1 Wednesday, 19 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, everyone. We continue this morning
6 with the evidence of Mr. Gagic, who will be cross-examined by the
7 Prosecutor, who has transmogrified into Mr. Hannis.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Gagic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Your evidence will now continue with
12 cross-examination by the Prosecutor, Mr. Hannis. Please bear in mind
13 that the solemn declaration to speak the truth which you made at the
14 beginning continues to apply to your evidence throughout.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 WITNESS: GVOZDEN GAGIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gagic. I just wanted to clarify a couple of
21 questions about your background. Yesterday you told us that you started
22 working at the ministry headquarters in 1996 and that after that you
23 worked on crime prevention with the crime prevention police. You said:
24 "At the outset I dealt with property-related crime and juvenile
25 delinquents and between 2002 and my retirement I dealt with murder."
1 So that sounds like you worked on property crimes and juvenile
2 delinquents between 1996 and 2002, but from what I read in your 65 ter
3 and what I think you said later, I got the impression that you had
4 started working on sex crimes and murder crimes sooner than that. Can
5 you help me out. Can you tell us exactly when you worked on which types
6 of crimes?
7 A. Well, you probably didn't get the right picture. I started
8 working with the Ministry of the Interior back in 1980. As for the
9 ministry HQ, the Ministry of the Interior I mean, as an executive body of
10 the police I started working there in 1996. So between 1980 and 1996 I
11 first dealt with property-related crime and juvenile delinquency up until
12 sometime around 1991. As of 1991 I started working with the Belgrade SUP
13 where I had first started working in the ministry, one of its
14 organizational units, it was sometime late in 1991 and 1992. I worked
15 murder and sex-related criminal offences. And then I switched to the
16 ministry, the seat of the ministry, and then between 1996 and 2004 I was
17 dealing again with murder, homicide, and sex offences. I was the chief
18 of that particular department. Between 2004 and my retirement I worked
19 as chief of the department for discovering war crimes.
20 Q. Thank you. I think I understand now. You mentioned meetings at
21 the MUP staff facility, and I'm talking about 1999. I'd like to start by
22 looking at Exhibit P1996. I think you were shown part of this document
23 yesterday. Now, I've got a hard copy I can have the usher hand you.
24 This is from a meeting on the 7th of May, 1999, in Pristina, and on the
25 first page you'll see that along with those attending were your boss,
1 Major-General Dragan Ilic and also Vladimir Aleksic from the forensic
2 centre, forensic investigation centre and Sinisa Spanovic from the head
3 of the department in the UKP. What was -- can you explain to me, what
4 was your position in relation to those other two gentlemen, Aleksic and
5 Spanovic? Were you sort of equals, were you on the same level with them?
6 A. Aleksic was the head of department, the criminal forensic centre
7 is a department. He outranked me. He was a head of department, and
8 Sinisa Spanovic was a head of section. We were at the same level. There
9 was no subordination between us because we did completely jobs in terms
10 of his function, Aleksic was above me and Sinisa Spanovic was at the same
11 level, but in terms of the nature of our respective jobs, we were quite
13 Q. And what was Spanovic's job, what was his department or section?
14 I'm sorry.
15 A. Spanovic was head of the search department, the sort of thing
16 that his sector did was they looked for suspects and perpetrators. Every
17 time there was a police search or a judicial search, perpetrators,
18 suspects and also unidentified perpetrators, those were the people -- the
19 groups of people they tried to track down.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't know if it's necessary to note this, but
21 there's something missing from the transcript, a complete answer, but no
22 doubt that will be rectified later.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, sir, if you could go to I think it's on page 8 of the B/C/S
25 hard copy you have and for those of us following in English it's page 9.
1 There should be a reference there, sir, to the meeting being given or the
2 floor being given to General Ilic to speak and then it talks about the
3 things he talked about. Do you find that where General Ilic is speaking?
4 A. Yes, yes. I saw that. I didn't attend the meeting myself, but
5 I've seen the document.
6 Q. And I realize you didn't attend this meeting and I have a couple
7 of questions about that. First of all, why weren't you at this meeting?
8 It seems like some of the topics that are being discussed by General Ilic
9 here are things that would relate to your particular job. Were you aware
10 of this meeting and just unable to attend or were you told it wasn't
11 necessary? Why weren't you there?
12 A. I didn't attend this meeting although I knew that the meeting
13 would be held simply because I was busy elsewhere.
14 Q. Do you recall what you were doing on the 7th of May?
15 A. I can't be specific, but I think that was the day I went to
16 Glogovac. I mentioned Hasan Corbic who was a military officer. I think
17 that was the date. Other than that at the time this meeting was held and
18 at the time generally speaking I was working full tilt on lists with
19 statistical information because this was a priority task that I was
20 dealing with at the time and they had to be completed in no time at all.
21 Q. Okay. You see the first thing that General Ilic mentions, that
22 there was a meeting held on the 5th of May, 1999, at the staff in
23 Pristina with the chiefs of SUP UKP at which precise task and
24 instructions were given on how the work of crime investigation police
25 should proceed, and I think you told us before you didn't attend that
1 meeting either on the 5th of May, right? I'm sorry, I'm not sure they
2 were able to pick up your answer. Would you say it again out loud?
3 A. No, no, I hadn't attended the previous meeting either.
4 Q. Again that one sounds like maybe it's even more specifically
5 related to your kind of work, wasn't it?
6 A. Yes, but there were high-ranking officers present at the meeting
7 and that was quite sufficient, I mean their presence. And we could dish
8 it out among ourselves. We talked, they told me who had attended the
9 meeting, but none of this was necessary because there were already three
10 high-ranking police officers at the meeting. It wouldn't have been a
11 good thing if it ended up seeming as though there were more of us from
12 the police at the meeting than the other guys. It wasn't necessary for
13 too many people to get involved, although I can go back and at least I
14 can read the tasks, and I can also consult with other people.
15 Q. So at the meeting on the 5th was that also General Ilic,
16 Mr. Aleksic and Mr. Spanovic, you know that those three attended that
18 A. As far as I know all three of them were at the meeting.
19 Q. And do you recall where you were on the 5th of May, 1999?
20 A. I can't remember. I abide by my previous answer. I was hard at
21 work on introducing those statistical lists I was gathering modules and
22 forms, and my work focused on that sort of thing over those days.
23 Q. But at the time back in May 1999 you were aware of these meetings
24 and what was being discussed at them, were you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The next thing that General Ilic mentions, the tasks were clearly
2 defined and then it goes on to say: "But there has not been sufficient
3 efficiency when pursuing all types of criminals in the Kosovo-Metohija
5 Do you know what types of criminals were being referred to there?
6 A. All different types of crime or criminals. The conditions were
7 difficult, it was difficult to investigate and take any steps. The
8 ability at the time was down to a bare minimum. It was very difficult to
9 prosecute effectively, it was difficult to achieve anything resembling
10 peacetime conditions. The principal task was for those working on crime
11 prevention to be motivated in some way. There had to be permanent
12 pressure, there had to be meetings and dispatches containing instructions
13 in order to get the best of the work and the chief -- the best result
14 possible. In actual fact, the results we saw across there just didn't
15 please us not those achieved anywhere, but this was largely due to the
16 difficult conditions that prevailed at the time.
17 Q. All right. Continue on to the second point after that, if you
18 will, if and for those in English we have to go to the top of page 10.
19 It mentions: "A meeting was held with VJ top officials, at which it was
20 agreed that measures were being applied, but they were not sufficient at
21 the moment."
22 Did you know about that meeting?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And if you move on three points down, my English translation
25 says: "A plan of restoring territory has been compiled and distributed
1 to all the SUP UKP ..."
2 Do you know what that plan of restoring territory was?
3 A. I never saw that plan, I'm not even sure if it existed. There
4 was a dispatch containing a set of instructions or a letter that was
5 drafted at more or less the same time and it talked about exactly all the
6 same things that we have been talking about, stepping up of activity and
7 crime prevention, that sort of thing. There is a document talking about
8 that, there is a reference there too.
9 Q. Let me stop you there and ask you a question. Your answer was
10 translated as: "I never saw that plan, I'm not even sure if it existed."
11 This is General Ilic speaking at the meeting. Do you have any
12 doubt that there was a plan, he said: "The plan has been compiled and
13 distributed ..."
14 I understand you say you never saw it, but do you have any reason
15 to doubt General Ilic when he said that at this meeting? Mr. Sainovic
16 was at this meeting, General Stevanovic was at that meeting.
17 A. I have no doubt that General Ilic said that at the meeting, but
18 I'm not sure if he meant what you think he meant, this being a plan with
19 detailed instructions on what to do or was this just a generic set of
20 instructions saying that on-site investigations should continue to be
21 carried out, that crimes should be uncovered, perpetrators identified,
22 and that they should get on with that. I know that there is a document
23 like that, but it's certainly not "asanacija" plan as reflected in this
24 document. I think it might be worded differently and probably also
25 written differently.
1 Q. In the B/C/S does it say "asanacija"?
2 A. "Saniranje."
3 Q. And you said just now that you think that this -- you said: "I'm
4 not sure if he meant what you meant," meaning me, "this being a plan with
5 detailed instructions -- "
6 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Lukic.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: I don't think he has the document in front of him,
9 but it doesn't say, "asaniranja" but "saniranje."
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That was the spelling we were given yesterday.
11 Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS:
13 Q. But if you read that whole sentence it says: "A plan of
14 restoring territory has been compiled and distributed to all the SUP UKP
15 which specifies and clearly defines assignments."
16 That sounds like more than just a generic set of instructions, it
17 specifies and clearly defines assignments, right?
18 A. That's what this document seems to indicate, but I've never seen
19 the plan.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. I'm not sure that it existed because even if I didn't come across
22 it at the time I probably would have seen it at a later stage.
23 Q. Well, why in the world were General Ilic be referring to a
24 non-existent plan at this meeting attended by the deputy prime minister
25 and General Stevanovic? That doesn't make any sense, does it?
1 A. You are quite right. It appears here that he's misinforming the
2 state leaders, and this is certainly not something that General Ilic was
3 normally in the habit of doing. It wasn't typical of him, that's why I
4 have to say this. I'm afraid that there's a gap between what he said and
5 what was recorded in the transcript, there is a discrepancy, because what
6 a transcript normally reflects or minutes of a meeting is normally an
7 abridged version of what was actually said and he was probably saying
8 that this was about instructions, about what to do whenever human remains
9 were found and whether any procedure applied on such occasion was
10 perfectly in keeping with the Law on Criminal Procedure.
11 Q. Okay.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Again, I must object to the way these
14 questions are being asked. All right, maybe Sainovic has no place in
15 this context, but it's certainly out of the question that his name should
16 be taken in a way that is untruthful based on all of the evidence that we
17 have seen so far, he was there at the beginning and then he left.
18 General Ilic talks about all, all of the witnesses so far, and Sainovic
19 is not there, no exception. Sainovic is being used here as some sort of
20 a catch word and I simply have to oppose it. This is my objection.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this document reflects that Deputy
23 Prime Minister Sainovic took part in the meeting, and my point is this
24 claim that General Ilic is talking about a non-existent plan makes less
25 sense to me if he's speaking at a meeting where big shots, like the
1 deputy prime minister, is attending.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Where does it show the part he played?
3 MR. HANNIS: At page 1, Your Honour, under the minutes it says
4 the deputy prime minister, Nikola Sainovic, took part in the meeting. So
5 I'm assuming he's present when General Ilic is speaking.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And there is a clear suggestion in what Mr. Lukic
7 says that he has made a speech?
8 MR. HANNIS: Yes, he does speak at page 2 of the English, Your
9 Honour, at some length, page 2 to 4.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Fila, this is a matter for
11 re-examination. There is foundation for the questions. If you want to
12 challenge this you'll be given an opportunity if it appears that you
13 would otherwise be prejudiced.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, no, no, I won't be taking that
15 opportunity because the witness said he wasn't at the meeting at all, so
16 therefore I probably can't ask him for how long Sainovic was at that
17 meeting for because the witness wasn't there. All I'm saying is the
18 Prosecutor heard it right. All of the witnesses heard mentioned in this
19 transcript and there's at least seven of them I think have been heard so
20 far, so that Sainovic gave a speech and left. Therefore, he couldn't
21 possibly have been at the meeting at the time General Ilic took the
22 floor. So I'm looking for a foundation for this question and what I'm
23 actually suggesting is this is not true because everybody so far has been
24 saying the same thing. Sainovic spoke and he left. He came, he spoke,
25 he left, and all of the witnesses heard so far have been saying the same
1 thing. That's what I'm saying. I don't think the witness could help us
2 see the way, by the way but Mr. Hannis knows this full well, and if I can
3 put it that way I think he's doing it deliberately, and I'm not
4 re-examining if that's what your wondering about.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What you've said is a matter for submission, it's
6 a matter for us to decide which parts of the evidence we accept, and that
7 we will do in due course, but there's nothing improper about the question
8 being put the way it was. We note that you claim, and you're right, that
9 the question is just as valid without any reference to the individual
10 personalities. The real issue here is whether the statement made is a
11 misleading one or an accurate one and it doesn't really matter who was
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That's fine, that's fine, the question
14 is fine. But Mr. Hannis has a copy of these minutes in his hands and you
15 can tell that Mr. Lukic thanks Sainovic. Sainovic is on his way out, and
16 it isn't before such time that Ilic actually takes the floor. Let's just
17 try to be a bit more honest and not insinuate anything. You can tell
18 that General Lukic is thanking Sainovic. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's there.
19 If you go back to the document you'll see it right there.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Our position remains the same. There's nothing
21 wrong with your question.
22 Please continue.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I have to indicate I'm not
24 being dishonest. I don't see an indication here that he left. I see
25 that General Lukic thanked him for his remarks but it doesn't say he then
1 left, so I resent the implication that I'm being dishonest with my
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I think Mr. Fila's comment is based on the oral
4 evidence of other witnesses that we've heard so far, but however I agree
5 with you that there's no basis for suggesting that your conduct is
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: It's important, Mr. Fila, to --
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Q. Moving down from where we were, Mr. Gagic, I think it's one, two,
13 three, four, five bullet points down there's a reference to Article 218.
14 Can you tell us very briefly what Article 218 refers to.
15 A. I don't know. I can't tell you off the bat. I think it's
16 probably something from the Law on Criminal Procedure, but I wouldn't
17 know those off the cuff. I always get a copy of whichever law it is that
18 I'm supposed to be a applying.
19 Q. Well, here it says specifically: "With regard to conduct in
20 accordance with Article 218, a suspect must be questioned during the
21 investigation and all the measures and tasks that are involved must be
22 included ..."
23 Is this Article 218 something that's more applicable to a -- an
24 investigative judge or a prosecutor than it would be to you doing the
25 kind of work you did or do you know?
1 A. I know, I know, but 218, I can't just quote the article off the
2 top of my head or explain it and I don't remember which particular
3 article that was because you know there are quite many of those. But
4 what's being discussed here is in actual fact that instead of the
5 procedure that you used to apply when interviewing witnesses -- because
6 we're not interrogating witnesses, we interview them. A statement was
7 taken and an official note drawn up as part of the procedure that
8 applied. In the meantime there was a module that was drawn up to contain
9 any witness's or suspect's personal details first of all, so that was
10 what page 1 of each of those modules was about. It was about the
11 personal details of whoever is being interviewed and the rest was
12 freestyle you might say. So the module was changed to some extent but
13 the essence remained the same. The module that was introduced now began
14 to be used on the eve of the air-strikes, and I think that's what
15 Dragan Ilic was talking about. He was talking about this, that modules
16 should be used as envisaged in Article 218, those modules were being
17 used, they were pre-printed, so to speak, and he was saying not to use
18 the free-style approach that the previous procedure had envisaged for us.
