Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20170

1 Thursday, 13 December 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Before continuing with the evidence, there is one

6 matter I wish to raise, and a matter with Mr. Ivetic.

7 The trial support staff and the Chamber itself has gone to

8 extraordinary lengths to resolve the difficulties you have encountered

9 with translations, and yesterday we asked for confirmation that your own

10 translator was now working full out on the translations and have

11 regrettably received no reply to that.

12 Mr. Ivetic, we would like that matter resolved today. We want to

13 leave for the recess knowing that your translator is hard at work without

14 obstacle. Are we going to get that assurance?

15 MR. IVETIC: I'm in the process of preparing a draft

16 correspondence answering the questions that were in the e-mail. I'm

17 waiting to hear back specifics from Belgrade, but I can tell you our

18 translator, as she has been doing, is hard at work and will be working on

19 documents that have been rejected by CLSS and are in the process of being

20 authorised by OLAD. We have enough documents already authorised by OLAD

21 to keep her busy, and we should be getting in the next day or so other

22 documents authorised by OLAD. So OLAD and I are work -- OLAD and the

23 Defence team are working hand in hand to get all the documents for

24 December that were rejected authorised for translation which should keep

25 her busy, and CLSS is already booked -- working on the January bundle that

Page 20171

1 we submitted to figure out which of those will be rejected which will then

2 allow us to seek OLAD's assistance in having those translated by our

3 translator.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood though that sufficient had been

5 rejected for you to get confirmation that she could work throughout the

6 period until we can come back without any interruption in the knowledge

7 that she would be properly paid for it. Now is that not the position?

8 MR. IVETIC: That is the position, Your Honour. There are just

9 additional documents that have yet formally been -- they have been

10 rejected by CLSS but have not been identified with specificity for her --

11 OLAD to authorise, then they will be so specified I hope within the next

12 day, and I'm sure that she will have plenty to work full time and even

13 extra time during the break.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I hope that will be clarified this afternoon.

15 I've found from bitter experience in this case that if we do not cross the

16 T's and dot the I's on this issue, it will become complex again and

17 counter-productive. So please bear in mind the urgency of getting this

18 clarified.

19 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, we have been working full speed with

20 both OLAD and with CLSS for these many month trying to get it clarified

21 and doing things --

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, you see this is the mistake you make going

23 back over history --

24 MR. IVETIC: I don't --

25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm trying to draw a line under what has happened

Page 20172

1 so far, I'm being positive, I'm looking at the situation as we stand here

2 now. Please do not get back into history --

3 MR. IVETIC: I have not been going back in history. I have been

4 trying to move forward and I will move forward, and in the time

5 constraints of what time periods I have, I want a response for Your

6 Honour. And our translator, be assured, will work as much as she is

7 allowed and she works even beyond the 1000 hours, for we are only

8 authorised with those hours, that's a separate issue, but we will exert

9 all our resources as we have been doing to get translations completed,

10 because CLSS does not have the capacity to do them.

11 Thank you.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, your next witness.

13 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour, our next is SD-1.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: In that case we require to draw down the screens

15 until the witness enters the courtroom.

16 [Closed session]

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 [Open session]

21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, sir. You are known to us as

23 Witness SD-1. Are you able to hear me in a language you understand?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hear you and I understand you.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Would you now please make the solemn

Page 20173

1 declaration to speak the truth by reading aloud the document now placed

2 before you.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: The first stage of your evidence will be

8 examination by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.

9 Mr. Cepic.

10 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.


12 [Witness answered through interpreter]

13 Examination by Mr. Cepic:

14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.

15 A. Good afternoon.

16 Q. Let's first talk about your 16th of January, 2007, statement. Did

17 you make a statement to one of the Defence investigators?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Sir, what about the 11th of December, meaning two days ago, did

20 you not supplement your previous statement?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. What about the answers you gave to the questions you were asked,

23 were they faithfully recorded in both statements?

24 A. Indeed they were.

25 Q. What about if you were to be asked the same questions today, would

Page 20174

1 you still provide the same answers?

2 A. Yes.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, we also need confirmation of the

4 identity of the witness through the use of his pseudonym sheet, and then

5 we can proceed with the details of his evidence.

6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We just need one minute, Your

7 Honour.


9 MR. CEPIC: Could I ask usher just to show to the witness this

10 piece of paper.

11 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, do you see your name on that piece of paper

12 in front of you?

13 A. I do.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you identify the exhibit number for that

16 document, please?

17 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. The first -- could we start with

18 the statement before, and -- is it possible to have IC number for this

19 document, please.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.

21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, to make this of value, there really

23 needs to be added the date of birth of the witness and also normally the

24 name of his father would be included. His name alone is insufficient for

25 the purpose now. Now can you either add it or can it be returned to him

Page 20175

1 to add it, please.

2 MR. CEPIC: I can do by myself.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the usher will return that to you to do that.

4 Now, SD-1, are the details on that document accurate?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

7 Now, that should now be handed to the court deputy.

8 Would you give it an IC number.

9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC162, under seal, Your Honours.

10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, can you now identify for us the exhibit

11 numbers for the statement and the supplementary information?

12 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour. The first statement is the number

13 of first statement is 3D495, this is the statement from 11th -- actually,

14 from 16th of January, 2007; and second one is from 11th December of 2007,

15 and the number of the second one is 5D1380. And I would like to request

16 for both statements to be under the seal.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.

18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I wonder if I actually have both of these. I

20 have a document called a supplemental sheet dated the 11th of December --

21 yeah. So it is 5D1380; is that correct?

22 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, we tendered the statement with the

23 statement which is under the mentioned number. It is almost the same

24 content but.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --

Page 20176

1 MR. CEPIC: The statement is the statement not the supplemental

2 information sheet.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: I have two documents here, maybe the court deputy

4 can sort out the numbers for me, but there seems to be confusion in the

5 way in which they were delivered.

6 Can you identify which is which, please.

7 MR. CEPIC: If I may clarify. I just received information that we

8 sent the statement by e-mail, my assistant sent to all parties -- to all

9 parties to relevant -- to all relevant subjects. This statement is after

10 supplemental information sheet. And as I mentioned, content of that

11 statement is almost the same as the content of the supplemental

12 information sheet. And we just tendered -- we just would like to tender

13 the statement, not the supplemental information sheet.

