1 Tuesday, 20 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. I understand that before the
6 witness comes in, there's a matter that you wish to raise, Mr. Djurdjic.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Yes, I
8 would like to inform the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution of our
9 intentions in the further leading of our case. As you have noted, and I
10 believe that the Prosecution has already observed this, there was no
11 notification yesterday for our upcoming witnesses, for the witnesses two
12 weeks from now. In our prior notification, we notified the five
13 witnesses, and the Trial Chamber approved one of those witnesses to
14 testify via videolink, I believe, after the 12th of -- the week of the
15 12th of May, but we are now faced with a problem in finding the right
16 time for an expert witness who dealt with the problems of the role of the
17 chief of the security -- state security department.
18 We have been unable so far to establish a time when he would be
19 able to appear. As things stand now, that is either going to be in the
20 week of the 10th or the 17th of May, but I cannot actually confirm either
21 date. What I can say is that the remaining witnesses on that list will
22 not be called by the Defence. We have decided not to call them.
23 And I believe both the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution need to
24 be informed of this because of further Scheduling Orders and
25 arrangements. And if the Trial Chamber wants me to tell you, I can name
1 the witnesses that will not be called by the Defence, or do you feel that
2 it's sufficient that what I've already said so far, namely the witnesses
3 who will appear is sufficient?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, just to be certain in our minds, I
5 see your intension after the present witness to call Mr. Stalevic,
6 Mr. Misic, Mr. Cankovic. Beyond that, your expert. Is there somebody
7 else that you will be calling?
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. The videolink
9 witness, Spasic, will be testifying. And you've named all the others.
10 JUDGE PARKER: And what you are advising is that beyond the
11 witnesses that I have read off from your notifications of witnesses for
12 the week of the 19th and the 26th, and the witness Spasic, you will not
13 be calling any other witness on the list, the 65 ter list?
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Let me be even more specific. I
15 only meant the witnesses who were on the list. We've also submitted a
16 request to the Trial Chamber to reconsider your decision regarding the
17 expert Pavic, so that witness will depend on the Trial Chamber's
18 decision. And as for the other witnesses, we propose to tender via bar
19 table their statements.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I'm not sure what you have in mind there, but
21 let's take this at one step at a time. After the present witness,
22 Stalevic, Misic, Cankovic, Spasic, and your motion about Pavic is to be
23 determined. Are they the witnesses whom you now intend to call?
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I believe I misspoke. What I
25 meant was that I would submit evidence via bar table. So we have
1 Mr. Simovic who is testifying now, then we have Stalevic, Misic,
2 Cankovic, Pasic. Our expert witness, Mr. Milasinovic, and depending on
3 the Trial Chamber's decision on our motion, we'll also have the expert
4 witness Mr. Pavic.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. And there could be an expectation that
6 apart from the expert Spasic, or sorry, the ill man Spasic and
7 Milasinovic, all the others will be called this week or next week.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have another
9 request, namely, yes, we plan all of these witnesses to be heard by the
10 end of the week, provided that the air traffic returns to normal. As
11 things stand now, one of these witnesses is supposed to appear on
12 Thursday. As for the other one, we don't know when he will show up, but
13 we hope that he can be brought in as well, but we would appreciate if we
14 could start their testimony, their questioning next week because we are
15 not sure how much time we will have to proof them. But as -- from what
16 we what we know now, they cannot -- neither of them will be here before
18 JUDGE PARKER: We are speaking there of Misic and Cankovic, very
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Cankovic.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. At the moment then, either this week
22 or next week, we will complete the evidence of those witnesses, leaving
23 just Spasic, Milasinovic, and the question mark of the motion concerning
24 Pavic. Is that correct? Clearly, it would be desirable to hear both
25 Spasic and Milasinovic in the one week. It would be more efficient use
1 of everybody's time and of this courtroom if that could be done. So if
2 you could concentrate your efforts on trying to get those two witnesses
3 to be available to be dealt with in the one week. It's not so critical
4 at this point which of the two weeks you've mentioned that will be as
5 long as they are both able to be heard in the one week, if that can be
7 I would expect that in the course of this week you will have a
8 decision concerning Mr. Pavic and you will be able to take steps
9 accordingly depending on the outcome of that decision.
10 Is there any observation, Mr. Stamp, that you feel you need to
11 make at this time?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours. I first would like to express my
13 gratitude to counsel for informing us of the anticipated schedule at this
14 stage. It will assist us in making our own plans.
15 The first issue is the -- in respect to the witnesses Misic and
16 Cankovic. Can I take it that the Court has accepted the request of the
17 Defence that they not start, none of them start this week?
18 JUDGE PARKER: I have yet to consult the two other members of the
19 Court on this. I was trying to get clear what it is we need to look at
20 before we consult.
21 MR. STAMP: Very well. That will have something to do with how
22 we relocate our sources between now and next week. The other thing is a
23 matter that I was considering raising before, it's a housekeeping matter.
24 Since we now know that the case for the Defence will probably close on
25 the week beginning the 10th or the next week, I was wondering, and it's
1 really a matter for the Court, if a Scheduling Order could issue in
2 respect to our considerations of applications for rebuttal evidence,
3 and --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have such applications?
5 MR. STAMP: We are considering it, and I could indicate to the
6 Court that our anticipation is that there will be none, but we still have
7 it open. We are considering persons, but we have to make a final
8 decision based on any schedule the Court makes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: You will understand from the point of view of the
10 Chamber unless there's a motion, there's nothing for us to consider.
11 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, but I was wondering if an order as
12 to the latest when such a motion could be filed could be issued, because
13 we want to consider it on the basis of all the evidence we hear. I just
14 could indicate now, we don't anticipate to file with respect to the three
15 or so witnesses we are thinking about.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Are these affected by the evidence of Spasic,
17 Milasinovic, or Pavic?
18 MR. STAMP: They will probably be affected by the evidence of
19 Misic and Milasinovic. I do not want to say too much, Your Honour,
20 because we have not made a --
21 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying you cannot make a decision until
22 those witnesses have given their evidence, or are you able to make a
23 decision in light of your expectations about the evidence of Spasic and
25 MR. STAMP: A decision could be made before these persons
1 testify, but it would be more convenient to the Prosecution if we hear
2 them before.
3 JUDGE PARKER: The point is one of expedition and delay.
4 MR. STAMP: I know, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Because if it is that you do move to hear rebuttal
6 evidence and if your arguments were persuasive and you were to call it,
7 clearly we would want to move on quickly to that evidence.
8 MR. STAMP: Indeed.
9 JUDGE PARKER: If it's the position that there's no consideration
10 of that issue until after you file a motion after the evidence of Spasic
11 and Milasinovic is heard, we could well be into June before we come to
12 hear any rebuttal evidence, if that is the course which is to be taken.
13 MR. STAMP: Indeed, that is a why I raise it because now I
14 understand it seems to me that the Court's position is that the earlier
15 any such motion is filed, the better.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
17 MR. STAMP: Very well. And one consideration, of course, is the
18 availability, if at all, we move the Court in this regard, the
19 availability of the witnesses. We have only spoken to one person to put
20 that witness on standby. But I could take it then, subject to the
21 Court's consideration, that we -- the earlier the better.
22 The next issue before the Court considers anything is re-opening
23 of the Prosecution's case to call one witness. There was an issue in
24 respect to K-87 who had the serious medical problems. We received a
25 medical report this week, I think it's yesterday or probably this
1 morning, indicating that he is able to testify, but not to travel.
2 I have not seen the report, I have not been able to consult with
3 the doctors or the persons who are reviewing it, but it may well be that
4 the Prosecution may want to move that the case be re-opened just to take
5 in his evidence formal and give the Defence an opportunity to
6 cross-examine him by videolink in the same week as their application. I
7 just inform the Court of that.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The evidence of Mr. -- at the same time as the
9 evidence of Mr. Spasic; is that what you are saying?
10 MR. STAMP: The same week, yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: They would both be from Belgrade?
12 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. I understand that the medical
13 report is that he should not travel but he could testify.
14 JUDGE PARKER: We, of course, have not seen any such medical
15 report at this stage.
16 MR. STAMP: It will be filed as soon as possible this week.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber would indicate that first we thank
21 you, Mr. Djurdjic, for your raising of this matter at this stage, which
22 is a very convenient stage for planning purposes.
23 We accept that because of the difficulties at the moment of air
24 travel, that the evidence of Mr. Misic and Cankovic should be heard next
25 week, rather than this week, so we will hear the present witness and
1 Mr. Stalevic this week, and then adjourn, assuming we finish before the
2 end of the week, to resume on Monday of next week for the evidence of
3 Mr. Misic and Cankovic.
4 That will leave, then, the evidence of Mr. Pavic to be determined
5 according to a decision, which I believe we can expect this week.
6 Leaving Mr. Pavic aside, that will leave the witness Mr. Spasic and the
7 witness Milasinovic, clearly if those two can be heard in the one week,
8 one is by videolink and one is not, it would be much more practical for
9 court use and for the attendance of counsel and convenience.
10 And we would leave it with you, Mr. Djurdjic, subject to a matter
11 I'll mention in a moment, to resolve whether that can be arranged for the
12 week commencing the 10th of May, or failing that, the week commencing the
13 17th of May.
14 The Prosecution has raised two matters. First, whether there
15 should be leave to lead rebuttal evidence or whether there will be a
16 motion for leave. And the second is whether there should be a recalling
17 of the witness K-87, who although called earlier was not in a state of
18 health to attend, and his evidence was received by way of statement.
19 In the Chamber's view, Mr. Stamp, it would be practical if by
20 Friday, I think it's the 30th of April, that is the end of next week --
21 that's the holiday. By Thursday the 29th of April, you just lost a day,
22 Mr. Stamp, the -- any motion that the Prosecution may consider it should
23 bring, if any, with a view to re-opening your case, or with a view to
24 calling rebuttal evidence should be filed. If that is done, we would
25 allow the Defence a week in which to respond, if it wishes to that. That
1 would take us to the end of the first week of May, and the Chamber will
2 then be -- to the Thursday evening at the end of the first week of May.
3 That will then enable the Chamber to consider whether any motion that is
4 moved by the Prosecution should or should not be granted.
5 We would draw attention to the fact that if a videolink is to be
6 organised for Mr. Spasic, and if it is that K-87 is to be called by way
7 of videolink, it clearly would be, again, in the practical interest of
8 everybody if those could be arranged either on the same day or on
9 successive days from Belgrade
10 facilitate that. But that will require some liaison between Prosecution
11 and Defence, as well as some speedy attention to these motions, if it is
12 to be the case that K-87 is to be recalled and if he is to give evidence
13 at about the same time as Mr. Spasic by videolink from Belgrade.
14 Having, therefore, posed this possible outcome of what we've been
15 talking about today, can we leave it initially with counsel for the
16 Prosecution and the Defence to discuss whether there is a date that would
17 be convenient to both for the purposes of videolink from Belgrade, if it
18 is that K-87 is to be called by way of videolink.
