1 Tuesday, 6 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: I thought it prudent to raise the issue of order of
7 witnesses and associated matters before the witness came back.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. It appears that the accused has
9 some difficulties with his microphone.
10 Yes, continue.
11 MR. NICE: I understand that Jelic will be returning this
12 morning. Indeed, I was approached to check that I understood that to be
13 the position and was happy about it, and indeed I am. Can I possibly ask
14 us to go into private session just for a minute or so.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 46944 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you may commence.
4 WITNESS: KRSMAN JELIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. We left off last week when we looked at the list of persons killed
10 in Kacanik, which is Kotlina and Slatina, and you said something about
11 that. You said that in view of the fact that they were all men and of a
12 certain age, that you assumed that they must have been members of the KLA,
13 but of course we cannot establish that just on that basis.
14 Now, I'd like to have a document placed on the overhead projector
15 which I have -- or, rather, received in May this year from Mr. Nice -- or,
16 rather, my associates received the document from him. It's a very short
17 one. So I'll read out what it says. It's in English. But may it be
18 placed on the overhead projector so that we can focus on the last portion
19 of the page. The upper part isn't that important.
20 Do we have it on the overhead projector now? This is what it says
21 at the bottom. I'll read it out in English and you'll hear the
22 interpreter: "[In English] On 17 September 1999, OTP investigator Malvin
23 Dagsland was informed by residents of the village of Kotlina -- was
24 informed by residents of the village of Kotlina, municipality of Kacanik
25 --" [Interpretation] I didn't hear the interpretation, that this person
1 was informed by the residents of the village of Kotlina. That's what it
2 says: "[In English] ... municipality of Kacanik ... that 12 of the
3 persons whose bodies were found in the wells in Kotlina, following the
4 attack on the village of 21 [sic] of March 1999, were KLA soldiers."
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: 24th of March.
6 THE ACCUSED: 24th of March, 1999, yes, were KLA soldiers.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, what did you know about this event?
9 A. Yes. The 24th of March was when the NATO aggression started
10 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and at the same time that was
11 a sign that the terrorists should move towards the units of the army of
12 Yugoslavia and MUP of Serbia. During that period, since Kotlina is in the
13 border belt, to all intents and purposes, was where our combat group was,
14 in-depth providing security for the border. And the terrorists set forth
15 on an assault on Combat Group 3 with all -- they came out in all force to
16 remove it from the positions, to inflict as much -- as many casualties as
17 possible so that they could advance and then destroy -- to have the
18 materiel and equipment destroyed by the NATO air force.
19 The intervention unit, and I said a moment ago that every unit had
20 an intervention unit, blocked the village of Kotlina straight away from
21 the west and prevented them to take up their positions and inflicted
22 casualties on terrorist forces located in Kotlina. When I say Kotlina, I
23 don't mean the village of Kotlina, I mean the general area of Kotlina, and
24 I've already said that was where the 162nd Terrorist Brigade was in
25 operation from the Operative Group of Nerodimlje.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: General, how did you acquire this information?
2 Were you there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The figures, you mean. We didn't
4 have the figures. We were just engaged in fighting combat with the
5 terrorists. We didn't have the figures with us. Those figures and that
6 information was the job of the MUP and verifiers. At this point in time
7 the MUP. So our forces didn't enter the village. All they did was to
8 block off --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How did you acquire the information about the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's my unit. It was my unit.
12 And when any event or incident takes place, the superior commander is
13 informed, and then steps are taken to protect the unit straight away and
14 then they report back to me, using a radio or a wire communication. In
15 this case they let me know over the radio, radio connection.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: General, I thought the question was asking you to
17 tell us what you knew of how the 12 KLA soldiers ended up in the wells.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army didn't enter Kotlina nor
19 did it know about any wells. So we didn't enter Kotlina. All we did was
20 to block the area off from the west.
21 As to the number of casualties, I can see that from this here, and
22 I heard on the basis of various reports in different newspaper articles
23 and in this Tribunal here that there were a number of casualties. We did
24 not know and could not know even an approximate number casualties because
25 it's quite usual that the wounded and killed are taken away by the
1 opposite side. That's what units do in combat.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but perhaps a striking feature of this case is
3 that they weren't taken away.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me repeat: We didn't
5 enter the village of Kotlina, so we have no information as to how many
6 victims or casualties there were in Kotlina.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson. I just
9 wish to remind you that during the testimony of General Stevanovic here a
10 whole set of photographs and photo documentation was provided, and in
11 on-site investigation after the Kotlina incident, the number of weapons
12 taken and the wells, which were not wells but the alleged wells because
13 they were in fact shelters with a stove inside on an anti-terrorist
14 operation, and for the record, I'd like it to be known or, rather, to
15 object that Mr. Nice, as can be seen from this letter of his, knows full
16 well that what we were dealing with here was the KLA. So we are wasting
17 time talking about Kotlina as some civilians who fell casualty like in all
18 other situations where it wasn't a question of civilians at all but it was
19 combat against the KLA and that had that been properly investigated --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, proceed with the
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, in paragraph 63 of the indictment -- just let me take a
24 look. It's paragraph 63(k)(iv). It says this: "On or about the 25th of
25 May, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked the village of Dubrava,
1 municipality of Kacanik. During the attack, forces of the FRY and Serbia
2 killed several Kosovo Albanian residents of Dubrava. Many residents of
3 Dubrava formed a convoy of tractors and trailers and fled to Macedonia.
4 Other residents fled to other villages or into forests before eventually
5 crossing the border into Macedonia."
6 That, then, is the 25th of May. Now, where is Dubrava or, rather,
7 is Dubrava in your combat deployment?
8 A. Yes, it is south of Urosevac, between Kacanik and Urosevac to the
9 west, seven kilometres along the communication line between Urosevac,
10 Doganovic and Globocica or, rather, the road leading to Strpce. It's at a
11 crossroads there.
12 Q. Mention is made of the 25th of May here. That's the date. So
13 that's the time when your units were in the area, is it?
14 A. Yes, the units were there before the 24th of March. That's where
15 they were deployed. So this is if we can say halfway into the combat
16 operations. And in this area or, rather, the region of Dubrava and
17 Slatina-Vata-Doganovic is where there was a combat group or, rather, one
18 unit, an armoured unit, artillery. That's it here. Here you have
19 Dubrava. So that is where the Yugoslav army had its positions.
20 I've already said that the army took up those positions in March.
21 Through continuous action, the terrorists attacked the communication
22 lines, wishing to cut across it, the Globocica-Urosevac road, to cut it
23 off and cut off the units by the border and to prevent supplies from
24 coming in and to force the unit to withdraw from its position. So the
25 attacks were continuous on a column passing that way, rather, passing
1 through Dubrava. Our columns during the war generally passed that way,
2 and they were supply units, since the combat units were at their
3 positions, and in view of the fact that the 243rd Mechanised Brigade over
4 80 per cent had tanks and APCs, that means they would have been detected
5 straight away if they were to switch their motors on, and then destroyed.
6 So the units, the supply units that were responsible for getting supplies
7 to the front and in-depth, they moved along with security forces. As they
8 were the target of terrorists attacks, the units for intervention and
9 supplying security for the column intervened and fought the terrorists.
10 Let me repeat: The army didn't enter any of the villages nor were
11 there any attacks coming from the villages. The attacks took place
12 outside the villages, 500 metres to one kilometre outside inhabited areas
13 and settlements and that is because the configuration of the terrain is
14 such that you were able to camouflage units and they knew that the army
15 would react. So as not to suffer greater casualties along those
16 communication lines, they would open fire from ambushes with several
17 bursts of gunfire. As soon as the army would move to secure the column,
18 they would just flee to the inhabited areas.
19 Q. Tell us now, please, General, in that area on the 25th of May, was
20 there any other unit deployed there at all?
21 A. Not a single unit. During that period, the period that you've
22 just mentioned there was no unit during that period of time in my area of
23 responsibility, that is to say you're probably thinking the villages
24 Dubrava, Slatina, Doganovic.
25 Q. Yes, that's what I mean. Specifically I'm talking about Dubrava
1 now, Dubrava and the area around the village of Dubrava, so not the
2 village proper but the entire area surrounding the village. So you say
3 there was no other unit there?
4 A. No other unit.
5 Q. Were there any police forces there?
6 A. The police was never there, never located there. The police had
7 its own assignments. In addition to its regular assignments, its
8 assignment was also to secure the communication lines, so it went along
9 the communication lines and the roads, the main roads such as
10 Urosevac-Kacanik, Urosevac-Doganovic or down to Globocica and Stimlje.
11 Olup [phoen] was in Kacanik and in Strpce and in Urosevac as MUP. So not
12 a single unit was located in that particular region.
13 Q. So there was no police -- there were no police there in the area?
14 It is the area of your combat deployment, the disposition of your unit,
15 and that is two months into the aggression, you are at your own positions,
16 and here it is being claimed that in fact some civilians fell casualty in
17 Dubrava. Those are the charges. According to what you say, they could
18 have fallen casualty only through the effects of your unit.
19 A. Precisely, in fighting my units.
20 Q. Now, was there any attack on the village at all? Not only on the
21 25th of May but generally speaking in that period of time from the time
22 you took up your positions, which you say did you on the 24th of March.
23 Was there any attack on the village at all?
24 A. In the area of responsibility of the brigade, and as you're
25 looking at this particular section, there was no attack, nor was there any
1 need for an attack on the village at all. The unit was at its positions
2 in the areas around the village. As I've already said, you give three
3 points to denote a region and the unit had taken up positions within that
4 area. So if something were to crop up, you couldn't target your own
5 region with artillery or tanks if the tanks were to shoot at your own
6 positions. As you can see here, we had the artillery and armoured forces,
7 so you can't target your own forces.
8 Q. As you can -- have shown us, you see all this on your map; is that
10 A. Yes. It's all on this map here. This area that I'm pointing to.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was there any other unit in the area of Dubrava
12 and Lisnaje.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Apart from my unit, there were no
14 other units. So apart from the units of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade,
15 there were no other units.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, now you were at that position and it was one of the axes
18 of the ground aggression, the land aggression; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. So you were fortified there with your artillery and your tanks.
21 You were standing there in defence of your country, defending it against a
22 land aggression; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. For anybody to do anything, they would have to leave their tanks
25 or their artillery pieces and go somewhere else, to a village, and
1 mistreat the civilians and kill them. Is that what the situation would
3 A. Yes, precisely. You see, the APCs don't have large crews. Three
4 to four men manning a crew, depending on the type of tank. So to leave a
5 tank on its own in order to go into a village to fight somebody over there
6 with a rifle in your hands, I think that that was quite nonsensical.
7 Nobody would do that because that would mean leaving the tank all on its
8 own. And the tank couldn't move at all because it had to follow orders in
9 view of the information that the AWACS were reconnoitering the area. So
10 any -- not only movement of tanks but switching on the tanks' motors would
11 have -- NATO would have detected the tanks through their heat devices, and
12 the tanks would have been targeted and destroyed. So any movement was
13 superfluous, and I'm talking about combat vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles.
14 Q. I understand your 243rd Mechanised Brigade in fact has instruments
15 of this kind, devices of this kind.
16 A. Yes, that's right, according to its establishment.
17 Q. Do you allow for the possibility that an attack could have
18 occurred, mounted by anybody at all, without your knowledge?
19 A. In the area of responsibility that was mine, during the aggression
20 and before, there have been, according to the information we got from our
21 security and intelligence organs and from the MUP, there have been attacks
22 in -- even in villages where there was no army presence at all. That
23 means that the terrorists had been conducting mobilisation by force or
24 they settled accounts with some people in those villages, and we would
25 find out very shortly, within 6 to 24 hours, that there were clashes in
1 villages. Among them, in those villages where there was army presence
2 nearby, there could not have been such conflicts because it was within our
3 combat deployment area.
4 Q. How far from Kotlina were your positions, the positions of your
6 A. Have you moved from Dubrava to Kotlina?
7 Q. No, I mean Dubrava.
8 A. Dubrava is in fact in the area of defence of one of my units. In
9 front of it, on the flank and in its rear, there are units. Dubrava
10 itself is not within our combat deployment, because a combat deployment
11 area never includes a populated area, only topographic features. So
12 Dubrava was in one of the areas of one of the units.
13 The attacks happened outside populated areas on open road so that,
14 when fighting with terrorists begin -- begins, we never know where these
15 people came from, and it's easier for them to flee to the mountains. You
16 have to remember that this is a hilly, mountainous area, with Sar mountain
17 nearby at a high altitude.
18 Q. It says that on or about the 25th of May, forces of the FRY and
19 Serbia attacked the village of Dubrava. You say it's not correct.
20 A. No, it's not correct because the army couldn't have attacked
22 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 66 -- 66(l) reads: "During the period
23 between March 1999 and May 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia launched a
24 series of massive offensives against several villages in the municipality
25 of Kacanik, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100 civilians."
1 So the period is March to May 1999. Could you tell us, please,
2 from March to May 1999 and later, until the end of the war, your units
3 were in the entire area of Kacanik municipality.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Tell us, then, where it says "... forces of the FRY and Serbia
6 launched a series of massive offensives against several villages ..." is
7 this correct?
8 A. No, that's not correct. There was not a single offensive against
9 a single village, literally speaking. We were subject to constant
10 attacks, mostly in the border belt, during attempts to infiltrate enemy
11 forces from the Republic of Macedonia, especially its western part.
12 In the area of the Djeneral Jankovic border crossing, sometime
13 early in May we were attacked by a group of 30, 40 terrorists who attacked
14 an in-depth security detail. A staff sergeant of ours was killed then.
15 Seven bodies of terrorists were later found.
16 All border crossings were a daily permanent target of the
17 terrorists who aimed to bring their forces into the FRY and have them
18 linked up with the forces they already had on the territory of the FRY.
19 I'm talking about the brigades of the KLA that I mentioned earlier; 161st,
20 62nd, and 63rd.
21 Q. So there were no attacks against villages between March and May
23 A. No, there couldn't have been. We wouldn't have dared to mount any
24 attacks, primarily because of the danger of the NATO aviation. At the
25 same time, all the units had taken up their positions and put on
1 camouflage in the third degree, and any movement would have resulted in
2 huge losses on our side, except for intervention units that defended our
4 Q. Thank you. So you have clarified Kotlina and the 24th of March.
5 We won't dwell on it any longer. But there are several other points here.
6 Under the same paragraph (l)(ii), it reads: "On or about the 13th
7 of April, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded the village of
8 Slatina and the hamlet of Vata. After shelling the village," it says,
9 "infantry troops and police entered the village and looted and burnt the
10 houses. During this action, 13 civilians were shot and killed."
11 Do you know anything about these events? Please pay attention to
12 the date, the 13th of April. On or about the 13th of April the village of
13 Slatina, hamlet of Vata.
14 A. We had information that part of the 162nd Terrorist Brigade was
15 observing the area of the roads of Kacanik, Doganovic, and Globocica.
16 Kacanik village is within the area -- sorry, the village of Slatina is
17 within the area of defence, in the same area as the one where Dubrava is.