19 Q. Okay. You mentioned yesterday that "asanacija" was a new term
20 for you when you heard it in, what, Kosovo in 1999? Was that the first
21 time you heard the term?
22 A. As for "asanacija," it's something that I heard before as a term
23 but not in a military sense. I even heard the term being used in
24 medicine, meaning that somebody was being taken care of, was being
25 assisted in the medical way, he was being helped. And "asanacija" should
1 be exactly the opposite, but I never heard it as a military term. I did
2 hear the term in other areas of life. I maybe used it myself
3 occasionally maybe to mean -- to signify a totally different kind of
4 activity, and that's precisely why I started looking into this, because I
5 refused to be directly or indirectly involved in something that I didn't
6 even though the meaning of, but then I came across this term, "asanacija"
7 [as interpreted] of the battle-field and that caused an entirely
8 different reaction in me and simply led me to familiarize myself.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you -- Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, page 13, line 7, witness said: "I even heard
11 the term," and the term actually is missing, it is "saniranje," without a
12 and it's the term which he explained later on before explaining
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS:
17 Q. And in conjunction with the military use of this term, when did
18 you first become aware of it, was that you heard somebody say it or you
19 saw it in a document?
20 A. I think it would be too long a story if I were to tell you how I
21 first came across this. This was totally informal, totally unofficial.
22 Actually, I first heard the term twice informally, unofficially, then I
23 leafed through the military encyclopedia and then I realized that it had
24 to do with dealing with the possibilities of hazardous effects on
25 person's health --
1 Q. Let's try and keep it short if we can. You said you first heard
2 it twice informally. Can you tell us when and where that was and who you
3 heard it from?
4 A. Well, that's precisely what I wanted to avoid, this long story.
5 The first time I heard this --
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, Mr. Gagic, that doesn't need a long story.
8 You've been asked who told you, who mentioned it to you, and what were
9 the circumstances, in other words, when and where. That's three words
10 that you give, the name, the place, and the time.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am sorry. I cannot respond in
12 three words. The courier of a military officer was looking for me at the
13 Forensic Medicine Institute in Pristina, he was asking for Dr. Galic for
14 "asanation" while I was working on Pusto Selo, so the story continues.
15 The second time I heard about it was when I went as a private person to
16 visit a friend of mine from the army and the duty officer who was
17 supposed to announce my arrival said that this officer had gone away to
18 deal with "asanacija." So it was completely new to me, and then I
19 realized that really I had to deal with it and find out what this was all
21 MR. HANNIS:
22 Q. And in the rest of your answer about that yesterday you said you
23 also had an occasion to see a document, an order, in the "naredba" that
24 had been issued by the army in relation to "asanacija." Can you tell me
25 what that document was and when and where you saw it?
1 A. This is a document I saw at the Pristina SUP at the then-head of
2 the crime police's office because actually I came there to ask him
3 whether he knew what this word meant in our war conditions. He showed me
4 this order, I read the order, although it was confidential but I am an
5 authorised official so I could familiarize myself with its content. That
6 is to say that I read it, and I saw that both procedures were in line
7 with the Law on Criminal Procedure but military and civilian authorities
8 act in a significantly different way. We have a system whereby the
9 executive and the judiciary is completely separated, I mean --
10 Q. Let me stop you. That's not answering the question.
11 Approximately when was that?
12 A. Well, it was say between the 25th of April and the 1st of May,
13 while I was in Pristina.
14 Q. And do you recall from whom the document or order came? You say
15 it was issued by the army, but do you recall a unit or an individual from
16 whom it came?
17 A. I think it was the command, the military command, that had issued
18 it I think but I really cannot assert this, that the signature is that of
19 General Pavkovic.
20 Q. Have you ever seen that document since that date in late April or
21 around the 1st of May, 1999? Did you see it while preparing for your
22 testimony here?
23 A. Yes, I did see the document because I was working on the KiM
24 dossier in terms of armed conflicts in Kosovo, so I had occasion then to
25 see it.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Are we talking about 1999 or 1998, Mr. Hannis?
2 MR. HANNIS: I took him to be referring to 1999.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
4 MR. HANNIS: The 25th of April and the 1st of May, 1999.
5 Q. Right, 1999?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Thank you. And when did you do work on the KiM dossier, from
8 when to when?
9 A. Well, I worked on that sometime from 2001 when this dossier was
10 first being established, at least my line of work, missing persons, and
11 all the way up until I retired. It's not that that was my basic task,
12 but I did participate in the establishment of this dossier by providing
13 documents and by analysing documentation.
14 Q. Thank you. You were asked by Mr. Lukic if you'd heard anything
15 about a proposal to set up a joint commission between the VJ and the
16 police, and I think this was in connection with dead bodies in Kosovo and
17 you said, No, you heard no such thing. And then you were asked a
18 hypothetical question by Mr. Lukic. He said: "Say, for example, a joint
19 committee of the VJ and the police the MUP was set up, could it possibly
20 take over the powers of the investigating judge of all the other bodies
21 normally involved in a procedure like this?"
22 And you said: "First of all, under the law no such committee
23 could be established and secondly it would require several hundred
25 You're not a lawyer, are you, sir?
1 A. No, I'm not a lawyer.
2 Q. What about a joint committee between the MUP and the VJ, solely
3 for the purpose of establishing which of those two entities was in an
4 area at the time that dead bodies were found, there would be no legal bar
5 to setting up that kind of joint committee would there?
6 A. That's not what I said.
7 Q. No, but that's my question to you. There -- this is a different
8 question --
9 A. Oh, that's the question. I thought -- well, no, as I said during
10 the previous examination, such a body could be established only for
11 following a particular subject matter from the point of view of analysis
12 but not functionally. This body -- well, it depends on how you treat it,
13 I mean whether it would have to do with "saniranje" or "asanacija."
14 Q. No, but if the only purpose is trying to determine which of the
15 two entities the army or the MUP were carrying out operations or actions
16 in a particular area at the time those dead bodies became dead bodies
17 instead of living human beings, there is nothing in the law that would
18 prevent setting up a joint commission or a joint committee to sort that
19 out between the MUP and the VJ, there's no reason they couldn't do that,
21 A. There would be no bar to establishing such a commission, but
22 there was no need to establish such a commission.
23 Q. You mentioned that during your time in Kosovo that you didn't
24 have any responsibility toward General Lukic as the head of the MUP staff
25 nor towards any other member of that staff, no responsibility whatsoever
1 is what you said. You went on to say: "The only commitment that I did
2 have in my own line of work was to report to whichever official was in
3 charge of crime."
4 So could you tell us, who would be the official "in charge of
5 crime"? Is that somebody in each of the respective SUPs? Who were you
6 referring to?
7 A. First of all, I did not say that I had to report to any person
8 that was in Kosovo and Metohija. Perhaps a mistake was made in the
9 transcript. I did not report to anyone; I would inform the person who
10 was in charge of crime about my own movement in Kosovo and Metohija for a
11 simple reason, that it is known that I am in Kosovo and Metohija for my
12 sake and for the sake of the other people involved. That is to say if I
13 go out into the field and I do not come back, if I do not get to an
14 appropriate secretariat that means --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Who is that person?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tomislav Blagojevic, who worked on
18 JUDGE BONOMY: No, he worked in the MUP staff. You're being
19 asked who your superior was.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My superior in Kosovo was no one
21 whatsoever. Dragan -- General Dragan Ilic in terms of work.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You were a free spirit, were you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Who were you answerable to?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To General Ilic and his assistant
1 or the head of the department, it depends on who I was given this task
2 by. I was responsible to those who sent me there.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
5 Q. You mentioned that later on you became a member of the MUP staff,
6 and I think we saw that in Exhibit P1811 yesterday where you were
7 appointed a member of the MUP staff. You know you were recommended by
8 General Lukic to become a member of the staff, right?
9 A. General Lukic proposed me because work is done on the basis of
10 proposals rather than recommendations.
11 Q. Well, one of the questions that we've had early in this case was
12 whether or not General Lukic as head of the staff had any ability to
13 affect appointments. I would like to show you Exhibit 6D366, if I could.
14 I don't know if you will have seen this before or not, Mr. Gagic.
15 Do you recall having seen it? It's dated the 28th of May, 1999, from
16 General Lukic to the Ministry of the Interior to -- actually to
17 General Djordjevic.
18 A. Yes, I haven't had an opportunity to see this document, but I did
19 have an opportunity to see the decision on the establishment of the staff
20 that stemmed from this proposal.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. And isn't it correct that of the ten people
22 proposed here by General Lukic to make up the staff effective 1 June 1999
23 indeed were all named by Minister Stojiljkovic in that order that you saw
24 the other day in Exhibit P1811? Everybody that General Lukic proposed
25 was named to the staff by Minister Stojiljkovic, right? Do you need to
1 see the other exhibit?
2 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: I may have a wrong document in front of me, but here
5 I see the proposal for termination of tenure.
6 MR. HANNIS: Well, read the rest of it.
7 MR. LUKIC: I don't see anybody proposed, so --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you have the same as --
9 MR. LUKIC: My mistake, sorry.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS:
12 Q. Would it help you, Mr. Gagic, to see P1811 side by side with that
13 one so you can check?
14 A. No, no, no need for that. What I see here at the same time is
15 whose engagement is being terminated and who was being proposed for the
16 new staff. I think that this is a technical procedure in actual fact.
17 This is prescribed by internal regulations of the Ministry of the
18 Interior. Who it is that makes proposals, who makes nominations or
19 appointments, and who sends people to different places, and of course
20 consultations take place before that among the different lines of work
21 because this was probably preceded either by a document or an oral
22 agreement with -- between General Lukic and the heads of the lines of
23 work. In my particular case it was General Ilic and he probably proposed
24 me, my name. However, in order not to have six different types of
25 proposals, then there are these oral consultations or perhaps
1 consultations in writing and then General Lukic sends a proposal in
2 writing --
3 Q. Sir, let me stop you there. You're going well beyond my
4 question. My question was just: Isn't it correct that the ten people
5 named here and proposed by General Lukic indeed were named in the
6 decision by Minister Stojiljkovic to become part of the new staff
7 effective at the beginning of June 1999, right? All of General Lukic's
8 proposals were accepted and followed, right?
9 A. Right, because that had been agreed upon beforehand, before this
11 Q. How did you know that? Did you sit in those meetings with
12 General Lukic and Minister Stojiljkovic?
13 A. No, I was asked by my chief, General Ilic, to come and see him
14 and he asked me whether I could and wanted to be a member of the staff as
15 of the 1st, because the staff was being changed and this kind of a
16 proposal was supposed to be sent to General Ilic. I agreed with that.
17 Now, whether Dragan Ilic informed Lukic orally or in writing, and then I
18 don't know. But at any rate I had been asked.
19 Q. Okay. But you don't know what the situation was with the other
20 nine people, do you?
21 A. Quite identical. I state with full responsibility that
22 General Lukic did not know more than half of these people so he couldn't
23 have made proposals concerning them. They were proposed to him and then
24 he just made the proposals formally.
25 Q. You're saying he didn't know half these people? Can you tell me
1 which half he didn't know?
2 A. Well, I'm not sure that General Lukic knew Vojislav Gucic, I'm
3 not sure that General Lukic new Dragan Lukic, I'm not sure that he knew
4 Petar Bogdanovic -- or actually, some of these people were from the old
5 composition of the staff so he knew them from there but probably he
6 hadn't known them before that.
7 Q. So he's only known them for a year, right, like Dr. Krdzic, who
8 had been on the staff for the previous year?
9 A. I'm telling you about the principle involved. He knew them if
10 they were old members of the staff; as for new members of the staff that
11 were proposed by his organizational units, very often he would not know
12 them and he would only meet them once they came to the staff. That is to
13 say it wasn't General Lukic's free choice.
14 Q. How do you know that? Did you talk to General Lukic about that,
15 whether it was his free choice or not, you didn't, did you?
16 A. I know the principle.
17 Q. Look at number 2, Lieutenant-Colonel Arsenijevic, he had been
18 part of the staff since 3 April 1999, so General Lukic must have known
19 him for at least those seven or eight weeks, right?
20 A. Well, what is being written here is that his assignment is being
21 terminated, Goran Radosavljevic, of course he knew him.
22 Q. No, I'm not asking you about Goran Radosavljevic, I'm asking you
23 about number 2, Lieutenant-Colonel Milenko Arsenijevic, already part of
24 the staff since 3 April 1999?
25 A. He was on the staff and General Lukic, of course, knew him.
1 Q. And of course he knew Major Bogdanovic, which is not what you
2 told us just a little bit ago, because he had been on the staff since the
3 8th of April, 1999, that's what it says here?
4 A. You didn't understand me. What I'm claiming is the people who
5 were sent to the staff for the first time, usually the head of the staff
6 personally does not know these people visually either. Later on he gets
7 to know them. I'm sure that General Lukic never saw Tomislav Blagojevic,
8 my predecessor, who was sent from Krusevac to the staff and his first
9 encounter with him was in the month of February when he was sent to the
10 staff. So I'm talking about that principle. It does not necessarily
11 mean that these people that General Lukic proposed are General Lukic's
12 choice. They are the choice of the heads of the organizational units,
13 and consultations take place before Lukic actually makes the proposal.
14 It is in that context that I said this, that indeed quite a few of these
15 employees were -- well, there. But if you take the new staff for the AP
16 KiM that was established on the 15th of July after the bombing, I am sure
17 that once --
18 Q. Stop. I'm not interested in that. That's not what my question
19 was about. You did tell us that you didn't think that he knew
20 Colonel Bogdanovic and here it states that Colonel Bogdanovic had already
21 been a member of the staff since the 8th of April --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: He backed off of that very quickly, Mr. Hannis,
23 and qualified it in exactly that way when the answer was given. The
24 point the witness is making is that there's a system that operates that
25 you're not familiar with. Whether it was actually operating in this case
1 is undoubtedly the issue that you're pursuing. But he is not the first
2 witness to tell us all these things are stitched up before the proposal
3 is actually made.
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. And you're telling us that during the course of year that
6 General Lukic would not know, would not have opportunity to see
7 face-to-face the members of the MUP staff of which he was the head? Is
8 that what you're saying?
9 A. I claim that General Lukic did not have to know a member of the
10 staff if he was being changed or being re-assigned unless in his previous
11 activities he had worked in his line of work and therefore they met at
12 work, not knew them. That is to say it wasn't his initiative but
13 consultations took place with the heads of the organizational units, and
14 they know better who should be sent in terms of the work that had to be
15 done, they know better than anything General Lukic could propose on his
17 Q. Okay. And so I take it then you're saying that when
18 Minister Stojiljkovic makes the final decision, that's based on the best
19 input and advice, not only from General Lukic but from the heads of these
20 other entities or organizational units because they proposed who the
21 people should be, right? So the minister is making an informed,
22 intelligent decision based on input from all those people, right?
23 A. No additional proof is sent to the minister because it goes
24 without saying that before a proposal is sent out consultations had
25 already taken place and that the candidate put up -- does meet all the
1 requirements and is capable of carrying out all the tasks that he would
2 be entrusted with.
3 Q. Did you see in your preparations for testifying here the decision
4 from 16 June 1998 to establish a ministerial staff for the suppression of
5 terrorism? It's a similar document to this P1811, but it was from June
6 of 1998. Did you see that one?
7 A. As far as I know, no, as far as I can remember.
8 Q. Okay. Then in that one it indicated that the deputy head of the
9 staff was David Gajic, who we understand was from RDB; among others
10 listed were Milorad Lukovic, who we know by the nickname Legija, as
11 assistant head for operations; Lieutenant-Colonel Zivko Trajkovic, as
12 assistant head for special anti-terrorist units. Did you know that they
13 had been named to the staff in 1998?