14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have to say I'm not at all clear what

16 document -- I still don't know which is which. 5D1380, is that the

17 statement that you're tendering?

18 MR. CEPIC: Exactly, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. And I ignore then the supplemental

20 information sheet. Very well. Continue.

21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 Could we go -- Your Honour, with your leave, could we go to

23 private session?

24 JUDGE BONOMY: And the reason for that?

25 MR. CEPIC: I have to mention some names, and if I mention those

Page 20177

1 names we could disclose the identity of previous witness in this case

2 and --

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sachdeva, do you have anything to say on that?

4 MR. SACHDEVA: No, Mr. President.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall go into private session.

6 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

7 [Private session]

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10 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

11 Q. I will touch briefly on paragraph 7 in which you say that Witness

12 K-89 and -- that neither Witness K-89 nor anyone else from your unit could

13 have torn up documents because the soldiers did not take documents from

14 civilians and inspect them. Will you please tell me on what basis you

15 make that assertion?

16 A. Your Honour --

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.

18 Mr. Sachdeva.

19 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm sorry again, Mr. President, but I think that we

20 have established here who the witness's commander was and other

21 participants in his group, and therefore we could probably go back into

22 open session for the substance of the evidence.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

24 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, I'm some concerned about

25 security for some witnesses, and especially if we by omission mention any

Page 20182

1 name from that unit I think that will be a little bit unproper for

2 security of both protected witnesses.

3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

4 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll continue in private session for the moment.

5 If it turns out there was no damage done or there would have been no

6 damage done by what is said, then we will simply make that evidence public

7 at the conclusion of the evidence. So we will remain in private session

8 just now.

9 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

10 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, I have not received an answer to my previous

11 question, so I will repeat it. On what basis do you say that your men

12 could not have torn up documents belonging to civilians or even checked

13 documents?

14 A. Your Honour, I assert that my soldiers never had any contact with

15 the civilian population and that they were never in a position to do that

16 nor were they ever ordered to do so. I assert under full liability that

17 they never checked the documents of civilians or tear up their documents.

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24 Q. Good afternoon, SD-1.

25 A. Good afternoon.

Page 20187

1 Q. You were asked by my learned friend that -- at least your answer

2 to one of his questions was that it would not be case that your commander

3 would address privates and it would go through you. And my question to

4 you is: Surely you agree that there is a possibility that a battalion

5 commander could and did, indeed, address his troops before an operation

6 and even during an operation. Would you agree with that?

7 A. Your Honours, no, I wouldn't agree.

8 Q. You are aware, I take it, that the members of the 3rd Army, that

9 is, the army that is responsible for the Pristina Corps, themselves went

10 down to the field and addressed troops within the Pristina Corps. Are you

11 aware of that?

12 A. Your Honours, to clarify, what does "to address" mean? Does it

13 mean to have a conversation with a soldier, saying, for example, Son, how

14 are you? Are things difficult? Or does it concern issuing tasks or

15 assigning any kind of work on the ground? I think the two or not the same

16 thing.

17 Q. My question simply is this, that a battalion commander can address

18 his troops on the ground prior to an operation. If you don't agree with

19 that, that's fine, we'll move on.

20 A. I don't agree. He can't issue tasks to him.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: SD-1, in this context "address" means speaking to

22 the men to give them moral encouragement, not give them specific tasks in

23 the form of an order. Now, why could a battalion commander not do that to

24 lift the spirits of his troops?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, he could do that, yes,

Page 20188

1 but only in the form of a conversation. As for my unit, I assert with

2 full liability that in the course of carrying out combat actions the

3 commander never had an opportunity to be with my men because he was in

4 front of us with the units advancing before us. So I assert with full

5 liability that the commander could not have spoken to my men in the course

6 of the combat activities.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

8 Mr. Sachdeva.


10 Q. Well, actually, let's try and be precise here. I'm talking about

11 prior to the commencement of combat activities. In other words, just

12 before the combat group left your location, it's possible, is it not, that

13 the commander could be addressing the troops, giving morale-boosting

14 speeches to his troops. Isn't that possible?

15 A. No, it's not possible because the night before that the

16 air-strikes began, and you can imagine how frightened the men were. All

17 measures of anti-aircraft defence were being taken. Movement could take

18 place only along axis we regulated, and just before this activity the

19 commander did not have any contact with my men. I assert that with full

20 liability.

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7 [Open session]

8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

10 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you.

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13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE BONOMY: We find it impossible to make a judgement on this

15 here in court at this moment, so we will redact the evidence that's been

16 in this most recent public session and continue in private session for the

17 moment, and then we'll review the position when we get to the end of the

18 evidence.

19 [Private session]

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14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

15 Mr. Sachdeva.


17 Q. Now, let me ask you this question, and I'll come back to that

18 issue later. Is it the case that you and your fellow soldiers viewed all

19 Albanian men of military age to be legitimate targets; in other words,

20 potential terrorists? Isn't that right?

21 A. Your Honours, I didn't hold that view nor did any of my soldiers.

22 Q. But you -- you're aware that other soldiers within the combat

23 group had that view, didn't they?

24 A. Not that I was aware of, Your Honours.

25 Q. Now, we started off by saying that -- or I started off asking you

Page 20196

1 that the purpose of this operation was to destroy pockets of terrorists in

2 the villages I mentioned. You agree with the basic purpose of the

3 operation; that's right, isn't it?

4 A. Your Honours, we read out the tasks. We might as well read out

5 the one from the brigade commander's order just in order to avoid any

6 speculation.

7 Q. SD-1, we can do that, but you were there on the ground; if I can't

8 ask you, then who can I ask? It's really not a very controversial

9 statement I'm putting to you. Your task along with the other members of

10 the combat group was to destroy pockets of terrorism -- terrorists in

11 those villages. Would you agree with that?

12 A. Your Honours, my task was to lend support to the infantry

13 component during the execution of this mission, and this request had been

14 made by the battalion commander, or in this specific case the combat group

15 commander.

16 Q. Very well. And then this mission was to destroy pockets of

17 terrorists in the villages that you went to?

