1 Monday, 15 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Please read the affirmation aloud that is shown to
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit.
13 Mr. Popovic has some questions for you.
14 WITNESS: MILOS DOSAN
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Popovic :
17 Q. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Good afternoon.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. Mr. Dosan, before I start putting questions to you, I would
21 kindly ask you the following: Given that we use the same language,
22 please listen carefully to my questions, pause shortly, and then answer
23 in order for the interpreters to do their job properly. Also try to
24 speak slowly also for the sake of the interpreters.
25 Could you please state your first and last name.
1 A. Milos Dosan.
2 Q. When and where were you born?
3 A. I was born on the 28th of February, 1949, in Bistrica, Zepce
4 municipality, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Thank you. Have you already testified before this Tribunal in
6 the case against Mr. Milosevic on the 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, and 31st of
7 October, 2005?
8 A. Yes, I have.
9 Q. During the proofing for your testimony today, did you have
10 occasion to reread everything you had stated in your previous testimony?
11 A. Yes, I had that opportunity.
12 Q. If I would put to you the same questions today, would you still
13 provide the same answers?
14 A. Yes, I would.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dosan.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender
17 Mr. Dosan's testimony transcript, which is at 65 ter 1662. We also have
18 a version under seal, D011-2350.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. The transcript under seal first will
20 be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00683 under
23 JUDGE PARKER: And then the redacted version.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00684.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 I will read out Mr. Dosan's testimony summary. During the period
3 in question between the 15th of July, 1998, and until the end of the war
4 in 1999, the witness commanded the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade of the
5 anti-aircraft Defence of the Army of Yugoslavia. At the same time, he
6 commanded the garrison in Djakovica. In his testimony, the witness will
7 explain what responsibilities he held and exercised as the brigade
8 commander and which of those pertain to his capacity as the garrison
9 commander in 1989 --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1998 and 1999.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] As well as his participation at
12 such meetings which were held in order to secure a proper functioning of
13 the town of Djakovica. Those meetings were held together with
14 representatives of the MUP and civilian authorities.
15 The witness will explain the disposition and engagement as well
16 as tasks of his unit in the area of Kosovo and Metohija. He will address
17 the issue of the area of responsibility of his unit, the weapons they had
18 at their disposal, and the fact that his unit was engaged in
19 anti-aircraft defence of Kosovo and Metohija. He will testify about his
20 contacts with the OSCE verifiers and weapons inspections carried out by
21 the verifiers in his unit.
22 The witness will also speak about the acts of terrorism on the
23 part of the KLA in 1998 and 1999, and almost daily attacks of those
24 terrorist forces, especially in those villages along the road between
25 Djakovica and Decani, as well as in Djakovica itself. He will provide
1 further explanation of specific tasks, goals, and engagements of his
2 brigade in the defence of the country during 1999.
3 The witness will confirm that his unit had never been assigned
4 any tasks which would have required them to expel the civilian population
5 and he never implemented such tasks. He will testify by the activities
6 of his unit on the taking care, providing shelter, as well as providing
7 population to the civilian population.
8 The witness will also explain the measures which were undertaken
9 in order to meet all necessary obligations under the laws of war and
10 international humanitarian law as well as those measures taken against
11 members of the Army of Yugoslavia who breached those rules.
12 The witness will mention the 24th of March as the first day of
13 bombardment, which is also the date stated in the indictment, and the
14 event of the Djakovica mosque and library being hit. He will also
15 address April 1999 and the fact that he had no knowledge about any events
16 in the settlement of Cerim and that there was no indicia of any VJ
17 members taking part in those crimes, and also there was no indicia of any
18 MUP members.
19 The witness will mention the 14th of April, 1999, and the
20 massacre which happened as the refugee column was moving towards Meja
21 when it was hit by NATO aviation. He will mention the 21st of April and
22 the number of casualties among civilians in the refugee camp caused by
23 NATO aviation.
24 The witness will mention the events of the 27th and 28th of
25 April, 1999. Those dates are stated in the indictment as the days of
1 operations undertaken in Korenica and Meja. He will state that a part of
2 his unit was engaged there exclusively along the blockade line in order
3 to prevent KLA terrorists to approach the town of Djakovica, and that
4 upon the unit's return, he was informed that they had no previous contact
5 with any terrorists. He will confirm that he had not received any kind
6 of information or report of any crimes being committed during that
8 The witness during his testimony will comment upon the statement
9 of Nike Peraj and point out the obvious inaccuracies and untruths which
10 that witness mentioned in his statement. Given that he was deployed in
11 Djakovica, the witness can testify about events during the relevant
12 period of time in that town including those events directly related to
13 the NATO air campaign.
14 Your Honours, this concludes the summary of testimony of
15 Mr. Dosan.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic, before you continue, I'm concerned
17 that what you may have in mind will have the same effect as we noticed
18 with previous witnesses. You have tendered, pursuant to leave, the
19 evidence of this witness in the form of a very extensive transcript. You
20 now from your summary, and from what I see as the amended time that you
21 expect to lead evidence in chief from this witness, would plan to lead
22 him fairly meticulously through virtually everything.
23 The point of transcript or statement evidence is that it lessens
24 the need for a detailed examination-in-chief, the examination-in-chief
25 merely to deal with any highlight or significant points, or to correct
1 some confusion or error.
2 Now, it's now moving into the fourth week of Defence evidence and
3 we've drawn attention to this last week, we do it again now. It's not a
4 sensible use of our time to have the witness spend hours, you estimate
5 over four, going through again a large amount of material that is already
6 admitted in the transcript. We certainly give the Defence a very free
7 hand, but we must ask that there be a greater discipline in your time so
8 that we are only dealing with any highlights and points of special
9 significance in the examination-in-chief where the witness -- the main
10 evidence of the witness is received in the form of previous transcript or
11 of statement.
12 If you would please bear that in mind with this witness and with
13 future witnesses. Thank you.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In any
15 case, Defence will bear this in mind. At the beginning of my
16 presentation today, I stated that the witness was -- the witness
17 testified for five days in the Milosevic case. In any case, we won't
18 come even close. We'll use far less time. We will question this witness
19 in a different manner than he was in the Milosevic case, and there will
20 be a number of documents that we will use during his testimony that we
21 will try to use to explain things to the Court. We hope you will have an
22 understanding for that, and we will try to meet your instruction in full.
23 Q. Mr. Dosan, were you ever a member of the VJ, and if so, until
25 A. Yes. I was a member of the VJ as of the 12th of September, 1970,
1 until the 31st of December, 2001.
2 Q. Thank you. On the 31st of December, 2001, were you pensioned
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. What rank did you hold at that point in time?
6 A. Major-general.
7 Q. General, sir, briefly, can you explain to us at what positions
8 you were within the VJ and previously JNA during your career?
9 A. Yes. I was platoon commander, battery commander, artillery
10 battalion commander, rocket regiment battalion commander, anti-aircraft
11 defence brigade commander, inspector for rocket units with the General
12 Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, chief of the commission for the control
13 of implementation of the arms control protocol under Security Council
14 Resolution 1244.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last
16 position as the interpreter missed it.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, could you please repeat the last part of your answer.
19 A. I was chief of the inspection or better to say commission, which
20 was in charge of controlling the implementation of arms control under
21 Resolution 1244 of the Security Council. And after that, chief of the
22 inspection of military draft service in the General Staff of the Army of
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us precisely what duties you performed
25 in the VJ in 1989 and -- 1998 and 1999?
1 A. In the first half of 1998 I was inspector for rocket units at the
2 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. In the second part of 1998 and
3 the first half of 1999, I was commander of the anti-aircraft defence
4 brigade, the 52nd Artillery Rocket Anti-Aircraft Defence Brigade in
5 Djakovica, and also the commander of the Djakovica garrison.
6 Q. Thank you. As the commander of the 52nd Artillery Rocket
7 Brigade, what were your basic duties and competencies within the brigade
8 when you arrived there in July 1998?
9 A. The task of the anti-aircraft defence brigade was to engage any
10 enemy targets in our air-space. That was my basic task as commander as
11 well as the basic task of my unit.
12 Q. Thank you. You said that you commanded the brigade as well as
13 the garrison at the same time. Can you explain the difference between
14 these two duties or roles you performed?
15 A. Yes. The basic function of mine was brigade commander. As for
16 my duty as the garrison commander, that was an auxiliary duty in relation
17 to the brigade duty. It came on top of my regular duties within the
19 The duty of the brigade commander includes efficient use of the
20 brigade, inflicting losses on the enemy in the air-space with minimum
21 casualties in the unit, materiel, and personnel. The role of the
22 garrison commander included providing order -- securing order and
23 discipline in the garrison and securing proper functioning of life and
24 work in the garrison.
25 Q. Thank you. Briefly only, can you tell us whether there was a
1 difference in the way you performed or one would perform these duties in
2 peacetime and later on in war-time?
3 A. As a rule theoretically, and that role should have been the same
4 as well as the tasks. However, given that the war-time circumstances
5 were changed, such roles entailed different duties to those in peacetime.
6 There were certain differences in the way the garrison commander acts in
7 peacetime and in war time.
8 Q. Thank you, General. Tell us, what was the situation like in the
9 town of Djakovica and the surrounding area during 1998, or more
10 specifically, in July when you arrived in Djakovica?
11 A. I arrived in Djakovica in the first half of July. This is what
12 the situation was like. As for the four roads that lead from Pristina to
13 Djakovica, three were totally blocked. That is to say that Metohija was
14 almost completely cut off from Kosovo. I came along the only accessible
15 road at that point in time, which was the longest one as well. However,
16 security had to be provided there as well. That is to say, I arrived in
17 a military convoy that had to be guarded due to constant attacks by the
18 Siptar terrorist forces.
19 As for the situation in the town of Djakovica, the unit that I
20 came to command had already sustained losses. A senior sergeant from the
21 medical corps had already been abducted and a soldier had already been
22 killed. The situation was rather difficult, and it was reflected
23 primarily in the very few supplies that reached the population because
24 the town had been cut off as such. So all the goods that were needed for
25 normal life were barely there.
1 As for freedom of movement, there was hardly any. People, or
2 rather, women and children, basically stood in queues in front of shops.
3 Men went out only when pensions were being paid out because they received
4 pensions and other social welfare payments were distributed regularly,
5 and no one else could pick them up on anyone's behalf, so that is what
6 the situation was when I arrived in town.
7 Q. Tell me, when you speak of the freedom of movement, what were the
8 reasons for that freedom of movement to be the way you described it just
10 A. Well, it can be described in the following way: Women moved
11 about town, whereas the men did not usually appear in the streets. Most
12 of them were part of the terrorist units of the KLA, and those who were
13 not were, I assume, afraid that they might be mobilised or so they may
14 have been afraid because of the propaganda that was heard, so quite
15 simply they did not appear in the streets.
16 Q. Just by way of clarification, when you speak of fear of
17 mobilisation, fear of being mobilised by who?
18 A. By the terrorists. They broke into villages or people's homes in
19 town and they forcibly mobilised military-aged men. And they even sold
20 weapons to them. That is to say that people had to buy their own rifles
21 and then join various units.
22 Q. Thank you, General. Tell us, did your unit take part in
23 operations in the field in 1998 after you arrived in Djakovica?
24 A. Yes. However, these were not really operations. Operations are
25 a broad concept involving large units. These were are individual actions
1 that were there by way of support for other units, so it was always
2 military units upon orders from the Superior Command.
3 Q. So what was the role of your unit in these operations, or rather,
4 actions, I beg your pardon, and what was your attitude as brigade
5 commander towards the part of the unit that took part in these actions?
6 A. Well, parts of my unit were sent to units that carried out
7 actions on the basis of orders issued by the corps command or the forward
8 command post of the command that was in Djakovica. From that moment
9 onwards, my unit was commanded by the person who was in charge of the
10 action. So until my troops returned to their original unit, they were
11 not under my own command.
12 Q. Thank you, General. During 1998, as garrison commander, did you
13 have meetings with the representatives of the civilian authorities and
14 the Ministry of the Interior in Djakovica?
