1 Thursday, 1 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice?
6 MR. NICE: I'd ask the witness to stay out because, until I opened
7 up an e-mail, I had no information about the document we were seeking as
8 of yesterday. A request or, rather, the order of the Court was
9 communicated immediately to the National Council for Cooperation. They
10 have to act through the military. We remained available to receive
11 anything basically all night. I had a few hours allocated to time when
12 people should be asleep, but we made arrangements to cover the whole
13 period between then and now. In the event, the field office of the OTP in
14 Belgrade was informed at ten to nine this morning that the military have
15 apparently found the material and are transporting it to Belgrade. The
16 National Council for Cooperation hopes to have the document in their
17 possession at about half past ten and will then notify the field office to
18 collect it.
19 So I'm afraid there's no way, in reality, that I'm going to be
20 able to ask any questions based on that document today. It's highly
21 likely that I'm going to want to ask some questions on the basis of it.
22 This witness has covered an enormous amount of territory, and I'm going to
23 have to be selective about the questions I ask of him in any event if I'm
24 to keep cross-examination within reasonable bounds in terms of time.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: He may have to be recalled for that.
1 MR. NICE: I'm pretty sure that there's going to be a case for
2 recall of this witness, with the Court's leave.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We can endeavour to ascertain whether he could be
5 recalled for tomorrow.
6 MR. NICE: Tomorrow morning. I'm not available after 1.30
7 tomorrow, I think.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are trying to determine whether it would be
10 convenient -- if, after you've looked at the material, you find that it is
11 necessary to cross-examine on it, we're trying to determine whether
12 tomorrow is a possibility.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should let the parties know that we have been
15 considering a number of possibilities, and one of them is that, instead of
16 sitting next week, Tuesday, we would sit tomorrow, so that next week we'd
17 only sit two days. It seems possible. We are investigating it.
18 Mr. Nice, perhaps in the circumstances, then you could bring your
19 cross-examination to an end.
20 MR. NICE: Yes. Assuming that the document arrives at the time
21 stated, and assuming it's 400 pages, the only way I'll be able to deal
22 with it by tomorrow is by identifying the pages in which I have an
23 interest and having them faxed here, or possibly, if it arrives early
24 enough, putting the thing on a plane, which I think gets in at about
25 midnight tonight, and working all night on it with a team of interpreters.
1 It's going to be difficult even at the best, but you can be sure that I'll
2 do whatever I can because having witnesses recalled is something that's
3 unattractive to everyone and unhelpful. But I'll certainly -- we'll know
4 by the end of the morning a little bit more about the logistics of the
5 document -- dealing with the document.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, how much more time do you anticipate?
9 MR. NICE: Apart from what may be contained in the diary -- in the
10 notebook, I would hope to finish in this session, or just into the next
11 session, because there's so much stuff he's tried to cover, or has
12 covered. But certainly no more than that. I'd want to be done. I
13 understand there's another witness ready to come in. It might turn up a
14 great deal of material of interest to us, or nothing.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But if that were to happen, would you not be better
16 holding your fire now? Because you've already used up, I would have
17 thought, at least your allocation of time, if it was divided according to
19 MR. NICE: I had thought of that as well, yes. That might well be
20 preferable, in which case we could start with the next witness now. I
21 would be very happy to do that.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. In that case, Mr. Milosevic, we are going
23 to interpose your next witness. And who is that?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Krsman Jelic.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Lieutenant Colonel Sel must be advised that he
1 should be available for tomorrow.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation].
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you stop, please. I'm not getting any
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In order not to waste time, I would
8 like to kindly ask you to have that board brought in, because General
9 Jelic will be coming with maps.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Will the court deputy see to it that the
11 easel is brought in, and the blackboard.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
17 Mr. Milosevic, you may begin.
18 WITNESS: KRSMAN JELIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Court deputy, will you see that the easel is
23 brought in, and the blackboard.
24 You may begin, Mr. Milosevic.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, please introduce yourself and describe briefly your
2 training and career.
3 A. My name is Krsman Jelic. I am a major general, retired, born on
4 the 7th of April, 1947, in Podujevo, Kosovo and Metohija, in the Republic
5 of Serbia. I currently live in Nis. I'm married, father of three. Never
7 After completing my high school in '66, I enrolled in the military
8 academy, and further on, during my career, I completed all training
9 courses available in the JNA and the army of Yugoslavia, including the
10 highest level of education the School of National Defence in 1996.
11 During my career I occupied mainly command positions, beginning
12 with company commander, battalion commander, detachment commander, light
13 brigade commander, armoured brigade commander, chief of staff of the
14 Pristina Corps, commander of the Operative Group South during the attempts
15 to resolve the crisis in the south of Serbia, chief of the military
16 academy, from which I retired early in 2002, which was the end of my
17 career. The garrisons in which I served were Nis, Urosevac, Leskovac,
18 Vranje, Belgrade.
19 Q. Thank you, General. Which position did you occupy during the war
20 in Kosovo?
21 A. During the war in Kosovo, or rather, in 1994, I was transferred
22 from Nis to Urosevac [Realtime transcript read in error "Orahovac"]
23 garrison where I was appointed commander of the 243rd Armoured Brigade
24 and, at the same time, garrison commander. My zone of responsibility
25 covered several municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija; namely, Urosevac,
1 Strpce, Stimlje, Kacanik, and part of Vitina.
2 JUDGE KWON: For the record, I have to note that the transcript
3 should say "Urosevac" instead of "Orahovac."
4 Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, in the documents, or rather, the exhibits that we have
7 here under tab 1, there is a map. Could you please place it on the easel
8 -- or rather, may I ask the usher to do that, for you to show us your
9 zone of responsibility. It's tab 1.
10 While the usher is placing the map on the easel, could you tell us
11 what you did in Kosovo until 1999, prior to '99.
12 A. Prior to 1999, the army performed three basic tasks in Kosovo.
13 They carried out combat training, secured the state border, and ensured
14 the possibility of communication roads in its zone of responsibility.
15 Incidentally, Urosevac is a garrison that has existed from the First World
16 War onwards, and batches of troops were received by the garrison twice a
17 year to go through regular training.
18 In addition to that, we secured a length of the state border
19 facing Macedonia, of 88 kilometres. The border was secured in a line and
20 in depth.
21 We also ensured access to certain intersections and roads;
22 Stimlje, which is the intersection of the road from Lipjan, Kacanik, which
23 forks off to Vitina, Macedonia and Strpce, and further on to Prizren.
24 Q. General, since the map has been placed on the easel, could you
25 please show us your area of responsibility. And, first of all, tell us
1 what kind of map this is.
2 A. This is an excerpt from the decision of the Pristina Corps
3 commander, and we have it here in front of us. It was made on the eve of
4 the aggression. The area of responsibility was designated by the corps
5 commander, and it was designated by the superior command, actually. Here
6 we see the Deligrad river -- correction, Debeldelska river, Mala Reka, and
7 further on. That's the border here. Here we see the border with
8 Macedonia, 88 kilometres long. On the west, the border is Prevalac,
9 Sar Planina, Dulje.
10 Q. When you speak about the border, you mean the boundary of your
11 area of responsibility. We see the area of your brigade, which is the
12 243rd Brigade, and on the east --
13 A. On the east, my neighbour is the 175th Brigade.
14 Q. This piece of information will be of assistance for further
15 questions. Could you show us some places on this map that are in your
16 zone of responsibility. In paragraph 63, let me inform you, various
17 allegations are contained concerning our forces. For instance, in 63(j),
18 (k), with subparagraphs under (k), there are references to many places,
19 and I will ask you to explain which of those places are located in your
20 zone of responsibility. I will mention only those that I think were in
21 your zone of responsibility. And if they indeed are, I will ask you to
22 show them on the map and explain at the same time whether those places
23 were also in the combat disposition of your brigade.
24 So in 63(j), we see references to Biba village, Muhadzer Prelez
25 village, Raka village, and Staro Selo.
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. I will ask you about events later. Just show us. Papaz, Sojevo,
3 Mirosavlje, Varos Selo. Tell me, in the combat disposition of your
4 brigade, were these villages located: Biba, Muhadzer Prelez? Can you
5 show us?
6 A. Yes. They were in my area, in the zone of responsibility of my
7 brigade. You enumerated villages that are namely to the east, north, and
8 south of Urosevac.
9 Q. Can you show them? I will read out again, so you don't have to
10 memorise them: Biba, Muhadzer Prelez, Raka, Staro Selo, Papaz, Varos
11 Selo, Mirosavlje. All of them are therefore within the combat disposition
12 of your brigade.
13 Further on, in Kacanik municipality, we see references to Kotlina
14 and Ivaja. Can you show them on the map.
15 A. [Indicates].
16 Q. Then a mention is made of Stagovo village, Slatina, Vata, Dubrava,
17 and lists villages in Kacanik municipality.
18 A. [Indicates].
19 Q. So all the villages that I have read out from this paragraph,
20 paragraph 63 of the indictment, under (j) and (k), are located in the area
21 of responsibility of your brigade and the combat disposition of your
23 A. Yes, that's right. My brigade.
24 Q. All right, fine. Now, a moment ago, General, you said what the
25 tasks were in Kosovo and Metohija up until 1999. You told us that. I
1 don't want to go back, but just 1998 and 1999, what did we have in Kosovo?
2 A. In 1998, we have a characteristic situation for the area of my
3 responsibility linked to the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija and
4 it is this: At the beginning of February, individual terrorist groups
5 started to appear. They were groups of three to five members, organised
6 in some way, and they appeared first in a part of Metohija. And with an
7 exchange of information between the units and the superior command, we
8 received information about those groups, and reports about them.
9 One month later, that is to say at the end of February, or rather
10 the first half of March, they appeared in Kosovo, that is to say the area
11 of responsibility of my own brigade. Now, these groups, first and
12 foremost, endeavoured to control part of the communication lines, the
13 roads. They looted on the roads, they would stop people going that way,
14 regardless of their ethnicity, and rob them of their possessions. Money
15 first and even cars. They would confiscate their cars. We have a
16 characteristic example of a bus going from Prizren to Bulgaria and Turkey,
17 taking tourists to a shopping expedition, and they were stopped at
18 Crnoljevo and looted. And in the bus there were mostly Albanians and
19 Turks going that way.
20 These groups, most probably encouraged by their looting and the
21 success they had had in those initial stages, and they were in fact
22 criminals to begin with, they encouraged other groups elsewhere, so that
23 we would have -- see more and more frequent attacks on communication lines
24 and roads, especially those linking Kosovo and Metohija, which means from
25 Stimlje via Suva Reka towards Prizren, and from Urosevac along the roads
1 running to Globocica and Djeneral Jankovic.
2 Q. General, I can see that you're explaining that to us looking at a
3 map in front of you, but I would like to ask you to point these places out
4 to us on the map behind you. It's the same map but this will enable
5 others to see what you're referring to.
6 A. The communication from Stimlje via Dulje, towards Prizren, and the
7 other road from Urosevac running to Djeneral Jankovic or, rather,
8 Globocica. Those were the main supply lines, supply routes, and main
9 roads leading through southern Kosovo.
10 Those groups were in the mountainous terrains, the forest regions
11 which were fairly inaccessible to the law and order organs, or the MUP.
12 The forces of the MUP undertook measures straight away to protect the
13 population. There were mutual clashes or fighting. And already in the
14 first half of 1998, in the Urosevac MUP, there were more than 20 wounded
15 policemen and several killed policemen.
16 The army of Yugoslavia, or rather, command of the Pristina Corps,
17 in order to protect its own units and to ensure passage along these
18 communication lines, which was one of the roles of the army, issued an
19 order that the units should take up their positions in set locations in
20 order to control the roads and communication routes. One of those units
21 from my own brigade was stationed in the area of Dulje. And its task was
22 to control the road from Stimlje to Suva Reka, to ensure the passage of
23 military vehicles and control over that communication line, to ensure
25 The second group was south of Urosevac in the Doganovic area, and
1 it provided security for the Kacanik communication lines, or the roads
2 running towards Djeneral Jankovic or another road running towards
4 Now, with this kind of disposition of troops, we enabled the
5 movement of our own forces, that is to say just the army of Yugoslavia.
6 The MUP worked alongside us to ensure free passage for citizens, vehicles,
7 and to the left and right flanks, ensuring the communication routes I
8 mentioned a moment ago.
9 Q. General, in tab 2, there's an Official Note which relates to the
10 circumstances of the wounding of six soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia,
11 when the Siptar terrorists attacked military vehicles on the
12 Pristina-Prizren road. And that happened in mid-1998 around the village
13 of Crnoljevo. What can you tell us about this note, this Official Note?
14 A. I would just like to say where this document comes from, the
15 origins of it. We said that this communication route was important for
16 our livelihood and our supply routes because communication went from
17 Pristina to Pec and that had already been cut off. The Siptars had
18 control of 40 per cent of the main communication lines --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: This took place in mid-1998. Why don't you bring
20 the witness to events much closer to the essential matters in the
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I just took this document to
23 provide some basic information. General Krsman Jelic -- I wanted General
24 Jelic to tell us how terrorism escalated in Kosovo and Metohija, and this
25 is a document that describes and addresses that issue.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have had an abundance of evidence on the
2 period leading up to 1999, Mr. Milosevic. So let us move on directly to
3 the events in the indictment.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, we will come to that,
5 Mr. Robinson. But before we do so, I'd like to clarify --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We've heard enough about 1998. We've wasted
7 enough time.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, all I'm asking is that this
9 document be tendered into evidence, Mr. Robinson.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay?
12 MR. KAY: We've had an opportunity to look through the 1998
13 documents. They're plainly relevant military documents showing the state
14 of the situation that the government had to face in 1998. May we suggest
15 that the 1998 documents be admitted into evidence as a collective upon the
16 matters to which they speak, very much in the same terms that the
17 Prosecution used documents during the presentation of their evidence.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll consider that.