14 A. As for all the mentioned officers, I know them personally. I did
15 not know that they were members of the staff. I knew that in certain
16 stages they were engaged either like I or in some more official form, but
17 I did not come across any of them in Kosovo because I arrived later.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. Let me move onto something else. You were
19 shown an exhibit yesterday, 6D475, which was dated I think the 13th of
20 June, 1999, and this one has a signature block for
21 Lieutenant-General Obrad Stevanovic. Now, you told us as far as you knew
22 he was not a member of the MUP staff at that time, in June of 1999,
24 A. Yes, as far as I know he was not a member of the staff.
25 Q. Then Mr. Lukic went on to ask you: "Do you know of any other
1 instances when documents or dispatches were being sent from the staff by
2 people who were not members of the staff?" Even though in the heading we
3 still had ministry staff.
4 Your answer was: "Yes, I know of such instances."
5 Now, you did tell us about a dispatch and an amendment that you
6 had drafted, I believe, but we'll talk about that one in a minute.
7 That's the one about getting information about unidentified dead bodies.
8 But apart from that, can you tell me about any other specific instances
9 where documents were being sent from the staff by people who were not
11 A. In addition to that dispatch of mine, I mentioned yet another
12 document, a document that was sent by Dragan Ilic, and I think when you
13 were questioning me a few minutes ago about "saniranje," that is the
14 document that I worked on too, that's the document that I know about. I
15 think I sent yet another document or actually I'm sure that I sent yet
16 another document, but it was towards the end of May.
17 Q. Okay. And you told us -- pardon me. You told us that with
18 regard to Exhibit P1188, that's a one to which there was an amendment
19 sent out the same day, the only change had to do with unidentified bodies
20 as opposed to all the bodies. You recall the one I'm talking about? I
21 see you're nodding your head yes, but I need you to answer out loud.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that is our exhibit P1188. My question to you is: What was
24 the source of your authority to issue that document basically on behalf
25 of the MUP staff of which you were not then yet a member? Did you have
1 some written permission from General Lukic or some oral permission ahead
2 of time or did you discuss this one specifically with him or did you just
3 do it? How did that happen?
4 A. Well, I've already explained that but it will be no problem for
5 me to repeat all of that yet again. I was tasked with the following. I
6 was supposed to have --
7 Q. Before you repeat all that again, can you just answer my specific
8 question. Did you have any specific oral or written permission from
9 General Lukic to issue that kind of document, yes or no?
10 A. I had neither oral nor written permission, and I didn't need one.
11 Q. Tell us why you didn't need one.
12 A. Because when the document is being registered in the log, which
13 in itself is a credible document, it is also noted down who sent the
14 document. It was the staff log-book and it was there so that I didn't
15 have to go to Belgrade to register that in the UKP book. In -- that's
16 why I sent it with the heading of the staff, with General Lukic's
17 signature, and it was registered under that number as the UKP being the
18 sender of that dispatch registered at the staff. In case of need or
19 misunderstanding, we know who sent it and measures can be undertaken.
20 Therefore, I didn't need any separate authorisation on the part of
21 General Lukic to use the log-book and the communication devices or means
22 that we only had at our disposal at the time. In some other conditions I
23 would have used the communication channels of the criminal police
24 department, but there were no conditions in place for that at the time.
25 Q. Okay. Now, help me if you can with a question I have about the
1 numbering of dispatches. That exhibit, P1188, is listed as dispatch
2 number 145 dated the 28th of May, 1999, and I think the amendment is also
3 the same day and it appears to have the number 145-A, can which I assume
4 means amendment to 145. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, where does the number 145 come? Is that just a sequential
7 number from the beginning of the year in 1999, so this is 145th one sent
8 in 1999?
9 A. I don't know if it was the 145th document in 1999 or the 145th
10 document in June, or rather, May 1999.
11 Q. But can we relate that number to the MUP staff or does that
12 number, 145, refer to something back in Belgrade where you came from? Do
13 you understand my question? Is this 145 in the log-book for MUP staff?
14 Please, sorry.
15 A. Yes, it is the number in the MUP staff log-book. If it had been
16 in the log-book of the UKP, the number would have been different.
17 Possibly before this particular number and this document, the other
18 documents also had to do with the work of the staff.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gagic, where does it say on this document that
20 it comes from the UKP?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nowhere in the document does it say
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the context and the text it
25 can be concluded that it was sent by the UKP, and you can see that from
1 the signature. In the heading it is not there. We only see the MUP
2 staff there because that was the prescribed heading. I cannot change
3 that --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is that prescribed?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Legal regulation in terms of
6 headings in the bylaws of the UKP, the police -- criminal police
7 administration, et cetera.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: So what do these bylaws say that prevent you from
9 identifying that it's the UKP that's sending this?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot appear as the sender,
11 since I used the log-book of the dispatches of the staff. When you use
12 the log-book, you always use the staff heading. Other people can send
13 documents such as General Stevanovic, Ilic, and myself.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: From a common sense point of view that would
15 suggest that the whole object of this system is to conceal the truth
16 rather than to make things clear.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you wish to comment on that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think your remark
20 stands. The whole system was aimed at those who are familiar with how it
21 works. By mere chance it is you who have now encountered this problem.
22 Another thing is that the book is a public document and you can see very
23 well who sent what dispatch when, and anyone who can -- who wants to see
24 that can. Of course I don't mean public outside the police domain.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do we have that book, Mr. Hannis?
1 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, not that I'm aware of.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And have you tried to get it?
3 MR. HANNIS: Yes, I believe that's part of our previous RFAs
4 cover -- it would have covered that kind of log-book.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: There are times, Mr. Gagic, when it has been
6 difficult for this Tribunal to get documents to put the whole picture
7 together. That may not apply in this case, I don't know, but it's just a
8 possibility. Can we see the -- where this you say is signed by the UKP
9 or by you? And you'll tell me it's a dispatch and it's not signed.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think yesterday he explained he
11 signed the original, but this document we have is --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes --
13 MR. HANNIS: Sorry.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You're right, but this is the one we have,
15 Mr. Gagic. Where do I tell from this document that it's a UKP document?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You'll have to take my word for it
17 in terms of this document.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So we can't tell from what we have in front of us
19 that this is UKP; is that the position? What's your answer so that it's
20 recorded, please?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is: Based on the
22 document we have before us that one cannot see that the document was sent
23 on behalf of the UKP via the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Gagic, to be sure I understand correctly, yesterday you
4 explained that the copy we have is not the original copy, right? That's
5 not the original?
6 A. This is a copy.
7 Q. But on the original you signed and you put "za" or "for" Sreten
8 Lukic on the original, right? You'll have to answer out loud. I'm
9 sorry. I see you nodding your head, but we need --
10 A. Yes, and the format is not the same. This went through a
11 distribution machine for dispatches. It was in the form of a report,
12 standard form.
13 Q. And since that time that you originally signed it and before it
14 was sent out and during your time working on the KiM dossier, have you
15 ever seen the original again?
16 A. I have never seen the original again. I do think I came across a
17 copy, although I'm not certain whether it was a copy of this dispatch or
18 of another dispatch which I sent perhaps a day or two later.
19 Q. And do you know where the original might be today?
20 A. If the original was preserved, it should be with the MUP of
22 Q. Okay.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give us a moment, Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you for your patience, Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Gagic, I think, if I understood your testimony yesterday,
4 there was another one that had sort of a submission situation, that was
5 Exhibit 6D874, if I could hand you a hard copy of that one. And this is
6 dated the 6th of May, 1999, and you told us yesterday that regarding
7 whose name is typed at the end of this document we see it as
8 Sreten Lukic. You said:
9 "As in the previous case and this was a general rule head of
10 staff, Major Sreten Lukic and it was subsequently signed by whoever
11 happened to be sending the circular out. Any recipients would know this
12 is the person informing them and this is the person sharing information
13 with them so the situation is perfectly identical. It's just the header
14 that was used was the header of the MUP staff. The fact is that
15 General Ilic was in Kosovo at the time and this was to keep him from
16 going back to Belgrade."
17 So this exhibit, 6D874, which we have with the typed signature of
18 Sreten Lukic, is it your evidence that it was actually signed by
19 General Ilic in the original? Sorry, you'll have to answer out loud.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And is this one that you helped draft?
22 A. Yes, I think this document has to do with the plan for
23 "saniranje" of the terrain, I think that's how it was taken as well.
24 Q. And we see this is dated the 6th of May, the day before that 7th
25 of May meeting, that we saw on P1996 at the beginning of my
1 cross-examination of you. Isn't this document the plan regarding terrain
2 that General Ilic was talking about in that meeting?
3 A. This is precisely what I said. The only document I am familiar
4 with is this document, in the drafting of which I took part. As for the
5 other document pertaining to the plan of "saniranje" of the terrain, I'm
6 not familiar with that. I think it wasn't clarified sufficiently in the
7 minutes we saw. I don't know of any other documents.
8 Q. Are you telling me you didn't understand when we were going
9 through that earlier that the plan that General Ilic was talking about
10 was this one that you helped draft, that he signed, and that was sent out
11 the day before? You didn't understand that when we were talking about
13 A. No. I understood that you thought there was another document. I
14 don't know whether there is one. There may well be, but if it doesn't
15 exist then General Ilic had this document in mind that was sent to all
16 departments of crime police.
17 Q. Really, Mr. Gagic, you -- in the beginning I asked you about what
18 this reference was, it said: "A plan of restoring territory has been
19 compiled and distributed to all the SUP UKPs."
20 Isn't that this plan in 6D874? This is a plan of restoring
21 territory, isn't it?
22 A. I don't know if another plan exists. I have never seen it. In
23 case it does not exist, then this is the plan General Ilic was referred
24 to at the meeting on the 7th.
25 Q. Of course it is and why didn't you say that when I was asking you
1 about it before? You said you didn't think such a plan existed. You
2 helped draft it and sent it out the day before, didn't you?
3 A. That's what I said. Go back to the transcript.
4 Q. You'll see in item number 4 of this document it also makes
5 reference to the provisions of Article 218 which I asked you about when
6 we were looking at the meeting of 7 May, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But the main question I wanted to ask you about this was again
9 you said this was an identical situation, so I take it this not a
10 document for which you or General Ilic had written or oral permission
11 from General Lukic to send out under the MUP staff header, right, just
12 yes or no?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you know where the original of this one is with
15 General Ilic's signature?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And you didn't ever see it again after the 6th of May, 1999, not
18 during your time working on the KiM dossier or otherwise?
19 A. I didn't see the document. I saw him sign the document in front
20 of me and it was to be distributed, then we split, I went on an
21 assignment and he remained at the staff. After that time, I did not see
22 the document. I wasn't working with that part of the documentation.
23 Q. Okay. You said that this was a general rule. It is formalised
24 in a document or a manual somewhere, this practice?
25 A. There is a manual regulating and defining the names of
1 organizational units of the MUP and the headers. As far as I know, as
2 regards auxiliary bodies it is not mentioned there; however, the
3 principal organizational units are included. In practice the same
4 headers are used as the headers of other organizational units of similar
5 composition, which is something that we can clearly see from this
6 document. Be not confused by the number 21, it's another, different,
7 book of confidential mail; the book I used was a general one.
8 Q. Yes. So the one that you used in Exhibit P11 --
9 A. 145, sir.
10 Q. Yes, that was in Exhibit P1118 [sic], that had dispatch 145 and
11 145-A. We see this one as the number 12A-21?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you say that's just because that was in a different dispatch
14 log because this involved confidential documents of the MUP staff; is
15 that right? You nodded your head, but I need an oral response.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of this practice of being able to have
18 a dispatch sent out with the MUP staff header by someone who was not a
19 member of the MUP staff, I understand you say you were able to do it and
20 General Ilic was able to do it. I mean, how far did that go? Could
21 anybody from the MUP in Belgrade who happened to be in town come in and
22 have a dispatch sent out with a MUP header or did you have to hold a
23 certain rank or a certain position to be able to do that, if you know?
24 A. There was no limit. It was defined by the need [as interpreted]
25 at the moment. It wasn't foreseen for only generals, colonels, or majors
1 to be able to do that; it depended on the urgency and necessity to
2 forward documents ASAP. I was calling a meeting for the next day here.
3 Most of those dispatches were sent by couriers. There was no time for me
4 to go to Belgrade to work on it. It all depended on what needed to be
5 done and what a certain dispatch refers to. Junior as well as senior
6 officers were able to use the book.
7 Q. You explained to us earlier how --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you move on there are a couple of
9 things to be clarified. Line 12 on page 33 should be P1188 rather than
10 1118, I think. And also I think the answer to the last question, that's
11 line -- page 34, line 1, on my transcript which may not be identical to
12 everyone else's, it was defined by the -- I think the witness said
13 functional need at the moment rather than simply need at the moment.
14 Do you recollect if that's what you actually said, Mr. Gagic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely so.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. And that's correct, it
18 should be 1188.
19 Q. Now, I think you explained earlier that the recipients of these
20 documents would know who it came from even though it only said MUP staff
21 and General Lukic at the bottom, right? Again you'll have to answer out
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is that because of the contents of the document they would answer
25 who it was coming from?
1 A. Mostly based on the content. When a dispatch arrives from the
2 staff to the secretariat, it has eight or nine organizational units.
3 Sometimes it is addressed in particular to what unit, but sometimes it
4 also says the chief of SUP. He gets acquainted with the contents, and
5 then depending on the type of issue he forwards that to the competent
7 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you mentioned a prosecutor, Mr. Hartman.
8 It wasn't clear, but Mr. Hartman's a prosecutor in Kosovo I think with
9 the UN. He's not a prosecutor here in The Hague with this Tribunal,
10 right? Again, you'll have to answer out loud.
11 A. I said an international prosecutor, which is precisely what he
12 used to do in Kosovo, but not anymore, I think. When I said
13 international I didn't mean the ICTY, I meant the UNMIK judiciary.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. And the last thing I wanted to ask you related
15 to your testimony yesterday about interviewing Mr. Protic. You said you
16 conducted an interview with Bozidar Protic in relation to his testimony
17 when he was summoned to testify before the Hague Tribunal. Now, my notes
18 indicate that you interviewed him I think around the 4th of June, 2001,
19 or maybe you're referring to an interview with Protic that was done on
20 the 27th of August, 2002. But those are the only two that I'm aware of,
21 does that ring a bell for you?
22 A. I think 2002 is more likely to be the case than 2001. I can't
23 remember when exactly I talked to Protic, but I'm convinced that it was
24 in 2002 because in 2001 I think it was Karleusa that talked to him.
25 Q. What I'm interested in though is your comment that you said it
1 was in relation to his testimony when he was summoned to testify before
2 the Hague Tribunal. My knowledge is he wasn't summoned to testify in
3 front of this Tribunal until sometime in 2006, I think. So is that
4 correct? Did you testify -- did you interview him in connection or in
5 relation to his testimony when he was called to testify here?
6 A. I didn't interview him when he was summoned to testify. I
7 interviewed him when his obligation was veiled to preserve official
8 secrets and when he had been summoned for an interview by the ICTY local
9 office in Belgrade.
10 Q. Okay. Is that standard practice, to interview witnesses who have
11 been called to speak to The Hague Tribunal representatives and a waiver
12 has been sought?
13 A. Yes, in a way it was standard practice simply because officials
14 of the Ministry of the Interior were entitled to receive legal
15 assistance, technical assistance, depending on their choice when they
16 went to those interviews. We would call them and secondly we conducted
17 talks to see if their potential evidence had anything to do with anything
18 related to the waiver itself. So the taking of those statements was
19 based on that. We did not lean on any of the witnesses; quite the
20 contrary, in fact. Most of them, as far as what they stated to us at the
21 time, repeated the same thing when testifying in court. I think there
22 are documents showing that, and if need be I'm sure we can deliver those
23 documents to you.