19 Now, we don't know he whether there will be a motion for him to
20 be called either by Prosecution or given the terms of our decision about
21 him, it could be a motion by the Defence. But if there is to be a motion
22 for him to be recalled to actually give oral evidence and if that is to
23 be by videolink, it's clearly an opportunity not to be missed for him to
24 give evidence at the same time, give or take a day, as Mr. Spasic.
25 Discussion with the Chamber's Legal Officer is urged at any time if in
1 the course of the discussions between counsel it appears that we are
2 headed toward calling both Mr. Spasic and K-87 by videolink so that we
3 can make appropriate orders and get administrative arrangements into
4 place. And if that should happen, that will be either the week of the
5 10th of May, or the week of the 17th of May, depending on the
6 arrangements that Mr. Djurdjic will initially be making concerning the
7 witness Spasic and the witness who will give evidence here, Milasinovic.
8 Have we left enough guidance to counsel for these matters to be
9 pursued in an orderly fashion? We hope so. We don't want to be too
10 prescriptive. Counsel in this case have been very good at discussing
11 issues and reaching practical outcome, we think it convenient to leave
12 this matter on that basis for the moment. Thank you for that. We,
13 therefore, can look forward to close of Defence evidence either by the
14 end of the week of the 10th or the end of the week of the 17th of May.
15 And it may be that there could be some Prosecution evidence to follow,
16 but the Chamber would hope that if that is to be the case, that that can
17 be immediately following the evidence of the witnesses we have mentioned
18 so that we can be well clear of all evidence by the end of May.
19 We thank counsel for that useful discussion, and if there's
20 nothing else we should have the witness in.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Simovic. Our apologies for
23 keeping you waiting. We had matters that had to be dealt with, but we
24 are now back in normal session for the continuation of your evidence. If
25 you could please sit down.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon and thank you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I remind you the affirmation you made to tell the
3 truth continues to apply today.
4 Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 WITNESS: ZORAN SIMOVIC (Resumed)
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp: [Continued]
8 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Simovic.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. If we could proceed where we left off yesterday and return to the
11 document 65 ter 6118, and while it's brought up, I'd like to just read to
12 you what you said yesterday. And this is at page 13619, lines 4 to 9:
13 "These reservists" -- this is a question. "The reservists at the
14 time when you escorted them to Podujevo they were under your command,
15 were they not?"
16 Your answer is: "Not yet. I had only taken them over."
17 "Q. So when you say you took them over, can I take it that it
18 means that you were responsible for giving them orders?"
19 And you said: "No."
20 MR. STAMP: So if we could go back to this document and the same
21 place we were yesterday, it's at the bottom of the page in English, about
22 line 12 on the page in B/C/S.
23 Q. And in the penultimate sentence of that page in English, the
24 Judge recorded you as saying, and this in Prokuplje:
25 "This is why I immediately called the commander of the Skorpions,
1 Slobodan Medic and ordered him to gather his unit and return to Prolom
3 The first question is: Did you say that to the magistrate or to
4 the investigating -- to the trial judges, actually, at the Prokuplje
5 district court?
6 A. I said what I said yesterday.
7 Q. No, no, just for the record let's start. The part I read you
8 from the court record, and I'll reread it again, and the question is:
9 "Did you say this?"
10 "I immediately called the commander of the Skorpions, Slobodan
11 Medic, and ordered him to gather his unit and return to Prolom Banja."
12 Did you say that?
13 A. I didn't say that the commander was Medic.
14 Q. Did you say that you ordered him, Slobodan Medic, to gather his
15 unit and return to Prolom Banja?
16 A. You are insisting on the fact that this is Medic's units. I said
17 it was the reserve composition of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
18 that the commander Trajkovic had just told me that the contact was Medic.
19 That is to say that that was the man he talked to and in a way told him
20 that he would be in charge of them. He wasn't their commander. They
21 were still under the command of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
22 they were reserve force of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
23 why I've been saying this all the time non-stop.
24 Q. Did you tell the Judges in Prokuplje that you ordered Medic to
25 gather his unit and return to Prolom Banja? That is the question.
1 Simply, did you tell the Judges that?
2 A. I ordered Medic, not Commander Medic. You are insisting on
3 saying Commander Medic. I ordered Medic, but not Commander Medic.
4 Q. Very well. You still seem not to understand the question. I
5 just want to get your answer as to whether or not the judges made a
6 proper and accurate record. So before I come to the truth of your
7 comments, can you just tell us if this record is accurate? Did you say:
8 "I immediately called the commander of the Skorpions, Slobodan
9 Medic, and ordered him to gather his unit and return to Prolom Banja?"
10 A. I say again, I said I ordered Medic. Not Commander Medic.
11 Q. Very well. Who was the commander of this group of men that you
12 took over in Prolom Banja?
13 A. They were the reserve force of the MUP, and nobody had taken them
14 over yet, so I'm stating once again that it was only Commander Trajkovic
15 who orally talked to Medic and told him to be in charge of them until
16 they were taken over by someone else.
17 Q. Mr. Simovic, I just read the record to you. You said yesterday:
18 "I had only taken them over." This is at 13619 at line 6. Didn't you
19 testify yesterday actually on more than one occasion that you went to
20 Prolom Banja and took them over?
21 A. You don't understand. I went to fetch them, but I didn't take
22 them over as a unit. I could have taken them over as a unit only at the
23 point in time when they were attached to my own unit and when I report to
24 the staff that they had been joined to the unit. They had not been
25 attached to the unit. I brought them in as the reserve force and
1 returned them as members of the reserve force, and please allow me to
2 finish my sentence. Don't interrupt me, please.
3 Q. You are not answering my question, and, Mr. Simovic, you are not
4 here just to speak whatever you want to say. Just answer the questions.
5 You told us yesterday on more than one occasion, and I read the
6 record again, you are asked: "These reservists at the time when you
7 escorted them to Podujevo they were under your command, were they not?"
8 And you said: "Not yet. I had only taken them over." Is that evidence
9 which you gave yesterday not correct? Is it not true?
10 A. I said that they weren't under my command, and that is my final
11 answer. They were not under my command. They were the reserve force of
12 the MUP, and I'm trying to explain this to you. If they were to come
13 under the -- I'm trying to explain when they came under the SAJ command.
14 MR. STAMP: Mr. Djurdjic is on his feet.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I am aware of that, but I'm also aware that you
16 are in a point of some significance on this issue, and I was waiting
17 until you had asked your question and got your answer before turning to
18 Mr. Djurdjic. Is there more you are going to ask about this? It's
19 not -- very well, Mr. Djurdjic.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Two points. Why I'm on my feet is
21 the primary point. I think the witness is trying to answer and respond
22 but that --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, sorry, I don't want you to start
24 interpreting his evidence. If there's a point of difficulty about
25 translation --
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] No, I won't. That's all I wanted
2 to say. I think that he answered the question, but I think the Trial
3 Chamber and I understand each other.
4 Now, with respect to the interpretation and translation in the
5 text read out by Mr. Stamp, it says, the word is "nalozia," that is to
6 say, instructed. Is there this nuance between instruction and order?
7 "nalozia" is to instruct, "narediti" is to order; whereas, we keep
8 getting a different interpretation. So that's the distinct I wish to
9 make and to state.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Carry on, please, Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. There's evidence before the Court -- or let me just put this in
13 the form of a question. Did you know whether or not these so-called
14 reservists that you picked up at Prolom Banja or took over at Prolom
15 Banja had a commander amongst them?
16 A. They could not have a commander because they were the reserve
17 force of the MUP. Reservists cannot ...
18 Q. Your answer is you don't know.
19 A. No, my answer is that they don't have one and cannot have one
20 because they are the reserve force of the MUP. A reserve MUP force
21 cannot have a commander because in the reserve force you can never take a
22 unit, just an individual as a physical entity. Do you understand me?
23 Whereas you keep insisting on me telling you what you want to hear, that
24 it's a unit. It's not a unit, and they haven't got a commander, and they
25 are the reserve force of the MUP.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There is a great deal of
2 background noise and it's very difficult to hear. Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Mr. Simovic, I keep insisting because I have here a record from a
5 district court in a murder trial of your evidence, and I keep asking you
6 whether you said something and you keep refusing to answer, that's all.
7 So I'll ask it one last time. Did you tell the Court that you call the
8 commander of the Skorpions Slobodan Medic? Either you told them or you
9 didn't tell them that.
10 A. It's not that I called them. I just told Mr. Medic and from
11 Commander Trajkovic he was in charge of them --
12 Q. Mr. Simovic, you refuse to answer my question. I'll move on.
13 A. I'm not refusing to answer. You are not accepting the answer I'm
14 giving you.
15 Q. Was it not your duty, Mr. Simovic, to gather the evidence in
16 respect to the massacre, to the murders that had been committed at
17 Podujevo that day?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said yesterday that in my unit I did not have
19 any experts who would conduct an investigation --
20 Q. Mr. Simovic --
21 A. I informed the OUP of Podujevo who -- which was in charge of
22 that. That is to take steps.
23 Q. Can I take it then that your answer is that you -- your view is
24 that you had no responsibility to gather any evidence? Is that your
1 A. My answer is this: I undertook everything in order to ensure
2 that proceedings be undertaken to arrive at the perpetrators of the
3 crime. First of all, on site I asked people if anybody had seen anybody
4 shooting. The answer I received was no. I could not just at random
5 select somebody who did the shooting, so I informed the organ in charge
6 of that to conduct an investigation, an on-site investigation, to uncover
7 the perpetrators of the crime, and those perpetrators were indeed
8 uncovered and brought to justice in due course.
9 Q. And this is the last time I'm going to ask you the same question
10 again. Did you consider that you had a responsibility on the spot to
11 gather evidence in respect to this crime?
12 A. Everything that was in my power I undertook. That is to say, I
13 undertook what I could immediately, which was to report the case to the
14 competent authorities so that they could initiate further steps.
15 Q. Were you the most senior MUP personnel on the scene at the time
16 when you arrived there?
17 A. I was not an official of MUP. At the time, I was the commander
18 of my own unit of the SAJ
19 force and my unit. As far as my unit is concerned, I had the highest
20 rank. But there were others, other members of the regular police, the
21 army, in the vicinity. So I don't know whether there was anybody of
22 higher rank there or not. As far as my SAJ unit, I was the commander
23 and, therefore, highest in rank at that given point in time, only in the
25 Q. Okay. I put the question this way: As far as you knew and at
1 the time you arrived at the scene of this murder, mass murder, you were
2 the most senior policeman there; is that correct?
3 A. Of my members, yes, but only my members. Now, I don't know
4 whether 50 metres away there might have been a colonel of the regular
5 police, for example. But for my unit, I had the highest rank, as far as
6 my unit was concerned.
7 Q. You are saying it's possible a colonel of the police might have
8 been on the scene of that murder and you didn't know?
9 A. I say on the scene, on the scene of the crime. 50 or 100 metres
10 away is not on site. I'm talking about on site and among my unit members
11 I was -- had the highest rank.
12 Q. If we look on this record we see a statement I read to you
13 yesterday, and I'd just like to get your answer for the record, so please
14 listen to the question and give me a direct answer so I could move on.
