1 Monday, 12 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I understand you wish to address
6 the Chamber.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, very briefly. Since
8 the winter recess is about to begin, as you know full well, I wanted to
9 ask you to make it possible for me to take advantage of this recess so
10 that I could go to Moscow to the Bakulev Scientific Institute of
11 academician Professor Bockeria for health reasons. See far I've been
12 examined by two experts from that institute, and I have full trust in this
13 institute. It is the top-notch medical institution in Russia. It would
14 not affect your programme in any way, because I would be back here again
15 before this is resumed in accordance with your programme, so I'm asking
16 you to make this possible for me for health reasons. I don't see any
17 hindrance in the way of this because it really would not disturb your
18 programme in any way.
19 So that would be it in the briefest possible terms.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I've been fairly flexible in
21 relation to the presentation of motions by you orally because the Rules
22 allow for it and there is an advantage to be gained by an oral submission
23 in certain circumstances, but this is, in effect, an application for
24 provisional release, which should be made in writing, and you -- I think
25 you very well know that.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I assume that what I
2 say here and what is recorded in the transcript has the same effect as any
3 written submission would.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, if we are to even begin to
6 consider this application, there's a host of matters that you'd have to
7 attend to antecedent to our consideration of it. For one, we'd need a
8 medical report in relation to the particular condition that affects you
9 and which you say can be treated adequately in Moscow. Secondly, it's an
10 application for provisional release, which would have to be covered by
11 adequate guarantees. None of that you have presented. So I can't believe
12 that you are serious in making this presentation.
13 I advise that you consult Mr. Kay as to how to put in a proper
14 application, and we'll consider it.
15 Let the witness be called.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I also have a matter to raise in private
17 session, with the Court's leave.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: In private session?
19 MR. NICE: Yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 47260 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 47261 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 WITNESS: JANOS SEL [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 MR. NICE: If the Chamber has the new formulation of these
24 documents, it will see that the English translations come at the beginning
25 in two sections, I think divided by a green page. So the first section is
1 for the first notebook and the second for the second, obviously enough.
2 The page numbers of the notebooks are at the top left-hand side of each
3 page. There's a separate serial number at the bottom of the centre of the
4 page which is simply for convenience purposes, but one way or another we
5 should be able to find our way through the material quickly.
6 The relevant parts of the notebooks have been identified by oblong
7 markings surrounding the passage in which we have a particular interest.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
9 Q. Mr. Sel, do you have the full notebook in front you, copies of the
10 notebooks in front of you, coming your way?
11 A. No, Mr. Nice, I haven't got it.
12 Q. It's coming there now.
13 And if Mr. Prendergast would always lay the English page on the
14 overhead projector when I ask him to but not on all occasions because
15 sometimes I will not.
16 And if you, Mr. Sel, could start with the first of your notebooks.
17 You will have to turn them round that way. Before I ask you the first
18 question, just help me with this: Do you accept that there was any crime
19 committed by soldiers of your unit in the course of the period January to
20 June of 1999? Any serious crime committed by soldiers of your unit?
21 A. My soldiers, Mr. Nice, did not commit a single serious crime that
22 would be condemned by the unit and that would require the initiation of
23 court proceedings against them.
24 Q. I see. Would you go, please, to page 4 of your first document;
25 your first notebook, and we see outlined then a reference to a man called
1 Misel Seregi. Probably that's the way it reads. Does that change your
2 thinking at all about the question I gave you?
3 A. Mr. Nice, Misel Sergei was my soldier until February 1999. In
4 mid-February 1999 I handed over this unit to another officer and I
5 received a new unit, so it was until then that he was my soldier.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... man trained by you, was it
7 then, or looked after by you for long enough?
8 A. Yes, until February 1999, mid-February 1999.
9 Q. If we go to page of your diary, page 48, and if the Chamber goes
10 to page 13 at the bottom middle to find it, we can see again at the
11 bottom, listed with a lot of other soldiers, Sergei Misel. So he's there
13 And you know why I'm asking you the questions about this man,
14 don't you?
15 A. Yes, I know this, Mr. Nice. This is the 30th of July, 1998. This
16 is a list of men who went out on mission to provide in-depth security of
17 the state border.
18 Q. And to remind the Chamber, if we go on to page 71 of your
19 documents, page 28 at the bottom in the English but page 71 of your
20 documents, you see the name of another person of interest in relation to
21 the question of commission of crimes: Lieutenant Rade Radojevic?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Nice, the same thing. Rade Radojevic was there until
23 mid-February 1999, so I was no longer his commanding officer after handing
24 over this particular duty in mid-February 1999. Practically all soldiers
25 and officers were then placed under the command of a new company
2 Q. If we go on to page 31 in the English, date -- or page 89 of your
3 document, page 31 - I'm going to use the bottom numbers for the Chamber,
4 it's probably quicker - we see that you had a patrol in the Kusnin Grcin
5 area. Kusnin in your area of responsibility, wasn't it?
6 A. Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 Q. Page 34 in the English, page 110 of your document. Again we see
8 reference to Kusnin. That will do for the time being because you know --
9 A. Mr. Nice, may I just explain something to you. My unit was in
10 that area. That's when I was the commander of that unit. It was
11 providing in-depth security of the state border, and it is logical that it
12 used patrols to secure the state border. So until the 15th of February I
13 was commander of that unit in that area. From the 15th of February
14 onwards I was transferred to another unit, another area, and I received
15 this new unit there.
16 Q. Tesic was another soldier in your unit at one time, wasn't he?
17 A. Yes. Another one of my former soldiers who was under my command
18 until the 15th of February.
19 Q. And finally, Lieutenant Colonel Mancic is a person who features.
20 We can see him in your diary, I think, in your notebook in due course.
21 Just explain the position: Mancic was the security representative in your
22 unit; correct?
23 A. No, Mr. Nice. At that time he was not in my unit at all. When I
24 left that unit, he came. Only later, that is; March 1999. That is to say
25 that I was no longer in that unit when he came. So I personally do not
1 know the man and I never saw him, because the area of that unit was about
2 20 kilometres away from me.
3 Q. Never saw Mancic at all?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You know, and we'll just remind the Chamber of this, that the four
6 men, Mancic, Radojevic, Sergei, and Tesic, were one example - almost the
7 only example - of people tried for war crimes and they were tried in
8 respect of an offence committed at Kusnin, weren't they?
9 A. I don't know, Mr. Nice, when that crime was committed, but I do
10 know that they were convicted and that they're serving their sentences in
12 Q. We know, and we're going to look at the transcript of the trial
13 which we have in due course, but you'll know this in any event, that the
14 only reason there was a trial for war crimes of these people was because
15 the young soldier Tesic gave himself up. He reported himself for what
16 he'd been made to do by officers above him. You know that, don't you?
17 A. I know something about that, Mr. Nice, but I don't know at all
18 about Tesic reporting these officers and that comrade of his. I don't
19 know what that was all about. I know that proceedings were there against
20 them and that they were convicted.
21 Q. And you know that this act of probably perceived disloyalty to the
22 VJ by Tesic only led to a trial after this accused was surrendered to this
23 Tribunal. There was no trial in 1999 or 2000, was there? Those men were
24 only tried after this accused was surrendered to this Tribunal. Do you
25 know that?
1 A. I don't know about that, Mr. Nice.
2 Q. Very well --
3 A. Who carried out proceedings and how, I don't know.
4 Q. We'll come back to that, assuming time allows, in a little more
5 detail later. My next questions, with the Court's leave, should be done
6 in closed session, please. It's the matter that I was given leave to deal
7 with last week in private session.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Closed session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 47268-47275 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Before I move on to new matters, particularly new matters,
14 remember last week I was asking you in general terms about activity in the
15 Babaj Boks area, and I was asking you about offences involving rape there.
16 Is it right that offences of rape were committed in that area, to your
17 certain knowledge and at your instructions?
18 A. Mr. Nice, first let's get one thing straight: Soldiers B and D
19 were not my soldiers, and please doesn't mention them to me again.
20 Soldiers A and C left the unit in June 1998. That means they left the
21 encampment where they were undergoing regular training. So these soldiers
22 did not take part in any combat activity or any operation in that place,
23 nor were there any rapes in that period or anything of that kind.
24 Q. In general throughout the period 1998 and 1999, there were attacks
25 on civilians in their houses and in their villages under a policy whereby
1 many of them were killed at your decision. That's the correct position,
2 isn't it?
3 A. Mr. Nice, I'm telling you again this is completely untrue. I
4 don't know how you got that statement from those soldiers. Even the way
5 you took it is subject to dispute.
6 Soldiers, when they are in a camp, cannot leave it of their own
7 will. They can go in an organised manner for medical check-ups, they
8 return in an organised way, and in the same organised way they go out for
9 training. And there was nothing of the kind in Babaj Boks, because we
10 were not in Babaj Boks but in the area of Sulane, where we had regular
11 training. The picture you're trying to paint is completely inappropriate,
12 because it's untrue.
13 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... on the overhead
14 projector, or I think it fits on the overhead projector, and I'm not sure,
15 has it been given an exhibit number? Not exhibited yet. May it have an
16 exhibit number?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. To remind the Chamber, in the area we've just speaking about is to
20 the south-west of Djakovica, I'm now turning to the area north of
21 Djakovica near the --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's have the number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 937.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
25 MR. NICE: 937.
1 Q. By the lake there, Radonjicko Lake, we see to the west Gornji
2 Bites. You say you never went to the lake yourself, Mr. Sel, don't you?
3 A. No, I have never been in that area.
4 Q. Who was in charge, then, of the soldiers at the lake?
5 A. Mr. Nice, sometime in August, pursuant to orders from the
6 battalion command, one of my platoons was engaged in securing the dam on
7 the reservoir. The commander was Radojevic Rade, who was commanding a
8 battalion of military police.
9 Q. How long was he there for altogether?
10 A. Around 15 days.
11 Q. Were you aware of killings at Gornja Bites of men and women and
12 teenage children?
13 A. I know nothing about that, Mr. Nice. I know that the military
14 police battalion undertook combat operations against terrorists who were
15 located above the Radonjicko Lake or reservoir.
16 Q. Well, if there were combat operations in 1998, still peacetime,
17 and if those combat operations led to deaths, they would have been
18 recorded, wouldn't they?
19 A. Mr. Nice, the rule of service and the legislation stipulates how
20 the army is used in peacetime. I don't see anything strange about that.
21 All the regulations say that the army is used against terrorists, not
22 against unarmed civilians, women, or children.
23 Q. Well, tell me, then, please, if you didn't understand the question
24 the last time, if there were combat operations in 1998 and if in the
25 course of those operations people were killed, where do we turn to find
1 the records of the deaths and of how the deaths were investigated?
2 Because we haven't found the documents yet despite every effort. Where?
3 A. Mr. Nice, that was an area in the -- or, rather, outside the area
4 of responsibility of my unit so I don't know about it. I can't tell you
5 anything because I don't know.
6 Q. You sent Lieutenant Rade Radojevic, subsequently to be convicted
7 of murder, as we know, you sent him up there. Did he report back to you?
8 Did he provide daily reporting records of these combat operations?
9 A. Mr. Nice, you have to distinguish between providing security to
10 special-purpose installations and combat against terrorists. This platoon
11 went to secure the dam, not to engage in combat with terrorists, and that
12 soldier was not engaged in combat activity.
13 Q. I can take that no further. I'll move on swiftly to see if
14 there's anything else I want to cover from the general topics I was
15 exploring last week.
16 Now let's move to something rather different. The topics I'm now
17 going to raise with you come from Soldier C, and as you know, you're to
18 say nothing in open session that might identify this person. Do you
19 understand that, Mr. Sel?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Now, this soldier, and you know his identity because that's been
22 dealt with in private session and you realise you must never reveal that
23 to anyone outside this room, but you know him and you know something of
24 the circumstances of his joining and leaving your unit. I must suggest to
25 you, coming from him, that you operated a policy where civilians were
1 killed pretty well at will in the course of ambushes and similar
2 operations. Is that right?
3 A. Mr. Nice, we are at cross-purposes or we totally misunderstand
4 each other or you know nothing about military matters. This has nothing
5 to do with murdering civilians. If you think a civilian is somebody who
6 carries 20 rifles, machine-guns, mortars, and ammunition and opens fire at
7 my soldiers, if you still consider them to be a civilian, then please
8 stand up against them. I would like to see you defending yourself.
9 Q. The suggestion I'm putting to you is that in what was nominally
10 peacetime, you sent out units on a regular basis to ambush, in the middle
11 of the night, any Albanian you could find moving, especially if they were
12 moving towards or from the border, regardless of whether they were armed,
13 regardless of whether they were men intending to fight. Is that true?
14 A. That is completely untrue. That is something you made up.
15 Everyone knows what an ambush is meant for. I'm telling you again, you
16 know nothing about military matters and that's why you can't understand.
17 Q. Mr. Sel, you must carry on being offensive if you think it's
18 helpful or if it's what you've been advised to do, but please answer the
19 questions. In peacetime, why is an ambush an appropriate way of dealing
20 with people who may be entirely innocent?
21 A. Mr. Nice, I'm telling you again you do not know anything about
22 military matters. I don't want to take an insulting tone, unlike you.
23 An ambush is simply meant to stop -- to stop anyone who is moving
24 unlawfully in the border belt.
25 Now, tell me, what could armed civilians be doing when they cross
1 over the state border in an inappropriate place, from Albania, carrying
2 weapons? If you think they're going for a walk or going shopping, it's
3 your problem.
4 Q. You had a policy as well of getting -- of getting Muslims to kill
5 incoming Muslims wherever you could, didn't you?
6 A. That's not correct, Mr. Nice. In my eyes, every soldier is just a
7 soldier, regardless of ethnicity, faith, or anything else. He is a
8 soldier as long as he is in the army and as long as he is under oath, and
9 we never discriminated on any grounds.
10 Q. You told --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, did you mean that question, a policy of
12 getting Muslims to kill incoming Muslims?
13 MR. NICE: Incoming Albanians, yes, I did. Albanians, yes.
14 Albanians rather than Muslims. Getting Muslims to kill Albanians coming
16 Q. You did nothing, did you, in your unit, or so far as you know in
17 the others, to alert soldiers to their duties under the Geneva
18 Conventions, either at this time in 1998 or when war was declared; is that
19 right? Not war was declared, after a state of emergency was declared.