24 Q. Mr. Gagic, I didn't ask you if anybody leaned on them, but were
25 you just anticipating that I might?
1 A. No, I wasn't anticipating.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm sorry I went a little
3 over, but I'm finished with my questions now.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
5 Mr. Lukic, re-examination?
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. Very short one.
7 I'd like to have P1824 on the e-court, please. We need page --
8 this is code on criminal procedure, and we need page 8 -- 15, actually,
9 Article 218.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: I withdraw. Thank you.
12 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gagic, my learned friend Mr. Hannis asked
14 you a question about the fact that Article 218 was something that people
15 were adamant about. What is Article 218 of the Law on Criminal Procedure
16 that then applied about?
17 A. If you look at the very first sentence you can tell what it's
18 about. It talks about the circumstances that a suspect is to be
19 interviewed about, the term here is suspect, but we use the term
20 perpetrator. So it's about how an interview is to be conducted in order
21 to prove the commission of a crime.
22 Q. What about paragraph 2, what is the first thing that is
24 A. Grounds for suspicion against him, that is the first thing that
25 is communicated. A perpetrator is informed of the reasons he has been
1 brought in for. He's also told about any evidence that exists against
2 him incriminating him.
3 Q. What about paragraph 8 or item 8?
4 A. This is the same as the previous law and any law so far, no
5 coercion, no use of force in order to obtain a confession.
6 Q. What about item 10, paragraph 10? We don't have time to go
7 through all of it now.
8 A. If there has been any violation of Articles or paragraphs 8 and 9
9 of this article in the presence of counsel -- my copy is very poor.
10 Q. No court ruling can be based on any statement made by an accused,
11 that's what it says. And my question to you is: Where did this law
12 apply, in which territory?
13 A. Throughout the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During the
14 air-strikes and the state of war, in addition to this law what also
15 applied was a decree extending the powers of the bodies of the Ministry
16 of the Interior.
17 Q. What remains to be seen, is the exhibit that is to blame for all
18 this confusion as to what the plan was and what it wasn't 6D874, please.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter is not
20 certain whether it's 874 or 814.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it 874 or 814, Mr. Lukic?
22 MR. LUKIC: 874, Your Honour. 6D874.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Gagic, I talked to you about this, Mr. Hannis talked to you
1 about this particular exhibit, this is a dispatch. You confirmed that
2 you were involved in the compiling of this dispatch. It was signed by
3 General Ilic. We shall be requiring page 2, or rather, the last page of
4 this version. The English is gone. Can you please read the last
5 sentence, the very last sentence of that document. They're about to zoom
7 A. Yes, that's what I'm waiting for too.
8 Q. What does it say?
9 A. "Immediately inform the MUP and the crime police administration
10 of the results of the undertaken activities from the mentioned plan and
11 supply statistical and analytical data on the 1st and the 15th of each
13 Q. The last sentence, please.
14 A. "This plan shall come into effect immediately."
15 Q. So is this a plan?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. All right. Now, please go to the sentence at item 7.
18 A. "Undertake all measures and activities pursuant to the provisions
19 of the law, or rather, secretariat chiefs are responsible for the
20 realization of the envisaged activities and UKP crime police department
21 chiefs are tasked with their direct realization."
22 Q. How do you see this item?
23 A. Just as it is. I see it as a plan concerning measures and steps
24 to be taken about this plan of taking more urgent steps to shed light on
25 crimes, but it's also about unidentified corpses being found, how they're
1 forensically examined and identified, if they are buried there is to be
2 an exhumation and this is the regular procedure.
3 Q. So who is in charge of this activity?
4 A. The crime police department, that's what it says, isn't it? The
5 reporting is to be done vis-a-vis the UKP.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gagic. Thanks for testifying.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gagic, would you read again, please, slowly
9 the paragraph that begins: "Immediately inform ..."
10 It's the second-last paragraph.
11 A. Sure.
12 "Immediately inform the MUP and the crime police administration
13 of the results of the undertaken activities from the mentioned plan and
14 supply statistical and analytical data on the 1st and the 15th of each
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The reference there is to two organizations or
17 organizational units perhaps, the MUP and the crime police
18 administration. So what do you understand by the MUP in that context?
19 A. It's a reference to the MUP staff.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the word "staff" there in Serbian?
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Indiscernible]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Because it was read -- we asked for it to be read
23 twice and the word "staff" was not read to us.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, actually, I'm sorry, Your Honours, if I may
25 be of assistance actually, the witness read MUP staff.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't suggest otherwise, Mr. Zecevic, and I
2 particularly asked because I was keen to know if the word "staff" was
3 there. All right. That clarifies the position. Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gagic, looking again at the document on the
6 screen and picturing in your mind the original, which you say was signed
7 by General Ilic, in what form was the name Major-General Sreten Lukic
8 applied to that document? Was it as we see it here, typewritten, or was
9 it applied in some other way?
10 A. When the original document was compiled, and this is what it
11 looks like, as shown here, what you found in the signature line was
12 always the name of whoever was in charge of the unit mentioned in the
13 document's header. Regardless of what organizational unit from my crime
14 police administration was sending --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. My question is a much more
16 basic one, and that is: How was the name actually placed on the paper?
17 Was it typewritten? Is it handwritten? Is it a stamp? Or is it some
18 other way of applying the name Major-General Sreten Lukic to the
20 A. Just as shown here, it's typewritten, they use an electrical
21 typewriter or a mechanic one something like that.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gagic, that completes your evidence. Thank
24 you for coming here to give evidence to us. You're now free to leave the
25 courtroom with the usher. Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, is the next witness Mr. Paponjak?
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, he is.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can do that after the break, and we'll
5 resume at 20 minutes past 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.21 a.m.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, good morning.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
12 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll now be examined by Mr. Lukic.
19 Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 [In English] I need help from the usher.
22 WITNESS: RADOVAN PAPONJAK
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, you have an amended statement in
1 front of you pursuant to a Court order yesterday --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all the other
3 microphones in the courtroom please be turned off. There is an awful
4 amount of background noise.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, you're going to have to start that
6 again because the interpreters are having a problem. Someone's
7 microphone is apparently on, either that or yours is somehow or other
8 being disturbed.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, we're facing a certain amount of
11 technical difficulty, therefore, I have to repeat my question. Suppose I
12 were to ask you the same questions today as the ones you answered in your
13 statement, would your answers be the same?
14 A. Yes, they would.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are now tendering
16 Mr. Paponjak's statement, 6D1603.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, the document in front of you, is
18 that your statement?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed it is, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. How many paragraphs does it
21 now have? I don't think I've actually been given the redacted version.
22 MR. LUKIC: The number of paragraphs are the same, only the
23 paragraphs that have to be redacted are black now.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fine. I can deal with that myself. Thank
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Paponjak, for the sake of the record, can you please state
3 your name?
4 A. Radovan Paponjak, born on the 1st of May, 1948, in the Rudo.
5 That is where I completed my elementary school education. I went to a
6 secondary school in Foca, it was a teacher training school, it was in
7 Uzice that I completed an academy for teachers, and then prevention and
8 resocialization of persons with disturbances to their social behaviour.
9 Q. As you know, your statement was redacted or amended in part. My
10 questions to you today will be very short and will focus on a limited
11 range of matters. My first question: Were there any kidnappings in Pec
12 municipality by the KLA?
13 A. Yes, there were abductions by the KLA.
14 Q. Not just Pec municipality but also the Pec SUP?
15 A. Yes, the Pec SUP as well, meaning all the other municipalities
16 covered by the Pec SUP, those abductions increased at one point in time
17 1998, May, June, and July specifically. At the time a total of 19
18 persons were abducted over such a short period of time, ten of them Serb,
19 and nine Albanians, persons of Albanian ethnicity. There was a large
20 number of abductions at roughly the same time next year, 1999, after the
21 peace forces, peacekeeping forces had arrived.
22 Q. Were there any killings, were there any attacks by the KLA on the
23 Serb settlements in the area covered by the Pec SUP?
24 A. Yes, this was a particularly difficult problem jeopardizing the
25 security situation in that area. There were killings which caused fear
1 to arise among people living there. People would be killed in their own
2 front yards, they would be killed by travelling. For example, Zorica
3 Belic in Stepenica Klina municipality, he was killed in his own front
4 yard. Mr. Vasic, for example, who was from the Kosovska Mitrovica area,
5 he was waylaid and killed. There was another serious incident that
6 affected the people living in the area, the shooting of Lazarevic, a
7 young boy aged 16 whom the terrorists took away from his home and shot or
8 executed outside his home. This is an incident that was publicised in
9 the local papers and this caused the people living in the area to feel a
10 huge amount of unrest.
11 Q. Where was the situation at its most difficult concerning the
12 security aspect, and I'm talking about the area covered by the Pec SUP?
13 A. The most difficult situation --
14 Q. We're talking about 1998, right?
15 A. Yes, throughout 1998 in the so-called Baranjski Lug area
16 comprising a number of villages, such as Celopek, Baran Rasic, and then
17 further afield in the Klina area, a place called Kijevo settled by Serbs
18 for the most part and it ended up isolated from the remaining sections of
19 the area. You couldn't go there and you couldn't leave without exposing
20 yourself to danger. One couldn't travel through the Rugovska Klisura
21 area because the terrorists were attacking anyone making their way
22 through and then Istok, Vrelo village, and Stari Dvorani and those areas
24 Q. What about Serbs in 1998, did they begin to leave certain areas
25 covered by the Pec SUP?
1 A. It was precisely this kind of situation that left Serbs leaving
2 their villages, quite a number of Serbs, from this very area, the
3 Baranjski Lug area. They moved to Pec, those who had families there.
4 Some left for Sumadija, which is in Serbia proper, in central Serbia as a
5 matter of fact, or to Montenegro. People took refuge wherever they
6 could. It wasn't just Serbs leaving the area. There were Albanians
7 leaving as well who were facing problems with the terrorists.
8 Q. What is Lodja and what is typical of that place at the time?
9 A. Lodja is a settlement, it's on the outskirts of Pec because Pec
10 and Lodja are now joined practically. At the time the terrorists had a
11 particularly important stronghold in that village. They had built-up
12 trenches, connecting trenches, gun-fire nests and fortifications. They
13 even put up or established a gun-fire nest at the top of a mosque. The
14 situation was dangerous. There was a danger to all the Serbs living
15 there or anyone attempting to make their way into Lodja, even our own
16 access to that settlement was limited.
17 Q. What about this Pec suburb, were there any attacks that occurred
18 there and who was subjected to those attacks? Are you aware of any
19 incidents that were typical?
20 A. There were always skirmishes there and shoot-outs. Sometime
21 early in July 1998, in the morning hours, homes were attacked belonging
22 to the Josevic family. The Pec SUP got wind of this and a unit was
23 immediately dispatched to the extent that men were available at all to
24 provide assistance. It was not a very strong unit. There were only so
25 many men available and on duty at the time.
1 Q. So what happened next once this unit had been dispatched to
3 A. They managed to reach the Vujosevic homes. The terrorists had
4 given up on the attack that they had launched because an end was put to
5 their attack. These officers who arrived there talked to members of the
6 Vujosevic family and the unit was now on its way back. On their way back
7 the terrorists set up an ambush and opened fire on the vehicles that the
8 police were using on their way back. They used rifles and hand-held
9 launchers in the course of this attack. A shell hit one of the police
10 vehicles killing two policemen and wounding many. There was a skirmish
11 and the unit was soon assisted by another unit that came to their rescue
12 from the Pec SUP. Those killed and wounded were evacuated, and two
13 members of the Pec SUP, two police officers Captain Srdjan Perovic and
14 police officer Mirko Rajkovic were abducted by the terrorists.
15 Q. There was something you told me about yesterday, paragraph 21,
16 there is another amendment to be made. It says the petrol station owner,
17 Nasiri petrol, this is page 7 in the B/C/S. How should this read?
18 A. The owner of the petrol station and then quotation marks
19 "Nasiri," deriving from the name Nasir, "Nasiri" petrol. This is what
20 the petrol station was called.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, what exactly is the amendment to be
22 made? After Berisha this word should be inserted, should it?
23 MR. LUKIC: The name of that petrol station is petrol, but Nasiri
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Just to go back to this. You said that two police officers were
3 abducted during this attack. Do you know what became of them? Did you
4 ever learn?
5 A. Yes. Following an anti-terrorist operation once the terrorists
6 had been pushed back from that village, the bodies of these two
7 colleagues of mine were found. There was a post mortem establishing that
8 they had been killed. Prior to their deaths, however, they had been
9 tortured, parts of their bodies were severed, and they had been
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last sentence
12 that the witness said.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, could you repeat the last sentence
14 of your answer, please, the interpreter did not catch it.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that there's a case file in
16 the Pec SUP covering this incident.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Paponjak, what about the MUP of the Republic of Serbia, is
20 there information there, reliable information, on various incidents that
21 occurred in the area covered by the Pec SUP and what is this kind of
22 information about?
23 A. Yes, there is, both in the MUP of the Republic of Serbia and in
24 the Pec SUP. This is about the killings of Serb civilians, of Albanian
25 civilians, and persons belonging to other ethnicities. There is
1 information about mistreatment of Serbs, Albanians, all civilians, other
2 ethnicities too, about abductions that occurred, abductions of civilians
3 again, belonging to all the different ethnic groups there. It's about
4 terrorist attacks, it's about attacks on the police and the army. There
5 is information about the air-strikes against the area, its installations,
6 facilities, settlements. There is information about anything that was
7 security-related and that was going on in the area at the time.
8 Q. Did you at a later stage process this information?
9 A. Yes, that's right. There was more processing at a later stage.
10 Certain documents were compiled after those incidents. Crime scene
11 investigation reports were drawn up by investigating judges, appropriate
12 official notes were drawn up, criminal complaints were filed, and so on.
13 By the time we had no choice but to leave the area, those documents were
14 transported in a number of ways. We did whatever we could, and we used
15 whatever we could to take these documents to a number of different towns
16 in Serbia, specifically to Kragujevac and to other towns in that general
17 area. Once we had been forced to move out of our forward command post in
18 Kragujevac - if I'm referring to the Pec SUP - we started to gather those
19 documents. These documents would be unloaded as soon as they arrived.
20 The case files were kept separate. We first had to make sure all of the
21 case files were complete, we had to assign numbers to them, and then we
22 had to organize these case files all over again. We organized all this
23 documentation and made sure the system was the same as the one we had
24 applied back in Pec.
25 Q. Who gave the order, "nalog," to process all this information?
1 A. The documents were organized and classified with no particular
2 order. This was something that we had to do and we had to organize our
3 own records. At a later date we received an order from the Ministry of
4 the Interior to organize our documentation in line with a methodology
5 that had never before been used in the SUP. This was an order from the
6 ministry and they prescribed a methodology for us to apply according to
7 which we organized all this material by chapters. It was for that
8 purpose that I set up a team to deal with this. The job took months.
9 Heads of departments were involved in this work, especially those of the
10 internal organizational SUP units, people who were actually heads of
11 those departments at the time, and if there were any changes to be made
12 new people that were involved, police station commanders, each in
13 relation to their own areas, and then chiefs of certain sectors that were
14 part of the secretariats, analysts, IT people, and people who provided
15 different kinds of technical support. I was in charge of the overall
17 Q. With regard to all the parameters that were provided, are there
18 individual case files?
