1 Friday, 23 April 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down. The affirmation you made to tell
9 the truth still applies. And Mr. Behar is finishing his questions.
10 WITNESS: RADISLAV STALEVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Behar: [Continued]
13 Q. Good morning, sir.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Sir, can you tell us what meeting it was that you attended with
16 Mr. Djordjevic on January 16th of 1999?
17 A. On the 16th of January, 1999, I didn't attend the 16th of January
18 meeting. I only drove Mr. Djordjevic, according to his request, to Mount
19 Kopaonik on that day, and on the 17th I returned. On Mount Kopaonik
20 were skiing on the 17th, and during the skiing he had a telephone
21 conversation, he told me that there were some complications in Kosovo and
22 that he should go back there.
23 Q. That's fine. I'm going to try and keep the questions specific if
24 you can keep your answers specific to the question we'll move faster
25 today. Do you know, sir, what meeting Mr. Djordjevic was attending, and
1 do you know who was present at that meeting on the 16th?
2 A. He called me on the 16th to drive him there, but my police
3 officers from the special unit provided a security detail for the
4 government. I think the government met on the 15th and the 16th. He
5 called me to transport him on the 16th, but my men were there providing
6 security from the 15th.
7 Q. So it sounds like there were a number of high-level government
8 officials at this meeting or at these meetings; is that fair to say? You
9 were providing security because there were some high-level government
11 A. Yes, we provide security for these high-ranking officials. I
12 don't know who they were because it was my men who secured these high
14 Q. And Mr. Djordjevic had come via helicopter from attending
15 political meetings in Prizren earlier that day; is that correct?
16 A. I don't know which means of transportation he had used. All I
17 know is that he called me on the 16th to drive him to Kopaonik. I don't
18 know where he had come from and whether if he flew in by helicopter. All
19 I know is that he asked me to drive him to Mount Kopaonik
20 Q. He told us that he had been in Prizren and Pec in meetings, but
21 he didn't relate that to you, or you don't recall that?
22 A. He didn't tell me that, and I honestly don't remember anything of
23 the sort.
24 Q. Sir, when you saw Mr. Djordjevic on January 16th, this would have
25 been the day after the Racak incident - we spoke about that a little bit
1 yesterday - did you talk to Mr. Djordjevic about the Racak incident and
2 all the publicity it was getting?
3 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I didn't discuss this event, nor did I know
4 anything about the incident. He only asked me to drive him to Kopaonik
5 for skiing, so we didn't discuss anything about this.
6 Q. Well, surely, sir, that you would have been aware of the incident
7 by the 16th given all the international press coverage that it was
8 getting, international monitors were already up in arms by the 16th,
9 William Walker had held a press conference on the 16th that was making
10 political waves, but you maintain, sir, that neither you nor
11 Mr. Djordjevic had heard of the Racak incident and that it never came up?
12 A. I didn't talk about this incident and after all, I did not know
13 anything about that incident. I didn't know that it had happened.
14 Q. Well, sir, you were the commander of the SAJ Prishtina,
15 Mr. Djordjevic was the chief of the public security department. Surely
16 someone would have communicated this event, if not to you, then certainly
17 to Mr. Djordjevic. Would you not think that would be the normal state of
18 affairs within the ministry given something so significant for Kosovo?
19 A. Yes, I am the commander of SAJ, but nobody informed me about the
20 incident. As for the head of the department, I don't know whether anyone
21 had informed him, and we never discussed the issue whether he had been
22 informed or whether anything had happened.
23 Q. But, in fact, sir, you've already told us that Mr. Djordjevic was
24 attending high-level meetings. We've heard from him that he was
25 attending meetings prior to the 16th. We've heard from you as well today
1 he was attending meetings with high-level government officials. Surely,
2 sir, these people would have been well aware of the Racak massacre and
3 that would have been communicated, would it not? Would that not be the
4 normal state of affairs that you would expect for such a significant
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know why this meeting of the government
7 was held, and whether they discussed this incident, I truly don't know.
8 I myself had not been informed about the Racak incident.
9 Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that as the chief of the
10 department - and I ask you because in your position you would be well
11 aware of the flow of information - would you agree with me that the chief
12 of the department would in the normal course be kept aware of such
13 significant events?
14 A. I can only speak for myself. I cannot speak for the chief of
15 department. He probably should have been informed, but I cannot make any
16 comments on that. All I know is that I was the commander of the special
17 unit, nobody informed me about the event, and I knew nothing about it.
18 Q. Sir, when we left off yesterday, you had just testified quite
19 clearly that you didn't know of any such name as the "Skorpions" during
20 any of the time that you were with these MUP reservists. And you told us
21 that it was only in 2002 that you first heard that name. Do you recall
22 that discussion we had yesterday?
23 A. We discussed this yesterday. I didn't know any Skorpions. At
24 all times there were only reservists who had been dispatched by the MUP.
25 In all my previous statements I always referred to them as the MUP
1 reserve forces. Perhaps I repeated myself due to the mode of questions
2 that you asked me, but as I said, I always knew them and referred to them
3 as the reserve force of the MUP of Serbia.
4 Q. But just to be very clear, sir, as I understood your testimony
5 yesterday, you told us that you had never heard the name the Skorpions,
6 and, in fact, you told us you never heard the name the Skorpions until
7 2002; is that correct? So just for me to be very clear, I'm not asking
8 you what you called them, I'm asking you whether you had heard the name,
9 the "Skorpions" associated with those men prior to 2002?
10 A. I didn't know that name. I didn't know that they were called
11 Skorpions. In 1999 when they came to us, they were members of the MUP
12 reserve force.
13 Q. Okay. Sir, let's look at that. But I want to first ask you,
14 what was the size of your regular unit in 1999? I want to make sure I
15 have this right. I believe you said there were about 100 people in the
17 A. Yesterday I said that according to the job classification for the
18 unit, it numbered 100 men. However, 50 to 60 of them were able to take
19 part in the tasks that we performed. When I said 100 men, I meant that
20 it was a unit composed of several platoons, the 1st one, the 2nd one, and
21 the 3rd one, and the 3rd Platoon had hygiene workers, logistical section,
22 mechanics, drivers, et cetera. So the part of the unit that was directly
23 involved in tasks was not 100 but rather 50 to 60, which equals
24 approximately two platoons.
25 Q. And these Skorpions or this MUP reserve unit, as you referred to
1 it, that numbered about 128 men; correct? And I'm talking about now when
2 they were deployed with you.
3 A. This reserve force numbered approximately 128 men, the first time
4 they came as reservists. I think it's 128, maybe my memory doesn't serve
5 me too well.
6 Q. You are saying the first time, what do you mean by that?
7 A. 128 of them came on the 28th of March, 1999, and we sent them
8 back from Kosovo and Metohija in 1999 after the crime that we mentioned.
9 Q. And how do you know it was 128?
10 A. We were told that by Commander Trajkovic on the day when Tutinac
11 was supposed to go and bring them down.
12 Q. And when these men were redeployed with you, how many would that
13 be when they were reattached to the SAJ
14 A. Our commander Trajkovic when this reserve force was introduced
15 for the second time, or rather, brought to Kosovo Polje, were deployed
16 with Mr. Simovic and myself. He divided this group of men, and he
17 guaranteed that they would be fully screened in comparison to the 128 who
18 had committed the crime and that as a result, there would be fewer of
19 them, and I think the number of the people who came to Kosovo Polje was
21 Q. Well, we can get to that, sir. But what I want to ask you about
22 at this point is that you have 128 men initially coming to join you,
23 you're saying less, but certainly a significant number by any account who
24 are redeployed with you. Now, sir, with this number of men coming to
25 join your unit, when you only had 50 or 60 men operationally active at
1 that time, that would radically affect your command role, would it not?
2 You would suddenly be responsible for a significant number of additional
3 men. It would, in fact, completely change the nature of your command;
4 would you agree with that?
5 A. When they came first time round, they did not join my unit on the
6 28th and were actually sent back immediately after the crime had been
7 committed. I was, after that, in command of my men who were members of
8 my special unit when these reservists were returned to Prolom Banja on
9 28th and they had not actually been attached to my unit.
10 Q. But, sir, if you can just focus on my question. I know it was
11 the intention, I think everyone has been clear about that, it was the
12 intention for these men at the outset to be joined with your unit, and
13 then later, I think it's clear by all accounts they were joined and they
14 joined you in the field. So my question is, sir, adding all of these men
15 to your command would significantly change your role as commander, would
16 it not? You would suddenly be responsible for a significant additional
17 number of men; do you agree with that?
18 A. Yes, when they join us for the second time, I'm talking about the
19 reserve forces in Kosovo, but they did not significantly change any
20 command structure. I had been trained as an officer and, therefore,
21 there was no problem for me to lead 100 strong company. As the reserve
22 forces, they were mainly involved in providing security and they were not
23 involved in operational tasks carried out by members of the SAJ that I
24 was in command of and that I led.
25 Q. Well, let's look at that, sir, because in order to properly
1 command these men, the significant additional number of men, you would
2 have to have been told about who they were, where they had come from, and
3 in particular what experience they had; correct?
4 A. When they were attached to my unit for the second time, they
5 carried out these tasks. After Commander Trajkovic assigned these men to
6 me, I asked and inquired about their specialties and according to that, I
7 assigned tasks to them. Some of them were sent to provide security for
8 our facilities, and some of them were securing the lines reached. So it
9 was possible to keep them under control. There was no need for any
10 significant expertise on their part.
11 Q. But my point is, sir, that you would need to have been told from
12 the outset what kind of men you were getting, what they were capable of,
13 what their experience was, and surely this would have been communicated
14 to you from the outset by the people who had decided that these men would
15 be sent to you in the first place. You agree?
16 A. Well, they were admitted to the reserve forces after finishing
17 the military service. Based on that, we made inquiries, and based on
18 that we assigned tasks to them. That's why I said that for the most part
19 they were used to secure facilities and the lines reached during our
20 actions in order to give an opportunity for the active duty members of
21 the SAJ
22 Q. Sir, if you were going to send a platoon to complete a certain
23 task let's say to capture a hill, to secure a town, or secure certain
24 facilities that might come under fire, you would certainly need to know
25 if they were capable of doing that; correct?
1 A. All I'm saying is that our men were trained to capture any hills
2 or elevations, and after doing that by my police officers, that is to
3 say, the SAJ
4 never joined me in the actions leading to the capturing of any
6 As I said, they provided security for these features that we had
7 captured in order for our men to have some rest. They did not take part
8 in the seisure of any features.
9 Q. Well, it sounds, perhaps, sir, that it was communicated to you
10 that these men did not have much operational training or expertise or
11 many skills. Was that, in fact, communicated to you from the outset, and
12 was it communicated to you that because of that, because of that lack of
13 skills, that they would have to play the secondary role? Was that
14 understood from the outset?
15 A. I said yesterday that special anti-terrorist unit was an elite
16 unit and that this reserve forces of the MUP of Serbia were not sent down
17 there as an elite force, but rather as a reserve force precisely for the
18 purpose of providing security of our positions and the unit while they
19 are resting. They were securing the features during those periods. So
20 these forces that were attached to us were reserve forces, and I didn't
21 know what skills they possessed. But we didn't need any special skills.
22 We only needed them for providing security of the lines reached and for
23 guard duties, so they didn't need any special experience in that respect.
