th Brigade. There
11 was no such order. And it's certain that we would never do that to our
12 own population nor did we do it then. The only intention was to defeat
13 the terrorists in the area.
14 Q. All right. It says here that a large number of members of the
15 forces of FRY and Serbia were used there and that many checkpoints were
16 set up and that villagers were leaving the area all the time under direct
17 threat of the forces of the FRY and Serbia, and they were joining this
19 Tell us, please, what is correct?
20 A. I told you that the village population was leaving only on orders
21 from the terrorists. "Major forces," what does "major forces" mean? If
22 in an area of a kilometre and a half you have 90 men, these are not major
24 So the other units, too. Whatever they managed to get out of the
25 combat deployment they did in order to be in a position to carry out that
1 particular mission.
2 Q. The next allegation in the same paragraph is that in Meja,
3 Korenica, Meja-Orize, a large and as yet undetermined number of Kosovo
4 Albanian civilian males were separated from the mass of fleeing villagers
5 and abducted. Many were summarily executed and approximately 300 persons
6 are still missing. Do you know anything about that?
7 A. It's not true that anything like that happened or that I know
8 about it. There are certainly terrorists who got killed. That is a
9 certainty because the whole operation was conducted for that purpose. But
10 as for the civilian population being killed or dying, that's not true.
11 Q. Very well. I will now question you on a subject different from
13 In 66(e), the date mentioned is the 26th of March, 1999. When
14 were you -- where were you then?
15 A. In Djakovica.
16 Q. Since you were in Djakovica on that day and for 15 years before
17 that, you can tell me this: It says that forces of FRY and Serbia came to
18 a house at 134A Ymer Grezda Street. The women and children inside the
19 house were separated from the men and were ordered to go upstairs. The
20 forces of the FRY and Serbia then shot and killed the six Kosovo Albanian
21 men who were in the house.
22 So it was the 26th of March.
23 A. I don't know where the street is, but since I was in Djakovica at
24 the time, I would have certainly heard if something like that happened. I
25 have no knowledge of anything similar, and I don't believe it happened.
1 Q. Tell me, on the 26th of March, was there any other unit in
2 Djakovica apart from yours?
3 A. No.
4 Q. So if this were true, then it would have been -- it would have had
5 to be members of your unit involved.
6 A. Well, according to what you say, yes.
7 Q. Was it possible for members of your unit to do something like that
8 without you knowing?
9 A. No, impossible. I am going to repeat myself, but I have to say
10 that in our army, just like in any other army, there are certain
11 principles we abide by, and certainly somebody would have notified me;
12 either one of the superior officers -- rather, subordinate officers, or
13 one of the soldiers.
14 Q. The smallest unit that was subordinated to you was a platoon,
15 followed by a company.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could a squad or a platoon independently perform a task that would
18 be some sort of invitation to acting without official leave?
19 A. That was impossible. The soldiers were under constant supervision
20 of their superiors, and if the allegation is that this incident happened
21 at night, then it is certain that none of the soldiers went about town at
22 night. It was very strictly prohibited for their own safety, for the
23 safety of personnel. They were not allowed to leave their area of
25 Q. Was it possible that any of them left their place of deployment
1 without permission?
2 A. No. We didn't have any such cases.
3 Q. In 66(h), it says that on the late evening of 1st April, 1999, or
4 about that time, and continuing through the early morning hours of the 2nd
5 of April, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia launched an operation against
6 the Qerim district of Djakovica. Over a period of several hours, forces
7 of the FRY and Serbia forcibly entered the houses of Kosovo Albanians in
8 Qerim, killed the occupants, and then set fire to the buildings.
9 So this here is a whole operation taking place at night, in the
10 night of the 1st of April. Where were you then?
11 A. I was probably on my command post - where else? - within the
12 perimeter of the Emin Duraku factory. But through a combination of
13 circumstances that evening my village [as interpreted] had passed through
14 Ljug Bunar and Qerim. A vehicle was hit there and I got orders to get a
15 fire brigade vehicle and a -- and an ambulance urgently. I asked one of
16 my subordinates in charge of such matters and told him to meet those
17 vehicles outside Djakovica near the bridge on the road leading to
19 They left. They performed that task. They transported the bodies
20 of the soldiers who had been killed, lent assistance to the injured,
21 returned to the command. And every time a commander returns from a
22 mission, he informs me about the mission performed and any problems he may
23 have encountered. On that occasion he told me that he had passed through
24 the terrain, it was absolutely peaceful, there were no lights anywhere in
25 the area they had passed through, and they hadn't noticed anything
1 happening. So I don't believe that anything happened.
2 Q. Can you tell us, if you remember, the time when this radar was hit
3 upon which you sent that ambulance, the fire brigade vehicle?
4 A. I don't remember exactly. I think it was around midnight. I
5 can't tell you precisely.
6 Q. So it was right in the middle of this time when purportedly some
7 sort of operation was going on in Qerim?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When the forces of the FRY and Serbia were forcibly entering
10 Kosovo Albanian houses and killing occupants.
11 A. Well, they passed through the area very frequently. I would have
12 noticed, I suppose, if something like that had happened. My subordinate
13 commander, as I told you, informed me that there was nothing going on.
14 Q. What other forces were there? Who could have been involved?
15 A. Well, that rocket battalion was not exactly there, some way off.
16 Q. Well, the rocket battalion has its own job. They are a crew to a
17 weapon, and they are --
18 A. They are constantly on the alert, and they are not allowed to
19 leave the weapon.
20 Q. It also says in the same paragraph that on that occasion dozens of
21 houses were destroyed. So around midnight, when the radar was hit and you
22 sent a rescue team, that is the time when allegedly dozens of homes were
23 destroyed and over 50 persons were killed. For example, it reads: "In a
24 house located at 157 Milos Gilic Street, forces of the FRY and Serbia shot
25 the occupants and then set the house on fire. As a result of the
1 shootings and the fires set by the forces of the FRY and Serbia at that
2 single location, 20 Kosovo Albanians were killed, of whom 19 were women
3 and children."
4 A. Well, that's absolutely not correct. I would certainly know if
5 anything like that had happened, because as I said, my units passed by at
6 the same time.
7 Q. That's the same night, between the 1st and the 2nd of April.
8 A. In that case, it's not correct that anything like that happened.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: In your operations, was any civilians killed at
10 all, even one?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, in those operations in
12 which I participated, I did not have occasion to see any civilians killed,
13 or even terrorists killed, for that matter. It's possible that a civilian
14 gets killed in an exchange of fire, but we didn't find any bodies of
15 civilians, or even terrorists, as I said.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Lieutenant Colonel, on more than one occasion you gave statements
19 concerning events in Djakovica.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Those statements were introduced through General Djosan, who was
22 commander of your brigade.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In these statements that you gave, did you explain precisely what
25 you knew about the subjects you were asked to talk about?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In tab 8 -- I hope you have it in front of you. In tab 8 there
3 is --
4 MR. NICE: If the accused could give the Djosan exhibit reference
5 then we could be sure we find the right document. It's not that easy to
6 track them down that quickly.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, let us have the exhibit number.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Give me just a moment to find it.
