1 Monday, 6 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUGGE: Good morning.
6 First of all, I would like to inform the parties that
7 Judge Parker is not sitting today. The Chamber nevertheless decided,
8 pursuant to Rule 15 bis (A), that the hearing continues in his absence.
9 Could the witness be brought in.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE FLUGGE: Good morning. Please sit down.
12 I would like to remind you that the affirmation you made at the
13 beginning of your evidence still applies. I'm sure Mr. Djordjevic has
14 still some questions for you.
15 Please, Mr. Djordjevic.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 WITNESS: DUSAN DUNJIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Djordjevic: [Continued]
20 Q. [No interpretation]
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 JUDGE FLUGGE: We don't get any translation at the moment.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now?
24 JUDGE FLUGGE: Yes.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Okay.
1 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Djordjevic.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Thank you.
3 [Interpretation] I would now like to ask to have Exhibit P455 on
4 our screens.
5 Q. Professor, this is a table. I would like to tell you that this
6 was done by anthropologist Jose-Pablo Baraybar. He made this table to
7 reflect directly the findings provided by your team and by some other
8 teams. You will see underneath the table Ba, D, PS. That's what is
9 written there. Now I would like to ask you about Ba, that's Batajnica.
10 D is another site, PS is Petrovo Selo, yet another location. But now I
11 would like to ask you only as regards the first table. The grey column
12 refers to the total number of cases. Those were all the bodies that were
13 found in Batajnica. It's obvious that it covers Batajnica 1,
14 Batajnica 2. The darker column refers to the number of deaths that were
15 determined -- in fact, this is not a good translation. It's the number
16 of cases where the cause of death was determined. And finally we have
17 the number of deaths where the cause of death was not determined.
18 According to the findings of your team signed by your associates
19 and also first and foremost by you, you have already explained that the
20 cause of death in accordance with the doctrine that is in place - and you
21 told us that the doctrine that applies is primarily the German doctrine,
22 where it -- when it comes to determining the cause and manner of
23 death - and invoking this doctrine you explained to all of us here that
24 in light of the state of the bodies that were found there and the degree
25 of putrefaction, it was impossible to determine the cause of death. How
1 do you then explain the high percentage of cases in which cause of death
2 was determined in relation to what your team was doing? You will agree
3 that the difference is really immense.
4 A. Can I answer? This is the first time that I see this, this
5 chart, or rather, this table. And -- well, my comments will deal with
6 two aspects. The first aspect is that the forensic medical expert -- as
7 forensic medical experts who did the autopsies, we abided by all the
8 tenets, the valid doctrine that is accepted throughout the world, and
9 that is that only hard evidence and facts that have been established can
10 lead to a conclusion about the cause of death. In other words, between
11 the conclusion as to the cause of death and the autopsy, there has to be
12 a consistent link, and that's what is important.
13 Now, having recourse to other information, as I did and as the
14 court does, is yet another form of expert knowledge and it can point to a
15 certain way in which injuries were inflicted and death was caused. As a
16 forensic pathologist performing an autopsy, I have to explain all the
17 items that I found, all the phenomena; and I have to establish a causal
18 relationship with the cause of death so that there is a consistency. And
19 I explained to you last time that the consistency between the conclusion
20 and the findings have to be -- there has to be consistency. And this is
21 presented to the Court, and it is only the Court that has enough relevant
22 information to be able to say, Well, Doctor, this is what you found. And
23 now we have witness testimony, people who saw things, gave evidence,
24 investigative bodies found some elements at the scene, and then all these
25 facts, all this evidence, together with our autopsy findings, can enable
1 an expert to conclude or to predict with greater or lesser probability
2 what the cause of death might be. So there can only be a probability,
3 and this is what is presented to the Court.
4 Now, in -- what facts did I have at my disposal regarding the
5 Batajnica case, not as an expert but as a person performing the
6 exhumation and the autopsies, and this pertains to 2001 in Batajnica and
7 to all the other cases that are dealt with in 1998 in Kosovo at
8 Radonjic Lake
9 all the teams in the territory of the Republic of Serbia
10 same kind of reports or findings regarding putrefied bodies.
11 So what facts did I have? I had the fact that the bodies had
12 been bought there from somewhere else; that they had been transported
13 using various vehicles or means of transport; that some of them had been
14 buried elsewhere, before; and that those persons were killed in various
15 clashes between the terrorist forces, the KLA actions targeting the
16 police and the regular military; and these are all the facts that I had
17 in my head. So there is a high probability that injuries could have been
18 caused in a number of sites, in a variety of ways.
19 And I as a forensic expert, I come to a place where there are
20 bodies who had come there from various places with varying degrees of
21 decomposition and I have to determine the cause of death. And I have no
22 parameters to help me determine what injuries were caused before death
23 and which were caused post mortem. And post mortem and ante mortem
24 injuries look more or less the same. And once the soft and hard tissues
25 start decomposing and once the putrefaction sets in, it is very difficult
1 to determine whether an injury was caused ante mortem or post mortem.
2 And this is why, in forensic practice, in forensic science, this phrase
3 is used, that the body is in an advanced stage of putrefaction and cause
4 of death could not be determined.
5 Now, why Jose-Pablo Baraybar determined the cause of death for
6 506 cases? Well, first of all, I cannot contest it. I don't know how he
7 explained that away. But first of all, he's an anthropologist. He
8 couldn't have done that without cooperating with a pathologist. He
9 couldn't have done that without having recourse to additional information
10 and without conducting additional analyses on the material that he had.
11 But I can say something else, and I am duty-bound to do so
12 because I have taken a solemn declaration as a witness. I testified as
13 an expert in the Srebrenica seven case, and I had an opportunity to go
14 through the autopsy reports for a large number of people, and those
15 reports were produced by a number of various teams, and this forensic
16 aspect, this is something that Mr. John Clark was talking about. He was
17 one of the key forensic scientists in Srebrenica, and he said more or
18 less the same thing that I did. And then, at one point, he said that one
19 should take, as a starting point, some assumptions as to how these people
20 were killed, assumptions, and then he listed the assumptions that now
21 indicated that it was possible that those people -- the death of those
22 people was actually linked with the events in Srebrenica.
23 I made some comments regarding that, but it's not -- it's
24 immaterial what actually said. But I did come across a very important
25 fact and that's the fact that when the work in Srebrenica started in
1 1996 - let me just consult my notes - I think it was in 1996, San Antonio
2 was in 1998. Robert Kitchener who was a medical doctor, a member of the
3 Physicians For Human Rights, it's an organisation - and he was the key
4 person overseeing all the forensic work and exhumations in
5 Srebrenica - and Mr. Peter McCloskey a Prosecutor from this Tribunal, the
6 two of them talked to their colleagues, pathologists, forensic experts
7 such as myself, and simply changed the conclusions.
8 And William Haglund testified that in several of his reports.
9 They wanted the conclusions to be drafted in a certain way after
10 exhumations and autopsies, in the same way in which Jose-Pablo Baraybar
11 did, he joined in later on. And as regards those anthropologists'
12 forensic conclusions, if I may call them that, I heard of them a long
13 time before I came here to testify, that meant that he could deal with
14 all the exhumation cases. And then we forensic experts talked among each
15 other and we said, Well, how can he do that without knowing all the
17 And that is why I mentioned a man who tried to kill himself by
18 shooting himself in the head. Had that person died a year after this
19 incident, let's say if he had poisoned himself by overdosing on some
20 medication, if he were to be buried and then if an anthropologist were to
21 exhume him and look at him and if you were not aware of any other
22 circumstances, you would draw completely wrong conclusions, and this is
23 the same case as here in Kosovo. I had cases in Kosovo with people
24 dying -- being killed between April and September, over a long
25 time-period in various sites under various circumstances. And we could
1 not determine the cause of death in a single case because of
2 putrefaction, and now to claim that some injuries were caused -- were
3 actually gun-shot wounds, and if you have a body with a gun-shot wound to
4 the pelvis and no head, how can you then guarantee that this person did
5 not have their head cut off first and then was shot in the pelvis? That
6 would have been a major cause of death. But this is why we don't present
7 this to the Court because the Court has all the facts based on the
8 evidence of witnesses and other evidence, and then a realistic conclusion
9 can be drawn with a realistic assumption as to the cause of death. Well,
10 that's the only comment I can make, but I am quite clear as to why he
11 actually wrote this.
12 MR. NEUNER: I would just put again on the record that this
13 witness was now a second time asked about the work of another witness,
14 and in so far an opinion was asked from this witness, and he, our witness
15 today, has been invited as a fact witness and the graphic which was just
16 put to him a moment ago is to a certain extent also a complex graphic,
17 requires certain background understanding. And this witness has said
18 that he now for the first time saw this graphic. And I therefore think
19 this is not an appropriate course of action. This is here a scientific
20 product which has been put to this expert which would require a certain
21 explanation, and we are dealing with a fact witness here today. So I
22 don't think it's appropriate to elicit certain opinions from this
23 witness. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you, Mr. Neuner.
25 Mr. Djordjevic.
1 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that your
2 colleague, His Honour Judge Parker, together with the rest of the
3 Trial Chamber, has already ruled on such objections. This is a witness
4 who is here testifying about facts that have direct bearing on his work.
5 The questions that I'm asking him I think will assist us all to a great
6 extent in order to determine the facts, to get at the truth. I agree
7 that we can set aside the witness's opinions, but we have to bear in mind
8 that we have here in the courtroom a witness who testified, either as a
9 Prosecution witness or as an expert witness called by the Defence, and
10 has provided opinions that have been invaluable for various
11 Trial Chambers, and that is why I cannot agree with what my learned
12 friend Mr. Neuner is saying.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE FLUGGE: The Chamber very carefully listened to the
15 testimony of this witness and also to the comment of Mr. Neuner - and,
16 please, Mr. Djordjevic, take into account the comment and carry on.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I fully
18 understand my colleague, Mr. Neuner, but with all due respect I will try
19 to find a way to continue my examination of this witness --
20 JUDGE FLUGGE: Please carry on.
21 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] -- in the most appropriate way.
