1 Monday, 22 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
6 Ms. Kravetz.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Good morning, Your Honours. Before the next
8 witness is brought in, we would like to make an oral application to add a
9 new exhibit to our 65 ter exhibit list. This is 65 ter 05335, and it is
10 a memorandum addressed to the next witness, General Drewienkiewicz by the
11 head of one of the regional centres of the KVM in Kosovo. This -- we --
12 it is our view that this exhibit is both relevant to the case and
13 probative. It relates to events that were taking place on the ground
14 immediately prior to the departure of KVM officials from Kosovo in 1999.
15 We disclosed -- we found this witness -- this exhibit in one --
16 in a search of our evidence collection last week that was carried out for
17 this witness, and it's been disclosed to the Defence, I believe that was
18 last Wednesday, and we also have disclosed the B/C/S translation of this
20 The reason this exhibit was not included in our original 65 ter
21 witness list is -- exhibit list, I'm sorry, is simply because it has only
22 recently been located in our system. It was provided by the witness to
23 us some years ago after he testified in the Milutinovic et al. case, and
24 it came in a large bundle of documentation that was sent by the witness
25 following his testimony in that case. This material was entered in whole
1 into our evidence collection. Unfortunately, this exhibit was not
2 located at the time, and it only recently popped up while we were doing a
3 specific search for this witness.
4 It is our position, Your Honours, that the addition of this
5 exhibit will not prejudice the Defence in any way. The witness is here
6 and will be available for cross-examination on this exhibit, and it's a
7 document that was sent directly to him and he can speak about it. So my
8 learned colleague from the Defence will have the opportunity to put his
9 questions about this exhibit to him during his cross-examination.
10 Those are my submissions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The date of the document, Ms. Kravetz?
12 MS. KRAVETZ: I didn't mention the date of the document because
13 that is an issue. The witness has to explain; it is marked as thought to
14 be 12 March 1999
15 date, but it is something the witness himself will have to explain who
16 made that marking on the document and why it's marked as thought to be
17 12 March 1999
18 JUDGE PARKER: Can you describe the subject matter?
19 MS. KRAVETZ: The subject matter -- it's called "Protest Against
20 VJ and MUP," and it relates to actions taken by the VJ and MUP during the
21 days preceding the drafting of this memorandum. And it's -- describes
22 the situation on the ground as seen by the head of the Regional Centre 2,
23 it -- this is a KVM regional centre, and also describes the forces that
24 are present on the ground and that were observed operating on the ground
25 at the time that's why we believe it's of relevance.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MS. KRAVETZ: I have copies for Your Honours in case Your Honours
3 would like to have a look at the exhibit.
4 JUDGE PARKER: We will hear Mr. Djurdjic first.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It is
6 human to err, especially in such a voluminous case. There's another
7 thing that worries me, though. As far as I remember - and I've read a
8 lot about this witness - it seems to me that this correction made was
9 made by the witness during one of the questionings, during one of the
10 examinations, be it in Milosevic or in Milutinovic.
11 The real problem in this document is in fact in the date on the
12 document and the date when it was corrected. So there are two points,
13 one thing is that this document has been known to the Prosecution for a
14 long time and has even been used in one of the proceedings, and the only
15 problem is about the date. But I believe the witness will clarify this.
16 Maybe he himself wrote this, maybe not.
17 But judging by the contents, it looks like the RC 2 addressed
18 this to the witness. But generally speaking all that is written here has
19 been said by the witness, so I don't think there will be any problems
20 with the admission of this document.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be added to the list, Ms. Kravetz.
23 Are we ready for the witness?
24 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, Your Honour. The next witness is
25 General Drewienkiewicz, also known as General DZ.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It seems I'm late to rise on my
3 feet at times. There's a problem with another document proffered by the
4 Prosecution in its entirety. It's the Blue Book, 65 ter 00407. The
5 Defence supposes the admission of this document. It's a document of over
6 900 pages containing reports that are sometimes sourced, sometimes not,
7 and in all the time that this Tribunal has been dealing with Kosovo
8 cases, it has not been translated into B/C/S.
9 If something is to be admitted, I think it should be on a
10 case-to-case basis, document-by-document from the book, not the book in
11 its entirety. And I think if any parts of it are offered for admission
12 then they should be listed in the 65 ter list.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 Ms. Kravetz.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, this -- we intend to tender the
16 entirety of the Blue Book which is 65 ter 00407. I will be putting a
17 number of questions to the witness about how this Blue Book was put
18 together, the reliability of the information contained therein, and how
19 different information was verified and that is contained in this
20 Blue Book. In his prior testimony in the Milutinovic case, the witness
21 spoke at length about this document and it was admitted in those
22 proceedings as well; and we intend to follow the same course and apply
23 for the entire document to be admitted. I do suggest that Your Honours
24 defer the consideration of this matter until you've heard the evidence of
25 the witness on this specific exhibit.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Did I understand correctly that it has not been
2 fully translated?
3 MS. KRAVETZ: That is correct, Your Honour. The version we have
4 currently in e-court is only in English. I believe some pages were
5 translated in the past that were used, but we don't currently have an
6 entire translation. The reason for that is that it's a very lengthy
7 document and we have been unable to obtain a translation to date of the
8 entire document.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Two things. Doesn't that firstly tell greatly in
10 favour of Mr. Djurdjic's proposition that it should not be admitted?
11 Secondly, what is the point of admitting a document if you're -- in
12 whole, if you're going to rely on the whole when only part of it is
13 available to the Defence?
14 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, we do intend to supply the Court and
15 the Defence with a proper translation. It's unfortunately not available
16 to date, but what -- our proposed course of action would be would be that
17 we hear the witness regarding this document first and mark it for
18 identification until the B/C/S translation is available.
19 We do intend to rely on different portions of the document and
20 it's not only those portions -- there aren't currently translations
21 available for all the portions we intend to rely on, unfortunately, but
22 that is simply due to the limited resources of CLSS to provide a
23 translation to this point.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It rings rather hollow. You're looking at the
25 case only from your point of view, not from the Defence point of view,
1 saying, Well, we've not quite managed to translate all that we think is
2 useful. The book has to be studied by the Defence in whole to see what
3 from their point of view may be useful if you're going to tender the
4 whole book. It may be that you wish to tender only some parts of it when
5 and if translations are available, and then it will depend upon the
6 evidence of the witness whether the first part of the objection is
7 sustained or not. But if you're going to tender the whole book, you've
8 got a problem unless there is a complete translation. And the problem
9 then is that if it's not available now what if the Defence wants to
10 cross-examine about parts of it. The witness has been and gone. So
11 there is some problems lying ahead, Ms. Kravetz.
12 MS. KRAVETZ: I see Your Honour's point on this matter. All I
13 can say is we can go through some of the entries with the witness -- just
14 due to time constraints, I'm not going to be able to go through all the
15 entries that we intend to use from this book, but the witness is here for
16 cross-examination of any of these portions. I understand there's a
17 language difficulty because the current version is only in e-court. That
18 is as much as I can say at this stage.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Well, as long as you identify for the Defence and
20 for us those parts of the book you say are relevant to your case, we'll
21 see how we progress.
22 Well, I think we can't take it any further, Mr. Djurdjic, at the
23 moment, but we're well alert to the issues. Perhaps we can try once
24 again to have the witness.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir.
2 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation that
4 is shown to you.
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
6 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: KAROL JOHN DREWIENKIEWICZ
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down. Sorry we delayed
9 you, but we got underway with one and then it turned out to be more than
10 one procedural matter.
11 THE WITNESS: It's not a problem.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz has some questions for you.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examination by Ms. Kravetz:
15 Q. Good morning, sir. Could you please state your full name for the
17 A. Yes, my name is Karol John Drewienkiewicz.
18 Q. And I understand, General, that you're also known because of the
19 complexity of your last name as General DZ; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, I'm a retired major-general in the British army and because
21 the UK
22 which was the first and last letters of my name. It was a lot easier in
23 the Balkans, at least they could pronounce my name.
24 Q. Thank you for that. Sir, I understand that in October 1998 you
25 were seconded to work with OSCE and that you spent some time between that
1 period in 1998 and April 1999 in Kosovo province; is that correct?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. And what was your function during your deployment in Kosovo?
4 A. Initially I was lent to the OSCE in Vienna by my government, the
6 Kosovo Verification Mission
7 nominated as one of the deputy heads of mission, the deputy head of
8 mission for operations; and in that role I deployed to Kosovo in
9 mid-November, where I remained until about the 23rd of April, 1999
10 Q. Thank you. And, General, did you provide a statement to the
11 Office of the Prosecution of this Tribunal in relation to your -- the
12 period you spent in Kosovo working for OSCE, this was in the year 2000?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Did you also provide a series of documents which became
15 attachments to your statement when your statement was put together?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Before coming to court today have you had the opportunity to
18 review both your statement and all the attached documentation?
19 A. Yes, I have.
20 Q. And having reviewed this material, are you satisfied that the
21 information contained within your statements and the attached
22 documentation is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and
24 A. Yes it is.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender the 65 ter 02508 and
1 I ask that that be received, and I also seek to tender all the
2 attachments to this statement. I would like to point out that two of the
3 attachments are already in evidence and these are P844 and P847.
4 Because of the large number of attachments to this statement,
5 what I propose to do, rather than read them out into the record, is we
6 provide -- prepared a list of them and we would like to just provide that
7 list to the Registry official present in court today and ask that that be
8 dealt with via a memo and that can be filed later on in the week.
9 JUDGE PARKER: These were all exhibits associated with the
10 evidence of the witness --
11 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, they're all --
12 JUDGE PARKER: -- and in the statement well.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, they're all attachments. They have different
14 65 ter numbers --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: -- in our e-court system.
17 JUDGE PARKER: The statement will be received. The associated
18 exhibits we await a list. And assuming there is no difficulty with any
19 of them, they will be notified with their exhibit numbers at a convenient
20 time by the Court Officer.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It will be done, Your Honours.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We notice the witness does
24 not have a headset and he answers immediately after Ms. Kravetz's
25 question. Could he be asked to take a second's pause before his answer.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Two things: The exhibit number of the statement
2 if we could have that, and we have a problem as we're operating in
3 several languages and there is a time delay involved and two English
4 speakers tend to get ahead of the pace.
5 THE WITNESS: Noted, sir.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the statement will become
7 Exhibit P996.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
10 Q. General, did you also previously testify before this Court in the
11 case of Milutinovic et al.?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Before coming to court today, did you have the chance to read
14 through the transcript of your prior testimony in that case?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. And if you were asked the same questions today that you were
17 asked during the course of that testimony, would you provide the same
19 A. I think so. It is some years further on, so I might not have
20 been able to recall quite as much detail. But on reading -- re-reading
21 the statement, I'm satisfied that that was the best I could do at the
22 time and I think it's -- if I try it again it would probably be the best
23 I could do this time.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender the transcript.
1 This is 65 ter 05159, and I ask that that be received.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P997, Your Honours.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
5 I will now proceed to read the in-court summary for this witness.
6 The witness is a retired major-general in the British army. From
7 mid-October 1998 until 24th April, 1999
8 His role was to assist William Walker, which included setting up the
9 administration and conducting verification on the ground in Kosovo. One
10 of his functions was to liaise with the Serbian military. Due to the
11 shortage of police verifiers, he also monitored the role of the MUP.
12 He provides examples of the excessive use of force by the VJ and
13 the MUP in Kosovo and describes meetings he had with VJ and MUP officers
14 in this regard. He also informed FRY Deputy Prime Minister
15 Nikola Sainovic of the excessive use of force by Serb forces in Kosovo.
16 The witness explains that Mr. Sainovic was presented as the person
17 responsible for Kosovo.
18 The witness describes VJ/MUP operations in late 1998 and in 1999.
19 He provides his observations as to the forces on the ground in Kosovo in
20 the early months of 1999 and up to the period immediately preceding the
21 NATO bombing, when KVM officials left Kosovo. He also speaks about
22 serious crimes reported to the KVM by fleeing Kosovo Albanian civilians
23 in the spring of 1999. The witness attended several meetings with
24 civilian and military authorities during his stay in Kosovo and describes
25 those meetings.
1 That is the end of the in-court summary, Your Honours.
2 I would like with Your Honour's leave for the usher to provide
3 the witness with a copy of the documents we will be discussing in court
4 today. Given that there are quite a number of them, I think just for
5 ease of reference it would be easier for the witness to have a hard copy,
6 and I have prepared a binder with that. The binder also contains a copy
7 of the witness's statement.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
11 MS. KRAVETZ:
12 Q. General, I would like to start by asking you some questions about
13 your arrival in Kosovo in 1998, and we will start referring to your
14 statement in this respect. At paragraph 18 you say that you travelled to
15 Kosovo -- the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, on the 18th of October, 1998
16 and later on in your statement - and this is at paragraph 26 - you speak
17 about some days later having driven from Pristina to Pec and your
18 observations there. I just would like you, if you could summarise for
19 the Chamber very briefly, what was the purpose of your travel to Pec and
20 what you were able to observe during that day.
21 A. Yes. The purpose of the visit down to Kosovo was to determine
22 what precisely was needed on the ground because the OSCE mission had been
23 mandated without any prior planning whatsoever. And so the -- the
24 purpose of the visit was -- the visit was led by an OSCE official, and he
25 took with him representatives of the Contact Group, of which I was deemed
1 to be one. And so we went down there and generally we had a series of
2 meetings in Pristina to do with the administration of setting up a
3 mission that would eventually be planned for 2.000 people.
4 In the course of all this, we were very much stuck in and around
5 the immediate vicinity of Pristina, and I felt it was important that
6 somebody went outside Pristina to see what exactly the situation on the
7 ground looked like, although this was not part of the formal purpose of
8 the visit down there.