24 MR. BEHAR: If we could see the evidence of the 19th of April at
25 T-13606, please. And I'll need line 22.
1 Q. So if we look at line 22 here, sir, Mr. Simovic was very clear in
2 his testimony that Mr. Trajkovic told him directly that these were the
3 Skorpions, even before they were admitted to the MUP reserve force. I
4 want to show that to you, sir. If we look at line 22 here, and, sir,
5 I'll just read it to you so you receive the translation. He was asked:
6 "So it seems to me that you are saying that Mr. Trajkovic told
7 you that they were called the Skorpions?" And he answered:
8 "I said that I heard that from my conversation with Trajkovic,
9 even before they had been admitted to the reserve forces. Up until that
10 time, I didn't know that."
11 So surely, sir, if this was communicated so readily to
12 Mr. Simovic with this number of new men coming under your command, men
13 you would have to know and lead in the field, you would also have been
14 told who they were and where they were from. So were you not, sir, at
15 this early stage before they were even put into the MUP reserve told that
16 these men were the Skorpions?
17 A. I had not heard anything about the Skorpions. I knew them as the
18 reserve force of the MUP of Serbia. And around the time of their
19 admission, what Simovic said, how Simovic knew, I know that they were
20 reserve forces of the MUP and that some of them had been admitted into
21 this reserve force of the MUP in 1999 by the administration of the MUP of
22 the Republic of Serbia
23 Q. So do you still deny, sir, that you had heard the name the
24 Skorpions prior to 2002?
25 A. I don't think I heard the name Skorpions before 2002.
1 Q. Sir, can you describe the uniform that you normally wore in the
3 can describe the uniform that you were wearing in the field in 1999.
4 A. The one I wore, you mean?
5 Q. Did you wear the same uniform as your men?
6 A. Sorry. Yes, I did wear the uniform of my active duty servicemen.
7 The NATO camouflage uniform which has a green-brown patch.
8 Q. What about the patch on your sleeve, sir, can you describe what
9 that would look like?
10 A. Our insignia. We had insignia of the SAJ on the cap and a patch
11 on the sleeve with the lettering S-A-J. It's the same one worn by the
13 Q. Is this the patch that has the emblem of the double-headed eagle
14 with a red shield and the Serb symbol with the four Cs or Ss?
15 A. Well, this emblem is on the sleeve. I don't remember whether it
16 was the left or the right sleeve at the time. It's a double-headed
17 eagle. There is a sword and a snake, I think. It's grey in colour,
18 metallic grey, and I'm not sure about the four letter Cs or Ss, but I'm
19 sure about the sword. We had also another insignia worn on the
20 ceremonial type of uniform.
21 Q. That's fine.
22 A. And the colour is not grey there, it's different.
23 Q. Sir, we've learned, we've heard in this trial already about the
24 uniforms that were worn by these new volunteers, these MUP reservists.
25 In particular, we heard about the special patch that they wore on their
1 other shoulder. Can you describe that for the Court?
2 A. I saw these reservists of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
3 the regular police uniform of the reserve force with the insignia of the
4 ministry. I didn't see any other emblem or insignia on these reservists.
5 Q. Well, that's not what we've heard, sir. We've heard that they
6 were issued the NATO camouflage pattern of uniforms, and what we've heard
7 is that they wore the SAJ
8 arm they wore a Skorpions patch. I'll take you through that.
9 What we've heard, sir, is this was a patch that had a Skorpion on
10 it. Are you familiar with that? Surely you would recall seeing that.
11 A. I did not see that. The emblem of the SAJ could be worn only by
12 a member of the SAJ
13 because nobody would have been able to wear that emblem of the SAJ
14 without being a member, not the reserve force certainly. The emblem of
15 the SAJ
16 anti-terrorist unit of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
17 MR. BEHAR: Let's look, then, at P493. And we'll need page 7 in
18 both languages.
19 Q. Sir, this is the statement again of Mr. Stoparic, we've looked at
20 that before. I want to show you what a member of the Skorpions himself
21 has described. If we look at paragraph 40, it's just on the bottom of
22 your page, sir, it's in middle in English. And I'll just read you one
23 phrase from here just to situate what he is talking about. He says, sir,
24 towards the bottom of that paragraph:
25 "Altogether there were around 120 men or volunteers in total. We
1 all had been told not to bring any of our former or personal military
2 equipment with us as we would be issued with uniforms and weapons before
3 going to Kosovo."
4 What I really want to show you, sir, is on the next page in the
5 B/C/S, and just underneath in English. If we look at the second line in
6 paragraph 41, sir, he says:
7 "It was dark by the time we arrived. Here in the field were
8 policemen in uniform at desks with piles of uniforms."
9 And if I just move ahead a little bit he says:
10 "Here we were all issued with two sets of uniform, a combat vest,
11 matches, gloves, boots, et cetera."
12 So I just want to go step by step here, sir. Mr. Stoparic
13 describes that these uniforms were already prepared and they were there
14 waiting for them, and they were issued by uniformed police. Do you
15 recall that?
16 A. I can't. I don't remember this. I don't know what Mr. Stoparic
17 said. I'm saying what I know. The reserve force of the MUP when they
18 came to us had the regular uniform of the Ministry of Interior, and I
19 really, really never saw them with this kind of uniform. I don't know
20 what they were issued with. It's true that probably the ministry issued
21 them with uniforms, but the uniform of the reserve force of the Ministry
22 of the Interior. I don't know what this gentleman was saying.
23 Q. Sir, if we look at the first line of paragraph 42 he says very
25 "The uniforms were of NATO colour and pattern ," just as you've
1 described the normal issue for the SAJ
2 A. I see that. I see what is written in that line, but the SAJ
3 always had uniforms of this colour plus another uniform. Stoparic could
4 have described it because he knew it, but I really never saw them wearing
5 that uniform normally worn by the SAJ
7 Q. Sir, this is really what I want to show you, if we could go back
8 to paragraph 41 right after where I had -- the spot where I had left off
9 when I was reading from there earlier. He says:
10 "We had both the SAJ
11 four S, the Serbian S. "We had both the SAJ patch insignia and the
12 Skorpion patch insignia, one for each arm of the uniform."
13 So do you see that, sir?
14 A. Yes, I can see it written. What I'm saying is that this reserve
15 force was dressed in regular police uniforms, that they did not have the
16 kind of SAJ
17 they could not wear that insignia. They wore the regular insignia of the
18 MUP. The emblem of the SAJ
19 officer who was a member of the SAJ
20 Q. Sir, if special SAJ
21 men that had been customized with Skorpion patches on the shoulder, then
22 the fact that these were Skorpions, that these men called themselves the
23 Skorpions would have been well known within the ministry; correct? In
24 other words, someone had taken the time and effort and forethought to
25 have these uniforms with the Skorpions patch there waiting for these men?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I claim with full responsibility that this was
2 the reserve force of the MUP. SAJ
3 had them, Simovic had them as the commander, and we had our own depots
4 where uniforms were issued exclusively to our employees. Certainly not
5 to the reserve force. The reserve force was equipped by the police
7 Q. Sir, when you were out in the field we've heard that you would
8 use radios to communicate with each other and you would communicate use
9 call-signs; is that correct?
10 A. We used signs, not codes in the field.
11 Q. Can you explain what you mean by that?
12 A. Names that would be used as a call-sign, and sometimes we
13 designated secret call-signs.
14 MR. BEHAR: If we could see paragraph 69, please. It's on page
15 12. Perhaps we can just zoom in a little bit on paragraph 69 on both
17 Q. Sir, Mr. Stoparic also spoke about communication in the field,
18 and if you look at the middle of this paragraph 69, it's -- I believe
19 it's the third line in. He states:
20 "The platoon and unit commanders were equipped with Motorola
21 radios for communication. We used the old Skorpion call-signs, 'Skorpion
22 1,' 'Skorpion 2,' et cetera." Do you see that, sir?
23 A. Yes, I can see it.
24 Q. So these platoons, sir, these Skorpion platoons, were even
25 referring to themselves over the radio in communications as Skorpions,
1 Skorpion 1, Skorpion 2. Do you recall that?
2 A. I don't remember that they were Skorpion 1, Skorpion 2,
3 et cetera. They were attached to us so they couldn't have these names
4 Skorpion 1 or Skorpion 2. They were attached, seconded to us, and they
5 were working together with our active-duty force.
6 Q. Sir, your men were paid per diems; correct? You understand what
7 I mean by that? Certain occasions you would be paid a -- your men would
8 be paid a daily amount, a per diem?
9 A. Yes, we did. We did receive per diem.
10 Q. As a commander, is that something that you would have to oversee
11 or sign off on?
12 A. I signed for my active duty force, yes.
13 Q. You would have to confirm who was present and who would get paid;
14 is that right? So who would receive a per diem for certain days being
16 A. When I signed off I had to make sure exactly who I was signing
18 Q. What about expenses, sir, if expenses were incurred and then
19 needed to be reimbursed by the ministry, is that something that would
20 also go through you, that you would have to sign off on?
21 A. I don't understand the question. What kind of expenses do you
23 Q. Were there occasions, sir, where maybe certain unusual expenses
24 had to be taken or paid in the field that then would need to be submitted
25 to the ministry?
1 A. It was mainly the commander who signed off on those lists and
2 expenses as well. We would send it to the commander for him to sign and
3 then it would go on to further processing in the services of the Ministry
4 of Interior. The joint services. Receipts for food or per diem or
5 whatever receipts would be forwarded to the services who took care of it.
6 MR. BEHAR: If we could see the transcript from this trial from
7 the 28th of September, 2009 at T-9099, please.
8 Q. Sir, I want to show you what your commander, Mr. Trajkovic, said.
9 I'll read it again to you so you receive the translation. This is at
10 line 13. He said:
11 "Even in our lists for the payment of per diems and other
12 expenses, due to Mr. Slobodan Medic that group came to be known as the
14 So, sir, it would appear that even for something as official
15 within the ministry as a payment for per diems or other expenses, these
16 men were known as the Skorpions. Would you agree with that?
17 A. I don't know what Mr. Trajkovic said. I only know that per diem
18 and all the other expenses were settled by specific names, by specific
19 individuals. No one was ever paid on the basis of a nickname, just the
20 full name and surname.
21 Q. Sir, these men, these Skorpions or MUP reservists, they were
22 known to be from Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem. That was a known
23 hotbed for paramilitaries, was it not? In fact, a number of
24 paramilitaries were known to operate in that area?
25 A. They were a reserve force of the MUP. A reserve force of the
1 MUP. I did not know them as Skorpions, I mean, and they also had been in
2 that region where Zivko Trajkovic first met them, when Zivko was staying
3 in that area of Slavonia
4 Zivko was there, but I know he was staying in that area at some point,
5 and I know he first met them in that area.
6 Q. Sir, you didn't answer my question and I need you to focus on my
7 question and answer my question. My question for you is, that area, this
8 area of Eastern Slavonia and Western Srem where you knew these men were
9 from, that area was known to be an area where there was significant
10 paramilitary activity; correct? In other words, it was commonly known,
11 it would have been commonly known to you and to others that there were a
12 number of paramilitary groups operating there. Is that something you
14 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I was a commander of the special unit in
15 Prishtina, and I did not know what existed or had existed in Slavonia
16 Baranja, and Western Srem, I had never been in that area so I really
17 don't know if there had been paramilitary formations or not. I've never
18 been to Slavonia
19 been paramilitary units in the sense that you are asking me now in this
21 Q. Sir, everyone knew, including yourself, that these men were
22 commanded by and associated with Slobodan Medic. Was it not notorious,
23 was it not very well known that Mr. Medic led the Skorpions?
