Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2837

 1                           Thursday, 26 March 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.

 5             JUDGE PARKER:  Good morning.  My apologies.  I was distracted by

 6     another matter and has meant being a little late starting.

 7                           [The witness takes the stand]

 8                           WITNESS:  GORAN STOPARIC [Resumed]

 9                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

10             JUDGE PARKER:  Good morning.

11             THE WITNESS:  Good morning.

12             JUDGE PARKER:  Please sit down.  Would I remind you of the

13     affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence to tell the truth.

14     That still applies.

15             Ms. Kravetz.

16             MS. KRAVETZ:  Thank you, Your Honour.

17             Good morning, Witness.

18                           Examination by Ms. Kravetz: [Continued]

19             MS. KRAVETZ:  Could we please have 65 ter 02229 back up on the

20     screen.

21        Q.   Witness, yesterday when we left off we were -- you were

22     describing this sketch that you had drawn, and I had asked you about the

23     numbers that were marked as 1 through 4.  We see now the whole sketch and

24     there's a legend at the bottom.  Was this legend also prepared by

25     yourself?

Page 2838

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   If we could zoom in in the section of the legend to the numbers 1

 3     through 6.  And if you could read out the names that you have marked as

 4     numbers 1 through 6 here in the legend.

 5        A.   Number 1, Cvetan Sasa; number 2, Borojevic Dragan, aka Rodja;

 6     number 3, Dragan Medic, aka Gulja; number 4, Demirovic, I didn't know his

 7     first name at the time, but I know now it is Dejan; number 5, unknown, a

 8     police officer in blue uniform; and number 6, Solaja Miodrag aka Zicko.

 9        Q.   There are two other names we see, there's Smiljic Zdravko and

10     Dabic Sasa.

11             MS. KRAVETZ:  And if we could zoom out of the legend, back into,

12     yes --

13        Q.   We see that you've marked these two persons being something up on

14     what you marked a terrace.  Would these two persons have been persons who

15     had in your opinion been able to observe the incident that took place in

16     the courtyard?

17        A.   Yes, in my opinion, although they refuted that before a court in

18     Serbia.

19        Q.   You mentioned when you were reading out the names -- the name of

20     Dragan Medic.  Could you tell us who he was?

21        A.   Dragan Medic, in a previous composition of the Skorpions, i.e.,

22     before the events in Kosovo and the time of preordered agreement, he was

23     the commander of a Skorpion company.  Namely, the Skorpions were

24     comprised of two companies.  One recognisance platoon and one working

25     platoon.  He was the commander of the first company.

Page 2839

 1        Q.   And with regard to the persons that you just read out the names

 2     you just read out that you have indicated you saw in the courtyard, would

 3     Mr. Medic, Dragan Medic, have been someone of the same rank as those

 4     persons or of a higher rank as those persons whose names you just read

 5     out?

 6        A.   I believe I cannot be absolutely certain, but I do believe that

 7     he had issued an order for these civilians to be executed for the simple

 8     reason that he had the highest rank among this group.  It would be

 9     foolish for someone with a lower rank to issue such an order if there was

10     a person that had a higher rank than this one.  Therefore, I presume that

11     he was the one who gave the order.

12        Q.   Thank you.

13             MS. KRAVETZ:  Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit into

14     evidence.  It's 02229.

15             JUDGE PARKER:  It will be received.

16             THE REGISTRAR:  That will be P00498, Your Honours.

17             MS. KRAVETZ:  When you arrived in the courtyard and saw these

18     persons there and saw the civilians, were you able to ask anyone who was

19     there what had happened?

20        A.   I managed to take a look for what -- about 20 or 30 seconds.  I

21     didn't ask anyone anything.  It was clear to me that the women and the

22     children that I had seen in the street and who returned into the

23     courtyard, it was clear to me that they had been shot at.  We all somehow

24     went out into the street of our own accord.  I didn't ask anyone at the

25     moment.  Only later when we boarded the buses, I started asking questions

Page 2840

 1     about the event.

 2        Q.   And what were you told when you were on the bus and you started

 3     asking questions about the event?

 4        A.   Before we went on the bus there was a small detail that left a

 5     huge impression on me, and that was the line-up before the buses arrived.

 6     While we were lined up, an officer, Tutinac or Zoran Simovic, came.  I

 7     never felt more humiliated in my life than after he had delivered his

 8     speech.  He used very harsh words to criticise us; he used very abusive

 9     language.  "You pigs.  No one can work with you.  What have you done?"

10     At that moment the buses arrived, and he ordered us to board them.

11             Of course, before Mr. Tutinac, Dr. Dragan came with a few number

12     of the active officers of the SAJ.  I cannot tell you their real names

13     because they all had code-names due to the specific nature of their work

14     such as Vuk, Strela, Top, et cetera.  I remember a name who was called

15     Vuk.  He was helping the doctor to carry out, either in a blanket or in

16     some other items, they were carrying children to the ambulance.  So this

17     all happened, and I saw all this within the span of ten minutes.

18             The first one to react on the bus was Zeljko Djukic aka Brka, he

19     was sitting next to the driver.  He got up and he said, although I

20     wouldn't like to quote him, but he said something to the effect that only

21     a fool could have done this.  I myself have three --

22             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreters kindly ask the witness to slow

23     down and repeat the last portion of his answer, please.

24             JUDGE PARKER:  Would you mind just repeating.  You were telling

25     us that Djukic had said something to the effect that only a fool could

Page 2841

 1     have done this what you're saying after this I myself have three

 2     something, and the interpreters didn't catch what you said.  Could you

 3     repeat that, please.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zeljko Djukic got up, turned toward

 5     the soldiers and said, "Only a fool could have done this.  I myself have

 6     three children."  He obviously didn't agree with what had happened.

 7             After that, Dragan Medic got up, who had the highest rank in the

 8     group, and he said, "Shut up, Brka.  I did it.  So what?"  And in front

 9     of all of us he publicly admitted to this.

10             After that --

11             MS. KRAVETZ:

12        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, may I just stop you there.  You had mentioned the

13     name of Mr. Tutinac when you were speaking about what happened

14     immediately after the incident.  Could you remind us who he was,

15     Mr. Tutinac who you referred to?

16        A.   Mr. Tutinac, I think his real name is Zoran Simovic, was a

17     high-ranking officer of the SAJ.  Believe me, I thought that he was going

18     to shoot us dead.

19        Q.   Okay.  Very well.  In your statement, you indicate that you were

20     put on these buses and that you were describing and that you were driven

21     back or sent back to Prolom Banja.  In total, how much time did you end

22     up spending in Podujevo before being sent back to Prolom Banja?

23        A.   Very little time.  I think less than one hour.  However, I have

24     to tell you, when we board the buses and returned to Prolom Banja, one of

25     our platoons got lost and everybody forgot about it.  They stayed in

Page 2842

 1     Podujevo the whole night.  Only the next morning were they returned to

 2     Prolom Banja.  Therefore, I believe that I didn't stay there longer than

 3     one hour.  But it couldn't be or shouldn't be correct.  It could be one

 4     and a half hours, could be half an hour.  I cannot say exactly had.  But

 5     on this street and this yard; and before I saw the civilians and when

 6     they arrived and then sent out into the street, the total time I spent

 7     there was about 15 minutes in the courtyard and in the house marked A and

 8     highlighted yellow.

 9        Q.   Now, when you were sent back to Prolom Banja did you expect some

10     sort of punishment for what had happened in Podujevo?

11        A.   Look, a coup let's call it that, took place in Prolom Banja.

12     Namely, according to my estimate, 30 per cent of the soldiers, members of

13     the unit, wanted immediately to be released and sent home from Kosovo.

14     Nebojsa Cekic of Nis personally gave me his weapon and said, "Give my

15     rifle back to the commander.  I didn't come here to kill children."

16             Since Prolom Banja and Nis are not far apart, so he somehow

17     managed to leave the unit on his own.  He gave me his rifle to return it

18     to the commander precisely because on his arrival in Prolom Banja I

19     called him myself and I mobilised him to come to Prolom Banja.  So this

20     coup took place, and it took a lot of effort to get a bus from Medic for

21     the man who didn't want to stay any longer there and who wanted to return

22     to Serbia.  He delivered a speech.  He lined us all up in order to calm

23     the situation down.

24        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, I'm just going to stop you there so we can --

25     because this is in your statement.

Page 2843

 1             Was anyone questioned about the indent that happened at Podujevo

 2     when you returned to Prolom Banja?  For example, were you questioned

 3     about what happen in Podujevo?

 4        A.   No, I haven't heard of that, never.

 5        Q.   Was anyone in the group arrested or taken into custody because of

 6     the indent that happened at Podujevo?

 7        A.   As I told you, after the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement and

 8     the withdrawal of our forces, two of our men were arrested.  Let me say,

 9     I want to answer your question.

10        Q.   You're getting ahead of me.  I'm just asking about the moment --

11     the time when you returned to Prolom Banja, if at that time anyone who

12     was in the group who returned was arrest or taken into custody because of

13     the incident that happened at Podujevo?

14        A.   No.

15        Q.   You indicate in your statement that you were told to go on leave.

16     Were other members of the Skorpions also - who returned to Prolom Banja

17     with you - also sent back home on leave?

18        A.   Can you please repeat the question?

19        Q.   You indicate in your statement that you were told once you

20     returned to Prolom Banja to take some days off and to go back home on

21     leave.  Were other members of the Skorpions also allowed to take days off

22     and just go on leave after returning to Prolom Banja?

23        A.   After the Podujevo incident, we remained for about ten days in

24     Prolom Banja.  We who didn't leave with the men who wanted to leave and

25     go home immediately after the incident, expected to be sent to some other

Page 2844

 1     site.  However, ten days after the incident, the SAJ commander came and

 2     told us to go on leave.  His name was Zivko Trajkovic.  He personally

 3     came, lined us up, and told us, "Now you're going back to Serbia.  You're

 4     going home."

 5             We returned our weapons.  However, we retained our uniforms.

 6        Q.   You had told us that on the bus returning to Prolom Banja

 7     Dragan Medic had gotten up and said, "I did it."  Was he questioned about

 8     this once he returned to Prolom Banja, about his possible participation

 9     in this incident?

10        A.   Officially nobody was questioned, but I assume that the unit

11     commander was his brother.  I believe that the commander, i.e., his

12     brother, definitely questioned him about the event in his hotel room.

13     However, officially, nobody was taken into custody or arrested, nor was

14     there any internal investigation carried out.

15        Q.   Now, in your statement at paragraph 63 you speak about being

16     contacted some days after when you had already returned to Sid, and you

17     say that you returned to -- or were redeployed to Podujevo sometime

18     around mid-April 1999.  Earlier, you had read the names of the persons

19     who were in the courtyard or that you saw in the courtyard.  Were any of

20     those persons returned to Podujevo with you when you returned -- to

21     Kosovo when you were redeployed there in April?

22        A.   First let me correct you.  We were not redeployed to Podujevo

23     but, rather, to Kosovo Polje.

24             Of the men that I had claimed have taken part in the execution of

25     the civilians, only Cvetan Sasa didn't return.  All the rest returned.

Page 2845

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Now, yesterday and also today you were telling us

 2     that after the Kumanovo Agreement two persons were detain.  Who were

 3     these persons who were arrested in connection with this incident at

 4     Podujevo?

 5        A.   Sasa Cvetan and Dejan Demirovic were arrested, and later on they

 6     were processed.  Cvetan Sasa was sentenced to 20 years of prison, and

 7     Dejan Demirovic was acquitted.

 8        Q.   And you told us this arrest happened after the

 9     Kumanovo Agreement.  So when exactly would that be in?  Do you recall the

10     month approximately when that -- when these arrests took place?

11        A.   No.

12        Q.   Would that have been after the war had ended, the conflict in

13     Kosovo, or was the conflict in Kosovo still going on?  If you recall.  If

14     you don't recall, that's okay.

15        A.   The conflict ended after the Serbian security forces withdrew

16     from Kosovo and KFOR was -- was deployed there.  Therefore, in that

17     period there was no war in Kosovo any longer nor any NATO bombardment of

18     Serbia.  Everything had stopped, and that is -- that was the time when

19     they were arrested.

20        Q.   Do you know for how long they were kept in detention, these two

21     persons, once they were arrested?  If you recall approximately.

22        A.   First of all, let me tell you that I personally did not know

23     these two men.  I saw them for the first time in my life then in

24     Podujevo.  They were new men to the Skorpions.  They had not been in the

25     unit before.  But when they got out of prison, when they were released

Page 2846

 1     from custody, I ran into them on the same day in Novi Sad, in a cafe, and

 2     they told me they had spent ten days in custody, and they told me they

 3     had not been arrested by the public security policemen but by the state

 4     security men.

 5        Q.   Now, yesterday just before we had our -- the end of the session,

 6     you indicated that Sasa Cvetan had been tried twice and that you

 7     testified as a witness, and you said that you had lied on one of these

 8     occasions.  Can we first focus on the first trial again of Sasa Cvetan.