19 Mr. Nice.
20 MR. NICE: I'm not sure how many '98 documents there are. I don't
21 accept that we put in documents in this way collectively. We've had that
22 discussion before. In fact, there aren't, I think, examples of this kind
23 of document going in collectively. I accept --
24 JUDGE KWON: I don't think there are more than seven.
25 MR. NICE: I accept that, of course, '98 has relevance. The
1 Chamber will remember the degree to which Lord Ashdown's evidence from
2 both May and September of 1998 is being challenged, and of course the
3 Prosecution's case is that there had already been a descent into illegal
4 criminality by that stage known to the accused and those engaged with
5 them. So I don't challenge the broad acceptability -- the admissibility
6 of some '98 material. How it should be dealt with is a matter for the
8 MR. KAY: Just to come back on that, C-37, the first Croatian
9 witness the Prosecution called, produced a large number of documents that
10 had been provided to him concerning the TO in a particular area of western
11 -- of Croatia, and those were documents relating to the activities and
12 organisation of the local TO that had been found by the Croatian MUP,
13 given to the Prosecution, and put in as a collective.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
16 MR. KAY: Just to assist the Court, because I made a particular
17 assertion, and to back it up, it's Exhibit 334, Croatian police files, a
18 whole collective that the witness C-37 put in.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber will admit these documents, the seven
20 documents up to tab 7, as a collection. Let a number be given to the
22 THE REGISTRAR: D329, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: D329, yes.
24 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was saying this: That's all fine,
2 but I would like to raise certain questions with respect to some
3 documents, to ask questions about them, because if something is being
4 ordered in 1998 with respect to conduct towards the enemy side, that is an
5 order of the Supreme Command which isn't extinguished at that point. It
6 applies to the ensuing period. So you have to see what is being ordered
7 and what it applies to. So if we're talking about an event, such as the
8 one in tab 2, I completely agree; we don't have to go through it at all.
9 However, in tab 3, for example, we have a corps commander order, and the
10 advantage of it is that it was given in 1998 and not post festum, at some
11 other time.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, I think you have a point. So
13 tab 3, you want to ask something in relation to tab 3. Go ahead.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, please, you have tab 3 in front of you. It's an order
17 which you received; isn't that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The order comes from your immediate superior command, that is to
20 say, the command of the Pristina Corps.
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. Now, tell us, what about the operations carried out against Siptar
23 terrorist forces? What was ordered? Especially pursuant to this order.
24 Look at point 1. Order, and then point 1.
25 A. Yes. Point 1 regulates this. It says: "... during operations
1 against Siptar terrorists, very rational use of combat equipment should be
2 used. Combat equipment should be used solely to neutralise well-fortified
3 firing positions of the Siptar terrorists and group targets, taking care
4 not to damage residential buildings."
5 Q. So that's what point 1 of the order says. What about point 2? It
6 says that something is prohibited.
7 A. Yes. It says: "Prohibit causing damage to facilities in
8 settlements from which Siptar terrorists have been expelled, regardless of
9 whether they stayed in them earlier and put up resistance from them,"
10 armed resistance from them.
11 Q. What does that mean, then? You are told to fire at a facility
12 only if there is resistance coming from there. That is to say, there is
13 -- it is prohibited to cause damage on any of the facilities.
14 A. Yes, that's right. It says particularly forbid torching of houses
15 and other auxiliary buildings. And then once again --
16 Q. In point 3, it says: "I again warn ..." which means that there
17 was a caution issued previously.
18 A. Yes. This is one of the orders we received. "I again warn unit
19 commanders -" brigade commanders - "and prohibit the taking of personal
20 property from abandoned houses, and from citizens, as was the case..." in
21 certain units.
22 Q. It says: "I again warn unit commanders and prohibit the taking of
23 personal property -" which means "from abandoned houses," which means that
24 even if a house is abandoned, they are not allowed to touch any property.
25 And it goes on to say: "... as was the case in the 125th Motorised
1 Brigade, the 549th Motorised Brigade," et cetera.
2 And then he goes on to say that: "All goods misappropriated so
3 far will be returned to the place where they were taken from." And a
4 deadline is given. "Goods are to be returned by August the 9th, 1998 ..."
5 and that disciplinary and criminal measures should be taken against
6 individuals who have disobeyed orders. Is that what it says?
7 A. Yes. It says: "Disciplinary and criminal measures will be taken
8 against individuals who have disobeyed orders ..."
9 Q. At the end, it says that all the members of the unit should be
10 informed of this: "... inform all members of the units about this Order."
11 So that was your duty, to inform each and every soldier; isn't that right?
12 A. Yes, the soldiers and the combat groups as well; that is to say,
13 the groups that are already on the field. To the very last soldier, they
14 must all be aware of that and made aware of that.
15 Q. Thank you, General.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I assume that I don't
17 have to ask you about this document now because you said that it will be
18 admitted into evidence, and that we needn't go through them one by one.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Precisely.
20 JUDGE KWON: I would like either Mr. Kay or Mr. Nice to check
21 whether this is an identical exhibit with D300, 104. If yes, this is
22 simply a waste of time.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a document that General
25 Krsman Jelic got. It can be seen on the document. You can see the stamp
1 of his brigade there, the command of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade. He
2 received it on the 7th of August, 1998. So it's his document.
3 JUDGE KWON: I think General Delic has got the same order from
4 General Pavkovic. Go on, Mr. Milosevic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's quite certain, Mr. Kwon, that
6 all brigade commanders will get the same orders from the corps. However,
7 now we have a document where it says 243rd Brigade, and that is why it
8 differs from the document received from Dr. -- from Pavkovic, or rather,
9 it supports that.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, in tab 4, there is an order from the Pristina Corps.
12 That's already September 1998. What can be seen in this first paragraph?
13 It says: "The situation in Kosovo and Metohija ... has become
14 increasingly complex in recent days owing to constant pressure by Siptar
15 terrorists on the civilian population, preventing them from returning to
16 populated areas. For this reason, a large number of civilians remain in
17 the woods."
18 Was that the situation?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That you could personally perceive?
21 A. Yes, that is correct; that a great portion of the population had
22 left their homes because of the activities of the Siptar terrorists. And
23 because of assessments made in the field, the corps commander is stating
24 all of this; namely, that they were using the civilian population for
25 protection and for preventing them from leaving the combat zone in good
1 time. They change their clothing and they leave the area together with
2 the civilian population, or, under their protection, surrender to MUP.
3 "The foreign media and some journalists are putting forward a theory
4 about a so-called humanitarian catastrophe for the Siptar population, and
5 are attempting to get world public opinion to put pressure on the Federal
6 Republic of Yugoslavia and its leadership to halt MUP operations against
7 terrorist strongholds, and thereby allegedly prevent the 'humanitarian
9 "The Yugoslav Government, MUP units, and the VJ are attempting to
10 offer all necessary assistance to the refugee population and return them
11 to their homes, and in some villages, the population has largely returned
12 to their homes with the assistance of the MUP and the VJ forces."
13 Given the above, the corps commander ordered that: "All commands
14 will undertake measures to prevent the use of hardware in sectors where
15 there is a civilian population until they have left and are being cared
16 for, and additionally continue with all measures previously ordered by the
17 Pristina Corps command.
18 "When breaking up diversionary terrorist forces, undertake all
19 measures to discover in good time sectors where the civilian population is
20 grouping and leaving, and ensure that they are directed to and received in
21 secure sectors, and when the DTS have been broken up, their organised
22 return to the populated areas."
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Paragraph 3 --
25 Q. Food and health care should be provided. That's what it says.
1 A. Also, in paragraph 5, it says: "All commands will undertake
2 measures and issue orders to govern relations with the civilian population
3 and their property, and prevent its being stolen. In the event of
4 violation of orders, undertake measures against all violators, and
5 immediately report about this to the superior command."
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milosevic, is this document already an exhibit
7 in the trial?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, I don't know,
9 because General Delic had set documents too, as far as the corps is
10 concerned. But this is the link with the order of General Krsman Jelic,
11 which follows in tab 5, and that certainly was not tendered before. It
12 was not admitted before, because --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Where the document is already an exhibit, what's
14 the point in having this witness spend time reading through it? He gets
15 exactly the same communication as General Delic. This is not only a waste
16 of time, it's an abuse of the Court's time.
17 JUDGE KWON: Go directly to tab 5. Tab 4 looks to me to be
18 identical with tab 136 of D300.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What have we got here in tab 5, General? Is this an order that
22 you signed?
23 A. Yes. This is my document, my order, which pertains to the
24 prohibition of the use of combat equipment. It's an order. I wrote this
25 to the commands of Combat Group 1 and Combat Group 2 and the military
1 police battalion that was subordinated to me. And it says here: "In view
2 of the prevailing complex political and security situation, the constant
3 presence of UN --"
4 Q. You don't have to quote all of it. But you say here in paragraph
5 2, at the beginning: "Pursuant to the strictly confidential order of the
6 Pristina Corps ..." et cetera, the number doesn't matter --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. "... of October 3rd, 1998, and in order to implement consistently
9 the decisions of the President of the Republic of Serbia and the President
10 of the FRY on the withdrawal of troops to barracks, I hereby issue the
11 following: Order ..." So the units are withdrawing to barracks.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then what do you say?
14 A. I say: "Order: I most strictly forbid to use combat equipment
15 (tanks, self-propelled and artillery guns), except in the event of a
16 direct attack on military installations and troop deployment sectors.
17 "2. Thoroughly investigate each breach of this order and the
18 circumstances leading to the use of the above-mentioned weapons and take
19 the violators to account."
20 Q. Thank you, General. Could I please have an explanation now.
21 According to this order, the order that applied to the entire territory of
22 Kosovo and Metohija, the troops were withdrawn into barracks, and
23 according to the same agreement, a few combat groups were left where?
24 A. In the area of Kosovo and Metohija, three combat groups were left:
25 Lapusnik, Volujak and Dulje. From my brigade, the combat group was in
2 Q. That is the combat group that was in that area, in accordance with
3 this agreement, when the army withdrew into the barracks. So in 1998 and
4 1999, they were there all the time.
5 A. They were there until the 15th of June, 1999.
6 Q. Its presence was specifically established, agreed upon, with the
7 OSCE; right?
8 A. Yes, and approved, as well as its size. The basic task was, as I
9 already mentioned, to protect roads and to escort military convoys from
10 Stimlje to Dulje, or rather via Dulje to Suva Reka and further on to
11 Prizren. So to secure that road, because from the 14th of June all the
12 way to the end of July, that road had been cut off, a month and a half,
13 due to the activity of the Siptar terrorist forces. In order to prevent
14 that from happening in the future, the combat group remained there and
15 that was its basic task.
16 Q. All right, General. So throughout this time, in 1998 and 1999,
17 until the beginning of the war - not to discuss the time after that - was
18 its composition stable in terms of size, the strength of that unit? What
19 did it consist of? And show us exactly where it was located.
20 A. This combat group was located --
21 Q. This combat group Dulje, what did it consist of?
22 A. All three combat groups were the strength of a company
23 respectively; about 150 men.
24 Q. It was fixed; right?
25 A. Its establishment was fixed in terms of size, the number of
1 personnel, and the quantity of combat equipment. The number of APCs, the
2 number of tanks, that was strictly set. However, its locality was not
3 strictly fixed. It was based in Dulje, but its task was to be on the
4 move, providing security for vehicles that were moving along that road,
5 Crnoljevo, Dulje, Suva Reka and Prizren.
6 Q. That means that the members of that combat group met convoys,
7 escorted them through the gorge, and returned.
8 A. That combat group had two subgroups. One was in Stimlje, where it
9 was based, and where it met vehicles, announced and unannounced vehicles.
10 And then if these were motor vehicles, then they escorted them with their
11 own wheel-propelled vehicles, Pragas and BRDMs primarily. But if they
12 were combat units, then of course we had training, like other units. Then
13 they used combat vehicles and then we used heavy equipment, combat
14 vehicles to escort these columns. There was a subgroup in Stimlje and
15 there was a subgroup south of Dulje, about 2 kilometres south, in the area
16 of Birac, between Dulje and Suva Reka.
17 Q. General, while we are still dealing with that map, I omitted to
18 ask for this map to be tendered, and that is tab 1. What is the date of
19 this map?
20 A. March 1999.
21 Q. So that is a contemporaneous map pertaining to your area of
22 responsibility and the combat disposition of your forces.
23 A. Exactly. That is an excerpt from the order of the commander of
24 the Pristina Corps.
25 Q. Thank you, General.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I omitted to ask for tab 1, this
2 map, to be admitted into evidence. That's how we started the examination
3 today, and Jelic indicated all these different places that I mentioned on
4 the basis of that map, so could it please be admitted.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In tab 6, there is an order of the chief of staff of the Pristina
8 Corps which pertains to what? Tell us, please.
9 A. This is an order dating back to October. Some units were using
10 certain facilities. The commander of the Pristina Corps, or rather, the
11 chief of staff here, prohibits the use of privately owned buildings.
12 Q. That's what he orders. And in tab 7, we have your order.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What does your order say? Let's not waste time with the corps
15 command order.
16 A. On the basis of their order, I issued an order too to my groups
17 that are in the actual area; to the 1st Mechanised Battalion that was in
18 Dulje, and the 3rd Battalion of the military police.
19 Paragraph 1: "Immediately leave privately-owned furnished houses,
20 if any are being used."
21 Q. If they are being used, then they should be left; right?
22 A. Yes. Paragraph 2: "Leave all private items found in the houses
23 in them. I forbid their removal."
24 Paragraph 3: "Assign units to accommodation in socially-owned
25 facilities. Private facilities which are not furnished may also be used
1 if necessary."
2 And then I make it incumbent upon the commanders of the 1st and
3 3rd Battalions to be directly responsible to me for carrying out this
5 I must say that my units in Dulje and the battalion of the
6 military police were in socially-owned and military facilities. Actually,
7 in Dulje, we already had a half-built building, and the 1st Battalion was
8 there, stationed at Dulje, and the 3rd Battalion was in a socially-owned
10 Q. Thank you, General. So we've briefly dealt with these documents
11 that pertain to 1998.
12 General, tell us now, as we're getting closer to 1999 in your
13 testimony, at the end of this 1998, what was your knowledge concerning the
14 KLA? What kind of information did the army have? What was the nature of
15 their organisation, their units? Tell us in the briefest possible terms
16 about the KLA.
17 A. I've already said what their organisation was: Until June, groups
18 of three to five, possibly ten men, that were primarily engaged in
19 criminal activity; looting, rape, abduction, killing. In the second half
20 of 1998, their numbers increased. Unfortunately, increasing quantities of
21 weapons were brought in from Albania and partly from Macedonia. Only at
22 our border crossings, until the month of June, we seized about 70
23 automatic rifles, most of them Chinese-made; about 90-something pistols;
24 tens of thousands of pieces of ammunition, different calibres; a few
25 kilogrammes of narcotic drugs; a large quantity of medical supplies; and
1 over 50 tonnes of different commodities that were smuggled primarily from
2 western Macedonia into Kosovo and Metohija. This was a sign and an
3 indicator that these groups will be even better armed, better organised.
