1 Wednesday, 18 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Mr. Stamp, are you ready with the
6 next witness?
7 MR. STAMP: Good morning, Your Honours. The next witness is Nike
8 Peraj, and he will testify regarding paragraphs 72(H)(ii) and 75(H) of
9 the indictment. If I could repeat it, paragraphs 72(H)(ii) and 75(H) of
10 the indictment.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read allowed the affirmation that
15 is on the card given to you now.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down. Mr. Stamp has some
19 questions for you.
20 Mr. Stamp.
21 WITNESS: NIKE PERAJ
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Peraj. For the record, could you please state
25 your name and your date of birth.
1 A. Nike Peraj. I was born on the 4th of September, 1946.
2 Q. And where were you born?
3 A. In Ramoc village, Gjakove.
4 Q. And that is in Kosovo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What's your ethnicity, sir?
7 A. Albanian.
8 Q. And could you tell us in 1999, the early part of 1999, what was
9 your occupation?
10 A. In early 1999, I was the person in charge of operational and
11 educational issues in the military barracks of the 52nd Brigade of the
12 Pristina Corps. It was part of the command of the Pristina Corps: The
13 ARBR Brigade.
14 Q. Thank you. So I take it that you were a member of the Army of
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What was your rank?
18 A. Captain First Class.
19 Q. Now, up until June 1999, for how long had you been a member of
20 the Army of Yugoslavia
21 A. I had been a member of the Army of Yugoslavia as of 1st November,
22 1975, until 11th -- 10th, 11th June, 1999
23 Q. How did your career in the Yugoslav army come to be terminated?
24 Under what circumstances did you part with the army?
25 A. In June 1999, the Army of Yugoslavia, according to agreement at a
1 State level, withdrew from Gjakove barracks and from Kosova as a whole,
2 and in those circumstances I remained in my apartment in Gjakove.
3 Q. Why did you remain and not move out of there?
4 A. The main reason is that I was born in Gjakove municipality. My
5 family was and is there, my parents, my brothers. They live in a village
6 there. The other reason would be that in Kosova -- rather, in Gjakove,
7 terrible crimes had been committed, many casualties in people, in
8 property. So had I left with the Army of Yugoslavia, I would
9 automatically been proclaimed a traitor of my own people, of my own
10 family, and so on and so forth. I know that I never participated in any
11 combat operation or anything else and that I never committed anything
12 wrong personally.
13 Q. Now, in respect to those crimes that you speak about and other
14 events that occurred in Kosovo, and Djakovica in particular, did you give
15 several statements to various entities, including to investigators of
16 the -- this Tribunal?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And as far as the statements that you gave to investigators from
19 this Tribunal, do you recall that the several statements -- these several
20 statements were compiled into one statement which you signed on the 9th
21 of August, 2008 -- sorry, 2006?
22 A. I remember that the main -- a summary statement was compiled of
23 the main things, which I signed.
24 Q. Okay. I will get back to the date shortly. That statement, did
25 you have an opportunity to review it over the last few days since you
1 have returned here to The Hague
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, with your leave could I show the
4 witness the document with the number -- 65 ter number 02253.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. I see the English front page is before you. Do you see where you
8 had signed that statement? Yes, do you see where you had signed the
10 A. The font is very small. I cannot read it properly.
11 Q. If you look at the English version to your left at the bottom, do
12 you see where you signed?
13 A. Yes, I can see my signature. It is my signature.
14 Q. And it's dated the 8th and 9th of August, 2006.
15 A. 8 and 9th of August, 2006.
16 MR. STAMP: If we could just have a look at the penultimate page
17 of that statement, please. The next to last page of the statement, I'm
18 sorry. I think we have the last page. Could we have the one before
19 that, page 8 -- 18, sorry.
20 Q. Do you see you also signed there above the date?
21 A. It is my signature just above the date 9th August, 2006.
22 MR. STAMP: And that is, Your Honours, certified that it had been
23 read over to him in the Serbo-Croat language and that he accepted it.
24 Q. Now, when you reviewed the statement recently, I believe you
25 indicated, Mr. Peraj, that there were certain changes that ought to be
1 made, so can I take you first to paragraph 67 of the statement.
2 Paragraph 67 is page 11 of the English, and page 12 in B/C/S. Is it
4 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, with your leave, although I think we
5 should work for the public nature of the trial using the computer
6 technology, but perhaps it would also assist if I just handed him the --
7 a copy of the Albanian translation of the statement. It might help us to
8 proceed more efficiently, with your leave, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Stamp. And could the Chamber
10 mention that often witnesses have difficulty reading documents --
11 MR. STAMP: Indeed.
12 JUDGE PARKER: -- because of the size of the print and the
13 imprecision of the screens despite the advanced technology, and where
14 it's intended to make some extensive use of a document, the Chamber would
15 encourage the provision of a written copy to the witness to speed up the
16 procedure. Thank you.
17 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honours.
18 Q. At paragraph 67, you say that your brother was together with VJ
19 Major Ljubisa Zivkovic, "... and I was alone." That is the next to last
20 sentence in paragraph 67.
21 A. Yes. I see paragraph 67.
22 Q. Now, in respect to the person named there, VJ Major Ljubisa
23 Zivkovic, is that the correct person or the correct name that should be
25 A. No. I made a correction even earlier. I pointed out this
1 mistake. It was not this person involved in this case.
2 Q. What is the name of the person?
3 A. The name of the right person was Seregj Perovic. He was a
4 Captain First Class.
5 Q. So it should be Captain First Class Seregj Perovic instead of VJ
6 Major Ljubisa Zivkovic.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, you said that you made the correction before and explained
9 that -- or perhaps before I get into that, maybe I should just take you
11 Is it correct that wherever we see in this statement the name
12 Major Ljubisa Zivkovic we should substitute it for Captain First Class
13 Perovic, Seregj Perovic? Is that correct?
14 A. Correct, with the exception of one or two places.
15 Q. Okay. Very well. Let's take you through, if I may, the
16 statement. Could we move to paragraph 68.
17 You said: "Together with Major Zivkovic ..." Should that remain
18 the same, or should that be "together with Captain Perovic ..."?
19 A. It should state "Perovic."
20 Q. If we look at paragraph 70, the next to last -- sorry, next to
21 last sentence of paragraph 70 you say:
22 "... I had nothing to be afraid of because Major Zivkovic and
23 myself were both two officials of the VJ army."
24 Should that be Major Zivkovic or Captain Perovic?
25 A. It should state "Captain Perovic."
1 Q. Paragraph 71 begins: "Together with Zivkovic ..."
2 What should that state?
3 A. "Together with Perovic."
4 Q. Paragraph 72, again, in the first sentence you refer to Major
5 Zivkovic. What should that state?
6 A. It should be substituted with "Captain Perovic."
7 Q. And again in paragraph 73, on more than one occasion you refer to
8 Major Zivkovic. What should that say there?
9 A. Again, "Perovic." "Captain Perovic," not the major.
10 Q. Again, if we look at paragraph 75, on several occasions there are
11 references to Major Zivkovic. What should that state in that paragraph?
12 A. "Captain Perovic."
13 Q. And if you now go to paragraph 76. In the first sentence, you
14 refer again to Major Zivkovic. What should be there?
15 A. Again, "Captain Perovic."
16 Q. And in paragraph 77, on two occasions you refer to Major
17 Zivkovic. What should be there?
18 A. "Captain Perovic" on both occasions.
19 Q. And in paragraph 78, in the last sentence -- well, on two
20 occasions, in the second and in the last sentence you refer to Major
21 Zivkovic. What should be there?
22 A. "Captain Perovic."
23 Q. And in paragraph 79, again, in the first sentence you refer to
24 Mr. Major Zivkovic. What should be there?
25 A. Again, "Captain Perovic."
1 Q. And finally in this regard, in paragraph 81 you again refer to
2 Major Zivkovic. What should be there?
3 A. "Captain Perovic" again.
4 Q. Now, is it correct that in many -- or not many, in the earlier
5 statements you had given to the OTP in regard to your activities in the
6 period relative to the indictment, particularly on the 27th and the 28th
7 of May, you had said that you were along with Major Zivkovic?
8 A. That's correct. This is what I said.
9 Q. And for the -- you explained for the first time in the -- during
10 the Mos -- sorry, during the trial of Mr. Milutinovic and others in
11 2006, that actually it was not Major Zivkovic but it was Captain Perovic.
12 Do you recall that?
13 A. Yes, I recall that. That's what I had said. I provided an
14 explanation, and I am ready to provide even a broader explanation if need
16 Q. Okay. Could you tell the Court -- well, explain to the Court why
17 it is that in the earlier statements you had substituted Major Zivkovic
18 for Captain Perovic.
