Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2620

1 Tuesday, 26 June 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.

7 May I remind you of the affirmation you made at the beginning of

8 your evidence, which still applies.


10 [The witness answers through interpreter]

11 Cross-examination by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]

12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Residovic.

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.

14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Despodov.

15 A. Good morning.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Before I continue with my

17 questions, I would kindly ask for the assistance of the usher. Can we

18 give the witness a binder, yet again?

19 Q. Mr. Despodov, you remember that yesterday, in response to the

20 question put by my learned friend, about the NLA?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Inter alia, you mentioned Muratovo Djade. Do you remember that?

23 ?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. That is, in actual fact, a road that links through Skopska Crna

Page 2621

1 Gora, the area of Kumanovo, going above the village of Ljuboten, and it

2 links this area to the border with Kosovo; is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. As for the defence of the City of Skopje and an effective struggle

5 against terrorist attacks, this area was of exceptional importance; can

6 you agree with that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. This was of special importance also due to the fact that, at that

9 time, in the area of Southern Serbia, Presheva, and Podujevo, as well,

10 bordering with the area of Kumanovo, there were also terrorist attacks

11 taking place, terrorist attacks launched by Albanian terrorist groups?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In this way, if you agree with me, the link between the terrorist

14 groups from Southern Serbia through the area of Kumanovo, and via Muratovo

15 Djade, a road you referred to, became direct to the area bordering with

16 Kosovo, and it was in Kosovo that these groups had their logistic support?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In that period of time, when, together with your battalion, you

19 were deployed on the slopes of Skopska Crna Gora, is it correct that

20 terrorist attacks were not only directed against police and military

21 facilities but also civilians? Journalists were attacked, workers, and

22 then the water supplies of cities were cut off, all of this with a view to

23 intimidating the Macedonian population and expelling them from the area

24 where they had always lived; is that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2622

1 Q. Is it correct that these were some of the reasons due to which, in

2 June 2001, a command for the defence of the town was established,

3 consisting of 1st Guardist Brigade, inter alia?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at a document, which is in tab

6 8 in your binder. The number is 1D-331.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. The Macedonian version starts with 1D-3042, and the English

9 version with 1D-3048. In the upper left-hand corner, you can see the

10 letterhead of the Command for the Defence of the city of Skopje, and we

11 are going to wait for the document to appear on our screens. 1D-331 is

12 the document.

13 JUDGE PARKER: Which tab is it, please, Ms. Residovic?

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Tab 8.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] You're welcome.

17 Q. As you can see, Mr. Despodov, in the upper left-hand corner, it

18 says: "City of Skopje Defence Command." The date is the 11th of June,

19 2001.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask for the

21 last page of this document to be displayed briefly. The Macedonian number

22 is 1D-3047, and the English is 1D-3053. On this last page that you see,

23 that is, page 6 in the Macedonian language, if you can see it in the

24 binder.

25 Q. In the right hand lower corner there is the signature of the

Page 2623

1 commander, Major-General Sokol Mitrovksi; is that correct? Is it correct

2 that the commander, Major-General Sokol Mitrevski, was appointed head of

3 the defence of the town of Skopje?

4 A. Sokol Mitrovski, not Mitrevski. Yes, he was the commander.

5 Q. Yes. Could we go to the first page, yet again, and can we look at

6 paragraph 1, please. It says in paragraph 1:

7 "As a consequence of the establishment of and actions by the

8 armed formations of Albanian minorities in the territory of Kosovo, and

9 the choice of armed violence as a method for resolving possible

10 dissatisfactions in political demands, diversion terrorist groups of the

11 Albanian minority, with mis-composition, both by motives as well as

12 origin, are active for a longer period of time on the Territory of the

13 Republic of Macedonia. Their strength is variable.

14 "After encountered failures in the clashes of the security forces

15 of the Republic of Macedonia in the populated places on the Eastern slopes

16 of Skopska Crna Gora, noticeable are the efforts by the terrorists to

17 transfer the actions to the region of Skopje and to facilities of vital

18 importance for the normal life of the population and for the operation of

19 bodies of state authority. The terrorists control of village of

20 Aracinovo, where they set up barricades on the roads and conduct

21 preparations for the defence of the village. Evident are their incursions

22 also in neighbouring villages."

23 My question, Mr. Despodov, is whether this is an accurate

24 description of the situation that you testified about and that actually

25 led to the establishment of the command for the defence of the town of

Page 2624

1 Skopje.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. On page 1, in the last paragraph in the Macedonian version - so it

4 is paragraph two, subparagraph (2) - there is a task that is established.

5 Through this order, what is determined is coordinated action with organs

6 of the Ministry of the Interior. Can you see that as well?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. This task is in line with your own understanding of the powers

9 that the Army of the Republic of Macedonia has in relation to the police

10 forces in carrying out combat actions; is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at paragraph 3. 1D-3044 is

13 the Macedonian version, and the English version is 1D-3050.

14 In the middle of this page, you see paragraph 5(3)?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. It says here that it is the task of the 1st Guardist Brigade

17 without 1 Infantry Battalion. Can we agree that this task pertains to the

18 brigade that your battalion belonged to?

19 A. Yes?

20 Q. In subparagraph (2), the task is established. It says here:

21 "By supporting upon favourable ground facilities and in joint

22 action with the 16th Brigade and the 1st Guardist Brigade and the forces

23 of the Ministry of the Interior that are active within or in the direct

24 vicinity," and so on and so forth, a specific task is being established.

25 Can you agree with me, Mr. Despodov, that this task, established

Page 2625

1 by the order of the City Command, determines the tasks that are to be

2 carried out by the Ministry of the Interior as well, in line with the

3 authority that the Army of the Republic of Macedonia has in preparing,

4 planning, and carrying out combat actions?

5 A. Yes. Only can we clarify one thing, make it more precise? You

6 have mentioned here the 16th Infantry Brigade and the 1st Guardist

7 Brigade. This is the abbreviation of one GBR, 1st Border Brigade, which

8 was already deployed, and was since then under the command of the command

9 of the defence for the city of Skopje. Also in the command for the

10 defence of the City of Skopje, the commander of which was General Sokol

11 Mitrovksi, there was a permanent representative from the Ministry of the

12 Interior who was responsible for the coordination and planning of the

13 joint operations.

14 Q. Thank you for that clarification. And as you said yesterday, at

15 the moment when this coordination is brought to a point when a combat task

16 has to be carried out, then the police units are under the command of the

17 army; isn't that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you to look at page 4 of this

20 same document. 1D-3045 is the Macedonian version, and the English version

21 is 1D-3051, and I'm referring to paragraph 8.2. In this paragraph, tasks

22 are established for the intelligence security; is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. As it says here, the focus of the intelligence security is the

25 timely discovery of diversion terrorist groups and collection of data

Page 2626

1 regarding their deployment, strength, armament, and direction of movement.

2 In subparagraph (3), it says that this information has to be exchanged

3 with the Ministry of the Interior.

4 Is that the task that the units of the army had in defending the

5 city of Skopje and in line with this order?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at the next page, page 5. 1D-3046,

8 and the English is 1D-3051, the last paragraph, and then it continues on

9 page 52. So I am referring to 8.3, which refers to security.

10 I am going to ask you to look at the last subparagraph, that is,

11 number 3, and it says that the commands of units are to get in touch with

12 the police stations in their zones of responsibility and conduct mutual

13 coordination of activities. What is referred to here is what you

14 mentioned a few moments ago, that that is that every unit command has to

15 ensure that there is presence of a representative of the Ministry of the

16 Interior for coordinating, planning, and carrying out activities within

17 their own zone of responsibility.

18 My question: Is that the task that you tried to explain when

19 answering my learned friend's questions, when you said that your battalion

20 established and maintained cooperation with the police station of Mirkovci

21 and the police station of Cair?

22 A. Yes, Ms. Edina, if I may provide a more detailed explanation here.

23 Q. Yes, please go ahead.

24 A. I also had the duty to establish contact with one station for

25 counter-electronic fight, so-called, which was located at Ramno, and the

Page 2627

1 task of which was to provide surveillance of all telephone conversations

2 between us, between the terrorists. All participants in the telephone and

3 radio communications and any data received in the scope in which they were

4 needed for my command were communicated to me. We would exchange them

5 orally.

6 Also, I had a contact with - I may feel free to say - with a

7 patrol that was a secret, undercover patrol. I was the only one who knew

8 about them, and they knew about me, while my commander did not know about

9 me. I was not permitted to tell him, actually, adhering to the provisions

10 of this order.

11 Also, the army, the intelligence sector, had also a movable

12 intelligence patrol, undercover, which was active in the areas of Strima

13 and Matejce, the area where the terrorist movements were observed. So I

14 would communicate all this communication necessary scope, verbally, to my

15 command. While part of my command, I would communicate directly to the

16 sector, to the officer in charge of the security and intelligence in the

17 commander for the defence of city of Skopje.

18 Q. Thank you very much. So if we look at the order itself, and

19 having heard what you said in addition to that, there was a single plan

20 for the defence of the city, within which you carried out certain tasks;

21 namely, both army units and the police, as ordered by that plan; right?

22 A. Yes.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in view of the fact

24 that the witness answered the questions that he is familiar with from the

25 order, I would like to move that this be admitted into evidence.

Page 2628

1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D-81, Your Honours.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Mr. Despodov, now I'd like to ask you to look at the document

5 under tab 9, and 672 is its 65 ter number. The Macedonian version is on

6 page N000-699, whereas, the English version is N000-6993-ET.

7 Yet again, this is a document of the Command for the Defence of

8 the City of Skopje, dated the 14th of June, 2001. If you look at page 3,

9 that is to say, the last page of this document, N000-6993, Macedonian, and

10 N000-ET, in the English version, yet again, you see that this order was

11 issued by Major-General Sokol Mitrovski; is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Could you please look at page 1, N000-6991, and the English is the

14 same number, but it only has an "ET" at the end. Please look at paragraph

15 5, which establishes tasks of units. In subparagraph 5.1, it is

16 established that the 1st Guardist Brigade is to march in the following

17 direction, barracks of Elendin, village of Ljubanci, and Elendin barracks,

18 village of Orman, and to take up a defence zone according to Defence

19 orders.

20 Tell me, is it correct that this is your Guardist Brigade and that

21 the area of deployment towards the village of Ljubanci actually pertains

22 to your battalion?

23 A. Yes.

24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask

25 that this document be admitted into evidence as a Defence exhibit as well.

Page 2629

1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D-82, Your Honours.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. As you explained yesterday, Mr. Despodov, to my learned friend,

5 your battalion was deployed in the area including Ljubanci, Ljuboten,

6 Brodec, and Rastak; is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. That is actually the area of the slopes of Skopska Crna Gora that

9 was of exceptional strategic importance for the defence for the city of

10 Skopje?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Practically, it is that area which you described a few moments ago

13 as the area of communication among terrorist groups and their links from

14 Kumanovo to the border of Kosovo; is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. That is the area that provided logistic support to the terrorist

17 groups, both from the area of Skopje and the area of Kosovo; is that

18 right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. While responding to my learned friend's questions and in

21 accordance with the order that you received, your task was, first of all,

22 to have the battalion deployed in the area and to prevent attacks,

23 incursions, and all other intentions to be carried out by the terrorists

24 vis-a-vis the city of Skopje; generally speaking, was that the mission of

25 your battalion?

Page 2630

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. The order of General Sokol Mitrovski is practically a decision

3 reached at operational level. These tasks that were derived from that, as

4 far as you're concerned, were a realisation of this order at tactical

5 level; right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Mr. Despodov, you were not in the area before, and you did not

8 know the area; is that right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. This was the reason for the first thing that you do in accordance

11 with the order provided, to conduct a reconnaissance of the area and to

12 define the strategic items or points for the deployment of your battalion

13 so that you can complete the task that was provided to you; is that

14 correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. A little while ago, you already said that you established

17 communication with certain police intelligence and other units. Is it

18 correct that also you established cooperation with the authorities in the

19 Municipality of Cair and the Village of Ljubanci so that you will have

20 full information regarding the situation in that particular area?