24 A. When Mr. Medic arrived then as a MUP reservist, I knew him as a
25 simple reservist. I don't know what Boca had been. That day when he
1 came, he just introduced himself to me as Boca. No mention of commander,
2 no mention of Skorpions. That's all I know at the moment he arrived.
3 Q. Sir, I want to take a moment, if we can, we can put aside some of
4 your other knowledge, and I want to just look at the name, this name, the
5 Skorpions. Would you agree with me, sir, that the fact that a unit would
6 call itself the Skorpions would convey immediately to anyone who knew
7 that they were calling themselves the Skorpions that this wasn't a
8 regular group of professional policemen or soldiers. Would you agree
9 with that, sir?
10 A. I've said this before. I really didn't know them. To me it was
11 the reserve force of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
12 admitted to the reserve force of the MUP. I didn't know who they had
13 been earlier.
14 Q. Let's not repeat that, you've gone over and over that same line.
15 Let me put it this way then, sir: If you had known at any time that a
16 group called itself the Skorpions, a group of men called themselves the
17 Skorpions, would that not itself indicate to you that this was not an
18 ordinary group of professionals or an ordinary group of men if they had
19 all chosen to go by the name the Skorpions?
20 A. I'm repeating again, I did not know. It was just the reserve
21 force, and I didn't know that they were calling themselves Skorpions.
22 For that reason, I knew only that they were the reserve force of the MUP,
23 nothing else was known to me on that issue.
24 Q. Sir, you are still not answering my question, so let me put it as
25 bluntly as I can. If someone approached you and said to you, we have a
1 group of men that call themselves the Skorpions, we want to put them into
2 your unit under your command, would that indicate a problem to you, sir,
3 with respect to who these men were and what their background was?
4 A. Well, now I understand the question better. Regardless, I mean,
5 if I now learned of the existence of a group, the kind you are mentioning
6 now, Skorpions or something like that, of course that would set me
7 thinking how somebody who is supposed to be the reserve force of the MUP
8 and is calling themselves by another name, that would certainly make me
9 question what kind of unit that was, but they had arrived as a reserve
10 force of the MUP, and I never heard them calling themselves the
11 Skorpions. I'm claiming that with full responsibility as the
12 then-commander of that unit.
13 Q. Sir, I want to look very quickly, if I can, at the names of some
14 of the other very well known militia group, each of which, I think you'll
15 be able to see has a similar nickname. Surely, sir, you are familiar
16 with the Tigers, Arkan's Tigers? You've heard of them?
17 A. I've heard of them after the wars in Bosnia and Slavonia
18 did hear of them.
19 Q. And, in fact, sir, they fought across Eastern Slavonia, the same
20 area where the Skorpions originated; correct?
21 A. I don't know where they had been fighting, but I heard of Arkan's
22 Tigers, and I really don't know where they were involved in combat. I
23 was commander in Kosovo, and if you look at Kosovo and Slavonia, they are
24 very far away from one another, and I don't know where the Tigers had
25 been fighting.
1 Q. Well, sir, Arkan was quite notorious, I know even for those of us
2 who lived far away from Serbia
3 surprised you didn't know more about this man. Let me ask you this, sir,
4 were you aware that Arkan was indicted by this Tribunal on September 30th
5 of 1997, that would be a year and a half before the Skorpions were
6 attached to your unit? Were you aware, sir, that Arkan was indicted by
7 this Tribunal in 1997?
8 A. I didn't know that this Tribunal indicted Arkan. I heard of him
9 in the same manner that I heard of his Tigers. As for your question
10 involving the information about the indictment, why would I be required
11 to know when the indictment against Arkan was issued?
12 Q. Are you familiar with the White Eagles, sir? Have you heard of
13 that group, also known as the Avengers?
14 A. I haven't heard of this kind of group.
15 Q. How about the Yellow Wasps, sir, have you heard of them?
16 A. No, I haven't heard of Yellow Wasps either.
17 Q. That surprises me, sir, because the leader of the Yellow Wasp,
18 Vojin Vukicevic was arrested in Belgrade
19 the state security service. Surely you would have been aware of that as
20 a member and, in fact, a commander of the SAJ?
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I was the commander of the Prishtina SAJ. I've
22 never heard of this action. This is the first time that I hear it from
23 you. I would just like to underline once again that I was a commander of
25 the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
1 Q. Sir, such a notorious fact as the arrest by the SAJ of a
2 paramilitary leader, that wouldn't be known to you as the commander of
3 the SAJ
4 Mr. Simovic?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, with regard to this, I'm telling you that I
6 hadn't heard of this. I was in command of the Pristina SAJ, and I knew
7 as much as I needed to know. I was in charge and in command of my unit.
8 I don't know about the arrest, who did the arrest, and I claim with full
9 responsibility that I didn't know anything about what you are asking me,
10 and I still don't know anything to this date.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not regret --
13 react when this line of questioning was initiated, although some of them
14 have to do with the topic that we are discussing today. However, I think
15 that this is now going beyond certain knowledge that this witness might
16 have especially with regard to the questions about the arrest and other
17 things. I think that this is a much too broad subject for this witness
18 to be able to address.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Certainly this line of questioning is not about
20 the precise facts of this case. It does appear to be directed to credit.
21 At least for the present, the Chamber won't interfere. Thank you,
22 Mr. Popovic.
23 Yes, Mr. Behar.
24 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honour. And I am -- we will move off
25 this topic.
1 Q. I just have one general question for you, sir, just to wrap all
2 of this up. Surely, sir, with the well known recent history of these
3 paramilitaries that were operating throughout the former Yugoslavia
4 professional soldier, you would need to be extremely careful about the
5 dangers that those type of paramilitaries might pose; is that correct,
6 sir? Do you agree that given that history anyone ought to have been
7 aware of and concerned with the role of paramilitaries within the
8 military structure and the police structure?
9 A. As far as this question is concerned, I was in command of a
10 special anti-terrorist unit of the Ministry of the Interior. This unit
11 never had volunteer units, nor did it have reserve force, nor any
12 paramilitary formations. I exclusively worked with police officers who
13 were professional servicemen. The first time we had some kind of reserve
14 force was after the minister decided to engage these reserve forces that
15 were subsequently attached to us in 1999.
16 Q. Let's move on, sir.
17 MR. BEHAR: If we could see P493 once again. If we can look at
18 page 3, paragraph 11.
19 Q. Just going back quickly to the statement of Mr. Stoparic, sir,
20 and there's a specific question I want to ask you about this. If we look
21 at paragraph 11.
22 Sir, Mr. Stoparic described here that the Skorpions unit was, in
23 fact, on the payroll of the RDB when they were in Eastern Slavonia, so
24 this would have been in the early 1990s. I wanted to give you a chance
25 to see that. You can read that to yourself.
1 MR. BEHAR: I see my friend is on his feet.
2 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the translation that
3 we received came from the RDB, and I think that is what the transcript
4 reflects. I think the document says something completely different. I'm
5 not sure whether my learned friend, Mr. Behar, read it carefully because
6 there is a discrepancy between the transcript and the translation, so
7 could he kindly repeat the question.
8 MR. BEHAR: I'm not sure what the discrepancy is my friend is
9 referring to.
10 Q. I can proceed, sir, but what I wanted to ask you is if someone
11 had been on the payroll of the ministry, then would information about who
12 those men were be readily available to personnel within the ministry?
13 A. I don't know about these persons being on the payroll of the
15 Q. What I want to ask you, sir, is if they were on the payroll, and
16 I understand you may not have known that, if they were on the payroll,
17 sir, does that not mean that that information, that the information that
18 was known about them would be easily available to someone within the
20 A. I'm asserting again that they were on the payroll for the daily
21 allowance payments when they were with me. I'm talking solely about the
22 reserve forces that were attached to my unit, and we made this kind of
23 list. This is the first time that I see this, and I know nothing about
24 what it reads. I'm telling you again that I was engaged in Kosovo with
25 the special anti-terrorist unit of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
1 I honestly don't know anything about what you are asking me about.
2 Q. Sir, are you aware that the Skorpions were involved in committing
3 murders in Trnovo, Bosnia
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, during a trial that took place and about which I
5 read in the papers and heard on the media, I heard something about them
6 having committed a crime in Trnovo in Bosnia if I'm not mistaken.
7 Somewhere in Bosnia
8 Q. Are you aware, sir, that Slobodan Medic who you've described
9 meeting and interacting with, was convicted and sentenced for those
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I knew Medic then as Boca. I later learned from
12 the media that some people were convicted for this crime. Whether
13 Slobodan Medic was amongst them, I can't remember now. I think he was.
14 Q. Well, sir, I might have thought that a man that you knew and had
15 worked with going to jail, being convicted and sentenced for such a
16 notorious high-profile crime is something that you would remember quite
17 well. Are you saying that you are not even sure if that had happened?
18 You don't recollect that?
19 A. I didn't know that any of them had committed any crime at the
20 time when they came as the reserve force, and I'm repeating again that
21 about this crime and about what had happened in Trnovo, I learned through
22 the media, or rather, I was watching it on TV.
23 Q. Sir, let's get back to the events in Podujevo on the 28th of
24 March. We've spoken a lot about all of the effort that was taken to
25 assemble these reservists, to arm them, to uniform them. Sir, what I
1 want to ask you is after -- from the time that they were sent into
2 Podujevo, how long were they on the ground before this massacre was
4 A. Can you please repeat. I didn't understand the question fully.
5 From the moment when they came to Podujevo until the time when the crime
6 was committed? Well, they arrived on the 28th of March in Podujevo
7 sometime in the morning. From the moment when Simovic and Boca came to
8 my office at the staff headquarters, about 30 or 40 minutes elapsed
9 before we heard the shots. So not long after they came to my office is
10 when that happened, but I cannot be quite sure and tell exactly whether
11 it was half an hour or 40 minutes or something, but it was shortly after
12 they arrived in my office.
13 Q. Sir, let me ask you a very simple question. Did you attend the
14 scene of the killings after that massacre had taken place?
15 A. I didn't visit the scene. The commander of the Belgrade SAJ
16 Tutinac, Zoran Simovic, were there as well as Dr. Markovic.
17 Q. Sir, you were the commander of the Pristina SAJ. You heard shots
18 ringing out, you knew people were wounded because the doctor was there, I
19 think on all accounts the doctor was there, whether you dispatched him or
20 not, and so one would think either some civilians had been killed given
21 that firing and given the injuries, the wounding. Either that or there's
22 a battle going on, and I would suggest to you that either way, sir, this
23 is going to be very important for the commander to know. You needed to
24 know what was going on there, did you not?
25 A. As I said yesterday, I was in the staff HQ, and an officer should
1 remain there. Immediately after the shooting, Mr. Simovic and the
2 doctor, Dr. Markovic, went to the crime scene, and I, as an officer, as
3 soon as I heard that there were people wounded, I provided a vehicle and
4 a driver and made arrangements for them to be transported to a hospital
5 in Pristina. I'm talking about the people who were wounded or injured.