9 So I went to the area where it had been reported that the
10 violence had been worst in the summer, and that was the area between Pec
11 and Prizren. And I drove down that area. In going down that area, I
12 felt I was driving through something of a wasteland because there were
13 very few people out and about. There was -- there were very few people
14 working in the fields, and this is a fairly agricultural area; and I was
15 struck by the heavy police presence at almost every intersection and the
16 almost complete lack of people walking around in the towns and villages
17 that I went through.
18 Q. Now, you've referred to the violence that took place in that area
19 in the summer of 1998 as one of the reasons why you wanted to see this
20 area. What exactly had you been told had happened there during the
22 A. I relied for my information on this simply on the open-source
23 media, but in the summer of 1998 there had been a lot of media coverage
24 by involving reputable people going into the area and reporting back on
25 the conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army and the forces of the
1 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And the impression had been gained
2 through the media that there had been excessive force used by the forces
3 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which had led to an international
4 outcry. It had led to some of the embassies in Belgrade putting together
5 groups of observers that went in to do more fact finding, and it led to a
6 series of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and it led to NATO
7 issuing an Activation Order, which meant that they were prepared to use
8 force against -- against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia if required.
9 So this was quite a strong -- a strong amount of reaction by the
10 international community to what was seen on the ground in Kosovo over
11 that summer.
12 Q. Thank you. At paragraph 32 of your statement - and you've
13 already spoken about this earlier - you speak about your appointment as
14 deputy head of mission and you say you travelled to Pristina on the
15 23rd of November, that's when you commenced your duties.
16 Is that -- what exactly did you carry out during your second trip
17 or your arrival to Kosovo to take up this new position in the end of
18 November 1998?
19 A. I had -- I went back to Vienna
20 putting the plan together to get people and equipment together in an
21 organised way into Kosovo. And I continued to do that until appointed to
22 be the deputy head of mission for operations. At that point I was still
23 running the planning, and so we appealed to other countries to provide a
24 replacement for me. And once that replacement arrived and I had been
25 able to brief him on what the point was in the planning that we'd got to,
1 I then moved down to Kosovo on the date you've mentioned.
2 From that moment, my focus was to set up an -- a series of
3 outposts around the country as quickly as I could and as extensively as I
4 could so that we could go out and see what was happening, and the word
5 "verify" was an important -- an important word to us. We felt that to
6 verify you had to be very precise on what was happening and really
7 confirm that what was alleged to be happening really was happening. And
8 I think it's an important word because it was not monitoring, and we've
9 had a lot of monitoring missions in the past and I think there's a strong
10 difference between "monitoring," which is more of a passive activity and
11 "verification," which is an active activity. And we were there to
12 verify, which meant we had to be more outgoing, lean out more, and to be
13 more inquisitive.
14 Q. And I understand from your testimony -- from your statement that
15 it was quite a logistical challenge to set up the mission and get it up
16 and running?
17 A. Yes, because the participating nations of the OSCE provided
18 people one at a time. The first question I was asked when I said, Please
19 can we have 2.000 people as quickly as you can let us have them. The
20 question I got I got back was, Would you please write the 2.000 job
21 specifications for the 2.000 posts. And so that was the ethos of the
22 organisation that I had gone into, whereas quite often if one is asked
23 for people, sometimes -- a country sometimes sends a group together that
24 had been selected together and perhaps had a bit of pretraining. This
25 was not the case.
1 The OSCE said, Send us the positions to be filled, and we'll then
2 send that list out to the participating nations. Those nations will have
3 a think about it, call for volunteers, and then send their names forward.
4 We will then have boards properly constituted that will select these
5 people, and we'll then ask them to arrive as quickly as they can.
6 This inevitably meant that there was a large delay being --
7 between being told to get on with it and people actually arriving on the
8 ground. Some countries were very good in providing people almost
9 unbidden, and some countries waited and waited and waited. And the
10 result was that the situation on the ground, when we were able to begin
11 to check what was happening, was quite different to the situation on the
12 ground in mid-October when the -- when the original agreement was entered
13 into. And this was a constant source of frustration to us because it was
14 anybody's guess what had been going on in the intervening six weeks or
16 I'm sorry that's a long statement, but I think it's important to
17 invite the Court to understand that this was not an ideal situation. Not
18 everybody involved in this process felt that it was their duty to get
19 people on the ground as quickly as possible, and procedural -- procedural
20 bureaucracy frustrated our wish to get people on the ground as quickly as
21 possible and even if they had -- we had a similar amount of foot-dragging
22 with regard to providing vehicles for 2.000 people, for providing radios
23 and computers and even locations. All of these things had to be found at
24 short notice by a small number of people, and it was less than perfect.
25 Thank you.
1 Q. Thank you for that answer. You have mentioned or emphasized the
2 word "verify" and said that that was your role. Could you just in brief
3 describe what you understood to be the mandate of the
4 Kosovo Verification Mission
5 A. The mandate of the Kosovo Verification Mission was to report on
6 the ground against the situation that had pertained in mid-October when
7 there had been a series of meetings of members of the international
8 community with members of the government of the Federal Republic
10 formed the basis of what we were supposed to confirm was happening on the
12 So verification meant confirming that the situation was the same
13 or different; and if different, to say what in our view was the
14 justification for this difference, what was the reason.
15 Q. And how did you understand this verification was to be carried
17 A. We were given very little guidance. I think that probably should
18 be amended to we were given almost no guidance. We were told to go there
19 and get verifying, and so one of the quite wide-ranging discussions that
20 took place with the head of mission in the course of the second half of
21 November was, how would we verify, what would our modus operandi be, what
22 would we seek to do, how much detail would we seek to get?
23 And in the first instance we attempted to set out what our
24 proposal was to the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
25 fairly great detail and proposing that we would conduct it rather like
1 arms control regime which they were used to doing because they were
2 signatories to a number of such agreements. And so we proposed intrusive
3 inspections, and we requested a great deal of detail so that armed with
4 that detail we could confirm what was the nub of our mission, which was
5 that the forces that had been withdrawn from Kosovo in the autumn
6 remained withdrawn and that the forces which were legitimately inside
7 Kosovo were the ones which were operating -- which were operating there.
8 And to do that, it was very important to know what right looked
9 like, what was the exact situation in mid-October when -- when we were
10 given the mandate and -- so that we could understand what it looked like
11 when we actually started inspecting, which was in early December, six
12 weeks later. And we would be able to see where there was any difference.
13 Q. Before we move to the issue of the inspections you carried out,
14 in paragraph 36 of your statement you say - and this is in the middle of
15 the paragraph - that although it was not your role to monitor the MUP or
16 the police, you could not help but do so, you were monitoring the VJ, and
17 increasingly it became the case that was in your role you could not help
18 but partially monitor the MUP. Could you explain why that was, how the
19 situation evolved that made you monitor activities by MUP forces?
20 A. The way the mission was set up was that there would be a deputy
21 head of mission who was responsible for operations and the operation of
22 the VJ, the Yugoslav Army, and a separate one who was responsible for the
23 police, for the MUP. In the event we did not receive the head of mission
24 for police until late January and we also received very few verifiers who
25 were ex-policemen, we therefore as December and early January wore on
1 realised the only people on the ground who were sending reports back were
2 what I would call the generalist verifiers, but that their reports
3 increasingly referred to MUP alongside the VJ.
4 So by -- whether we liked it or not, we found ourselves reporting
5 on the actions of the MUP. As soon as we got proper, qualified police
6 verifiers and a deputy head of mission for police, I was very relieved to
7 hand some of that over to him. But because we were -- we did not have
8 police verifiers, we did the best we could with what we had, and many of
9 the people who were -- who were working for me in the early days had also
10 worked in Bosnia
11 And the MUP in Kosovo were from the same stable, I would say,
12 with the same background, because obviously until a few years earlier
13 they had all been part of the police forces of one country, of
15 equipped in a similar way; and they often operated in ways that reminded
16 us of the way police and paramilitary units had operated in Bosnia
17 personal qualification in this was that I had previously spent 20 months
18 in Bosnia
19 international community and so was familiar with many of the issues.
20 Thank you.
21 Q. Thank you for that. You mentioned earlier that -- you referred
22 to three key documents which formed the basis of what you were supposed
23 to do. I would like to turn to one of them this is P837, and it's tab 1
24 in your binder. And this document is entitled: Record of meeting in
1 And I would ask you to turn to page 2, Roman numeral II,
2 number 1. Are you familiar, sir, with this document?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you --
5 MS. KRAVETZ: I don't know if that document is up on the screen.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Yes, I believe we have it.
8 Could you comment on this document, specifically number 1 right
9 below Roman numeral II which begins with:
10 "Special police units deployed to Kosovo ..."
11 A. Yes, the key here was the second sentence saying that "Combined
12 police and special police strength in Kosovo will be reduced to their
13 February 1998 duty level ..."
14 It was not further defined anywhere, and our attempts to find out
15 what that February 1998 duty level was were never rewarded with success,
16 and so we were -- we had difficulty in confirming the base-line because
17 we never got the base-line --
18 Q. Sir, I see my learned colleague is on his feet.
19 JUDGE PARKER: The reason for that is that we have two English
20 editions on the screen, not one in B/C/S.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: It's the same paragraph in the B/C/S that I'm
22 interested in.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE PARKER: There seems to be a problem with the way the
25 document has been provided for e-court.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, this document was used previously and
2 it's admitted, so I -- it might -- the translation may have been deleted
3 at the time of admission, but the translation was there before it was
4 tendered. And this was tendered, if I'm not mistaken, during the
5 testimony of Colonel Ciaglinski.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE PARKER: I think we have now found, I think, Albanian. It
8 may not help Mr. Djurdjic very much.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have just found the
10 B/C/S version among my papers, so we can proceed.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, and perhaps we'll continue our
12 search for the right document.
13 But in the meantime if you could continue with the evidence,
14 Ms. Kravetz.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you. Just one moment, Your Honour.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you.
18 Q. I'm sorry, sir, you were speaking about this document and said --
19 and had referred to the base-line. Can you just explain what this
20 document is and why it is stated here that there was a need to withdraw
21 the special forces in Kosovo to the level of February 1998.
22 A. It is my understanding that between February 1998 and the autumn
23 of 1998 extra forces, extra MUP and VJ forces, were deployed into Kosovo
24 and that this was considered excessive by the international community;
25 and therefore, in the various negotiations of September and early
1 October 1998
2 brought in from outside Kosovo would leave Kosovo and that the strength
3 levels and units involved inside Kosovo would revert to this level, the
4 level of February 1998, i.e., the level before the current crisis began.
5 Q. Now, I would ask you to turn the page, look at numbers 2 and 4
6 which refer to additional heavy weapons and equipment.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: And in the B/C/S number 2 I believe it's on the
8 same page, and so is number 4. But in the English it's the next page.
9 Q. So if you could first comment on number 2 which refers to
10 additional heavy weapons or equipment brought into Kosovo from the VJ to
11 police or special police will be withdrawn.
12 A. Well, I think this -- we took this at face value, that heavy
13 weapons had been brought in. The significance of that is that heavy
14 weapons were seen by the international community as being something which
15 had been used in order to use disproportionate force, and from our point
16 of view heavy weapons were things that were fairly relatively easy to
17 spot. And therefore, if we knew what was there originally, we would -
18 provided we had the right level of identification of it - be able to see
19 whether or not anything extra was there.
20 Specifically, every one of these heavy weapons has a serial
21 number and because of that we sought the serial numbers of all heavy
22 weapons authorised to be in Kosovo, and then it would be relatively easy
23 to check against such a base-line when we came across a heavy weapon to
24 say, Is this a legal heavy weapon which is allowed to be here or is it
25 one that's not allowed to be here. If you don't have those serial
1 numbers then one tank, one anti-aircraft gun looks very like another. So
2 that was to our mind the importance and the significance of that
3 paragraph 2.
4 Q. Now I would ask you to move to paragraph 5 which refers to all VJ
5 elements remaining in Kosovo were to return to garrison except for three
6 company-sized teams in -- which are to remain in their localities that
7 are referred to there. Could you comment on that paragraph, please.
8 A. Well, this was one of the few very concrete facts that was
9 verifiable inside Kosovo about the positions of the VJ; and according to
10 this, the only places that the VJ were authorised to be was in their
11 barracks or at these three locations which were said to be manned by
12 company-sized teams. And we had a fair idea of what a company-sized team
13 looked like, it would look like up to 150 soldiers with maybe 10 to 15
14 armoured vehicles. So we felt that this was a very helpful part of this
15 statement, and it was one that we were able to verify, and because of
16 that we kept particular tabs on it.
17 Q. Now I would ask you to look at paragraph 8, which refers to the
18 obligation of both VJ MUP commanders to provide the KDOM OSCE with
19 detailed weekly reports on a number of issues and also immediate
20 notification on any deployments contrary to these provisions.
21 Based on your experience on the ground, could you comment on the
22 implementation of this provision, paragraph 8, yes.
23 A. Yes, this was very poorly carried out. We did not receive
24 detailed, weekly reports at all. We -- on any of those matters. We
25 occasionally were told verbally that something was intended to happen,
1 not on a regular basis but on a rather ad hoc basis normally very close
2 to the thing happening, often a telephone call that gave rather sparse
3 details. And so this was never provided to my satisfaction.
4 Q. Thank you. And if you could turn the page, this is the last
5 page, Roman numeral III
6 starting with:
7 "However, as a last resort and consistent with the right of
8 self-defense, the state authorities retain the right to respond
9 adequately and proportionately ..."
10 Could you comment on that and how you saw that part of this
11 document implemented.
12 A. Yes. I don't think there was any concern over this on our part
13 because, frankly, we would have been surprised if this had -- something
14 like this had not been -- the Yugoslav authorities were the legitimate
15 sovereign state in Kosovo, and so of course they had the right to respond
16 adequately and proportionately, as it reads.