22 Q. In order to save some time for re-direct, I will tell you that
23 Jose-Pablo Baraybar had forensic medical experts on his team. That's
24 what I wanted to tell you. But what we all know and what we've all seen
25 from the documents that you have provided us, that you signed, in your
1 team you also had a forensic anthropologist or forensic anthropologists
2 or anthropologists. What I have just told you, does that change your
3 opinion or can you tell us something else?
4 A. First of all, I will tell you that the anthropologists that we
5 used, Professor Dr. Marija Djuric, unlike Jose-Pablo Baraybar, who is
6 also an anthropologist, Marija Djuric is a medical doctor, she teaches
7 anatomy, and her subspecialty is forensic anatomy. So this is a vital
8 difference. It's a different education than anthropologists have. So
9 she teaches anatomy at the medical school, that's by way of an
10 explanation. And secondly, if this chart, or rather, if when cause of
11 death was being determined, it also involved -- this exercise involved
12 also forensic pathologists, such as myself, then it is less likely to be
13 accurate if they relied only on autopsy reports. In my lengthy
14 explanation I told you who actually came up with this solution in 1996 in
15 Srebrenica and who pursued the same path after that time.
16 In order to be completely clear, in our judicial proceedings in
17 our country, if it is established that a person was killed in certain
18 circumstances and the judge orders an exhumation, we exhume the body and
19 we determine that there are some injuries; and then we conclude, just as
20 we have here, that the cause of death could not be determined and so on
21 and so forth. However, in light of the facts that the investigative
22 judge and the Prosecution give us as experts, for instance, that there
23 was a traffic accident or -- we have the medical charts and all the rest,
24 but due to some circumstances the cause of death was not established, now
25 having recourse to the same facts that the court has, I can provide my
1 opinion, not my findings, to the court and tell the court that in light
2 of all the facts that have been determined and the autopsy report, where
3 I have not been able to determine accurately the cause of death, I can
4 provide my opinion as to whether the injury is linked with the traffic
5 accident in question or not. And to explain whether some injuries that
6 are present could or could not have been caused in the traffic accident.
7 Well, this is what they used here, they provided an opinion based solely
8 on the autopsy report.
9 So a person -- so if you have in front of you a case from
10 Batajnica, let's take it as an example, a through-and-through gun-shot
11 wound to the head which was determined in the course of the autopsy. We
12 said that the body was in an advanced stage of decomposition and that the
13 cause of death could not be determined, full stop; and that is consistent
14 with the findings. If you say that the death of that person is linked to
15 the through-and-through gun-shot wound to the head, that this might be
16 the possible cause of death, I will now posit a different theory and I
17 will say, Yes, there is a through-and-through wound to the head, but this
18 person also had stab wounds to the abdomen or the throat was slit which
19 is why the soft tissue decomposed fairly quickly because it was already
20 damaged and this person bled out quickly; but in order to make sure that
21 this person is dead they also fired a shot to his head. Well, it is also
22 a viable assumption. It is based on the same findings, facts that were
23 established in the course of the autopsy. I know as a forensic expert
24 that this happened. Bodies were desecrated in Kosovo. After all the
25 events, they were desecrated, they were moved from one site to another.
1 The bodies -- well, hand-grenades were thrown on people who were already
2 dead, and this caused additional injuries. So you can't say -- you can't
3 state that this was an ante mortem injury. These are terrible
4 assumptions, dangerous assumptions, unfounded assumptions.
5 That's what I wanted to say.
6 Q. Thank you. My next question that I would like to ask you is: Do
7 you have any knowledge and experience in the area of the former
8 Yugoslavia relating to the way in which persons sustained injuries, and
9 by that I mean whether they were shot from a pistol or from a gun or a
10 rifle or had they sustained shrapnel wounds. Were you able to establish
11 a correlation between such injuries and the fact that these persons had
12 taken part in combat, had been armed, or were unarmed but only on the
13 basis of the information that you have and that is the method of how
14 injuries were caused?
15 A. Yes, I did. And unfortunately I was involved in these
16 examinations, both as an expert and both as a physician. I mentioned the
17 case of Radonjic Lake where for the most part rifles and guns were used,
18 and that was preceded most probably by torture of the victims. As an
19 expert, I worked in 1994 and 1995 on the Derventa cases, where 20 dead
20 people were discovered who were killed regrettably in the same way and by
21 applying the same means as in the Second World War.
22 I was also involved in the work in Srebrenica and Bosnia in
23 general. There are certain characteristics that are -- can be
24 characterised and that can serve to identify which weapon was used to be
25 shot. I'm not saying to be killed but just to be shot. You have to
1 examine the wounds, whether there are entry and exit wounds, et cetera.
2 Therefore, on the basis of that, one may assume whether this person was
3 in a combat activity or it was lined up and shot dead, whether it died --
4 he died in a war conflict. It is very difficult to establish on the
5 basis of only this information if you don't have additional information.
6 In 1999 we had elderly people in Radonjicko Jezero --
7 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, professor, now that you mentioned
8 Radonjic Jezero, why did you investigate Radonjic Jezero who the victims
10 A. I'll tell you just briefly. 1998, in July and August, both
11 Albanians and Serbs were killed at Radonjic Lake by the terrorist
12 organisation KLA. That was the site of execution. But in the period
13 from May on August, they had been captured at various locations and that
14 is where the KLA killed them. There was this concrete canal with the
15 traces of bullets, also some cartridges were found. What I want to say,
16 these victims sustained such wounds that once you see them, you see that
17 there is and entry and exit wound in the chest cavity or abdomen. You
18 can see how they sustained these injuries. We work by establishing the
19 type, the size, and the nature of the injury, and then we can decide
20 which implement was used to cause these injuries, whether it was shrapnel
21 or a bullet, and also we can determine under which circumstances this
22 person died. So, unfortunately, yet again, I have vast experience in
23 these kind of examinations.
24 Q. You spoke about Batajnica Jedan and Batajnica Dva, can you tell
25 us what conclusions you drew based on that?
1 A. I don't know what you mean.
2 Q. With respect to the people and the injuries they sustained,
3 whether the injuries were more common on the bones rather than on the
4 soft tissue, et cetera. And on the basis of that, are you able to draw
5 any conclusion as to the way in which these people died, whether they
6 were shot dead or whether -- or whether that was impossible to determine
7 at all.
8 A. Well, let me tell you that I didn't become engaged in this kind
9 of analysis. We didn't establish the number of persons who had any sort
10 of traces of wounds inflicted by fire-arms. We didn't divide them into
11 categories as according to the type of wounded -- wounds that they
12 sustained. That requires additional analysis of clothing and other items
13 found on the spot. What I still don't know to this date, I don't know
14 where these people had come from. They have been identified as people
15 from Kosovo, but at the same time my colleague who testified in the
16 Milutinovic case was in Kosovo. I was her teacher and I was her tutor.
17 When she testified she said that she would do two or three post mortem
18 analyses or the analysis of ten bodies in a day, but all of this was
19 happening during the NATO bombing from -- which lasted from March to
20 June 1999. She would tell me that if they came to the same location two
21 days later she would say that there were no bodies. I asked her how come
22 and she said, We were just about to bury them but we came under fire, we
23 had to retreat. Although she had a huge security detail escorting her in
24 order to enable her to prepare reports and things. So the bodies
25 disappeared the following days. They were obviously removed by the
1 Albanians, and they buried them in larger graves. And why was that done?
2 It is quite clear. When you have five or six bodies to carry out
3 post mortem of and after the visual examination is completed, they are
4 moved to another location where you have 35 bodies. And the point and
5 the aim was to create as big mass graves as possible.
6 Now, if somebody's moving a dead body for a specific purpose, I
7 only can assume that this person could have shot at these dead bodies as
8 well in order to confuse the issue and therefore make it impossible for
9 any anthropologist or pathologist to determine when the wound is
10 inflicted on such a skeletonised body. So these things happened and I
11 have such reports.
12 Therefore, what I told you, that the proper forensic school
13 applies, is that cause of death is impossible to establish. I believe
14 that the Court has information from the spot and that they can fit into
15 this post mortem findings, saying that some people died from fire-arms,
16 some people died from blunt instrument, et cetera. And there were
17 fractures everywhere. There was not a single body without a fracture.
18 Now, they could have been inflicted during beating up, they could be
19 caused by physical force, they could have be caused while loading or
20 unloading into the trucks, or even during the burial or excavation.
21 So we have instances when people were exhumed and transported to
22 Batajnica and reburied again, and then a bulldozer comes to level the
23 ground and can cause hundreds more fractures. So how am I to determine
24 when these things happened and what the time-line is?
25 Q. Professor, since you mentioned the bone fractures inflicted after
1 death, is it still possible to determine that some of them really
2 occurred post mortem, for instance, as a result of the weight of the
3 land, of the earth, that was piled upon them?
4 A. There are certain characteristics between ante mortem and post
5 mortem fractures. On the face of it, they are very similar; however, to
6 claim that something was caused ante mortem, that is to say before death,
7 it has to have certain characteristics in both soft and hard tissues.
8 This is my answer to your question. The exhumed bodies with the advanced
9 stage of putrefaction show very little or almost no such features. So we
10 can only assume that the body was broken by a dull instrument or a blunt
11 instrument. And if you have transportation and other activities
12 involved, it is difficult to make this distinction.