9 JUDGE KWON: D321, tab 8. The list says it.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In your set, Mr. Odak, it's in tab 3. Let us just make sure that
12 we're looking at the same document. I have in front of me your statement
13 on the activities of the unit on the 1st of April, on the 27th and 28th of
14 April, and another statement about the activities of your unit separately
15 on the 28th of April. That's three statements made by you to the
16 Commission for Cooperation with the ICTY, to the expert team specifically.
17 Do you have the same statements?
18 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 Q. On 1st of April, that is the date when our forces allegedly
20 committed certain crimes over there, you describe what you were doing and
21 what your assignment was. You were at the time commander of the logistics
22 battalion, and you explain in the second paragraph where the battalion was
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Milosevic. All the Chamber has
1 received is a sheet of index which says about the documents we are going
2 to use with this witness, but number 3 says it's D321, tab 8. It says it
3 is the statement of unit engagement on 24th of March. It does not refer
4 to the event of 1st of April. So could you make it clear.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Kwon, I'm reading what I
6 have in my set of documents from a statement written by Mr. Odak. It says
7 activities of the unit on the 1st of April, 1999. I'm only reading what's
8 written on his statement.
9 MR. KAY: It's misleading on the index. These are the statements
10 written for the commission, referring to those incidents in 1999.
11 JUDGE KWON: So it's the 1st of April.
12 MR. KAY: Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's the 1st of April instead of the 24th of
15 March, is it?
16 MR. KAY: The incidents refer to the 24th of March. Tab 8 is a
17 document written the 26th of December, 2002, and tab 3 in this index but
18 tab 8 of the Djosan index.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Milosevic has just suggested that there
20 were three statements in the hands of the witness; one relating to the 1st
21 of April, one relating to the 27th and the 28th, and one then relating to
22 the 28th. Now, the only one on the index that he's produced is one
23 relating to the 24th of March, which he hasn't mentioned, and then one
24 relating to the 27th and 28th, which might be one of the three.
25 MR. KAY: It seems that D321, tab 11, has been missed off the
1 index, because that's a statement dated the 26th of December, 2002,
2 referring to the 1st of April, 1999. It was an untranslated document in
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks for that clarification, Mr. Kay.
5 JUDGE KWON: Is a statement of that within Djosan tab 11?
6 MR. KAY: It's a statement within the Djosan records, by Mr. Odak.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 MR. KAY: These are three Odak statements within Djosan.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
10 Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy said it correctly. I
12 mentioned three statements that I have in my set of documents, and through
13 the good offices of the liaison officer, I have received the document
14 related to the 24th of March now as well, which is not contained in my set
15 of documents but we can look at that too.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Let's take a look at the statement dated the 1st of April first,
18 if you have it before you.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I hope you are going to bear in mind what I quoted, that a crime
21 of some sort had been committed in the Qerim settlement.
22 MR. NICE: This one is not translated. Handling it is problematic
23 when I imagine the accused is going to ask that it be moved into evidence.
24 Perhaps it could go on the overhead projector. It's only just over one
25 page long, and rather than summarise, if there's any part he relies on,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 perhaps he could quote it so we know exactly what it says.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let be it placed on the -- it's on the
3 ELMO. Mr. Milosevic, is there a particular section that you wish to refer
4 to, bearing in mind that it's not translated.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, this was provided
6 during the testimony of General Djosan, and as you know, considerable time
7 has elapsed since then and it certainly could have been translated.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. But take a look at paragraph 3, now, please, Lieutenant Colonel,
10 and it says on the 1st of April, 1999 - this is important because of the
11 time - it says: "A little before midnight I received an assignment
12 urgently to go to the area of the village of Ljug Bunar which was where
13 the fire positions were of the artillery battalion and radar P15 to send a
14 motor vehicle and anti-fire -- and a fire brigade system truck there." So
15 the radar had been hit, there was burning going on, and you received that
16 assignment soon before midnight; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And your medical corps, a truck, the cistern and everything else
19 -- the truck and everything that was dispatched to assist, how long did
20 it take them to get there?
21 A. They went within the space of 30 to 45 minutes. They were
22 dispatched there, they set off within the space of 30 to 45 minutes.
23 Q. I see, set off. And how long did it take them to reach the area?
24 A. It took them 30 minutes. It's not a long way away, but as it was
25 night-time, that's how long it took them.
1 Q. All right, you don't know how long they spent there, but do you
2 know when they returned after putting out -- extinguishing the fire and
3 when the medical corps turned up and so on, ambulance?
4 A. Well, since the time they set off, as far as I remember, they
5 returned two hours later, roughly two hours later.
6 Q. All right. And if we were to reconstruct these events, they set
7 off a little after midnight and returned a little after 2.00 a.m.,
8 roughly. Can we say that?
9 A. Yes, we can.
10 Q. So the team, did it have to pass through the Qerim settlement both
11 on its way out and on its way back?
12 A. Yes, they had to pass that way.
13 Q. And who made up the team?
14 A. The team was composed of a squad, an officer with seven soldiers
15 providing security; there was an ambulance with a doctor, a nurse, a
16 medical technician and so forth; and a fire-fighting -- fire-fighting
18 Q. Right. So that's the assistance you sent out.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was there any other unit - yours or anybody else's - along that
21 route and in that general area?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Take a look at the penultimate paragraph, the middle of that
24 paragraph on page 1.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The one that begins: "I quickly effected the preparations ..."
2 et cetera. And in the middle, what does it say: "Upon returning from the
3 assignment ..." You read it out, please.
4 A. "Upon returning from the assignment, I was informed by the
5 security commander that the road leading to Qerim was empty. When
6 returning from the assignment, I was informed by the security commander
7 that the road up to the village of Ljug Bunar, which leads through the
8 Qerim settlement, was completely empty, that it was dark and they didn't
9 encounter anybody on the way. He also informed me that the killed
10 soldiers were brought to the garrison clinic and that Aleksandar Gajic,
11 Sergeant, and soldier private -- a private who was with him at the radar
12 were transferred to the clinic, but that the radar -" P15 was the radar -
13 "that they were not able to put out the fire on the P15 radar."
14 Q. And what does it say in the last paragraph -- or, rather, is that
15 roughly what you told us when I asked you a question about that event
16 between the 1st and 2nd of April?
17 A. Yes. I've already answered that question.
18 Q. All right. Fine. And what does it say in the last paragraph?
19 "As to the alleged crimes committed in the village of Qerim, I heard about
20 them at the end of 2001 for the first time."
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you, Lieutenant Colonel. Let us just take a look at this
23 second statement that I have, relating to the 27th and 28th of April. I
24 hope that that one has been translated, and if need be, we can place it on
25 the overhead projector. No problem there, I think.
1 We're going to skip over the first part, what you did on so on.
2 Mention is made of what you mentioned a moment ago, that you had
3 established a company within the frameworks of your battalion. And what
4 does it say, that the reason for setting up a unit of this kind was the
5 situation, that is to say that in the town of Djakovica there was not a
6 single combat unit.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you explained that to us a moment ago. Now, what does it say
9 in the last sentence of this paragraph? It was the task of the unit to
10 intervene where?