6 Q. But, is it your testimony, sir, that you never attending the
7 scene? At no point when you were in Podujevo did you go to that scene
8 where that massacre had taken place; is that correct?
9 A. No, I didn't go to the scene. Commander Simovic was there. I
10 was at the command, and I notified the duty officer at the Podujevo OUP
11 and instructed him to organise and arrange for an on-site investigation,
12 to cordon off the area, and to carry out all the procedures, standard
13 procedures that should be done in such instances. I was at the Podujevo
14 OUP premises, and I didn't visit the scene.
15 Q. So, you just stayed inside this room during the entire events
16 that took place? You heard a massacre had been committed, there were all
17 sorts of people on the scene, it may have been committed by these
18 Skorpions, and you just stayed in the room the whole time?
19 A. I stayed there until the notification was sent out and Simovic
20 went to the scene. After that, I did not go to visit the crime scene. I
21 didn't go there. Mr. Simovic, Zoran, Zoran Simovic was on the spot. I
23 Q. Sir, as the commander of the SAJ Pristina what steps did you take
24 to ensure that a full and proper investigation into that massacre was
1 A. As commander of Pristina SAJ, I notified the police officer at
2 the Podujevo OUP about the incident that took place in Podujevo. The
3 officer in charge at the OUP Podujevo was duty-bound to arrange for an
4 investigating judge and a prosecutor to go to the crime scene and to
5 carry out all the proper procedures in order to establish how many
6 casualties were as a result of the crime that took place on that day.
7 Q. Is that all you did, sir? You just informed the Podujevo OUP
8 that something had happened?
9 A. I informed the OUP Podujevo not that something had happened, but
10 that a crime had been committed, that civilians had been killed. The
11 officer in charge at the OUP Podujevo was duty-bound to inform the
12 prosecutor and other people who were obliged to carry out an on-site
13 investigation. Once I did what I was supposed to do that as a uniformed
14 official, it was up to them to visit the crime scene and to establish
15 what exactly happened on that day in Podujevo.
16 Q. Sir, you testified yesterday that you lined up your men and the
17 men from the SAJ
18 if they had scene the perpetrators. Do you recall saying that yesterday?
19 I can give my friend the reference. It's T-13786, line 19.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I noticed when I asked you what steps you took, sir, just a
22 moment ago, you didn't mention that. Did you, in fact, do that, sir?
23 Did you, in fact, line up your men and the men from SAJ Belgrade and ask
24 them if they committed the crime or saw the perpetrators?
25 A. Yes, yes, Mr. Prosecutor. That's what I said yesterday. I did
1 that after we sent those men back to Prolom Banja. The men from SAJ
2 Pristina and SAJ
3 them if it was someone among them who committed the crime or if they had
4 seen the perpetrators. They told me that they didn't. I ordered the
5 platoon commanders to check with all our men from both units whether all
6 the weapons and the ammunitions were in place after they carried out
7 these checks. They said that everything was accounted for and in place.
8 Q. I'll get to that as well, sir. My question for you, sir, is why
9 did the now line up the Skorpions or those MUP reservists and ask them?
10 Would that not have been the smarter thing to do, and, in fact, the
11 obvious thing to do?
12 A. I didn't go to the crime scene. It was Mr. Zoran Simovic who
13 went there. I was at the command HQ, which is not far away. After the
14 reserve force had been sent back, I did this with the active-duty
15 personnel of both SAJ
16 Q. Would you have lined them up and asked them those questions, sir,
17 if that Skorpion unit was still in Podujevo?
18 A. Well, I believe, but these combat operations were in progress and
19 they came by buses. There was danger involved, and there was a group of
20 people, but I truly cannot tell you what I would have done. I wasn't
21 there. I don't know whether I would have lined them up or not. All I'm
22 telling you is what I did with the active-duty personnel of both SAJ
24 Q. Is it good police practice, sir, to take the prime suspects for a
25 serious crime and remove them from the scene?
1 A. They were sent back to the Podujevo OUP. We supposed that it was
2 them who committed the crime. However, since the bombing was constantly
3 in progress, we couldn't establish that at the moment. They asked the
4 men from the reserve force, but we were unable to establish who the
5 perpetrators was, then we sent them back to Prolom Banja. It was Zoran
6 who escorted them to Prolom Banja on that day.
7 Q. Are you saying, sir, that it was the bombing that prevented you
8 from being able to establish or even look into who had committed this
9 crime? This is the first we've heard of that. Are you saying it was the
10 NATO bombing that prevented any investigation?
11 A. No, no. Perhaps -- well, you know, we organised for an on-site
12 investigation to be carried out by an investigating judge at the scene of
13 crime. It wasn't the bombing that prevented us from doing that, but I as
14 commander of a special unit of Pristina or my men who were there, we were
15 not trained in carrying out crime scene investigations to find out who
16 the perpetrators were, et cetera. We were simply -- I was not simply
17 trained to do that. That is why we notified the regional police
19 Q. That's sufficient, sir. But surely, you had enough police
20 training to know that it was not good police practice to send the prime
21 suspects for a crime away from the crime scene and, in fact, away from
22 the Podujevo OUP police who would be doing the investigation? Would you
23 not agree with that, sir? Good police practice does not involve sending
24 the suspects away from the scene and away from the investigators?
25 A. It was our estimate at that moment that an on-site investigation
1 should be done in Podujevo where the crime happened, and that the best
2 thing to do at that memo was to send back that reserve force because
3 there was the NATO bombing, we thought the best thing to do was to return
4 them to the place where we had collected them from, namely Prolom Banja.
5 Q. Sir, what steps did you take to make sure that those men would be
6 held and questioned in Prolom Banja?
7 A. I did not take any steps. We sent them back. I did not do that,
8 but the regional secretariats were supposed to do that at the place where
9 the men were sent. In this case, the secretariat in Prokuplje which has
10 territorial jurisdiction over Prolom Banja.
11 Q. Did you secure the crime scene, sir, where all those women and
12 children had been shot?
13 A. Yes, we did pending the arrival of this team from OUP Podujevo
14 and the commanding officer who was supposed to organise the investigation
15 on site.
16 Q. And what did you do, sir? You specifically. What steps did you
17 take to secure the crime scene?
18 A. At the time when it happened, I've already said I informed the
19 police administration in OUP Podujevo, and the personnel who happened to
20 be at the crime scene at the time of the crime remained to secure the
21 scene until OUP Podujevo officers arrived to conduct a crime scene
22 investigation. I was still at the headquarters of the OUP Podujevo, not
23 far from the building where it used to be.
24 Q. Then it would seem that you wouldn't know that, sir, that any
25 steps had been taken to secure the crime scene if you were never at the
1 crime scene?
2 A. No, the men who were there on the spot, our employees, who were
3 giving first aid to the injured along with the doctor, they were on the
4 scene, and they just stayed there as guards pending the arrival from
5 their commanding officer of the OUP Podujevo and the other team for crime
6 scene investigation.
7 MR. BEHAR: I see we are at the time for the break, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Just
10 before the break, one small request. Line 22, page 29, I think it reads
11 that they were returned to Podujevo instead of Prolom Banja, and that's
12 the only correction I wanted to make before the break.
13 JUDGE PARKER: If that was the only difficulty with our
14 transcript, our life would be quite easy, wouldn't it? Thank you. We
15 will have the first break now. Your time estimation?
16 MR. BEHAR: I'll be done in the next session, certainly.
17 JUDGE PARKER: The whole of the next session?
18 MR. BEHAR: I don't think so, no. Possibly half of it.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Think about a quarter of it.
20 MR. BEHAR: Okay.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Behar.
2 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Sir, when we left off just before the break you told us about how
4 the Skorpions or this MUP reserve unit was sent back to Prolom Banja
5 right after the massacre was committed. And we know as well from your
6 testimony, in that of Mr. Simovic, that several weeks later these men
7 were redeployed and attached to the SAJ
8 the field. My question for you, sir, is: When did you first learn that
9 this was going to happen, that these men would be reattached and would
10 join you in the field?
11 A. After the commander arrived, I mean Commander Trajkovic, he told
12 us that we were to get a reserve force again at one of the regular
13 meetings he had with me and Simovic he told us that, in the beginning of
15 Q. Do you remember when in the beginning of April?
16 A. I can't remember the exact date, but it was sometime in April
17 when he said we were about to get a reserve force and that reserve force
18 of the MUP indeed arrived towards the end of April when we were going
19 into one of the actions together with them. I believe it was in the
20 second half of April.
21 Q. So you said earlier it was the beginning of April. Bearing in
22 mind that it was the 28th of March that these men were involved in the
23 incident and then sent back, would you say it was -- I'm talking now
24 about the time you spoke to Mr. Trajkovic. Would you say that it was a
25 period of one week after March 28th or two weeks after March 28th when
1 Mr. Trajkovic told you this?
2 A. I cannot say exactly a week, that's seven days, right. I can't
3 say exactly when we had this talk, but I know we had this talk. I know
4 that Simovic was there as well. Ten, 15 days it could have been. I
5 can't tell you exactly how many days elapsed from the moment when we sent
6 them back until the moment when Zivko Trajkovic told us we would get a
7 reserve force again. Around 10, 15 days maybe. But I'm sure that they
8 were attached to us for an action in the second half of April 1999 when
9 Trajkovic brought them to Kosovo Polje and attached one part of them to
10 me and another part of them to Mr. Simovic from the SAJ of Belgrade.
11 Q. So if I'm understanding right, there was a time gap between when
12 Mr. Trajkovic told you that they were going to be reattached and then
13 when the men actually showed up and rejoined you; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. There was a time gap from the moment when
15 he told us until the moment when the reserve force arrived. Not as soon
16 as he said it.
17 Q. So Mr. Simovic had sent these men away from the scene in Podujevo
18 because they had murdered women and children, and then they are sent
19 almost immediately right back to you and put under your command. Were
20 you concerned, sir, that this group of men who it appears had murdered
21 women and children within 20 or 30 minutes of being deployed, were you
22 concerned that they might do something like that again?
23 A. Mr. Prosecutor, when we were told that this reserve force of the
24 MUP was coming, Commander Trajkovic said he was the guarantor for this
25 reserve force, that they would honestly and honourably carry out the
1 tasks given to them. I had no doubts about the decision of my commander.
2 Q. What was your reaction, sir, when you first found out that these
3 men would be rejoining you after what they had done? Your personal
5 A. When Trajkovic said this reserve force was coming and that he
6 gave his own guarantees, that set me thinking, but still, if the
7 commander said he was the guarantor and that they would honestly and
8 honourably carry out their tasks, I really had no reason to doubt my own
9 commander Zivko Trajkovic.
10 Q. Did Mr. Trajkovic tell you the basis for that guarantee? How
11 could he know that nothing would happen after such a terrible massacre
12 happened so soon after their first deployment?
13 A. Well, he guaranteed for them as members of the reserve force.
14 Once they are re-engaged under his own command, he guaranteed that they
15 would not do anything again or create an incident. He even knew some of
16 those men from before, from the time when he had been in Slavonia,
17 Baranja, and Western Srem, and that's probably why he was able to
18 guarantee that they would work quite professionally under his command.
19 Q. Sir, can you tell us what Mr. Simovic's reaction was when he
20 found this out? Mr. Simovic is the man, it seems, who ordered these men
21 out of Podujevo, sent them away, now they are being sent right back to
22 him. What was his reaction when he was told this, that he was getting
23 them back?