19 A. That's the way we worked. First individual case files were
20 organized and then lists of events were compiled according to the
21 relevant methodology, then statistics were worked on, that is to say
22 tables were made. Finally, a general piece of information was compiled
23 which could be used by anyone who would be looking at this for the first
24 time to get some basic information. If this person would be interested
25 in individual cases, then he could find them through tables, through
1 lists, and through individual case files.
2 Q. Do you know the names of some of these surveys, lists, do you
3 know that off the top of your head?
4 A. Well, these chapters, if I can call them that, are classified,
5 categorised, and marked by numbers, or rather, letters. In the Ministry
6 of the Interior this was called the KiM dossier, the dossier of Kosovo
7 and Metohija. Chapter A pertains to security-related events resulting in
8 death pertaining to armed conflicts in Kosovo and Metohija in 1998 and
9 1999. A is the letter that is the designator of that chapter, but the
10 relevant SUPs have Roman numerals. So A/III means that it is that
11 chapter resulting in death --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: This evidence that the witness is giving at this
14 point is going into the documents that were excluded yesterday from the
15 Defence 65 ter list and which were excluded from this witness statement.
16 So I don't feel it's appropriate for him to be going into this specific
17 evidence. It is precisely the paragraphs that were removed. We're
18 omitting reference to the exhibit numbers, but the evidence is the same.
19 This was particularly -- I think it was paragraph 25 which was redacted
20 from the statement.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's not 6D614 that this relates to?
22 MR. LUKIC: I think that it's obvious that I'm not using any
23 documents. I'm asking this witness whether he remembers what he did.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, and what's the purpose of that, Mr. Lukic?
25 MR. LUKIC: To be able to include the documents that were left
1 out of his statement. If he remembers his work I don't understand why he
2 wouldn't be able to tell us what he remembers.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Ms. Kravetz.
5 MS. KRAVETZ: This specific evidence was in paragraph 25 and it's
6 one of the paragraphs that was redacted precisely because the Chamber
7 considered that we weren't given sufficient notice that these -- I
8 understand the actual exhibits that are underlying this evidence are not
9 being used, but the evidence itself has been redacted from the statement.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: We do not think what has occurred so far in this
13 chapter of the evidence circumvents the order that was made. The
14 evidence relating to the system that was used may well be relevant in a
15 wider context and in particular at a later stage of the case.
16 So, Mr. Lukic, as long as you confine yourself to the system and
17 keep away from the particular incidents for which the details have not
18 been provided because of the redaction of the statement, then we will
19 allow you to continue to pursue this line.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm exactly trying just to
21 establish the system, nothing else.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, could you please tell us what this
23 system was and could you give us the names of these individual parts that
24 you produced?
25 A. In this chapter A there are security-related incidents resulting
1 in death, A/III is the designation for the Pec SUP. This contains
2 information about the relevant events. I can dictate the full name for
3 you, information on security-related events resulting in death in
4 relation to armed conflicts in the territory of the SUP of Pec during the
5 course of 1998 and 1999. The next document is a survey consisting of
6 tables. Now, we have two such surveys one is a survey of incidents
7 resulting in death in terms of territory, and the other survey has to do
8 with these same incidents but in relation to different time-periods. The
9 next document is a list of security-related events resulting in death
10 pertaining to armed conflicts in the territory of the SUP of Pec during
11 the period of 1998 and 1999. The next part are individual case files
12 that are also marked individually, each and every one of them. Chapter
13 P -- chapter B has to do with crimes committed against Albanians in 1998
14 and 1999. That chapter has the same documents, that is to say this
15 general document or information. Then there is a table based on the
16 time-periods involved, then a table based on the territory involved, then
17 there is a list of crimes committed against Albanians and there are
18 individual case files for each and every crime committed against
19 Albanians. Subsequently a chapter B asterisk was introduced, this was
20 done by the MUP and it has to do with crimes committed against Serbs
21 during 1998 and 1999. This chapter also contains information about these
22 events, a table based on time-periods, a table based on the territory
23 involved, a list, and individual case files. Chapter D pertains to
24 security-related events pertaining to kidnappings and missed persons. It
25 also has documents of its own as well as a piece of information about
1 these events, then also tables based on time-periods involved and based
2 on the territory involved. Then there is a list of these events and
3 individual case files.
4 I have to point out that this chapter cannot be fully defined yet
5 because the final number of kidnapped persons remains unknown as well as
6 the fate of kidnapped and missing persons. I think that it is noteworthy
7 in relation to chapter A that perhaps it was formulated in a rather
8 clumsy way. Perhaps we did this in a slightly different way without
9 understanding. In chapter A we recorded all the deaths that we found out
10 about, regardless of whether they have to do with deaths that are the
11 result of armed conflicts or deaths that are the result of homicide or
12 some kind of suspicious death where we did not know what it was all about
13 in the first place. Then chapter A includes descriptions of all crimes
14 resulting in death, regardless of whether they have to do with the armed
15 conflict or not. So the information from this chapter --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Paponjak, that's enough for the
17 moment and Mr. Lukic can ask you if there's any more detail he requires
18 on this.
19 Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour, I think that suffices.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, for our purposes here today what
22 you've said so far is sufficient. Thank you very much. In addition to
23 A, B, D, were there --
24 A. Yes, there were other chapters.
25 Q. Just give us the numbers, can you remember?
1 A. Well, there were chapters that pertained to police conduct, then
2 pertaining to the Roma, then there was a chapter on the effects of
3 bombing and so on.
4 Q. Thank you. That will do. And who compiled these surveys, these
5 lists, and these pieces of information?
6 A. As for the SUP of Pec, this was completely done by the employees
7 of the Pec SUP, so these were the crime police employees, the police
8 employees and the other employees that dealt with this, that is to say
9 the analysts, the IT people, and the appropriate services.
10 Q. Who headed them?
11 A. I headed this particular team as chief of the secretariat of the
13 Q. Thank you very much. Now we're going to move onto something
14 completely different, the presence of the Kosovo Verification Mission and
15 the time involved. Do you know whether terrorists --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment before you ...
17 Sorry. Please continue, Mr. Lukic. Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Did terrorists launch attack while the Kosovo
20 verification was in Kosovo and Metohija?
21 A. Yes, it did. At one point in time, or rather, in one period
22 before the Kosovo Verification Mission arrived there weren't any such
23 attacks, and the attacks started and intensified precisely during the
24 presence of the verification mission, which really hit us hard. During
25 the stay of the verification mission in Kosmet in the territory of the
1 SUP of Pec 61 terrorist attacks took place, namely, seven against
2 buildings and 54 against persons. In all these attacks, or rather,
3 members of the Kosovo Verification Mission were informed about all these
4 attacks, they attended on-site investigations whenever they wanted to, it
5 was their choice, they had this option of choosing whether they would
6 attend or would not attend. I can say that the terrorists were not very
7 picky as far as targets were concerned, so they attacked ethnic Albanians
8 as well and ethnic Albanians got killed too. For the most part attacks
9 took place on roads or by way of breaking into houses. They openly fired
10 at vehicles that were moving along roads.
11 Q. Thank you. In Pec itself were there any attacks and what would
12 be an attack that particularly disturbed the public?
13 A. There were several attacks in Pec, primarily at -- against cafes
14 and restaurants. A glaring case was the attack against the Slavica cafe
15 and then in December, I think it was the 14th of December, 1998, in the
16 evening hours near the high school in Pec, there were some young men who
17 were sitting in a cafe called Panda and terrorists fired at them using
18 automatic rifles. On that occasion six young men were killed on the spot
19 and a few were wounded. Of course this affected people deeply and was an
20 additional complication in terms of the situation in Pec.
21 Q. Since you already have this statement I keep leaping from one
22 topic to another. So now I'm going to ask you whether in the territory
23 of the SUP of Pec there were established check-points and what are
25 A. Check-points are one of the ways in which the police operate. I
1 would define a check-point as a stationary patrol or a patrol that is
2 fixed at one particular point, at one particular location. Check-points
3 are organized in order to check on persons and vehicles. Persons are
4 checked with a view to identifying and finding the perpetrators of crimes
5 and vehicles are checked with a view to finding objects that were used to
6 commit crimes because in the contemporary world crime, as a rule, is on
7 wheels, smuggling, transportation of goods that are the result of crimes
8 and so on.
9 Check-points are a customary way of operation in Serbia ever
10 since I've been in the service that is to say, since 1970, perhaps this
11 was the case earlier on as well and these check-points do yield certain
12 results. In the territory of the SUP of Pec there were some
13 check-points. Throughout my stay there, there were check-points. We
14 even had some customary traffic check-points, they can be permanent, they
15 can be there from time to time, they can be traffic check-points, and
16 there can be combined check-points in terms of the structure of their
17 work. The combined ones are the best where traffic policemen check on
18 vehicles and drivers and a member of the crime police who's at the
19 check-point deals with aspects of his own work to see whether there are
20 perpetrators of crimes that are trying to pass that way or whether there
21 are objects related to crimes.
22 Q. Are there check-points in Belgrade and Pristina nowadays?
23 A. There are, in the outskirts of Belgrade there are check-points,
24 they are different from the ones we had, they have booths with everything
25 else that is needed for extended stays of employees. When leaving
1 Belgrade in any direction, you should encounter such a check-point. I
2 know there were some in Pristina and there were some in Pec at the moment
3 of my departure under the protection of the UN. I saw in the centre of
4 Pec that their check-points were different from ours since they were
5 inside barbed wire. At the time I was leaving Pec, the peacekeeping
6 forces had already come in. While we worked there we had no barbed wire
7 check-points. We had a different type of security, traffic security.
8 First we would impose signs in order to reduce the speed with a warning
9 that there is a police check-point nearby, and when terrorist attacks
10 commenced we had in-depth check-point security in order to secure our
11 personnel. We would have other people in depth trying to prevent
12 terrorists from attacking check-points.
13 Q. Thank you. In 1999 in Pec were there any VJ check-points?
14 A. Yes, there were.
15 Q. In the territory of SUP Pec?
16 A. Yes, during a period of time. In the territory of the Pec SUP in
17 the settlement of Pec itself I know there were two such locations. In
18 Ramiz Sadiku Street and Miladin Popovic Street. Then there were some in
19 the area of Istok in a location called Rudnik. Then in Djurakovac and in
20 Bijelo Polje we held joint or combined check-points. At Savine Vode, we
21 had a permanent check-point, and for a while we were assisted by VJ
22 members in providing security there from terrorists. We had some other
23 check-points which were regular traffic check-points in town, in certain
24 key intersections. They didn't have any particular signs, but we would
25 just refer to, for example, the Durija [phoen] check-point and the
1 policemen who were supposed to go there knew exactly what it was and
2 where to find it.
3 Q. In Pec and in Istok were there any members of military
4 territorial detachments?
5 A. There were. In Pec there was the 177th Military Territorial
6 Detachment, in Istok there was the 69th Military Territorial Detachment.
7 Q. Thank you. To go back to your statement, there is something
8 there that I would like to hear from you. What happened in Pec on the
9 27th and the 28th of March, 1999? Tell us what you know personally.
10 A. At the time I was the chief of the traffic police. We were in
11 charge of controlling and regulating traffic. I don't particularly
12 recall those two days as such, but I do know that at that time after the
13 air-strikes began there was more movement of vehicles and pedestrians
14 along the roads. That was causing certain problems in terms of traffic
15 regulation. Around those days I also moved about much more. I went into
16 the field more frequently in order to direct the work of patrols.
17 Traffic cannot be regulated partially. You need to encompass an entire
18 area. Those who know that know that traffic is regulated along axes and
19 roads and it cannot be regulated partially but even across state borders.
20 There were villages surrounding Pec where we had our patrols, and they
21 were reporting that there was an increased movement of all sorts of
22 vehicles, freight vehicles, tractors, as well as an increased number in
23 pedestrians. All of those were pouring into the city towards its centre.
24 Realizing that there will be masses of people, I went into the field,
25 especially to the places where there were most people assembled to try
1 and redirect the movement if necessary. This is how I recall those
2 particular events.
3 Q. Did you attend a gathering of citizens in the centre of Pec?
4 A. I did. I was in the centre of town myself.
5 Q. Were there any policemen in the centre of town?
6 A. Yes, there were. We had our regular patrols at their usual
7 points or posts. These were permanent areas for our traffic patrols. In
8 most towns traffic is usually the worst in the centre, and as you move
9 outside the settlement there is less and less traffic. In the centre
10 itself we had patrols at three locations or points. At those three
11 points we were trying to assist the movement of vehicles and passengers.
12 I was in my vehicle and by that time there was no possibility to move
13 inside the centre. I managed, however, to enter the centre with my
14 vehicle since there was a certain space, a lane was left for the movement
15 of vehicles. I was alone for the most part, I did not have a driver,
16 since my job post was such, and I reached the building of the Municipal
17 Assembly. Excuse me. There were many people, the centre was crowded. I
18 did manage to reach the municipal building without any problems. I saw
19 that those people were mainly Albanians, of course I don't know all of
20 Pec's inhabitants, but during the eight years there I met a number of
21 people. I saw some of my acquaintances there.
22 Q. Was the gathering addressed by anyone from the Serb side?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you address those gathered?
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. Did anyone address the gathering and who it was and in what way,
2 did you understand what they were saying?
3 A. There were some speakers. I don't understand the Albanian
4 language, maybe I know 10 or 20 words. I did hear some people speak.
5 They were using a mouthpiece, a loudspeaker, but I couldn't make out what
6 they were talking about. I did speak to some of my acquaintances there.
7 There was this Albanian postman, and he told me that he was approached by
8 a Serb asking for a certificate that some payment was made. He said,
9 Well, this is what he finds important. He doesn't mind the bombs. He
10 just wants me to issue him with a receipt. This is the conversation we
12 Q. Did anyone force those people to go to the centre of town or did
13 anyone force them to leave the centre of town on the Serbian side?
14 A. No, it was impossible. Let's discuss whether anyone forced them
15 to leave. How many policemen would one need in terms of policemen or
16 soldiers to force such a mass of people to leave? Or vice versa, to
17 force them into the centre of town. First you would have to gather them
18 from all around the town and the villages we -- that we did not even
20 Q. Why were you not entering certain villages?
21 A. We were unable to because they were occupied or controlled by the
22 terrorists. If we tried going to those villages, they opened fire.
23 Q. From what time did you stop going to those villages and can you
24 tell us the names of some of those villages that the police could not go
1 A. Several month or half a year, for example, from the fall before,
2 and those were most of the villages surrounding Pec, Istok, and Klina
3 inhabited by Albanians who were Muslim. Most of those villages were
4 terrorist strongholds. We could go to some other villages inhabited by
5 Catholic Albanians because their relationship with the terrorists was
6 somewhat different and there weren't that many of them involved in
7 terrorism. They even had problems because they refused to participate in
8 that and the terrorists were targeting them as well.
9 Q. Except for your conversation with the postman, did you speak to
10 anyone else? Did you manage to grasp why those people were leaving?
11 A. People were asking me whether they can go to Montenegro, to
12 Djakovica, or Pristina, and I found that strange. There was no
13 restriction of movement for anyone. It wasn't clear to me why they were
14 asking that. They also asked me whether they can use their vehicles to
15 move. I told them that certainly they can use their vehicles as they
16 wish. It all boiled to that particular topic, boiled down to that
17 particular topic. They were also asking me whether they would be
18 restricted in terms of movement if they tried to use the Kula mountain
19 pass. I told them as far as I know that road was open. I saw several of
20 my acquaintances. One of them I asked where he was going to. He said
21 that he was going to his children and his wife who were in Germany. He
22 was together with another acquaintance of mine who had a van. They
23 wanted to go together.