11 A. In places where the Siptar terrorist forces jeopardised the
12 security of our units in the town and the Pristina Corps command post, the
13 brigade command post, garrison, infirmary, and the local population, in
14 order to operate in coordination with other units in the event of an
15 attack by the Siptar terrorist forces.
16 Q. And that in principle was the main task, was it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And it says here that you were given the assignment -- "On the
19 25th of April I was given a task," it says, "for the intervention unit to
20 accomplish in the early hours of the 27th of April, 1999, which was to
21 take the following line for a seal-off operation ..." Trig, the trig you
22 pointed out to us, the trig point.
23 And what does it say in the last line there? Commanders and
24 soldiers. What does it say? "I carried out necessary preparations for
25 the combat operation and I regulated the procedure of units and
1 individuals in the event of encountering Siptar terrorist forces and in
2 the event of evacuating the civilian population over the seal-off-line,"
3 or blockade line.
4 In all our orders, in fact, that were issued, as with other units,
5 these were all questions and issues that were regulated, the kind of
6 conduct and treatment given to terrorists and the civilian population, of
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, on page 2 you say that you took up
9 positions along the blockade line at 6.30 a.m. with a half an hour delay
10 until a connection was made between the platoons in the company and with
11 your left and right neighbours.
12 A. Yes. And I said that my right wing had moved further forward, was
13 almost at the village, so I had to send them back to the blockade line,
14 and that's why there was this delay.
15 Q. And we have a repetition here of what you've already told us. And
16 it says, "During the day, the unit did not engage in any fighting with the
17 Siptar terrorist forces and no civilians were encountered."
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. And then the event that took place: The commander of the platoon
20 on the right wing informed you of the shelter and the group that had fled
21 towards Racaj village.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You saw them at the first houses of the village, disappearing
24 between those first houses. And then what do you say in that last
25 paragraph? You say, "Throughout the day, NATO aircraft were flying over
1 the sector where the unit was located, and airstrikes were heard from
2 various directions."
3 A. Yes, the NATO aircraft did fly over the area and struck the Kosare
4 area and that area, too, but from the place that I was at I was not able
5 to see how and where.
6 Q. All right. Now, what does that last statement relate to of the
7 24th of April, the very brief statement on the second day of the
9 A. This statement relates to the fact that the blockade was
10 continued. The units spent the night there at their positions and the
11 blockade continued the next day and ended towards the afternoon, after
12 lunchtime, because the soldiers had their lunch there, and they had dry
13 rations. They had their lunch there, and I remember it at around 1600
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice?
16 MR. NICE: Is the witness looking at another statement, or --
17 JUDGE KWON: It should be tab 8 of Exhibit 321.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Colonel, what are you looking at?
19 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated]
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Operations of the unit on the 28th
21 of April.
22 JUDGE KWON: What's the tab number?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This should be 4A, and it was
24 admitted. It was introduced through General Djosan's testimony.
25 JUDGE KWON: This should be an order, then, which is admitted,
1 correct. If it is an order.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it on the ELMO?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no.
4 JUDGE KWON: 4A. 4A. It's coming.
5 MR. KAY: Tab 30.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you should be organising your
7 material better than this.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kay, tab 30 has a couple of documents of --
10 couple of statements of Mr. Odak? I think there's only one.
11 MR. KAY: There is only one. I'm just trying to unravel the date.
12 It can be the only one that we're referring to here, tab 30A.
13 MR. NICE: I think I can remember the problem and whether I can
14 solve it, I'm not sure. Originally 30, and thus 30A, contained two
15 statements of this witness, one of the 26th of December relating to the
16 27th and 28th of April, then I think a shorter statement, which may not
17 have been translated, also of the 26th of December relating to the 28th of
18 April. And I'm holding up what I've got, which is the original -- I mean
19 the B/C/S version.
20 Now, that may still be untranslated, and it may have remained as
21 part of tab 30. My recollection is not absolutely clear on that. There
22 may have been a possibility of it being moved to another tab.
23 JUDGE KWON: The Registry's index does not reflect that, so thank
24 you, Mr. Nice.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have just -- or, rather, that's
1 right. That's the short statement that Mr. Nice had in his hands a moment
2 ago, related to the 28th of April, 1999. And it says, "No English copy"
3 on my copy here, which means it has not been translated. It is a very
4 short statement.
5 Is it on the overhead projector now? Are we seeing it on the
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So the date is the 28th of April. It is the second day of the
9 operations. The unit continued its blockade of the territory. There was
10 no -- there were no conflicts with the Siptar terrorist forces today
11 either, nor did they come across civilians at the blockade line. And you
12 go on to tell us what happened -- or, rather, what does this statement
14 A. This statement says that the unit continued the activities that it
15 had been engaged in the previous day and that shooting could be heard from
16 the direction of the village of Racaj, Ramoc, and so on, from that general
17 area, and that the action -- or, rather, that I was given the assignment
18 at around 1600 hours, if I remember correctly, because I know the soldiers
19 had already had their lunch, that I should collect up my men and return to
20 the deployment area, the battalion's deployment area. And on that day
21 there was no clash with the terrorists nor did the civilians cross the
22 blockade line.
23 Q. Thank you. Lieutenant Colonel, in point 105 of the indictment it
24 says, in addition to the forcible expulsion of Kosovo Albanians from the
25 24th of March, 1999, I assume further on, the forces of the FRY and Serbia
1 also engaged in a number of killings of Kosovo Albanians. Such killings
2 occurred at numerous locations, including ... and I'm going to skip the
3 places that you weren't in and just mention Djakovica, Djakovica being
4 among those places. So please consider that this description, when it
5 comes to you, only refers to Djakovica.
6 So from the 24th of March onwards, our forces, it alleges, and you
7 were in command of them in Djakovica, took part in numerous killings of
8 Kosovo Albanians, a number of killings.
9 A. That is absolutely incorrect. There were no killings in the town
10 of Djakovica. I would certainly have known about it, because I was in
11 Djakovica at that time, if there had been.
12 Q. Now, Witness Beqe Beqaj here said that in August 1998 the
13 population of Racaj left the villages the first time when the army and
14 police reached the area of that particular village and other villages in
15 the valley. Were you there then?
16 A. Yes, and I mentioned that when you asked me about 1998.
17 Q. I'm asking you about the witness statement now. You were there
18 personally, were you?
19 A. Well, the terrorists from the Smonica village withdrew to Racaj.
20 And several days later, when I searched the terrain with the aim of
21 expelling the terrorists from that area, we were in the Racaj village area
22 but there was not a single inhabitant left in the village of Racaj, and I
23 said how the terrorists got rid of the population. The village was
24 completely empty. I didn't come across any terrorists either. The
25 terrorists had withdrawn in the direction of the forest. They'd taken to
1 the forests and wooded areas around Qerim village, et cetera.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's time for the break. We'll adjourn for 20
4 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, please continue.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Odak, Witness Hani Hoxha stated that on the 27th of March,
9 1999 -- actually, before I put my question to you, where were you on that
10 date? That's the third day of the war, or the fourth day into the war.
11 A. In Djakovica, Mr. Milosevic.
12 Q. On the 27th, around midnight, she heard gunfire, and she saw her
13 neighbour's house on fire, and she went to Milos Gilic 157, where 24
14 people were hiding, and saw Husein Gashi's body as well as other dead
15 bodies. What happened there? Do you know anything about it?