4 We had information from our superior command, from units on the ground,
5 from the state security, the MUP, and it was realised that these groups
6 were being established primarily by way of village staffs whose sizes
7 differed, depending on the size of the village concerned and its layout.
8 This particularly pertained to hilly and mountainous areas where their
9 brigades were established.
10 In my area of responsibility was the operative zone Nerodimlje, as
11 they called it. There were three brigades: The 161st, which was to the
12 south of Stimlje, in these villages: Rance, Vranje, Racak, Malopoljce, in
13 those villages. The 162nd Brigade was in the area of Kacanik, and it was
14 between these roads, from Kacanik to Djeneral Jankovic and from Kacanik to
15 Globocica. The 163rd Brigade was partly mobilised and was in the western
16 part of Vitina. Those brigades had a total of 1.000 to 1.500 men. Their
17 activity was a continuation of the activity of those groups. And they
18 stepped up their efforts after the verifiers arrived and after the army
19 withdrew into the barracks. And this was in the area that we held until
20 we withdrew into the barracks, and that is precisely the area that these
21 units of theirs took up then.
22 Their activities targeted mainly the state authorities, the army,
23 and the police. In view of the fact that the greatest part of the
24 population there are ethnic Albanians, they pressured even Albanians,
25 mobilising people by force. One of the ways in which they did it was to
1 call up these people and distribute weapons to them. We had information
2 that several hundred people had been killed or abducted, mainly Albanians
3 who had failed to respond to their call-up.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a sufficiently long narrative. Time to
5 ask a question, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, you showed us a moment ago the location of your combat
9 group pursuant to the agreement, the one that you said was one company
10 strong, conditionally called Dulje Combat Group. You have a different
11 name for it, but that's the one I mean. You told us in which locations it
12 was, beginning with October 1998 onwards, although you said it was there
13 even before October 1998. How far was it from Racak?
14 A. The command of the combat group was about 15 kilometres away from
15 Racak. One of its subgroups was in Birac, south of Dulje, 2 or 3
16 kilometres south of Dulje, whereas another subgroup was in the area of
17 Stimlje, Canovica Hill, namely. That is very close to Stimlje, about 500
18 metres away, along the Stimlje-Trnjevo-Dulje road.
19 Q. And how far from Racak?
20 A. As the crow flies, 1 kilometre, approximately.
21 Q. Since it was in the area of responsibility of your brigade, apart
22 from the stationary group in that location, were there any other army
23 groups, units, in that location around Racak?
24 A. No, but I want to explain this in particular. Temporarily the
25 number of people in that combat group could lower occasionally, because
1 some of its troops were seconded to escort transports.
2 Q. But it never increased?
3 A. No, because we always complied with the agreement, and the number
4 of troops and combat equipment had to be fixed at a certain level.
5 Q. We have a number of allegations here in the indictment, namely,
6 paragraph 63(a) -- 66(a), rather, that refers to events in Racak,
7 municipality of Stimlje. What can you tell us about this, General?
8 Because the only unit in the vicinity was your unit. What can you tell us
9 about the events in Racak on the 15th of January?
10 A. On the 14th of January, the chief of SUP, Bogoljub Janicevic, who
11 testified here before me, informed me of what had happened to their forces
12 that controlled the traffic between Urosevac and Stimlje. He said that
13 several days previously three of their policemen had been killed. MUP
14 forces constantly worked to find the perpetrators, and through their
15 sources and associates and the State Security Service, they got hold of
16 information that in the broad area of Racak, namely, the Jezerske
17 mountains and around Racak and around Malopoljce there was a strong
18 terrorist group, part of one of those brigades that I mentioned.
19 On the 14th, the chief of MUP called me into his office and
20 informed me of the plan that they had established, along with the
21 information they had gathered on the enemy. He also told me that they had
22 received approval to go forward with the previously prepared plan to crush
23 that terrorist group. The point of inviting me for this talk was to
24 inform me that, in my close vicinity, there was a unit of the MUP, just
25 500 metres away, and the road and part of my forces were in the area, my
1 troops, one of my units. He said that they would start the action in the
2 early morning hours.
3 The next day, early morning, I think it was around 3 a.m., they
4 started putting up the blockade, and around 7 a.m., the blockade was
5 complete and the search for terrorists started. From the time when the
6 first shots were fired, when fighting began around 8 a.m., fire was opened
7 on part of my brigade, or rather, combat group.
8 Q. All right. Let me ask you, General, to look at this. We can put
9 it on the ELMO because it's not a big map. But it is a very large-scale
10 map; 1:12.500.
11 Is that the same one that I have? It's the map of Racak,
12 1:12.500. What can you see at the top?
13 A. That is the map.
14 Q. Leave it on the ELMO, please, and you will explain. General,
15 before we take a look at the map - I placed it there so you can explain
16 the events - but before that, you brought a document that was issued on
17 the 9th of January, 1999. It's in tab 8. It's an order issued by you,
18 and it's a good idea to keep in mind the preceding documents. So this
19 document is dated the 9th of January, 1999, some six days before Racak.
20 A. Right. This is my document, and that is the correct date.
21 Q. Your signature, your order. What does it refer to? "Monitor the
22 activities --"
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could we have a reference, please, for this
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: We need a reference, Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tab 8, I said, Mr. Robinson.
2 MR. NICE: Paragraph 5.
3 JUDGE KWON: Point 5.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tab 8, point 5.
5 JUDGE KWON: Second page in English.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we have it. Point 5 at tab 8.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So what does this order refer to, in the briefest possible terms?
9 A. Maintenance and stepping up of the combat-readiness of units. I
10 constantly issued orders, at least one per month, to maintain a high level
11 of combat-readiness in view of the environment, in view of our tasks, and
12 in view of the tasks that we would be given in the future. You said that
13 one of these points is to "Monitor activities of the forces engaged in
14 guarding the state border and in the area, and in controlling the sectors
15 and axes in the zone of responsibility; thwart any movement or activities
16 by Siptar terrorists."
17 Part of our unit was, indeed, engaged in guarding the state border
18 in depth, assisting the border units that were stationed along the line of
19 the state border. We had to maintain high levels of combat-readiness
20 because we had intervention units within our troops that needed to be
21 combat-ready at all times.
22 Q. So it was your obligation to be very alert in your monitoring of
23 the conduct and possible activities of sabotage terrorist forces and
24 respond accordingly.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. To secure the state border in depth and to maintain high
2 combat-readiness of combat groups, like the one in Dulje. And that
3 applies to all units of the brigade that had some sort of mission.
4 A. All units of the brigade that were in the area.
5 Q. On the 11th of January, there is another order issued by you,
6 referring to what?
7 A. Security to be provided of the state border. That border used to
8 be very porous and had to be completely sealed, outside border crossings,
9 of course. That's why this order was written, to raise the level of
10 combat-readiness even higher in view of the engagement -- further
11 engagement of units in the planning, application, and constant upgrading
12 of tactics, monitoring of organs, strengthening the responsibility of all
13 concerned, preventing unusual incidents and other forms of threats.
14 Further on: "Upgrade the systems of intelligence, security,
15 engineering, logistic and other support to the units," because without
16 good support, we would be unable to perform our tasks.
17 Then to raise the level of combat-readiness and in-depth security
18 of the state border, to improve the coordination and coordinated action of
19 all within the security system, and so on.
20 I set myself the task, in paragraph 2, to continue to treat the
21 security of the state border as the brigade's priority task, and to make
22 sure that combat group commanders and all unit commanders devote
23 two-thirds of their time to security tasks. To organise groups with real
24 needs in providing security to the state border, to tailor the missions
25 and assignments --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We've had enough now, Mr. Milosevic, about
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. Robinson.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. In tab 10, we see your order that deals with upgrading and
6 maintenance, dated the 15th of January, 1999. It refers again to planned
7 and organised preparations to detect enemy activities and criminal
8 activities, enhancing the performance of units in peacetime.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, may I tender tabs 8,
10 9, and 10, because they concern activities at the time.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, they are admitted.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. This set of orders, does it also include tab 11?
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, are you going to come back to Racak,
15 aren't you?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I will. I just wanted to
17 take it in chronological order.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Does this set of orders dealing with securing the state border,
21 does it include the tab 11 order?
22 A. Yes. One of our obligations was also to put up obstacles in the
23 state border belt, with a view to securing the state border. I ordered to
24 continue laying obstacles in the border area along the critical axes as
25 designated. Because the border can never be physically sealed, obstacles
1 were necessary.
2 "2. Setting up barrier systems ... by laying groups of mines and
4 "3. Obstacles along characteristic axes (valleys, gorges, streams
5 and so on) are to be laid by constructing and laying down anti-tank
6 barriers, anti-tank obstacles, Brun spirals and wire fences ..." et
8 Q. Could we now come back, in order to follow the chronology, to
9 Racak and your knowledge about the events in Racak. You already told us
10 that the MUP chief informed you he was planning an action in the vicinity
11 of one of your units.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Where exactly was that unit of yours? To determine exactly how
14 close it was to the planned area of activity, could you show us on the
15 map? First on one map and then on a more detailed map.
16 A. Part of the combat group was -- here is Stimlje. Do you see the
17 road from Stimlje to Dulje, rather, Stimlje-Crnoljevo-Dulje. I guess
18 it's, from Stimlje there is the Borovo wood towards Canovica Hill.
19 Q. Now, show the same thing on a more detailed map on the ELMO.
20 A. So this is the little town of Stimlje, the road going through to
21 the Crnoljevo gorge, towards Dulje and further on to Prizren. Canovica
22 Hill, elevation 671, to the south of it is a forest, a fir forest, and
23 part of the combat group was inside the forest.
24 Q. Please take a pen, or whatever is handy, to mark the location of
25 that part of your combat group.
1 A. You see this road --
2 Q. Just make a little circle.
3 A. [Marks]. To the right of the road, in this fir forest.
4 Q. All right. Was this the only unit that was located close to
6 A. That was the only combat unit, part of the combat group. That was
7 its only location.
8 Q. What was its composition?
9 A. Its composition was as follows: It had three tanks, three APCs,
10 three Pragas, and three BRDMs.
11 Q. That means 12 vehicles?
12 A. About 12 vehicles, although this changed. If some vehicles went
13 off towards the column, then there were less; or coming from Dulje, there
14 would be two or three more vehicles. But the overall combat group, with
15 this composition at Dulje - and this is the subgroup - did not change in
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: How far was your unit from Racak?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From Racak, well, about 1 kilometre
20 as the crow flies.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Can we take a look at the overhead projector, please, and have you
23 focus on Racak. Oh, we see Racak now on the screens. So the combat group
24 is below Canovica Hill, and Racak is over here. Tell us now, please,
25 General, that unit, the one you marked using your pen, it was there since
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 October; is that right?
2 A. This unit, pursuant to agreement with the verifiers, was there
3 from October. Otherwise, it came out in April.
4 Q. So from April 1998, that unit was there in order to provide
5 security for this communication line; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You've described to us its composition, who made it up, and you
8 were informed by Janicevic that they had an operation in Racak because you
9 were right close by.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you agree with him, or did he ask you to take part in this
12 action in Racak at all?
13 A. No, no, because I wasn't there pursuant to a plan, and you cannot
14 deploy the army unless you have an order or plan. You have written traces
15 of a command and you have to have the decision made by the superior
16 command if we were to take part in any operation.
17 Q. Thank you. But did he ask you to support him, give him
18 reinforcement if the need arose?
19 A. No, he did not ask for reinforcements, and he didn't need to,
20 because he said he had enough men to deal with the situation, since there
21 was a group over there whom they thought was a terrorist group and had
22 attacked three policemen going from Stimlje to Urosevac.
23 Q. All right, thank you. Now, on that day, did you intervene at all
24 in any way? Did you have occasion to intervene at Racak at all?
25 A. No, at no point, and there was no need for that. We were not
1 asked to send reinforcements and to help out, so that intervention was
2 impossible, even had we wished to do so, if there were people there who
3 were searching the terrain in order to capture the terrorists --
4 Q. General, just bear this in mind: The other side is claiming here
5 that the army took part, together with the police, in the events in Racak,
6 and that this is -- and that there is an attempt to cover this up. Now,
7 as that was the only combat group, the one you described and the one you
8 marked on the map that was there pursuant to agreement with the OSCE, did
9 the army in any way have any action to do with Racak?
10 A. No. Literally no. Not on the previous days, not on that day, not
11 later on afterwards. There was no action vis-a-vis Racak ever since
12 April. There was only one incident when the combat operation started and
13 when there was shooting, above the village of Belince, which is about 800
14 metres away from Racak, or 3 or 400 metres away. From this forest region,
15 there was shooting coming at this area.
16 Q. Could you explain to us better.
17 A. It was this area here, according to reconnaissance work carried
18 out by the soldiers. They opened fire from an anti-aircraft machine-gun
19 -- yes, anti-aircraft machine-gun. We were fired at, and two to three
20 mortar shells were fired at us.
21 Q. At you?
22 A. Yes, at us.
23 Q. But not from Racak.
24 A. No, not from Racak, from the area south of Belince. And we
25 responded to that fire with a sporadic round of gunfire. We waited for
1 15, 20 minutes to see whether there was any movement. If there was, and
2 there was, we opened fire from Praga and the machine-gun, and then it was
4 Q. So the only point in time, the only occasion when that combat
5 group of yours shot was in response to firing coming at it from the
6 village of Belince, or rather, south of the village of Belince; is that
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. But there wasn't any shooting at Racak; Racak wasn't targeted at
11 A. No. And you can't even see Racak from that area there.
12 Q. Could you indicate that for us on the map. Show that on the map.
13 A. It was feature 637. 637, you can see it here. And this area is
14 higher -- at a higher altitude than where the unit is. After they opened
15 fire, it took up its positions in the defence region. The tanks were
16 here, and there's a report that I sent to the corps command, the Howitzers
17 had already been positioned there, but they can't shoot at a short
18 distance. It's less than 1.000 metres.
19 Q. What you want to say, what you're telling us is that not even
20 theoretically were you able to open fire at Racak even if you wanted to do
22 A. From our positions, no, we could not. All we could do was to
23 enter Racak. That's all we could have done.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, that was a leading question --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Robinson.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: It was. It leads us to the break
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before we have the break, can I ask you one
3 thing, General: What was the date on which your troops were fired upon?
4 Are you saying this was on the 15th of January, or is this on some other
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This was the 15th of January,
7 between 8 and 9.00.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: When you were asked by the accused to briefly
10 describe what happened in Racak, you said like this: "The next day -"
11 which is the 15th - "in early morning, I think it was around 3 a.m., they
12 started putting up the blockade, and around 7 a.m. the blockade was
13 complete and the search for terrorists started. From the time when the
14 first shots were fired, when fighting began around 8 a.m., fire was opened
15 on part of my brigade, or rather, combat group."
