1 Tuesday, 27 January 2009
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Could the case for hearing be called, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-87/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Vlastimir Djordjevic.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Good morning to counsel.
10 Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP: Good morning, Your Honours. May it please you, I
12 appear along with Ms. Daniela Kravetz and Ms. Priya Gopalan for the
13 Prosecution, and with us, of course, is our case manager,
14 Ms. Line Pedersen.
15 JUDGE PARKER: We don't need each morning, I think, Mr. Stamp to
16 hear the appearance of counsel, but as this is the first day of trial, we
17 will call upon Mr. Djordjevic to announce the counsel appearing in the
18 trial for the Defence.
19 Mr. Djordjevic.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For Defence today
21 is present my co-counsel Mr. Djurdjic and my legal assistants,
22 Ms. Marie O'Leary and Mr. Aleksandar Popovic, as well me personally, as
23 lead counsel, Dragoljub Djordjevic. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for that, Mr. Djordjevic. We
25 welcome all counsel and we look forward to a cooperative, constructive
1 hearing of this trial.
2 We turn now to the opportunity for the Prosecution to make its
3 opening statement. Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
5 At the outset, I should say that the trial commencing today is
6 primarily about the deportation of a substantial proportion of the
7 civilian population of Kosovo. Few of us, I think, can forget the
8 shocking and heart-rending images in the media during 1999 of seemingly
9 endless columns or convoys of refugees, including women, children, the
10 elderly, leaving Kosovo on foot, on animal- and human-drawn carts and
11 wagons, by tractors and any other type of motor vehicle that was
12 available. In all, between the 24th of March, 1999, and the 10th of
13 June, 1999, about 800.000 Kosovar Albanians fled the territory, and that
14 is out of a population of some 2 million, a little over 2 million. They
15 fled to the neighbouring states, primarily Albania and Macedonia
16 of them departed in the first month of the conflict. This trial is about
17 how and why that human exodus from Kosovo took place and about who was
18 responsible for it.
19 The Prosecution says that the evidence in this case will show
20 that the accused, Vlastimir Djordjevic, participated with other members
21 of the Serbian political, military, and police leadership in a joint
22 criminal enterprise, a JCE as we call it, to expel a significant portion
23 of the Kosovo Albanian population from Kosovo, and that the execution of
24 this plan involved terrorising the Kosovo Albanian population into
25 fleeing by the commission of many acts of persecution against them,
1 including and in particular murder.
2 The purpose of the JCE, the joint criminal enterprise, was to
3 modify the ethnic balance of Kosovo in order to maintain and continue
4 Serbian control over the province. While motive is not a necessary
5 element for us to prove in this case, it is a factor that can help
6 Your Honours to understand the evidence. Thus you will hear some
7 evidence about the special importance of Kosovo in Serbian history and
8 its importance to some members of the leadership of the Serbian
10 And I should tell you here that I will probably, in the course of
11 this opening address, use acronyms, fall into the habits of using
12 acronyms, like JCE for joint criminal enterprise. I have distributed and
13 I hope Your Honours have in your possession a glossary of the common
14 acronyms for various organs, organisations and persons -- not persons,
15 but organisations relevant to this case. I think it has been delivered
16 to Your Honours.
17 In furtherance of the objective of the JCE, the authors of this
18 campaign of ethnic cleansing executed a concerted plan to terrorise the
19 ethnic Albanians into leaving the province. You will hear evidence of
20 massive executions and the systematic process by which Serbian forces
21 went from hamlet to hamlet, village to village, town to town, murdering,
22 raping, burning, looting and destroying property in their path. And it
23 will be readily perceived by the end of the Prosecution's case that the
24 massive movement of refugees throughout Kosovo and out of Kosovo was a
25 direct consequence of the rampages of these forces.
1 This process had the intended effect of frightening the civilian
2 population to leave their homes. Villagers could hear the sound of
3 artillery from neighbouring villages, see houses burning, hear horror
4 stories from fleeing victims and feared that the same fate awaited them.
5 Consequently, many of them would load their families on carts or tractors
6 or any means of transport available and join the convoys to avoid being
7 beaten, raped, or even murdered. The looting and burning and destruction
8 of Kosovo Albanian property was intended to ensure that there was nothing
9 left for them to return to, if they dared.
10 So as I indicated, the main issue in this case is deportation but
11 also the principal means employed to achieve the deportation and that is
13 Before discussing the crimes and the perpetrators, I think it
14 would be useful, Your Honours, if I gave a brief overview in the area
15 that we are discussing, its demographics, population, and people. It
16 might be useful to show a couple of maps in talking about the history of
17 Kosovo. During the trial you may hear it referred to in a variety of
18 ways. We here will call it Kosovo, sometimes Kosovo and Metohija. If
19 you ever look at the first map, I think, on your screens, this is a map
20 of the Balkans showing the various states surrounding Serbia and Kosovo,
21 in the whole scheme of things.
22 I don't know if Your Honours have it on your screens. I think if
23 you hit the video button --
24 JUDGE PARKER: We each have the display, Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: Oh, thank you very much.
1 JUDGE PARKER: No problem. Thank you.
2 MR. STAMP: Before the wars of the early 1990s, the former
4 SFRY, looked like the picture you're seeing on the screen. The SFRY was
5 then made up of six republics. In alphabetical order, they are Bosnia
7 itself were the two so-called autonomous provinces of Vojvodina to the
8 north and Kosovo to the south.
9 As you can see, Kosovo was located to the south and importantly
10 its southern border, its south-west border, was shared with Albania
11 that is an important factor, I think, to remember in the geography when
12 we come to deal with evidence with the movements of people and the
13 development of the joint criminal enterprise in this case.
14 Kosovo had been contested territory for much of its history.
15 Between 1912 and 1918, and again during World War II, Kosovo was occupied
16 by a number of different invaders. At the end of the Second World War,
17 Kosovo was formally annexed to Serbia
18 very small area, geographically speaking, notwithstanding its population
19 of 2 million people.
20 And if we look at the next map on the screen, you will see the
21 main towns of Kosovo. Many of these towns are the towns that will be the
22 subject -- or we will discuss in terms of being the locations where many
23 of the crimes charged in the indictment were committed. You will see the
24 capital of the province, Pristina, toward the centre but to the right,
25 that is, to the east of the province.
1 Kosovo is barely 150 kilometres at its widest point, and some
2 inferences can be drawn from the size of the place. If you -- I would
3 like to show you another map. This is a map with the 29 municipalities
4 of Kosovo. The deportation counts and indeed the murder counts are
5 organised in terms of the municipalities in which they occurred. This
6 map simply shows the municipalities, and no doubt as the case progresses,
7 Your Honours, you will become more familiar with the relevant
8 municipalities in the case.
9 You will note that in the indictment and in some maps that you
10 will be shown in the process of -- in the course of the case, there will
11 be alternative spellings for the place names, with the Serbian version
12 first followed by the Albanian. In certain instances, the name is the
13 same in both languages. Some witnesses, mainly the Serbian witnesses,
14 will refer to the Serbian names and the Albanian witnesses will probably
15 refer to the Albanian names. We will use the Serbian names to ensure
16 that the accused and his representatives know where we're talking about.
17 The population of Kosovo, if we could turn to the demographics,
18 was composed of two groups - Albanians and Serbs. Prior to the conflict
19 in 1999, the last census, with nearly complete participation, took place
20 in 1981 and showed a total population for Kosovo of approximately
21 1.585 million citizens, that is 1 million, 585.000 citizens, of which
22 77 percent were Albanians, and 13 percent were Serbs. The remaining
23 10 percent consisted of different groups, including Roma and Turks, that
24 were smaller in number.
25 The next census in 1991 was boycotted by Kosovo Albanians, but
1 the general estimates of the Kosovo population in 1998 suggest that the
2 total population for Kosovo in that year was in the neighbourhood of
3 between 2 and 2.2 million people, of which Kosovo Albanians constituted
4 80 to 85 percent, and Serbs approximately 10 percent. So you will see a
5 change in the demographics, declining proportion of Serbs and increasing
6 proportion of ethnic Albanians in the population. And we intend to lead
7 expert evidence on the demographic composition of the population at the
8 relevant time.
9 All the crimes charged in the indictment against the accused, the
10 persecutions, which includes the rapes, physical assaults, robbery,
11 destruction of property, and the murders, occurred during the first half
12 of 1999. However, the indictment also alleges specifically that in 1998
13 forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is the FRY, and of
15 force and attacks against civilians. This is important background for
16 understanding what happened later, not least of all how the joint
17 criminal enterprise developed and to gain some insight into the state of
18 mind of the accused Djordjevic and his awareness that forces subordinated
19 to him had and were likely to commit crimes against Kosovo Albanian
20 civilians when they came in contact with them.
21 And so for a better understanding of the events in that first
22 half of 1999, I propose to give a very brief overview of the history of
23 the area of Kosovo and its place in the nation, the Serbian state.
24 In 1974, a new constitution was passed in the SFRY, that's the
25 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which in effect provided for a
1 shift of power from the central federal authority to the six constituent
2 republics, that is, Bosnia
4 Vojvodina and Kosovo which were part of Serbia. The powers granted
5 included republican and provincial control over the judiciary, the
6 police, and the educational system. So we see at that point a devolution
7 of power towards the province of Kosovo
8 In 1980 President Tito, who had led Yugoslavia for 35 years,
9 died. Shortly after that, ethnic and nationalistic fears long suppressed
10 were given vent. Political unrest began to stir in Kosovo. In the
11 1980s, the Kosovo Serbs voiced their concerns about discrimination
12 against them by the Albanian majority provincial government. Meanwhile,
13 during the same period of the 1980s, Kosovo Albanians expressed concern
14 about economic underdevelopment in the province. The Kosovo Albanians
15 also sought additional political liberalisation and republic status for
17 Beginning in the 1980s and continuing on and through the 1990s,
18 Kosovo Albanians frequently staged demonstrations in support of greater
19 independence and autonomy, which were often forcibly suppressed by the
20 military and police forces of Serbia
21 Presidency responded strongly to the ongoing unrest in Kosovo, declaring
22 that the situation had deteriorated to such an extent as to threaten the
23 constitution, integrity, and sovereignty of the country. The SFRY
24 Presidency imposed special measures which reassigned police authority and
25 responsibility for public security from the provincial government of
1 Kosovo back to the federal government of the SFRY. So we see a reversal
2 of the constitutional process or the constitutional achievements of 1974
4 On the 23rd of March, 1989, the Kosovo Assembly met, and we say,
5 and you'll hear evidence from the first witness, I believe, we say that
6 under threat and duress and intimidation, caused in no small part by the
7 presence of tanks outside the Assembly building, the members voted to
8 give up control of the police, education, choice of official language,
9 and veto powers over further changes to the Serbian constitution. A few
10 days later the Assembly of Serbia approved changes to the constitution
11 and revoked the autonomy previously granted to Kosovo in 1974. The
12 courts and municipal councils in Kosovo ceased to function.
13 Not surprisingly there followed more strikes, more
14 demonstrations, and more agitation by the populous of Kosovo in support
15 of the autonomy and independence, and these actions were strongly
16 suppressed by the Serbian authorities.
17 In the early 1990s, measures were put in place that we say were
18 the early attempts by legislative means to alter the ethnic balance in
19 Kosovo in order to maintain Serbian control of the province. By then it
20 was seen that the province was slipping away, and the major factor which
21 impeded Serbian control was the fact of the minority status and the
22 declining proportion of the population. Albanian professionals were
23 removed from their jobs merely because of their ethnicity, and they were
24 replaced by Serbs whether qualified for the position or not. Indeed,
25 after the outbreak of war in Croatia
1 Serbian refugees from those republics were relocated to Kosovo in order
2 to bolster the Serbian population there, and special incentives to lure
3 Serbs to settle in Kosovo were attempted. But this particular sort of
4 effort to alter the ethnic balance in favour of the Serbs did not meet
5 with any great success.
6 In July 1999 -- in July 1990, the Kosovo Assembly passed an
7 unofficial resolution declaring Kosovo to be an equal and independent
8 entity within the SFRY, that is, equal to the republics of Serbia,
10 days by passing a decision suspending or dissolving the Assembly of
12 The suspended Kosovo Assembly continued to remain active,
13 however, and in September 1990 proclaimed a constitution for the would-be
14 "Republic of Kosovo." This is what they called it. A year later, in
15 September 1991, the Kosovo Albanians held an unofficial referendum which
16 was overwhelmingly in favour of independence.