17 Our problem was that it was very rarely proportionate, and when
18 it was disproportionate, we had a problem. And that is really the story
19 of the KVM, responding at short notice to disproportionate violence and
20 actions by the state authorities. Thank you.
21 Q. And when you say "this is the story of the KVM, responding at
22 short notice to disproportionate violence," could you provide more detail
23 as to how you would respond and what you mean by "disproportionate
25 A. Well, I mean using heavy artillery and tanks and machine-guns
1 against -- against aggravation which when you used those sort of forces
2 it was very inaccurate and it was unlikely to hit the intended target.
3 It was much more likely to produce casualties who were by-standers who
4 were not involved and there were better ways of doing it. It is not the
5 way you deal with an insurgent population, in my view. And in all of the
6 military education that I've taken part in, it has been made quite clear
7 that you do not shell a village simply because a couple of rounds have
8 come out of the village. This sort of activity was observed by us on
9 many occasions.
10 Q. And when KVM verifiers observed this kind of activity what kind
11 of action did you take? You referred to responding at short notice to
12 this type of violence. What sort of response would you carry out?
13 A. Well, we had very limited sanctions. I mean, we would -- if we
14 had someone on the location, then they would report what they saw. They
15 would attempt to make contact with the commanders on the ground while we,
16 in Pristina, attempted to make contact with our counterparts, the senior
17 liaison people, and ask what was happening and ask why it was necessary
18 and usually why that we had received no notification of this and would
19 attempt to talk the situation down. We would do it by -- if the KLA were
20 involved, we would do it by trying to get people onto their side as well
21 and for -- to get them to respond in a less violent way as well.
22 So we were talking to both sides, but this agreement refer -- is
23 an agreement specifically between the international community and the
24 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And so as far as this was concerned,
25 there was an obligation on their behalf to let us know if they were going
1 to do something that involved moving forces out of barracks or away from
2 the three company locations that were described earlier in the document.
3 And this very rarely happened, and when it did happen it was about --
4 well, it was at short notice and was not sufficiently specific or timely
5 to allow any discussion. It was a statement that we're going to do it
6 and we're getting on with it rather than we're proposing to.
7 Q. Now, you referred to making attempts to contact senior liaison
8 people in Pristina when you were -- observed this type of actions being
9 carried out. During your meetings with either MUP or VJ representatives,
10 did you ever raise the issue that you considered that this type of
11 response was not considered in compliance to the agreement that we just
12 saw or was not authorised? Was that issue ever raised?
13 A. Yes, the word I used many, many times was "disproportionate," and
14 I think the word "disproportionate" probably featured in just about every
15 meeting I had with General Loncar and the other -- the other liaison
16 people. So we were quite clear that this was disproportionate, that it
17 was alienating them still farther with the local Albanian community and
18 we saw it as counterproductive and leading to escalation.
19 Q. Now, you said that the word you used was "disproportionate." Did
20 you actually explain to General Loncar or the other liaison officials
21 that you met was -- what you meant by this?
22 A. Yes, many, many times.
23 Q. And how was this explained?
24 A. Well, I explained that if you are -- that disproportionate force
25 simply alienates everybody in the population. It causes casualties who
1 are not necessarily the guilty party that they're looking for, and that
2 therefore it is counterproductive, and that they would do much better to
3 employ less force, to arrest people rather than shooting at them, and to
4 then get evidence and put them on trial. And if they did that, then that
5 was, in my view, the appropriate way for a sovereign state to deal with
6 disaffected people, with people who were behaving criminally, who were
7 using fire-arms, who were abducting people. It was not that the
8 activities of the KLA were not reprehensible, it was that the way that
9 the sovereign state sought to deal with the KLA was in itself
11 Q. Thank you. I would now like to ask you to move to tab 2 of your
13 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is, Your Honours, Exhibit P836, if we
14 could have that up on screen.
15 Q. And, sir, this is a document entitled: Understanding Between
16 KDOM and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia
17 familiar with this document?
18 A. Yes, this is the Shaun's-Djordjevic document. Yes.
19 Q. Let me just check that that is up on the screen. I would like
20 for you to look first at paragraph 1 of this document which refers to
21 "All check-points will be dismantled ..." and it sets the obligation of
22 establishing 27 observation points on the lines of communication and
23 one-third of these observation points will be manned initially. Can you
24 please comment on that paragraph, whether this was complied with.
25 A. Yes. Sorry, I'm trying to gather my thoughts.
1 We did not immediately look at this because this was -- was
2 police business, and so we started with the VJ as -- because they went
3 round in bigger numbers with heavier equipment and were, frankly, easier
4 to monitor. And so when we began looking at things in December, when we
5 had 300 people inside Kosovo, we concentrated on the easier tasks. As
6 our numbers increased and as the overall level of violence began to
7 increase and as we realised that we aren't going to be getting lots of
8 policemen arriving in short order, we came to the conclusion that we
9 would have to look at this.
10 And so the first comprehensive attempt to look at this was made
11 in early January when in on a single day we sent everybody we had out to
12 check on these -- on these observation posts and to check whether or not
13 they were manned. And when we came back and counted them all up, we
14 found that the majority of the 27 were manned rather than one-third.
15 One-third was obviously nine. More than -- the majority was more than --
16 14 or more, and therefore this was, to our mind and as we reported it,
17 non-compliance. So when we made the first comprehensive check of all 27
18 on the same day, we discovered that more were being manned than was
19 allowed for in this document.
20 Q. Now, when you made that discovery, that more observation points
21 were being manned than what was allowed for in the
22 Shaun Byrnes-Djordjevic agreement, did you address this issue with MUP
23 officials in Pristina; and if yes, with whom was this addressed?
24 A. It was certainly addressed and it would have been addressed at
25 the -- in two ways: One in the meetings with General Loncar that I had,
1 but separately in the meetings between the MUP liaison officer and his
2 MUP counterpart. So I'm confident that this was reported to the MUP.
3 Q. And when you say "the MUP counterpart," whom exactly -- if you
4 recall whom exactly that would have been raised with, this issue?
5 A. I think it was Colonel Mijatovic.
6 Q. Thank you. If we look at this document, paragraph 3 refers to
7 the withdrawal of -- of the police will withdraw stationary forces, and
8 there are a number of localities mentioned there. Earlier you had spoken
9 about a base-line and the need to have a base-line to be able to conduct
10 your verifications. Were you given base-line figures and information
11 regarding police forces on the ground in order to see whether this
12 paragraph was being implemented or not?
13 A. No, we weren't, and even if we had been it would have been very
14 difficult because the nature of a police force is that in order to
15 provide 24-hour cover seven days a week and every day of the year,
16 everybody isn't on duty at the same moment. People are off duty, on
17 leave, on detached duty; and so it would have been extremely difficult to
18 take a roll-call of all of the police on a particular day. When a
19 policeman is not on duty, he's normally in civilian clothes, so how would
20 we have been able to do that? It was particularly difficult, and it was
21 made -- rendered impossible by not having a base-line.
22 Q. And what about for the VJ, were you provided base-line figures as
23 to the strength of the forces of the ground when the mission was set up
24 and you started your verifications?
25 A. No. This was information that we requested in Belgrade
1 initially via a letter from Ambassador Walker to Milosevic and followed
2 up by a meeting that I had in Belgrade
3 specifics that were asked for were the details of the units, their
4 strengths, their heavy equipment, down to the serial numbers of the
5 weapons. And that was not provided.
6 We were provided with, at my suggestion I have to say, details of
7 the overall figures of heavy weapons and the units that they belonged to
8 and the locations at which they were. But that was global figures of the
9 number of, say, T-55 tanks and the location and the subordination of the
10 unit. And it did not go into any detail as to the serial numbers or
11 anything like that.
12 Q. We see from this document that it was an understanding between
13 the KDOM and the MUP ministry, and based on your statement I understand
14 that the KDOM preceded the existence of the KVM. Was the KDOM provided
15 with any base-line figures, either by the VJ or the MUP?
16 A. I am -- I have been told that they were in the period since 2002,
17 but this was never made clear to me in the -- on the ground in 1998 and
18 1999. I certainly never received any detailed figures from them, and in
19 doing this, our task was made quite difficult by a very high level of
20 turnover of the individuals in the various KDOMs so that there was very,
21 very little collective memory inside the KDOMs. Shaun Byrnes himself was
22 not to be found in Kosovo for weeks on end; he was based outside the
23 country. And so it was very difficult to track him down as well.
24 Q. You said you were told in the period since 2002. From whom did
25 you obtain this information?
1 A. I think I was told it in the course of my appearance here in 2002
2 by, I think, the Defence.
3 Q. Okay. But you -- although these figures may have been provided
4 to the KDOM, did you request them nevertheless from Serbian authorities?
5 A. Yes, at every stage. When we said we've got to have the
6 base-line figures, the response was, Well, we've already provided them.
7 So we said, Okay, to whom? Tell us who you gave it to, when; and we were
8 never given a satisfactory answer. So my response to that was, What is
9 the harm, given that we are here to verify things, so that we can say
10 whether things are going well or badly, what is the harm of giving us an
11 extra set of this document or documents whatever they are? That way we
12 can tell you that you are in the right or in the wrong. And this was
13 never done. This was brushed off at every -- at every time that we made
14 this request. It would have been the work of five minutes to run
15 whatever the document was through the photocopier and hand it to me, and
16 nobody ever bothered to do it.
17 Q. Sir, I would like to ask you to turn to tab 3 of your binder.
18 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is for reference P838.
19 Q. And we'll wait for that document to come up.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: I don't believe that's the correct document. This
21 is P838.
22 THE WITNESS: That's page 2 of the document.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Oh, yes. If we could have page 1.
24 Q. Sir, are you familiar with this document; and if yes, could you
25 explain what it is?
1 A. Yes. This is a document that was drafted partly by me as a
2 result of the deliberations that took place inside the mission as to how
3 we were going to verify, how were we going to carry out our -- the task
4 that we had been given. And the intention of the document was to make a
5 set of proposals which could have been the basis for discussion. We did
6 not necessarily expect this document to be accepted as written, but we
7 did expect there to be discussion about it. And we were ready to have
8 that discussion.
9 We had -- we had someone with us who was an arms control
10 inspection expert who had helped us draft this, and we felt that given
11 the -- the references to various sorts of weapons that had been contained
12 in the three key documents that set up the KVM or the referred to --
13 activated on the ground in Kosovo, that this was a way that we would be
14 able to carry out the verification that stemmed from those documents.
15 And so, remembering, for instance, that the Djordjevic-Byrnes
16 document referred to check-points and observation points, it was
17 important to agree what constituted a check-point, what constituted an
18 observation point. Heavy weapons, again, if you go to three different
19 arms control specialists, they will give you three different versions of
20 heavy weapons. In some agreements heavy weapons are anything with a gun
21 less than 75 millimetres. That's a quite big gun. And so knowing that
22 12.7-millimetres calibre was mentioned, we used a definition that was
23 appropriate to that.
24 Again, we'd heard about -- we'd been -- learned about three
25 company-sized teams. So we said, Okay, to make it easy for everybody,
1 let's agree what a company-sized team is. So this is really an attempt
2 to set out -- again, what right looks like, and it was sent and we were
3 never engaged on the detail of it.
4 Q. Now, we see that this is a letter to President Milosevic, and
5 it's sent or -- by William Walker. Earlier in your evidence when I asked
6 you about requests for base-lines you spoke about a letter sent to from
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. And we see here on the third paragraph that it says, paragraph
10 starting by:
11 "OSCE requires detailed information on all FRY/Serbian security
12 forces in Kosovo."
13 Did the mission receive any sort of response regarding this
14 letter, specifically that request?
15 A. There was no response to that specific request. The response to
16 the letter was a -- I think a phone call from Sainovic to Walker, saying
17 that it was most improper that he should write direct to the president
18 and he should not do it again. And I think that was the substance of the
19 phone call.
20 The question of whether or not it was possible for this letter to
21 be passed from Milosevic to the appropriate authorities possibly with the
22 words "please fix" written on it in Milosevic's hand seems not to have
23 occurred to him. But obviously that's what we were hoping that who --
24 that because we didn't know the exact subordination of everybody inside
25 the Government of the Republic of Yugoslavia
1 by writing to anybody else we would get the right response. We might
2 well get the response, Well, you've written to the wrong person and you
3 should have written to the Ministry of Economics, as well as the
4 Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Ministry of Education, or
5 whatever it was. And, therefore, we wrote it to the top since he was in
6 charge and he was perfectly capable of sending it to whichever the
7 departments of his governments were that were involved in this. That was
8 the purpose of sending it to the top.
9 Q. Now, in paragraph 63 of your statement you indicate that you
10 intended to meet with General Perisic at the end of November 1998, but
11 instead on the 27th of November you met with his replacement,
12 General Dragoljub Ojdanic. Can you just briefly explain what was the
13 purpose of this meeting and what was discussed.
14 A. The purpose of the meeting was to follow-up on this letter, and
15 so this was the next stage. And we expected that by this stage the
16 letter from Walker
17 therefore the Chief of the General Staff would have been in a position to
18 have a meeting at which we began to go into detail. We had the meeting.
19 We thought we were making a bit of progress, and -- well, I'll stop
20 there. We had the meeting, and we thought we made some progress.
21 Q. And whenever you met with different officials, was the general
22 practice of -- for you to have notes taken for you about these -- the
23 different meetings that you were involved in?