20 A. Mr. Nice, that is completely untrue. All soldiers were familiar
21 with the rule of conduct for the armed force. Every soldier knew what he
22 is allowed to do and what he isn't allowed to do. They carried this
23 booklet with them, and every unit commander was familiar with the
24 fundamental rules of military law, and we abided by the Geneva Conventions
25 whereas the terrorists didn't.
1 Q. There was simply -- not even -- I must suggest to you not even a
2 pretense at applying or teaching your soldiers about the Geneva
3 Conventions until after the young soldier Tesic reported himself for the
4 killing that he had been made to do in April 1999; isn't that right? It
5 was only when he turned himself in so that you could no longer be as
6 lawless as you had been that people started saying something about the
7 duties in war; isn't that right?
8 A. Mr. Nice --
9 Q. You realise we're going to look, assuming I get time --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
11 MR. NICE: Sorry.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not correct. That's
13 completely incorrect. Soldiers were trained for their job, for their
14 duty. Everybody knows what the role of the army in peacetime is. It was
15 not engaged in any unlawful activities. If there were individual
16 violations, perpetrators were prosecuted in a timely manner. All soldiers
17 were familiar with their obligations and duty, and I'm telling you again,
18 every soldier had this rule with them and they were read a lecture on the
19 Geneva Conventions and international --
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. -- law of war. Just a minute. In every combat order great
23 attention was paid to underline respect for civilians, conservation of
24 property, and the rule that fire must not be opened at anyone before fire
25 is opened at you.
1 Q. Look at the list of names, remembering that you must say nothing
2 to identify them. There was an occasion in June of 1998 when Soldier A
3 and Soldier C were ordered by you to go and kill a farmer tending his cow.
4 Do you remember that little detail?
5 A. Mr. Nice, that's not true at all. First of all, I don't know what
6 all this is about; and secondly, where the army is, it is common knowledge
7 how far civilians can come up close. So there was no need to open fire on
8 any civilian just to issue a caution to say that they had approached the
9 camp, which they were not supposed to do, not to kill civilians. That is
10 your arbitrary conclusion or an attempt on these two men to gain something
11 by making a statement to that effect.
12 Q. And the only reason that they were able to let this man live was
13 because they weren't surrounded by or in close proximity to Serb soldiers,
14 because if Serb soldiers had been around, they would have known that the
15 pressure on them was so great they could hardly resist your order. On
16 this occasion, the man with the cow escaped.
17 Think back. Are you really suggesting that this detail's been
18 entirely created or does it have some connection to something you can
19 remember, Mr. Sel?
20 A. Mr. Nice, it is entirely created.
21 Q. I see. Very well.
22 A. In my unit, that is to say the number of soldiers I had - please
23 allow me to finish - there were not only Serbs, there were Hungarians,
24 Romanians, Czechs as well, and other ethnic groups in addition to Muslims.
25 So that was the strength of my men. It was a multinational unit, not a
1 purely single ethnic unit.
2 Q. Keep your eyes on Soldier C, please, on the list. When he first
3 joined your unit, you gave instructions how to behave, and in the course
4 of giving those instructions, which were instructions how to kill, you
5 announced that you had yourself killed a six-month-old baby, taking it
6 from its mother's arms. Do you remember saying something about that to a
7 group including Soldier C? Do you find that amusing?
8 A. Mr. Nice, please stop making these fabrications. All this is a
9 farce that has been made up and stories told. It's not correct at all.
10 I'm a professional soldier. I'm a professional soldier, and my attitude
11 to my profession is professional. I'm not a criminal. I'm not a killer
12 or murderer of women or children or anybody else. I carried out my duties
13 professionally, Mr. Nice, and everything that you're trying to do now is
14 just a concocted story.
15 Q. 1998 is still a time of apparent peace. Can you show us, please,
16 the records of what happened to the people who, in the ambushes near the
17 border, died? Can you show us the records if your operation was so
19 A. Mr. Nice, while my unit was providing in-depth security for the
20 state border, there was no intervention on its part.
21 Q. You dug a big pit, didn't you, on Morina Mount, and that's where
22 some of the bodies were buried. Did you bury bodies at Morina Mount?
23 A. Mr. Nice, my unit wasn't in the area of Morina at all. It was at
24 Sulane, Rogasca, where it was engaged in training. Now, Morina and the
25 watchtowers there and Kosare is quite another area altogether and comes
1 under the responsibility of quite another unit. I was never in the area
2 myself nor any of my soldiers.
3 Q. When villages were entered and when people were killed, booty was
4 obtained. What happened to it?
5 A. Mr. Nice, I don't understand that question of yours. What booty?
6 War booty is the weapons you come across that are seized from other
7 people; parts of uniforms, communications devices, and anything else that
8 these people carried with them. There was no other war booty and we never
9 entered inhabited areas to kill civilians.
10 Q. Well, then, the product of plunder --
11 A. [No interpretation].
12 Q. Tell me, was there a special policy in relation to cameras, that
13 cameras were always set on one side for fear of the soldiers using them to
14 photograph events that would reveal the crimes that were being committed?
15 Were cameras always set on one side, and or is that detail, suggested to
16 us by the people to whom we've spoken, simply a fabrication?
17 A. Mr. Nice, I don't want to read from -- out from the rules of
18 service, but soldiers doing their military service are prohibited from
19 having on them cameras or anything else that records in video fashion. So
20 please refrain your questions to what refers to my unit. I can't give you
21 answers to other questions concerning other units, just concerning my own
23 Q. Now, look, please, at Soldier D. You say he wasn't in your unit,
24 he was in somebody else's unit, but the propositions coming concern you
25 and I'd like you to deal with them. This soldier was there until the
1 agreements in the summer of 1999 that will led to --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness did not say that this
5 Soldier D was in some other unit. All he said that he wasn't in his own
6 unit. Now, whether such a soldier exists or does not exist, he cannot
7 know that.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Yes, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Tell us about Rambo, please. Who was Rambo?
11 A. I don't know who Rambo is. Rambo, if you think -- if you're
12 thinking about Sylvester Stallone, then perhaps.
13 Q. No, Rambo is a nom de guerre, a pseudonym. Who was he?
14 A. Mr. Nice, I don't know any such commanding officer. And we don't
15 call each other by our nicknames but by our rank, first name and last
16 name. And it is strictly prohibited to assign nicknames or to call each
17 other on the basis of nicknames. We address each other on the basis of
18 rank, name and surname.
19 Q. Is it right that in 1998 the area of Smonica, which we can see on
20 the map - I'll just find it - was an area of particular difficulty for
22 A. Mr. Nice, from the period of May up until August 1998 along the
23 Djakovica-Ponosevac road, there were about 20 soldiers who were seriously
24 wounded, and Smonica was the strongest terrorist stronghold.
25 Q. And was that -- so my suggestion is right; it was a place of great
1 difficulty. Is it right that it was so difficult for you that people were
2 killed indiscriminately; men, women and children? Is that what was
3 happening there?
4 A. Mr. Nice, if you recall when the first statement was given when
5 you asked me a similar question, all civilians, because of pressure from
6 the terrorists, Smonica, Donje Nec, that general area, Ramoc, left their
7 places and went to Djakovica. And those villages were organised for
8 defence and it was only the terrorists that were in the villages. There
9 were no civilians there.
10 Q. The information presented to the Prosecution includes that, far
11 from there being KLA people for you to attack in these villages, the KLA
12 typically withdrew ahead of the army's, the VJ's arrival, and all that was
13 left was civilians who were at random killed and sometimes allowed to go.
14 Isn't that the truth?
15 A. No, that's not true at all. Explain to me who dug the trenches,
16 the communicating trenches, dugouts, shelters, firepower positions for
17 mortars and machine-guns? Who brought in all that weaponry and left the
18 anti-armoured mines along the roads? This is something that the villagers
19 did, this is something that the terrorists did who tried to do certain
20 things that they weren't supposed to do.
21 Q. Soldier D, there from -- right through to the end again says, "No
22 instruction about the Geneva Convention." Can you explain that?
23 A. Mr. Nice, that's not true at all. First of all, if the soldier
24 exists in a unit with the officer we mentioned, then he was at the
25 120-millimetre mortars, which means two kilometres away from that area to
1 three kilometres away. He never entered that area nor did he see what
2 there was there. And I and my soldiers crossed that entire area on foot,
3 as opposed to him, and saw what there was there. I'd like you to have
4 been with me. Then I'd see what story you'd be telling now.
5 Q. I'm not sure I understand your answer. It must be my mistake. I
6 asked you whether he'd been instructed about the Geneva Convention and you
7 said, "If the soldier exists in a unit with the officer we mentioned, then
8 he was two kilometres away from the area." From what area?
9 A. Mr. Nice, I repeat, you don't seem to understand military matters.
10 120-millimetre mortars are for fire power support, which means that they
11 target at a distance, as opposed to a motorised company which takes part
12 in the fighting directly. So that's where the difference lies.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... pursue whichever policy you
14 find helpful so far as your attitude to me and the Court is concerned, but
15 I still come back to my question. I asked you about the Geneva Convention
16 and you replied with an observation about Soldier C being two kilometres
17 away from "that area." Well, what area; and what was there for him to see
18 in that area that's relevant to the Geneva Conventions? The random
19 killing you were engaged in?
20 A. Mr. Nice, I'm going to tell you again: All the soldiers to the
21 very last soldier working as a cook are well acquainted with the
22 provisions of the Geneva Conventions, and each soldier had with him a
23 booklet of conduct of soldiers in war and laws governing war. So
24 regardless of the fact whether they were in rifle units, motorised units
25 or reinforcement units, they were all well acquainted with the provisions
1 of the Geneva Conventions. And before they went on assignment, attention
2 was strictly drawn to the soldiers about their conduct toward civilians,
3 behaviour toward civilians, to cease fire in case of encountering unarmed
4 civilians, and a general respect for an armed -- a wounded adversary. And
5 if I said that he was at a distance of two kilometres, that means that
6 when we cleared up the terrorist stronghold of Smonica, the firepower
7 position was two kilometres behind us from which we were given support,
8 so --
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. -- there wasn't anything that could have been going on without us
12 Q. Witness D, not Witness C; my slip. Can you explain, please, how
13 it might be that Witness D says he saw soldiers with red berets and
14 apparently being Red Berets in your general area? Were they there?
15 A. Mr. Nice, in the army of Yugoslavia you have a number of different
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. Every special -- well, not special, but every unit. Then you have
19 reconnaissance men.
20 Q. Just help me with this and we'll move on. Were special units
21 coming from, say, Belgrade as part of a Red Beret unit or not?
22 A. Mr. Nice, I'm not aware of that, because where my unit was active
23 they were not there, so I can't tell you something I don't know about,
24 that I'm not aware of.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. In the transcript
2 there is no mention of what the witness said, so I suppose there was no
3 translation. He said that the red berets were born by reconnaissance men,
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. There wasn't a problem with head gear, was there, whereby you all
8 had to get new head gear and got red berets, or anything like that?
9 A. Mr. Nice, that is just not true. I repeat again -- you switched
10 my microphone off now. You just switched my microphone off now.
11 Q. I have no control over your microphone.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please have the microphone switched on.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then somebody else does.
14 Mr. Nice, I repeat again: The motorised unit, infantry units,
15 those linked to the equipment, had grey berets. The scouts had red
16 berets, and military police units had black berets.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... incidentally, for us how
19 using mortars in peacetime where the mortar lands a couple of kilometres
20 away is other than indiscriminate use of force? How can it be so targeted
21 as to ensure it hits only the KLA and not the civilians? Can you help us
22 with that?
23 A. Mr. Nice, I repeat again: In the area where there was combat,
24 there were no civilians. Secondly --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this is a peacetime -- this
1 is a --
2 A. Allow me to finish. We have our reconnaissance men, our scouts.
3 Q. There is peacetime, isn't it. No state of emergency, civilians
4 living there, tending their cattle, and you can send mortars in peacetime
5 a couple of kilometres away at a village. Is that what you used to do?
6 A. Mr. Nice, you're not understanding military matters again. That
7 is the legal use of the army in peacetime, in an anti-terrorist struggle.
8 So the terrorists have the right to kill our soldiers and commanding
9 officers, do they, to wound and maim them, and we don't have the right to
10 defend ourselves, is that it? We never opened fire first ourselves. And
11 secondly, when we did open fire, we strictly saw that we opened fire at
12 targets where the shooting was coming from, because we have our observers,
13 we have our calculators who provide us with the necessary data for our
14 firing not on civilians but strictly at firepower.
15 Q. So far, moving up until the end of March 1999, you've provided me
16 with no answers to the general question where can we find a -- a listing
17 of the people who were killed, where were they buried, how were they taken
18 away. Just confirm to me that you're unable to help with any of those
19 details for the period up and until the end of March 1999.
20 A. Mr. Nice, in the area where combat operations were taking place,
21 where my unit was engaged in anti-terrorist struggles, we did not come
22 across a single killed or wounded terrorist. We found the traces of blood
23 and traces of people being dragged across the earth, but we didn't
24 actually find any wounded or killed terrorists.
25 Q. And --
1 A. So I assume that the terrorists who survived pulled them out and
2 took them elsewhere. What they did with them, I really don't know.
3 Q. By the second half of April of 1999, the problem with the bodies
4 that you were killing, or the people you were killing was becoming more
5 problematic, and is it right that all units, that's Soldier D's unit but
6 also your unit, were making use of the Obilic electric plant to the West
7 of Pristina?
8 A. Mr. Nice, that's not correct at all. There were no civilians nor
9 was there any killing or anything else.
10 Q. What isn't true about my suggestion about the Obilic plant?
11 A. The Obilic electric plant performed its function. What else was
12 going on there I don't know, it was far away from me, but what you're
13 thinking about, none of that was done.
14 Q. Just what am I thinking about?
15 A. Because we could not have --
16 Q. What am I thinking about, Mr. Sel?
17 A. Well, Mr. Nice, you want to ascribe to me certain crimes that were
18 taking place in the area which never happened.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. They never happened.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. Or rather, to ascribe it to my unit and to me.
23 Q. What am I suggesting to you about the Obilic electricity plant,
24 please? Tell me.