24 Q. Did you see the people boarding any buses in the centre of town?
25 Was anyone forcing them to go on the buses?
1 A. Buses could not reach the centre of town, that was the traffic
2 regulation in place, no buses in the centre of town. All bus traffic at
3 the time was still running pretty regularly, there were buses leaving for
4 Belgrade and other parts of the country. You could go to Montenegro,
5 Prizren, Djakovica, there were local buses as well as inter-city buses.
6 People were using buses normally.
7 Q. Did you or anyone else on the Serb side order that those people
8 should be forced onto any buses?
9 A. Absolutely no. No one had ordered anything of the sort to me and
10 I did not order that to my people. There was no reason for me to do so.
11 Q. How long did it take for the centre of town to be empty? When
12 did the crowd disperse?
13 A. I cannot say that the centre of town became empty. There were
14 waves. People were coming and going and the whole thing lasted for
15 several days. We also had crowds along all roads and both going and
16 going out. Some were coming into town from Pristina and Djakovica as
17 well as Kosovska Mitrovica. The critical point was the Kula mountain
18 pass, since there are great elevations there, it was steep and the
19 vehicles wouldn't be able to negotiate those frequently. They would stop
20 around bends, there were tractors with trailers, the whole thing was a
21 very difficult one. I moved along that road twice in those days.
22 Q. Can you tell us where this Kula is?
23 A. Kula is a mountain pass. I'm not very a maps, but it is between
24 Pec and Rozaje in Montenegro, it is on that road. The elevation is at
25 least 1400 metres above sea level.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Paponjak. I have no further questions for you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
3 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Paponjak.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. I have just a few questions for you. Paragraph 79 of your
8 statement you say that on the 12th of April you were sent from the
9 headquarters of the Pec SUP to the OUP Istok. Can you just tell me what
10 position you were in at the OUP Istok in this period from the 12th of
11 April until the 11th of June, what kind of work did you do there?
12 A. The OUP Istok is one of the organizational units of the Pec SUP.
13 I was sent there to work for a certain period of time to help out at the
14 OUP Istok without any kind of decision on that kind of an appointment,
15 that is to say without specifying a particular type of job, as one of the
16 more senior colleagues there with more experience, that is why there was
17 no need to have a decision on appointment.
18 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 86 of your statement you say that on the
19 14th of April a commission came to Istok that had been set up through an
20 order of the commander of the 3rd Army, the number is given there, it's a
21 strictly confidential document, and the date is the 13th of April. Can
22 you please tell me when it was that you first saw this document on the
23 establishment of this commission?
24 A. I think that I saw this document only after the leaving the
25 territory of Kosovo and Metohija. I don't know the exact date.
1 Q. Thank you. And in the next paragraph, 87, of your statement, you
2 say that this commission established beyond any doubt on the spot that
3 there was no camp there as some misinformation had stated. I'm asking
4 you whether you know that this commission after returning from Istok
5 compiled some kind of a report about this?
6 A. I'm not aware of what kind of a report this commission compiled
7 but I know that they interviewed me while they were in Istok, what kind
8 of a report was ultimately compiled is something that I really don't
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 4D212 is this report
12 and it has been admitted into evidence. Thank you, Your Honours, I have
13 no further questions for this witness.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
15 Mr. Cepic.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Paponjak.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I am Djuro Cepic, and I appear for the defence of General
20 Vladimir Lazarevic. You do have your statement in front of you, don't
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. I will start my questions with referring to paragraph 71. My
24 colleagues tell me that there is a transcript problem. Now it looks
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic, the number again of the report?
2 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] 4D212, Your Honours, thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Please continue, Mr. Cepic.
5 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, in paragraph 71 you provided a
7 description to the effect that there were many reserve members of the
8 military who were there. Can you perhaps tell us whether you know
9 whether these were people who were moving from their residences, their
10 homes, to the mobilisation sites?
11 A. Yes, yes, that's it.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Paponjak, paragraph 72, you say that a number of
13 criminals were mobilised in the reserve force who had committed serious
14 crimes before that as well as disturbing public law and order. I assume
15 that you draw that conclusion on the basis of your personal knowledge of
16 particular individuals, right?
17 A. Yes. It's not only on that basis. We also have crime records
18 and we know that; however, the fact remains that we did recognise certain
19 people as such.
20 Q. Do you perhaps know that as far as conscription is concerned,
21 having a criminal record is of no consequence?
22 A. Yes, I know that.
23 Q. And I assume that you know that most citizens who were males,
24 regardless of whether they had a criminal record or not, were part of the
25 reserve force of the military?
1 A. Yes, that's right, and no one can be free of this obligation
2 regardless of whether they had committed a crime in the previous period.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
5 microphones please be switched off. Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic -- perhaps I should direct this to the
8 Does that apply to someone who's been convicted of rape or murder
9 or serious injury to life and limb?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I really don't know now. I
11 don't know what it was that they had been convicted for, but I do know
12 that there were some there who had committed property-related offences.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Paponjak, if we are to call these people criminals, did any
16 one of them commit any one of these crimes while they were on the reserve
17 force of the army?
18 A. I do not know of any such thing. I don't have any such
19 information that one of these persons did something like that.
20 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 73, what you say here is that a number of
21 criminals were self-mobilised, they put on uniforms and so on. You will
22 agree with me that there were abuses of uniforms and insignia, right?
23 A. I remember this period. This was one of the problems that
24 encumbered our work because a certain number of persons moved about in
25 uniform, they were driving vehicles on which --
1 Q. We have that in the statement. We have all of it. I'm just
2 asking you the following: Is this abuse of uniform by unauthorised
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Let us now move onto paragraph 74. Could we please
6 call up in e-court 6D125. I would just like to tell you, Your Honours,
7 that after March 1999 there are three numbers 6D125, 5D36, and P1208
8 respectively, it's the same document.
9 Mr. Paponjak, we have an order of the -- from the commander of
10 the Pec defence office, the date is the 30th of March, 1999. If we look
11 at the first paragraph of this document the author of this document is
12 not invoking any particular order. You will agree with me that this kind
13 of order did not affect your work and the work of the police, rather, you
14 worked independently of this and carried out your regular work and
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you perhaps know that this document was
18 subsequently declared null and void by this very same structure upon
19 orders from higher instances?
20 A. I saw this document considerably later, not in this particular
22 Q. 5D37, please. Could we please have that in e-court.
23 Mr. Paponjak, here's the document, have you seen this before, not --
24 never mind.
25 A. Yes, I saw it later.
1 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to move onto paragraph 76 of your
2 statement --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I'm trying to follow --
4 MR. CEPIC: Sorry.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the point of that question? Does 5D37
6 relate to 6D125 in some way?
7 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this the declaration of it being null and void?
9 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour, precisely.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I understand. Thank you.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Paponjak, let us now deal with the municipality of Istok, or
13 rather, the commander of the military territorial detachment, the 69th
14 Detachment that is and the situation that prevailed there.
15 Tell me, Mr. Paponjak, when the 7th Infantry Brigade arrived, did
16 the situation calm down in the town of Istok?
17 A. Yes, it did, yes, of course.
18 Q. Do you perhaps know -- well, I don't know of other structures now
19 in relation to the one that you're in, but do you know that the military
20 detachment, or rather, this military territorial detachment was it
21 subordinated to the military office of Pec, if you know you do tell us,
22 and if not --
23 A. I really have to tell you that I don't know much about this.
24 Q. Very well. You will agree with me that your structure, that is
25 to say the structure of the Ministry of the Interior, acted independently
1 without the influence of any kind of staff or body in carrying out its
2 duties on the basis of the law?
3 A. Yes. We have a specific law and a rule book on organization and
4 other rules that regulate this.
5 Q. And no influence was exercised over your work by the military
6 territorial detachment in the sense of them issuing some kind of orders
7 or tasks to you?
8 A. No, there was no such thing.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just for the transcript
11 we have already tendered 5D374 dated the 23rd of April prohibiting any
12 kind of establishment of staffs by the members of the Army of Yugoslavia.
13 Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Paponjak, paragraph 85, Colonel Cirkovic, commander of the
15 7th Infantry Brigade spoke about the return of displaced persons and
16 about combat activities taking place near Lukavac. Was there high
17 intensity in these combat activities in the area of Lukavac?
18 A. Not at that time; however, all of us were highly concerned about
19 these civilians because we didn't know what would go on or what would
20 happen later. This was the defence area, as the colonel said, and
21 persons should not be there, rather, they should be at safe locations
22 that should be found for them. Later on there was heavy bombing
23 throughout that area.
24 Q. Thank you. Am I right if I say that there were fierce terrorist
25 attacks there as well?
1 A. Yes, that happened too.
2 Q. Mr. Paponjak, what about the members of the army, the members of
3 the MUP, the members of civilian authorities, did they to their best to
4 provide safe accommodation for civilians as well as food, aid, medicine,
5 et cetera, outside combat areas?
6 A. Yes, the Red Cross health institutions, social welfare
7 institutions were involved in all of this. They got food, I know that
8 personally because I moved about quite a bit in the area. I know people
9 who were involved in that, even I personally gave some people tinned food
10 and things like that.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps, Your Honours, this would be
13 a convenient moment to take the break.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Paponjak, we break for lunch at this stage. Could you leave
16 the courtroom with the usher and we will see you again in one hour at
17 quarter to 2.00.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.47 p.m.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
24 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, my last set of questions, perhaps
1 even a single question. You testified about Lodja. I have a piece of
2 footage dated the 16th of August, 1998, that I would like us to look at.
3 Can that please be played in e-court, this is Defence Exhibit 5D1239.
4 This is Lodja on the 16th of August, 1998.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Paponjak, are these the connecting trenches that you
9 A. Yes. This is just one portion of it. Of course the TV crew had
10 no need to take it all in. I arrived in the village following this
11 action because one had to re-establish a normal flow of traffic and for
12 people to get on with their lives. I had to clear the roads and not just
13 here. I arrived at the scene after several of those actions had taken
14 place. The roads were blocked or cluttered. This is just part of the
15 connecting trenches that were there and the weapons that were floating
16 about that had been assembled by the time the TV crew got there. The
17 gathering of those weapons had not been completed yet or the clearing of
18 the roads for that matter.
19 Q. We heard this was a police action. What I want to know is how
20 long were these connecting trenches?
21 A. Kilometre-long trenches [as interpreted]
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Paponjak. I have no further
23 questions for you.
24 MR. CEPIC: Just to clarify something more because in transcript
25 it's not correctly as the witness said. With your leave, one more
1 question, please.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Paponjak, it is not reflected in the
3 transcript one kilometre or kilometres?
4 A. Kilometres.
5 Q. Thank you. Were each of the homes strongholds as it were?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. I encountered some difficulty trying to pass by a house that was
9 full of ammunition which at one point exploded and the sound of the blast
10 could be heard although the action had been completed. The journalists
11 were there and they heard it too.
12 Q. Thank you very much. No further questions for you, Mr. Paponjak.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, had that exhibit been admitted before?
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Yes, a part of it, two clips in
16 relation to Malisevo and the village of Junik. The third part of this CD
17 has just been shown, the last section has not been shown so far.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: And what happened in relation to the commentary in
19 the other cases?
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] In relation to Junik village during
21 our own case we heard testimony of Veljko Odalovic and we tendered the
22 transcript, the language of the video. My colleague Mr. Lukic and I
23 still owe you the footage on, or rather, the footage on Malisevo was
24 played when Andreja Milosavljevic was here, but I think Mr. Lukic took it
25 upon himself to do the Malisevo transcript if I'm not mistaken. And if I
1 may, with your permission, I can perhaps secure a transcript of what the
2 journalist was saying in relation to Lodja.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall admit the video without the sound, so we
4 have -- unless the situation changes between now and the end of the
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, you'll now be cross-examined by the
11 Prosecutor, Ms. Kravetz.
12 Ms. Kravetz.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Paponjak.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. I want to begin by asking you some questions about the events you
18 described in Pec municipality in March of 1999. You told us during your
19 evidence today in your statement that after the state of war was declared
20 on 24th March VJ reserve forces were mobilised in the Pec area. Were
21 regular VJ units also mobilised in -- to the Pec area in this period?
22 A. I don't know that. I don't know. I know about the reserve
23 forces because those were locals from Pec and the surroundings, those who
24 came. I did not recognise any of the regular forces in town. I simply
25 was in no position to know.
1 Q. So the reserve forces you are talking about or you spoke about
2 earlier are local Serbs who were mobilised and they were assigned a
3 uniform and weapons?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. And why do you distinguish these persons as reservists from just
6 the regular VJ units, how were you able to distinguish these were
7 reservists and they were not just regular VJ soldiers?
8 A. Because those were my neighbours, people who lived nearby, in my
9 area, and now I saw them wearing uniforms. I knew that they were no
10 regular soldiers, I knew they were not doing their regular military term
11 because they were older - what I'm saying is over 18 or 19 years of
12 age - and they were telling me that they were supposed to report to a
13 mobilisation point and that's why I knew that they were reservists and no
14 regular soldiers.
15 Q. Do you know who issued these persons with weapons and with
17 A. No, I know about police members. As I said a while ago, I don't
18 really know much about all these military matters. It's not what I was
19 trained for and it certainly wasn't my job. I did do my own regular
20 military term, but after that I never had anything more to do with the
22 Q. I see. I understand. Were local Serbs also incorporated into
23 the police once the state of war was declared, and I'm speaking
24 particularly of Pec municipality?
25 A. Yes, some. We had our own reserve police which at the time was
1 involved in something.
2 Q. And would there be -- was there any distinction of staff between
3 the regular policemen like yourself and these local reservists, reserve
4 policemen which began working for the MUP once a state of war was
5 declared? Was there any differentiation of tasks between the regular
6 police officer and the reservist?
7 A. No. There was no apparent distinction. You couldn't draw a
8 distinction if you looked at a patrol made up of regular police officers
9 or one of reserve police officers. They wore the same uniform, they
10 carried the same weapons, and they had the same tasks. It's just that
11 reserve police officers could not perform their duties on their own,
12 independently. They would also be monitored by regular police officers,
13 and this is how patrols were made up. A regular police member was always
14 in charge of a patrol.
15 Q. Do you know approximately how many local Serbs were mobilised and
16 joined the police force once a state of war was declared?
17 A. I really don't know. I was busy elsewhere at the time on a
18 different job and it had nothing to do with this.
19 Q. Very well. You told us in your --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, just to be clear, what was the other job?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was chief of the traffic police
22 department, and that job had nothing to do with the police reserve
23 forces. Other than that, as to how many members of the reserve police
24 force were involved in this, this is something that should be easy enough
25 to track down in various documents that I think exist. We certainly have
1 this in our own reports. I can't tell you off the top of my head, not
2 even a ballpark figure, but I'm sure the exact figure is somewhere or
3 other in one of our documents.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: So you can't assist us at all with a rough
5 indication of the numbers involved in spite of all the activity you were
6 involved in, in Pec itself at the early stages of the war?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want to engage in that sort
8 of guess-work. What I'm saying is we had this information in our
9 documents and this is in the public domain in the sense of not being
10 confidential. It's just that I can't give you a ballpark figure.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I suspect we don't have the document, so please
12 try to help us as best you can. As I've indicated already today, we do
13 sometimes have great difficulty getting documents from the Republic of
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The one thing I can do is promise
16 the Chamber that I will make sure to have this information forwarded to
17 you, but unfortunately there isn't much more that I can say about that
18 right now.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: For example, you have been able to tell us a
20 considerable amount of the activities of VJ reservists in the town,
21 criminals being associated with the VJ, but you can't tell us anything at
22 all about numbers of police reservists mobilised in Pec at that time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said anything about any
24 numbers, including those pertaining to the military reserve forces
25 because I'm not really aware of those either.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You have been able to tell us, for example, there
2 was a large presence of VJ reservists in towns and villages. You've told
3 us that the reserve forces of the Yugoslav Army were mobilised in the Pec
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: A number of criminals who had committed serious
7 crimes in violations of law and order in the past were also mobilised
8 into the VJ reserve force. A number of criminals were self-mobilised.