15 A. Yes. I have to say that the civilian authorities functioned
16 normally. There was a president of the municipality and there was the
17 Municipal Assembly, and all organs of government functioned normally.
18 From time to time, in order to resolve some specific matters, I would
19 meet with the president of the municipality of Djakovica and with the
20 chief of SUP
21 to time, and only in order to handle specific matters.
22 Q. So what was discussed at these meetings?
23 A. At these meetings we would discuss problems, if there were any,
24 in town. I remember, for instance, when there was a problem with
25 Radonjic hydro system, when the water-supply of the town of Djakovica was
1 brought into question. We had reservists in our units who had been
2 mobilised and we discharged them so that the problem could be resolved.
3 Also, when we were supposed to get the bakery working because the
4 Siptars had withdrawn from all positions in town, all duties in town
5 rather, in order to ensure normal food supplies, we singled out from our
6 units people who had worked in bakeries previously and seconded them to
7 work in the bakery in town. So that's the kind of problem that we tried
8 to work out.
9 Q. So were these problems that affected all the inhabitants of
10 Djakovica at the time?
11 A. Of course. All of the problems were common problems. The
12 town -- the life in the town of Djakovica was the same for everyone, all
13 civilians and all military men, all ethnicities, we all shared the same
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know that during July and August 1998, a large
16 number of people from surrounding villages came to Djakovica as
17 internally displaced persons?
18 A. I'm not aware of that since I came in the month of June.
19 However, it is possible that there were certain movements, but I have no
20 direct knowledge of that.
21 Q. Thank you. Just for the transcript, you arrived when in
23 A. On the 9th of July, and I assumed my duty on the 15th of July,
25 Q. Thank you. In order to speed things up, I'm now going to move on
1 to the latter half of 1998, and I'd like to ask you whether you know that
2 in October 1998 an agreement had been reached that envisaged the return
3 of VJ units into barracks, and I'm also going to ask you whether you
4 acted in accordance with that agreement?
5 A. Yes, I am aware of the agreement, and we received orders to act
6 according to that agreement.
7 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask you something. When I put my
8 question to you, would you please pause for a moment and then start
10 A. Very well.
11 Q. We are talking about October 1998 and all the way up to the end
12 of 1998. Was there an increase in the number of members of your unit?
13 A. No, there weren't any increases.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know, General, that in the territory of Kosovo
15 and Metohija towards the end of 1998 there was a mission of verifiers of
16 the OSCE that was deployed there, and did you have any contacts with
18 A. Yes. Unfortunately, my first contact with them was very sad.
19 Dejan Arizanovic one of my soldiers, got killed on the 13th of November,
20 1998 in the Dulje canyon, the verifiers were 200 metres away from there.
21 The situation was a very unpleasant one. He got killed when one of our
22 food convoys was attacked. On that occasion, five of my soldiers were
23 wounded. At the very entrance into the canyon, they came across the
24 verifiers who were perhaps 2- or 300 metres away only.
25 Q. Thank you. In general terms, do you know what the task was of
1 the OSCE Mission in the area of Kosovo and Metohija?
2 A. Yes. I know their role and task was to monitor the
3 implementation of the provisions of the said agreement, or rather, to
4 monitor the cease-fire. Also, the withdrawal of units of the Army of
5 Yugoslavia into barracks, the grouping of heavy weaponry in barracks as
6 well. However, they were also responsible for security, or rather, they
7 were supposed to guarantee that there would be no attacks during the
8 cease-fire against the military, the police, civilians, et cetera.
9 Q. Thank you. Did the members of the Verification Mission come to
10 see you as brigade commander in Djakovica, and did they carry out any
12 A. Yes, the verifiers came to my unit. That was on the 16th of
13 December, 1998. I met them; I spoke to them; they checked the weaponry
15 Q. General, what type of weapons did they check?
16 A. Only launching mechanisms, and rocket systems called Strela 2m.
17 Q. What was the purpose of the mechanisms and the Strela 2m that
18 they were checking?
19 A. These are weapons for anti-aircraft defence. That is to say, it
20 is launched from hand-held launchers, and it is used for targeting
21 aircraft only up to an altitude of 3- to 4.000 metres.
22 Q. Could such weapons be used in any way against targets on the
24 A. No, not in a single case. Quite simply it cannot be used for any
25 targets on the ground.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I see that my question became your
2 answer here, so -- ah-hah, I see it's been fixed. Thank you.
3 Q. General, at that moment did the members of the KLA have aircraft
4 or helicopters for which they needed to check this kind of anti-aircraft
6 A. As far as I know at that point in time the KLA had no aircraft or
7 helicopters or any such thing.
8 Q. So do you know what the reason was for checking such weaponry in
9 that case?
10 A. It is very simple to conclude why, what was known and planned at
11 the time was the NATO aggression. It was already then that they were
12 planning to use the air force. Why else would be checking on such
13 weapons? Actually, they were only counting the type of weapons that
14 could be used in certain situations against an enemy air force.
15 Q. Now that we are on the subject of weapons, General, in your
16 brigade did you have 30-millimetre anti-aircraft guns in your brigade?
17 A. Yes, in every one of the artillery battalions there was one
18 battery respectably of anti-aircraft guns of 30-millimetre calibre. They
19 were popularly known as Pragas.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before the general
21 continues answering these question, I would like to suggest that we see
22 D011-3070 on our screens. Of course, only if our colleagues from the
23 Prosecution do not mind because this document is not on the Defence 65
24 ter list. However, we did mention it in our notification as a document
25 that we might use and that is a document that speaks of 30-millimetre
1 anti-aircraft guns and how they are maintained. This is something that
2 our witness could comment upon briefly. We would just like to use the
3 document only two pages of it, rather, if our colleagues don't mind.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
5 MS. KRAVETZ: I have no objection to that, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Go ahead, Mr. Popovic.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We are going to deal
8 with this very briefly. 3106 in B/C/S, please, could I have that page.
9 Right now we do not have a translation into English of this page. It was
10 sent for translation. It is being translated now. It's just one
11 sentence in paragraph 85 that I'm looking at.
12 Q. It says:
13 "The anti-aircraft gun 30/2 millimetres is placed on an armoured
14 vehicle. It is intended for targeting targets in the air, and if
15 necessary, targets on the ground and in water."
16 General, is this the way you understand it too?
17 A. Yes, that's what is written there, yes, in the document.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let us briefly look at
19 D011-3234 in the B/C/S version. And D011-3279 in the English version.
20 Before that I am just going to ask if the witness could be given the
21 binder that the Defence had already prepared for his use, of course with
22 the permission of the Trial Chamber.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Q. General, you can see it on your screen so let us not waste any
1 time, 439 is the paragraph that I'm looking at.
2 "To defend firing positions, the 30/2 millimetre anti-aircraft
3 gun can be used to target stationary and mobile targets on the ground and
4 if necessary, targets on water."
5 Very briefly, is that the rule that applies to 30-millimetres
6 guns like the one that you had within your brigade?
7 A. Yes, that is the rule. And it is still in force. It hasn't been
8 changed. So it is fully in force, and yes, that is the rule.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. A few questions about
10 the weapon itself, but before that I seek to tender this document, or
11 rather, we should perhaps have it marked for identification given that we
12 are still awaiting translation of the pages I have just shown to the
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00686 marked
16 for identification. And if I could, Your Honours, correct the numbers
17 given previously at page 2, line 20 and line 23, instead of D00683 under
18 seal, the number should have been D00684 under seal, and respectively
19 instead of D00684, it should have been D00685. Thank you, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. General, did the verifiers ask you about this weapon system in
24 A. No. They were not interested at all in this type of weapon.
25 They never inquired about it, and they never asked to see such guns.
1 Q. We saw in the rule that it can also be used against ground
2 targets. In which situations could it be put to such use, in particular
3 in relation to other type of guns and cannons of large calibre, what are
4 its shortcomings and good sides?
5 A. As stated here, this weapon can also be used against fortified
6 ground, and if necessary water targets. And in that sense, the weapon
7 was used. Whenever my unit received a task to take part in an action, it
8 always had a Praga or a BOV 20/3 millimetres in order to provide support
9 to the unit. It usually happened when we expected to come across
10 fortified targets such as bunkers and fortifications used by terrorists.
11 Q. Thank you. This weapon in relation to, say, 60 and 82 millimetre
12 mortars as well as other guns and cannons such as recoilless guns, how
13 does it behave, or would such a weapon used against ground targets amount
14 to excessive force?
15 A. No. We used this weapon to prevent that especially so that there
16 is no excessive force. This is a precise mechanism, and it does not have
17 the usual dispersion or margin of error that one usually has with other
18 artillery pieces. Given that it's of a lesser calibre, it causes less
19 destruction than other means used to support units or to destroy
20 fortified positions. It is precisely for that reason why we used this
21 type of weapon in order to cause as little destruction as possible.
22 Q. Thank you. When you say that some parts of your unit took part
23 in certain actions, and we are still in 1998, perhaps you can explain to
24 us what was the nature of such actions? Were they offensive or
1 A. Those actions were undertaken exclusively to protect our units
2 and to open up communications and roads. Because the roads were blocked,
3 our units, and especially our border units and border stations were in
4 danger because they could not receive food, water, fuel, ammunition, and
5 all other types of supply making up the logistics of a unit.
6 It was only used then in such cases. Such actions always lasted
7 shortly. They never lasted more than a single day, depending, of course,
8 the number of terrorist forces and degree of fortification along certain
9 routes. Unfortunately, this area was very difficult to navigate and
10 difficult to defend because it is in a mountainous area on forbidden
11 terrain, and there was no other way to provide supplies other than using
12 certain mountain paths which, for the most part, were taken up or blocked
13 by the terrorists.
14 Q. Thank you. How many such actions were there that your unit
15 participated in?
16 A. I think between two and four. Two to three or three to four.
17 Q. Thank you. General, there is an event in Djakovica and its
18 environs mentioned in the indictment. The Prosecution asserts that that
19 event took place between the 24th of March and the 20th of May.
20 Vlastimir Djordjevic is being charged with those events. Therefore, I
21 will focus on them in particular as they occurred in 1999.
22 First of all, during the state of war did you keep the war diary
23 for your brigade yourself or anyone else whom you tasked with doing so?
24 A. Yes, we kept the brigade war diary.
25 Q. Can you tell us in brief what were its contents, what type of
1 events were recorded?
2 A. The war diary was something that our unit was obliged to keep as
3 much as any other unit in war time. All important events are recorded
4 that are of significance for the unit and reflect the situation in the
5 unit. First and foremost, such events are entered that have a certain
6 importance for the unit, such as losses, successes, tasks issued to the
7 unit, manner of implementing those tasks and how they were implemented,
8 the degree of participation of key officer personnel, and everything else
9 that makes up the history of a unit.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please have
11 P5 -- 958 put on the screen. It is tab 2 in your binder. So P958. Yes,
12 that's it.
13 Q. General --
14 A. Let me find it in my binder.
15 Q. Is this the war diary?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us go immediately to page 4 in both versions. I
18 think you have those in hard copy for your perusal. The date is the 24th
19 of March.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. These are the pages. Let's look at entry number 9 and up to
22 entry number 16, which is on the next page, but let's start with the
23 first one. First of all, does this page of the diary have to do with the
24 24th of March, 1999?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. We can see that at 6.00 p.m. the -- there was an
2 air-raid signalled?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. At 8.00 in the evening there was an air-strike against ground
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. We also see that the 2nd battery of the 1st SARD PVO opened fired
8 from Cabrat on targets in the air-space. Where is Cabrat in relation to
10 A. Cabrat is a hill overlooking Djakovica town. The old part of
11 Djakovica is at the very foot of the hill just above Katolicka Street and
12 that is basically the centre of town, the old town centre.
13 Q. Where were you when the air-raid was signalled?
14 A. I was on Cabrat hill. Our unit was stationed there. We had our
15 radars used to detect air-space targets. Cabrat hill is a very good
16 feature at which one can place anti-aircraft defence and monitoring
17 equipment. I was there in a shelter on top of Cabrat hill.
18 Q. Thank you. Chronologically speaking, you say here that at 2140
19 hours, there was a group of airplane which arrived from Italy towards the
20 FRY, and then we see 2 hours 45 minutes; is that already on the 24th of
21 March in the morning?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And next we have item 16, 930 hours air-raid alert sounded. Are
24 these the events you recorded in your diary for the 24th and 25th of
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit
4 Q. It is your tab 3, General. This is the document. General, this
5 is sent to the commission for co-operation with the ICTY expert team.