25 A. Mr. Nice, you mentioned the Obilic thermoelectric power plant; I
1 didn't mention it.
2 Q. You seem to understand the suggestion I'm making. Let me make it
3 clear: The Obilic plant was used by the soldiers to burn and destroy the
4 bodies of the people they'd killed, wasn't it, and you knew that because
5 you were one of the officers involved in it.
6 A. That's not true, Mr. Nice.
7 Q. So if Soldier D describes this as a general practice applicable to
8 all units at that time, he's completely made it up, has he? A detail as
9 precise as that, completely made it up?
10 A. Mr. Nice, that's just not true. It's pure fabrication.
11 Q. The Deva border checkpoint, was that within your general area of
12 operation or not?
13 A. Mr. Nice, I held positions from Maja Kraljica to Cafa Vanez, which
14 means there was no checkpoint in the Deva region, because the watchtower
15 was hit by a NATO airstrike and there was no road leading up to it. So I
16 don't know what checkpoint you're thinking of. It's a slope at an
17 altitude of about 1.000 metres, which means it's a mountain, and there was
18 the area of defence of my unit up there, above the watchtower, and there
19 was no checkpoint at all.
20 Q. Were there Albanians in that area, seeking to -- I beg your
21 pardon, were there Kosovo Albanians in that area, seeking from time to
22 time to get across to Albania?
23 A. No, Mr. Nice. When I arrived on the 5th of April, on the basis of
24 the reports by my subordinates and the deployment of the units, we
25 established that there were no civilians where my unit was deployed. What
1 happened before my unit arrived, I really can't say.
2 Q. Before your unit, might it have been Elifat Feta who was in charge
3 of that particular area?
4 A. I'm not aware of that. In the area there was just the border unit
5 which came under my command.
6 Q. On the 24th of March --
7 A. And he was elsewhere. Where he was, I don't know.
8 Q. Were you present when Vukovic, as it were, rallied the troops at
9 the start of the NATO aggression, as it's described, on the 24th of March?
10 Were you present when he did that?
11 A. Mr. Nice, there was an order for anti-terrorist struggle which we
12 received in the evening, so it was only us company commanders who received
13 this order for an anti-terrorist struggle, not him.
14 Q. Soldier D says that at that time Vukovic told him and others that
15 the Albanians had to be driven from Kosovo and there should not be even an
16 Albanian ear left in Kosovo. Can you think of some troop-rallying phrase
17 by Vukovic that might have been remembered as that, or do you say that
18 that's completely made up?
19 A. Mr. Nice, let me repeat again: The order for an anti-terrorist
20 struggle was issued to us company commanders. He was not able to address
21 the units because there were NATO airstrikes going on at the time. In the
22 Djakovica barracks, all the units were at their positions.
23 MR. NICE: I'm going to go through the diary now, and, Your
24 Honours, if I use the English page number for the Court and the --
25 systematically, and the diary page number for the witness, it will
1 probably enable us to go through as swiftly as is possible.
2 Q. Before I do, one other detail: As to a 60-millimetre -- as to a
3 mortar, is it right that it destroys pretty well everything within a
4 60-metre radius?
5 A. No, that's not correct.
6 Q. Would you go, please, to English page 7, your page 35. Not on the
7 overhead projector. Yes, not on the overhead projector. You see part of
8 the way down part 35, 14 people at the lake. Would that be the lake we've
9 been referring to?
10 A. Yes, Mr. Nice.
11 Q. Very well.
12 A. Fourteen soldiers with Lieutenant Radojevic that went up there to
13 secure the dam.
14 Q. Further on down that page, immediately under the name Sergei, you
15 see a reference to the name Sipka. It's all in your hand. Is that Milan
17 A. No, Mr. Nice. Those are ways in which we differentiate between
18 them. It says Sipka Sulane. They are indicators and distinctions. You
19 have distinct points which end with the guards in order to have them
20 perform their duties, so they are distinction signs, which all armies in
21 the world use these distinction signs.
22 Q. It actually reads, does it not, Sipka something Sulane?
23 A. Sulane, yes.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. Because you always have the same starting letter. The second word
1 needs to start with the same letter.
2 Q. Very well. Let's move on, then.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, what is the estimate for your
5 MR. NICE: My intention is to finish by the end of the next
6 session. I have to do one exercise with this book and I have to do an
7 exercise with something else. It may be less.
8 Can we go on, please, to page 11 in the English, the 12th of July,
10 Q. This is lay an ambush above Mazrek towards Sisman Boks. There's
11 one indication in your documents to the fact that you were indeed
12 ambushing people. You weren't arresting them and taking them prisoner,
13 were you?
14 JUDGE KWON: What was that English page number?
15 MR. NICE: Page 11, I'm so sorry. 11 in the English, 45 in the
16 diary -- in the whatever it's called, the notebook.
17 Q. "Lay an ambush above Mazrek towards Sisman Boks."
18 A. Mr. Nice, this ambush above Mazrek towards Sisman Boks ensured
19 communication towards Smonica. That is to say Djakovica, Ponosevac,
20 Junik, that general line or road.
21 Q. Did we ever get a record of what actually happened in one of these
22 ambushes; how many people were killed, whether any prisoners were taken?
23 We don't, do we?
24 A. Mr. Nice, let me repeat again: Had anything happened, had there
25 been any combat, it would certainly have been written down in the report
1 to the superior command.
2 Q. We haven't got those, you see, and I want to know what happened in
3 peacetime in these ambushes. Let's go over, please, to English page 12,
4 your page 47, and again it's a very rapid reference. We can see "3 more
5 going to the lake tomorrow." The lake had quite a lot of your attention,
6 didn't it, sending people there?
7 A. Mr. Nice, you have soldiers up there, so it's one set of soldiers
8 taking the place of the other soldiers. There are 14 soldiers. If three
9 go on furlough, you have to fill up that number and bring it up to
11 Q. Page 13 in English, 30th of July 1998, top entry, "ambush going
12 according to plan." But we still don't know what the product of the
13 ambush was.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: It doesn't say "ambush going according to plan."
15 MR. NICE: No, it says, "according to plan." Your Honour is quite
17 Q. How should we read that, Mr. Sel: "Ambush according to plan"?
18 What does that mean, on page 48?
19 A. It means that regular security is being maintained and that
20 somebody has been sent up to the Jasevica-Ponosevac-Junik road in the
21 region we mentioned a moment ago.
22 Q. But it's still --
23 A. And let me repeat again: Had there been any combat, then
24 certainly that would have been recorded in the report going up to the
25 brigade command or, rather, my report would have gone up the line and then
1 further up the chain onwards. Since that did not happen, then there was
2 no report to send of that type.
3 Q. Are you really saying that all these ambushes that we've seen and
4 we're going to see perhaps more of actually led to nothing happening?
5 Nobody died, nobody captured; nothing?
6 A. That is correct, Mr. Nice.
7 Q. For the totality of 1998, nothing happened in Babaj Boks at all.
8 You just laid ambushes and never saw a soul. Is that what you're
10 A. Mr. Nice, the unit was not at Babaj Boks, it was in Sulane.
11 Sulane is above Babaj Boks and that is a different place. We were just
12 carrying out our regular duties. At least, my unit did not clash with
13 armed terrorists who were carrying weapons but --
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. -- in other places there were such cases.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sel, what persons were the object of this, of
17 the ambushes that were laid?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, the aim of that ambush
19 was to prevent armed smuggling from the Republic of Albania into the
20 territory of Kosovo, thus arming terrorists. So these ambushes were not
21 placed in order to capture civilians but to prevent smuggling arms from
22 the territory of the Republic of Albania in Kosovo.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We will take the 20-minute break now.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice. I'm bound to say for myself I'm
2 not finding this exercise very helpful.
3 MR. NICE: Sorry to hear that. I'll try and make it more helpful
4 because I think a full exploration of this book will be of great
5 assistance in the arguments the Prosecution is going to make. But to save
6 time, let's deal with it in this way, just to get through a few pages:
7 You will find references to ambushes again on English pages 19, 20 and 22,
8 which is pages 59 and 60 of the original. We will move on from there.
9 Q. Just one general question, or one proposition. It's true, isn't
10 it, Mr. Sel, that your troops acted frequently in a state of drunkenness,
11 aided by drugs, and it was necessary to have them in that state to get
12 them to do the things that you needed them to do.
13 A. Mr. Nice, that's not correct at all. What you're saying is quite
14 arbitrary. It is strictly forbidden to drink while on duty in the
15 military, and also the use of narcotics is prohibited, so all of that is
17 Q. So let's go to page 62 of your document, page 23 in the English.
18 Still in 1998. Perhaps you'd like to explain these entries to us. First
19 of all, it refers to tying-up cord being taken along. Then at 0800 hours,
20 it refers to a mobile radio, and then it says this: "Civilians --" well,
21 you read it out to us in case it's been translated in a way that you're
22 not happy with. Fourth line down, "civilna lica --" go on, read it out.
23 A. Mr. Nice, it says here: "The said persons who do not have
24 documents, do not have legal documents issued by the MUP, that is to say
25 IDs and residence permits, in the area should be arrested and brought in."
1 And, of course, handed over to the security organs or, rather, the MUP
2 organs that are in charge. Because there were quite a few persons hiding
3 in the houses of civilians who had proper documents and whose residence
4 was properly registered.
5 Q. Please just read the language that's actually on page 62. Read it
6 slowly and the interpreters will translate it for us. All right?
7 "Civilna lica ..." and so on. You read it.
8 A. Once again, Mr. Nice: "Civilian persons who do not have documents
9 should be arrested and tied up." That means handed over to the organs in
11 Q. That's not what you said the time before. You didn't say tied up.
12 Help us. What does "tied up" mean? Hmm? It's in your book.
13 A. Mr. Nice, at that time our units had the same kind of powers like
14 the MUP unit. That is to say all persons who do not have documents and
15 who are in the border belt, that means that they came from the Republic of
16 Albania, so it was our duty to arrest them, tie them, and hand them over
17 to the appropriate authorities.
18 Q. Look, Mr. Sel, which version do you want us to go away with?
19 You've tried two. Were you or were you not tying up the civilians with
21 A. This was one of the tasks. However, we didn't find anyone without
22 documents so we didn't have to tie anyone, arrest anyone, or bring anyone
24 Q. You see, the first time you read that passage out you omitted the
25 passage about tying up. You put it in another way.
1 What are you doing in peacetime tying up civilians with rope?
3 And this one can go on the overhead projector, please, Mr. --
4 A. Mr. Nice, obviously you don't understand me. This was an order.
5 If one came across such persons who do not have residence permits for the
6 border belt, that means automatically that that person was not from there,
7 that that person was hiding in there, did not have valid documents. So we
8 were duty-bound to arrest these persons, tie them, and bring them in.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. Because it was possible that these persons were armed or that they
11 had --
12 Q. Very well.
13 A. -- hand grenades, so we had to take measures with a view to
14 preventing that kind of thing from happening.
15 Q. Now, I don't have time to explore all these questions or, as one
16 of the learned Judges once said, to batten -- tie them all down or knock
17 them all down. Down the page, Munja. We all heard about Munja. It's a
18 famous paramilitary group. What is Munja doing in your handwriting in
19 this book?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: What page is that, Mr. Nice?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
22 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... Munja. Extensive
23 reference to Munja in "Under Orders." We've looked at it; photographs,
25 JUDGE KWON: What page?
1 MR. NICE: 23 in the English.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice, you've misunderstood this.
3 Munja is the first reserve frequency of channel 500.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. Very well.
6 A. And it has nothing to do with any paramilitary organisation. It's
7 only the members of the army who were there. Munja is the first reserve
8 frequency --
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. -- on channel 500. That is a normal code. Now --
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
12 A. -- the fact that it overlaps with something else ...
13 Q. Over on the left-hand side we've got Karlo 118, Jovica 121. Four
14 lines down we've got Sel 110, and then we've got Rambo 120. You denied
15 knowing anything about Rambo, so perhaps you'd like to explain that to me.
16 A. I don't know. Possibly this was an abbreviation of the name and
17 surname of the officer involved. Well, it's not that strange. There were
18 persons, officers who had that kind of names; Rambo, Tarzan, Bruce Lee. I
19 was not their godfather, I wasn't giving them their names. These are the
20 names of officers who were engaged in this mission.
21 Q. You told us it was forbidden to have nicknames, you told us you
22 didn't know who Rambo was, and here he is. Just perhaps you'd like to
23 tell us now what his name is.
24 A. Mr. Nice, it's a normal name. I wasn't his godfather, it wasn't I
25 who decided what his name would be. It's a name like any other name given
1 to a child when a child is born or, rather, the officer.
2 Q. Mr. Sel, it's obvious, isn't it, that these people on the
3 left-hand side, including you, are people with forces at your command.
4 You've got 110, by the looks of things, unless I'm wrong, or maybe it's a
5 radio frequency, I don't know, but these are commanding officers of some
6 kind or another. You didn't know who Rambo was, now you do. What's his
7 first name, Rambo? Is it Rambo Rambo or is it something else?
8 A. I don't know. I don't know that. I don't remember that. But
9 these are the names of all the officers who were on the unit --
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. -- in order to maintain communications.
12 Q. -- bottom of the page, same page, but for you it's page 63, top of
13 page 63, please, Mr. Sel. "Zylfaj Prusa" cleansing or cleaning. What
14 does it mean? Prusa is a place, isn't it?
15 A. Mr. Nice, these are abandoned border posts, our summer border
16 posts that became the headquarters of the terrorists. When terrorists
17 came from the Republic of Albania to our territory, that is what they
18 used. And as for cleaning, cleansing, I've explained it several times
19 here but if you don't understand, I will read out yet again what it means.
20 Q. So cleansing has to do with moving people about, does it?
21 A. Mr. Nice, the regulation of a platoon in a mountainous -- in a
22 mountain unit is very clear, and I've already read it out and I thought
23 that it was perfectly clear what cleaning meant; cleaning the terrain from
24 remnants of terrorist groups. That is a shortened version, but if you
25 wish, I'm going to read out from the regulations.
1 Q. Thank you very much. What we know is that Prusa was being
2 cleansed, whatever is meant by that, on this particular day, yes?
3 A. I repeat yet again, Mr. Nice: Zulfaj and Prusa are abandoned
4 summer border posts that the terrorists used as their strongholds.