16 Did you mean at that time that the firing against -- to the
17 direction of Belince, not to Racak?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, fire that was opened between
19 the village of Belince and the village of Racak, but closer to the village
20 of Belince.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What confuses me is you've marked a point on the
23 map at point 637, and that was --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: -- not the position of the firing, that's simply
1 the high point on the ground, is it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's an elevation separating
3 -- a slope separating this area. The road is lower, then you have a
4 valley, and then you have fir trees and the forest starting that way.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yours was the only unit, army unit, in the Racak
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Of the Yugoslav army, that was
9 the only unit, one single unit.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We'll take the break of 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, just to clarify certain points, Mr. Bonomy asked you why
16 you had marked this feature 637 -- 697, which was opposite your positions.
17 For me not to ask leading questions, you explained the topography of the
18 area. So why did you mark that particular spot?
19 A. It is feature 637.
20 Q. Oh, yes.
21 A. It's a slope which runs parallel to the road and from which point
22 you cannot see the village of Racak, except perhaps the south or
23 south-western reaches of the village. So from this area here, you cannot
24 see Racak. And bearing in mind that the road is lower than this elevation
25 and that this land is lower lying, you cannot see the village of Racak.
1 Q. All right. You showed us that feature. Why? To show that
2 between your positions and the village of Racak is a hill? Is that it?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, you said it was a
5 leading question, but I was just trying to clarify what the witness had
6 already stated, which was that between the position of his unit and the
7 village of Racak, you have this hill here, this elevation.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Then let him give the evidence. Let him give
9 that evidence.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, you enumerated the type of weapons and pieces that this
13 unit had, artillery weapons that the unit had in this area here; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was there any artillery that this unit had that could have
17 targeted Racak?
18 A. Heavy weapons? No. You couldn't target it from this area, when
19 there was an emergency proclaimed and when they opened fire. All it could
20 do was this broader section of the road here. This was a road where
21 columns from Pristina or Urosevac or Gnjilani were met and escorted. You
22 could open fire only on a part of the territory towards Belince and
23 towards Vrana, which is this angle here, a 20-degree angle, 15- to
24 20-degree angle here. Otherwise, you can't see Belince proper, but just
25 the outlying houses.
1 Q. Yes. We can see that on the basis of this topographical map. You
2 can see the difference in altitude. So the only time fire was opened on
3 that day, as you have explained to us, was in response to the shooting,
4 the fire coming from your -- rather, in response to fire coming at your
5 unit from the hill which is 781, feature 781.
6 A. South of Belince.
7 Q. Yes, south of Belince. So that's the only time fire was opened.
8 A. Yes. There were several bursts of gunfire until they stopped
9 shooting at our positions.
10 Q. All right, thank you. Now, tell me this: Your unit that day, did
11 it move at all?
12 A. From the area, except to take up its defence positions, which is
13 what every army does when it's being shot at, there was no other movement.
14 It didn't move out of the area at all. And this patrol stayed there
15 throughout, in the next few days and all the time, where this road widens,
16 that area.
17 JUDGE KWON: Does "this patrol" mean a checkpoint?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In fact, it's a checkpoint.
19 It's a patrol controlling the incoming vehicles and to see whether they
20 were military vehicles, their legitimate passage, and escorting them or
21 providing security through the ravine, which is about 15 kilometres long.
22 JUDGE KWON: Was there a --
23 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
24 JUDGE KWON: Was there a tank at that checkpoint?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During that period, or rather,
1 usually fast vehicles are kept there, because they are to escort motor
2 vehicles. A tank cannot do that; it's too slow. That's its technical
3 feature, and also the features of the communications route. So the BRDMs,
4 mostly, those vehicles, and the Praga vehicles.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you mean to say that the firing at your combat
6 group came from the feature 781, which is what the transcript says.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the forest here with no name.
8 That's where they opened fire at positions of my unit, or the combat group
9 in the area, from artillery pieces and mortars.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Now generally, in the course of the day, from that position of
13 yours, did you open fire on any other occasion?
14 A. Except for responding to the shooting at us, on that day and the
15 following day, we did not open fire, and we did not open fire the previous
16 day either. So we did not open fire from this position here. There was
17 no need to do so either.
18 Q. Where were you on that day, the 15th of January?
19 A. Well, I was in the brigade headquarters, the command there, and I
20 was commanding my unit, the Urosevac area -- Urosevac garrison.
21 Q. May we now take a look -- let me just take a moment to find it.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we'll admit this map as marked by
23 the witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If you're going to admit
25 it, that's a very good thing.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, General, would you please --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's have a number for that, Mr. Milosevic,
4 before you proceed.
5 THE REGISTRAR: D330, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. As I was saying, the circle or the mark that you made to signify
9 your unit's position, it's the oval there, or whatever, so you can write
10 the unit's position up there. It denotes the position of the unit.
11 A. [Marks].
12 Q. And now an arrow.
13 A. [Marks].
14 Q. Now, what you have just marked, or rather, what you marked in
15 there where your marker pen is now, that's the area from which your unit
16 was fired at. So that means, if you write that down, the region that the
17 shooting came from and to which you responded with your fire power.
18 JUDGE KWON: If I could ask the General also to mark the position
19 of the checkpoint.
20 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And -- I think that's it.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. What you have marked in as 637, that is the hill between your
24 positions and the village of Racak; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Well, write that down, then. "Hill between your positions and the
2 village of Racak."
3 A. [Marks].
4 JUDGE KWON: General Jelic, can I ask how you came to know all
5 about this. You said you were in Urosevac. How were you informed of this
6 happening, firing at Belince and firing from Belince? How did you know?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's very simple in the
8 army: The system of command and reporting is clearly defined. The
9 commander of the combat group, as soon as they -- as soon as fire was
10 opened, he took measures to protect his equipment and men; that's the
11 first thing he did. And the second thing he did was to report back to me.
12 So reporting was the basic means of communication.
13 JUDGE KWON: So you received a report in writing?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, by telephone. By telephone.
15 JUDGE KWON: Who was it that reported to you?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Commander of Combat Group 1.
17 JUDGE KWON: Do you know the name?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is Colonel Djordjevic, who was
19 then a lieutenant colonel.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, General, I would like to put a few questions to you in
23 connection with a document that was here before. It was presented by the
24 other side. Since I want to deal with it briefly, I've made a sufficient
25 number of copies for all who are here. Let me just have a look.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you please take this. This is
2 a record of a meeting, or rather a visit to the 243rd Brigade, written by
3 General Maisonneuve, or rather, one of his people, one of his co-workers.
4 First comes his original English text, and then you have a translation
5 into the Serbian language.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Have you got this in front of you, General?
8 MR. NICE: I don't think any of the Court is using the file of
9 Racak materials, but this, of course, is one of those, and it's tab 9 in
10 it if you're looking for it.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We are going to get to that now, but first I have a few questions
14 for you. General Maisonneuve was one of the members of the verification
15 mission. He was heard here as a witness. And he stated that after the
16 incident in Racak, the commander of the brigade in Urosevac, that is to
17 say you, did not want to see him; that he managed to see you only three
18 weeks later when he succeeded in convincing Colonel Kotur that he should
19 persuade you to have that meeting. That is what he said in May 2002. The
20 transcript page is 5871. Are these statements correct?
21 A. On the 16th, I was not there. I was absent. I was away on
22 official business. Mr. Maisonneuve came on that day. I could not see
23 him; I could not see him. The next scheduled meeting, or rather he did
24 not schedule that meeting -- I mean, anyway, I had been absent then, so it
25 was not that I was supposed to be there. As for the next meeting, I was
1 out in the field, and for objective reasons, he was told that I could not
2 arrive on time. So then he scheduled a meeting for the following day, and
3 I did attend that meeting, which is to say that when he scheduled the
4 meeting, except for that one day before that I was not there because I was
5 down there near Dulje, towards Javor, touring my units. And when somebody
6 schedules a meeting within the course of one hour, of course you cannot
7 arrive in time, especially not in the winter, January, snow. These are
8 the slopes of Mount Sara. You'll see that the altitude goes all the way
9 up to 1.000 metres, and snow can be one metre deep at that time. So he
10 was told that I could not come.
11 Q. But he stated -- and, gentlemen, for you, that is transcript page
12 5790 -- that he first made Kotur talk you into seeing him, and that at the
13 meeting with you, you did not want to confirm that you cooperated with the
14 MUP during the operation of Racak, as they call it, and that you were not
15 firing at that village but that you were firing at two other villages.
16 That's what his report says. And you did not want to confirm that the
17 military and the MUP acted together in Racak.
18 A. I cannot just confirm something that somebody wishes to here if
19 that was not the case. I can only confirm facts. The army did not
20 participate. And what I'm confirming is that it did not participate,
21 because that is a fact. He probably expected me to say something, but
22 there was no reason for that to happen. When the military did take part
23 in something, when there were joint coordinated plans, we never avoided
24 saying so. We always have to say the truth and we have to present proper
25 arguments. But the army did not take part here, it did not have a plan,
1 it did not have orders, and therefore it could not have been used either.
2 You know that the army can be used in combat only if it is directly
3 attacked, if its safety and security is jeopardised. It is only then that
4 it can respond with fire.
5 As for Mr. Kotur, he could not persuade me and he could not issue
6 orders to me. He was the deputy head of the Verification Mission between
7 our Pristina Corps and the verifiers. He did not have the right to issue
8 orders. His activity focused on an exchange of experience with them and
9 submitting things that the military wanted to have said. So it went --
10 everything went through our liaison officers and then through him and then
11 through General Loncar with the verifiers, because there cannot be dual
12 command in the army, there can only be a single command.
13 Q. All right. He also said here that the patrols of the Verification
14 Mission were on the hills surrounding Racak and that they were observing
15 the operation from there, and that they saw tanks of the army of
16 Yugoslavia that were firing at houses. He even says that in these houses
17 there were people, because you could see smoke coming out of the chimneys.
18 A. If we see the position where he was, tanks did not enter Racak,
19 did not leave the camp. Tank fire can be heard very well, so it's not
20 something that may just seem to be the case. So from this area, from this
21 area where he -- where it was, it could not have fired even theoretically,
22 because a tank can fire only in a straight line from minus 5 to plus 22
23 degrees, and it cannot fire through a hill that is 5 or 600 metres high,
24 and it cannot fire at a populated area in that way. So the tank did not
25 fire, the army did not fire from a tank.
1 Q. Let us clarify one point in relation to this. After what happened
2 in Racak, Mr. Maisonneuve -- he speaks of this on transcript page 5778,
3 and he says that he came to talk to you and to ask you what happened, and
4 he asked you to confirm that your troops were involved. And he says
5 Colonel Petrovic confirmed that the MUP did take part, carried out an
6 action at Racak, but that it was supported by Pragas and tanks from the
7 brigade, that is to say from the army of Yugoslavia.
8 Can you say something about Mr. Maisonneuve's statement? Did he
9 really say, Colonel Petrovic, did he really say what Maisonneuve said?
10 A. Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic attended this meeting but Lieutenant
11 Colonel Petrovic did not say that. He actually confirmed what I stated a
12 few moments ago; namely, that the army did not go in and did not open fire
13 and there was no need for them to do so and they did not have orders to
14 that effect. Again, opening fire at a long range, I point out once again,
15 when the MUP already entered this built-up area, and you don't know where
16 the line is, and even with the best of intentions, if you wanted to do
17 that, and even if you were to do this of your own free will, arbitrarily,
18 you're not allowed to open fire because our units are already there, or
19 rather, the MUP is already there in the village. So you would not be
20 firing at forces that are fighting against terrorists.
21 Q. Now, he also stated that he talked to the liaison officer and that
22 he was not pleased not to have been able to talk to you, and that the
23 liaison officer said that Stimlje had been dealt with with Pragas,
24 military vehicles, and a tank, and it was his understanding that this was
25 support from the army of Yugoslavia. Do you know anything about that
1 conversation? Who did Maisonneuve talk to at the time, and is this
2 correct, what he said?
3 A. I don't want to sound insulting, but this is a bit senseless, what
4 he says. How can you deal with Stimlje with Pragas and tanks when the
5 authorities are in Stimlje? This is the seat of a municipality. The MUP
6 is there, all the institutions of the municipality. Tanks were not firing
7 at these buildings where the population is, where citizens are. Stimlje,
8 of course, was never in the hands of terrorists. And, after all, the MUP
9 commanded from that area. It commanded their own units that were in
10 Racak, from there.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'm not sure if there's some confusion
12 about the document that's been distributed. I'm a little confused myself,
13 because the accused has been proceeding almost on the basis that the
14 document you've been provided is a record of the conversation with this
15 witness and General Maisonneuve. In fact, the document you've got is the
16 earlier one, which is the record of the conversation with others,
17 including Petrovic, and the record of the conversation with this witness
18 is at tab 28 of the Racak documents, if you want to find it.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, do you have the relevant document
20 here? Is it, in fact, tab 28? Because what Mr. Nice says is that this
21 witness is not involved in this conversation.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I want to deal with this document
23 that I've just handed out to you now, with the witness.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You want to deal with this document in any event.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, by all means, because it is an
1 important document. And the conversation took place with the liaison
2 officer of General Jelic, because this Colonel Petrovic is from his
3 brigade. He was his commander. It's not important whether he personally
4 took part in the discussion or not, because his own liaison officer
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you probably did suggest that this
7 witness was involved in the conversation, but proceed.
8 JUDGE KWON: I'm confused. Do you mean a liaison officer other
9 than Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic?
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the speaker.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What I'm saying is that this is a
12 record of the conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic, who is the
13 liaison officer of General Jelic's brigade; that is, the brigade that is
14 under General Jelic's command.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, do you have this record before you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic inform you about the discussion
20 with General Maisonneuve and his team?
21 A. Yes, he did inform me about the content of this meeting.
22 Q. All right. Racak took place on the 15th of January. I assume
23 that there is no need to establish that. That is a well-known fact.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. This conversation took place on the 16th of January. That is what
1 it says here in this record.
2 A. Yes. 10.37.
3 Q. So on the morning of the 16th of January, at 10.37 local time,
4 this conversation took place. In this record that we see here, these are
5 their notes. "P" is Petrovic.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. He says that the MUP was -- "Stimlje done by MUP with Praga, AVs,
8 and one tank. Don't know how they were dealing with it." Do you
9 understand this? Do you know what Petrovic was saying? Does this seem
10 truthful to you? I mean I don't know how to put it.