17 In May 1992 the Kosovo Albanians held official elections for an
18 assembly -- sorry, held unofficially elections. They had been officially
19 dissolved by the Serbian parliament. They held unofficial elections for
20 the Assembly and president for their own "Republic of Kosovo
21 called it. Ibrahim Rugova, now deceased, a founder and member of the
22 Democratic League of Kosovo was chosen president and six years later was
23 re-elected to that position.
24 During the early 1990s, the LDK, as I would call the Democratic
25 League of Kosovo, the LDK led an unofficial coalition government and
1 pursued a policy of a non-violent civil resistance and began establishing
2 unofficial parallel institutions in the sectors of education and health
3 care in Kosovo.
4 So the early 1990s, was a period when the majority Kosovo
5 Albanians kept up the pressure in asserting their desire for greater
6 independence or autonomy by acts of protests or acts of civil
7 disobedience, and the Serbian authorities responded by restricting or
8 removing whatever authority and power they had, and sometimes with
10 By the mid 1990s, there was growing dissolution on the part of
11 Kosovo Albanians with Dr. Rugova and the LDK's policy of non-violent
12 resistance, and a faction of Kosovo Albanians organised a group known as
13 Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves. Notwithstanding that I've practiced this,
14 I'm sure I didn't get it right. But this group, the UCK - or as it is
15 known in English, and this is what we're call it because it's easier to
16 say, the Kosovo Liberation Army - exposed a contrary position to
17 Dr. Rugova's LDK. The Kosovo Liberation Army advocated a policy of armed
18 insurgency and violent resistance to the Serb authorities in Kosovo.
19 The KLA began launching armed attacks, primarily against the
20 Serbian police forces in the mid and latter part of the 1990s. The
21 Serbian police responded forcefully with numerous operations against
22 suspected KLA bases and supporters in Kosovo, and the persecution of
23 Kosovo Albanians -- Albanian civilians became more common and widespread.
24 The alternating pattern of aggression by the KLA on the one hand and the
25 responses of the forces of the FRY and Serbia on the other continued
1 throughout 1997 and 1998 with an ever-increasing cycle of violence.
2 And if I may pause just to touch upon two matters. First,
3 regarding use of the term "forces of the FRY and Serbia." This is a term
4 that's been defined in the indictment. It's a term to include not only
5 units of the army of the FRY, the Yugoslav Army or the VJ, as we will
6 call it from time to time, and of the Ministry of the Interior, that is,
7 the police, but also various military, territorial units, civil defence
8 units, village defence forces, which were armed locals, locals armed by
9 the police and VJ, and volunteer units attached to and assigned to or
10 otherwise incorporated into the VJ or the MUP. So it's an all-embracing
12 Secondly, I will just say from early that the Prosecution readily
13 accepts that grave crimes, very grave crimes, were committed by members
14 of the KLA against the Serbian civilians, the police and other ethnic
15 groups, including Kosovo Albanians who were loyal to the Serbian state.
16 Indeed, the OTP has proffered indictments against several of the members
17 of the KLA for these offences. This case is about the other side of the
18 coin, the crimes committed by the forces of the FRY and Serbia against
19 the Kosovo Albanian civilians. Any attempt by the accused to justify his
20 conduct or that of the forces under his command on the grounds that
21 offences of a similar character may have been committed against civilians
22 by another party to the conflict has no basis, it is submitted, in the
23 jurisprudence of this Tribunal.
24 At the beginning of 1996 and 1997, the KLA was a small, poorly
25 armed and disorganised group. Most of its leadership was abroad. But
1 due in part to the availability of additional weapons following a
2 collapse of law and order in neighbouring Albania at about that time, and
3 an ever-growing number of volunteers, the KLA in 1998 grew to include
4 several thousand members and to become more and more active against the
5 Serb police. Indeed, it, by 1998, controlled significant parts of the
6 territory of Kosovo. And not only were actions directed against the
7 police but also against Kosovo Albanians, as I said before, loyal to the
8 Serb authorities.
9 So the conflict intensified, and the Serb response to KLA
10 activities was widely viewed as being disproportionate and amounting to
11 excessive and indiscriminate force against Kosovo Albanian civilians.
12 Villages and towns where there were KLA positions were shelled and the
13 residents were driven away. The problem was significant enough by then
14 to gain international attention.
15 Significantly, in March 1998, Serb forces carried out an
16 operation in the Srbica municipality, attacking the family compound of a
17 notable KLA activist, one Adem Jashari, in the village of Donji Prekaz
18 killing over 50 people, including Jashari and his entire family, except
19 for an 11-year-old girl.
20 Now, in using the word "compound," or "family compound," the
21 expression "family compound," I am describing a particular feature of
22 Kosovo Albanian architecture that you will hear more about in the course
23 of the trial. It's the fairly common practice of different family units
24 that are part of one extended family, sometimes of several generations,
25 living in separate houses built within one family compound that it
1 supports sounded by a wall. It doesn't mean that the Jashari family
2 compound was a military fortification of some sort.
3 And I will also add that it is doubtless that several persons on
4 the compound had been involved in KLA activity. However, the brutal,
5 excessive, and indiscriminate nature of the assault shocked the
6 conscience of many observers, both local and international.
7 In March 1998, the United Nations Security Council issued
8 Resolution 1160 which condemned, and I quote, "the excessive --" sorry,
9 may I begin again, quote, "the excessive use --" I will start over the
10 quote. Quote:
11 "The use of excessive force by the Serbian police forces against
12 civilians and peaceful demonstrators in Kosovo."
13 This resolution will be put in evidence. It's the Prosecution's
14 submission that the accused, as chief of the police, was aware of the
15 excessive force and aware of the international condemnation of it. The
16 resolution also condemned the violence, indiscriminate violence, by the
18 Despite the March 1998 United Nations resolution condemning their
19 practices, the forces of the FRY and Serbia
20 operations against the KLA, including against the civilian population in
21 areas where KLA operated, but increased the ferocity and intensity of
22 that campaign.
23 In July 1998, the forces of the FRY and Serbia began a
24 large-scale offensive throughout the entire province of Kosovo
25 operation included among others various brigades of the VJ's
1 Pristina Corps and special units of the MUP.
2 It is interesting to note here that the month before the launch
3 of this big summer offensive we see the creation of the Joint Command for
4 Kosovo and Metohija, as it was known, and which will play an important
5 role in future operations in Kosovo, and it will we discussed a little
6 further on.
7 The mandate of the Joint Command was to coordinate civil affairs
8 and activities and also coordinate the activities of the police and the
9 army when they're engaged in operations in Kosovo. The Joint Command had
10 no official role or legitimacy in Serbian law or the constitution, but
11 its role and importance is reflected by a VJ military order dated the 7th
12 of July, 1998, from the commander of the 125th Motorised Brigade,
13 declaring a ban on all operations without the knowledge and approval of
14 the Joint Command. So this unofficial ad hoc body, of which the accused
15 was a member, was involved in and responsible for coordinating the
16 activities of the security forces in Kosovo in 1998.
17 The Joint Command meetings occurred on almost a daily basis
18 during the big offensive from July to October 1998, and the accused
19 regularly attended meetings, along with some of his former co-accused,
20 Sainovic, Pavkovic, and Lukic. We expect that the evidence led in
21 respect to the events of 1998 and the accused's role and statements he
22 made at Joint Command meetings will show that he was aware of the
23 excessive and indiscriminate force directed against Kosovar Albanian
24 civilians by forces of the FRY and Serbia
25 he was responsible.
1 We will tender minutes of these meetings where the discussion of
2 the use of excessive force was commonplace, and we will at the
3 appropriate stage submit that it shows that he was aware of the
4 likelihood that the forces that he commanded would commit crimes of the
5 nature that are charged.
6 In the face of this continuing campaign of disproportionate force
7 of the civilian population in Kosovo, the United Nations Security Council
8 adopted another resolution on the 23rd of September, 1998. This was
9 Resolution 1199 and it called for an immediate cease-fire in Kosovo, an
10 international presence to monitor that cease-fire, and the withdrawal of
11 security forces used for civilian repression.
12 This resolution and the increasing outcry on both the domestic
13 and international fronts forced the FRY government to engage in
14 international negotiations in 1998. You will hear some detailed evidence
15 about those negotiations which occurred. These talks resulted in a
16 number of agreements, the so-called October Agreements, signed by the
17 representatives of the FRY, Serbia
18 Security and Co-operation in Europe
19 participants from the Serbian side on behalf of the police, during the
20 course of these negotiations.
21 Key provisions insisted upon by the international interlocutors
22 were the cessation of the use of excessive and indiscriminate force
23 against the civilian population and the reduction of VJ and MUP forces in
24 Kosovo. The agreement also called for the creation and deployment of a
25 verification mission from the OSCE to be called the Kosovo Verification
2 verify compliance with the terms of the agreement. And you will hear
3 testimony from several of these members as to what transpired after the
4 coming into force of these agreements.
5 It is to be noted that a United Nations report found that by the
6 end of October 1998, approximately 285.000 Kosovo Albanians had been
7 displaced from their homes, either internally in Kosovo, some camping out
8 in mountains, forests, fields, and in other villages; and some had been
9 displaced across the border into neighbouring countries. And one should
10 note here the early estimates of the population, 285.000 persons out of
11 the Kosovo Albanian population amounts approximately one in six persons
12 being forced out of their homes in 1998, and this was highlighted by the
13 international community and must have been within the awareness of the
14 accused, who was one of the leading Serbian negotiators with the
15 international community.
16 The October Agreements, unfortunately, did not achieve the
17 hoped-for results. There was some initially withdrawals of Serb forces
18 in the beginning. However, the KLA quickly moved in to fill the void in
19 those areas and remained active against forces of the FRY and Serbia
20 December, the numbers of Serb forces were on the rise again. From their
21 arrival in November 1998 until their departure in March 1999, the KVM
22 observers noted in addition to operations against the KLA there was
23 ongoing violence by forces of the FRY and Serbia against the civilian
25 This included an operation in January 1999 in the area of Racak,
1 which left 40 Kosovar Albanians dead, and that event helped spur the
2 ongoing efforts to stop the violence in Kosovo.
3 There were international meetings, including an international
4 peace conference in Rambouillet in Paris, France
5 these negotiations the fighting in Kosovo continued. The Rambouillet
6 negotiations, I should say, were in February 1999. The talks eventually
7 collapsed in Paris
8 With the failure of the negotiations, the KVM verifiers withdraw
9 from Kosovo. On the 23rd of March, 1999, a declaration of an imminent
10 threat of war was proclaimed by the FRY. The next day, the 24th of
11 March, 1999, the NATO bombing campaign began in Kosovo and elsewhere in
13 So we see over the period of 1990s increasing violence and
14 increasing determination on the KLA side by acts of violence, often
15 illegal and criminal, to dislodge the Serbian state from Kosovo and the
16 violent responses by the Serbian authorities. It was by then becoming
17 clear that drastic measures had to be taken in order to resolve the
18 Kosovo issue.
19 And from early as February 1999, members of the JCE had already
20 begun planning the joint police and VJ operations which were later
21 undertaken in order to achieve their aim of modifying the ethnic balance
22 under the guise of crushing the KLA. We will see that the accused was
23 integrally involved in the planning of these operations. When the
24 opportunity arose, the members of the JCE acted by launching large-scale
25 joint operations using the forces of the FRY and Serbia. The JCE's
1 objective of modifying the ethnic balance to maintain Serbian control in
2 the province, that is, by depopulating Kosovo of a significant proportion
3 of the Albanians living there, was largely achieved by the end of April,
4 although some more isolated operations continued to occur after this.
5 Who were the major players in this drama? The evidence will show
6 that many of the important leaders in the Serbian and Yugoslav state
7 played a part in bringing into effect this JCE.
8 Of course, first and foremost for the purposes of this trial is
9 the accused Vlastimir Djordjevic, whose formal position is set out in
10 detail in the indictment and the pre-trial brief. At the material time
11 he was posted at the MUP headquarters in Belgrade as an Assistant
12 Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
13 of the Public Security Department of the police, that is, the regular
14 uniformed police side of the MUP. There was another department in the
15 MUP, the State Security Department, called the RDB, which was akin to a
16 secret service involving intelligence-gathering. We'll talk more about
17 these departments later on when we discuss the MUP.
18 But suffice it to say for now that as Chief of the Public
19 Security Department of the MUP, that is, the RJB, the accused Djordjevic
20 had overall responsibility for and exercised control over the police
21 units on the ground in Kosovo that participated in committing the crimes
22 charged in this indictment. He reported directly to the Minister of
23 Interior, that is, Mr. Stojiljkovic.
24 Mr. Djordjevic had originally been indicted with six others who
25 we say were also participants in the joint criminal enterprise:
2 Vladimir Lazarevic, and Sreten Lukic. But before I come to briefly
3 describing who they were and what their positions were, may I start, it
4 is convenient I think to start from the top.