19 A. May I give you the answer?
20 Q. Please, please. Explain to the Court.
21 A. There are several reasons. The first and main reason for me
22 doing this was of humanitarian nature, because this person helped around
23 100 persons to survive, and these persons live to this day thanks to him.
24 Secondly, after the war, in 1999, the person in question, Captain
25 Seregj Perovic, called me on the phone and asked me not to mention his
1 name if I wanted him to live. And in the end of that conversation he
2 repeated several times, Please, please, just forget my name; you know and
3 I know that we both tried our best, did the impossible for as many people
4 possible to survive and escape death, but that was all war, and that's
5 what we could do in those circumstances.
6 This was the main reason why I did this, and I do admit it in
7 case you consider me for a person who did something wrong.
8 Secondly, Major Zivkovic was informed and was in all these
9 locations that I mentioned, that I visited with Captain Perovic, because
10 of his function at the time. He was a member of a 3-member commission
11 that was established for mopping up the terrain, for cleansing the
12 terrain from the bodies and cattle that were killed in order to prevent
13 the spreading of diseases.
14 I was also with Major Zivkovic on every location that was bombed
15 by NATO aircraft because I was familiar with the terrain, and that's why
16 he wanted me to accompany him always, and to measure using a detector the
17 presence of chemical or biological toxins, because he was a professional.
18 He was an expert on these things, chemical weapons and biological
19 weapons, biological and chemical defence.
20 If I can add just one thing. I was with First Class Captain
21 Seregj Perovic in Nec, Duzhnje, Meje, Qafe e Osekut. I have mentioned
22 all these name. I could bring here over a hundred witnesses who have
23 seen me with him, and the people whose lives were saved ask me even today
24 whether I have contacted him, and they asked me to thank him for what he
25 has done.
1 Q. You --
2 A. So that is the reason why I did that.
3 Q. You said that Major Zivkovic was present at many of the locations
4 that you have mentioned in your statement. Was he present at this --
5 these locations on the 27th and the 28th of April when you and
6 Captain Perovic went to these locations?
7 A. Yes. Correction: No, he was not with me and Perovic. I think
8 he went there after us because we discussed this together, and he said, I
9 asked you -- I wanted you to come with me, but I heard that you had gone
10 there before with Perovic. And this is the truth. This is what he told
12 Q. Thank you. If we could return to the statement that you have in
13 front of you and go to paragraph 6 thereof. You see in the second
14 sentence, it is written here:
15 "Colonel Milos Djosan was also responsible for the MUP reservists
17 Is that correct?
18 A. A correction has been made. It should not say M-U-P, MUP. I
19 think I did make the correction.
20 Q. Yes, but we wanted to do it in court for the record. What is the
22 A. It should say "Colonel Milos Djosan." He was a commander of the
23 52nd Brigade ARBR, and he was responsible for this brigade only, not
24 responsible for MUP reservist units. In that municipality where the
25 army --
1 Q. Just before -- could you just correct the text first. It says in
2 the second sentence:
3 "Colonel Milos Djosan was also responsible for MUP reservists
5 Would it be correct to say that he was responsible for VJ
6 reservist units? Is that the correction you want to make? Could you
7 speak in the microphone, please.
8 A. He was responsible for regular forces and reservist forces.
9 Q. But not --
10 A. The reservists were those people who were mobilised for the needs
11 of the army. They were trained and together with the regular units.
12 Q. Yes, and we'll get to that soon, but just let's focus on the
13 text. Is it correct that we should substitute in the second sentence the
14 word -- or the expression VJ for MUP?
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honour, objection.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] As Defence counsel, I believe
18 that in the direct examination the Prosecution should not lead the
19 witness, and the Prosecutor is doing that when he is asking whether the
20 word "MUP" should be replaced by "VJ" or the other way around. So could
21 he please put his questions as appropriate in direct examination whether
22 anything should have been changed so that the witness can respond on his
23 own. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: In this situation, Mr. Djordjevic, if you look at
25 the answer at page 11, line 4, the witness has already indicated that
1 Colonel Djosan or Djosan was responsible for regular forces and reservist
2 forces; and that they were people who were mobilised for the needs of the
3 army, is at lines 6 and 7.
4 In those circumstances Mr. Stamp, I don't think, is at all
5 leading when he uses the term "VJ," which is the abbreviation for the
6 Yugoslav army, as we have understood it in this trial so far. So I think
7 your point is not well made in this particular case.
8 Carry on, please, Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. Yes. Referring back to your previous answers, can I take it,
11 therefore, that in that second sentence in paragraph 6, "VJ" should be
12 substituted for "MUP"?
13 A. Yes, okay.
14 Q. If we could look at paragraph 58 of the statement, please. The
15 third sentence reads that: Prascevic used to be the head of the state
16 security in Gjakove. Is there any change you'd like to make in that
18 A. This is not correct. Milutin Prascevic was never a state or
19 public security chief. He was an inspector, and not even a senior
20 inspector, just an inspector. That's what he was, just an inspector, as
21 I said, not a senior inspector in the MUP.
22 Q. So I take it from that that the word "chief" in that sentence
23 should be expunged and the word "inspector" --
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. And if you could turn to paragraph 105 of the
1 statement. Near the end of that paragraph, there's a sentence that
3 "I then went to Ramoc and informed my brother-in-law Pal Gjoklaj
4 and Pal's brother Zef."
5 Is there anything you'd like to change there, do you see there,
6 I'm referring to?
7 A. Please, could you repeat that again.
8 Q. If you look to the -- if you look near the end of paragraph 105,
9 you'll see, four sentences from the end, a sentence saying: "I went to
10 Ramoc ..."
11 Was it Ramoc that you went to?
12 A. May I answer?
13 Q. Yes, please.
14 A. Pal Gjoklaj is not my brother-in-law. He is my sister -- he is
15 my wife's brother. So he is the brother of my spouse.
16 Q. I see. And was it Ramoc that you went to and informed him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And look at the first sentence of paragraph 105. It says that:
19 "The 137th KLA Brigade (about 126 uniformed members and 40
20 volunteers) at Ramoc were surrounded in early June 1999 ..."
21 Was this at Ramoc?
22 A. A small correction has to be made here, as well, because Ramoc
23 and Madanaj, the places where the people of the 137th Brigade was, this
24 was a mountainous area, and half of it belongs to the Ramoc village and
25 half to the Madanaj village. However, they were mostly in Madanaj. So
1 it's better if it's said here "Madanaj," and I changed it. It should say
2 Madanaj. However, it doesn't make any big a difference, even if you say
4 Q. I see. Thank you. Now, having reviewed your statement dated the
5 9th of August, 2006, and having made these changes, is the statement
6 otherwise true -- or is the statement true and correct to the best of
7 your knowledge and belief?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if asked about this again, would you make the same
10 declaration that you have made in the statement?
11 A. I would say the same things that have been said in the statement.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. However, I can add explanations or comments if you wish.
14 Q. We'll get to that, Mr. Peraj.
15 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I tender this document marked 02253 --
16 or the 65 ter 02253 and ask that it be received in evidence under
17 Rule 92 ter as evidence in chief of this witness.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: P00313, Your Honours.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. Mr. Peraj, there are a couple clarifications and explanations of
22 material in this statement --
23 MR. STAMP: Oh, before I get to that, I recall that the Court had
24 asked that a short -- very short summary be read in respect to the 92 ter
25 witness. This is -- what I read now is just the briefest of outlines in
1 what is a very extensive statement, Your Honours.
2 The evidence of the witness is that he's an ethnic Albanian who
3 during early 1999 was a Captain First Class in the VJ. From December of
4 1998 until June 1999, he was an officer in the air defence and rocket
5 artillery brigade of the Pristina Corps based in Djakovica.
6 He described in great detail the structure of the VJ, and he also
7 described the structure of the MUP and paramilitary groups, including
8 Arkan's Tigers, Seselj's White Eagles, and Franko Simatovic's unit the
9 Frenchi's -- or Frenki's that were operating in Djakovica in 1998 and
10 particularly during the period March 24 to June 10, 1999.
11 He describes the huge influx of army and police personnel in the
12 Djakovica municipality between February and March 1999, and he also
13 describes that in addition to these units coming into the area, local
14 police units operating in various villages where the regular MUP had
15 difficulty patrolling were also created; that is, in many villages local
16 villagers were enlisted to assist the police as policemen.