13 Q. My next question speaking of these matters, when you worked in
14 Batajnica 1 and Batajnica 2 did you come up -- come across any traces of
15 attempts to totally destroy the mortal remains?
16 A. Yes, there were such traces in Batajnica 1, indicating partial
17 'destruction' of bodies. I say destruction in inverted commas. There
18 were gun-shots and conditions were created for the most of the bodies to
19 be burned. In other words, in a large number of bodies that we found, we
20 saw traces indicating that they had been exposed to high temperatures in
22 Q. But the remains were found, yes?
23 A. Yes, they were.
24 Q. There were about 39 bodies in that grave?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, after all this, is it fair to conclude that with regards to
2 the way in which these people were killed and with respect to a possible
3 cause of death, the feasible conclusions were only at the level of
5 A. Yes, there was a certain degree of probability.
6 Q. Thank you. My next question concerns something that I as a
7 layperson managed to understand but who else am I to ask this question of
8 but a man who has been living all his life in the Balkans and in the
9 former Yugoslavia
10 standards for determining the age of a dead body, since in this courtroom
11 we heard that the American standards were applied and that subsequently
12 it was necessary to take the mortal remains of about 800 people to be
13 taken to Tennessee
14 congress in Dallas
15 to the Balkans populations.
16 Can you tell me, did these standards exist at the time or do they
17 exist when it comes to determining the age or tempore exitus?
18 A. Yes, there are standards.
19 Q. Professor, are these medieval standards?
20 A. No, no. They're not medieval standards. They're generally
21 acceptable standards from the 20th century or late 19th century. We do
22 know some features and we do know some features that make it possible to
23 determine the sex, the age, and the height. Now, as to the estimates of
24 sex and age, there are some numerical parameters that are used as
25 standards for a certain population in a certain area. Americans used the
1 standards that they determined in Vietnam and it was mostly the black
2 population, the soldiers who were killed there, and then they did the
3 numerical analysis and came up with the statistical average -- averages.
4 They already had -- they already knew the height, age, and sex of those
6 And now for the Balkans, the populations in the Balkans, you have
7 to apply certain standards. We had those anthropological standards that
8 had been in use for a long time before Batajnica and all the other events
9 in the former Yugoslavia
10 use in Europe
11 in the estimates. So the population in the Balkans is not different from
12 the European population. Perhaps there is a slight discrepancy if you
13 compare it with the northern -- with northern Europe where people are
14 taller than they are in the south of Europe. So there are different
15 standards there, but we're somewhere in the middle in the Balkans, and we
16 use the central European standards in making our estimates. So all our
17 analysis are done with the standards, and a colleague of mine and myself
18 we even wrote a paper, it was published in the
19 Journal of Forensic Science.
20 Q. So in other words, you informed the scientific public about it?
21 A. Yes, in a way.
22 Q. My next question with regard to this, you mentioned the visit of
23 anthropologist Baraybar to your institute. I put it to you that there
24 was an agreement on cooperation between the OMPF and our organs where you
25 were supposed to exchange information but also scientific experience.
1 You said you were not aware of it and that it didn't happen. Now, here's
2 my question: Did Jose-Pablo Baraybar ever ask you any questions about
3 the standards that we have been talking about now, so the ones that are
4 used to determine the age of the bodies at the time of death?
5 A. Well, believe me, I can't now testify -- well, there was a
6 discussion with the whole team. There were 20 of us from various fields.
7 My whole institute for forensic medicine and the huge number of people
8 who accompanied him, I didn't know who they were in terms of their
9 expertise. Ms. Marija Djuric talked to him I think -- well, she spoke to
10 him as a colleague because they were both anthropologists.
11 So we talked about all that, and I couldn't really give you an
12 answer specifically whether this was discussed or not. I don't know.
13 Well, there's one thing, there's the information that you receive in the
14 field from the investigative organs, the investigative judge, the police,
15 or the family members, if you talked to them, it's very important. And
16 then you compare it with the post mortem changes that you determine. And
17 then empirically you can see whether there are any discrepancies there.
18 But any possible discrepancies in post mortem changes will depend on so
19 many factors: The place where they were buried, the time when they were
20 buried, the condition they were in before the transfer, whether they were
21 exhumed there and then transferred here and then interred again. So we
22 really don't know whether this was discussed at the meeting. I really
23 don't know that.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have on our
1 screens 65 ter document 189 [as interpreted], it's a report, page 4 in
2 B/C/S, and I believe it's page 5 in the English version.
3 65 ter document 179, it's a report -- [In English] It's not right
4 number, 179, not 189.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Now, I would like you to look at the Serbian
6 version in B/C/S. Are you familiar with this document?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now -- yeah, it's okay. Could you please look at what you wrote
9 here and I would like us to look also at the conclusion in B/C/S for --
10 to assist the witness.
11 A. I think that there are several more items in the conclusion.
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] It's on the next page,
13 I believe.
14 Q. Do you know, do you remember the findings? There were many of
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like you to show
17 page 1 to the witness in B/C/S.
18 Q. Yes, do look at this too.
19 A. Fine.
20 Q. You know that this is Ba-12. The OMPF labelled the findings in
21 the same way that you did.
22 A. Very well.
23 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now, I would like us to look at
24 5454 [as interpreted] page 22, or rather, P545 [as interpreted].
25 Q. Professor, do you speak or understand the English language?
1 A. Yes, I do understand.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] It's page 22, please.
3 Very well.
4 Q. The same thing, it has to do with what you did. You see cause of
5 death: Gun-shot to the head.
6 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Now, the same document, could
7 you please take us to page 12. The page begins with a chart and then it
8 goes on with paragraph 33, some examples. And I would like you to show
9 just the bottom part starting with some examples and then all the way
10 down to the photographs of the skull that we see here. So if we could
11 zoom in on the lower part, 3.3.
12 Q. Could you please look at this.
13 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] And now I would like you to show
14 the next page, that would be page 13. Could you please zoom in -- yes,
15 precisely on this part, yes. You can even zoom in even more because I'm
16 more interested in the pictures of the skull.
17 Q. Professor, this injury to the occipital bone, please don't take
18 it amiss, I'm a layperson, if I misspoke, it is the obvious injury to the
19 occipital bone. As an anthropologist, Baraybar puts it, it's a keyhole
20 injury. And the conclusion is that this is a gun-shot wound, an entry
21 and exit wound, from the above downwards. And now -- can you please
22 comment this injury if possible.
23 A. Yes, I've read this, and I've seen this. We said that there were
24 blunt trauma defects --
25 Q. That's what you wrote?
1 A. Yes. This injury does have some features that could be
2 attributed to an injury inflicted by a fire-arm; however, I couldn't
3 really comment on this, on the comments made by Mr. Baraybar, for a
4 simple reason, because I'm just a fact witness here and I can only
5 testify to the fact to what we wrote. And I still stand by what we
6 wrote. So I couldn't really comment on this.
7 Now, as to what he said about the keyhole injury. As regards
8 keyhole injuries, they are caused when there is a narrow angle of entry
9 and a narrow angle of exit of the round, and there are some traces
10 present at both ends. And I can only see some of them -- well, this is
11 not something that you can use for an analysis, these are just
12 photographs that we took. But the fracture that -- the fractures that
13 were caused and that were observed earlier are ones that could have been
14 caused by a blunt instrument. And that was the most proper conclusion.
15 And now, if this injury was caused solely by a projectile that
16 entered the head at such a narrow angle from the top and then went
17 downwards, as a forensic scientist, as an expert, I would have to think
18 really hard whether it was caused in this manner and whether it could
19 actually have caused the death of this person, or whether other injuries
20 that were found on other parts of the body were actually responsible for
21 the death. In other words, in order to tell the Court why or how this
22 person died, I have to have the consistency in my findings.
23 In the autopsy findings, first of all, I don't have any reliable
24 evidence that this was caused by fire-arms. I can see that there was a
25 blunt trauma and that there was some artefacts caused by fire on the body
1 and also that the body was putrefied. And now this has to be consistent
2 with the findings and with the cause of death. Now, to claim that this
3 was caused by a projectile because we have the keyhole injury and to the
4 base of the skull at that, I would have a number of questions. And I
5 would have to analyse this as an expert in order to give an answer.
6 So to conclude, what we wrote, I stand by the conclusion in its
7 entirety because we all analysed this injury and the previous injury
8 where we saw the photograph with the defects, cause to the skull and
9 caused by high temperature. Now as a witness I can just say that I stand
10 by what I wrote and that's the only thing I stand by.
11 As to his anthropological claim that this was caused by a
12 projectile entering the skull at such and such an angle, well it's a bit
13 outlandish. And also I have to tell you that this kind of injury could
14 also have been caused by a pickaxe. You know a pickaxe, what it looks
15 like, it has a flat part and the sharp part. This could also be done in
16 the course of the exhumation, and we would have the same fractured ends
17 as we see here; but I cannot claim that either, and I don't want to make
18 this kind of analysis because I'm a fact witness here.
19 Q. Yes, but you're also an expert, but why didn't you then write, as
20 Mr. Baraybar did, gun-shot to the head? That's what I'm asking you. You
21 did the analysis and you signed it. So that's what I can ask you.
22 A. Well, you can ask me --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers are kindly
24 asked not to speak at the same time.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we only wrote down what we
1 are certain about. That's why we didn't write gun-shot wound, we said
2 blunt injury.
3 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Very well. Professor, I would like to thank you for sharing with
5 us what you've told us. I think that this will be of great value for the
6 truth in this case, and this is the most important thing for all of us
7 here. And that is why I will thank you on my personal behalf for coming
8 here and for telling us all you know about this. Thank you.