21 A. Yes, with one addition, if possible, Mrs. Edina. Also with the

22 local authority, that is to say, the community unit in the Village of

23 Ljubanci, I also established a contact --

24 INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Ljuboten. Established a

25 contact with the village of Ljuboten.

Page 2631

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Let us clarify this. So, as a battalion command, you have had

3 meetings with the appropriate authorities in the Village of Ljuboten?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You explained the task that the army had at this area, and also

6 you told them that you expect support from the citizens in order to

7 implement the mission; is that correct?

8 A. Yes. This is what I already mentioned in my previous statement.

9 Q. Probably, you also told them that the army is going to undertake

10 measures in the event if sabotage and terrorist groups appear in this

11 particular area?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. If you maybe remember, the responsible person for the

14 village of Ljuboten was Kenan Salievski, and for Ljubanci, Atanas

15 Kostencovski. Were these the people that you had established contact

16 with?

17 A. In the village of Ljuboten, besides Kenan, there were two more

18 representatives. One, the teacher, his name is Djeljo, and I have known

19 him for some time. Since in the military barracks of Ilinden, the place

20 with the park with the grass, he was the one taking care of the grass for

21 several years.

22 And the other representative, I only know that he was called

23 Zlatar. I don't know his precise name. I can't not recall it. Zlatar,

24 because he had a shop selling gold in the old market in Skopje. However,

25 according to my assessment, the person in charge with Mr. Kenan. I don't

Page 2632

1 know his last name.

2 Q. Thank you for the clarification.

3 Yesterday, you said that a large part, maybe 90 per cent of the

4 composition of the battalion, were reservists; is that correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And as far as I can remember, you said that this was a great

7 problem for the battalion; is that correct?

8 A. It was a problem for me, personally, not for the battalion; for me

9 as a commander.

10 Q. If I was to understand this correctly, you can tell me if I'm

11 wrong, this meant that every single month you have to conduct new

12 training, and it was very difficult to place under effective control this

13 large number of new people; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, that is correct. However, there were other problems much

15 more complex than this: Fighting against alcohol, lack of discipline,

16 voluntary actions. The people did not have appropriate professional -- or

17 in the army, we call these military record specialty; that is to say, to

18 be engaged in my battalion at the position that he was trained for or the

19 training that he completed when he was serving his regular army duties.

20 In order to clarify this, I will provide you with a practical

21 example for a single person; a military reservist. He was in the army,

22 for instance. He was an assistant for the transport complex, 9A15, and he

23 was just an infantry soldier or a cook in my own battalion. So this way

24 you can get a good idea what was the problem. This person did not know

25 how to even hold his weapon, and he was looking at his rifle.

Page 2633

1 Q. So we can agree, after everything that you said, that you had

2 serious problems in placing under effective command a large part of your

3 battalion the whole time while you were there at this particular location?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. May I say that you also had additional problems, and these were

6 problems related to the collection of relevant information with respect to

7 the presence and influence of the NLA in the region in which you were

8 deployed?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. In fact, like you mentioned earlier, you had a meeting with

11 representatives from the village of Ljuboten, and at the beginning, you

12 believed that some major problems cannot originate from this village;

13 however, soon afterwards, you started receiving information which was

14 extremely important for you also with respect to the village of Ljuboten;

15 is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. The information that you received from your subordinates, but also

18 from other sources that you described, were talking about major movement

19 in the village of Ljuboten, especially during nighttime; is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Your soldiers did not dispose of technical means so that to be

22 able to monitor all the movement that was going on in the village

23 throughout the night?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. However, certain information was pointing out the fact that it was

Page 2634

1 a transfer of logistic support for the activities of the NLA in some other

2 regions; was this the information that you had?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You mentioned earlier - I don't know, maybe I have mistaken

5 whether you have said it before the Court or in your statement - but you

6 noticed that the farmers from Ljuboten would go to the mountains with a

7 large number of sheep, and they would come back with a reduced number of

8 sheep; is this the information that you had?

9 A. Yes. And if you allow me, if Your Honours allow me, I would like

10 to give a more detailed description so that you can get the whole picture,

11 what was going on.

12 On Skopska Crna Gora, with the exception of Ljubotenski Bacila,

13 where the region of this shepherd's cottage belonged to the area of the

14 village of Ljuboten, there were some other cottages, as well. One of

15 them belongs to the family of Kekenovski; also in the area of Ljubanci

16 village. In the area of the village of Rastak, there were also Rastanski

17 Bacila, then in the other village at Bulacani Cresevo, from Ljubotenski

18 and Ljuboten to the right side to Aracinovo. Every single village had its

19 own location for sheep-herding in the mountains.

20 Since July, as you already explained, the Albanian terrorists

21 visited all these, let's say, Macedonian locations, and they were

22 threatening the farmers they should go down because this is Albanian

23 territory, otherwise they would be killed. So the only place remained was

24 the Ljubotenski Bacila.

25 Before I came with my battalion up there, I asked this question:

Page 2635

1 How is it possible to resolve this problem? Because, obviously, I will

2 have a problem. The farmers -- the villagers would like to go to the

3 shepherds' cottages, to give them food, to take cheese, et cetera, but I

4 knew what was the tension between the reservists, and there might be some

5 negative consequences.

6 And in the conversation with Mr. Kenan and other representatives

7 from the local authorities, this is a problem that I have mentioned to

8 them. However, they guaranteed that nothing is going to happen. However,

9 time has shown that what they promised did not happen, actually. On the

10 10th, the vehicle was mined and ten people died.

11 I apologise. I was trying all the time through the local

12 authorities, through my superiors, for these cottages to be dislocated

13 because of these security reasons, because I was no longer able to

14 guarantee that none of my soldiers is going to undertake anything on their

15 own, because I took all the measures that was possible, because there were

16 reservists who were shooting the sheep, the cows, and I undertook certain

17 measures that were under my competence.

18 Q. I am quite sure that you, Ms. Despodov, undertook all the measures

19 necessary. However, I am interested in the intelligence data which,

20 besides the fact that shepherds were going there and some of the sheep

21 would remain there, did your soldiers also in this particular area were

22 able to notice that these shepherds are coming close to the military

23 positions of your battalion and that basically you came to the conclusion

24 that these are not shepherds but people who are trying to collect

25 information about the deployment of the military forces?

Page 2636

1 A. This was something that was going on, on a daily basis.

2 Q. Did you also receive information from your soldiers that from time

3 to time they would find pieces of uniforms or ammunition that would be a

4 proof of sporadic fighting in certain areas and other evidence that

5 convinced you about the presence of NLA in this region and their direct

6 connection or link with the village of Ljuboten?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Bearing in mind the deployment and the position of the companies

9 and parts of companies, as you pointed it out, that my learned colleague

10 has shown during your testimony, is it correct that you could notice the

11 citizens of the village of Ljuboten practically lives in the traditional

12 manner in houses that are surrounded by tall walls, which practically made

13 it impossible to observe the events and what is going on in the village

14 itself from your positions?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. If I were to put it to you that practically these walls were a

17 true fortification of every single house, would this merely represent your

18 own opinion about the organisation of everyday life in this village?

19 A. Mrs. Edina, I am going to answer this question with a professional

20 term. There was no need for additional fortification setup of these

21 positions or houses. They were protected in such manner that you would

22 need much more explosives in order to bring it down or to tear it apart.

23 Q. Very well. Thank you.

24 Now I would like to ask you a few questions regarding the event

25 that happened on the 10th of August, 2001, and that is the mine that was

Page 2637

1 placed in the area of Ljuboten Bacila. You were discussing this event

2 with my learned colleague. Do you remember this?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. In fact, you were not present at the command post on the 8th and

5 9th. These were your holidays; is that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And, practically, on the 10th, in the morning, you came to your

8 position?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Around 8.30, while you were talking to the company commander,

11 Mario Jurisic, you heard the explosion?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. At that moment, it seemed to you the explosion came from that

14 particular area where this company commander was located at?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. As a commander, you immediately asked for additional information?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it correct that very fast your commander, Mario Jurisic,

19 informed you that a truck with reservists who were coming back from their

20 shift passed over a mine and probably there are serious consequences?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You immediately issued the order for certain measures to be

23 undertaken to find out what are the consequences and to help out the

24 people who were part of this incident?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2638

1 Q. However, Mr. Despodov, is it correct that, besides this response

2 by the commander to gather information and to help out his soldiers, you

3 were also very angry because the transport of soldiers with trucks to the

4 position was contrary to your order?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. In fact, your order was for the soldiers to be transported only to

7 a certain area by trucks and then they should continue on foot because you

8 were aware about the presence of NLA in that area and the possibility for

9 mines to be placed on this road that was used by the army; is that

10 correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And, basically, you came to the conclusions that one reservist

13 alone, contrary to your order, made this decision that a truck should be

14 used for the transport to this particular location where the shift was

15 supposed to be changed; is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And regarding what you were saying related to the problems with

18 the reservists, this is one more obvious example that the reservists were

19 not under a full effective control by you, as a commander; is that

20 correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You already testified about this before the Court. Other evidence

23 has been provided in this respect. And you found out that seven soldiers

24 lost their lives on the spot, that eight of them have been injured, and

25 one of those eight later on died from the injuries; is that correct?

Page 2639

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Upon your order, the company commander immediately went to the

3 position where the mine incident occurred, but the injured soldiers there

4 and your soldiers who went there to assist them were exposed to an

5 intensive attack by the terrorist groups which planted the mine; is that

6 correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. The fire exchange lasted for several hours?

9 A. Around three to four hours.

10 Q. Because of the difficult access to assist the injured, you asked

11 for the assistance from a helicopter; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Throughout the whole operation of assistance to the injured

14 soldiers, your orders were such that people should shoot towards the

15 terrorists and not toward the village of Ljuboten; is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. If that particular day any type of grenade or other damage should

18 have been caused to the village of Ljuboten, would it be possible to say

19 that this was lack of precision in the firing from the position of the NLA

20 or improper behaviour from one of the reservists in your battalion?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Whether both or -- is it possible that both things have happened?

23 Was it possible for a grenade to meet, that the NLA was shooting at a

24 position above your village; is this possible?

25 A. I will answer not by "yes" or "no," I will say 99 per cent,

Page 2640

1 according to my information and my recollection, is that such a grenade

2 can -- could have been fired only by the terrorists, but 1 per cent I

3 still leave enough room and chance that such an action could have been

4 undertaken by one of my reservists. However, I don't believe so.

5 Q. Amongst the casualties, there were two soldiers from the

6 neighbouring village of -- Macedonian village of Ljubanci; is that

7 correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. My learned colleague yesterday has shown to you the report that

10 you have submitted pertaining to this incident, and I would kindly ask you

11 to look at this report that can be found under tab 12. This P301, and it

12 was 65F248.

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Please, can you show this to me,

14 because we did not arrange all the evidence, the exhibits that have been

15 tendered yesterday. Yes, precisely, this is the report I was talking

16 about.

17 Q. And yesterday you recognised this report as one of your own; is

18 that correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. However, before that you reported verbally to your superior

21 command about what had happened; right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. On page 2 of this document, there is something that you were asked

24 about. You were asked about a part of a particular sentence, the last

25 sentence, rather, in which there is a reference to cooperation with

Page 2641

1 members of the Ministry of the Interior who arrived in the afternoon

2 hours, and you explained that this was a regular police patrol that soon

3 left the site. Do you remember having said that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Actually, this is a police patrol of the Mirkovci police station;

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you.

9 Now I would like to ask you to look at the document which is at

10 tab 14. Its 65 ter number is 236. There is just one English page and one

11 Macedonian page.

12 This is a report of Brigade General Zvonko Trencovski to the

13 Office of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Macedonia of, and

14 information is provided herein about the medical evacuation that took

15 place by helicopter; namely, the evacuation of five wounded members of the

16 Army of the Republic of Macedonia from a position between Ljubanci and

17 Ljuboten.

18 What I'm asking you now is whether this information, to the best

19 of your recollection, pertains to the engagement of helicopters for

20 medical evacuation. Is that what you had asked for on the 10th of August,

21 2001?

22 A. Yes.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document

24 also be admitted into evidence?