17 He further described that sometime in April 1999, in Djakovica
18 municipality, about four policemen were killed in a KLA ambush. Some
19 days thereafter, he was present at a funeral ceremony where there was an
20 informal meeting between senior members of the MUP and the VJ in
21 Djakovica area where it was said and agreed upon that at least 100 Kosovo
22 Albanians would be eliminated and their houses burnt and destroyed in
23 retribution for the killing of the MUP officer in the ambush.
24 He described a large-scale operation which commenced on the 27th
25 of April in the Carragojs or Erenik Trava valley -- Trava river valleys,
1 and this operation continued until the 29th of April, during which a
2 massive massacre of Kosovo Albanian men took place, primarily at police
3 check-points in Meje, Meje-Orize, and Korenica. He describes the
4 position and location of the units of the forces of the FRY involved in
5 the operation.
6 The VJ cordoned off and blocked the valleys from both sides,
7 while VJ and MUP units swept down the valley towards Meje and Djakovica.
8 They burnt property and pushed the Kosovo Albanian villagers down the
9 valley southwards to the check-points, the police check-points that had
10 been set up around Meje.
11 As the Kosovo Albanian population fled down the valley, several
12 convoys were formed, and in the vicinity of Meje, Meje-Orize, and
13 Korenica, the MUP set up check-points where they detained and separated
14 Kosovo Albanian men from the fleeing convoys. Men were summarily
15 executed with members of the MUP from the area participated --
16 participating in the executions.
17 During these events, the witness and another VJ officer, Seregj
18 Perovic, travelled into the area of operations where they saw several
19 bodies of persons who had been executed, clearly from the injuries that
20 they suffered at the various police check-points. They saw 20 -- over 20
21 bodies of young men at the Meje-Orize check-point. On the road, they saw
22 bodies of young men scattered. At the two other check-points, I
23 mentioned they saw the bodies of young men who had been shot at close
25 They managed with the help of some other VJ members to rescue
1 some persons from execution and also to enable some persons to escape
2 down the mountains or down the valley by helping them passing through
3 check-points or effecting their release from the MUP forces or the forces
4 that had arrested them or held them.
5 The witness also produced some maps which are annotated -- which
6 are attached to his statements.
7 He also said that after the killing, sometime on the 29th on
8 April 1999
9 civilian trucks driving away from Meje escorted by a police vehicle, each
10 truck containing approximately 20 bodies in circumstances where it is his
11 view that these bodies were being removed for concealment.
12 That, as I indicated, is the briefest of summaries of the
13 evidence contained in the statement of this witness. May it please Your
15 Q. I'd like you, Mr. Peraj, just to expand a little bit on some of
16 the matters that you referred to in your statement, and it might assist
17 us if -- if we had before us a map of the area.
18 MR. STAMP: Could I ask that we put on the screen 65 ter document
19 615.05 -- sorry, 65 ter document 00615.05, and can I ask you to zoom in a
20 little bit at the top left so that Djakovica town goes to the bottom
21 right of the map. Perhaps you could zoom a little bit more, please. A
22 little bit more, taking Djakovica a little bit to the right. That's a
23 little bit too much. Okay. Could we zoom a little more.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More or less. It's good more or
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. You can make out the towns and the area there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Peraj, I'm going to ask you to mark
5 various places on the map, quite a few places. I'm going to ask you to
6 make careful markings, that is to identify where you want to mark before
7 you mark and mark it carefully.
8 Firstly, can you spot on the map where your home village is?
9 Just identify it before you do anything.
10 A. My home village is Ramoc.
11 Q. Can you make it out on the map?
12 A. I can't read the font. It is very small.
13 Q. Very well. Can we -- before you mark anything, can we try to
14 zoom it in one more level to see if we can ...
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Is that any better? Do you see Ramoc?
17 A. Yes, I can make it out because I know where it is on the map, but
18 it's not clear here. It's blurred.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. It's here where I'm pointing with my pen. Dallashaj is here --
21 Q. Okay. Can you underline where Ramoc is.
22 A. [Marks]
23 MR. STAMP: Okay. The witness has put a curved line where Ramoc
24 is indicated on the map. Let's first look at the statement itself.
25 Q. Now, if we turn to paragraph 65 of your statements --
1 MR. STAMP: Please keep the map on. Let us first look at the
2 statement itself.
3 Q. You had described the operation. You said in paragraph 65 that
4 the VJ were to the west, and they were also deployed along the
5 Djakovica-Decani road. I'd just like you to mark where the positions of
6 the VJ were during the operation, that is the static positions of the VJ.
7 Can you do that?
8 A. Yes, I can. However, one correction, if I may. The VJ was on
9 both sides of the terrain, both towards the north-east and south-west, so
10 they were on both sides. The army had blocked both sides, and now I can
11 draw it.
12 Q. No, before you do, can you use carefully unbroken -- sorry, some
13 broken lines to indicate where the army were on the north-west first,
14 where the army positions were blocking on the north-west. Please go
16 A. Yes. [Marks]
17 Q. The witness --
18 A. Approximately, the lines, the interrupted lines that I just
19 marked the map with indicate the positions where the army was stationed,
20 how they blocked the terrain.
21 Q. And you said in paragraph 55 [sic], as well, that: "There were
22 brigade-sized groups including the 63rd Parachute Brigade of about 500
23 men and a Special Police Brigade of about 400 personnel from Serbia
24 which pushed down the valley, burning and forcibly displacing civilians
25 toward the paramilitary groups towards Meje."
1 Can you use an arrow to show the direction that the 63rd
2 paramilitary Brigade -- or Parachute Brigade from Nis and the Special
3 Police from Serbia
4 A. This indicates the direction of the attack carried out by the MUP
5 or the police brigade.
6 Q. At the top of that arrow that you just drew, can you just mark
7 "MUP" very -- just indicate that it is the MUP.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Okay. You just did it at the bottom. Okay. Okay. Can you --
10 JUDGE PARKER: There is writing at the arrow head.
11 MR. STAMP: Yes.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Which is probably an M. Just so that the record
13 will help us follow it later.
14 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. Could you put another arrow on the map showing the axis of attack
16 of the VJ unit, the 63rd Parachute Brigade.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Mr. Stamp. I don't read paragraph 65
18 as saying that the VJ Parachute Brigade was involved in the attack. It
19 was present, but the attack described appears to be one by the Special
20 Police Brigade of about 400 personnel, as I read what is there. I may be
22 MR. STAMP: I think I should clarify it with the witness.
23 Q. Before you mark, Witness, if we return to paragraph 65 of the
24 statement, and I'll just read it. It says that:
25 "There were brigade-sized groups, including the 36th Parachute
1 Brigade of about 500 men - I do not know the name of the commander - and
2 a Special Police Brigade of about 400 personnel from Serbia, which pushed
3 down the valley, burning and forcibly displacing civilians towards the
4 paramilitary groups around Meje acting as a blocking force."
5 Firstly, the 63rd Parachute Brigade, was that a VJ or a MUP unit?
6 A. It was a VJ unit.
7 Q. And which units were pushing down the valley, burning and
8 displacing the civilians?
9 A. In a valley, in the north-eastern part of the valley the 63rd
10 Parachute Brigade was there while the MUP was on the other axis. There
11 were trucks, regular police from Gjakove, or reservists. After the
12 convoys left, they set the houses alight.
13 This is the gist of it. These ones, they only drove the people
14 out of their homes, of their houses in the village, and directed them in
15 the direction of the main check-point.
16 Q. You said that in the north-eastern part of the valley, the 63rd
17 Parachute Brigade was there. Could you draw a line now, an arrow,
18 carefully showing the axis of attack of the 63rd Parachute Brigade?
19 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Objection, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djordjevic.
21 MR. STAMP: Stop, please, Mr. Peraj.
22 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] As the Chamber has already
23 observed in paragraph 65, they only mention that the 63rd Parachute
24 Brigade was stationed there. You, Your Honour, cautioned my learned
25 friend Mr. Stamp that in this part of the statement, no attack by the
1 63rd Parachute Brigade is mentioned. That's why I would like to ask the
2 Prosecutor to reformulate his question and to phrase it in accordance
3 with what is written in paragraph 65.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, paragraph 65 is not clear --
5 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE PARKER: -- if I can phrase it that way, as to whether the
7 63rd Parachute Brigade was involved in pushing down the valley or not.
8 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: The witness so far has said that the parachute
10 brigade was at the north-east of the valley and the MUP was on the other
11 axis. It is not yet clear from the witness whether it was the 63rd
12 Brigade which was involved in the push down the valley, perhaps with MUP,
13 or whether it was only the MUP. And once we've got that resolved, I
14 would be grateful if you could also get resolved whether it was these
15 truck-loads of reservists that were involved in the push or whether they
16 merely came along after the push and burned.