5 Slobodan Milosevic, who should be on the screen now. No
6 account - no account - of the conflict in Kosovo in 1999 could be told
7 without mentioning him. He was the President of the FRY, the undisputed
8 leader, and without question the most powerful individual in the country
9 at the time the crimes alleged in the indictment were committed. His
10 role in the JCE was that of the paramount leader, the one who gave
11 orders, the primary planner and instigator.
12 Milosevic surrounded himself with loyal followers who shared his
13 views about the importance of Kosovo to Serbia and who could be relied
14 upon to take the necessary actions to modify the ethnic balance in Kosovo
15 in order to maintain Serbian control in the province.
16 He was not only the President of the FRY but he was also the
17 President of the most powerful political party in Serbia at the time, the
18 SPS, and thus had significant de jure and de facto ability to affect and
19 control operations within the various organs of government, the military,
20 and the police.
21 Next is Milan Milutinovic, a former co-indictee of the accused.
22 Milutinovic was a high-ranking member of the SPS and a close associate of
23 Slobodan Milosevic. He was President of Serbia, one of the constituent
24 states of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from December 1997 until
25 December 2002. The other state in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I
1 should mention, at that time was Montenegro
2 Milutinovic was one of the three voting members of the Supreme Defence
3 Council, an important body that was responsible for organising security
4 of the country. Milutinovic's prominent position as President of Serbia,
5 as a member of the SDC
6 association with Milosevic and his high status in the SPS, the party in
7 power, combined to give him substantial de jure power and de facto
8 influence and control over the army, the police, and other organs and
9 individuals engaged in implementing the objectives of the JCE.
10 Nikola Sainovic is the next. By all accounts he was an even
11 closer confidante of Milosevic and considered part of Milosevic's inner
12 circle. From 1994 to 2000 he held the post of Deputy Prime Minister of
13 the FRY. In 1998 and 1999, Sainovic was Milosevic's personal choice to
14 be delegated with primary responsibility for Kosovo matters. He was also
15 head of the Joint Command and he exercised authority and control over the
16 forces of the FRY and Serbia
17 capacity as head of the Joint Command.
18 Three of the accused Djordjevic's co-indictees were commanders of
19 the Yugoslav Army, the VJ. The VJ acted in coordination with the police
20 in the commission of many of the crimes charged in the indictment. It
21 was a modern professional army which, in acting in coordination with
22 other elements of the forces of the FRY in Serbia, played a vital role in
23 the implementation of the JCE.
24 If we briefly look down the chain of command from the top, I
25 should point out first that the constitution of the FRY and federal
1 legislation provided that the overall command of the VJ was the FRY
2 president, then Milosevic.
3 Below him you'll see on your screen General Dragoljub Ojdanic.
4 He was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the VJ by Milosevic on the
5 24th of November, 1998, and remained in that position during the
6 indictment period. As Chief of the VJ's General Staff, he was the
7 highest ranking, most authoritative officer in the VJ, and exercised the
8 highest professional military level of command and effective control over
9 the three services of the VJ - the land forces, the air and air defence
10 forces, and the navy.
11 Below him in the chain of command was General Nebojsa Pavkovic.
12 The land forces of the VJ, specifically the Third Army then under the
13 control of General Pavkovic, is most relevant to the events in Kosovo in
14 1999. Pavkovic was appointed Commander of the Third Army on the
15 25th of December, 1998, and remained in that post throughout 1999. He
16 was also a member of the Joint Command of Kosovo in 1998 and 1999.
17 Kosovo was the area of responsibility of a unit of the Third Army
18 known as the Pristina Corps, and the Pristina Corps was commanded by
19 General Vladimir Lazarevic, who you will see coming up on your screen
20 now. He was appointed Commander of the Pristina Corps on the
21 25th of December, 1998. He was also an active member of and participated
22 in the Joint Command in Kosovo.
23 In this particular trial, you will probably be more interested in
24 the role of the MUP and its leadership, this accused being a former
25 senior commander thereof.
1 And so I come to the sixth co-indictee, or former co-indictee of
2 the accused, that is, Sreten Lukic. From June 1998 throughout 1999,
3 Lukic was head of the MUP Staff in Kosovo. We will hear a little bit
4 more on the MUP Staff later on. As such he was the highest ranking MUP
5 official posted in Kosovo. He commanded MUP operations in Kosovo and was
6 also a member and participant in the meetings and decision-making of the
7 Joint Command. As head of the MUP Staff for Kosovo, Sreten Lukic
8 exercised command authority and effective control over MUP units deployed
9 in Kosovo and those units subordinated to the MUP for operations in
10 Kosovo. He was a direct subordinate of the accused Djordjevic.
11 Other senior MUP officials of interest include
12 Vlajko Stojiljkovic, now deceased. He was a Minister of Internal Affairs
13 of Serbia
14 JCE, and his name will be mentioned often in the course of this trial.
15 As the Minister of Internal affairs, he was the political head of the MUP
16 and had responsibility for the work of the MUP and its personnel during
17 the time-frame of this indictment.
18 We will also hear a lot about Obrad Stevanovic, who was an
19 assistant Minister of Police who headed the Police Administration, a
20 sub-division of the Public Security Division. He was frequently on the
21 ground in Kosovo during the indictment period, coordinating the
22 operations of special units of the MUP. And he again is someone that you
23 will hear mentioned quite often in the course of this trial.
24 Next, Radomir Markovic. He was also an Assistant Minister of the
25 MUP, on the same level of the accused Djordjevic. The MUP, as I
1 indicated earlier, had two branchs: the Public Security Division, that's
2 the RJB, and the State Security Division, the RDB. The State Security
3 Division was headed by Markovic, and it was primarily involved in
4 performing the task of collecting information and intelligence relating
5 to state security of the Republic of Serbia
6 If we could take a closer look at the organisation of the MUP
7 with a chart which I wish to put before you. This is the organisation of
8 the MUP in so far as it relates to Kosovo.
9 The Ministry of the Interior was mandated by Serbian law to
10 protect human lives and the safety of persons and their possessions and
11 to maintain law and order.
12 The RJB side of the MUP, that's public security side of the MUP,
13 that Djordjevic was chief of, comprised of the ordinary uniformed police
14 who did regular day-to-day police work of crime-prevention,
15 investigation, enforcement of traffic laws, border control, and the
16 normal operation of the police.
17 I think that the Court could take particular note that the police
18 involved in border control were under the supervision or were
19 subordinated to this accused. We will see that in respect to the
20 deportation offences, what happened at the borders and the conduct of the
21 police at the borders was of great importance.
22 In addition to the police officers conducting normal police work,
23 the RJB also had special units which were heavily armed and specially
24 trained and equipped to conduct operations, including combat, which could
25 not be done by the regular police. Witnesses will tell you that these
1 police were often armed with armoured personnel carriers, mortars,
2 grenades, and other weapons we might not normally associate with the
4 In Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, the following special units of the
5 RJB were actively engaged: The main special unit was called, simply, the
6 Special Police Units, or the PJP, as we'll hear it being referred to
7 quite frequently. There's also the Operational Sweep Groups, or the
8 OPGs. And the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, or the SAJ, which was a
9 highly elite combat unit of the police.
10 The state security side of the MUP which the accused controlled
11 also -- I'm sorry. The state security side of the MUP was controlled by
12 Markovic, Radomir Markovic, and that side controlled a special unit of
13 its own which was engaged also in operations in Kosovo. This was called
14 the Special Operations Unit. Most witnesses, particularly police
15 officers, will refer to it by its acronym, the JSO.
16 On the chart you'll see that all of these units fell under the
17 MUP Staff for Kosovo, and many of these units, you'll hear from the
18 evidence, were involved in much of the activities resulting in the crimes
19 that were committed against the Kosovo Albanian population.
20 These units reported up to the accused through the MUP Staff in
21 Kosovo, headed by Lukic, and they reported up to the accused sometimes
22 directly. We intend to tender several orders issued by the accused
23 deploying these units or personnel of these units in Kosovo which we say
24 demonstrate his overall command role over these units as chief of the
1 For example, one of the dispatches we intend to bring before the
2 Court is one of the accused of the 21st of March, 1999, where he deployed
3 a company of PJPs from Subotica
4 detachment in Kosovo. This was on the 21st of March, 1999. The unit
5 deployed was actively engaged in operations in the Orahovac municipality.
6 This is where Bela Crkva and Mala Krusa are located, and we will hear in
7 evidence of the massacres that were committed there in those two villages
8 by the police on the 25th of March.
9 So the accused had overall responsibility for all these police
10 units operating in Kosovo. In addition to all this, the MUP had
11 reservists to supplement its regular contingent. MUP reservists formed
12 the core of local defence units established in many parts of Kosovo.
13 Within Kosovo province, the standard work of MUP was divided on a
14 geographical basis. If we could go back to the graphic, the chart, we'll
15 see at the bottom of the chart the seven separate regional secretariats
16 of the interior, as they were called, and often in this case they'll be
17 referred to merely as SUPs by some of the witnesses, each responsible for
18 RJB tasks in the municipalities making up Kosovo provinces. So the SUPs
19 would be the police headquarters governing several municipalities in
21 The SUPs, shown at the bottom of the chart, reported up the chain
22 of command, sometimes through the Joint Command, sometimes through the
23 MUP Staff for Kosovo, and sometimes directly to the MUP headquarters in
25 If we can look at the seven -- you will see the seven areas or
1 geographic areas in Kosovo where these SUPs were organisationally
2 responsible for. And the next map will show the municipalities that was
3 covered in each of these regions by the seven SUPs in Kosovo.
4 In addition to the role of the SUPs, you will hear much evidence
5 in this case about the role of command and control organs over the forces
6 of the FRY and Serbia
7 and the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija.
8 The MUP Staff for Kosovo was located in Pristina and from
9 June 1998
10 was to manage and coordinate the work of the MUP on the suppression of
11 terrorism in Kosovo and to organise and direct the work of the MUP units
12 when performing more complex security tasks in the province.
13 The MUP Staff in Kosovo included RDB members, as well as the
14 department heads in Kosovo and also the chiefs of the seven regional SUPs
15 in Kosovo. As head of the MUP Staff for Kosovo, in 1998 Lukic was
16 required to report to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Stojiljkovic. He
17 also reported to the accused Djordjevic, his immediate superior. Daily
18 situation reports went to, among others, the minister, the assistant
19 minister, including this accused as head of the RJB. And as I pointed
20 out, in addition to these regular daily reports, the seven regional SUPs
21 were required to report significant events not only to the MUP Staff in
22 Pristina but also directly to the MUP headquarters in Belgrade. This
23 reporting regime was supplemented by the fact that MUP higher-ups, such
24 as the minister himself, the accused Djordjevic, and the Head of Police
25 Administration Obrad Stevanovic sometimes attended meetings of the MUP
1 Staff in Kosovo.
2 I have already made mention of the Joint Command. I should just
3 pause here to point out and to alert you to the existence of another body
4 that was sometimes referred to as the Joint Command. During 1998 and
5 1999 in Belgrade
6 military, political, and police officials that met and discussed matters
7 relating to the events and actions in Kosovo. The participants included
8 Milosevic, Sainovic, Ojdanic, Pavkovic, and the accused Djordjevic, and
9 sometimes Minister Stojiljkovic. This body had no apparent basis in law
10 nor an official title. In addition to Joint Command, it was sometimes
11 referred to as the "State Commission" or the "Inter-Departmental Staff
12 for the Suppression of Terrorism." This group that met in Belgrade
13 be distinguished from the Joint Command of Kosovo and Metohija, which met
14 in Kosovo, in Pristina. When we, the Prosecution, use the term "Joint
15 Command," we will be talking about the body in Kosovo, and references to
16 the Belgrade
17 can be distinguished.
18 If I could turn now, Your Honours, with your leave, to the crimes
20 The accused is charged with persecutions, forced transfers,
21 deportations, and murders committed in the first half of 1999 in Kosovo.
22 The evidence will show that at the material time there was an ongoing
23 armed conflict in Kosovo, at first between the forces of the FRY and
25 forces of the FRY and Serbia
2 During this conflict thousands of Kosovo Albanian civilians and
3 non-combatants were killed by forces of the FRY and Serbia. As many as
4 800.000 were forcibly transferred and deported. That, Your Honours, is
5 one out of three of the total population of Kosovo and one out of two of
6 the Kosovo Albanian population of Kosovo.