25 JUDGE PARKER: Is it already an exhibit?

Page 2642

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, no.


3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The previous one was, the report

4 on the 10th, so the one that was in tab 12, that is now Exhibit P301.

5 Now I would like document 14, the document that is in tab 14 that

6 refers to the use of a helicopter, and it bears the 65 ter number 236, I

7 would like that document to be admitted into evidence as a Defence

8 exhibit.

9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

11 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues]... Your Honours.

12 JUDGE PARKER: We didn't pick up on the transcript the exhibit

13 number.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D-83, Your Honours.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Your subordinated officers informed you that in this exchange of

18 gunfire with the terrorists, who had planted a booby-trap, several

19 terrorists were killed; isn't that right?

20 A. [No interpretation]

21 Q. You also received information that three or four armed persons

22 entered the village; is that the information that you received on that day

23 from your units?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Despodov, that from the positions where the

Page 2643

1 police was, that is to say, the police of the Army of the Republic of

2 Macedonia, it was possible to notice that these armed persons were

3 entering the village and that they had identical information?

4 A. I apologise. I was not able to follow you precisely. Would you

5 be kind to repeat the question?

6 Q. I apologise. Perhaps the question was a bit imprecise.

7 You stated that you had received the information from your units,

8 that three or four armed people entered the village of Ljuboten. I'm

9 interested in learning whether the police forces from the positions that

10 you marked yesterday, when asked by my learned colleague, from Straista,

11 let's take that example, were they able to see the same, that those armed

12 people were entering the village?

13 A. If you are referring to police officers that were stationed at the

14 check-point in the village of Ljubanci, I don't think they would have seen

15 that. I don't believe it.

16 Q. Thank you. However, if the police were also to report on the same

17 things taking place, that would have meant that they had received

18 information from their own people, their own patrols on the ground, or

19 that they received that information from you, through your exchanges of

20 information; right?

21 A. Yes, that is correct.

22 Q. Thank you very much.

23 Now I'm going to ask you to look at the document that is under tab

24 15. The 65 ter number is 302.

25 As you can see from what it says in the upper left-hand corner, it

Page 2644

1 is a telegram from the police station at Mirkovci, and it is signed by the

2 commander of the police station, Slavko Ivanovski. This is a person that

3 you cooperated with; isn't that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. In this telegram, it says that on the 10th of August, at around

6 1530 hours, by the patrol of the police station Mirkovci, which was set up

7 above the village of Ljuboten, i.e., operation officer Dusan Todorov

8 informed that in the village of Ljuboten, along the stretch from the

9 school towards the cemetery, on the left side of the road in the houses of

10 the families Angelovksi, they noticed three persons in black uniforms and

11 armed with automatic weapons. That is actually the same information that

12 you got from your soldiers on the ground; is that right?

13 A. Maybe.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Your Honours, could

15 this document please be admitted into evidence as a Defence exhibit?

16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D-84, Your Honours.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].

19 Q. Mr. Despodov, yesterday, did you -- or rather, at the time, did

20 you have knowledge to the effect that some citizens of Ljuboten had joined

21 the NLA; is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. In response to my learned friend's question, you mentioned that

24 you already had knowledge about Xhavid Asani; do you remember having

25 mentioned that?

Page 2645

1 A. Yes.

2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask the

3 Registry to help me, if possible, in terms of showing document 670. That

4 is its 65 ter number. That is part of the diary of the 1st Guardist

5 Brigade. The Prosecutor tried to show it to the witness yesterday, and

6 due to the translation it was withdrawn.

7 Now I would just like to have N001-1428 displayed - that's the

8 English text - and page N001-4725 - that's the Macedonian version. And if

9 possible -- I'm sorry, maybe I misspoke, maybe I did not give the right

10 number for the English text. Oh, I see. Actually, it is correct for the

11 English version. For Macedonian, it should be -- oh, it is correct.

12 And if possible, before this big middle line, can we show the last

13 part that says: "On the 11th of August, at 1520 hours"? Could it please

14 be enlarged a bit?

15 Q. Mr. Despodov, can you see this information that is recorded here

16 in the brigade logbook on the 11th of August at 1520 hours? In the next

17 column, we see the source of information; that is, the command of the

18 defence of Skopje. The content of the information is that Gezim Ostreni

19 ordered Xhavid Asani to carry out an attack at Rastak and Ljubanci?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And then in the next column, who is supposed to be informed? In

22 the next column, it says, first, the commander of the 1st Guardist

23 Brigade, then the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Guardist Brigade, and down here

24 it says Captain Pavlov. Is this the information that you were aware of,

25 Mr. Despodov?

Page 2646

1 A. Yes, yes. And I was given the task to act accordingly,

2 corresponding to this information.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will now ask that this document,

4 part of the diary of the 1st Guardist Brigade, be admitted into evidence

5 as a Defence exhibit.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Motoike.

7 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you, Your Honour. I apologise. Just for

8 clarification, the issue that the Prosecution have with respect to this

9 particular this document, are that the translation in English was actually

10 received in the Macedonian Government; and in reviewing each entry, it

11 appears that on this particular page, N001-4728 of the English version,

12 there are at least two entries missing that have not been translated. So

13 our office actually had asked CLSS to translate them, the entire log, into

14 English, which we have received. And my information was that yesterday it

15 was requested that the full and complete English translation be uploaded

16 into e-court; however, I see that probably hasn't happened not taken

17 affect yet. I just wanted to note for the record that there are some are

18 entries missing, with respect to this particular page on the English

19 translation.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Because of that, would it not be preferable to

21 await the full translated version, Ms. Residovic?

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we certainly do not

23 mind waiting. Now it can just be marked for identification and then the

24 entire document can be admitted into evidence subsequently.

25 JUDGE PARKER: We will mark the document for identification.

Page 2647

1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D-85, marked for identification, Your

2 Honours.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Ms. Despodov, tell me, this great misfortune, when eight young

5 people lost their lives, did that cause unrest among the population in the

6 area of your battalion, especially the population of the village of

7 Ljubanci?

8 A. A great deal of unrest.

9 Q. Is it correct that already on that day, several hundred people

10 from Ljubanci arrived before your command, asking you for weapons so that

11 they could go and look for terrorists and protect themselves from future

12 attacks?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Is it correct that you and later your brigade commander

15 personally, when he came as well, made a major effort in order to calm

16 down, at least in part, the population that was so agitated?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Do you have any information or do you know that these persons, the

19 local population, asked the police station in Cair also, not only you, for

20 weapons?

21 A. Whether they were looking for weapons at the police station Cair,

22 I don't remember that anyone informed me about this. I only know about my

23 situation.

24 Q. You also don't believe, probably, or maybe you do know - well,

25 tell us if you do know - whether part of these people on Sunday had

Page 2648

1 entered Ljuboten, actually.

2 A. I don't know.

3 Q. However, you do not preclude that possibility, you do not rule it

4 out?

5 A. I can't.

6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters ask the witness to wait before

7 starting answering.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. On Saturday, the 11th of August, you were carrying out

10 preparations for the funeral of the young men in Ljubanci; right?

11 A. Yes. And I've spent almost the entire day in that, more than half

12 of the day, dealing with that duty.

13 Q. Doing this kind of work, you could observe that people were still

14 highly agitated?

15 A. To say sincerely, if it weren't for the people from the village

16 who, as military reservists, served in my unit, without their assistance,

17 maybe I wouldn't have been here today.

18 Q. Is it correct that this unrest or, how shall I put this, this fury

19 on the part of the people was manifested after the funeral that had been

20 attended by several thousand people?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. At the funeral itself, could you notice that it wasn't only the

23 locals from Ljubanci who were present, but that people had come from the

24 broader area, from Skopje and from other areas around Skopje; could you

25 observe that?

Page 2649

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 Now I would like to go back to a part of your testimony that

4 pertains to the arrival of the representatives of the police on Friday,

5 the 10th of August, their arrival in your command at the elementary

6 school.

7 As you said in your testimony on Friday, Slavko came to your

8 command, and that would be Slavko Ivanovski, commander of the Ljubanci

9 police station; is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You said "Ljube," and that would be Ljube Krstevski, and that

12 would be the head of the Ministry of the Interior in Cair; is that right?

13 ?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And then Johan?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And a person who introduced himself as being from the Ministry of

18 the Interior; is that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. If I can infer this correctly, at the moment when they arrived,

21 you just knew the first two people, Ivanovski and Krstevski; right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You first saw Johan then, and he introduced himself as the

24 bodyguard to the President of the Republic; right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2650

1 Q. You said that the other person said what his name was, but that

2 you do not remember the name, and that he was from the Ministry of the

3 Interior?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. As for this fact, that this person stated to you, you didn't

6 really check it out in any way, did you, in any way?

7 A. No.

8 Q. The fact that they were with persons you knew did not lead to any

9 suspicion on your part as to whether this was a person who just introduced

10 himself as being from the Ministry of the Interior?

11 A. No. I had no suspicion, I had no reason to distrust what he was

12 saying.

13 Q. However, to this day, you cannot say with any certainty whether

14 this person did, in actual fact, come from any organ of the Ministry of

15 the Interior; right?

16 A. I couldn't.

17 Q. Thank you. Speaking about this first meeting on Friday, the 10th

18 of August, if I understood you correctly, you said that Mr. Johan

19 Tarculovski was talking on the telephone and was a bit nervous; right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Also, if I understood you correctly and in accordance with the

22 conversation that was taking place, he gave you the receiver and said, "Is

23 it Mr. Boris Trajkovski, the President of the Republic of Macedonia, who

24 is on the phone"?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2651

1 Q. You answered the phone, and, undoubtedly, you recognised the voice

2 of President Trajkovski; right?

3 A. Yes. I am one million per cent certain that it was the President.

4 Q. And you explained why you were one million per cent sure, because

5 often you had occasion to meet him or hear the President speaking to the

6 army or somebody else; right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. When answering some of the questions put by my learned friend

9 yesterday, you said, yesterday, that you believed that this action was

10 legally planned, and you stated that on page 39 of the LiveNote. In

11 actual fact, you proceeded from the fact that the President of the

12 Republic of Macedonia, who is your commander-in-chief, spoke about that

13 action very openly; right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. It was quite clear to you from that that the President of the

16 Republic knew about that action?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. When you said that this is a legally-planned action or a legal

19 action, could you agree with me if I say that you reached that

20 conclusion -- actually, if I understand things correctly, that you reached

21 that conclusion because previously you had already had knowledge about the

22 presence of terrorists in the village and that it was only natural to

23 search the village and arrest these terrorists. That is one of the

24 reasons why you would consider this action to be a legal one; right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2652

1 Q. Also, for you, the legitimacy of this action could be derived from

2 the fact that the President of the Republic, as the Commander-in-Chief,

3 was at least informed about this action?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. In view of the conversation that you had and the President's

6 question as to whether you had received an order, you could conclude that

7 it would have been quite legitimate, in terms of the President's

8 authority, that he was the person who had ordered the action because he

9 did have the authority to order the use of police forces; right?

10 A. Yes, Mrs. Edina. And, Your Honours, if you allow me, I would

11 present a little bit of further clarification.

12 My hesitation whether to accept the cooperation and the proposal

13 from the Ministry of the Interior representative was, in actuality, lack

14 of order that would regulate this, regulate who would be the responsible

15 leader of the action, who would be the commander. If I had an order

16 stating Despodov is the person responsible for the action or the

17 representative of the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the

18 action, then I would have accepted the cooperation with the police without

19 any further discussions.

20 But I did not want to place myself or them in a situation where,

21 if something happened after the action, if there was abuse of -- misuse of

22 force or something, then somebody would need to be responsible for this.

23 And so in that sense and with that purpose, I requested to see the order,

24 who would be responsible. If something goes wrong, who would then be

25 responsible?

Page 2653

1 Had I had such order, it is irrelevant whether in writing or

2 verbal. So this is the way I understood the President, that he would say

3 with the General Sokol how things stand and he would come back to me and

4 informed me. Why I never received any further information, I'm not very

5 clear to this very day, and this is why things are as they are.