24 A. Yes. I normally had a notebook with me on -- in which I either
25 had glued some speaking notes, some check-points, a list to make sure
1 that I covered the thing -- I mean, before we went into a meeting, I
2 would sit down with my people and we'd go through what was the desired
3 outcome of the meeting and how we thought the meeting might be conducted,
4 what we'd thought we'd get out of it. And so, in order to help me on
5 that, I would often have that -- a series of bullet points on a piece of
6 paper that was inside my book, and then I'd write on it as I went through
7 the meeting.
8 Q. I would like to ask you to turn to tab 4.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: And for reference this is 65 ter 02535, if we could
10 have that up on the screen.
11 Q. Sir, are you familiar with this document?
12 A. Yes, this is a page photocopied from one of my books.
13 Q. And can you explain what it is.
14 A. It is a record of the meeting in -- no, it's a series of notes
15 for the meeting after the Belgrade
16 would have been put together by one of the note-takers with me and given
17 to me before the next meeting. The next meeting was --
18 Q. Before you --
19 A. Sorry --
20 Q. Before you move to that, I would like to concentrate on this
21 document. We see under the heading "FRY information baseline," that it
23 "In order to conduct verification ... we need to begin with a
24 complete and detailed baseline - provided by the FRY."
25 And later on, this is the fifth bullet point it's -- the document
2 "We are also waiting to receive information concerning the police
3 and special police forces ..."
4 Can you comment on those two aspects of the document.
5 A. This document says we are still waiting, and indeed we are still
6 waiting, now, today. We never received it.
7 Q. The document on page 2 under the heading "Troop Rotation"
8 indicates that at the meeting with General Ojdanic he mentioned the
9 scheduled early December rotation of Yugoslav Army.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you indicate what sort of information you received on this
12 specific aspect.
13 A. In the meeting in Belgrade
14 about to drive out of Kosovo a number of conscripts who are at the end of
15 their tour of duty, and we're about to replace them with an equal number
16 of conscripts who are coming in to Kosovo to begin their tour of duty.
17 And we don't want this to be misconstrued as reinforcement. And I said,
18 Right, well let's, you know -- let's help you here. Let's agree to
19 verify this, and then we can -- we can send the report back up the line
20 to say that this has happened and it has happened correctly and we're
21 satisfied that this does not constitute reinforcement.
22 So the meeting in Belgrade
23 a time when concrete information was very hard to come by. And so we
24 said, Let's concentrate on this, let's propose a way of ensuring that
25 this is seen to be legitimate and not breaking any agreements.
1 We were particularly keen to do this because it was -- it was
2 perfectly possible for other sections of the international community to
3 see this possibly through aerial observation and not necessarily to be
4 aware of the circumstances that only someone on the ground would see.
5 And so what I didn't want was NATO suddenly running an air observation
6 mission and seeing truck-loads of military trucks full of people going
7 into Kosovo and drawing the wrong conclusions. So it was in everybody's
8 interest that this was done properly. Now, it having been proposed by
9 General Ojdanic, it was then discussed down in Pristina and nothing came
10 of it, I'm afraid.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, at this stage I seek to tender this
12 exhibit into evidence it's 02535.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P998, Your Honours.
15 MS. KRAVETZ:
16 Q. General, could you now turn to the next tab, this is tab 5.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 02536.
18 A. Again, this is a page photocopied from my books -- the same book,
19 possibly the same -- it's within a page, I would say, of this. It's the
20 same period.
21 Q. And we see it's entitled "talking points for Belgrade
22 November 1998)." Would this be a reference to the same meeting that
23 you've been speaking about now?
24 A. Yes, the paper that I just looked at would have been the result
25 of this meeting, and this is the talking points for the Belgrade meeting
1 that would have been prepared before the meeting and which I would have
2 gone through with all of my helpers before the meeting.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit and ask
5 that it be received it's 02536.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It too will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P999, Your Honours.
8 MS. KRAVETZ:
9 Q. And we have just a couple of minutes before the break, if we
10 could very briefly turn to tab 6 and this is 65 ter 02543, and I believe
11 in your binder you have both the signed B/C/S copy and the English
12 version of the document.
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. We're waiting for the document to come up. If you could tell me
15 if you recognise this document and just explain it briefly, and I'm
16 specifically interested in paragraph 3 of the document.
17 A. Yes. This was the letter that I drafted when we got back to
18 Pristina, to the Chief of the General Staff. It was an attempt to
19 confirm what had been agreed at the meeting and to look -- to remind him
20 of what I believed had been agreed at the meeting. And so paragraph 3
21 describes what I intended to do next, and again I was very keen that I
22 was not surprising people at this stage. I felt it was important that we
23 were transparent in our dealings, and so that we would announce an
24 intention and then carry out that intention after sufficient time had
25 been -- had elapsed for the people who had been forewarned to take
1 action, take appropriate action down their chains of command. And so my
2 point here is I will next make contact with the commander of the
3 Pristina Corps. I was hoping that as a result of that or as a result of
4 the meeting the previous day, a couple of days earlier, that a message
5 would go down to the commander of the Pristina Corps saying, You have to
6 meet with the chap, DZ, and then General Ojdanic would, no doubt, have
7 told him how cooperative or uncooperative he was to be. And so it was
8 simply working down the chain of command.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I believe it's time for the break. I
10 wanted to conclude with this document, but I just have --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Does the document have a date?
12 MS. KRAVETZ: I was just going to ask the general that.
13 THE WITNESS: The original in the local language says Pristina,
14 the 2nd of December, so I've got no reason to believe that that is not
15 the case. Where I am in difficulty is whether or not this was actually
16 sent. I certainly signed it, as you can see, but at almost exactly this
17 time a message came from General Loncar saying that the meeting was off.
18 So this -- this -- either this letter was sent and no response was ever
19 received to it, or the letter was literally about to be sent and we
20 received the message from General Loncar that there was to be no meeting
21 with the commander of the Pristina Corps. All liaison was to go through
22 him. But I believe that this -- irrespective of that, this accurately
23 reflects where I thought I was on the 2nd of December.
24 MS. KRAVETZ:
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender that before having
2 the break, this is 65 ter 02543.
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1000, Your Honours.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I believe it's now time for the
8 JUDGE PARKER: We must now have the break. We resume at five
9 minutes past 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- On resuming at 11.13 a.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: My apologies for the delay. I was delayed with
14 another matter.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Kravetz.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Before moving on to another matter, General, right before the
19 break we were speaking about your meeting with General Ojdanic and you
20 had indicated before we were looking at this documents that you had felt
21 when you left the meeting that progress had been made and you stopped and
22 didn't elaborate on your answer. What did you mean by that?
23 A. I went into the meeting in Belgrade with the Chief of the
24 General Staff and his people with fairly low expectations. I did not
25 expect him to say, We will do everything that is laid down in the letter
1 from Walker
2 debate. And we began to get -- I thought we began to get that. I made
3 the proposal at that meeting that we should begin with the information
4 which was already in the hands of the OSCE, namely, the arms control
5 data, which, of course, I already had anyway. But I wanted the Chief of
6 the General Staff to agree that that was a good place to start, while
7 there was debate among the Yugoslav side about how much further to give.
8 And he said, Yes, okay, we'll do that. And so that was slightly
10 The other positive thing was the proposal by the Chief of the
11 General Staff that there should be some action taken to ensure that there
12 were no misunderstandings about the rotation of conscripts. Now, this
13 was something we hadn't thought of, and therefore we responded to it
14 positively and said, Yes, that's a very good idea. Let's work together
15 to try to see how we can achieve that.
16 So having had that meeting and having agreed at the meeting that
17 the next step was for me to go to the commander of the Pristina Corps and
18 go down into a greater level of detail, and while we were setting up that
19 meeting that there -- there would be continued consideration on the
20 Yugoslav side of the detail to which they were prepared to go, that was
21 not negative. It was not totally positive, but I was -- I was looking
22 for the positive at that stage and there was enough positive in the
23 meeting for me to feel that we had a basis for future cooperation.
24 Q. Was the issue of training to be conducted by VJ troops also
25 raised at this meeting?
1 A. I don't think it was, but I would need to look at my notes that
2 are here if -- and I could possibly help you some more there.
3 Q. If I may refer to your statement, at paragraph 64 you indicate
4 that you were informed that Serbian officials were intending to undertake
5 normal military training within Kosovo outside barracks. Was this an
6 issue raised at the same meeting or were you informed of this at a later
7 stage, this paragraph 64?
8 A. I honestly cannot remember. It may have -- it may have been
9 mentioned in the margins of the meeting in Belgrade or it may have
10 been -- it may have been in a subsequent meeting in Pristina. But the
11 issue was raised that there was intention on the Serbian side to conduct
12 out-of-barracks training; and my response, wherever it was, wherever that
13 proposal was made or that suggestion was made was provided -- it was
14 properly documented, provided we were aware of it, then it was something
15 we could verify, that it was the proper training.
16 So I did not immediately believe that that was out with the terms
17 of the various agreements. It seemed a necessary part of having a
18 conscript army to me, provided it was -- provided it was done properly.
19 Q. And did this happen, that you were notified of the intention to
20 conduct training out of barracks whenever such training was carried out?
21 A. Yes, we were notified when we were back in Pristina that it was
22 intended that there should be some out-of-barracks training. This came
23 up at a meeting with General Loncar when he said that as part of the
24 training of the conscripts they needed to be trained in tank driving, and
25 it would be carried out on what he described as their local training
2 Q. And where was that, the local training area where this tank
3 driving was supposed to be carried out?
4 A. I asked for details of it because I expected that it would be
5 something which in -- in Yugoslavia
6 polygon, namely, an area of land owned by the military where military
7 would carry out such training, and such areas do exist elsewhere in
8 former Yugoslavia
9 were eventually given details of a very small area that was said to be
10 military land only a few hundred metres by a few hundred metres, but that
11 the area to be exercised over was not military training land but normal
12 agricultural land, which I was surprised by. But I was told that this
13 was where it had always been carried out since time immemorial.
14 Q. We will return to the issue of training a little bit later, I
15 just would like for you to turn tab 7 of your binder.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 02545. If we could have that up
17 on the screen.
18 Q. And this is a letter dated 12th December 1998 from
19 Ambassador Walker to Mr. Nikola Sainovic. If you could take a moment to
20 have a look at that. Could you tell us if you're familiar with this
21 document, and in particular if you could comment on paragraph 2 of the
22 document which refers to daily meetings with the MUP.
23 A. Yes. This is a document that I had a hand in drafting for the
24 head of mission. It -- it was a follow-up to a meeting that had taken
25 place with Sainovic in -- in Pristina a couple of evenings earlier, and
1 which -- a meeting which had been quite stormy and had produced no -- no
2 positive outcome. And we had agreed that the right thing to do was to
3 place on record once more our formal concern that we were not getting the
4 information that we needed. And in the course of the meeting with
5 Sainovic two evenings earlier, the outcome had been for Sainovic to say,
6 Well, you need to give me details of what it is you really want. You
7 can't just expect me to know this instinctively.
8 And so this was the response. And so paragraph 2 was the
9 situation as we understood it, namely, that every day there was a meeting
10 with the MUP liaison officer and at that meeting a shopping list of what
11 had happened in the previous day was discussed. And as you can see, we
12 said what the information was that we were getting and we regarded the
13 notification on police rotations as scanty with no detail on manpower and
14 weapons. And in this respect it has to be remembered that the police in
15 this area at the time did not -- did not go on patrol rather like the
16 police here or in England
17 heavier equipment. And it was my personal experience in Bosnia that we
18 had examined the contents of various police stations and had discovered
19 armoured personnel carriers, rocket-launchers, and heavy machine-guns,
20 and mines, and explosives, which were not generally regarded as
21 instruments of policing. So we wanted to know what exactly they were
22 equipped with and where it was, and we were not getting the answers. So
23 that's the background to that second paragraph.
24 Q. Now, you've referred to a meeting with Mr. Sainovic. Who
25 attended this meeting?
1 A. The principal -- the principals at the meeting were Walker and
2 Sainovic. In attendance was General Loncar and myself, and I'm pretty
3 sure that Ambassador Gabriel Keller, the deputy head of the KVM was also
4 present. Those are the ones I can remember with assorted note-takers.
5 Q. And based on the information that you had at the time and your
6 interactions with Mr. Sainovic, what did you understand his role in
7 Kosovo to be?
8 A. His role appeared to be the person -- that of the person in
10 Q. Did you understand him at the time to have any sort of authority
11 over the forces deployed on the ground, either MUP or VJ?
12 A. Certainly, yes. He appeared to be in the chain of command of all
13 of the forces on the ground. We discovered that later when, in some of
14 our dealings in January, Ambassador Keller spoke on several occasions to
15 Sainovic and gained the firm impression that Sainovic was in a position
16 to say yes or no in regard to incidents that were moving quite fast. So
17 he wasn't several degrees detached, needing to be briefed at every
18 moment; he was aware of what was going on on certainly an hour-by-hour
19 basis, if not a minute-by-minute basis.
20 Q. And based on the information you got, did any of the persons that
21 you interact with, be it the MUP liaison officers or VJ liaison officers,
22 did any of these persons report to Mr. Sainovic on developments on the
24 A. Well, I'm aware that General Loncar certainly interacted with him
25 directly and I became aware of that increasingly as time went on.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit into
2 evidence. This is 65 ter 02545.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1001, Your Honours.
5 MS. KRAVETZ:
6 Q. Just to pick up from your last answer. You said that you were
7 aware that General Loncar interacted with him directly and you became
8 aware of that increasingly as time went on. Could you elaborate on your
9 answer exactly what sort of information you had between the interactions
10 between General Loncar and Mr. Sainovic?
11 A. There would be moments when he would say I need to talk to him,
12 would go out for five minutes and come back and say I've talked to him.
13 So he had presumably spoken to him on the phone.
14 On other occasions, he would come in and say, I have spoken with
15 Sainovic already and the answer is whatever the answer was. So he was
16 used -- he appeared to be -- General Loncar presented himself as someone
17 who was answering direct to Sainovic.