7 You know, Your Honours, from the indictment, the pre-trial brief,
8 and my earlier comments of chronology leading up to 1999 that the crimes
9 in 1999 are just the final chapter in a campaign of persecutions and
10 executing violence engaged in by the forces of FRY and Serbia and their
11 leaders to try and maintain physical and political control of the
12 province of Kosovo in the face of ever-growing demands by the Kosovo
13 Albanian majority for increasing autonomy and independence.
14 In only one week between the 24th of March, 1999 and the 30th of
15 March, 1999, United Nations data reflect that some 94.000 Kosovars fled
17 they had been separated from them at the time they were expelled. That
18 will be a common theme in the expulsions. Many reported that they had
19 been deliberately expelled and explicitly told to leave and that their
20 homes had been destroyed by Serb forces. Many reported that they had to
21 leave on little or no notice at all, forced to flee at night, on foot, in
22 freezing temperatures, often with nothing more than the clothes on their
23 backs and whatever few things they could grab to carry in their hands as
24 they rushed out of the door. Many reported having been rounded up by
25 Serb forces and put on trains or buses to be taken to the border for
1 expulsion to Albania
2 Your Honours, if I could at this brief moment preface my comments
3 by showing a video of one of these convoys, without any sound, and I
4 think it should not take too long, perhaps a couple of minutes.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much. We submit, Your Honours, that
7 the vast majority of these refugees fled because of actions of the VJ,
8 the MUP, and other forces of the FRY and Serbia.
9 From the 24th of March, 1999, following the evacuation of the KVM
10 monitors and the onset of the NATO bombing campaign, the forces of the
11 FRY and Serbia
13 All across Kosovo, in a concerted and coordinated manner, the
14 forces of the FRY and Serbia
15 on the Kosovo Albanian civilian population, forcing them out of Kosovo.
16 The evidence will show that a typical pattern occurred in many
17 municipalities. The Serb forces -- the Serbian forces would nearly --
18 would encircle a village or town and leave one avenue of escape. The VJ
19 would commence shelling with artillery and heavy weapons. Then MUP
20 units, including special units and volunteers incorporated into the MUP
21 or otherwise attached to the MUP, would enter the town, force the people
22 out, sometimes killing and raping as they did so, often looting and
23 burning the abandoned homes. As I said, the destruction of the homes was
24 to ensure that the expelled population would have nothing to return to.
25 And this type of activity understandably created an atmosphere of
1 terror, and the inhabitants of neighbouring villages, seeing this happen
2 and hearing the stories of the primary victims, would join in fleeing to
3 avoid the same fate happening to them. And so we saw those massive
4 convoys in the international media at the end of March 1999, as thousands
5 and thousands, hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanian civilians
6 literally fled for their lives.
7 Of particular note on this point, you will hear evidence of many
8 of the witnesses, many of the refugees, about how on route out of the
9 country and at the border forces of the FRY and Serbia, including the
10 border police, regularly forced them to hand over their identity
11 documents and vehicle licence plates and leave them behind.
12 Now, why should these people be forced to hand over their
13 identity documents? We suggest that this is a clear manifestation of the
14 objective of the JCE to modify the ethnic balance of Kosovo in order to
15 maintain Serbian control. Once outside of the country and with no
16 official identity documents, these refugees would have severe
17 difficulties if they ever attempted to return to Kosovo, as the Serb
18 authorities could simply claim that they were illegal immigrants.
19 The indictment reflects the widespread nature of this campaign.
20 It includes 11 killing sites and 13 deportation sites.
21 I'd like to note at this point that the crimes that are
22 specifically detailed in the indictment are arranged according to
23 established offences, such as deportation or murder. That's really a
24 breakdown for the purposes of facilitating analysis of individual crimes
25 in the indictment rather than necessarily reflecting any divergence
1 between the deportations and the murders on the ground. So when we see
2 references to deportation sites and references to killing sites, this is
3 not to suggest that they are separate offences or separate events. They
4 are integrated, obviously. Before and during the deportations, killings
5 occurred as well.
6 Further, the 11 killing sites and 13 deportation sites are not a
7 complete list of all the crimes reported to investigators but rather
8 these were selected as a representative sample sufficient, we think, to
9 show the existence of a pattern and to reflect the scope and nature of
10 the campaign conducted throughout the province.
11 Now, if we could look at the criminal sites generally on the
12 screen. These are the killing sites as reflected in the indictment.
13 The witnesses whose evidence we propose to adduce in respect to
14 these sites and these murders are the fortunate ones. They escaped with
15 their lives. Many of their relatives, sometimes their entire families,
16 their neighbours, did not survive the expulsion campaign to tell the
17 tale. Their stories will have to be told by the ones who did survive and
18 also from the grave by the evidence of forensic pathologist, forensic
19 anthropologists, and DNA
20 remains, bone, fabric, and identification documents during months and
21 years of exhumations all over Kosovo and other burial sites in Serbia
22 proper. I will go through some of not all of them in order to give you a
23 sketch of the pattern of what happened in many of these murder sites and
24 how the evidence fits together.
25 If we could look first at Bela Crkva, just to identify where that
1 is in Kosovo, towards the south, perhaps the south-west, and this is in
2 the municipality of Orahovac
3 crimes, some not recounted in the indictment, but many crimes against the
4 Kosovo Albanian population occurred, in that municipality.
5 At the village of Bela Crkva, on the 25th of March, 1999, forces
6 of the FRY and Serbia
7 along a small river and hid under a railroad bridge. Serbian police
8 opened fire on one group of villagers heading for the bridge, killing
9 about 12 people, ten of whom were women and children. The remaining
10 villagers were ordered out of the stream-bed and from under the bridge.
11 The men and older boys were separated, ordered to strip and then robbed
12 of their valuables and identity documents. The women and children were
13 ordered to leave to another nearby village. The village doctor tried to
14 intercede with the police commander, but he and his nephew were shot and
15 killed on the spot. The remaining boys and men were then ordered back
16 into the stream-bed. The Serbian forces, the police then opened fire,
17 killing some 65 of them. Some survived and lived to tell the tale. This
18 is a theme that you will see in many situations because these were large
19 massacres. Many times persons survived.
20 The village itself was later destroyed, but subsequent
21 exhumations after the conflict, when international investigators were
22 allowed back into Kosovo, recovered the bodies of 54 of the victims. The
23 post mortem examination revealed the cause of death in 98 percent of the
24 cases was related to gun-shot wounds.
25 We have on the screen a map of Bela Crkva. I indicated that the
1 village itself was destroyed. You can see on the map the left, the
2 building intact is on the 11th of March, 1999, and that on the right is
3 on the 2nd of April, 1999. You can see the tremendous devastation in the
4 area. I should point out that the map, the second map, is reversed
5 180 degrees, but it is not difficult to identify where we are. If we
6 look at the river, if we use as the point of reference the river, that
7 is, the dark semi-circular line to the right of the map and the white
8 building in the centre of the map, you can see that the -- both maps
9 depict the same place at different times, one with the buildings and the
10 other with the devastation. Thank you.
11 Next we could move on to Mala Krusa. This is a neighbouring
12 village of Bela Crkva in Orahovac. The map just indicates where it is in
14 On the same day, a few kilometres from Bela Crkva in Mala Krusa,
15 the forces of the FRY and Serbia
16 villagers fled into the nearby forest from where they could see the
17 attackers looting and burning their houses. The next morning, on the
18 26th of March, the Serbian forces located many of the villagers on the
19 outskirts of Mala Krusa. They ordered the women and children to leave
20 and to go to Albania
21 men and older boys and robbed them of their valuables and identity
22 documents. The forces of the FRY and Serbia then forced the men and
23 older boys into a nearby cow-shed and began firing upon them with
24 machine-guns. They then set the shed on fire. Approximately 100 were
25 killed in that massacre, and we obviously will not have forensics for
1 that, or forensic reports for that site as the victims were burnt in the
3 If we could move on next to Suva Reka, and the map here shows
4 where it is in Kosovo.
5 Also on the 26th of March, the same day as the attack in
6 Bela Crkva and Mala Krusa in Orahovac, policemen from the Suva Reka
7 police station surrounded the Berisha family compound in Suva Reka town,
8 the largest town in the municipality, and ordered the occupants out of
9 one of the houses. Four men were killed on the spot and the remaining
10 family members, mostly the elderly women and children, ran and took
11 refuge in a coffee shop or a pizzeria. There they were fired upon by the
12 police. Explosives were also thrown into the shop where the victims
14 I would like to show you an aerial photograph, if you will, of
15 the area. You will see the arrow showing you where the house -- the
16 houses of the Berishas were, where the police station is; and if you look
17 in the middle of the map, you will see a straight line coming down and
18 ending at a structure beside three vats. That is where the pizzeria is,
19 or was located. So you get an idea of the location of these premises,
20 notably that the police station is basically across a road about
21 150 metres from where these women and children were massacred. After the
22 massacre, probably in order to conceal the crime and the blood that
23 remained in the pizzeria, the shop was -- fire was set to the shop.
24 If we look on the screen, we can see what the destroyed coffee
25 shop looked like after the bodies were removed and it was set ablaze.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 MR. STAMP: You will see the pockmarks of automatic weapons on
3 the walls. And there was damage from the explosives that were thrown
5 The women and children and the elderly had sought refuge in the
6 shop, but at least 47 of them were killed inside that shop, 15 women and
7 17 children included. The police and members of the civil defence
8 arranged then for the disposal of the bodies. The bodies of the victims
9 were thrown in the rear of two trucks which drove off in the direction of
10 the town of Prizren
11 Amazingly there were three survivors - two little children -- or two
12 women and a small child who pretended to be dead and was thrown into the
13 truck. While the truck was driving, they managed to escape by crawling
14 out from among the bodies and jumping off the truck, and we will hear
15 live testimony from some of those survivors.
16 You will also hear about where these bodies of these women and
17 children were eventually found, where they ended up. Remains of the
18 Berisha family killed on that day were found in two different locations.
19 I have just been advised -- Your Honours, I've just been advised
20 that it might well be time for the break, to facilitate the recording.
21 JUDGE PARKER: I was watching and waiting for you to come to a
22 convenient point to pause. This obviously is it. We must, for those who
23 are new to the trial process here, break at about one and a half hours
24 for half an hour to allow the recording machines, visual and sound, to be
25 rewound and reordered and to allow those who are providing the
1 interpretation to have a break, and we will establish regular approximate
2 times for those breaks as the trial progresses. At about an hour and a
3 half, those breaks will be established.
4 So we must adjourn now for the first of them, resuming at 11.00.
5 We now adjourn.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour, if it pleases you.
10 When we last broke off, I was discussing what happened to the
11 bodies of the members of the Berisha family that were killed at Suva Reka
12 and loaded in a truck, or in two trucks and driven off towards Prizren
13 that day.
14 Your Honours, you will hear that remains of some of the family
15 members that were killed that day were found in two different locations.
16 Some were exhumed at a military firing range located just outside the
17 town of Prizren. Secondly, remains later identified by DNA analysis as
18 belonging to some 24 Berisha family members, as well as a foetus - one of
19 the victims of the massacre was pregnant, I should inform the Court, so a
20 foetus was also found - they were found in a clandestine grave-site at
21 the police training centre, the training centre for the SAJ, the
22 Special Elite Police Force of the Serbian MUP at Batajnica near Belgrade
23 in Serbia
24 It appears, Your Honour, from examination of the forensic reports
25 that some of the persons who were initially buried at the firing range in
1 Prizren in Kosovo were disinterred, removed from there, and reburied at
2 the SAJ
3 Now, there is much significance in that, Your Honours, and I want
4 to pause to show you a graphic that will enable you to understand more
5 clearly the distances we are talking about. It's easy to understand for
6 those familiar with the geography of the Netherlands and The Hague
7 will see that the distance from Suva Reka to Batajnica in Serbia proper
8 is just about the distance from The Hague to Luxembourg
9 almost 300 kilometres.
10 How did these bodies get from Suva Reka to Belgrade, some 285
11 kilometres away? And not just to Belgrade
12 ground, but to police property, to the police training ground, the
13 Special Elite Units training ground that had strictly limited access?
14 Why would dead Albanian civilians, women and children, be taken away and
15 hidden there like that? And who had the means and opportunity to do
16 that? And what motive was involved that would take one to go to such
17 logistical lengths during a state of war, that involved so much resources
18 not only in Kosovo but in Serbia
19 fuel to accomplish that task?
