1 Thursday, 3 December 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [No interpretation]
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE PARKER: We don't have any interpretation, Mr. Djurdjic.
10 We will have to find out what the problem is. I see I am being recorded,
11 but perhaps you can speak --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, can you hear us now?
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Somebody has now come on air, so please
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 WITNESS: VLASTIMIR DJORDJEVIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examination by Mr. Djurdjic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Djordjevic, please look at tab 66 in your
20 binder, the last two documents. We'd like to see document D007-2398,
21 which is 304 according to the 65 ter list.
22 Mr. Djordjevic, this is a decision on disciplinary proceedings
23 from the 26th of May, 1999. Can you briefly tell us what this is about.
24 What disciplinary proceedings were in question?
25 A. This is a decision which the chief of the SUP, in keeping with
1 the decree on disciplinary proceedings, the war decree shall I say, after
2 having established a breach of work duty instituted against the
3 responsible staff member. In keeping with all the principles in the war
4 decree in respect of breach of duty, disciplinary responsibility.
5 Q. What was the measure?
6 A. The measure was termination of -- termination of employment on
7 the day the disciplinary proceedings were completed on the 26th of May,
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see page number 4 of the
11 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we see before us something in connection with the
12 first document. Will you explain.
13 A. Yes, in parallel with the establishment of disciplinary
14 accountability and the pronouncement of a measure against the responsible
15 worker in disciplinary proceedings, the chief of the criminal
16 investigation service of the secretariat in Pristina in respect of the
17 same worker submitted to the district prosecutor a criminal charge, a
18 criminal report, namely, against Dragan Kovacevic and Dragan Markovic.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Having processed the information
22 and obtained some additional intelligence, the district public prosecutor
23 in Pristina was submitted in addition to the criminal report, the
24 criminal charges, a special report which explained in detail. I provided
25 proof for the criminal offence that the responsible staff member was
1 charged with.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the basic document --
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Please go slowly, Mr. Djordjevic, so that everybody will be able
8 to follow, notably the Trial Chamber.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, because for the sake of the transcript, who
12 submitted the separate report and the complaint to the prosecutor's
14 A. These documents were submitted, were filed, by the authorised
15 officials of the secretariat in Pristina, which is the secretariat which
16 has territorial and subject matter jurisdiction.
17 Q. Did you have any connection with these proceedings?
18 A. No. This is the customary proceedings once the perpetration of a
19 criminal offence has been established, and this is what we see before us.
20 It is a record on the admission of a criminal complaint; namely, on the
21 20th of May, 1999, a citizen presented himself to the crime investigation
22 department of the secretariat in Pristina and reported that someone of
23 the police staff had committed a criminal offence in respect of him.
24 After this first document, the crime investigation service then works to
25 establish who the perpetrator of the crime was and finds -- writes up
1 these documents and files them with the prosecutor's office for the
2 latter to institute proceedings.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page of this
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are lists of security-related
7 incidents and events for the 18th of May submitted by the Pristina SUP to
8 the staff, and it was later processed by the staff and forwarded to the
9 ministry, addressed to the minister, to the chief of the public and state
10 security sector, sent to the analysis administration. So this is a usual
11 summary of events and occurrences of daily incidents which would be
12 submitted to the ministry.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please take it easy. Go slowly, Mr. Djordjevic. What is this
16 A. I have before me a document of the 19th of May, which is a
17 summary of events and occurrences related to security.
18 Q. Who is the author?
19 A. The ministry's staff.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see page number 3 of
22 this page -- of this document.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under item 3, in keeping with our
24 discussion yesterday, the graver criminal offences committed, felonies
25 committed, the staff MUP informs the ministry precisely of the criminal
1 offences that have been committed by the policemen Dragan Markovic and
2 Dragan Kovacevic.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber and the Prosecutor where that is
5 exactly on this page.