24 A. We had the same feeling, both of us. It wasn't quite all the
25 same. We were not indifferent to the fact that the people who had
1 committed these crimes were reservists. But after we sent them back and
2 they came around the second time, Trajkovic said at that meeting that
3 this force would be purged and screened and there would not be among them
4 any men who had been responsible for any incidents, that he personally
5 guaranteed for their work and conduct.
6 Q. Well, you are mentioning that now, sir, but you hadn't mentioned
7 that before, this suggestion that the force would be purged and screened.
8 Do you recall that when I asked you what was the basis for his guarantee,
9 sir, you didn't say anything about the fact that different members might
10 be joining you?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I certainly mentioned it yesterday in my
12 evidence. I said that Commander Trajkovic told me and Simovic at that
13 meeting that these would be men who were part of a purged force, that
14 they would not do anything again, and that he gave his guarantees. I
15 said that yesterday, and I'm telling you again today that Commander
16 Trajkovic told us that.
17 Q. But, in fact, sir, the only man who was removed from that force
18 who was thought to be potentially involved in the massacre was Sasa
19 Cvjetan; correct? The rest of the men returned?
20 A. I don't know that. I don't know that. I don't know who was
21 involved in that massacre. And at that time I didn't know at all, and I
22 don't know that Sasa Cvjetan had been removed from that force when they
23 arrived again.
24 Q. Sir, to have these men be sent back to you after you had already
25 sent them away after Mr. Simovic had sent them away, that order to
1 reattach them to your unit must have come from high up; correct?
2 A. Simovic and I could not decide about their engagement. However,
3 at the request of our commander that was approved again to reintroduce
4 them into the reserve force of the MUP and to attach them to our units in
5 Kosovo Polje in 1999.
6 Q. Well, sir, you've told us that your commander made the request.
7 Who approved it?
8 A. When it comes to requests made by our commander, or applications,
9 all the requests concerning us in Kosovo were made by us to our commander
10 and that was forwarded then to the MUP staff for combat against terrorism
11 in the province of Kosovo and Metohija.
12 Q. And I know you keep repeating that, sir, but, in fact, the
13 approval of the chief of the department, Mr. Djordjevic, was also
14 required and was also given for the redeployment of those reservists;
16 A. I've already said the decision to admit someone into the reserve
17 force is made by the minister. The police administration in the MUP
18 admits men into the reserve force. That is handled by the police
19 administration, and after this procedure is completed, the procedure of
20 admission, notification is issued about the formation of the reserve
21 force pursuant to the decision of the minister on the constitution of the
22 reserve force.
23 Q. Well, sir, you don't seem to be answering my question. I asked
24 you about Mr. Djordjevic, the chief of the department. And I asked you
25 whether his approval was required and whether it was given for the
1 redeployment of those reservists. Dealing just with Mr. Djordjevic, is
2 that the case?
3 A. I don't know how it went, but the procedure should have been as
4 follows: My commander Zivko Trajkovic was supposed to send notifications
5 about the needs for reservists to the chief of the department, and the
6 chief of the department should then handle this request, and then the
7 police administration was supposed to carry out that procedure to be
8 decided by the minister. The decision is, therefore, made by the
10 Q. So, in fact, it was the chief of the department, sir, who
11 Mr. Trajkovic had to report to, it was the chief of the department who
12 would handle the request; correct?
13 A. Well, he certainly asked the department chief at that time in
14 1999 when the MUP staff was formed, when admissions into the force were
15 required, approval had to be awaited from the minister about the
16 admission. The minister made the decision, but he was supposed to inform
17 the chief of the department about admissions. He should have.
18 MR. BEHAR: Can we see D442, please. If we can have page 2 in
19 both languages.
20 Q. Sir, this is a report written from your commander, Mr. Trajkovic,
21 to the chief of the department, Mr. Djordjevic. And if you just look at
22 the last paragraph, and in English we'll look at the second last
23 paragraph. I can just read this to you. Mr. Trajkovic explains here to
24 Mr. Djordjevic:
25 "A need again arose for the engagement of reservists so at the
1 proposal of the SAJ
2 the staff in Pristina and the chief of the department, 108 reservists
3 were engaged under the leadership of Slobodan Medic."
4 You see that, sir?
5 A. I see the beginning of the sentence, the need again arose for the
6 engagement of reservists. I can see that.
7 MR. BEHAR: Can we see the next page in B/C/S.
8 Q. I'll just let you read that to yourself, sir. Do you see that,
10 A. I see that.
11 Q. And you can see that according to your commander, Mr. Trajkovic,
12 and he is communicating this to General Djordjevic, General Djordjevic
13 gave his approval as required. Is that in accordance with the standard
14 procedure you just described?
15 A. Well, I saw what is written, but it says, in the part we removed
16 now, that Trajkovic informed the MUP staff in Pristina, because I no
17 longer see the beginning of the sentence now, and he was required to do
18 that because he was himself a member of the staff. And "and the chief of
19 the department, 180 [as interpreted] members of the reserve staff were
20 engaged, led by" I don't know what Trajkovic said in his statement but
21 from what I see here, I concluded it was the MUP staff in Pristina was
22 asked about this, that they informed the chief that the decision had
23 already been made earlier about the formation of this reserve force.
24 And it says here that on the 26th of April, 1999, these
25 reservists came to the area of deployment and were placed under our
1 command and were involved and so on and so forth.
2 Q. Let me stop you there. Sir, you are looking right at the
3 document which tells you the chief of the department gave his approval,
4 and yet you still seem to be insinuating that that was not required or
5 done. Do you not see, sir, that the chief of the department gave his
6 approval in this document?
7 A. I'm saying with whom my commander contacted. I really don't know
8 who he contacted on this issue. I know that the reserve force of the MUP
9 is handled by the Ministry of the Interior, and this is handled by the
10 police administration. That's what the police administration sent us. I
11 don't know anything about what Trajkovic says here.
12 Q. Do you see, sir, that the highest ranking person here who gave
13 his approval is Mr. Djordjevic? There's no mention of the minister here;
14 do you agree with that?
15 A. I don't know what my commander said. I'm telling you again, the
16 decision to engage the reserve force was made by the minister. My
17 commander made contacts and implemented this through the police
18 administration which attached to us these reservists, and it's possible
19 that he also of informed the chief of the department, but I really don't
20 know why he gave such notification because the chief of the department
21 did not engage 108 members. It's the police administration who does that
22 pursuant to the decision of the minister of the interior and sends these
23 men to specific units. In this case they sent them to us in Prolom
24 Banja. In fact, this was their second engagement, and the area is Kosovo
1 Q. I think we have your position on that, sir. Sir, after this
2 redeployment, you went out into the field along with these Skorpions or
3 MUP reservists. Can you tell us, sir, once they joined your unit, where
4 you were in action in Kosovo?
5 A. After that meeting where Commander Trajkovic divided up the
6 personnel at our command in Kosovo Polje, they were divided up between
7 our units and we were working in the area of Jezerske mountains. I don't
8 know if you know where Jezerske mountains are. It's in the territory
9 close to Mount Sur
10 Q. And, sir, when you were in the field and specifically when these
11 men were in the field with you, you would need to be able to explain to
12 the other forces who were around and operating with you who had
13 authorised these men to be out in the field; correct? These were not SAJ
14 members but they were fighting with you, these were, as you say, MUP
15 reservists. You would need to explain to other people who these men were
16 and who had authorised them to be there; is that correct?
17 A. I've already said they were attached to our unit for the purposes
18 of that task. The decision to attach them was made by Commander
19 Trajkovic, he guaranteed for them, that they would be working very
20 professionally, and I never doubted for a moment, nor did my police
21 officers with whom I worked doubt for any moment that they would be
22 working very professionally, very honestly in the task given them in this
23 action in which they were involved.
24 Q. Sir, we know Commander Trajkovic didn't have the authority to
25 integrate these men into his own unit so what I'm asking you is, when you
1 were encountering other men in the field, other Serb forces, whose
2 authority did you tell them that these men were there on? Who had
3 authorised these men to be out fighting in the field with the SAJ? What
4 would you say?
5 A. My unit, the Pristina SAJ worked with the reservists from the MUP
6 of the Republic of Serbia
7 I explained to my men, I would have explained, if they had asked me, but
8 they didn't ask me, and it's simply because there was no need for us to
9 have any doubts about our commander's decision.
10 MR. BEHAR: Can we see P1595, please.
11 Q. Sir, this is a report to the 3rd Army Command from the field,
12 it's actually the supplement to a report. You'll see that it's conveying
13 information about what the Skorpions are doing in Kosovo, what this MUP
14 reserve unit is doing in Kosovo. You can see that the first paragraph
15 contains information about a group being warned in person in Prolom
16 Banja; do you see that? Very first paragraph.
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And I want to take you specifically to the third paragraph. I'll
19 read it, sir. It says:
20 "We also have verified information that Major-General Milan
21 Djakovic, operative officer in the command of the 3rd Army, recognised in
22 this group a certain Slobodan Medic, aka Boca, and asked him what sort of
23 task had brought him there, to which the other replied that he had come
24 by order of the MUP General Rodja."
25 Who is MUP General Rodja, sir?
1 A. I don't know who General Rodja was. I only knew General
2 Vlastimir Djordjevic. As an officer who has finished military academy, I
3 always abided by the hierarchy, and I only knew General Vlastimir
4 Djordjevic. I don't know who this General Rodja was and what Boca was
5 referring to.
6 Q. I think we can safely assume for our purposes here, sir, I'll ask
7 you to assume for our purposes here, that that is referring to General
8 Djordjevic. We've heard a fair amount of evidence that that was his
10 Sir, it would seem here that the explanation was being given in
11 the field when people were asking, well, what are these men doing
12 fighting with the MUP, it was being said, well, General Djordjevic
13 authorised it. Can you explain, sir, why people would be saying that?
14 Does that make sense to you?
15 A. I don't know why they were saying those things. I don't know
16 about Rodja. Frankly speaking, I don't know any Rodja who could have
17 said these things to Boca. Boca should have received orders and should
18 have been sent to carry out tasks by the Ministry of the Interior who was
19 recruiting reservists, and I really don't know what he meant by saying
20 that it was done on orders by the MUP General Rodja. I really don't know
21 anything about what is written here.
22 MR. BEHAR: I see my friend is on his feet.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Popovic.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, an answer was given,
25 but to surmise that the witness knows anything about someone that he has
1 never heard of in a document that was sent by a completely different
2 service to someone else is not sufficient foundation for putting this
3 question to this witness.
4 JUDGE PARKER: The question was put on the basis that the witness
5 should assume the identity, and on that assumption he has dealt with it.
6 Whether that assumption is correct or not is a matter for other evidence,
7 which we will have to consider in due course.
8 Carry on, please.
9 MR. BEHAR:
10 Q. So, sir, just to put that back to you, the assumption here -- in
11 fact, it's not an assumption, it's being stated here that it was the
12 order of this MUP general, who I say to you is Mr. Djordjevic, he is the
13 one who authorised these MUP reservists, these Skorpions, to be in the
14 field. Was that not also your understanding, sir? Was that not also
15 your knowledge of on whose authority these men were with your SAJ unit?