6 Q. I understood completely your position and I understood your

7 testimony; but considering that you stated that it was a legitimate

8 action, my question was just to clarify this. Does it mean that the

9 legitimate organ ordered it, the President, for instance, and that the

10 target, the village, was legitimate because there were terrorists there

11 who needed to be arrested; is that the basis for you to say that you

12 considered this action to be legitimately planned, is that correct?

13 A. Precisely.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15 Your Honours, perhaps it would be time to take the break now.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will resume at 11.00.

17 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.

18 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.

19 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Residovic.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.

21 Q. Mr. Despodov, my learned friend, the Prosecutor, showed you

22 yesterday the reports composed by Ljupco Kostadinov, security officer in

23 your brigade, and the colonel, Blazo Kopacev, commander of your brigade.

24 Do you remember these documents being shown to you?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2654

1 Q. I will not show you those documents again. I would only like to

2 ask you: Do you remember that at the very beginning of the report by

3 Mr. Kostadinov, it states that some people arrived to the house of Johan

4 Tarculovski in Ljubanci and the distribution of some weapons was discussed

5 there; do you remember that?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Concerning your answers given to my learned colleague, I would

8 like to ask you: Is it true, actually, that you did not go to the house

9 of Johan Tarculovski during those days and you could not know what took

10 place in that house?

11 A. To the present day, Mrs. Edina, I do not know which house belonged

12 to Mr. Johan Tarculovski.

13 Q. So then I could understand that you never went to the house of

14 Johan Tarculovski; is that correct?

15 A. Never, to this date.

16 Q. And you personally did not see, neither on the 10th nor on the

17 11th, any distribution of weapons, if it took place at all; is that

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you could not testify that there was a truck in Ljubanci, a

21 truck from the Ministry of the Interior, because you never saw that truck

22 personally; is that correct?

23 A. I haven't seen it in Ljubanci. My trucks, army trucks, were

24 there. Some are similar in colour, in appearance. The difference is only

25 in the license plates. If somebody misunderstood an army truck to be a

Page 2655

1 police truck, I could not make a comment on this. I have not seen a

2 police truck there.

3 Q. You stated that you spent half of the 11th of August in the

4 preparations for the funeral?

5 A. More than half a day.

6 Q. And, possibly, during that time in your command, other people

7 arrived for the preparations for the funeral; is that correct?

8 A. Yes, people came from everywhere, from the Ministry, from other

9 bodies, from other villages, from the city, from everywhere.

10 Q. But is it correct that no Jeep Cherokee came to your command or

11 was stationed there. There was no Jeep that could be seen in the yard of

12 your command? Have you seen any such Jeep?

13 A. I haven't seen such Jeep. It was only before. I apologise.

14 Mr. Kenan came once or twice with his Jeep, but I do not remember the

15 make. It was a large Jeep, something similar to the Grand Cherokee. But

16 it was earlier, not during those days.

17 Q. Very well. Thank you.

18 Could you agree with me, Mr. Despodov, considering that you had

19 communication with the police, that the police in the area of Cair, the

20 police that you encountered, did not have an armoured vehicle, BTR?

21 A. The police had only Hermelins, and BTR is an armoured battle

22 vehicle that is usually possessed by the army. And the army did have one,

23 but it was up there at Malo Ramno, Ramno, Tanusevci, and Brest. While in

24 the area of the villages Pobozje, Ljubanci, Ljuboten, Rastak. And to the

25 right hand side towards the other villages, there was no such vehicle.

Page 2656

1 Q. Thank you. And the Hermelin that the police had, that Hermelin

2 did not have weapons mounted on it; is that correct?

3 A. No. This is a vehicle used only to transport the police patrols

4 that were patrolling those areas or were patrolling the spaces between my

5 companies. It was their duty to do it. They would drive down the asphalt

6 road, then walk on foot, complete their duties, and come back. But I'm

7 now speaking again about the area Pobozje, Brodec, Ramno, and upwards

8 towards Tanusevci, where there is asphalt road.

9 Q. Yesterday, you also explained that the command of your 2nd Company

10 was located in the children's holiday resort not far from the St. Ilija

11 monastery; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you could arrive to this command, to this holiday resort by

14 cobblestone; that's the road that leads to that holiday resort?

15 A. Partially cobblestone, partially asphalt which is already

16 dilapidated. It is predominantly cobblestone.

17 Q. And anyone who would go to the command of your 2nd Company would

18 be seen by the members of that company or other members of your battalion;

19 is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And some persons who were coming unannounced or who shouldn't be

22 there would be -- you would be informed about their presence there?

23 A. Yes. And if you allow me, I would elaborate this in greater

24 detail.

25 Within that deployment of that company, as I mentioned before,

Page 2657

1 there was a free area that I could not cover with -- I could not cover

2 with people, and it was very important because the wells for the

3 so-called -- wells that supplied water to the village of Ljubanci were

4 located there. So there was a police patrol that secured those wells, and

5 its composition was different. It sometimes was two officers' strong,

6 sometimes five, depending on the needs, and I would not go into this.

7 And these patrols did not have any special authorisation from me

8 to go there. They just had a general authorisation, and they would just

9 declare their presence at the ramp where they needed to pass. They would

10 say, "We are the patrol," and those people would then inform the patrol

11 commander, and he had the general authority to approve their entry so that

12 they could complete their task. Sometimes they would stay there longer,

13 sometimes shorter. Sometimes they would stay there overnight, depending

14 on the task they had, the task given to them by their commander. I did

15 not need to be informed about it or have any more detailed information

16 about it.

17 Q. But at any rate, on the 10th, the 11th, or 12th, you never

18 received any information that somebody, some vehicle with journalist

19 markings, especially markings of foreign journalists, had approached that

20 area where your 2nd Company was stationed or actually never came to the

21 vicinity of the monastery; is that correct?

22 A. I don't believe that it was possible that anyone came there by a

23 car without having been observed. I think there's no way that this could

24 have happened.

25 Q. Answering the questions of my learned friend, you testified

Page 2658

1 yesterday that on the Sunday morning you received from the subordinate

2 officers from the ground, you received information that they were under an

3 attack from the village; is that correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You were also shown two reports from your subordinate officers,

6 Nikolce Grozdanovksi and Mario Jurisic; do you remember this?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. As you testified earlier, Mario Jurisic was a commander of the 2nd

9 Company?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And Nikolce Grozdanovksi was the commander of the Mortar Brigade;

12 is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And let me ask you now, Mr. Despodov, this question might be a

15 general one, before I continue with the line of questions related to this

16 event, considering -- I apologise to you. You are a major. Your rank is

17 major.

18 A. Now I am a civil servant. While at that time, in 2001, I was a

19 major; and in 2003, in December, with a delay of two years, I was promoted

20 into lieutenant-colonel.

21 Q. I apologise, Lieutenant-Colonel. I read this in your previous

22 statement. But at any rate, as a person with military education and such

23 high rank, you would know that the superior officer is always basing their

24 decision on the information received from the subordinate officers; is

25 that correct?

Page 2659

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And, practically, without that confidence, relying upon the

3 information that you receive from the subordinate officers, such line of

4 command could not be working, a line of command as the one established

5 within the army; is that correct?

6 A. Of course.

7 Q. So when you received the information from your subordinate

8 officers that their positions were attacked, you then absolutely believed

9 that; is that correct?

10 A. Precisely.

11 Q. And because of this, and also in accordance with your right to

12 respond with fire whenever the security of your unit is threatened, you

13 then issued an order to return fire; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And, if I understood you well, you issued an order to return fire

16 to the first positions from which shooting came.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And then to also return the sniper fire that later came from the

19 area not far from the mosque; is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So when your subordinate officers stated in their report that they

22 returned fire pursuant to your order, this is absolutely corresponding to

23 what you actually did on that day; is that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. In one of the drawings shown to you by my learned friend, the

Page 2660

1 Prosecutor, you saw coloured markings denoting various positions of your

2 battalions, then the positions of the police, and positions of the NLA; do

3 you recall this?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Some of the positions marked with red circles or dots, regarding

6 some of those positions, you explained that those are the positions of

7 your 2nd Company, and then it was five to six soldiers deployed at those

8 positions; is that correct?

9 A. Yes, depending on the moment. Sometimes it would be up to ten or

10 12 when we had more strict measures. I'm referring to stricter security

11 measures.

12 Q. And, if I remember that sketch well - and you probably remember it

13 better - you know where your forces were deployed. One of the positions

14 was the position Smuk; is that correct?

15 A. Position Smok, not Smuk.

16 Q. And that is one of the positions that is the closest to the

17 village of Ljuboten; is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And one could say that it is up on the hill, towering over

20 Ljuboten; and from there, you have a good overview of the most part of the

21 village, especially the part around the mosque; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. From the documents shown to you, but also from your testimony, it

24 could be inferred that you were informed and that after the location of

25 sniper fire was neutralised, a group of people running towards the forest

Page 2661

1 was observed. Do you remember, approximately, such a report sent to you?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And in that report that you received from the ground, there was

4 the information that your positions opened fire against those person who

5 were running away and who shot at positions while trying to escape, and

6 that two or three of those people running were killed; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And these are the information you received about the events taking

9 place between the morning and then around noon in the village of Ljuboten;

10 is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You told me, just a while ago, that in your battalion there was a

13 huge number of reservists. Is it correct that in the 2nd Company, as

14 well, there was a significant number of reserve forces?

15 A. In that company, it was only the company commander and another

16 officer who came from the regular forces. All the other officers were

17 from the reserve forces.

18 Q. Did you have information that among those reservists, there were

19 some who were from the Ljubanci village?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And when we discussed earlier how difficult it was to have

22 effective control over part of those reserve forces, I'm asking you is it

23 correct that you could not preclude the possibility that some of those

24 reservists, without or setting aside your orders, opened fire from

25 infantry weapons against the village of Ljuboten?

Page 2662

1 A. I don't think that it could have happened with my knowledge or

2 order or with the knowledge or order of the company commanders or any

3 other superior officers, but there is always the possibility that someone

4 takes things in their own hands and then acts upon their own will. It

5 could not be precluded.

6 Q. But you never received any information on that or you don't have

7 any knowledge about it; is that correct?

8 A. No.

9 Q. You could not also preclude the possibility that some of those

10 reservists entered the village on that morning; is that correct?

11 A. I could not say it with 100 per cent certainty. It is possible

12 that someone did enter.

13 Q. But you, as a commander, did not receive any information on that;

14 is that correct?

15 A. No, I haven't.

16 Q. And just a few more answers, Mr. Despodov --

17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: A few more questions.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. You clarified the position of Mr. Kostadinov in your battalion and

20 his tasks. Tell me, is it correct that after these events there was an

21 inspection performed at Ljubotenski Bacila at the location where the mine

22 was placed?

23 A. As far as I know, there was no official report by the brigade

24 command or the command for the defence of the City of Skopje, no; whereas,

25 whether other institutions, the Ministry of Defence, the army, the General

Page 2663

1 Staff, or any other governmental institutions made reports, I have no

2 information.

3 Q. You, as a soldier, know that the security organs have a dual line

4 of command; one, leading to the commander of the unit where the security

5 organ is located in the structure, and the other vertical that is linked

6 to the security organ of the superior command. Are you aware of this?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. I would like to ask you now to look in tab 31 to document 65 ter

9 233. There is a page in English and a page in Macedonian.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. At the top left-hand corner, you see the number of military

12 command and the date, 15th of August, 2001; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And in the bottom right corner, there is assistant of the command

15 for security, Captain First Class Ljupco Kostadinov written. Also, in

16 this left-hand corner, one can see your name. Are you aware of this

17 document?

18 A. Yes. But as far as I can see, two things are missing from this

19 document. It is driver's license and passport for two persons who are

20 villagers of Ljuboten.

21 Q. Was it your unit, the one that found all these weapons enumerated

22 from 1 to 19, at the location where the mine was planted at Ljubotenski

23 Bacila, and are you the person who handed this over to the security organ?

24 A. My reconnaissance patrol found this, and I personally handed it

25 over. I controlled it and handed it over to the security organ. Also, it

Page 2664

1 was recorded in a videotape and photographs were taken as well.