18 A. Your Honours, yet again I wish to underline this. My task was at

19 the request of the commander and upon orders by the commander to lend

20 support to the infantry components. As for the overall task, this was

21 something for the brigade command. My task was very specific and

22 well-delineated.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Should we understand then that you had no idea what

24 you were doing there as a group?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

Page 20197

1 JUDGE BONOMY: So what was the group there to do, the combat group

2 there to do?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was carrying out tasks,

4 controlling that area around those villages. There were probably

5 indicators showing that there was a terrorist presence in the area, that

6 there were terrorists and their units present in the area, so we had

7 probably been ordered to go there and complete this mission. But what I'm

8 talking about specifically is my own task. I could not have known what

9 the overall task was for the combat group.

10 JUDGE BONOMY: That seems very strange that you would not know

11 what the overall task for the combat group was, but there we have it.

12 Mr. Sachdeva, that's the limit of the witness's knowledge.

13 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.

14 Q. So I take it from your answer that if there were indicators that

15 there were no terrorists in village, there would be no need to go to that

16 village; is that right?

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

18 MR. CEPIC: [Microphone not activated]

19 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.

20 Yes, Mr. Cepic.

21 MR. CEPIC: I apologise, I just thought question was going in some

22 different way and -- but it is not. I have no objection to the question.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.

24 Please answer the question.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave, it is

Page 20198

1 up to the commander to say which axis will be taken for a certain

2 operation. I didn't know at the time, nor is it my place to speculate

3 right now, what would have happened if something else had happened and why

4 anyone would have gone to another village if there were indicators that

5 there was a terrorist presence in a certain village.


7 Q. I'm actually not putting a very difficult proposition to you.

8 It's very simple. If there were no terrorists in a village, there was no

9 need for the VJ forces or the police to go into the village. Do you agree

10 with that?

11 A. That is probably the case, but I can't say. This is a speculative

12 question. I don't think it bears any relation to the specific task we're

13 discussing.

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10 Q. And that would have taken you roughly how long? Half an hour?

11 One hour?

12 A. Your Honours, this is a village. You don't take half an hour to

13 drive through a village if there is no resistance. I can't remember

14 specifically, but I think we took several minutes to drive through,

15 perhaps up to ten minutes. What is being suggested here is quite

16 arbitrary I say.

17 Q. I'm basing the suggestion on the evidence of your -- actually, on

18 the information from your commander. I take it you disagree. You spent

19 10, 15 minutes, is that right, through the village?

20 A. Your Honours, I was a support unit. They walked through or

21 marched through the village. They had to control -- to inspect every

22 street, every street corner, every single house. Obviously whenever it

23 was necessary - I don't really know this myself, I'm just giving you an

24 example. I would have taken a different time from the infantry units.

25 What I'm saying is that we drove through in trucks, in vehicles, and we

Page 20201

1 simply drove through that village.

2 Q. So the group in the front, as you say, searched every single

3 street corner, every single house; that's right? The early hours of the

4 morning they were searching all the houses in the village; is that right?

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, what's your point?

6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. I'm not sure

7 what my learned friend is basing this assertion on --

8 JUDGE BONOMY: If that's the objection, it's overruled.

9 Mr. Visnjic, what is your objection?

10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my objection is

11 similar to Mr. Cepic's, I don't think --

12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's also overruled. The witness can deal with

13 this question. It's an interpretation that was open to be put to him in

14 light of what he said.


16 Q. SD-1, should I repeat the question or do you remember it?

17 A. I remember.

18 Q. And what's your answer? Was every single house, every single

19 street corner, were they searched by members of your combat group on the

20 morning of 25th of March, 1999?

21 A. Your Honours, it was just a sentence that I used to give an

22 example of how one passes through a village. There was an infantry unit

23 going ahead of me, but I don't know what exactly they did there. They

24 were quite quick passing through, and when the battalion commander ordered

25 me to cross the village, I did so. We drove through the village in motor

Page 20202

1 vehicles.

2 Q. And you use this as an example because that was your experience

3 when you were with the VJ during the conflict, isn't it? That's what

4 typically happened, forces of the VJ would go into Albanian villages and

5 search the houses. Am I right?

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11 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you give us an example of a place where the

12 infantry ahead of you took a long time to pass through a village because

13 of the job of searching? Just an example from your experience.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is very difficult

15 for me to come to grips with a question likely that. What exactly do you

16 mean by taking a long time. How long do you mean?

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it was you that chose to illustrate the

18 difference between the time you would take in vehicles to go through a

19 village and the time the infantry would take because of the different

20 duties they had to search; and I want you to give me an example of the

21 difference in time from your experience of an event that actually took

22 place so that we can understand what -- exactly what you're talking about.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, they walked and they

24 certainly took longer. I had waited up in front of the village before my

25 commander ordered me to cross.

Page 20203

1 JUDGE BONOMY: So you can't give me another example of another

2 occasion when the infantry took a lengthy time to pass through a village

3 ahead of you because they were searching?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I didn't

5 have that much experience with actions of that kind. I can't remember a

6 single specific example therefore.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the Prosecution might then suggest that you

8 must have been thinking of this occasion if you can't think of any other

9 when you said: "They walked through or marched through the village, they

10 had to control to inspect every street, every street corner, every single

11 house."

12 So was it this occasion that that happened?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I just gave an

14 example, a textbook example, if you like, of what happens when one passes

15 through a village with some resistance or with no resistance at all, but I

16 can't really cite any specific examples, I simply can't. I'm unable to

17 cite a single one.

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

19 We need to go into closed session now to enable you to leave the

20 courtroom, so let's close the shutters, please.

21 We now require to have a break which will last about 20 minutes.

22 While we have that break, please leave the courtroom with the usher.

23 [Closed session]

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12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

14 MR. SACHDEVA: Unless, of course, my learned friend has an issue

15 with the name of the village being used.

16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've already said that

17 every name we mentioned and every time-frame we mentioned, in my humble

18 opinion, makes it easy to conclude what unit and what individuals are

19 being spoken about, and I still feel the same concern I expressed earlier,

20 primarily because in this situation we have two protected witnesses and a

21 clear order of this Court.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's just get back into private session and

23 let's get on with this, please.

24 [Private session]

25 (redacted)

Page 20215

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8 (redacted)

9 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

10 Q. And as you said earlier, there was no firing from the village, and

11 therefore I take it there was no combat activity in the village. Is that

12 your evidence?