16 A. The engagement of the reserve forces of the MUP of the Republic
17 of Serbia
18 done by the MUP pursuant to the decision of the minister of the interior.
19 As I said before, the minister implements these decisions through the
20 ministry administration, relevant administration, and it results in their
21 admission. So there was no authority required for admission. You only
22 need the minister's decision to admit men into the reserve forces, you
23 don't need anyone's authority.
24 MR. BEHAR: Very well, Your Honours. Those are my questions for
25 the witness. I would like to briefly address the exhibits that we
1 discussed yesterday that I'm seeking to tender.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
3 MR. BEHAR: The first is 06117, and I am seeking to tender three
4 statements as part of that package. They are actually under separate
5 subnumbers. The first is a statement of Mr. Stalevic. The second is the
6 statement of Dragan Markovic.
7 JUDGE PARKER: You need to give the date.
8 MR. BEHAR: They are all from the 3rd of April, 2002.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Second?
10 MR. BEHAR: The second is a statement of Dragan Markovic. The
11 third is the statement of Zoran Simovic. I could give you the numbers,
12 but I've already discussed them with the Registry. You may recall, Your
13 Honours, I used them --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 MR. BEHAR: -- all together. I made a number of suggestions
16 about how those statements were provided.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I absolutely have no
19 objections to having the statements of Mr. Stalevic and Mr. Simovic
20 admitted into evidence. The problem that we have is the statement of
21 Mr. Markovic. We had no opportunity to hear him here, and we don't know
22 under what circumstances he gave this statement. So that's as far as
23 Mr. Markovic's statement is concerned. As far as the other two are
24 concerned, we have no objection.
25 During the trial we had an opportunity to hear that these
1 statements were taken under very specific circumstances and about the way
2 in which these statements were taken. Since we didn't have an
3 opportunity to hear evidence from Mr. Markovic, we think that it would
4 not be appropriate to admit his statement into evidence.
5 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will receive all three statements.
6 All three on their face were made in the course of an investigation by
7 the court in Serbia
8 reliability for them to be received. The Chamber certainly does
9 appreciate, as Mr. Popovic has put to us, that we have not heard the
10 witness Markovic personally, and it seems that we will not, so that the
11 content of his statement and the Chamber's approach to it will be
12 different from that of the statements of the two witnesses we have heard,
13 Stalevic and Simovic. Those three will be received.
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the statement of Markovic will be
16 Exhibit P01598. The statement of Simovic will be Exhibit P01599. And
17 the statement of witness Stalevic will be Exhibit P01600.
18 MR. BEHAR: Thank you. The final exhibit, the remaining exhibit
19 is 06118. That is the trial record -- relates to the trial record from
20 the 9th of October, 2002. I'm only seeking to tender first the title
21 page of that document so we know what it is, but then the statement of
22 Mr. Stalevic, and that's at pages 36 and 37 of the B/C/S. In English
23 it's page 14 and 15 of the range K054-6915.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P01601.
1 MR. BEHAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Popovic.
4 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Popovic:
6 Q. Mr. Stalevic, I'm going to ask you to go back to certain issues
7 and questions asked by the Prosecutor. First of all, let us go back to
8 Exhibit 1597. That's your 2002 statement, i.e., the statement that you
9 gave to the so-called Working Group.
10 A. Yes, I can see it.
11 Q. Can you explain to us in what manner was this statement compiled?
12 A. As I said yesterday, this statement was compiled at the command
13 of the gendarmerie in Belgrade
14 asked me about the event itself. I gave my account of it, and after
15 that, they sat at a computer and wrote down what I said. After that they
16 gave me the statement to read it, and I signed it. So all this happened
17 on our premises. It was them who drafted it. They worked on the
18 computer, and after that they just brought it ready-made to me. I didn't
19 pay much attention. And I signed it. This is how this statement was
20 taken in that month when they came to the command premises.
21 Q. Yesterday the Prosecutor asked you about this statement. You had
22 an opportunity to read certain parts of it. Can you tell me, have your
23 exact words been cited and quoted in this statement?
24 A. Well, the exact words that I used on that day when I made this
25 statement were not recorded verbatim, so formally speaking, there are
1 some words that I used, but there are some words that I never used
2 because they themselves drafted it on the computer. That's how it is
3 done by the police. First they allow the person to speak and tell them
4 what they want to do and after that they just record it and draft it
5 themselves and give it to the person to sign it.
6 Q. Thank you. Was any audio recording of any of your statements
8 A. Not to my knowledge. I think that our statements are exclusively
9 made in this way. First you give your account, the people listen to you,
10 and then they typed it -- type it either on the typewriter or on a
11 computer in their own words and they make their own version.
12 Q. My learned friend showed you Mr. Simovic's statement yesterday,
13 and he showed you your statement as well. The two statements were given
14 to the Working Group. In the last paragraph in both statements the
15 wording used seem to be almost identical. Can you explain that?
16 A. When I gave this statement I said that they wrote down what I
17 said. However, after looking at the statement that was shown to me by
18 Mr. Behar, it is very similar. These are the wording that this Working
19 Group used. You can see for yourself that it was the wording formulated
20 by themselves because it is impossible for me and Simovic to phrase
21 certain things in an identical way.
22 Q. Thank you. In this statement in a specific portion thereof we
23 can see that the name Skorpions is being used. When you gave this
24 statement to the Working Group, did you ever use this term when you spoke
25 about the reservists?
1 A. I can say with full responsibility that I didn't use the word
2 "Skorpions" when I referred to the reserve forces. It was rather the
3 word inserted by the Working Group. As far as I can remember, in none of
4 the statements that I gave either before the investigating judge or
5 during the trial, I never made any reference to the Skorpions. It was
6 probably the Working Group who used the word Skorpions for the reserve
7 force that was sent to us at the time.
8 Q. Can you please now look at the penultimate paragraph in the B/C/S
9 version. I think it's page 2 in English, and if we can scroll down the
10 page in Serbian. Yes. It says here, and I quote:
11 "With respect to the specific event, I know that members of the
12 unit Skorpions got off the bus, shot at the civilians, and killed several
13 people. I also know that after the event pursuant to Simovic's order,
14 members of the unit boarded the bus and were returned to Prolom Banja."
15 Do you know why they were sent back to Prolom Banja?
16 A. Of course I know why they were sent back. They were sent back
17 because they had committed a crime in the territory of Kosovo
18 Metohija, here, or rather, in Podujevo.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the exhibit which
21 was just given number P1600.
22 Q. Mr. Stalevic, this is the statement that you gave to the
23 investigating judge on the 3rd of April, 2002. I will kindly ask you now
24 to look at page 2 in the Serbian language, and I think that the English
25 version is the wrong one.
1 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. We are
2 going to get the correct document shortly. Now we have the correct
3 version in English but the Serbian version is wrong. Yes, that's it.
4 Can we please now turn to page 2 in both versions.
5 Q. Mr. Stalevic, the Prosecutor also showed you this statement. Is
6 there anything in this statement that does not correspond to the truth?
7 A. Everything that is recorded in this statement is true and
8 correct. I said yesterday the time when I gave this statement to the
9 investigating judge, I said that I was there, that he allow me to speak
10 continuously for some 20 or 30 minutes. I gave him my account of the
11 whole event, and then the prosecutor said, since I was not an eye-witness
12 and I was not directly involved this the event, there was no need to make
13 an extensive record, and he asked me if I agreed with what is written
14 here. It says here that I had sent the doctor, that I knew of the event,
15 and that the men were sent back is correct and true. It is a rather
16 short statement, but that was done according to the proposal of the
17 investigating judge. I accepted that, and I signed it.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stalevic. If you look at the last paragraph, my
19 first question would be: It says that unit, the Skorpions?
20 A. I can only tell you the same thing. It's the investigating
21 judge. I never used the phrase "the Skorpions." It was always a unit of
22 the reserve force the MUP. I didn't pay attention to what he [as
23 interpreted] signed, but what matters is that what I was saying is true
24 and accurate and that I never mentioned whenever giving any statements
25 that they were that unit. It was the reserve force of the MUP. I wasn't
1 paying attention and that's what was said to me then.
2 Q. Do you know against whom was that trial which you attended?
3 A. I believe it was Cvjetan and Demirovic. I think we were summoned
4 to give statements in that case.
5 Q. Thank you. If you look at that statement again, in the last
6 paragraph you say that you are aware that those members were returned
7 immediately. That was ordered by Simovic, and it was, of course, because
8 of what had happened.
9 A. Yes, I am aware of the fact they had been sent back because of
10 that massacre, that crime in Podujevo.
11 Q. This statement was given in investigative proceedings, and there
12 was also evidence you gave at the trial in Prokuplje. Was it the same
13 criminal case?
14 A. Yes, it was the same criminal case.
15 Q. When you testified at the trial, what did you say then about your
16 knowledge concerning the return of that unit to Prolom Banja?
17 A. I said the same thing as in previous statements such as the one
18 given to the Working Group and before the investigating judge. But when
19 I was giving evidence at the trial when somebody dictated into the
20 record, I was not able to see what was recorded, and I didn't read it. I
21 see it for the first time now, the way it was recorded at trial.
22 Q. Mr. Stalevic, do you have any knowledge that in the course of
23 2002, the name "Skorpions" began to be used in cases where were invited
24 to testify?
25 A. I didn't know that. I know that I was asked to testify because
1 of that massacre, but when I was giving evidence, I really don't know
2 whether I was told that those were Skorpions.
3 Q. When you testified before the court in Prokuplje, did the
4 questions asked of you refer to Cvjetan and Demirovic?
5 A. The questions pertained to the men from the reserve force.
6 Nobody asked me a single question regarding Cvjetan or Demirovic
7 personally when I testified in Prokuplje. All the questions were about
8 the reserve force.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stalevic, who was in charge of the special
10 anti-terrorist unit located in the territory of Kosovo
11 the moment when the MUP staff for anti-terrorism was established in June
13 A. Once it was established, the staff of the ministry for
14 anti-terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija was in charge, had jurisdiction.
15 Q. Do you know who was in charge for all the units in Kosovo and
16 Metohija from the moment when that staff was established?
17 A. The MUP staff was in charge and responsible for all the units in
18 the territory of Kosovo
19 Interior is concerned.
20 Q. In your evidence yesterday, a document was shown to you from a
21 meeting of the 17th [Realtime transcript read in error "25th"] of
22 February, 1999, where the minister asked that the special anti-terrorist
23 unit be more engaged in anti-terrorist operations. Did your commander
24 inform you of that, your commander Trajkovic?
25 A. After that meeting, Commander Trajkovic informed me and the
1 commander of the Belgrade SAJ
2 Q. Did he convey to you the conclusions or the instructions of the
3 minister regarding the special anti-terrorist units?
4 A. Yes, at that briefing he told us that the minister, Vlajko
5 Stojiljkovic, had asked for a better and more involved engagement of the
6 special anti-terrorist unit.
7 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Just for the record, one
8 correction, line 13, page 52, the meeting was on the 17th of February,
9 1999, not 25th. Thank you.
10 Q. You were also asked about the men who had been seconded or were
11 supposed to be seconded to your unit. You were asked if you were
12 supposed to know who and what they were. Mr. Stalevic, did you know any
13 of the men who had arrived within that reserve force of the MUP?