18 Q. And just, if you can, remind us who General Loncar was.
19 A. General Loncar was the retired officer who was nominated as the
20 principal military liaison to the mission. He was not the only senior
21 liaison, but he was the one with whom I dealt with most frequently over
22 the issues of VJ and MUP activities.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you now turn to the next tab, this is tab 8?
24 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 02540, if we could have that up
25 on the screen.
1 Q. I see the document is up. Do you recognise this document,
2 General; and if yes, could you comment? I'm specifically interested in
3 the first bullet point which refers to the MUP agreeing to provide full
5 A. Yes. This is a note provided by one of my liaison officers to
6 the head of mission and the deputy head of mission, Walker and Keller,
7 who wanted regular updates on how we were getting on with verification.
8 And this was required because this was not the only thing we were doing.
9 We also had a responsibility to prepare for assisting with elections, and
10 we had a responsibility to deal with the civilian authorities as well as
11 the VJ and MUP. And all of these activities were all going on in
12 parallel, at the same time.
13 And so there was a tendency on different days to ask to be
14 briefed to be brought up-to-date on specific subjects. It was also the
15 case that Keller and Walker spent -- spent time up in Belgrade and up in
17 everything that was going on. And so there was a need periodically to
18 bring them up-to-date, and this is a -- really, a statement of where we
19 were on the 16th of December for the benefit of the head of mission and
20 the deputy head in my presence.
21 So this is really a summary of where we thought we were on the
22 16th of December, looking back on all the various meetings that had taken
23 place up until that moment.
24 Q. And was this information that's referred to in this memo actually
25 provided? It says full details regarding police movement, including
1 times, numbers, and locations.
2 A. No, it never was.
3 Q. Now, if we look at a bullet point that's right in the middle of
4 the document it says:
5 "It is stated in both meetings that the MUP and the VJ did not
6 conduct joint patrols."
7 Why did this issue come up of joint patrols by VJ and MUP, if you
9 A. This is because in the summer there had been a lot of
10 speculation, and when I was preparing in Vienna there was speculation
11 about who was in charge of these operations in the field, where MUP and
12 VJ were both present. And it is normal that one of the parties is in
13 charge. And it's a very significant indicator of how a campaign or a set
14 of circumstances is going, the point at which the -- you go from the
15 police being in charge and the army being in support to a different
17 So we were very keen to know what the command and control
18 situation was, and we had gone down there convinced that there were
19 separate chains of command for the MUP and the VJ which is really what
20 you would expect. And we were seeing evidence on the ground that the VJ
21 and the MUP were patrolling together; in other words, there were VJ and
22 MUP at the same location at the same time, appearing to be aware of the
23 presence of one another. And so we said, Are you conducting joint
24 patrols? And you can see the answer there.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit. It's
2 02540, and I ask that that be received.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1002, Your Honours.
5 MS. KRAVETZ:
6 Q. General, I will ask you now to turn to the next tab, tab 9 in
7 your binder.
8 MS. KRAVETZ: This is 65 ter 02546, and if we could have that up
9 in the e-court system.
10 Q. General, I would again ask you if you can explain what this
11 document is, and I'm particularly interested in the first paragraph of
12 the document which starts with: "We have noted a number of
13 instances ..."
14 A. I think this is the report to -- it is part of a report to me
15 by -- by, again, one of my liaison officers which was part of the
16 preparatory work for the note we've just looked at. And so this is the
17 report to me where VJ and MUP appear to be in a joint location or working
18 closely together, which is in our view unusual. So it is actually
19 confirming what I described a moment ago, and that's the -- that's the
21 Now, VJ tanks and MUP at the VJ position was a specific time, a
22 specific place. VJ seen entering the police station in Pec today," again
23 you know, why would the army go into a police station? They would go
24 into the police station for a meeting, a meeting to, no doubt, discuss
25 the current situation. It could have had an entirely innocent context,
1 but it was worthy of note. And I don't know how many VJ, but I suspect
2 that the very fact that it's noted by our people means it wasn't a couple
3 of random conscripts nipping in for -- to answer a call of nature. It
4 was a number of vehicles containing a number of relatively senior
5 officers turning up with their briefcases and going in. Thank you.
6 Q. The document doesn't have a date, but it does refer to an
7 operation in Junik two days ago, on the 13th of December. Can we
8 conclude from that the date of this document?
9 A. Well, I -- yes, I mean, I think -- therefore I suspect it was the
10 15th because one of the few sets of information we did have with us at
11 the time was a calendar.
12 Q. Now, I see that in the second bullet point in bold it is noted:
13 "We are unable to verify without access to these areas."
14 Can you please comment on that sentence that's been included in
16 A. We were already starting to find that when we went somewhere we
17 would be stopped by a check-point on the road who would say it's not safe
18 enough for you to continue, you shouldn't go any further. And we
19 therefore tended at that stage to do what was indicated in order to avoid
20 antagonising the people on the ground. So in the first instances when we
21 got to those points, we would stop, make a note of it, and bring it up at
22 the official level saying, Look, how can we verify things if you don't
23 let us go anywhere? And oh, by the way, you do remember that we're
24 supposed to have complete freedom of movement throughout the area. And
25 so you are not -- you are not sticking to the terms of the deal, and you
1 are doing yourself no good at all by allowing this to happen because it
2 gives us the impression that something suspicious is happening on the
3 other side of where we're being blocked.
4 And initially we got to a point, we were stopped, we reported
5 back, we'd protest -- we'd protested, we followed the niceties of it. As
6 time went on, we started to try to work our way around it and would look
7 for another way, a back road that would get us to where we wanted to go,
8 but that was later. To start with we tried to do it properly.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit. It's
10 02546, and ask that that be received.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It too will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1003, Your Honours.
13 MS. KRAVETZ:
14 Q. Sir, I would like now to refer to an incident in Podujevo that
15 you refer to in your statement and this is starting at paragraph 95 of
16 your statement. You refer to an incident that developed over a number of
17 days. In paragraph 95 you refer to the date of the 18th of December,
18 1998, and a report of a VJ armoured unit leaving barracks and moving to
19 an airfield south of Podujevo and some paragraphs down from that, 99, you
20 refer to a column of VJ and MUP leaving Pristina on the 24th of December.
21 Do you recall this incident, and if you could provide us further
22 details as to how this incident developed in Podujevo?
23 A. Yes, this follows on from the earlier discussions about training
24 and the -- having been told that there was a requirement to conduct
25 out-of-barracks training and myself having said, Okay, in that case we
1 need the full details of it, who's doing what, where, with what, when.
2 That was not responded to, and then on the 18th of December, as you see,
3 a number of armoured vehicles left the barracks in the west of Pristina
4 and moved about 10 miles north to an area which was a few hundred metres
5 by a few hundred metres which was enclosed by a wire fence and which was
6 designated as military property.
7 Q. Yeah, and just going back to my reference to paragraph 99 we see
8 that some days later after that deployment occurred there was a further
9 deployment of a column of VJ and MUP leaving Pristina on the 24th, and in
10 paragraph 100 you refer to having passed that column. And in it you say
11 that you note that they were not travelling separate parts of -- the VJ
12 and MUP were not travelling separate parts of the column but rather
13 evenly mixed throughout the convoy. Why was that significant?
14 A. If you're putting together a column of a platoon of this
15 comprising five vehicles, and a platoon from somewhere else comprising
16 five vehicles, and a platoon from somewhere else comprising five
17 vehicles, just the way that goes together tends to be A followed by B
18 followed by C. And so if you suddenly find that the MUP are spread
19 throughout the column, it indicates that this isn't a unit that has
20 joined -- has just joined the group; it indicates that it's a series of
21 police detachments, each of which is closely affiliated to one of the --
22 one of the subunits of the VJ.
23 And so, my impression was that that was unusual, simply because
24 if these groups had been told to come together at a certain place at a
25 certain day and then go on up and do something, then you would have
1 expected there to be six MUP vehicles nose to tail together, not spread
2 throughout. So one of the reasons you might do that is so that the army
3 has got a MUP vehicle with it so that the army and the MUP can
4 communicate together on -- in an operation where both have a part.
5 Q. I would now ask you to turn to the next tab.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 02537, if we could have that up
7 on the screen.
8 A. Tab 10?
9 Q. Tab 10, yes. And this is a report which starts on the top with
10 the heading: "Developments in the mission area." Are you familiar with
11 this document?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if you could comment on letter (a), paragraph 1(a).
14 A. As a result of the large number of vehicles going from barracks
15 and from the -- from the location near Podujevo which we called the
16 airfield, they went up to Podujevo, they went west of Podujevo, and they
17 engaged KLA whom they found there whom they were aware of them, which was
18 the purpose of their going there. And there was a considerable exchange
19 of fire. The VJ and the MUP came up onto the hill and shelled positions
20 where there was some KLA. So that describes the situation. I personally
21 went up there and can testify that tank main armament was being fired,
22 mortars were being fired because they have distinctive -- distinctive
24 Q. Now, in your statement at paragraph 102 you refer to a telephone
25 conversation -- call from Colonel Mijatovic, who was reporting on that
1 day, Nothing is going on. And you say this undermined his credibility as
2 a MUP offensive from the village of Gornja Lapastica was going on at the
3 time. Is this a different offensive than the one that is described in
4 this document?
5 A. No, it's the same general area. Gornja Lapastica is north-west
6 of Podujevo, about 3 or 4 kilometres. So it's all describing the action
7 that was going on west of Podujevo on a ridge about 2 kilometres -- it
8 started about 2 kilometres west of Podujevo from Gornja Lapastica in the
9 north to an area about 4 kilometres to the south. So it's an area about
10 4 kilometres by 2 or 3, about 12 square kilometres.
11 Q. Now, when I began asking you questions about the incident in
12 Podujevo you referred back to an earlier answer you had given on
13 training. How does training exercise relate to the action that was going
14 on? Why did that come to mind?
15 A. The training that was said to be required was tank driver
16 training, and the route that was described to me by General Loncar,
17 showing me on the map, literally indicating with his finger on the map,
18 showed me that they were going to go in a large circle broadly around
19 Podujevo. And this was going to take them to the west of Podujevo, into
20 this area that subsequently became a battle-ground. We were area, we
21 were all aware, that the KLA were becoming active in this area and there
22 had been sightings of the KLA and there had been the occasional --
23 occasional shot fired from the KLA in the general direction of -- of the
24 road between Pristina and Podujevo. This was of concern to General
25 Loncar because this was the main road between Pristina and Nis, in other
1 words, the life-line to the rest of Serbia
2 The positions west of the road included some which had been
3 occupied by the VJ during September and October and which had been
4 vacated by the VJ by the Yugoslav side as a result of this. And their
5 argument was reasonable that we should do our best to get these people
6 off the hills and get them to go away, and we agreed. And we went and
7 talked to them. I personally did so on at least one occasion and said,
8 You are crazy doing this. You know that you will aggravate things on the
9 ground and things will get worse and people will come after you. You
10 need to go away. And they said, Thank you for your advice, and we'll
11 think about it.
12 At this stage there were two factors that needed to be
13 remembered. One was that we were finding it very difficult to make a
14 proper connection with the leadership of the KLA. We didn't really
15 establish proper connection with the KLA until about a week later than
16 this. So we were dealing with people as we bumped into them. That's the
17 first thing. Second thing was that we weren't formally on the ground in
18 this area because of the rate at which people were arriving and the need
19 to go through a formal contracting procedure as we took over every
20 location for our people. And the fact that it was being made very, very
21 hard for us to do that by the Yugoslav authorities, we were only able to
22 set up our regional centres, of which there were to be five, one at a
23 time. And at this stage we broadly were covering with the 300 or so
24 people we had the area to -- in the west of the country, the left-hand
25 side of the country, and this did not include the Podujevo area. Now, we
1 did this because the area that had seen the most violence in the summer
2 was the area in the west and you have to start somewhere. I would much
3 have preferred to have put people down all across the country, but I was
4 not able to do that because I simply didn't have the ability to contract
5 locations and set them up with communications and vehicles and IT in five
6 different places simultaneously. That is certainly a matter of regret to
8 When the first intimation happened that things were starting to
9 hot-up in Podujevo, General Loncar requested me to increase the presence
10 of the KVM there, in other words, to get somebody on the ground and we
11 did that. And I got about a dozen people on the ground in advance of
12 actually being able to have a proper centre to which they were reporting.
13 So we did respond, but we could have -- it would have been nice
14 to have responded more quickly. But I was -- this was a very blunt
15 instrument we were putting together. It was not a well-honed set of
16 units that had trained together, that had all their equipment, that had
17 good procedures. This was an ad hoc latch-up, I'm afraid.
18 Q. General, just going back to the start of your answer you referred
19 to the fact that you had been notified that training was required for
20 tank driving in this area. Based on what you were able to observe
21 yourself and the reports that you received of what was going on, did what
22 happened in this area between Podujevo and Gornja Lapastica result -- or,
23 actually, was it really a training exercise that was happening in this
25 A. Yes, I apologise. I went off on a tangent.
1 When General Loncar indicated where the tanks would be
2 exercising, I then discussed with him the fact that if they went into the
3 areas that he had indicated, west of Podujevo, they would be quite likely
4 to bump into these random KLA that were beginning to pop up. And I said
5 that if the object of your exercise is to teach people driver training,
6 then if you were to do that driver training east of Podujevo instead of
7 west of Podujevo you would save yourself a lot of trouble because you
8 would not bump into -- you would not run the risk of bumping into the
10 And given the people that you're trying to train are people who
11 not are not yet fully trained, it would be in my view a kindness to the
12 people you're trying to train to not put them into that situation. His
13 response was that, We will train where the heck we want to, and if we
14 bump into any trouble, then we will take appropriate action. And I
15 commented that if you go around that way you will certainly bump into
16 trouble and you will know that you've bumped into trouble because you
17 will have set out in order to bump into trouble. And he said, Well,
18 we'll do what we are required to do.