15 The record of the court is that you said:
16 "I did not enter the area where the civilians were killed because
17 professional medical care was being provided there."
18 The question is, did you tell the Court that?
19 A. At this point in time I cannot remember whether I said that to
20 the Court or not. If that's what it says there, then most probably
21 that's what I said.
22 Q. Do you know whether any medical attention was provided to anybody
23 inside the courtyard where these persons were shot?
24 A. I don't understand what you mean by medical attention. That
25 could be taking someone's temperature. If you are asking about first aid
1 to those who were injured, the first aid was provided, and when I arrived
2 on site, I saw Dr. Dragan administering professional medical assistance
3 to the injured persons, but I cannot say with certainty whether this was
4 happening in the courtyard or on the side of the road, and that is what I
5 said yesterday, and that's how it was.
6 Q. So I get back to the question ...
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I do not wish to waste anyone's
9 time, but I believe we are still here at the same problem where we left
10 off yesterday. I've been trying to read the portion of the court
11 records, and I can't see where any reference is made to the courtyard. I
12 don't see that the witness said that he mentioned the courtyard anywhere
13 because we keep getting this term "courtyard" in our translation. So I
14 would appreciate if Mr. Stamp could tell us what line is it where this
15 word "courtyard" is mentioned in his statement.
16 MR. STAMP: The last two questions I asked in reference to the
17 courtyard was not about the statement.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Stamp quoted his statement and
19 mentioned the courtyard, and he was trying to point out the
20 contradictions in his statement when compared to the court records of
21 those proceedings, so could Mr. Stamp please tell us exactly what it is
22 that he is quoting when he is putting a question to the witness, and that
23 should help both me and the Trial Chamber to know exactly which portion
24 he is referring to and then I wouldn't have to stand up -- be up on my
25 feet all the time to interfere.
1 JUDGE PARKER: That matter was dealt with often yesterday in the
2 transcript both in questions from Mr. Stamp and in quoting from the
3 transcript of the Serbian court proceedings. And "courtyard" was
4 mentioned in the course of that several times, Mr. Djurdjic. So you
5 might care to either look again at the transcript or at yesterday's
6 record and you will find the answers to your questions.
7 Carry on, please, Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. Just to make it clear, Mr. Simovic, now I'm moving off this
10 document temporarily and asking you now a more general question. And
11 it's simply this: Do you know whether any type of medical assistance,
12 whether first aid, triage, or whatever, any type of medical assistance
13 was provided to anybody in the courtyard?
14 A. All the injured were provided medical assistance. First aid.
15 When I arrived there, I cannot say with certainty whether what I saw was
16 happening in the courtyard or on the side of the road, but I am saying
17 that everyone who needed professional medical assistance was provided
18 assistance and then transported to Pristina where they were further
19 treated and the best professional care was provided.
20 Q. Mr. Simovic, I suggest to you that you participated in a coverup
21 of this gross crime?
22 A. I can state with full responsibility before this Trial Chamber
23 that I did not take part in covering up any crime because the minute I
24 found out about this incident, I informed the competent authorities in
25 Podujevo and the staff, and the competent organs then took all the
1 investigative measures required. So I claim with full responsibility
2 that I did not even try, let alone cover up any crime.
3 Q. You say the competent authorities took all the necessary
4 measures. On what basis do you say or did you become aware that the
5 competent authorities took all the necessary measures?
6 A. I say that because I informed the Podujevo OUP which had the
7 territorial jurisdiction for that area, and then I informed the
8 Podujevo -- the Podujevo staff informed the investigating judge, which
9 was within their competence, who then undertook investigative measures as
10 provided for their service.
11 Q. Did you check at any time to see that the measures taken by the
12 Podujevo OUP or by the investigating judge at that time when the massacre
13 was committed were, in fact, adequate? And I ask that question because
14 you say that the competent authorities took all measures. Did you check
15 to ensure that they did?
16 A. They had to do it ex officio.
17 Q. Can I take it that although you haven't answered the question I
18 asked, your answer really is that you did not, but you assume that they
19 did ex officio?
20 A. No, they were duty-bound to do that ex officio. They were
22 Q. Well, can you just answer my question. Did you, as a senior, I
23 put it the senior police officer coming on the scene of that massacre,
24 did you check to ensure that they took all the necessary measures? Can
25 you answer that question directly, please.
1 A. The measures had to be taken ex officio, but I already said
2 yesterday before this Court that after informing the Podujevo OUP and the
3 staff and the chief of department, I set off for Belgrade, so at the time
4 when I was leaving the territory of Podujevo
5 investigative measures would have been undertaken.
6 Q. But I think you agreed with me that when you left Podujevo, no
7 investigating judge and no prosecutor arrived.
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. You told us yesterday, I think, that you did not know
10 approximately how many were killed on the day in question, and I think
11 you said it's because you did not look into the courtyard to count. Is
12 that your evidence?
13 A. I did not know on that same day how many victims there were in
15 Q. That day did you tell anybody that there were more than a dozen
16 killed? A dozen civilians killed, more than a dozen civilians killed?
17 A. I reported to the Podujevo OUP of the incident. I informed the
18 staff and the chief of the department.
19 Q. Focus on the question I asked, please. Did you tell anybody that
20 day that more than a dozen civilians were killed?
21 A. Well, the chief of the Podujevo OUP was there so he would have to
22 take all the measures. In other words, if I informed the Podujevo OUP,
23 that means that I did inform someone, but I can't recall exactly by name
24 who it was, but when you report an incident, you report it to the
25 competent authorities who then have to take all the necessary measures.
1 Q. I ask you a third time but more precisely this time, and please
2 answer the question. Did you report to Mr. Djordjevic that more than a
3 dozen civilians had been killed?
4 A. When I informed the Podujevo OUP and the staff on the measures
5 that I was taking to return --
6 Q. Mr. Simovic --
7 A. -- the reserve force, I called the chief -- please, I am trying
8 to answer your question. So when I informed why I was returning these
9 men, I also told them why it was that I wanted them sent back because the
10 MUP reservists had fired at civilians and that was the reason why I
11 wanted to send them back.
12 Q. Mr. Simovic, did you on that day report to Mr. Djordjevic that
13 more than a dozen people had been killed by -- or simply, just did you
14 report to Mr. Djordjevic that more than a dozen people had been killed?
15 A. I informed Mr. Djordjevic of the reasons why I was sending these
16 men back, in other words, that they had fired at civilians. But I don't
17 recall that I mentioned the number of victims or even -- or even a random
18 number of victims.
19 Q. Well, on the day of this incident at the time when you made your
20 report to Mr. Djordjevic, were you aware that more than a dozen civilians
21 had been killed?
22 A. I was aware that civilians had been killed, but I was not aware
23 of the number.
24 Q. In any case, Mr. Djordjevic told us that you told him that. Do
25 you have any reason to doubt that evidence? That you, in fact, told him
1 that more than a dozen had been killed? This is 9703.20 of the record.
2 The question is, do you have any reason to doubt Mr. Djordjevic's
3 evidence that you told him that more than a dozen had been killed?
4 A. Well, I can say and stand by only the statement that I provide
5 myself. I stand by what I've already said that I did inform them of the
6 incident, but I don't know that I mentioned the number of fatalities.
7 Q. I'm going to just ask you to explain something to the Court, how
8 it is that you were aware that this massacre had occurred? You had
9 policemen under your command on the scene helping, as you say, and you
10 did not find out how many people were killed that day. You went to the
11 scene, your policemen were there. You said that you for whatever reason
12 you did not look into the courtyard to count, but your men were there.
13 How is it that you did not find out how many people were killed by the
15 A. I did not find out on the site how many fatalities there were,
16 the fatalities in the aftermath of what the reservists of the Serbian MUP
17 committed because I did not have any experts in my unit who could conduct
18 an on-site investigation, and they could only do more harm than good.
19 That is why we could not establish who had committed it, but we informed
20 the OUP so that they could take professional measures, collect the
21 evidence, and uncover the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to
23 Q. You are not really answering the question. I'll ask it one more
24 time. If you don't answer, I'll move on, but please try to answer. Your
25 men were on the scene, and I remind you the doctor, the physician for the
2 least amongst your men. How is it that you did not know how many people
3 were killed that day?
4 A. I have already answered your question a minute ago. In other
5 words, I did not have professional officers in my unit who could conduct
6 an investigation. I said that whatever they might have done could have
7 been more harmful than beneficial. They would have had to be
8 professional people who would take the evidence, collect the evidence
9 there, and conduct an on-site investigation.
10 Q. Let's move on.
11 MR. STAMP: If you could bring back 06118. And this is a record
12 of your evidence at the first trial in Prokuplje. We could go to the
13 same place where we were in B/C/S, and on the bottom in English. And we
14 could remain on this page in English, but I'll read the last sentence
15 that's down at the bottom and move on to the next page in English. The
16 record says that you stated:
17 "On the same day, practically immediately after this, I had to go
18 to Belgrade
19 had been killed, so I did not conduct any further investigation at the
20 scene. Anyway, the case was officially taken over by the local police,
21 and they were to establish who had committed these murders. Precisely on
22 the day when this incident happened, as I have already mentioned, I had
23 to go to the funeral of one of the members of my unit, but he was not
24 just an ordinary member of my unit. He was a man to whom I owed so
25 much ..."
1 And later on, and this is on the same page in B/C/S you said:
2 "For the third or fourth time now, the Court insists that I give
3 my final opinion about who or whose member fired at the civilians. I
4 must repeat again what really happened, which is that on that day I was
5 in a particularly difficult psychological state."
6 Do you recall saying all of what I just read, or?
7 A. Yes, I've been reading it for myself as well, and --
8 Q. Did you say that?
9 A. Beg your pardon?
10 Q. Did you say what is in the record?
11 A. Well, let me just read it through. Yes, I did say that.
12 Q. So you see here from this record that the Court was insisting, as
13 I insist in asking the question, that as a senior man, senior policeman
14 present, you should have had more to offer to tell them about this
15 massacre of women and children. You were there on the shortly after it
16 happened. And the explanation you gave the Court for leaving was to
17 attend the funeral of your friend. Was that evidence, Mr. Simovic,
18 untrue? Your friend was not buried on the 28th. There was no funeral on
19 the 28th.
20 A. Well, I'll say it again. Before I left Prokuplje -- Podujevo
21 rather, I did everything that I could. In other words, I informed the
22 competent authorities, I informed the staff, and the chief of department
23 and only then I set off for Belgrade
24 had to go to Belgrade
25 stand next to the body of one my members, and now you are actually
1 insulting me here by sort of feeling that I shouldn't have been present
2 at this funeral of one of my members.
3 Q. I'm not insulting you. I take the same attitude as the Court,
4 that you need to explain what you were doing as a senior policeman
5 present at the scene of a massacre committed by so-called reserve
6 policemen. And my attitude is no different from the attitude of the
7 Court in Prokuplje.
8 The question is this, I repeat: There was no funeral of your
9 friend on that day; isn't that correct? He was not buried on the 28th?