 9     How was it that you were called as a witness in that trial?

10        A.   Well, you see, that trial was not publicised or covered by media

11     reports so widely as nowadays.  The trial was held in a small town.  I

12     believe it was called Prokuplje.  And Sasa Cvetan was tried and

13     Dejan Demirovic was tried in absentia because he had already emigrated to

14     Canada.

15             I was initially contacted by Defence counsel.  I was in a law

16     office of a Belgrade lawyer for some of my business, but when he found

17     out who I was, he asked if I could appear as a witness for Sasa Cvetan.

18     So it was at his insistence that I appeared as a witness.  Because in our

19     judicial system, the Defence and the Prosecution don't call witnesses;

20     they just suggest witnesses to the Trial Chamber, and then the

21     Trial Chamber decides who will appear as a witness.  So he suggested me,

22     and I told at the trial the story that the lawyer had prepared for me on

23     an A4 paper, basically giving an alibi to Sasa Cvetan.

24        Q.   Did anyone else other than the lawyer speak to you about what you

25     had to say during your testimony in this trial, in the first trial

Page 2847

 1     against Sasa Cvetan?

 2        A.   You see, when I set out for the courthouse, there were four of us

 3     witnesses in one car; and Commander Medic invited us to stop by his farm

 4     in Ruma, that's we are has a farm, and he told us -- he told me, "Any

 5     traitor will not live much longer."  And apart from him, I was also

 6     approached by the family of the accused.

 7        Q.   Did any of the other persons who testified - you said you were

 8     four in total in the car - tell the truth about what happened at

 9     Podujevo?

10        A.   At that trial in Prokuplje, the only person -- the only people

11     who told the truth were two members of the active-duty SAJ and

12     Commander Tutinac.  All the rest of us told our story as we had been

13     coached.

14        Q.   And how did you feel about lying at those proceedings?

15        A.   Well, you see, it was a very peculiar situation when several

16     idiots kill small children.  I could not find any justification in

17     patriotic feelings or whatever, and at that moment I decided if I'm ever

18     call as a witness again I'll tell the real story; but at that time I did

19     not know the trial would be repeated.

20             You have to understand my head was at stake.  The consequences of

21     telling the truth without any protection - and at that time in the

22     judicial system of Serbia the institution of insider witness did not

23     exist at all - would have been horrible, and I could not even contemplate

24     it.

25        Q.   Now, you told us yesterday that there was a second trial against

Page 2848

 1     Sasa Cvetan, and you have said that today.  Where did this second trial

 2     take place?

 3        A.   The second trial was held in Belgrade.  There was a special

 4     chamber for war crimes in the District Court of Belgrade.

 5        Q.   And how was it that you were called as a witness in this second

 6     trial?

 7        A.   Well, simply the Trial Chamber re-invited all the witnesses that

 8     had appeared in the first trial plus some additional witnesses.  So I was

 9     already on record as a witness in the first trial, and I was

10     automatically summoned to the second one.

11        Q.   And did you tell a different version of the incident at this

12     second trial than what you had told the court in the first trial against

13     Sasa Cvetan?

14        A.   I would not call it a different version.  I would call it the

15     truth.

16        Q.   And what made you change your mind about telling the truth this

17     second time that you testified about this incident?

18        A.   At that trial in Belgrade, some of the children who survived the

19     massacre testified before me, and I followed the media reports of their

20     testimony, and I told all my acquaintances and friends among the

21     Skorpions that if I am asked to appear as a witness by the court I will

22     say that the crime had been committed by the Skorpions.  That was the

23     decision I had made.

24             Secondly, I had no moral right -- you see, some NGOs in Serbia

25     condemned the whole MUP and the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit for this

Page 2849

 1     crime, whereas I know that the regular SAJ and MUP have no involvement

 2     and no blame for this, and that's why I decided to tell the truth.  Then

 3     after that, I was granted protective measures, special protective

 4     measures, by the court.

 5        Q.   Thank you.

 6             MS. KRAVETZ:  With the assistance of the usher, I with like to

 7     show two exhibits to the witness.  These are 00951 and 00952.

 8        Q.   If you could first look at the larger -- the thicker document you

 9     have there.  Do you recognise that document, sir?

10        A.   Yes.  At the top I see "Judge Biljana Sinanovic."  I remember

11     her.  She was the Presiding Judge at the trial in Belgrade; and this must

12     be the verdict, the judgement in the trial against Sasa Cvetan.

13        Q.   Could you now look at the second document, the thinner document,

14     and tell me if you recognise that document.

15        A.   This is the confirmed judgement, the confirmed trial judgement,

16     confirmed by the Supreme Court.  This is a verdict of the Supreme Court

17     confirming the trial judgement.  You must know that I am not a

18     professional lawyer.

19        Q.   Yes.  I understand that.

20             MS. KRAVETZ:  Your Honours, I seek to tender these two exhibits

21     these are 00951 and 00952, and I ask that those two exhibits be received.

22             JUDGE PARKER:  They will be received.  Already they are exhibits.

23     951 is Exhibit P40, 952 is Exhibit P41.

24             MS. KRAVETZ:  Sorry.  I was not aware of that, Your Honours.

25             At this stage I have no further questions for this witness.

Page 2850

1     Thank you.

 2             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you very much Ms. Kravetz.

 3             Mr. Djurdjic, do you have cross-examination?

 4             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I do have

 5     a couple of questions.

 6             Could I just see P40 again?  It slipped by me somehow.  Could we

 7     call it up again on the screen, because I think the witness has seen the

 8     judgement, but he did not look at the date.  We did not see the date, so

 9     I'm not quite sure which judgement it was.  17 June 2005.  And could we

10     now call up P41.  Yes.  Right.  Thank you.

11                           Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:

12        Q.   [Interpretation] Witness, my name is Veljko Djurdjic, I'm a

13     member of the Defence team of the accused, Vlastimir Djordjevic.  I'm

14     being assisted by Ms. Mary O'Leary, member of the team, whereas the lead

15     counsel Dragoljub Djordjevic is temporarily absent.

16             You have more experience before this Tribunal than I do, so I

17     will just remind you to speak more slowly as we speak the same language

18     so that the interpreters and the court reporter can do their job properly

19     and that all that we say is properly recorded.

20             Mr. Stoparic, would I be right in saying that, guided by

21     patriotic reasons, you joined the volunteers in 1999?

22        A.   I see no other reasons I could have had apart from patriotism.

23        Q.   Am I right in saying that your only motivation in 1999 was your

24     desire to join in at the request of Slobodan Medic to defend the country

25     against the NATO aggression and against the activities of the

Page 2851

 1     Kosovo Liberation Army?

 2        A.   Correct.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that you had never committed any crime

 4     against the civilian population in all your years of warfare -- of

 5     soldiering?

 6        A.   Fortunately I did not.

 7        Q.   From 1991 until end 1999, all your activities were strictly

 8     within the framework of the military operations your participated in?

 9        A.   Yes.  Or let's make it even more specific.  Sometimes I just held

10     my position as a soldier.

11        Q.   Am I right in saying that as a commander of the Scouts Platoon in

12     1999 you did not issue an order to your subordinates to kill Albanian

13     civilians?

14        A.   No, I did not.  The only order that I could have given them was

15     to kill any terrorist they run into.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Would I be right in saying that as the commander of

17     the Scouts Platoon you never issued an order to your subordinates to

18     expel Albanian civilians?

19        A.   No.  No.  Apart from this unfortunate incident in Podujevo, I

20     never even had any contact with civilians.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Would I be right in saying that as the commander of

22     the Scouts Platoon you never issued an order to your subordinates to

23     torch Albanian houses?

24        A.   Until the moment when I was wounded, which I believe was on the

25     2nd of May, I never even entered densely populated areas.  We only passed

Page 2852

 1     through several empty Mahalas.  I didn't even hear of any houses that

 2     were burnt.  We did some clearing of forests, and we rarely came across

 3     any populated areas.

 4        Q.   My question was:  Is it true that you never gave any orders to

 5     your subordinates to torch Albanian houses in March 1999?

 6        A.   I was not a high-ranking officer, but I was the commander of the

 7     Scouts Platoon, which would be the strike-force of my unit; and our only

 8     activity is military action.  After we perform our action, other units

 9     take over while we rest.  So the very idea that some of my soldiers could

10     have torched anything on their own initiative is impossible.  I never

11     issued an order of that kind.

12        Q.   Am I right in saying that you as the commander of the

13     Scouts Platoon during the 1999 war never issued an order to your

14     subordinates to destroy mosques or other religious buildings in

15     Kosovo and Metohija?

16        A.   No, I did not.

17        Q.   Just make it clear.  You are saying no to "Am I right," or "Did

18     you issue an order?"

19        A.   I never issued an order for a religious or cultural structure to

20     be destroyed.

21        Q.   Am I right in saying that during the 1999 war you as the

22     commander of the Scouts Platoon were never ordered to kill Albanian

23     civilians by anyone?  You were never ordered to expel them, to set their

24     houses on fire, to take away their IDs and other documents and shred

25     them?

Page 2853

 1        A.   No, I never received such orders from anyone.

 2        Q.   Did I understand you correctly as saying that you were proud that

 3     as a reservist of the MUP you would be attached to the

 4     Special Anti-Terrorist Unit?

 5        A.   Very proud you could say.  May I add one thing?  I considered

 6     that as a reward for all my prior experience.  I thought that the

 7     security background checks had been run and somebody up there knew that I

 8     had always made every effort to behave appropriately.  I did not need to

 9     know about Geneva Conventions, but in a war if you asked me whether a

10     woman holding a baby in her arms should be shot or not, I wouldn't need a

11     Geneva Convention to tell me that it's wrong.  There is something inside

12     me that would have been against it, that would not have allowed me to do

13     it at all.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Stoparic, am I right in saying that in peacetime

15     the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, SAJ of the MUP of Serbia, does not have

16     a reserve force?

17        A.   I said as much to the Prosecutor when she questioned me.  This

18     was an extraordinary situation.  As far as I know, they perform

19     extraordinary tasks in peacetime, and they did not need a reserve force.

20        Q.   Thank you.  Am I right in saying that on the 23rd of March, 1999,

21     a state of immediate threat of war had been declared?

22        A.   I don't know the exact date, but I know the system.  There was

23     first a declaration of the immediate threat of war and then a declaration

24     of war.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that you set out to Kosovo and Metohija

Page 2854

 1     when the NATO aggression against Serbia, that is the

 2     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, had already started?

 3        A.   I think that it was already two or three days into the NATO

 4     air-strikes.

 5        Q.   Am I right in saying that in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,

 6     a general mobilisation had been declared?

 7        A.   Yes, you're right.

 8        Q.   Am I right in saying that once the general mobilisation had been

 9     declared, all conscripts were called up to report according to their

10     wartime assignment?

11        A.   Yes, according to their military evidentiary speciality and their

12     wartime assignment.

13        Q.   Am I right in saying that Mr. Slobodan Medic, when he came to

14     Sid, told you that you would be assigned to the reserve force of the MUP

15     and that you would be assigned to the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, the

16     SAJ?

17        A.   I remember clearly when I asked if I would be in the army or the

18     police.  He said I would be in the police.  He didn't say I would be in

19     the reserve force of the police.  He said we would be in coordinated

20     action with the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Stoparic, would I be right in saying that any and

22     all persons who set out towards Kosovo and Metohija as members of the

23     reserve force of the MUP had previously done their regular military

24     service?

25        A.   According to the regulations, they should have.  But I believe

Page 2855

 1     that in that group of our volunteers, there were one or two people who

 2     had slipped by without meeting that requirement.

 3        Q.   Because you yourself had done your regular military service.  Am

 4     I right in saying that every recruit, when they report for their regular

 5     military service, is familiarised with the rules of warfare and the

 6     Geneva Conventions during their basic training?

 7        A.   I said that when I served in the reconnaissance infantry during

 8     my regular military service, I was trained by the -- in the rules and

 9     customs of war as part of my training.  I did my military service in

10     Pristina.

11        Q.   Since you have experience, military experience in both peacetime

12     and in wartime, can you tell me that the basic training is common to all

13     regardless of the their speciality, is common to all recruits?

14        A.   Yes.  First there is general basic training, boot camp and other

15     drills before you are sent to specialised training.  And as part of the

16     basic trainings, you are trained in all the rules and customs of war, and

17     there is within the framework of that both practical and theoretical

18     training.

19        Q.   Am I right in saying that after your first meeting with

20     Mr. Slobodan Medic in March 1999 in Sid, you drew up a list of

21     individuals who wanted to go to Kosovo and Metohija and that the same

22     list was held by Petar Petrasevic, if I understood you correctly, and

23     another colleague of yours was also given a notebook with a list of names

24     of people who were to engage.  Can you clarify this for me?

25        A.   Yes, I will.  Pero Petrasevic was given an official task by Medic

Page 2856

 1     to make lists of people who wanted to go.  It took 24 hours to draw up

 2     these lists.  People know me in Sid, and people knew that I was headed

 3     for the theatre of war.  Once the people learned about the fact that

 4     people were to be sent to Kosovo, people came to me because they knew

 5     that I was in the game.  After that, the lists that I made, I gave them

 6     to Pero Petrasevic.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Bearing in mind the entire group of men who were

 8     headed towards Kosovo, from your former unit of the oil industry of

 9     Krajina only a very few people, and that were the main people, headed

10     towards Kosovo and Metohija together with you.

11        A.   Yes.  The leadership and some that I also used to make up my

12     unit.  They were experienced men.