19 So that was a fairly uncompromising exchange, but that was what
20 happened. And then, of course, they did go on their driver training
21 exercise as indicated. They did drive west of Podujevo. They did get
22 shot at. They did respond with tank main armament. They returned to
23 their position to the south-east of Podujevo and this was probably the
24 trigger for the subsequent operation that took place on the
25 24th of December, when the armoured column came out of Pristina and
1 stormed the hills to the west of Podujevo.
2 Q. Now, the report we were just looking at, which is dated
3 24th December, speaks about both tank and mortar rounds were fired in
4 addition to small arms fire in a confrontation with the UCK. We were
5 talking earlier about proportionality and what you understood
6 proportionality to mean. Based on what you were able to observe on the
7 ground of how this operation in this general area of Podujevo was carried
8 out, would you say that the response from both the MUP and the VJ to the
9 KLA fire was proportionate?
10 A. It's quite a difficult one. It is at the very top end of what's
11 proportionate. My first objection to what was going on was that no
12 notice was given to us of what was proposed, and therefore we had no
13 opportunity to discuss what their modus operandi was to be. If people
14 are firing at you, you cannot -- you cannot simply totally ignore it, and
15 therefore I think the use, for instance, of mortars onto an area and
16 of -- the -- I would say if you used mortars and if you used tank
17 machine-guns, that would be fine; if you use the occasional tank main
18 armament round, that could be seen as justified.
19 But the purpose of tank main armament is to destroy other tanks.
20 It's generally not a very good area weapon, so it's not really the right
21 weapon for the job. And the problem with a tank round is that when you
22 fire a tank round it keeps going. It goes for miles and miles and miles,
23 and so you've got no idea what it's going to hit at the other end. It
24 could have been landed in Pristina for all we knew. So it wasn't
25 really -- a tank main armament is not really the appropriate weapon used
1 in large numbers, and we were aware of more than than the occasional tank
2 main armament going off.
3 So to repeat, I think it was at the high end of what was
4 proportionate. But when you're dealing with conscripts, conscripts
5 aren't trained very well and conscripts may have -- in order to keep
6 conscripts moving, you may need to give them the psychological
7 reassurance of a lot of -- a lot of things being fired towards the enemy.
8 So that's another factor that has to be taken account of. So I don't
9 think it was totally disproportionate at this stage, but it was not -- it
10 could have been done better.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit 02537,
12 and I ask that that be received.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1004, Your Honours.
15 MS. KRAVETZ:
16 Q. And, General, if we could now move to tab 11 of your binder, and
17 this is 65 ter 02544. And we see that this is a document dated
18 25th December 1998, entitled main points of the meeting between
19 General Lukic and DHOMOPS, and you are indicated as one of the persons
20 being present. I'm interested in paragraph 2 of this document -- just if
21 you could tell us if you are familiar with the document and if you could
22 comment specifically on paragraph 2.
23 A. Yes, Malisevo is quite far into the west of Kosovo. It is
24 south-east of Pec. And it had been an area where there had been a lot of
25 violence in the summer. The village is predominantly Kosovar Albanian,
1 and it had a police station in the village. The police station was --
2 had been reinforced with sandbags and things so it looked really like a
3 fort. The -- and the police that were in this police station were
4 hunkered down in the police station and tended to stay in the police
5 station. The only patrols they did were in armoured vehicles. Their
6 presence was not like normal police.
7 We felt that they were not making the place any more secure by
8 their actions or their presence, and therefore we believed that we could
9 help the situation by putting a permanent presence of our verifiers into
10 the village. This particular place had some symbolism because early in
11 December there had been a march of Kosovar Albanians to this area which
12 had come very close to resulting in violence, and the situation had been
13 talked down by the presence of two of my verifiers. So this was known to
14 us. It was a bit of a co-celebre.
15 So since then we had said, Look, we know the situation is
16 unsustainable in Malisevo. We know that your policemen are unable to
17 police the area properly. The local inhabitants feel thoroughly
18 over-awed by what's going on. We are prepared to help by putting people
19 in there, but you need to help us as well by making your presence there
20 look less threatening to the locals. And that was the gist of the
21 conversations that had gone on throughout December, and this was a
22 follow-up meeting in regard to that.
23 Q. Now, if we look at paragraph 6, operations around Podujevo, these
24 main points record you as stating that:
25 "The ongoing VJ/MUP operation was a serious breach of the
1 cease-fire and that any casualties sustained would be attributed directly
2 to the FRY government."
3 Could you comment on that, please.
4 A. This was -- as the operation around Podujevo was starting to
5 happen, and I was specifically referring to the fact that the VJ had
6 chosen to do their training west of Podujevo which in my view had
7 triggered this whole series of events, and therefore this was not a case
8 of them saying, We have decided to do something about this area for the
9 following reasons, that they had deliberately put themselves into a
10 position against advice and having gone looking for trouble, trouble had
11 found them, and they were escalating the situation to an unnecessary
12 degree. And so that was the background to it, and of course as the
13 24th of December went on, we've seen that the -- everybody piled in to
15 Q. Now, we see that this is a meeting with General Lukic. Was this
16 the first time that you had met with General Lukic?
17 A. Yes, it was.
18 Q. And at the time what did you understand General Lukic's role in
19 Kosovo to be?
20 A. I understood him to be in command of the MUP in Kosovo, as it
21 says at the top: "Present: General Lukic, commander of the Kosovo MUP."
22 Q. Thank you. And I believe you also referred to this meeting in
23 your statement at paragraph 103, just stating that for reference.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit. This
25 is 65 ter 02544, and I ask that that be received.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1004, Your Honours -- I apologise,
4 MS. KRAVETZ:
5 Q. Sir, and just going back briefly to the situation in Podujevo, in
6 paragraph 111 of your statement, last sentence, you say that:
7 "It was extremely unlikely that the MUP commander in Podujevo
8 would have acted independently without the VJ at least being informed."
9 A. Sorry, give me the paragraph again, please.
10 Q. 111. I'm referring to the last sentence which refers to a
11 comment you're making, if you could explain that.
12 A. Yes. This referred to a meeting at which -- between
13 General Loncar and head of mission, Walker. The situation in Podujevo
14 was a sort of armed standoff, and part of the immediate issue was the
15 fate of, I think, an elderly Serb who had -- who had been killed. And
16 the concern was to recover his body. And the issue was how to do that
17 without re-igniting the exchanges of fire and getting more people killed
18 and injured.
19 And so I started off having a meeting with Loncar, which
20 developed into a meeting with Walker
21 out who should go, how many vehicles, what the escort should be, and so
22 on. And we had our people with each side with radio vehicles, so we were
23 in position to talk to both sides in this. And we were going through
24 this. And at that point we were told that a MUP -- a series of MUP
25 vehicles had gone to where the dead -- the body was and had attempted to
1 get the body and a fire-fight had started.
2 And my point is that in order to do this, the MUP vehicles had to
3 leave the area where the MUP and VJ forces were and go forward into the
4 area where it was quite likely that the KLA were. It was not -- it was
5 not the specific area where we knew them to be, but we were -- we knew
6 this was in the no man's land between the two and that was why we were
7 keen that this was done sensitively so that we went and brought one body
8 out and we didn't go in to bring one body out and end up bringing six
9 bodies out because of casualties that took place.
10 So we were trying to work out what was the best way of doing it
11 was, and who would talk to whom, and how we would choreograph this
12 operation in order to keep it as low-key as possible. And we got the
13 message that while we were doing this discussion - and we understood that
14 everybody had agreed that no one was going to move until we'd finished
15 the discussion and come to some conclusions - that the MUP had apparently
16 gone it alone.
17 And my point at the bottom of the paragraph is that I simply
18 don't believe that in a situation like that where people are manning
19 heavy weapons with their fingers on the trigger thinking themselves the
20 front line that the MUP would simply have driven out. You are in a
21 situation where you are driving forward of tanks and heavy machine-guns
22 manned by your own side, but by the army and you're the police. Now,
23 would you do that on your own without coordinating with the army?
24 Absolutely not. It's simply not credible. That is -- that's the point,
25 that this must have been fixed in advance with the army units. Loncar
1 was the -- our link to the army units, and Loncar was saying to us that
2 he was completely unaware of this going on. And it was because of that
3 that he forfeited the trust of Walker
4 spoke to him again.
5 Q. Thank you for that answer. Since we're on that page of the
6 statement I would direct your attention to paragraph 117 which now refers
7 to events in January 1999. And it states:
8 "We started to receive reports about roadblocks being set up by
9 vigilante Serb civilians south of Pristina ..." and there's a reference
10 to both Pristina and Kosovo Polje municipalities.
11 Was this the first instant that this occurred, that you saw
12 civilians setting up roadblocks?
13 A. It was the first incident that I personally witnessed, and it was
14 quite widespread in that we got reports that roadblocks set up by Serbs
15 in Serb villages by civilians wearing ski masks and heavily armed with
16 long-barrelled weapons were setting up this roadblock and stopping any
17 movement of anybody. This effectively cut us in Pristina off from the
18 south of Kosovo.
19 And I personal went to the area of Kosovo Polje in order to see
20 it, and I saw these individuals in civilian clothes with weapons who were
21 stopping everybody and turning people away, and they indeed turned us
22 away. What was remarkable in this was that unlike every other day of the
23 year, there was no police to be seen. Now, it was quite unusual to drive
24 for 500 yards anywhere in Kosovo and not go past a policeman, and yet
25 here we were in broad daylight, a situation which went on for a number of
1 hours, and the police appeared to be unaware of it and take no action at
2 all on it. So the police were absolutely not doing their job of ensuring
3 law and order in this area on that day.
4 Q. You told us that you personally went to Kosovo Polje and observed
5 this. Were you able to obtain any information as to how these civilians
6 had obtained the weapons that they used that day?
7 A. Not directly, no. They were in -- a lot of them were in black
8 Golf vehicles, and I was informed but was never able to check it that
9 there were a mixture of people who had come in from outside Kosovo and
10 locals who were making this point, which was to -- in my view, the point
11 of the demonstration was to intimidate the Kosovo Verification Mission.
12 Q. Was this the only -- the only instance where you saw armed Serb
13 civilians or were there other instances?
14 A. There were other instances where armed civilians were seen,
15 notably at Racak. I didn't personally see them in that amount of detail
16 there, but they were reliably reported to me by people whose judgement I
18 Q. And you said that you had been informed that these people you saw
19 at this check-point at Kosovo Polje came from outside. Who provided that
20 information to you?
21 A. It may well have been one of our interpreters.
22 Q. Now, I asked you about other instances other than Racak, were
23 there instances where armed Serb civilians were seen by your verifiers?
24 A. I'm sure there were, but the ones that I can instantly call to
25 memory were Racak and this incident in early January.
1 Q. Thank you. I will now ask you to turn tab 12 of your binder?
2 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 00664, if we could have that up
3 on the screen.
4 Q. The document is now up on the screen. We see, General, that this
5 is a document entitled Kosovo Verification Mission report for the period
6 of 13 January 1999
7 was carried out by your verifiers. Could you explain to us what sort of
8 reporting was done and specifically in relation to this document if you
9 could tell us what it is.
10 A. This is a copy of the sort of -- well, of the report -- one of
11 the reports that we sent daily up to -- up to Vienna. The way it was
12 compiled was that at any moment we had a series of outstations, 40
13 something, throughout Kosovo. We hadn't got everyone on the ground on
14 13th of January, but we were putting down outstations throughout Kosovo
15 so that there was an outstation which acted as a base for verifiers to
16 live in that area and patrol around it and to get to know the situation
17 around it. And they reported immediately if something happened that was
18 dramatic, and if they didn't come across anything dramatic then they
19 would make a report at the end of the day.
20 These reports went from the coordination centres to the regional
21 centres. Each regional centre was in charge of about eight of these
22 coordination centres throughout its area, and then the regional centres
23 reported up to Pristina to the head -- to the mission headquarters there.
24 In the mission headquarters, there were a number of agencies
25 which looked at all this stuff, took the necessary action to inform other
1 people that might be involved in the immediate action, and began to put
2 together a report of what had happened in the previous 24 hours and what
3 it meant and what it might portend for the future.
4 And so this was the -- and that -- the drafting of that report
5 that went up to Vienna
6 about three people who were the same people, so that there was a high
7 level of consistency. Obviously, if they got some piece of information,
8 they weren't sure about it, then they could go back to the author of the
9 information and ask some more details.
10 So this was the report that the head of mission signed off and
11 sent up to Vienna
12 morning, which said what had happened in the last 24 hours of
14 Q. Thank you for that answer. We see in "General Situation" there's
15 a sentence saying:
16 "The fighting continues in Decani area with confirmed VJ
18 I would ask you to turn the page to page 2, under the heading
19 "Security Situation," and in the B/C/S copy this is on page 3. And I'm
20 interested in the first paragraph that begins with:
21 "The police operation in Gornji Ratis east of Decani continues
22 for a fourth day ..."
23 And I'm particularly interested in the last sentence of that
24 paragraph, if you could comment on that?