20 This evidence, Your Honour, reflects guilty knowledge, guilty
21 knowledge that these were the victims of murder and the murders were
22 committed in the course of a criminal enterprise. More, a little bit
23 more on the mass graves later on, if I may, Your Honour.
24 If I could move on to the crime site of Podujevo. On the map you
25 will see Podujevo is a town on the other side of Serbia, the north of
2 On the 28th of March, forces of the FRY and Serbia attacked
3 Podujevo, which is a small town, and began expelling Kosovo Albanian
4 civilians from their homes. A unit that was incorporated into the
5 police, into the special SAJ
6 and entered a house in the village and ordered a group of 19 women and
7 children from the Bogujevci, Duriqi, sorry, and Llugaliu families to
8 gather in the courtyard. They beat and shot at these people. At least
9 14 members of these families were killed and others were seriously
10 wounded in the shooting. Again, some were fortunate enough to survive,
11 and two survivors of that massacre, who were children at the time, as
12 well as one member of the police unit that perpetrated this assault will
13 testify at this trial. Again, this map indicates the local police
14 station was just a couple -- less than a couple hundred yards away.
15 Significantly, the accused was informed of this notorious crime
16 and the unit was withdrawn from Kosovo. There were some, what we say
17 are, token proceedings that were carried out. Nobody was punished. And
18 some two weeks later, the unit that committed this massacre, were again
19 redeployed into Kosovo by this accused and again featured in the
20 commission of war crimes against the Kosovo Albanian population.
21 If we could move to the municipality of Djakovica
22 town is the capital of Djakovica municipality, and one site there is
23 157 Milos
24 On the night of the 1st to 2nd of April, 1999, forces of the FRY
25 and Serbia
1 district in Djakovica town. Over the period of several hours they
2 forcibly entered houses of Kosovo Albanians, killed the occupants, and
3 then set the houses on fire. During that night, Serb policemen attacked
4 a house at 157 Milos Gilic Street. A group of 20 civilians, 19 of them
5 women and children, having heard of the approaching Serbian forces,
6 sought shelter in the basement of that house. The policemen forced them
7 out of the basement and into the house. They shot the civilians and set
8 fire to the house.
9 Your Honours will hear the harrowing account of the sole
10 survivor, who was only 10 years old at the time, who witnessed the
11 killings of his family and neighbours. He managed to escape by
12 pretending to be dead and jumped out of a window once the police had
14 Next, I'd like to discuss the Izbica massacre. Izbica is a town
15 in the -- toward the centre of Kosovo, in the Srbica municipality.
16 There, on the 20th of March, forces of the FRY and Serbia began heavy
17 weapons firing on several villages in the area of Izbica. As many as
18 45.000 people fled the attack and gathered in a field near Izbica.
19 On the 20th of March, the forces of the FRY and Serbia
20 these displaced Kosovo Albanian civilians. The women and children were
21 ordered to leave and told to go to Albania
22 seated in a trailer were unable to walk. Serb forces set fire to the
23 trailer and burned these two women alive.
24 Again, the men were separated from the women and children and
25 then divided into two groups. One group was taken toward the woods and a
1 stream where are they were told to kneel down and then the Serb forces
2 began shooting them. The second group was marched off in another
3 direction and made to line up before they, too, were shot. Miraculously,
4 there were survivors from both these mass executions, and you will hear
5 live from at least one of them. Over 116 men were killed that day in
7 A local doctor, Liri Loshi, who will testify here, filmed the
8 bodies for identification, and you'll see that in full later in the
9 evidence. Local villagers gathered the dead and buried them, but they
10 didn't stay buried for long. Dr. Loshi's video had been broadcast
11 internationally. It appears that the response of the Serb media was that
12 the video was fake, in effect denying that any massacre had occurred.
13 At any rate, between mid-May and the 3rd of June, 1999, the
14 Izbica killing victims were disinterred of what had previously been
15 presumed to be their final resting place. I have aerial photos of the
16 area. In the one before Your Honours, you'll see in the photo on the
17 left, the 9th of March, there's an area, a rectangular-shaped area on the
18 top of the photograph where you'll see that there are no graves. The
19 photograph to the right, 15th of April, 1999, shows that graves had been
20 built. There are rows of graves there.
21 It's probably clearer if one looks at the next graphic. That's
22 it. Thank you. This shows the graves, that a graveyard was there, 7th
23 of May, on the left, and on the right there were more graves added. This
24 is just a blow-up of the first photo -- photograph, aerial photograph.
25 And if we could look at the third aerial photograph. Again, this
1 shows on the left the rows of graves, 15th of May, and on the right, the
2 photograph of the 3rd of June shows a dark spot. No more graves. The
3 graves had been disinterred, clearly, it is our submission as a result of
4 the international broadcast of Liri Loshi's videos of these dead persons.
5 On the 27th of June, 1999, an international forensic teams
6 entered Kosovo. A French forensic team examined the site at Izbica.
7 They found no bodies in the areas where the greaves had been, but they
8 did find evidence of human remains having been buried there at some time
9 in the recent past. An investigations showed later that on the 1st and
10 2nd of June, 1999, forces of the FRY and Serbia had returned to the
11 Izbica area and removed these bodies from the graves. Later on Serb
12 authorities in 2001 and 2002, when, as it will become clear in the
13 evidence, there was a different government in Serbia, the authorities
14 admitted that they had removed the bodies. The bodies were indeed
15 removed and there were some, it is submitted, token forensic analysis,
16 where the Prosecution at the appropriate time will urge on this Court
17 that the efforts in response of the international broadcast were merely
18 token because, again, the Court will hear evidence as to what became of
19 these bodies after they had been disinterred.
20 In 2001, some 20 of the victims from the Izbica massacre were
21 identified from human remains that were discovered in another clandestine
22 mass grave at another police training ground at a place called
23 Petrovo Selo in eastern Serbia
24 proper, near the border with Romania
25 So, indeed, Your Honour, had the disinterment been for proper
1 investigative purposes, these remains would not have been found, it is
2 our submission, and we would urge later on, at a clandestine mass
3 grave-site, hundreds of miles from where the massacre was committed.
4 This was in 2001.
5 So this is again evidence of an attempt to cover up a gross
6 crime. It suggests guilty knowledge on the part of those involved in the
7 cover-up. Like the Suva Reka situation, the persons were acting under
8 the authority, and I mean the persons involved in these cover-ups were
9 acting under the authority of this accused. They actually disinterred
10 the victims of the massacres and travelled -- transported them some 250
11 miles to conceal them in Petrovo Selo.
12 The last killing site - as I mentioned, today I will not go
13 through all of them - that I would like to discuss briefly is Meja. Meja
14 is a town in Djakovica, to the south-west of Kosovo, or maybe closer to
15 the central west, if I may call it that, of Kosovo.
16 In that municipality, on the 22nd -- 27th of April, 1999, forces
17 of the FRY and Serbia
18 and Trava River Valleys
19 can see both of the river valleys. Those river valleys had many villages
20 occupied or populated by Kosovo Albanians, going right up towards the
21 north. That's the upper part of the photograph.
22 You will see a red dot in the middle of the map. That's
23 Djakovica town, and you will see the pointer, the blue pointer, to the
24 Erenik River
25 is the vicinity of where the town of Meja and Korenica, the towns, the
1 twin towns of Meja and Korenica are located.
2 Kosovo Albanians began fleeing southward, down the mountain, down
3 the river valleys from their villages; and several convoys were formed.
4 In the vicinity of Meja, forces of the FRY and Serbia detained and
5 separated hundreds of Kosovo Albanian men from the fleeing convoys. And
6 you shall hear evidence, Your Honours, that many, many of them, were
7 summarily executed and that senior members of the police were involved in
8 participating in those executions.
9 According to international organisations which compiled data,
10 which will be tendered into evidence, over 344 men were not seen alive
11 again. Two years later, about 300 of these men, who were removed from
12 the convoys while attempting to flee down the hill, were identified by
13 way of DNA
14 the police grounds, again at Batajnica.
15 And there is, again, a map similarly indicating to you the
16 distance one would have to travel to take these bodies and hide them. It
17 involved a significant amount of arrangement, a significant amount of
18 logistics and coordination, not only of the police in Kosovo but also of
19 the police in Serbia
20 somebody of the accused's rank and position, with command authority over
21 the entire police in Serbia
22 orchestrating this scheme to remove these bodies.
23 Your Honours, before I move on from the killing sites, I'd like
24 to say a few more words about the mass graves.
25 These mass graves were found in Serbia starting in 2001, after a
1 newspaper report was published that during the war in 1999 one of the
2 trucks that were conveying the bodies from Kosovo to Serbia proper had
3 been in an accident and had ran off the road into the Danube River
4 was published in early 2001 and led to an investigation in which the mass
5 graves were found. This investigation involved the participation of many
6 international organisations, including this Tribunal.
7 Overall, the remains of approximately 800 Kosovo Albanians were
8 identified through DNA
9 graves, three mass graves, unearthed in Serbia in 2001. About one-half
10 of them are not among the victims listed in the schedules to the
11 indictment, but they are Kosovo Albanians that were reported killed or
12 disappeared in Kosovo from places and at times where, according to the
13 evidence to be tendered, there were ongoing expulsions of
14 Kosovo Albanians.
15 Evidence from several witnesses will show that this accused
16 played a major role in orchestrating and organising the concealment of
17 the bodies of the Kosovo Albanian victims in Serbia. Among these
18 witnesses is a senior police officer who will testify that the accused
19 personally ordered him to arrange trans-shipment of bodies of
20 Kosovo Albanians that were in a refrigerator truck that was found
21 abandoned in the Danube River
22 been in an accident and had driven away -- driven off the road into the
23 river. These bodies, the evidence will show, were taken to the SAJ
24 training ground in Batajnica.
25 Another witness, an SAJ
1 testify that he was ordered by the accused to receive and bury truckloads
2 of corpses transported to the site, and that over a period of 20 days,
3 from early April 1999, there were about six occasions when, on orders of
4 the accused, he received truckloads of bodies to be buried at Batajnica.
5 One -- another former police officer, senior police officer, will
6 testify as to investigations into these mass graves, what the accused
7 said and significantly did not say when he was confronted with the
8 information of his role in these clandestine burials, and also of his
9 flight and disappearance when he was informed that he would be officially
10 interrogated in respect to these mass graves.
11 Indeed, that officer will testify that his investigations
12 revealed that sometime in the early part of the conflict there was a
13 meeting in Belgrade
14 MUP Minister Stojiljkovic, the Head of the State Security Department
15 Markovic, and this accused, where the issue as to what is called
16 "cleaning" or "clearing the battlefield" was discussed. And this accused
17 suggested the removal of the bodies.
18 If I may pause just to review, I think I might have misspoken.
19 The Minister Stojiljkovic ordered the accused to make
20 arrangements for the clearing of the battlefield, which is the disposal
21 of these bodies, and the investigations of this officer also revealed
22 that at a collegium of the Minister of the Interior, this accused
23 deputied and instructed one Dragan Ilic, who is also named as a
24 co-conspirator, or member of the JCE, Dragan Ilic, to make provisions for
25 the criminal police from Belgrade
1 concealment of the bodies of civilians that were murdered in Kosovo.
2 So you will hear from these witnesses that the persons involved
3 at the high level in clearing the bodies used the apparently innocuous
4 term or expression for their doing, "clearing the battlefield" or
5 "cleaning the battlefield"; and this expression in certain context may
6 refer to legitimate activity when there are battles, that is, clearing
7 the ground after a battle of unexploded ordinance, dead animals, dead
8 persons, and the like. But when it was used in this context,
9 Your Honours, they were not referring to the casualties of war or
10 anti-terrorist action that may be urged later on. They were referring to
11 the cover-up of mass murder.
12 Yet the architects of this cover-up failed miserably. The
13 eye-witness to these killings will testify that the people were executed
14 en masse. In addition, you will hear the testimony of Dr. Jose Barybar,
15 a forensic anthropologist, that the vast majority of the victims whose
16 remains were recovered from the mass graves in a state susceptible to
17 forensic examination had been killed by gun-shot wounds inflicted in
18 circumstances where they were not or unlikely to have been involved in
20 The evidence from the mass graves, it is the Prosecution's
21 submission, proves that the murders were the result of a widespread and
22 systematic campaign. The Office of Missing Persons and Forensics, the
23 OMPF, of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo gathered data on persons
24 reported missing in Kosovo during the indictment period. This will be
25 submitted in evidence. The reports include the locality and the
1 municipality of the disappearance or death of each person and the date of
2 the disappearance.