13        Q.   It seems to me that you said, and correct me if I'm wrong, that

14     your Reconnaissance Platoon numbered 30 men.

15        A.   I will tell you exactly.  The Reconnaissance Platoon was divided

16     into two squads.  One was headed by me.  The other was headed by

17     Milovan Tomic.  These two squads numbered up to 30 men.

18        Q.   So these were quite sizable squad, 15 men each.

19        A.   The Reconnaissance Squads have a different task than normal and

20     ordinary squads.

21        Q.   Now, when you look at the leading structure in your unit, and I'm

22     referring to company, platoon, commanders, and other commanding officer,

23     how many other men had been with you in the unit that protected the oil

24     refineries?

25        A.   The majority of them were already in command of platoons.  The

Page 2857

 1     majority of those who were not with Skorpion were known to have been in

 2     other units.  It was not a requirement for them to be with the Skorpions

 3     only.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Now, this second tier structure that we talked about,

 5     how many men were there?

 6        A.   We went to Kosovo with approximately 120 men, excluding the

 7     commander and his deputy as commanding officer.  They were divided into

 8     four platoons and one Reconnaissance Platoon.  Each platoon was made up

 9     of two or more squads.  So, one platoon had a platoon commander and

10     several squad commanders.  So the commanding structure would be 4 times

11     3, plus we in the Reconnaissance Platoon, and the commander, and his

12     deputy; and also to be added to that that should be the commander of the

13     active forces who was entitled to issue orders to us.

14        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.  You have just answered my question

15     concerning the men who left as a unit.

16             Just to add up the figures, you said 14 -- actually, 12 plus 2 is

17     14, plus the commander and the deputy makes the total of 16.  So this was

18     the command structure.

19        A.   Plus/minus one man because one platoon could have had more squads

20     than the others.

21        Q.   Am I right to say that among these men were volunteers who were

22     born and were living in the territory of the Republic of Serbia?

23        A.   That there were men in our unit born in Serbia, yes.  I was born

24     in Serbia.  But in our unit deployed in Kosovo were people who had been

25     living in Croatia at the time.

Page 2858

 1        Q.   Thank you.

 2        A.   Excuse me, just to make it clearer for you.  The majority of the

 3     unit members were men who -- who later became refugees.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Stoparic, am I right to say that -- I'm referring

 5     to the unit commanded by Slobodan Medic and the meetings held at that

 6     level.  You didn't attend any other meetings at any higher command level?

 7        A.   Whenever these meetings took place he would attend if invited.

 8     According to my rank and according to the rules of service, I couldn't

 9     attend a meeting where you had colonels in presence.  I was a squad or

10     platoon commander.  Only if he had some specific task to be carried out

11     on the ground, that's a different story; but according to my job

12     description, so to speak, I couldn't have attended such meetings, but the

13     commander did though.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Am I right to say that all the knowledge you have

15     about what transpired at the higher command meetings came from

16     Mr. Slobodan Medic who conveyed to you what happened in those meetings?

17        A.   I would sometimes escort him to the building where the meetings

18     was taking place, but I couldn't attend any briefings.  He himself would

19     only convey the orders that he thought were appropriate on a need-to-know

20     basis to be conveyed to us.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Did Mr. Slobodan Medic like to brag?

22        A.   You're the first one to ask me that.  He was an egotist.  He

23     liked to brag about things.

24        Q.   Could you elaborate on this for the benefit of the Trial Chamber

25     and all of us if possible?

Page 2859

 1        A.   I have known Mr. Medic for years.  You use the word "to brag."

 2     Yes, he liked to exaggerate his role in the war .  I don't know how to

 3     describe this.  If I use some bad words, people will say that I hate him.

 4     Therefore, I'm reluctant to use some bad language.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  I'm not going to insist on this any longer.  I

 6     understand your point.

 7             I wanted to ask you this:  Are you aware that he was the

 8     commander of the Territorial Defence in the village of Banovci in 1991

 9     when the independent autonomous district of Slavonia, Baranja, and

10     Western Srem was established?

11        A.   Yes, he was.  Whether he was the commander for a period of time

12     and then replaced by someone else, but anyway, he was in the

13     Territorial Defence of the Vinkovacki Banovci village, his native

14     village.

15        Q.   Are you aware that in his capacity of the commander of the TO,

16     Vinkovacki Banovci, he was appointed commander of a group that was a

17     signed to guard the oil fields of the Krajina?

18        A.   Officially I know that Mrgud appointed him to this post taking

19     into account the reputation that he enjoyed in the area and that with his

20     TEO and with the assistance of the Yugoslav People's Army, he liberated

21     this area and of course taking into consideration his good knowledge of

22     the area and the terrain.  I know that he was appointed to this post,

23     that is, to guard a vitally important infrastructural facility.

24        Q.   Am I right to say that these oil fields at the time in 1991 were

25     on the separation line with the Republic of Croatia?  Let's say that

Page 2860

 1     there's -- the border was close to these fields or in the fields

 2     themselves.

 3        A.   Luckily there was a natural border and that was the River Bosut.

 4     That is where the frontier was.  Therefore, guarding the oil drills, we

 5     had our zone of responsibility stretching along the River Bosut in the

 6     length of 10 kilometres.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Am I right in saying that after the Croatian army had

 8     attacked the Medak Pocket, in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, on the

 9     principle of double criteria, units from that territory took weapons and

10     artillery and that the command of the army of the republic -- of Serbian

11     Krajina was established?

12        A.   You are right.  One part of the Knin Karija [phoen] and part of

13     Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem were declared a single state without

14     any territorial connections and with a single army and with a single

15     command.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Am I right to say that in the aftermath of this

17     event, this security detail was placed under the command of the army of

18     the Republic of Serbian Krajina, i.e., became part of it as a specially

19     trained and best-equipped independent unit?

20        A.   I remember General Loncar, who was supposed to be the superior

21     officer.

22        Q.   Thank you.  Is it fair to say that after the signing of the

23     Erdut Agreement sometime in mid-1996, I don't know of the exact date, the

24     oil fields were handed over to the United Nations?  First answer me this.

25        A.   In the village of Djelatovac we managed to build a barracks and

Page 2861

 1     this was also handed over to the blue helmets.  These were dark-skinned

 2     lads.  I don't know from which country they came, including the oil

 3     fields.  As for the weapons, we drove it to the Sid with the escort of

 4     the Serbian police and handed it over to the barracks -- at the barracks,

 5     including all the armoured equipment and all the infantry weapons.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Is it fair to say that the unit that was guarding the

 7     Krajina oil fields was disbanded and ceased to exist in mid 1996?

 8        A.   Yes, immediately after the Erdut Agreement this took place.  And

 9     that did not exist in any of the Serbian military structures.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Would you agree with me that many the unit of the oil

11     industry of Krajina had never been a paramilitary formation?

12        A.   I'm someone who does not believe in paramilitary formations, and

13     there was no way for us to be paramilitary.

14        Q.   Let us summarise.  Up until 1993, this was the unit securing the

15     oil facilities of Krajina, and after the mobilisation, it was placed

16     under the command of the corps of the Army of the Republic of

17     Serbian Krajina, and then in 1996, following the hand-over of the oil

18     fields, this unit was disbanded and ceased to exist.

19        A.   Yes.  That's the conclusion that we have reached.  That's

20     correct.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Stoparic, am I right to say that you left

22     Novi Sad in buses, which is mentioned in your statement, and that you

23     reached the area of Bubanj Potok where you stopped in order to be issued

24     uniforms and weapons?

25        A.   Yes.  I just remembered, and I didn't mention that in my

Page 2862

 1     statement.  When we were mobilised an order was that none of us should

 2     take any of our old uniforms so that we wouldn't look like a motley crew

 3     and that they would all -- that we would all be issued identical

 4     uniforms.

 5        Q.   Am I right to say that you, as MUP reservists, were issued

 6     uniforms with the camouflage garment in the field where you stopped?

 7        A.   Yes.  We received the whole kit, uniforms, boots, et cetera,

 8     except for weapons.

 9        Q.   Am I right to say that on the caps that you were issued, there

10     was an emblem of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia with the tricolour of

11     the Republic of Serbia?

12        A.   Yes.  That was the emblem in force at the time.  It has a yellow

13     strip and a flag in the middle.

14        Q.   Am I right to say that the officials of the MUP who were

15     distributing the uniforms did not give you any emblems of the Skorpion,

16     that is the unit that used to exist in Slavonia, Baranja, and

17     Western Srem?

18        A.   In answer to the Prosecutor's question, I said that

19     Srdjan Manojlovic was the one who distributed the Skorpion's emblems.

20     Some of them even had SAJ emblems which I understand only that they

21     obtained it by themselves.  The officials distributing this to -- to us

22     didn't give us any other emblems other than those that I mentioned.

23        Q.   You mentioned weapons, so let us wrap up this topic.  Am I right

24     to say that you were issued weapons only once you arrived at the

25     accommodation centre in Prolom Banja?

Page 2863

 1        A.   The weapons was following us either from Belgrade or I don't know

 2     from where.  It was loaded on a truck, but you have to understand that

 3     due to the bombing, we were travelling in a stretched column in order to

 4     deceive NATO that this was an army formation.  I don't know exactly when

 5     we were joined by this truck-load of weapons, and we were given weapons

 6     in Prolom Banja.  It was an entirely new load of weapons.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Am I right to say that you were accommodated in

 8     Prolom Banja in a hotel that was used for accommodation by the MUP of the

 9     Republic of Serbia at the time?

10        A.   I don't know who owned this hotel, whether it was MUP or not, but

11     we stayed there.  I didn't like that idea.  I was afraid of the bombing.

12     I would have preferred to stayed -- to have stayed in tents.

13        Q.   Thank you.  Let us locate precisely Prolom Banja now.  If I can

14     be of assistance.  Is it correct that Prolom Banja is located in the

15     so-called Serbia proper, that is, before the administrative boundary with

16     the province of Kosovo and Metohija?

17        A.   Prolom Banja is in Serbia proper before Djavulja Varos, because

18     Djavulja Varos is the first settlement across the border of Kosovo.

19        Q.   Thank you.  And now that you mentioned Djavulja Varos, can I

20     conclude that you used the old road to go from Prolom Banja to Podujevo?

21     You did not use the main road?

22        A.   I mentioned Djavulja Varos because in anticipation of going out

23     into the field to be deployed, I went there on my own, because it's a

24     famous historical location where the Tzar Lazar gave communion to the

25     troops before the battle of Kosovo in 1389.  But now when you mention it,

Page 2864

 1     I don't know which road we used exactly to go to Podujevo, but it was

 2     somewhere in the vicinity of Djavulja Varos that we first got the news

 3     that we would be sent to Podujevo.  That was the first I heard of it.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that on the 28th of March you left

 5     Prolom Banja and went to Podujevo by buses?

 6        A.   I don't know the date, but we did go to Podujevo on buses.

 7        Q.   Is it correct that upon arrival at Podujevo, after stepping off

 8     the bus, you received orders from commander Slobodan Medic to look for

 9     accommodation in abandoned local houses?

10        A.   The first 15, 20 minutes we were not allowed to get off the bus.

11     After that, the order was given that in that street, whose name I didn't

12     know, we should find a place to stay because there would be no action for

13     that day.  We would spend the night there.  And then the next day, we

14     didn't know what was going to happen, but we expected some action.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that at the moment when you got off the

16     bus and you started looking for a place to stay, you were not yet placed

17     at the -- under the command of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit?

18        A.   Well, I don't know.  Nobody told me that I was under the command

19     of such and such a person.  I knew that Medic could not be the

20     Commander-In-Chief.  That was perfectly clear.  But nobody told me that

21     we would be under their command three hours later.  Whether we were

22     already under their command or not, whether it was already decided at

23     that time or it was decided later, I wouldn't be able to say; because as

24     we were looking for a place to stay, there were also SAJ policemen

25     around, PJP policemen around, other troops.

Page 2865

 1        Q.   Maybe I was not quite precise in my question.  You, at the moment

 2     when you were stepping off the bus and starting to look for a place to

 3     stay, you had not yet been placed under any particular command?

 4        A.   Well, I was not aware of it, although it would have been stupid

 5     if it had been that way.  It would have been like we were on a school

 6     trip to Kosovo.  Somebody must have decided something about our place in

 7     the hierarchy.

 8        Q.   Well, those are two different things, the actual state of

 9     affairs, and what had been decided in theory.  They didn't always

10     coincide.  But never mind.

11             Am I right in saying that at the moment of your arrival the

12     department of internal affairs in Podujevo had been damaged by NATO

13     air-strikes?

14        A.   I'm almost sure that I had seen that building damaged, and that

15     was not strange.  Police stations were the first target for NATO

16     airplanes.

17        Q.   Precisely because of that well-known fact, am I right in saying

18     that all the buildings of military use such as military barracks and

19     police stations were relocated at the beginning of the aggression?

20        A.   Well, our officers did not go to school for nothing.  All the

21     buildings, all the departments that were supposed to be targeted by NATO

22     were relocated, and all the efforts were made to camouflage whatever

23     could not be relocated.

24        Q.   Am I right in saying that the place where you stopped, where your

25     buses stopped in Podujevo, was at least one kilometre away from the

Page 2866

 1     building that used to house the Department of Internal Affairs in

 2     Podujevo?

 3        A.   Well, it's difficult to say now.  It was not across the street

 4     from the bus, certainly, but whether it was one kilometre away or less, I

 5     couldn't tell exactly.