6 Your name is there as well as your address. The date is the 28th
7 November, 2009 [as interpreted] concerning unit engagements on the 24th
8 of March, 1999. Statement. Who did you give this statement to?
9 A. I provided this statement to the commission for co-operation with
10 the ICTY to their so-called expert team. They asked me to provide that
11 statement after a book was published by the foundation for humanitarian
12 law and assistance. In that book Djakovica is mentioned. Given that by
13 that time I had already retired, they called me in and asked me to
14 provide a statement about a particular event.
15 Q. Thank you. General, you provide your opinion, your view of the
16 event. On the 24th of March, were there any NATO aviation air-strikes in
17 Djakovica itself and its environs?
18 A. Yes, in the town of Djakovica itself as well as against the
19 barracks in Djakovica.
20 Q. Thank you. In the last paragraph of the first page you say that
21 the -- it says as follows:
22 "I was on Cabrat hill when the NATO planes carried out their
23 first strikes. I was there together with the troops from the command
24 battalions." Is this what you just referred to?
25 A. Yes, I was on Cabrat hill when we saw the first sorties and
1 strikes. With me there was the command battalion staff following the
2 situation. From that feature, I could hear the results of those strikes,
3 although from the shelter itself I could not see where the ordnance had
4 landed. Although I could hear it.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the next page
7 in both versions.
8 Q. There you say in the first paragraph:
9 "When I came out of the shelter, I could see the results of
10 detonations on Katolicka Street, and I could hear fire engines. Given
11 that I didn't see the strikes, I could only presume what had happened in
12 Katolicka Street, and I believe it was a result of the strikes of NATO
14 Could you tell us exactly what did you see, hear, observe?
15 A. Yes. After the initial explosions I came out of the shelter.
16 Give than my position was above Katolicka Street, I could see that it was
17 on fire. It had beautiful small old buildings and houses. There were
18 beautiful old buildings made of wood and attached to each other. It was
19 practically impossible to stop the spreading of fire. I could see from
20 the hill that the street was ablaze, and I could hear the fire engines
21 coming in and trying to put out fires. That's what I could see the first
23 After several days, I passed along that part of town as our
24 barracks Devet Jugovica that was our basic barracks and was very close
25 by. It was practically situated in the continuation of Katolicka Street.
1 It was also targeted and mostly destroyed. So when I got there, I could
2 see the extent of the destruction in Katolicka Street, and it was really
3 in a poor state. It was a pity to see what that looked like.
4 Q. Thank you, General. Do you have any information concerning what
5 caused the fire in Katolicka Street on the 24th of March?
6 A. I don't have any direct knowledge. I could not see it from the
7 hill. However, Major Zlatko Odak who was my subordinate officer and who
8 was deployed in Devet Jugovica barracks, because this was a logistical
9 unit, he claimed that he could see a missile fall in that part of town.
10 He also said that this was what caused the fire.
11 Q. Thank you. And while you were on Cabrat hill, could you hear or
12 see what part of town was targeted by the NATO aircraft?
13 A. On the first night, and there were air-strikes on Djakovica every
14 day, but on the first night I could hear three explosions. I could not
15 see where the rockets fell, but I did see the street which was ablaze and
16 later on I heard that the Devet Jugovica barracks was also hit on that
17 occasion, so was a police facility situated within the barracks.
18 Q. Thank you. At the end of your statement you say:
19 "I claim that my units and myself personally have nothing to do
20 with the alleged destruction of this part of Djakovica and the said
21 religious facility. I have no information that other units or parts of
22 forces of Serbia or FRY took part in purposeful destruction of the town."
23 And you say that these facilities were destroyed during the NATO
24 air-strikes on civilian and military facilities in Djakovica town. Is
25 that what you saw on that occasion and what you say today when you are
1 talking about these events?
2 A. Yes, I fully confirm that and I can reiterate the same claim.
3 Neither myself nor my unit nor any other part of Serbian or FRY forces
4 participated in this crime in any way whatsoever. And it was a crime. I
5 claim that the fire was caused by NATO air-strikes.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I propose to tender
7 this into evidence.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00687.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please see
12 Q. It is tab 4 in your binder, General.
13 General, we can see your order. It says, Command of the 52nd
14 ARBR PVO. The 24th of March, 1999. The title is, taking Measures in the
15 Events of a Bombing, and I would ask if we could please see the next page
16 in both versions. Under item 4, General, and then under the second dash
17 after the initial attacks, commanders command priorities will be
18 preventing panic, desertion, and criminal activities. Can you please
19 clarify this for us.
20 A. Yes, most of my soldiers, including myself, had experience with
21 NATO air-strikes for the first time, so naturally it was to be expected
22 that panic would spread among the members of the unit, that it would be
23 much more difficult to command, and that incidents could occur which
24 would not be good for the situation within the unit. That was why, in
25 timely fashion, I wrote orders and sent them to all my subordinate
1 officers and commanders of other units instructing them how to act in
2 such a situation.
3 Considering that after combat operations there are many
4 consequences that are out of control, I strictly prohibited any violation
5 of humanitarian law. Strikes against the town regularly caused fire,
6 window panes bursting, doors being broken, and as a consequence of that
7 there were lots of goods that were in the street. I made sure that in
8 such a situation when panic was spreading, there would be no looting or
9 any other incidents of crime.
10 Q. Was it your position throughout the NATO bombing campaign?
11 A. That was the position of my corps commander, my own position, and
12 the position of all my colleagues who were in Kosovo and Metohija. That
13 was the way that we were taught, that we were brought up, that we had to
14 stick to our soldierly honour and our officer's honour, and that we had
15 to keep it always and everywhere.
16 Q. Thank you, General. Can you please have a look at item 9. Let
17 me not read out the entire paragraph. Does this relate to what you just
19 A. Should I read it?
20 Q. No, just read it for yourself and then please comment on it.
21 A. This is just what I said. Officers, commanding units, but also
22 all their subordinates have to show that they are able to fight for the
23 freedom of their homeland in every situation, and they always have to
24 behave honourably as soldiers considering that in our people a soldier
25 was always equated with honour and honesty. I insisted on this in order
1 to ensure that these moral qualities would not be soiled in any way or
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I tender this into
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE PARKER: The exhibit will be received. It's been pointed
8 out to me that the translation into English has the date of the 26th of
9 March whereas the original seems to be the 24th. The other way around.
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, it's quite possible
11 because the date on the Serbian version of the document is the 26th of
12 March, but let me check. Yes, you are quite right. The translation says
13 the 24th. It should be but let me check with general.
14 Q. General, what does the heading of the document say, what is the
15 date of the document that we just commented on?
16 A. I'm writing [as interpreted] it just now. It says here the 26th
17 of March, 1999. That was the second day after the break-out of the war.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will be Exhibit
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now return to
21 the document P958. And look at page 8 in the B/C/S version. I'm sorry,
22 it's page 11. It's the 31st of March, yes.
23 Q. The date is the 31st of March, 1999, General. That's right.
24 It's item 2.3 in your binder.
25 A. Yes, here it is.
1 Q. The date is the 31st of March, 1999, and in your diary, you say
2 that a radar was hit and that the following soldiers were killed on that
3 occasion, Djordje Cimbaljevic and Zoran Ivanovic. When I say you wrote
4 that in the diary I didn't mean you personally, but the unit whose
5 commander you were. If we turn the page to the 1st of April, 1999 you
6 also mention here something relating to soldier Cimbaljevic and Ivanovic.
7 Can you please just have a look at that. I'm not asking you for any
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] And now if we could please see
10 Exhibit D006-4309.
11 Q. General, in your diary, you did not record any unusual incidents
12 on the 31st of March and the 1st of April. We can see here once again
13 this is addressed to the commission for co-operation with the ICTY to the
14 expert team unit activities on the 1st of April, 1999, your statement
15 Milos Dosan. What is this about? Did you give another statement, and if
16 you did, what was the occasion?
17 A. Yes, I recently explained, this is the same commission to which I
18 gave the previous statement. All events relating to Djakovica mentioned
19 in the said book were something that I was supposed to comment for this
20 commission. I was to describe to the best of my recollection, as I had
21 no documents, what happened on the said days and in connection with the
22 said event described in the said book. And so I gave this statement to
23 the said commission.
24 Q. General, you were asked questions about events which took place
25 in the Cerim settlement. Could we please see the next page of this
1 version of your statement where you say:
2 "I myself travelled by the route sited and once again I observed
3 no activities in the Cerim quarter which is in the immediate vicinity of
4 the location where our soldiers were killed. According to statement by
5 the 3rd Battalion commander, Major Dusko Vukasinovic, one of whose
6 platoons was located in the Vinarski Podrum facility in the immediate
7 vicinity of the Cerim quarter, they did not report that they had observed
8 any kind of activities which might prompt any actions by the VJ or the
10 Can you please briefly clarify what you stated here?
11 A. Yes, I described here the events which were related with the
12 deaths of my soldiers because the location where they were killed at the
13 radar, it's a place called Lum-Bunar, and it is close to the Cerim
14 quarter. On the previous night when we were extinguishing the fires and
15 pulling out our soldiers, I passed through this quarter. It could have
16 been about 2.00 a.m., and I observed nothing. There was no electricity
17 in the town of Djakovica at the time, so everything looked spooky at
18 night. It was very difficult and dangerous to move around. I had one of
19 my units in a facility which is called Vinarski Podrum, which is maybe 3
20 or 400 metres away as the crow flies from the said Cerim quarter. The
21 commander of this unit informed me that his soldiers and officers who
22 were stationed there, as our soldiers were never without any officers,
23 informed me that they had not observed any activities or events in that
24 part of town. For that reason, I have no information about what is
25 mentioned in the humanitarian law centre's book, and on the basis of
1 that, I expressed the claim that neither myself nor anyone else from my
2 unit had anything to do with the said crime committed in the Cerim
3 quarter. We are also not aware of who might have been the perpetrator of
4 that crime.
5 Q. General, my question for you was whether at that moment you had
6 any information whatsoever that any sort of crime had been committed in
7 the area?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you. I see here that you are discussing the 31st of March
10 and the 1st of April. If someone were to ask you about what was
11 happening during the night between the 1st and the 2nd of April, would
12 that change anything in your testimony, or did you have any information
13 about any crimes committed during that night between April 1st and 2nd?
14 A. No, nothing would be different because the said soldiers spent
15 about one month in this Vinarski Podrum facility. I did visit them on
16 the previous night, but the soldiers were quartered there in this
17 facility throughout the whole time. They were not in the barracks, and I
18 still claim, as does the commander of the said unit, that we did not know
19 anything about that.
20 Q. General, what was the situation in Djakovica like at the time?
21 Were there already any consequences of the NATO air-strikes against
22 military and civilian facilities in the town?
23 A. As I said, there were air-strikes against the town every day.
24 There were already many facilities that were destroyed, many shop windows
25 had been destroyed as a consequence of detonations of bombs, buildings
1 had been set ablaze, some houses had been destroyed, some military
2 facilities were destroyed, but so were some civilian facilities. Gas
3 stations had been targeted, and there was practically not a single one
4 left in tact. There were air-strikes against the town of Djakovica all
5 the time including the town itself and also its immediate vicinity.
6 Q. Thank you. You have talked about Katolicka Street and how the
7 old houses had been built and what were the consequences that one single
8 rocket may have caused. What were the effects of NATO bombs on other
9 parts of the town?
10 A. As I was in the town of Djakovica for the most part of this
11 period, I can say that they used particular types of ordnance for
12 particular targets. I was watching when a gas station called Stella was
13 hit. At the moment when it was hit, the reservoirs which were
14 underground started flying across town as tin cans. Actually, I did not
15 see this, but I went to see later on how a tobacco-producing facility
16 called Virginia, which had five levels, was burst by a bomb from the roof
17 to the ground even though there were thick concrete slabs between each
18 floor. They were almost half a metre thick. They were using various
19 kinds of ordnance and the attacks on anti-aircraft units were mostly
20 guided missiles.