17 MR. STAMP: Very well, Your Honour.
18 Q. I asked before, Mr. Peraj, and you answer -- I'll ask you again.
19 Could you name the units or the formation that were involved in the push
20 down the river valley?
21 A. With full responsibility, I hereby state that in the push, in
22 driving the population out of the population, the Brigade of the police
23 and the 63rd Parachute Brigade from the Nish were involved. They were in
24 the yard of my own house, and after they beat up my father who refused to
25 leave his house, he, my father, said to them, Very well. You, the
1 friends of my son doing this to me.
2 Then the officer from the radio brigade, he had a radio with him,
3 he called Gjakove headquarters to check and verify whether a Nike Peraj
4 was still a VJ member. He received a yes as a reply, and then the people
5 on the ground changed their behaviour towards my family. They did drive
6 them away from the house but said to them that they would be able to come
7 back after two days.
8 I don't know the name of this officer, but I know that his duty
9 was to provide military security in the Brigade. He told me that he had
10 been to my house, and he gave me the name of my father and my mother and
11 described them to me. So this is a fact. Nobody can deny that. At
12 Qafe e Osekut, we've seen this on the map, too, which units were engaged
13 there and the axis of their activities.
14 Q. Now --
15 A. May I provide you with a further clarification, please?
16 Q. Well, can you clarify first, who or which groups did the burning
17 of the houses? Was it the MUP unit, the 63rd Parachute Brigade of the
18 VJ, or was it the reservists that came later on in trucks?
19 A. The special group which followed the army and the police were the
20 ones who burned the house after the terrain was cleansed and the people
21 were moved out. This was a special unit that I saw with my own eyes in
22 Nec, not exactly the same members, but it was the same group where they
23 carried out similar things. Their hands were free to do whatever they
24 wanted. They set the houses on fire and continued downwards. In
25 addition, the 63rd Parachute Brigade did not kill anyone because there
1 wasn't any. They were directed [Realtime transcript read in error,
2 "corrected"] to go to the road.
3 I don't have any knowledge of people being killed on that axis.
4 The people were killed on or near the check-point at Meje and Orize, and
5 totally different units were stationed there on those check-points.
6 Q. Yes. I just see here at line 23 -- sorry, line 12, they were
7 corrected to go to the road. Are you saying that the 63rd Parachute
8 Brigade directed the people to the road?
9 A. The Parachute Brigade in the area where it was operating and the
10 police Brigade in its own area of operations, but they were coordinated,
11 the two. The command of the police in Duzhnje and the temporary command
12 at Qafe e Osekut were fully coordinated -- fully coordinated their
13 activities, and I heard it myself on the radio.
14 Q. Thank you. So I had asked you earlier if the 63rd -- or I'd
15 asked you which units were involved, and you said the 63rd was on the
16 north-east axis of attack -- or north-west, I beg your pardon. Can you
17 just draw a line, and that will clarify things, I hope, indicating the
18 line of attack of the 63rd Parachute Brigade, an arrow, a line with an
20 A. It's not the 23rd but the 26th Brigade, to avoid any
22 THE INTERPRETER: 63rd, correction.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]
24 MR. STAMP: Okay. The witness has drawn another line above -- or
25 another arrow above the first arrow, indicating the axis of movement of
1 the 63rd Brigade.
2 Q. You had earlier with the broken lines shown where the VJ
3 formations were that were involved in blocking the valley. Do you know
4 what were the names of these formations on the two sides of the valley?
5 Do you know what brigades they were or what units they were?
6 A. On the side where MUP was, including the villages of Orize,
7 Korenica, Meje, Babaj Boks, Shishman, there was a tank battalion from the
8 Prizren Brigade. I think it was the 1st or the 2nd Battalion, tank
9 battalion. A certain Nenad was a security officer in that Brigade. I do
10 not recall the name of the battalion commander at the time, but I know
11 that this battalion even before the war was stationed in Gjakove.
12 Q. And on the other side, do you know a unit that was on the other
13 side of the valley?
14 A. On the other side of the valley was one or two anti-aircraft
15 batteries of my own brigade, the 52nd Rocket Artillery Brigade, and a
16 little but further up in the area of Rastavica and Rec, I think there
17 were some units in that area of Decane and Peja. I'm not quite certain
18 which those units were, but they were army units.
19 Q. You said that you heard coordination in respect to the joint
20 operation of the MUP and the VJ on the radio. Where were you when you
21 heard this?
22 A. At Duzhnje, at the forward command post in the Turbe area in
23 Duzhnje. After I returned from Qafe e Osekut, Milan Kotur and Jovica
24 Stankovic were there, and I heard on the radio - the volume was on -
25 about the coordination and to which point they had advanced. He was
1 saying, Continue further up; stop; any resistance? The reply would come,
2 No, not so far, because in fact there was no resistance.
3 Q. Was this a forward command post of the VJ or of the MUP?
4 A. It was a command on the ground, on the actual terrain at Turbe.
5 It's called a forward command post or moving command in war-time.
6 Q. Yes. Was it VJ --
7 A. It was MUP. Both the MUP and the VJ commands were moving all the
8 time in order to follow the strategic points, but at Duzhnje was the MUP
9 forward command post, whereas at Qafe e Osekut members or representatives
10 of the forward command post of the brigade in Gjakove and the
11 representatives of the Pristina Corps, that is Milan Kotur, while the
12 representative of my own Brigade was Novica Stankovic. I spent time with
13 them on that occasion. I stayed with them for half an hour and discussed
14 the situation.
15 Q. Okay. Can you see on the map the area where the MUP forward
16 command post was?
17 A. It cannot be seen clearly, but it was in the village of Duzhnje
18 It is the first village just above Korenica. In fact, it is adjacent to
19 Korenica. I can put a dot there if you wish.
20 Q. Yes. Perhaps you could put an X there or -- yes, put an X where
21 it is.
22 A. It should be here at the point of the arrow.
23 MR. STAMP: The -- yes, the witness has at the point of the arrow
24 written over where he had earlier marked "MUP."
25 Q. Could you put an X now where the VJ forward command post was.
1 A. [Marks]
2 MR. STAMP: And the witness has put an X next to the broken lines
3 to the north-west -- sorry, north-east of the markings that he has made.
4 Q. If we could move to paragraph 68 of your statement.
5 MR. STAMP: And, Your Honours, since I am to move on, I'm
6 wondering if it might be a convenient time, if we could save the markings
7 that the witness has done, and I ask that it be received as an exhibit.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The marked map will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00314, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We must now, then, have the first
11 break, and we'll resume at 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. I'd like you to go to paragraph 67 and 68 of your statement. In
17 paragraph 67, you describe where you were on the 27th of April, 1999
18 you said sometime in the early afternoon you went with your brother and
19 Major Perovic, I think you said it should be, to the church --
20 A. Captain Perovic.
21 Q. Sorry. Thank you very much. Captain Perovic, to the Catholic
22 church near Boris Kadric Street in Djakovica, and your family was in a
23 tractor near the church, and you found many people from Ramoc village -
24 that's your home village - there. What were they doing there, or why
25 were they there?
1 A. They had been forced out of their homes and had been told to go
2 to Albania
3 Q. And in paragraph 68, you said that these persons told you to go
4 to Meje, Meje Hasanaj's house to save some men who had been arrested by
5 the police, and you together with Captain Perovic, you took your family
6 to your apartment in Djakovica, and then you went to Meje. And at
7 Meje-Orize, you stopped at a police check-point. Now, if we could get --
8 it's P31 for the map you just marked, again on the screen. I would like
9 you to mark where the police check-point was at Meje-Orize, and I would
10 ask, since we are using -- since we are doing so many markings, if we
11 could use a different colour pen on this occasion. The previous pen was
12 red. The previous markings were red.
13 Just put a circle, a small circle, where the police check-point
14 at Meje-Orize was.
15 MR. STAMP: The witness has put a black mark, which looks more
16 like a large dot than a circle.
17 Q. In paragraph 69 -- or before we get there, in paragraph 68 you
18 said the MUP inspector Dimitrije Rasovic was in charge of that
19 check-point that you just marked. Did you know MUP Inspector Rasovic
20 before ?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How long?
23 A. Dimitrije Rasovic is the son of Velisha Rasovic, and they were my
24 neighbours in Dallashaj. However, then they moved to Piskote, close to
25 Gjakove. So I knew him from when he was a little child, and he knows me
1 very well as well.
2 Q. You also said in paragraph 68 that there were also local
3 policemen. How were these policemen dressed? How was Inspector Rasovic
4 and the local policemen dressed?