 6        Q.   I understand.  It was quite a few years ago.  Am I right in

 7     saying that when you got off the bus Mr. Slobodan Medic went to attend a

 8     meeting at the command?

 9        A.   Shall I answer?  Yes.  Mr. Slobodan Medic left to attend a

10     meeting with someone, we didn't know who.  And you're right, at that

11     moment, all our troops were under the command of platoon commanders.

12        Q.   Is it correct that you did not accompany Mr. Medic to that

13     meeting?

14        A.   Some of the members of our unit did accompany him, but not me.  I

15     never even said I did.

16        Q.   Thank you.

17        A.   Excuse me.  May I add?  I don't think this meeting was being held

18     indoors, because of the NATO air-strikes.  I think they were holding it

19     in some sort of yard.

20        Q.   I'd like to come back to those documents, the judgement and the

21     appeal that we have seen before.  Is it the case that the trial first

22     began against Cvetan and Demirovic in the District Court in Prokuplje.

23        A.   Yes.  I don't know if it's the District Court or not, but it's in

24     Prokuplje.  And I believe that's actually the Pristina court that was

25     relocated to Prokuplje.

Page 2867

 1        Q.   Well, I know that it is the District Court that handles homicide.

 2     But that court was later moved to Belgrade, and Judge Sinanovic took over

 3     the case.  Am I right?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   And Judge Sinanovic issued the judgement in that case for the

 6     first time?

 7        A.   Yes.  She determined the maximum sentence envisaged by our law.

 8        Q.   Yes, 20 years is the maximum sentence.  But that was the

 9     traditional District Court, and the Appeals Court varied, annulled that

10     sentence, that judgement.

11        A.   I was abroad at the time.  Possibly, I don't know.

12        Q.   But look at the dates.  We saw that the judgement was from 2005.

13     Do you still have it?

14        A.   28th June, 2005.

15        Q.   So this judgement and the decision of the Appeals Court to reject

16     the appeal resulted in the final judgement in this case but only when the

17     trial was renewed, when the case was retried.

18        A.   You're right, but I didn't know that the Supreme Court had

19     ordered a retrial, but I can see it now from the dates, 2005.

20        Q.   Am I right that after that judgement, proceedings were initiated

21     against another four persons for the same crime in Podujevo of the

22     28th of March, 1999?

23        A.   Yes.  There had been investigation, and this case is now in the

24     phase of trial against these four other people, and the case is known as

25     Podujevo 2; and there is another insider witness involved, a protected

Page 2868

 1     witness.

 2        Q.   Will you tell me about these four persons?

 3        A.   Zeljko Djukic is one of the accused.  The second, Dragan Medic,

 4     Dragan Borojevic, and number four, Miodrag Solaja, and there is one

 5     protected witness involved.  I know who the protected witness is, but I

 6     will not name him.

 7        Q.   You said that one of the accused was Zeljko Djukic.  Is that the

 8     one whose nickname was Brka?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   The man who on your way back from Podujevo said that he himself

11     had three children and which idiot had committed this crime?

12        A.   Yes, that's the one.

13        Q.   Yes.  I get it now.

14             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is it a good time

15     for a break?

16             JUDGE PARKER:  Yes.  We will have the first break now and resume

17     at 11.00.

18                           --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

19                           --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.

20             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic.

21             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

22        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, what I would like you now to tell me is something

23     about what Mrs. Kravetz asked you about concerning the investigation that

24     you conducted at the time when you left Podujevo and went to

25     Prolom Banja.  How did you carry out this internal investigation, and did

Page 2869

 1     it yield any results?

 2        A.   Let me explain you in this way:  The majority of men, who did not

 3     take part in the execution of these innocent civilians, of course

 4     disagreed with the whole thing.  We carried out an unofficial internal

 5     investigation.  Various commanders of squads tried to find, including

 6     myself, whether anyone from my platoon took part in any of that.  I might

 7     have missed something.  But my impression is that this investigation was

 8     obstructed by the commander.  This is just my supposition, and it is

 9     based on the reason that the commander's brother took part in that.

10     Therefore, it was possible that our investigation revealed who those

11     involved were, but that is where it stopped.  Nothing else happened.

12             Maybe I and other people as well should have gone to the first

13     next police station and reported once we got home.  I didn't think,

14     though, that it was necessary.  I thought that the police would do their

15     job as they did.

16        Q.   So you did internally what you did, but nothing that was

17     discovered was passed on either to the commander, who you said obstructed

18     it, nor to any of the organs that were supposed to be engaged in this.

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   I know that you were seriously wounded in May, but I would like

21     to ask you something else.  Do you believe me when I tell you that the

22     Podujevo organ of the internal affairs submitted on the -- filed, on the

23     23rd of May, criminal reports against Sasa Cvetan and Dejan Demirovic?

24        A.   There's nothing for me to believe.  I know that for a fact.

25        Q.   Do you also know that on the same date the district public

Page 2870

 1     prosecutor's office in Prokuplje filed a request to the court in

 2     Prokuplje to investigate Sasa Cvetan and Demirovic?

 3        A.   The victims' bodies were still on the crime screen.  The crime

 4     screen was secured, and the investigating judge arrived on the spot,

 5     including the police organs.  They carried out an on-site investigation,

 6     retrieved the cartridges, but I didn't see it myself because I was sent

 7     back to Prolom Banja, but I knew that that is how it happened.

 8        Q.   On the 24th of May, 1999, the District Court in Prokuplje issued

 9     a decision to investigate Sasa Cvetan and Dejan Demirovic.  Am I right?

10        A.   I don't know about that, but it sounds logical.  I said that

11     Sasa Cvetan and Dejan Demirovic were arrested after the

12     Kumanovo Agreement and it makes sense that, according to this, an

13     investigation was carried out.

14        Q.   Let he is now go back to the Kumanovo Agreement.  Do you know

15     when the Kumanovo Agreement was signed?

16        A.   I was in hospital at the time.  I see the Kumanovo Agreement as

17     the point when the war ended.

18        Q.   You said that it was in June 1999 that the Kumanovo Agreement was

19     signed?

20        A.   I don't know the exact date, but I know that these two were

21     arrested after our forces left Kosovo.

22        Q.   Is it possible that you are mistaken?  A short while ago during

23     your testimony you said that when you left hospital that you met these

24     two in a cafe in some town.

25        A.   In Novi Sad, yes.

Page 2871

 1        Q.   But towards the end of June or in early July was the time when

 2     you left hospital.  Am I right?

 3        A.   I spent two or three days first in Pristina hospital then at the

 4     Batanjica in Belgrade; and I was attached a device in Belgrade, and I

 5     left the hospital.

 6        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, I'm asking you these questions because I have a

 7     decision to carry out investigation issued by the

 8     Prokuplje District Court, dated 24th May, 1999, in which it is stated

 9     that Sasa Cvetan and Demirovic Dejan were to be placed in detention

10     counting as of 21st of May, 1999, which would only indicate that they

11     were arrested at the time, but that when you met them a month later, it

12     seems that they were released from detention.

13        A.   Yes.  They may have been placed in detention on the date that you

14     mentioned, but the question is whether they managed to arrest them all.

15     I don't know.  I would have no objection if they had spent three months

16     in detention.  But I think that they told me that they spent ten days,

17     and believe me, I have no reason to add anything to my statement that is

18     not true.  I may have got the dates mixed up, but this is what I know

19     about this as being the truth.

20        Q.   Am I right to say that following the filing of a criminal report,

21     the MUP organs or the police have no further influence on the duration

22     and the procedure of the processes conducted by courts?

23        A.   Only based on an additional prosecutor's orders they can extend

24     investigation to involve other persons.  That's how I understand it.

25        Q.   Everything that we talked about so far concerning the duration of

Page 2872

 1     trial is in the hands of the court and judiciary.  Am I right?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Is it fair to say -- actually, I am right, because a

 4     minute ago you said that ten days after your return to Podujevo,

 5     Zivko Trajkovic came and told you that you would be going home.

 6             Now, did you return your weapon in Prolom Banja or did you do

 7     that something on your way from Prolom Banja?

 8        A.   You're right.  We were sent to a facility in Belgrade, and

 9     believe me, as I sit here today I cannot tell you whether I put my rifle

10     on a truck in Prolom Banja or if I did that in this facility in Belgrade

11     or in the suburbs of Belgrade.  I cannot tell you exactly.

12        Q.   Thank you.  Can we then conclude that if one-third of members of

13     your unit immediately on the 28th left Prolom Banja, that some 70 or 80

14     of you went home from Prolom Banja?

15        A.   Yes.  I should say so.  The first men who went away returned

16     their weapons in Prolom Banja and left, and by simple arithmetic that

17     would be the number of the rest of us.

18        Q.   Am I right to say that after a certain period of time following

19     your return to Sid, you were contacted by Pero Petrasevic?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Were you also contacted by Zeljko Djukic, aka Brka?

22        A.   How do you know that?  I think that was the case, yes.

23        Q.   Mr. Witness, this is written in your statements.  You mentioned

24     the nickname, and then you mentioned the name today.

25        A.   Sorry, I have forgotten what I said in my statements.

Page 2873

 1        Q.   That was the Brka who got cross when he was on the bus and who is

 2     currently on trial?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Tell me, what was discussed on that occasion between Petrasevic,

 5     Brka, and yourself?

 6        A.   They told me that they -- we were going back to Kosovo.  I could

 7     have remembered better this conversation earlier.

 8        Q.   Please, whatever you cannot remember, just say that you can't

 9     remember.

10        A.   If there is something important, please remind me.

11        Q.   Thank you.  We will move on.  Let us move on.  I'm sorry you

12     don't remember.

13             Am I right to say that for the second time you went and were

14     billeted in Kosovo Polje?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Am I right to say that apart from your unit in Kosovo Polje,

17     there was no other unit with the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit?

18        A.   I believed that there was another unit as well, but I cannot say

19     for sure that they were attached to the SAJ.  Why do I think that?

20     Because I saw soldiers who used to fight in Bosnia and -- as volunteers,

21     and they were definitely on the police reserve, but I cannot say whether

22     they participated in coordinated actions with PJP.

23        Q.   I'm asking you this because you took part in the action

24     Malo Jezerce as a member of the MUP reserve attached to the SAJ.  In

25     addition to active personnel of the SAJ and your unit, no one else took

Page 2874

 1     part in this operation; right?

 2        A.   No, that's right.

 3        Q.   Am I right to say that in Malo Jezerce operation was not then

 4     operation in which the VJ took part nor the unit for special operations

 5     or JSO?

 6        A.   I didn't say -- see any members of the JSO or the Yugoslav Army,

 7     because in the actions that we carried out together with the SAJ, we

 8     didn't need any support in terms of heavy artillery.  We had one or two

 9     mortars.

10        Q.   Can you tell us briefly what your task was in the Jezerce

11     operation?

12        A.   Our task was to clear the terrain from the pockets of resistance

13     by the KLA, to clear the elevations.  I remember even one elevation that

14     held a repeater, and that was an important feature for us.  To drive them

15     out and to liquidate them, if necessary, in action and to get control of

16     that area.

17        Q.   Am I right in saying that you performed this task as set out in a

18     disciplined manner?

19        A.   Speaking for me personally, yes, because I received a

20     commendation from professionals such as Tutinac and Trajkovic.  I even

21     got a decoration on the 13th of May, the day of security.  I always tried

22     as hard as I could be professional in my duties.

23        Q.   That decoration that you received from the

24     Minister Vlatko Stojiljkovic, was it also a declaration for the entire

25     unit that participated in the action?

Page 2875

 1        A.   I wouldn't say it was meant to include the whole unit.  It was in

 2     my name.

 3        Q.   I didn't mean this literally.

 4        A.   Well if you allow me to add.  In that second deployment in

 5     Kosovo, in that second field mission, not only I but the majority of us

 6     made every effort to demonstrate to the SAJ officers that what happened

 7     in Kosovo does not qualify all of us that we can be disciplined and that

 8     we can act in accordance with all the rules and customs of war, and I

 9     believe we were successful.  And until I was wounded, I believe we did an

10     excellent job.

11        Q.   Is it correct that during this operation in which you were

12     involved until you were wounded, that Albanian civilians, whom you had

13     seen from afar, were withdrawing with their belongings together with the

14     KLA as the KLA was pulling out?

15        A.   In my second field mission I saw groups of Albanian civilians

16     several times, and infiltrated among them members of the KLA.  I would

17     see them at the distance of 1 or 2 kilometres, and they were retreating

18     somewhere.  But let me say that I was wounded by a civilian.

19        Q.   Thank you.  You mean a member of the KLA dressed as a civilian?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   But technically speaking, you as a reconnaissance squad were

22     searching the terrain while the remainder of the unit was sealing off the

23     area?

24        A.   We as the Reconnaissance Platoon were supposed to mop up the

25     terrain and clear the pockets of resistance.  It was a choice between

Page 2876

 1     eliminating them or running them -- into them again.  The first night the

 2     remainder of the unit succeeded in keeping control of the terrain while

 3     we got time to rest before we continued.