18 Terrorist attacks from these so-called brigades were constant.
19 This is the same road that I mentioned earlier. It goes from the
20 forward positions of our unit to which supplies are brought of materiel
21 and medical supplies. It was under constant attacks geared at cutting off
22 the road. In the area of Slatina, not from Slatina village itself, these
23 attacks could have been mounted.
24 I am telling you again there could have been no action against the
25 village because we were in the direct vicinity of those houses, those
2 Q. And those positions were there from March?
3 A. Yes, from the 24th of March.
4 Q. It says you surrounded Slatina and shelled it.
5 A. Well, precisely this term "encirclement." If it is understood to
6 mean occupying positions, going into position, then maybe a layman could
7 call it that. We did move into position.
8 Q. In March. And you didn't leave them for a long time.
9 A. We were in those positions permanently from the 24th of March
10 until the 12th or 15th of June.
11 Q. So you had been for 20 days, at least, in those positions by this
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It says from those positions you started firing at Slatina and
15 hamlet of Vata and then went in to loot and burn.
16 A. No. We couldn't have shot at them. We couldn't have fired
17 because we could have hit our own forces. Plus, it was mainly peaceful in
18 those villages. We only suffered attacks on open roads.
19 Q. Not in villages?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Exclusively outside villages?
22 A. Exclusively outside populated areas.
23 Q. Did you ever go into Slatina or Vata to do anything at all let
24 alone loot and burn?
25 A. Those villages, Dubrava that you mentioned earlier, Slatina and
1 Vata, we never went into this because we didn't need to. It's not our job
2 to search houses. It's the job of the MUP. We don't even have the
3 authority to do that. So we didn't need to go in, not even to get
4 supplies, because we had all we needed.
5 Q. Was there any firing from those positions?
6 A. By night. I have to say there are units that are on duty by
7 night. One-third is always in position. If fire is opened at them from
8 certain directions, which is a possibility, I cannot tell you from which
9 directions, if volleys of fire target the positions, fire is returned.
10 But the unit never moves from the line because the position they assume is
11 a blocking defence position from which you don't move.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Explain to me then why it wasn't [Realtime
13 transcript read in error "was"] necessary for your forces to enter
14 Dubrava, Slatina and Vata.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly, what
16 I said was that our forces did not enter those villages. They were in
17 position. Positions are defined by points. They were the most favourable
18 positions geographically speaking. You have points defining those
19 positions on the left, right, and behind. Those were the best possible
20 positions for organising armed struggle. So when you want to define a
21 position, you don't mention a village, you say in the area of, and that's
22 the broader area of a certain populated place.
23 So our area is the road, is flanked by the road from Globocica to
24 Doganovic. Lateral communications are almost impassable, especially in
25 winter, and only communications from north to south were usable.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your question, Mr. Robinson, was why
2 did the forces go into the villages.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Did your forces actually go --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question was related to an answer given
6 earlier that those villages, Dubrava, Slatina, and Vata, "we never went
7 into because we didn't need to." So I asked him to explain why it wasn't
8 necessary, why it wasn't necessary for his forces to enter those villages.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I thought --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I want you to explain why it wasn't necessary for
11 your forces to enter those villages.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now the question is formulated quite
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the decision that I
15 issued, not a single unit needed to go into any village, including those
16 three. There was no need because the unit was in position, completely
17 equipped for combat, and there was nothing they needed to look for in
18 villages. If resistance is offered or an attack is mounted against the
19 unit, then they could respond, but they did not need to move from their
20 positions, which are on the side of the populated areas. They didn't need
21 to move into the populated area itself, because automatically they would
22 fail to carry out their assignment if they went into villages. From
23 houses they would be unable to perform their main task.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: But if they wanted to attack the village, to
25 attack civilians in the village, presumably they would have to move into
1 the village. Albeit, as you say, that would be in contravention of their
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly. If they had -- I don't
4 know how you can put it that way, "if they had wanted to." Why would they
5 go into the village? There was no reason for them to go into the village.
6 We were there, that village was practically under our control. Every
7 entry into a village implies normal presence.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... you say the
9 village was practically under your control.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. How about that entire area in the area of deployment of your
14 brigade? Was it under your control?
15 A. The whole area in the zone of the brigade within the demarcation
16 lines under that tab that you asked me about was under our control, and I
17 was responsible for the situation in the entire area of my responsibility.
18 However, in that area of responsibility there were three terrorist
19 brigades. They were not properly established army brigades, unlike the
20 brigades of the army of Yugoslavia. Those were armed civilians, organised
21 into informal groups and informal units; from three to five in smaller
22 places, from 80 to 100 men in larger places. They moved around as
23 civilians across the territory.
24 The moment they would open fire from some direction or place, we
25 would return fire. If we had reached that area, we would no longer find
1 those armed people there, because by that time they would have discarded
2 their weapons and uniforms and insignia or emblems, because they didn't
3 have proper uniforms, and they would be dressed as civilians. The army
4 did not have the authority or the capacity to investigate men that were
5 blended with civilians. We didn't have time or authority to perform the
6 paraffin glove test. All we could do was fight people who opened fire at
8 Q. So was it possible for an incident of the kind that I just read
9 out to you to happen in Vata on the 13th of April or around that date?
10 Was it possible for somebody to barge into that village, to -- for police
11 to come in and loot and burn? Was there any police there?
12 A. No. I already said that.
13 Q. So there was no police, and your unit did not have infantry.
14 A. No. We had tanks and APCs.
15 Q. So there was no police and no infantry because your unit was the
16 only one there?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you didn't shell any village?
19 A. It would have been absurd to shell, because it was within our
20 combat deployment. Shelling means the presence of tanks and heavy
21 equipment with long range, and here we are talking about distances of up
22 to 500 metres. So it would have been absurd to shell this populated area.
23 It's impossible to use tanks to shell somebody with your own -- within
24 your own combat deployment. It would have endangered your own men.
25 Q. So shelling was not possible. Is that what you're saying?
1 A. Well, shelling was not possible within a populated area. What is
2 possible is that terrorists from this village attacked army columns
3 somewhere along this road going towards Doganovic, and it's possible they
4 got killed in that fighting. It couldn't have happened in Dubrava,
5 Slatina, or Vata, for sure.
6 Q. I won't keep you on this issue any more. In this same paragraph
7 under (iii), that's your territory as well, we read that: "On or about
8 the 21st of May, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia surrounded the village
9 of Stagovo. The population tried to escape towards the mountains east of
10 the village. During this action, at least 12 persons were killed. Most
11 of the village was looted and burnt down."
12 Please indicate the location of Stagovo.
13 A. It's above Kacanik.
14 Q. Where the tip of the pointer was?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. As you can see on the map, Stagovo was between the positions of
18 the units in Kacanik, the MUP forces in Kacanik, and my armoured
19 detachment in the area of Stari Kacanik. It's a little to the west, three
20 or four kilometres to the west. The army did not enter the village of
21 Stagovo. What is characteristic of the village of Stagovo is that, from
22 there, the terrorists, knowing there were strong forces in Kamena Glava,
23 and probably having received instructions from the NATO alliance, they
24 wanted to collect information about these units because these were the
25 assault units of the brigade. So what they did was approach the positions
1 by night and try to attack them.
2 As the units had fortified their positions on time, the
3 anti-armour detachment in March had fortified the positions, laid
4 minefields in front and to the side for the protection of the anti-armour
5 detachment, because the main purpose of this detachment was to fight
6 tanks, so what it does is lay down minefields. When enemy forces come
7 across the minefields, then they open fire on them.
8 We experienced several attacks from the village of Stagovo. I
9 know it was in May, but I can't recall the exact date. They attacked the
10 anti-armour detachment in the area of Stari Kacanik two or three times,
11 and also in the area of Kamena Glava. We knew about these attacks which
12 were carried out by night.
13 When we inspected the minefields in the morning, we found traces
14 of blood, quite a lot of blood, pieces of clothing, but the bodies and the
15 injured had been pulled out. The army never entered the village of
16 Stagovo. The 3rd Brigade we mentioned, which had not been mobilised in
17 1998, had probably already mobilised and they were observing to the east
18 of Kacanik and Urosevac. These were probably their members.
19 Q. You're referring to a KLA brigade?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What do you say about what it says here that the village of
22 Stagovo was surrounded and the population tried to escape towards the
24 A. As you can see on the map, we did not surround the village. We
25 were practically to the west of the village.
1 Q. And you'd been there for two months?
2 A. Yes. From the 21st or 22nd of March. Some units were in this
3 area where the Lepenac river runs. The eastern side is impassable. It's
4 wooded, broken terrain, and the army couldn't be there. There was nothing
5 for them to do there. So this village was never surrounded, especially
6 not from the east, if holding positions means surrounding a village, and
7 it doesn't.
8 Q. But was the village fired on from those positions?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Very well. Were there any other units in this area?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Only your units?
13 A. No army units. There was only the MUP in Kacanik.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is no allegation, as I see it, in (iii)
15 that the village was fired on. The allegation is that the village was
16 surrounded. The population tried to escape, and then it says: "During
17 this action -" it's not clear what that action is - "... 12 persons were
18 killed." And then there is the allegation that the village was looted and
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I appreciate what you
21 say, but if it says that 12 persons were killed, they had to be killed by
22 some kind of fire. That's why I put the question where the fire was
23 opened. It says the village was looted and burnt. It was burnt down.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. What can you say about that, General?
1 A. The army did not enter the village, so it couldn't have either
2 looted or burnt down the village. From 1998, all the orders given to the
3 soldiers by the superior command and by me prohibited very strictly any
4 entry into populated places or the taking of any kind of property. The
5 movement of units towards the village of Stagovo would have meant
6 abandoning their artillery pieces and their tanks. These were units
7 consisting of small numbers of men, and it would have been absurd for them
8 to cross the river Lepenac in that period. They would have had to use
9 rafts in order to go and surround the village and open up fire. Who would
10 then be looking after their artillery pieces? We didn't have the manpower
11 to surround such villages, and it wasn't our job to do that.
12 What I'm saying is that from these villages, probably - I can't be
13 certain it's this village in particular, the village of Stagovo - but the
14 terrorists went towards the units, approached the units by night and
15 wandered into minefields. After two or three such incidents, they
17 Q. General, I'll try to avoid putting a leading question.
18 May I ask the usher to put this map, which was admitted into
19 evidence during the testimony of General Djosan, where the parts of the
20 territory under attack by NATO have been marked.
21 And could you indicate on this map the combat disposition of your
23 A. The combat disposition of the brigade was as follows: This was
24 the combat disposition of the brigade.
25 Q. And where are the villages I have just quoted, mentioned?
1 A. I have to stand up.
2 Q. You can compare the two maps.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where is Stagovo?
4 THE WITNESS: [Indicates].
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's Stagovo.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So this is Stagovo. Is Slatina nearby?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Where is Slatina? Where is Dubrava? Where is Kotlina?
11 A. Kotlina.
12 Q. It's on the border?
13 A. It's in the border belt. Dubrava, Slatina, Doganovici. The map
14 is on a large scale, so some hamlets are missing.
15 Q. General, how intensive was the bombing of the combat deployment of
16 your brigade?
17 A. There was a barracks to the west of Urosevac, about two kilometres
18 away, and over 220 projectiles were fired on that barracks alone during
19 the aggression. About 400 projectiles were fired in the area of
20 responsibility of the brigade, and you can see part of it here. I didn't
21 have this map, so I couldn't carry out an analysis, but you can see where
22 most of the firing on the units of my brigade took place. Mostly it was
23 around Urosevac, on the Stimlje-Dulje road. So these were the two axes.
24 Q. When Stagovo is mentioned here, there is also a mention of
25 looting, looting and burning down. Did you have any instances of looting
1 in your unit?
2 A. Not a single soldier or officer committed a crime during the
3 aggression or before that without this being discovered. There were
4 individual instances. The numbers were insignificant. I think there were
5 ten or 12 persons in the brigade who were charged with crimes such as
6 taking property from abandoned houses. There was no organised criminal
7 activity, no organised looting, especially because in each area and on
8 each of the axes I mentioned we had military police searching literally
9 all the men passing through the area, whether coming or going. They
10 controlled the situation to make sure that nobody took anything away from
11 the area. And this also applied to the area of the brigade.
12 Q. Very well. Let's move on, then. Under (iv), and all this refers
13 to Kacanik, Kotlina, Slatina, Stagovo, Dubrava, Lisnaje. "On or about the
14 25th of May," it says here, you surrounded the village of Dubrava "... the
15 population was ordered to gather at the school and leave the village on
16 tractors. Men were then separated from women and children. During this
17 action four men were killed. In addition, four members of the Qorri
18 family were killed while trying to escape towards the woods."
19 I have quoted this passage. What do you know about it? We are
20 now talking about the 25th of May. Were there any other units in that
21 area on the 25th of May?
22 A. You have already mentioned the 25th of May. There was no
23 expelling people from houses, making them go to a school. In the areas of
24 defence of the units, I was informed of every incident. I'm referring to
25 the areas of the subordinate units. Had such things happened, I'm sure I
1 would have known about it.
2 Q. But this is a major incident. The population was ordered to
3 gather at the school, to leave the village on tractors. Did you force the
4 population of Dubrava to leave the village?
5 A. No. I never issued any orders to expel civilians from houses, to
6 organise convoys, to have the population go on tractors or any other
7 vehicles anywhere. For the most part people left out of fear, and this
8 was quite logical. When they saw a build-up of troops, they expected that
9 there would be aggression on these axes. They were familiar with the
10 terrain, they expected the NATO forces to come from the south, and
11 probably for this reason the population not just of these villages but
12 elsewhere, whoever had relatives in Macedonia or in other areas, they went
13 to Macedonia. Many Serbs went there because they had families there. We
14 didn't prevent people from leaving, but we only directed them not to go
15 where there was combat deployment or where there was fighting.
16 Q. Very well. Here we have the same pattern that has already been
17 repeated many times. It says: "Men were then separated from women and
18 children." Did any of your units ever engage in any such activities like
19 separating men from women and children?
20 A. From March 1998 until June 1999, not for a single moment in a
21 single unit was there any separation by gender or by ethnicity.
22 Q. It says here that four people were killed. Were you ever in
24 A. Of course. Doganovic was my command post. It says on the map
25 243, and there was a tank there.
1 Q. 243 means the command post of the brigade?
2 A. Yes. That was the command post. Before that, in 1998, we had
3 been in the Banjica area and I mentioned there was a military police
4 battalion there which was under my command in 1998. In the area of
5 Doganovici and the area of Banjica, and that's about three kilometres to
6 the west.
7 We knew that there would be a breakthrough here or, rather, that
8 this command post would be discovered. There was factory there, and I
9 proposed to the corps command, and they agreed, that I should go to
10 Urosevac and that the command should be where there was the focus of
11 combat activities and that the forward command post should be in Rankovici
12 and Globocica.