9 So what concerns me is your unwillingness to tell us anything, give us
10 any indication, even your impression of numbers of reservists being
11 mobilised at that time. You're prepared to do it in respect of the army,
12 why not the police?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I can say to you that an
14 insufficient number of people were mobilised because I had a constant
15 manpower problem because I did not have enough traffic policemen. Not a
16 sufficient number had been mobilised in my view. So if I were supposed
17 to say something about that I would say that I did not have enough people
18 mobilised in terms of my own liking because I really needed a lot more
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Just to follow-up on this last issue, how many reservists were
24 mobilised in your department, the traffic department? You said an
25 insufficient number. Do you recall how many?
1 A. I think less than 30, I think, that is to say that I'm not sure.
2 As for the number of people in my group, it was the commander of the
3 police station who took care of that. I would have to provide an
4 explanation so that the Court would understand why it is that I'm saying
5 this. In my group it was traffic police work that was the main activity
6 and the commander of the police station was in charge of that.
7 Administrative work and work related to inspection in terms of the
8 civilian part, that is to say the technical regulation of transport,
9 driving lessons, the technical examination of vehicles, and so on, that
10 was a different part of my service. I was the chief of both of these. I
11 had heads of lines involved in different lines of work, so I don't know
12 of anything very specific in any one of these cases. I can just talk
13 about my general impression in terms of what it was that I saw.
14 Q. If I can interrupt you there. I was just asking about numbers.
15 You said less than 30. Would it be fair to say in other departments was
16 that number similar, around 30 or more than 30, do you know that, other
17 departments of the Pec SUP?
18 A. I don't know. I don't know. Possibly there may have been more,
19 there may have been less.
20 Q. Very well. Let's move on. You indicated today and also you
21 referred to this in your statement starting at paragraph 55 that towards
22 the end of March, 27th, 28th March, large crowds of Kosovo Albanians
23 began pouring into the centre of the city and you said that you --
24 patrols of your department reported this to you; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you yourself went to the centre of Pec to see what was
2 happening that day, when these large crowds of people were pouring into
3 the centre of town?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And when you say large crowds were pouring or I think you said
6 many people and it was crowded, approximately how many people were there
7 in the centre of Pec towards the end of -- we're talking 27 March, do you
8 recall? I mean are we talking thousands? Hundreds?
9 A. Thousands.
10 Q. Do you know where these people were coming from, these thousands
11 of Kosovo Albanians that had gathered in the centre of Pec, where were
12 they coming from?
13 A. There were people from Pec who I knew personally. According to
14 the reports of patrols, on the basis of which I have this knowledge,
15 there were people from the surrounding villages too. It's not that it
16 was people from one village only. It is from the surrounding villages
17 that they were pouring into town.
18 Q. So people were coming in from surrounding villages of Pec
19 municipality and all heading in the direction of the town of Pec?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And these columns of Kosovo Albanians, they gathered I think you
22 said in the centre of the town, that's where they were gathered?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So when you arrived there and you saw that thousands of people
25 had gathered in the centre of Pec, what did you do exactly? What actions
1 did you take?
2 A. Nothing. I stood there for a while, I talked to them, and then I
3 went further on on the ground. I didn't spend two days there, but I
4 didn't take any measures except for the fact that the patrols had the
5 task of not allowing any bottlenecks. It was important for passengers in
6 vehicles to move on, pedestrians and vehicles, that was difficult work.
7 In the centre of town there was a patrol, in the centre towards the
8 patriarchate and then towards the center towards Djakovica and the third
9 one was towards the SUP of Pec, which is towards Mitrovica. These are
10 the regular places where traffic police patrols were. And then further
11 on, on the outskirts of town there was yet another patrol towards
12 Vitomirica and then there was a patrol by the Drvni Kombinat the timber
13 processing plant.
14 Q. So you arrived there and you saw that these large crowds of
15 people had gathered there. Did you contact, for example, the SUP chief
16 to tell him what was happening in the centre of town or the deputy chief
17 of the SUP?
18 A. I informed the chief of SUP before I went there, the chief of SUP
19 had been informed about the fact that columns were coming in and that
20 there was a lot of commotion, and I said that I would be going to the
21 centre to take measures so that traffic could go on.
22 Q. So you got there and you're saying that your only concern was to
23 regulate traffic, you were faced with these crowds of Kosovo Albanians in
24 the centre of town and you thought that the most important thing to do in
25 that situation was to regulate traffic?
1 A. I -- yes.
2 Q. And you say in your statement that you were the highest-ranking
3 member of your SUP there that day when these crowds of people gathered in
4 the centre of town?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. You also said earlier that your patrols were there from your
7 department. Approximately how many police officers were present in the
8 centre of town?
9 A. Well, I'm trying to work it out on the basis of the number of
10 patrols involved. There were over 20, say between 20 and 30. I'm giving
11 a rough approximation on the basis of the number of patrols and the
12 number of men on each patrol, which is to say three per patrol.
13 Q. Were there any VJ soldiers present in the centre of town when
14 this was going on?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Any other armed personnel other than you and your 20 or so or 30
17 police officers?
18 A. I don't know whether there were any in the small streets, but
19 there weren't any in the streets where I was moving. I know that police
20 patrols of a general nature also carry out patrol activity, but these
21 patrols were not the subject of my interest at that time. They were not
22 there simply. It was only the traffic police patrols that were there.
23 Q. Do you know why these persons had gathered there in such large
25 A. I found out about that from my conversations with certain
1 individuals that I knew. I mentioned the postman that I talked to. I
2 mentioned an acquaintance of mine as well who had said to me that he was
3 supposed to leave Pec. The postman also told me that he was leaving Pec,
4 and that is why he was saying this to me, that this man had asked him for
5 a receipt in terms of his telephone bill or whatever it was. Then
6 further on some people asked me whether they could go towards Montenegro,
7 others asked me if they could go towards Djakovica.
8 Q. Sir, what I'm asking is: Do you know the reason why such large
9 crowds of people had gathered in the centre of town, 27th March? Why
10 were those people there heading from all villages in Pec municipality to
11 the centre of the town?
12 A. I did not understand you, actually. What do you mean by the
13 reason why?
14 Q. Do you know why -- what was forcing these people or what were the
15 reasons these people left their homes and headed towards the centre of
16 the town of Pec on that day?
17 A. I don't know the exact reason. I can assume that the reason was
18 the same like for the others who were leaving their homes. The Albanians
19 came on that day or during the course of those days to the centre of
20 town. Some Serbs were leaving without going into the centre of town, the
21 reason was the same. I had requested from policemen who were requesting
22 leave in order to take their families out of the area. So I can assume
23 that the reasons were common to all. I don't know why each and every
24 individual came there. We had a number of policemen who, although they
25 were not granted leave left the area nevertheless. They did not report
1 for work. They would drive their wives and children to Montenegro, for
2 instance, to stay with their relatives or say to the other part of Serbia
3 and they'd come back --
4 Q. Sir, but during your evidence today you said that these persons
5 who had gathered in the centre of town were mostly Kosovo Albanians.
6 You're saying the reasons were the same. What were those reasons? Why
7 had these people gathered in such large numbers there?
8 A. When the bombing started -- I can tell you what my personal
9 impression was. First of all, I could not believe that the bombing had
10 actually started.
11 Q. Sir --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: No, you're being asked if you know the reason why
13 these people had gathered in the centre of Pec. Now, you're a police
14 officer in charge of trying to control the crowds to enable the traffic
15 to move. It's difficult to imagine anyone better-placed than you to tell
16 us why these people had come into Pec.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I've been
18 trying to do. I assume that it had to do with fear. I was afraid too.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: But fear of what?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fear of bombing, attacks, conflicts
21 with terrorists, that's the fear we had, that we would be bombed and that
22 the terrorists would attack us. My policemen had that fear. At that
23 time I wish I could have left the area, going anywhere.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I think Ms. Kravetz is asking you this question
25 because the people initially weren't leaving the area, they were all
1 congregating together in the area most likely to be bombed. Why were
2 they doing that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, unless it was part of
4 some kind of a plan or agreement.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz. I may have misinterpreted your
6 question, so please do not feel confined because of these questions.
7 MS. KRAVETZ:
8 Q. Sir, it doesn't make sense, does it, that if these people who
9 arrived in the centre of Pec that day feared the NATO bombing they would
10 have left the security of their home and gone out and exposed themselves
11 in the open. That doesn't make sense, does it, that the reason for them
12 gathering there would have been fear of being bombed?
13 A. Well, it makes sense to me, I would have done that.
14 Q. But by doing so, weren't they more -- weren't they exposing
15 themselves to NATO bombs by gathering in the thousands in the open in the
16 centre of a town? Why would people leave the security of their homes and
17 head out to the road if what they're fearing is that NATO will bomb their
18 home? Why would they do that?
19 A. I also had the impression that we were safer if we were in a
20 crowd, if there was a mass of us, that then we wouldn't be bombed by
21 anyone. I was sure that they wouldn't bomb our buildings that were in
22 town, that everyone would try to avoid a large number of civilian
23 casualties. Believe me, in that situation I would have preferred going
24 along with these people.
25 Q. And what happened to these people? I mean they gathered there
1 and where did they go later?
2 A. Some went towards Djakovica, others went towards Montenegro
3 through Kula, yet others went towards Mitrovica. So they went in those
5 Q. Was -- were -- was the police monitoring the departure of these
6 people from the town of Pec when they left in these different directions?
7 Was this something that was monitored by the police?
8 A. We had a certain number of patrols at key points where there
9 could be bottlenecks. If that's what you mean, then the police was
10 following this and they were providing information if there were some
11 roads that were totally crowded. I had information that the road towards
12 Kula, the road in the mountains, was jammed. At the check-point at
13 Savine Vode people in vehicles were checked. I went to that check-point.
14 I asked for the checks to be made simpler, to keep vehicles there for as
15 short as possible, to do things just by looking at vehicles. Further on
16 some cars broke down which impeded traffic further. So I asked patrols
17 if they could go out there and regulate traffic there. So I'd rather say
18 that we were checking the roads themselves than movement.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, what roughly was the ethnic division
20 in Pec between Albanians and non-Albanians?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I just had assessments or
22 estimates. For a long period of time there hadn't been a census, so we
23 really had no idea how many Albanians there were there. However, if we
24 are to speak in terms of estimates we could say that the ratio was 80:20
25 or 75:25 per cent.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And would the same ratio apply in the surrounding
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as far as Istok and Klina are
4 concerned, that would be around it roughly. Again, I'm only talking
5 about estimates, our estimate of the Albanian population figures. They
6 didn't want to take part in a census, they refused to do that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And did the bulk of -- of the 20 per cent, what
8 sort of proportion were Serbs?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One-third. That was the ratio
10 roughly, 7, 8, 9. When I came to Pec the information I got was that
11 there was 7 per cent Montenegrins, 8 per cent Serbs, and 9 per cent
12 Muslims, that's what people told me then, and that's how I remembered it.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you aware at all of groups of Serbs gathering
16 in the centre of Pec for safety?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
19 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Sir, you said that you went to a check-point where there was
21 problems with the traffic and you asked for the traffic to be made or the
22 crossing of the check-point to be facilitated. Was this a border
23 check-point that you went to where there were problems with the
25 A. No, it wasn't a border check-point. It was a check-point along
1 one of the roads. At the time, there was no border in that area.
2 Q. And who was manning that check-point?
3 A. At that check-point there were members of the traffic police,
4 members of the general police force, and some members from the crime
5 police. There was a permanent check-point that had existed for a number
6 of years.
7 Q. Now, you tell us in your statement that the columns of refugees
8 crossed the border into Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania by car and on
9 foot. Were these columns of refugees that were heading in these
10 directions escorted by men of your SUP, Pec SUP?
11 A. No. Excuse me, I don't know whether I noted that they crossed
12 the border. I may have wanted to say they were leaving towards. I don't
13 know what exactly the phrase is in the statement. In any case, they were
14 not escorted by any members of the Pec SUP or the traffic police from
16 Q. Once a state of war was declared, were there -- was there any
17 procedure in place that allowed the police to requisition privately owned
18 vehicle or company-owned vehicles for the use of the police? Was there
19 any procedure in place for that?
20 A. No. The police could seize something that had been used in the
21 commission of a crime, and in that case they were supposed to issue a
23 Q. We have heard evidence that the -- for the VJ there was a
24 procedure which entitles the owner to receive a receipt and later
25 compensation when his vehicle was seized. You're telling us the police
1 could not seize any private vehicles following a similar procedure?
2 A. No. I am familiar with that part by chance. In order for us to
3 register a vehicle, we asked for confirmation that it had been registered
4 with the police in case it should be commandeered. I think that's what
5 it was about. I don't know that the police had such a possibility.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I believe we are having a problem
8 with the transcript. I think on two places. The first is the witness
9 has answered -- let me just find out - 18, 2, not only commission of a
10 crime but also as a result of a crime, so both of it. And the second
11 thing is in 18 --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That one I don't understand before you move on.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Well --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Something can be seized because it's been used in
15 the commission of a crime.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: That is right, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And you would naturally expect the police to seize
18 something that was the proceeds of crime.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: That -- well, that is what the witness has said.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fine.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm just trying to be as accurate as possible.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: That's clear now. Thank you.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: And the second thing is in 18, 7, 8, 9, the witness
24 was talking about the mobilisation, which is, in fact, the material
25 obligation which we heard evidence about that, and it is not in the
1 transcript. I mean, it was translated not properly I think. The essence
2 of the witness's answer was that the police asked the owners of the
3 vehicles when they wanted to renew their registration if they have
4 registered their vehicle with the army in case of mobilisation of the
5 vehicle. And that is what he was actually talking about there about.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: So the mistake in line 9 is a reference to the
7 police instead of the army?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that's right.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Thank you.
10 Ms. Kravetz.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Sir, so other -- other than those circumstances that you have
13 described when the police is authorised to seize a vehicle and that was
14 in the commission of a crime and what's recently been clarified what was
15 the other situation, if the police seizes a vehicle belonging to a
16 private individual, that requisition would be illegal; correct?
17 A. Completely so.
18 Q. Now, sir, we have heard testimony here in this court of persons
19 who were in the centre of Pec on 27th March, these are Kosovo Albanians,
20 and they told this Chamber that the reason they had gathered there was
21 because they had been forced out of their homes by Serb forces at
22 gunpoint and ordered to gather in the centre of town. Are you aware of
24 A. No, absolutely not.
25 Q. We also heard evidence that buses were organized for these
1 persons who were there, these Kosovo Albanians who were there in Pec, to
2 take them to the border. Are you aware of that taking place on that day
3 in Pec town?
4 A. The bus traffic was in order, if I understood you correctly. I
5 guess you wanted to know whether there were buses organized to transport
6 them. I'm telling you that the bus traffic was functioning without any
7 particular problems.
8 Q. The persons who testified here told us that the police had
9 organized buses to get the Albanian population out of the town and to
10 transport them to the border.
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. You did not see this taking place while you were there in Pec
14 A. No, not in a single case.
15 Q. These officers that were from your department that were there
16 that you say these 30 officers, they were armed, were they not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And isn't it true, sir, that there were also Serb soldiers in the
19 centre of town and local armed civilians who were forcing the population
20 who had been forced to gather there out of the town, directing the
21 population out of the town?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
23 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a part of this
24 question was already answered. It was said that there was no presence of
25 the army in the centre of town.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: The context is important and the question is
2 admissible in its context, so please continue with it, Ms. Kravetz.