 4        Q.   You mean to say that the remainder of the unit, that is the part

 5     of the unit that was not the Reconnaissance Platoon, was stationary, and

 6     their job was to maintain control of the terrain that you had already

 7     cleared?

 8        A.   You know that every unit is divided into platoons, 1st, 2nd, and

 9     3rd, and it's not by accident that the 1st Platoon is called the

10     1st Platoon.  It is composed of the best troops, and the other platoons

11     are supposed to support the 1st Platoon.  So the 1st Platoon would

12     sometimes take part in the action if we needed it, and the other platoons

13     were engaged in the job that you just described.

14        Q.   Am I right in saying that in this second field mission in

15     April and May 1999, you were not present at a single meeting, save for

16     meetings within your unit?

17        A.   For instance, in that field mission we would reach a point, let's

18     say a forest, and Tutinac would be in the forest.  If he would hold a

19     small meeting like a briefing, I would attend; but I would never go to a

20     special meeting where I would be invited to come as an officer.

21        Q.   No, I did not mean briefings that were held as part of the action

22     but outside the action.

23        A.   Sometimes I would get orders from Tutinac himself because Tutinac

24     monitored the action, and he would assign me wherever he thought I would

25     be the most useful because he is a great professional.

Page 2877

 1        Q.   But outside of the action, you never attended any meetings

 2     outside of your unit?

 3        A.   In my second field mission I was practically in action all the

 4     time until I was wounded.

 5        Q.   After you were wounded, you said you were immediately transferred

 6     to hospital in Pristina where you had surgery, and then you were

 7     transferred to the orthopaedic clinic in the neighbourhood of Batajnica,

 8     in Belgrade.

 9        A.   Right.

10        Q.   Now could you explain greater detail what was your status?  What

11     were your rights as a wounded member of the reserve force of the MUP?

12     How long did it last?  What kind of material support did you receive,

13     et cetera?

14        A.   Let's go back a few years.  It was not the first time I was

15     wounded.  I had been wounded earlier before, and I was not able to

16     exercise any of my entitlements because I did not have the necessary

17     documentation.  Facing a medical panel once, a man on the panel told me

18     that as far as he is concerned, I was wounded in a settlement of accounts

19     between different Mafia gangs, if I don't have the papers to show that it

20     happened during the war.

21             The first step in the army would be to see the doctor in the

22     Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, Dr. Dragan Markovic, who had helped those

23     unfortunate children; and he monitored my progress when I was at home or

24     in hospital.  In all that time I would go to the base of the SAJ to pick

25     up my salary.  I went every two months to appear before a medical panel

Page 2878

 1     so that they would extend my sick leave for another two months.

 2     Everything was done professionally and according to the rules.

 3        Q.   You just mentioned the SAJ base.  I want to follow up on that.

 4             Am I right in saying that from the moment the war started until

 5     you were discharged from the hospital in June or July 1999, you did not

 6     visit the SAJ base in Batajnica?

 7        A.   I would only see passing by in my car those special vehicles, and

 8     I would, on the basis of that, know that it was the SAJ base, but I never

 9     went inside.

10        Q.   So only when you were discharged from the hospital did you go to

11     the SAJ base for the first time.

12        A.   Yes.  After that I visited many times.  I was received.  I had

13     lunch with members of the SAJ, and I received my salary there.

14        Q.   But that was all after the war, after the war ended?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, is it correct -- we've finished with that part

17     where you served of in the army, but is it correct that in 1999, when you

18     first went out into the field as a volunteer, you spent seven days in the

19     TO of Slavonia -- Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, and that after

20     those seven days you got a call-up from the JNA?

21        A.   My first engagement in the war was as part of the

22     Territorial Defence of Baranja, Slavonia, and Western Srem, which was

23     also under the JNA command because we were one state.  The

24     Territorial Defence of that area was also under the command of the JNA.

25     And then I was attached to the 1st Guards Brigade, and I was sent to

Page 2879

 1     Vukovar.

 2        Q.   Correct me if I'm wrong.  You got a call-up from the JNA to

 3     report to the 1st Guards Brigade; is that correct?

 4        A.   No.  They were already out in the field.  My whole platoon was

 5     reassigned.  We did get a call-up, but we were not supposed to go to

 6     Belgrade.  They had already arrived where we were.

 7        Q.   But was it an oral call-up or a written call-up?

 8        A.   As soon as we reported to that captain, he gave us certificates

 9     that we had reported.  So you can call it in writing.

10        Q.   That's what I mean.  Were you mobilised practically when you went

11     to the 1st Guards Brigade because you had received your wartime

12     assignment there?

13        A.   Yes, but in -- my rights and obligations did not change from when

14     I was a volunteer to when I became a reservists.

15        Q.   I'm not going to ask you about the various assignments in that

16     brigade, but in 1991 you were in Djelatovac as a member of the JNA, and

17     that's where you met -- when you met --

18             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter missed the name.

19             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   When did you -- when were you demobed from the JNA, which year?

21        A.   In Vukovar, I was assigned to the Leva Supoderica unit.  And

22     Leva Supoderica unit was subordinated to the 1st Guards Brigade.  So you

23     can reckon that I was a reservist of the JNA until Vukovar fell,

24     officially speaking.  And for the field service in Vukovar, I received my

25     salary when I went to Topcider in Belgrade to the base of the

Page 2880

 1     1st Guards Brigade.

 2             JUDGE PARKER:  In lines 20, 21, and 22 there was a name that put

 3     in your question that the interpreter missed.

 4             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I think I

 5     remember.  Let's clear it up with the witness.

 6        Q.   Is it right, Mr. Stoparic, I said that as a conscript in 1991 you

 7     were in Djelatovac and that's when you met Mr. Slobodan Medic?

 8        A.   Correct.

 9        Q.   And then I continued with my other questions.

10             Just tell me what year did Vukovar fall?

11        A.   Vukovar fell in November 1991.

12        Q.   And after Vukovar did you leave the Army of Yugoslavia and go to

13     Sid?

14        A.   After Vukovar fell the Guards Brigade retreated from the Vukovar

15     area following orders.  Another brigade came to replace it, and I, like

16     the others, went on leave.

17        Q.   Were you demobed?  Were you demobed and go to Sid?  You returned

18     your military equipment and went to Sid.

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   From my statement -- from your statement I understood that in

21     1993, upon the invitation of Slobodan Medic, you left Sid to join a unit

22     that provided security services to the oil industry of Krajina.

23        A.   I think it was in 1993.  And I think that because I was

24     rehabilitating at home from my first injury sustained in the vicinity of

25     Mostar.  That's where he found me and suggested that I join his unit.

Page 2881

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Am I right in saying that at that time, when you

 2     joined the unit that guarded the oil industry of Krajina, the petroleum

 3     industry of Krajina, 30 per cent of that unit had wartime experience, 30

 4     per cent were Red Berets earlier, and 30 per cent were locals from

 5     Djelatovac who had no experience?

 6        A.   You can't say that 30 per cent were former Red Berets.  There

 7     were 30 per cent of members in the Skorpions who had gone through some

 8     kind of training.  Training went on in Bajzos [phoen] and another

 9     location which was the base of that notorious unit of the

10     Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan.  That's what I meant when I said 30 per cent.

11     There were 30 per cent of men who had some sort of specialised training.

12             When the war began, all we had was the regular military service

13     we had done in the Yugoslav People's Army, but the war demonstrated that

14     that was not enough, that additional training was needed so that we could

15     do our job properly.  Thirty per cent had no wartime experience.  They

16     just sat around in Djelatovac.  They did know how to handle weapons, but

17     they had no training that would allow them to participate in combat.

18        Q.   But is it correct that part of the unit always stayed on oil

19     fields and guarded them at all times?

20        A.   When we received orders for a field mission, we the Skorpions had

21     two companies.  One company plus the Scouts Platoon would go out into the

22     field, and one company would stay.  The next field mission, the company

23     that had earlier stayed on base would now go into the field and the other

24     company would stay on the oil fields, but the Reconnaissance Platoon

25     would always go into the field.

Page 2882

 1        Q.   Tell me, when exactly did you leave that unit that guarded the

 2     petroleum industry of Krajina?

 3        A.   I'll try to remember exactly.  As soon as I joined the unit, I

 4     was assigned to the Reconnaissance Platoon, and later I received orders

 5     to conduct training for the Reconnaissance Platoon.  That was my first

 6     duty with the Skorpions.  But when the Skorpions went on field missions

 7     sometimes, I went with them as a volunteer.  I did not go as a member of

 8     the Skorpions, because every time when we would go into the field, the

 9     commander would raise me and say, "You are coming with us."

10        Q.   I think at one point, perhaps yesterday, you said that after

11     Velika Kladusa and the poisoning suffered by members of your unit, you

12     left the unit.  When was that?

13        A.   Yes, it's good that you reminded me of this.  You're right.

14     After the mission in Velika Kladusa where we were poisoned, the majority

15     of people contracted either diphtheria or hepatitis and we were placed in

16     quarantine.  That is when I left the unit.  Not because of that incident,

17     but because I simply decided that it was enough.  As for the time-line, I

18     cannot tell you.

19        Q.   Thank you.  I cannot find this particular paragraph in your

20     statements, but concerning your transfer from Slavonia and Baranja when

21     one travels to Bosnia and the embargo imposed on it; is it right to say

22     that in 1993 this was subject to a special procedure, and this border was

23     not as porous as it was described?

24        A.   Yes.  There was a special procedure.  We secretly went across the

25     bridge.

Page 2883

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Yesterday, you made some corrections in your 2006

 2     statement regarding your engagement in JSO unit for special operations.

 3     Can you tell us briefly what your engagement involved and what the

 4     training was about and how it all ended?

 5        A.   I think that the so-called Croatian Operation Storm was either

 6     under way or was imminent.  I was in my hometown, and I received

 7     information from a state security operative.  He hailed from

 8     Sremska Mitrovica, and I suppose that he was a state security operative.

 9     I used to meet him on several occasions before when he asked me for some

10     information.

11             He asked me, "What are you doing?  You see, the problems are

12     going to rise in the front, and are you planning to go?"  I said,

13     "Maybe."  He said, "If you want to go, here's telephone number.  Go to

14     the Omorica Hotel, ask the front desk to dial this number for you, and

15     join these guys there and join them in their actions."  And that is what

16     I did.  I went to the Omorica Hotel on Mount Tara, dialed the number.  A

17     policeman in Lada Niva car arrived, and he took me to the Hotel Tara

18     where we were told to wait for a sufficient number of candidates to

19     assemble.

20             It took some time then an officer came, I don't remember who he

21     was; it was breakfast-time, and he asked me and told me, "Since we are

22     waiting for the instructors to come and since I see from your CV that you

23     are a reserve officer, why don't you conduct some limited training until

24     we all gather together."  So while the people were being assembled, I

25     conducted the training that I was capable of doing.

Page 2884

 1             Of course, I didn't train any of the active-duty personnel.  This

 2     was officially dubbed at the time the JSO Reserve Forces.

 3        Q.   When did you return to Sid and cease to be a member of the JSO?

 4        A.   After the Erdut Agreement I don't know the date but that could be

 5     taken as a bench-mark.

 6        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, let me just go back to something that I saw in your

 7     statement, but I think that we have more or less covered everything in

 8     this section.  Can you explain to me something in paragraph 49 which I

 9     cannot understand.  You said younger members of the local MUP stations in

10     Serbia were assigned to the Special Unit of Police in Kosovo, but they

11     carried out their task as part of the Special Pol Units [as interpreted]

12     under the direction of MUP.  Can you explain this to me?

13        A.   This was probably my answer to somebody's question.  What was the

14     difference between the JSO, SAJ, and PJP.  I have limited knowledge about

15     this because you yourself know that I was not an active-duty policeman.

16     What I tried to say was that members of the PJP came from all the OUP in

17     the Republic of Serbia that is to say, younger and more able-bodied

18     policemen who in peacetime carried out there normal duties in their

19     respective police stations; however, in some intervention of

20     circumstances, they were considered to be PJP.  I don't know if my

21     definition was correct, but that was my assumption.  I think it's fair.

22     And I tried to explain what the difference between the PJP because those

23     who asked me this question didn't know the difference or what the PJP

24     meant.  They thought it was a regular police unit.

25        Q.   Am I right to say that the PJP units were engaged, if the

Page 2885

 1     requirements were fulfilled, in some other places in Serbia outside of

 2     Kosovo and Metohija as well?

 3        A.   They were engaged in all extraordinary situations or emergency

 4     situations that involved, for example, the arrest of local criminals,

 5     big-shot criminals.

 6             So as I said in any kind of emergency situation, if the chief of

 7     the commander of this unit would decide so, they were deployed.  Because

 8     you would agree with me that in those years we had a huge number of

 9     refugees, a lot of illegal weapons, and the PJP was justified in

10     existing.

11        Q.   Thank you.

12        A.   But let me just reiterate once again I cannot say with absolute

13     certainty that this is how the PJP was structured.

14        Q.   I saw somewhere in your statement that you mentioned that a

15     platoon commander was someone called Milojevic Kinez.