13 Q. Let's conclude with the events in Dubrava according to what it
14 says here in paragraph 66(l)(iv). Could anything like this have happened
15 without your knowledge?
16 A. It's quite certain that it couldn't have happened without my
17 knowledge, because it would have been absurd. Perhaps due to
18 communications something might have been overlooked or neglected. Because
19 of interference, because of power cuts, communications might be late a few
20 hours, but an incident of this kind could not have occurred without my
21 knowledge as the brigade commander.
22 Q. So any incident where somebody was killed you would have had to
23 have known about?
24 A. Yes, every incident, and especially if someone was killed, a
25 soldier or civilian.
1 Q. Very well. Now, paragraph 105 of the indictment related to
2 Kosovo, it says that the -- "In addition to the forced expulsions of
3 Kosovo Albanians, forces of the FRY and Serbia also engaged in a number of
4 killings of Kosovo Albanians ... Such killings occurred at numerous
5 locations, including" among other things, Kacanik.
6 So that is your area of responsibility.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So what can you tell us about that, these allegations here that
9 killings occurred of Kosovo Albanians?
10 A. I never heard of any Albanians being killed in Kacanik, no
11 killings. The MUP was in Kacanik throughout, and it's a small town which
12 was under our control, that is to say the control of the Federal Republic
13 of Yugoslavia.
14 All I know is that there were two incidents that occurred there in
15 the Kacanik area sometime towards the end of February, I think it was the
16 28th of February, when a captain was killed - I think I mentioned this -
17 and four other policemen wounded. And on the 7th or 8th of March, there
18 was an attack on the patrol where 8 policemen were wounded. The MUP
19 sought -- engaged in a search to find the terrorists. They fought the
20 terrorists for a night and a day and fought them up in the mountains
21 around Kacanik to uncover the perpetrators.
22 There were no other killings. The citizens were in Kacanik. They
23 went about their daily lives and business. Life evolved normally since it
24 is a place in the municipality. The army did not enter the place at all
25 nor did it have any need to. The army was at its positions outside
1 Kacanik. It did not enter the municipality of Kacanik at all.
2 Q. We heard testimony here from Isufu Loku from Kacanik, and he said
3 that on the 8th and 9th of March, 1999, the Serb forces attacked Kotlina
4 and that he saw members of the army and MUP entering the village with
5 tanks and that on the occasion 17 people in the village were burnt to
6 death, during the night a number of people disappeared, and this witness
7 afterwards found the bodies of two locals from Kotlina. So he is
8 referring to the 8th and 9th of March 1999. Do you know anything at all
9 about that?
10 A. On the 8th and 9th of March is when the verifiers were still
11 there. They had information. Let me repeat: The army did not enter
12 Kotlina, and from the area of Kotlina Combat Group 3 was attacked. So not
13 the village but the area around. The army did not enter the Kotlina area,
14 nor do I have any knowledge of any killings at all - whether it be two or
15 four, that's not important - or that there was destruction and burning and
17 Q. So what he says, is that correct or not correct?
18 A. It's not correct.
19 Q. He said that on the 24th of March, he's now referring to the 24th
20 of March, and the verifiers weren't there then, it was just your units
21 that were there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. He says they attacked the village of Kotlina again and he and his
24 relatives took to the mountains, a mountain called Sesic, or something
25 like that, I don't know how it's pronounced and whether you've heard of
1 it, but he saw tanks and fire coming from the centre of the village.
2 A. I've already said that we didn't move the tanks at all. We didn't
3 enter the village. And on the 24th of March, the other villages, Junsevo,
4 [phoen] Palivo [phoen], Denica, Pustenik, Krivenik [phoen], those other
5 villages, there was an all-out attack launched on units that were in the
6 first belt or, rather, providing in-depth security. If there were any
7 casualties, they were casualties that occurred during combat up towards
8 Golemo Brdo or Belo Brdo, those hills. And if you look at the tanks and
9 you analyse the communication lines in this area, it is early spring we're
10 talking about in this area, which means the slopes of Mount Sara, you have
11 communication lines at an altitude of over a thousand metres, and there
12 are no roads -- no asphalt roads. You can't use the roads.
13 MR. NICE: The witness is pointing at his own map. If he wants us
14 to follow it, he'll have to point to the one on the easel.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Point to the map on the easel.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Explain what you're indicating.
18 A. That's the village of Kotlina from which there was constant
19 attacks on Combat Group 3. As it is stated there, that tanks entered the
20 village. Just take a look for yourselves. Look at the communication
21 lines and both the roads. These two were passable, however, the lateral
22 communications were completely or almost impassable during that time of
23 year because you're talking about the regions about -- around Mount Sarina
24 where the altitude is from 900 metres to over a thousand metres there.
25 Village roads, rural roads. So faced with a situation like that when you
1 had absolute supremacy in the air, to leave your positions and move your
2 tanks two or three kilometres and then come back, that would be absurd.
3 It would be tantamount to self-destruction, suicide.
4 The units that engaged in battle with terrorists from Kotlina were
5 certain units engaged in anti-terrorist operations, and I said that each
6 unit had its own assignment. They are rapid deployment units with PRDs
7 and Pragas, and they were able to move quickly and resist the enemy for
8 several hours and then withdraw again, change their positions, and avoid
9 possible NATO strikes, NATO Air Force strikes.
10 Q. I have here before me a report on the -- technical report from the
11 municipality of Kacanik, village of Kotlina. It is dated the 24th of
12 March, 1999. The participants were terrorists unknown. That's what it
13 says in the report of the Secretariat of the Interior.
14 THE INTERPRETER: May we have a reference, please? Thank you.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Can we place this on the overhead projector and you can look at
17 it. We're not going to dwell on this document, just this portion. It is
18 tab 212, Stevanovic, and 213 during General Stevanovic's testimony.
19 You can just look through it briefly. That's the 24th of March.
20 24th of March, crime-scene investigation. And in line 2 of the text?
21 A. Yes. Kacanik 1999. Participants: Terrorists unknown, described
22 in the report.
23 Q. Take a look at this document just to refresh your memory. What is
24 it -- what does it say in the underlined portions?
25 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... we don't have the
1 English version with us here. We'll have to send for it. Having had a
2 look at the document, it may make more sense if the English version goes
3 on the overhead projector to assist the Chamber, if the accused has got it
4 with him as he should do.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you going to make much use of this document,
6 Mr. Milosevic?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no. You don't need an English
8 version for the photographs. But what I want him to read, well, the
9 interpreters can translate that. It's just a few words.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. A moment ago, General, you were looking at a printed text, typed
12 out. Do you have it on the overhead projector?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Well, go back to that page. Not the report. You have two
15 portions which were underlined. Just a moment ago you were looking at
16 that portion.
17 Have you seen the underlined portions?
18 A. Yes. It says, "One of the bodies discovered." Is that what it
20 Q. It says, "shelter in the form of a well."
21 A. "One the corpses was found and photographed close to a shelter in
22 the form of a well."
23 Q. And what does it say in the second sentence?
24 A. "Yes. It shows corpses found above the village of Kotlina in
25 another shelter or well."
1 Q. Now, was this house burned down? Has it been burnt down?
2 A. Well, no. This house hasn't been set fire to or burnt down. You
3 can see the doors, the windows, the fence.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, we looked at all those pictures with
5 Stevanovic. What's the point of repeating all these?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the point of it is that it is
7 precisely in that area that the unit of General Jelic was located, and he
8 is explaining to us what happened on the occasion, and he just is
9 confirming what General Stevanovic said about that particular subject.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but he's doing it by reading something that's
11 already been read to us. What's the point in that? It doesn't add a
12 thing to the evidence we've already heard.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think it's quite clear that
14 these exhibits in fact prove that absolute -- there was absolutely nothing
15 here to do with any crime.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's for us to decide. Move on to another
17 matter, Mr. Milosevic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Fine.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So that same witness, Isufu Loku, said that he heard from Zymeri
21 about a massacre of 22 young men killed by the Serb forces with an
22 explosion, explosive. Do you know anything about any massacre in Kotlina,
23 et cetera, or the event that was before you? And actually, you only know
24 about things indirectly.
25 A. I never heard of a massacre or this mass killing, which that would
1 have been. Had any killing like that taken place, or even close to that
2 scale of killing, I would certainly know about that.
3 Now, to kill them with an explosion, well, I don't know what this
4 term means. How can you kill someone with an explosion? There can be
5 casualties, but how can you kill 20 people by some sort of explosion? But
6 perhaps there's an error in terms, but anyway, I haven't heard of anything
7 like that.
8 Q. Now, Witness K31 from Kacanik, a protected witness, no name, she
9 said that on the 24th of May, that is to say that same date is referred to
10 -- no, this is the 24th of May, I'm sorry. In the transcript it is 8130
11 is the page number. She said that -- the witness was herself from
12 Kacanik. She said that an explosion woke them up, an explosion near her
13 mother's house, and in a group of 16 they set off in the direction of the
15 Now, what was happening? Was there an explosion on the 24th of
16 May in Kacanik at all?
17 A. On the 24th of May, whether there was an explosion that day and
18 what time, I really can't remember that. There were very frequent
20 Q. But that was during the NATO bombing, wasn't it?
21 A. Yes, especially when there was an airstrike on the part of NATO.
22 So there were explosions on a daily basis, hundreds of them.
23 Q. Well, she said she was woken up by one such explosion.
24 A. Yes, and she went to the -- took to the forest and then went to
25 Macedonia. So all of us were woken in the area by the NATO aggression and
1 the explosions.
2 Q. Well, she does say, truth to tell, that in a group of 16 they set
3 out in the direction of the mountain and that the remainder of the group
4 stayed in the forest and the Serb forces drew close to them and then shot
5 at the group but there were no wounded. That's what she says. So that's
6 not the important part, but anyway, she says she was woken up by the
7 explosion. You say you were all woken up by the explosion.
8 A. We couldn't sleep for days and nights. Not only her and in
9 Kacanik but in all the surrounding villages because the explosions. You
10 can hear an explosion.
11 Q. You indicated on Djosan's map the density of the bombing of your
12 area of defence, so I don't suppose that is being challenged, that there
13 were there these explosions which could be heard. Were there bombings
14 every day or were there breaks and pauses in the bombing when there were
15 no NATO airstrikes?
16 A. I can say that for 90 per cent of the time there were bombings and
17 explosions, because Urosevac is where the overall area of responsibility
18 is to be found and it is along a corridor which stretched from Macedonia
19 or, rather, Greece, Macedonia towards the interior of Serbia and Kosovo.
20 So there was bombing almost every day. Sometimes there were 50
21 projectiles in just one day.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, the witness Fadil Vishi testified
23 about the events in the village of Dubrava in the Kacanik municipality.
24 Let's see what he says. He said that on the 25th of May he was watching
25 from the forest and saw Serb forces stopping a convoy of peasants who were
1 endeavouring to leave Dubrava, and they arrested six persons. What can
2 you tell us about that? What do you have to say? That means you are
3 those forces that he's talking about which, on the 25th of May 1999, as
4 you said, there were no nobody else except your forces there, so what do
5 you have to say to that?
6 A. No, there was nobody there. First of all, the army didn't stop
7 anyone, ask for identification papers, or keep them and separate them in
8 any way. The army had orders in 1998 and 1999 that all persons moving
9 along the communication lines, let me repeat, should be directed to safe
10 areas. So that if there were combat in the region, to avoid these people
11 from being casualties and the targets of any attack, either our forces or
12 terrorist forces. But they directed them to secure and safe places and in
13 the direction they wished to go.
14 Q. Yes, I understand that, General. But let's just clear one thing
15 up. He said under oath -- and it is 4448 page of the transcript, the 7th
16 of May is when he testified, 2002. He said that he, on the 25th of May,
17 watched from the forest and saw Serb forces stopping a convoy of peasants
18 trying to leave Dubrava and that they arrested six persons. Therefore, we
19 have established here through your answers that there were no other forces
20 on that particular day or around that time of the 25th of May except your
21 own forces; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Therefore, if he says he saw a convoy stopped by what he refers to
24 as Serb forces and arrested six people, they must have been your forces;
25 is that right?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Now tell me this: Did you indeed stop any convoy of peasants
3 leaving Dubrava and did you arrest anyone?
4 A. Let me be practical. Possibly that the first two or three
5 vehicles stopped, as is wont to happen, to see whether they can go on. So
6 you would have to stop and ask the way, and the commanding officer will
7 say, yes, you can move ahead, you can take that such-and-such direction,
8 north or south or whatever, and then the column would pass by or, rather,
9 the people would leave. We had no right to arrest anyone.
10 Q. Let's leave that aside that you didn't have the right to do that,
11 but did it -- anything happen? Did -- was anybody taken into custody or
13 A. Only if they had on them insignia or weapons. Then that kind of
14 person would be detained and -- but there were no searches or anything
15 like that. Nobody was detained. Nobody was searched.
16 Q. Very well. Now, tell us something of the circumstances that
17 prevailed in the area, because this particular witness, the one I quoted a
18 moment ago, on that same page of the transcript goes on to say that from
19 January 1999 Dubrava was isolated, that there were no telephone
20 communications and no electricity. January 1999.
21 A. I think he's partially right on that score. You know very well
22 that from the beginning of March and -- or, rather, until the beginning of
23 March, the whole system functioned properly because it functioned in the
24 state. However, at the end of March or, rather, from the 24th of March,
25 after the NATO airstrikes, the telecommunications systems were destroyed
1 and the transformer stations and Urosevac as a town itself throughout the
2 war didn't have even 30 per cent of the electrical energy it usually had.
3 Q. But he says from January 1999 Dubrava was isolated, no telephone
4 communications or electricity.
5 A. No. All the villages did have those -- did have electricity and
6 telephones until the aggression started or, rather, nobody had telephones
7 except for 30 telephone numbers as of the 25th of March. The post office
8 was destroyed. We used the old exchange. We linked it to the railway
9 station and were able to communicate with the superior command, and we
10 gave a few telephone numbers to the organs of power and authority, to the
11 authorities, not to leave them without any communication whatsoever.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow down.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the -- and the General, the
15 interpreters are asking you to slow down, but we'll take the break now for
16 20 minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, let's move ahead quickly.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As fast as I can, Mr. Robinson.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness Muharem Dashi spoke about Stagovo, about incidents of the
23 21st and 22nd of May, 1999. That is the time when your unit was the only
24 one there; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Among other things, he says that he saw men moving on foot towards
2 Stagovo. I have a brief summary of his testimony. Sometime at 4.15, he
3 says, he was unable to see civilians, but he says they were surrounded by
5 Could you please tell us whether in Stagovo or elsewhere in your
6 area of responsibility there were any paramilitaries.
7 A. In the area of the brigade, in the defence area and in the area of
8 Stagovo, there were never any paramilitaries, nor was there any
9 paramilitary unit ever in the area of the defence of the brigade. The
10 only paramilitaries were the Siptar terrorist forces.
11 Q. He says also, among other things, that when the army or, rather,
12 the Serbian forces left the village, he went back to the village and saw
13 that 90 per cent of the houses were burnt down, as well as barns, that
14 houses were looted, and the doors on the mosque and the schoolhouse were
15 broken down and even some animals were killed. He said all that
16 testifying here.