21 When they targeted facilities, they also used cruising missiles,
22 which have very great destructive power, but also bombs that were
23 smaller, bigger. They also used cluster bombs, special kinds of bombs
24 that would use the electricity to fail. So they used all kinds of
25 ordnances that they had at their disposal.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before we take the
3 break, I would tender this document into evidence.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00689, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We resume at quarter past 4.00.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please have
13 D006-4313 on our screens, please.
14 Q. It's tab 6 in your binder, General. We see your order dated the
15 2nd of April, 1999. Again, I don't want to read out the entire order.
16 It speaks of international humanitarian law and the observance thereof.
17 Could you just give us your brief comments with regard to the entire
18 document, notably 2, 3, and 4, and tell us what you insisted upon here?
19 A. Yes. That is my order, and I hereby order that on all occasions
20 and at all points in time, the provisions of international humanitarian
21 law should strictly be adhered to, that all units should abide by
22 international humanitarian law, and also that it is their duty to provide
23 information if they find out that someone is not complying with
24 international humanitarian law.
25 I state here that all possible perpetrators will be punished.
1 That is to say, if anyone commits anything that is in contravention of
2 international humanitarian law. I also provide instructions to security
3 organs who in such a situation would hand the perpetrators over to
4 military courts. Also, I state here that all members of the brigade
5 should be made aware of this order. I particularly make it incumbent
6 upon commanders of subordinate units to bear this in mind on all
7 occasions and to take measures to prevent any form of non-compliance with
8 international humanitarian law.
9 Q. Thank you, General. Were there any documents that every member
10 of the Army of Yugoslavia had that instructed them to abide by
11 international humanitarian law?
12 A. Of course. All members of the unit, starting from myself all the
13 way to the very last member of the brigade, had instructions accompanied
14 by specific excerpts and descriptions of situation that anyone may face
15 in a situation of war. This was pocket-sized. It was laminated in
16 plastic so it could remain undamaged even if one's uniform got wet, for
17 instance. So it could not be destroyed under any circumstances
19 Therefore, no one could say that they were not aware of
20 international humanitarian law and how it was to be observed.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I would
22 like to tender this document.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00690, Your Honours.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have D006-4315.
1 Q. That's number 7 in your binder, General. So we see this is a
2 commander -- this is a document of the command of the 52nd Brigade dated
3 the 6th of April, 1999. Paragraph 1 says: "Forces under the brigade
4 command and deployment of engagement." And number 2 says: "Attached and
5 resubordinated units."
6 Could you please explain to us what paragraphs 1 and 2 mean?
7 A. Of course. In this survey, we see the forces that were under the
8 direct command of the brigade and that were deployed in the area.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Popovic's
10 microphone please be switched off, thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So, it says, for instance that the
12 1st Battalion Skivljane, and then the 1st Rocket Battalion the 3rd
13 Artillery Battalion at the Mitar Vujinovic border post sector, so these
14 were units that were under my command only, and it is our officers from
15 our brigade that commanded those units. The second part, the second
16 paragraph pertains to units that had been attached and resubordinated to
17 other units by way of support for particular activities.
18 In actual fact, every unit had the duty of protecting itself from
19 air-strikes. These units that were attached and resubordinated to other
20 units were deployed with the intention of reinforcing those other units
21 in an anti-aircraft sense because these other units had not been trained
22 and equipped to target aircraft and the like, so this is what this survey
23 shows. For instance, it says that one battery from the 3rd Artillery
24 Battalion was in the area of Zub, then another one was somewhere in the
25 command of the Pristina Corps area, then the 549th Motorised Brigade, so
1 whenever necessary they were engaged.
2 Q. Thank you. General, tell me, under whose command were these
3 attached and resubordinated units?
4 A. Well, the very word "resubordination" means that they were
5 commanded by the commanding officer of the unit to which that part of my
6 brigade was attached or resubordinated, namely, that unit was used only
7 on the basis of orders issued by the commanding officer of the unit to
8 which that part of my unit had been attached and they acted upon his
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, I would like to tender
11 this document, please.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00691.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, since we are talking about the 6th of April and the
16 period after that, could you tell me whether there was a major offensive
17 by the terrorist forces in that period of time in the area of Morina and
18 Kosare facing the Albanian border?
19 A. Yes, on the 7th of April, in the area of the Kosare border post,
20 there was a large influx of terrorist forces from the Republic of Albania
21 that were supported by large calibre artillery from the army of the
22 Republic of Albania. At the same time, they had fire support from the
23 NATO air force. One of my soldiers got killed in that attack. His name
24 was Nikola Popovic. Lieutenant Misic was also wounded. I'm talking
25 about my own unit, but this was an attack in a wide area and there was a
1 serious danger, namely, that they take particular elevations, certain
2 parts of our country, that is.
3 Also, this intimated an almost certain second stage of the
4 aggression, that is to say land invasion. The aggression started on the
5 24th of March in the air but by then there was the looming danger of
6 ground attacks, which this was in actual fact. It was aggression on the
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see D006-4318 now.
10 Q. It's number 8 in your binder.
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 JUDGE PARKER: We don't appear to have that in e-court.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] D006-4318. That's the number that
14 I have. We just need a second to check this. In the meantime, I'm going
15 to move on to the next document and then we'll go back to this one once
16 we've checked what this is all about.
17 So could we now please have D006-4320.
18 Q. It's number 9 in your binder, General.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Do we have this document? That
20 seems to be all right.
21 Q. Thank you. This is your order dated the 10th of April, 1999. In
22 paragraph 1, you speak of the use of inhumane combat resources. Could
23 you please read this and tell us what it is that you meant and what is
24 your knowledge of the use of such equipment in the territory of Kosovo
25 and Metohija?
1 A. Yes, this is my order regulating that particular matter and this
2 is what I say in paragraph 1:
3 "Unit commanders shall undertake all necessary measures to
4 protect units, both on march and during relocation as well as in combat
5 engagement sectors, both from enemy aircraft operating from air-space and
6 from the use of the latest ordnance, including inhumane ones."
7 During the NATO aggression, we kept relocating all the time.
8 Units had to be relocated all the time because they faced the danger of
9 being destroyed if they were to spend any longer amount of time in a
10 particular area. That is why I make this order. Especially because by
11 then, these inhumane ordnance was already being used. I'm primarily
12 referring to cluster bombs, but also ammunition containing depleted
14 You can see that this is an order dated the 10th of April, that
15 is to say that immediately after this attempt was made to carry out an
16 aggression on land, NATO air-strikes were intensified involving the use
17 of all possible resources in order to support the influx of terrorists
18 from Albania.
19 Q. Thank you, General. Could we briefly deal with paragraph 4 of
20 this order, unarmed persons, women, children, and the elderly and others
21 that happen to be in the unit combat deployment sector should be treated
22 humanely and on the basis of principles of international humanitarian
24 A. But of course. Throughout I issued such orders, but also my
25 corps commander issued such orders to me as well, namely to observe the
1 provisions of international humanitarian law all the time invariably, and
2 there is practically not a single order where we did not refer to that as
3 well, where we did not caution the troops about that. Inter alia,
4 because units kept changing, new soldiers, new officers were being
5 brought in so there was no such order or suggestion that was superfluous.
6 I believe that they were supposed to be part and parcel of every order.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please have
9 this document admitted into evidence.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D00692, Your Honours.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have been advised
13 that things are fine now with the previous document and that we can now
14 have it on the screen. It is D006-4318, which is your tab number 8,
15 General. That's the document, thank you.
16 Q. General, this is another order of yours dated 10th of April,
17 1999, where in item 1 you say that all perpetrators of criminal offences
18 shall be immediately escorted to a competent investigating judge of the
19 Pristina Corps Command military court, accompanied by a criminal report.
20 In item 2 you say that the measures specified in item 1 of this order
21 shall also be taken against conscripts and volunteers in the military.
22 And item 3, you speak of briefing the entire force and all the units on
23 all measures taken.
24 Could you please comment briefly?
25 A. This is in the spirit of the rest of my decisions and orders. I
1 hereby order that criminal reports should be made and that all
2 perpetrators should be brought before an investigating judge on the
3 Pristina Corps Command military court. I also ordered the chief of
4 security including the military police, which is authorised to arrest
5 unit members in case of certain crimes, that they should do so without
6 any hesitation.
7 As for item 2, I made it clear that the same applied to any
8 conscripts and volunteers. I also ordered that reports should be
9 submitted to the command on the measures taken, but also to inform all
10 other units so as to act preventively. Say there was an individual case
11 of violation of international humanitarian law in a unit, I ordered by
12 virtue of this order, that other units be informed of that through our
13 security service so that attention should be drawn to the importance of
14 preventing similar occurrences in other units and that this should be
15 done by the commanders responsible.
16 I also stated that unit commanders shall be held responsible for
17 the implementation of this order, and I in turn answered to the corps
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I seek to tender this
21 document into evidence.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00693.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Next I would ask for D006-4333.
25 Q. It is your tab 10. This is another order of the 10th of April,
1 1999. It concerns the Pristina Corps Command and the undertaking of
2 measures to defend the FRY order.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to page 2 in
4 both languages.
5 Q. General, have a look at item 6, please. This is --
6 A. Yes. This is an order of the commander of the Pristina Corps.
7 Q. Just one moment, I believe this may be a wrong document.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It is D006-4333. Sorry, it is
9 actually D006-4323. 4333 will be the next document. Yes. It says
10 Pristina Corps Command. That is the correct document. Could we please
11 go to page 2 in both languages.
12 Q. General, have a look at item 6. I would like you to comment
13 briefly. What is it that the Pristina Corps Command is ordering here?
14 A. Yes, this came from the commander of the Pristina Corps to all
15 subordinate commanders and units. He insists on the improvement of
16 discipline and soldierly appearance and ordering us to prevent any
17 misconduct by individuals, looting, murder, et cetera, whilst upholding
18 the reputation of the army by virtue of our own conduct.
19 Our commanders, in particular General Lazarevic who was my
20 commander, ordered what I ordered to my subordinates. We always insisted
21 on order, discipline, honourable conduct, and the avoidance of
22 unnecessary use of force. We insisted on all the virtues of an army
23 which is fighting not only for its existence, but its reputation as well.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go to the next page in
25 both languages.
1 Q. General, I'd like to ask you to look at item 15, para 2. It
2 says: "Make an analysis of -- make an analysis of the response of R/S."
3 First of all, tell us whether there were any reservists in your unit, by
4 what means they arrived there and how, following what documents, and how
5 were they allocated to different units? This is a complex question but
6 it covers, I believe, all the necessary aspects we need to know about
7 reservists and volunteers.
8 A. To tell you right away, I had volunteers in my unit. I believe
9 we need to define the term "volunteer" first.
10 Q. I apologise. The question I asked did not have to do with
11 reservists, but only with volunteers, so volunteers only.
12 A. Yes. Volunteers are people, military conscripts, who had not
13 received call-up papers. They had not been mobilised, but guarded by
14 their patriotic feelings, they reported to units of the Army of
15 Yugoslavia. Specifically, in my unit I had a number of volunteers. They
16 arrived from the command of the Pristina Corps. They were always brought
17 in by an officer. These were not individuals or groups who came by
18 themselves. They would always be accompanied by an officer from the
19 corps command with their personnel cards and the necessary military
20 documents from which we could conclude what their specialties were and
21 military background.
22 According to that, they were then allocated to certain units.
23 Upon their arrival, we would take charge of them, we would issue them
24 with weapons, and dispatch them according to their military specialty or
25 branch specialty. For example, if they served the military term as radio
1 men, they would be sent to our communications unit. If someone manned
2 artillery pieces, they were then assigned to such units. If a person had
3 been a nurse, then that person was sent to the field clinic.
4 In any case, when we assigned those soldiers to different units
5 irrespective of their numbers, they were never put in a single unit. As
6 a rule, they could not comprise more than one-third of a unit, and they
7 were always commanded by an establishment officer.
8 It did happen that people arrived in the unit who, in our view,
9 were unable to meet their obligations and duties. In particular, because
10 our unit was an anti-aircraft unit where one needs to have good eyesight,
11 one needs to be fit so that the unit could relocate frequently. Such
12 volunteers who we could not use properly, were returned to the corps
13 command and then they were assigned to other units.