13 A. No, Your Honour. I said that I passed through the village and

14 didn't see anyone. That's what I said.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying none of the property that you saw in

16 the village was damaged?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I passed along the

18 road. I did not notice anything that might cause me to conclude that

19 there had been any kind of torching or destruction there. I passed along

20 that road. I was very much afraid for the safety of my soldiers. We had

21 only two motor vehicles, and I think in such cases one's field of vision

22 is narrower. But I don't think I saw anything that had been burnt from

23 the point we entered the village to the point we exited from the village.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me ask the question again and please give me a

25 simple answer. Are you saying none of the property that you saw in the

Page 20216

1 village was damaged, yes or no?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

4 Mr. Sachdeva.


6 Q. SD-1, we -- this Court has heard evidence from people who lived in

7 the village, eye-witness evidence, that the houses were torched, were

8 burned, people were fleeing on the morning of the 25th of March, 1999.

9 And I want to ask you: Is it your evidence that that didn't happen, that

10 they're making that up? Is that what you're saying?

11 A. Your Honour, I didn't say that, nor am I saying it now. All I

12 said was that along the road I passed along, I did not see any of what

13 you're talking about.

14 Q. Well, did you come to know about the destruction that was caused

15 in that village, leaving aside whether you saw it? You must have heard

16 that these things happened. You were there on the ground. This was your

17 area of responsibility. You must have heard that.

18 A. Your Honour, I have responsibility only for a sector, not for a

19 zone. The brigade command had responsibility for a zone. When I made a

20 statement to a team in 2001, I learned that there were indicia that some

21 things had happened down there, but then that morning when I passed

22 through that village in the early morning hours, I did not see that.

23 Q. Let's try and get back to my question. I didn't ask whether you

24 saw it. I'm asking you, as someone who was in the village at some point

25 in time on the morning of the 25th of March, did you hear from your fellow

Page 20217

1 soldiers, from other sources, from the civilians that were in the village,

2 did you hear -- did you find out that the village was being destroyed or

3 was destroyed, yes or no?

4 A. No, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to interrupt. I just want to know that

6 you kept yourself only on the road, and you didn't go here and there

7 and -- even while on the road you didn't see any smoke or any -- you

8 didn't smell anything which would show that something was burning? Or you

9 kept your eyes always on the ground? I mean, that is something I would

10 request you to answer, because if things are torching you would see the

11 billowing, the smoke, and all that. So could you please elaborate.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I passed through the

13 village in the early morning hours. I did not see anything either burning

14 or fire or smoke. I was looking straight ahead because I was sitting in

15 my vehicle, in the front, I was looking at the road in front of me. I did

16 not see anything.

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

21 A. Your Honour, by your leave, I didn't say destruction. The

22 Prosecutor said let's move on from the destruction. I did not hear

23 anything about the killing mentioned here. I assert with full

24 responsibility that at the time I heard nothing. I heard nothing in the

25 course of the war. I only heard that there may have been victims a long

Page 20218

1 time after the war in conversations with my colleagues, and I saw

2 something about it in a book written by a lady. But I assert with full

3 responsibility that at that time I neither heard nor saw anything.

4 Q. I suspect you've probably answered this, but did you hear about

5 any killings committed by the special police or the MUP detachment that

6 was in the village?

7 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this question.

8 The witness has testified he saw no special police in the village, he saw

9 nobody in the village, so I don't see the basis for this question by

10 learned counsel. There was no such line of questioning in the direct, and

11 I think we're seriously going beyond the scope of the direct examination

12 at this point and are engaging in essentially a fishing expedition that

13 might require additional cross-examination by other teams in this case.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: I see nothing wrong with this question, it relates

15 to what the witness had heard, and it may be answered.

16 Can you answer the question, please. SD-1, could you answer that?

17 Did you hear about any killings committed by special police or MUP

18 detachment?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not hear

20 anything.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.


23 Q. Witness, I want to show you -- well, let me ask you this. You

24 know that your commander kept a war diary, the command of the 2nd

25 Battalion kept a war diary. You know about that, don't you?

Page 20219

1 A. Yes, I do, Your Honour.

2 Q. And you know that that war diary contained reports of military

3 activities on a daily basis from -- well, at least during the period that

4 we're talking about from the 24th/23rd of March through to the end of the

5 war. Isn't that right?

6 A. Correct, Your Honour.

7 Q. And it's safe to assume that these reports were contemporaneous in

8 nature, weren't they?

9 A. Your Honour, by your leave, I don't know when the commander wrote

10 this, but he probably wrote such a report every day.

11 Q. Now, I'm going to show you one such report.

12 MR. SACHDEVA: If we can have Exhibit PT -- sorry, 2019 on the

13 screen, if we could go to page -- I believe it's page 3 of the Serbian

14 version and page 3 of the English version.

15 Q. And, SD-1, what I'm going to do is show you an excerpt from the

16 25th of March. Now, the Serbian version is on the right-hand side at the

17 top, and you'll see -- in capital letters you'll see two names. You see

18 that?

19 A. Your Honour, I see it says something, but I can't actually read it

20 very well -- yes, now I see that.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have the English for the 25th of March also,

22 please.

23 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, if it could be -- it's on the right page, it

24 just needs to be scrolled down.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the supplement at the bottom?

Page 20220

1 MR. SACHDEVA: That's correct, Mr. President.

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Page 20222

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5 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

6 Q. Therefore, I suggest to you that this indicates that the village

7 was cleansed of its civilian population.

8 A. No, Your Honour, it doesn't say that in the report nor can I say

9 that. In the report it says something else, not that it was cleansed of

10 the civilian population.

11 Q. I'm not saying this is what it says in the report; I'm saying to

12 you that it indicates that the village was cleansed of its civilian

13 population. If you agree, then you do; if you don't, then that's fine.

14 A. No, Your Honour, it doesn't mean what you're saying. This is

15 military terminology. A commander cannot write a novel. He has to use

16 just a single sentence. It would take too long to detail everything that

17 had been done.

18 Q. But you tell me, what was there to cleanse in the village if there

19 was no combat activity?

20 A. Your Honour, just the passage through the village might be called

21 by someone cleansing of the village. How would they know there would be

22 no fighting there, no combat?

23 Q. Sorry, I'm confused by that answer. Are you suggesting that the

24 activity of passing through the village would be described as cleansing?

25 Is that what you're saying?

Page 20223

1 A. Your Honour, when one passes through a village in combat

2 disposition, that can be termed cleansing of the village.