17 A. I have no such information, nor did I ever have such information.
18 If that had happened, if that had been committed by my unit or the
19 neighbouring unit in the vicinity of Stagovo, I would have known about it.
20 So it certainly wasn't done by the army. Plus, the army had never entered
21 the village.
22 Q. He even says that there were several dead people there and that
23 his cousin buried them on the 22nd of May, 1999.
24 A. I have no information about any casualties in Stagovo except those
25 that I mentioned earlier that advanced towards the anti-armour detachment
1 and came across minefields.
2 Q. Sejdi Lami, from Kacanik, said here that on the 14th of May,
3 villagers of Lata -- do you know of such a village, Lata?
4 A. Such a village didn't exist. He probably means Vata.
5 Q. Could be. They left the village after an attack on the 13th of
6 May and that they were stopped on the way to Macedonia by Serb forces who
7 wanted money from them in exchange for safe passage. He testified on the
8 6th of May, 2002, page 4396 of the transcript.
9 A. He's probably -- he was probably in the area of those three
10 villages and hamlets. They did move towards the border, but the army
11 didn't stop anyone, they didn't ask for their IDs or money. That was not
12 their job. Plus, the army was in their trenches, manning their equipment.
13 Q. If you leave the village of Vata to go towards the border, which
14 route would you take? Could you show us on the map.
15 A. Here is the village of Vata.
16 Q. So that's Vata. Where would they go if they wanted to go to
18 A. They could go towards Globocica. That's the shortest route. And
19 the other possibility is the route via Kacanik towards Djeneral Jankovic
20 and Macedonia.
21 Q. But whichever route they took, they would go through the combat
22 deployment of your brigade?
23 A. Correct. They would go through the combat deployment of Combat
24 Group 2.
25 Q. So who could have stopped them on the way, asking for money or
2 A. There were parts of our brigade there. Nobody could have stopped
3 them except for terrorists or gangs of criminals who seemed to be always
4 present in such situations. It's possible that they did that. The only
5 authorities who could have inspected their documents, meaning IDs and
6 driving licenses, were MUP organs.
7 Q. Were there any MUP there?
8 A. No, not here, only at the border crossing, not on the roads.
9 Q. There was no police there, only on the border crossing?
10 A. Only on the border crossing. Or perhaps if there was an
11 intervention action, the MUP would be defending the road or defending
13 Q. Do you know maybe if Vata was a terrorist stronghold of some kind,
14 because he says that some KLA soldiers were housed in a house in Vata
15 which they left on the 12th of April already, and he was testifying about
16 an attack on the 13th of May. Was there a terrorist group in Vata?
17 A. Yes. In one of your earlier questions you mentioned the 13th of
18 April, and now you mentioned the 12th of April in Vata.
19 Q. No. He said that those KLA members left the house in Vata on the
20 12th of April, and he testified at the same time that on the 14th of May -
21 that is a month later - the villagers left Vata due to a Serb attack that
22 happened on the 13th of May.
23 A. I said that in this area, in view of the importance of this road,
24 there were terrorist groups all the time that ran to and fro between
25 combat deployment areas of various units. It was our estimate that there
1 were 150 to 200 terrorists in this area. That's one battalion from the
2 162nd KLA brigade. They were constantly along this road, and they would
3 make occasional incursions. It was mainly men from these villages in the
4 area of the road from Doganovic via Slatina towards Globocica. Those were
5 members of the 162nd Brigade of the KLA.
6 Q. All right. This witness said that on the 13th of April four
7 Pragas and six trucks with 100 regular soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia
8 shelled the village, resulting in the villagers fleeing towards the
9 mountains. Tell me, is it true that on the 13th of April this happened,
10 resulting in the death of 13 civilians?
11 A. I told you already the reasons why no village was shelled. To the
12 right of Vata and in front of Vata there were combat positions of our
13 units. So there was no shelling and no combat activity in these villages.
14 Q. Isa Raka, a witness from Kacanik, transcript page 4359, testified
15 on the 2nd of May, 2002, said that on the 2nd of May Serb forces --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please slow down.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. On the 2nd of May, Serb forces --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I've asked you to move ahead
20 quickly, but bear in mind the interpreters. They're asking you to slow
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You heard what the witness said, that Serb forces attacked
1 A. Yes, I heard. Kacanik is a municipality under our control. Our
2 authorities were in charge and all state authorities were operating. The
3 army never attacked Kacanik nor did it ever have any reason to, and they
4 never entered Kacanik.
5 This witness says he was in the woods, waiting for two days. He
6 was probably waiting for somebody to take him across. How could we know
7 who was where, waiting to cross the border? The border is to be crossed
8 at legal border crossings, not through woods.
9 Q. All right. Hazbi Loku, a witness from Kacanik, Kotlina village,
10 stated here that on the 24th of March, the village was surrounded by Serb
11 forces, that they entered houses, took villagers away towards the centre
12 of village, including women and children. They asked for valuables to be
13 turned over. Men had to lay down on the ground. The villagers were
14 transported by truck to the village of Lac. Military trucks -- it says
15 you took them away in military trucks on the 24th and 25th of March.
16 A. The army never entered Kotlina, nor did it have any direct contact
17 with civilians. You can see from this this is pure fabrication, a lie.
18 Look at the map. Kotlina and Lac, it's just one kilometre away on the
19 road. I don't know if I can show you here.
20 Right. This is Kotlina. Look. It's one centimetre on the map.
21 It is approximately one kilometre.
22 Q. Kilometre where?
23 A. Kilometre on the road. The distance which the children and women
24 were transported across.
25 Q. He claims that you transported them to the village of Lac by
1 trucks and then they went on on foot to Kacanik.
2 A. Our vehicles were full of food and ammunition. Imagine us
3 unloading ammunition, going two or three kilometres from our position to
4 that village to transport somebody across a distance of 500 metres to one
5 kilometre, and then letting them walk on for ten kilometres more. I think
6 it is complete nonsense.
7 Q. Thank you. This witness said that in Ivaja on the 8th of March,
8 1999, the mosque was destroyed. Do you know anything about an incident in
9 Ivaja on the 8th of March, 1999?
10 A. In Ivaja, on the 8th of March, if my memory serves me right, MUP
11 forces were active, and I think it was stated here already that this
12 action happened after a commander was killed in Kacanik. There was no
13 army in Ivaja. There were gather groups further down, providing in-depth
14 security of the border. MUP, in the course of this action, entered Ivaja
15 looking for perpetrators of this crime, and the army only raised its level
16 of alertness and put up defences to the west of Ivaja. Therefore, the
17 army didn't go into the village and I have no information if anything was
18 destroyed or looted because the army never went in there.
19 Q. That's the 8th of March. Verifiers were there. All right. Then
20 on the 9th of March, he says, Serb forces blocked Kacanik. The people
21 were sent -- were actually moving towards the border but the authorities
22 turned them back, and some people disappeared on the 9th of March. Do you
23 know anything about that?
24 A. The 9th of March is the date when verifiers were still there. Our
25 units were to the left and right of the cross -- of the border crossing.
1 The army does not hold the border crossing. It is held by the MUP. The
2 army never expelled anybody towards Macedonia, never checked anybody's
3 papers or any such thing.
4 Q. [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Milosevic. No translation is
6 coming across in English.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. 63(j).
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, continue. Perhaps you would repeat that.
10 You should repeat that question.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So paragraph 63(j). I am charged with the fact that in Urosevac
13 municipality, which was the seat, the base of your brigade ...
14 A. Yes. And also the command of the garrison.
15 Q. And you were a garrison commander in Urosevac?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So in Urosevac, during the period between the 24th of March and
18 the 14th of April, that means the first 20 days of the war, "... forces of
19 the FRY and Serbia shelled and attacked villages in the Urosevac
20 municipality, including the villages of Biba, Muhadzer Prelez, Raka, and
21 Staro Selo, killing a number of residents. After the shelling, forces of
22 the FRY and Serbia entered some of the villages, including Papaz and
23 Sojevo, and ordered the residents to leave. Other Kosovo Albanians from
24 Varos Selo and Mirosavlje fled their villages as the Serb forces entered.
25 After the residents left their homes, the soldiers and policemen burned
1 the houses. The displaced persons went to the town of Urosevac where most
2 boarded trains which carried them to the Macedonia border crossing at
3 Djeneral Jankovic. Serb forces directed the train passengers to walk on
4 the railroad tracks to the border. Others travelled in convoys ..." and
5 their documents were confiscated.
6 What can you say about these allegations in the indictment from
7 the 24th of March to the 14th of April? Before you answer that, could you
8 show us on the map these villages: Biba, Muhadzer Prelez, Raka, Staro
10 A. This is Biba. Staro Selo, Muhadzer and Trnovace, Muhadzer Prelez,
11 Sojevo, Mirosavlje.
12 Q. Just a minute.
13 A. This is Mirosavlje. All these villages mentioned here are to the
14 east and south of Urosevac for the most part. If you look at the map,
15 those are in fact the areas of defence of our units. You have to bear in
16 mind that there is an air field here. Let me see if it is on the map.
17 Here it is.
18 Furthermore, the main forces of the brigade were mainly to the
19 north, to the east, and to the south of the town of Urosevac. None of
20 these villages that you mentioned here is outside the combat disposition
21 of the brigade. All of them are within the areas of deployment of the
22 brigade. Most probably when they were taking up their positions this
23 witness called it surrounding of the village.
24 Q. No. That's not witness testimony. That's an allegation from the
25 indictment. It says: "During the period between the 24th of March and
1 the 14th of April -" that period of 20 days - "the forces of the FRY and
2 Serbia shelled and attacked villages in the Urosevac municipality," I
3 enumerated the villages and you just showed them on the map.
4 So tell me, were there any other units but yours?
5 A. Only units of my brigade were there.
6 Q. All right. Did the units from your brigade in this period from
7 the 24th of March until the 14th of April shell or attack these villages?
8 A. Technically speaking and security-wise, it is an impossibility,
9 because to the left and right of these villages there were positions of
10 our units. If you take Biba or Staro Selo, it's west of Urosevac. You
11 cannot shoot at units in Sovtovici, Pojatiste, or Muhadzer Prelez because
12 they are our units, our positions. All of these were positions of our
13 units. All the villages you enumerated from the indictment are located
14 here, in this area.
15 Look. All of them were positions taken up by our units, so we
16 couldn't fire or shell ourselves.
17 Q. It goes on to say or, rather, it mentions Papaz and Sojevo. It
18 says that you ordered the local population to leave the villages.
19 A. At no point did I have information that anyone from the army of
20 Yugoslavia was ordering anyone to leave a village. That's absolutely
22 Q. There was nobody else there apart from this unit?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The unit?
25 A. Varos Selo is to the south of Urosevac, and there are about 40 per
1 cent Serbs there and 60 per cent Albanians. The people who lived there
2 when the aggression started left in large numbers. This unit that was
3 there was to the north of Varos Selo, about a kilometre away. So there
4 was no reason to enter the village. The unit was in front of Urosevac in
5 the area of defence, and that's this red line you see here. The village
6 of Varos is almost linked up to Urosevac.
7 Q. Very well. What can you say about the overall time period
8 mentioned in paragraph 63(j) from the 24th of March to the 14th of April?
9 Was there a single attack on a village? Was a single village shelled?
10 Were the inhabitants of any village ordered to leave the village?
11 A. The units in this area were the assault force of the brigade.
12 They were not allowed to move at any point until the beginning of the land
14 Q. Please answer with a yes or no: Was there any shelling?
15 A. No, not at any point in time was there any shelling.
16 Q. Was there any burning down of houses or expulsion of the
18 A. No. There was no expulsion of the population and no burning down
19 of houses.
20 Q. Thank you, General. General, you brought with you order 4/336 of
21 the 24th of March, and that's in tab 19. Can you find it?
22 A. Yes, that's my order.
23 Q. This is quite a voluminous order. So is this the original order
24 of the 26th of March, 1999?
25 A. Yes. This is a copy of the original, but it bears my signature
1 and it was filed by me in the brigade. The content is the content of the
2 original order.
3 Q. We can see at the end that it was made in 15 copies and forwarded
4 to all subordinate units.
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Was this order drawn up in accordance with military rules? One
7 refers to the enemy, paragraph 2 refers to the task, 3 to adjacent units,
8 4 the decision, then the tasks of the various units are set, 6 refers to
9 support. Is this the order in which orders are drawn up according to the
11 A. Yes. Combat regulations prescribe the way in which an order is to
12 be drawn up, and this order has been done exactly in compliance with these
14 Q. Very well. At the beginning you mentioned that: "On the 24th of
15 March, by carrying out airstrikes, NATO launched an aggression against the
16 FRY. The following forces ..." and so on, and you were expecting the
17 forces you listed here.
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. So what were you expecting to happen?
20 A. Let me explain to you, Mr. Milosevic, the tactical position of the
21 brigade to show how this evaluation was made. It cannot be done by
22 numbers alone.
23 Q. Go ahead.
24 A. The direction from Macedonia --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: To what end is this evidence being led?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So that you can see how and why this
2 combat disposition was ordered covering a certain territory. The
3 allegation in the indictment is that crimes were committed in the area.
4 The general has just testified about each and every one of these
5 allegations in the indictment.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't see the relevance. Move on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, this shows the purpose
9 of the deployment. According to the allegation, the purpose was to expel
10 the population. It was a joint criminal enterprise. It was to expel and
11 kill the Albanians. However, this order shows that the purpose was to
12 prevent ground forces assaulting the area.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have -- you and your witnesses have an
14 obsession with formalism. It doesn't matter what the order says. What
15 matters is what actually happened. Move on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I will ask the general whether the order was fully complied with
19 in all the brigade units.
20 A. In organisation, establishment, orders, everything was carried
21 out. The units took up positions in a timely manner, organised defence,
22 organised a fire system, expecting a NATO aggression from the direction of
24 Q. Please turn to page 2, where it says, "I have decided as follows."
25 What does it say in the first line?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... you should
2 not examine on.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will admit this order. We have it. We can
5 read it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, but may I put just one
7 question in connection with it, Mr. Robinson?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Just one question, yes.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, in view of the fact that your decision was to organise
11 defence, decisive defence in the assigned zone, does this kind of
12 organisation of blocking defence and the deployment aimed at meeting
13 aggression by ground forces, does it enable the units to carry out any
14 other kinds of activities?
15 A. In brief, no. The brigade was on the first line of the defence of
16 the corps. It was at the state border in the border belt. It was
17 intended to protect the state. That's what blocking defence means, that
18 there is no movement away from this line.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, as you said you would
20 read this order, let me just draw your attention to page 7 where it says,
21 among other things, that international law was to be fully complied with.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're trying to do indirectly what I told you
23 not to do. Move on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, your documents include an order by General Lazarevic of
2 the 31st of March, and the sanitisation of the terrain is ordered by the
3 units of the JNA in their areas of responsibility, and special units are
4 to be set up to carry this out, according to decisions by the commanders,
5 and it further goes on to talk about supplies.