14 That is the answer. I did have volunteers in my unit. As of the
15 moment when they joined the ranks, there were no exception. Internally
16 we called them volunteers because they joined the unit honourably as
17 opposed to others who, for example, fled the country when there was
19 Q. Thank you. Were there certain rules in place concerning the
20 number of volunteers which could be in a single unit, who could be in a
21 single unit?
22 A. As I've just said, they could not have comprised more than
23 one-third of a unit. For example, if there were 30 soldiers in a
24 platoon, there could not have been more than 10 volunteers. The formula
25 was precise. They never appeared as a majority group, and they were
1 never commanded by a person who had escorted them to the unit. They were
2 always commanded by our establishment active duty officers.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I seek to tender this
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00694.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Next could we see
10 Q. General, it is your tab 11. It is your order of the 13th of
11 April, 1999. Please have a look at item 3, the sentence begins with:
12 "Alcohol consumption and instances of defeatism, desertion,
13 refusal or failure to obey orders are to be vigorously prevented.
14 Greatest attention, care, and responsibility is to be exercised in
15 matters involving personal appearance, treatment and conduct through
16 troop reviews, and direct contact."
17 Could you please comment briefly on this?
18 A. I can tell you this, we persistently insisted on the maintaining
19 of order and discipline. Alcohol is never a good thing, especially not
20 in war time because people have weapons, ammunition, and they are
21 constantly under stress.
22 As for the second part where personal appearance is mentioned, in
23 Djakovica, for example, when the post office was still working, people
24 would come in from their border posts to call home and, of course, among
25 them were those who did not have any soldierly appearance, they wore
1 dirty uniforms, unshaven, and unkempt, which was due to the conditions
2 under which they lived at the time. However, this did not amount to
3 proper soldierly appearance. This was particularly announced among the
4 reservists, as we called them. They were frequently somewhat older and
5 who didn't look good in uniform anyhow, but in view of the circumstances
6 and because of the fact that they had to spend prolonged periods of times
7 along the line at Kosare were quite unkempt.
8 As for the insignia, no other insignia was allow save for the
9 insignia of the Army of Yugoslavia, and there were none.
10 Q. While we are on the topic of insignia, can you tell us, do you
11 have any kind of information that there were any members of paramilitary
12 formations in Kosovo and Metohija in 1998 and 1999?
13 A. I spent most of the time in Djakovica but also I travelled
14 frequently to other units of mine which were deployed all the way from
15 Pec to Kijevo, Pristina, Gnjilane and further afield. I never saw
16 paramilitary formations. The only paramilitary formation there was was
17 the terrorist KLA. Although, I have to admit that I did not see a single
18 member of the army. Based on the reports of my subordinate officers and
19 my personal insight, I can say that I never saw any paramilitary
20 formation members anywhere.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, could it
22 please be admitted into evidence.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00695.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please see
1 Exhibit D006-2363.
2 Q. And General that is your tab 12.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] D006-2363. Thank you.
4 Q. This is a regular combat report which your command sent to the
5 Pristina Corps Command, and the date is the 14th of April, 1999. Under
6 item 1, second paragraph, you say:
7 "They did not attack features and units of the brigade, but they
8 did attack refugee convoys in the immediate vicinity of the deployment
9 sector of our units in the area of the village of Ripaj-Madanaj and the
10 Terzijski bridge, which led to a massacre."
11 General, do you remember this incident? Where did it take place
12 and what did you directly learn about that?
13 A. Yes, I remember the incident. I could almost say that I was an
14 eye-witness. It happened in the Meja settlement when the NATO aircraft
15 attacked a column of civilian refugees who were Albanians by ethnicity.
16 Two aircraft attacked the column, and by order of the corps commander, I
17 was sent to the spot to see what could be done. At the same time, I
18 ordered the chief of the medical service to send an ambulance from our
19 infirmary and see if any help could be provided to the people.
20 I arrived there perhaps half an hour after the air-strike, and I
21 can say that the scene was really horrible. The bodies were still
22 smouldering. Parts of tractors and ox carts were thrown around. Some
23 people had been burnt to death. Some were dismembered. The whole scene
24 was horrible. What was characteristic was that at the head of the column
25 was an elderly gentleman. He could have been around 75, and he was
1 dapper. So I approached him and I asked him what had happened. He told
2 me that there were two aircraft, that he had heard explosions, and there
3 was nothing else that he could say.
4 Now, this is what I find interesting. In Djakovica, we did not
5 have any TV equipment or studio to able to record it. A TV crew had
6 arrived from Prizren. I was with this gentleman all the time when the TV
7 crew arrived. He suddenly changed, it was a real metamorphosis. He
8 hunched his back, he looked like a poor devil, he began speaking in a
9 warped Serbian, and when asked by the journalist what had happened, he
10 said that something had exploded, that he did not know whether these had
11 been aircraft or a shell or a bomb, and if they were aircraft, whose
12 aircraft they were.
13 So in my presence, an unbelievable change of his statement
14 occurred. His behaviour also changed as if he had been trained for a
15 different role. This is what I can say now, and I describe that in my
16 book as well. But that is the truth.
17 So we sent our team to the spot, very little could be done.
18 Later on we received a report from the Djakovica hospital about how many
19 people had perished, and we learned that they were mostly women and
20 children. They were but few men. I have a feeling that the only man in
21 the column was the elderly gentleman who was leading everyone else. That
22 is my impression, and that is the truth as I saw it firsthand. I am not
23 sure if I have managed to depict the scene to you, but it is certainly a
24 scene that I would not like to remember often.
25 Q. Thank you, General.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document into
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00696.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please see
6 Exhibit D006-4336.
7 Q. It is your tab 13, General. This is a regular combat report from
8 your command sent to the Pristina Corps Command, dated 16th of April,
9 1999. Can you please focus on item 1, paragraph 3 says:
10 "Between 750 and 810 hours on the 16th of April, the enemy
11 dropped propaganda leaflets from aircraft in the entire brigade zone."
12 Can you please explain what sort of incident this was, how frequent was
13 it, and what do you know about that?
14 A. Yes, that was the first time that the leaflets were dropped on
15 the 16th of April. If that had happened earlier, we would have reported
16 that. They were dropped from aircraft in large quantities, and there was
17 practically no spot where one could not find them. You could find them
18 all over the town, but also blown by the wind, they would reach all
19 places. The leaflets were produced on top quality paper, so even if they
20 got wet because of dew or rain or if they were exposed to sun, they would
21 still be in good shape.
22 The contents were varied. One of the leaflets included a list of
23 commanders whom they claimed they continually observed. Another one
24 included invitation to soldiers to desert their units. They were also
25 leaflets who could frighten anyone. Namely, the leaflets were dropped
1 two or three days after the beginning of the bombing campaign with
2 strategic B-52 bombers. It is well known that they can carry up to 20
3 tonnes of ordnance.
4 One of the leaflets showed an image of this aircraft dropping
5 carpet bombs, and the text said that they would be used in unlimited
6 quantities until such a time when they managed to drive out the police
7 and the military out of Kosovo. Of course, I saw these aircraft which
8 were flying over my positions. They were at a very high altitude so that
9 we couldn't shoot them down, but they looked like jumbo jets, and it was
10 really scary to look at them, even when they were not bombing. There
11 were other leaflets as well, but these were the most typical ones.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. Your Honours,
13 I tender this document into evidence.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00697.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, now that we are discussing leaflets, could we please see
18 Exhibit D006-2513, which is your tab 14, General. And you can see a
19 leaflet. My question to you is whether you are familiar with this
20 leaflet and its contents? Did you ever have an occasion to see this
21 leaflet personally?
22 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this leaflet, but it was not dropped from
23 aircraft. Its form was that of a red sheet of paper with black
24 lettering. Of course, I cannot read Albanian, but my officers translated
25 it for me. Most of my officers in my unit, who are from Kosovo and
1 Metohija, have a command of the Siptar language and they explained to me
2 that this is a leaflet discussing the situation and addressed primarily,
3 if not only to the Albanian, that is to say the Siptar population.
4 The leaflet explains to them that the KLA cannot protect them and
5 that it invites them and recommends to them to leave the territory of
6 Kosovo and Metohija temporarily and directs them to certain axes. They
7 are told to go to Albania and to Macedonia. And at the end it is said
8 that they are invited to do so by the president of the republic, Ibrahim
10 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. Your Honours,
11 I tender this document into evidence.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The witness said it wasn't dropped from aircraft
13 but he hasn't told us exactly how he came across it.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] We shall establish that.
15 Q. You have heard what the presiding judge said, please tell us how
16 you came into possession of this document.
17 A. We received certain instructions and orders ordering any member
18 of the unit who would find any leaflets to hand them in to his superior.
19 These leaflets were found across town, they were not dropped from
20 aircraft, and an officer brought them to the command. I cannot remember
21 who it was, but they were brought after having been found in the town of
22 Djakovica. So they were not dropped from aircraft but one of the
23 officers who was also stationed in the Djakovica town, I think it was one
24 from the logistics battalion who found them and brought them to the
25 command to the barracks.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00698.
3 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please see
4 Exhibit D006-4371, and that is your tab 15, General.
5 Q. General, we can see here an order but it says at the top
6 "Garrison Command." Securing the civilian population, that's the title,
7 the date is the 17th of April, 1999, and under item 1 you say:
8 "All units in the Djakovica garrison zone of responsibility shall
9 take the measures necessary to care for the civilian population."
10 General, please let me not read the rest of the paragraph to you,
11 please read it for yourself and then tell us what were the measures that
12 you took to provide care to the civilians, and what were the measures
13 taken to do all the other things that you explain under item 1?
14 A. Yes, that is my order in my capacity as garrison commander.
15 There were orders that I issued as the brigade commander, and others that
16 I issued as the garrison commander. As I said, my role as the garrison
17 commander was to take care of the order and discipline in the town, to
18 ensure that life functioned normally in the town for everyone, co-operate
19 with the authorities, which were operating throughout this time, and also
20 with the units of the MUP.
21 I needed to help them to take care about the civilians and make
22 the life easier as it was becoming more and more complicated every day.
23 Primarily this was caused by the continuous bombing campaign, certain
24 facilities had already been destroyed, and another reason was that the
25 population was also exposed to the NATO attacks. Especially after the
1 attack on the Siptar refugee column, there was a danger that by accident
2 they might be targeted by NATO air force attacks because the aircraft
3 flying at high altitudes could not always make a selection and determine
4 who is who. Therefore, in co-ordination with the MUP organs and civilian
5 authorities, we would occasionally meet in order to resolve specific
6 issues. If it was needed to resolve the issue of water-supply or bread
7 supply or electricity supply, then we from the military would release
8 certain men from our units if they were, for example, mechanics or could
9 help to repair certain equipment or if they were bakers, or anyone else
10 who could prevent a possible catastrophe that might arise under such
12 So that was the purpose of this order. It further says that we
13 have to know what are the numbers of the civilians and their movements
14 and how well they are supplied at any given time so that we would be able
15 to help them. In any case, these activities had humanitarian character,
16 and we really had good intentions to make life easier for the people. At
17 the same time we would make it easier for ourselves because we were also
18 living in the same town.
19 Q. Thank you, General. I would be interested in the following:
20 Could you tell us specifically once again how often were meetings of the
21 garrison command held, and also at these meetings, I am primarily
22 referring to discussions with representatives of the Ministry of the
23 Interior, did you discuss any actions on the ground or anti-terrorist
25 A. Well, we would meet only when absolutely necessary. Namely,
1 these were not regular meetings. We would meet when the situation was
2 such that something had to be done urgently in order to make it possible
3 for the town to function. In this situation when we especially from the
4 air defence were a constant target, even if we wanted to, we were unable
5 to carry out long discussions. We would meet up to resolve a specific
6 problem and then we would go our separate ways. We did not have any
7 other discussions. We had no time for that. And also as far as security
8 is concerned, a brigade commander and the chief of SUP and the president
9 of the municipality would really be a highly desirable target for the
10 NATO air force, the Siptar terrorists were in town, and they were always
11 able detect our positions.