10 A. On that day the remains -- his remains were supposed to arrive in
12 provide the honour guard and I was supposed to be one of the members of
13 that honour guard. Now, I repeat it again, I had to be in Belgrade
14 the 28th because one of my members had died. Even when your pet dies,
15 the whole household is in sorrow let alone when one of your members, one
16 of the members of your unit dies.
17 Q. What you told the Court here on more than one occasion that you
18 left the scene to attend your friend's funeral is not true. And that's a
19 simple question. There was no funeral on the 28th?
20 A. After taking all the measures that I could, in other words, when
21 I took all the measures that were within my powers, I left Podujevo and
22 went to Belgrade
23 pathologist as to when they would conduct their forensic investigation
24 and when the late Aleksic would be transferred to Belgrade, but we all
25 thought that this would be on the 28th so I had to be there. And even if
1 his remains had not been already brought to Belgrade, we had to see and
2 visit their family, his wife, his children. We had to inform his parents
3 that they no longer had a son.
4 Q. Mr. Simovic, I think you testified before that Mr. Trajkovic had
5 gone to Belgrade
6 Mr. Trajkovic made arrangements in respect to Mr. Aleksic?
7 A. Mr. Trajkovic left on the 27th to make those arrangements, that's
9 Q. Very well, that's all.
10 A. But you had to provide, to find a grave and of course Trajkovic
11 could not on my behalf express his condolences to his wife, his children,
12 his mother and his sister.
13 Q. Anyway --
14 A. And he could not be with them at their most difficult hours.
15 Q. Yes, let's get back to the point though, and my point is that
16 what you told the Court in order to explain why you did no
17 investigations, that you left to go to a funeral of your dear friend is
18 not true. So I'll just ask the question this way: What was the date of
19 the funeral?
20 A. As I said yesterday, I do not recall exactly whether it was on
21 the 29th or the 30th. In other words, I cannot recall the exact date,
22 whether it was on the 29th or the 30th.
23 Q. And when you told the Court in Prokuplje that you didn't do an
24 investigation because you were leaving to go to a funeral on the 28th,
25 you'll agree with me that that was not true?
1 A. Sir, I'm not an investigating judge. I am a police officer. I
2 informed the authorities to take all the measures in that respect.
3 Q. I think we have to move on.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time?
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours, it is.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume at ten past 4.00.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. Could we move on to another
15 document. This is 06119.
16 Q. Mr. Simovic, you recall that you were interviewed in respect to
17 the events of the 28th of March, 1999, on the 15th of February, 2002
18 Working Group of the MUP?
19 MR. STAMP: If we could go to the last page of this document.
20 Q. Do you recall that, Mr. Simovic?
21 A. I can't remember the date when the Working Group interviewed me,
22 but at the time I did give an interview for three hours. Where it says
23 here just five minutes of it.
24 Q. Well, we are at the last page. Did you sign this record of this
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And can I take it that you read the record before you signed it?
3 A. I can't remember now.
4 Q. Well, as a senior police officer, are you in the habit of signing
5 statements in murder investigations without reading them?
6 A. You don't know the circumstances under which this statement was
7 taken, that's why you say that. It was a Working Group, I don't know how
8 many of them. I can't remember whether I read this document before I
9 signed it, but I did sign it.
10 Q. Well, it's only two pages long in Serbian. Is it possible that
11 you might have signed this without reading it?
12 A. This interview lasted for three hours, roughly three hours. And
13 the Working Group dictated, typed so, no, I really don't know whether I
14 actually read it, but as I say, I did sign it.
15 Q. Very well.
16 MR. STAMP: If we could go back to the first page.
17 Q. This interview was conducted at your office, wasn't it?
18 A. I can't see where it was conducted.
19 Q. Do you remember maybe?
20 A. It says here in the official premises of the gendarmerie command,
21 but it wasn't in my office.
22 Q. That was at that time in 2002 February, the 15th of February,
23 2002, where your office was located; isn't it?
24 A. Under that roof, yes.
25 MR. STAMP: If we could go to the third paragraph of the
1 statement on the first page in the B/C/S and on the second page in the
2 translation. You have to scroll down in B/C/S.
3 Q. You are recorded here as having said that while you were in a
4 meeting, while the meeting was in progress, "I heard two bursts of
5 automatic fire and rushed outside to see what was going on. About 500
6 metres from the Podujevo OUP, I came across members of the SAJ. Among
7 them was Spasoje Vulevic, also known as Vuk, commander of the SAJ platoon
9 'what have you done, fool?'" Did you say this in your statement?
10 A. I don't remember saying this, but I say with full responsibility
11 that the member Vulevic, Spasoje saw who did the shooting to arrest him.
12 Q. When did you become aware that Spasoje saw who did the shooting?
13 A. When I arrived on the spot and when I encountered a group of my
14 members giving assistance to the wounded, and while Dr. Dragan was doing
15 that, Vulevic, my commanding officer of the 3rd Platoon said, Boss,
16 members of the third composition were shooting at the civilians, the ones
17 that were supposed to be in the buses.
18 Q. Did you see him holding on to one of them saying, according to
19 this statement, "what have you done, fool?"
20 A. No, I didn't see him.
21 Q. Well, you are saying now contrary to, I believe, what you were
22 saying yesterday, that Spasoje saw who did the shooting to arrest them,
23 and you said that with full responsibility today. Did you cause Spasoje
24 to give a statement that day?
25 A. On the spot Vulevic, and I repeat this once again, and not only
1 Vulevic, but any of my members of the regular SAJ, the active members of
2 the SAJ
3 them. That's what I said yesterday and that's what I am repeating today.
4 Q. Okay. What I have here on the record at line 16 of page 31 is:
5 "I say with full responsibility that the member Vulevic, Spasoje
6 saw who did the shooting to arrest him."
7 Is that what you said or what you meant to say?
8 A. That Vulevic or had Vulevic saw -- had Vulevic saw somebody
9 shooting, he would certainly have arrested him. Had he seen that. So
10 any active member of the SAJ
11 had they seen somebody using fire-arms and shooting at civilians, they
12 would have certainly arrested that person.
13 Q. Did you ascertain from Vulevic how it is he became aware that it
14 was a Skorpions or members of the people who were on the bus who had done
15 the shooting?
16 A. On the spot, on that site, there were only the members of the
17 reserve force there and somebody said that they had been shooting, but
18 nobody actually saw who had done the shooting. Had somebody seen the
19 shooting, then the person doing the shooting would have been arrested
21 Q. Mr. Simovic, you said just now Vulevic, and this is at page 31,
22 line 21, Vulevic, my commanding officer of the third platoon, said:
23 "Boss, members of the third composition were shooting at the civilians,
24 the ones that were supposed to be in the buses." Did you ascertain from
25 Mr. Vulevic how he became aware of who was shooting at the civilians?
1 A. Let me just say Vulevic wasn't the commander of the 3rd Platoon.
2 Vulevic was a komandir of the 3rd Platoon and --
3 Q. I'm just reading to you what you said earlier. Maybe it's just
4 that you were not answering the questions, why the record of your
5 testimony is this. You said that Vulevic said that members -- that
6 certain members were shooting the civilians. Did you find out from him
7 why, on what basis he determined who was shooting the civilians?
8 A. I just said, and I was following on from what you said, I said
9 that Vulevic wasn't the commander of the 3rd Platoon but the komandir of
10 the 3rd Platoon and that had -- he told me that members of the reserve
11 force had shot but he didn't know who. If he had known who had been
12 doing the shooting, he would have taken measures right away. That's what
13 I said yesterday, that's what I said just a moment ago, and that's what
14 I'm saying again now.
15 Q. Did you -- let's move on. Did you cause Mr. Vulevic to give a
16 statement about what he witnessed?
17 A. I say with full responsibility no. It was in my interest as the
18 senior officer that this should be established on the spot.
19 Q. Do you know if Vulevic gave a statement in respect to these
20 murders that day?
21 A. Yes, Vulevic did give several statements about this event.
22 Q. That day, that day. Do you know of him giving a statement that
24 A. On that day he didn't make a statement of any kind.
25 Q. Now, if --
1 A. Your Honours, just a moment, please. Can I say this: On that
2 day while I was present, on the territory of Podujevo
3 any statement. So while I was there on the Podujevo territory, he didn't
4 give a statement. That's all I'm saying.
5 MR. STAMP: If we could go to page 3 of the English, and I think
6 we have to go to the top of page 2 in the Serbian version. I think this
7 is, if my Cyrillic does not abandon me, this is the first paragraph on
8 that page. And on to the first paragraph of the English, if we could
9 scroll up.
10 Q. You said: "Members of the SAJ prevented members of the Skorpioni
11 reserve unit, whose immediate commander, Boca, was at a meeting in the
12 building of the Podujevo OUP at the time, from using fire-arms again."
13 Did you say this?
14 A. No, I did not say that, because if they had prevented the further
15 use of fire-arms, they would have seen who was doing the shooting.
16 Q. Indeed. So you signed to this, but you you didn't say it?
17 A. The Working Group didn't sign it either. None of them signed.
18 Q. You also refer to Boca as immediate commander. Did you tell them
19 this, that's immediate commander of the Skorpions?
20 A. I really can't remember now what I said at the time, and tell me
21 what paragraph that's in so that I can read it for myself.
22 Q. I think it's the last paragraph on the page in front of you.
23 A. No, it says members of the SAJ
24 Q. Yes, and it refers to Boca or Boca as immediate commander of the
25 Skorpion unit. Did you say that?
1 A. I still maintain that Boca was not an officer of the Skorpions.
2 Q. So is your evidence that you didn't say this, that this record is
3 not correct?
4 A. I really don't know from the context of my three-hour long
5 interview who compiled all this. If I knew who wrote this and signed
6 it -- well, I did sign it, that is my signature, but I really don't
7 remember whether I actually said what it says here. I know that
8 Mr. Medic was never the commander of the Skorpions on the territory of
10 of Serbia
11 Mr. Trajkovic, before I set out to Prolom Banja to fetch them, he
12 told me to report to Boca, but nothing more than that. Whether Trajkovic
13 knew, I can't say. I don't know myself.
14 Q. Mr. Simovic, you are not answering the questions. I just wanted
15 to know if this record is correct, if you said this or if you didn't say
16 that. And I understand your answer is that you didn't say that.
17 MR. STAMP: If we go to the next page in Serbian, I think we want
18 the second paragraph.
19 Q. "According to my information, the incident took place when
20 somebody from the police provoked members of the Skorpioni reserve unit
21 and because of the provocation they caused the incident in question."
22 Did you say that?
23 A. I really can't remember whether I said that then or not.
24 Q. Well, do you recall now whether or not you learned on that day or
25 received information about the circumstances in which these women and
1 children were murdered?
2 A. What day? Could you just give me a date, please. You mean the
4 Q. The 28th. While you were on the scene.
5 A. I have said several times here that when I arrived on the scene,
6 my 3rd Platoon commander Vulevic told me that the members who came by bus
7 and were supposed to be in the bus shot at the civilians, but under what
8 circumstances, I don't know.