16 A. I have no knowledge of any such thing having happened. However, I
17 don't believe it is possible that in the same house in the same building
18 at the same address people be killed twice, because this is also mentioned
19 as having happened on the 1st.
20 I don't have any knowledge of any such thing having happened, and
21 I do not believe that any such thing happened.
22 Q. When I first put my question to you it pertains to a paragraph
23 from the indictment, whereas this is the testimony of -- of witness Hani
24 Hoxha. However, this is what matters: You don't have any knowledge of
25 that having happened there?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No.
2 Q. In paragraph 53 of the indictment it says that I, together with
3 others, from the 1st of January, 1999, until the 20th of June, 1999,
4 planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise aided and abetted in
5 a deliberate and widespread or systematic campaign of terror directed at
6 Kosovo Albanians living in Kosovo in the FRY and that this kind of
7 campaign was carried out with the assistance of the forces of FRY and
8 Serbia that acted against the civilian population in order to expel a
9 large number of Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija in order to establish
10 their own control.
11 Please, you were battalion commander, you were the most senior
12 officer in Djakovica in terms of officers commanding units. Do you know
13 any such thing? Have you ever heard of any such intention, plan,
14 objective, anything from the army of Yugoslavia?
15 A. Everything my unit did, as well as the brigade command, was
16 regulated by orders from the Pristina Corps, that is to say the superior
17 command, and the brigade command then regulated everything through orders.
18 As for battalions and other subordinate units, not in a single document is
19 there any reference to any kind of campaign, violence, murder. That is
20 absolutely incorrect. I know and I'm sure that no such thing happened,
21 nor have I seen a single document regulating something like that.
22 Q. In paragraph 55, it says that the forces of FRY and Serbia, in a
23 deliberate and widespread or systematic manner, forcibly expelled and
24 internally displaced hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians from their
25 homes across the entire province of Kosovo, creating an atmosphere of fear
1 and oppression through the use of force, threats of force, and acts of
3 What about you, your unit, and generally speaking in the army?
4 Did you hear anything about force, threats of force, violence, and
5 expelling Albanians from Kosovo?
6 A. As I've already said, I lived in Kosovo for 13 and a half years.
7 I lived with these people as I did with all other citizens. I'm referring
8 to the Albanians now. And I had very proper relations. And would it be
9 reasonable to expect that I and other people who lived in Djakovica would
10 expel our fellow citizens from the country?
11 I claim that the Albanian population was fleeing exclusively on
12 account of their fear from NATO bombing and threats issued by terrorists.
13 Q. In paragraph 56, it says that throughout Kosovo forces of the FRY
14 and Serbia engaged in a deliberate and widespread or systematic campaign
15 of destruction of property owned by Kosovo Albanian civilians and that
16 this was accomplished by the widespread shelling of towns and villages,
17 the burning and destruction of property, including homes, farms,
18 businesses, cultural monuments and religious sites, and so on and so
20 Do you know anything about that?
21 A. First and foremost, "shelling" is a term I'm unaware of as far as
22 military terminology is concerned.
23 Secondly, all towns were under our control, so it would have been
24 silly for us to shell ourselves, as it is stated here.
25 What happened was that wherever the army of Yugoslavia was, and it
1 was throughout the region of Kosovo and Metohija, NATO aircraft were
2 targeting all these objectives, and they destroyed many villages, and they
3 hit many civilian targets too. So this assertion that we were engaged in
4 shelling, I repeat yet again: We were firing only at buildings from which
5 terrorists were shooting, and they did not hesitate even to use religious
6 buildings, places of worship, for firing from them. For example, the
7 Catholic church in Nec, where I was, they were firing from there too. So
8 we only fired at buildings from which the terrorists fired.
9 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 60 says that the forces of FRY and Serbia
10 tried to dissuade Kosovo Albanians from returning to their homes by
11 looting and pillaging the personal and commercial property belonging to
12 them and through wholesale searches, threats of force and acts of
13 violence, et cetera, they expelled them, stole their personal property,
14 including vehicles.
15 Do you know anything about that?
16 A. No. That's not correct. I don't know about any such thing.
17 After all, it is possible that there were individual cases that were
18 punished. I cannot claim that no such thing ever happened. Certainly
19 there were some isolated individual cases, but whenever a case of that
20 kind was observed, then the law enforcement officials acted against the
22 Q. Do you know about the seizure of documents from Albanians?
23 A. It was terrorists who were taking these documents away. I
24 personally, in the village of Nec, found over 300 documents. Also in the
25 village of Smonica, a large number of IDs that belonged to Albanians.
1 That is when I talked about the way the terrorists operated. They would
2 come to a village, they would take the documents from the civilian
3 population. I've already talked about this, so I don't need to repeat
4 myself. And they were the only ones who took documents away.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Lieutenant Colonel, what you haven't told us is
6 the source of your information that it was the terrorists who took away
7 the documents. I mean, did you witness this or was this something that
8 you were told?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I've already mentioned
10 that I personally conducted the action against terrorists in the villages
11 of Nec and Smonica. And I personally, in the house where the commander of
12 this terrorist unit was, found a large number of documents belonging to
13 citizens from Nec. The same goes for Smonica. I collected all these
14 documents and I handed them over to my superior command.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. When you saying "documents," are you referring to personal
17 identification documents?
18 A. Yes, yes; personal IDs, et cetera.
19 Q. Tell me, please, as an officer of the army, did you ever get any
20 order to deport anyone from Kosovo in order to ensure, as it says here,
21 "lasting Serbian control over Kosovo"? Or irrespective of intentions
22 involved, did you ever receive any such orders?
23 A. Well, I've already said a few minutes ago that there was no order
24 of the superior command regulating any such thing, nor did I issue such an
25 order, nor did such things happen.
1 Q. Did you ever receive any information to the effect that someone
2 had done anything of that sort?
3 A. No.
4 Q. As an officer and as a battalion commander at the time, did you
5 know what was specifically happening on the ground in the area of
6 Djakovica? Did you know what was happening in Djakovica?
7 A. Absolutely. Since there were briefings every day and we reported
8 to the brigade commander, he informed us about the situation on the ground
9 and we reported to him about our own observations from the ground. So we
10 were informed about the situation.
11 Q. So regarding everything that happened on the ground, you reported
12 to the superior command, the higher instance?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And did your superiors have information about what was going on
15 through Kosovo?
16 A. Well, yes. I had meetings with my subordinates every day where I
17 informed them about what happened in our area of responsibility, that is
18 to say the municipality of Djakovica. And they informed me about their
19 observations in the areas where they were, where the -- their company or
20 platoon was deployed.
21 Q. In these reports did you ever have occasion to see that there was
22 a problem in relation to the civilian population?
23 A. There were absolutely no problems whatsoever. We were neighbours
24 with them, so to speak, and there were no problems of incidents. As far
25 as I know, in the brigades there were two cases where rape was attempted,
1 but these persons were brought into custody by the military police.
2 Q. You mentioned a while ago, and you said that you lived there for
3 13 and a half years, that even at the end of the war the town of Djakovica
4 was full of people. Does that mean that the population of Djakovica did
5 not move out?