3 Q. Well, Witness, you've already mentioned that you gave a statement

4 to the body for cooperation with the ICTY, and in that statement you

5 didn't use the word "cleansing," you used the word "passing through the

6 village." I suggest to you it's an absurd statement to say that if you

7 were simply passing through the village, you would use the word

8 "cleansing."

9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I don't know what basis my learned

11 friend is asserting all this. First of all, the document we see on the

12 screen is not a document written or compiled by the witness or had contact

13 with -- that the witness had contact with. We do not see the statement

14 that our learned friend is referring to. Thank you. There are two point

15 here. Thank you.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: The -- there is no substance in the first point

17 because the witness is clearly confident that he can deal with an

18 interpretation of this passage. So far as the second point is concerned,

19 what statement are you referring to, Mr. Sachdeva?

20 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, it's a statement that's on my

21 exhibit list which I believe the Defence should have. It is P3006, and

22 it's a statement that he gave to the Commission for Cooperation with the

23 ICTY. And that's the basis for my question.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I really don't know. I see that

Page 20224

1 document 3006 was announced, but I don't know when it was disclosed.

2 Thank you.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Please continue with the question.

4 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, do you want me to indicate when it

5 was disclosed.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?

7 MR. SACHDEVA: Do you want me to indicate when the statement was

8 disclosed?

9 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, there's ...

10 [Trial Chamber confers]


12 Q. Witness, I don't know if you answered my last question before the

13 deviation. My --

14 MR. CEPIC: Sorry.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.

16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friends -- my

17 colleagues are telling me that this exhibit cannot be opened in the system

18 under that number. Thank you.

19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you released this exhibit, Mr. Sachdeva?

21 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm advised, yes, Mr. President, and that's the

22 exhibit number I have, and they indeed were disclosed.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you now open it, Mr. Cepic?

24 MR. SACHDEVA: They were disclosed on the 31st of July, 2005.

25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] My colleagues are now telling me that

Page 20225

1 they managed to open it in the last few seconds, more than one colleague

2 has said that, colleagues Ivetic, Visnjic, and Petrovic all say the same

3 thing. Thank you.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: So what's your point?

5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I want to say that I have not had an

6 opportunity of seeing that this document was in the system, but --

7 JUDGE BONOMY: If having received notice from the Prosecution that

8 they were going to use it and you were concerned about it, you would have

9 tried to open it already and discovered that you couldn't. It would

10 appear that you're only discovering that now, so let's get on with the

11 question.


13 Q. Witness, I still require an answer from you, and essentially my

14 question was that -- I'm putting to you that it is an absurd statement by

15 yourself to suggest -- to say that the word -- essentially what you're

16 saying is the word "passing" and "cleansing" are the same and they can be

17 used interchangeably; that's an absurd statement, do you agree with me?

18 A. Your Honour, by your leave, I didn't say that. It sounds even

19 more absurd to me. I passed through there with my unit. In that

20 statement you're mentioning, I was talking about myself. The commander

21 was writing about the whole unit in his report, because he passed through

22 the village with infantry. I marched through on vehicles. I simply

23 passed through the village.

24 Q. Very well. And therefore your commander in the infantry, as is

25 indicated in this document, cleansed the village, didn't they?

Page 20226

1 A. Your Honour, the infantry passed through the village in combat

2 formation without any resistance and without firing, and they left the

3 village. In military jargon, this can be described as cleansing the

4 village. It doesn't mean what the Prosecutor says it means.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, whether your last point is correct or not -

6 and there may be some argument about that, but perhaps not a great deal -

7 it does seem on the face of it very strange if absolutely nothing has

8 happened to then later write in the war diary that the villages were

9 cleansed. Is that not rather odd unless something had to be done while

10 they were going through the villages?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I assert what I said

12 before was true. Battalion commander is not a lawyer, he can't take into

13 account every single piece of phrasing. These circumstances under which

14 this log was kept were difficult. Your interpretation is not correct. He

15 had a different intention. He was trying to say something else when he

16 wrote that. It is not what you are suggesting.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you should be aware that we've had a number

18 of witnesses explain to us what cleansing means in this context, and no

19 one so far has suggested it simply means going through a village in combat

20 order. Now, do you want to say any more on the matter?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't say that

22 myself. I went through the village, but what they did can be called

23 cleansing because they walked through the village on a

24 house-to-house/street-corner-to-street-corner basis. How could they know

25 that nobody would fire at them? If indeed no one fired at them, they

Page 20227

1 would just get out and leave the village. In military speak, however,

2 that can be termed"cleansing the village."

3 JUDGE BONOMY: SD-1, let me quote your answer to you.

4 "The infantry passed through the village in combat disposition without any

5 resistance and without firing and they left the village. In military

6 jargon this can be described as cleansing the village."

7 Now, that sounds to me like you describing cleansing as simply

8 going through the village in combat disposition.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can't take the

10 liberty of commenting on those terms generally speaking. What I'm telling

11 you is what actually happened and how I saw it, what the commander wanted

12 to do, what he wanted to say. I'm not sure how I should launch into this

13 story, but one thing is certain, it's certainly not what's being

14 suggested.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Witness, at this point in time I do not even know

16 if whether you actually saw the infantry going through the village and how

17 they went through the village. Do you want to try to clarify that for us?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not see the

19 infantry going through the village. They walked some way ahead of me. I

20 said that I was waiting outside the village, waiting for my commander's

21 order to go through the village.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

23 In the bigger picture, Mr. Sachdeva, I doubt if we've more time to

24 explore this.

25 MR. SACHDEVA: May I ask one more question on this issue?

Page 20228

1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right -- yeah, Mr. Cepic.

2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I have another

3 witness lined up waiting to appear. I think my learned friend has already

4 used up substantially more than the allotted time. Thank you.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think he's reached the allotted time,

6 Mr. Cepic. He has an hour because this was a 92 ter witness, plus the

7 equivalent time that you used in live evidence, which was 36 minutes.

8 Please continue, Mr. Sachdeva.

9 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.

10 Q. Witness, in an answer to the President you said: "I went through

11 the village, but what they did can be called cleansing because they walked

12 through the village on a house-to-house/street-corner-to-street-corner

13 basis," that's what you said, and therefore earlier on when we were in a

14 discussion about what took place in the village, this is the example you

15 were referring to, isn't it, that's --

16 JUDGE BONOMY: This is an argument. We've had all the evidence on

17 this. Move to something else, please.