9 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this concludes my
11 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
12 Mr. Neuner, do you have any re-examination?
13 MR. NEUNER: Just a few questions, Your Honour.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Neuner:
15 Q. You just -- good morning, first of all.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. You just mentioned it is possible that during exhumations certain
18 wounds could be inflicted on a skull of a corpse which is lying in the
19 ground which is to be explored. Could you just explain briefly what you
21 A. You know, from this time distance, and it looks a bit odd at a
22 first glance, but when you perform this kind of job in the field, you
23 have to engage a large number of people and not all of them are
24 physicians. You have forensic pathologists, archaeologists, but there
25 were also technical staff, just like every other team, and you cannot
1 supervise them all the time, 24 hours a day, and look what they're doing
2 and how they're doing. Therefore, I say it is possible these things can
3 happen during excavation. On the other hand, I don't know where a
4 certain body had arrived from. Where had it been buried, how it was
5 exhumed, how it was transported to Batajnica, these open up the
6 possibilities --
7 Q. I understand, there are other possibilities, but I'm only
8 interested how members of your staff could have inflicted such a wound
9 because you were suggesting it is possible.
10 A. I only said that it was possible. I'm not saying that they did
11 that. I'm only telling you that there was such a possibility.
12 Q. Are you before you embark on an exhumation advising your staff
13 how to behave in terms of exploring the grave so that such wounds on a
14 skull could be avoided?
15 A. Absolutely, yes. Absolutely. But you have to know something:
16 That was the first excavation of that magnitude in a single site ever
17 carried out in Serbia
18 Q. And did you advise, before you embarked with your staff on this
19 exhumation, did you advise your staff to try to avoid such wounds?
20 A. The majority of the excavations were carried out by us, doctors,
21 forensic experts, and anthropologists. Therefore, we made extreme
22 efforts in order to keep everything intact. What I said was just the
23 possibility --
24 Q. Okay, okay --
25 A. -- that could indicate judging by the damage caused --
1 Q. I was just asking whether you advised your staff, before they
2 embarked on this particular exhumation, to engage in a practice which
3 would not result into damaging skulls?
4 A. Yes, yes, yes.
5 Q. And during the --
6 A. I told them explicitly and I particularly focused on the skulls
7 because this was the crucial point, not only in this particular case but
8 I did the same in all the previous and subsequent cases as well. We have
9 to be very precise.
10 Q. And while the work on Batajnica 1 and Batajnica 2 graves was
11 going on, did at any point in time report one of your staff to you that
12 he had engaged in some activity which could have caused the damage to a
14 A. No.
15 Q. I have some few questions relating to what you said this morning,
16 and this is page 4 of today's transcript. You mentioned during the
17 forensic examinations in Batajnica you had certain facts at your disposal
18 and you were then listing three facts. One such fact was that the bodies
19 had been buried before elsewhere. And I understood that to mean before
20 the bodies came to Batajnica they had been buried elsewhere. Can you
21 explain to me why did you think that this was a fact?
22 A. I didn't consider that to be the case, but rather that this fact
23 has to be incorporated in my mind as an expert and to direct my attention
24 and try to look for the traces indicative of that and that could raise
25 some suspicions in my mind that the bodies had been moved, that I would
1 have to anticipate to see different types of injuries. And these were
2 the facts that were conveyed by people in authority -- rather, by the
3 court. And, after all, these people had been brought from somewhere to
4 Batajnica. And I had to bear that in mind as a fact, that actually
5 something had happened earlier down there and that I'm examining them
6 here. And that in this interval between the point of their departure and
7 their arrival, a lot of things could have happened that could have
8 affected the post mortem findings. That was what I had in mind.
9 Q. Professor, you just mentioned that people in authority had
10 mentioned that possibility or that fact to you. Could you tell me which
11 people in authority were mentioning this to you?
12 A. When I say "authority," the only authority that I am constantly
13 in contact is the court, investigative court, and the investigative
14 organs who are assisting us.
15 Q. And what did these investigative organs tell you about the
16 possibility of a pre-burial?
17 A. There was stories circulating around that the bodies had been
18 buried in Kosovo prior to that, which I personally learned from my female
19 fellow doctor who had been working at one of those locations, and on one
20 locations in Batajnica, I'm not sure which ones, bodies were found in
21 body-bags, if I'm not wrong.
22 Q. Was this in Batajnica 1 and 2, these two graves, if you remember?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you give us the name of the female person who mentioned that
25 to you, that pre-burial had occurred?
1 A. Dr. Gordana Tomasevic. She testified before this Court.
2 Q. Can you tell me as an expert being involved in exhumations for so
3 many years, if a body has been buried in another mass grave or grave
4 before and is transported to what I will call a secondary grave, are
5 there any traces, such as earth or other items, which indicate to you
6 that this body had been buried elsewhere?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And which indications are these?
9 A. These are the elements that indicate the composition of the earth
10 if you find pieces of soil or artefacts found on the body or on the
11 clothing of the body that can provide an explanation for the discrepancy
12 between the two locations, especially between the original one from which
13 the body had been brought and the new one.
14 Q. Were any members of your team, during the exhumations, looking
15 for such traces? And I'm referring to the graves Batajnica 1 and 2.
16 A. Whatever we spotted and observed and believed to have found, we
17 described that. We were primarily focused on describing the changes on
18 the bones, the clothing, and the tissue that could be inconsistent with
19 the ambience where the body was.
20 Q. Was at some point in time at the exhumations Batajnica 1 and 2
21 earth probes taken and compared with the local earth in order to
22 establish whether there are different earth probes on the bodies?
23 A. We had a team of archaeologists who were working along with us
24 analysing the soil in both Batajnica 1 and 2. These surveys and
25 examinations were done.
1 Q. And do you know what the outcome of these examinations was by the
3 A. I cannot tell you anything with any degree of certainty. All I
4 know is that the composition of the soil in Batajnica 2, which was very
5 sandy; however, in Batajnica 1 all the putrefied changes on the tissue
6 and on the clothing created a matter around these bodies and the tissue
7 changed to such an extent that it was impossible to establish whether it
8 was caused by the putrefaction or by the soil from another location. We
9 were not unable -- we were not able to establish this distinction. I
10 believe that Batajnica 1 and Batajnica 2 were actually primary
11 grave-sites for the majority of bodies, but I did have information that
12 bodies had been exhumed, and I gave quite a lot of thought to that.
13 Q. And what information did you have that bodies were exhumed before
14 they came to Batajnica?
15 A. Precisely what I just told you, information from the court that
16 some of the bodies had been buried and were then exhumed and transported
17 from that area to this area. I'm not saying that the judge himself said
18 that and that my colleague corroborated it, but now when I'm giving
19 evidence today I'm telling you what we were doing. But the impression
20 was that the bodies in Batajnica 1 and Batajnica 2 were in primary
21 graves. I'm not saying all of them, but the big majority of them. They
22 didn't have this kind of changes in terms of soil or artefacts that will
23 indicate that, because I had no idea where they had come from so I
24 couldn't go down there and collect the artefacts and other clues in order
25 to establish the facts, otherwise I don't have any reliable proof to that
2 Q. You mentioned also on page 4 of today's transcript that bodies
3 had been brought from elsewhere as a fact or an assumption. Why do you
4 believe so?
5 A. Another option would be that they were killed there on the spot;
6 however, we had all elements indicating that a large number of people
7 were buried at the same time. Now, speaking from the forensic point of
8 view, the information that the court had available and the investigating
9 judge in particular was actually reliable information confirming that
10 these bodies had been brought to this location from Kosovo, and these are
11 two different things. Although one always thinks that it was possible
12 for these people to be shot that -- and buried there; however, judging by
13 the view, how they look, it is -- it was evident that this was a pile of
14 bodies that was confined in one space and that was exhumed with
15 bulldozers and then later on brought from Kosovo to this location. And
16 that's all that I knew.
17 That is precisely why identification not only of wounded but
18 identification of people is so crucial, because it can establish a link
19 between certain regions, geographical regions, and the people whose
20 bodies were found.
21 Q. You mentioned the court had reliable information about the move
22 of the bodies. Have you seen that information which the court possessed
23 at the time?
24 A. No. I only had oral information.
25 Q. You mentioned - that is page 14 of today's transcript - that if
1 somebody moves a dead body for a specific purpose that you could assume
2 that this person could have shot at these dead bodies as well as in order
3 to confuse the issue and therefore make it impossible for any
4 anthropologist or pathologist to determine when the wound is inflicted on
5 such a skeletonised body. And then you continued, So these things
6 happened and I have such reports.
7 Could you tell me which reports you were referring to?
8 A. This is the information about the desecration of dead bodies
9 committed by a certain group. What the KLA did, they used to kill their
10 own people who did not agree with them or inflicted wounds subsequently.
11 I heard that back in 1998 from many, many policemen and other security
12 forces who were in Kosovo. I just wanted to draw your attention that
13 there was a possibility for such tampering with the dead bodies, and of
14 course, later on, this creates confusion for us forensic experts. First
15 you move a body and then on the way you also shoot again at this pile of
16 dead bodies, and then later on this will be portrayed as a complete
18 Q. Can you tell me if a body is moved for a couple of hundred
19 kilometres to another location, how does this affect your work as a
20 forensic pathologist in determining the cause of death?
21 A. It can have an impact in that the moving of the bodies from one
22 location to another involves time, and thereby it increases the
23 possibility of inflicting post mortem injuries and changes in terms of
24 more advanced putrefaction. And they can conceal what happened before
25 the death.
1 Q. Can you tell me if trucks are standing, following the move, for
2 about two weeks before a grave -- before the bodies are put into a grave
3 and buried finally, what effect does that have on the bodies and on you
4 as a forensic expert who tries to find out the cause of death?
5 A. What trucks are you referring to?
6 Q. I'm referring about trucks who were transporting bodies and who
7 were standing for some two weeks before -- at a location before a grave
8 is being dug and the bodies are --
9 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Djordjevic.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Defence objection, Your Honour.