2 Q. And you stated that you also handed --

3 A. I handed over a driver's license, if I remember well, one issued

4 in 1996. And I can't remember the name of the bearer, but I think it was

5 Kadri Arifovski, Alievski, something of the sort. While the passport had

6 been issued, it was an old Yugoslav passport from the former Yugoslavia,

7 red, bearing those insignia and emblems, and there was several

8 prohibitions to enter certain countries, black stamps. The countries

9 involved were, as far as I remember, Switzerland and Germany. It was an

10 older, outdated passport, but it was found at the location where the mine

11 was planted, where the terrorists planted it on the 10th of August.

12 So whether those persons were there on the 10th or later, on the

13 12th, because I was attacked on the 12th, I could not say with certainty,

14 but they were found in that vicinity.

15 Q. Tell me whether you remember if one of those documents was for a

16 person from Ljuboten.

17 A. Both documents belonged to people from Ljuboten.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

19 Your Honours, I seek to tender this document into evidence as a

20 Defence exhibit.

21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D-86, Your Honours.

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Ms. Despodov.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Ms. Residovic.

24 Mr. Apostolski.

25 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

Page 2665

1 Cross-examination by Mr. Apostolski:

2 Q. Mr. Mitre Despodov, my name is Antonio Apostolski, and together

3 with my learned colleague, Jasmina Zivkovic, we represent Mr. Johan

4 Tarculovski.

5 Today, I'm going to ask you questions with respect to events in

6 Ljuboten and Ljubanci in August of 2001.

7 As my colleague, Edina, I would also like to warn you, especially

8 bearing in mind that I am using the Macedonian language and you speak the

9 Macedonian language as well, so that we will be able to ask questions and

10 respond to those questions quite fast. But still I would like to point

11 out that my questions and your answers have to be interpreted in several

12 other languages, so that is why I will be slower asking questions, and you

13 should wait for the interpretation before you provide your answer so that

14 we can continue.

15 You were the commander of the 3rd Guardist Battalion within the

16 1st Guardist Brigade in 2001; is this correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Your deputy was Sasha Isovski?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. The 3rd Guardist Battalion composed of three infantry companies

21 and one battery; is this correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. The 1st Company was stationed in Brodec, and the commander of this

24 company was Saltamarski Zoran; is this correct?

25 A. At that time, yes.

Page 2666

1 Q. The 2nd Company was stationed at the children's holiday resort at

2 the village of Ljubanci. The commander was Mario Jurisic, and his deputy

3 was Darko Brasnarski; is this correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The 3rd Company was stationed in Rastak. The commander was Ferdo

6 Pavlov; is this correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. The battery commander was Nikolce Grozdanovksi, and it was

9 stationed at the children's holiday resort; is this correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. The 2nd Infantry -- the 2nd Infantry Company had six observation

12 points or positions, as follows: Smok, Bomba, Mecka, Volk, Oril, and

13 Jastreb; is this correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] I would ask the witness to be

16 shown Exhibit P299.

17 Q. This is a photograph that was used yesterday for you to mark the

18 positions of the 2nd Company upon request to my learned friend from the

19 Prosecution. If you remember those positions that you have marked

20 yesterday on this photograph with red colour, can you please tell us what

21 positions are we talking about, if you remember the photograph that you

22 were marking yesterday? Yes. This is the one.

23 A. Do you refer to the positions that I have marked with red? Yes.

24 Those were the positions.

25 Q. Can you mark the first red line with number 1, and can you please

Page 2667

1 tell us what position are we referring to? Please mark the left line with

2 number 1, the one that is lower on the photograph.

3 A. Do you mean this one? [Indicates]

4 Q. Yes. Mark it with number 1, and tell us what position this is.

5 A. I cannot precisely define the positions, but we had the positions

6 here, [Indicates], Smok, closest to the village, and then up the hill,

7 Bomba, Jastreb, Oril, Mecka, et cetera.

8 Q. Very well. Is it possible for you to see the location Kuljm on

9 this photograph?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Could you please mark the location called Kuljm with number 1?

12 A. This is the highest peak on the mountain to the north of the

13 mosque. [Marks]

14 Q. Can you please mark that location with number 1?

15 A. [Marks]

16 Q. You stated that you were told from the villagers that on Sunday,

17 August 12th, 2001, three terrorists left the village and they went in the

18 direction of Kuljm. Can you please mark the direction in which they went?

19 A. It would be this kind of direction, this direction leading from

20 the village to Kuljm, and we have this hill. [Indicates]. So here

21 [Marks]. And we can see the road. And afterwards, there is a mountain

22 road going around Kuljm going towards Jacmenista, Bel Kamen, and Muratovo

23 Djade.

24 Q. Could you please mark with the number 2 this road that you marked

25 right now; and if possible, can you identify the Smok location with number

Page 2668

1 3?

2 A. [Marks]

3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I would

4 like to tender this photograph as evidence.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.

6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2D-27, Your Honours.

7 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation]

8 Q. You stated that on August 10th, 2001, when coming back from shift,

9 eight soldiers died and eight of them were wounded. They were members of

10 the 2nd Company of your battalion under the command of Mario Jurisic; is a

11 is this correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Is it correct that the stakeout was organised by the NLA terrorist

14 group?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is it correct that the terrorist group, NLA, had organised other

17 similar terrorist ambushes where other Macedonian soldiers died?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is it correct, then, that on August 8th there was a similar ambush

20 in Karpalak?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Is it correct that following these types of terrorist acts, the

23 members of the NLA would withdraw in the populated settlements with

24 Albanian population in order for them to mix with the civilian population

25 as part of their tactics?

Page 2669

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You stated that you had certain information that one part of the

3 group that committed the terrorist attack, on the 10th of August, 2001,

4 withdrew to the village of Ljuboten?

5 A. One part, yes, they tried to go to the village. However, as I

6 already mentioned, they tried.

7 Q. Is it correct that even before the terrorist attack, there were

8 certain provocations of the army, since there was regular shooting from

9 infantry weapons towards the members of the Macedonian Army under your

10 control -- command?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did you get this type of information for all your positions under

13 your command?

14 A. From the majority of them. There were no information, only from

15 the mortar unit, because it was in the back.

16 Q. This means that from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Infantry Company, you

17 did receive this kind of information about provocations?

18 A. Constantly.

19 Q. So that it wasn't strange for you to hear shooting from infantry

20 weapons?

21 A. This was an everyday event for us.

22 Q. Several days before the ambush organised by the NLA, you ordered

23 that the flocks and the shepherds should move; and, previously, to my

24 learned friend you explained why you did that. Is it correct that you

25 received a warning from the Mirkovci police station that they are going

Page 2670

1 to -- they are going to retaliate because of that?

2 A. Yes. I was told that I should pay -- we should pay special

3 attention.

4 Q. Is it correct that the reason for that was the fact that you

5 interrupted the way for the NLA from the Skopje and the Kumanovo-Lipko

6 area?

7 A. Not just the communication, but also the logistics security. If I

8 hadn't done that, I believe they wouldn't have undertaken such an action.

9 I apologise. I was always asking myself, if they wanted to

10 conduct an action or ambush of this type, why is it that they haven't done

11 so earlier, because we were there from the 12th of June. But when I ended

12 the logistic support, providing of meat, dairy products, et cetera, and

13 the communication with the shepherds and the village itself, if I hadn't

14 done this, then there would not have been a reason for them to undertake

15 what they did. This is my explanation.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 You stated that amongst the casualties, there were also soldiers

18 from the village of Ljubanci, and that you personally were present at the

19 funeral of the soldiers in Ljubanci on the 11th of August, 2001?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Were there present other members of the Macedonian Army at the

22 funeral who were not members of your unit?

23 A. No. I apologise. As far as I remember, according to information

24 I had -- I have, there were none.

25 Q. Were there members from the Ministry of Defence present at the

Page 2671

1 funeral?

2 A. As far as I can remember, no. However, I cannot be certain.

3 Officially, nobody announced themselves that members of the Ministry will

4 be present. This was the procedure. I just wanted to clarify.

5 Q. Is it correct that after the soldiers lost their lives, you

6 ordered to your soldiers that they should raise the combat readiness

7 level?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Your headquarter was in the school backyard in the village of

10 Ljubanci. Were there guards in front of the schoolyard? I am talking

11 about Saturday, August 11th.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Is it correct that the access to the schoolyard was not provided

14 to any person, unless the person was actually invited and expected on the

15 11th of August?

16 A. With the exception of the huge unrest, the attempt by the

17 villagers to exercise certain pressure, and the security could not prevent

18 this. Otherwise, they should have used weapons. This was in the

19 afternoon; and when the situation was normal, nobody could have entered

20 the school without my authorisation.

21 Q. If an unknown person was standing nearby to your command to

22 defence, he or she would have been identified by the guards?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Whether the people who have been I.D.'d, whether the guard was

25 obliged to inform you about this?

Page 2672

1 A. Yes.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's comment: Can you please ask the

3 gentleman to switch on the mic?

4 Microphone for counsel, please.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Apostolski.

6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [In English] I don't know why it's happened.

7 Okay.

8 Q. [Interpretation] Is it correct that on Saturday, August 11th, your

9 guards did not inform you that in the vicinity of your post there were

10 some -- there was a foreign journalist present?

11 A. As far as I remember, I never received such an information.

12 Q. Very well. Thank you.

13 In the village of Ljuboten -- I apologise. In the village of

14 Ljubanci, there was a police check-point by the house of Bratso, the

15 so-called Chinese Wall?

16 A. This is how people call it, but the precise location was across

17 the -- nearby the football playing field.

18 Q. Is it correct that right at the football place, the playground,

19 there was a police check-point?

20 A. Yes, that is correct. This is a crossroads that goes to the

21 village of Ljuboten and towards the children's holiday resort.

22 Q. Is it correct that the football playing field is away from the

23 school where your post was, around three to 400 metres?

24 A. Yes, more or less.

25 Q. This means that the football playing ground is not across the

Page 2673

1 school; is this correct?

2 A. No.

3 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Can we please show to the witness

4 D296 or 65 ter 00295, page N001-001-7248.

5 Q. Can you see this sketch in front of you?

6 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] If we can enlarge it a little

7 bit, please. Can we go back because we can't see. Can you reduce it a

8 little bit, please. Thank you very much.

9 Q. Can you observe on this sketch where the school is indicated, the

10 school where your command post was located? In English, you can read it.

11 It's spelled S-c-h-o-o-l. Can you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. According to you, this sketch showing Ljubanci is not correct with

14 respect to the location of the football field, and the person who drew

15 this sketch made a sketch which does not correspond with the situation on

16 the ground; is this correct?

17 A. If you mean, Mr. Apostolski, where it reads "school."

18 Q. You can see --

19 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry to interrupt. The exchange between

20 witness and counsel is too quick and you are overlapping all the time, so

21 that the interpreters are finding it impossible to follow what each of you

22 is saying and getting it down onto the transcript. You must be slower,

23 and you must have more pause between each speaker.

24 I must leave it to you, Mr. Apostolski, to watch that carefully in

25 your dealing with the witness. Thank you.

Page 2674

1 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Very well. I do apologise, Your

2 Honours. I will try my best, and I will be slower when asking my

3 questions.

4 Q. Across the school, as it is depicted on the sketch, we can see

5 written, marked in the English language, "football field," so this is the

6 football playground?

7 A. Yes. I noticed this.

8 Q. According to your statement, this is a sketch which is incorrect,

9 since the football field is located at another position, another place; is

10 this correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. This means the person, who drew this sketch, prepared a sketch

13 which does not correspond with the sketch of the village?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you observe on this sketch, in the middle, above the football

16 field, you can see a cross with a circle beneath it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. If this is the location of the command of the 2nd Infantry

19 Company, I'm sure that it won't be correct to say that members of the

20 Ministry of the Interior are located on the positions marked with the

21 lettering "MUP"; you can see three different positions indicated?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. This means that this information on this sketch, according to your

24 opinion, is incorrect?