16        A.   Predrag Milojevic aka Kinez.

17        Q.   Where is he now?

18        A.   He has been convicted for the crimes in Ovcara in 1991, and he

19     received maximum punishment.  I mentioned him as a platoon commander with

20     the Skorpion for a period of time while we were in Kosovo.  Namely

21     Milojevic aka Kinez and a group of people from Ruma came to Prolom Banja

22     and joined us after the incident.  Later on, he went to another field

23     mission.  Milojevic Kinez was deemed to be a very experienced man among

24     other volunteers.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.  I have no

Page 2886

1     further questions for you.

 2             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.  I have

 3     finished with my examination.

 4             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.

 5             Ms. Kravetz, any re-examination?

 6             MS. KRAVETZ:  Just a few questions, Your Honour.

 7                           Re-examination by Ms. Kravetz:

 8        Q.   Mr. Stoparic, you were asked by learned counsel for the Defence

 9     about your first deployment to Kosovo from Sid to Prolom Banja and then

10     to Kosovo.  When your unit the Skorpions unit was first deployed to

11     Kosovo, were you kept together as a group?

12        A.   Whether it's a matter of translation of the way you put your

13     question, but I didn't understand your question.  What do you mean kept

14     together as a group?  I don't understand.  The Skorpion unit was a

15     compact one and it remained as a group, if that's what you're referring

16     to.

17        Q.   That's exactly what I was referring to.  Now, in your second you

18     were asked question about your second deployment to Kosovo in

19     April of 1999.  When you -- your unit was deployed for a second time to

20     Kosovo, were you again kept together as one unit or were individuals

21     dispersed into separate detachments of the MUP?

22        A.   No, no. We were again a compact unit, and we were not seconded to

23     other MUP units.  We were constantly under the scrutiny of the SAJ, if

24     you understand what I mean.

25        Q.   You were asked questions about your return from Podujevo to

Page 2887

 1     Prolom Banja and specifically about Trajkovic visit to Prolom Banja some

 2     ten days after you had returned.  When Trajkovic visited you at

 3     Prolom Banja, was he informed about the reasons why you had been sent

 4     back from Podujevo to Prolom Banja?

 5        A.   I can only make an assumption.  I have no information that he had

 6     any information, but it makes sense that he knew about the incident and

 7     that for that reason, though, he was sending us away from Kosovo.

 8        Q.   You were asked some questions about a visit that you had when you

 9     returned to Sid by a man by the name of Brka and Petrasevic, excuse me

10     pronunciation, and you said that you were told that you were returning to

11     Kosovo.  This is before your second deployment.  Can you tell us a bit of

12     how the second deployment was organised?

13        A.   All of us already had uniforms from our first mission.  We didn't

14     return our uniforms.  We did so after the second field mission.

15             It was organised in the same manner, only we didn't go first to

16     Novi Sad, but, rather, we travelled by buses and we ended up in Pristina

17     but without weapons.  We also had with us our civilian clothes in order

18     to try and deceive our enemies.  I'm talking about NATO in this instance,

19     because we thought that if we were wearing civilian clothes they would

20     not attack our buses, whereas if we were in uniforms, they would

21     definitely strike us.

22             This is the detail that I remember now, and I don't think I

23     mentioned it in my statement, that we travelled to Pristina in civilian

24     clothes and that we put on our uniforms there that we already had with

25     us.

Page 2888

 1        Q.   When this Skorpions Unit was put together for the second time

 2     prior to your second deployment to Kosovo, was there any screening done

 3     as to who would be a member of this unit before being deployed to Kosovo?

 4        A.   For those who registered with me, I conducted my own screening.

 5     As for the others, I don't know.  But I myself made the selection.  For

 6     instance, a man comes to me, wants to go to the front, and I would just

 7     tell them there are no vacancies.  Everything is filled.  Because I knew

 8     all the locals from my town and from the general area.

 9        Q.   Now, you were asked some questions about the ordering of torching

10     of Albanian homes and whether you had issued any orders to torch Albanian

11     homes, and you said that -- you were explaining how you carried out

12     actions, and you said that after your unit perform your actions other

13     units took over while you rested.

14             Now, in your statement at paragraph 68, you described the

15     practice of torching of houses or setting fire to houses and facilities

16     by PJP units.  When you were engaged during the second deployment to

17     Kosovo, did other units who were engaged in actions with you carry out

18     any torching of houses in the areas where you were deployed?

19        A.   The Defence counsel asked me whether I had ordered anyone to take

20     part in the torching of the houses, and I said no.  Of course, I saw many

21     houses that were already burnt down or were aflame.  Some of them were

22     probably intentionally set on fire, some were burned by NATO strikes; but

23     the burning of houses is not something that is not common in war.  That

24     would be my answer.  There were instances of houses being set on fire in

25     various ways.

Page 2889

 1        Q.   In your statement you say that when you -- your unit took over a

 2     hamlet and you withdrew, and then a PJP unit would -- that were in the

 3     rear guard would set fire to all houses and facilities, destroying them,

 4     would this be the practice that was commonly employed while you were

 5     carrying out actions, that your unit would withdraw and then a PJP unit

 6     would come in and set fire to the area that was controlled or taken over?

 7        A.   It wasn't always the case it was a PJP.  It might have been the

 8     army.  I'm sure that on many occasions I regretted that everything was on

 9     fire and that I had to spend the night in the place that had been burned

10     down.  It would have been much better if the houses were intact.

11             Houses were set on fire.  That was a fact.  I don't know who

12     issued these orders, but you had fools and idiots in all units.

13        Q.   What was the purpose of setting the houses on fire?

14        A.   I know for sure -- let's take an example of a Mahala.  Once the

15     Albanians left and we'd take control of the terrain, they would come back

16     from the forest after two days.  I presume if you set somebody's house on

17     fire that they have no place to go to or to go back to.  I think that's

18     the only reasonable conclusion.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Those are my questions for you.

20             MS. KRAVETZ:  Your Honours, I have no further questions for this

21     witness at this stage.

22             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.

23             Mr. Stoparic, you'll be pleased to know that concludes the

24     questions for you.  The Chamber would thank you for your coming to

25     The Hague and the assistance you've been able to give, and you may return

Page 2890

1     to your ordinary activities, and the court officer will show you out.

 2     Thank you.

 3                           [The witness withdrew]

 4             JUDGE PARKER:  Ms. Kravetz, can I raise a matter now that is

 5     unrelated to any particular next witness, but we've received an

 6     indication of a -- one of -- a possible problem which would arise because

 7     The Tribunal is not able to function next Tuesday, and that is that a

 8     witness, Aleksandric, is intended to be called on Monday but must finish

 9     on Monday and cannot wait until Wednesday when we would next sit.

10             Are you able to indicate whether the half an hour that has been

11     designated as the time that might be taken with the witness is reliable?

12             MS. KRAVETZ:  Yes, Your Honour.  We expect to be very short with

13     this witness.  In fact, all the documents that are attached to his

14     statement have already been agreed upon by the parties.  So it's going to

15     be just a matter of making him available for cross-examination.

16             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.  Mr. Djurdjic, are you in a position to

17     indicate how long cross-examination might be with the witness

18     Aleksandric?

19             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.  That's a

20     very difficult question, but certainly if the examination-in-chief would

21     last half an hour, the cross-examination would not then last the whole

22     day.  We shall probably have sufficient time to finish with that witness.

23             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you for that, Mr. Djurdjic.  I think in

24     those circumstances we should plan to hear the witness Aleksandric

25     commencing Monday morning, and we will clearly have to finish the witness

Page 2891

1     in the course of Monday, so counsel should be very conscious of time

 2     accordingly.

 3             Now, are you dealing with the next witness, Ms. Kravetz?  You're

 4     not.  Mr. Behar.

 5             MS. KRAVETZ:  No, it's my colleague.

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  We will have the next witness.

 7                           [The witness entered court]

 8             JUDGE PARKER:  Good afternoon.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

10             JUDGE PARKER:  Would you please read aloud the affirmation that

11     is shown to you now.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

13     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

14                           WITNESS:  MAHMUT HALIMI

15                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

16             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.  Please sit down.

17             Mr. Behar, there was a matter, was there?

18             MR. BEHAR:  Yes, Your Honours.  I did just want to briefly

19     address that I'm going to be seeking to make use of a map that's not yet

20     in evidence, and as such I'm seeking to add that map to our

21     65 ter exhibit list and to make use of it today.  I can indicate that the

22     map is 65 ter number 05242.  The map is essentially a close-up that's

23     showing the region that Mr. Halimi [Realtime transcript read in error

24     "Halilovic"] will testify about today.  We recently obtained that map,

25     and it's a much more detailed map of the area than any of the maps we

Page 2892

1     currently had on our exhibit list.

 2             In my submission, it will make things clearer for the Chamber

 3     when Mr. Halimi explains what he saw.  I can also indicate that it has

 4     been disclosed to the Defence, and I did speak to my learned friend

 5     briefly about it again this morning.  I am not sure as to what position

 6     my learned friend is taking.

 7             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.  Do you have any objection,

 8     Mr. Djurdjic?

 9             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had said back in

10     the break to Mrs. Kravetz that I agree.

11             JUDGE PARKER:  Very grateful.  You may refer to the map, although

12     it is not yet on the Rule 65 ter list.  In fact you would like to move

13     that it be added to your list?

14             MR. BEHAR:  Yes, I would.  I would.  Thank you.

15             JUDGE PARKER:  It will be so ordered.

16             MR. BEHAR:  Thank you, Your Honours, and I thank my friend as

17     well.

18                           Examination by Mr. Behar:

19        Q.   Good morning, sir.  Could you please state your full name and

20     your date of birth for the record?

21        A.   Mahmut Halimi.  I was born on the 7th of April, 1954.

22        Q.   I understand that you were a judge for many years in Mitrovica

23     later on -- first in the municipal court then later on in the

24     District Court and that you later maintained your own private law

25     practice.  Is that correct?

Page 2893

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   And what kind of work are you currently doing?

 3        A.   I am a lawyer.

 4        Q.   Can you tell us what city you were living in in March of 1999?

 5        A.   I was living in Mitrovica, which is now after the war referred to

 6     as Northern Mitrovica, the part I lived in, on Ceta e Minatoreve Street,

 7     number 8.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Halimi, did you testify at the Milutinovic et al

 9     trial on the 9th of October, 2006?

10        A.   Yes, it is correct.  To be honest, I don't remember the date when

11     I testified, but it is true.  I did testify.

12        Q.   That's fine.  Thank you.  Have you had a chance as well to listen

13     to your testimony from that trial?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   And I understand that there are two things in the transcript that

16     you'd like to clarify or explain so that it accurately reflects your

17     evidence.

18             MR. BEHAR:  If we could have up on the screen

19     65 ter number 05134.  That's Mr. Halimi's testimony in Milutinovic et al.

20     I'll need page 4506.

21        Q.   At line 8 I see that it reads:

22              "First of all, all Mitrovica and the witnesses that we heard

23     knew that Nenad Pavicevic, Boban, and others involved were never members

24     of the police in that police station in Mitrovica."

25             I understand that you wanted to clarify that passage; is that

Page 2894

 1     correct?

 2        A.   Yes.  A wrong conclusion has been drawn because at the time and I

 3     remember this very well, I said the opposite, that everybody, including

 4     me, knew that Nenad Pavicevic, Boban and others were members of the

 5     police station in Mitrovica.  They were policemen.

 6        Q.   So is it fair to say then that would that passage would be more

 7     accurate just without the word "never," just for clarity?

 8        A.   Yes.  The word never should be removed, because everybody knows

 9     that from 1990 Boban, Nenad, who I know very well were policemen at the

10     police station in Mitrovica.  Everybody in Mitrovica knows that.  I see

11     that it's a mistake here on the transcript, but I already made the

12     clarification.  It is true that they were members on the police.

13             JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Djurdjic.

14             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, but I have

15     learnt from you that the LiveNote, especially when the session is over,

16     cannot be corrected in this way.  I understand that the witness may have

17     something new to say about the circumstances later, but I don't believe

18     this technique of correcting the transcript once it's done is

19     appropriate.

20             JUDGE PARKER:  I think you may have misunderstood the import of

21     the question which is at lines 23 and 24:

22             "It is not understood by me as suggesting that the record be

23     changed.  It was being put that it would be accurate if it were read

24     without the word 'never' to clarify the meaning."

25             So we will be leaving the transcript exactly as it is,

Page 2895

 1     Mr. Djurdjic.

 2             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I didn't

 3     mean to say that you were wrong, I was just reacting to the action of the

 4     Prosecutor and the way he wanted to correct an alleged mistake in the

 5     transcript.  I had no objection to your interpretation.  It's just that

 6     at the beginning of the trial you taught me how the transcript should

 7     properly be corrected.

 8             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic, but I think we can rely

 9     on what Mr. Behar is asking now as the way to understand correctly the

10     evidence that is intended by Mr. Halimi.

11             MR. BEHAR:  Could we next have page 4510 up on the screen,

12     please.

13        Q.   Mr. Halimi, from lines 14 to 18 on the screen you refer to

14     soldiers that you saw along the road:  " ... at the village of Runik in

15     the correction of Rakosh.  You then said that there were telephone

16     land-line cables up to the village of Vitak.  Is there something that you

17     would like to clarify about this passage as well?