12 Q. Thank you. Could you please give me a specific answer to the
13 second part of my question. I think you've answered the first part, but
14 my question was also whether in discussions with the representatives of
15 the Ministry of the Interior at the meetings that you described just now
16 when you had them and under the circumstances under which you had them,
17 did you ever discuss land actions or anti-terrorist activities?
18 A. No, no. We did not go into the subject of activities and tasks
19 of others. I've already said we would meet very briefly, the meetings
20 were very short, and we met only to resolve a specific problem in the
21 garrison. I did not discuss with them our own actions or did I ask them
22 about their actions. I had the feeling that the chief of SUP knew very
23 little about these anti-terrorist actions, but I had no need to ask them
24 about that. I had my own obligations within the brigade. When I met up
25 with them, we resolved matters very quickly. Sometimes we would have
1 very brief meetings as we stood, we would not even sit down for a
2 meeting, we would simply deal with matters quickly.
3 Q. If I understand you correctly, these were primarily logistical
4 problems that you discussed, logistics related to life in Djakovica?
5 A. We only dealt with the problems that the local self-government or
6 rather the municipality could not resolve on its own. I've already said
7 that the organs of civilian government did function so it was only the
8 problems that they could not resolve that we dealt with. It primarily
9 had do with repairing the water-supply system, the electric system,
10 et cetera. These people were in our units so no one else could relieve
11 such a person of his duty. I was the only one who could do that, and it
12 was usually at the initiative of the president of the municipality that
13 we would resolve such matters. Whenever we could, we tried to meet their
14 requirements and to resolve such problems.
15 Q. Thank you. A few moments ago in your response you mentioned
16 treatment of the civilian population. I would be interested in the
17 following: From the beginning of the NATO bombing on the 24th of March
18 onwards, did you notice any large-scale movements of the civilian
19 population, and if so, what were the reasons for that?
20 A. There were movements, and they coincided with the beginning of
21 NATO air force activity. There were movements on a daily basis. These
22 were groups numbering 200 to 300 persons, sometimes they were smaller --
23 well, the biggest group I saw was, say, 300, 350 people. I did not count
24 them, but that is what I saw. They assembled -- they would assemble at a
25 particular place and then they would move on, but there were movements of
1 the population, yes.
2 And may I add something else, the intensity of civilian movement
3 somehow coincided with the increase in the activity of NATO air force.
4 Of course, at first it was a bit less and then later on perhaps the
5 largest population movements took place not on the first days of the NATO
6 aggression but say after five, six, or ten days when the air force
7 already started using bigger bombs, especially when people started
8 talking about ammunition with depleted uranium. That's when there was
9 more movement. And of course, they arrived in waves, as it were, hardly
10 ever was it a single family that would move. They had areas where they
11 would assemble and then they would move on. They moved on foot or on
12 tractors or any other vehicles that they would have.
13 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I would
14 like to tender this document.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00699.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I would like to ask
18 for D006-4340.
19 Q. General, it is number 16 in your binder. We can see a criminal
20 report dated the 17th of April, 1999. General, are you aware of this
21 criminal report, and very briefly, what is this about?
22 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this criminal report. It is a criminal
23 report against three of my soldiers from my own unit who tried to rape
24 two Albanian women in the area of the village of Crmljanje the very
25 moment I was informed about this, I sent the military police to arrest
1 these men, and they handed them over immediately to the military
2 prosecutor in Pristina. So that's the criminal report.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to tender
5 this document, please.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00700.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, now I had like to have
10 Q. This is number 17 in your binder. Again taking measures against
11 perpetrators of crimes, the 18th of April. You are reporting that on the
12 17th of April, persons were arrested and handed over. Very briefly,
14 A. I sent the military police to arrest those soldiers, but in
15 addition to that, I informed the corps command about what had happened so
16 that they would be aware of what had happened. So that they could be
17 kept abreast of the situation and the unit. Also, I did this so that
18 they could caution other units in Kosovo and Metohija so that such things
19 would not happen elsewhere.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00701.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, when we -- we saw these documents, and at the moment
2 when you handed over these soldiers to the appropriate authorities, did
3 you still command these soldiers, and did you ask about what happened to
5 A. No. At the moment when they were handed over to the military
6 prosecutor, of course they were no longer under my authority, and I did
7 not have time to deal with them nor was it my duty. Later on, measures
8 were taken vis-a-vis them by the court, and courts of law are
9 independent. And they acted in accordance with your own jurisdiction. I
10 did not ask any further questions, I didn't have time to deal with them,
11 and I really, to tell you the truth, was not really interested in how
12 they would fare, people who attempted to commit such a crime. That was
13 my position, that if persons committed crimes then they should have
14 appropriate measures taken against them and then may God give them
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now, please,
17 have D011-3280. Before we see this document, I have to say that it's not
18 on our 65 ter list. We did submit this document to our colleagues from
19 the OTP. Or just a second, please -- oh, yes, 701 we have tendered that.
20 So we did mention it in our notice. It's a combat report that was signed
21 by this witness, and if our colleagues from the OTP don't mind, I would
22 like to show this document to this witness.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to thank my learned
1 Q. General, this is a regular combat report dated the 21st of April,
2 1999 that you are sending to the command of the Pristina Corps. In
3 paragraph 1, the one but last sentence says:
4 "The criminals attacked the Maja refugee centre in the Bistrazin
5 village sector where there are no military features or units. They fired
6 53 (recorded) projectiles. (AB and RZ) of great destructive power
7 completely destroying the entire neighbourhood."
8 Before I ask you for your comment, please look at paragraph 2.
9 The total number of casualties is 6, 32 were wounded, 18 of whom remained
10 in hospital, and one child was critically injured as a result of the
11 enemy attack on the Maja refugee centre. Could you please give us your
12 comment in respect of this report that you've submitted.
13 A. Yes. The refugee centre of Maja is near Bistrazin on a farm, a
14 sheep farm. It was Serbs who were staying there, Serbs who had been
15 expelled from the Republic of Serb Krajina during Operation Storm. They
16 were the ones who had been put up in that centre. So it was only Serbs
17 from the Republic of Serb Krajina. They were fired at. It is the air
18 force that hit them, and no one survived the bombing. All the facilities
19 were destroyed as well. There was total destruction. It's not too far
20 away from the Bistrazin bridge. We had a unit of ours that was guarding
21 Bistrazin bridge so that it would not be destroyed. However, that is the
22 area that I'm talking about. That is the area that is referred to in
23 this report. That was the situation there. That was the number of
24 casualties. It was very hard, but basically the centre was levelled to
25 the ground.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this document.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00702.
5 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, I'd like to ask
6 for D006-4383.
7 Q. It's number 20 in your binder, General.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic, we need to turn to that after the
10 MR. POPOVIC: We have 15 more minutes but.
11 JUDGE PARKER: You'd like another 15 minutes. For you, you can
12 have it.
13 MR. POPOVIC: Yes. [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Yes, so that's the exhibit. General, the 23rd of April, 1999.
15 It talks about the contamination of food. I don't really have to read
16 this to you, you can read it for yourself. Please give us your comments
17 regarding this document. It has do with the contamination of
18 humanitarian aid.
19 A. This is a report from my unit sent to the command of the Pristina
20 Corps. Within my unit I had a chief for atomic biological chemical
21 warfare, and he was in charge of detecting any radioactivity. I have to
22 say that after all NATO air-strikes although there was a high risk
23 involved, we did go out to measure where there was increased
24 radioactivity and where there wasn't. Now, what is important here, I'm
25 sending this report on the basis of the findings of this officer of mine.
1 I'm informing the corps command that:
2 "On the 23rd of April, in the area of Osek Hilja village 3
3 kilometres north of Djakovica, a quantity of flour was found (about 10
4 tonnes) in the cellar of a house. The flour had been delivered to the
5 inhabitants belonging to the Siptar ethnic minority as part of a
6 humanitarian aid shipment by the Majka Tereza (Mother Theresa
7 humanitarian organisation). The flour was examined using a DRM-3
8 radiation detector and found to be radioactively contaminated. The
9 radiation measures was 1 to 3 microgrey per hour. It was later
10 established that 3 tonnes had been issued to a bakery, a private bakery
11 to make bread. Steps were taken to stop the production of the bread, and
12 the flour was withdrawn from circulation. The flour is being withdrawn
13 and a pit is being dug at the town garbage dump to bury the flour. The
14 pit is visibly marked using the markings for radioactive sites."
15 And then it is signed by commander Colonel Milos Dosan.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, I'd like to tender this
17 document, please.
18 JUDGE PARKER: We are at a loss to see its connection with our
19 case, Mr. Popovic. A shipment of flour was from radiation contamination
20 that has come from a humanitarian organisation somewhere.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I will try to clarify that with the
22 witness. There are several aspects to it.
23 Q. General, first and foremost, do you know how it came about that
24 the flour you inspected became contaminated? Secondly, did you undertake
25 all the necessary measures to notify all population that may have used
1 the flour or bakery products containing that flour by the existence of
3 A. Following the request of the Municipal Assembly president to whom
4 certain citizens complained, we sent our chief of the ABHO department to
5 inspect that. That was one of the duties as garrison commander. The
6 municipal president asked that the flour be checked because some people
7 in the town complained of certain problems after having eaten the bread.
8 When we dispatched our chief, he inspected the flour and informed
9 me accordingly. I didn't go there personally, but we had the report of
10 the person who was competent to deal with it fully equipped and
11 experienced. There was no reason to doubt his conclusions. That flour
12 was taken back and deposited at the garbage dump. I can tell you this:
13 The only Siptar working in the town administration was the manager of the
14 public utility company in Djakovica, and he positively knows of the fate
15 of that flour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: We will not receive the exhibit, Mr. Popovic.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Could we please have
19 Q. General, it is your tab 21. We can see that you provided a
20 statement to the commission for co-operation with the ICTY and its expert
21 team. The title is, "Statement on Unit's Activities on the 27th and 28th
22 April, 1999." You have already explained the reasons due to which you
23 provided the previous statement. Did the same reasons apply in this
25 A. Yes, the very same. The reason was that my statement was sought
1 following the book that was published and following a request made by the
2 commission for co-operation with the ICTY and their expert team. The
3 reason was the same as in the previous case.
4 Q. Thank you. In this statement of yours, you mention the 27th and
5 the 28th of March [as interpreted], and participation in the action that
6 took place in the surroundings of Djakovica. In paragraph 1 you say:
7 "By doing so, the Siptar terrorist forces would have created
8 preconditions necessary to receive NATO ground forces should there come
9 time for that. In the aforementioned villages in addition to constant
10 attacks against the MUP and JNA -- and VJ, they also attacked those
11 Albanian citizens who refused to leave those settlements so as to create
12 an image of the Albanian population being forced to leave."
13 Could you please describe the action you referred to here and the
14 area and villages encompassed by it?
15 A. Yes. The code name of this action was Reka it was an
16 anti-terrorist action in the Caragojsta valley. The closest place to it
17 is Kosare. This was a very important and dangerous stronghold of Siptar
18 terrorists. Should they have been able to achieve successes in Kosare
19 because the land phase of the aggression had already been underway and
20 given that there was lots of combat at Kosare with air support included,
21 should they have been successful there, they could have used a shortest
22 route between Kosare and the valley from which there were roads towards
23 Djakovica, Pec, Klina, et cetera. That was a very important area, in
24 particular, also because it was in the rear of some of our units.
25 On the other hand, by frequent and incessant attacks in this
1 forbidden forested terrain and given that they were in control of all the
2 roads which led to the Kosare border post, they cut off supplies for a
3 number of our units, in a way those units of ours were surrounded. It
4 was for that reason that the corps command and the forward command post
5 decided to neutralise the Siptar terrorist forces in the aforementioned
6 area in order to safe-guard the rear for our units.
7 In that action, smaller parts of my unit took part as well. That
8 is why I was asked to provide this statement to the commission and its
9 expert team.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I don't mean to interrupt my learned
11 colleague, but I'm just looking at the transcript page 61, line 11, I
12 believe there's an incorrect date. It says 27th and 28th of March, I
13 believe the document we are looking at concerns the month of April, 1999.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Do you accept April?