18 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Mr. President.

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 20229











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Page 20241

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4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

14 Q. How many men were there?

15 A. Your Honour, if I recall correctly, 13.

16 Q. Thank you. Can you explain in technical terms how much time you

17 need to take up a position to set up an observation point and undertake

18 all the other activities involved in relocating?

19 A. Your Honours, quite a lot of time. These are activities that

20 require a lot of time and good training. Depending on the training, the

21 time can vary, but not much. I need at least 20 minutes only to put the

22 mortars down on to the ground. As for establishing the observation point

23 and everything else, I need far more time.

24 Q. Thank you. In the course of the war, were you able to inspect the

25 battalion's war diary?

Page 20242

1 A. No, Your Honours, the war diary that was shown here is something I

2 saw quite a bit of time after the war, when I was making the statements I

3 mentioned in the course of my testimony.

4 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. SD-1. I have no further

5 questions.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, thank you, Witness, that completes your

9 evidence; thank you for coming here to give it. You may now leave the

10 courtroom, but just stay there for a moment until we bring down the

11 curtains for that purpose.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE BONOMY: You may now leave.

14 [Closed session]

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 [Open session]

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, your next witness is?

22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Our next witness is

23 Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Marinkovic.

24 [The witness entered court]

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Good evening, Mr. Marinkovic.

Page 20243

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good evening.

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to

3 speak the truth by reading that document aloud.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.

7 You will now be examined by Mr. Cepic on behalf of Mr. Lazarevic.

8 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

11 Examination by Mr. Cepic:

12 Q. [Interpretation] Lieutenant-Colonel, good evening.

13 A. Good evening.

14 Q. For the record, please give us your name.

15 A. Vladimir Marinkovic.

16 Q. Can you tell me when and where you were born?

17 A. The 2nd of December, 1967, in Djakovica.

18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me what duties you performed during your

19 military career?

20 A. Well, from platoon and company leader, just through the technical

21 service, chief of the service in the regiment and the brigade --

22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down, this is

23 impossible to follow.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marinkovic, everything you say has to be

25 translated, that means that you need to speak a little more slowly than

Page 20244

1 you would otherwise do. So I wonder if you could deal with that question

2 again. You said that you had been chief of the service in the regiment

3 and the brigade, could you continue from there.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then I was desk officer in the

5 security department of the Pristina Corps, a desk officer in the security

6 administration of the General Staff of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro,

7 and now I am a trainer in the training centre.

8 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, what schools have you completed?

10 A. After primary school, I completed the military secondary school,

11 the military academy for the ground forces --

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment.

13 This is in the statement.

14 MR. CEPIC: There is no statement, Your Honour, for this witness.

15 I'm sorry.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Ah, sorry, wrong Marinkovic. Sorry. My mistake.

17 I apologise.

18 MR. CEPIC: They are not cousins.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: No. Okay. Sorry.

20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

21 Q. [Interpretation] Lieutenant-Colonel, what schools have you

22 completed?

23 A. After primary school I completed the military secondary school,

24 then the military academy for the ground forces, communications stream,

25 and then further training for command and staff, and then I took a course

Page 20245

1 in the security and intelligence training centre.

2 Q. What is your rank now?

3 A. Lieutenant-colonel.

4 Q. In 1998 and 1999, what duties did you perform?

5 A. In 1998, on the 2nd of March, I was sent to the 52nd Brigade of

6 the anti-aircraft defence in the Djakovica garrison, where I performed the

7 duty of chief of security -- excuse me, chief of the security organ in the

8 brigade command, until the 1st of July, 1998. On the 1st of July, 1998,

9 until the end of the war, I was the chief of security in the 15th Armoured

10 Brigade of the Pristina garrison.

11 Q. Thank you. You mentioned Djakovica previously. In that period,

12 the period of your work in Djakovica, did you visit the Pristina Corps

13 forward command post?

14 A. In view of the escalation of the security situation in the area,

15 not only did I visit the Pristina Corps forward command post, but I was

16 also designated by the chief of the security department of the Pristina

17 Corps to perform duties from the purview of the security organ at the

18 forward command post of the corps.

19 Q. Can you tell me what the security situation was like at that point

20 in time, in 1998?

21 A. The security situation in that period deteriorated day by day,

22 especially in the border belt.

23 Q. Go ahead, please.

24 A. We had frequent illegal border crossings from Albania by persons

25 who were illegally carrying weapons and equipment, and there were even

Page 20246

1 conflicts with the border organs who were attempting to prevent them in

2 their illegal crossings.

3 Q. Thank you. In that period, did you exchange information with the

4 state security department?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And what was this cooperation reflected in?

7 A. I was designated by the chief of the security department and

8 authorised by him to exchange information concerning terrorist activities

9 in the area with the chief of the state security department in Djakovica.

10 Q. Go ahead.

11 A. The information that was exchanged was something I passed on to my

12 superiors.

13 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, you mentioned the escalation of terrorism,

14 especially at the state border. Will you tell me, in the depth of the

15 territory were there any drastic incidents, what was the situation there

16 like in the period we are talking about, 1998?

17 A. In the depth of the territory, movements were observed of persons

18 who were armed and in uniform. Furthermore, there were attacks on the

19 civilian population, the MUP organs. The worst incident -- well, there

20 were also abductions. The worst incident in that period was an abduction

21 that took place in my unit.

22 Q. Very briefly, what happened?

23 A. A person called Genov Stamen or Stamen Genov who was a sergeant

24 first class -- or a sergeant, he was on leave and he used the regular line

25 from Djakovica to Pristina which went through Prizren and the Dulje pass.

Page 20247

1 I think that in the vicinity of the village of Stimlje, the bus was

2 stopped by a group of armed members of the KLA. They entered the bus,

3 they inspected people's identity papers, and they pulled Genov and some

4 civilians from the bus.

5 Q. Was Genov later found?

6 A. I think he was buried in 2005. His body was found at a later

7 date. He had been killed, and to the best of my knowledge, according to

8 the forensic information, he had been tortured and slaughtered.

9 Q. Thank you. We've already heard quite a lot about the activities

10 of the terrorist forces. Did you have any operative information that

11 there were women in the KLA ranks who in 1998 participated in the fighting

12 directly?