6 A. No. Residents of villages came to Djakovica, those who were
7 expelled by terrorists. As I said, probably to portray this image of
8 alleged humanitarian catastrophe.
9 Q. According to what you've been saying, Djakovica was full at the
10 end of the war.
11 A. Yes, full, absolutely. When we withdrew, we could barely got out
12 because there were so many people. Had we not been provided security by
13 the Italian soldiers, we could barely withdraw. The town was bursting at
14 the seams.
15 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions. Now other questions will
16 be put to you.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
19 Q. Do I understand you to say that you saw no terrorists being killed
20 throughout this conflict?
21 A. What conflict are you referring to, Mr. Nice?
22 Q. With NATO, however you described it. Do I understand you to say
23 that you saw no terrorists being killed throughout that period of time?
24 A. No. I did not see a single terrorist killed. It's quite
25 understandable in any army, after all. Terrorists do that too,
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you saw no civilian being
4 A. No.
5 Q. You have no explanation that you can offer this Court for any
6 civilians in Djakovica being killed in the course of these events?
7 A. The only civilians I saw killed was the column of civilians moving
8 from Djakovica to Prizren in the month of April that was hit by the NATO
9 Air Force.
10 Q. We've heard a lot about that. I'm not going to trouble you with
11 that. I'll repeat the question. As to other civilians killed in streets
12 here or there in Djakovica, you have no explanation of any kind that you
13 can give to this Court about how such civilians were killed?
14 A. Mr. Nice, there was no killing of civilians, nor did I see any
15 civilians that were killed in town. Perhaps these are your assumptions,
16 but it is a fact that this did not happen.
17 Q. We'll come to that in a short while. I'm a bit confused about
18 your particular position. At some stage you were in charge of part of the
19 anti-aircraft or an anti-aircraft unit, and at some time you were not
20 engaged in anti-aircraft work. Can you just explain it to me a little bit
21 more simply. When were you dealing with anti-aircraft work?
22 A. Mr. Nice, that is written in one of my statements. Due to certain
23 personnel movements, in September 1998 I was reassigned to be commander of
24 a battalion in the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade, and I stayed there until
25 mid-May, the 20th of May, approximately. I can't remember exactly. But I
1 objected to that order. I filed an objection. I did not want to leave my
2 battalion where I had spent 13 years. So I requested to be returned to
3 that other battalion, and I was returned to the battalion at my own
4 request in mid-May, the 2nd Battalion of the 549th Brigade.
5 Q. Throughout your deployment in anti-aircraft and with the brigade,
6 your superior officer was whom?
7 A. Colonel Milos Djosan.
8 Q. So do you therefore, as a battalion commander, occupy essentially
9 and effectively the same rank, the same level as a witness we've recently
10 heard, Vukovic? You're the same rank as him, are you, battalion
12 A. Yes, except that these are battalions for different purposes.
13 Q. Yes. Therefore we understand from Vukovic that battalions -- or
14 battalion commanders maintain war diaries. Can we see yours?
15 A. Mr. Nice, I don't have this war diary because, I repeat once
16 again, I left that battalion, brigade --
17 Q. Where is your war diary, please?
18 A. Probably in the archives, because I did not hand over
19 documentation. I left that unit. I left --
20 Q. There's no reason, is there --
21 A. I already said mid-May. And my successor was Major Ramiz
23 Q. And there is absolutely no reason to believe that that diary no
24 longer exists. It does exist, and you told us you've made no effort to
25 locate it in order to bring it here; is that right?
1 A. Mr. Nice, it's not a question of whether I made an effort or not.
2 First and foremost, I'm an active duty-officer, and I did not have time to
3 gather documentation. You see that I made only three statements.
4 And secondly, I'm sure that this war diary exists but it's in the
5 archives and I really didn't have any time for that. But I could make an
6 effort --
7 Q. How many days have you been here preparing to give evidence?
8 A. Twenty.
9 Q. Twenty days. In the course of that time did nobody raise with
10 you, perhaps following questions of earlier witnesses, that it might be
11 desirable for you to lay your hands on contemporaneous documents? Hmm?
12 A. Well, Mr. Nice, I repeat yet again, I was asked -- or, rather,
13 General Djosan, my superior officer, he gathered documents, and at his
14 request, I wrote my statements. So I thought that he would gather all the
15 relevant documentation, because he had the opportunity to do so since he
16 is retired and he has time to do so, whereas as I've already said, I'm a
17 serving officer and --
18 Q. As a colonel, you have to simply tell your adjutant, "Lay hold of
19 my diary, will you, please. I want it next week." It's not a very
20 difficult thing to do in a military organisation. Are you really trying
21 to persuade us that it was beyond your ability, for want of time, to get
22 the critical document that would assist this Court?
23 A. No, Mr. Nice. I'm not trying to persuade you of that at all. I'm
24 repeating this one more time: My superior commander, Colonel, or now
25 General Djosan, asked me to write statements. As for the other documents,
1 I repeat again, since he's a pensioner now and he has time, he was the one
2 who was supposed to gather all these documents, and he did. But he
3 probably did not consider it necessary to look for that diary. I don't
4 know what the reason is.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 A. At any rate, I did not --
7 Q. The map that's been --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just to be clear, we're talking about a diary
9 relating to the 549th Brigade, are we, or --
10 MR. NICE: No, his battalion during the conflict when he was a
11 battalion commander.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but we're talking -- am I misunderstanding the
13 situation when I think that he was a battalion commander in two
15 MR. NICE: He may have been but I'm more particularly concerned --
16 and to make sure I make this clear to the witness:
17 Q. Mr. Odak, I'm interested in the time when you were battalion
18 commander between September 1998 and May 1999 in Djakovica. I hope I
19 suggested clearly to you that there was a war diary prepared for that
20 period of time. Am I correct?
21 A. Yes, absolutely.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it's that war diary that I'm interested
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I follow that, but was General Djosan not with
25 the 549th Brigade, the other -- and therefore in charge of the other
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 battalion. So we've been getting answers about a war diary from one
2 brigade to questions from you about the war diary from another brigade, I
3 think. Or another battalion, rather.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me. If I may clarify, with
5 your leave.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1998, I was in a different
8 battalion of the 549th Brigade until September. In that battalion, my
9 superior was then Lieutenant Colonel Vlatko Vukovic. Then in September
10 1998, I moved to the 52nd Rocket Brigade, and my superior was General
11 Djosan. Then in mid-1999, I moved back to the previous battalion, where
12 my superior was again Vlatko Vukovic. I don't know if I managed to clear
13 things up.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That clarifies it. Obviously the questions and
15 answers were related to the same diary. Thank you, Mr. Nice.
16 MR. NICE: We'll try and lay hold of that diary.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can I just ask you, Lieutenant Colonel, in
18 writing your statements, did you rely on your war diary?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. You appreciate, don't you, Mr. Odak, that contemporaneous
22 documents are immensely valuable and more valuable than memories that are
23 recorded years later? Do you appreciate and accept that?
24 A. I accept that. But I remember all those things that matter, the
25 major things.