11 MR. NICE: The series of three questions reveal the impossibility
12 of the witness dealing with what's being asked of him in one way or
13 another. If you want to know what Petrovic said, call him. We haven't
14 even heard from the accused through the witness how it is being asserted
15 this witness was informed of the conversation and when. It may be there
16 is a written record. This is the army. Perhaps we should see the record
17 of what Petrovic said to his superior, but it hasn't been produced. But,
18 really, the last question is wholly unacceptable, in my submission.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I don't see how this witness can
21 usefully, helpfully, comment on the conversation between General
22 Maisonneuve and Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic. If Colonel Petrovic told him
23 something, then that's a different matter. You may wish to pursue that
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is precisely the line I was
1 about to pursue, Mr. Robinson. The lieutenant colonel was his subordinate
2 and his liaison officer. Maisonneuve --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. To the extent that Lieutenant Colonel
4 Petrovic reported anything to him, I think that's a legitimate area of
5 inquiry by you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So, you were informed or not by Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic about
9 Maisonneuve's visit and the conversation he had with him.
10 A. Yes, he did inform me of that.
11 Q. Now, please, let's establish whether he informed you exactly, and
12 when that was. Did he say it was on the morning of the 16th, as it says
13 in General Maisonneuve's notes?
14 A. Yes, in the early hours of the morning, at 10.37, as it says here,
15 during that period.
16 Q. All right. Now, it says here in this record the meeting started
17 at 1037 hours. And when --
18 MR. NICE: Can I make the request that the accused tries to deal
19 with it properly. The proper way to deal with it would be to turn the
20 record over and ask a series of non-leading questions to establish what,
21 and on what basis, the witness's recollection is. If we can't do that,
22 any answers that come out are likely to be a complete waste of time.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, there is merit in that submission.
24 You must try to elicit from the witness what he was told by his
25 subordinate. I think referring to the conversation here is not going to
2 JUDGE KWON: Just ask General Jelic what he had heard from
3 Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic.
4 MR. NICE: The witness has got the document, by the way, in front
5 of him, and it is in B/C/S.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask General Jelic whether Colonel Petrovic
7 kept a record of the meeting?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sure he did. Certainly. He
9 kept records of all his meetings.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Did he pass that to you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The documents, up until 1998,
12 according to orders from the superior command, all had to be submitted to
13 the commander at the time, the Pristina Corps, with the command and
14 headquarters in Pristina itself.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you answer the question, now: Did he hand it
16 to you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he didn't hand it to me, because
18 the brigade commander doesn't keep the documents. It is the
19 administration that has the documents.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: So when he reported the meeting to you, he didn't
21 give you a copy of his record. You just got an account by word of mouth
22 from him.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He gave me a copy of the
24 record. It was read, it was registered, and handed over to the archive.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So the obvious thing to have done here would have
1 been to bring it along, would it not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received this document here, from
3 the accused, Mr. Milosevic.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: All right, thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't bring it in.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. And could the witness's
7 second microphone be switched on, please, as well. Thank you.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I don't suppose we're challenging that this meeting with your
10 liaison officer was on the 16th, in the morning; is that right?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. Now, take a look at page 2 of this record, the one-but-last --
13 MR. NICE: That is what I thought he was not to be allowed to do.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, apparently you don't understand.
15 MR. NICE: The witness has got the document over in front of him,
16 so probably all this effort to make the evidence of value will be set at
17 naught. Perhaps the witness could be invited not to look at a document
18 and to cast his mind back, and if the accused can't ask questions, maybe
19 Mr. Kay could be invited to stand up and do the job for him. It's about
20 time it was done properly. We've wasted, I think, 10 minutes or
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you must ask the witness whether
23 he had a conversation with Brigadier General Maisonneuve; what was the
24 subject of the conversation, did it relate to Racak; questions along that
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, all I want to do is to
2 establish certain material facts. This record, as compiled by
3 Maisonneuve, is a material fact.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber has already ruled that it is not
5 allowing you to utilise the material in this way, so you must get at it by
6 some other means.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Now, did Petrovic inform you about what General Maisonneuve had
10 asked of him on the morning of the 16th of January?
11 A. Mr. Petrovic, Lieutenant Colonel, informed me about the contents
12 of the meeting. He handed in a report, it was read, and it was handed
13 over to the archives. The focus of their conversation was on the
14 following: That Colonel Petrovic should confirm that the army had taken
15 part in Racak; that's one point. And secondly, he asked for the names of
16 the commanders for war crimes, at 10.37, at that time.
17 Q. All right. That's what I wanted to hear.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You've heard that, Mr. Robinson,
19 you've heard what the witness has said without using the material at hand,
20 and now he can use the material at hand.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. We've already ruled. He can tell you what
22 Petrovic told him.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Robinson, a moment ago the
24 witness said that Petrovic informed him that Maisonneuve had asked him to
25 confirm that the army had taken part and that he also asked him for the
1 names of the commanders for the war crimes tribunal. And I would like to
2 draw your attention to what you said, when you said that you have ruled,
3 that that's what it says in the transcript. It says that in the
4 transcript of Maisonneuve's testimony, and you can see that in the
5 penultimate quotation of Maisonneuve in the document that you have before
7 JUDGE KWON: Could you hold a minute.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, the Chamber would like you to lead the
10 evidence in relation to this matter.
11 MR. KAY: Very well.
12 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
13 Q. Can you tell us what Colonel Petrovic reported to you was said at
14 the meeting? And if you could take it item by item. What was his report
15 to you of the meeting with Maisonneuve?
16 A. Well, that the meeting took its chronological order. When they
17 arrived, the questions that were discussed first and foremost: The place
18 of the army, why the army was there, although the army had already been
19 there throughout the summer, from 1998, the whole of 1998, from the month
20 of April onwards; that the army had come out to Stimlje unlawfully, and
21 before that, in January, we had control -- I think on the 4th or 5th of
22 January -- was the last control made by Maisonneuve, who was in Stimlje
23 and who saw and was satisfied with the numerical strength. And he asked,
24 now why should the army be there in Stimlje? He said that it had come in
25 there illegally, unlawfully. And I remember the major questions that were
1 raised, and they were this: Whether the army went into Racak, and where
2 the front line was, whether they had gone into Racak. And as allegedly
3 during that period of time, he said that there was a major crime that had
4 been committed, he asked for the names of the commanders, to see who the
5 commanders were, higher ranking and lower ranking, in the village who had
6 perpetrated that crime. That's what I remember now without any written
7 trace of that or aide-memoire, because it's been six years since that
9 Q. I don't want any explanation, but I just want you to now tell us
10 what Petrovic reported to you he said to Maisonneuve at that meeting.
11 Without any explanation, just what he reported to you he said to
13 A. Well, his words were this -- of course, depending on the
14 questions. I cannot give you his words word-for-word. But he answered the
15 questions raised, and the questions raised were the ones I have just
16 presented; that is to say, when he was asked those questions, he responded
17 and answered them. He said that the army did not go into that area, that
18 it was in Stimlje legally, that it did not enter the village of Racak,
19 that he cannot give any names, name any names, because he didn't know who
20 was there, who went there. He wasn't the person who was in command; he
21 was the person who was informed. He didn't see anybody enter himself and
22 wasn't able to provide that information. So Petrovic's answers followed
23 the questions asked him by Mr. Maisonneuve.
24 MR. KAY: Thank you.
25 Examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, move on. We have extracted
2 the information that we wanted.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the record, I would like to have
4 something stressed here, Mr. Robinson, an emphasis. You have it in the
5 one-but-last line of the original of the record by Maisonneuve in English,
6 where he says the following: "Regarding Petrovic [Previous translation
7 continues] ... [In English] need names of commanders for war crime
9 [Interpretation] I'd like to draw your attention, gentlemen, to
10 the fact that Walker, since this meeting was at 1037 hours, as it says in
11 Maisonneuve's report, that Walker, only on the 16th in the afternoon
12 hours, arrived in Racak and was astounded when he allegedly saw that a
13 massacre had been -- some sort of massacre had been perpetrated there. So
14 Maisonneuve, before Walker had allegedly uncovered this massacre and the
15 bodies in the ravine, in the gully --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We haven't yet reached the stage for closing
17 speeches. Next question, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. This is a very useful
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Your unit was the only unit there. General Maisonneuve, on 5843
22 page of the transcript, said that the army said that the police was
23 involved in Racak, which was obvious to them because the army could see
24 the police from the hill, supporting them, and that at one of the meetings
25 with Petrovic, a liaison officer of the 243rd Brigade, said that MUP had
1 carried out the operation with the help of the army, deploying at least
2 one tank and several Praga vehicles.
3 Now, did Petrovic tell him that the MUP had perpetrated that
4 action with army support?
5 A. Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic never informed me of anything like
6 that, nor did the army enter there, nor did it go into action with MUP
7 there. It neither had authorisation to do so, nor a plan, nor a written
8 order issued. And the army could have partially seen this when the MUP
9 entered Racak because it is right next to the area where the army was
11 Q. The witness of the opposite side over there, Barney Kelly - I
12 assume he's an investigator of theirs - testified about the events in the
13 village of Racak, and said that on the 15th of January, the Serb forces
14 carried out a massacre. Now, you had your unit in the close vicinity of
15 the area. Do you have any information at all about what he says here,
16 that the Serb forces executed the massacre?
17 A. No information that a massacre had been carried out. The
18 knowledge of the commander on the area, the commander of the combat group,
19 and my knowledge, pursuant to his reports, is that the forces of MUP
20 engaged in counter-terrorist operations and that they engaged in combat
21 with terrorists in the village. Now, how many wounded and dead there
22 were, casualties on both sides, we didn't know because we didn't have that
23 kind of information. It was only later that we learned, first of all from
24 the information media and then through other information, about the
25 casualties, if they were the right figures.
1 Q. Thank you, General. Now, Nasret Shabani, a witness from Racak,
2 said that from the summer of 1998, the police and army were on the hills
3 surrounding Racak, in the hills around Racak. Tell us why. What was
4 happening in Racak itself? Was anything happening in the surrounding
5 wooded area? And his testimony is on pages 6268 of the transcript, 6269.
6 A. Yes, I said that there was a strong communication line which in
7 the summer period was very burdened with military movement from Stimlje to
8 Dulje and further on. In view of the communication lines - and I've
9 already spoken about them - on the territory of Kosovo, about 40 per cent
10 had been cut off. Everything was done to cut off the Stimlje-Dulje route.
11 And it was cut off during an operation when six of my soldiers, on the
12 14th of June, were wounded in a column which was in the rear and a
13 logistics column to supply the units in the field. That's when the
14 communication lines were cut off. And one month later, through a joint
15 action, joint operation on the part of both the army and the MUP, pursuant
16 to permission given by the superior command, or the corps command, in
17 fact, the road was deblocked and it was taken up on both sides of the
18 road, left side and right side, by positions of the MUP at a distance of
19 500 to 700 metres from the road itself on the elevations above the road,
20 and there was constant patrolling through the ravine, the gorge. The army
21 also had control of the gorge.
22 In Racak, as we received information that there were -- the 161st
23 Brigade there of the KLA, that they were there, on the basis of a command
24 and information -- or, rather, that that part of the command had between
25 80 and 120 men --
1 Q. You mean in Racak itself?
2 A. Yes, in Racak itself. They weren't units, they were citizens
3 bearing arms, who had weapons with them. They weren't an army with its
4 rules -- governed by rules and regulations. They were just based on some
5 tribal village organisation. So from that area, there were constant
6 attacks launched on the communication route, on the roads. And the army
7 and the police were in the hills but not around Racak. Racak is lower
8 down in the valley. But around Crnoljevo village. That's the only
9 village in the gorge, and it maintained control of the gorge. And all the
10 attacks were launched, to all intents and purposes, from Racak, from
11 Belince, from Rance and Zborci, which is more northerly from that road.
12 Q. This same witness, Nasret Shabani said that there were three or
13 four conflicts between the KLA and Serb army and police and four attacks
14 on the village prior to the events of the 15th of January; is that true?
15 Do you know anything about that?
16 A. I never heard about it, and I would have known had there been
17 attacks on Racak either by the police or the army. It is possible that
18 the police, independently working -- working independently of us, of
19 course, that it went in to search for criminals, and that is within its
20 remit. But the army never entered there, neither before the war, in 1998,
21 rather, or throughout 1999.
22 Q. Including that 15th of January?
23 A. That's right. The army never entered that area.
24 Q. You said "should have known." You said a moment ago in response
25 to Mr. Bonomy's question, that your unit was about 1 kilometre away from
2 A. Yes, approximately.
3 Q. And that's the unit that had been there all the time from April
4 1998 until the beginning of the war.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Witness Shukri Buja spoke about Racak. He stated that
7 in December 1998 the KLA started digging bunkers. In Racak, the
8 fortifications had not yet been ready at that time and were not used until
9 the 15th of January. Did you know anything about those fortifications,
10 where they were located and whether they were used?
11 A. We in the army knew that wherever the terrorists were, they had
12 fortifications. We didn't know about specific fortifications. I'm
13 talking about us in the army. And we were not aware of whether they were
14 used before, on, or after the 15th of January. It is unlikely that they
15 were able to dig on the eve of the 15th of January, in view of the high
16 altitude, winter conditions, frost. They must have been dug out during
17 the summer and were only improved later.
18 Q. The same witness said that, on the 15th of January, when the
19 attack began, the KLA had 47 men in Racak.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Your information about the strength of the KLA was --
22 A. Between 80 and 120.
23 Q. He says 47. Witness Agron Mehmeti from Racak stated that on the
24 27th -- on the 25th of July, 1998, there was an offensive against Racak.
25 Your unit was nearby in the village you showed on the map. Is there any
1 truth in that?
2 A. No, there was no action, no offensive. But he did mention a
3 correct date. The road was freed on the 25th of July. The terrorists
4 were expelled, after the road had been blocked for more than a month and a
5 half. On the 25th of July, we managed to unblock the road. It's true
6 that this operation took place, but it was 1 or 2 kilometres away from
8 Q. All right. We don't have many documents from that time, but there
9 is one, issued by you. General Jelic, tell us about the document marked
10 as your report. Let me direct you. That's tab 17. Let us look at it.
11 It's your document, isn't it? Do you recognise it?
12 A. That's my document, my signature.
13 Q. You described several events. It says, among other things, that
14 the report refers to the implementation of NP&P.