9 Q. And the next paragraph, and the third paragraph, that is just
10 composed of one sentence, can you just read that aloud so we can get a
11 translation of that directly?
12 A. Who, which?
13 Q. The third paragraph on that page.
14 A. You mean "according to my knowledge"?
15 Q. The one after that.
16 A. "According to my information, the commander of the SAJ Zivko
17 Trajkovic." That one, that paragraph?
18 Q. No. The one before that.
19 A. "After the incident," is that the paragraph you are referring to?
20 Q. Yes, that's the one.
21 A. "Until this event," that's how it starts. "According to my
22 information," is that what it says, it's rather illegible. I'm not sure
23 what you are referring to.
24 Q. Mr. Simovic, the third paragraph on that page. And it is one
1 A. Yes. You mean the fourth.
2 Q. No, the third.
3 A. "According to my information, the commander of the SAJ, Zivko
4 Trajkovic, on the specified day at around 1400 hours was wounded and
5 transferred to the hospital."
6 Q. The paragraph immediately before that one.
7 A. "Up until this event," is that the one you mean, that paragraph?
8 Q. The paragraph immediately before the one you started to read.
9 A. Very well. "According to my information, this event came about
10 because one of the policeman provoked members of the reserve unit of the
11 Skorpion unit and because of that provocation they carried out the
12 specific incident."
13 Q. Now, can you read the next sentence.
14 A. "After this event, following my order, on my orders" -- "after
15 the incident, on my orders, members of the unit boarded the buses and
16 returned to Prolom Banja."
17 Q. Did you order the members of the unit to board the buses and
18 return to Prolom Banja?
19 A. I have repeated this a number of times. When I reached the scene
20 and when I saw what had happened there, I told my members, the ones who
21 were on the scene, that all the members of the reserve force should be
22 returned to the buses and that they should wait to be sent back or
23 returned to Prolom Banja.
24 Q. In this statement and in your testimony to the Court, you said
25 you ordered them. That's what I want. Did you order them on the buses
1 and back to where you had brought them from?
2 A. I told the members of my unit, I ordered them, to send back all
3 the Skorpion members on the buses and to send them to Prolom Banja, and
4 if these -- if there were any members of the reserve force of the Serbia
5 MUP, then certainly that order would have applied to them too because I,
6 as a senior officer, can -- could order subordinates.
7 Q. Okay. I'm not asking you about the people that you referred to
8 as members of your unit. I'm asking about the Skorpion members. And for
9 the third time, I ask you again, it's simple, it's a simple question:
10 Did you, as you said in the trial in Prokuplje and as you said in this
11 statement, order the Skorpion members, order the Skorpion members, to
12 board the buses and return to Prolom Banja?
13 A. To all those who were there, members of the reserve force.
14 Q. Very well. That is your answer. Did you cause any statements to
15 be taken from any of the Skorpion members?
16 A. I have told you that following this incident when I sent them
17 back to Prolom Banja I left for Belgrade
18 remained there and they were the ones who were supposed to conduct an
19 on-site investigation.
20 Q. Very well. Could we just have a look at the Criminal Code for
22 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, while we move to that document, could I
23 ask that this document before the Court be received in evidence.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01590.
1 MR. STAMP: And the previous document, Your Honours, 06118, that
2 part which is the testimony, the record of the testimony of Mr. Simovic
3 before the Prokuplje district court, if that part could be received as
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we hesitated about that yesterday, Mr. Stamp,
6 but in view of the further extent to which you've used it and the
7 responses of the witness, I think it would be useful to have the
8 statement in the record, so it too will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01591.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours. Could the Court Officer --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, before Mr. Stamp gets going with his
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] If I may seek an explanation. The
14 1591, P1591, that is the statement by Mr. Simovic that he provided at the
15 trial on the 9th of October, 2001 before the Prokuplje court on pages 30,
16 31, and 32 of the transcript. Was my understanding correct, that's all I
17 wanted to check?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Can you help us there, Mr. Stamp?
19 MR. STAMP: I can in respect to the -- if it pleases Your
20 Honours, I hope I can in respect to the --
21 JUDGE PARKER: I understood Exhibit P1591 as it now is that part
22 of the transcript of the proceedings in the court in Serbia.
23 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: That relates to the testimony of this witness.
25 MR. STAMP: And I think that is in the English the second part of
1 the exhibit, pages 1 to 5. And I think in Serbian it starts at page 32.
2 Pages 30 to 32.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Does that resolve the problem for you,
4 Mr. Djurdjic? Thank you.
5 MR. STAMP: Could we also, I'm sorry, have the first page. The
6 witness had looked at that to identify what the record was. That is the
7 page indicating who the Judges were and how the Tribunal was set up.
8 JUDGE PARKER: You want pages 1 and pages 30, 31, 32.
9 MR. STAMP: In Serbian.
10 JUDGE PARKER: In Serbian. And it's pages 1 to 5 in English; is
11 that correct?
12 MR. STAMP: And it's page 1, and I think the English is broken in
13 two parts because there are separate translations done, so it's page 1 of
14 the first part in English and page 1 to 5 of the second part.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE PARKER: It's suggested to me by the Court Officer that it
17 may avoid confusion if at a convenient time today or tomorrow there was
18 uploaded separately those pages in English and Serbian which you seek to
20 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: If that is correct and if there is no difficulty
22 with what we understand, that will be received. If there is a
23 difficulty, the matter can be raised in court tomorrow.
24 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
25 Q. I don't think we need to look at the -- or we might not. Are you
1 aware that the Criminal Code of Serbia provides that any official who
2 fails to report a crime or the perpetrators of a crime would be guilty of
3 an offence?
4 A. I think that this offence, this crime was reported. It was
5 reported to the competent authorities, to the Podujevo OUP to take
6 further steps.
7 Q. But you know that that is the legal position, that any official
8 person who had any knowledge had a responsibility to make a report?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I think you also said that you informed Mr. Lukic, the head
11 of the staff?
12 A. No. I said that I informed the staff, not Mr. Lukic.
13 Q. I see. Who in the staff did you inform?
14 A. I really can't remember now who was at the headquarters.
15 Q. Very well.
16 MR. STAMP: Could we look at D296.
17 Q. This is one of the daily report summaries of important events
18 sent by the MUP staff to, among other people, the minister and also to
19 Mr. Djordjevic. And this is dated the 29th of March, 1999. And if you
20 look at the beginning there, the summary, it relates to security related
21 events, incidents and information registered between 0600 hours on the
22 28th of March and 0600 hours on the 29th of March, 1999. That's the day
23 of this incident.
24 MR. STAMP: Could we go to the last page, please, in both.
25 Q. It's from Major Lukic and in paragraph 5, or section 5, in
1 respect to serious crimes, there is no reference to this mass murder. Do
2 you know why it is that the MUP staff did not record in its daily
3 reporting this mass murder when they reported it to Mr. Djordjevic and to
4 the minister? When they sent the report to Mr. Djordjevic and the
5 minister? Do you know why it's not there?
6 A. I know that on the 28th I reported to Podujevo OUP and informed
7 the staff of this, and as to why it was not reported in this daily
8 report, I really don't know.
9 Q. Very well. On the day of the incident when you reported it to
10 Mr. Djordjevic, did he give you any instructions as to any further action
11 you should take?
12 A. I informed the chief of the department that I had sent the unit
13 back to Prolom Banja and that they should organise someone to receive
14 them there, and because I could not reach Mr. Trajkovic, and I did not
15 know where the other administrations were that I could inform, so that
16 they could take measures against members of the reserve force. I only
17 informed the chief of the department that I had sent them back and why I
18 had sent them back, and then I went on to travel to Belgrade.
19 Q. That is not focused on the question I asked at all.
20 Do you remember the question I asked you last?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What was it?
23 A. Well, you asked me whether I had informed the chief of
24 department --
25 Q. No, I didn't.
1 A. That I had sent the Skorpions back.
2 Q. I didn't ask you that. Please, please, listen to what I --
3 A. Then I did not understand you.
4 Q. Listen to what I'm asking you. Did Mr. Djordjevic give you any
5 instructions as to any further action you should take?
6 A. At that point no. I just informed him of what had happened, that
7 I had sent them back.
8 Q. Did Mr. Djordjevic give you any instructions as to any further
9 action you should take at any point?
10 A. I told General Djordjevic on that occasion that I was going to
12 couldn't be any specific action that I should take, and he knew where I
13 was going.
14 Q. Did Mr. Djordjevic at any point, give you any instructions as to
15 any further action you should take?
16 A. In respect of what, this incident?
17 Q. Yes, in respect to what you reported to him.
18 A. Not to me.
19 Q. Incidentally, Mr. Trajkovic said that when he got involved in the
20 accident on the 27th, it was you who informed Mr. Djordjevic about the
21 accident. Is that correct?
22 A. No, that is not correct. I informed the chief of the department
23 on the 28th that I was sending the reserve force back.
24 Q. Yes. I'm not asking about that now. I'm only asking you now
25 about the 27th. I think Mr. Trajkovic said that when Mr. Djordjevic was
1 informed that he was injured, you agreed with Mr. Djordjevic to introduce
2 the Skorpions, to take them over into Kosovo. Do you recall that?
3 A. I really don't know what Mr. Trajkovic might have said and who he
4 had a conversation with.
5 Q. I'm just asking you -- forget about Mr. Trajkovic, what
6 Mr. Trajkovic said. When Mr. Trajkovic was injured on the 27th, did you
7 speak to Mr. Djordjevic about it?
8 A. I told you yesterday, and I repeat, on the 27th when he returned
9 from the hospital in Pristina and from the staff, Mr. Trajkovic told me
10 to go and fetch the reserve force, the MUP reserve force. I don't know
11 what conversation you are referring to.
12 Around 1700 hours on the 27th, I received instructions from
13 Mr. Trajkovic to go to Prolom Banja.
14 Q. Did you speak to Mr. Djordjevic on the 27th?
15 A. I've already told you that I did not. Not on the 27th.
16 Q. Mr. -- one moment. We had a former member of the Skorpions who
17 testified before the trial and he said that when they returned to Banja
18 Luka -- to Prolom Banja, no one questioned any of the Skorpions about the
19 event in Podujevo. No one was arrested and taken into custody. No
20 internal investigation was carried out. Were you aware that none of
21 these things were done when the Skorpions, the perpetrators that you sent
22 back went to Prolom Banja?
23 A. This is the first time that I hear about that, but on the same
24 evening, on the 28th Prokuplje OUP inspectors were in Prolom Banja.
25 Someone mentioned this to me. I can't remember who.
1 Q. Well, I'm not asking you about where police inspectors from
2 Prokuplje might be and what they were doing. I'm asking you specifically
3 about these Skorpions, the perpetrators of a mass murder that you sent
4 back. Do you know that no one questioned them about this mass murder in
5 Prolom Banja?
6 A. I don't know that.
7 Q. Do you know that while they were in Prolom Banja the perpetrators
8 were known but nobody was arrested or taken into custody?
9 A. I really don't. I told you that on the 28th I left for Belgrade
10 and I have no further information as to what was happening with them, and
11 I've repeated this on several occasions. After I left for Belgrade
12 don't know what was happening with them because competent authorities
13 took over and they were working on this.