11 This witness is being asked about the circumstances that this witness
12 cannot answer. He's talking about trucks and other things. He can only
13 ask him whether he knows how these bodies were transported. Therefore, I
14 find this question to be leading.
15 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Neuner.
16 MR. NEUNER: I also note the time. This was actually my final
17 question. I only wanted to ask the perspective of a forensic pathologist
18 because this witness mentioned that during the travel of bodies the
19 decomposition of bodies continues, and I only wanted his assessment on
20 the fact that if bodies still stay for two weeks somewhere before they
21 are being buried, how that can affect the forensic analysis of the cause
22 of death.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE FLUGGE: Could you please answer this question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Since this is your last
1 question, I am giving you the shortest possible answer: Yes.
2 MR. NEUNER: Okay. In the interests of time, the Prosecution has
3 no questions, Your Honours.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Dunjic, we are pleased that you came to
6 The Hague
7 evidence you have to give to the Tribunal. Thank you very much. Now you
8 are released and can go back to your ordinary activities. Thank you.
9 We will have our break now and resume at five minutes past 11.00.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
13 JUDGE FLUGGE: Good morning, Mr. Stamp, is the next witness
15 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honours. The next witness is
16 Milos Deretic, and I think he's on his way. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE FLUGGE: Okay.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE FLUGGE: Good morning, Mr. Deretic. Could you please read
20 aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to you now.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
22 solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
23 nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: MILOS DERETIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you. Please sit down.
2 I think Mr. Stamp has some questions for you.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Yes, I do.
4 Examination by Mr. Stamp:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Deretic.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Could we start by you introducing yourself to the Court, first
8 your name, date of birth, occupation.
9 A. My name is Milos Deretic. I was born on the 18th of July, 1954
10 in Kosovo, in the place called Podujevo. From 1955 onwards, I was living
11 in Pristina where I completed my elementary school, high school, and the
12 faculty of electrical engineering. My major was in electronics and
14 Q. What were you engaged in -- what was your job, put it that way,
15 in 1998 and 1999?
16 A. From the 1st of February, 1982, I was working at the
17 then-provincial SUP
18 appointed chief of the communications sector in the
19 Secretariat of the Interior in Pristina, and that is where I remained
20 during 1998 and 1999.
21 Q. As chief of the communications sector in Pristina, what were your
22 responsibilities, what did that job entail?
23 A. The communications sector of the Pristina SUP dealt with
24 planning, development, and maintenance of communications systems in the
25 area covered by the Pristina SUP
1 internal organisation of the Ministry of the Interior, our sector for
2 communications had its scope of responsibilities and duties that they had
3 to discharge for other secretariats in the area of Kosovo and Metohija.
4 Therefore, it was practically responsible for the maintenance of
5 communications systems for other secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija.
6 Therefore, these involved regular activities of the Pristina SUP.
7 MR. STAMP: Could we, with your leave, Your Honour, have a look
8 at document with the ERN number 01072.
9 Q. These are the rules establishing the internal organisation of the
10 Ministry of the Interior.
11 MR. STAMP: Could we go to page 45 -- I'm sorry, I think we want
12 Article 45 thereof. I'm not sure what the page number is. Yes, could we
13 go to the last part of the next page.
14 Q. Is this -- have you managed to look at it, Mr. Deretic? Is this
15 the provision you were referring to?
16 A. You moved it a little bit. This is the analytics and IT sector.
17 What we need is the communications and encryption sector. That's what we
18 need on the screen. Could you please go to the previous page.
19 MR. STAMP: I think we need page 51 in English --
20 Q. You referred to Article 45, and I went along with that and had
21 shown you Article 45.
22 MR. STAMP: As a matter of fact, we want Article 46.
23 A. Yes, and it's probably at page 52 in the Serbian version. Could
24 we please look at --
25 MR. STAMP: Could we please look at page 52 in the Serbian
2 Q. I think in the last paragraph in the English version we see that
3 it provided here that the secretariat in Pristina shall provide services
4 in respect to communications for the territory of Kosovo
5 Is this a provision on which you base your comment earlier, that you had
6 responsibility for communications in all of Kosovo and Metohija?
7 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Stamp, we haven't seen that on our monitor.
8 MR. STAMP: I'm so sorry. We need page 51, and that's the last
9 part of Article 46. I'm so sorry, Your Honour.
10 And I think we also need the next page in the B/C/S copy as well.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's it, but I was sure it
12 was Article 45 but apparently it's Article 46. It says quite clearly
13 here that the departments for communications and cryptographic protection
14 in the secretariats in Novi Sad
15 communications and cryptographic protection in the secretariat in
16 Kraljevo shall also perform the tasks established above in the territory
17 of other secretariats, the secretariats in Novi Sad and Pristina -
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness is kindly
19 asked to slow down when reading.
20 JUDGE FLUGGE: I'm sorry. Could you please slow down a little
21 bit. The interpreters don't get your reading out.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'll do my best. So in this
23 paragraph of Article 46 we see the definition of the obligation on the
24 communications department to carry out certain tasks in the sphere of
25 communications for other secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. STAMP: The rules for the internal organisation of the MUP,
4 Your Honours, 0072 [sic], I would tender it and ask that it be given an
5 exhibit number.
6 JUDGE FLUGGE: It will be received.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Stamp, the full document or only this part.
9 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, the full document because it will
10 be used again in the course of these case we don't want it to be
12 JUDGE FLUGGE: Okay it will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00584, Your Honours.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. During 1998 and 1999, was there an organ that was called the MUP
16 staff for Kosovo and Metohija?
17 A. Well, I know that the MUP staff did exist, not only in 1998 and
18 in 1999, but it existed as early as in 1993 when I became the head of the
19 communications department. I know that the MUP staff existed at that
20 time in Kosovo and Metohija.
21 Q. Now, did you have -- did you have any responsibility in respect
22 to the communications system, that served the MUP staff for
23 Kosovo and Metohija?
24 A. Well, I can confirm that as of 1993, when I became the head of
25 the communications department in the secretariat in Pristina, that under
1 Article 46 we continuously provided technical support in a similar way to
2 the MUP staff in Pristina, just as we made sure that the -- all
3 communications systems in Kosovo and Metohija functioned. So this was
4 our everyday routine obligation. We had those tasks as routine tasks,
5 provision of technical support to the MUP staff.
6 Q. Yes. Please remember to keep it slow. Thank you. Who was the
7 head of the MUP staff in 1998 and 1999?
8 A. Well, I know that in 1998 it was General Sreten Lukic who was the
9 head of the MUP staff in Pristina. So that was between mid-1998 and
10 June 1999.
11 Q. Now, the communications section of the Pristina SUP that you
12 headed fell within which part of the organisational structure of the MUP?
13 A. Well, in the public security department in the ministry there was
14 a communications administration as a territorial organisational unit.
15 We, in the Pristina, secretariat were in that chain of command, so to
16 speak, the cryptographic communications and protections. So the
17 communications administration in the MUP headquarters had an obligation
18 to provide professional support and to organise all communications in the
19 Republic of Serbia
20 Its job description was -- it was supposed to plan, develop,
21 modernise, and maintain all communications systems within the
22 Republic of Serbia
23 headquarters was also charged with dealing with the training of the
24 employees and drafting documents necessary for the operation of the
25 communications equipment. As a territorial organisational unit, we, the
1 communications sector, had to pursue the policy of the administration in
2 the sphere of communications in our area of the secretariat of Pristina.
3 And the organisational units in the sphere of communications were defined
4 in the same way throughout Serbia
5 Q. Earlier you had discussed the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija.
6 Were you ever a member of the MUP staff?
7 A. Yes, I was a member of the staff from the 1st of June, 1999, and
8 then for the 15 or 20 days that followed, so over a very short
10 Q. Did you attend any staff meetings?
11 A. No.
12 MR. STAMP: Could we bring up P67.
13 Q. The document of the 31st of May, 1999, and that is a decision on
14 the establishment of the ministry staff. And before we go to the next
15 page, you observe that in the middle of this page towards the end you are
16 appointed the chief of signals. Do you see that?
17 MR. STAMP: Perhaps we can scroll down further --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps -- in the Serbian version I
19 don't see it.
20 MR. STAMP: It's the next page in the Serbian version.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, now I can see it.
22 MR. STAMP: And if we could quickly move to the end of the
23 document, the last page of the document.
24 Q. We see that this is an order of the Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. Were you aware of this decision appointing you?
2 A. Yes, I received this decision, and as of the 1st of June, 1999, I
3 did this work. At the same time I was head of the communications sector
4 and at the same time I was the chief communications officer in the staff,
5 so over this brief period of time it was my duty to gather and evacuate
6 communications equipment from Kosovo and Metohija.
7 Q. Prior to the NATO intervention of the 24th of March, 1999
8 you briefly tell us what the communications system within
9 Kosovo and Metohija or what sort of arrangements there were in respect to
10 the communications system in Kosovo and Metohija.
11 A. Well, in line with the principle for the development defined by
12 the ministry, the communications administration, there were elements of
13 the communications system in Kosovo, integral parts of a single system.
14 So we used, in Kosovo and Metohija, a telephone network. It was a
15 special telephone network that was not open to public. It was the
16 network used dedicated solely for the MUP. There was also a system to --
17 for the transfer of non-voice messages, telegraphic communications, in
18 other words; there were radio systems that used UHF and VHF frequencies
19 that were used by the ministry staff; and there was also a communications
20 system using short-wave equipment. In regular circumstances, it was not
21 used. They were only used -- this equipment was only used to check the
22 working of the communications systems.