3 The distribution, according to the locality of death or
4 disappearance of the victims that were identified from the remains of the
5 mass grave, is depicted in the map now before you of Kosovo, the larger
6 green circles indicating where there were more concentrations or a higher
7 number of the disappearances were reported. You will see to the
8 left-hand bottom of the map there is a -- the Meja area.
9 I should point out that in the middle of the map, to the south,
10 you will see Suva Reka. Due to my oversight, the marking, the green
11 marking for Suva Reka is not there, but there ought to be a green dot for
12 Suva Reka because, as you will recall, there were about 30 bodies from
13 the Suva Reka massacre that were recovered in Serbia.
14 But you will see the spread as to where these people came from.
15 All over Kosovo. Not from one place but all over Kosovo. You will also
16 note when you receive the evidence and review it that the spread was over
17 time. Meja was toward the latter part of April, that's the Meja
18 massacre. Suva Reka was the 25th of March, and it spreads right
19 throughout that period. And you will ask yourself, or it is submitted
20 that you're entitled to ask yourself as to how could this have been
21 coordinated and achieved if it was not a part of a systematic organised
23 We say, Your Honours, that the collection and disposal of the
24 remains of so many victims killed at disparate places and at different
25 times during the indictment period demonstrates that the accused
1 participated in planning and organising not only the concealment of the
2 bodies and the cover-up of the murders, but it also supports the short
3 inference that this accused was a leading figure in coordinating a
4 widespread and systematic campaign of violence against the Kosovo
5 Albanians. You may, Your Honours, conclude, after hearing the evidence
6 led, that as police chief for all of Serbia, his role was indispensable
7 in facilitating the crimes, as without him it is hard to conceive how
8 this scheme involving police officers from different areas in Kosovo and
9 in Serbia
10 The Prosecution will make the appropriate submissions as to what
11 could be made of what we might term the "bodies" evidence in due course.
12 Before moving on to discuss the deportation sites, I direct your
13 attention, Your Honours, with your leave, to another matter worth
14 mentioning in regard to the killings.
15 Based on rough mathematical calculations, the number of named,
16 identified victims from the specific killings that are listed in a
17 schedule to the indictment total 838 individuals, mostly men. This is
18 consistent, of course, with the evidence that oftentimes the men were
19 taken away from the convoys and murdered. Of that total, however, 53
20 were children under the age of 16 years; 41 were women; 92 were elderly
21 men, over the age of 65 years. We suggest that these are not what you
22 might expect to see from a legitimate campaign against armed terrorists.
23 In regard to the deportations, as I indicated earlier, where
24 there were these murders, there were refugees; there were deportations.
25 But if I may touch briefly on four of the deportation municipalities or
1 four of the deportation sites.
2 Before you, Your Honours, is a map showing many of the areas from
3 where the -- from where people were deported. I should point out that
4 persons were deported, obviously, from all parts of Kosovo, but these are
5 some of the major areas.
6 The evidence will show a pattern of conduct by forces of the FRY
7 and Serbia
8 systematic attack directed against the civilian Kosovo Albanian
9 population; that it was well-planned and coordinated from above, and that
10 its objective, at least one of its primary objectives, was to modify the
11 ethnic balance in Kosovo in order to maintain Serb control.
12 Generally speaking, in the eastern part of Kosovo, as you will
13 see from the upcoming map, the forces of the FRY and Serbia drove the
14 people, the Kosovo Albanians, to the south, towards Macedonia
15 western side of the province, the people, the refugees, tended to be
16 pushed towards Albania
17 crossings that no doubt in the course of the evidence you will become
18 familiar with, Cafa Morines, Cafa Prusit, Djeneral Jankovic, being some
19 of the more significant ones. There were five primary border crossing
20 points that no doubt you will become family with.
21 As I indicated earlier, border crossings were under the control
22 of the border police from the Public Security Department led by the
23 accused, and these police, they were involved in mistreating the
24 Kosovo Albanian refugees and taking away their identification documents.
25 If I may turn to Pec. In the town of Pec, in Pec municipality,
1 forces of the FRY and Serbia
2 Kosovo Albanians to leave their homes. In the course of this process,
3 persons were killed and many houses were set on fire. Serb soldiers and
4 police directed the civilians to the town centre where those without
5 their own vehicles were forced to get on buses and trucks. They were
6 then driven to Prizren and towards the border with Albania. The
7 Kosovo Albanians were then forced off the buses and trucks and directed
8 to walk the last 15 kilometres to Albania. At the border, before leaving
9 Kosovo, they were ordered to turn over their identity papers to the
10 forces of the FRY and Serbia
11 If we could look at Prizren municipality for the deportation
12 routes from Prizren. You can also see the people from Meja and Korenica,
13 many of them went through Prizren and from there to Albania.
14 Beginning 25 March, forces of the FRY and Serbia began attacking
15 villages in this municipality, forcing Kosovo Albanians from their homes
16 and sending them to the Albania
17 In the town of Prizren
18 the FRY and Serbia
19 leave. They formed convoys and headed towards the border where many of
20 them were assaulted and some of them were forced to make the last
21 15-kilometre part of the journey to the border on foot. Some were beaten
22 and killed in that journey. And, again, as is a pattern, at the border,
23 their identity documents were taken away.
24 The same thing was repeated in Pristina. The map before
25 Your Honours show the deportation sites from Pristina. Many of these
1 people were put on trains, as we saw in the film, and taken to the
2 various border crossings. The pattern in Pristina was the same. I don't
3 think I need to go through it. The border crossings or the -- you'll see
4 from the map that the persons who joined these convoys out of Pristina
5 came from the surrounding districts, the areas surrounding Pristina, and,
6 as usual, many of them were assaulted on their way and beaten, robbed,
7 and killed, travel document taken away.
8 Urosevac. Urosevac is the capital town of the Urosevac
9 municipality. It's on your screen before you. Again, the people who had
10 been forced out of their homes, the villagers from the surrounding
11 villages or the villages surrounding the towns, would have been forced
12 from their homes, as you can see from the convoy routes. They were
13 marched off or forced to form convoys towards the town Urosevac, and from
14 there towards the border to Macedonia
15 That point is Djeneral Jankovic border crossing.
16 So I will not -- I don't think it is necessary to go into the
17 details. The evidence will make it clear how these people were forced
18 from their homes and directed, almost like cattle, towards these
19 corridors to leave the country. As I indicated earlier, many times when
20 the villages and the towns were surrounded, a path was always left open
21 for people to flee, for people to leave, and in many cases the people
22 before taken away on trains.
23 The indictment, Your Honours, if I may move on, also charges the
24 accused with persecutions and this includes the destruction of cultural
25 sites and religious buildings. This destruction and the widespread
1 destruction, I should call it, of Kosovo Albanian cultural structures and
2 religious buildings is evidence, we say, Your Honours, of persecution on
3 racial, political, and religious grounds. The evidence will show that
4 many times during the deportations and the killings, the assailants also
5 destroyed the mosques and other cultural sites of the Kosovo Albanians,
6 intending that these people not return.
7 You'll see scrolling through in front of you photographs of many
8 of these destroyed structures. Much of this will be led in evidence and
9 a number of witnesses will testify as to how these cultural sites were
10 damaged or destroyed, including an expert on the subject,
11 Andreas Riedlmayer.
12 The evidence of all of these witnesses will say that not only
13 were the crimes committed in a manner intended to discriminate against
14 these people on racial and religious grounds, but there was an intention
15 that the people who had been driven out were not expected or intended to
16 return. And the eye-witness and expert evidence will also show that the
17 damage was not done by NATO bombing, as might be asserted. It was not
18 from the air but rather from the ground, by forces of the FRY and Serbia
19 The evidence, we submit, in total will lead you to the
20 irrefutable conclusion that these religious and cultural sites were
21 specifically targeted by the forces of the FRY and Serbia who were
22 engaged in a campaign of persecution, as defined in the jurisprudence of
23 this Tribunal.
24 The evidence will further show, if I may move on to the
25 additional liability of this accused under Article 7(3) of the Statute of
1 this Tribunal, the evidence will show that none of the crimes charged
2 here were properly investigated during the time when the accused occupied
3 his position as chief of the police, nor were the perpetrators punished.
4 This general impunity for serious violations of humanitarian law
5 against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo did not exist because there were
6 problems in the courts that were functioning during or after the
7 conflict. On the contrary, the civilian courts worked normally during
8 the conflict and thereafter.
9 Nevertheless, impunity prevailed for the crimes we are dealing
10 with in this trial, the serious crimes committed against Kosovo Albanians
11 by the Serbian police. The murders charged in the indictment were
12 massacres on a massive scale and must have been notorious when they were
13 committed; yet at that time, no necessary appropriate actions were taken
14 to punish the offenders.
15 We expect to prove during this trial that the widespread
16 persecution, deportation, murder, mistreatment, rape, and destruction of
17 property committed against the Kosovo Albanians was not a matter of
18 serious concern for the police authorities. There was no meaningful,
19 substantive effort to fully investigate such matters or to see the MUP
20 perpetrators of such crimes punished. The occasional rare investigation,
21 usually when something received some international attention, that did
22 take place were superficial, and the perpetrators remained unknown,
23 unlocated, uncharged, and unpunished, at least during the time when this
24 accused occupied the position up to 2001. The evidence will lead -- the
25 evidence we will lead on the investigations into the massacres at Izbica
1 and Podujevo will show that these were just token efforts.
2 Impunity for the crimes concerned in this indictment went hand in
3 hand with attempts to conceal these crimes. At different crime sites
4 described before, the perpetrators attempted to dispose of the corpus
5 delicti, the human remains and bodies of the murdered victims, by
6 dynamiting or blowing up houses in which the massacres had taken place,
7 setting them on fire, and otherwise hiding corpses. This sort of
8 cover-up not only occurred in respect to the sites we described before,
9 but also in respect to other sites like Kacanik, for example.
10 Finally, the evidence will show that in many cases, crimes
11 committed against Kosovo Albanians were not only tolerated but were
12 ordered to be committed by superior officers of the direct perpetrators.
13 In the course of this trial, you will hear live testimony from witnesses,
14 policemen, who experienced this themselves.
15 We say, Your Honours, respectfully, that this evidence will prove
16 responsibility of the accused under Article 7(3) of the Statute. We say
17 that the accused had effective control over the police perpetrators,
18 meaning the material ability to prevent or punish the commission of the
19 offences. He had the material ability to enforce discipline among the
20 policemen he deployed to Kosovo and to effect the prosecution and
21 punishment of perpetrators by virtue of his police -- by virtue of his
22 position as chief of the police. By virtue of that position, his de jure
23 and de facto powers, it was within his power and authority to take
24 measures that would have prevented the crimes or punished the
1 We will lead documentary evidence, Your Honours, of the accused
2 exercising his authority over the forces in Kosovo as chief of the
3 police. I indicated earlier an example of one such order issued by the
4 accused in respect to his forces in Kosovo, and this one is one of the
5 21st of March, where he deploys various units.
6 Firstly, he -- this is an order to all the SUP chiefs, including
7 the SUP
8 March - several of these, as I indicated, will be tendered into
9 evidence - where he deploys units in Kosovo and orders what is to be done
10 to accommodate and to enable these units to operate in Kosovo, and these
11 orders issued by the accused in respect to his units in Kosovo were in
12 mandatory terms. These were orders that he was issuing. So he had
13 effective control over these units.
14 The evidence, Your Honours, will also show that the accused knew,
15 or had reason to know, that serious violations of international
16 humanitarian law, just described, were committed by MUP forces or forces
17 subordinated to them or incorporated into them and operating in Kosovo.
18 He had specific information in his possession which put him on actual
19 notice of the Podujevo massacre, for example, including a report that was
20 addressed to him, and yet his response was token and inadequate. He also
21 knew of the criminal propensity of certain elements within the MUP.
22 Despite his superior position and his material ability to take necessary
23 measures and his knowledge, he failed to prevent and punish these gross
24 crimes. And that is why we say he is responsible under Article 7(3).
25 If I may make some general remarks before I close, Your Honours.
1 The case against the accused will be complex. It will be broad in scope,
2 reflecting the nature of the charges; and yet it will be detailed, as
3 criminal cases must be, with specific features of the evidence are
4 required to be explored in depth.