3 MR. LUKIC: And one more thing, I'm sorry, Your Honour, but the
4 witness explained where his police officers were on the check-points, not
5 in the centre of the town 30 police officers. He described -- maybe it's
6 not understandable for us who do not know that town, but I think that he
7 tried to explain that those 30 were not in the centre of the town but in
8 the town.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not the question that's being the asked.
10 The question is based on evidence that we've heard already in the case at
11 an earlier stage.
12 So I think you should pose the question again, Ms. Kravetz, but
13 there's no reason why it should be altered in any way.
14 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Sir, isn't it true that in addition to your police officers there
16 were also Serb soldiers in the centre of town and local armed civilians
17 who were forcing the population that had gathered there out of the town,
18 they were directing this population out of the town and towards the
20 A. When I was there, there were none. I don't have any knowledge
21 pertaining to other periods of time. When I was in the centre of town
22 there were no army members. I didn't see a single armed civilian either.
23 Q. So you're telling us you did not see anyone forcing the civilians
24 who had gathered there to head to the border towards -- in the direction
25 of the border with Montenegro, Albania. Is that really your evidence?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. And you did not see Serb forces loading civilians onto trucks,
3 civilians that had gathered there, and transporting them out of the town?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Very well. I will move on then from that topic.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That last question referred to trucks, is that
7 what you meant to refer to?
8 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: I had asked about buses and now I was asking about
12 Q. Sir, during your testimony today you spoke about an order that
13 you received from the minister of interior to organize documentation when
14 you were based in Kragujevac. Do you recall you spoke at length about
15 this documentation and the compilation of that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you recall when that took place, when you worked on this
18 project that you described to organize the documentation?
19 A. It was in 2002.
20 Q. You had left the SUP of Pec municipality in June of 1999; is that
22 A. It is correct.
23 Q. And you said that at the time you took with you, you and your
24 fellow police officers, took with you the documents that were in the
25 archives of the SUP; correct?
1 A. I did not, but some policemen did. That was before I left the
2 area. The fact is that it was transported from SUP Pec and other
3 organizational units to, for example, Kragujevac and some other places in
4 different parts of Serbia.
5 Q. When were these documents transported out of the SUP of Pec
7 A. Around those days when the police was withdrawing, or rather,
8 leaving the territory of the SUP, I mean June 1999.
9 Q. How many members of the Pec SUP relocated to Kragujevac,
10 approximately if you recall?
11 A. I don't know. I didn't arrive in Kragujevac around that time. I
12 arrived in Kragujevac later because I remained in the area of Pec. When
13 I arrived there the situation was not orderly because we didn't know
14 where the police of SUP Pec were. There was no accommodation that had
15 been secured for them. They were finding accommodation whichever way
16 they could. They were also trying to find places for their families to
17 stay, to go on with their lives.
18 Q. When did you arrive to Kragujevac?
19 A. I arrived to Kragujevac on the 26th of June or the 27th.
20 Q. You're talking -- this is 1999?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you remained there until 2002, when you were tasked with this
23 project of organizing the documentation?
24 A. Yes, and later.
25 Q. Do you recall what were the specific instructions you received
1 from the minister of interior regarding this project that you embarked
2 on, this project was it dealing with the organization of the
3 documentation of the SUP?
4 A. They were in written form.
5 Q. And what were the instructions you had received? What were you
6 told to do?
7 A. There were strict prerequisites that case files be gathered and
8 sorted out the way I have described. First we had to gather all the case
9 files and to compile -- complete individual files, then a list had to be
10 drawn up as well as statistical tables. And based on that a joint
11 document was supposed to contain all of the information so as to be able
12 to navigate through it more easily. It was strictly prescribed how
13 things were to be designated, how certain security-related events will be
15 Q. Yes, you have explained all that earlier in your testimony. Do
16 you know the reasons why three years after or approximately three years
17 after you had moved, relocated, your SUP to Kragujevac you were requested
18 to organize the documentation of the SUP? Why was this done three years
19 after you had moved there?
20 A. I'm afraid -- well, I don't know, but I'm a bit afraid or
21 hesitant to express my view since you may find it not particularly
22 serious or founded. My first impression was that someone was preparing a
23 Ph.D. thesis. It was organized in a way of a research of significant
24 scope. That was my first impression once we started working on it.
25 Q. Sir, but was -- but didn't you say that the order that you got
1 was coming from the ministry in Belgrade?
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. And would it be normal procedure for the ministry in Belgrade to
4 send you an order of this kind if the purpose of gathering this and
5 organizing this documentation was for the purposes of academic research?
6 A. I don't know. You asked me why it was being done, and I told you
7 what my impression was at the moment.
8 Q. Weren't you the person who was put in charge of this project?
9 A. In the part pertaining to Pec, yes.
10 Q. And weren't the reports pertaining to Pec signed by you?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. But you're saying you have no idea why you received these
13 instructions to put this material together?
14 A. I can only assume. We at the Ministry of the Interior carry out
15 our tasks as received. It is not up to me to assess why I had been given
16 a task; it is up to me to implement it. There is only a single case in
17 which I do not have to carry it out if it is against the law. All other
18 tasks I implement, without going into it whether I like it or not.
19 Q. Wasn't the purpose of preparing these reports based on your
20 documentation to assist Mr. Milosevic who was at trial here before this
22 A. I don't know that.
23 Q. Didn't you -- didn't --
24 A. If you're asking me for my opinion, I can share it with you.
25 Q. I'm asking you what you know based on your experience at the time
1 and information you had.
2 A. That I don't know.
3 Q. Didn't you include specific references to the indictment against
4 Mr. Milosevic in some of these reports?
5 A. It is possible.
6 Q. And why did you do that if the purpose wasn't to assist the
7 defence of Mr. Milosevic before this Tribunal? Why would you include
8 references to the indictment against him?
9 A. Because it was probably stipulated in the task. If it was indeed
10 mentioned, if there are references, then that must have been our working
12 Q. You're saying it was probably stipulated, you do not recall why
13 this was done, these reports that you yourself signed?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you do not recall why in these reports that you signed, you
16 included references to the Milosevic indictment?
17 A. It is certain that we did not make it up. For sure I didn't
18 mention the indictment against Mr. Milosevic because I wanted to. It is
19 most likely that there was a request to which we were supposed to
21 Q. So it would be correct to say that you were specifically
22 instructed in this order you received from the ministry to include these
23 references in the reports that you were compiling?
24 A. It doesn't necessarily have to be that way. It may have been
25 mentioned in one of the documents asking us to respond to this and that.
1 Q. Respond to this and that. What do you mean by that? When you
2 say to respond to this and that?
3 A. I mean if we mentioned something in relation to the indictment
4 there must have been a request for us to provide information or provide
5 indications of information that may have to do with the indictment.
6 Q. Thank you, sir.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: I have no further questions for this witness, Your
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Ms. Kravetz.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE BONOMY: When was it, Mr. Paponjak, that you became the
12 chief of the SUP Pec?
13 A. In July 1999. July. I was appointed acting chief I think on the
14 12th of June, and in July a decision was released on my appointment as
15 chief of the Pec SUP. I think the decision was passed by the minister.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: What happened to your predecessor?
17 A. He was then assigned to other duties.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: What were they?
19 A. Duties as a police officer, and I'm afraid I can't be more
20 specific than that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: In Pec?
22 A. Yes, with the Pec SUP.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Was he demoted?
24 A. In terms of rank, yes, he was.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
1 A. I don't know.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the rumour?
3 A. No one shared any with me.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: What was his name?
5 A. Borislav Vlahovic.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is he now?
7 A. I don't know. I retired late in 2004, and I haven't really been
8 in touch since.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Was he still in the police in 2004?
10 A. Yes, he was.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And you have absolutely no suspicion of why he was
13 A. No, I can't say I spent any time considering that. Truth to
14 tell, my own appointment sort of took me aback. I expected that after
15 everything that had happened I would be taking some time off, some time
16 to rest a little. And then this appointment came which surprised me. To
17 be perfectly honest, I can't say that I was really looking forward to
18 this appointment.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Bearing in mind that your predecessor was being
20 demoted, you weren't even concerned to find out why just in case the
21 problem might end up in your -- or on your plate?
22 A. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend not to ask too many
23 questions about what's going on unless it concerns me directly. I spent
24 a long time working in the police, and this is a type of behaviour that I
25 picked up along the way; other than that, I also happen to be that kind
1 of person.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic, re-examination?
4 MR. LUKIC: Just a short one, Your Honour.
5 Further Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon yet again, Mr. Paponjak. Several
7 questions from me. First of all, there's a certain amount of confusion
8 created by this. Why do you not know the regular forces of the VJ. Are
9 those soldiers doing their regular military term or just members of units
10 of the VJ from the Pec area or they came from elsewhere?
11 A. I know that there were those that came from elsewhere.
12 Q. Thank you. That's all I need. We talked about weapons being
13 seized -- vehicles being seized. Can police seize a vehicle that had
14 been involved in the commission of a crime?
15 A. Yes, absolutely.
16 Q. Can the police seize a vehicle that was used in order to commit a
18 A. Yes, they are under an obligation to do just that.
19 Q. Did you know a man named Edison Zatriqi, who was a haulier from
21 A. Yes, he was a haulier from Pec, that being the reason I knew him.
22 Q. Do you know where he kept his buses in early March 1999, or
23 rather, let me ask you something else to begin with, it's something that
24 I think we have discussed already. The garage where police vehicles were
25 kept, did that garage burn down at one point?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Yes or no, please.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you now remember where the Zatriqi Edison buses were parked at
5 the time?
6 A. Yes, they were parked nearby, just next to that workshop.
7 Q. And when the garage burned down did the police suffer any damage
8 as a result of this?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did that affect the way in which police vehicles were maintained?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. The owner of that garage, which ethnic group did he
13 belong to?
14 A. He was an ethnic Albanian.
15 Q. We talked about this. You tried to say but somehow you didn't
16 make it. Tell us your opinion, your opinion, on why these reports were
17 compiled. What did you tell me?
18 A. My impression was they were compiled in order to assist this
19 Tribunal with its work.
20 Q. Just another question from me. You, what about you in the Pec
21 SUP, did you have green and blue APCs positioned at junctions, traffic
22 junctions, where police were waving people on and sending them to
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you have any APCs at all?
1 A. No, none.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Paponjak.
3 A. No, my intention is to at least make sure that I myself remain
5 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions for you. Thank
6 you for testifying.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Paponjak, when was damage done to Zatriqi's
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right at the beginning of the
10 air-strikes, the 24th, possibly the 25th of March.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: How many buses did he have?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Four.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: What about to them?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They burned down along with a
15 workshop or a garage next to which they were parked.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, we're not getting
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It's on LiveNote if you have it.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Okay. Thank you.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And were these buses destroyed?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, burned down to the ground. I
22 remember that he had a double-decker as well.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I take it that his buses did not provide the
24 normal service of buses in the area?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were being used until such
1 time as they burned down.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But you told us that the buses were running as
3 usual in March, 27th and 28th ...
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they ran to schedule.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Perhaps it would have been better to phrase
7 the question this way. What were his buses normally used for?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The buses were used to get
9 passengers, for example, from Pec to Belgrade. He drove some of my
10 friends and that's why I know.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: When being used that way, was it a regular-service
13 bus that would travel at a particular time between Pec and Belgrade?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 That completes your evidence, Mr. Paponjak. Thank you for
17 assisting us with your evidence. You may now leave the courtroom with
18 the usher.
19 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, can we just -- Mr. Paponjak, can we just
20 clarify one thing arising from your questions. We should see how much
21 these four buses affected normal transportation even if destroyed.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, you wish to ask that?
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, please.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, very well.
25 Please return, Mr. Paponjak. I was premature in thinking that
1 your evidence was complete.
2 Mr. Lukic wants to ask some more questions.
3 Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Paponjak, you were asked about those four buses that burned
7 A. Indeed.
8 Q. Was there a public, state-owned transportation company in Pec?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many inhabitants in Pec roughly speaking?
11 A. Between 50.000 and 70.000.
12 Q. I know you don't like figures, I have come to realize that while
13 working with you, how many buses were there regularly operating
14 throughout the Pec area, a ballpark figure, do your best, please?
15 A. The socially owned company was poorly equipped. They didn't
16 really have good buses or safe buses. They had a total of about 20. The
17 problem was resolved through the service of private hauliers who had
18 their own private pools of vehicles. That's why I knew Mr. Zatriqi
19 because I became interested when I saw the buses, I wanted to know who
20 they belonged to, and I was told at the time that they belonged to him
21 and he had very good buses.
22 Q. How many such private hauliers in the general whereabouts?
23 A. A total of maybe about six or seven.
24 Q. What about the four buses that you mentioned, the ones that
25 burned down, did that kind of damage really reduce the traffic potential
1 in the area?
2 A. Yes, to some extent. It was more difficult at that point in time
3 to travel to Belgrade, and that was it.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Anything arise for you, Ms. Kravetz?
7 That now completes your evidence, Mr. Paponjak. You may this
8 time leave without fear of further detention.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: I'm in even a worse position than the last week.
13 What I can propose -- we don't have any more witnesses for the 15 minutes
14 left, and we may have that Status Conference tomorrow morning instead of
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I think it was suggested to you last week
17 that this situation would arise this week.
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we tried to dealt with it but we were informed
19 only people can come on Wednesday evening.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That means someone's coming tonight. Now, if we
21 have the hearing first thing tomorrow --
22 MR. LUKIC: Now nobody came, we said no, because we wouldn't have
23 enough time to prepare the witness for tomorrow.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Why? Maybe that's one of the problems we have in
25 this Tribunal, that far too much time is spent on preparing witnesses
1 rather than getting them into court and having them examined. A witness
2 who came tonight could surely be seen if we delayed the start of his
3 evidence while we have the hearing in the morning, then his evidence
4 could have begun in the second session or later. Where's the difficulty
5 with that?
6 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, if we don't show enough documents to our
7 witnesses, they cannot cope with our examination at all. We really have
8 to go through many of documents, even lately when we were too
9 overburdened with the witnesses, we -- you could hear that we didn't show
10 them some crucial evidence and we really didn't have time to cover
11 everything. Then they have problem with you because they cannot answer
12 some questions and they seemed unreliable.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the dead-line for the written filing on the
15 issue of -- that we're going to look at tomorrow on the impact of the
16 statement of accused?
17 MR. ZECEVIC: It was this afternoon, Your Honour, and it has been
18 filed already, and it is already on the docket.
19 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you've known, Mr. Lukic, all along what
21 action we're likely to take in a situation like this. In the case of the
22 Prosecution it was of no effect because they did not use all their time;
23 in your case it may well be of some effect if you use all your time as
24 all the indications suggest. We'll make a final decision when the time
25 comes, but you should have regard to the fact that the time lost
1 tomorrow, at least to the extent of one half --
2 MR. LUKIC: We'll try to organize ourselves during this break and
3 to -- we'll try to organize ourselves during this break and to use our
4 time as efficiently as possible.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And as an indication I think to everyone of the
6 basis on which you might wish to work, between now and the break that we
7 will have on the 25th of April there are I think 17 days, sitting days in
8 April. And on the face of it, that should be enough to deal with the
9 remaining evidence for your case and the expert evidence for all accused.
10 So you should proceed on the basis that there is a distinct possibility
11 of all these witnesses being required during that period.
12 So far as tomorrow is concerned, if it's convenient to everyone
13 else, then we can have the hearing at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
14 Ms. Kravetz, that a problem?
15 MS. KRAVETZ: No, that's fine by us.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, in the absence of any dissent,
17 we will rise now and resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.19 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 20th day of
20 March, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.