1 Q. Help the Court, if you will, please. You've made a number of
2 assertions today, and in respect of each assertion I want you to tell us
3 if you have with you any contemporaneous document recording the assertion
4 you've made. The destruction of the bazaar or marketplace by a bomb, do
5 you have any -- by a NATO bomb. Do you have any contemporaneous document
6 relating to that?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. The destruction of the mosque by a NATO bomb; do you have any
9 contemporaneous document relating to that?
10 A. I don't, Mr. Nice, but --
11 Q. I'm so sorry, go on.
12 A. But it is certain that in the war diaries of most units you will
13 not find entries about civilian targets because that's not something that
14 you normally enter into war diaries. Those are not normally the type of
15 issues you cover in war diaries. What is recorded are losses and
16 activities conducted by the unit.
17 Q. There are other contemporaneous records; combat reports and maybe
18 other documents. Were there combat -- daily combat reports in your
20 A. Yes, absolutely.
21 Q. So they may have recorded what happened at particular locations.
22 I press on.
23 Have you any -- you've made an assertion about Kosovo Albanians
24 somehow taking from other Albanians their documents and destroying them.
25 Is there any contemporaneous document to which you can refer this Court
1 that details that?
2 A. Mr. Nice, I didn't say that they destroyed them. The terrorists
3 seized the identification documents of civilians in villages, especially
4 males, able-bodied men capable of fighting, in order to force them to
5 leave the village and join the terrorists. So they didn't destroy their
6 IDs. I said that in Smonica and Nec villages I found a large number of
7 IDs and turned them over to my superior command.
8 Q. There is a great deal of evidence before this Court from people
9 saying that they had IDs taken from them, either in convoys on the way to
10 borders or at borders, particularly the border with Albania. Can you
11 explain that, or do you say all that evidence must be untrue?
12 A. I personally haven't heard of such cases. It's possible that
13 there were individual incidents, but I don't think it was a general
15 Q. Dealing with the fact that you were -- oh, no. You were -- have I
16 got this right: You and your anti-aircraft unit were the only military
17 force in the town of Djakovica at the material time? Have I understood
18 that correctly?
19 A. Djakovica housed the command of the 52nd Artillery Rocket
20 Battalion, command battalion, or, rather, their communication company and
21 my battalion, if you're asking about the town of Djakovica itself.
22 Q. And the artillery rocket battalion, that's anti-aircraft, is it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were anti-aircraft as well, because you were part of an
25 anti-aircraft battalion. Or you were an anti-aircraft battalion, part of
1 a brigade; correct?
2 A. No. That's not true. Mine was the logistics battalion. The
3 logistics battalion's purpose is to supply ammunition, fuel, food, medical
4 supplies, and other necessities to the units. Therefore, it's not a
5 combat unit but a logistical unit. It has nothing to do with
6 anti-aircraft defence.
7 Q. Dealing with the period of 1998, and it's the only question I want
8 to ask about 1998, for want of time, Colonel Crosland, an attache at the
9 British embassy, told us that anti-aircraft units had, amongst other
10 things, 20-, 30-, and 40-million cannon. Is he right?
11 A. Yes, he's right.
12 Q. And of course that cannon's intended for use on aircraft. Is he
13 right about that?
14 A. In part, because the purpose of those cannons is to fire on
15 targets on the ground and in the air alike.
16 Q. That was the point he made, and so he seems perhaps to have got it
17 right, has he, because he says he saw anti-aircraft cannon being used
18 quite disproportionately on houses in Kosovo by anti-aircraft units. Is
19 he right on that?
20 A. No, he's not right. I don't know what he means by
21 "disproportionately." They were used to the extent necessary to destroy
22 the terrorists.
23 Q. Well, how do you destroy terrorists on the ground with enormous
24 cannon of the type appropriate for aircraft? How do you do it? Focus it
25 on a house and blow the house up?
1 A. Mr. Nice, we don't shoot at a house. We shoot at a building from
2 which terrorists are firing.
3 Q. Checking first of all that there's nobody but a terrorist in the
4 house before you fire at it with something that's appropriate to knocking
5 a plane out of the sky. Is that what you did?
6 A. Well, Mr. Nice, I don't know if anybody can possibly know what
7 exactly is located in a building together or behind an enemy. I don't
8 know if NATO was aware what was in the building when they killed the
9 little girl called Milica.
10 Q. Oh, if you'd like to deal with a child, please help me with the
11 following -- I was going to come to this later but I'll deal with it
12 straight away, if I can. We've had a witness in this court, K13, whose
13 statement was permitted to be read to this Court, who was 11 years old at
14 the time of the matters of which she spoke, and she was staying with
15 others in a pool hall, I think for safety. Police came and ordered the
16 occupants out, we were told by this child who was 11 years old at the
17 time. Nobody was questioned. They were simply taken to another house,
18 and in that other house the people, including this girl's family, were
19 shot and killed.
20 Do you know anything about that?
21 A. No, I know nothing about this event. I don't know where it
22 happened, if it happened.
23 Q. Well, one possibility I want you to consider before you leave this
24 court is whether in defending the army's position, you're needlessly also
25 defending the police's position. Think about it.
1 Is it possible that the things that are said to have happened in
2 Djakovica were caused by the police and not by the army?
3 A. Mr. Nice, I didn't come here to defend or attack anybody. I am
4 talking about things that I heard and I saw. I gave a solemn declaration
5 and I'm acting accordingly.
6 Those who need to be held liable for committing a crime should be,
7 and should be punished, but I'm certainly not trying to defend anyone.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... police may have done things
9 unknown to you, and I have your answer. Before I move on, just one other
10 question about documents: You showed us a map -- I'll get the reference
11 for it in a minute. Who made the map?
12 A. That map was drawn on the basis of the elements that I provided by
13 General Djosan, as far as I know. I think he drew his own part and
14 Colonel Vukovic drew his part.
15 Q. Oh, I see. So Djosan and Vukovic were together, and you. Yes?
16 A. No, they were not working together with me. I'm going to say
17 again: General Djosan just asked me to provide the underlying data, which
18 I did in the form of a statement, and Mr. Djosan was the one who did the
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... how did you provide it; in
21 written form or by speaking to him or by doing your own map? Tell us.
22 A. After having been contacted by the expert team, himself, General
23 Djosan, asked me to write these statements and I did. Everything is
24 indicated in those statements, so he could have made the map based on my
25 statements, based on the information in them, because exact trig points
1 are indicated. Those trig points are the dominant features. That's why I
2 remember them.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... with your information. The
4 expert committee, by the way, just tell us, what did you understand their
5 role to be in all this? Why do you need an expert committee to provide
6 information to a court like this? What did the expert committee do?
7 A. I have no information whatsoever about the expert team. All I was
8 told by General Djosan was that it was a team that had been established in
9 order to - how shall I put it? - gain knowledge about certain things, but
10 that's all I know. And I've never been in contact with them.
11 Q. So you provided your statements, and I want to know who drew the
12 plan, the map. Perhaps you don't know.
13 A. I've just said I believe it was General Djosan.
14 Q. Did he do it on his own or did he have a map-maker or did he do it
15 with a colleague? Can you tell us?
16 A. I really don't know.
17 Q. I may come back to that. Let's look at a video, please. It's
18 Exhibit 11, shown in the opening of the case but I think the exhibit may
19 have been moved into evidence without either any or much of it being seen.