5 Q. Before I move on, Witness D identified, without any access to any
6 material, Rambo as the person who was in charge of the business of moving
7 bodies to -- I'll come back to Rambo in a minute. We'll move on. Just
8 over the page, please, English page 24, still on your page 63, there's a
9 second reference to Munja, beside Reserve 540; Munja. Did you know about
10 the Munja paramilitary group? Yes or no.
11 A. Mr. Nice, this is a reserve channel, code Munja.
12 Q. Very well. Let's turn to English page 26, your page 66. Now,
13 you'll see in page 66 - I'm not sure whether it's been highlighted - a
14 reference to Pusto Selo. We can see it halfway down our page. Is Pusto
15 Selo in your general area of responsibility?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. It's right, isn't it -- and it stayed within the general area of
18 responsibility of your unit right through until the end of hostilities in
19 June of 1999. It's right, isn't it, that Pusto Selo, although it's not
20 charged in this indictment, was the location of a --
21 A. That's not correct, Mr. Nice. Mr. Nice, sorry. It's not correct.
22 In 1998, on the 2nd of August, anti-terrorist action took place in that
23 area and these are excerpts from the assignment that I got from the
24 battalion commander, so if you carefully had all of this translated,
25 that's what it says: The line of anti-terrorist fighting, terrorists
1 noticed, about 300 men, also what they had; sniper rifles, recoilless
2 guns, machine-guns, bunkers, shelters, and they are on that line. The KLA
3 headquarters is in the village of Vranjak, so this is information about
4 the enemy or, rather, terrorists.
5 Q. Mr. Sel, just as the Obilic power station, you understood the
6 allegation before it was made. Pusto Selo in March 1999 was the subject
7 of a massacre of a hundred civilians, wasn't it? It was in your area of
8 responsibility. Do you know how they died?
9 A. Mr. Nice. Mr. Nice, in that period our unit was not in that place
10 at all. We explained very nicely that the anti-terrorist action started
11 on the 25th and we explained where it was actually taking place; along the
12 axis of Bela Crkva, Brestovac, Mala Hoca, Randubrava, Retimlje,
13 Neprebiste, Mamusa. There is no mention of Pusto Selo. Pusto Selo is on
14 the other side completely. It is outside the area of responsibility of
15 our unit, and this is the year 1998, the 2nd of September. So if you take
16 all of this into account, please have a look at the map and you will see
17 for yourself.
18 Q. I'll ask my questions so we'll have the answer. Page 27 in the
19 English, page 68 for you. The setting on fire of the stacks, fences, and
20 then something about the houses and a word illegible. You might be able
21 to read the word yourself on page 68. You can see it on the original at
22 the bottom left-hand side of 68. "Kuca" something. So what does that
23 mean? "Setting on fire of the stacks, fences; houses" something.
24 A. Mr. Nice. Mr. Nice, if you read my notebook that carefully, you
25 could have read the following: "The setting on fire of stacks, fences,
1 and houses, no." So this was just a form of jotting down what was said.
2 So it was not allowed, the random setting on fire of haystacks, fences and
3 houses. Don't laugh, Mr. Nice. Read it carefully. It says "ne"; "no."
4 I know what you want, but --
5 Q. We thought it might have said Nay but the translators weren't
6 prepared to say Nay. So if you read it rather more carefully, it actually
7 says, "The setting on fire of stacks, fences; houses, no."
8 Now, then, what are you doing writing in your book anything about
9 the setting on fire --
10 A. Mr. Nice.
11 Q. Please listen to me. What are you doing in your book saying
12 anything about the setting on fire of haystacks unless it was happening?
13 A. Mr. Nice, it's not a semicolon, it's the letter I. So it means
14 "and." So it's a continuation of the sentence. That is one of the
15 measures that is communicated to the soldiers before going out on mission.
16 So what I've said is most strictly prohibited. They are not allowed to do
17 any such thing. If they do it, then they will have disciplinary measures
18 taken against them. I think that you will understand that.
19 Q. Well, what pattern of setting on fire haystacks, fences and houses
20 had there been that led to it being necessary to give this instruction,
22 A. Mr. Nice, there was no pattern and there was no order. This is
23 one of my measures regarding the soldiers. That was something that the
24 soldiers were not supposed to do. And they were not allowed to violate
25 this rule. So it is not possible that they did things like that because
1 that would not look like things that soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia
2 did. That was not our mission.
3 Q. Well, they weren't supposed to slaughter. They weren't supposed
4 to rape, were they?
5 A. Mr. Nice, again you're presenting these arbitrary facts. Soldiers
6 were not slaughtering or killing innocent civilians. Please don't go on
7 about this.
8 Q. Page --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sel, it is a good question. Why would you
10 specifically give such orders about something that is so obvious that any
11 soldier wouldn't need to be told about it? Now, that would suggest it had
12 been happening and they needed to be reminded. That's the question you're
13 being asked.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, this is my own
15 statement. This is what I am conveying to the soldiers by way of my
16 order. I'm not allowing them to do things that are impermissible and that
17 do not pertain to the work of soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia. So that
18 is the way I protect the buildings there and the population, if there was
19 any population left there. So the point was that that kind of thing was
20 banned. I did not allow soldiers to do that. This is my measure
21 prohibiting things that are not permissible. So if -- any kind of
22 violence, any kind of torching of property, destruction of property is not
24 JUDGE BONOMY: But the very point you've just made: It doesn't
25 say any form of violence is prohibited. You've been very selective in
1 what you've said and that's why you're being asked the question. You
2 haven't said, for example, "You mustn't slaughter civilians," and I'm
3 curious as to why you've chosen these particular items to include in an
4 order when they're out of line, obviously, with all the stuff that goes
5 before on the same page.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Do you wish to answer His Honour?
8 A. Mr. Bonomy, this is a work notebook where I enter my own
9 obligations vis-a-vis the superior command and vis-a-vis my subordinates.
10 This is one of the security measures, and it is well known what soldiers,
11 members of the units, are supposed to do vis-a-vis civilians as opposed to
12 armed terrorists.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 MR. NICE: I've tried to put the generality of the allegations
15 made against you by Witnesses A, B, C -- by Soldiers A, B, C and D, but I
16 should just add this detail: Coming again without access to your
17 documents or anything else from Soldier C - and you can remind yourself
18 Soldier C only 1998, as you would say, longer period otherwise - he says
19 that people were -- that soldiers used gas bombs, or it may be gas, in the
20 houses to disable the inhabitants. The soldiers went in and plundered
21 everything and then set the houses on fire, destroying the corpses in the
23 Now, that's the allegation that's included in the allegations made
24 against you throughout 1998 and 1999. Is there truth in that?
25 A. Mr. Nice, there is not the tiniest bit of truth in that. I've
1 already said that these were statements made to your associates a year
2 later in order for these soldiers to get some benefits. They were in the
3 unit for five days, regular training, on the camp premises. They did not
4 take part in any kind of combat action. When they left the unit, they
5 never came back to it.
6 Q. Very well. Let's look at just a few more entries in your diaries
7 to see what's there and what is not. Page 40 in the English, 16th of
8 January, 1999. Your page 137. And it's for the 16th and you can see the
9 block that surrounds it. All right? "Impact rifle brigades bring 22,"
10 and then "berets Beograd." "Berets Belgrade." What's all that about?
11 A. Mr. Nice, a few moments ago I said to you this is my work notebook
12 where I entered my personal obligations vis-a-vis superiors and vis-a-vis
13 subordinates. So this is my work plan. This has to do with the list of
14 officers and soldiers who will be in the organs that provide security on
15 the state border. We had to know exactly who was where at what time. If
16 somebody got killed, we'd have to know where this person was. Whether a
17 soldier went out on mission, whether he got killed there, whether he came
18 across a mine, and so on and so forth.
19 Q. Two words: "Berets, Belgrade," and we have got an eight-line
20 answer that hasn't answered the question. Now will you tell me, please,
21 what "berets, Belgrade" means. Does it mean Red Berets?
22 A. Berets, Belgrade.
23 Q. Beograd.
24 A. Mr. Nice, those are distinction marks. It has nothing to do with
25 berets from Belgrade or any kind of berets, because, for a sign, you
1 always take part of military equipment and for the second part of the sign
2 you take the name of a town or a mountain. So a beret is part of a
3 soldier's equipment, and Belgrade is the name of a town. So we took two
4 words, as we usually do, with the same initial letter. I cannot say
5 "Shotka Beograd [phoen]" because that wouldn't be right.
6 Q. Very well. Let's --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not understanding this, I'm afraid. A
8 distinction mark for what?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, all armies of the world
10 when they secure a camp, a barracks, military installations, use
11 distinction code names that consist of one item of military equipment and
12 the second part of that code name or distinction code uses the name of a
13 town or a mountain. Those code names are used by guards to distinguish
14 between one another, and the shift leader --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So which military installation does this refer to?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was a camp which was the
17 location of the unit. The broader area of Damjan.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. Move on rapidly. We see on page 100 -- 47 in the English, 164 in
20 yours, which is still in -- actually, we'd better focus a little more on
21 164, and maybe the Chamber will want on this occasion to go to the
22 original as well. At some stage.
23 164, the outline passage, refers to masks doesn't it? Those are
24 gas masks, protective masks. Yes?
25 A. Mr. Nice, if you read my work notebook carefully, look at the
1 date, 15th March 1999. That was the hand-over, take-over of duty of the
2 company commander. Those are items of equipment that I found in the
3 storage at the moment of transition of duty between the old company
4 commander and the new one.
5 Q. I see.
6 A. Those are the equipment and ammunition that I found in the
7 warehouse, in the depot. Look at the date, the 15th of March, and it goes
9 Q. Let's go on to your page --
10 A. All the items were inventoried.
11 Q. Let's go to your page 166 -- and I think the Chamber may want to
12 see this in the original.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, is this a different hand-over from the
14 change you talked about in mid-February? This is a different --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, I handed over my unit in
16 mid-February. That means I spent one month in the battalion command and
17 on leave. On the 15th of March, the transition of duty procedure started
18 between the new and old company commanders, the person from whom I took
19 over. On that occasion, you have to inventory all the equipment.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Let's have a look at page 166 in the original. It can even go on
22 the overhead projector. No, don't worry about that because we haven't got
23 two copies, but the Chamber may want to look at this. On the 24th of
24 March of 1999 -- there's nothing in the English, we didn't get this
25 translated. I might have done, but I overlooked it. But on the 24th of
1 March of 1999, we can see a whole lot of preparation for an operation,
2 can't we? Yes?
3 A. Mr. Nice, this is the 24th of March, after we received orders from
4 the battalion commander. On the basis of that order for anti-terrorist
5 combat, I established a combat group and listed the equipment that they
6 were taking.
7 Q. Now, if we go over to page 168, we come to the 28th of March. So
8 that there is no entry of yours, none, to cover the period 25th, -6th, and
9 -7th, is there?
10 A. Mr. Nice, the system of reporting within the unit, this personal
11 contact with the commander because he wasn't far away from me physically,
12 I informed him through the messenger and through communications. All that
13 happened during the anti-terrorist action was in the communications.
14 Q. Simple point: Simply no record. I hadn't yet suggested that you
15 should have kept a record, although indeed we've heard from other
16 witnesses that records should be kept on a daily basis, but still, there
17 simply is no record in your hand of what you did.
18 You've produced to this Court exhibits 3 -- in the Delic exhibits,
19 the number of which is 1 -- I don't have the number of Delic exhibits, but
20 it's tabs 363, 388, 379, 411 -- 399 yes, Your Honour, I'm grateful; 399,
21 411 and 499, all of Exhibit D300.
22 JUDGE KWON: 419.
23 MR. NICE: 419. Thank you very much.
24 Q. You've produced five statements setting out what you say is the
25 detail of what you did on those days. Can you tell me, please, where the
1 detail came from, since you made no record yourself?
2 A. Mr. Nice, first of all, I can't imagine how you can make notes
3 during combat. There was no power, there were no basic items to enable
4 that sort of work. We had to advance all the time to break up terrorists
5 on our axis. We had no time for making notes. All reports were given to
6 the battalion command, and on the basis of that, the battalion command
7 made their reports to the superior command, and they kept a war diary.
8 I, as a rule, do not write operation reports and do not keep a war
9 diary, but it is my duty to inform the battalion command or battalion
10 commander of everything that happened on my axis, which I did personally.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... remember when these
12 statements were made, if they were made by you, to the VJ Commission for
13 Cooperation in 2002?
14 A. I wrote the statements in person. Nobody suggested to me what to
15 write and I don't know what other people wrote. What I wrote I wrote on
16 the basis of what I remembered and what I went through.
17 Q. Well, when you wrote these statements it was all -- already three
18 years and more after the event. You set out times, you set out trig
19 points; all sorts of detailed events. We don't have time today to go
20 through them in detail but the Chamber's alert to them. Where did you get
21 all that detail from, Mr. Sel?
22 A. How could I not know it? I had the battalion commander's order.
23 I received certain features, the axis for anti-terrorist combat, all the
24 elements. Of course I know them. It doesn't fade from memory that
1 Q. I see. So you can remember every detail now, can you?
2 A. Of course.
3 Q. When did you last --
4 A. As for combat actions, I can remember everything.
5 Q. I see. You can remember the name of all the trig points that you
6 went to, can you?
7 A. The line of taking up positions was on the Brod feature, trig 430,
8 and in the evening I reported to trig 450 near Velika Hoca. Those
9 features are etched in my memory.
10 Q. Well, the ones we have got etched in ours are 430 on 432, but
11 maybe I'm getting it wrong. I'll come back to that if I have time.
12 So you remembered these details, but can you help us yet with the
13 name of the man Rambo? First name, rank, last name? Can you? If you
14 can't, we'll go on to what you reported on the 28th of March, but before
15 we do, just tell us this: You say you didn't have time to make notes.
16 You spent a day in Mamusa, didn't you, waiting to right your upturned
17 tank. You could have made notes then.
18 A. Mr. Nice, if you listen to my testimony and read my statements,
19 you know that I had two soldiers injured and one killed as well as that
20 tank. My main idea was to save lives, transport these soldiers to the
21 hospital and not to write novels.