14 Q. That is what I'm asking you. I'm asking you about the work of
15 the competent authorities. You sent back these mass murderers with their
16 weapons without taking even a statement. Do you know that while they
17 were in Prolom Banja, there was no investigation?
18 A. I know that measures were taken to conduct all investigative
19 measures, but after I left for Belgrade
20 could I have any impact on the course of the investigation.
21 Q. When did you return to Kosovo from Belgrade? How many days after
22 the 28th?
23 A. Well, I've already said that I don't remember exactly on what
24 date, but it was immediately following the funeral that I returned to
25 Kosovo and Metohija.
1 Q. At some time around the 29th, 30th, 31st March?
2 A. I really don't know the date.
3 Q. Now, you went to Kosovo Polje where the SAJ had established its
4 base when you returned to Kosovo?
5 A. No, on that occasion I went to Gracanica where the forward
6 command post of the Pristina SAJ
7 begun, and we could not remain at the base in Ajvalija. I was informed
8 there that the new base of the SAJ
9 to Kosovo Polje.
10 Q. Now, is it correct that sometime in about -- I think this is your
11 evidence, so just tell me yes or no -- sometime in about the middle of
12 April or after the 15th or 16th of April the Skorpions were bused, were
13 taken back to the SAJ
14 A. No. I said that in late April they arrived and the
15 then-Commander Trajkovic then took over control of them.
16 Q. Couldn't it be on or about the 15th -- sorry, on or about the
17 18th of April? Could that qualify as an approximate time when the
18 Skorpions returned?
19 A. No, I said it was in late April, the end of April, that could be
20 the 28th, the 29th, or the 30th. Not the 18th. The end of the month,
21 not mid-month.
22 Q. And Stoparic he said that he was re-recruited on the 15th or
23 16th, and a couple of days later he was taken to Kosovo Polje where
24 Mr. Trajkovic had his headquarters in a large house. Did Mr. Trajkovic
25 have headquarters in a house in Kosovo Polje?
1 A. That was the SAJ
2 Q. And he said that when he and the remainder of the Skorpions
3 returned there, you were still one of Mr. Trajkovic deputies, or you were
4 still commander of the Belgrade SAJ; is that correct?
5 A. I was never deputy commander to Commander Trajkovic. I was never
6 his deputy. I was never the deputy to Commander Trajkovic. I was the
7 commander of the Belgrade SAJ
8 Q. Okay. Stoparic testified that -- well, before we get to that,
9 the Skorpions who rejoined you in late April, as you say, were they
10 assigned to both of the SAJ
11 were they assigned to only one?
12 A. I've already said, when Mr. Trajkovic took them over, members of
13 the reserve force were sent or were divided, and one group was sent to
14 the Pristina SAJ
15 Q. Now, Mr. Stoparic also testified that all of the men but one who
16 shot these civilian women and children were returned armed and given
17 high-powered weapons and put on their command again. Were you aware of
19 A. I really don't know what Stoparic or Stoparevic, as you call him,
20 I don't know who the man is who you are referring to, what statement he
21 gave. I said when they were returned at the end of April, when they were
22 taken over by Mr. Trajkovic, that they were divided, the SAJ in Pristina
23 and the SAJ
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like us and
1 the witness to be shown parts of the statement by the witness referred to
2 by Mr. Stamp. Now, the last piece of interpretation I received about
3 these weapons, and I don't know what strength the weapons were and
4 everything else, I don't know that this is mentioned and the name
5 Stoparic mentioned, so I think it would be a good idea if we were to see
6 what it is that Stoparic is saying so that we can read it and then we can
7 go on to asking the witness questions and see whether it's right or
9 JUDGE PARKER: You do need, at least, to give a reference if you
10 are quoting from statements so that Mr. Djurdjic can follow you up,
11 Mr. Stamp.
12 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours. Page 2844, lines -- well, I'll
13 just read the answer, line 22 to 25. Answer of Mr. Stoparic:
14 "First let me correct you. We were not redeployed to Podujevo
15 but rather to Kosovo Polje. Of the man that I claimed have taken part in
16 the execution of a civilian, only Cvjetan Sasa didn't return. All the
17 rest returned."
18 Q. Anyway, Witness, forget Stoparic. The question is this: Do you
19 know at the time of the redeployment of any measures that had been taken
20 to weed out, so to speak, or purge, or discover those persons who were
21 responsible for the massacre?
22 A. Commander Trajkovic said, told me and Commander Stalevic, that he
23 would again ask the minister that the reserve MUP composition be assigned
24 to us but in a sifted version. What he meant, I don't know, but all I
25 know is that none of the reserve forces could come and be part of the
1 reserve forces without being checked out, their criminal records checked
2 out and so on.
3 Q. So are you saying that you know that their criminal records were
4 checked out? You know that?
5 A. That's the duty of the police, when they engage somebody to
6 become a member of the reserve force, they have to check that person out.
7 That's their duty.
8 Q. Anyway, you are telling me about what is supposed to happen. I'm
9 asking you if you know if that happened?
10 A. They couldn't have been engaged in the reserve force in the first
11 place without having been checked out by the police.
12 Q. Okay. Very well. Back to the question. Do you know of any
13 measures that had been taken by late April when the Skorpions returned to
14 be re-engaged with the SAJ
15 at Podujevo?
16 A. I knew that the procedure was underway, but nothing more than
18 Q. So I take it that at that time you didn't know whether or not you
19 were re-engaging mass murderers?
20 A. I did not know the members of the reserve force by name. They
21 were returned as the reserve force of the MUP attached to the SAJ, and
22 they were supposed to come previously having been checked out by the
23 police. It was the police that were supposed to have done the checks.
24 We don't select MUP reservists. They are assigned to us. The SAJ does
25 not have a reserve force, and I've said that any number of times.
1 Q. But you are saying things which are not related to my question.
2 Having not done anything or having -- or not knowing what steps
3 had been taken, you were re-engaging persons who -- that you did not know
4 whether or not they had committed crimes; is that true? When I say
5 crimes, committed the crime at Podujevo.
6 A. It's not true that I didn't undertake anything. When that
7 unfortunate event took place, I reported it to Podujevo. I informed the
8 staff about it and the OUP of Podujevo informed the investigating judge
9 and the proceedings went on from there, so I don't make the decision
10 about whether the reserve force would be attached to me or not. It comes
11 from a proposal from Commander Trajkovic and the people that were -- the
12 reserve force added on to us attached to us were returned, according to
13 Mr. Trajkovic, that they had been checked out.
14 Q. You said yesterday that, and I'll find it to read it. At page
15 13594, page 18 [sic], and this is in respect to these Skorpion members or
16 members of the reserve force that came back to Kosovo Polje:
17 "Some of them were assigned to the SAJ in Belgrade
18 the SAJ
19 Kosovo Polje, I organised a meeting with these men. I hadn't -- I
20 didn't -- I didn't identify any of them as being the participant in the
21 incident in Podujevo."
22 On what basis, Mr. Simovic, could you identify or not identify
23 any of these men as participants in the murder, if you didn't follow the
25 A. I said that I didn't recognise anybody who was on the scene in
2 Q. No. I just read what you said.
3 A. I said when Commander Trajkovic took them over in Kosovo Polje
4 and when a certain number attached to me, and when I talked to them, that
5 I didn't recognise anybody from the scene in Podujevo.
6 Q. That's what you say now. But the record indicates that you
7 didn't identify any of them as being a participant in the incident in
8 Podujevo. So the question is: On what basis could you determine who was
9 a participant and who was not?
10 A. I say again, I didn't recognise anybody from the scene as having
11 been there.
12 Q. Very well. Mr. Simovic, I represent to you that the record is a
13 record of what you said yesterday, and I'll move on.
14 MR. STAMP: Could we look at D441. This is the on-site
15 investigation report. Could we move to page 2.
16 Q. One page in Serbian, is it, or two pages? Did you see this
17 on-site report, on-site investigation report before you reincorporated
18 these men on your command?
19 A. No.
20 Q. In one paragraph -- well, you said you haven't seen it.
21 MR. STAMP: Could we look at 65 ter 1841.
22 Q. That, Mr. Simovic, I want to recall for the time being is the
23 on-site investigation report in this massacre.
24 MR. STAMP: Sorry, Defence 65 ter. This is a document on the
25 Defence list which we got yesterday. And I think I'm told that it should
1 be referred to at this point in time by the e-court ID, identification
2 number, which is D003-1454 in English and D003-1452 in Serbian.
3 Q. This is ruling to conduct an investigation and to order the
4 detention of suspects by the investigating Judge Mijat Bajovic of the
5 Prokuplje district court, and it's dated the 24th of May, 1999. This was
6 more than -- well, approximately a month after the Skorpions are
8 And if you look at it in the ruling it relates to Sasa Cvjetan
9 and Dejan Demirovic, and you can see that they were taken into custody on
10 the 21st of May, 1999. Did you know that that is when these men were
11 arrested, these two men were arrested?
12 A. No, I did not know of the date.
13 Q. In respect to the charge section where it says "For" and then
14 "Suspect Sasa Cvjetan," it reads:
15 "Reasonable grounds suspect that on the 28th of March, 1999
16 Podujevo, as a member of the reserve force of the SAJ (special
17 anti-terrorist unit) with premeditated intent, while participating in
18 operative processing of the terrain, killed several persons..."
19 Do you know on what basis did the investigating magistrate refer
20 to Cvjetan as a member of the reserve force of the SAJ?
21 A. I really don't know. I don't know. Perhaps it's Cvjetan's
22 statement. I know nothing about that.
23 Q. Well, you know that this is done, this order is issued before the
24 magistrate interviews the witness -- interviews the accused, don't you
25 know that?
1 A. I really don't know nothing about that -- anything about that.
2 Q. If you look at the next page in respect to Dejan Demirovic, he is
3 also described -- and we only need to move in English forward to the next
5 He is also described as a member of the reserve force of the SAJ.
6 I take it you don't know about that either?
7 A. I don't know about that, no.
8 Q. Are you aware -- well, if you go back to the first page, we can
9 see that they were arrested on the 21st of May, 1999. I think we have
10 pointed that out before, so maybe I could move to another document.
11 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, could this document be received in
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01592.
15 MR. STAMP: And if we could look at document B/C/S e-court ID
16 D003-1452. English D003-1454.
17 JUDGE PARKER: That seems to be the reference, Mr. Stamp, to the
18 document that has just become an exhibit.
19 MR. STAMP: I'm sorry, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I be of assistance? If the
22 other document is under a D number, then it is 003-1431.
23 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] That's what the Prosecutor had in
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. You are better at reading his mind
2 than I am, Mr. Djurdjic.
3 MR. STAMP: And in English it's D003-1433.
4 Q. While that is coming up, Mr. Trajkovic testified that for some
5 reason this massacre received a lot of attention in the press in Serbia
6 Do you recall that happening in 1999 during the war?
7 A. I don't know. Who said that, did you say? I did not understand
8 the name, who said that.