6 What can you say about this document? What does it refer to and
7 can you comment on it very briefly?
8 A. Yes. This is the order of corps command of the 31st of March.
9 Q. He was your immediate superior?
10 A. Yes, the corps commander. And this order defines the procedure to
11 be carried out in connection with the dead, the wounded, both soldiers and
12 civilians, as well as terrorists. Besides this, it describes what is to
13 be done with the carcasses of animals, how they are to be removed from the
14 ground, all with a view to protection of the units in the area, that is in
15 the area of defence, the protection of the population and the humane
16 treatment of people.
17 This order assigns specific tasks and describes the equipment and
18 materiel to be employed, starting with the investigating judge, doctors,
19 veterinarians, and so on.
20 Q. In paragraph 4, it says: "Former hygiene and sanitation team per
21 needs and at the decision of the commander of the company brigade."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And it goes on to explain what a sanitation team consists of.
24 A. It has to have an investigating judge --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: We can read that order as well.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson.
2 Mr. Robinson, as we are now tendering documents, I omitted to
3 tender the document I put on the ELMO to begin with. It's the one signed
4 by Mr. Nice of the 26th of May, 2005, containing the information from
5 their investigator about the 12 members of the KLA, as it says here, KLA
6 soldiers in Kotlina.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll admit that.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With respect to these orders,
10 Mr. Robinson, please explain something to me.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that exhibit will be D331.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: And with regard to some documents to which you
13 referred and which were used but not tendered, we'll admit tabs 11, 13,
14 14, and 15. Yesterday [sic].
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, please explain
16 something to me. When you say you don't want to hear the contents of the
17 orders, as far as I can understand, I am being prosecuted for command
18 responsibility; therefore, the content of orders is very important.
19 Either I am being prosecuted for command responsibility or you're saying
20 that I personally went out onto the ground to kill someone.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: The orders are there. We can read them. We have
22 admitted them. They are in evidence.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You can read what it says in them,
24 but the commander who actually wrote the orders can give pertinent
25 explanations. Otherwise, it would not be necessary to consider any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 documents here in the courtroom. But as you know, Mr. Nice went through
2 all the documents he presented in great detail, or at least some of them.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let's move on.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, in tab 21 there is an order written by you. This is not
7 an order by your corps commander but an order written by you. Does it
8 fully comply with the orders you received from your superiors?
9 A. Yes. This is order that I issued. When the corps commander
10 issues an order, then I issue my own order to my subordinates, and it goes
11 on like that. It fully corresponds to what the corps commander ordered,
12 except that in paragraph 4 I designate the unit and assign specific tasks
13 for the sanitation. There's a squad commander, deputy commander, an
14 investigating judge, a municipal public prosecutor, a rifle squad, a
15 medical orderly, a veterinary medical orderly, two to four nurses, one to
16 two veterinary nurses, one non-commissioned officer from the unit, and so
17 on, and two trucks.
18 So now specific tasks are assigned and the persons in charge are
19 named. In this case it's Cedomir Cvetkovic.
20 Q. We have an order in tab 22. It's a very short order issued by you
21 on the 4th of April 1999. And as far as I can see, but it's better if you
22 explain it, it refers to measures for protection of the civilian
24 A. Yes. "In the past few days, a number of instances of improper
25 conduct on the part of the troops towards the civilian populations have
1 been noted. The population in question is leaving the areas under threat
2 from attacks by the Siptar terrorists and NATO airstrikes from the
4 "In order to protect the population ..."
5 Q. General, please read a little bit more slowly because I see the
6 transcript cannot keep up with you.
7 A. Very well. "In order to protect the population leaving the areas
8 under threat and to prevent any improper treatment of this population by
9 individuals and units, I hereby issue the following order:
10 "1. For all the population leaving the areas under threat, ensure
11 free passage along the axes leading from the territory of Kosovo and
12 Metohija towards the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Macedonia."
13 Q. So this refers to all the population leaving the areas, and in the
14 beginning you said that they were leaving under threat from attacks by the
15 Siptar terrorists and NATO airstrikes.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. So the population fleeing the NATO bombing and the Siptar
18 terrorists is being given the possibility of taking refuge.
19 A. Yes. It goes on to say: "Exercise command to protect the
20 population against improper conduct on the part of individuals and groups
21 and ensure unimpeded passage of along their chosen route."
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... an order
23 that you made?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you referred to the population under threat
1 from attacks by the Siptar terrorists and the NATO airstrikes. What is
2 the precise evidence that you had to support that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where the NATO forces operated, and
4 it was south-east and west of Urosevac. The air field was the constant
5 target of NATO aggression, and we had a lot of positions there and decoys
6 to protect the forces that were located in-depth.
7 The villages such as Varos Selo, Nekodim, Stara Selo, Kamena
8 Glava, Sojevo, Biba, Raka, those villages, and they are all in this area
9 here, were under constant attack by the air force, almost daily,
10 especially around the air field and Kamena Glava. The population from the
11 surrounding villages, although the villages appear smaller here than they
12 are in reality, they're much bigger, but when there are bombs falling 500
13 metres to a kilometre from their houses it is quite natural for the
14 population to flee the area, and they flee in the direction where they
15 consider they will be safer.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is the actual situation, the
18 factual situation. On Nekodim, bombs falling on Nekodim, on Varos Selo,
19 for example, on the air field. It is normal that the population fled from
20 the area.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you or anyone in your command, under your
22 command, speak to any of the villagers who were fleeing to ascertain why
23 they were fleeing?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commanders of the units in the
25 field, locals reported to them straight away, asking to be allowed to
1 leave in the direction they wanted to go. Some went to the northern
2 stretches of Kosovo. Others went towards Macedonia, and the fewest from
3 this area went towards Albania. They asked whether they could take
4 shelter and preserve the lives of their women and children, not to have
5 them killed in their houses. And I quoted the example of Doganovic where
6 five children were killed, five children belonging to one family, and of
7 course the families had to flee straight away. Not only that family but
8 practically the whole village left.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, we'll admit that order. We
10 can read it.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Just on one matter. General, what gave rise to
12 this order was that there were a number of instances of improper conduct
13 on the part of troops towards the civilian population. Can you give me an
14 example of that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A specific example? Commanders of
16 units who did not allow civilians to move around their area, their region,
17 and prevented people from leaving. They were usually the commanders of
18 platoons and companies. After consultations with the battalion commanders
19 - and they consulted me in turn - I allowed what I allowed pursuant to
20 this order and wrote an order out, saying what kind of conduct should be
21 applied in the area under NATO airstrikes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you view what these commanders were doing as
23 improper conduct and a threat towards the civilian population? It doesn't
24 sound like that to me.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that wasn't a threat to the
1 civilian population. It was care and attention for one's own men so as to
2 prevent columns of tractors and so on, because it's usually done in an
3 unorganised fashion, of groups of people moving around in the area that
4 they are defending. So after being given permission, they allowed the
5 population to pass through and carry on in the direction they had chosen
6 to go.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's it? That's the only improper conduct
8 you're referring to, and that gives rise to this order?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't improper conduct on the
10 part of these individuals, because the people considered, and that is
11 certain, that it was better that the population was where they were,
12 because those young people thought that the NATO aggression would not
13 enter into inhabited areas. However, after the bombings, it became clear
14 that the population had to leave those areas.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So can I repeat my initial question: What are the
16 instances of what you call improper conduct on the part of the troops?
17 Can you give me an example of that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A concrete example would be this:
19 If somebody wants to leave an inhabited area, the command doesn't allow
20 them to pass through the region of defence, considering that to be a
21 threat to them. They would prevent them. But they then asked their
22 superior officer, commanding officer for permission. Pursuant to my
23 order, the commanding officer would give him permission, and that is why
24 this order applied to all units and not to prevent the movement of the
25 population, the moving out of the population.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jelic, none of that sounds to me like what any
2 ordinary person would describe as improper conduct, but if that's all you
3 can say, then I can take the matter no further. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, you emphasise here in point 2 that -- you say: "Comply
7 fully with the rules of international law of war and provisions of the
8 Geneva Conventions in the treatment of the population." You write that on
9 the 4th of April, 1999.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And then you say anybody that violates international war law is
12 duty-bound -- that their commanding officers are duty-bound to take steps
13 against this kind of conduct and persons engaging in it.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, in point 4, is that part of the explanation you gave to
16 Mr. Bonomy a moment ago? You say: "Direct the population leaving the
17 crisis areas in columns in motor vehicles and on foot take the routes
18 leading towards the Republic of Albania and Macedonia and prohibit any
19 improper treatment of those people."
20 A. Yes, that's the substance of my answer.
21 Q. You mean that the people could be allowed to move on?
22 A. Yes, that's right, and not have them be a target.
23 Q. And then you go on to say: "When bodies are found of persons who
24 were killed in the area of responsibility, report this to the military
25 investigative judge so that the cause of death can be ascertained and
1 proper documentation drafted."
2 A. Yes. And asanacija, clearing up the terrain, is done according to
3 the rules governing this subject matter.
4 Q. All right. Fine. Thank you, General. Now, in tab 23 we have
5 another of your orders.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I'd like to tender tab
7 22, the order.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now, tab 23, there we have another order of yours.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tab 21 is also admitted.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What does this order relate to?
16 A. This is an order which ensures the security regime in the area of
17 responsibility in order to protect the units, public law and order of the
18 civilian population. It says: "I hereby order." In my areas of
19 responsibility: "Implement the security regime in your zones of
20 responsibility in coordination with the forces of the Republic of Serbia
21 MUP, Ministry of the Interior. The focus is to be on protecting the units
22 and RMS, maintaining public order and protecting the civilian population.
23 "2. Clear up the terrain --"
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is one that we'll just read.
25 We'll admit it and we'll read it. So move to the next one.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Just one question with respect to this document, if I may,
3 Mr. Robinson. I wanted to ask the witness this in concrete terms, since
4 he issued this order: What does point 4 relate to with regard to
5 providing assistance to the MUP organs in efforts to ensure the return and
6 protection of displaced persons?
7 A. Yes, since there were a large number of displaced persons in the
8 area, depending on the individual cases where combat was taking place, we
9 had to give assistance first of all to the military police, in
10 coordination with the MUP, to ensure that that population should be
11 channeled and directed to places which were designated for the civilian
12 population, whether it was temporary putting up in the forests and later
13 on in the facilities to protect them from the low temperatures and to give
14 them every assistance in the form of food, medicines, and so on, medical
15 aid and so on.
16 Q. So you also say that strict measures should be taken against all
17 persons who violate the security regime.
18 A. Yes. Strict measures to sanction the perpetrators, taking regular
20 Q. All right. Fine. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I ask that this document be tendered
22 into evidence, Mr. Robinson.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: It will be admitted.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, tab 24 is another of your orders which you issued to
1 prevent persons leaving of their own accord. I'm not going to refer to
2 the entire order which relates to all forms of crime, but I just want to
3 ask you one thing: Volunteers were mentioned quite frequently. Now, in
4 point 2 you say that measures with respect to the military conscripts and
5 volunteers are the same as they are towards everyone else.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... because we
7 have a find a more efficient way of dealing with them. Ms. Higgins?
8 MS. HIGGINS: Your Honour, maybe I can assist. There are a number
9 of tabs which I can indicate which it seems to me cover the subjects of
10 protection of civilians in the zone of responsibility, NATO bombing in the
11 areas of the indictment, detection and prevention of crime in the ranks of
12 the army, and a number of combat reports, all by General Jelic. Those
13 tabs are 21 to 27 inclusive, 29 to 31 inclusive, 33, 34, 36 to 39
14 inclusive, 41, 42, 44, and 45, if that assists, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I'll consult as to the most efficient way
16 of dealing with it.
17 Mr. Nice, can you say, what is your position on these?
18 MR. NICE: These are all documents, indeed some of the earlier
19 ones that the Court wanted the accused to take swiftly, are all documents
20 that might require quite some exploration by us, dependent, of course, to
21 some degree on the first observations that the witness may make. So I'm
22 entirely in the Court's hands, but taking them swiftly may nevertheless
23 not save you altogether from having to consider them, and consideration of
24 them, of course, will cut into the time that I have, but I'm entirely in
25 the Court's hands. But certainly I expect one or two of the early ones in
1 particular to be the subject of significant cross-examination.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, in the light of that, Mr. Milosevic, deal
4 with them but as expeditiously as you can.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, very briefly.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, in tab 25 we don't have a order; it is your own report.
8 But not to get ahead of ourselves, tell me: It's your report, is it sent
9 to the command of the Pristina Corps?
10 A. Yes. According to all our rules and regulations, we report along
11 these lines.
12 Q. Now, I'm bearing in mind that paragraph 2, the places are
13 mentioned which we have quoted, in the area of Glavica, Varos Selo,
14 Nekodim, and so on. Could you read out what you were reporting about on
15 the 16th of April.
16 A. We can see that with the help of this map here. I'd like to draw
17 your attention to the date, the 16th of April, 1999, at around 800 hours,
18 above Kisela Voda, it says here a village but in fact it is south or,
19 rather, between Kacanik and Djeneral Jankovic. Halfway between the two
20 there's a small water source called Kisela Voda where leaflets were
21 dropped above the village. A large number of refugees is arriving from
22 the Republic of Macedonia by train and bus and on tractors at the border
23 and returning in the direction of Kacanik, which means they've crossed the
24 border. On that same day, the 16th of April, that is, between 14.15 hours
25 to 14.45 hours NATO aircraft were active in the sector Glavica, Varos
1 Selo, and Nekodim, which is all below Urosevac. That's it here.
2 Q. All right. Fine. Now, from this can I see and deduce that they
3 are bombing parts and villages in which the Albanians are returning from
4 the border; is that right?
5 A. Yes, they were persons who had fled for a time.
6 Q. But were they already in Macedonia?
7 A. Yes, they were in Macedonia, and they're returning.
8 Q. You mean they're crossing the border again and coming in?
9 A. Yes. And when they reached the vicinity of their villages, the
10 aircraft launched airstrikes again with eight projectiles, plus two, which
11 means a total of 10 projectiles in Nekodim, Varos Selo - that's this
12 deployment area here - and this entire region that they were returning
13 back from.
14 Q. Now, can you establish a link between that; they're coming back
15 now and then they're being bombed?
16 A. Well, you can see quite clearly who is expelling the population.
17 Q. You mean who isn't allowing them to return?
18 A. Yes, who isn't allowing them to return. If you look at the hours,
19 it is 0800 hours to begin with, and then 1400 hours, which means the
20 people had left their villages, crossed the border, and then were coming
21 back. And they were being bombed again, and what was left, they had to
22 flee to Macedonia and take to the forests again.
23 Q. So what it says here at 0800 hours, they have crossed the border
24 and had come back and were moving towards their own homes, and they were
25 being bombed from 1415 hours to 1445 hours. The NATO airstrikes were
1 bombing them.