5 As the accused was a member of a joint criminal enterprise, as we
6 allege, it is necessary to tender much of the evidence previously
7 presented in the trial of his co-indictees, or his former co-indictees,
8 in order to show the complete picture. As was discussed recently, we
9 have applied that some of the evidence that was introduced in previous --
10 in the previous trial be received in writing under the rules of this
11 Tribunal. However, we will bring some witnesses here, or we propose to
12 bring some witnesses here, and for many of them, this will be the third
13 time they are coming to The Hague
14 many cases we ask the Court to understand that it involves some
15 considerable degree of stress for some people to travel here to recount
16 much of these harrowing experiences, and to some degree witness -- what
17 we term "witness fatigue" may set in. We are grateful for the patience
18 of these witnesses and sacrifice that many of them make in the interests
19 of justice.
20 The Prosecution will also tender a significant amount of
21 documents. I won't comment on these. Many of them will speak for
23 Among the witnesses we intend to call are what we refer to as
24 "insiders." These witnesses are former policemen or soldiers. They are
25 former members of the forces of the FRY and Serbia who will testify about
1 some of the crimes committed and also about the organisation and
2 structure of the MUP and the role of the accused. Some of them, Your
3 Honours, are fully cooperative and speak from a desire to clear their
4 conscience and to demonstrate that it is not the Serbian nation, it is
5 not the spirit of the Serbian people that caused these crimes but rather
6 individuals, individuals who are responsible for these gross crimes
7 against humanity, persons in leadership positions that incited and
8 orchestrated them.
9 Other insiders are not so cooperative, as one can imagine, and we
10 will seek the assistance of this Trial Chamber in order to ensure their
12 I have already introduced Ms. Kravetz, to my right. Earlier
13 today Ms. Gopalan was here, and yesterday Mr. Neuner was here. They will
14 be actively involved Your Honours will be happy to know, in the
15 presentation of these case, and therefore you will not be seeing me much
16 of the time. I'm sure that will come as some relief to Your Honours.
17 There are other lawyers on the team and they may also take part
18 in some of the work here in court, and you may become familiar with them
19 over time. They are Ms. Silvia D'Ascoli, Ms. Tove Nilson, and
20 Mr. Eliott Behar. I wish to thank all of them for their work in the
21 preparation of the case and later its presentation. I also wish to thank
22 my colleague Mr. Tom Hannis, who was integral in the preparation of this
23 case and also this opening address.
24 Your Honours, we are honoured to appear before this Chamber and
25 will endeavour to present the Prosecution's case in the highest
1 traditions of fairness and professionalism.
2 So, Your Honours, I come back to the narrative. So why, why did
3 these crimes happen? The short and simple answer is that the
4 participants in the JCE were fed up with the Kosovo problem, and they
5 were determined not to yield Kosovo in spite of the will of the majority
6 Kosovo Albanians.
7 For years they had tried various measures but without success.
8 The Serbs were losing the demographic game in Kosovo, and it would only
9 get worse. Efforts to deal with the problem through legislation and
10 increasingly discriminatory measures did not work. Use of force by the
11 police and then the military did not work. It made the situation worse.
12 More and more Kosovo Albanians abandoned the notion of non-violent civil
13 resistance and turned to the KLA and a programme of violent resistance.
14 By the time the conflict started, the decision had been made --
15 the conflict in March 1999, the decision had been made and the forces put
16 into place to finally make a significant change in the ethnic balance in
18 So the victims of the crimes enumerated in the indictment were
19 not collateral damage from a conflict between the KLA and the FRY, nor
20 from the NATO bombings. This was not a series of coincidences, nor was
21 it simply the sad and unavoidable consequence of a legitimate
22 anti-terrorist campaign by the forces of the FRY and Serbia.
23 This was a plan, directed from above, coordinated by the accused
24 and other members of the JCE, using the forces under their command and
25 control to bring the objective of the JCE into reality.
1 All the evidence considered together can only lead to the
2 inference and the solid conclusion that these crimes were part of a
3 common plan.
4 As you listen to the evidence unfold, Your Honours, over the next
5 few months, you will undoubtedly be struck by some key factors which I
6 ask you to bear in mind from the outset, and these include the nature of
7 the armed conflict beginning on the 24th of March, that is, a
8 coordinated, widespread, systematic nature of the attacks all over
9 Kosovo, and the pattern, the same pattern happened at practically the
10 same places in different municipalities over Kosovo. The number of
11 children, women and elderly victims who were obviously not KLA fighters
12 or terrorists. The efforts to conceal the crimes, particularly taking
13 the great logistical pains and using precious resources to transport the
14 bodies hundreds of kilometres away to mass graves in Serbia
15 attacks also predictably included verbal abuse on ethnic grounds and the
16 confiscation and destruction of identity documents. You will see that as
17 a common theme throughout the evidence.
18 At the conclusion of our case, the Prosecution submits that the
19 body of evidence tendered will leave the Trial Chamber with no reasonable
20 doubt that the accused is guilty as charged on each count of the
21 indictment. Your Honours, my colleagues and I look forward to presenting
22 our case to you, and I thank you very much for your kindness and
23 permission in allowing me to speak today, may it please you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Stamp.
25 Mr. Djordjevic, as foreshadowed yesterday, this is an occasion
1 when it is open under the rules for an opening statement to be made on
2 the part of the Defence. Is it desired to do that at this stage of the
3 trial, or is it proposed to wait until the actual opening of the Defence
5 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are not going to
6 do that this time. We are going to do that when we start the Defence
7 case. We should just like to ask the Trial Chamber to allow our client
8 to make a brief statement today, in accordance with Rule 84 bis, of
9 course, if you believe that this would be proper. Thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Djordjevic.
11 We have about 25 minutes left on the present tapes. Is your client's
12 statement one that would conclude in that time?
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm convinced that that time
14 will be sufficient.
15 JUDGE PARKER: That being the case, then, and in view of your
16 indication that the formal Defence opening will be delayed until the
17 commencement of the Defence case, the Chamber would now allow the accused
18 the opportunity to speak, address the Chamber, about matters relevant to
19 this prosecution. It will be appreciated that we are concerned with the
20 merits of this trial and the evidence to be led. We are not concerned
21 with issues of wider political significance in Serbia and other parts.
22 So we would ask that to be borne in mind as the statement is given.
23 Is it convenient at this point, Mr. Djordjevic, to say what it is
24 you wish to place before the Chamber? You may, if you wish, speak while
25 seated. It's up to you whether you prefer to stand or sit.
1 [Statement by the Accused]
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 Your Honours, thank you for having allowed me to address you
4 after the opening statement made by the Prosecution.
5 The indictment charges me that as a member of the joint criminal
6 enterprise I committed the gravest crimes against the civilian Albania
7 population. The objective of this joint criminal enterprise was
8 allegedly the modification of the ethnic balance in Kosovo and Metohija
9 in order to ensure continued Serbian control over the province.
10 I must admit that I find the indictment to be unclear in the part
11 that sets out the goal of the joint criminal enterprise.
12 First of all, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija is
13 an integral part of the Republic of Serbia
14 Republic of Montenegro
16 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid I must ask you to speak more slowly.
17 You are getting increasingly ahead of the people trying to translate and
18 interpret. If you wouldn't mind just speaking more slowly, it will
19 enable them to keep up.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. Thank you.
23 control. No state authority is limited in time and all countries in the
24 world exercise sovereign authority over their territory in an unlimited
25 span of time. On the other hand, a modification of the alleged ethnic
1 balance in Kosovo and the Prosecution case that the Serbs in Kosovo and
2 Metohija were a minority population and that many of them considered
3 Kosovo an integral part of Serbia
4 his pre-trial brief, obviously indicates the political position of the
5 OTP that Kosovo and Metohija is not an integral part of Serbia or,
6 rather, that Serbia
7 It seems to me that this kind of indictment shows what its
8 political objective is, and this proceeding should be a legal vehicle for
9 the implementation of that goal.
10 I was born in Koznica, the municipality of Vladicin Han
11 where I lived with my parents and younger brother. After completing
12 secondary school, I graduated from the law school of the University of
14 Republic of Serbia
15 While completing my internship, I became an inspector for
16 white-collar crimes, and I was in that position for over a year. Towards
17 the end of 1975, I became a senior police inspector. I became Chief of
18 the Division for Police Affairs in the Police Administration of the
19 Republican SUP
20 doing that job and then for a year and a half I was Chief of the
21 Inspectorate for Internal Affairs, monitoring legality in the work of the
22 Republican SUP
23 From time to time in 1981, for several years I carried out duties
24 of highest responsibility in the area of the Autonomous Province
25 Kosovo and Metohija, starting with battalion commander, all the way up to
1 the commander of the joint force or the federal SUP, Federal Secretary
2 for Internal Affairs, and the head of the staff of the MUP for the
3 Autonomous Province of Kosovo
4 Towards the end of 1991, I was appointed Chief of the
5 Administration of the Police, and I held that position until 1997, when,
6 after the murder of General Radovan Stojicic, Minister Stojiljkovic first
7 appointed me Acting Chief of Public Security and a few months after that,
8 I received a decision on my appointment as Chief of the RJB. Up until
9 then and after that in public and state security, there was no longer
10 acting heads. The appointments were for the position of chief
12 As chief of the public security department of the MUP of the
13 Republic of Serbia
14 decisions of the state organs and especially of the Minister of the
15 Interior, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, to carry out measures within the scope of
16 the powers vested in me and pursue the state policy that had been set.
17 I cannot accept that the President of the FRY, the President of
18 the Republic of Serbia
19 Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
20 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
21 of the VJ, and the Commander of the Pristina Corps of the VJ, and the
22 Head of the SUP
23 and I, as Chief of the RJB of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
24 engaged in a joint criminal enterprise as we carried out the set policy
25 of all the political and state organs of the country aimed at curbing
2 At the highest state level what was approved and planned was an
3 anti-terrorist activity during 1998, as well as during the defence of the
4 country, and it was not aimed against the Albania civilian population in
5 Kosovo and Metohija or against any other civilian population. The
6 objective was to free roads, neutralise actions of the terrorists, find
7 and set free citizens who had been kidnapped, to establish public law and
8 order, and ensure the personal and property-related safety of all
9 citizens of Kosovo and Metohija.
10 These activities were aimed against the terrorists who wished
11 through violent means to have Kosovo and Metohija secede from the
12 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and they wanted to achieve that by any
13 means. During the war they openly stood on the side of the aggressor and
14 represented the aggressor's land force or ground force that was supposed
15 to facilitate and make possible through their activities a land
16 aggression against Serbia
17 The methods of the activities of the terrorists were reflected in
18 attacks against the army and the police that carried out their duties as
19 established by the constitution and law. Then also by kidnapping and
20 killing Albanians who were loyal to the state, as well as through
21 terrorising the non-Albania population, blocking and barricading roads.
22 In less than a year, for no reason whatsoever, policemen,
23 soldiers, innocent citizens, were killed and kidnapped in order to create
24 an atmosphere of a reign of terror, lack of tolerance, and to give rise
25 to interethnic conflicts, all with the aim of establishing a Republic of
1 Kosovo and attaining the cessation of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo
2 and Metohija from the Republic of Serbia
3 Armed from Albania
4 forms of activity, Albanian extremists and terrorists resorted to all
5 possible means, including the civilian population, in order to attain
6 their goals, especially creating a semblance of a humanitarian
7 catastrophe while accusing the state forces for excessive use of force
8 and non-observance of human rights.
9 There was no plan or order for acting against the civilian
10 Albanian population in any form. The activity of the state forces did
11 not have as its objective the persecution of the non-Albania -- of the
12 Albanian civilian population, creating an atmosphere of fear and
13 insecurity, destroying property, cultural and religious landmarks.
14 Within the scope of our possibilities we took all possible
15 measures in order to resolve crimes, find their perpetrators,
16 irrespective of national, ethnic, racial, and religious affiliation.
17 Like in any war, there were crimes, but they had not been planned,
18 instigated or approved. And as for the crimes and criminals who were
19 found, action was taken in accordance with the procedures set by law in
20 keeping with the possibilities and circumstances that we faced at the
22 One should not lose sight of the fact that many crimes were not
23 reported, which made the work of the police even more difficult in terms
24 of uncovering crimes and perpetrators. And then the withdrawal of the
25 military and police forces from the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and
1 Metohija in June 1999, after the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement,
2 rendered impossible the further work of our organs in that territory.