22 Q. Let's go to the 28th of March, then, when, although you were
23 still, I think, on the action, you recalled this - it's on the English
24 page 48, halfway down - "Soldiers review, seize all technical goods and
25 pile them up ... radios, caps and civilian items."
1 A. Sorry, I'm not receiving interpretation.
2 Q. Page 168 in your document, and it's the end of the blocked entry,
3 and it reads: "Soldiers review, seize all technical goods and pile them
4 up ..."
5 Well, had your soldiers -- I don't wish to be too -- well, you
6 just tell us where those technical goods came from if they aren't the
7 product of looting. "Technical goods"; what does this mean?
8 A. Mr. Nice, this is the 28th March 1999 when I arrived with my unit
9 in the area of Bistrazin. In the area of Bistrazin my unit was not alone.
10 These are tasks given by battalion commander to me. That means that all
11 units were duty-bound to conduct an inspection and to carry out these
12 tasks. I didn't find anything on my soldiers, and I reported to that
13 effect to the battalion commander.
14 Q. So if I understand this, seize all technical goods, but there were
15 none, pile them up, but there were none to pile up. Is that what it
16 amounts to? You had an expectation that they would have some looted
17 property, but lo and behold, they didn't. Is that really what you're
19 A. Mr. Nice, I'm telling you again: This is one of the tasks
20 received from the superior command. We had to conduct an inspection of
21 the troops, and if we find anything, we had to assemble it in one place
22 and turn it over, to avoid abuse. I didn't find anything on my soldiers,
23 and I informed the battalion commander so. So that was one of the tasks
24 within the anti-terrorist operation that was conducted in the place of
25 rest. We had to inspect the troops and see if there had been any cases of
1 robbery or looting.
2 Q. Page 50 in the English, 175 in your version, please. And you're
3 now disarming civilians, tying them up and handing them to the security
4 organs. Whereabouts?
5 A. Where is that written?
6 Q. On page 175, in the block at the top right-hand corner, unless the
7 translators have erred. There's the word "laundry," and then following
8 the word "laundry" there's a reference to civilians. Perhaps you'd like
9 to read it out.
10 A. Mr. Nice, as I said earlier, in that period the area of defence of
11 my unit was attacked by a terrorist group from Korenica area. So in case
12 we encounter any armed civilians, we were supposed to disarm them, because
13 an armed civilian would not be allowed to move about the area of defence
14 of my unit, and I had to provide combat security for my unit. So no
15 civilians, regardless of whether they were Serbs or Albanians, could not
16 walk about armed in the area of defence of the unit. So if we came across
17 any such civilians, we were supposed to disarm them, tie them, and turn
18 them over to the appropriate authorities.
19 Q. Did you find any and tie them up?
20 A. No. Apart from the terrorist group that attacked me and, after a
21 short struggle, withdrew in the same direction from which they came.
22 Q. 178 in your documents, please, page 52 in the English. Have a
23 look at that. Here's something interesting: You see underneath the
24 listing of numbers of officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers,
25 "Check for the rank of the officer from Krajina," and then something, and
1 then "Republika Srpska." Were you being reinforced at this time by forces
2 from outside?
3 A. No, Mr. Nice, those are not troops. The commanding officer who
4 was in my unit in that border unit, he asked me, because he had completed
5 his school and later transferred to the army of Yugoslavia, his status had
6 not been quite regulated, and he hadn't yet received any reply to his
7 query about his rank, and the rest refers to the strength of the unit in
8 that area, the unit under my command.
9 Q. What about the Republika Srpska? There's one from the Krajina.
10 Or is it the same or is it different?
11 A. Well, that's what I said a moment ago; it was a commanding officer
12 who had completed an appropriate school, and after his job in Republika
13 Srpska, he transferred to the army of Yugoslavia, but the issue of his
14 rank was not settled. And through me, because I was his superior, he
15 requested that his rank be recognised. That's nothing strange about that.
16 Q. We'll come back to page 178. Go to page 179. What about the
17 Russians and their visas? And then a reference to involvement of
18 volunteers from the RS. Perhaps again you'd better read the phrase out.
19 You see the little block there? Read out the first thing: "Question
20 Russian visas." What does it say to you?
21 A. That concerns the members who came of their own accord to the unit
22 as volunteers. All of them were placed --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 A. -- under my command.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... of what? Where were the
1 Russians coming from? You're saying individual Russians came down, did
2 they, to join your unit?
3 A. They were there when I came, and they raised the issue of their
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 A. They wanted their visas settled.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. I had four of them in my unit.
9 Q. How long had they been in your unit?
10 A. Sometime until May.
11 Q. What were their names?
12 A. So they left after a relatively short time. I didn't know their
13 names because they were in the border unit --
14 Q. So when they came --
15 A. -- under the command of a different commander.
16 Q. They came in May of 1999. How were they able to get into Kosovo
17 to come and fight in May of 1999 when the NATO [inaudible] was well under
18 way? Just tell us.
19 A. They were there in the area when I arrived.
20 Q. What, as tourists?
21 A. It was not me who brought them, they were in the border unit.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... well, who did bring them?
23 Because other countries' forces fighting in a particular battle is
24 something that's likely to be recorded somewhere. How did the Russian
25 soldiers, if that's what they were -- were they soldiers or were they
1 tourists who chose to become tourists?
2 A. They were not tourists and they're not what you think you were,
3 nor were they army members. It's just that they felt it was their duty to
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 A. I found them there when I arrived.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. I'm telling you I don't know because they spent a very short time
9 in my unit. I came to that area on the 27th of April. They were already
10 there in the area, and they left in May.
11 Q. In the English, the date is incorrect. It should be 27th of
12 April. And what about the next line but one. Just read that to us,
14 A. 27th.
15 Q. Next line but one after Russians, what does that say?
16 A. "Military service books." That means that --
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... next line.
18 A. -- those soldiers who lost their service books -- activating
19 volunteers from Republika Srpska.
20 Q. That does look like a little bit like you've got volunteers from
21 Republika Srpska despite your earlier answer. It's a little hard to read,
22 "activating volunteers from the Republika Srpska" as anything other than
23 meaning activating volunteers from the Republika Srpska, isn't it? So
24 what did you do to activate these volunteers?
25 A. Mr. Nice, during the NATO aggression against our country, lots of
1 people felt it was their duty to come and defend the country against the
2 NATO aggression, and that's one of the issues that was raised when I
3 arrived --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
5 A. -- what to do with those people.
6 Q. Let's go back to page 178. Still on page 52. Village of Bob.
7 Well, we know where Bob is; we've seen that. I've lost my map. It's not
8 here. But you just tell us what is meant by "elderly woman slaughtered,
9 man thrown to the well"?
10 A. Mr. Nice, this is a report from my patrol that was kept contact
11 with my right neighbour, which was the territorial detachment from
12 Djakovica. According to the information they gave me, they had found
13 those two bodies in the well. I wrote that down to report it to the
14 battalion command. As far as I know, the battalion command sent a
15 forensic team and military police to the site, to the location, and they
16 found nothing from what I read from their report.
17 Q. Soldiers reported on an old woman being slaughtered, or an elderly
18 woman being slaughtered and a man thrown down the well, and nothing was
19 found by the authorities.
20 A. It was not the soldiers who found them. There was the leader of
21 the patrol, which was a commanding officer, and it was his duty to make a
22 report after making contact with his right neighbour. He reported what he
23 heard, and I reported it to the battalion command. The battalion command
24 sent an appropriate team, an authorised team to investigate.
25 Q. By the end of April of 1999, the majority of the slaughtering may
1 have already been done, and it may have already been obvious to you that
2 the battle with NATO wasn't going to be won. Would that be accurate? The
3 first part, the majority of killing had perhaps been done already. Right?
4 A. Mr. Nice, I have to repeat something that I've already said many
5 times: On the 5th of April, when I arrived in that area and took up
6 positions to secure the state border, there was not a single civilian in
7 my area. That's one.
8 Second, I don't do killings of civilians.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. I'm not a murderer.
11 Q. Nor do your troops.
12 A. Neither I nor my troops, and I can guarantee that.
13 Q. Am I right in thinking that by the end of April it was known that
14 the battle was lost? That's one of the reasons, I must suggest to you,
15 that the Obilic electric plant was being used to burn and destroy evidence
16 of the bodies, but is it right that by the end of April it was known that
17 the battle was going to be lost?
18 A. The battle was not lost. The battle was lost at the negotiating
20 Q. Was it?
21 A. I don't know why. It's not my job to know. I was an officer. I
22 was waiting for NATO forces to start the ground invasion and then I would
23 ask them how they --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. -- feel, but they didn't dare.
1 Q. Next page, please. 53 in the English, your page 180. Two
2 points. You see the block that surrounds the passage in which we have an
3 interest. Again Deva seems to be within your zone of interest at the
4 moment, is that right? Just yes or no. The border area of Deva.
5 A. Mr. Nice, the watchtower Deva with its entire crew, the border
6 soldiers, came under my command. That is former military post 7238/8.
7 And the post and packages that came to that address was forwarded by me to
8 the new address.
9 Q. Now go to the 30th of April and read out the first two entries.
10 We look at them - the translation doesn't always reveal this - these have
11 got two stars besides them, two asterisks in your own hand. Matters of
12 great importance. Just tell us what they read, will you.
13 A. The first two notes, the first has to do with engineering
14 preparation of defence positions, shelters, and the accent is on the
15 preparation of shelters and covers. The second note is related to
16 destruction of alcohol, the consumption of which was strictly prohibited.
17 Further on, because of NATO airstrikes the targeted also civilian targets
18 resulting in a lot of destroyed and killed cattle. There was Catholic
19 population there, and there were lots of pigs, there was --
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
21 A. -- uncontrolled slaughtering of pigs.
22 Q. And was there -- yes, we'll come to that in a second.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I suspect the first line of translation
24 may need correction in the English.
25 Q. Would you please, Mr. Sel, just read the first line and we will
1 correct the English because it wasn't what I was expecting when I'd seen
2 an earlier draft. Can you just read, without comment, the first line,
4 A. First line: "Shelters. Accent or focus on shelters." I don't
5 know how it's translated in your version.
6 Q. "Zaklani" would be "slaughters," wouldn't it?
7 A. This is incorrect, Mr. Nice. I'm telling you nicely what is
8 written. "Shelters," or cover, "focus on cover." Because of NATO
9 airstrikes, we had to prepare proper shelters and cover.
10 Q. Now, would you please read without comment --
11 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I think any ambiguity in the first line
12 is beyond resolution in the time available.
13 Q. Now will you please read, without comment, the entry beginning
14 with "alcohol."
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The difference is only in
16 one letter between "zaklani" and "zakloni."
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're hearing a comment from the interpreter.
18 What's that?
19 THE INTERPRETER: There is only different letter between the two
20 words "zaklani," "slaughtered," and "zakloni," "shelters."
21 MR. NICE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. Can you now please read, Mr. Sel, the second entry, beginning with
25 the word "alcohol."
1 A. "Alcohol to be destroyed, pigs to be driven out, not to be
2 slaughtered any more." That has to do with cattle -- livestock, rather.
3 Q. Assuming it is cattle and the word wasn't picked up in the
4 translation, what were the people doing slaughtering cattle in any case?
5 A. Mr. Nice, there was no need to slaughter livestock because we had
6 our regular supplies. But because of NATO airstrikes, a lot of livestock
7 was killed, and you know that pigs eat anything, and some soldiers tried
8 to pen in pigs and then slaughter them before holidays to eat them, but
9 that was strictly prohibited to prevent infection and disease. So if any
10 pigs were found, they had to be driven out and there was a prohibition on
11 their slaughter.
12 So the only thing that was allowed was to replenish supplies with
13 meat from regular sources.
14 Q. Of course with the Muslim community there aren't that many pigs
15 kept for eating, are there, but --
16 A. Mr. Nice. Mr. Nice, a moment ago I said that there was a Catholic
17 population living there, too, and as opposed to the Albanian Muslims, they
18 do keep pigs.
19 Q. You see, we've heard quite a lot of evidence that not only were
20 people killed and their property looted but that their animals and
21 livestock were slaughtered wantonly in the start of the campaign. Is that
22 what you're referring to here, if this does indeed refer to cattle?
23 A. Mr. Nice, this is an order by a superior command. So it was my
24 duty as the unit commander in that area to review the units, to destroy
25 any alcohol, if I find any, and to look after -- to look after the
1 livestock, that if there were any intentions of slaughtering any cattle,
2 to let them roam free and to prevent the slaughter of the cattle. Because
3 we had regular supplies, food supplies coming in to us, so we didn't need
4 to slaughter the cattle for meat.
5 Q. I suggest that's not what it means, you know what it means, and it
6 has something to do with the acts of criminality that you were engaged in,
7 Mr. Sel.
8 A. No, that's not correct, Mr. Nice. That's your opinion.
9 Q. I want you to consider, please, some observations made in the
10 course of the Mancic trial.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honours, we have transcripts of the hearings of
12 the trial. Interesting themselves because, for the four accused the trial
13 hearing occupies only 112 broadly typed pages, but of course there's
14 always the investigative judge's contribution.
15 For convenience, I ask that the Chamber may want to follow it
16 themselves in the original without prejudice as to whether it's moved into
17 evidence as an exhibit. Otherwise, I'll lay the pages on the overhead
18 projector, and we have the parallel pages in B/C/S for the witness to
19 follow, and I've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 -- a little more than seven
20 entries I want him to consider. He doesn't need to have the --
21 Q. This is the trial that happened in 2002, as I've already
22 explained, of Mancic, Radojevic, Tesic and Sergei or Sergei, and the first
23 entry on your page 16 reveals, doesn't it, how Tesic said that Radojevic
24 and Mancic ordered him to do the killing of the civilians that lay at the
25 heart of this case. You know about that, do you?
1 A. Mr. Nice, that is the area of responsibility of another unit so
2 there's no need for you to give me those notes because, as I say, that
3 unit was 20 kilometres away from my area and I don't know what they were
4 doing. If they had indeed something or committed anything, then they
5 should be held responsible.