25 A. The point here is that this was described to us as a police
1 action. This is a continuation of our increasingly being convinced that
2 this was actually the police and the army acting entirely in concert. So
3 it's a police action, but we confirmed the involved of the VJ in the
4 second paragraph. We mention tank fire, and again heard the fire between
5 50 to 60 rounds, I mean, that's every round in the turret, that's a lot
6 of large bullets being fired, and then the tank being sent away. And the
7 point at the bottom for the benefit of the people in Vienna who of course
8 are not dealing with this minute by minute that tanks have never been
9 declared by the FRY authorities to be part of the police arsenal, and
10 that reflected our understanding elsewhere that tanks were army
11 equipment, they were not police equipment. And therefore, that was more
12 evidence to us that these were combined operations, not police
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit. It's
16 00664, and I ask that that be received.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be received as Exhibit P1006,
19 Your Honours.
20 MS. KRAVETZ:
21 Q. General, just a moment ago you referred to the Racak incident.
22 Is this incident described in some length in your statement, so I don't
23 want to go through it in detail. I am interested, though, in a comment
24 that is made in your statement and this is at paragraph 141 which is a
25 paragraph starting with the sentence:
1 "On Friday, the 15th of January, 1999 ..."
2 And talks about a joint VJ/MUP offensive in the village of Racak
3 And the last sentence says: "It was a highly coordinated VJ and MUP
4 operation ..."
5 And I would like to ask you to explain why you made that
6 statement in your statement.
7 A. There are two elements of this force were VJ that were sitting on
8 high ground overlooking Racak about a kilometre away from Racak and the
9 MUP who eventually went in to Racak. As this operation unfolded, there
10 was a considerable amount of firing into the village, and then the firing
11 switched from the village to the flanks of the village. And while firing
12 was still going on, the MUP went into the village.
13 Now, if you are walking forward of heavy weapons that are firing,
14 then you need a pretty strong assurance that they know where they're
15 firing and that they're not going to fire where you're going to go. This
16 is not the sort of coordination you do casually. You would be very
17 specific in saying that the tanks will now switch their fire so that they
18 fire at nothing to the right of a certain point, and you will be going
19 into an area on the other side of that point. So the tanks may be
20 switching their fire so that they're going to fire at the flag and
21 everything to the left of the flag, and we're going to go to the door.
22 And then the other tanks will fire into the corner here and everything to
23 the right of it.
24 Now, if you've wired that really tight, if you've really
25 coordinated that properly and it's being run by two people, one from the
1 police and one from the army sitting side by side in the same location,
2 then I would be prepared to go in -- go through that door under those
3 circumstances. But remember that before then they'd been generally
4 firing in the whole area, including at the door. And so at the moment
5 that that fire switches, so the same amount of noise is going on but you
6 know that they're not firing right at the flag and you know they're not
7 firing left of the corner and you're going to go forward, that does
8 require a very, very high degree of control.
9 And the fact that it took place means that this was not an
10 operation that was being done on a making-it-up-as-you-go-along basis, it
11 must have been planned and there must have been a joint post controlling
12 it. You simply wouldn't do it otherwise.
13 Q. General, I would like to ask you in relation to this incident to
14 turn to tab 13 of your binder.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 02547. If we could have that up
16 on the screen.
17 Q. This is a document dated 5th January, and it says at the top:
18 "Call to Colonel Kotur by MG DZ."
19 A. This is a transcript of a phone call I made with an interpreter
20 to Colonel Kotur. General Loncar was not available, and so I spoke to
21 Colonel Kotur who was his assistant in these areas and who came to the
22 periodic meetings with General Loncar generally.
23 Q. I'm interested in a statement that's made by you at the middle of
24 the page which begins with:
25 "Firing anti-aircraft weapons into villages with women and
1 children is not a police action. This is not a police action."
2 A. This is because we had observed during the day, and this was the
3 Friday, it was the day that the Racak incident took place, and one of the
4 weapons held by the VJ was a thing called the Praga anti-aircraft gun.
5 And therefore it was a heavy anti-aircraft gun which obviously fired very
6 large rounds very fast, and its normal role was to shoot down aircraft.
7 And it had been observed firing into the village. And my point there was
8 that this is not how you carry out police action, to fire
9 indiscriminately into a village with a weapon which may go where you are
10 aiming it but will keep going and go through the next six walls that it
11 comes to; and if anybody happens to be in the way, it will slay them as
12 well. And that is my point.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I ask for this to be received. This
15 is 65 ter 02547.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1007, Your Honours.
18 MS. KRAVETZ: I think, Your Honours, it's again time for the
19 break unless we're going to go a bit --
20 JUDGE PARKER: I --
21 MS. KRAVETZ: -- because we started a bit late.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I get the message. We will have a break,
23 Ms. Kravetz.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: I will continue. I will just write down the time
25 we started --
1 JUDGE PARKER: No, we'll break now and resume hopefully on time
2 at 1.00 and then finish the day.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: In the interests of gaining time, Your Honour, I
7 would ask to have exhibit --
8 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry, I cannot hear.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: I'm sorry.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Were you addressing us?
11 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes. I was just saying that in the interest of
12 gaining time while the witness is being brought in, I would just like to
13 ask for an exhibit to be put up in e-court. This is 65 ter 00673.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Kravetz.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. General, we're going to change topic now. We were just talking
19 about the Racak incident. I want to direct your attention now to tab 14
20 of your binder.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is for reference 65 ter 0073 [sic] which
22 is already up on the screen. This is a KVM regional centre Prizren daily
23 report, and it's dated 29th January 1999, and I want to direct your
24 attention specifically to the section called: "Head of regional centre
25 Prizren comments." If you could take a minute to look at that and
1 provide your comments regarding that passage there.
2 A. This is a comment from Mike Maisonneuve describing the incident
3 at Rogovo the day before when a compound which we later found out to be a
4 KLA safe house was stormed by a MUP special police unit and one of the
5 special police was killed and 24 Albanians were killed. I personally
6 attended this in the second half of the day some hours after the incident
7 had happened and had a meeting with General Loncar at the time at the
8 same place.
9 Q. Now, we see that the comments that are included here by
10 General Maisonneuve say:
11 "The amount of force employed was not proportional. Not all
12 persons were KLA. There is little evidence of fighting back as there is
13 also little evidence of a large number of weapons."
14 You've told us that you yourself went to the site. Were your
15 conclusions on this incident consistent with what General Maisonneuve has
16 stated here?
17 A. Yes. It was my view that what had happened was that the compound
18 was stormed by the special police unit in the early hours of the morning,
19 and after an -- after the initial storming in which one of the MUP was
20 killed and a number of the -- a number of the Albanians were killed, that
21 the rest of them surrendered and were then killed by the MUP. Had that
22 not been the case, then there would have been prisoners, there would have
23 been wounded. It is almost impossible to kill 24 people and wound
25 Q. And we see that under the heading "Verification Tasks," that is
1 on the same page at the bottom. It says:
3 "The VJ informed OSCE that they performed a supporting role only
4 in the MUP operation, described below."
5 Is this also consistent with the information you were able to
6 obtain while on site?
7 A. Yes, I think that is correct. On the actual site at a farm-house
8 in Rogovo there were no VJ noted. They appeared to have provided an
9 outer cordon.
10 Q. Now, in your statement - and this is at page 180 -- at paragraph
11 180, I'm sorry - the first line of that paragraph says:
12 "The first time that I realised that the chains of command were
13 much more closely linked than we thought was at the incident of Rogovo."
14 Is this the same incident that this document refers to?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. And why is it that you say that you realised that the chains of
17 command were much more closely linked than you thought?
18 A. Because General Loncar was there and was clearly in charge of
19 what was a police operation or a police-led operation.
20 Q. And when you say "General Loncar was there," where exactly are
21 you talking about, in the --
22 A. I'm talking about being inside the -- inside the compound and
23 coming out of the compound when it was reported to him that I arrived,
24 and then accompanying me into the compound when it was decided that I
25 could go in. So he was on the scene.
1 Q. He was already on the scene when you arrived?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, if we turn to page 3. And I just very briefly want to have
4 your comments on letter B which is entitled: "MUP and other police
5 forces." And there's a report that we're not going to go through in
6 detail because the document speaks for itself about the investigations
7 that were carried out and the findings made by the KVM patrols.
8 Which force -- you've told us about seeing General Loncar there.
9 Which forces did you see on the ground when you got to Rogovo?
10 A. When I got to Rogovo I was directed to a farm compound which had
11 a wall 3 or 4 metres high and a closed gate which prevented me having
12 access to it. So I stopped there, was met by one of my verifiers who
13 told me what he knew, that there had been this incident, that the MUP and
14 the dead Albanians were all inside the compound that I was not allowed to
15 go into at that stage.
16 While this was going on, there were a number of very fit-looking
17 MUP coming out of the compound wearing grey all-in-one overalls which was
18 different to anything I'd seen before. And in the court
19 then-General Loncar appeared. We had a conversation. In the course of
20 the conversation he showed me the body of one of these men in that same
21 uniform in the back of a car, which appeared to indicate that that was
22 the uniform in which -- which he'd been wearing when he was killed.
23 These were not uniforms I ever saw again, and I got the firm impression
24 that this was a Special Anti-Terrorist Unit that had been brought in
25 specifically to do this operation.
1 While I was in the area, the guys in the grey overalls faded out
2 of the area; they basically packed up and left. And when I got into the
3 compound there were none of them there. They -- the police in the
4 compound were in the more traditional blue police camouflage uniforms.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit. It's
7 00673, and I ask that that be received.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1008, Your Honours.
10 MS. KRAVETZ:
11 Q. General, just going back to your statement, paragraph 187, this
12 is at the bottom of page 26 in the English, you refer to the period of
13 February 1999 and you use an expression there that I would like to have
14 your comments on which is - and this is in the middle of the
15 paragraph - you refer to the cumulative effect of these feet on the
16 ground. Could you explain what you meant by that?
17 A. What I mean is that there were a number of operations that were
18 conducted in this time, and every time an operation was conducted in
19 order to deal with KLA in a particular area if the Yugoslav forces were
20 successful in taking that area then however many people had been involved
21 in taking that area most of them would be withdrawn but a small garrison
22 of 30 to 40 people would be left holding that particular position.
23 And over the weeks, we observed these positions and we kept a
24 running tally because obviously these were people who were not just
25 leaving the barracks, going and doing something, and going back to
1 barracks at the end of the day, these were people who were permanently
2 out of barracks. And there came a moment when we were doing a routine
3 report and counted them all up and said, Well, that amounts to about
4 2.000 people. And if you believe that a company is between 120 and 150
5 people then that's about 15 companies' worth. You could argue it was
6 anything between 13 and 17, but it certainly was well in excess of three
7 which was, of course, the only base-line that we had.
8 Q. Thank you. And if we turn the page to paragraph 188 you talk
9 about the period of March, 16 March, and you speak about the KVM becoming
10 aware of the FRY declaring extending periods for conscripts and also an
11 increase in the number of VJ personnel, and you refer also to the
12 introduction of T-72 tanks by rail. Why is that significant? Why have
13 you referred to the introduction of these type of tanks by rail in this
15 A. Because in the original very limited exchange of information that
16 we had back in late November and December, the only tanks that were
17 declared as being permanently stationed in Kosovo were the T-55 variety,
18 which is obviously a different tank with a different crew and
19 different -- different capabilities. And therefore, when we spotted
20 T-72s being unloaded from rail flats near Mitrovica, it was clear that
21 they had come in from outside. And therefore, while it was difficult to
22 track people, it was not difficult to say, Look, here are T-72s, there
23 aren't supposed to be any T-72s here, here they are, this is a breach.
24 Q. On that same page, and this is paragraph 190, you refer to two
25 larger operations in the period late February/mid-March which occurred in
1 the municipalities of Kacanik and Vucitrn. And you indicate, this is the
2 third sentence, that the VJ and MUP were definitely on the offensive at
3 this stage and will seal off areas where they were conducting operations,
4 denying entry to the KVM. Could you please comment on that statement you
5 make there in relation to these two operations.
6 A. Well, we would -- we -- by this stage we had people stationed on
7 the ground throughout Kosovo, and so wherever something happened, we had
8 someone on hand to see it begin to happen. And when operations happened
9 in these areas, the first thing we would know about it would be when a
10 convoy of military or police went by, there would then be an attempt to
11 follow it and track it to see where it was going and what it was doing,
12 and at some point we would get -- my verifiers would get to a point where
13 there was a roadblock on the road, a sentry who would say, I'm sorry, you
14 can't go any further. And at this point we would say, Well, we need to
15 go further, because we have to see what's going on; we have freedom of
16 movement. And he would say, Yes, but I'm afraid you can't go any further
17 because we can't guarantee your safety if you go any further.
18 This would then be reported up the line to us in Pristina, and we
19 would then have to work out what to do. Sometimes I would send a more
20 experienced team out because not everybody was equally experienced.
21 Sometimes I would go myself. In the case of the incident described at
22 paragraph 190, that describes a moment when I went myself.
23 Q. And in that paragraph you refer to company-sized units of the
24 MUP - this is toward the middle of the paragraph - fitter-looking
25 personnel and -- which were noticeably higher than other MUP units you
1 had encountered to date. Was this also an observation you made yourself,
2 of these company-sized MUP units?
3 A. Yes. I was in the area for several hours, but towards the end of
4 the afternoon - and this was an area where I had also got to a point
5 where I had been stopped - the area beyond where I had been stopped where
6 the operation appeared to be being carried out was characterised by
7 plumes of smoke from burning buildings and round about 4.00 to 5.00
8 the -- this group of a hundred or more MUP appeared moving in a
9 disciplined way, uniformed differently to the regular MUP we met because
10 the regular MUP had blue uniforms. These guys were wearing green
11 camouflage uniforms. Their webbing equipment was a more recent pattern,
12 a better pattern. Their -- the sort of equipment they were carrying was
13 different to that which most of the MUP normally carried. So this looked
14 like a unit that was better trained, better equipped, and probably was
15 deployed specifically to this area, as opposed to being indigenous to
16 this area. Thank you.
17 Q. And were you able to obtain any information as to when this unit
18 had been deployed to this area?