25 A. No.

Page 2675

1 Q. Very well. Thank you.

2 This means that this sketch is inaccurate?

3 A. Yes, it is inaccurate.

4 Q. Thank you.

5 You stated that on Saturday, August 12th, 2001, the positions of

6 your battalion were under attack by terrorist groups of the NLA from

7 several directions. The position of the 2nd Company was under attack, and

8 you were informed about this by Mario Jurisic. The position of the

9 battery was also under attack. Nikolce Grozdanovksi informed you about

10 this. Under attack was also the 3rd Company, which was at the position in

11 Rastak, and you were informed about this by Ferdo Pavlov; is this correct?

12 ?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Throughout this time, you were at the headquarters, command post,

15 at the school, and you told them that they should respond to this attack;

16 is this correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You did not see, but you had information from your subordinates

19 who informed you about this?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Can you indicate and mark the locations from where people shot at

22 your battalion from the direction of Ljuboten on the 12th of August, 2001,

23 which you considered as legitimate targets?

24 A. Yes. But if you allow me, the precise location of the targets and

25 more trustworthy, I believe, it would be if it is pointed out by the

Page 2676

1 people who gave me this information, because I didn't have visual

2 possibility. The map that I had by me was a bit old, and maybe there will

3 be some differences. And that is why I will say that if I try to locate

4 the precise position of these targets, I might be wrong. So maybe it

5 would be better to get this kind of information from those people; that is

6 to say, if you have their statements.

7 Q. Very well. As targets, on Sunday there was one target outside of

8 the village of Bel Kamen; is this correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And four targets in the village by the old cemetery?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The northern part of the village?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. The mosque?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And the new cemetery and the area in the vicinity?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Very well. Thank you.

19 I would like to go back to several questions regarding the meeting

20 in the presence of Johan on Friday and Saturday.

21 Did you receive any kind of order by Mr. Johan during these

22 meetings?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Was Johan in a position to issue any kind of order to you?

25 A. No.

Page 2677

1 Q. Did you hear Johan, during the meeting on Friday, to issue orders

2 to the persons who came to this meeting together with him?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Did you tell anybody that Johan Tarculovski was the owner of the

5 security agency called Kometa?

6 A. No. I apologise. This information, I heard it later on, but this

7 was just a manipulation. I don't know how to say.

8 Q. In the period from the 10th to the 14th of August, 2001, did you

9 say to anybody that Johan Tarculovski was the owner of the security agency

10 called Kometa?

11 A. No.

12 MR. APOSTOLSKI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.

13 Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness.

14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Apostolski.

15 Ms. Motoike, is there re-examination?

16 MS. MOTOIKE: Yes, briefly. Thank you, Your Honours.

17 Re-examination by Ms. Motoike:

18 Q. Mr. Despodov, going back to yesterday, on page 2615 of yesterday's

19 transcript, you spoke of coordinated actions between the army units and

20 units of the Ministry of the Interior in carrying out operations in the

21 areas of Vaksince and Slupcane. In 2001, can I ask you, if a soldier in

22 your battalion had misbehaved, would you have disciplined him?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And, in reference to your testimony today, on page 8 of today's

25 transcript, you had indicated that you had a duty to contact one station

Page 2678

1 which was to provide surveillance of telephone conversations. Did this

2 particular station have a name?

3 A. I think the name is Ramno. That is the central station. It is a

4 permanent one. It is active even now.

5 Q. And I take it from your earlier answers that Ramno is a particular

6 area. Is that correct?

7 A. Yes, but also its location is within that settlement.

8 Q. And what do you mean, "settlement"? Where is it located exactly?

9 A. Not "settlement," it is the area of Ramno. This is a building

10 built during the former state, Yugoslavia. And the army at the time used

11 it as a point for counter-electronic combat or actually wiretapping,

12 recording of all telephone-radio communications and everything. So in

13 military terminology in our systems, this is a station for

14 counter-electronic combat. It surveils the communications.

15 After the dissolution of the former state, that station was taken

16 over by the Ministry of the Interior, and one part of it was held by the

17 military intelligence. They were working together here.

18 Q. So if I can understand you correctly, in 2001, was this particular

19 location, then -- well, let me ask you this: The surveillance that

20 you're talking about that was conducted at this particular station, was

21 that conducted by the Ministry of the Interior alone?

22 A. I think that the competences, their responsibility for this task

23 at this station, belonged to the Ministry of the Interior. While in the

24 actual operation, experts from the Ministry of Defence participated as

25 well.

Page 2679

1 Q. So the information that you -- well, the duty that you had to

2 contact this particular station, was that the duty to contact, then, the

3 personnel at the Ministry of the Interior who were located there?

4 A. To exchange information with them, the information I would learn

5 through my organ reconnaissance patrols, scouts, et cetera, I would

6 communicate to them, and the information that they held that was relevant

7 for me they would communicate to me.

8 Q. And specifically, then, this was communication with the Ministry

9 of the Interior personnel who was located at that particular station?

10 A. Exactly.

11 Q. You also mentioned, on the same page of today's transcript, that

12 you had contact with a secret undercover patrol. Could you tell me,

13 please, when were these secret undercover patrols deployed?

14 A. This patrol is something that I learned about after I and my unit

15 took positions in that region. They, themselves, found me at a location

16 while I was touring the unit at its post in Brodec, and they informed me

17 and gave me guide-lines about the ways in which we would communicate and

18 exchange information.

19 Q. Okay. And at the time, then, when you learned about them, could

20 you tell me how long -- if you know, could you tell me how long were these

21 particular patrols in position?

22 A. I learned about them, or actually we met - I don't remember well -

23 but sometime around the second half -- no, after the 15th, the 16th of

24 June. I left the positions up there sometime around 23rd, 24th of August,

25 and I then informed my deputy who replaced me as duty of the commander

Page 2680

1 that he had the obligation to communicate with this patrol. So this

2 cooperation continued later, and I think they remained there all the way

3 until the end of all military operations or the cases in that region, all

4 the way until the complete withdrawal of the army from those positions,

5 which was sometime in 2002.

6 Q. So you can only speak to their position or their deployment as of

7 2001? Am I understanding you correctly?

8 A. I don't understand the question, Your Honour. Would you be so

9 kind as to repeat it?

10 Q. I'm just asking you, then, you had no information as to when, in

11 particular, what time period these particular patrols were deployed?

12 A. I learned about it, as I stated, somewhere around 15th, 16th of

13 June, and they remained there until the end, until the final withdrawal of

14 the army. When did they start acting there, when they were deployed

15 there, I could not say. It was not the subject of my interest.

16 Q. Thank you. That is what I was trying to clarify.

17 Were these particular patrols operated by the Ministry of

18 Interior?

19 A. Well, I suppose it was a person from the Ministry of the Interior

20 or the Centre for Security. I don't know, I don't know the names of their

21 sectors. I know that in the army there is a sector called security and

22 counterintelligence. In the police, it might have a different name.

23 Q. Okay. But to your knowledge, then, these particular patrols were

24 operated by the Ministry of Interior?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2681

1 Q. You also indicated that not even your commander knew about the

2 contact that you had with these particular patrols. Who, in particular,

3 ordered you not to have -- not to relay information to your commander

4 about the contact with respect to these particular patrols?

5 A. That patrol had three officers. One of them is responsible, the

6 commander of that patrol, and I received that order from him., that apart

7 from me, no one else must know about their deployment there, because the

8 more people that knew about it, the more possibilities there were, the

9 larger probability would be for the patrol to be discovered and then it

10 would not continue performing its role.

11 Q. You indicated that you received the order from the commander of

12 that particular patrol. Why did you take that order from that particular

13 commander?

14 A. Your Honour, obviously we can't understand one another. This is a

15 normal procedure in our practice in such cases regarding certain issues.

16 There are things done, and only a very small number of people is allowed

17 to know about it. Those were the regulations, the applicable legislation,

18 et cetera. Since they were acting in plain clothes, in uniform, depending

19 on the needs, they would go, and the villages populated by Albanians,

20 where Albanians were the majority of the population, they would also

21 infiltrate the positions of the NLA, the terrorists. And now imagine if

22 everybody knew about their existence, or if more people knew about their

23 existence.

24 Q. Okay. If I understand you correctly, then, some of these patrols

25 were operating in, loosely termed, enemy-occupied areas?

Page 2682

1 A. By the terrorists, yes.

2 Q. And, I'm sorry, maybe we aren't understanding each other. I was

3 asking about the commander of the patrol. You indicate that you took an

4 order. Is that because -- you reference regulations. Is that because of

5 some regulation that told you, you had to take an order from the command

6 of a patrol operated by the Ministry of the Interior?

7 A. Look, Your Honour, I hope you'll understand me better. In order

8 to collect information about the enemy, in this case the terrorists, it is

9 a rule, a military rule, that I, as a commander of a battalion, need to

10 establish contact and undertake measures, in all possible ways I need to

11 collect information about the deployment, the strength, the armament, the

12 logistics, et cetera, regarding the enemy. And I then communicate all the

13 information I had collected to my superior command. Also, the necessary

14 portion of it I would communicate to the police or the members of the

15 security forces and also the police. Those units that were deployed there

16 to serve those needs on the part of the police had that obligation and

17 duty towards me.

18 Some of those organs, we call them reconnaissance patrols, or

19 observers, or monitors, were working publicly and some were working

20 undercover. And in this sense and for this purpose, we had the agreement

21 that nobody else needed to know about the patrol, nobody else but me.

22 Q. But with respect to the conversation that you had with

23 Mr. Tarculovski and the other representatives on Friday, 10 August 2001,

24 that information, though, you did not communicate to your superior

25 command; is that correct?

Page 2683

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Going back to these secret undercover patrols, could I ask you, if

3 you know, what types of information -- I know you've said there was

4 reconnaissance. What types of information did they report?

5 A. Where the terrorists were located, how strong they were in number,

6 what armament did they have, the direction of their movements, and detail

7 of such type.

8 Q. And how were these -- how was the specific information that they

9 were reporting, how was that communicated to you?

10 A. Verbally, Your Honour.

11 Q. Via radio, messenger, how was it done? Or via telephone?

12 A. Verbally, through personal contact between me and them. In every

13 village, they had their representative from among the villagers, and that

14 person would come to me to have a cup of coffee at the command post or

15 meet me somewhere, because I was moving, touring the positions, and then

16 he would relate information to me. We need to meet at such-and-such

17 location at such-and-such hour, and so I would go there and we would

18 exchange the information.

19 Q. And with respect to -- going back to the station that you referred

20 to, that provided surveillance of telephone conversations, can I ask you,

21 did this particular station have access to signals intelligence?

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is obvious that

23 my learned colleague now speaks about something and the witness now

24 divulges a certain dose of confidential information in his answers. For

25 the witness to be able to better answer, maybe we should move into a

Page 2684

1 private session, because we are now speaking about services, and the

2 divulging of those information to the general public might not be very

3 appropriate.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Looking over what has being mentioned here, I would

5 see nothing that would give rise to any national security issue,

6 Ms. Residovic, so please carry on, Ms. Motoike.

7 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you.

8 Q. Mr. Despodov, do you recall the question I asked you? That is --

9 well, let me just rephrase it. Did you have access to signals

10 intelligence, and by that I mean access to intercepts or radio and

11 telephone traffic with respect to the particular area that your battalion

12 occupied?

13 A. I personally didn't, but the information contained in those issues

14 I received in the scope that was necessary for me. I would receive them

15 from the representatives of that station. And if you wish to learn more

16 data about the station, because of the reasons that Mrs. Edina mentioned

17 now, I think I don't have the authority to speak more about the principles

18 and the manner of its operation.

19 Q. I actually had one more question with respect to this particular

20 station, and if you'd feel more comfortable I could ask the Court if it's

21 allowed to go into private session.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Ask the question, please.

23 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you.

24 Q. You referenced some personnel from the Ministry of Defence who

25 were also at this station. I believe you might even have referred to them

Page 2685

1 as experts. Could you tell me, which chain of command did these

2 particular persons respond to?

3 A. The representatives from the Ministry of Defence were under the

4 command of the Sector for Security and Counterintelligence within the

5 Ministry of Defence, while the representatives from the police had

6 responsibilities towards the police, the Ministry of the Interior.