2 A. Yes, with the ten projectiles.
3 Q. To the three villages they were going back to, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is this a contemporaneous document from those times, General?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. We won't dwell on that, then.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender it into evidence now,
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Tabs 24 and 25.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We have here another of your orders in tab 26. Is it indeed your
13 order and your signature?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. It's the -- an original document, is it?
16 A. Yes, original document, dated the 17th of April, 1999, and it
17 relates to ensuring safety of the civilian population and cooperation with
18 the authorities.
19 Q. You say: "Because of the NATO airstrikes and the attacks by the
20 remaining Siptar terrorist forces on civilian targets, the civilian
21 population in the brigade zone is daily exposed to direct attacks, putting
22 their safety at extreme risk."
23 A. Yes, and it comes after the situation we've just been analysing.
24 That's the new situation. It says: "In order to prevent and reduce
25 losses among the civilian population caused by the aggressor's attacks, I
1 hereby issue the following order."
2 Q. Right. So you're referring to reducing the losses among the
3 civilian population, "I hereby order ..."
4 A. Yes. "I hereby order:
5 "1. Form special forces - elements of combat disposition in all
6 units, tasked with taking care of the civilian population."
7 And the task is as follows: "In cooperation with MUP forces and
8 civilian defence, promptly notify the civilian population about the
9 attacks by the NATO aggressors and the Siptar terrorist forces, assist in
10 providing shelter and evacuation, ensure the best possible conditions for
11 the disposition and accommodation of the civilian population, assist in
12 bringing in supplies, organising economic activities and in particular
13 health care, maintain full public law and order, protect personal property
14 and ensure personal safety, prevent any restrictions to the rights and
15 liberties of citizens, except if their exercise poses a threat ... to the
16 safety of the unit."
17 Q. Then you go on to say: "In sectors where the units are deployed,
18 ensure full cooperation ... with the authorities ..."
19 And you also say, paragraph 2: "Select, if possible,
20 representatives-commissioners among the civilian population ..."
21 A. Yes, in order to organise better organisation of accommodation and
22 care. Of course, regardless of the fact that we provided security and
23 guidance, sometimes people were not able to move on primarily for security
24 reasons; their own security and that of the units.
25 Q. What else do you say in this order?
1 A. Treat the population humanely. That's paragraph 5: "In all other
2 matters related to the treatment of the civilian population, act in an
3 extremely humane and responsible way in accordance with all the VJ rules
4 and provisions of international humanitarian law." So that's in line with
5 the orders above.
6 Q. That's in cases where their safety is endangered in a dramatic
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I would like to tender
9 this as well.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll admit it.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tab 26, the order of General Jelic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In tab 27, we find your regular combat report that you sent on the
14 19th of April, 1999.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. We will not dwell on it for long. Let's just look at the
17 beginning when you discuss the enemy. You say in the broader area of
18 deployment of the armoured battalion - that was Kamena Glava - from the
19 VAP --
20 A. That is airspace.
21 Q. -- NATO aircraft attacked the agricultural air field sector "in
22 five raids, with two to four missiles and cluster bombs." You go on to
23 say that in the area of Kurdi Mahala a Motorola hand-held radio was found
24 in one of the Siptar houses.
25 A. That was found by the military police. And in the village of
1 Slivovo, two bodies of Siptar terrorists were found and they were removed.
2 Q. How were those two terrorists killed?
3 A. Those two terrorists in Slivovo, which is here, in this area
4 facing Stimlje, they went into the combat deployment of the brigade armed
5 and opened fire on the soldiers. The soldiers who were on duty returned
6 fire and destroyed, that is, killed those two members of the terrorist
8 Q. In that incident, were there any more terrorists involved apart
9 from the two?
10 A. These two who came closer to the combat deployment of the unit
11 were killed. Others who were further away in the woods fled. I don't
12 know if any of them were injured or not.
13 Q. All right.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender tab 27 as well?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll admit it.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In tab 28, General, there is another order of yours.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It has to do with establishing control of the territory and
20 measures to secure troops and units. Describe it briefly, please.
21 A. I ordered that everybody should use all their establishment
22 resources in cooperation with the MUP authorities to establish full
23 control, meaning that neither military personnel -- in the areas of
24 defence, neither military personnel or civilians are able to move or
25 allowed to move, primarily for reasons of their own security and the
1 security of the units.
2 Also, in one of the points I say as far, as the civilian
3 population is concerned, always adhere to the previously issued order. By
4 all available means prevent any threat to the security of the civilian
5 population or their property.
6 Paragraph 6: "Deal with the volunteers -" who are integrated in
7 the unit, that means - "who are unable to carry out the tasks assigned to
8 them, in the following manner: Establish if anyone is responsible for
9 failure to perform the tasks or for other unlawful acts, and following
10 that, return them by organised military transport to the command of the
11 Nis military district." So do not leave anything to chance.
12 "Prior to that, take disciplinary measures against persons
13 responsible for possible criminal and other unlawful acts."
14 Q. Thank you, General.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just ask one question. There were actually
17 volunteers in your unit?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were soldiers, volunteers.
19 But once they joined the unit, there are no longer any volunteers. It is
20 in terms of the way in which they reported for duty; that they were people
21 who had no wartime assignment but came to the army, were sent for training
22 in the Nis garrison, and according to their military registered
23 speciality, they would be assigned to various units, and the units would
24 be reinforced with them.
25 As soon as they joined the unit, they would be entered in the list
1 of personnel, and they would be the same kind of soldiers with the same
2 duties and responsibilities as any other soldier.
3 JUDGE KWON: General, in the beginning of this document you said
4 that the personal appearance of the unit members, especially the reserve
5 forces, is not in compliance with what is prescribed, and it tarnishes the
6 reputation of the Yugoslav army, and there have been instances of criminal
7 activity. Could you give us some examples?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right. It's impossible. We didn't
9 allow any differences to exist within a unit between an 18-year-old
10 soldier and a soldier who was 50 years old. Everybody had to be placed
11 under command with certain prescribed obligations. Proper personal
12 appearance, meaning short haircut, shaven face, adequate uniform with all
13 the insignia of the state army, and as such the soldier would be placed
14 under the command of his unit, be it a company, platoon, battery,
15 whatever. And regardless of the way in which he joined the unit, what his
16 motivation was, whether he was mobilised or volunteered, no difference was
17 allowed between one soldier and another, and they were subject to the same
18 legal provisions.
19 JUDGE KWON: I asked you to give us some examples of criminal
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There have always been and there
22 always will be, in a mass of 6 or 7.000 individuals, people who would
23 engage in petty criminal activity; from petty theft attempts to take the
24 goods home during the weekend, smuggling, et cetera, because mobilisation
25 implies that you mobilise people who are normally civilians, who before
1 joining the army were engaged in all sorts of activities. And in that
2 mass of people, it is quite natural for these glitches to happen, those
3 irregularities. People who probably behaved like that in civilian life as
4 well and tried to continue in the same way once they joined the army.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, Mr. Kwon asked you if you had an example.
7 A. I can remember a military conscript who stole, somewhere near the
8 Dulje pass, a motor vehicle and some jewellery and tried to carry that to
9 the interior of Serbia. He was caught by the MUP.
10 I don't know what the outcome of his prosecution was, but I am
11 more than certain that he was convicted. We can probably ask for
12 information from the judiciary to see what sentence he got.
13 Q. Was there anyone in your brigade who was responsible for -- I'm
14 not talking about theft now, who was responsible for murder?
15 A. No, nobody was ever brought before an investigative judge --
16 investigating judge in my unit, and nobody was prosecuted. Looking a year
17 back from the said period, there was no one responsible for a serious
19 Q. So you had no such examples in your brigade?
20 A. Until a year ago. Until a year ago, there was no such case. If a
21 thing like that had ever happened, I would certainly be informed, and it
22 would have been reported to the investigating judge.
23 JUDGE KWON: General, I don't see from this document to whom this
24 order was directed. Can you help us with that.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the right-hand corner, it says,
1 "To the command." One copy is supposed to stay with the command, and the
2 rest of the copies are handed out to subordinated units. It is the usual
3 list of addressees.
4 JUDGE KWON: So in point 5 you ordered your subordinate unit to
5 keep a precise war diary about everything. So every unit was keeping its
6 own war diary?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. Every unit of the
10 rank of a battalion or an artillery battalion had its war diary.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, with regard to this question by Mr. Kwon, in the
14 right-hand corner we see, "To the command of," and then an empty space.
15 In one of the orders we looked at previously, there were 15 units listed.
16 What is this supposed to be filled in with?
17 A. You can write "Command of the 3rd Mechanised Battalion," et
19 Q. So every unit within your brigade receives a copy of this order?
20 A. Every unit subordinate to me, which is of the rank of battalion or
21 artillery battalion.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. In tab --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In fact, Mr. Robinson, can I turn to
24 this now, this order.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] In tab 29, you have another order,
1 dated the 22nd of April. Is this also an original document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can we stay with it for a while. I want some explanations.
4 It says: "In the last few days, several members of the corps have
5 gone missing or lost their lives due to the indiscipline of individuals in
6 certain units of the corps."
7 So you are referring to incidents within the corps. Did something
8 like that happen in your brigade?
9 A. No, not in my brigade. We were simply informed -- or, rather, we
10 received intelligence to that effect.
11 Q. Does it mean that when incidents happen the entire corps is
12 informed, even if it didn't happen in your brigade?
13 A. It would be more precise to say that an order is issued to help
14 prevent similar incidents.
15 Q. In paragraph 4, what did you list here?
16 A. It says -- in fact, this refers to the chief of security. He, as
17 the authority in charge, is instructed to take all the necessary measures,
18 in cooperation with the MUP, to prevent all form of criminal acts, and in
19 parentheses, looting, removal of private property, and so forth.
20 Q. And then you go on to say: "Inform all members of the unit ..."
21 A. Correct. "Inform all members of the unit and point out to them
22 the damaging effects of all criminal acts on the reputation and morale of
23 the unit members."
24 Q. All right. Thank you, General.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this order too.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Tabs 28 and 29 are admitted.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tab 30, there's another order signed by you.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. You note, first of all, that, "In view of NATO airstrikes and
6 occasional operations of the Siptar terrorist forces, there have been
7 considerable movements of the civilian population in the brigade zone of
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. That was the 23rd of April. "In view of NATO airstrikes and
11 occasional operations of the terrorist forces ..." And what did you
13 A. I ordered: "At the level of the battalion, artillery battalion,
14 and the military territorial detachment, to assess the overall situation
15 concerning the accommodation and movements of the civilian population.
16 Wherever possible, protect the civilian population and prevent any
17 movements or overspill.
18 "In case civilians should find themselves in a combat zone, or if
19 they are threatened by the operations of the NATO aggressor and the Siptar
20 terrorist forces, evacuate them to the most suitable sectors and protect
21 them from fire."
22 Then I ordered the units to find the most suitable locations, such
23 as villages, residential buildings and other facilities which are best
24 suited for the evacuation and temporary accommodation of civilians.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... raise in
1 relation to an order of this kind?
2 MR. NICE: Quite possibly not with this one I think. I mean,
3 there are some general questions about all these documents, not least, for
4 example, the point His Honour Judge Kwon raised, which is again manifest
5 on this document and may be a general point, but apart from that, not this
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I think -- move on, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: Mr. Robinson, it's not clear to me whether you're
9 adapting the way I'm presenting my evidence to the way in which Mr. Nice
10 is going to cross-examine.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I am determining the relevance. That's my job.
12 It's relevant, but there's no need to go through it in detail. We can
13 read it.
14 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is concerned --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, my --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Judge Kwon is speaking.
17 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is concerned with the time you're
18 spending to introduce these kind of exhibits. Speaking for myself, there
19 can be a way to deal with it more swiftly. For example, as a group,
20 emphasising some important points.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you able to identify the essential elements
22 of the remaining orders?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am only identifying the essential
24 elements. But when you say that you're establishing the relevance, I have
25 nothing against that, Mr. Robinson. However, I see that the basis on
1 which you are determining the relevance is whether Mr. Nice is going to
2 cross-examine or not. If he's not going to cross-examine, then it's not
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... point on it.
5 It means that he accepts it and there's no need to waste time.
6 Let us take up Judge Kwon's suggestion. If you can identify the
7 essential elements of the remaining orders, then we can do that. Just put
8 them to the witness and you'll get a yes or no answer and then we can move
9 on. Consider that during the break.
10 We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to draw your attention to
16 paragraph 19, because that's directly related to the orders that we have
17 here and through which we are now moving. In paragraph 19, it says:
18 "Slobodan Milosevic -" and then other names are mentioned - "while holding
19 positions of superior authority, are individually criminally responsible
20 for the acts or omissions of their subordinates pursuant to Article 7(3)
21 of the Statute of the Tribunal. A superior is responsible for the
22 criminal acts of his subordinates if he knew or had reason to know that
23 his subordinates were about to commit such acts or had done so and the
24 superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent
25 such acts or to punish the perpetrators."
1 What I am just presenting is an accumulation of evidence to show
2 that everything was undertaken to prevent any kind of criminal acts from
3 being committed and to protect the population, and this is seen from the
4 Supreme Command, the corps command, right down to brigade command level.
5 The chain of command shows that. So the chain of command is equal to the
6 chain of care and attention -- links in the chain of care and attention
7 paid to the civilian population to prevent any possible detriment to the
8 civilian population.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm not preventing you from
10 leading the evidence, it's the time that is spent on it. It can be dealt
11 with more quickly. I have not prevented you from leading it, particularly
12 in light of Mr. Nice's comment that there are matters that he will raise
13 in relation to some of these orders, but let us move as quickly as
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I hesitate to take a minute, but it may
16 assist the accused if the accused was to understand what professional
17 lawyers, taking advantage of the procedures of the Tribunal would be, in
18 served statements setting out the both provenance and significance of the
19 documents, and it would then be open to the Prosecution to say, as to
20 provenance, no challenge; as to significance, the following in their
21 cross-examination. And that's the way that time is saved. If the
22 accused, who I notice isn't attending necessarily to what I'm saying,
23 takes the advantage of discussing matters with Ms. Higgins, he'll learn
24 how time can be saved and better spent in court without losing evidence.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Mr. Milosevic.
1 Tab 30 is to be admitted.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May tab 31 be admitted as well, not
3 to have to dwell on that, because that is an order referring to the
4 civilian population as well.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We now have a few of the tabs that I
7 introduced later on. I hope you have them. They were presented before
8 the witness started to testify. It is 31.1, and 31.2.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, do you have those documents, 31.1 and 31.2?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 JUDGE KWON: We don't have those.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We'll place them on the overhead
14 projector, because I received them subsequently, a few days before the
15 general started testifying.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let them be placed on the ELMO.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, would you place your copy on the overhead projector. I
19 need my copy to be able to ask my questions. This relates to March 1999,
20 and it is an act of the command of the 3rd Army, a team for liaising with
21 the missions, a daily report. May we take a look at the second page.
22 A. Is it the 2nd of March or the 3rd of March?
23 Q. This is dated the 2nd of March. What does it say in paragraph 2
24 on the second page? The liaison officer of the 243rd Motorised Brigade.