18        A.   Yes.  Again it has been recorded erroneously on the record.  I

19     said the following:  From Vitak village up to the second village there

20     were army forces on the left side of the road from Mitrovica to Peje, and

21     by the asphalt road there were telephone cables up to Runik where from

22     Runik to Rakosh there were soldiers at the centre of Runik.  There were

23     also policemen, police units, but at the exit up to Rakosh there were

24     army forces.

25        Q.   Thank you.  And with those two things now mentioned, does this

Page 2896

 1     transcript accurately reflect your evidence and would you testify to

 2     these same facts today?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4             MR. BEHAR:  Your Honours, I would then seek to tender

 5     65 ter number 05134.

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  It will be received.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  That will be P00499, Your Honours.

 8             MR. BEHAR:  I can now provide a brief summary of Mr. Halimi's

 9     evidence.  I can indicate that it relates to paragraph 72(F) 73 and 77 of

10     the indictment.

11             Mr. Halimi is a Kosovar Albanian male from the village of Zhabar

12     Mitrovica municipality.  Prior to the breakout of the conflict, he worked

13     as a judge at the District Court of Mitrovica and later began practising

14     as a lawyer.  Mr. Halimi describes the murder of two prominent

15     Kosovo Albanians in Mitrovica, Latif Berisha and Agim Hajrizi shortly

16     after the NATO air campaign began.  On the 25th of March, 1999,

17     Mr. Halimi received a phone call warning him that he needed to escape or

18     he would be killed.  He and his family left for the village of Zhabar and

19     then spent six nights in the mountains before eventually returning.

20             On the 15th of April, 1999, Mr. Halimi and his family observed

21     Serb police and military units pushing approximately 25.000 to 30.000

22     people from neighbourhoods of Mitrovica towards Zhabar.  Serb forces

23     eventually split this crowd into two groups.  The following morning these

24     civilians were sent away towards the town of Peje.  That same morning,

25     Serb forces entered Zhabar firing their weapons and burning homes.

Page 2897

 1             On 17th of April, 1999, Mr. Halimi and his family joined a column

 2     of vehicles, that column travelled from Mitrovica to Klina then to

 3     Djakovica then past the town of Prizren into the border with Albania.

 4     Mr. Halimi describes the plight of the civilians during their

 5     deportation.  That is the end of the summary.

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.

 7             MR. BEHAR:

 8        Q.   Mr. Halimi, I'm going to have a few questions for you today in

 9     order to clarify certain matters.  I'm just going to focus on particular

10     areas in light of the brief time we have.

11             You explained in your earlier testimony that Asim Hajrizi was

12     killed on the night of the 24th and the 25th of March, 1999.  Can you

13     explain to us who Mr. Hajrizi was?

14        A.   Before I start, I would like to make a correction to ask for a

15     correction to be made.  My name is recorded on this transcript as

16     Halilovic my name is Mahmut Halimi, not Halilovic as it is recorded on

17     the transcript.

18        Q.   Thank you, and I'm sure we can have that corrected.

19        A.   As far as your question is concerned, Agim Hajrizi, I knew him

20     very well, especially in the 1990s when as a representative of the trade

21     union of the Battery factory in Mitrovica, I represented the 204 -- 240

22     workers to fight for their rights.  Here my cooperation with Agim Hajrizi

23     started, and I believe I assisted them as well in resolving the disputes

24     of these workers that he represented as the chairman of the trade union

25     of this factory in Mitrovica.

Page 2898

 1        Q.   Can you tell us what was your sense of why he was killed?  Your

 2     understanding.

 3        A.   Because of his activity that he was carrying out at the time in

 4     the interest of his people, in the interest of his colleagues who had

 5     remained without jobs because of the Milosevic regime.  I would also like

 6     to point out that 1.240 workers had not received their salaries for a

 7     long period and their salaries were stolen by -- by the Serbian regime.

 8        Q.   You described in your previous testimony that Latif Berisha was a

 9     professor at the University of Pristina and chairman of the LDK or the

10     Democratic League of Kosovo.  Can you tell us what happened to

11     Mr. Berisha?

12        A.   He was executed in an identical manner for identical reasons

13     because of his activity in Mitrovica and the surrounding areas of

14     Mitrovica.  He was the chairman of the Democratic League of Kosova branch

15     in Mitrovica at the time.

16        Q.   You described in your previous testimony as well that on the

17     25th of March, 1999, at about 6.00 a.m. you received a telephone call

18     from a woman speaking Serbian telling you to leave your home soon as

19     possible, and you explain and this is at page 4445 of the transcript,

20     that you then left your house.  Can you explain what you understood that

21     telephone call to mean?

22        A.   This was a message implying that my life was at -- at risk, that

23     I was going to suffer the same fate as the two persons we mentioned

24     earlier.

25        Q.   And -- and just briefly, what was your understanding of why you

Page 2899

 1     were being targeted?

 2        A.   From the 1990s up to the beginning of war, I was well known for

 3     my activities regionally in Mitrovica and in the whole territory of

 4     Kosova as one of the Albanians who opposed the Serbian regime, Milosevic

 5     regime, by practising as a lawyer and defending the interests and the

 6     rights of people, and because of my confrontations with the Serbian

 7     judiciary authorities while I was defending the interests of my clients.

 8        Q.   I'd like to ask you some questions about the observations that

 9     you made on the 15th of April, 1999.  I'm going to show you a map.

10             MR. BEHAR:  Could the usher please bring up 65 ter number 05242.

11     Thank you.

12        Q.   Sir --

13             MR. BEHAR:  And perhaps if Mr. Halimi could be provided with a

14     pen.

15        Q.   Sir, could you indicate roughly the location of the house that

16     you were located in on the 15th of April on this map?

17        A.   First of all, I'm kind of handicapped here.  I don't have my

18     glasses with me, but I'll do my best.  If you can zoom in a little bit,

19     please.

20             JUDGE PARKER:  Can I ask, Mr. Halimi, are your glasses in the

21     building?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they're not.  I -- I left them

23     at the hotel.

24             JUDGE PARKER:  I don't know that I can help you very much then.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe someone -- I can borrow them

Page 2900

 1     from someone if it's a plus 2 prescription.

 2             JUDGE PARKER:  I don't know that we have any volunteers with the

 3     right glasses.  I'm looking at the time and wondering whether a break

 4     would enable something to be done to enable Mr. Halimi to see the map.

 5             MR. BEHAR:  Yes, I think it would be a good time for a break, and

 6     we'll certainly see what we can do.

 7             JUDGE PARKER:  I don't know where he is staying, but if it's

 8     nearby, it should be managed in the break.

 9             What we'll do is to adjourn now.  We're just a little early, but

10     we'll have the second break now and resume at five minutes to 1.00.

11                           --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.

12                           --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.

13             MR. BEHAR:

14        Q.   Sir, I see you're wearing glasses now, so hopefully we'll have a

15     little more luck with the map.  Just to go back again, you described at

16     page 4449 of your previous transcript, moving to Upper Zhabar in a house

17     that was above the rest of the village.  Can you indicate on the map what

18     was roughly the location of that house?

19        A.   The question arose earlier where my house was in the northern

20     part, and I went to the Lower Zhabar, and I think you're asking a

21     different question which has to do with me going from the Lower to the

22     Upper Zhabar.  Is that what you're interested in at this stage?

23        Q.   Yes.

24        A.   At this point here should be where my house in the northern part

25     of the town is located.  I followed this route.  It is the village of

Page 2901

 1     Suvi Do.  Then I crossed into the stadium area.  You can see the stadium

 2     there where I'm putting those dots.  And I pursued the road up to Lower

 3     Zhabar where I stayed for two days.

 4             On the third day, in the middle of the night, I proceeded onto

 5     the Upper Zhabar, and I stayed near the Grmova mountain, which is in the

 6     vicinity, and in the company of a large number of my co-citizens from

 7     Mitrovica, most of them intellectuals from the town.  That's where we

 8     went and stayed.

 9        Q.   Now, if you could -- could you put a number 1 by the location

10     where you marked Lower Zhabar and a number 2 by the location where you

11     marked the house you were in in Upper Zhabar.

12        A.   [Marks]

13        Q.   Thank you.  You also described that from that location where you

14     were in Upper Zhabar that you could see part of Mitrovica and Tavnik.

15     Can you indicate where that area would be on the map and perhaps put a 3.

16        A.   Yes.  Tavnik is around here, number 3.  Shipol can be seen here

17     at number 4.

18        Q.   Thank you.  And finally if you could indicate the road from

19     Mitrovica to Peje, which you also discussed in your previous statement.

20     If you could mark that with a 5 if you see it here.

21        A.   This is the road to Peje, which continues where the word Shipol

22     can be seen, and from there onwards it goes out of Mitrovica in the

23     direction of Peje.  So it continues further down in the direction of

24     Peje.

25        Q.   Thank you.  At page 4450 of your previous transcript you describe

Page 2902

 1     the population moving en masse in Zhabar, and you also said that people

 2     were coming from the direction of Suhodol and from Tavnik.  Can you

 3     indicate on the map where people were coming from and where they were

 4     going to?

 5        A.   I think it was on the 14th of April at about 10.00 when a massive

 6     movement of the population was observed.  They were first coming from the

 7     direction of Tavnik and towards Zhabar, and from Shipol I can't see the

 8     village of Vinarce here, which is down here further down, Vaganica

 9     village, further down, and from Vaganica and Shipol in the middle of the

10     fields and secondary roads and lanes.  I think there was a large, an

11     unprecedented influx of people who came from all those directions towards

12     Zhabar.  At the same time from Suhodol there were a large number of

13     people who crossed the Ibar River towards Zhabar.  At the same time,

14     residents who had no vehicles at their disposal, had no cars, no trucks

15     and so on, so they came on foot from Gusevac and Vinarce.  They joined

16     together and they crossed the river into the direction of Zhabar.

17             This movement continued until half past 3.00 or 4.00 p.m.  Zhabar

18     and its environments, according to my best guesstimate, is about a

19     hundred square kilometres.  I can't be very precise there, but it's a

20     very large village.  And there was no room to swing a cat in.  There was

21     so many people over there all congregated in the fields, meadows, the

22     yards of the private houses.  It was a huge number of people.  So by half

23     past 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon.  An overall number of no fewer than

24     35.000 people were there.

25             A bit later in the course of the day, we heard some shooting

Page 2903

 1     exactly in that part of the town.  A car which was on the left side in a

 2     feel was set fire to and burnt down.  And at that stage we were able to

 3     observe a movement of the population to Shipol.  There are two roads

 4     leading to Shipol one is in the vicinity of the school of Zhabar which

 5     continues perpendicular -- in a perpendicular direction to the Shipol

 6     school, whilst the other one it's a semicircular type of a road which

 7     goes from the main highway, the Adriatic highway towards Gatere [phoen],

 8     as we call it, which is a complex for timber-works.  And then the road

 9     takes a left before going towards the Shipol school.

10             The cars, tractors, big lorries join the column towards the

11     convoys that join the convoy in this direction, in this perpendicular

12     road which you can see above number 4.  4 is Shipol, 5 is the road

13     towards Peje.  Whereas the road that can be seen underneath the word

14     Zhabar is the Adriatic highway I mentioned.  So from here towards Shipol

15     is the point which was occupied by the pedestrians.

16             The convoy of vehicles, with the fall of night, was so big that

17     the last one was by the Adriatic highway, and that is where they spent

18     the whole night.

19             At dawn or round about 7.00 or just a bit later maybe, from where

20     I was in the upper Zhabar where you can see the Grmova mountain, point

21     number 2, I was at some altitude, I think halfway to the top of this

22     mountain.  And from that vantage point, I was able to observe part of the

23     road from Mitrovica to Peje, the whole of Zhabar, with the exception of

24     the Shipol school, which could not be seen from that point.

25        Q.   Sir, let me -- let me -- pardon me.  Let me just stop you there

Page 2904

 1     for a moment.  We do have much of this from your previous testimony, and

 2     I know we're somewhat short of time.

 3             If we can pick up somewhat later.

 4             MR. BEHAR:  In fact perhaps before I do that could I ask that

 5     this map be marked as an exhibit.

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  It will be received.

 7             MR. BEHAR:

 8        Q.   In your previous testimony --

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  That will be P00500, Your Honours.

10             MR. BEHAR:  Thank you.

11        Q.   In your previous testimony, sir, you described the Serb forces

12     burning houses in the lower part of Upper Zhabar on the 16th of April,

13     and you described that you decided to leave, setting out in three cars

14     with your family, and this is at page 4455.  You describe spending that

15     night in a carpentry compound and that then on the 17th of April, the

16     police came and ordered you to make a column and to leave town.

17             What I want to ask you, sir, is where this column that you were

18     in went from there.  I'm going to show you another map.

19             MR. BEHAR:  If we could please have 65 ter number 00001.  This is

20     The Times map of the Western Balkans.  If we could have that zoomed in to

21     show Kosovo.

22        Q.   Sir, perhaps while we're waiting for that, I'll just ask you

23     another brief question about the route; and I know I'm jumping ahead a

24     little bit, but when you were travelling in the convoy you described that

25     you saw Serb forces.  You described that you saw army, and you also

Page 2905

 1     described police.  Do you remember what the police were wearing that you

 2     saw along the route?