9 Q. It doesn't matter who said it. Do you recall that --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I have to intervene. In the
12 interpretation it said that some -- that a man called Cekovic [phoen]
13 said something to the media. That's what the witness heard and that's
14 what I heard, but in the transcript the name is quite different as you
15 can see here. So through our headsets we heard Mr. Cekovic, that it was
16 Mr. Cekovic who said what Mr. Stamp said about the public information
18 MR. STAMP: Very well, I'll ask the question without referring to
19 the name.
20 Q. During the war in May, did this massacre become a feature of some
21 notoriety in the media in Serbia
22 A. I remember the note in the media, but I can't remember the date
23 because in May I was elsewhere. I was in Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Okay. Let's look at this document quickly. This is a criminal
25 report charging Mr. Cvjetan and Mr. Demirovic. Your copy is probably not
1 the most legible, but if we look at the -- at paragraph 2.
2 JUDGE PARKER: While you are sorting that out, Mr. Stamp, yes,
3 Mr. Djurdjic.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's a document which
5 is to be found in hard copy. It exists in hard copy, so it is number 5,
6 document number 5, and perhaps the witness could be provided with a hard
7 copy to look at. It might be easier for the witness to see if in front
8 of him rather than looking at the screen and e-court.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. Would that help, Witness?
11 A. But anyway, yes.
12 Q. Found it, Mr. Simovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It's the criminal report against these two men, Dejan Demirovic
15 and Sasa Cvjetan. On the 23rd of May, 1999. If we go to the last page,
16 you'll see that it was signed by Captains Klikovac and Oparnica, and they
17 were from the OUP Podujevo?
18 A. I really don't know which OUP they were from.
19 Q. Well, you have the document in front of you. If you go to the
20 first page, you will see who the document is from.
21 A. It doesn't say where they were from here. It just says Dusko --
22 it just says Captains Dusko Klikovac and Milos Oparnica, authorised
24 Q. Go to the first page. It was sent by the department of the
25 interior of Podujevo, 23rd of May. KU Number 6599 is the serial number.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it refers to both of them, and this is the third paragraph of
3 section 2, that:
4 "Sasa Cvjetan and Dejan Demirovic, with several other
5 unidentified perpetrators, as members of the reserve force of the SAJ."
6 Why would these two captains in the Podujevo OUP characterise
7 them as members of the reserve force of the SAJ; do you know why?
8 A. I really don't know, and I repeat again, SAJ did not have its own
9 reserve force, nor did it ever have one. We received our reserve forces
10 from the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
11 didn't have an SAJ
12 any kind.
13 Q. If we go back to the last page quickly. We'll see that the --
14 this is -- again I remind you of a date. This is late May, two months
15 after the incident. This is the police report charging two people, and
16 you see the attachments, on-site investigation report, KR Number 21 of
17 1999, which is the on-site investigation report of one page, which I
18 showed you five minutes ago; written statements by the reported persons,
19 that is the two accused; decision on remand in custody; a record of a
20 search of Sasa Cvjetan; forensic documentation of the scene. Upon until
21 that time they hadn't taken any statements from any of your policemen,
22 any of the Skorpions except these two persons who are now being arrested.
23 Were you aware of that? Two months later these are the state of the
25 A. I really don't know how the competent authorities organised this
1 work. They did the best they could and I really don't know because I
2 didn't take part in the identification and other matters. I was in
3 charge of my unit, and this was conducted by the investigating judge in
5 Q. Are you aware that as a result of this, that Cvjetan and
6 Demirovic, although they were arrested, they were released within ten
7 days? Are you aware of that?
8 A. No, I wasn't aware of that.
9 Q. When they were tried, when you testified at the trial in
10 Prokuplje in 2003, they had been re-arrested, and this was after this
11 Tribunal became involved, at least at the trial. They had been
12 re-arrested for that trial; were you aware of that?
13 A. I became aware of that when I was summonsed by the Court to
14 appear as a witness.
15 Q. And you are aware of that that even at that stage because of the
16 investigation that had proceeded, the case against these men had to be
17 dismissed and to be recommenced two years later in Belgrade; are you
18 aware of that -- or withdrawn, I'm not sure how long after. This case in
19 Prokuplje had to be dismissed and was later recommenced in Belgrade
20 you know that?
21 A. I don't know that. All I know is that they were convicted,
22 sentenced, and that I'm glad that they were actually meted out a decision
23 or actually a punishment that they deserve.
24 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, the document before the Court, I tender
25 it and ask that it be received in evidence.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01593.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Is it a convenient time?
4 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours, it is. Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the second adjournment now and resume
6 at 6.15.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Mr. Simovic, were you deployed with the SAJ in Eastern Slavonia
16 in the period 1991 to 1994?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Were you deployed as a policeman in Croatia at any time?
19 A. I already said no.
20 Q. You said yesterday at -- and I'm moving on to something else --
21 at 13594, if I could quote you, in respect to these reservists:
22 "What is important was that they had all served in the army
23 because there was a requirement for all members of these reserve force.
24 They would have had to serve in the army. And based on what military
25 specialty they had served in while they were in the army, they would be
1 used in order to establish groups or teams that were -- that would be
2 capable of carrying out certain tasks."
3 Would the requirement, what you said was the important
4 requirement that they had served in the army, did that apply to every one
5 of these Skorpion, these members of the units, the Skorpion unit, to your
7 A. I know that every member of the reserve force of the MUP in order
8 to qualify to become a member of the reserve MUP force would have had to
9 serve in the army.
10 Q. Right. If we look at the Law on Internal Affairs for the
11 Republic of Serbia
12 for that. If you go just very quickly to remind us of what the law says.
13 While it's coming up, can you answer me precisely, did you, of your own
14 knowledge, become aware that the members of this unit, which I refer to,
15 the Skorpion, had -- were members of the army had done their military
16 service, or are you assuming this because this was a requirement of the
18 A. The police administration had to comply with the legal
19 provisions, and members of the reserve MUP forces had to have served in
20 the army.
21 Q. So basically you assume this on the basis of the legal
23 A. It is understood that they would have served in the army.
24 Q. And that's Article 27, providing:
25 "In case of an imminent threat of war or war, the Ministry of the
1 Interior shall be brought up to strength with conscripts to the reserve
2 force of the ministry."
3 There's a slight error in that translation. But that is the
4 relevant legal provision, is it not?
5 A. Only conscripts may be deployed, those who also meet the legal
6 requirements to work in the Ministry of the Interior. In other words,
7 those who have served in the army can be actually engaged to work in the
8 reserve force of the Ministry of the Interior.
9 Q. Were you aware that many of these members of the Skorpions had no
10 military service?
11 A. I only knew that the police administration had to comply with the
12 procedure whereby the reserve MUP force members had to have served in the
13 army. Whether the police administration actually did comply with this
14 legal provision, I really don't know.
15 Q. Okay. We've had evidence on this, the question is slightly
16 different, not what ought to have been done. We understand that the law
17 is that for war time engagement of a reservist of the MUP, they would
18 have to be conscripts and pass other requirements. I am asking you now,
19 when these men were re-engaged to you at Kosovo Polje, were you aware or
20 did you become aware that many of them were not conscripts?
21 A. In Kosovo Polje they were received by Commander Trajkovic, and he
22 actually assigned them to the Pristina SAJ and to my unit. I did not
23 question the commander's decision and I didn't know that there were among
24 them those who were not conscripts, because in order to qualify to become
25 a member of the reserve force of the MUP, they would have had to serve in
1 the army.
2 Q. Mr. Stoparic testified that as much as 50 per cent of the 120
3 Skorpion members had no previous combat experience. Some didn't even
4 know how to handle weapons. Were you aware of that?
5 A. I really don't know what Mr. Stoparic said.
6 Q. Were you aware that approximately 50 per cent of the Skorpions
7 had no combat experience, some couldn't even handle weapons properly?
8 A. All I knew was that they were members of the reserve force and
9 that the requirement was for them to have served in the army and if they
10 hadn't, then that was an omission committed by the police administration
11 and not an error on my part.
12 Q. I'm not -- I'm just asking about what you knew at the time. I'm
13 not saying that you made an error.
14 A. I didn't know at that time.
15 Q. We had the testimony of General Aleksandar Vasiljevic who said
16 that he asked for a check to be made of who these Skorpions were, and the
17 report he got back was that "there were many persons with criminal
18 records and that they had a general reputation of being criminals. There
19 were many criminal types in their ranks. They were problematic people."
20 That's quoting him. During the war that never came to your attention,
21 that you were co-mingling with -- well, that these Skorpions that were
22 engaged with you included persons who were criminals or criminal types?
23 A. What General Vasiljevic said, I don't know. What I do know is
24 that the member of the reserve MUP force could not be admitted as a
25 member of the reserve force unless they went through background checks.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would appreciate the reference
3 where Mr. Vasiljevic said this, that he actually said this of members of
4 the reserve MUP force who were attached to the SAJ unit, and could he
5 please tell us where this reference is coming from, which part of his
7 MR. STAMP: What I put was that General Vasiljevic said he made a
8 check on the Skorpions who were attached to the MUP and that the
9 Skorpions included persons who were criminals and criminal types, and
10 this is 5666 and 5667 of the record. Those are transcript pages.
11 Q. Mr. Trajkovic [sic] said at 5666 from lines 13: What is stated
12 in the report was that the group was headed by Slobodan Medic and that
13 the group he organised [indiscernible] himself comprised 120 to 150
14 people, that there were practically two groups who went to Kosovo, one
15 that was organised by Slobodan Medic, aka Boca, at the initiative of
16 Mrgan Denanovic [phoen] who in 1991 had been appointed as [indiscernible]
18 led by Dalibor Novakovic. The report also said that in essence, these
19 persons had experience in the battle-field in the former Yugoslavia, that
20 among them there were persons who had criminal records, but no names are
21 named, that they had returned to Kosovo a couple of days earlier. So
22 since we are there, did you know of another group of reservists that were
23 organised around somebody by the name of Dalibor Novakovic?
24 A. This is the first time that I hear that.
25 Q. Anyway, Mr. -- General Vasiljevic said, among the persons, there
1 were many persons who had criminal records. You weren't aware -- well,
2 were you aware of this?
3 A. I don't know what Mr. Vasiljevic said, but I know that one could
4 not become a member of the reserve force in the MUP if that person had a
5 criminal record, and without background checks. So they would have to be
6 a conscript to have served in the army, and in order to become a member
7 of the reserve force of the MUP.
8 Q. Later on at page 5667, Mr. Vasiljevic was asked:
9 "Briefly, in maybe a sentence or two, did your operative report
10 indicate what the reputation was in respect to what they had been up to
11 in the battle-fields in the former Yugoslavia
12 "A. I don't know specifically what they had done there. I know
13 they were paid as an organised group in the so-called Bihac operation.
14 Simply there were some MUP units, JSO to be more precise, in that area.
15 The general classification was that there were criminal types in their
16 ranks, problematic people, which was written in the dossiers of those
17 people who had returned from the battle-fields."