5 A. Regular police uniform. They were from the so-called Special
6 Police at the MUP building in Gjakove. There was a unit that was
7 assigned more special duties than regular policemen, special tasks. They
8 had camouflage uniforms with a blue colour dominating. Correction: The
9 blue colour did not dominate, but that was very similar to the military
10 camouflage uniform, while there were other policemen who had camouflage
11 uniform but where the blue colour was dominating. There were reservist
12 policemen of the MUP who had single-coloured uniforms, which were blue,
13 just blue. There were the so-called local police units, which were
14 mobilised later by the municipality, and they had different uniforms.
15 They used the old uniform of the MUP, the previous one, which was no
16 longer in use by the regular police.
17 Q. What colour was it?
18 A. There were two or three people with Rasovic there who were only
19 semi-uniformed. They either had police trousers and civilian jackets or
20 the other way around.
21 Q. Were these the persons you referred to as paramilitary soldiers
22 in your statement?
23 A. They, too, wore part of the uniform. They very often, though,
24 would change the uniform they wore. We are speaking here about Orize.
25 In Orize, I did not see paramilitaries. At least, I was not able to see
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. Or that those persons were paramilitaries.
4 Q. In paragraph 68 of your statement, you said:
5 "We stopped in Meje-Orize because there was a police check-point.
6 The officer in charge of the check-point was a MUP inspector Dimitrije
7 Rasovic from the village of Piskote
8 paramilitary soldiers at the check-point together with Rasovic."
9 Who are you referring to when you say paramilitary soldiers?
10 A. Maybe the term is not right or has been changed, but
11 paramilitaries were the people who joined the local police and the
12 reservist police force.
13 Q. And these local police units that you referred to earlier, you
14 said they used the old uniform of the MUP. What colour was that uniform?
15 A. Blue. Blue. Not dark blue, lighter blue compared to the other
17 Q. Paragraph 69, you said you saw four dead bodies lying on the
18 grass behind the toilets of the school where the check-point was.
19 Now, I just want to ask you, how far were these bodies that you
20 saw? How far, the distance between the check-point where the police and
21 Rasovic were and these four bodies?
22 A. Not more than 30, 40 -- not 50 metres, no. Just 30 or 40 metres
24 Q. Incidentally, how were these policemen that Rasovic was in charge
25 of, how were they armed, if at all? Did they have weapons?
1 A. I apologise. They had automatic weapons with butts that can be
2 folded. Rasovic had a pistol, 9-millimetre pistol with a magazine of 15
3 or 16 bullets. The reservists had semi-automatic rifles with a bayonet
4 on top. Some of them had revolvers of TT type, 76 millimetres -- 76.2
5 millimetres. Some of them also had knives, especially the reservists.
6 I then thought because of these things that they might be
7 paramilitaries because it was them that carried knives most of all,
8 knives that are called daggers.
9 Q. I think you have described paramilitaries answer in your
10 statement. Can we move quickly, Mr. Peraj, to paragraph 73. You said
11 that you received information - and this is in paragraph 71, I should
12 say - from families that you saw passing in the convoys that men had been
13 killed near Hasanaj's house, and you -- and that was in Meje, and you
14 headed to Meje with Captain Perovic. Now we get to paragraph 73. You
16 "We headed towards Meje. When we arrived near Hasanaj's house,
17 we saw people lying on the meadow with their face in the grass. Meje" --
18 "The person who is Captain Perovic went to speak to the officers at the
19 police check-point in front of Hasanaj's house. I went to the meadow,
20 and there were about 20 dead bodies of men. I turned some of the bodies
21 to see if I could recognise them."
22 Firstly -- well, perhaps we could start with marking. Can you
23 mark where that police check-point was at Meje with a circle.
24 A. [Marks]
25 MR. STAMP: The witness has put a circle in -- in -- with a black
1 marker near to the tip or the pointed part of the arrow to the right of
2 his markings.
3 Q. How far were these 20 dead men from the police check-point?
4 A. The first bodies on the road from the mountain were about 30
5 metres away.
6 Q. In paragraph 74, you say that you saw:
7 "... the faces of the victims devastated. They had been shot
8 from a very close distance in a perfect execution style with automatic
9 rifles. I saw the powder burns on the heads of these victims. They had
10 been shot from vertical positions when they were already on the ground.
11 The policemen at the check-point carried automatic rifles."
12 How were the policemen at this check-point attired?
13 A. In the second check-point at Meje, I remember Misko Popovic,
14 somebody with a surname of Isajlovic whom I knew by face, there were some
15 others, as well, who were wearing camouflage uniforms, the same one as
16 Dimitrije Rasovic was wearing in the first check-point. I also saw some
17 other policemen who were wearing camouflage uniforms of the police but
18 where the blue colour was dominant.
19 I am convinced that there I saw paramilitaries from units of the
20 White Eagles, Seselj's White Eagles; Arkan's units, the Tigers; the
21 Frenki units. These people were semi-uniformed. They had blouses or
22 T-shirts on top because it was not very hot at the time. They had
23 painted faces, shaven heads. They carried lion's fangs or teeth around
24 their necks, and on their chests you could see various emblems, their
25 flag which identifies them, and other kinds of emblems.
1 Q. Thank you. You describe in paragraph 74, 78 -- or, actually,
2 paragraph 73 to 78 what happened at that check-point, and you said that
3 you had -- yourself and Captain Perovic had a -- had discussions with the
4 police officer Scepanovic in order for them to release some of the men
5 that they were holding.
6 Who was this Scepanovic that you speak of in paragraph 75, 78 of
7 your statement?
8 A. As far as I remember, Misko Popovic, Scepanovic, and Isajlovic
9 were there. Perovic knew them very well. He spoke to them. I went to
10 the bodies, and he asked them to release those people. However, he
11 refused to do that.
12 At that time I was looking at the bodies, and an incident
13 happened with a paramilitary soldier. He pointed his gun, his automatic
14 rifle to me. A regular military police soldier was close to me, and he
15 said, Captain, this man is going to kill us; he wants to kill us. I had
16 my automatic rifle on my -- on my left hand, and he said, You're not
17 allowed to be here; leave immediately. I looked at that person, and his
18 trousers -- on the right side of his trousers there were blood streaks.
19 He had a dagger, double-edged dagger, that I am sure he had used to stab
20 people, and then he had wiped the blade on his trousers, on the left side
21 of his trousers.
22 At that moment, I left and went towards Perovic. I told him what
23 was going on. However, before we got to the Meje check-point, close to a
24 rubber factory where they -- where they repair tyres, we ran across about
25 20 soldiers and a lieutenant who told us where the check-point was.
1 Q. Okay. Mr. Peraj, thank you for the information. Much of what
2 you have been saying is already recorded in your statement. I just ask
3 you to remember that, and we can't go over all of it again today.
4 I just wanted to ask, Scepanovic, with whom Major Perovic
5 negotiated to effect the release of some of the people who were held at
6 the check-point, did you know him before?
7 A. No, I didn't know him from before. I knew him as a face, but I
8 didn't know what his position was, what his tasks were.
9 Q. When you said you knew him as a face. What do you mean?
10 A. I knew him by face. I knew that his name was Scepanovic, but I
11 had no contacts with him. I didn't know in details what his position
12 was, whether he was employed by the police or whether he worked at the
13 municipality, but on that day the three of them were wearing the same
14 uniform, Isajlovic, Rasovic, and --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the third name.
16 MR. STAMP: The third name I think was -- would be Scepanovic.
17 Q. Did you know Isajlovic and Rasovic before?
18 A. Yes. I told you about Rasovic. I knew him from when he was a
19 child, from Dallashaj village, and even when he moved to Piskote I
20 visited him in his home on several occasions before the war.
21 Q. Stop, stop. Isajlovic, did you know him before the war?
22 A. Not very well.
23 Q. How long did you know him to be a member of the police force?
24 A. What do you mean? I didn't understand your question.
25 Q. You said this is a police check-point and he was there dressed in
1 police uniform. Did you know him to be a police officer, and for how
2 long did you know him to be a police officer?
3 A. I don't know how long he had been a policeman until then, but he
4 was there on the spot. There were persons who had worked in the
5 municipality, in the municipal assembly, who had certain functions there
6 and held certain positions. He could have been MUP inspector, too, but
7 that I didn't know then.
8 Q. Very well. If you could move to paragraph 79 quickly. You said
9 you left that area because the people in the tractors told you that there
10 were other refugees who needed help, and as you travelled about 600 or
11 700 metres from Hasanaj's meadow, on the left side of the road you saw
12 four dead bodies lying on the ground, and a pile with other seven dead
13 bodies were lying on the ground a bit further on. They were all men in
14 different ages, from 20 to 50 years old.