 3        A.   From Mitrovica, namely upon leaving Shipol to join the Peje road,

 4     the whole area was patrolled by regular police who had -- who had

 5     camouflage uniforms with a dominant blue colour, and they were on both

 6     sides of the road at the water-supply unit.  However, I'm under the

 7     impression that there were special forces -- Special Police Units of the

 8     special forces on both -- on both sides.  They had automatic shot,

 9     automatic weapons.  They were wearing balaclavas, and they observed each

10     and every single person who was part of the convoy be it on foot or in

11     their own vehicles.

12             So police were deployed along the road from the village of

13     Brabonjic to Lubovec, again on both sides of the road.  I can -- I cannot

14     speak in terms of numbers because they were deployed in large numbers.

15             There were also police on top of the hill in front of the village

16     of Dubovec at some high point on the left-hand side of the road.

17        Q.   Just if you could describe then what these police that you saw

18     were wearing.

19        A.   The ones who were by the water-supply unit were wearing a darker

20     shade of uniform, again with the blue -- more predominant blue into

21     black, as far as I can recall.  And that is why I had the impression that

22     they were members of the Special Police Unit who I had often seen in

23     different parts of Mitrovica or Kosova as part of my daily duties at the

24     time.

25        Q.   Thank you.  If we could just have the map zoomed in perhaps one

Page 2906

 1     more click.  Thank you.

 2             Sir, could you just very briefly indicate the route that you

 3     followed in the convoy that you described in your previous testimony?

 4     And I don't know if we need to zoom in one more stage or are you able to

 5     see the names of the towns there?

 6        A.   I think I can.  This is the Mitrovica-Peje road.  We went up to

 7     Djurakovc, which means we did not enter Skenderaj, which you can see

 8     here, Runik, Djurakovc, the Belo Pole villages is a bit on the side of

 9     this road.

10        Q.   Perhaps it's easier just if you draw a solid line along the route

11     you took if that's possible.

12        A.   Then I went this way exiting Klina towards Gjakove, and from

13     Gjakove we went to Prizren, and then Zhur should be round about here.

14     Dragash, Recan I can see.  This bit here up to Prizren.

15             Would you be able to zoom in a little bit more so I'd be able to

16     see the village of Zhur?  Would we also be able to see -- get this map a

17     little bit higher so we'd be able to see the border point of Morine where

18     we crossed the border point into Albania?  Could you lift up the map a

19     little bit.

20             JUDGE PARKER:  Unfortunately, electronically we can't do that

21     without losing the marking that you have already made.  So we must leave

22     it as it is.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that's the road in the

24     direction of Dragash.  There it is.  I've seen it now, sorry.  That's

25     where Kukes is.  I lost it for a bit, but, yes, that is the road that we

Page 2907

 1     followed on our way to Albania.

 2             MR. BEHAR:

 3        Q.   Thank you, sir.

 4             MR. BEHAR:  Your Honours I would seek to tender that marked map

 5     as an exhibit, please.

 6             JUDGE PARKER:  It will be received.

 7             MR. BEHAR:

 8        Q.   Sir, there are just two brief areas I want to ask you about.  You

 9     indicated in your previous testimony that there were mosques in

10     Mitrovica -- oh, sorry.  Go ahead.

11             THE REGISTRAR:  The marked version, Your Honours, will be P00501.

12             MR. BEHAR:

13        Q.   Thank you.  Sir, let me just ask you.  Can you just tell me how

14     many mosques there were in Mitrovica prior to the war?

15        A.   Yes.  There were four mosques.  Three have been rebuilt after the

16     war, whilst the fourth one, which is next to the western bridge above the

17     Ibar River, has now been -- has now been covered up and on -- it was

18     never rebuilt.  The bridge was built in its stead or on its remains.

19        Q.   Before you left town on the 25th of March in 1999, were these

20     mosques damaged?

21        A.   No.

22        Q.   And after you had left town, did you receive any information

23     about those mosques?

24        A.   Yes.  Most of them were burnt down and destroyed whilst I was

25     still in the Mitrovica region.  However, I was not someone who could be

Page 2908

 1     described as an eye-witness.  I did not observe them being destroyed.  I

 2     learned of it later after returning from Albania to Mitrovica, i.e., that

 3     it was done by various Serbian forces.

 4        Q.   Do you recall who you heard that from?

 5        A.   There were a number of people who saw the flames, who saw it

 6     being set fire to, the ones who were hiding around the town of Mitrovica.

 7        Q.   You also indicated previously that you returned to Mitrovica on

 8     the 11th of July, 1999.  When you returned, did you personally make any

 9     observations of those mosques?

10        A.   They were -- they'd all been destroyed.  They'd been burnt down.

11     And whilst the one who was beyond the Ibar River on the right-hand side

12     did not exist any further.  It had been covered up with earth.

13        Q.   And just one final question or, really, clarification.  You

14     explained earlier today that when you were working as a lawyer in the

15     1990s you had confrontations with the judicial authorities.  You also

16     explained in your previous testimony, this is at page 4472, that Albanian

17     lawyers knew that they had to bribe Serbian bodies during these times and

18     that you yourself had been involved in that practice.  Can you explain to

19     us why that would be and how the system was working in this time?

20        A.   Yes.  It is well known even in Serbia, even honest citizens of

21     Serbia know it.  It was almost a public secret that Albanians had to pay

22     for everything.  Just imagine, Your Honours, that a citizen of Mitrovica

23     had to pay 10 Deutschmarks to obtain a document, like a birth

24     certificate, that he or she was entitled to.  And we're talking here

25     about passports, IDs, let alone other more substantial mass before a

Page 2909

 1     court of law.  So we're talking about the system which in addition to

 2     being repressive it's also corrupt.

 3             Serbian regime did not have to resort to local Serbs to carry out

 4     the repression.  They had to bring them from all over Serbia.  They

 5     brought judges from all over the place and brought them into Mitrovica

 6     into local and Municipal Courts in Kosova with one and only one goal, to

 7     grab as much money as possible.

 8             I mentioned it earlier, and I'm reiterating it.  This is the

 9     judicial system as it was reduced to where a judge at the local court

10     would send -- would send a can of petrol to the clients, i.e., the

11     lawyers who had -- who had to return before him to hear a case on the

12     morrow.  So what did he do?  He left an empty can at their offices with

13     the assumption that he was going to get it full in an hour or so, and

14     again on the understanding that this was to do with someone who was going

15     to appear before this very judge on the morrow.

16        Q.   Thank you very much, sir.  Those are my questions for you at this

17     time.

18             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you very much, Mr. Behar.

19             Mr. Djurdjic, I think we've got 12 minutes.  We ought to make

20     some use of that.

21             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

22                           Cross-examination by Mr. Djurdjic:

23        Q.   Mr. Halimi, my name is Veljko Djurdjic, member of the Defence

24     team for the accused, Mr. Vlastimir Djordjevic, and Mr. Alexander Popovic

25     next to me is also a member of the team.

Page 2910

 1             I have a couple of questions for you.  If there is any question

 2     you don't understand, do not hesitate to indicate so and I will try to

 3     rephrase.  And please answer me only inasmuch as you can from your direct

 4     knowledge about things that you eye-witnessed personally, and since you

 5     are yourself a judge and a legal professional, you know exactly what I

 6     mean.

 7             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like to call

 8     up Exhibit 500, P500.  It's 0052.  That's the map with markings.

 9        Q.   We can use it if you wish.  You will make new markings and then

10     we will admit it under a new number.

11             Could you encircle the urban area of Mitrovica, please?  Just a

12     moment.  The legal officer will find a clear map.

13        A.   Can I?

14        Q.   Yes, yes.

15        A.   On the northern part the town of Mitrovica and [indiscernible]

16     the Muslim cemetery.  From there onwards we go north-east towards --

17             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not catch the name.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And it goes to the village of

19     Sipkovc.  In blue here you can see the Trepco compound, which is the car

20     battery industry, the petrol chemicals, and the zinc processing plant,

21     which is now a case that has been closed.  And it joins this part where

22     you can see the stadium.

23             Roughly this is the area of Mitrovica.

24             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Thank you.  If I understood correctly, this is the central urban

Page 2911

 1     area of Mitrovica.  And now would you mark the broader area of Mitrovica

 2     municipality.

 3        A.   The municipal area now that Zvecan has become a separate

 4     municipality, is to be covered by this area, the line that I'm drawing

 5     now.  It just goes beyond the Ibar River --

 6        Q.   I'm sorry, Mr. Halimi.  I'm asking you about the time of 1999,

 7     not about today.  Please mark the territory of the municipality as it was

 8     in 1999.

 9        A.   Okay.  This is the correct line.  Let me go back to what it was

10     like in 1999 and is roughly the same today because I did mention that

11     towards the year of 1993, and 1994 Zubin Potok and Zvecan became separate

12     municipalities which did no longer belong with the Mitrovica

13     municipality.

14             This all shows Mitrovica region, Reka, Lisica.  This is Zvecan,

15     and this is where the Mitrovica municipal area is.  Everything that you

16     can see southwards under the red line.

17        Q.   I would also like you to mark it on the south side.  Start from

18     the west and make a full circle around the Mitrovica municipality on the

19     part of the map that we can see.

20        A.   Forgive me, but at the very -- at the very end is Brabonjic which

21     is the last village that belongs to the Mitrovica municipal area.  The

22     Ljushta, Vaganica, Svinjere, they all belong to Mitrovica.  There are a

23     number other villages which cannot be seen in this map.  Svinjere is

24     where the Vushtrri municipality boundary is.  There are some villages

25     here which belong to the Vushtrri community:  Cucuivogel [phoen],

Page 2912

 1     Skupkovc, Zasella.  There is quite a bit on the right-hand side which is

 2     the eastern part.  There are number of villages like Zasajoc [phoen]

 3     which can be seen here up to Shalla e Bajgores, Zioca [phoen] and a

 4     number of other mountainous villages in the Shalla e Bajgores area which

 5     cannot be seen in this map, and I mean to say the eastern part of the

 6     municipality.

 7        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Halimi.  You don't have to name the places.  Just

 8     mark that broader circle on this map that encompasses the area of the

 9     municipality.

10             JUDGE PARKER:  I understand the witness to be saying that the

11     borderline is beyond the edge of the map, Mr. Djurdjic.

12             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, yes, but on this

13     map I still want to get these markings so that we can see certain

14     distances in scale.  If he can at least put a dotted line marking the

15     boundary on one side and on the other side, and the south side as well,

16     please.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.  Let me delete that bit then.

18     It goes fourth down in the south where it you can Brabonjic.  That is the

19     line that shows the end of the region of Mitrovica.  And then adjacent to

20     it is the Skenderi municipality with its own villages.  There are number

21     of villages here which cannot be seen in this map and further south.  And

22     then on the eastern side, about 16 or 22 kilometres, there are a number

23     of villages up to -- which border the Podujevo municipality.  They all

24     belong to the Mitrovica region, but they cannot be seen in this map.  The

25     map, i.e., does not show the whole region of Mitrovica.  That's why I

Page 2913

 1     can't explain it.

 2             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Now, Mr. Halimi, in this central urban part could you

 4     mark your house with an X.

 5        A.   Yes.  Somewhere here it should be.  Fifty metres from the main

 6     road that takes you to Zvecan.  At that stage it was called Marsal Tito

 7     then Kral Petar I.

 8        Q.   But I see two dots here.  Is that a mistake or?

 9        A.   It was maybe when I started drawing.  This one here is the

10     incorrect one.  It should be the other one.  Because I can see the

11     Ceta e Minatoreve road that leads upwards.  Forgive me.  Just give me a

12     second, please.  It's somewhere there.  If I were to see this map in some

13     more detail, I'd be able to pinpoint it.

14        Q.   I agree.  It's a very small inconvenient map.  Could you now mark

15     the place in Donji Zabar where you were?

16        A.   My brother's house is somewhere one the first ones adjacent to

17     the stadium, about a kilometre away.  It should be somewhere here in the

18     vicinity of Ibar River which can be seen here.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Will you put a number 1 on it.

20        A.   [Marks]

21        Q.   Will you mark the place where you were in Gornji Zabar with

22     number 2.

23        A.   [Marks]

24        Q.   The place where you were in Sipolje.  Mark it with 3, please.

25        A.   I did not say that I was in Shipol.  I said I only was in Shipol

Page 2914

 1     when we left as part of that convoy.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  Will you mark the school in Sipolje with number 3.

 3        A.   I would have been able to do it were the map to show a bit more

 4     detail.  It should be about a hundred metres from the Mitrovica-Peje

 5     road.  So it should be somewhere here.  So it's not adjacent.  It's about

 6     a hundred metres away.  So the second dot that I've made that show it a

 7     bit more precisely.  The school of Shipol, that is.

 8        Q.   Could you put a number 3 there.

 9        A.   [Marks]

10             MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I tender this map.  I don't

11     think we have any more time today, Your Honour.  I will continue, with

12     your leave, tomorrow with this map.

13             JUDGE PARKER:  This will be received.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  That will be D00065, Your Honours.

15             JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.  It is just past our time as you

16     indicated, Mr. Djurdjic.

17             I'm afraid, Mr. Halimi, we have to adjourn now because another

18     trial is in the courtroom this afternoon.  We resume tomorrow morning at

19     9.00, and we will ask you to return then.  The court officer will assist

20     you after we leave with closer directions.

21             We now adjourn.

22                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,

23                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 27th day

24                           of March, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.