6 Q. The Kusnin murder occurred on the 11th of April. We've had sight
7 of Vukovic's diary which says that on the 5th of April you were sent to
8 Kukaj. Kukaj is in the same area as Kusnin, isn't it?
9 A. Mr. Nice, Kusnin and Kukaj are about 20 kilometres away as the
10 crow flies. Kukaj is near the Deva watchtower. Take a map and have a
12 Q. Moreover Tesic, Sergei and Radojevic had all been under your
13 command at the time when they entered into service in this area, hadn't
15 A. Mr. Nice, what I'm telling you is that you're not well versed in
16 military matters. While I was responsible for the unit, where those units
17 were under my command, that is to say until the 15th of February, I
18 guarantee that they had not committed any crime or anything similar to
19 that. Now, what happened when I left the area, I really don't know. So I
20 state again, if something happened, then they would have been held
21 responsible for it.
22 Q. On page 29 of the English and going over to page 30, what Tesic
23 said was that they weren't told how to treat the two civilians apart from
24 killing them, but he then said this - top of page 30, and it's highlighted
25 for you on page 16 - "I did not hear about the existence of any Geneva
1 Convention regarding protection in wartime. None of the officers ever
2 told me anything about wartime treatment of non-combatants." So that
3 covers, on any reckoning, your period as well as anybody else's. Tesic,
4 the soldier for whom in due course Vukovic was going to go and give
5 character evidence in support of him, never told about the Geneva
7 A. Mr. Nice, there's no mention of my name anywhere there, so as I
8 say, this is quite useless because this happened in the area of
9 responsibility of another unit. So I do not know what happened over
11 Q. Whatever the --
12 A. So there's no need for me to discuss something that was -- didn't
13 take place in the area of my responsibility, so I am responsible for the
14 situation in my area of responsibility and my own unit.
15 Q. All right, then. You point us to the contemporaneous record of
16 your briefing of your soldiers, including Tesic, where they were given a
17 lecture about the Geneva Convention. Just tell us. Where can we find it?
18 A. Mr. Nice, as far as I know, that is to say the professional organs
19 would come to the unit and hold lectures about war law and the Geneva
20 Conventions, they talked to the soldiers about them, and I said that each
21 soldier had a separate booklet about the conduct of soldiers in combat,
22 and so did all the commanders. They had the basic tenets of war law.
23 They didn't go without that. So apart from being acquainted with it, they
24 would have the brochure on them, with them, and at any rate everybody is
25 responsible for their own conduct and behaviour. Now, I'd have to go
1 through all my work --
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
3 A. -- notebooks to find that.
4 Q. This is something that, for example, your brother officer, Captain
5 Rangelov, would know, wouldn't it?
6 A. I don't know. You'd have to ask him that.
7 Q. Because, you see, if you -- just for the --
8 A. It happened in his area of responsibility.
9 Q. Exactly. And we've got some more entries to look at before we get
10 to Rangelov, but since you make the point, be so good as to go to your
11 page 26, and we'll go to our page 52 in the English. This is Rangelov
12 speaking in court. And what he says is this: "After I received
13 information about the event -" which is the killing at Kusnin from
14 Lieutenant Radojevic - "I subsequently met Major Mancic in the presence of
15 Lieutenant Radojevic. I told him this shouldn't happen any more, that I
16 as a company commander wouldn't permit it. After that, I started
17 including in my orders items about treating the civilian population,
18 prisoners and wounded men in accordance with the Geneva Convention."
19 Even your brother officers acknowledge to the Court that there was
20 no pattern of instruction about the Geneva Convention. What do you say to
22 A. Mr. Nice, I repeat again: I'm responsible for the area of
23 responsibility of my unit, and I know quite distinctly that I informed all
24 the soldiers about the measures and took all steps to prevent any untoward
25 actions from taking place.
1 Q. Go back to our page 30, your page 16, please. The only reason
2 this crime was tried at all, as I must suggest to you, was because, as
3 Tesic said, he first reported the event to the security organ officer in
4 his unit, Officer Rudic. Did you know Rudic?
5 A. No, Mr. Nice.
6 Q. Did you understand that the bodies that were -- of the dead
7 people, the dead men were subject of an unsatisfactory, incomplete fire?
8 Did you understand that? If we go over to page -- sorry, yes.
9 A. Mr. Nice, I repeat again: This is the area of responsibility of
10 another unit and what happened there is something I'm not aware of, so I
11 can't tell you something I did not see or hear about. I only heard about
12 it when the trial began, what happened.
13 Q. You see, all these men were under your command or your
14 associates. For example Kolundzic, we haven't taken the time to do it,
15 his name is all over your diary. If we go to page 31, we see that Tesic
16 explains the following -- top of the page. It's your page 17, please.
17 Page 17. You've got the highlighted area. "Immediately after this event
18 -" that's the following day - "Kolundzic reproached me for not setting
19 fire when a fire should be set, and he mentioned The Hague." You officers
20 had in your charge very young men and you could make them do what you
21 wanted, and when any of them resisted, you could still threaten them with
22 something like The Hague. Isn't that the truth?
23 A. Mr. Nice, that is certainly not the truth. So with my own
24 personal example, I always influenced my soldiers and would never have
25 allowed them to do anything that was not permitted. And let me state
1 again, what happened in the area of responsibility of another unit is
2 something that I am not interested in. Because everybody must hold
3 responsibility and take responsibility for what happens in his own area.
4 MR. NICE: Tesic's own use of drugs, Your Honours, can be found on
5 page 32, but for want of time I go to his co-accused Sergei's use of
6 drugs, on our page 40.
7 Q. Would you go to page 21, please.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness had said for ten times
10 that that has nothing to do with his unit at all and I don't know why you
11 are permitting Mr. Nice to waste time in that way, and I'd like to draw
12 your attention to the fact that his cross-examination has been going on
13 now for at least three times the length of mine and he has not challenged
14 a single portion yet of what the witness testified about in the
15 examination-in-chief. He's dealing with matters that have nothing to do
16 with the testimony and the examination-in-chief and at the same time
17 things that have nothing to do with this witness either, and he is wasting
18 time quite unreasonably so, so I don't think there's any point to this.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you had indicated you were bringing
20 your cross-examination to an end.
21 I will allow the question, Mr. Milosevic. It may be that it's a
22 matter in respect of which the witness has some information.
23 MR. NICE: Thank you.
24 Q. You see, these young men were in your charge, under your command,
25 at an earlier period of time. So let's look at your page 21, page 40 in
1 the English, and remember what you said about drugs and alcohol. Now,
2 this is what this young man said: "Before that evening, that event in the
3 evening, I had taken Trodon, or Troedon [phoen]. I don't remember the
4 quantity, and I'd mixed it with alcohol. I also took it after the event.
5 The event took place in daytime at some point between 1000 and 1400 hours.
6 I'd been taking narcotics before my military service, such as Trodon,
7 marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy, and I smoke grass less frequently and in
8 smaller quantities." Your men, in order to do these ghastly things you
9 required of them, sometimes had to be on a combination of alcohol and/or
10 drugs, didn't they, and you knew that.
11 A. Mr. Nice, that's just not true. That is the statement of a
12 witness aimed at defending his acts and what he did. This soldier Tesic,
13 while he was in my unit, was my personal security, and I guarantee with my
14 head on the block that he never used drugs or alcohol. Otherwise, I would
15 have sent him packing had he tried to do --
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
17 A. -- so, because I didn't need a soldier like that.
18 Q. Quickly on to page 54, your page 27. Now, this is in the evidence
19 of Rangelov again. This is what Rangelov said on -- parallel officer to
20 you, page 27. He said: "I know that some soldiers took --" first of all,
21 he says: "After the beginning of the aggression, I didn't organise any
22 training regarding the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and I don't
23 know whether the platoon commanders did." But he then says this: I know
24 that some soldiers took various kinds of drugs and drank alcohol while
25 carrying out tasks in Kosovo and that they mixed drugs and alcohol. I'm
1 not aware of any deals with Tesic particularly."
2 Even your brother officer knew that your soldiers had to take
3 drugs to do what was required of them. Yes?
4 A. Mr. Nice that's just not true at all, not true at all. That is
5 your observation and conclusion. I state again that while soldier Tesic
6 was under my command, he didn't use any drugs or alcohol.
7 Now, the fact that they gave statements of this kind, you can ask
8 the Trial Chamber why they gave such statements.
9 Q. And finally --
10 A. I mean the chamber that they gave the statements to. And I know
11 that in the area of responsibility of my unit, it was strictly prohibited
12 to drink any alcohol or do anything else along those lines. So I didn't
13 have any problems with that at all. It all depends on one's relationship
14 to one's men and how you command your soldiers.
15 Q. Finally, you have asserted absolutely systematic instructions on
16 the Geneva Conventions. Let's see what your superior officer, who has
17 been a witness in this court, Vukovic, had to say about this on page 75,
18 at your page 36. This is the high -- the high point, as far as he can go,
19 and he says this: "During the above-mentioned aggression we did not have
20 any particular training about how to treat the civilian population,
21 wounded persons, prisoners. In this regard we had instructions which were
22 kept by company commanders. These instructions set out how to treat these
23 persons." Then he goes on to say the officers knew which -- which orders
24 to obey and which not, but he makes it clear there was no particular
25 training about the Geneva Conventions. There was none, was there?
1 A. Mr. Nice, I am responsible for the situation in my unit and I know
2 that my soldiers were aware of this and had what they had with them and on
3 them. Colonel Vukovic came towards the end of July 1998 to the unit.
4 Now, why his former commanding officer didn't inform him of things like
5 that is something I really can't answer.
6 Q. You see, Mr. Sel, as a result of your coming here and as a result
7 of your eventually providing or having provided for you a contemporaneous
8 record, it's been possible to find people who actually served with you.
9 Contrary to all the evidence you gave about not involving Bela Crkva and
10 not being involved at Celine and doing nothing at Mamusa, the truth is
11 that from 1998 until 1999 the army in Kosovo was acting without any regard
12 for the law. Isn't that the truth?
13 A. Mr. Nice, would you please limit yourself to my unit. As I said,
14 I am responsible for the situation in my unit. I know that my soldiers,
15 my subordinates did not commit any crimes or evil acts, and I stand behind
17 Q. But you exercised the power of life and death, and so far as women
18 were concerned, you exercised the power over whether they should be abused
19 and violated or not.
20 A. Mr. Nice, I do apologise but I have to repeat yet again: You are
21 persistently trying to put before me a statement of a unit who left five
22 days after I had come to the unit. Nothing happened. No civilian
23 murders, no rapes, nothing of that kind while I was in command of -- of my
24 unit. So these are statements from soldiers who had fled from the unit
25 and tried to be granted political asylum in some other country on the
1 basis of their false statements.
2 Q. Not so far --
3 A. And I've come here for the truth and I have taken the oath and
4 declaration to tell the truth.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... appreciate Witness D was a
6 soldier right to the end, and you've come here, Mr. Sel, to lie to this
7 Court without any contemporaneous document to support either the
8 statements you made to the VJ commission or the maps that were drawn by
9 someone for you to adopt. Isn't that the truth?
10 A. Mr. Nice, first of all, you've insulted me. I haven't come to lie
11 here but to tell the truth, and it doesn't serve you in good stead to say
12 that. I stand by what I said in my statements and my work. I'm a
13 professional soldier. Let me repeat that once again. I conducted myself
14 professionally. It is common knowledge against whom an army fights,
15 launches into battle, and against whom it doesn't.
16 Q. My last repeat question but I want you to have a very good
17 opportunity to consider this. Can you, for your unit or for Vukovic's
18 unit if you have the knowledge, can you point us to any document that
19 shows the taking of a prisoner of war or even a prisoner in the 1998
20 period and shows us what happened to that prisoner? Can you point us to
21 any document?
22 A. Mr. Nice, I think that you should contact the former military
23 court in Nis and the prosecutor there. That's where you'll be able to
24 find the exact data about what was done to the terrorists captured in
25 1998. They were handed over to the proper authorities, to the military
1 court, and were taken before that military court. There was no killing or
2 any other crime.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... ambushed, killed by you
4 without regard. That's the truth, isn't it?
5 A. Mr. Nice, I do entreat you not to present fabrications of that
6 kind. That's pure fabrication. The army just carried out its assignment.
7 The terrorists started arming themselves first, bringing in weapons and
8 fighting the army and legal authorities. We didn't pick a fight with
9 them, they started fighting us, and it would appear, would it, that our
10 officers and soldiers died of their own accord and were killed by an
11 unarmed people. That's what one can deduce from what you're saying. And
12 the army never opened fire first. It always opened fire second, with the
13 aim of defending itself and its lives.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, how long will you be in
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, quite obviously I have very
18 little time left to the end of today's work. I'll try to use the time as
19 best as possible, not to have to keep Lieutenant Colonel Sel here longer
20 than today.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We will adjourn for 25 minutes.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
25 MR. NICE: I should have asked for the notebook of the witness to
1 be exhibited and I don't think I've done that.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. It will be exhibited.
3 MR. NICE: Transcript of the Mancic trial is a document of record
4 provided to this Court. It's a matter entirely for the Court.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is there any observation with regard to the
6 admission of the Trial Record?
7 MR. KAY: First of all, the notebook and the translation of the
8 notebook. We were very dissatisfied with the quality of the translation.
9 Passages have been selected. For instance, the slaughtering passage. And
10 on the face of it, it looks highly suspicious and incriminating evidence.
11 Then you go to the passage itself in which apparently the B/C/S words used
12 weren't clear in the Prosecution version, and they're quite plainly clear
13 when you look at the original. The word "pigs" had been omitted, and that
14 is a less than satisfactory way for the Prosecutor to operate within this
15 courtroom whilst a witness is being questioned. We don't have time to
16 check everything.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you're not attributing any ill motive to the
19 MR. KAY: Well, it's less than satisfactory, and I would hesitate
20 to go any further, but I think what should take place is that there's an
21 official translation be produced of those passages that were used rather
22 than the draft that we've got attached to it at the moment.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree, Mr. Kay. In ideal circumstances, yes,
24 we should have an official translation.
25 MR. KAY: Thank you. In relation to the transcript of the other
1 proceedings, in our submission that is not admissible for the same reasons
2 that the Trial Chamber has given on many occasions before concerning the
3 statements of other people not being called as a witness, and it's not a
4 document arising at the time, it's not a document that speaks for itself,
5 and the content and material is plainly challenged. So that, we do not
6 agree should be admitted into evidence.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I have to express --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Nice. Microphone,
10 MR. NICE: I have to express the gravest concern about Mr. Kay's
11 expressions of concern. In fact, they're really quite offensive to a
12 group of people who have worked extremely hard over this weekend to
13 provide the best possible translation in the shortest possible time in
14 circumstances where this witness could reasonably have been expected to
15 have come with contemporaneous material and to have it been translated
16 either by the accused or perhaps by Mr. Kay, fulfilling his functions as
17 assigned counsel.