13 A. While gathering information about the terrorists, we obtained

14 various types of material. We saw pictures and videotapes, video footage,

15 of women in uniform with KLA insignia. Later on, in 1998, when I was

16 already in the 15th Armoured Brigade, in the general area of Komorane, a

17 tank of mine was hit and those who knew about this, the tank crew, told me

18 it had been hit from an Armbrust.

19 Later on we investigated that fire and learned that the projectile

20 had been fired by a woman. We knew what her pseudonym was, although it

21 escapes me at the moment, her pseudonym or nickname.

22 Q. Thank you. Tell me, in the course of this escalation of

23 terrorism, was there resistance from villagers who didn't want to join the

24 terrorist ranks?

25 A. You mean resistance to the terrorists by the local population?

Page 20248

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. Our information shows that there was resistance by the local

3 population. I was a witness in the village of Glodjane where the local

4 inhabits welcomed us. They told us there were no KLA members in their

5 village, that we should not be afraid, that fire would not be opened on

6 us, and that they didn't want to join in those activities. Also, there

7 were examples of terrorists trying to take up positions in front of

8 certain villages and provoke activity by us.

9 Q. On what basis, Lieutenant-Colonel, did you have that information?

10 Did you personally enter the KLA bases?

11 A. On completion of anti-terrorist actions, I did enter places where

12 KLA members were based, and there we found various materials which they

13 had left behind. From those materials, we drew conclusions about their

14 activities.

15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, could you tell us what was this material

16 because material can be anything.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We found remains of combat

18 equipment, for example, empty cases for ammunition; weapons which they had

19 not taken with them; lists of KLA members in a certain area, unit, or

20 staff; various certificates that KLA members issued to the locals, such as

21 certificates on recruited property or requisitioned property; then

22 certificates on their military oath that they had taken, certificates

23 allowing them to move through KLA-controlled territory, and similar

24 materials.

25 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.

Page 20249

1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Could I continue, please?

2 Thank you.

3 Q. [Interpretation] Was there an obligation for the local inhabitants

4 to give money to the KLA if they were living in areas under KLA control?

5 A. Yes, we found certificates, or rather, receipts for money that the

6 KLA had received from local villagers. I don't know in what way these

7 villagers gave that money, but such certificates were found.

8 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, did you find equipment used for torture?

9 A. Yes, in more than one location we found certain objects which

10 indicated that they has been used for torture. In the village of

11 Krusevac, in the course of the anti-terrorist action in 1998, in the

12 courtyard in front of an improvised hospital of the KLA there was a

13 device. I can describe as a bed where at one end there was a spike and

14 there were two places in the shape of feet on the opposite side of the

15 spike, and then there was screws or winches which could be turned when a

16 person's feet were placed in those feet-shaped parts and then the head

17 would be pressed against the spike.

18 Q. Can you give me any other examples?

19 A. In 1999 in the area of Ostrozub we found bloody baseball bats and

20 in other places likewise we found such things, although I can't remember

21 every detail.

22 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, could we go to private

23 session? I just have one question.


25 [Private session]

Page 20250











11 Page 20250 redacted. Private session















Page 20251

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 [Open session]

20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: We spent some time there in private session because

22 the evidence which we heard could have given rise to a risk to an

23 individual, and we're now back in open session and shall continue with the

24 examination.

25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 20252

1 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Lieutenant-Colonel, I'm about to move on to

2 a different subject. What exactly was your duty within the 15th Armoured

3 Brigade?

4 A. My duty was chief of the security organ, and this post was

5 attached to the brigade command.

6 Q. You're not a troop officer, are you, but can you please tell me in

7 very rough terms what the area of responsibility was of the 15th Brigade?

8 A. The area of responsibility was in central Kosovo, or rather, in

9 the north of Kosovo and Metohija.

10 Q. Thank you. What about the OSCE mission, did you have any contacts

11 with them during their mission in Kosovo?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. I want to know specifically about the situation in the Podujevo

14 area late in 1998 and early 1999, what was it like?

15 A. In late 1998/early 1999, the situation escalated, or rather, the

16 security situation was under threat throughout the area. Information

17 reached us about the expulsion of non-Albanians from the Podujevo area,

18 the area of Podujevo municipality. Likewise, terrorist forces had been

19 observed along the entire Pristina-Podujevo road, I'm referring here to

20 the main road obviously leading from Podujevo to Tenevdolski Tesnac

21 [phoen] to the west.

22 They dug-in there. They were fortifying their positions, digging

23 trenches, and building roads. Even while looking from the road it was

24 quite clear that they were armed. At the time there were kidnappings of

25 people in the area.

Page 20253

1 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, the area around Batlava airport has been

2 referred to time and again in this trial. Can you tell us what this was

3 about? Was the army using this area to conduct drills?

4 A. Yes, that's near the village of Batlava and this was an area that

5 the army was using as some sort of a training ground for military drills

6 at higher-level -- at a higher level of training.

7 Q. Do you know how long ago the use of that training-ground dates

8 back to?

9 A. When I took up my duties in the brigade, I was familiarised with

10 all the training-grounds used by the brigade, including the one at

11 Batlava.

12 Q. Thank you. Now that you've mentioned this road -- now that I

13 mentioned it in my previous question, did you perhaps come under attack

14 along that road at any point?

15 A. Yes, I did. Over a ten-day period, I twice had a close brush with

16 the terrorists just along that road.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 MR. CEPIC: Could we have 5D95, please.

19 Q. [Interpretation] Do you see this report in front of you, sir?

20 A. I do.

21 MR. CEPIC: Could we have count 4, please.

22 Q. [Interpretation] Did you submit information for a report like

23 this, a report concerning the situation that prevailed in the area?

24 A. Yes, but as far as I can tell it wasn't just me, other officials

25 did that as well.

Page 20254

1 Q. Thank you.

2 MR. CEPIC: Could we have 3D1035, please. 3D1035, please. Could

3 we have count 3, please, 3.1.

4 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, if you look at this, is this a description

5 of the attack that you were subjected to, 3.1, that's what I'm talking

6 about. Can you see that?

7 A. Yes, this is a description of the attack that took place on 24th

8 of December. I was attacked on my way back from Podujevo to Pristina, I

9 was on a mission.