15 A. That means training, plan, and programme.
16 Q. It says that on the 14th of January, 1999, a unit from Dulje was
17 carrying out regular TOT.
18 A. That's tactical training, topic 13.
19 Q. Now look at this. Your report is dated the 17th of January.
20 A. Yes. Addressed to the Pristina Corps commander.
21 Q. It's an original, contemporaneous document?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So this tank company did its training on the 14th. We won't go
24 through the entire document. We're not interested in the 14th.
25 Fourth paragraph of your report reads -- won't you read it
1 yourself. On the 15th, that is the notorious 15th of January.
2 A. "On 15th January, 1999, the unit from the Dulje sector carried out
3 regular tactical training, topic 9, training for 'a mechanised platoon on
4 the march' along the trig point 915 - Ljubovce village - trig point 988 -
5 Garamele - Rance village axis -" Rance village being trig point 1027 -
6 "and back.
7 "In the course of regular training along the above-mentioned axis,
8 heavy infantry and mortar fire was opened from the Rance village sector
9 (700 metres to the west - Dara Glava), and mortar fire from Rance village
10 itself. Fire was returned from infantry weapons and a 12.7 millimetre
11 anti-aircraft gun targeting the Dara Glava feature, crushing the terrorist
12 group. The unit reached a point 500 metres outside Rance village (trig
13 point 1027) and without any further fighting or shooting, it returned to
14 the camp ground. It was impossible to get to the village of Rance because
15 of the deep snow (about one metre deep). We did not enter any of the
16 populated areas.
17 "Our forces suffered no casualties."
18 Q. So it's your report for the 14th and the 15th.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. It describes all that your unit did on those two days.
21 A. Yes, activities on the ground.
22 Q. Including those training activities that have nothing to do with
24 A. This training was approved by the schedule and plan, and they were
1 Q. So further on, you mention MUP.
2 A. "In the early morning hours of the 15th of January --"
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you go on, at what time was the training
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 14th and the 15th. The
6 report follows the chronological order.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: At what time of the day on the 15th was it taking
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Training starts usually at 8 a.m.
10 and is over by 3, 4 p.m.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And the troops who were involved in that, were they
12 different from those, the part of the combat group that was fired upon
13 from Belince or south of Belince?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand
15 you. The troops were conscripts serving their regular military service.
16 We have part of commissioned officers and part of normal NCOs. So these
17 troops were conscripts going through regular training.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Let us clear this up completely, to avoid any misunderstanding.
21 Paragraphs first and second refer to the 14th and to the training
22 activities of this unit, this combat group from Dulje sector.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is that clear from what is written here?
25 A. It is clear that this is combat training. The unit is not
1 performing any combat activity.
2 Q. And you describe exactly which topic of the planned training it
3 is, and you describe the training activity that the unit was involved in
4 on the 14th.
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Again, on the 15th, the unit from the Dulje sector is involved in
7 tactical training, topic 9, and you describe the axis along which they
8 went: Ljubovce, Garamele villages, the Dara Glava feature that is
9 mentioned. None of these places are anywhere near Racak.
10 A. It is at least 6 kilometres away from Racak, where this last unit
12 Q. And you describe the kind of combat training they underwent.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What is written in the last paragraph for the 15th?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: My only concern was about the -- who these troops
16 were, and the answer I was given was that there were conscripts, but it's
17 not immediately obvious from the report that that was the case. That was
18 all. That's the only reason I asked the question.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, it says, "Unit from the
20 Dulje sector," so that's the unit that came from the Dulje sector. And as
21 every military unit, it has an active-duty batch of troops plus personnel,
22 active-duty personnel, and conscripts. And this unit was one company
23 strong. The entire unit from Dulje was one company strong, and what is
24 involved here is only one part of that unit.
25 JUDGE KWON: General Jelic, Dulje is located in Suva Reka, isn't
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's north of Suva Reka, about
3 15, 20 kilometres.
4 JUDGE KWON: In the municipality of Suva Reka.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry, that's about Dulje village,
6 but we were on Dulje pass. It's a curve on the road overlooking Dulje
7 village, about a kilometre, a kilometre and a half away maybe.
8 JUDGE KWON: Is that area also covered by --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's here [indicates], Suva Reka,
10 the territory of Suva Reka, the municipality of Suva Reka.
11 JUDGE KWON: Did your zone of responsibility also cover that area?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said at the outset it was the zone
13 of responsibility of the brigade. The right boundary of the area was from
14 Prevalac, Sara mountain, Jezerske mountains, until Dulje, until this pass
15 here, this curving line.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And it was there from April 1998
18 until the end.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The document we're looking at talks about an
20 educational training programme and combat training of combat group. The
21 evidence you've given so far is that your combat group had two subgroups;
22 one was based in Stimlje and the other one was based south of Dulje, in
23 the area of Birac.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what I'd like to know is where the troops who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 were training in the area of Rance came from. Which of the two subgroups
2 did they belong to?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The command of the unit, and that
4 was a mechanised battalion, as I said, had this combat group under its
5 command. This combat group was on Dulje, and everything is related to
6 Dulje. Then, in order to implement the training programme, part of the
7 units involved in this training receive an assignment pursuant to the
8 training programme. They get their schedule, the commanding officers are
9 prepared, and then the training goes forward, like in any country of the
10 world. The training is sometimes theoretical, sometimes practical, but
11 mostly practical. They have to go out into the field and do it.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, perhaps you didn't understand the question,
13 or I'm completely at sea on this. Did I misunderstand you when you said
14 that your combat group was divided into two subgroups?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It had two permanent standing
16 subgroups, and you put it correctly; from an area overlooking Stimlje and
17 the area of Birac.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So my question then was: The group that was
19 training in the area of Rance came -- or was part of which of the two
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It didn't have training in the area
22 of Rance but from Dulje. It says here very specifically, trig point 915,
23 that's Dulje; Ljubovce, trig point 988, I can show it to you on the map.
24 That's here. [Indicates]. That's where the training was carried out.
25 From Dulje, without going into populated areas in order not to upset the
1 population, in order not to provoke anyone into moving out or opening
2 fire, but training has to go on, even during the winter.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You're obviously not understanding the question.
4 It must be my way of putting it to you. But I understood that the combat
5 group was based in Dulje, in general, but was divided into two subgroups,
6 one of which was in Stimlje and the other of which was south of Dulje, in
7 Birac. Now, why is it not possible to identify from which of these came
8 the people who were engaged in this training exercise and who actually
9 were attacked from Rance village?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not in dispute at all. Their
11 base was the combat group Dulje, and from that base they went on training
12 and returned. The previous day, they went in the opposite direction, to
13 the north, and on day two, they went to the east. That's here in the
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, it's not clear to me, but I can
16 take it no further.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. This training on the 14th and the 15th --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. -- was not close to Racak. How close was it to Racak? What is
23 the closest point they reached to Racak?
24 A. Sixteen kilometres.
25 Q. That's the nearest they got to Racak during the training.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Let's look at the penultimate paragraph in your report, or the
3 last paragraph. What does it say about the 15th of January?
4 A. "In the early morning hours of 15 January 1999, forces of the
5 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia set up a blockade in
6 the general area of Racak village and the Hadovic quarter at about one
7 kilometre west of Stimlje, the purpose of which was to search for
8 terrorists who had been shooting at MUP forces on the previous days. The
9 strength and composition of combat forces were unknown."
10 Q. I thought something else was written, but you're right, it says
12 A. I'll go on: "At around 0700 hours on the 15th of January, heavy
13 infantry fire was opened at MUP forces from the surrounding peaks, hills
14 and villages. Part of Combat Group 1 is in the general area of Stimlje,
15 Canovica Hill ..."
16 Q. That's what you showed on the map?
17 A. Right. "... where they are engaged in regular combat training,
18 topic 1, 'daytime and night-time reconnaissance from a combat vehicle.'
19 "After combat operations and an attack by Siptar sabotage and
20 terrorist forces started, the unit occupied the sectors and took up the
21 following positions for a flexible defence: 122-millimetre Howitzer
22 artillery battery at about 1 kilometre south-west of Canovica Hill --" I
23 can show it on a map.
24 Q. But it's all around Canovica Hill, where they were stationed.
25 A. Right, and a tank platoon at about 1 kilometre south-east of
1 Canovica Hill. "... one anti-aircraft defence platoon in the trig point
2 671 sector ... a reinforced reconnaissance platoon at trig point 637, by
3 the road ..." That's what I marked on the map by the road, a unit that
4 controlled traffic.
5 Q. And what does it say further below?
6 A. South to Belince village, "fire was opened from infantry weapons,
7 a 12.7 millimetre Browning anti-aircraft machine-gun, an 82-millimetre
8 mortar or mortars. Fire was opened on the combat group deployment sector.
9 Fire was returned from a Praga ... and a 12.7-millimetre anti-aircraft
10 gun. After firing back at the south sector of Belince village ... the
11 shooting stopped.
12 "Our forces suffered no casualties; all units are in full
14 "Artillery was not fired. Artillery pieces were not fired from."
15 A search was conducted around Racak and the surrounding villages.
16 "None of our vehicles entered either the village of Racak or any
17 of the surrounding villages.
18 "MUP forces set up a blockade and searched the village of Racak
19 and the surrounding villages and then returned to base at 1600 hours."
20 Witness Shukri Buja claims otherwise.
21 Q. Yes, it's on the transcript.
22 A. Witness Shukri Buja said there were KLA forces inside and that's
23 why the army took up positions.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take the break now for 20 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: On the matter of production of material --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. NICE: -- I have some further information, and I'm likely to
6 have more before the Court rises. May I have a couple of minutes at the
7 end of the session, after the witness has withdrawn?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 Mr. Milosevic.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, we have an order here by the commander, General
12 Lazarevic, dated the 17th of January, 1999, sent to you. It says: "To
13 the Commander of the 243rd Brigade," and that is to be found in tab 18. I
14 hope you have tab 18 in front of you.
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And it says that part of the forces of the combat group -- well, I
17 don't want to recount what it says here and give my own precis, but what
18 does it say here? You tell us, in this order. And the date is the 17th
19 of January.
20 A. Yes. This is an order by the commander of the Pristina Corps in
21 which he sends to my own person an order in order to create conditions for
22 the MUP forces to enter the villages of Racak and Rance in order to
23 investigate, as planned, the alleged killing of civilian population: "...
24 I hereby issue the following order: Part of the forces of Combat Group 1
25 is to support an attack by two MUP platoons on the axis of the villages of
1 Dulje-Ljubovce-Rance. The task is to rout the sabotage terrorist forces,
2 DTS, on the axis of attack by the MUP forces and to reach the Rance
3 village sector. The commander of the MUP forces, Veljko Radenovic, will
4 report to the commander of BG 243/1 --"
5 Q. That's combat group, is it?
6 A. Yes, combat group.
7 Q. Combat group of your brigade?
8 A. That's right. "-- at the command post in the Dulje sector at 0700
9 hours on the 18th of January, 1999. The attack will begin at 0800 hours
10 on the 18th of January, 1999.
11 "2. Part of the forces of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade are to
12 support a diversionary attack by one MUP platoon -- or demonstrative
13 attack by one MUP platoon -- from the area of the 1st Company of PGP in
14 Pristina, on the axis of the villages of Kosare-Malopoljce. The task is
15 to tie up the sabotage terrorist forces in the sector of trig point 657
16 (Bajrak) and the village of Malopoljce and prevent any interventions in
17 the direction of the village of Racak.
18 "MUP platoon commander Zoran Vukadinovic, is to report to the
19 commander of the unit of the army of Yugoslavia at 0730 hours on the 18th
20 of January, 1999, at the exit from the village of Stimlje, in the
21 direction of Urosevac.
22 "The attack will begin at 0830 hours on the 18th of January,
24 "3. MUP forces are to be supported by two Pragas from the sector
25 as follows:
1 "Trig 637 south of Canovica Brdo to support the forces of the 6th
2 CPJP -" PJP being the special police units - "and the other Praga to
3 support the forces of the 7th company of the PJP from trig 688, south-east
4 500 to 700 metres," that is to say, "behind it."
5 "The commander of the anti-aircraft platoon (-1) will report to
6 the company commanders on the road, at the turn-off into the pinewood
7 (encampment area) at 0730 hours on 18 January 1999."
8 Q. General, the pinewood forest and the encampment area is the
9 position of the units as designated by you.
10 A. Yes, that's right. Otherwise, it's a forest that is 30 years old.
11 The trees there are protected. They're very tall pine trees, and was
12 perfect for setting up a camp for the army, for all conditions. And this
13 order referred to investigations -- to enable investigations to take place
14 concerning the village of Racak. This was probably a request from the
15 MUP, and the corps commander decided as follows.
16 Q. Now, what does it say in point 6? Let's skip the rest of it. It
17 says: "As the MUP forces are given support --"
18 A. Yes. "As the MUP forces are given support, take measures to
19 protect the civilian population and to remove them from the zone of combat
20 operations," that is to say, special care and attention should be paid to
21 avoid any casualties on the civilian population that can be -- could be in
22 the combat area, either in organised fashion or individually.
23 Q. Let's now take a look at the following: We have here in tab 12, I
24 think we have an order of yours, your order dated the 18th of January, in
25 order to ensure conditions for the MUP forces to be able to enter. Or
1 what does it say in tab 10? Commander of the 243rd Motorised Brigade, you
2 wrote the order.
3 A. Yes, this is an order of mine.
4 Q. Is that the order by which you carry out the order from the corps
6 A. Yes, that's right. I issued this order pursuant to an order from
7 the corps commander to define the details that weren't stipulated there,
8 to ensure the proper carrying out of the task. This was written on the
9 18th of January, 1999, in order to provide -- "... secure conditions for
10 the entry of MUP forces in the village of Racak, Rance village, in order
11 to carry out an on-site investigation related to the alleged killing of
12 civilians, I hereby order:"
13 And then it says 1. Anyway, I stress -- I set out the
14 assignments. And in the last point, I emphasise that: "During the
15 operations, protect civilians from fighting." That is what I say. This
16 was sent to the commander of Combat Group 1, since he was in charge of the
17 operation there, and we see that the subgroups came under his composition,
18 the composition of his unit.
19 Q. So that is Combat Group 1 that was stationed at Dulje with the two
20 subgroups which were emphasised and stressed by Mr. Bonomy, as he
21 understood it.