7 Q. And with respect to these secret undercover patrols, can you tell

8 me whether or not you know whether any of these persons belonging to these

9 secret undercover patrols went into Ljuboten at any time between 10 August

10 2001 and 12 August 2001?

11 A. I couldn't confirm this with certainty.

12 Q. On page 18 of today's transcript, you refer to homes in Ljuboten

13 that you indicated in your opinion were fortified by walls. If I could

14 show you again the photo of Ljuboten that was shown to you yesterday, it's

15 now been admitted as P00299. And to assist you, we have the photo again

16 in its larger version.

17 MS. MOTOIKE: If I could have the assistance of the usher.

18 Q. Of course, this particular photo is a hard copy of the photo we

19 showed you yesterday, but it hasn't been annotated by you, which the

20 annotations are reflected in P00299.

21 If you could take a look at that.

22 MS. MOTOIKE: And perhaps we could display it on the ELMO.

23 Q. And, again, Mr. Despodov, this is a photo of the Ljuboten village,

24 looking towards the Skopska Crna Gora mountain range, and the homes in the

25 bottom of the photograph are homes in Ljuboten.

Page 2686

1 I just want to point out to you, see this bigger house in the

2 foreground of the picture on the left?

3 MS. MOTOIKE: If we could maybe move it up a little bit so it's

4 displayed on the ELMO.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This one?


7 Q. The one left of that, actually. It's a bigger one. Yes. Do you

8 see there's no walls around that particular house, is there, Mr. Despodov?

9 A. Yes.

10 MS. MOTOIKE: And if you move the photo to the right --

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But, I apologise. This house, I

12 suppose the photograph was taken from this part [Indicates], in the area

13 where it is predominantly populated by Macedonians in that village; that

14 is, 30 per cent of the population in this part. This is where the

15 Albanians live from the creek [Indicates], as the slope falls down to the

16 mosque.

17 Q. Okay.

18 MS. MOTOIKE: Maybe we could pull the photograph to the usher's

19 left, and if we could maybe focus in on the area where the mosque is.

20 Q. There's a mosque with the minarets shooting up towards the top.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. This area, then, would be what you've termed as the ethnic

23 Albanian area; is that right, Mr. Despodov?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You can see there are some homes in this particular village that

Page 2687

1 are not -- do not have any walls in front of them. Do you see that in the

2 photograph?

3 A. Some have, yes.

4 Q. So not all the homes in the village of Ljuboten had these walls

5 that you've termed as fortifications; is that correct?

6 A. Your Honour, obviously, you misunderstood me when I stated this.

7 I said that every Albanian house, or 95 per cent of them, are fenced by

8 walls. That is in the tradition of the Albanians in Macedonia and

9 everywhere. And these walls, I never stated that these are fortified by

10 the walls.

11 But in a case somebody decides to use this house as a base or as a

12 point from which they would fire, there is no need for an additional

13 fortification. In order to enter the yard of that house, you need to go

14 through the main gate; or to jump the wall, you need to bring ladders

15 three or four metres' tall, if you go to the house uninvited or if you go

16 there with a hidden agenda. So in this sense, I stated this. If you

17 misunderstood me, I apologise.

18 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you for that clarification.

19 Your Honours, I have just a few more questions, and I see the

20 time.

21 JUDGE PARKER: If you prefer to finish now.

22 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you.

23 Q. Mr. Despodov --

24 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you, Mr. Usher.

25 Q. -- you indicated on page 32 of today's transcript that the person

Page 2688

1 whose name you can't remember, who met with you on Friday, 11 August,

2 represented himself as being from the Ministry of the Interior. Can I ask

3 you, was this person also wearing a police uniform, and I believe you

4 stated a camouflage police uniform, with the insignia stating "Police"?

5 A. I apologise. It was not on the 11th. It was on the 10th, if you

6 are referring to that person. A police camouflage uniform, this is

7 precisely what I stated, bearing police insignia.

8 Q. And have you ever, in your military career, spoken with someone

9 who represented themselves as being from the Ministry of the Interior, but

10 in actuality they were not?

11 A. No.

12 Q. You also were shown a sketch that was marked and actually has been

13 admitted as D296.

14 MS. MOTOIKE: If we could pull that up, please. It's 65 ter 00299.

15 Thank you.

16 Q. Just one question about this particular sketch, Mr. Despodov.

17 MS. MOTOIKE: If we could see it a little bit bigger. Thank you.

18 Q. You indicated that the position with respect to the school and the

19 football field in this particular sketch is incorrect. Is the school in

20 Ljubanci, should that be to the left of the football field and not to the

21 right, as it's depicted here?

22 JUDGE PARKER: Do you mean Ljubanci or Ljuboten?

23 MS. MOTOIKE: I mean Ljubanci. I apologise if I misspoke.

24 JUDGE PARKER: You were correct. I was concerned you may not have

25 been.

Page 2689

1 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you, Your Honour.

2 Q. Mr. Despodov, is the school depicted in this particular sketch

3 supposed to be to the left of the football field as you're looking at the

4 diagram?

5 A. Your Honour, if the expert drawing the sketch drew it well, in my

6 opinion, the football field -- I'm now speaking about the football field

7 for football matches, for serious football. If this crossroad is really

8 drawn well where it says the direction towards the village of Ljuboten,

9 this is where the patrol -- the check-point of the police actually was.

10 And the football field would be to the right of the school, between the

11 school and the police check-point, at the crossroad depicted here towards

12 the village of Ljuboten.

13 If it is that football field, it should be to the right from the

14 school. Since I go to the village of Ljubanci even now today, I still

15 haven't seen that a football field was built across the street from the

16 school. This is a densely populated area with private houses.

17 Thank you for that. And just a couple more questions,

18 Mr. Despodov.

19 On page 59 of today's transcript, you indicated that

20 Mr. Tarculovski was not in a position to issue orders to you in 2001. Can

21 I ask you, in August of 2001, who did you receive your orders from?

22 A. With regards specifically to the work in the command of my

23 battalion, I would receive them from the colonel, Blazo Kopacev; directly

24 some tasks also from the general, Sokol Mitrevski; and some tasks I

25 received directly from the commander-in-chief, the President.

Page 2690

1 Q. And in August of 2001, who did the police receive their orders

2 from?

3 A. The police, I suppose, operated under the same system. This is

4 what the law provides for, the commander. It depends on which unit, which

5 unit is superior to which. I don't know whether you noticed, in all

6 documents displayed today, order by the President, order by the commander

7 for defence of the city of Skopje, the President communicates directly or

8 orders the head of the General Staff. The Ministry of Defence or the

9 Minister of Defence is excluded from that hierarchy of issuing commands

10 and orders. I suppose that - and I'm certain that it is so in the police

11 as well - that for some things the Minister of the Interior is not

12 involved at all in the subordination of the hierarchy of issuing commands.

13 The units from the Ministry of the Interior that are deployed, that are

14 involved in the combat actions, receive direct orders from the

15 Commander-in-Chief.

16 I, as a battalion commander -- to make the situation clearer for

17 you, Your Honour, I, as a battalion commander, would skip, so to say, the

18 company commander, I would issue orders to the reconnaissance patrols that

19 I had established. I personally had established them so I would issue

20 orders to them and they were responsible for the performance of the task

21 to me personally. The company commander did not even know who will do it,

22 what they will do, or where. He just knew that ten people from their

23 company would be under my command for the duration of that day.

24 Q. Thank you. So to your knowledge, though, the Ministry of the

25 Interior in 2001 had their own chain of command as well; is that correct?

Page 2691

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is not what the

2 witness stated. I object.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Ms. Motoike.


5 Q. Mr. Despodov, my question was: So to your knowledge, the

6 Ministry of the Interior in 2001 had their own chain of command as well;

7 is that correct?

8 A. Regarding the tasks or issues that I've mentioned regarding giving

9 order or an action, they operated under the same system as us, the army.

10 Q. Okay. I'm talking about just generally, not specific tasks or

11 issues, I'm asking you: Did the Ministry of the Interior, to your

12 knowledge, have a chain of command as well that's similar to the Ministry

13 of Defence?

14 A. I will repeat again, Your Honour. The supreme commander is the

15 commander of the ones and the others, and in that line of command, the

16 Ministry of the Interior can be set aside from the subordination. This is

17 regulated in the law. I believe that Mrs. Edina has confirmed this in her

18 assertions made yesterday.

19 MS. MOTOIKE: Thank you. I have nothing further.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Despodov, you'll be pleased to know that that

21 concludes the questions for you. The Chamber would thank you for your

22 attendance here in The Hague, and you are of course now free to return to

23 your activities in your home country.

24 Thank you again for coming to The Hague and assisting.

25 We will now adjourn and resume at 10 minutes past.

Page 2692

1 [The witness withdrew]

2 --- Recess taken at 12.47 p.m.

3 --- On resuming at 1.10 p.m.

4 [The witness entered court]

5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Hutsch. Unfortunately, we're

6 not going to be able to be too long with you this afternoon, because we're

7 approaching our break, so we will undoubtedly see you again tomorrow.

8 May I remind you of the affirmation you made, which still applies

9 to your evidence.


11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.

12 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honours. Before we begin, if I could

13 ask the usher to place the witness's binder of exhibits with him, please.

14 Examination by Mr. Saxon: [Continued]

15 Q. Mr. Hutsch, when we stopped last week, we had been discussing the

16 events of Saturday, the 11th of August, 2001, and I'd like to ask you now,

17 please, to turn your mind to the events of Sunday, the 12th of August,

18 2001.

19 Can you tell us, please, what you did on that Sunday morning?

20 A. On the Sunday morning, I woke up around 5.30 and met with my two

21 interpreters to go to the area of Ljuboten.

22 Q. And about what time did you leave for the area of Ljuboten?

23 A. We left around 6.45.

24 Q. And where did you go then? Was there some point where you

25 stopped?

Page 2693

1 A. We were stopped in Radusana area, at a check-point of the police

2 there.

3 Q. And is this the area we referred to last week as Observation Point

4 1?

5 A. Yes, it is.

6 Q. And what kind of car were you driving that day?

7 A. We were driving like all the time a white Land Rover jeep.

8 Q. And was that jeep marked in any way?

9 A. That was marked with the TV letters that was usual for

10 journalists.

11 Q. Were you wearing anything special that day, you and your

12 colleagues?

13 A. In this moment when we entered, we didn't wear something special,

14 but afterwards we put on our flak jackets and later on in the morning our

15 helmets.

16 Q. Can you briefly explain, Mr. Hutsch, how you recorded events and

17 things that you observed? What system, if any, did you use?

18 A. I was using a notebook or -- yeah, a notebook where I wrote in all

19 the things that I saw in the moment when I took it -- when I saw it. And

20 I had a time so that I watched first my clock, I wrote the time inside,

21 and then I wrote notes that I was seeing in this moment.

22 Q. Did you have binoculars with you that day?

23 A. Yes, I had.

24 Q. Apart from writing things down in a notebook, what other tool or

25 tools did you use to record things that you observed that day?

Page 2694

1 A. I had always a map with me, so I printed in which things I saw,

2 what happened there.

3 Q. Can we go a little bit more slowly? You said you had a map with

4 you. What, if anything, did you use to record things on your map?

5 A. I was using a plastic overlay that was fixed on the map so that,

6 with special pens, so waterproof pens, I could mark what I saw in the

7 field.

8 Q. All right. And these things that you noted on the map, would you

9 also note them in your notebook?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Perhaps, if I can ask you to turn to tab 4 in your binder, which I

12 believe has been marked for identification as Exhibit P292.

13 A. It's missing in my binder, unfortunately.

14 Q. That is, I think, perhaps because our efficient court officer had

15 to take it.

16 JUDGE PARKER: It can't be displayed at the moment, Mr. Saxon.

17 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.

18 What I'll do is we have a clean copy, an extra copy with us, and

19 I'll ask the witness perhaps to draw a few things that he drew last week,

20 and then perhaps make some additional points, if that is all right.

21 If the usher could put this on the ELMO, please.

22 When I press the letter "ELMO" on my side of the room here, what I

23 get in my computer is e-court. I wonder if that could be changed.