18 That is Mr. Vasiljevic's testimony. Are you aware that this was
19 the sort of people that you were recruiting into the police force?
20 A. Well, I'm saying again I don't know what Mr. Vasiljevic said. I
21 don't understand this. All I can say, and I have to repeat it, is that
22 every member of the reserve force in the MUP had to be a conscript, and
23 they had to not have a criminal record.
24 Q. Yes, but to recruit police officers, don't you also check their
25 backgrounds to see what their reputation is?
1 A. The reserve forces of the MUP, the people who actually applied to
2 become members were being checked by the police administration in charge
3 of that. As for members of the SAJ
4 background checks and all the other necessary checks. An active member
5 of the SAJ
6 employee of the Ministry of the Interior and had a good record as an
7 employee of the Ministry of the Interior, one of the better workers. And
8 of course, they had also had to qualify, they had to meet all the
9 requirements for admittance into the special unit.
10 Q. You remember we were speaking earlier about the charges against
11 Demirovic and Cvjetan, they were two people who were charged in 2002 and
12 2003, but I represent to you, Mr. Simovic, that there were more than two
13 people who were shooting during the incident. And I'd like to show you
14 the last indictment, the 2008 indictment, against some of the remaining
15 people who have now been charged in Serbia.
16 MR. STAMP: Could we look at document 06116.
17 Q. Are you aware that in the latter part of 2007 or 2008 four other
18 persons were charged in respect to this massacre in Serbia?
19 A. I heard it in the media, and I was pleased that the investigation
20 uncovered the other participants in this massacre.
21 MR. STAMP: If we could pause there to see where we are at. This
22 is an indictment of the 14th of April, 2008.
23 Q. The first person charged --
24 MR. STAMP: If we could scroll down to the bottom in B/C/S.
25 Q. -- is a Zeljko Djukic, and if we could move on in English to look
1 at the second person charged, Dragan Medic. We'll see in his description
2 in this indictment, he had no military service, no military record, no
3 criminal record. So you note here that we have here somebody with no
4 military service at all?
5 A. I see that now, and that was an omission by the police
6 administration unit that mobilised these reserve force members.
7 Q. The third person charged, Dragan Borojevic, you could look at
8 this one, and if you could just read -- just read to yourself -- the
9 criminal record dating back to before 1996.
10 A. I've read it.
11 Q. It seems that on the -- if we move to the next page in English so
12 that we could look at it. It seems that prior -- it seems that on the
13 25th of November, 1996, he was sentenced to imprisonment for extortion,
14 and we can see that prior to that he was also sentenced imprisonment for
15 unauthorised possession of weapons.
16 So how is it that an interested person like General Vasiljevic
17 could make one inquiry for these people to be checked out and he could
18 immediately and quickly receive information that this group was composed
19 of many criminal and criminal types, yet you didn't know about that,
20 Mr. Trajkovic didn't know about that, Mr. Djordjevic didn't know about
21 that? All you senior policemen didn't know about it, yet Mr. Vasiljevic
22 on one inquiry could discover it. Could you explain that to the Court?
23 A. The police administration was duty-bound to do a background check
24 on each individual and it did so. How this omission occurred, I really
25 don't know.
1 Q. If we look at the next one, Miodrag Solaja. You see that he has
2 a criminal record as well, two or three offences here for which he was
3 sentenced imprisonment. They were subsequent to 1999, but this is the
4 type of persons that you are working with, Mr. Simovic.
5 A. I did not co-operate with them. The reserve forces of the
6 Republic of Serbia MUP was taken over by Trajkovic, and he assigned it to
7 the special units of the SAJ
8 Q. If we look at the judgement against Sasa Cvjetan, we would also
9 see that he was a criminal, notwithstanding that his offence, his other
10 offence, apart from the massacre that he was convicted of, was committed
11 subsequent to the massacre.
12 MR. STAMP: That is P40, and it's on the first page, and that is
13 the judgement against Sasa Cvjetan in the Belgrade court.
14 Q. Did you know about that conviction? Or maybe we should just look
15 at it.
16 MR. STAMP: Could you bring P40 before the Court. And go to the
17 first page.
18 Q. If we look at the judgement, so that is the part on the second
19 heading. Crimes in 2001, 2004. This is after he had been released
20 because the Podujevo massacre wasn't investigated, he still continued
21 along a criminal career. You see that? Mr. Simovic?
22 A. Yes, I see that.
23 Q. And you know -- you know Boca, Slobodan Medic, he is serving a
24 40-year term for another massacre that was committed in the mid-1990s,
25 about five years before the Podujevo incident in Bosnia, where he and
1 some other of his Skorpion members lined up a group of boys and young men
2 and executed them? You know that? Do you know that?
3 A. I learned of that in the media, also during the trial of Slobodan
4 Milosevic before this Tribunal. I know that some footage was shown of
5 this crime committed by the Skorpion unit in Bosnia. That was the first
6 time that I heard of it. And as for Mr. Medic, I've already told you, I
7 told you yesterday, that I met him for the first time and saw him for the
8 first time when I went to Prolom Banja when Mr. Zivko Trajkovic told me
9 that he would be there. Before Podujevo, I had never seen Mr. Medic.
10 Q. Again I ask you, Mr. Simovic, you see, any time we see in the
11 record of these persons, almost all of these records show the character
12 of these persons who were incorporated to the police and given
13 high-powered weapons and put in positions where they are amongst
14 civilians. This is what we are seeing. General Vasiljevic upon hearing
15 about them made an inquiry and he learned that these were criminals who
16 had been incorporated in the police. How is it, Mr. Djordjevic, who was
17 responsible or participated in engaging them in the police force did not
18 know about these men? You are a senior policeman. Tell us, how could it
19 have escaped him in Belgrade
20 A. I state again, reception into the MUP, there's special department
21 in the police administration dealing with that. And it was up to them to
22 take people in. And we read an article of the Law on Internal Affairs.
23 Only those people who had completed their military service and who didn't
24 have a criminal police file could be admitted. So I really don't know
25 what you are asking, how this was done, because I didn't do it. I don't
1 know why that hadn't been done.
2 MR. STAMP: If we could look at 06113. Before we do that, Your
3 Honour, could the document before the one on e-court now, 06116, be
4 received in evidence.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01594.
7 MR. STAMP: And if we could now look at 06113.
8 Q. This is a military document. I think earlier that you did your
9 military service. Are you familiar with documents like this?
10 A. I didn't do my military service, and this is the first time that
11 I see a document of this kind.
12 Q. This is the 16th of May supplement to a report from the 3rd Army
13 security department. And in the penultimate paragraph -- can you read
14 it? It says that:
15 "Major-General verified information Major-General Djakovic,
16 operative officer in command of the 3rd Army, recognised in this group a
17 certain Slobodan Medic, aka Boca, and asked what sort of task had brought
18 him there. To which the other replied that he had come under the order
19 of the MUP General Roda."
20 Who is normally referred to as -- who is General Roda? Who is
21 that referring to?
22 A. I've never seen this document before. This is the first time I'm
23 looking at it. Now, what Mr. Djakovic wrote here, I really can't comment
25 Q. Who is MUP General Roda, that's all I'm asking now?
1 A. All I can tell you all the MUP generals, give you their names,
2 their first name and last name, but I don't know their nicknames.
3 Q. You don't know that General Djordjevic is referred to as General
4 Roda, or that Roda is his nickname or Radja?
5 A. I never addressed him by his nickname. I was a professional
6 myself and I always addressed my superiors by rank or position.
7 Q. Yes, I know, but this document refers to Boca speaking. Boca is
8 a different quality of person. Do you know what General Djordjevic's
9 nickname was?
10 A. I've already said, as far as my superior officers are concerned,
11 I always addressed them by name and surname or by rank. As to nicknames,
12 I know that Commander Trajkovic was Zile because we were close, but as
13 for the others, I really don't know. They might have any one of
14 thousands of nicknames.
15 Q. Were you present when the Skorpions received their weapons in
16 Prolom Banja on the 27th?
17 A. No, I was not.
18 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I want to move on from this document
19 but I wouldn't tender it. I would just ask that it be marked since it
20 was shown to the witness.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked for identification.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01595 marked
23 for identification.
24 MR. STAMP: And the last document that I'd like to show you,
25 Mr. Simovic, is 06111. This is a report to the investigation department
1 of the district court of Prokuplje dated the 11th of March, 2002
2 just indicate that on the English translation, there's an error in that
3 the date is not included in the top left-hand column as it is in the
4 original in B/C/S.
5 Q. And it is in respect to a request from the district court, and if
6 we just move to the end of the document to see who it's from, it's from
7 the chief of administration, Major-General Knezevic.
8 MR. STAMP: Page 2 in the B/C/S, page 3 in the English.
9 Q. And if we go back to page 2 -- the first page, we see that Major
10 Knezevic is from the administration for prevention of organised crime,
11 and it says:
12 "The administration for prevention of organised crime acted upon
13 your request to collect the required information in order to successfully
14 conduct an investigation against the accused persons, Sasa Cvjetan and
15 Dejan Demirovic for a criminal offence of war crimes against the civilian
16 population under Article 142."
17 And in the first bullet point it says: "Accused Cvjetan and
18 Demirovic were members of the Skorpion units." And the second bullet
19 points it says: "The Skorpions was founded as a volunteer unit of 128
20 members." Was it lawful to incorporate volunteers into the police?
21 A. Volunteers were never incorporated into the police, nor could
22 somebody volunteer to join up.
23 Q. It was not lawful?
24 A. What did you say?
25 Q. What was not lawful?
1 A. The reserve force was recruited into the police by the department
2 for the reserve force in the police administration.
3 Q. And if you look at the second page in English, I think it's the
4 bottom of the first page in B/C/S, it says:
5 "On the 25th of March, 1999, the Skorpions unit was transferred
6 to the reserve formations of the MUP SAJ
7 Colonel-General Vlastimir Djordjevic..."
8 A. I don't know about this piece of information. I'm not aware of
9 it, and this is the first time that I see it.
10 Q. But this is a document emanating from the MUP; you would at least
11 agree with that?
12 A. I really don't know who wrote this document, but as I say, this
13 is the first time that I'm hearing about this. I know that the police
14 administration, or rather, the department of the reserve force, took in
15 members of the reserve force into MUP. Admitted members of the reserve
16 force into MUP.
17 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, could this police report be received in
18 evidence and given an exhibit number.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have two
21 objections. The first is that this document has nothing to do with this
22 witness. He did not draft it, nor did he take part in its drafting, nor
23 does he know anything about this document. And the second point is this,
24 the document has a number of pages and everything that is contained in
25 this document and which is on e-court is not a component part of the
1 document to which Mr. Stamp refers. But if you wish, I can explain why
2 or we can carry on tomorrow morning in view of the time.
3 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, maybe I could check and sort out
4 whatever it is overnight.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I think we'll leave it overnight, and if you want
6 to pursue that, do so. And the matter can be taken up again when we
7 resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
8 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: We must adjourn overnight now to resume at 9.00
10 tomorrow morning. The Court Officer will assist you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st of April,
14 2010, at 9.00 a.m.