18 This material, it was first read once by an individual in my team
19 and the shortest translations were done. It was then necessary to get
20 extremely capable and industrious people to work over the weekend, which
21 they did, and as I recall, the last part of the translation came to me by
22 hand at about 5.00 last night. These people work extremely hard and it is
23 actually deeply offensive for somebody who doesn't read the language to
24 say the sort of things that Mr. Kay said, and I take exception on behalf
25 of those members of this office who did this work.
1 I deal with a particular example. You take the word for either
2 "shelter" or "slaughter." The word, as it's read, looks as though it's an
3 A not an O, to me, and it's the difference between an A and O that makes
4 the difference. As to the omission of words that are not clearly legible,
5 I've always given a chance to this witness to try and read them himself,
6 and the Chamber will recollect that I expressed some concern about that
7 line and got him to read it for us. So those remarks from Mr. Kay
8 absolutely rejected and I stand by the staff who worked so hard to try and
9 keep this Chamber adequately equipped with useful material.
10 So far as the transcript of the trial is concerned, this is a
11 document that in some Chambers I think would be regarded as
12 self-producing, that is to say it's an official document of record and
13 it's been provided to the Tribunal. It's plainly of value and it's
14 plainly of value because if somebody says something under the equivalent
15 of an oath in a court of the former Yugoslavia, although you'll discover
16 that the various witnesses from the Prosecution and defence say different
17 things, of course, and leads to a decision by that court which was to
18 convict all four men and to sentence them to terms of imprisonment from, I
19 think, 7 to 3 years, then the observations made in the course of that
20 trial may be of value, particularly the observations about drugs and the
21 Geneva Convention, and I'd invite the trial -- the Trial Chamber to
22 consider admitting it because it will plainly be of value. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, as far as this
25 document is concerned, about the trial that is, the trial of these four
1 men referred to by Mr. Nice, I wish to remind you of the following: That
2 Mr. Nice even said something inaccurate to the witness, that this was
3 practically the only case when someone was brought to trial. That's not
4 true. You saw General Gojovic's testimony where you saw that a large
5 number of people were tried, even during the course of the war.
6 Now, can this document be used as evidence is a different matter
7 altogether, but it cannot be introduced during the testimony of this
8 witness because this man has nothing to do with these men. It's not his
9 unit. It would be as if you were to introduce some other document that
10 had nothing whatsoever to do with his testimony.
11 That is what I wanted to say on that score, but as far as the
12 notebook is concerned, I fully agree that the work notebook should be
13 exhibited but only in the original, not the translation. And you see that
14 it is a translation with shortcomings, with some cardinal mistakes, and
15 this is not the first time you've seen that, that there are such mistakes
16 made in the translation. You've seen that there were many mistakes in the
17 TV series that you had to check out here, only those that you did check
18 out, let alone all the other ones where you did not check them out, and
19 you yourself, Mr. Robinson, said several times to Mr. Nice that these were
20 big-time mistakes.
21 So I would not assume that Mr. Kay's comments were insulting to
22 the translators or something like that. I think that that is rather an
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The record of the trial will not be admitted, in
1 accordance with our practice. The notebook, we'll admit those parts that
2 have been referred to during cross-examination, because they have been --
3 those parts have been adequately translated. Any mistakes that were made
4 have been corrected. And I'd like to say that the Chamber does appreciate
5 the efforts of any party to have a translation done, because we know that
6 the official translators are besieged, are under tremendous pressure. We
7 note, however, that at times mistakes can be made, and when that is done
8 then we have to take the necessary measures to have them corrected.
9 THE REGISTRAR: The number --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: And of course any parts of the notebook dealt
11 with by the accused in re-examination will be admitted.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The number will be 938.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sel, Mr. Nice suggested to you that there
17 were no arrests or captures. Do you know how many members of the KLA were
18 amnestied after the 5th of October? They were pardoned and released from
19 our prisons.
20 A. Mr. Milosevic, as far as I know, they were all set free, all of
21 those who had been sentenced previously. I don't know exactly the numbers
22 involved, but I know that practically all of them were let go.
23 Q. All right. Well, several hundred were released. Could they have
24 been released had --
25 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... and the question
1 was not whether there were any captures, the question was whether this
2 witness has come here with any knowledge of records or details, and the
3 answer to that was none.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I remind you you're not giving
5 evidence and no leading questions. Let the witness give the evidence.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, he himself said that he knew
7 that they were all released. Only those who had been arrested could have
8 been released, not those who were killed, but all right. Let me try to
9 deal with this, these questions.
10 Please place on the ELMO this page 180, the one that was
11 mistranslated, but please place the original on the overhead projector, so
12 in the Serbian language in the witness's handwriting.
13 I asked for the original to be placed, the original page so
14 everyone can see what is written there. The handwriting is rather legible
15 there. The page is 180.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So where there are two asterisks, it says what? Read it out once
18 again, and you can all see what it says here where the two asterisks are.
19 A. Mr. Milosevic, this was one of the main tasks in order to prevent
20 losses from NATO attacks, that is to say shelters --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down. The
22 interpreters cannot keep up. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Sel, the interpreter is
24 asking you to slow down. Please observe a pause between question and
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Please look at the word "zakloni." It is used twice. In both
3 words you have A and O, these two letters. Look at it: "Zakloni."
4 MR. NICE: The correct interpretation is not for the accused, and
5 he's doing what's done before with matters like this.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I agree entirely because the two As --
7 rather, the two that are supposed to be Os, one of them plainly looks like
8 an A. It's there to be seen no matter what the accused might say about
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, can you take this any further?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, in the English and in
12 the Serbian language - and the script here is Latin - A and O is written
13 the same way, so there's no need to interpret that or translate that.
14 Could you please show the word "zakloni" and "zaklonima." The
15 letter A is the second one and the letter O is the fifth one in these
16 words. Can you not distinguish between the two? It says it there very
17 nicely "zakloni" and "zaklonima."
18 MR. NICE: I marked my text as being ambiguous, and I'm not going
19 to take any points on it at the moment unless the accused insists because,
20 for what it's worth, I don't read it in the way the accused is reading it,
21 but there it is. But if the accused is simply going to destroy the value
22 of any form of examination by repeatedly refusing to obey the Chamber's
23 orders not to put words and letters into another person's mouth, why don't
24 we just move on and doing something else.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, if you have a question to put to
1 the witness, without yourself giving evidence, you can put it.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Sel, what about the handwriting? Do the letters allow any
5 dilemma? Is this not legible enough for you, and I hope for everyone who
6 is watching this broadcast?
7 A. Mr. Milosevic, there is no doubt about this. It says very clearly
8 "zakloni" and "zaklonima." It is an evident difference between the
9 letters A and O.
10 Q. Thank you. The next two asterisks. All right, alcohol, destroy
11 alcohol, and you said about that, and then after the comma what is the
12 other word?
13 A. The other word, Mr. Milosevic, is "prasici"; piglets.
14 Q. All right, piglets should what?
15 A. Piglets should be taken out and no longer slaughtered.
16 Q. All right. Piglets, that's the word used; piglets.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sel, please, the question of ambushes was raised
19 several times here. Is an ambush a legitimate and usual activity in
20 providing security for the state border or is it just something that you
22 A. Mr. Milosevic, this is a legitimate combat task that is carried
23 out, not only for providing security on the state border but on all other
24 areas as well. So it is a classical form of combat except that we applied
25 it here on the state border.
1 Q. So you placed these ambushes in-depth?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Does that mean that if somebody comes across an ambush, he'd have
4 to pass by the border security?
5 A. Mr. Milosevic, until that moment, until a given moment, the army
6 of Yugoslavia did not have the right to enter the border belt. It is well
7 known who secures the state border. In-depth security means the first and
8 the second lines. It is the border guards that are on the first line. So
9 if something or someone passes by them, if they were not in a position to
10 a cover this, then they come to us.
11 Q. All right. Does that mean that what can come to you is something
12 that managed to slip by the border guards?
13 A. Yes. Yes. No one else could come across except someone like
15 Q. So what is the duty involved then? What is the customary number
16 of people involved in such an ambush?
17 A. Mr. Milosevic, usually it would be ten to 12 men, including their
18 commanding officer. So always soldiers were accompanied by their
19 active-duty officer in charge. So on the basis of estimates made in terms
20 of what groups would try to get through a given area. So it can also be
21 more people that can be involved in an ambush. It depends.
22 Q. You explained that ambushes were placed in areas where smugglers
23 were expected to pass through. You used that word "smugglers," armed
25 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. They -- these ambushes are placed where it is
1 expected that armed smugglers will pass by; rather, armed terrorists
2 coming in from training in Albania.
3 Q. So what would the task of the ambushes be? So the group would go
4 by the border guards, they didn't notice them, so what was the task of
5 your ambush, to shoot to kill or what? Tell me quite simply, what is the
6 task of people on ambush duty?
7 A. Mr. Milosevic, ambush duty, according to all the rules and
8 regulations, is to issue a warning, first and foremost, to persons who had
9 come. However, since it's a question of night-time, depending on the
10 strength of the enemy, then they would be taken out to a given area. In
11 this case, they were warned and they were the first ones to fire at us.
12 Our people only returned fire if they would shoot.
13 Q. So if they would shoot.
14 A. Yes. That's the way it always was. We were never the first to
15 open fire.
16 Q. Specifically, how many times did it happen to your unit that they
17 would open fire when they were in an ambush?
18 A. Specifically, Mr. Milosevic, my unit, in addition to the everyday
19 ambush duty that it was involved in, never opened fire because no one
20 tried to pass through my area.
21 Q. So there were no such attempts in your area?
22 A. No, there weren't any.
23 Q. Thank you. The question of Smonica was raised. You dealt with
24 terrorists in Smonica; right?
25 A. Mr. Milosevic, in 1998 that was one of the strongest terrorist
2 Q. You mentioned in that area -- that in that area 20 soldiers were
4 A. Mr. Milosevic, there were about 20 soldiers and officers killed,
5 and some were wounded; some seriously, some less seriously.
6 Q. What killed these soldiers and officers in that area?
7 A. In that area, they were killed from terrorist fire, by terrorist
8 fire; fire coming from the terrorists.
9 Q. Mr. Nice suggested when you were talking about mortar support that
10 you had at the time, that mortars were randomly firing at the village.
11 Was there any random fire coming from the mortars?
12 A. Never, Mr. Milosevic. Our mortars never opened fire randomly, but
13 they always did the appropriate calculations.
14 Q. Is the 120-millimetre mortar a precise weapon, the one that was
15 mentioned here?
16 A. In the hands of a good operator, a trained soldier, very precise.
17 Q. Was fire ever opened randomly, not at a firing point?
18 A. There was no random fire ever.
19 Q. Mr. Nice suggested that the bodies of the persons killed became a
20 problem in April. Did you have anything to do with the bodies of the
21 persons who were killed?
22 A. Mr. Milosevic, as I said, I never had anything to do with the
23 bodies of killed persons because I never found them.
24 Q. You said that they were successfully pulling them out.
25 A. Yes, that's what I said when I testified the last time over these
1 past several days. They had a system pulling their wounded and dead out.
2 That is to say, we found traces of blood as they were being dragged out,
3 then also parts of uniforms soaked in blood, but we never found any
4 wounded or killed terrorists, at least not where my unit operated.
5 Q. On page 62 of the diary, or, rather, not the diary but the work
6 notebook, the expression "arrest and tie" is used. Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And does "arrest" imply tying, that is to say handcuffing or using
9 something else if you don't have handcuffs?
10 A. Is as common knowledge, the soldiers didn't have --
11 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic -- don't answer that. Move on,
13 Mr. Milosevic. You have destroyed the effectiveness of any answer.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. All right.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You were questioned at length, Lieutenant Colonel Sel, here with
17 respect to the soldier that was -- that we called Soldier A here.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Soldier A is mentioned on page 33 of your notebook. Can you find
20 that? Can you see that there?
21 A. Yes. The 25th of June, 1998. It says, "Search for (redacted)
23 Q. And then what does it say? "Check to see if he has arrived at the
25 MR. NICE: That's --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're in open session. That shouldn't have been
2 mentioned, so that's to be redacted.
3 MR. NICE: If he wants to pursue the matter, it ought to go into
4 private session.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, are you -- are you going to pursue
6 this matter?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. No, I won't mention names. I
8 did say Soldier A. That was spontaneous in the quotation, but we can
9 refer to him as Soldier A, not to have to go into private session.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Milosevic, so far as Soldier A
11 is concerned, after all the -- the prescribed five days, I had to check
12 whether he had reached the barracks and, if not, that within the space --
13 the legally provided space of time a pursuit was launched, search was
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You say after he had been -- gone missing for five days?
17 A. Yes.
3 MR. NICE: Private session, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not going to name --
5 Mr. Robinson, name names at all. There is no need to go into private
6 session. I'm not going to mention any names, I'm referring to the person
7 as Soldier A.
8 MR. NICE: Well, he's achieving exactly by relating back to
9 something that was done last week. For anybody who wants to do it, he's
10 achieving exactly the same result. If he wants to raise this matter now
11 it has to be done in private session. (redacted)
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the statement to which reference is made?
19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, this whole -- this should be in private
20 session, with Your Honour's leave.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Let us go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 47350-47353 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we only have 15 minutes. Where
4 are you in your re-examination?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, quite obviously I can't
6 conduct the re-examination as I had envisaged to do because Mr. Nice
7 quoted very many things, but I'll do my best to use at least those 15
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Take a look at page 31 now, please. Let's just go over certain
11 matters but as quickly as possible, please. Have you found page 31?
12 A. Yes, I have.
13 Q. What does it say up there? Prevent what? Prohibit? It's in line
14 9. Prohibit what? Can you read that? What does it say?
15 A. Mr. Milosevic, it says "Prevent looting and taking away of weapons
16 or equipment from civilian houses."