25 That is your own brigade; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE INTERPRETER: A little slower, please. Could the speakers be
3 asked to slow down.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic and the general, the interpreters
5 are asking you to speak more slowly. Please observe the pause between
6 question and answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says the liaison officer of the
8 243rd Mechanised Brigade held a plan meeting with the members of the OSCE
9 mission at 0900 hours. The meeting was attended by a representative from
10 Prizren as well.
11 Q. All right. Now, skip a paragraph, because it says they controlled
12 some numbers of the mechanised units. Now, what does it say in the
13 following paragraph?
14 A. From 1000 hours to 1030 hours a meeting was held with the leader
15 of the team, Colonel Kotur, and a representative of the OSCE mission,
16 Richard Ciaglinski, at his request and with respect to events in the
17 Kacanik area, region. It was explained that they were activities on the
18 part of the security organs providing security to the state borders in
19 coordination with the forces of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade engaged in
20 providing in-depth security. The representative of the mission agreed
21 that such activities in the border belt were necessary.
22 Q. That means that the verifying mission verified your activities?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, this next document, to be found at tab 31.1, which relates to
25 a report by the commander of the 3rd Army with respect to the missions,
1 and the date is the 29th of October there.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In paragraph 2, what does it say?
4 A. "On the 26th of October, the following units were returned to
5 their original garrison," and then the combat groups are mentioned.
6 Q. And then it says on the 29th the army pulled out surplus equipment
7 and manpower from the 243rd Brigade, which deviated from the structure
8 established, and it says --
9 A. It says reduced to three tanks, 355 and ten BVPs.
10 Q. Was that in compliance with the agreement?
11 A. Yes, there was. There were certain differences, deviations, and
12 then the agreed upon levels were arrived at.
13 Q. Now, as we discussed your presence in the area of Dulje, Stimlje,
14 in the vicinity of Racak itself, what does it say here under point 3? On
15 the 27th of October, what does it say?
16 A. Yes. From 820 to 920 hours in the barracks of Car Uros in the
17 Urosevac garrison, a diplomatic military mission spent time and they were
18 composed of the following members.
19 Q. All right. You needn't read out all the members. It says the
20 team visited what, toured what?
21 A. The team toured the regions of the previous deployment of the
22 motorised company, the -- of the 243rd Brigade, in brackets, Stimlje,
23 Dulje and Birac. The mission did not have any comments or remarks to
25 Q. So what you're saying is they toured those positions of that
1 mechanised company in the area of Stimlje, Dulje, and Birac.
2 A. Yes, covering the three points.
3 Q. And at Stimlje is where your unit was. So that's that same
4 company, is it, pursuant to an agreement?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And they had nothing to remark, no special comments to make?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Now on page 2, what does it say there? And it says that on that
9 same day, from 1145 to 1900 hours, in the same barracks we can see that
10 there were representatives from the USA, Canada, and Tom Crosland from
11 Great Britain, after a brief talk to the commander of the 243rd Brigade,
12 they toured the composition in the region of Stimlje, Dulje, Birac,
13 Doganovici and Gunca [phoen]. And the team was accompanied by Major
14 Vidovic from the 243rd Brigade. The mission once again made no special
15 comments or remarks.
16 A. That says that there was no deviation as to numbers. The strength
17 of our units were as had been agreed upon.
18 Q. Right. So that is a contemporaneous document and relates to the
19 mechanised company.
20 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... concerned about
21 these two documents and gone back to see how they were introduced, and
22 they were introduced on page 78 at line 6 with a suggestion of what they
23 were, and they're now being summarised as a suggestion of what they were.
24 They haven't been provided to us in advance. It might help if the witness
25 was asked in neutral terms if he's seen them before and if he knows what
1 they are and what they relate to rather than being told.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you familiar with these documents, General?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, from the reports sent from the
4 army command and the actual state of affairs when the verifiers came to
5 see us, for the most part these documents are known to me. Perhaps some
6 of the details and the times is something that I am not fully aware of,
7 but in principle we did not deviate from a single one of these documents
8 from what we had agreed upon.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How had they become known to you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These documents. From these
11 documents -- in fact, we wrote reports, my liaison officer, who was with
12 the OSCE or, rather, on behalf of the brigade command, every report he
13 wrote to the superior command he would inform me of one copy and put it on
14 the records of the brigade. So I'm talking about my units, my areas, and
15 not others. I can't speak about others because I'm -- haven't been kept
16 abreast of those.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please take a look at document 31.2 now, dated the 3rd of March,
20 1999. That, too, is a daily report. I'm just going to look at the second
21 page of that report. Do you have that second page?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. What does it say there?
24 A. On the 2nd of March, between 0915 hours and 0950 hours, a meeting
25 was held between the liaison officer of the Urosevac garrison and
1 representatives of the OSCE mission in the club of the army of Yugoslavia
2 in Urosevac. The representative of the mission, OSCE mission, from RC
3 Prizren asked a question. He said When was it possible to hold a meeting
4 -- when would it be possible to hold a meeting with the brigade commander
5 at the Dulje junction -- pass, to discuss general security in the said
6 region? The answer given was that a meeting would be held when the
7 commander is available.
8 On that same day, from 1000 hours to 1040 hours, a meeting was
9 held between the liaison officer of the 57th Border Battalion - that is in
10 my area of responsibility - with representatives of the OSCE mission. The
11 mission representatives expressed satisfaction over the change in attitude
12 towards them by the organs of the army of Yugoslavia. They stressed that
13 the problem had been solved of approaching the border belt and asked a map
14 -- be given a map with the border belt marked in of a radius of five
15 kilometres for them to be able to orient themselves. The answer they were
16 given was that the questions raised at the meeting would be sent seven
17 days in advance or at least 24 hours in advance.
18 Q. All right. So that is the beginning of March 1999. And an
19 assessment of cooperation with the mission from that time, what would that
20 be? Or, rather, that was an assessment.
21 I asked you what was the assessment of the attitude and
22 cooperation with the mission in March. I thought you were making an
23 assertion yourself.
24 A. Yes. Cooperation with the mission at the beginning of March and
25 end of February was as they stated here; it was very satisfactory and they
1 expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation and that it was
2 always aimed at improving relations between the army of Yugoslavia and the
3 OSCE representatives.
4 Q. We have another document here which relates to the 9th of March.
5 Once again Kacanik and in-depth security of the border being provided.
6 MR. NICE: Those last documents are obviously documents that
7 should have been provided in copy form already, even if not translated.
8 May we be sure to have them copied immediately so that we can take them
9 away when Court rises?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll ask the court deputy to see to that.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mention is made here of the fact that a vehicle had run up against
13 a mine and three men were injured. It is the 9th of March that I'm
14 referring to.
15 A. I have it in front of me. Yes, I see that. It says at 1200 hours
16 the Siptar terrorist forces opened fire on units of the combat group of
17 the 4 -- 243 in the region of the village of Rezance [phoen] in Kacanik,
18 which was engaged in providing in-depth security of the state border. A
19 vehicle BRDM-2 from the sabotage company of the 243 Motorised Brigade
20 encountered a PT mine and on the occasion three persons were injured.
21 Q. All right. Thank you. And now just briefly, one more document,
22 dated January 1999, the 4th of January, 1999. We'll just take a look at
23 point 3. It says, during the day of the 4th of January OSCE mission team
24 for verification in Kosovo and Metohija, led by General Maisonneuve and
25 accompanied by the leader of the Pristina Corps team, visited companies in
1 the region of Lapusnik, Voljak [phoen], and Dulje.
2 A. My company was Dulje.
3 Q. Yes. We have Dulje. Anyway, on the 4th of January, that is to
4 say 11 days prior to the events in Racak where it is alleged that you were
5 involved, it says that the verification of the manpower, strength and
6 materiel was checked and representatives of the OSCE expressed
7 satisfaction for having been allowed to tour the deployment the mixed
8 companies in the region. So there were no comments or remarks or
9 complaints there.
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. And why were they there?
12 A. They were there on the basis of an agreement regulating the fact
13 that these three companies in Kosovo and Metohija were deployed. One was
14 mine at the Dulje section, and then going on to Suva Reka.
15 Q. Thank you, General.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So these are the original documents,
17 original reports. And I'd like to tender them into evidence, or at least
18 marked for identification until we await the translations. There is a
19 total of five reports, a set of five, and we have looked through them and
20 quoted passages from them.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Higgins.
22 MS. HIGGINS: Your Honour, I am just verifying whether or not
23 these are in fact documents that were dealt with by Delic and D300, tab
24 449, and I've got the tab references, so perhaps when I verify that I can
25 assist Your Honour further.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Higgins, yes. In the meantime,
2 we'll mark them for identification pending translation.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, in tab 32, we have another order by you. Can you find
5 that? No, I'm sorry, this is an order of the command of the Pristina
6 Corps, tab 32.
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. What does it relate to?
9 A. This is a command of the Pristina Corps applying to the rules of
10 the international law of war, and it says: "In order to take measures to
11 respect the provisions of the international law of war, the provisions the
12 Geneva Conventions and the basic tenets of humanity, and to prevent any
13 violation of these, I hereby order."
14 Q. All right. We don't have to read it all. What do you consider
15 should be highlighted here? We have an order towards persons, towards
16 prisoners of war, the procedure and conduct towards the civilian
17 population, and so on and so forth. All that is set out in that
18 particular order.
19 A. Yes. This is quite simply an order which explains in detail how
20 soldiers should react in the -- in different situations. And I'd
21 particularly like to draw your attention to the fact that following is
22 prohibited: All forms of killing, torture, or inhumane behaviour, the
23 taking of hostages, pronouncing sentences without prior trial by a
24 regularly established court. "The wounded are to be given the required
25 medical assistance." There is a ban on any taking of reprisals against
1 POWs, wounded persons, or civilians.
2 So it is an order which is a caution to all commanders that they
3 must be humane in their conduct of prisoners of war whether they were
4 direct participants against the army or whether they were engaged in a
5 criminal act.
6 Q. All right. Thank you, General.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender that into
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now, tab 33 is a brief report compiled by you which relates to the
12 situation, the activities of the unit, the morale levels. Do we need to
13 comment on that in particular?
14 A. No. I have nothing special to add, but what is characteristic in
15 this report is that a soldier was lightly wounded and that a vehicle was
16 damaged at 1050 hours. All the rest is the sort of thing that you would
17 write in a regular report going to the commander.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender that into evidence as
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And that brings us to tab 34, which is an order by Vladimir
24 Lazarevic, your superior, sent to you, and relates to the events around
25 the village of Raka on the 5th of May.
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. And the knowledge gained after an interview with some captured
4 A. Yes. A man by the name of Hetem Fazli was captured during the 5th
5 of May, and during the interview that was conducted they learnt that the
6 said person was responsible for maintaining courier ties between the KLA
7 staff for Kacanik and the central office of the DSK in Urosevac and that
8 he carried out his tasks pursuant to orders from a commander called
9 Hajrush Kurtaj, the deputy Staff Commander. In addition to this, in the
10 town of Urosevac itself Hetem observed the positions and deployment of the
11 units of the army of Yugoslavia and MUP, and with the information he had
12 collected, he informed Kurtaj of that.
13 Q. All right. It says here at the end of that paragraph that in the
14 village -- it says in Seljim [phoen] -- in the villages there were 20
15 terrorists, armed terrorists in the sector of the villages of Kovacevac,
16 Nika, Bicevac, and Dubrava; 50 armed terrorists.
17 A. Yes, that's this area here: Kovacevac, Nika, Bicevac, and
18 Dubrava. We discussed this area, so it was in that area that there were
19 about 50 armed terrorists. The corps commander says: "I hereby order
20 ..." having cautioned of the situation, he received intelligence from the
21 security organs, and on the basis of the people detained and he orders
22 that a plan of action should be devised to destroy the terrorists in the
23 area of responsibility or, rather, these terrorists, and we're going to
24 see in the other documents how far we have come with that.
25 Q. But it is an order from the corps commander to you; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you, General.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender that into
4 evidence as well, tab 34.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In tab 35 we have another document of the Supreme Command Staff.
8 This is an order which reached the level of company commanders. "All
9 commanders, unit commanders and other superior officers must undertake all
10 measures in their units to ensure that every individual unit member
11 adheres to the principles, rules and regulations of the international laws
12 of war and conduct combat operations and beyond them."
13 And in the next point, it says: "Any individual, whether military
14 personnel or civilian, who violates or orders, incites, assists or
15 participates in the violation of the principles, rules and regulations of
16 the international laws of war shall be held personally responsible for
17 that violation. Ignorance of the provisions of the rules and regulations
18 of the international laws of war shall not exclude the liability of those
19 who violate these provisions."
20 Q. Very well. It goes on to mention commanders, unit commanders, and
21 other superior officers who must undertake necessary measures to prevent,
22 and so on. And what does say in point 4?
23 A. It says that: "Any military officer who knows that there have
24 been violations of the principles, rules and regulations of the
25 international laws of war and does not initiate disciplinary or criminal
1 proceedings shall be held personally responsible." It obliges every
3 Q. Very well. So if he finds out and fails to take steps to
4 prosecute the violation. Thank you, General.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May tab 33 be admitted into
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. There is also an appendix here pertaining to violations of the
10 rules of international --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 Mr. Milosevic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I must I say find this tedious. I hope you can
15 bring this exercise of the orders to a swift end.
16 JUDGE KWON: In particular, this tab was tendered as tab 7 of
17 D289, but I'm not sure it was admitted at that time. Proceed swiftly,
18 Mr. Milosevic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. On the 11th of May, in tab 36, you issued a command order -- a
22 combat order.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What can we see in this combat order in connection with the
25 situation you described and the conditions under which your unit was
2 A. It shows that during the day on several occasions the terrorists
3 opened fire from artillery weapons in the area of deployment with
4 122-millimetre howitzer in the Blace and Dulje area. Until nightfall,
5 NATO aviation, with two A10 planes, reconnoitred the area of defence of
6 the brigade intensively, and there was enemy firing from the airspace. At
7 1730, 1751 fire was opened in the area Sojevo, Staro Selo. That's east of
9 Q. Very well. Staro Selo is mentioned in the parts of the indictment
10 I quoted to you.
11 A. Yes. The people were being moved out of there. This shows that
12 the civilians who were on the way back were being fired upon.
13 Q. Let's clarify one point. Are we looking at the same report? This
14 one is of the 11th of May, 1999.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It says here intensive reconnaissance. At 1237, with three
17 projectiles on the area of trig point 868 and elevation 852; at 1317
18 hours, with four projectiles on -- in the area of trig point 868, and so
19 on. Is this what you are quoting?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you recall what the effects of the bombing were on the villages
22 in these areas?