23 Q. Could you tell us a little bit more about the telephone system.
24 I take it from what you are saying there were two telephone systems in
25 Kosovo at least, one available to the public at large and what you
1 described as a special telephone network that was not open to the public.
2 Can you tell us a little bit more about that special telephone network.
3 Who was it open to and what was the level of security?
4 A. The special telephone network that you mention existed throughout
5 the Republic of Serbia
6 such a way that the telephone exchanges were placed in the buildings of
7 all the secretariats. The telephone exchanges were linked in such a way
8 that they formed a telephone network, and this telephone network, those
9 telephone exchanges, rather, were used for the transmission of messages
10 that were classified as highly confidential. What -- or were higher
11 priority. What existed in Kosovo and Metohija was just part of this
12 whole system that operated throughout the Republic of Serbia
13 was nothing there that didn't exist elsewhere in Serbia, and the network
14 was set up in such a way that the exchanges were linked using telecom
15 transmission systems. So in other words, the MUP did not have its own
16 transmission systems, but it paid to the telecom for certain capacity to
17 be able to link up the telephone exchanges.
18 This network - and this is important when it was destroyed
19 intentionally - was star-shaped and the centre was in Pristina.
20 Q. And you also said there were radio systems that used UHF and VHF
21 ministries and these were used by the ministry staff. Could you
22 elaborate a little bit further. These radio systems enabled
23 communications between which units or personnel of the MUP?
24 A. In line with the territorial organisation and the scope of the
25 work of the ministry, the ministry set up the radio networks on the basis
1 of the so-called territorial principle. So for each secretariat a
2 network is set up using UHF range. It's 157 to 165 megahertz and this
3 range used by MUP is defined in a document called the -- A Plan for the
4 Distribution and Use of Frequencies which is in turn passed by the
5 ministry of telecommunications at the state level.
6 So in that UHF frequency, it is possible to establish
7 communications between the secretariat headquarters and appropriate
8 departments and police stations within that secretariat. So the
9 communications are set up to meet the needs of one individual
11 In addition to that, in VHF ranges, in the towns within the
12 secretariat area there is always the VHF network set up. It's between
13 440 and 456 megahertz, and this network is set up in order to maintain
14 radio communications usually in the areas of towns and the immediate
15 vicinity of towns.
16 So these are the radio networks that the MUP used, so the
17 situation was more or less the same in all the secretariats in Kosovo
18 such networks were set up. Of course, since the coverage of a territory
19 with radio signal depends on a number of factors, the lay of the land is
20 one of the major factors, quite often additional radio networks were set
21 up to meet the needs of some OUPs that could not get coverage from the
22 regional networks.
23 Q. You mentioned a directory that was or a plan I think you called
24 it. Called use of distribution and use of frequencies just passed by the
25 Ministry of Communications at the state level. Were there also temporary
1 directories of users of radio telecommunications links in the Kosovo and
2 Metohija area?
3 A. Well, there has been a misunderstanding. The plan for use and
4 distribution of radio frequencies, it is passed by the state, by the
5 relevant ministry, the Ministry of Telecommunications, and the document
6 is adopted by the government. And it defines the ranges for the police,
7 for the military, for radio, for TV, and for all the other users of radio
8 signals that exist in a state. I simply wanted to note that the MUP did
9 not use radio frequencies that it felt like using, but only those that
10 were allocated to it by this plan. So this is the plan for the use and
11 distribution of frequencies. Now, directorates, it's a completely
12 different story.
13 In the ministry, in order for the radio communications to be
14 maintained in an appropriate manner, there must be regulations. The
15 ministry had the instruction for the use of radio and telephone system of
16 the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
17 was the so-called directory of users of radio and telephone systems.
18 Q. Could we -- thank you. Before you go on --
19 A. Which --
20 MR. STAMP: Could we bring up 65 ter number 01071.
21 Q. And if you could just have a look at this document and then you
22 could finish your answer.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters would be grateful if the witness
24 could be asked to slow down. Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. Mr. Deretic, if you could remember to speak slowly. The
2 interpreters are having some difficulty. I think you have seen this
3 document before, but if we could just scroll through it quickly.
4 A. Yes, I was shown this in a previous trial. I can see just the
5 front page in the Serbian version.
6 MR. STAMP: Could we move to the next page in Serbian version.
7 Q. Could you just tell us briefly, very briefly, what the document
8 is about and what its purpose is.
9 A. This kind of document is used when there are various security
10 actions. As for this specific document, I don't know about that, because
11 this is -- actually the first time I saw this document was at the
12 Milutinovic trial. It does present the regular channels with the
13 call-signs for various secretariats. So it is an excerpt from the
14 directory of the users of radio and telephone systems, so all members of
15 the Pristina SUP
16 And then all the secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija are listed here. So
17 I can say that this is a good document and all the channels, the regular
18 channels listed here, are accurate.
19 Q. You were just referring to the section of this document under the
20 heading "regular channels."
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And if we could move on. Are you aware of the -- or perhaps you
23 could tell us this: What were radio call-signs, if you could describe
24 that quickly.
25 A. Well, the directory of the users of radio and telephone systems
1 defines all general call-signs for various secretariats so that the
2 call-signs listed here, Sitnica, Ibar, Bistrica, Drim, Sara, Breza, and
3 Cer, are indeed the call-signs for all the members of the secretariats as
4 they're listed here respectively.
5 MR. STAMP: I'm sorry, I think the witness is now referring to
6 items that are on the first page of the English, so if you could go back
7 to the first page of the B/C/S.
8 Q. And would personnel within each SUP use the same call-sign?
9 A. That's correct. The call-signs of the users of radio
10 communications contains the general call-sign, Sitnica, and a figure,
11 one-digit, double-digit, or triple-digit figure or it can go even up to
12 five digits. So I can say that I was Sitnica 601, that was my call-sign
13 when using radio communications because I was a member of the
14 Pristina SUP
15 Q. Did the special units, police units, in Kosovo, the SAJ, the JSO,
16 and the PJP, did they have their own call-signs?
17 A. Naturally. All participants in radio communications, in order to
18 use radio communications, had to use their call-signs. That was a rule.
19 Every participant must identify himself using the call-sign.
20 Q. Do you remember the call-signs for those units that I just
22 A. Well, I don't know specifically for SAJ and JSO. I know that
23 there were Sigma, Delta, Cegar, those were some of the call-signs that
24 were used, Koseva, Munja, Soko.
25 Q. Very well.
1 MR. STAMP: If we could move to the last page of this document in
2 English, and it's also the last page, I think, in B/C/S. And this is
3 under the heading "code tables."
4 Q. Could you explain to us what was the -- what is the meaning of
5 what we see here?
6 A. This is a standard encoded table of codes that the police used
7 because radio communications of the ministry were constantly being
8 intercepted or jammed by the Albanian separatists. The reason was
9 because all the radio communications were established in the so-called
10 analog technology and it was easy to eavesdrop and jam them. In order
11 for the police to convey a message without its being intercepted by
12 hostile parties, then this table of codes was used to convey this message
13 in a way that the other party would not be able to understand it. This
14 table of codes was a combination of colours and numbers which sort of
15 indicated the state in which a unit or an individual was. For example,
16 Grey 1 meant: I have a wounded man. Grey 5 meant: I have dead men.
17 Red 2 indicated: Expecting an attack.
18 Q. Thank you very much.
19 MR. STAMP: Could this document, Your Honours, be given an
20 exhibit number? It's 65 ter number --
21 THE REGISTRAR: 01071.
22 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUGGE: Yes, it will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P00585, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE FLUGGE: What about the last document we have had earlier?
1 MR. STAMP: P -- P67. I think it was already --
2 JUDGE FLUGGE: It's already in evidence. Carry on, Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. You referred to a third method of communication that occurred
5 prior to the NATO interventions and that was telegraphic transfers.
6 Briefly, could you tell us how that system worked in Kosovo and Metohija
7 prior to the NATO intervention.
8 A. The telegraphic system was used for conveyance of official
9 written messages or dispatches as they're also called. It is set up in a
10 similar way as a telephone network. There are the so-called telegraphic
11 interconnected exchanges; and by using telegraphic codes, they convey
12 official written messages to the ministry, from the secretariat to the
13 ministry. What we had in Kosovo was also part of a single telegraphic
14 system set up in the entire territory of Kosovo
15 sorry, in the entire territory of the Republic of Serbia
16 Q. So the telegraphic system enabled you to communicate via messages
17 within Kosovo and also outside of Kosovo too, for example, the ministry
18 headquarters in Belgrade
19 A. That's right. Each secretariat was capable of communicating with
20 any other secretariat and, naturally, with the headquarters of the
21 ministry as well. That of course refers to the period prior to the
23 Q. Now, you mentioned dispatches. Is there a format or official
24 requirement of a dispatch as understood within the terminology of the
1 A. I can only give you a definition of what a dispatch is. It is an
2 official message drafted and prepared for communication via technical
3 means; and its format is such that it contains the heading, the address
4 of the recipient, the contents, and the signature of the sender. So
5 there's nothing special to it as far as the format is concerned.
6 Q. As -- having regard to your role in the MUP, can you recognise or
7 identify dispatches by their appearance?
8 A. In the course of communication and in the course of sending and
9 transmitting dispatches, only the sender and the recipient are entitled
10 to see it. I, as the chief of the communications sector, had no right to
11 review any dispatch that was sent by technical means of communication.
12 Q. Did your section or did you have cause at any time to send
14 A. Yes. The communications section of course sent its own
15 dispatches to other organisational units within the ministry.
16 Q. And would those dispatches that you have said conform to the
17 requirements for dispatches that you just described earlier?
18 A. Yes, yes, by all means.
19 Q. Thank you. We'll return to dispatches a little later.
20 The -- let's turn to the NATO intervention. Did the telephone
21 system of communications that existed in Kosovo prior to the NATO
22 intervention remain intact during the NATO intervention?