15 Can you tell us, in that area where you saw these dead bodies,
16 which, if any, units were present?
17 A. There we didn't see any units. On the lower part of the road,
18 there were some trees there, and two police -- correction, two persons
19 dressed in uniforms showed up. Their uniforms were camouflage ones.
20 Q. What kind of uniforms?
21 A. Military uniforms. They were not shaven, and their hair was
22 long. They hid from us. We had two military policemen with us. We saw
23 the bodies, and from there we returned together with a tractor and
24 another vehicle that was a little bit up. We waved at them, and they
25 came towards us. We escorted them, and they were not stopped at the
1 check-point where we had been previously.
2 Q. Did the people that you escorted through these check-points, who
3 were they?
4 A. We didn't ask them where they were from, but I think they were
5 from Racaj or Rrypaj village.
6 Q. And that's further up in the valley?
7 A. Not that further up in comparison with other villages. These
8 villages are about three or four kilometres away from the check-point.
9 Q. After you escorted these people through the check-point, you said
10 from there - and this is paragraph 81 of your statement - you went to
11 Korenica to see if you could help other families, and you saw one dead
12 body near the house of your brother-in-law.
13 A. My sister is married in Korenica, and near their house, on the
14 road, was this body. The family was not there. The whole village had
15 left. The houses were on fire. They had been set alight in the morning,
16 and the flames could still be seen. We attempted to go in the direction
17 of the church in Korenica because we had information that people were
18 blocked there on purpose, deliberately, in the church and that they had
19 been massacred there in the church, but this turned not to be true.
20 There was not a single person in the church.
21 Q. Were there any check-points in the area of Korenica?
22 A. Yes. At the entrance to the village by the road there, there was
23 a check-point, but not manned by many. Near this check-point there was a
24 military unit, three, but at the check-point there were three or four
1 Q. And I -- have a look at that map again, if you can, the map you
2 have been marking, and with the same black pen if you could first
3 identify where the check-point at Korenica was and then put a circle
4 around the place where it was.
5 A. It cannot be seen clearly. Somewhere here. Maybe a little bit
6 further up from the place that I marked. Further up. It's further up.
7 Q. When you say "up," what do you mean? In which direction?
8 A. In the direction of the upper part of the arrow, towards north.
9 Q. Oh, I see. Now, you said that there were convoys of people
10 coming down the valley. Could you use the same marker just to mark where
11 the convoys passed through?
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. You have drawn two black lines which at some point join up at
14 Djakovica, and you have pointed them -- put a pointer away from
15 Djakovica. Where are you indicating that these convoys headed to or went
17 A. I apologise for this line that goes by the village of Korenica
18 The dotted red line should be outside the direction that I just drew on
19 the map. The convoy coming down from Korenica was heading towards Orize.
20 There, there is a junction, and that's where the two convoys, the convoy
21 that was coming down the Carragojs valley through Meje and the other
22 convoy met. They met at Orize, and they headed in the direction of
24 Q. And from Gjakove to -- to where? Where did they go after
1 A. In the direction of Albania
2 Prushit crossing, border crossing was opened, but sometimes it was
3 closed. So that's why everybody was heading in the direction of Gjakove,
4 Prizren, and the border crossing up there.
5 Q. Was that border crossing, the Qafe e Prushit border crossing the
6 only one that was used by the people who were forced out of the valley?
7 A. It was not the only border crossing. Very close to Gjakove,
8 about 12 kilometres away from Gjakove is the Qafe e Prushit border
9 crossing, but it was not regularly opened, and that's why the convoys
10 would pass then through Prizren, Zhur village, and to go to the Morine
11 border crossing.
12 Q. Can you just put an arrow indicating where -- the direction where
13 those people who went to Morine would have travelled.
14 A. I cannot see it in the map. I can only see Gjakove at the end of
15 the map.
16 Q. You said earlier that you had made a mistake with the broken red
17 lines that you wanted to use to indicate where the -- the blockading VJ
18 forces were, because the convoy should go within the line. Can you now
19 mark again with the red pointer - if we could get the assistance of the
20 usher - where you now say the unbroken red line showing the blockading VJ
21 forces should be.
22 A. [Marks]
23 MR. STAMP: And for the record, the witness has drawn another
24 unbroken line in the red, slightly to the left of the previous unbroken
25 red line that he had drawn.
1 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Stamp, I think it's a broken line, you know.
3 MR. STAMP: Sorry, it is broken. I beg your pardon.
4 Q. Now, having corrected that, and I know it's difficult with this
5 map, can you again look carefully to see where the check-point at
6 Korenica would be?
7 A. To tell you the truth, I cannot read it properly, whether it says
8 Korenica or Koprivnica, though I know the terrain very well. I don't
9 think there is a village Koprivnica there. It was in the middle of the
10 village. I think it's called Korenica Street, Ulica Korenica, the
11 location where it was. It should be here where I'm touching the screen
12 now with my pen.
13 Q. Could you just put a cross there. You used the red pen? Could
14 you use a black pen. Could you take the black pen and put a cross where
15 Korenica is.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And that is where the Korenica check-point was, and I'm not -- a
18 little to the left where you put the circle; correct?
19 A. As I said, it was at the end of the point of the arrow.
20 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. I'd like to take you to the next day,
21 the 28th of April. You said in your statement that yourself and, I
22 think, Captain Perovic travelled up the valley. Did you observe the
23 condition of the houses that were up in the valley and the villages in
25 A. From the place where the command was, at Qafe e Osekut, at the
1 time we went there the houses could not be seen because the whole valley
2 was covered in smoke and flames, because the houses were in flames.
3 Especially up in my own village, only one house was still in flames,
4 while in the villages of Rrypaj, Madanaj, all the houses were burning,
5 and for half an hour or so we could not see the houses. Personally, I
6 wanted to see my house and the houses in my village. You can see them
7 very well from that place with the naked eye in other circumstances, but
8 we used binoculars, and that's why I could see that the houses in my
9 village were not burnt down. Although, I thought at the time that only
10 the walls had remained from my houses because the roof -- the roofs of
11 these houses were made of very old tiles, black, dark tiles, but the
12 other houses, not in Dallashaj village, those in Rupaj and Madanaj
13 villages especially, were all burning. The operation was still ongoing.
14 Q. Did you leave the command post at Qafe e Osekut and go into the
15 valley itself?
16 A. We were into the valley itself before we went to Qafe e Osekut,
17 and from the valley then we went to Qafe e Osekut.
18 Q. I see. Thanks for the correction. You said earlier today that
19 there were special groups that came after the 63rd Parachute Brigade and
20 the MUP Special Units that did the burning, and that you saw them at a
21 place called Nec. Well, maybe I have the pronunciation wrong. Where was
22 it that you saw these special groups that were involved with the burning?
23 A. To tell you the truth, we met them at Nec. They had incendiary
24 material in the trucks, and Perovic instructed them for a house not to be
25 burnt, but this house was burnt, however. It was a special unit,
1 specialised in these tasks.
2 Q. Which -- which organisation were they affiliated to? What I'm
3 asking, were they affiliated to the VJ or to the MUP?
4 A. They were affiliated to the MUP, and they were equipped with
5 helmets. They wore helmets on their heads.
6 Q. Did you speak with any of the -- and that is while you were in
7 the field that day, did you speak with any of the MUP officers in that
8 area on the 28th while you were in the terrain, in the valley?
9 A. I didn't personally, but Perovic did, because the villagers of
10 Meje were stopped at the Meje check-point. At the moment that I and
11 Perovic went there --
12 Q. Okay. Could you -- could you --
13 A. -- we met -- will you please allow me to finish it in a few
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. The same persons were there, those that had been there the
17 previous day. It was the whole village of Meje
18 this person said to Perovic, No problem. They will continue their
19 journey. You leave. Have a pleasant journey yourself.
20 So while we were there, we didn't see them ill-treating any of
21 the villagers. They all went downwards.
22 Q. The units that you saw or that you said were involved in the
23 burning, the special units, do you know where they were from, where they
24 were based and where they were coming from?
25 A. I don't know. When I said special forces, I didn't mean that
1 they were special or experts in something, but they had this special
2 task. They were mainly from the MUP in Gjakove because he knew some of
3 them. They talked. I mean, Perovic knew them.