15 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I'll change what I've noted then.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Let us try to wrap it up and move away from this document. You
19 say that parts of the unit participated in the action. On the next page
20 in both versions you you say:
21 "The officer in command of the unit reported to me that they had
22 no contact with terrorists and that they did not hear or see any
23 activities in the valley of the Trava River."
24 Once you dispatched that unit following the order, who had
25 command over them and who was the officer in charge who conveyed this
1 piece of information to you, and by what means?
2 A. As of the moment when the unit was sent to carry out the task,
3 i.e., to carry out deblocking of the area, they were under the command of
4 the commander in charge of that action. From the brigade, the officer
5 responsible for my part of the unit was Major Zlatko Odak who reported to
6 me that the unit during those two days had no contact with the terrorists
7 and that they did not engage in combat, that no fire was opened upon
8 them, and they -- that no fire was returned.
9 In any case, there was no contact whatsoever with any terrorists.
10 I toured the unit on the 27th, and I saw where their positions were, on
11 the edge of a forest. The area is quite forested, and I fully accept
12 what he told me, that is, that he was unable to see any activities. I
13 believe it was so.
14 Q. Thank you. The last paragraph of this document says in support
15 of that, that:
16 "After interviews were made with participants of the action and
17 based on my personal insight, I can confirm that neither myself nor any
18 members of my unit participated in any crimes, and I have no knowledge of
19 any other unit committing those."
20 Is this something you can confirm today as well?
21 A. Yes, in full. This is what my officer reported to me and other
22 participants, and I have no other information. This is credible in my
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll continue
25 discussing this event after the break, and before the break I only seek
1 to tender this document.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00703.
4 JUDGE PARKER: To assist counsel in their planning, could we
5 mention that we will try to revert to the former practice of taking the
6 second break in the afternoon at around 5.30 rather than 5.45. We will
7 resume at 18 minutes past 6.00.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: While the witness is coming, could I mention with
12 respect to Exhibit D609, which was a transcript, that that document will
13 be received under seal as made by counsel at the end of last week, and we
14 will receive a redacted copy as part of the same exhibit.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE PARKER: As a separate exhibit to make life easier for the
17 Court Officer.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the redacted transcript will be
19 Exhibit D609.1.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
21 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could we
22 go back to P958.
23 Q. General, you can follow this on the screen or if it's easier for
24 you, it's 2.7 in your binder. It is your diary. I believe it is at the
25 very beginning of your binder.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] It is page 37 in B/C/S and 33 in
2 English. I wanted to correct some of the things which appear to be
3 translation mistakes which we noticed when preparing ourselves for your
5 Q. The date is the 27th of April, 1999. We see at 8.00, if I'm not
6 mistaken -- did you manage to find it? 2.7 in your binder.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I think it says 8.00. It's a bit difficult to see. It says the
9 action called Reka began in order to clear the terrain of any Siptar
10 terrorist forces, et cetera. The next sentence, could you please read it
12 A. Action is going according to plan and the tempo is as originally
14 Q. And the next sentence?
15 A. Because of the absence of the commander (in the 2nd and 4th SAD
16 PVO) and the Chief of Staff of the action, and that is action Reka.
17 Q. Yes, that's in the brackets.
18 A. Command organs began their meeting according to plan. Actually,
19 they began working according to plan.
20 Q. In the English translation that you can see, this sentence in
21 Serbian was translated in a completely different way. General, can you
22 tell us something, the last sentence, it says "Chief of Staff" and then
23 "action Reka," and then there's a completely different part which says
24 "Command organs began working according to plan." Does this have
25 anything to do with action Reka?
1 A. No, not the last part of that sentence. It merely says that the
2 organs of the command commenced their work at the place where we used to
3 meet every morning, in the command. That meeting was always supposed to
4 be chaired by the commander or the Chief of Staff who also acted as
5 deputy commander. Since we were both absent, I was in the 2nd and 4th
6 Battalion, one was in Pristina and the other one in Gnjilane and the
7 Chief of Staff was absent because he participated in action Reka, those
8 from the command continued work without us. They carried out their
9 activities irrespective of our absence.
10 Q. Thank you. I believe this clears up the mistake made in the
11 transcript on page -- in the translation on page 33.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 MS. KRAVETZ: I just wonder for the clarity of the record if we
15 shouldn't have the witness read the whole entry out because we've been
16 receiving portions of it. I don't know if it's clear for Your Honours.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Please, if that could be done.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, could you please read out the whole paragraph and do not
20 forget mentioning any brackets so as to make everything clear.
21 A. Yes, but it's a bit illegible. It says:
22 "The Reka clean-up operation of the Siptar terrorists forces
23 began with the participation of the 1st SARD PVO MUB, 1st Rifle Platoon
24 from the command company, and" -- now I can't see very well -- "the 2nd
25 Rifle Platoon of the command battalion. The action is going according to
1 plan as well as the tempo. Due to the absence of the commander (in the
2 2nd and 4th SARD PVO) and the Chief of Staff (action Reka) meaning he
3 took part in action Reka, the command organs continued their work
4 according to plan. That is to say they continued with their daily
5 briefings as scheduled otherwise."
6 Q. Thank you. I believe that is clear now. General, at 11.00 it
8 "The brigade commander at the Pristina Corps Command attended an
9 award ceremony of the Order of Gallantry."
10 Is that correct, were you indeed there?
11 A. Yes, it is. On that day at 11.00 I was at the Pristina Corps
12 Command to attend an award ceremony when the Order of Gallantry
13 decorations were handed out.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. On the screen we can
15 see Exhibit D006-4391. I would ask the usher to help Mr. Dosan mark
16 something on the map that we shall see.
17 Q. It is your tab 22, General. And you will soon see it on the
18 screen as well.
19 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, the number is 4291. But
20 I think that's the map. Yes, it is.
21 Q. General, maybe it is easier for you to look at the screen, it's
22 easier to see.
23 A. Yes, but can we blow it up a bit more? Can we zoom in?
24 Q. I will ask you to mark on the screen with your pen the position
25 which a part of your unit held during the Reka action.
1 A. Let me just see where it was, but this was the area.
2 Q. All right. Can you please mark it with number 1.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Thank you. Tell me, what was the name of the area where your
5 unit was?
6 A. That was the poultry farm because there was a poultry farm here,
7 and this is the area on the Cabrat hill where we were.
8 Q. So it was all called Cabrat?
9 A. Yes, Cabrat is a big hill which is along the road, but its
10 highest point is above the town of Djakovica.
11 Q. General, did you make a tour of your units on that position?
12 A. Yes, I did make such a tour.
13 Q. Can you please tell us once again who was commanding the part of
14 your brigade which was blocking off the area during the Reka action?
15 A. The forces from my brigade were commanded by Major Zlatko Odak.
16 Q. Thank you. And did the Chief of Staff participate in this action
17 as we could see that recorded in the war diary?
18 A. Yes. The Chief of Staff was also involved but only in his
19 capacity as a commanding officer who could assist Major Odak if he
20 received such orders from those who commanded in it. So he was not
21 commanding the action, he only participated in it.
22 Q. Thank you. And who was the commander of the whole action, or did
23 you have any influence on the activities of your units during this
25 A. No. The action was commanded by the command of the forward
1 command post of the Pristina Corps, or specifically, Colonel Milan Kotor
2 on behalf of the Pristina Corps Command.
3 Q. Thank you. Tell me, what sort of report did you receive once
4 your unit returned? What did the commander who represented your unit in
5 the action have to report to you about?
6 A. Well, a subordinate always has to report about a task that was
7 carried out, so once he returned when the task was completed, he reported
8 to me how it was, whether they had carried out the task, whether there
9 had been any problems, any losses, whether they attacked, how much
10 ammunition they had used, and everything else that is normal in a report,
11 so that I could picture how this task, which I received from my Superior
12 Command, had been carried out.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you directly tell us what was the report like
14 considering all the elements which you just mentioned? What did Major
15 Odak tell you once he returned from the ground?
16 A. The report related to my unit. It said that the task had been
17 carried out, that they did not attack anyone, that no significant
18 incidents occurred, and that the unit returned in good time and that
19 there was nothing that needed any special explanation. The unit had
20 returned in the same composition in which it had left without any
21 problems and without any expenditure of materiel or any losses of
22 manpower. No one was wounded. There was no contact with terrorists,
23 and, therefore, there were no special observations to be made.
24 Q. Thank you, General. Please tell us, I'm not sure if this map is
25 the best for this purpose, but you told us about the Siptar terrorist
1 forces which were attacking along the Caragojsta valley from the Republic
2 of Albania, and the specific way in which they used the valley. Can we
3 see it on this map?
4 A. If we were looking at this map, it would be from this direction,
5 because the border is there, and this was the direction from which the
6 Siptar terrorists attacked. If there would be a break-through at Kosare
7 of any specific force, they would come together here and the valley was
8 very favourable for them and therefore it was of great importance for the
9 terrorists. And this is the shortest route.
10 Q. Can you please mark the directions which you marked with number
11 2, and please tell us about the route.
12 A. From here roads continue on to Prizren, Pec, and through Rakovina
13 in the direction of Pristina, so this was the most favourable location at
14 which the terrorists could threaten our forces. And where they could
15 launch their activities because if they started from that location as the
16 roads branch into three directions, it would be very difficult to stop
17 them. If these terrorist forces managed to make a major break-through at
18 Kosare. This was the reason why the command had planned this action in
19 order to secure its rear.
20 On the other hand, from this axis here, it's a wooded area.
21 Supply routes for our units at Kosare were constantly in danger, and
22 therefore, the survival of our units up there was threatened. That was
23 the reason why this whole action was planned.
24 Q. Can you please mark the supply routes and mark them with number
1 A. These are the same routes, I can write the number here, but these
2 are the same routes which are marked as possible routes of -- along which
3 the terrorist could advance.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I propose
5 to tender this into evidence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Can you help me. Is this part of the diary, or is
7 this a separate map?
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] We'll ask the general.
9 Q. General, is this a separate document, or was it a part of the war
10 diary, and are you familiar with this document at all?
11 A. This map is a graphic section which was attached to my statement,
12 which I wrote to the commission for co-operation with ICTY. So it is, in
13 a way, an integral part of my statement which I just read a little while
15 JUDGE PARKER: The plan will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00704.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please see
18 Exhibit D006-4297.
19 Q. It is tab 23 in your binder, General. And before it comes up on
20 the screen, please tell me what was the ethnic composition of your
21 brigade during 1998 and 1999?
22 A. Well, as far as I remember, and I remember quite a lot, if I
23 start with the brigade command, my assistant, the assistant for logistics
24 was Lieutenant-Colonel Aleksandar Angelovski, a Macedonian by ethnicity.
25 The assistant for morale and information was Major Zdravko Vinter, a
1 Slovenian. The chief of the security organ was from Djakovica by birth
2 but Slovenian by origin. The chief of the communications at the brigade
3 command was Lieutenant-Colonel Dragan Ilic. He was a Croat. The officer
4 at the staff was Captain 1st Class Nike Peraj, he was an Albanian, a
5 Siptar. The desk officer, that is to say the typist at the office was
6 Mrs. Bilajuzare Berisa, Albanian or Siptar by ethnicity. That was the
7 brigade command. In artillery battalions, in the 1st Artillery
8 Battalion, the commander was Lieutenant-Colonel Sabo, Josip, a Hungarian.
9 His deputy was Major Josko Ugljesevic, a Croat. The commander of the
10 command artillery battalion was Velimir Maricic, a Croat. In the
11 logistics battalion, the commander was Ramiz Pejcinovic. He was 1st
12 deputy commander. Later on he became the commander during the war.
13 Ramiz Pejcinovic, he was a Muslim. So these were the officers. As for
14 the non-commissioned officers, they were mostly Serbs.
15 Q. Thank you. On the screen we can see a document dated the 6th of
16 April, 1999. It is your tab 23. Under item 5, it says:
17 "Captain 1st Class Nike Peraj will check the level of preparation
18 of the guards between 1100 and 1200 hours in front of the brigade
19 headquarters. He will personally report to me whether the guards have
20 been properly prepared for the execution of their task."
21 Did captain Nike Peraj, was he a member of your unit and what
22 were his duties?