23 A. We had certain losses. In total, we had 16 losses throughout the
24 time of the aggression. There were 88 recoverable losses and a certain
25 number of unrecoverable ones. And there were also civilians wounded or
1 killed. Ten or 11 were killed, mostly in the village of Sojevo, east of
2 Urosevac, and south of Urosevac around the villages of Raka and Kamena
3 Glava. This is where the firing was most intensive, and outside the area
4 of the battalion of the division we had decoys to attract the fire from
5 the planes in order to protect the combat disposition of the units,
6 thereby protecting ourselves and the state and the population.
7 Q. Very well.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this document into
9 evidence, Mr. Robinson, tab 36.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is admitted.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In tab 37 is a daily combat report of the 15th of May.
13 A. Yes. That is daily combat report sent to the corps command,
14 saying that at 0700 hours bombing started and lasted. The firing was
15 against the Car Uros barracks and around the town of Urosevac with about
16 20 projectiles of different times. The enemy aviation also fired on the
17 Stimlje-Dulje route in the Partizanski Grob sector.
18 Q. It goes on to say in 2.1 that: "In the sector of the village of
19 Raka, numerous documents of the Siptar terrorist forces were found ..."
20 A. Yes. And the MUP. These documents show that the Siptar terrorist
21 forces are connected with the OSCE and the NATO forces for whom they have
22 been gathering intelligence. The documents also show specific tasks of
23 the Siptar terrorists during their preparation and carrying out of the
24 aggression against the FRY.
25 Q. Let's stay with this for a moment. How can you see this from
1 these documents? I'm especially interested in what is mentioned here in
2 this original document of the 15th of May. It says these documents show
3 that the Siptar terrorist forces are connected with OSCE and the NATO
4 forces for whom they have been collecting intelligence. How could this be
6 A. Unfortunately, in the village of Raka, the complete documentation
7 about the OSCE was found, and they had been there in Kosovo as verifiers.
8 In view of our agreement, they had the complete documentation of my
9 brigade. They had data on all our equipment and vehicles.
10 Q. All this information that you provided to the OSCE was found with
11 the Siptar terrorists?
12 A. Yes. Those that were provided under the Vienna Convention.
13 Q. And who do you think would have given it to them?
14 A. Only the verifiers who had the right not only to count the tanks
15 but also to note the registration numbers of the engines and the various
16 parts. This was an order that came from the corps and that was carried
17 out in the brigades. This information was available to them.
18 Furthermore --
19 Q. The data was available to the verifiers?
20 A. But they remained. The data remained in the village of Raka.
21 Q. And you found this in the possession of the terrorists?
22 A. Yes, the KLA. The KLA also had maps which they communicated to
23 NATO, showing where the army was positioned.
24 Q. Very well. This is clear now. You've explained the connection.
25 At the end here there's mention of reconnaissance of Dubrava, Gajre,
1 Kovacevac. Is this the area where you said the 167th Brigade was active?
2 A. Yes, that's right. And if you noticed in the previous order from
3 the corps command, we are ordered to conduct constant reconnaissance in
4 that area and we were constantly collecting information with a view to
5 observing them and taking action to destroy the terrorist gangs.
6 Q. Thank you, General.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender tab 37 into evidence.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In tab 38 there is your interim combat report.
11 A. Yes. This is an interim combat report. It was sent to the corps
13 Q. General, let's skip over the activities of NATO aircraft who fired
14 projectiles of various kinds, but in the second paragraph it says on the
15 14th of May, 1999, Siptar terrorist forces opened infantry fire --
16 A. In the sector of Djurdjev Do.
17 Q. It says Kacanicka Klisura.
18 A. Yes, that's right. It's here, on the map.
19 Q. What does it go on to say?
20 A. The fire was opened in the morning in Djurdjev Do village, a
21 territory inspection patrol from Combat Group 21 of the Nis Corps. That's
22 a unit which was under my command for in-depth securing. It broke up a
23 Siptar terrorist group. Three KLA members were liquidated in the clash.
24 Two STS members were pulled out, and the third was not due to heavy enemy
1 Q. And then it mentions enemy casualties, three.
2 A. Yes, it confirms what was stated above. This shows that we were
3 under constant attack during the aggression by terrorists in the brigade
4 area and especially in the border belt.
5 Q. In answer to previous questions, you explained that they got
6 killed in clashes like these; when attacking our forces and when our
7 forces returned fire.
8 A. Precisely so, because as you can see, Djurdjev Do lies behind the
9 combat disposition of the battalion and Combat Group 21, and this attack
10 came not from the border but from the north towards the south. It was an
11 attack from the rear on the positions of this combat group which were
12 securing the state border. And in this case, it was the Djeneral Jankovic
14 Q. It says here that the patrol dispersed a terrorist group. In
15 military terminology, to disperse a group, what does that imply?
16 A. To destroy is easier to explain. It means that it no longer
17 exists, or most of it no longer exists, whereas to disperse means that a
18 part of it only was destroyed and a part managed to pull out.
19 Q. Very well.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May this document be admitted into
21 evidence from tab 38.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In tab 39 you have a daily combat report. It's a report of yours.
25 Have you found it?
1 A. Yes, I have. These reports were sent on a daily basis.
2 Q. We won't quote from it extensively, but in the middle of point
3 2.1, it says: "... during the reconnaissance of the zone Adam Mala - the
4 village of Djurdjev Do, and on this occasion soldier Novica Stanojevic
5 from the BG group was slightly wounded."
6 A. Yes. This soldier was wounded due to terrorist activity. While
7 he was being assisted, the terrorists approached and stole this weapon but
8 we recovered it in the next attack.
9 Q. Here again you have a soldier who was wounded in mid-May --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
11 Mr. Milosevic, by today. You have already utilised twice the time that
12 you estimated for your examination-in-chief.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Mr. Robinson.
14 That was tab 39. To speed up, I tender tab 39 into evidence.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Tab 40 says 3rd Army Command. The 3rd Army command is writing to
18 you; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It mentions criminal activities and other negative instances in
21 3rd Army units. So this is about criminal activity in 3rd Army units.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How many men did the 3rd Army number on the 21st of May, 1999?
24 A. Full mobilisation had been carried out; it was about 170.000
1 Q. So the 3rd Army had 170.000 men. This document describes
2 characteristic instances over a month. It refers to April.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight;
5 eight instances.
6 A. About which the army command has information. This is only a tiny
7 fraction of the number of men in the army.
8 Q. So what is this about?
9 A. As you can see, even the smallest incidents.
10 Q. The first is the theft of a car.
11 A. I don't want to mention the name because we don't know whether the
12 person was convicted or acquitted.
13 Q. Yes. We won't mention any names, but again there's mention of a
14 car theft, theft of money.
15 A. But this refers to the entire 3rd Army, not just in Kosovo and
17 Q. Yes. Yes. Consisting of several thousand men.
18 A. This shows that there was actually exemplary discipline.
19 Q. But the whole army was informed of this, all 170.000 men.
20 A. Yes. This was sent to all units. Information was passed on in
21 order to stop others making the same mistakes.
22 Q. Yes. It goes on to say that these examples show that there are
23 failings in the command system.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you are being asked to slow down
1 by the interpreter. We can see the penultimate paragraph and we have the
2 point. Please move to the next order.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I suppose you've
4 admitted this.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Tab 41 contains a regular combat report of yours.
8 A. Yes. It is a regular combat report.
9 Q. On the 22nd of May, 1999, you have active Siptar terrorist forces.
10 A. Yes. Enemy aviation is flying over the area of responsibility of
11 the brigade constantly.
12 Q. We'll cover that.
13 A. Targeting all these features.
14 Q. And then it goes on to say in the area of hamlets Ornica and
15 Djurdjev Do --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Milosevic is reading very fast without
17 saying exactly where from.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Djurdjev Do, two members of the
19 Siptar terrorist unit were killed when they walked into a minefield.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tab 41 is hereby tendered.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Another combat report, dated the 28th of May, is under tab 42.
25 A. Yes. It says: "On the 27th of May, 1999, in the afternoon hours
1 and during the night, enemy aircraft launched intensive attacks on the
2 brigade's zone of responsibility. Around 50 missiles of various kinds
3 were fired, and there was fire from cannons as well. The aircrafts used
4 in the attack were F-16, F-18, and A-10."
5 Q. And then it goes on to say where. Biba village, mentioned in the
6 indictment, Sojevo village --
7 A. The agricultural air field, the bogus position near Raka, the
8 Silkapor factory sector --
9 Q. Which is your command post, et cetera. What can we see from
10 this? Which areas in your brigade zone were bombed?
11 A. Mainly where our positions were located, as well as our commands,
12 our combat vehicles, with the aim of finding and destroying them.
13 Q. Now, in these areas, is it also the location of various villages
15 A. Yes. Those villages were never completely abandoned. 30 to 50
16 per cent of the population always remained.
17 Q. Well, it never happens that everybody flees.
18 A. 50 per cent of the population usually stays, and when an attack
19 happens in their vicinity, an airstrike, those people run to woods, to
20 neighbouring villages, or to Urosevac, or go to stay with their families
21 across the border.
22 Q. All right.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender 42.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In tab 43 you see another regular combat report. It deals with
1 NATO airstrikes. It's already the beginning of June 1999. In the area of
2 Banjica village an ambush by Siptar terrorists, three members of the 243rd
3 Brigade wounded.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So all the time, continuously, you refer to activities of Siptar
6 terrorist forces.
7 A. Precisely. At this juncture, which we mentioned several times, in
8 the area of Urosevac towards Doganovici, Vata, Slatina, et cetera.
9 Q. Those are the same places quoted in paragraphs I cited to you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this as well.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In tab 44, we have an interim combat report dated 4th June. An
14 ambush with fire opened from hand-held launchers and automatic rifles by
15 Siptar --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... we admit
17 that. Move to the next one.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. 45, an interim combat report. The 5th of June, again an attack,
21 an ambush by Siptar terrorist forces in early June.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. One of your soldiers were -- was killed.
24 A. Captain Milan Milenkovic. Medical assistance was given to him
25 but, unfortunately, he succumbed to his wounds.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit that.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, we had a witness here, Florim Krasniqi from Mirosavlje
4 village. It's one of the villages mentioned in the indictment. He stated
5 that on the 4th of April he had seen military vehicles located near
6 Sovtovic village, shelling Orahovici and Slatari villages, killing four
7 persons in Slatari and wounding five. Are these allegations accurate?
8 A. He says he heard it. He couldn't have seen it.
9 Q. No. It's in transcript 4447. He testified on 7th May, 2002. He
10 says he had seen military vehicles near Sovtovic village, shelling, and
11 killing four persons in Slatari and wounding five.
12 A. As I emphasised earlier, these were positions where units were
13 deployed. The units could not target each other because they would be
14 killing their own men.
15 Q. I asked you whether this testimony is accurate.
16 A. No, that's impossible.
17 Q. This witness also said that on the 5th of April Serb forces opened
18 fire from tanks at Pojatiste. So did you or didn't you fire from tanks at
19 Pojatiste on the 5th of April, 1999?
20 A. No, we did not, nor were we able to because our units were just
21 outside Pojatiste. We did not.
22 Q. So this is not correct?
23 A. It's not correct.
24 Q. It's on the same page of the transcript. Now, on 4485, he says
25 that he saw on the 7th of April houses burning in Sojevo and Kamena Glava
1 and he heard that seven people were killed on that occasion. What do you
2 know about this incident? 7th of April, 1999 houses burning in Sojevo and
3 Kamena Glava, seven people killed?
4 A. I never heard of the deaths of these people. If they had
5 happened, I would have heard about it. They could have been in areas hit
6 by NATO aviations. More than seven houses were hit in Sojevo and Kamena
7 Glava, but in many other places, and there were daily airstrikes from
8 Varos Selo to the air field Sojevo via Kamena Glava, this axis. The
9 juncture -- junction leading to Urosevac and Pristina further on. There
10 was an armoured battalion in the area. It was natural, with so many
11 airstrikes, that some buildings would be hit, and we indeed saw some
12 houses burning.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: We -- I'm stopping at 1.43. There's another
14 trial, and I'll not be resuming tomorrow with your examination in chief.
15 You have taken more than twice the time estimated.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have several more questions.
17 I can't understand that I could not be given the possibility to ask them.
18 This is a very important witness, Mr. Robinson, a commander of a brigade
19 covering a very large area, who can give us examples of everything that
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have two minutes -- three minutes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot manage in two
23 minutes. I need at least half an hour to finish examination-in-chief.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Bajram Bucaliu, a Prosecution witness from Staro Selo, Urosevac
1 municipality, claims that on the 2nd of April, 1999 the Serb army
2 surrounded Staro Selo. Do you know anything about this? Was this village
4 A. No, it wasn't. It's not true.
5 Q. In his testimony he states that on the 3rd of April the army
6 searched houses. Do you know why army searched houses?
7 A. The army never searched any houses. That's not correct.
8 Q. Is the claim of this witness correct that on the 5th of April
9 paramilitaries arrived at his village, blocking exits from the village?
10 A. There were no paramilitary forces in the zone of responsibility of
11 my brigade, including this village.
12 Q. He claims that on the 14th of April, three villagers were killed
13 after which villagers started to flee towards Urosevac. What do you know
14 about this?
15 A. I never heard anything about that.
16 Q. He says that on the 15th of April he came to the railway station
17 in Urosevac and there were 4 to 5.000 people there, that about 25.000
18 people went towards the border by train, that the train was escorted by
19 the police to the Macedonian border when the Macedonian authorities turned
20 them back to Urosevac.
21 Q. What do you know about this large number of refugees in Urosevac?
22 Why would the police escort this convoy to the border, especially 25.000
23 people travelling by train?
24 A. First of all, the Urosevac railway station could never take that
25 amount of people. Such a mass of people never existed there. For 25.000
1 people, it would take 150 -- rather, no, 250 rail cars. What kind of
2 train could take that number of people? So it's an obvious lie. This
3 train usually had three to four rail cars and there were three or four
4 trains per day.
5 Q. Is this claim a possibility at all?
6 A. No, it's absurd. It's completely impossible.
7 Q. I won't go through the paragraphs referring to the confiscation of
8 documents and personal identification papers. What do you know about
10 A. We never confiscated anybody's IDs. It was not our job and we
11 were never located on roads or border crossings or anywhere where you
12 could do that kind of thing. It was not within our purview to respect
13 anybody's identification.
14 Q. Just one more thing. Tab 46. That's the last document. What is
16 A. It's the rule of conduct for soldiers. It was issued before the
17 war and every soldier had it on him. It's a rule that every soldier had
18 to study.
19 Q. I am asking you very specifically: Did every soldier in your
20 brigade have this rule?
21 A. Yes. Everybody had a copy, a laminated version that had to be
22 carried in a pocket.
23 Q. It is claimed in paragraph 55 that there was deliberate and
24 systematic expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Albanians. Is that true
25 or not?
1 A. I never heard of any such plan and there was no organisation made
2 to expel anybody in my zone of responsibility or anywhere else in Kosovo
3 and Metohija, as far as I heard.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... 3. We are
5 going to adjourn now and tomorrow Mr. Nice will commence his
7 Tab 46 is admitted.
8 We are adjourned.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day
11 of December, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.