10 Q. Sir, as the war encroached, did the sheer intensity of violence

11 and terrorist activity keep on increasing?

12 A. Yes, it was becoming more and more intense. I told you that over

13 a ten-day period I had two such things happen to me. This is one

14 situation, and then ten days later on the 5th of January in the Glavnik

15 village sector, along that same road, the same sort of thing happened. I

16 had a brush with KLA members. Should I describe that for you?

17 Q. Do you want us to go into private session for this? Just in the

18 briefest possible terms, please.

19 A. I don't think there's any need for that. I'll try to stay brief.

20 With me in the vehicle were two journalists. I was on my way back from

21 Podujevo, and I was the one driving the vehicle. They asked me to pull

22 over in the Glavnik village sector so that they could take pictures of the

23 trenches along the road. I'm talking about the Podujevo-Pristina road.

24 Once they were done taking photographs and we're now back in the

25 vehicle, a car came out of nowhere and blocked our way, a Golf. Two

Page 20255

1 persons emerged from the car, they were both wearing civilian jackets.

2 Underneath their jackets we could see that they were wearing bullet-proof

3 vests. Their hands were in their pockets, but you could see that they

4 were grabbing something with their fists inside those pockets.

5 One of them spoke up in Serbian, and he talked to the journalist

6 who was on the back seat, right behind the passenger seat. The journalist

7 falsely introduced himself as someone who worked for a Slovene TV station,

8 that probably being the first thing that occurred to him at the time, and

9 this person requested to see a Kosovo government permission to film the

10 area or to take pictures of the area --

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you seriously want all this detail of this

12 individual incident?

13 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we haven't got to what matters, have we?

15 Presumably something happened.

16 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Just briefly, please.

18 A. And then I told them in Albanian, since I speak Albanian, that

19 these people were all right, they were our guys, so we drove off soon

20 after, leaving them quite baffled. We managed to save our necks, that was

21 the bottom line.

22 Q. Sir, do you perhaps know from other sources that they checked

23 passing traffic in a bid to assert their sovereignty throughout the area?

24 A. Yes, throughout the whole area and off the main roads as well they

25 had check-points, KLA check-points. This applied to all access roads to

Page 20256

1 all of the villages in the area as well.

2 Q. Thank you. Lieutenant-Colonel, we are now coming to the 24th of

3 March. What about all the combat units of the 15th Armoured Brigade, did

4 they not all leave Pristina on that day in the barracks this?

5 A. Yes, all of its combat units left the Pristina barracks on that

6 day.

7 Q. There is something else I would like to ask you as well. You

8 weren't one of the troops. What about throughout 1998 and 1999, were you

9 ever at the command post as an action was being executed?

10 A. Yes, several times as a matter of fact?

11 Q. Thank you. Were you ever at the joint command post?

12 A. Yes, several times.

13 Q. Can you describe it for me, please.

14 MR. CEPIC: Probably is better translation if we see page 87, line

15 19, combined command post than the joint command post, but ...

16 Can I continue, Your Honour?

17 JUDGE BONOMY: You can and we'll have CLSS provide for us the

18 document setting out the B/C/S and the English again in relation to that

19 passage --

20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: -- from line 15 to line 20.

22 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. May I continue?


24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Can you tell me what this joint or combined command post was like?

Page 20257

1 A. This joint or combined command post is something that was set up

2 during anti-terrorist actions when units from my brigade would lend

3 support to forces of the MUP during an action. Normally it was set up at

4 an observation post or a battalion command post or a combat group command

5 post, depending on what the unit was that was actually lending support,

6 depending also on their whereabouts, on the whereabouts of the unit

7 commander from my unit who was involved in the action and the commander of

8 the MUP unit carrying out this anti-terrorist action.

9 Q. Were there other officers there?

10 A. In addition to the two commanders, there were other officers there

11 whose presence was indispensable for the work of the joint or combined

12 command post.

13 Q. From both these bodies, the military and the MUP, right?

14 A. Yes, from both.

15 Q. What's your military specialty, sir?

16 A. I'm a signalsman.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, when it's convenient, find a place to

18 interrupt the examination.

19 MR. CEPIC: Just one question with your leave and I will finish.

20 Thank you.

21 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Lieutenant-Colonel, what sort of

22 communication equipment was used during those actions, concerted action,

23 or support to MUP forces?

24 A. The army used its own equipment that it had under the

25 establishment, and the MUP did the same thing. It depended on the nature

Page 20258

1 of the action being executed. For the most part, it was radio equipment.

2 Needless to say, the army would use its own frequencies and the MUP would

3 use its own.

4 Q. Let me just try to clarify this. Was there a unified

5 communications system in place or not?

6 A. No, there was no unified communications system. We used a

7 communications plan, the army did; and the MUP people probably had their

8 own plans. Any sort of communication from either of these sources would

9 normally end up at the joint or combined command post, but there were two

10 separate lines of communication, if I can put it that way.

11 Q. Thank you very much, sir.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Marinkovic, we have to interrupt the

13 proceedings for the day at this stage. You'll require to return tomorrow

14 to complete your evidence; that will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning.

15 Meanwhile, overnight you must avoid any discussion with any person about

16 any of the evidence in this case. Talk about whatever you like with

17 whoever you like as long as there is absolutely no discussion at all about

18 the evidence.

19 Please now leave the courtroom with the usher, and we will see you

20 again at 9.00 tomorrow in Courtroom I.

21 [The witness stands down]

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one matter I wish to draw to your attention,

23 Mr. Cepic, and that of Mr. Bakrac. Today you've reached a fairly

24 significant point in the presentation of your case. You now have less

25 than 20 hours of the time allocated remaining, and you still have a very

Page 20259

1 large number of witnesses proposed. And I think so far we've seen an

2 attempt in only two instances to seriously use other available means of

3 presenting evidence, apart from oral evidence in court.

4 You must, if you intend to lead the evidence of these witnesses,

5 take a very hard look at how you're going to do that. Use the other means

6 that are available to you or at least consider that. You have a break

7 coming up when, no doubt, work can be done on that, but it's a matter of

8 concern to us that you have reached this stage and have used only a --

9 less than half of the -- or led less than half of the witnesses,

10 significantly less than half of the witnesses you propose.

11 So until 9.00 tomorrow.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of

14 December, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.