4 Q. Thanks. Now, in paragraph 65, you said that the Special Police
5 Brigade that was involved in the push down the mountain with the 63rd
6 Parachute Brigade comprised of about 400 personnel from Serbia. This
7 Special Police Brigade that was involved in the original push down the
8 mountain, where in Serbia
9 A. Well, I don't know the previous dislocation, whether they were
10 from Belgrade
11 Republic of Serbia
12 they deal with large-scale operations against terrorism. So they're
13 involved in fighting terrorists, because they wore different uniforms,
14 they had different weaponry that they used, and they are elite units.
15 They are not the normal run-of-the-mill police units. They're more
16 prepared, well trained. I could see this on the ground as well.
17 Q. You said that they had slightly different uniforms. What type of
18 uniforms did these elite units have?
19 A. They had camouflage uniforms, including blue, orange, and the
20 brownish colour of leaves in autumn. The design of the uniform was much
21 more sophisticated. They were good-quality uniforms compared to what
22 other people were wearing.
23 Q. Were these -- were these units from inside of Kosovo or from
24 outside of Kosovo, from some other part of the Republic of Serbia
25 A. I don't think they came from Serbia directly on those days. I
1 think that they were in Kosovo at the time, and when need arose they came
2 to the place where the forces were gathered. Maybe they were in Peja, in
3 Decane. I don't think they were very far, though.
4 Q. Now, you said that there was a MUP field headquarters, and I
5 think you marked it on the map. Did you go there at any time?
6 A. On the 28th of April, in the morning, together with Seregj
7 Perovic, after we received information from this military person near
8 Korenica, we went to the MUP headquarters. They were -- they behaved
9 very correctly towards us. Somebody phoned, and on the 28th they slept
10 there. The night of the 27th and 28th they slept there, and the next day
11 they went towards the place where they would continue with the operation.
12 The next day, a Compangol-type car of the police took us, and we went to
13 the place where they were.
14 Q. Let's just focus on the question. So you visited their -- their
15 field headquarters. Did you see there -- or let me ask this way. What
16 was the rank of the MUP officers or ranks of the MUP officers that you
17 saw there when you went there on the 28th?
18 A. I saw at least two persons who were colonels, one
19 lieutenant-colonel, one major, and one general, general of the police.
20 Q. Were all of these people, the two colonels, the
21 lieutenant-colonel, that you just described police officers?
22 A. All of them police officers, yes.
23 Q. Do you know where the general, police general, and the police
24 lieutenant-colonel came from for that operation?
25 A. I don't know. At least three of them Perovic knew because they
1 talked with each other, and they addressed each other as Chief, Chief.
2 They offered us beer. At that time, it was a rarity to be able to have
4 Q. Well, certainly -- certainly at that hour of the morning, but how
5 do you know or how did you decide upon the ranks of these people?
6 A. They had the rank markings. The general had them on his
7 shoulders. I saw them myself. He had the markings on. In times of war,
8 the ranking is hidden or is not kept, but he had them on.
9 Another thing: The cars they used were special cars, advanced
10 technology. They had an armoured vehicle, which was blue. All their
11 cars were equipped with radio equipment, with long antennas. However, I
12 will say again that Perovic knew them, and he told me, and I quote: They
13 must know that we are from red Gjakove. This is the first time I'm
14 mentioning this.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Can I show you a photograph and ask you to
16 tell us what it is.
17 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, could I show him P02538. It's a
18 photograph of somebody in a uniform. Oh, I beg your pardon. Before we
19 do that, could we tender -- I'd like to tender this second map, and I ask
20 that it be received in evidence.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00315, Your Honours.
23 MR. STAMP: And if you could now have a look at P02538. Could we
24 scroll up a little bit with this one so you could see the full -- not
25 zoom, scroll. Thank you. Could we scroll the map up so we could see the
1 full uniform or the full dress of the person in the photograph, please.
2 Thank you.
3 Q. We see here somebody in a type of uniform that -- well, I'll not
4 describe it. Can you tell us what uniform this is that you see depicted
5 here in the person in the foreground of the picture?
6 A. This is a police uniform, or the militia, if you want the other
7 term that we used. It's a camouflage uniform. Blue colour is dominant.
8 Q. The person in the photograph also has a --
9 A. He has a gun with a magazine. He's carrying it in his arm. He's
10 also wearing a vest. It's not an anti-bullet vest. It's just to carry
11 these projectiles.
12 Q. Yes. I was just about to ask about the vest. You see the vest
13 here with the two pockets at the front with another type of camouflage
14 design. Did you notice anybody that day wearing uniforms with that type
15 of camouflage designs? And when I say that, I mean the 27th or the 28th
16 of April. Camouflage design is -- seems to be a light green but with
17 blue and other colours in it.
18 A. I saw these types of uniforms in Meje, in Orize.
19 Q. And these uniforms belonged to which units; do you know?
20 A. Regular police units. But they could have been distributed to
21 reservist units as well. It depends on the orders.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 MR. STAMP: Could we have --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Are you tendering this?
25 MR. STAMP: Oh, I beg your pardon. Yes, I am. I'm very
1 grateful, Your Honour. I'm tendering this.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00316, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE PARKER: The exhibit contains two photographs. You've
5 dealt with only one. Is that what you're intending?
6 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour. Yes. I just intend to tender this
7 one. I should indicate that the second one is just a black and white
8 version of the same photograph.
9 JUDGE PARKER: This one photograph will be the exhibit.
10 MR. STAMP: Could we have a look at the document with the
11 ERN number 00326.
12 Q. You have seen this map before, Mr. Peraj, this pre-marked map?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. Is this a map depicting what you described in your statement and
15 in your evidence and which was made from a map that you yourself had
16 drawn before?
17 A. Exactly. I have seen this map before, yes, and I handed in this
18 version. I fully agree with whatever has been marked here.
19 Q. There's one small thing on this map. We see the red lines, which
20 depict the moving convoys. We see that they cross each other. Can you
21 explain that? Or they appear to cross. They may not cross. They appear
22 to cross. Can you just explain that?
23 A. I mentioned it earlier, that in Orize there is a junction.
24 However, one of the convoys went from Gjakove towards Prizren while the
25 other one went towards the village of Brekoc
1 Prushit. However, this was not simultaneous. They were not allowed to
2 cross on the same day, so some of them were turned back, and the Korenica
3 convoy went towards Prizren. So these two arrows show the direction of
4 the movement of the population in the Lugu i Carragojs, and Korenica.
5 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I tender this pre-marked map and ask
6 that it be received in evidence. The witness has already marked a map
7 before the Court with these observations, and --
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djordjevic.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Could you pause, please, Mr. Djordjevic. We're
11 not getting a translation at the moment. Your wisdom is being lost
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English booth now?
14 JUDGE PARKER: Now we're all right. Please carry on.
15 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
16 Defence is opposed to having this admitted into evidence since it is
17 obvious that the witness did not create this map because it requires a
18 greater knowledge in computer science than the witness has, I believe.
19 Therefore, I believe it would be inappropriate now, since we are dealing
20 with the direct examination of the Prosecution, to have this admitted
21 into evidence because we've already had a clean map, and then the
22 witness, to his best -- to the best of his ability and knowledge, marked
23 on that map everything that Mr. Stamp asked him to mark. Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Stamp, one thing is not clear to the Chamber.
25 Who made the markings which we see on this document you now want us to
2 MR. STAMP: The markings, Your Honour, were made by an analyst of
3 the OTP based on markings that this witness had drawn on a map, and this
4 witness has accepted and has stated that he -- the markings here are his
5 markings, in fact, and he accepts them as correctly depicting what he has
6 to say.
7 Your Honour, the markings here, it is for the Court, and a matter
8 of weight be compared to what he marked in court. However, this is just
9 a clearer map where one can see more easily the names of the places.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Do you have something further,
11 Mr. Djordjevic?
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] We've just heard from my learned
13 friend Mr. Stamp that it was an OTP analyst that marked this -- or,
14 rather, that enter these markings, and that only heightens my concern.
15 So I really abide by what I said originally. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. The Chamber will receive this exhibit.
17 The witness has previously, within the physical limitations of the
18 electronic marking system, marked the positions and movements and
19 described orally consistently with what now appears on this map, which is
20 tendered merely as a clearer presentation. If there are any material
21 differences, although none are presently apparent to me, if there are,
22 they can be the subject of any submission about weight at -- when the
23 Chamber comes to hear final submissions.
24 It appears to the Chamber it would be assisted by the clarity of
25 this presentation when it is viewed in association with the witness's
1 over markings. It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00317, Your Honours.