20 We'll just look at some extracts from it, please. It's a very long video,
21 about an hour, I think in all.
22 I want you to confirm, please, what we're looking at is Djakovica.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. The video was taken in August of 1999. Is that Djakovica?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Is that Djakovica?
3 A. I'm not sure about this one.
4 Q. What do you say about this damage? Bomb damage or artillery
5 damage or both?
6 A. Well, judging by this damage, I would say artillery weapons do not
7 inflict this kind of damage. These are larger bombs. Probably NATO air
8 bombs because the damage to the buildings is huge.
9 Q. Tell us, Mr. Odak - You were there, you've told us you're
10 basically the only army officer there - tell us: Bomb or artillery?
11 A. I've just told you I was in Djakovica. So it would not have been
12 normal for my army to shell me, as you keep insisting. This can only be a
13 result of NATO air bombs.
14 Q. Press on, please.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, it says here the
16 question: "Press on, please." I haven't heard this question interpreted
17 to the witness.
18 MR. NICE: "Press on" was a request to Ms. Dicklich to move on
19 with the video.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Not addressed to the witness.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. Are you saying that there was no example on any occasion of there
23 being burning of buildings in Djakovica?
24 A. No, I'm not saying that there were not individual cases - I say
25 that again - but that somebody burnt houses, killed people in the way that
1 you put it, that is incorrect. And I'm sure that all the cases that were
2 uncovered, of course you cannot uncover all cases of crime, so that those
3 which were uncovered were prosecuted, I'm quite sure.
4 Q. Just have a look, please, if you will --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Have a look, please, at a Defence exhibit produced through
8 Stevanovic, D299, tab 72, and if you just look at paragraph 12 of this
9 record of the Ministry of Interior's meeting held on the 11th of May of
10 1999. The MUP, the police -- and I'll get the usher to put it on the
11 overhead projector at page 12 of the English. It's not on my screen, I'm
13 Have you got the end of paragraph 12 where we're looking at the
14 report of Brigade Commander Colic?
15 MR. NICE: Does the Court have it on its screen? I don't have it
16 on mine, I'm afraid. Well, to save time I'll read out to you what's in
17 English -- there it is. Thank you very much, perfectly positioned, don't
18 move it. Bottom of the screen.
19 Q. "Commander Colic reported this: Citizens and refugees in Djakovica
20 town were treated correctly during the operations, however, after all the
21 actions, VJ reservists burnt houses and went into them; we informed VJ
22 commanders in order to prevent these incidents."
23 Were, at a minimum, VJ reservists burning houses, as the police
24 seem to have recorded against you? Yes or no.
25 A. Well, cooperation between the army and the police was on a daily
1 basis. Now, this vision of the brigade commander or, rather, this meeting
2 with the brigade commander and the responsible people of the MUP in
3 Djakovica were on a daily basis. They had regular meetings and just as
4 they helped us uncover individual crimes, we would help them uncover
5 individual crimes. Specifically speaking, I'm quoting the example of
6 these two once again, the two soldiers that tried -- that attempted rape
7 from our brigade. Those two cases. But we received information about
8 that from the MUP organs.
9 Now, as to this particular instance, well, it is possible -- I say
10 they were individual cases, but he informed us of this for us to be able
11 to take steps in the best intentions. But that certainly didn't happen in
12 my unit and with the knowledge of my unit.
13 Q. Where is the record of the prosecutions?
14 A. Well, the command of the brigade sent them on. That's up to the
15 brigade command.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this Court of the
17 prosecutions of people for burning houses down in Djakovica, if there is a
18 record. It doesn't exist, does it, Mr. Odak?
19 A. Well, no, we didn't have such cases, Mr. Nice, that there were any
20 burnings of houses. I mentioned the only two cases that I know happened
21 in the brigade, and steps were taken against those individuals. Criminal
22 reports were filed and they were taken into custody. But there was no
23 burning of houses in the unit at all.
24 Q. You've told us about the rapes before and we don't know what
25 happened to the alleged rapist. Or perhaps we do; nothing. But there was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 one other trial, I mentioned it to the previous witness, Mancic. Do you
2 remember the trial of Mancic? Do you remember the trial of Mancic, the
4 A. No, I didn't follow that.
5 Q. Well, did you hear about it at all? Did you understand that his
6 trial came about only because one of them --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Sorry?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You did hear about it. And the only reason he was put on trial is
11 because one of the men he told to kill Albanians reported himself for
12 process and therefore there had to be a trial. Do you remember that
14 A. I do remember, but --
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. -- that trial -- well, I have my opinions about that trial. I
17 don't want to present them here and now, because it was an officer of
18 mine, and as far as I know, the lawyers received from KFOR the fact that
19 these people did not exist at all. So that particular trial was mounted,
20 in my opinion.
21 Q. Let me just go back to the point which I think you confirmed: The
22 Mancic trial is a trial where there had to be a trial because one of the
23 people he'd commanded to commit a crime reported himself. He couldn't
24 avoid having a trial. And it's only in special circumstances that there
25 was any judicial process for the crimes that were being committed in
1 Kosovo during this period. Am I not right?
2 A. Well, let me tell you. You -- I didn't follow that trial very
3 much because the goal was clear to me. And all I can talk about is what
4 happened in my own unit.
5 Q. Before we move to the next topic, just a little bit more from the
6 video. But before we look at a couple of things from the video, tell me
7 this: Are you saying there was no expressed hostility towards Albanians,
8 no expressed desires to get them out or to do damage to them in this
9 period between March and May of 1999 or March and June?
10 A. No.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
12 A. That's not correct.
13 Q. In -- you accept there was hostility, do you?
14 A. No, no. I said there was no hostility. Or perhaps there were
15 individual cases, but that the general mood was that way, that's not true.
16 Q. Can you read this out for us, please.
17 A. "Lepa sela lepo gore"; "Beautiful village, beautiful woods."
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... villages burn nicely. Ugly
19 ones stay ugly when they're burning. Is that what it says?
20 A. "Pretty villages burnt nicely," is what it says, and that was a
21 film that had that same title, "Lepa sela lepo gore," and that was uttered
22 by one of the actors in the film.
23 Q. I see. Let's look at the next one, then.
24 A. "Nice villages burn nicely."
25 Q. The next one. Does this express the desire, "Serbia until Tirane,
1 fuck you, NATO." Is that what it says?
2 A. Yes, yes, that's what it says.
3 Q. "What's going to happen to this house? I'll set fire to it." Is
4 that what that one says?
5 A. Yes, yes, that's what it says.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... was a town full of hate,
7 wasn't it?
8 A. No, that's not true that it was full of hate. Let me repeat
9 again. I was there for 13 and a half years. I lived with the people and
10 it was impossible for me to live amongst people like that and to hate
11 them. And these graffiti mean nothing. The war is a special state where
12 people express some of their feelings which are not or certainly are not
13 normal in any way during those times. So this means absolutely nothing.