14 A. I didn't know any of those who came as a reserve force of the
16 Q. Thank you. Did commander Zivko Trajkovic know any of the members
17 who were supposed to come as a reserve force of the MUP?
18 A. As I said yesterday, the reserve force came from that area of
20 he knew some of them from that time because they were natives, locals of
21 that area.
22 Q. I'll ask this question again because the transcript does not seem
23 to reflect what you said. My question was: Did commander Zivko
24 Trajkovic know any of the members of the reserve force who were supposed
25 to be seconded to your unit?
1 A. Yes, he did.
2 Q. Thank you. When you were asked about the professional
3 qualifications required of the reserve force that was supposed to be
4 attached to your unit -- first of all, tell me, were these intended to
5 carry out any tasks requiring the same skills that the active-duty
6 personnel had?
7 A. I said both yesterday and earlier today, this reserve force was
8 supposed to provide security to our units during rest in our facility and
9 to hold the lines we had already reached. So they were not supposed to
10 have particular qualifications or skills. That's why we were there, the
11 active-duty personnel of the SAJ
12 Q. In response to one of the questions asked today you said you
13 learned from the media about the crime in Trnovo, Bosnia. Which year was
14 that, if you remember?
15 A. I think it was in 2003. There was a trial going on here, and it
16 came across in our media, some reporting about that crime that Prosecutor
17 Behar asked me about yesterday.
18 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P401. Sorry,
20 Q. Mr. Stalevic, this is the decision to establish special
21 anti-terrorist units made by minister Zoran Sokolovic, and you and I
22 discussed it before, last Wednesday. It was also shown to you by my
23 learned friend during his examination, but I would like us to look at
24 paragraph 5. It's on page 2 in both versions.
25 Mr. Stalevic, look at this paragraph, although you've already had
1 had occasion to see it.
2 A. Can we zoom in. I can't see.
3 Q. My question is very short. Is there any reference to a reserve
4 force in this paragraph?
5 A. No, it's not mentioned anywhere. That's what I was trying to
6 explain to the Prosecution yesterday. This concerns only those people
7 who are admitted by us commanders on a trial period. It's certainly not
8 the reserve force.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now look at
11 Q. Mr. Stalevic, that's the Law on Internal Affairs that was also
12 shown to you yesterday, and my learned friend focused on Article 27 of
13 that law, and I would like us to look at Article 28 of the same law.
14 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] In Serbian it's the next page, I
15 think. Sorry, one page further. Could we zoom in on the first article
16 in the right column.
17 Q. Can you look at this article and tell me on the basis of whose
18 decision may a reserve force be engaged?
19 A. The minister of the interior.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stalevic, just a couple of more questions. Was
21 your unit trained and schooled to detect perpetrators of crimes and
22 conduct investigative procedures?
23 A. I've already said that the special unit is an elite unit for
24 particular tasks. It is not intended to conduct crime scene
25 investigations and such.
1 Q. Mr. Stalevic, was the special anti-terrorist unit authorised to
2 carry out investigative procedures?
3 A. No, it was not authorised. It couldn't have been authorised
4 because it did not have personnel that would have been able to carry out
5 such work.
6 Q. Mr. Stalevic, who is the chief of the public security department
7 in 2002?
8 A. In 2002 I think it was General Sreten Lukic, I think.
9 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, this
10 completes my redirect.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Popovic.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stalevic, to clarify the situation, I have
14 some additional questions. Who was the commander of this special --
15 sorry, for the reserve police force unit in Podujevo at the end of March?
16 Who was the commander of this unit?
17 A. In the end of March the unit was sent to us on the 28th. It
18 arrived in Podujevo on the 28th, and it was brought by Simovic. As soon
19 as they arrived, they committed this crime, and they were sent back to
20 Prolom Banja.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'll stop you there. I would like to know who
22 was the commander of this unit?
23 A. Well, this reserve unit did not have its own commander. They
24 came to us as a reserve force that had been sent by the ministry up to
25 Prolom Banja, and Simovic went there to collect them.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who could at that day issue orders to them?
2 A. On that day Mr. Simovic arrived with a certain Boca to
3 headquarters where I was, and they had come to agree about their
4 accommodation and further activities. After that, how long exactly, 15
5 minute or 30 minutes later, this horrible crime occurred and they were
6 ordered to go back.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who could issue orders to them on this day?
8 Please focus on this question.
9 A. On that day when they arrived in Podujevo, we were working on
10 providing accommodation and issuing them tasks.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, who could issue orders to them? Who was
12 their superior on the ground in Podujevo that day? Nothing else, please.
13 A. On that day, on that day they were brought by Mr. Simovic, and he
14 instructed them to go to Prolom Banja after this. They did not have
15 their own commander, they were only supposed to be attached to us.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They came there on their own will without any
17 command? Are you saying that?
18 A. No, I'm not trying to say that. They came as reservists of the
19 MUP up to Prolom Banja, and we took them from there to Podujevo, and only
20 then were they supposed to integrate them as a reserve force, but
21 unfortunately this thing happened with the civilians in Podujevo.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who was Tutinac?
23 A. Tutinac, Zoran Simovic is the commander of the special unit
25 and Simovic is the commander of the SAJ
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I asked you who is this man. You said, No, it
2 was Mr. Simovic. Thank you. I take you back to the situation in 1998
3 when you went to Malisevo together with Mr. Djordjevic. Dr. Markovic was
4 with you. Why?
5 A. Did I say Markovic was there? Markovic is the doctor of the
6 unit, and he was the physician and he always went with me. I'm the
7 commander of SAJ
8 was with me in Malisevo, but it's possible that he had been in Malisevo.
9 We went there and back all the time. The physician and the medical
10 services were always around me as the commander of that SAJ Pristina unit
11 I was leading.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One day in January 1999 you went together with
13 Mr. Djordjevic for skiing. You were the driver. Who else --
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- except Mr. Djordjevic was with you?
16 A. I said that yesterday I was in my car and General Vlastimir
17 Djordjevic, but I had engaged another vehicle for escort because in that
18 period in 1999 there were frequent attacks on the road, so another
19 vehicle from my unit with my police officers in it went with us, escorted
20 us up to Zvecani and after Zvecani, you have only Serbian settlements on
21 the way to Kopaonik, so the escort returned back to base, and my base was
22 around 20 kilometres from Pristina in a place called Ajvalija.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was Dr. Markovic with you?
24 A. No, Dr. Markovic was not with me. I was there, I drove the car
25 and Mr. Markovic wasn't there that day because he was a physician, and
1 there was another car with trained people in it.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's enough. And were you in the same car as
3 Mr. Djordjevic?
4 A. General Vlastimir Djordjevic and I were in the same car, and the
5 other officers, the escort, were in the other car.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is this a normal duty of a commander of a SAJ
7 unit to be a driver for the chief of the police department of the MUP?
8 A. I didn't say yesterday that it was a normal duty. I offered
9 myself to General Djordjevic to give him a lift because I wanted to go
10 for some skiing myself, not because I wanted to act as a driver. I was
11 giving him a lift and going skiing myself.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to know something about the
13 situation in Podujevo at the Podujevo OUP. You said the OUP was moved to
14 another building. Could you please describe the building and the room
15 you were in.
16 A. It was in the immediate vicinity of OUP Podujevo. It was a house
17 where we were lodged where the headquarters of OUP Podujevo was
18 relocated. It's difficult for me to describe exactly what the rooms were
19 like, but it was very close to OUP Podujevo.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was it a house with offices? Was it part of the
21 premises of the police? Was it a private house? What kind of house was
22 it? How many stories?
23 A. I think there was just two stories, the ground floor and the
24 upper floor. It was a simple house. The OUP Podujevo was simply
25 relocated there, and there was the commanding officer and the rest of us
1 who were there that day.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Don't you have any recollection which kind of
3 house it was?
4 A. I know what it was like. A house like any house in Podujevo. It
5 was not the kind of building like the OUP Podujevo. OUP Podujevo was a
6 different kind of building, and this house was close by. It was a yellow
7 structure, but I cannot even be sure about the colour today. It was a
8 structure very close to the OUP.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was a very remarkable moment when you were
10 there and got the message and heard the bursts of the guns. Please
11 describe the room you were in at that moment.
12 A. That was the room to which we were relocated. It was a small
13 room. It was not a proper office. It was just like a simple room in a
14 house at that time when this shooting was heard. It was one of the rooms
15 closer to the street.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was it a private house?
17 A. I think it was. I'm not sure. I don't think it was state owned.
18 I think it was a private house close to the OUP proper, but I didn't see
19 any signs, particular signs of private property. I saw beds certainly,
20 but I don't know to whom it belonged.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where were the officials of the OUP Podujevo in
22 that moment when you were in this room?
23 A. In the next room.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was that an office or a private room with beds?
25 A. No, there were no beds. There was a desk, and that's where the
1 officers of the OUP Podujevo were.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How many of them?
3 A. I can't remember exactly now. I know that one of the commanding
4 officers who were in that room was present while we were in the next
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was anybody of the policemen of the OUP in your
7 room together with you when you had your cup of coffee?
8 A. It was very close. I can't really remember whether anyone was
9 together with us for the coffee drinking, but it's possible, why not.
10 It's the same building. I really can't remember.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When you were in this room, where were your men,
12 your members of your SAJ
13 A. They are were billeted in the abandoned houses, the houses
14 abandoned by both the Serbs and the Albanians. And that's where they
15 were billeted.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Were they really in these houses? How do you
17 know that? They were not at the street or at the crime scene?
18 A. I know that because those were my police officers and as their
19 commander I had my platoon commanders whose duty it was to find
20 accommodation to those men and to inform me about that, and I know that
21 they found accommodation in those houses.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If I remember correctly, you said 50, up to 70
23 members of your unit were with you in Podujevo; is that correct?
24 A. It is possible that I said between 50 and 70 or 50 and 60. I
25 think I said between 50 and 60, not 50 and 70. The reason being because
1 we never had full strength of the unit. It is possible that I said up to
2 70, but that's why I said because I didn't have more men.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think you are right, you said 50 to 60. How
4 many members of the unit of Mr. Simovic, the other SAJ unit, were present
5 at that time in Podujevo?
6 A. Approximately the same figure. I cannot say because I was the
7 commander of another unit, but I think that our units were of similar
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where did you line up the members of your unit
10 and the other SAJ
11 A. I lined them up after I went out and after the men had been sent
12 back, I lined them up in front of the houses where my officers were
13 billeted as well as members of the Belgrade SAJ, and I asked them, as I
14 said yesterday, if they saw who did it or if it was them who did it. So
15 all this happened very close to where I was.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which house concrete was it? You said where your
17 officers were billeted. Where was this house?
18 A. Well, I cannot remember at the moment which particular house, but
19 it was not far away from the headquarters of the Podujevo OUP. Let's say
20 some 60, 70 metres from there our men were in one house and then the next
21 house and so on.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How did you collect the other members of your
23 unit to be lined up?
24 A. I went out. I called the commanders of the platoon on our
25 internal radio communication line, and I ordered them to line the men up.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yesterday you told us, and I quote, it's I think
2 page 7, line 25:
3 "At that point, we left our personnel to secure the crime scene."
4 What did you mean by that?
5 A. After we had returned the reservists back and after they had
6 committed the crime, a couple of our men remained there from our unit to
7 secure the crime scene until the arrival of the team from the OUP
8 Podujevo, which was supposed to carry out the on-site investigation. We
9 only left a couple of men. We didn't leave the whole platoon or the
10 whole unit to secure the area.