3 MR. STAMP: I'm grateful, Your Honours.
4 Q. In paragraphs 86 to 88 of your statement, you said you saw two
5 trucks taking bodies -- loaded with bodies, 20 bodies each, in each truck
6 you said, along the Meje to Djakovica road, taking bodies away from Meje
7 on the 29th of April, and these were escorted by a police vehicle, a Lada
8 Niva police vehicle. Why did you say it was a police vehicle?
9 A. Because there was a policeman driving the car, and there were two
10 or three other persons in the car wearing police uniforms. They used to
11 drive cars that did not belong to the police or the army, civilian cars,
12 which were mobilised, or maybe I should say confiscated.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Would that be convenient time, Mr. Stamp, for the
14 second break? If there something else you would prefer to deal with,
15 please do so.
16 MR. STAMP: I was checking off to see if I could close, but
17 perhaps we could -- I don't want the Court to --
18 JUDGE PARKER: My experience, Mr. Stamp, in the many years of it,
19 it's never wise to close when you're offered the chance of a break. You
20 can then reflect on where you are and what may have been omitted.
21 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much. I will accept your words of
23 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure [overlapping speakers] counsel will
24 follow that advice.
25 We will have the second break and resume at 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. Mr. Peraj, the elite unit that was in the field on the 27th and
6 the 28th, did you at any time speak with any member of that unit?
7 A. I don't know to which elite units you're referring, the police or
8 the army.
9 Q. The police.
10 A. No, I didn't speak with any member of that unit personally, but I
11 think that Rasovic was more or less part of those elite units.
12 Q. Very well. Let's move on. If we look at paragraph 85 of your --
13 A. I would like to make a small correction. In Nec village, in the
14 mountains, I spoke personally with an officer who was a major by rank.
15 He appeared to be the commander of the units there in that location.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you find out where this officer was from?
17 A. I and Perovic was -- were there, and there were two or three
18 other police members of lower ranks, and when we explained to them that
19 the terrain was clear, that there was no KLA presence or force there and
20 that they could continue, one of them said, and I quote, Thank God it is
21 so, because for me to come from Belgrade
22 and mountains would be in vain.
23 Q. What day was this? Date, what date was this?
24 A. 28th of April, 1999, in the morning at about 9.00 a.m. Maybe
25 it's not the exact time, but it was around this time, 9.00 a.m. in the
2 Q. Thank you. If we could move to paragraph 85 of your statement.
3 Earlier today, you told us that Major Zivkovic was not present
4 with you and Seregj Peraj [sic] on the 27th or the 28th of April. In
5 paragraph 85, you speak about the use of gas and gas canisters, and you
6 say in the third sentence there:
7 "I never saw gas canisters in Meje to confirm this allegation,
8 but I am convinced that the Serbs used them. My colleague Major Zivkovic
9 was an expert in chemical weapons and said that he detected something
10 unusual in the air at the incident site."
11 Were you present with him when he is supposed to have detected
12 this unusual thing at some incident site, or do you know what he's
13 talking about?
14 A. I was not present there with him, but with full responsibility I
15 hereby state that I saw two or three canisters of small size, gas
16 canisters, chemical gas canisters, of short-term effect, and this claim I
17 base on the fact that my son, Mercur Peraj, who was at that time stopped
18 in Meje was almost sprayed, but a policeman told the person who wanted to
19 spray my son, No, no, don't do that. This person is Aleksandar Pekovic,
20 a police from the MUP in Gjakove.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: My brother's son.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. Thank you very much. Lastly, Mr. Peraj, I'd like you to
24 identify, if you can, some vehicles which I'd like to show you, some
25 photographs of vehicles which I'd like to show to you. We have heard
1 evidence about VJ vehicles, and I'd like you to tell us whether or not
2 the vehicles depicted in the photograph which I propose to show to you
3 are VJ vehicles and what types of vehicles they are.
4 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, with your leave, may I quickly show
5 him -- it's 01325. That's 65 ter 01325.
6 Could we zoom in a little bit, please. Thanks.
7 Q. The vehicle at number 1, is that a VJ vehicle, and what type of
8 vehicle is it?
9 A. This is a vehicle used both by the VJ and the police. It's a
10 type of an armoured personnel carrier. I don't know the exact make and
11 name of the transporter, but it was used both by the army and the police.
12 Q. How about number 2?
13 A. This is also a type of an armoured personnel carrier or
14 transporter usually used by the infantry units. There are subtypes of
15 this vehicle known as BRDMs.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. It was mainly used by the police during the war because the army
18 had more sophisticated and newer types of this vehicle.
19 Q. And vehicle 3?
20 A. As far as I can tell, it is a BVP type of vehicle on which short
21 distance rocket-launchers can be mounted. It is an anti-aircraft type of
22 vehicle used by the infantry forces and the artillery forces. In short,
23 it was mainly used by the artillery units but also by other infantry
25 Q. In respect to 1 and 2, if there were -- I'm so sorry. In respect
1 to 1 or 2, if they were used by the police, what colour would they be?
2 A. The police vehicles were usually blue, while the army ones were
3 of the SMB type in B/C/S, which is olive-green/grey colour. However,
4 during the war the vehicles were camouflaged so that they would not be
5 detected from air and surface.
6 Q. What's vehicle 4? Is it a VJ vehicle, and what is it?
7 A. Number 4 is a vehicle known as Praga. At least while I was
8 there, this was the name of the vehicle. It was sort of becoming extinct
9 because the army was tending not to use them. They're usually used in
10 anti-aircraft warfare.
11 Q. They are VJ vehicles, I take it, the Pragas?
12 A. Yes, they are, of the army.
13 Q. If you could move on to page 2. Items 5 and 6 are -- what can
14 you say? Are they, firstly, VJ vehicles or not, and what type of
15 vehicles are they?
16 A. Number 5 and number 6 are army vehicles, tanks. It seems to me
17 that it's the same type depicted on both photographs, but one is
18 camouflaged. It's the T-55 type of 100-millimetre calibre.
19 Q. And 5 and 6 -- sorry, 7 and 8?
20 A. Number 6 -- 7 and 8, correction, depict military vehicles which
21 were also used by the police. Number 7 is a vehicle type T7. It's
22 smaller in size. It's a tank of a T7, while number 8 is known with the
23 name of tank T11.
24 The T7 or 8 can carry eight persons and the driver, while the
25 other one can carry 14 persons in total.
1 Q. Did you say tank T11 or TAM
2 A. TAM
3 personnel and equipment depending on the need.
4 Q. If we could move to the next page, please. What types of
5 vehicles are at 9, 10, and 11?
6 A. Number 9 is BOV vehicle usually used by the anti-aircraft
7 artillery units. Number 10 is a type of the BOV vehicles. There are
8 three or four different types of BOVs. I'm not an expert, but I know at
9 that we had this type of vehicles. Number 11 also depicts a BOV vehicle
10 used usually by the anti-aircraft units, while number 12 depicts a type
11 of a transporter, armoured transporter.
12 Q. What is it called? Number 12, what is number 12 called?
13 A. Armoured transporter. It's very similar to the BRDM vehicle.
14 It's a sub-type of BRDM vehicle.
15 Q. I see. Now, 9, 10, 11, 12, are these military or VJ vehicles
16 exclusively as far as you know?
17 A. Number 12 was also used by the police. We had them in the
18 barracks in Prishtina. Ten was also used by the police, number 10, while
19 number 9 and number 11, I don't remember seeing them as part of the
20 equipment of the police formations. At least, personally I don't
21 remember that they had it, number 9 and number 11.
22 Q. Thank you. If we could move to the next page, please, 13 and 14.
23 A. These are all-terrain vehicles usually used by the people from
24 the command. As for number 15, I don't recall seeing it very often.
25 These were used by different commanders to go to the terrain. They're
1 all-terrain vehicles, 4 by 4. So in short, these are all-terrain
2 vehicles with great traction power.
3 Q. Thirteen and 14, when you say they were used by commanders,
4 commanders of which -- which organisations?
5 A. Both of the police and the army. Of course, the higher-ranking
6 commanders used more sophisticated vehicles. They also used armoured
7 transporters to go in the war zones during the war.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing
10 further. Oh, I always have something further. Could I tender this
11 document and ask that it be received in evidence.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The series of 15 photographs of vehicles will be
13 received as an exhibit.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00318, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE PARKER: That concludes your examination, Mr. Stamp?
16 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour. It does.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Well, as previously indicated, the
18 Chamber must now adjourn with a view to the cross-examination of the
19 witness continuing on Friday.
20 Mr. Peraj, I'm sorry, but because we have not a courtroom
21 available tomorrow, we're having to continue on Friday, and your evidence
22 will continue, then, at 9.00 on Friday morning. So if you'd be good
23 enough to return then. The court officers will give you further guidance
24 and assistance about the break, and we now adjourn to resume on Friday.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.26 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Friday, the 20th day
2 of February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.