3 Population movements took place for several reasons, namely, fear
4 from bombing, fear from conflicts with terrorists, fear from combat
5 activities. And also the terrorists abused civilian population in order
6 to create an apparent humanitarian catastrophe. There was no forced
7 movement of the population, and the population that fled was rendered all
8 possible aid and assistance within the scope of the possibilities then
10 The position that I held then did not permit me to make state
11 level and political decisions that were within the powers of various
12 organs in accordance with the constitution and law, and it was the
13 Minister of the Interior who prescribed the procedure in terms of
14 implementing decisions that belonged to the purview of the MUP of the
15 Republic of Serbia
16 From 1981 onwards, after the demonstrations that were held in
17 Pristina when the demand Kosovo should be a republic was voiced with a
18 view to the violent secession of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and
19 Metohija from the Republic of Serbia
20 Interior of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia established a
21 staff which continued to exist and function all the way up to the end of
22 June 1999.
23 When the top state organs adopted in 1998 a plan for combating
24 terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, the Minister of the Interior passed a
25 decision setting the mandate, composition, and responsibility of the
1 staff of the MUP for combatting terrorism in the territory of Kosovo
2 Metohija. The minister decided that in addition to the appointed leader
3 and members of the staff, that also included members of the RJB and the
4 RDB, the broader composition should have attached to it the chiefs of the
5 secretariats of the interior centres and divisions of the RDB in the
6 territory in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. The task of
7 the staff was to plan, organise, and lead the work and engagement of
8 organisational units of the ministry as well as sent and attached units
9 in controlling and combatting terrorism in the territory of Kosovo
11 In addition to that, the task of the staff was to plan, organise,
12 channel, and bring together the work of the organisational units of the
13 ministry in Kosovo and Metohija in carrying out more complex
14 security-related tasks.
15 For his own work, the work of the staff, and the state of
16 security within the purview of the staff itself, the head of the staff
17 is -- directly reports to the minister, and he reports to the minister
18 about security incidents, measures taken, and the results of these
20 When the minister made his decision of the 16th of June, 1998
21 decided that all previous decisions on the establishment of the staff of
22 the MUP and the decisions on appointing the composition of the staff of
23 the MUP that I made as Chief of the RJB shall become null and void. The
24 minister had the authority to make such a decision on the basis of the
25 Law on the Interior and other bylaws. And that was the only solution
1 possible, in view of the fact that the staff brought together the work of
2 both departments of the MUP. So it was only the minister who could have
3 made such a decision and regulate in this way the work and responsibility
4 of the organ that was established at the level of all of the MUP.
5 I never reported to any state organ, or did I brief it on the
6 situation, plans, and tasks related to the security situation in the
7 territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and no one reported to me, as the Chief
8 of the RJB, on the planning, organisation and implementation of
9 anti-terrorist actions in Kosovo and Metohija at the time relevant to the
11 In accordance with the minister's order, I stayed in the
12 Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija from July 1998 until the end
13 of September 1998. In that period a plan was carried out for combatting
14 terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija which had been adopted by the top state
15 leadership on the basis of a plan that had been adopted by the
16 Army of Yugoslavia
17 that, too.
18 I assumed that due to the complexity and seriousness of the
19 security-related and political situation in the territory of Kosovo
20 Metohija, the minister decided that I should be present while the plan
21 for combatting terrorism was being carried out in 1998. The staff was in
22 charge of the MUP forces and coordination and activity with the
23 Army of Yugoslavia
24 the VJ, while coordinating activities with the commander of the Pristina
1 Due to the gravity of the political situation, the situation in
2 Kosovo and Metohija was uppermost political issue in the country and that
3 is why the top political officials of the FRY and the Republic of Serbia
4 came to the area of Kosovo and Metohija, and they dealt with the
5 functioning of the state organs there.
6 By monitoring the situation in the field every day and carrying
7 out the adopted plan for combatting terrorism, what was necessary was the
8 exchange of information and communication between and among all state
9 structures so that the intimidated, terrified population would see that
10 the state did care and was resolute in terms of establishing normal
11 communication and movement of citizens throughout the territory of Kosovo
12 and Metohija, the personal and property-related security of citizens, and
13 to establish the normal functioning of the state while curbing the
14 activities of the terrorist forces and terrorism as such.
15 After the plan for combatting terrorism was being carried out,
16 there was a normalisation of work and life in Kosovo and Metohija.
17 Inter-ethnic confidence was re-established and all persons returned to
18 their homes and places of residence.
19 The Geremek-Jovanovic Agreement was signed after intense
20 political negotiations, and then on the 25th of October, pursuant to an
21 authorisation given to me by the Minister of the Interior, I signed
22 agreements with John Byrnes and Klaus Naumann specifying the number of
23 observation points, reducing the strength of the police force, and
24 limiting the use of weapons of larger calibre.
25 Once the police forces withdrew in accordance with the agreement,
1 the terrorist forces exploited the pull-out and retook their previous
2 positions, continuing their terrorist activity.
3 After this period, I would only go to Kosovo and Metohija in the
4 escort of the minister or members of the Republic of Serbia
5 and this was only for a few times up until the end of June 1999.
6 In early 1999, it was assessed that there was a possibility that
7 there would be an aggression against the territory of Serbia
8 through air-strikes, followed by a ground invasion of the NATO forces.
9 In the Serbian MUP, preparations were made for the defence of the country
10 and war plans were updated.
11 I ran the Public Security Department in the same manner,
12 regardless of where the organisational units were located, throughout the
13 territory of the Republic of Serbia
14 that were vested in me by the minister. I have to stress that in his
15 decision of the 16th of June, 1998, the minister, within the mandate and
16 the composition of the MUP Staff for combatting terrorism in the
17 territory of Kosovo
18 the MUP and made all decisions relating to the tasks, operation, flow of
19 information, and responsibilities of the staff.
20 In the course of the combat operations, regular security tasks
21 that the Public Security Department carried out were carried out in
22 accordance with the laws and regulations throughout the territory of the
23 Republic of Serbia
24 taking care of its work throughout the territory of the republic.
25 It was only the minister that was in charge of the anti-terrorist
1 activities in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and
2 Metohija before and during the war. He decided within the MUP who and
3 how would carry out tasks in Kosovo and Metohija in accordance with the
4 state policy as it was set.
5 I never heard either the minister or any top people issue any
6 tasks that would call for crimes against the Albania civilian population,
7 that would incite MUP personnel to commit crimes or to the effect that
8 their crimes would be tolerated.
9 Regardless of the difficult situation that the country found
10 itself in, what was insisted on was the legality in the work and
11 operation of the MUP and respect of human rights. And as for those
12 members of the MUP who violated the rules and regulations, disciplinary
13 and criminal proceedings were instituted against them, with a special
14 emphasis placed on the treatment of civilians and provision of
15 humanitarian aid.
16 Regular security duties were carried out in the same manner as we
17 had done them before the war but in conditions that were substantially
18 more difficult. We complied with the law and the regulations that were
19 passed during the state of war.
20 In light of the severe destruction caused by air-strikes, I had
21 to take measures to eliminate the consequences, to ensure the swift and
22 efficient operation of the MUP organs, and the coordination of the work
23 with other relevant organs, primarily in an effort to attend the scenes
24 of air-strikes as soon as possible; to have the first responders there as
25 soon as possible, primarily the fire-fighting teams, and then other
1 services who were there to assist the victims; and to carry out on-site
2 investigation and to document the consequences of the air-strikes,
3 determining the number and identity of the casualties, both killed --
4 those who were killed and who were wounded, recording the destroyed
5 facilities, and so on.
6 Difficulties experienced in communications made it even more
7 difficult to carry out these tasks and required swift reactions
8 throughout the territory of the republic. Throughout this time of the
9 war, the headquarters of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
10 was located in Belgrade
11 done changed all the time because of the air-strikes.
12 Regular security work in all organisational units went on in a
13 unified way, and reports about security incidents that I received every
14 day did not contain any information or data about anti-terrorist
16 I did not take part in the drafting of the plans for combatting
17 terrorism. I was not aware. I did not receive any information about
18 where those activities would take place, and I did not take part in their
19 implementation in the time relevant for the indictment.
20 The call-up, the training of the regular and reserve force,
21 dispatching units to Kosovo and Metohija, their billeting and board,
22 these are regular tasks that the appropriate administration in the RJB is
23 charged with, or sections and divisions within various SUPs. But those
24 activities don't have anything to do with the planning, control, or
25 actual implementation of anti-terrorist activities. Disciplinary
1 proceedings were carried out in accordance with the regular procedure,
2 and this was something that the Public Security Department did. It was
3 one of its regular tasks.
4 No paramilitary units were ever drafted into the reserve force of
5 the MUP of Republic of Serbia
6 with the relevant laws. The reception was carried out by the police
7 administration in accordance with the military offices and local SUPs.
8 I first learned about the truck with the bodies from the chief of
9 the SUP
10 it had come from, or who had organised the transport. After receiving
11 this information, I thought that the regular police crime investigation
12 had to be carried out, in accordance with the law, and this is what I
13 insisted on in my conversation with the chief of the SUP in Bor.
14 However, having received additional information, and in light of
15 the fact that the local SUP
16 procedure, I informed the minister about all that and he took all the
17 decisions that followed, and I relayed them to the chief of the SUP in
18 Bor and to other persons who took part in the implementation of the
19 orders from the minister. I could not effect the decisions that were
20 made, and bearing the time when all this was going on, the state of war,
21 the aggression, I could not leave my post, and I could not refuse to
22 implement the orders that I received.
23 After the change in the government in Serbia, I received reliable
24 information from my close associates that my life was in danger. At the
25 same time, I learned that the people who were now in government, after
1 retirement, wanted to place me under arrest for reasons that were unknown
2 to me; and they would quote the wrong-doings that I purportedly had done
3 in the Milicionar Sports Association as a pretext.
4 Bearing all this in mind, the facts that I just quoted, I left
6 because I would have been able in talks with the state organs, with
7 representatives and investigators of this Tribunal, to clear up my role
8 and my actions and avoid the indictment against me. The indictment was
9 issued in late 2003, more than two years after I had left Serbia
10 I am absolutely convinced of that because in the book published
11 by former Chief Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, I read that at a secret
12 meeting held in the Netherlands
13 Minister of Serbia
14 Dusan Mihajlovic spoke with Chief Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte about their
15 continued cooperation and future indictments. On that occasion, the
16 Minister of the Interior, Mihajlovic, said that the government of Serbia
17 would be overjoyed if the Tribunal in The Hague would indict
18 General Djordjevic. That's at page 195.
19 When the indictment against me, General Pavkovic,
20 General Lazarevic, and General Lukic was handed over, Zoran Zivkovic, the
21 then Prime Minister of Serbia, this is what Carla Del Ponte says, refused
22 to take receipt of the indictment, but when he looked at the names, he
23 said, "Djordjevic, no problem." That's at page 205 of the same book.
24 Your Honours, I hope that in the course of a fair trial, I will
25 be able to prove that the allegations made by the Prosecution are
1 unfounded. I did not have effective control over the MUP units that were
2 active in the area of Kosovo and Metohija in the period relevant for the
3 indictment. I did not know, I did not have reason to know, that my
4 subordinates committed widespread crimes against the Albania population.
5 I did not receive any information about punishable conduct of the MUP
6 units. Within the limits of my power, I took legal action against the
7 perpetrators of crime, and we also carried out preventive actions to
8 prevent crimes. You also have to bear in mind the actual real-life
9 situation at the time when all of this was going on and the actual
10 capability for acting promptly.
11 I'm sorry for all the victims in Kosovo and Metohija. I feel
12 sorry for the families. I deeply sympathise with their pain. I would
13 really wish to see this war, the war in Kosovo and Metohija, to be the
14 last war ever waged there; and I would like to see all the problems being
15 resolved by political means, by talks, and agreements.
16 Thank you very much for hearing me out.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. If you'd be good enough to
18 switch off your microphone. Thank you. It reduces, then, the humming.
19 We have now given the accused the opportunity which he sought,
20 allowed by the rules, to make a personal statement at this time and that
21 has been recorded, and we have noted its content.
22 That concludes the preliminary statement procedures for this
23 trial. The next stage is for the actual evidence for the Prosecution to
24 be led. Following that, of course, the Defence will have an opportunity
25 to present its case in answer to the Prosecution evidence.
1 Given the time now and the practicalities for the arrival and
2 processing of witnesses, the Chamber proposes to adjourn now with a view
3 to resuming tomorrow morning at 9.00 to commence the hearing of the
5 Could I mention, in case there has been any confusion, that we
6 are not able to sit on Thursday of this week. There is no courtroom
7 available. One timetable that is available on the internet suggests that
8 we are sitting. That is a mistyping. Another trial is, in fact, sitting
9 at that time. So we will hear evidence tomorrow and then continue on
10 Friday and then into next week.
11 So we thank you, Mr. Stamp, for your opening statement, and we
12 have heard the personal statement of the accused. We now adjourn and
13 will resume tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.41 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of
16 January, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.