11 After that, it was the duty of the OUP to provide security of the
12 crime scene and to carry out the on-site investigation.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did you issue any orders to the remaining members
14 of your unit at that place? How did you know how many there were?
15 A. I knew at any point in time how many men. I said I managed the
16 whole unit, and at every point I knew how many men were engaged in the
17 area where I was working. It was not a large number of people. I had a
18 total of two platoons, I had platoon commanders, I had team leaders, so
19 at every point in time I knew where every single of my men were.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was not my question. All 50 to 70, how did
21 you know that anybody of them were at the crime scene? You told us they
22 were resting in some houses.
23 A. I know that a member of my unit was on the spot. As soon as
24 there was radio communication saying that there were injured people, Dr.
25 Markovic left for the scene, and the rest of my men were in the houses
1 where they were billeted. I'm talking about members of my unit and the
2 houses where they had accommodation.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you know if there were any other units of
4 security forces?
5 A. I know that there were other units. We took part in the action
6 together with the army, the PJPs, and our unit. So there was also
7 regular OUP police in the place where we were.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What was the reason why you and your unit were in
9 Podujevo that day?
10 A. As I said, we arrived on the afternoon of the 27th in Podujevo
11 after we completed an action pursuant to an extract from the tactical
12 plan. We came from Bradas where Trajkovic was hurt, and we remained in
13 Podujevo, and we started looking for the accommodation for our men, and
14 this is where we stayed as a unit.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why were you in Podujevo that day? What was your
17 A. Our task on that day after completing the previous task was to
18 come to Podujevo and to see what our next duties would be with respect to
19 the forthcoming assignments.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why did you go to Podujevo and not anywhere else?
21 A. Because Podujevo was part of our plan that we received with the
22 extract from the topographic map, which contained this particular axis,
23 and this is where I was supposed to go. The Podujevo OUP was the
24 regional organ that was responsible for this particular area.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How many days did you stay in Podujevo, you and
1 your unit?
2 A. I believe that we arrived in Podujevo sometime in the afternoon
3 of the 27th March, 1999
4 and the Belgrade SAJ
5 assignments in Kosovo Polje where we went and where our base was. So it
6 was on the 28th in the afternoon. I don't know the exact time. I cannot
7 remember now.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You spent there only one night; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. The night between the 27th and the 28th. Yes, that's one
10 night. Couldn't be two nights.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Simovic and his unit stayed there as
12 well, only from the 27th to the 28th; is that correct?
13 A. Mr. Simovic and I together with our units arrived on the 27th,
14 and I and my unit left on the 28th for Kosovo Polje to carry out our next
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: My last question: Did you report to anybody
17 except the police officer of the Podujevo OUP about this crime which was
18 committed in Podujevo to anybody else?
19 A. I only informed this particular policeman, and I'm talking about
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which rank did he have?
22 A. He was the head of the sector or the assistant, assistant
23 commander of the police station. He was in charge of organising probably
24 these duties, and he was in this room in the staff when I informed him.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for your patience and for answering my
1 questions. Thank you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: One small matter. You are now at Novi Sad; is
3 that correct?
4 A. I am now in The Hague
5 JUDGE PARKER: Your present position in the MUP at Novi Sad?
6 A. Yes. I am the commander of the Novi Sad gendarmerie detachment
7 in the MUP.
8 JUDGE PARKER: What is your present rank?
9 A. My present rank is colonel, and my job title is the commander of
10 the special -- no, I'm sorry, my job at the moment is commander of the
11 gendarmerie detachment in Novi Sad
12 rank of colonel.
13 JUDGE PARKER: In March of 1999, what was your rank?
14 A. In March of 1999 I was a lieutenant-colonel in the Ministry of
15 the Interior, as far as I can remember. I think my rank was
17 JUDGE PARKER: What was the rank of the commander of the Belgrade
18 unit, Simovic?
19 A. I believe that Mr. Simovic had the same rank as I had, that is to
20 say, that he was a lieutenant-colonel too at the time.
21 JUDGE PARKER: You will be pleased to know that that concludes
22 the questions for you. Thank you for your attendance and for the
23 assistance you have been able to give.
24 A Court Officer will assist you when we rise, and you are free to
25 go back to your normal activities. Because of the time, we will need to
1 adjourn now. The tapes are at their extreme end, and we will resume at
2 1.15 shortly to look at procedural and other matters.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Recess taken at 12.46 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for reassembling. It should not take
7 long, but we are at a stage in the trial where it's important that the
8 future few weeks be kept under close monitoring.
9 Next week we understand, Mr. Djordjevic, that you will have two
10 witnesses now in the order of Cankovic first and Misic second. I would
11 remind counsel that Friday of next week is a United Nations holiday, so
12 we need to be sure to complete those two witnesses in the four days.
13 Earlier if possible, but certainly complete them in the four days.
14 The question next for you, Mr. Djordjevic, is whether there is,
15 as yet, any certainty about the date when the two remaining witnesses can
16 be available. It was left as either the week of the 10th or the week of
17 the 17th of May.
18 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] To be more precise, Your
19 Honours, that would be in the week beginning on the 17th of May. I would
20 kindly ask my assistant Mr. Popovic to give you the details relating to
21 this matter because we have a witness who is undergoing a serious medical
22 treatment, therefore, I would like to ask my learn friend, Mr. Popovic,
23 to explain this to the Chamber.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Our
25 intention is, of course in agreement with the Prosecution and according
1 to your guide-lines, to start examining this witness on the week
2 beginning on the 17th. Our wish is to hear both Defence witnesses during
3 that week. Bearing in mind that there is a guide-line instructing us to
4 try to examine K-87 witness at the same time as the witness passage
5 because of the situation with the videolink, we had some consultations in
6 the previous few days with our friends from the Prosecution. The Defence
7 would like to propose the following: Given the nature of the disease
8 that witness Spasic has and the fact that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and
9 Fridays he is receiving therapy that has to be done at an institution,
10 our suggestion is that K-87 witness should start with his evidence on the
11 17th of May, which is a Monday when witness Spasic will be undergoing his
12 therapy. On the following day, provided the previous witness is finished
13 on the 17th, can start his evidence, which is the Tuesday, the 18th of
14 May. And his testimony will be done via videolink.
15 As for witness Milasinovic his evidence will commence viva voce
16 on the following day here on the Wednesday of the 19th, and we expect
17 that to be completed by the end of the week in which he started his
18 evidence. In that way we would manage, to a certain extent, to meet all
19 the requirements and wishes and guide-lines given in one week. That is
20 as far as the proposals by the Defence team are concerned.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, Mr. Popovic. It will mean
22 that counsel will have to be very disciplined with their questions. K-87
23 is really just cross-examination, with probably a little re-examination,
24 but that will need to be dealt with on the one day, Monday the 17th. But
25 the important thing will be for Mr. Pesic to be dealt with examination,
1 cross-examination, and re-examination on the 17th. Because, as I
2 understand you, on the Wednesday, he will need to have further treatment.
3 So we will have to get his evidence completed in the one day, the
4 Tuesday. Then that will leave what, if necessary, could be three days
5 for the remaining Defence witness here in The Hague. Thank you for that.
6 Mr. Stamp, K-87, do I take it from what has been said that he
7 will be recalled or called?
8 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours, we should formally move that the
9 Prosecution's case be re-opened just for the purposes of taking his
10 evidence, which really is to give the Defence an opportunity to
11 cross-examine with maybe one or two questions from the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE PARKER: You are trying to slip your foot in the door
13 there, are you, Mr. Stamp?
14 MR. STAMP: The door was ajar, if I may put it that way.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You may find that it becomes a very difficult
16 obstacle if you go on for more than a few minutes.
17 MR. STAMP: So that's, I think, the Court would take that as a
18 joint motion in respect to K-87.
19 JUDGE PARKER: You will have leave to re-open your case for the
20 purpose of K-87 being presented for cross-examination, and you and
21 Mr. Djordjevic have the view that that should be held on Monday the 17th
22 of May.
23 MR. STAMP: We will do what is necessary to get him.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Via videolink from Serbia from the Tribunal's
25 outreach office in Belgrade
1 MR. STAMP: As to Mr. Spasic, this is just a suggestion on my
2 part. I don't know if efforts could be made from the Registry to see if
3 there could be an extended sitting for that day. I mean, we will all try
4 to be disciplined but perhaps a day if he is going to be in chief, I am
5 he not sure if he is a 92 bis witness, but I think he is a live witness.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Viva voce.
7 MR. STAMP: It might well be a little bit optimistic to think
8 that it could be taken in an ordinary --
9 JUDGE PARKER: One problem will be to find a courtroom available
10 here for more than half a day. We are sitting more trials than six.
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 JUDGE PARKER: As I anticipated, all courtrooms at the moment are
13 completely occupied that day, so we would have to try and do the miracle,
14 examination, cross-examination, and re-examination, in a normal half-day
16 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: When we come to the day, the Chamber will, I
18 think, propose some time lines to divide the evidence up between the
19 parties to encourage great care and attention to time so that we can deal
20 with the witness. Because of his health, it looks as though it will be
21 necessary to take those steps.
22 Now, Mr. Stamp, today was a day when we had hoped that the
23 Prosecution could reach decisions. Have they been reached yet about
24 motions for re-opening or, sorry, for rebuttal, if necessary?
25 MR. STAMP: The decision is that we will not be applying for
1 leave to call rebuttal witnesses. But I wonder if the deadline for next
2 Thursday could remain as is. So I could express that the provisional
3 decision is that we will not be making any applications.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I think your recollection is more accurate than
5 mine, it was next week and not today. I'm sorry. But we are encouraged
6 with your provisional indication that there will not be a need to hear
7 any rebuttal evidence, and we look forward to the position being
8 confirmed next week.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: By the end of next week, we would hope to find at
11 the end of the Thursday time enough to discuss briefly the time counsel
12 think they would need for the preparation of final written submissions,
13 and then for the presentation of oral submissions.
14 Normally we would think that an allocation to both Prosecution
15 and Defence of one day each for oral submissions would be appropriate
16 given that they are merely touching the highlights of what has been set
17 out in written submissions. I give that as an indication of our
18 thinking, but the Chamber will listen to other proposals if that is
19 thought necessary by either or both counsel.
20 And the preparation of written submissions, we appreciate there's
21 quite a body of evidence in this case covering some 19 geographic
22 locations. Therefore, we would not seek to impose the requirement we've
23 had in one or two trials of two weeks or three weeks for the preparation
24 of final written submissions. But again I mention that to indicate that
25 this Chamber is not inclined to allow a great long length of time for the
1 preparation of these matters. So as you perhaps discuss between you, if
2 you will, or otherwise prepare your views as to the time you would need.
3 Bear in mind that there is an anxiety to keep this trial moving as
4 quickly as is consistent with a fair trial, and that is a matter in the
5 interests of this accused and of others and of the progress of work in
6 the Tribunal.
7 So we will hope to finish the second witness next week in time to
8 hear counsel briefly on the Thursday of next week about those times with
9 a view to enabling us to make appropriate procedural orders.
10 If there is no other matter, we can now adjourn for the day. We
11 resume on Monday at 2.15.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of
14 April, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.