23 A. No. When the bombing started as early as towards the end of
24 March, more precisely on the 29th of March, the Pristina SUP building was
25 demolished which also housed the main telephone exchange. Therefore,
1 this made any telephone communication between the Pristina SUP and
3 intact part was public telephony and public telephone numbers that were
4 still operational. Of course, during the bombing campaign, transmission
5 sites were constantly targeted in Kosovo and Metohija. They contained
6 the radio equipment of the MUP, of the army, and they were also used --
7 these installations were also used by telecom company where their
8 transmission systems were housed.
9 For example, Goles was demolished already in late March. It is
10 situated some 20 kilometres from Pristina. After that, the transmission
11 systems belonging to Telekom, which is the public telephony company,
12 ceased to be operable, which also eliminated the possibility to use this
13 public telephony in Metohija -- particularly Pec, Djakovica, and Prizren
14 and also Gnjilane. At the moment when Goles was demolished, all these
15 towns in Kosovo and Metohija could not receive any dispatches, I mean the
16 secretariats in those towns. There was also no public telephony
17 available. The only towns that we could communicate with were Urosevac
18 and Mitrovica because these towns were connected by coaxial cables.
19 However, soon after, I think it was on the 6th of April, 1999
20 the building of Telekom company in Pristina was hit. It was called
21 telecommunications centre 2. In this building were all public
22 transmissions systems housed. After this building was destroyed, there
23 was no public telephony at all in Kosovo and Metohija. The only
24 communication lines went from Pristina to Nis and Belgrade
25 done through an optical cable, particularly the one from Nis to Pristina,
1 and that was the only operating line of communication at the time.
2 Q. The -- this optical cable that enabled communication from
3 Pristina to Nis
4 of the public telephone system?
5 A. I already said that the police didn't have their own transmission
6 system, neither optical nor radio relay. We leased these facilities from
7 the Telekom company, so this optical cable was actually belonging to
8 Telekom as a public operator in both fixed and mobile telephony.
9 Q. The -- this optical cable system, did it remain available to the
10 police during the intervention?
11 A. Not only to the police. It was used for public traffic, public
12 telephony traffic as well. We only used these telephone connections and
13 the possibility to make telephone calls to Belgrade and Nis
14 so forth. This cable was operational during the war with some
15 exceptions. It was damaged on two occasions which resulted in the
16 severance of communications that lasted for two days on each occasion.
17 One of the damages was in the village of Luzane
18 civilians was hit near Podujevo. And therefore, since this optical cable
19 was damaged, it prevented any communication in the area or from the area
20 of Kosovo and Metohija.
21 Q. How long did that interruption last, do you recall?
22 A. I think for a couple of days. I cannot tell you exactly.
23 Q. Were there -- were mobile telephones operational in Kosovo during
24 the NATO intervention?
25 A. All I know is that one mobile station of Mobtel company was
1 operating in the area of town, but it had a very limited range. It
2 covered only the urban area of the town or the centre of the town and
3 nothing more than that. Because all the transmitters were demolished and
4 there was no way of installing new equipment there because the entire
5 actually infrastructure was destroyed.
6 Q. So in terms of the telephone availability to the MUP during the
7 war, there was just the limited availability of the mobile within the
8 town centre as well as the line to Nis
9 telephone system available or was that it?
10 A. Mobile telephones were operational within the very centre of
11 Pristina. There was one regional telephone exchange in operation, in the
12 so-called new post office, through which calls could be placed to other
13 parts of Serbia
14 Q. Which takes me to the next question. The other seven SUPs in
15 Kosovo and Metohija -- sorry, the other six SUPs, there being seven in
16 all, did they have access to telephone connections primarily with
18 A. No, no. When I was explaining these transmissions system, I
19 don't know if I am making it clear when I'm speaking of transmission
20 systems. In order, for example, for vehicles to be able to road, you
21 need roads. These transmission systems actually are telecommunication
22 highways set up to provide for all the messages from one -- from A to B
23 to arrive. If you don't have a highway, you cannot send any messages or
24 voice data or anything.
25 So in the aftermath of the destruction of the telecom building in
1 Pristina, all these transmission systems and the equipment that was
2 housed therein were destroyed and it was irreparable. There was a total
3 cut-off of communications. It was impossible to communicate with the
4 secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija and Pristina and vice versa. The
5 only communication from Kosovo was possible with Belgrade.
6 Q. Did the -- was the situation any different in respect to radio
7 communications and telegraphic communications?
8 A. Radio communications that were used by the ministry were also
9 practically destroyed because the repeaters that supported these radio
10 communications were installed at transmission locations which were
11 practically destroyed during the NATO bombing. Those were Butovacki Breg
12 near Pristina; Goles that I mentioned earlier; Stari Trg near Mitrovica;
13 Mokra Gora near Zubin Potok; Cabrat near Djakovica; Cviljan near Prizren;
14 Zeleni Vrh near Gnjilane; Prepolac near Podujevo.
15 So these were the sites where MUP had their own equipment. Once
16 they were destroyed, the equipment was destroyed too and there was no
17 radio communication available in the manner that it was possible prior to
18 the bombing.
19 Q. Approximately when were these radio relay stations destroyed? I
20 think you called them repeaters, repeaters that supported the radio
21 station. About when were they destroyed?
22 A. I said about Goles, although I don't have the exact dates,
23 because all of these sites were targeted several times. As early as the
24 end of March was destroyed, and I know that because it was a very
25 important hub for all the users. And I believe that sometime by
1 mid-April all these transmission installations were destroyed and
2 rendered unusable.
3 Q. How, then during the intervention, did the SUPs outside of
4 Pristina and the units in the field in Kosovo and Metohija communicate
5 with Belgrade
6 secretariat in Pristina? And this is during the NATO intervention.
7 A. The police and our services did their best to establish some sort
8 of radio network in towns, but we couldn't use some dominant location
9 that could enable us to cover wider territory. We could only cover
10 towns. Under such circumstances, it was no longer possible to establish
11 direct communication between the secretariats and Pristina, and I mean
12 direct radio communication.
13 Q. In the field, the units on the ground in the field, did they have
14 short-wave radio systems that they could use amongst themselves?
15 A. Well, short-wavelength systems were mostly in the headquarters of
16 the secretariats. During the war and NATO bombing, this equipment was
17 practically out of use for a very simple reason, that everybody was
18 afraid that if this installation were switched on it would easily be
19 detected and become a target of aerial bombing. So people were in panic,
20 people who were directly working on these equipments, radio telegraph
21 operators, communications officers and others who were supposed to send a
22 message, they were extremely weary of working on these machines and
23 sending machines. Therefore, I cannot tell you exactly whether any
24 messages were sent or if any were sent.
25 Q. And were there hand-held radios - we have heard them being
1 referred to as Motorolas - used in the field?
2 A. Hand-held radio sets were used the whole time but in a so-called
3 simplex mode of operation. That involves a direct link between several
4 sets; however, the range either depending on the configuration of the
5 terrain is limited to not more than several kilometres. If they use
6 so-called semi-duplex mode of operations, then a repeater is installed at
7 a high elevation and it actually convoys voice and radio messages between
8 two end users.
9 If there is no repeaters or if they are destroyed, then the range
10 of this kind of radio communication is very limited. Because radio waves
11 generated within these ranges stretch along the line of optical
12 visibility, and in the event of some obstacle existing between the two
13 users, the radio waves deflect or reflect this obstacle. That is why I
14 underline the importance of the so-called simplex mode of operation.
15 Q. Do you know if any of these short-wave -- sorry, of these
16 hand-held radio systems operated in duplex mode during the NATO
18 A. They could have been used and they were most probably used by
19 using a repeater; but in that situation, no one can guarantee any wide
20 coverage. The repeater was then probably at some lower elevation, and it
21 could only cover some small territory through this mode of operation. So
22 again, a problem would arise how to communicate with a detachment in the
23 field with Pristina depending, of course, if between Pristina and the
24 location where the unit is deployed is some kind of obstacle. So unless
25 a repeater is installed on a high elevation, like the ones I mentioned
1 before, like Goles, Cviljan, and other which are actually high hills, one
2 could not count on good coverage of radio signal and communications.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, apart from the availability or limited
4 availability of technical means of communication, can you tell us how
5 otherwise did the secretariats and units in the field in Kosovo
6 communicate with the headquarters in Pristina, the MUP staff in Pristina?
7 A. I can only assume that they used couriers who carried messages,
8 but I cannot confirm that with any degree of certainty because the
9 courier service was not within the scope of responsibility of my sector.
10 It was attached to some other organisational units.
11 Q. Which organisational unit was the courier sector attached to?
12 A. As far as I know, they were part of the general affairs sector of
13 each secretariat. There was a group of people who constituted this
14 sector and also the vehicle pool was also part of that sector, and they
15 used to carry post and mail to Belgrade
16 to the general or joint affairs sector who were responsible for the
17 courier service as well.
18 Q. About how often would they carry mail to and from Belgrade
19 A. I cannot give you a reliable confirmation. Perhaps it depended
20 on the specific circumstances or the needs. They went probably a few
21 times a week, but I cannot say for sure.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Do you know whether or not the -- on the line
23 that existed to Nis
24 cable, there were any numbers that were reserved, that is telephone
25 numbers that were reserved, for the use of some police personnel or some
1 person of the MUP?
2 A. Well, the question is not clear to me. We did use telephone
3 numbers that were part of the public system everywhere. Now, whether
4 those numbers were reserved -- well, I can't see why they should be
5 because the Telekom has a large number of numbers and it has a vested
6 interest in selling as many numbers as possible to reap the profits from
7 the telephone traffic.