24 I think we now see the ELMO.

25 Q. Mr. Hutsch, just very quickly --

Page 2695

1 MR. SAXON: And if the projector could be raised as high as

2 possible, please, so we can see more of this. Very well.

3 Q. Last week, Mr. Hutsch, you had marked a hill that we refer to as

4 Hill 631. Can you place the letters "631" along that hillside again,

5 please?

6 A. [Marks]

7 Q. All right. And you had also marked, with an arrow, the area that

8 you indicated as Ljubanci, an arrow headed down. Could you do that again,

9 please?

10 A. [Marks]

11 Q. And could you put a "1" beneath that arrow, please?

12 A. Sorry?

13 Q. Could you put the number "1" beneath that arrow to indicate

14 Ljubanci?

15 A. [Marks]

16 Q. Okay.

17 And could we move now the map a bit over toward your right, and

18 further, please, further, please.

19 So we see the minaret of Ljuboten there. Do you see that?

20 A. Yes, I see.

21 Q. Could you mark an arrow from above that -- above that minaret?

22 A. [Marks]

23 Q. And could you place a capital "L" to indicate the village of

24 Ljuboten?

25 A. [Marks]

Page 2696

1 Q. Okay. And I believe also on this same photograph you had

2 indicated with a circle around the ridge or the valley where the area of

3 Ljubotenski Bacila would be, if we could see it. Could you draw that

4 circle in again, please?

5 A. [Marks]

6 Q. Well, that's an awfully big circle.

7 A. [Marks]

8 Q. All right. And next to that small circle, could you write the

9 number "2" --

10 A. [Marks]

11 Q. -- for Ljubotenski Bacila.

12 Now if we could just move the map a bit more now to your left so

13 we can still see the -- no. We need to see the area that you've indicated

14 which indicates Ljubanci. Now we can see that. All right.

15 Can you tell us, please, when you got to this vantage point -

16 we're still talking about now Observation Point 1 - what you began to

17 observe there -- let me start a little bit earlier. Approximately, what

18 time did you come to this vantage point, if you can recall, approximately?

19 A. Approximately, 7.15, 7.20.

20 Q. All right. And tell us, please, what you began to observe on that

21 morning.

22 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour.

23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.

24 MR. METTRAUX: We ask that the witness be directed not to refer to

25 the notebook which was just taken out of his bag, unless there is a need

Page 2697

1 for refreshment, in which case the Prosecution may or may not decide to

2 ask him to refer to those.

3 MR. SAXON: I'm sorry. I did not see the witness take that out of

4 his bag.

5 Witness, I'm going to show you portions later on, but I'd simply

6 like to discuss what you have in your mind right now.

7 Q. First of all, when you got to Observation Point 1, do you recall

8 whether the police officers told you anything?

9 A. The police officers told us that there have been two mortar

10 shootings in the area of Ljuboten at around 6.00, and I think it was -- I

11 suppose it was 7.10.

12 Q. Okay. And then what do you recall -- what did you observe after

13 that?

14 A. So my first observation, my first own monitoring, was at 8.00 and

15 I think three minutes, another round of mortar shells have been fired into

16 the east entrance of Ljuboten.

17 Q. And can you recall who, to your knowledge, was firing these mortar

18 rounds at a bit after 8.00 that morning?

19 A. I think these mortar rounds were fired from the mortar position or

20 the battery position in the area of the monastery.

21 Q. Okay. And can you recall which force, then, would have been

22 firing those mortar rounds?

23 A. As far as I believe, this mortar position was an army position.

24 Q. Macedonian Army?

25 A. Macedonian Army position.

Page 2698

1 Q. And did you see the impacts of these shells?

2 A. Yes. We could see the impacts of these shells in the eastern

3 entrance area of Ljuboten.

4 Q. Did you notice anything in particular about the impacts or the

5 explosions of these shells?

6 A. What I think is that they were using delaying indigners [sic].

7 Q. Igniters, you mean?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Which is the same as detonator?

10 A. Yes.

11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask the Prosecutor and

12 the witness to pause between their respective and answers.

13 MR. SAXON: My apologies to the interpreters, and I should have

14 given that warning to myself and to Mr. Hutsch earlier on.

15 Q. And the so-called delayed igniters or detonators, how did they

16 work?

17 A. They are working in a way that the explosion is going around 15 up

18 to 20 metres over the target. So that means especially if you are -- if

19 you would like to destroy so-called soft targets, you have a bigger circle

20 on the ground to hit them.

21 Q. All right. And then later on, what did you then observe after

22 that?

23 A. After that, I observed more, on the left side of the circle that I

24 called Circle 1, like a group formation behind an APC to rush down from

25 Ljubanci behind Hill 631 towards Ljuboten.

Page 2699

1 Q. Okay. Let's go a little bit more slowly, please. You said you

2 saw a group -- a group formation behind an APC coming from Ljubanci. Did

3 you observe this group with your binoculars?

4 A. Yes, I did.

5 Q. What did you observe about this group?

6 A. This was a group around 80 to 100 policemen behind an APC, what I

7 think it was a Hermelin, and they are going towards Ljuboten.

8 Q. You say that it was a group of policemen. What made you think

9 that these persons were policemen?

10 A. They were wearing camouflage -- most of them were wearing

11 camouflage uniforms, and you could see also the badge -- the police badge

12 on their arm, on their left arm.

13 Q. This Hermelin armoured personnel carrier that you referred to, can

14 you recall if there were any weapons on it?

15 A. I suppose there were 7.62-millimetre machine-gun on top of this

16 Hermelin.

17 Q. And were you able to observe this group of policemen completely

18 going from Ljubanci towards -- and entering into Ljuboten or did you have

19 any problems?

20 A. No. I had a big problem to observe or to monitor this group,

21 because Hill 631 covered the advance of this group; and so when they --

22 when they left, for example, the centre part of Ljubanci, I even couldn't

23 see this group anymore.

24 Q. Mr. Hutsch, do you have a blue marker there with you? Is there a

25 blue marker?

Page 2700

1 MR. SAXON: If not, I'm wondering if the usher could kindly help

2 us out.

3 Q. Mr. Hutsch, if you could, please, could you draw a line,

4 indicating with the blue marker, indicating the route you saw this group

5 of policemen take with a Hermelin until you could no longer see?

6 A. [Marks]

7 Q. And for the record, Mr. Hutsch has just drawn a disconnected blue

8 line with an arrow at the end. And perhaps could you, to the left of this

9 disconnected line, could you write the number "3", please, Mr. Hutsch, to

10 the left?

11 A. [Marks]

12 Q. Okay. After you lost sight of this group of police officers who

13 were then -- which you couldn't see because of Hill 631 between you, what

14 else did you observe that morning?

15 A. There was a more -- group in the south of the policemen who

16 surrounded the hill in the south and also went towards Ljuboten.

17 Q. And you say "a group in the south of the policemen who surrounded

18 the hill in the south." Was this group starting out again from the

19 Ljubanci area?

20 A. Yes, it was.

21 Q. How did you know the people in this group were policemen?

22 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms with their police badge.

23 Q. And, just for the record, were you able to observe whether this

24 group that was more to the south, were they armed?

25 A. They were armed with normal Kalashnikov rifles.

Page 2701

1 Q. And the group that you had discussed earlier that went behind Hill

2 631, before you lost sight of them, do you know whether they were armed?

3 A. They were armed as well with Kalashnikov rifles.

4 Q. Do you recall whether the group that was further to the south, was

5 it smaller than the group that you had seen of nearly 100 police officers,

6 or was it the same size, or bigger?

7 A. No. It was much more smaller, what I suppose around 25 maximum up

8 to 30 police officers.

9 Q. And apart from the camouflage uniforms that the smaller group was

10 wearing, with your binoculars were you able to see any other things that

11 this group was wearing?

12 A. This group, some or most of these police officers were wearing

13 bulletproof vests in a simple version. They were wearing helmets, some of

14 them quite old helmets, not these modern Kevlar helmets.

15 Q. Can you recall what colour were those vests?

16 A. The vests were blue.

17 Q. All right. If we go back to the photograph now that we can see on

18 the ELMO, you mentioned that they left from the Ljubanci area. How long

19 were you able to watch this group?

20 A. I saw this group, yeah, up to this small bush [Indicates], when

21 they entered in this area, the outskirts of Ljuboten. [Marks]

22 Q. At that point, did you lose sight of this small group?

23 A. Yes, exactly.

24 Q. Could you mark that small circle -- well, let's do this a bit more

25 systematically. If you could move the photograph so that we can see

Page 2702

1 Ljubanci again. No. All right.

2 Could you take your blue pen again and make another line showing

3 where you saw this smaller group of policemen travel?

4 A. [Marks]

5 Q. Okay. On the left side of that blue line and just underneath the

6 blue line, could you write the number "4", please.

7 A. [Marks]

8 Q. Is there a road there?

9 A. It's just a small track.

10 Q. So was this smaller group of policemen following that track?

11 A. Exactly.

12 Q. All right. And now we see the circle, the blue circle, towards

13 the right where you lost sight of this group. Could you write the number

14 "5" beneath that circle, please.

15 A. [Marks]

16 MR. SAXON: All right. Your Honour, at this point I would, if it

17 won't confuse the record too much, I would tender this exhibit, please.

18 JUDGE PARKER: It will -- yes, Mr. Mettraux.

19 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour. Simply an indication for

20 the Chamber, we won't formally object to the admission of this document

21 and won't formally object to the admission of a number of other documents

22 which the Prosecution may seek to tender through this witness.

23 I would simply wish to point out, however, that this should not be

24 interpreted as an admission or concession on the part of the Defence as to

25 the reliability of truth of any of those documents, and it may be the case

Page 2703

1 that the Defence will make further submissions after the cross-examination

2 of this witness in relation to many of the documents.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

4 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit P307, Your Honours.

5 MR. SAXON: Perhaps for now if that photograph could be folded up.

6 Q. Mr. Hutsch, if you could please turn to tab 11 in the binder

7 that's in front of you, which is 65 ter number 167. It begins with ERN

8 number N003-0004.

9 MR. SAXON: Perhaps if we could first pull up on e-court. Yes.

10 This is the original German version, and the parties and the Judges should

11 also have the English and Macedonian versions with them.

12 Q. But if we could just focus now on the German version, that cover

13 page, Mr. Hutsch, do you recognise what you see on the screen there?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And what is this?

16 A. This is my notebook for exactly this day, for the 12th of August.

17 Q. All right. And can we turn, please, to the first page, and

18 there's a note related. It says: "Telephone, N. Beqiri, 0748 hours."

19 Do you see that?

20 A. Yes, I see that.

21 Q. What were you referring to here?

22 A. We were phoning with Nazim Beqiri who is the spokesperson or who

23 was the spokesperson of the NLA to ask him what was going on in Ljuboten.

24 And Nazim Beqiri pointed out that there were signs for attacks of the

25 police forces, that in Ljuboten there were no member of the NLA, that

Page 2704

1 after he knows Ljube Boskoski should be on the way to Ljuboten, and it is

2 the purpose of the NLA to fight back with, probably, in a proper way

3 without being dangerous for the peace process.

4 Q. It mentions the name Ali Ahmeti below that. Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And do you recall at the time what was Mr. Ali Ahmeti's position?

7 A. His position was that he should --

8 Q. I'm sorry, not his position about the events in Ljuboten. What

9 was his, if I can say this, formal position?

10 A. He was the political leader of the NLA.

11 Q. And, again, we need to pause, you and I, between question and

12 response.

13 And what were you told about Ali Ahmeti's position with respect to

14 the events in and around Ljuboten?

15 A. Ali Ahmeti just did phone calls and personal discussions with

16 members of NATO and European Union to solve the problem in Ljuboten.

17 Q. And so you recorded this information in your notebook?

18 A. Yes.

19 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I see the time. Would this be the

20 appropriate moment to stop?

21 JUDGE PARKER: If you don't have an urgent need to finish

22 something.

23 MR. SAXON. I wouldn't say it's urgent, no, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will need then to adjourn for the

25 day, resuming tomorrow at 9:00 in the morning.

Page 2705

1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of

3 June, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.