17 Q. Let's see what you refer to. Look at page 41 now, please. Have
18 you found page 41?
19 A. Yes, I have.
20 Q. What does it say here? "To open fire," what?
21 A. "Prepare weapons for going into effect at night. Open fire only
22 when you have visible targets and when you see a flash."
23 Q. And underneath that?
24 A. "Pursuant to an order from the commander."
25 Q. Right. Now, on the 5th of July, there was an official discussion.
1 What does it say there?
2 A. "On the 5th of July, 1998, at 2100 hours, an official interview
3 was held with Branislav Kovacevic with respect to giving an official rifle
4 to --"
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down because it's
6 impossible to follow at that rate. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Please slow down. The
8 interpreter cannot follow you at that speed.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "On the 5th of July, 1998 --"
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You've read that out. Go on. Go to the next one.
12 A. "At around 1930 hours, when the state flag was lowered, Avramovic
13 and -- in front of the camp said that Avramovic was not allowed to shoot
14 from a pistol. Avramovic took a pistol from Kovacevic and put a bullet
15 and fired three shots into the air, three bullets into the air."
16 So he fired three bullets into the air. Kovacevic's behaviour was
17 not conducive to the conditions prevailing on the terrain, and he knew
18 that he was not allowed to give official weapons to somebody else to use.
19 Q. Right. That means that you were -- they had had a bet that this
20 one man was not allowed to shoot and then the other one went ahead and
22 A. That is my legal responsibility as their commanding officer. I
23 was duty-bound to take down a statement and to send it to the battalion
24 commander for further proceedings.
25 Q. This one said he shot because they'd had a bet but he didn't
1 jeopardise anyone's life, so this kind of - what shall I call this? - act
2 of indiscipline, you're making a whole report even if there were no
4 A. Yes. I'm duty-bound to do so, even if there were no casualties.
5 It took place in the camp, so steps like this had to be taken.
6 Q. All right. Now look at page 47. You insist upon that. And it's
7 the 29th of July, 1998, where it says, "The discipline of the soldiers --"
8 A. "The discipline of the soldiers, they're too relaxed, that the --
9 discipline should be raised and that they should be properly dressed and
10 look like soldiers, that they should be well and properly turned out like
12 Q. Look at page 58 now, please. What does it say there? It is the
13 fifth line from the bottom. There is an asterisk. It says: "Prohibited
14 contact with --" what does it say there, page 58? Forbidden contact with
16 A. Forbidden contact with civilian population.
17 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. Turn the page, and that's on page 60,
18 the next page. What does it say at the bottom there, "Disciplinary
19 measures --"?
20 A. "Disciplinary matters should be discussed immediately or resolved
21 immediately and steps taken against the soldiers that have upset law and
22 order where they have failed to perform their basic duties."
23 Q. All right. Now, on page 65 what does it say there, somewhere in
24 the middle? It says, "Undisciplined soldiers should be punished." Can
25 you read that out.
1 A. Yes, yes. It says: "Undisciplined soldiers should be punished,
2 that is to say prevent all forms of lack of discipline where law and order
3 is upset and stimulating matters should be on a company level for soldiers
4 who are carrying out their assignments properly."
5 Q. What does it say on page 116 now in the middle?
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a minute. Can you go back to page 60, the line
7 we read just now, "Disciplinary measures." The previous paragraph, what
8 does it say, Mr. Sel? "Popovic, Misel, Kozarski." Could you tell me what
9 it is about?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge, this is what
11 that it is about: It says: "Regular reporting to the battalion
12 commander, rewards or penalty." So Srdjan Popovic, Sergei Misel, or
13 Kozarski Darko might have stood to gain a reward, whereas disciplinary
14 measures should be taken against soldiers who had done something wrong.
15 So I can't remember whether they were stimulative measures or disciplinary
16 measures; whether they had done something well and should have been
17 rewarded or something bad and should have been sanctioned.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you look at page 116 now, somewhere in the middle. It says,
21 "opening fire."
22 A. Mr. Milosevic, three asterisks, the same thing: "Constant tasks,
23 opening fire only at certain objectives." That means no random fire and
24 no unnecessary opening of fire.
25 Q. And then you also describe some emergency event on 131, page 131.
1 A. A bullet was fired --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down considerably.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sel, you have to slow down considerably,
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. "Bullet fired at KPS3
6 guard post. All soldiers should be checked, and they should be told of
7 the possible consequences as regards the security of other personnel."
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. So you're writing down even the smallest omissions.
10 On page 135, at the bottom, "Behaviour of soldiers." What else does it
11 say here?
12 A. It says: "Behaviour of soldiers and soldierly appearance -
13 without complete equipment they cannot go anywhere." I think that's what
14 it means.
15 Q. All right. And the next page, 147, you say at the very
16 beginning: "Draw the soldiers' attention to --"
17 A. "Draw soldiers' attention to wearing civilian clothing in camp."
18 So it is impermissible to wear civilian clothing on camp.
19 Q. Please look at 168 and 169. You talk about the 28th of March,
20 1999. The first line, what does it say?
21 A. The first line, "Disciplined soldiers."
22 Q. All right. And what does it say in the last three lines, and it
23 pertains to the 29th of March, on this same page.
24 A. "Review the soldiers' equipment once again. Transistors,
25 Walkmans, cassette players." Since according to the rules they are not
1 allowed to have that --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please wait for the end.
3 There is a passage omitted, interpreter's note.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic and the witness, because you are
5 overlapping, we have just missed a passage in translation.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "It is prohibited to go to the store
7 and drink alcohol. It is prohibited to leave the premises except if there
8 is absolute necessity, inform soldiers --"
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. There is no need for that. Look at the 1st of April. Number 2,
11 it is prohibited to leave what? What does it say there?
12 A. Number 2, "It is prohibited to leave the camp. Children are not
13 allowed to come near soldiers and also to get close to motor vehicles."
14 That means that there were still civilians there.
15 Q. And children were interested in motor vehicles?
16 A. Yes, as children usually are.
17 Q. What else does it say?
18 A. "Take away grenades, rockets, and other ammunition from soldiers.
19 Vehicles should only be operated by soldiers, not -- only soldiers who are
20 drivers, not officers."
21 Q. All right. So it's all --
22 A. Regular activities.
23 Q. What does it say on the next page when you look at the next page,
24 the top, after the list of soldiers, the caps, and what, prevent what?
25 A. Where is this?
1 Q. 170, the very top. "Prevent --"
2 A. I haven't got it here.
3 Q. It's the next page after this one. Just turn the page. In the
4 upper left-hand corner.
5 A. No. The upper left-hand corner is the list of vehicles that were
7 Q. And below that?
8 A. "Prevent crime."
9 Q. That's what I wanted to see, what it says there. What is on page
10 172, what you wrote down there? "Warning to Serbian armed forces." What
11 does it say?
12 A. Mr. Milosevic, that is one of the leaflets that came from NATO
13 aircraft. There were several of them. I have them here. If necessary, I
14 can read it out.
15 Q. All right. But what does it say, what you wrote in your work
16 notebook? You actually copied out a leaflet?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And what does it say there?
19 A. "Warning to the Serb armed forces: You are at NATO's gunpoint.
20 Stop your operations momentarily and return to your garrisons immediately.
21 If you do not obey, NATO will consider -- continue attacking your unit."
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we can't go beyond 1.43. There is
23 another case here this afternoon.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Just a few more
25 questions. I'm going to put just a few more questions.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not a few more. I think just maybe one. Do you
2 have just a few more to finish, to conclude your re-examination?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it would be unfair to the
4 witness if I kept him here any longer, Mr. Robinson. I would like to
5 finish the re-examination today, so I really don't want to lose any time.
6 And may I say that Mr. Nice, last time in public session, when quoting
7 some statements, if I can put it that way, from his own transcript said
8 many ugly things about the witness, and then in closed session you made it
9 possible to me -- for me to say that this witness was lying, and that is
10 why I want that statement to be struck from the record, because it is
11 totally untrue.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead with putting another one or two
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Let's just see 182 and
15 183 now.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What's here on 182, the third line from the bottom? The word
18 "crime" is there, "kriminal." What does that pertain to?
19 A. Help me find it, please.
20 Q. Page 182 at the bottom, the third line from the bottom.
21 A. It pertains to preventing all forms of crime in the area of
22 defence of the unit.
23 Q. All right. What's on the next page, 183, on the right?
24 "Sorties," and then what does it say?
25 A. "Sorties by NATO Air Force, keeping communications, civilian
1 population, thrust."
2 Q. All right. What was brought into question here was whether the
3 soldiers were informed and whether training was conducted with regard to
4 respecting international law of war. You showed the rules for combatants.
5 Did every one of your soldiers have these rules?
6 A. Mr. Milosevic, every one of my soldiers had these rules.
7 Q. When did they get them?
8 A. It was handed to them in 1998.
9 Q. Was there a single soldier who did not receive a copy of these
10 rules? Did they all carry them in this form that you have them here now,
11 a laminated copy?
12 A. As far as I know, Mr. Milosevic, all of my soldiers had that.
13 Q. Obviously I cannot cover -- please look at this -- this other page
14 after the counting. I haven't got the number here now. I think it is
15 eight and nine.
16 A. In the other notebook.
17 Q. Yes. What have you got here under number 1, 2, and 3, only three
18 these things.
19 A. 1, again sorties by NATO Air Force, communications, problems with
20 the civilian population.
21 Q. Does NATO Air Force have to do with problems with the civilian
23 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 Q. Why?
25 A. They were leaving their areas, their houses. They were revealing
1 our positions by leaving their houses, or they were putting locators near
2 our positions, and that is why I mentioned the problem of the civilian
3 population who is showing in this way where our positions are.
4 Q. Please turn the page, and what does it say there? "Do not respond
5 to provocations," it says, where the list of the company is, right?
6 A. That means do not respond to provocations of NATO Air Force so
7 that our positions would not be revealed.
8 Q. All right. Two more pages. And then you have, "Personal
9 appearance of officers and soldiers, shaven with their hair cut, going on
10 leave only properly dressed." What else does it say?
11 A. What page is this?
12 Q. Two pages further on from what we looked at. Just two more pages.
13 Just have a look at that because the pages cannot be seen here.
14 A. Mr. Milosevic, that means maintaining regular discipline and
15 hygiene on the part of soldiers and officers. That is to say that they
16 cannot grow beards. We know what a soldier is supposed to look like,
17 especially when he goes on leave, too, and even in the situation when
18 there was the NATO aggression against our country, soldiers would go home
19 on leave.
20 Q. What else does it say here? "Without my knowledge no one can go
21 anywhere." And then: "Not opening fire unnecessarily anywhere." Is that
22 what it says here?
23 A. Without my knowledge, no one can go to the command. That means
24 leaving the area of defence and allegedly going to the command.
25 Unnecessary opening of fire; no, just at certain targets.
1 Q. Now, in relation to page 23, you have a case of someone drinking
2 alcohol. What does it say there on page 22 towards the bottom: "In May
3 1999 --" the name is not important.
4 A. On that day I had a soldier who was in town and had drunk quite a
5 bit of alcohol. As he was drunk, he almost injured himself. So I took
6 measures and I prevented him from doing that and I had a conversation with
7 him. When this soldier told me about his problems and everything he had,
8 I let him go home the next day.
9 Q. He had some family problems, then?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm trying to make sure that you conclude today,
12 but we are now encroaching on the time of the proceedings that follow.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've finished. I've finished. I'm
14 not going to keep the witness any longer. Just one more question.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Have you read this work notebook of yours yet again?
17 A. Mr. Milosevic, I didn't read it. It must have been seven years
18 now since I read it.
19 Q. What about now when you got it?
20 A. No, because I didn't have it. I just read out these excerpts that
21 you asked me to read now.
22 Q. On the basis of what you read and on the basis of what Mr. Nice
23 quoted, do you have a single thing written down that would confirm what
24 Mr. Nice is saying?
25 A. I have no such thing.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sel.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have concluded.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. Mr. Nice, you have
4 something to say?
5 MR. NICE: I have three points, I think. First, I think the
6 witness has been referred to one or two pages not translated. Either
7 those pages might be themselves translated, or alternatively the Court
8 might take the view with this document that it should be marked for
9 translation -- marked for identification and all translated in
10 due course.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that the entire notebook
14 should be admitted, because that's the only way in which you can see the
15 entire context, and then you can really see that none of the things that
16 Mr. Nice has been claiming are contained there.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: The entire notebook is admitted and marked for
18 identification pending translation.
19 MR. NICE: Second point, very shortly, lest any --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MR. NICE: Second point: Lest any future witness should be
23 unfairly commented on as a result of an error of mine, when I was dealing
24 with ambush on the basis of Witness D, he was referring - and I was
25 reminded of this by Ms. Tromp and I didn't correct it in time before I
1 finished - he was dealing with ambush of people leaving the territory not
2 necessarily coming in. I must make that clear on his behalf, should he
3 ever become a witness.
4 The third point is that there is a motion before the Court which
5 we would press the Court to deal with, if it possibly can, before any
6 adjournment for the holidays. The Court should know that Serbia and
7 Montenegro has not complied with the requests or orders made last week for
8 the production of documents, and if we don't have the motion that's before
9 you resolved before the Christmas holiday, then there will be an enormous
10 passage of time before we are able to have documents that may be of very
11 grate value, so we would press you to consider a document that's been
12 filed this morning in some haste but nevertheless filed to represent the
13 present position.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It's a late filing.
15 MR. NICE: I don't know whether it's a late filing but rather than
16 -- the alternative was to ask for time out of this morning's hearing, and
17 I knew that would be problematic, and it's a filing that builds in part
18 upon observations of His Honour Judge Bonomy last week, and we would ask
19 you to give it the most careful and urgent consideration if you possibly
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, the pseudonym document, is that to be
23 MR. NICE: I'm happy for it to be admitted under seal.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, to be admitted under seal.
25 THE REGISTRAR: 939 under seal.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I am to say that we will resume the hearing of
2 this case on Monday, January 23rd. The additional time granted is in
3 respect and in response to Mr. Milosevic's application for rest. He
4 should use the period accordingly.
5 Mr. Sel, that concludes your evidence here. Thank you for coming
6 to the Tribunal to give it, and you may now leave.
7 We are adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.54 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Monday, the 23rd day
10 of January, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.