23 A. Captain Nike Peraj was a member of my unit. He was at the staff.
24 He is called the third desk officer at the staff which coincided with his
25 rank, and he held the rank of captain 1st class, and his duty was to
1 control, to inspect whether the guards were well prepared and how the
2 change of guard was carried out at the barracks. That was in the town of
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, I tender
5 this into evidence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D00705.
8 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see Exhibit P313.
9 That is tab 25 in your binder.
10 Q. General, captain Nike Peraj testified before this court and he
11 has given a number of statements, and this is the last one which I will
12 try to present to you because there are many things concerning your part
13 of the work. You are mentioned in many paragraphs of this statement, and
14 I will ask you to be as brief as possible in your comments because
15 there's lot of material here.
16 First of all, let us please move on to the next page of this
17 document, and if you can please have a look at paragraph 6, which says:
18 "Colonel Milos Dosan was the commander of the 52nd ARBR. He was
19 responsible for the VJ units in the municipality of Djakovica. Colonel
20 Milos Dosan was also responsible for MUP, reservists units," -- and then
21 it says -- "the VJ Corps headquarters received orders from the Ministry
22 of Defence in Belgrade."
23 Can you just briefly comment on this paragraph?
24 A. In this paragraph, I would say that the only correct statement is
25 the first sentence that I was the commander of the 52nd ARBR of the
1 anti-aircraft defence. Everything else is either partly correct or
2 completely untrue.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have a look at the
5 next page and paragraph 9.
6 Q. It says in the territory of the municipality of Djakovica,
7 Prizren, and Pec, there were between 13 and 14.000 soldiers and policemen
8 were deployed there. I heard from colleagues that during the war 150
9 policemen were deployed there. Your brief comment?
10 A. That's not true. Quite simply, there weren't that many troops.
11 After all, he could not find out which forces were involved. He could
12 perhaps know how many soldiers our brigade had. That was the only
13 knowledge he could have had. As for the rest, he could not have had that
14 knowledge. It is obvious that there could not have been that many.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at paragraph 20 now,
17 please, that's the next page.
18 Q. General, in paragraph 20, he refers to many volunteers, most of
19 them from Russia, he says, and it says:
20 "We took their details and sent them to the -- we registered them
21 and they were sent to the front at Kosare after the commander Milos Dosan
22 refused their request to stay in Djakovica saying he would not allow them
23 to loot. They were paid by the Territorial Defence of the municipality
24 from where they had come, and the Ministry of Defence in turn funded the
25 Territorial Defence units."
1 Could you please give us your comments on that?
2 A. First of all, that is not correct. It is not true that those
3 nine Russians were there, and what is particularly not true is that I
4 received them or that I sent them to the Kosare front. None of this is
5 correct. The only thing that is correct is that we really did have one
6 volunteer who was a physician and who worked in our garrison clinic. He
7 was a Russian. That was the only Russian volunteer that we had. He was
8 a physician, a doctor, at the garrison clinic, and he did his job. All
9 the rest is not true. I did not see them. I did not send them. I did
10 not talk to them about anything, looting or whatever. I never allowed
11 looting, but what he is saying in this specific case is not true.
12 Q. Thank you, General. Paragraph 21, says:
13 "Micunovic also attending meetings with Dosan, under whose
14 command he was, and also Momcilo Stanojevic, also members of the Frenki's
15 units were at one time VJ reservists under Micunovic before joining
16 Frenki's men."
17 Could you please tell what your comments are in this regard so
18 that the Trial Chamber will be clear on what this is all about?
19 A. This statement is completely inaccurate and unprofessional.
20 First of all, Micunovic was not my subordinate officer and therefore he
21 could not attend meetings in my office. He was -- Micunovic was
22 subordinate to the commander of the Pec military department. I did not
23 see him with the mayor of Djakovica. As for Frenki's men. I have no
24 idea about this. No idea whatsoever. I know nothing about that. I did
25 not see them, I did not know who Frenki's men are. I don't find this
1 clear at all, what he is trying to say by this, but it is obvious that he
2 has no idea. This is a pure lie. It is totally removed from the truth.
3 Q. Thank you, General.
4 Paragraph 23 now, the RS Brigade is referred to here, and it says
5 that the VRS Brigade from Republika Srpska was deployed in Rezina. That
6 unit arrived in Djakovica towards the end of February. They had T-55
7 tanks and anti-aircraft artillery. Could you please give us your
9 A. This is totally meaningless. There was no possibility for anyone
10 to come from Republika Srpska. Secondly, Rezina, the locality of Rezina
11 is in elevation above Djakovica, totally bare, and if so many tanks were
12 to be deployed there, they couldn't move about, and also what sane person
13 would deploy tanks in that kind of area? None of this is true. It is a
14 well-known fact that coming from Republika Srpska -- and it's also a
15 question of whether Republika Srpska had that many tanks and this kind of
16 a brigade. So this is totally illogical and unprofessional.
17 Q. Sorry for interrupting you, General, but there are so many things
18 I'd like to show you in this statement so that's why I'm rushing you
19 through it. Paragraph 25 pertains to the same soldiers from Republika
20 Srpska, and it says:
21 "Their uniforms and equipment were the same as the VJs but with
22 different insignia. My unit provided logistic support to them. I
23 personally saw members of the brigade from the RS having meetings in
24 Dosan's office."
25 Just your comment, please.
1 A. Of course, this is totally untrue. I have nothing to add to
2 that. It is totally untrue. The brigade was not there and therefore,
3 there weren't any meetings, and we did not provide logistics, et cetera.
4 I held meetings with no one in my office from the 24th of March onwards.
5 This is totally senseless. I don't know how to explain this. He used to
6 work at the armoured brigade in Pristina where there were tanks indeed,
7 and I'm so surprised to see him speaking with a total lack of knowledge
8 of -- regarding this matter. And I'm surprised that he even became
9 captain 1st class when he was in his 50s. He just lied so much or he is
10 simply so ignorant, I'm really disappointed by this statement of his.
11 How can he say this possibly.
12 Q. Paragraph 28, please. Could you have a look at it. It says:
13 "With regard to collecting all information and reports from
14 different commanders in the field of Djakovica, it was Colonel Branko
15 Kotur from the VJ headquarters was in charge. Kotur would pass the
16 information on to VJ General Colonel Dusan Samardzic, commander of the VJ
17 headquarters in Nis."
18 Please give us your comment.
19 A. In this sentence there's so many lies that is unbelievable.
20 First of all, there is no Branko Kotur. There is Colonel Milan Kotur,
21 who was not in that line of work at all. He was an infantry man. He did
22 not collect any kind of information. Secondly, it says:
23 "The staff or headquarters of the VJ Corps" -- then he says "to
24 the VJ headquarters in Nis, Dusan Samardzic."
25 Dusan Samardzic was not army commander at the time, it was
1 General Pavkovic who was army commander at the time, so it is not
2 customary at all for lower-ranking officers to submit reports to their
3 2nd Superior Command so this is totally incorrect.
4 Q. Thank you, General. For the transcript, I think that you said
5 that there are so many lies here that it is unbelievable. There is a
6 negation in the transcript.
7 A. There are so many lies here that it is unbelievable.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you now please have a look at paragraph 37.
9 Nikola Micunovic, also known as Dragan, was chief of the Vojni Odsjek in
10 Djakovica, but he just had an administrative role in peacetime concerning
11 Territorial Defence. In war time, he was operational commander of the
12 Territorial Defence for the Djakovica municipalities. Micunovic reported
13 to Dosan and to mayor Stanojevic. Again, your comment, please.
14 A. Well, yet again, the same thing. In Djakovica there was no Vojni
15 Odsjek or military department. Djakovica did not have a Vojni Odsjek,
16 and he was not its head. For a while he was head of the military
17 territorial detachment, and he was subordinated to the commander of the
18 Vojni Odsjek or military department in Pec. He was not subordinated to
19 me, and he certainly could not have been subordinated to the mayor, the
20 president of the municipality. Quite simply military units cannot be
21 subordinated to civilians in that level. So this is totally incorrect.
22 It's a lie quite simply. It's a lie.
23 Q. Thank you, General. Could you please have a look at paragraph 43
24 now, the last sentence:
25 "I was once sent by Dosan to put a stop to the drinking but with
1 the drunken state of the people in the hotel and their weaponry, it would
2 have been too risky, so it was not pursued."
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
4 microphones be switched off, we can't hear the witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not true. I did not allow
6 people to drink, but people were not drunk because there was no liquor
7 being served at the hotel there. However, even if that had been the
8 case, I wouldn't have sent him. It would not have been right for me to
9 send him as an Albanian to expose him to danger, for that reason. So
10 none of this is correct. The only thing that is correct is that I
11 consistently forbade drinking and, therefore, intoxication.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 47, please. Again the last sentence:
14 "I drove the ARBR commander a few times to meetings between the
15 MUP and the VJ. These meetings occurred at various locations: MUP
16 headquarters, VJ headquarters, or the municipality building always in the
17 basement for safety."
18 Again your brief comment?
19 A. Well, first of all, he never drove me. I had two drivers of my
20 own who took turns at driving me. There was no logic for a captain 1st
21 class to drive a Colonel. So that's not correct. He did not drive me to
22 meetings. I said that meetings were held from time to time but already
23 at this stage of the war there were less and less of them. Quite simply,
24 for them to be held at the MUP headquarters or VJ headquarters, that is
25 not true. So this statement of his is not correct. He did not drive me
1 and even when meetings were being held, they were not held at these
3 Q. Thank you, General. Could you please look at paragraph 50. It
5 "Once Dosan called me from a meeting and said that the unit near
6 Ljug Bunar, north-east of Djakovica should be moved to Kosare. I then
7 had to pass this information on to the operation staff of the ARBR major
8 Zdravko Vinter. This unit was part of Dosan's ARBR."
9 Again a brief comment, please?
10 A. This is not true. That is not the usual way things are done. As
11 a matter of fact for security reasons, such orders were never given over
12 the telephone where -- which unit would go. I especially would not give
13 that order to him. I would give the order to the commander of the unit
14 that was supposed to go. That is customary procedure. I commanded the
15 commanders, and they received orders from me, otherwise information twice
16 or thrice removed as would be the case here, that is not possible.
17 Zdravko Vinter was not operations chief. He was my assistant commander
18 for morale, and he could not issue any orders to any commander on my
19 behalf. This would be a total violation of subordination. It would
20 disrupt the chain of command and therefore this is simply not true.
21 Q. Thank you. In the next paragraph, 51, he says:
22 "Once after a meeting I had to separate Dosan and Micunovic
23 because they were arguing. I do not know what they were fighting over.
24 On the same occasion, Dosan got into the car with me, he said that
25 Kovacevic and Micunovic were doing unauthorised things and blaming it on
1 the VJ. Micunovic's VJ reserve unit had killed eight civilians in Deva
2 village at the end of March 1999."
3 First of all, was Micunovic's unit from the VJ reserve? And
4 could I hear your comment with regard to all of this that he is saying?
5 A. Micunovic's unit was the Territorial Defence unit that had its
6 own tasks and its own chain of command like any other unit. Other the
7 other hand, there is no truth whatsoever in this. I mean, why would I
8 argue with Micunovic? Why would I as garrison commander and a colonel
9 argue with him, and why would he separate us? I'm not that kind of
10 person, and this is not the way people behave in the army and in view of
11 subordination and everything. And also over here where he says that
12 Micunovic was doing unauthorised things and Kovacevic, had I known that
13 they were doing something unauthorised or impermissible, I would inform
14 my commander about that. I would not discuss it with my subordinate.
15 That is not the right way to behalf. It is not customary either. It is
16 not the right thing to do from the point of view of morality as well, and
17 that is not the way an army functions either. It's not true. Quite
18 simply -- I mean, I'm tempted to say that he simply did not know what he
19 was saying when he was saying all of this.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a few more
21 paragraphs that I would like to show to this witness.
22 JUDGE PARKER: That can't be done tonight.
23 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. That's why we should leave it
24 for tomorrow because our time is up, and tomorrow I will make an effort
25 to bring the direct examination to end as soon as I can.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We now adjourn and resume at 2.15 tomorrow.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.07 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th day of
4 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.