8 Q. Well, in the circumstances that prevailed during the NATO
9 intervention, do you know if any of the numbers were reserved for use by
10 the MUP or MUP personnel?
11 A. Well, I can say that as regards the Pristina SUP, in addition to
12 the systems -- well, even in regular day-to-day business, numbers from
13 public telephone exchanges were used. They were used at all times by the
14 secretariat staff, and they continued to be used in the period that
15 followed. And it is only -- well, because there was a telephone exchange
16 in the building that was destroyed and that telephone exchange was also
17 destroyed or damaged, then the numbers were simply rerouted from another
18 telephone exchange. So whenever was entitled to use the public telephone
19 system in Pristina could use it, and they were able to use it before the
20 air-strikes, during the air-strikes, with the exceptions of the parts of
21 town where the cable network had been destroyed.
22 Q. Thank you. I'd like to show you a few documents and ask you
23 whether or not these documents are in the standard format of dispatches
24 sent by the public security sector of the ministry.
25 MR. STAMP: Could we bring up 04093. On the -- I should indicate
1 just for the record that this document has already been admitted in
2 evidence as P131.
3 Q. Can you describe this document in terms of your understanding as
4 to what a dispatch should consist of, a MUP dispatch should consist of.
5 A. Well, this is the format of the document that could be sent using
6 technical communications equipment in the form of a dispatch; in other
7 words, there is the heading and the address of the addressee. And if I
8 could look at page 2, just the end of the dispatch, the signature --
9 JUDGE FLUGGE: Just a moment.
10 Mr. Djordjevic.
11 MR. STAMP: One moment.
12 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness cannot
13 testify as to the contents of this document, and that is why -- and he
14 has never seen this document before. And this is why I object to this
15 line of questioning unless the witness is directly involved in the
16 drafting and the contents of this document. So that would be my
17 objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, that is one element that can be
20 considered for the purpose of admitting the document, but if the witness,
21 from his own experience as a police officer involved in communications,
22 can identify the format of the document as being the -- being a dispatch,
23 a MUP dispatch, then it could be admitted on that basis.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Djordjevic.
2 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] It's not a problem with the
3 admission of the document. As my learned friend has just said, this has
4 already been admitted into evidence. The problem is questioning the
5 witness about something that, to my mind, the witness definitely cannot
6 answer in this manner, because this is a document that he should testify
7 about as to its form, not the contents. So I don't see the purpose of
8 this line of questioning, but it is of course up to you to decide.
9 MR. STAMP: Yes, if I ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 MR. STAMP: As indicated by counsel for the Defence, the document
12 is already admitted. The question really is to the form, whether this
13 document is in the format of dispatches for the MUP.
14 JUDGE FLUGGE: The Chamber is of the view that you should
15 continue your questioning in that way.
16 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
17 Perhaps, with the leave of the Court, I could hand the witness a
18 hard copy since he would like to look at both sides of the document.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. With the caveat that I
20 have never seen this document, the only thing I can say is that this is a
21 document that could be transmitted in the form of a dispatch. I can
22 confirm that, but it is a document that does not contain details that a
23 dispatch should have; in other words, some kind of a confirmation that it
24 was transmitted using communications equipment. When it is done, then
25 there should be a signature of persons who actually did the transmitting
1 in technical terms.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. You said that this is a document that could be transmitted in the
4 form of a dispatch. Could you just explain what you mean, having regard
5 to the system that was in place.
6 A. Well, I told you what a dispatch is. A dispatch is an official
7 message. Every official message that is written down can be transmitted
8 using communications equipment in the following way: An operator, using
9 the telegram system, types up the message brought by the person sending
10 the message and then forwards it to wherever it has to go. So the
11 dispatch does not have to have a special format. Every official message
12 that reaches a communications operator to be transmitted using
13 communications equipment is a dispatch.
14 Q. When a document is prepared, for example, that one that you have
15 to be sent as a dispatch, after the dispatch is sent is that document
16 filed or stored in any archive?
17 A. It is not archived in our sector, but every dispatch that has
18 been forwarded sent with a copy thereof, and the original is returned to
19 the sender. In the communications sector, we did not have an archive.
20 We would always return the dispatch, give it back to the sender.
21 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, I was about to move to a set of
22 documents, and I'm wondering if perhaps we could take the technical break
23 five minutes earlier so that I could organise the documents more -- in a
24 more presentable fashion.
25 JUDGE FLUGGE: Very well. Then we will have our break now and
1 resume at five minutes to 1.00.
2 MR. STAMP: I'm grateful, Your Honours.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUGGE: Please, Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
7 Q. How did your sector or your unit communicate with the MUP
8 headquarters in Belgrade
9 A. In view of the fact that the ministry building, sometime in early
10 April, was bombed and destroyed, on that occasion the telecommunications
11 room where the majority of equipment of -- for communication was housed
12 was burned. So we were faced with a problem of how to organise this
13 communications system. So most of the time, I communicated with the
14 ministry on public telephony because there were no other communications
15 lines because this main special switchboard or exchange was burned as
16 well in that communications room that was used previously for all these
17 special lines that went to the ministry.
18 Q. When you said most of the times you used the telephone system.
19 On other occasions, what means did you to use to communicate with the
20 headquarters in Belgrade
21 A. Well, in the period preceding the bombing, it was possible to use
22 a telegraphic system to send dispatches. We also had this special
23 telephone network, so calls could have been made or could be made through
24 that special telephone network as well.
25 Q. I'm talking about the period during the bombing. If you had
1 documents that you needed to send to Belgrade
2 you, how would that be sent?
3 A. Most often we used Telefax machines connected to a public
4 telephone line.
5 Q. And if there were problems within the telephone systems in
6 Kosovo and Metohija itself, how would you be able to communicate with the
7 people who operated the system in the various other areas or SUPs in
9 A. All I can say about this issue is how I and my communications
10 sector communicated with other SUP
11 come over to fetch either equipment or to ask for advice. They came in
12 person so they acted as some sort of couriers. They took whatever they
13 needed, which means that I was not communicating with them, either via
14 radio or via telephone.
15 Q. As far as the courier system was concerned, do you -- are you
16 aware of the amount of vehicles that was available to the car pool in
17 Pristina for the courier service within Kosovo and to Belgrade?
18 A. I really don't know.
19 MR. STAMP: Your Honours, that is all in chief. I had put down
20 some documents for this witness, but having considered over the break it
21 might be more convenient to tender them at a later time through someone
22 else. So I have nothing further in chief. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you very much. Very well.
24 Mr. Djordjevic, do you have some cross-examination?
25 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I will surely have some
1 questions during cross-examination; however, I wonder whether it would be
2 better for me to do it tomorrow morning because after I had a
3 conversation with my client I concluded that it would be necessary for me
4 to obtain some documents that I hopefully will obtain during this
5 afternoon. For the sake of consistency of my entire cross-examination, I
6 believe that at this point it would be wiser for us to adjourn for today
7 and then tomorrow morning I can finish very quickly. This is
8 particularly in view of the need for me to obtain this document, and my
9 client fully agreed with that.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] I will really need very little
12 time for the cross-examination - I wanted to underline that - not more
13 than half an hour, maybe even less.
14 JUDGE FLUGGE: I think the problem is that we lose quite a lot of
15 time, 40 minutes, and we -- as you know, we all try and have to try and
16 speed up the proceedings. Therefore, it's the question if you can
17 perhaps just start with your cross-examination and continue tomorrow.
18 That would be helpful, then you have I think enough time to prepare the
19 cross-examination with some new documents.
20 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I actually have
21 nothing else to ask this witness about apart from this document. I have
22 no other questions for him. If only I can find this document, then will
23 I be able to ask the questions. I tried to get hold of it during the
24 break; however, I failed. Therefore, my only questions are about this
25 document or, more precisely, a dispatch that I will do my best to locate.
1 If I fail to do that, then I will have no questions for this witness and
2 I have high hopes that I will be able to obtain this document. That's
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Djordjevic, the Chamber is of the view that it
6 would be perhaps unfair not to adjourn now and to give you the chance to
7 collect these documents; on the other hand, could you perhaps explain why
8 it was not possible to get these information -- these documents earlier
9 because if that happens more often we would have a problem in future.
10 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we've been together
11 in this courtroom from the very beginning and you understand that this is
12 the first time that something like this has happened. This issue arose
13 from today's direct examination. My client recalled a 1997 dispatch
14 which speaks about the lines of work, and we believe that this is
15 crucially important for the Defence case.
16 Originally we thought that this question should not be raised
17 before this Trial Chamber, but since my client definitely remembers this
18 dispatch and that we believe that after this document has been put to the
19 witness two or three questions will be conducive to solving some very
20 important issues. That is the reason why this happened as it has. Rest
21 assured that this is not an excuse for us to waste time, quite the
22 contrary. We are here with the same feeling and ambition that we should
23 work effectively and efficiently. However, I did this for the sake of
24 justice, and I believe that I will be able to obtain this until tomorrow
25 morning. If I weren't sure of that, then I wouldn't make this
1 commitment; otherwise, I really wouldn't like to see this witness go and
2 then be called to appear again within six months' time, because as I
3 said, I'm sure I will get hold of this document.
4 JUDGE FLUGGE: Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
5 Mr. Stamp, have you any comment?
6 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honours, I'm entirely in the hands of the
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE FLUGGE: Mr. Djordjevic, you will be pleased to hear that
10 you have even more time to prepare the cross-examination because we are
11 sitting in the afternoon tomorrow and not in the morning. And so the
12 Chamber is of the view that we should adjourn now and resume tomorrow in
13 the afternoon.
14 Sorry that we have to -- have to have a break now and continue
15 the examination tomorrow.
16 Thank you very much and then we adjourn now.
17 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.10 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of
20 April, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.