19 A. No, I mean we saw it for the first time that day, and we had seen
20 other units similar to it in the south of the country, but I cannot say
21 whether it was the same unit or it was just two units that were similarly
22 equipped, but there were not many units so equipped.
23 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you to turn to tab 15 of your
25 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 05335, if we could have that up
1 on the screen.
2 Q. And this is a document that is addressed to you from the head of
3 RC 2, a Mr. Windmar, and the subject is protest against VJ and MUP.
4 A. As you can see, at some stage I have written in my handwriting on
5 this that this document is thought to have originated on or about the
6 12th of March, i.e., about a week before we were ordered out of Kosovo.
7 This is from the head of Regional Centre 2, Leif Windmar, who was
8 situated in Mitrovica, and he was responsible for the area particularly
9 to the south and west of Mitrovica where there was a range of hills
10 that -- that ran north-west to south-east parallel to the main road from
11 Mitrovica down to Pristina. And the situation that he describes is the
12 situation that we then paid more attention to, and I think it was as a
13 result of this that I concentrated on the area and ended up with the
14 entry in the earlier document that you saw.
15 My problem in all of these instances was that when I took these
16 complaints to the various liaison officers, I would invariably be told
17 that I needed to provide specific times, dates, and identifications of
18 everybody involved so -- because without that it was impossible to know
19 whether or not we were hallucinating. And so this probably triggered my
20 putting extra resources into the area and eventually led to me being
21 there in the manner I've described.
22 Q. And this is again a reference to the earlier operation you
23 referred to in the Vucitrn area?
24 A. This is a reference to operations in the Vucitrn area that at the
25 time I was not fully -- fully aware of that led to me putting more
1 experienced people on the ground there and led to me eventually being
2 there and seeing for my own eyes the better-equipped, differently dressed
4 Q. We would like to direct your attention to paragraph 5 of this
5 document which starts with:
6 "VJ/MUP are now coordinating their activities in a much better
7 way than before and it is ... obvious that they are performing a planned
8 operation against the Albanian population and not like before, single
9 response to KLA attacks or winter exercises."
10 Could you comment on that passage here in this report.
11 A. The point there was that the areas were not simply being visited
12 and left, but that there appeared to be a systematic drive that had
13 cordoned off an area and then the VJ and the MUP were operating inside it
14 systematically to completely clear the area of KLA. And by implication,
15 displacing the Albanian population who happened to live there who
16 obviously were suspected of giving assistance to the -- to the KLA or
17 possible being KLA by night and farmers by day, which was quite possible.
18 Q. Now, in this same document - and this is paragraph 3 - refers to:
19 "The behaviour of the VJ/MUP is also encouraging the civilian
20 Serb population to participate in operations against civilian Albanians
21 and against us."
22 Could you provide more information as to what exactly was
23 happening that led to this comment in the report.
24 A. I think that's all I have on this particular piece because I
25 cannot remember getting specific chapter and verse that armed civilians
1 were doing anything at a particular place at a particular time, but this
2 officer in charge of Regional Centre 2 was a very experienced person who
3 had been in post for a large number of weeks by then. And so if Windmar
4 told me something, I had no reason to doubt it.
5 Q. There is also a reference at the bottom of -- at the
6 almost-to-last paragraph to the presence of paramilitary units from
7 Serbia. I don't know if you see that.
8 A. Yes. This may have been the guys in the green camouflage
9 uniforms, but I don't know. Again, this was something which we said,
10 Right, how much do you know about it? Give us as much evidence as you
12 We were getting no clues as to what was happening from our
13 liaison meetings with the MUP and we'd rather given up, frankly, on
14 expecting reports that these sort of things were happening. But if the
15 situation in a particular area had been such that after a lot of
16 consideration the decision by the Serb authorities was that a unit would
17 come in from Serbia, would carry out an operation, and then return, the
18 way to have legitimatised this would have been to have informed us in
19 advance and this never happened. And so we saw these things but there
20 was never any attempt to tell us in advance or, indeed, to tell us after
21 the event. And all the attempts to find out from the Serb side, what
22 they were doing in this area, were met with rebuttals.
23 Q. So I take it from your answer that what is being reported here in
24 Leif Windmar's report was actually communicated up to the liaison
25 officials from both the VJ and the MUP?
1 A. Yes, it was yet another area where we said we know or we strongly
2 suspect that units from Serbia are coming into Kosovo. If this is the
3 case, you have to tell us. And it never happened.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this into evidence.
6 It is 65 ter 05335, and ask that that be received.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1009, Your Honours.
9 MS. KRAVETZ:
10 Q. Sir, I would ask you to turn now to the next tab, 16, in your
12 MS. KRAVETZ: And if we could have 65 ter 02533 up on the screen.
13 Q. This is a handwritten document dated Wednesday, 17th March, 1999.
14 I'm interested in -- well, if you first could explain what this document
15 is and I'm particularly interested in the sentence in the middle of the
16 page which says "distinct change of Belgrade attitude ..." and there are
17 two colons.
18 A. Yes, there is another page taken from one of my notebooks, and as
19 you can see it is a note of what -- the discussions that took place and
20 the instructions that were given at the 8.00 meeting on Wednesday, the
21 17th of March. At 8.00 the head of the mission routinely met with the
22 deputy heads of mission and a few others to review the previous day, work
23 out what needed to be done today, and to give the head of mission advance
24 notice of the sort of thrust that was to be briefed to him in the more
25 formal 9.00 meeting where all the heads of department would present
1 their -- their reports to him.
2 The 8.00 meeting was very much an attempt to make sure that the
3 head of mission and his deputies understood the questions that were
4 likely to be posed to them at 9.00, the areas where guidance would be
5 required, and an attempt to help the head of mission to -- to not be
6 surprised by what he was going to be asked, to give him time to reflect,
7 so that we could have a meeting at which guidance was given to the
8 mission without an unseemly spat involving other deputy heads which had
9 been known to happen. So this was trying to -- this was us trying to,
10 what I would call, get the ducks in a row if that translates.
11 Q. And as I mentioned, I'm interested in the passage which says:
12 "Distinct change of Belgrade attitude:
13 "Not reinforcing by stealth.
14 "Reinforcing overtly."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is this consistent with what --
17 A. This is my note, and I'm sure this is what I was saying to the
18 head of mission, that everything we see indicates that Belgrade
19 changed its approach, that they have given up doing things and denying
20 them, they are now doing things that are so obvious that it is impossible
21 to avoid tripping over them.
22 Reinforcing overtly and reinforcing by stealth referred to the
23 T-55s versus the T-72s, the fact that there had been a public
24 announcement that the conscripts who were due to be discharged next would
25 not be discharged but would be retained and the next class of conscripts
1 would be brought in which was obviously was going to increase the numbers
2 substantially. And the third bullet the "change to the border zone" was
3 again something which was published in the Official Gazette up in
4 Belgrade which said that the border zone, a 5-kilometre zone around the
5 border of Serbia which was known as the border security zone in which
6 different rules applied because on which its proximity to the border
7 particularly with Albania
8 10 kilometres and that we weren't going to be allowed to operate inside
9 this 10-kilometre zone.
10 Now, this was significant because some of the major routes would
11 have been affected by this doubling and several of our coordination
12 centre locations were located inside the 10-kilometre zone. So we found
13 it astonishing that this had been apparently decided which was a major
14 change to the ability of the KVM to operate without any consultation,
15 either with the OSCE in Vienna
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I seek to tender this exhibit. It is
18 02533. I ask that that be received.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1010.
21 MS. KRAVETZ:
22 Q. If we could now turn to the next tab.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is 65 ter 02542.
24 Q. And I'll just give you a moment, General, to look at that
25 document. It's a document which has your -- bears your name at the top
1 and says "chief of operations, Kosovo Verification Mission."
2 A. Yeah, I recognise it well.
3 Q. Could you tell us what this document is about.
4 A. This is the speaking notes that I used at a press conference in
5 the UK Ministry of Defence when I was called back from Kosovo to my
6 Ministry of Defence by my foreign minister to brief him first-hand on
7 what was going on and how much we knew. We evacuated -- we drove out of
8 Kosovo on the 20th of March with all of the internationals, and many of
9 the interpreters and security people who were locals were left behind.
10 And we left them their mobile phones with them. So once we had got into
11 Macedonia, we continued to contact these people on the ground and to ask
12 them what was going on, what was their impression of what was going on.
13 And obviously this was the only way we could tell of what was going on
14 because we weren't there. There were no internationals left.
15 There was a lot of wild talk in the press at the time, and I was
16 extremely keen that we did not add to the wild talk in the press by
17 giving authenticity to reports that might well be thoroughly inaccurate
18 and might well be put out simply to escalate the situation. So I told my
19 people that we should get the best information we could and we should
20 review it and we should only give credence to things that appeared to be
21 supported from more than one source.
22 Obviously if we'd been there we'd have gone up and seen whatever
23 it was or we'd have talked in person to the -- face-to-face with the
24 person we wanted to get this from, but this was the best we could do at
25 the time. But in order to only say things which I felt were plausible
1 and were supported by more than one person who was known to us, we
2 carried out a very severe culling of the stories that were coming out of
3 Kosovo. And so what I have here is the things that were absolutely as
4 positive as we can be about them, and excluding a huge number of wild
5 statements that came from people that we didn't know or were so wild as
6 to be incredible. So this was the best we could do.
7 And I have to say that I set about this because sitting in
8 Macedonia I was being rung up by all sorts of people demanding atrocity
9 stories saying, you must know that something really bad's going on, how
10 much do you know about this or that? And I said, Look, we are trying to
11 find this stuff out, and when we've got something we can tell you, we
12 will do so. But we're not going to add to the speculation.
13 Now, 12 days after coming out, I think we still had a reasonable
14 grip on people we knew and they were generally in places that they were
15 familiar with. And so we had a reasonable certainty that what we were
16 describing certainly had happened. Other bad things may have happened
17 but we weren't aware of them, but we believed that this was the absolute
18 minimum that was happening and we were able to give some credibility to
20 So we're not saying that this was all that was happening; we're
21 saying this is definitely happening. Worse stuff may be happening, but
22 we don't have credible reports of it at this stage. I then -- I spent
23 the day from about 6.00 in the morning till that evening in London. This
24 was part of a routine, daily Ministry of Defence press conference which
25 was given every day during the Kosovo crisis, and I was brought on to
1 make this statement in front of the media. Thank you.
2 Q. And can you help us. We see that the document is undated. Can
3 you help us with the date when you believe this press conference was
5 A. Well, it was at the end of March/beginning of April because I say
6 "as you know we were ordered out 12 days ago ..." we were ordered out on
7 the 19th of March and we drove out on the 20th. So if we add 12 days to
8 the 19th or the 20th, it's about the 32nd [sic] of March, I think.
9 Q. And can you tell us something about who all attended this
10 conference that you gave where you gave this information and if this
11 document was disseminated in any way?
12 A. It was given in the main hall of the UK Ministry of Defence. The
13 regular briefer who is a -- I think a two-star -- a major-general rank
14 officer gave the introduction and then handed it over to me. The BBC
15 present as were the major news networks -- the other major news networks.
16 I am pretty sure that a transcript was made available as well.
17 Q. Now, if you could very briefly turn to page 2?
18 MS. KRAVETZ: And this is on page 1 of the B/C/S, page 2 of the
20 Q. We see an account there it starts:
21 "But the overall picture is bleak going around Kosovo starting in
22 the north... "
23 And there's a mention of different localities and events. Is
24 this the information that you were telling us about that you had
25 obtained --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- from sources on the ground?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Which you later checked to verify before --
5 A. Yes. I mean, every one of these facts was given to us by at
6 least two sources known to us.
7 Q. Now if we can go to the last page of the document, last
8 paragraph, there is a paragraph starting by the word -- a sentence:
9 "Finally, we must remember that the refugees we're seeing at the
10 borders are the lucky ones, for they have escaped. We remain extremely
11 concerned at the fate of those still in Kosovo, for many of them have
12 been in the open for several days now."
13 Can you comment on that passage of these speaking notes?
14 A. Yes. We were -- the first thing is we were just starting to see
15 refugees appearing at the border of Serbia and Macedonia, and they were
16 appearing in fairly bad shape on foot, having been robbed along the way.
17 And so -- and they were in -- there was several thousand, but we knew
18 that there was several thousand of a total population in Kosovo of
19 several million. And these were the people who had got out of Kosovo,
20 and it was quite clear that if Podujevo and places like Malisevo were
21 almost deserted, then the populations of these quite large towns had gone
22 somewhere. They had gone somewhere and were in the hills somewhere. And
23 this was quite early in the year. If everybody's on foot walking 60
24 miles through the hills, this is -- this is not a hike on a Sunday
25 afternoon. This is -- this is a project where people -- a lot of people
1 could end up dying because they're out in the open without food, without
2 water, of exposure. So that was the point I was making.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I see we're at the end of the
4 session. I seek to tender this exhibit before we conclude today. This
5 is 02542.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I had to
8 pre-empt the admission of this document. First of all, this is a typed
9 document, not handwritten, and it's not dated. None of the sources cited
10 in the document cannot be verified. The witness himself said that this
11 had derived from some contacts with some people that they had used to
12 work together on the ground before.
13 Therefore, I don't think that this document fulfils the
14 conditions required for admission. However, if this has been read at the
15 briefing session in the UK or at the press conference, we would have had
16 a report from the Whitehall on that which would say that a report was
17 adopted in the Whitehall where the general took the floor and spoke.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE PARKER: We don't need to hear from you, Ms. Kravetz. We
20 will receive the document.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1011, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Principally, Mr. Djurdjic, because it is the
23 witness's own document and he verifies its conduct. To the extent it
24 reveals matters told to him rather than matters of his own knowledge,
25 that is well explained in the evidence and we will consider it
2 We must now adjourn. We resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
5 June, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.