22 A. That means we didn't bring in new forces from the garrison or from
23 the barracks. There was no need for us to bring in other reinforcements.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have gone through
25 several exhibits now; tabs 17, 18, and 12. I think that the time has come
1 for me to tender them into evidence.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll admit those as exhibits.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, take a look at what we have in tab 13 now, please. You
5 compiled a report dated the 19th of January. What does that report refer
7 A. Yes, this is a report upon an assignment having been carried out.
8 A report is sent to the command. First of all, a short analysis is
9 undertaken, and then a report is written about the assignment carried out.
10 Here it is addressed to the command corps, the date is the 19th of
11 January, about support to MUP units in overcoming and routing the sabotage
12 and terrorist forces in the villages of Rance and Racak, which was the
13 assignment given. And this is what it says in the report, under number 1:
14 "On the 19th of January, 1999, between 0800 hours and 1730 hours,
15 when overcoming the sabotage and terrorist forces, the MUP forces were
16 supported as follows --"
17 Q. Yes, and then it goes on to list what the support was.
18 A. Yes. This report is based on the order given.
19 Q. And after the facts and figures, it says: "No significant
20 resistance was given by the terrorist forces, sabotage terrorist forces."
21 Is that right?
22 A. Yes. And when we searched the terrain, an insignificant number of
23 equipment was found; 30 loaves of bread, which means that quite a large
24 group was there, and a calculator.
25 Q. Thank you, General. Now let's take a look at another of your
1 documents in tab 14. We'll go back to the state border and that question.
2 What does this document refer to? And the date is the 26th of January,
4 A. Yes. This is my order dated the 26th of January, for laying mines
5 as obstacles at critical places along the state border.
6 "Order: Pursuant to the order of the Pristina Corps command ...
7 and in order to prevent illegal border crossings, I hereby order:
8 "1. The Temporary Officer for Border Affairs of the 243rd
9 Motorised Battalion, in cooperation with the Command of the 57th Border
10 Battalion shall compile --" and they secured the border towards Macedonia
11 -- "shall compile a plan of touring the state border and laying obstacles
12 along the state border in accordance with the order of the Pristina Corps
13 Command strictly confidential ..." that was issued on 14 January 1999.
14 Q. What were the reasons for these letters to be undertaken? What
15 activities were you reacting to here? What was this response of yours to?
16 A. As I said, the state border was a newly formed state border, just
17 three or four or five years old. It was an undefined border towards
18 Macedonia. Globally speaking, it was defined, but not its individual
19 sections. People had land there, and citizens were issued provisional
20 permits. However, permits to travel to one or the other side were abused.
21 There was abuse of border crossings and there was black marketeering along
22 the border belt. As they were under sanctions for economic reasons, there
23 was increased contraband, and weapons were brought in, especially from the
24 western region of Macedonia, that is from the Tetovo area. The units
25 which provided security for the state border here --
1 Q. Now, for the purposes of those who do not know about this, there's
2 a concentration of Albanian population, the Albanian inhabitants in
3 Macedonia in that area.
4 A. Yes. Since we provided line security for the border belt - that's
5 the way we do it - the units who were in depth, providing security there,
6 had the technology, necessary technological equipment, and were
7 reinforcements for the line security. But nevertheless there were places
8 that you could not secure well enough around the clock, 24 hours. And in
9 view of the configuration of the terrain there, Mount Sara, which is an
10 altitude -- the highest peak is over 2.000 metres -- or over 1.500 metres,
11 where you have snow until the month of May, heavy snow there, and the
12 contraband routes were never defined but were changed constantly. This
13 meant that we had to set up obstacles on the basis of joint cooperation
14 with the officials from the state border, the units in depth providing
15 security there, and the battalion, and to inform the soldiers patrolling
16 the area where the mines had been laid so as to prevent self-wounding.
17 Q. Thank you, General. Now, tell us what this next document
18 contains, tab 15. That, once again, is one of your orders. Does it
19 describe the situation and problems that you were encountering at that
20 time, in a way?
21 A. Yes, this is indeed my order. The unit, having the rank of a
22 brigade, several thousand men, is a live organism, and there are always
23 problems that occur in a unit of that size. Of course, it is normal that
24 the brigade command analyses the situation and takes steps and measures to
25 prevent any untoward events from taking place, especially where it comes
1 to providing security for the border belt in depth.
2 I'd like to read out a few passages from this order.
3 Q. This "V/D" means extraordinary events; is that right? "Vanredni
5 A. Yes, with adverse consequences to the brigade units, jeopardise
6 morale and despite -- go to the detriment of irreparable damage of the
7 reputation of the army of Yugoslavia, and blemishes the image of the unit.
8 Q. What does it say happened here?
9 A. Well, in January there were two fires. Several weapons were burnt
10 down, pieces of personal equipment and protection equipment. This is
11 January. Low temperatures. According to the previous order, we saw that
12 we issued orders to the units that they should not be in private
13 buildings. There were tents where the soldiers had been put up, and so
14 there were fires that broke out in the tents when fires were lit, which
15 led to damage.
16 Q. And also casualties on the part of the soldiers, as we can see.
17 A. Yes. And the most frequent causes of this, in view of the fact
18 that the unit was in the field for months, over-exertion, fatigue on the
19 part of the men that were engaged in these combat operations, upsets the
20 conduct of the individuals concerned, lowers the concentration level and
21 makes them less capable of carrying out their assignments. Because if a
22 young man of 18 years old, for example, has spent months in trenches,
23 outside proper building facilities, it is quite normal that they suffer
24 from fatigue, which means that the level of concentration drops and
25 efficiency drops. Fires break out as accidents, there are other
1 accidents, and so on and so forth. That is why this order was written in
2 the first place.
3 Q. All right. Thank you, General. Let me just have a look now.
4 Paragraph 63(k), that paragraph pertains to alleged deportations. It is
5 claimed here that in the Kacanik municipality -- let me just stop at this
6 point. The municipality of Kacanik, as you explained, is in your area of
7 responsibility; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So in the municipality of Kacanik, "Between March and May 1999,
10 forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked villages in the Kacanik municipality
11 and the town of Kacanik itself. This attack resulted in the destruction
12 of houses and religious sites, including, but not limited to, the mosques
13 of Kotlina and Ivaja."
14 You're the commander of those troops in the area. Can you say
15 something about these allegations?
16 A. Kacanik is the seat of the municipality. MUP forces were always
17 there. And after mobilisation was carried out, and after decisions were
18 passed, it was also taken up by the army of Yugoslavia. At the time that
19 you referred to here, in view of the presence of the MUP in the town
20 itself and all structures, namely, hospitals, the Municipal Assembly, et
21 cetera, were functioning and they were in the hands of the legal and
22 legitimate authorities. It is illogical for the army to attack the town
23 of Kacanik, because practically they would be attacking themselves this
24 way. Kacanik was never held by anyone else except for the official state
1 Q. So this is nonsense, is it, that Kacanik was attacked. And what
2 about this, where it says, "Villages in the municipalities were attacked,"
3 so we shall skip over the town of Kacanik. The houses were destroyed,
4 religious sites, including the mosques in Kotlina and Ivaja?
5 A. As for the mosques in Kotlina and Ivaja, I really never heard of
6 anyone having destroyed these religious sites, nor was there any need to
7 enter these villages. Now, I'm just talking about the military at this
8 point in time. The army never entered these villages. They were engaged
9 in anti-terrorist fighting, starting from the NATO aggression on the 24th
10 of March, since the area of responsibility of the brigade was immediately
11 attacked, that the 162nd Brigade of the so-called KLA was there, which
12 kept attacking units in the defence areas, because by the 24th we had
13 established the defence completely, and every battalion-level unit had own
14 intervention unit. And this intervention unit practically defended the
15 combat order of that battalion.
16 The objective of this unit was not to have heavy equipment
17 revealed, not to have artillery, tanks, and APCs moved, because in that
18 way they would be discovered by NATO forces and therefore would be
20 Q. In this paragraph that deals with alleged deportations, that is,
21 paragraph 63(i), it says that: "On the 8th of March, 1999 -" or around
22 that date - "the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -" that is
23 you, on the spot - "attacked and partly burned the village of Kotlina,"
24 and that on the 24th -- on the 24th of March, 1999, they attacked Kotlina
25 again using heavy equipment, and that is why many men fled into the woods
1 and women and children were ordered by the forces of the FRY and Serbia to
2 board vehicles that then took them to Kacanik. Those that didn't manage
3 to fit into these trucks had to walk to Kacanik. A certain number of male
4 inhabitants of Kotlina were killed during the attack, including 17 men
5 whose bodies were thrown into wells. Before leaving, the forces of the
6 FRY and Serbia razed the rest of the village.
7 That's what's written here. Please, are these allegations
8 correct? This is your area of responsibility. What can you say about
9 this? What have you got to add to this, perhaps?
10 A. These allegations are incorrect. On the 8th of March, the army
11 did not enter any villages, nor was it engaged in any combat activity. On
12 the 28th of February and the 8th of March, the forces of the MUP clashed
13 with the terrorists of this 162nd Brigade. That's when Captain Staletovic
14 was killed - I think that's what his name was - and four policemen were
16 When searching for the terrorists, the MUP forces entered the
17 village as they were looking for these terrorists on the basis of
18 intelligence received, and they clashed with them. That's the information
19 that I received when we exchanged information with the MUP and my unit,
20 which was in the field. After all, the verifiers were there too, and they
21 confirmed it as well.
22 From the 24th of March onwards, what was characteristic for this
23 area was that there were attacks in this area all the time against the
24 units that were holding their positions in their area of defence.
25 Q. Who was carrying out the attacks?
1 A. The Siptar terrorist forces from the 162nd Brigade, which is
2 stationed in that area, and probably the 163rd Brigade, which later grew
3 into a brigade from the Nerodimlje operations zone. In this period, my
4 units could not have entered a single village in view of the differences
5 in altitude. Please take a look at the map and please see that the
6 altitude is over 1.000 metres everywhere, and that basically this is a
7 backwater. This is the area of Mount Sara. Very bad roads. There's
8 snow. The units did not dare move so that their heavy equipment would not
9 be discovered, so they only had the intervention units responding, if
11 It's a bit strange for us to be transporting civilians. That
12 would be absurd when, at the level of a company, you have one motor
13 vehicle which is full of ammunition. Why would we unload ammunition in
14 order to transport 18 persons, or let us even cram people in; 30 people.
15 But it would have been insane for any commander to make that kind of
16 decision and to leave its ammunition outside.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Apart from your forces, which you say were not
18 involved in any attack on Kotlina, there would have been other forces of
19 the FRY and Serbia in that area, wouldn't there?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this area, my forces were the
21 only forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, if we're talking about
22 the army. All of them were under my command. And also there were the
23 forces of the Republic of Serbia, which is the MUP. I have already said
24 that the army never attacked Kacanik, and the MUP could not have attacked
25 themselves either. As for the villages that are by the road where the
1 combat groups are, which were under constant attacks, we then responded
2 with fire from units that belonged to these groups. So if this is a
3 battalion, they have a rapid deployment company that can prevent sabotage
4 groups from disturbing the combat disposition. And we didn't dare move
5 our heavy combat equipment because of surveillance from the air, where
6 there was absolute supremacy. And in this way we would have become easy
7 targets and everything would have been destroyed.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I notice that the last passage of
9 evidence is a report, and, on the witness's account, a synthesis of what
10 he's been told by others, without explaining where or when he learnt about
11 it. It would obviously help us all if we had some further detail of his
12 sources at this stage rather than my having to go to every piece of
13 evidence that I want to ask about and deal with it at a later stage,
14 because that --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was that in reply to my question?
16 MR. NICE: No, it was earlier on than that. He dealt -- he gave a
17 general answer to the question about the paragraph in the indictment and
18 said that this came to him from sources, but that's all we -- sources in
19 the field --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: General, let us know the sources of the
21 information that you had.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The sources of information are,
23 first and foremost, the reports of my subordinates and my personal
24 insight. It is my unit. I was not outside my area of responsibility. My
25 headquarters were in Urosevac, and my forward command post kept shifting.
1 Most often it was on the main axis of defence, south of Kacanik, near
2 Djeneral Jankovic; actually where the situation was the most difficult in
3 this period of time.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, in paragraph 63(ii), that pertains to these alleged
7 deportations, it says that on the 27th and 28th of March --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Paragraph 63(k)(ii).
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, 63(k)(ii).
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. "On the 27th and 28th of March, 1999, or around that date, the
12 forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked the town of Kacanik. Forces of the
13 FRY and Serbia harassed, detained, beat, and shot many Kosovo Albanian
14 residents of Kacanik."
15 So this is the 27th and the 28th of March, 1999. That's the
16 allegation made here; that you went around Kacanik, that you were
17 detaining people, beating them up, shooting them, the Kosovo Albanian
19 "Thousands of persons fled to nearby forests and eventually walked
20 across the border into Macedonia. Other displaced persons from the town
21 of Kacanik and nearby villages walked to the village of Stagovo, where
22 they boarded trains that took them to the Macedonia border."
23 These trains that took them seem to mean that somebody forced them
24 to board trains. That's the context. So I've read this out to you, what
25 it says here, what is written here in this paragraph, and what pertains to
1 the 27th and 28th of March in Kacanik. What can you say about these
3 A. I think that these allegations are incorrect. Kacanik was never
4 attacked. And I repeat: There was no necessity to attack Kacanik,
5 because MUP forces were in it all the time.
6 Q. You've already said that.
7 A. All state institutions were functioning, so there was no need to
8 attack the town itself. I know, I had reports during this period of time,
9 that sometime toward the end of February, not the end of March, a police
10 patrol had been attacked in town, and that patrol had four or five persons
11 wounded and one person was killed. The MUP took measures to find the
12 perpetrators, or rather, to destroy this terrorist group. And since this
13 had to do with the town itself, after midnight they were expelled, or
14 rather, they fled from Kacanik to the east, to these forests. I only know
15 of that incident in the town of Kacanik. There was no harassment. The
16 army had its positions in front of Kacanik throughout the war, from the
17 24th, that is. We took the areas for defence prior to the aggression, and
18 we were present, we were there. We could not attack the MUP forces,
19 because in this way we would practically be destroying ourselves. Or if
20 we were to attack Kacanik, we could attack some of our own forces too, our
21 own army forces, and that's absurd.
22 Q. And what do you say to this: That thousands of persons fled to
23 nearby forests and eventually walked across the border into Macedonia?