14 Q. You appreciate, don't you, that as well as witnesses who have come
15 to this Court, events in Djakovica have been logged by several other
16 organisations, including Human Rights Watch and OSCE. Do you appreciate
18 A. Possibly.
19 Q. Now, help me with this as a person who knows your Djakovica, or
20 knew it: Was there a man called Dr. Izet Hima, a very respected
21 physician? Do you remember him?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you remember --
24 A. I don't know him.
25 Q. Very well. Do you know a man Qamil Zherka, who was aged 70, and
1 his son Nexhdet, aged 41?
2 A. Mr. Nice, Djakovica has a population of 60.000, and the
3 municipality has over a hundred thousand.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
5 A. So --
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if you know these people.
7 Do you know a then-prominent lawyer called Urim Rexha? Do you remember
9 A. No.
10 Q. Finally, do you remember a man called Mark Malota, who rented his
11 house to the Mother Teresa Society? Do you remember him?
12 A. No, no. No, I don't know the individual.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... two passages then of a book
14 called "Under Orders." We don't have time to go into more, but if we can
15 just show you, please, on the overhead projector, it's in English and I'll
16 read the passage slowly to you. One organisation, Human Rights Watch,
17 and this is Exhibit number -- I always forget the number. Don't worry.
18 I'll come back to the exhibit number.
19 This book, which is based on extensive interviews which are
20 footnoted, has a large passage on Djakovica. It's Exhibit 145. And it
21 summarises the position in this way: "Djakovica suffered the most intense
22 violence against civilians of Kosovo's larger cities. While not all of
23 the city's estimated 100.000 residents (including 20.000 internally
24 displaced) were expelled, threats and killing drove a majority of the
25 population from the city. Serbian police and paramilitaries, as well as
1 Yugoslav soldiers, killed approximately 200 people between March 24 and
2 June 12 alone in the city, and many more were killed in nearby villages
3 such as Meja and Korenica. Approximately 1.200 other people from the
4 Djakovica municipality remained missing as of February 2000. At least 150
5 ... were arrested during the war and taken to Serbia proper where they
6 were convicted by Serbian courts for terrorist acts, although most were
7 later released."
8 Now, that's a summary, of course. Do you say there's truth in
9 that or not a word of truth?
10 A. Mr. Nice, if the source of this is a veteran of the KLA, Mr. Oker
11 [phoen], then it's certainly not true. None of this is true.
12 Q. Mr. Who?
13 A. I don't know about any of this. Mr. Walker. Mr. Walker. If his
14 organisation is the source of this, then it certainly isn't true. Because
15 I don't know any of this, about any of this.
16 Q. First of all, this organisation has nothing to do with Mr. Walker.
17 But since you mention Mr. Walker, is it going to be your position if and
18 when we look at any document that has any connection with Mr. Walker, that
19 anything remotely connected by Mr. Walker is false from first to last? Is
20 that going to be your case, your position?
21 A. Mr. Nice, the person whom terrorists call their own veteran, I
22 have reason to doubt any of his documents or any of his words.
23 Q. Very well. This book, which has nothing to do with Mr. Walker, it
24 comes from Human Rights Watch, which published reports sent to the accused
25 on a regular basis throughout the 1990s, deals with Djakovica in some
1 detail but let's go, if the usher would be good enough, to page 216.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, this is a day when we'll have to stop
3 at 1.43.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. They -- they analyse available evidence about Djakovica in various
6 phases, and this is why I asked you about the names I asked you about. It
7 says that "The first wave of violence began on March the 24th when NATO
8 initiated its attack on Yugoslavia, and it continued until the 2nd of
9 April." It deals with the mosque, which it says was set on fire, and it
10 deals with sporadic killings. It then says this: "On March 25, unknown
11 security forces broke into the home of a respected physician ... and shot
12 him in front of his wife." That's Dr. Hima. "According to the Washington
13 Post, Faton Poloshka picked up Dr. Hima's body at 5.00 p.m. and then
14 collected the bodies of three other ethnic Albanians killed that day:
15 Kujtim Dula ... Qamil Zherka -" the man aged 70 - "and his son, Nexhdet."
16 Then this: "Prominent Djakovica residents Urim Rexha, a lawyer,
17 and Mark Malota, an LDK leader who rented his house to the Mother Teresa
18 Society, were also killed."
19 Then it goes on to March the 26th.
20 You were there on this day. Under cover of NATO's attack, the
21 opportunity was taken to pick off prominent Kosovo Albanian residents and
22 kill them, wasn't it?
23 A. That's your insinuation. It's not true.
24 Q. That's why I asked you. Were you completely unaware of this group
25 of either respected or certainly well known and significant local
1 residents, were you unaware that they were all killed on that day?
2 A. Mr. Nice, at the time, I was battalion commander, and I had many
3 things to attend to and one of those things was to protect 40 tonnes of
4 explosives which could have blown up the whole of Djakovica. So I didn't
5 delve in questions like that nor did I hear anything like that happening.
6 Q. In my remaining one minute, let's go back to two things you said
7 and see if you want to review them. In answer to the accused, you've told
8 us that you knew everything that happened in Djakovica, and nothing
9 happened. In answer to me, you declined to take the opportunity to blame
10 police or other forces. Now, is the reality you haven't the first idea
11 what was happening in the centre of Djakovica or in its residential areas
12 on the 24th of March 1999 because you were elsewhere?
13 A. No. I was in Djakovica. I said that, and I have no reason to
14 protect anyone, let me state that again. I do not say there were not
15 individual cases, but there was -- that there was organised operations
16 such as some unknown police unit, there were no such units. All police
17 units that were there were properly trained and clothed, and their most
18 important task was to provide security for the civilian population and to
19 prevent crime in town.
20 Q. With Ms. Dicklich's assistance and the Court's indulgence, one
21 more question.
22 Please turn over one page and put the -- one page, please. This
23 is a picture of the 20 people killed, their bodies burned in the house at
24 163 Milos Gilic Street, and we can see from the picture how many of them
25 are young children. You were there. You were the senior military person.
1 Explain that to us, please.
2 A. These are really terrible pictures, and certainly the crimes like
3 that and similar crimes must be punished just like the crime --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
5 A. -- of the column of civilians that was hit. However --
6 Q. No, Mr. Odak, you will not escape by referring to NATO. You were
7 there, you've told this accused you basically know everything that
8 happened and that nothing happened. You tell us, please, how were those
9 children killed and what's been done, if anything, to bring the culprits
10 to justice?
11 A. Mr. Nice, I said that my subordinates passed by during that period
12 of time that is mentioned in the indictment, they passed through the area
13 and noticed nothing. Therefore, I cannot tell you anything else except
14 for the report or, rather, what my subordinate officer informed me of.
15 And I don't believe that he lied, that he would have lied to me had he
16 seen something along the way, en route. I see no reason for him to do
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have to take the adjournment now, but Judge
19 Bonomy has a question for the accused.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milosevic, just clarification on one thing from
21 earlier this morning. You presented us with a number of medical reports
22 from experts. One of these is by a Professor Vukasin Andric.
23 Now, earlier this year we heard evidence from a Professor Vukasin
24 Andric. Is it the same person?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, the same person, and he is a
1 very distinguished otorhinolaryngologist. And it has nothing to do -- the
2 examination, ear, nose, and mouth, has nothing to do with the testimony.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00 a.m.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day
7 of November, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.