24 A. So many people left, which is only natural when the military is
25 area, when the border is nearby, when it is to be expected that NATO
1 forces would come from Macedonia. And they were right by the border too,
2 about 20.000 NATO troops, with two mechanised brigades, an armoured
3 brigade. So these are elite units that were there. Who would be sitting
4 there, waiting right by the road? Most of these people really moved out,
5 but first and foremost out of fear from NATO aggression, because they are
6 by the main road where army positions are. It was to be expected that the
7 NATO aggression would take place there, that that's where the attack would
8 be. People were afraid and they were leaving. Not only Kacanik but also
9 other places. There are Serb villages there too, purely Serb villages,
10 and the population went in the direction of Serbia and Macedonia, it
11 depended. For example, Nerodimlje, Babus; these were predominantly Serb
12 villages. And practically nobody stayed there. Regrettably, today there
13 are no local people there. However, the media reported that NATO troops
14 were there in Macedonia on the eve of the aggression, that they brought
15 forces there, they knew that mobilisation was carried out, that units took
16 up their positions, and what else could you expect but people being
17 frightened and leaving the area? I think that these people were simply
18 afraid, and that they were afraid even before this, and then they left.
19 Although Kacanik was never totally empty. Thirty or 40 per cent of the
20 residents stayed in town itself.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, just a second.
22 What was the ethnic composition of Kacanik at that time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kacanik was predominantly Albanian,
24 ethnically speaking. The majority were Albanians, there were some Romas,
25 some Egyptians, and a few percentage points of Serbs. I don't know about
1 Montenegrins, but there were very few of them.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And as for them going to Stagovo, they boarded trains there and
5 then they were driven away to the Macedonian border. What is this all
7 A. Driven away? That would mean that somebody brought in vehicles.
8 In Stagovo, there is a train station. There are two trains per day, and
9 they operated between Kosovo and Djeneral Jankovic. This must be the
10 wrong word, the wrong term, "driven away." People would come there and
11 board a train, but, I mean, why would they go to Stagovo, which is 4 or 5
12 kilometres away, when they could have boarded trains in Kacanik? Nobody
13 was trying to stop anyone from leaving. And I say, yet again, that no
14 army troops were transporting anyone. The army doesn't have any
15 capacities for doing that. There are no vehicles that can transport
16 passengers. It's for different purposes.
17 Q. So regular trains were used that go --
18 A. Twice a day. They were small; two, maybe four carriages, railway
20 Q. There was the regular traffic.
21 A. Yes, regular traffic. It goes just to the Djeneral Jankovic
22 border crossing and back.
23 Q. There was no traffic across the Macedonian border.
24 A. No.
25 Q. So they went to the last stop, which is the Djeneral Jankovic.
1 A. That's about a hundred metres away, or so, from the border.
2 Q. But it's a regular railway stop, railway station.
3 A. Yes, and the border crossing is right next to it.
4 Q. Very well. In this same paragraph, (k)(iii), it says: "On or
5 about the 13th of April, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded the
6 village of Slatina and the hamlet of Vata. After shelling the village,
7 infantry troops and police entered the village and looted and burnt the
8 houses. During this action, 13 civilians were shot and killed. Following
9 this attack, much of the population of Slatina fled to Macedonia."
10 At the beginning when you were showing these villages, you
11 indicated Slatina as well as the hamlet of Vata. Can we see that on the
13 A. It's this area. [Indicates].
14 Q. This reference is to the 13th of April, on or about that date.
15 Where was the combat deployment of your units in juxtaposition to Slatina
16 and Vata?
17 A. That's the village of Slatina and the hamlet of Vata. This was
18 the combat deployment of one unit that actually took up their combat
19 positions and was there on the eve of the 24th of March. That unit stayed
20 there. It didn't enter the village.
21 I just want to make one thing clear: The combat disposition of a
22 unit is defined by three points, or four points if it's a larger unit. If
23 we say that in this case it was Bicevac, Slatina, Banjica, that doesn't
24 mean that the army goes into those three places. It just means that,
25 geographically speaking and tactically speaking, the commander of the unit
1 chooses the most favourable points around it to take up position, which
2 means the army didn't go into these villages, but instead took up defence
3 positions in a certain defence area. That means that the road from
4 Globocica - that's this road here - which is a hard-surface road with a
5 lot of serpentines, a very wooded area, heavily wooded area, with an
6 intersection forking off to Strpce, or later on to Prizren. Attacks on
7 all vehicles, mainly logistical vehicles, were frequent.
8 What is typical here is that the command of my brigade, the 243rd
9 Brigade, was based there. I think there is a symbol indicating it.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: If there was shelling by any army unit of
11 Slatina, it would have been done by your unit.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, if that had happened, but it
13 wasn't possible in this case because we were already there. We couldn't
14 shell ourselves. The distance was only 300, 400 metres. These positions
15 were already prepared in engineering terms. Obstacles were put up, combat
16 shelters. It was the so-called decisive defence.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Were you attacked from Slatina?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were never attacked from any
19 village in my brigade's area of responsibility. But those terrorist
20 groups, as a rule, opened fire or attacked from clearings. They would
21 fire several volleys from automatic weapons and disappear. We can only
22 assume that if there were attacks on this road, where we indeed had
23 casualties, that it was the residents of Slatina, Vata, Dubicevac, some
24 other village, that were involved. We didn't capture anybody so we were
25 unable to know. If we had captured somebody and checked their IDs, we
1 would have known. What we knew was that it was the area where the 162nd
2 Brigade was active. But it could also have been somebody from one of the
3 other villages around.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm just trying to remember, Mr. Nice, did you
5 lead any evidence from any person from Slatina?
6 MR. NICE: I can't remember offhand, I'm afraid. If you give me a
7 minute, I'll find it and let you know. I'm sure I can deal with it.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I imagine if you did, then probably Mr. Milosevic
9 would put that to the witness.
10 Please carry on, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This event was described, as I
12 quoted, in 63(k)(iii), so it's one of those allegations made against me.
13 Mr. Robinson, I'm going to ask the witness now about allegations
14 related to a different place.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. At this time, around the 13th of April, in this area, Slatina,
17 Vata, were there any other forces, apart from yours?
18 A. No, no other troops except mine.
19 Q. How about the police?
20 A. There were no police there, unless they just went through Strbac,
21 Kacanik, Urosevac. They could have used the roads that went through these
22 places. They were not located there.
23 Q. So in the area of your responsibility, there was practically no
25 A. No, never. And speaking in principle, nobody else can be present
1 within the combat deployment of an army unit in order to avoid all sorts
2 of mistakes and confusion. Police or anybody else.
3 Q. So there was no police within your area of combat deployment.
4 A. No.
5 Q. So on the 13th of April and in that period, there was nobody in
6 that area, apart from your army troops.
7 A. No, there were no other units, no irregular units; and all the
8 army units that were present were under my command.
9 Q. But they say here that on the 13th of April, you shelled the
10 village; that you entered the village together with the police and burned
11 and looted houses. They also claim you killed 13 civilians, or rather, 13
12 civilians were shot, following which much of the population of Slatina and
13 Vata fled to Macedonia.
14 A. There were constant attacks on our positions, and it is possible
15 that this figure really reflects the number of dead, the combined total of
16 casualties. You can see that from summary reports.
17 Q. When they make these allegations, they always say "on or about" a
18 certain date. It's not just this paragraph; it's generally the manner in
19 which they define time.
20 A. The army did not enter villages in order to carry out combat
21 activities inside them. Any other activities, such as transfers from
22 Stimlje to Dulje, let's say, involved the security detail, and whenever
23 the unit was fired at, fire was returned. And if it was a logistical
24 transport, there would be no more than two or three men, so if attacked,
25 they would be as good as dead. They couldn't go without any security.
1 There would be a fast-moving vehicle with an intervention unit ahead of
2 them, and they would fire back in the direction from which they were fired
3 at. And it's possible that within those three or four months that the
4 NATO aggression lasted such incidents occurred.
5 I'm sorry that nobody is mentioning Desa Kodza -- sorry, the
6 children of Hodza family -- Kodza family. That's a family that lived
7 right next to the brigade command. Five of their children got killed as a
8 result of the NATO aggression, from cluster bombs. Some civilians --
9 civilian deaths are mentioned here, but those children are not mentioned,
10 and the eldest was only 12.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: General, I'm trying to find out whether you just
12 provided an explanation for paragraph (iii) when you said that, in a
13 logistical transport, there might have been an attack and your unit would
14 return the fire, and it is possible that, in such circumstances over a
15 period of three or four months, some people might have died. Are you
16 saying that that might account for the allegation in 63(k)(iii) of 13
17 civilians being shot and killed in the area of Slatina, on or about the
18 13th of April, 1999?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely the explanation I
20 gave, if I understood you correctly. That's the only explanation, because
21 no operation was conducted there. There was no need for an operation
22 because we were there, occupying our positions. There was no need to go
23 into villages to carry out combat activities. The terrorists did not fire
24 from houses, because if they had, they would be detected, and in that case
25 there would have been civilian casualties. They would always attack from
1 between houses, from places which were not special in any way. And our
2 units returned fire as much as they were able to.
3 So if somebody was close to a building, the intervention unit
4 would liquidate them. I'm now talking about intervention units.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We need to clarify one thing. Mr. Robinson mentioned the word
7 "civilians." When you say that somebody could have died in those attacks
8 against you because you returned fire, did you mean you returned fire at
9 civilians or at KLA members?
10 A. I am, first and foremost, a professional. When I say "members of
11 a sabotage terrorist group," I imply that the people are trained, that
12 they are armed with weapons and explosives, and they are engaged in
13 dishonourable actions, so they are not civilians. I don't think, or
14 rather, it was impossible for somebody to shoot at civilians if an -- in
15 an organised way. Individual incidents are always possible, and if
16 somebody committed a crime, they must have been prosecuted.
17 Q. You don't have this Schedule L, but I have it in front of me. It
18 lists the people killed -- identified persons who were killed in Kacanik
19 from March to May 1999.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would somebody be kind enough to
21 hand General Jelic another copy. I have an extra one.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. There it is at the bottom of the page: "Persons killed at Kacanik
24 -" as it says here - "on the 13th of April."
25 Can you see that?
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. It says: "13 civilians." Do you allow the possibility that your
3 forces killed those 13 civilians, and that these are the civilians killed?
4 A. It is more than certain that these are not civilians. Judging by
5 their age, I see only one minor among them. Most of them are middle-aged,
6 and they were most probably armed. They can say the 13th of April, but
7 it's probably the members of the brigade that I mentioned and that they
8 were killed there. I have to emphasise, although you may have heard it
9 before from somebody else, that we were not facing an enemy who was an
10 official, uniformed enemy. We were facing groups of men who would be
11 armed, and, when surrounded, would discard their uniforms and weapons, put
12 on civilian clothes, and mix with women and children.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, with the help of Judge Kwon, we've
14 discovered that you called Sejdi Lami.
15 MR. NICE: Sejdi Lami is the principal. I think that you'll find
16 many other witnesses who touch on the place in some degree or another.
17 And it may also be K5.
18 Your Honours, I'm also looking at the clock. I don't know if
19 today is a day we have to rise promptly, but there are some logistics to
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MR. NICE: If you're going to turn to logistics, could I invite
23 you to suggest that the witness stays outside, pending a decision as to
24 what we're going to do tomorrow.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we're now going to discuss some
1 logistical matters in relation to the continuation of these proceedings.
2 General, you are excused for the day. You may leave.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me finish with this that is in
4 front of the general now. May I? Just one more question? May I just put
5 one more question in relation to this list?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you see this list? You've said yourself what the approximate
9 age is; youngish people, or middle-aged. What about their gender? Is it
10 all men?
11 A. Yes. All of them are men on this list here, which is rather
12 telling. Men in their prime are being killed. Most probably they were
13 members of this brigade, the KLA brigade.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why did you say that more than likely they are
15 not civilians?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because, Mr. President, we did not
17 find a single soldier in 1998 and 1999 in the area that was held by my
18 brigade. All of those people who had weapons were actually civilians, so
19 -- but on the other hand, according to international law, if they are
20 armed, if they have weapons, they are -- they become soldiers. However,
21 they shoot at the enemy and therefore they are combatants. However, as
22 soon as they are surrounded, they throw away their weapons into the bushes
23 and then become civilians again. We didn't have proper frontline
24 fighting. We did not have a separation line or any delineation. These
25 are gangs that open fire and call themselves an army.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. All right. According to these lists, there are no members of the
3 KLA that got killed. It's only civilian casualties that are referred to
4 in these lists. All of them are men --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll stop there, Mr. Milosevic.
6 General, you are excused for the day.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, it seems to me the question arises
9 whether we are to revert to the previous witness or continue with this
10 one. There's been quite an exchange of information between Belgrade and
11 this office. The latest information, which is about half an hour ago, is
12 that there -- the promise that the original and a copy would be provided
13 to the Belgrade office within half an hour or so, but half an hours tend
14 to be somewhat elastic. If those documents do arrive within that period
15 of time, then it will be possible for them to be brought here by a
16 courier, they can't be brought properly any other way. Somebody will have
17 to bring them because there is no one travelling for any other reasons.
18 About 200 pages, I understand. So the first time I would have them would
19 be sometime this evening, or probably quite late this evening. They will
20 then have to be reviewed by those who speak the language and explained,
21 translated for me or those in the office who don't, be it tonight or first
22 thing in the morning.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: When do you think this witness should be brought
25 MR. NICE: Well, it's always very difficult, and it's the problem
1 of such important documents not being provided in advance. So far as
2 costs to the institution are concerned, I suspect this document is going
3 to have to be brought up by a courier in any event, whether today or
4 tomorrow, so that's not a point, perhaps, to worry about too much, though
5 authorising that expenditure is something that I'll have to obtain, I
6 suppose, from someone. But it's up to the Chamber. The logic may be to
7 conclude with this witness and to get this document up for next week.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think that ...
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please bear in mind the following:
13 It has been extremely hard for me to work this week, all of this week. If
14 Mr. Nice has no intention of calling this witness tomorrow, the witness
15 who's supposed to be cross-examined, there is no point in working
16 tomorrow. After all, you said that perhaps we could work tomorrow only
17 for the sake of this witness, whom he wouldn't want to keep until next
18 week. But if he's going to call him next week anyway, it would be
19 pointless to work tomorrow.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think that seems to be right. In which
21 case, we'll adjourn until Tuesday of next week.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. The good news, incidentally, of
23 course, is to observe that, when a Court order issues for the production
24 of a document, apparently it can be made effective without the
25 intervention of this commission, that committee, and anything else.
1 And --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm glad to see the Chamber has such influence,
3 Mr. Nice.
4 MR. NICE: There are powers, of course.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll adjourn until Tuesday, 9.00
6 a.m., next week.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 6th day of
9 December, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.