6 A. That is in the Serbian version page 3.
7 Q. Yes, which part of page 3?
8 A. On the top, under the title 3, felonies committed, paragraph 1.
9 So the Secretariat of the Interior from Pristina informed the staff about
10 this crime, and the staff processed it as part of the daily occurrences
11 report and forwarded it to the Ministry of the Interior, irrespective of
12 the fact that the Pristina secretariat through regular forms of informing
13 had already informed of this incident at the duty operations centre of
14 the MUP.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document.
16 JUDGE PARKER: You mean the collection of documents? They will
17 be received.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D417.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see document D007-2394.
21 It is 303 according to the 65 ter list.
22 Q. Your number 67, Mr. Djordjevic.
23 A. This is a decision dated the 7th of June, 1999, where under the
24 chief of the secretariat in Belgrade
25 of employment to a worker in his secretariat who was responsible for
1 grave breaches of work duty whilst he had been engaged as a member of the
2 PJPs in the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija. So this is the
3 principle of the procedure whenever any breaches of work duty are
4 established within the secretariat.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I move to tender this document.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D418, Your Honours.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can we give the
10 accused new hard copies of the documents?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see Exhibit P49. Can we
14 have it brought up on the screen, please.
15 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, this is a Law on the Ranks of Members of the
16 Ministry of the Interior. Yesterday when we spoke about your career, you
17 told us that this law had been passed in 1995 and that the titles were
18 then translated into ranks. Can you tell us in brief how this law was
19 applied in practice within the MUP.
20 A. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia
21 and by his decree the president of the republic promulgated that law.
22 After that, in the Ministry of the Interior changes were made in the
23 rules on the staffing scheme, the job description schedule, and the work
24 posts were brought into accord with this legislation by introducing ranks
25 instead of the previous titles, designations of posts. This law
1 envisaged ranks corresponding to educational qualifications for
2 secondary, post-secondary, and university education, in other words.
3 Once the ranks were correlated with their work posts, there was a
4 re-vamping and new appointments were made within the ministry with each
5 staff member getting a relevant decision, each member of the force was
6 eligible to be given a rank, to be confirmed a rank in keeping with this
8 Q. Thank you. Can you now comment on Article 6 of this law.
9 A. For all authorised officials, ranks were designated except for
10 generals who in accordance with Article 6 would be conferred their ranks
11 by the president of the republic; namely, the minister could not bring
12 such a decision and decide who would be given the rank of general, but in
13 compliance with this law the authority to do so was vested in the
14 president of the republic. And the president of the republic by
15 exercising his authority according to that article would promote
16 authorised officials to the rank of general.
17 Q. And in paragraph 2?
18 A. This is a specific situation which concerns students, cadets, who
19 have completed the police academy. Upon graduation, they would also be
20 promoted by the president of the republic, i.e., he would be the one to
21 confer upon them their official ranks, which I think was one of
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see document D010-0382.
25 Q. That's your tab 69, and it's 65 ter 1464.
1 A. This is precisely the situation we discussed, the assignment of
2 generals. By his decree, the president of the republic appointed
3 generals to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
4 the personnel office issues letter of appointment specifying rank.
5 Q. When was this published in the Official Gazette and which rank
6 were you given by virtue of this decree?
7 A. 27 March 1996
8 the rank of lieutenant-colonel [as interpreted].
9 Q. Yes, the decree is dated 27 March, but when was it published in
10 the Official Gazette?
11 A. The Official Gazette was number 53/95.
12 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, at the top of the Official Gazette page you have
13 the date.
14 A. 28 March 1996
15 Q. That means it was published in the Official Gazette of the
16 Republic of Serbia
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I please tender this document.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, by this decree the accused appears
19 to be given the rank of lieutenant-general. The transcript suggests that
20 he was given the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Do I take it that line 8,
21 8, should read "lieutenant-general," not "lieutenant-colonel"?
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour. As
23 usual, you're right.
24 Q. Witness, let us repeat. Which rank did you receive?
25 A. Lieutenant-general, that's what I said.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have this
3 document admitted now.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, D010-0382 will be Exhibit D420.
6 And, Your Honours, correction for the record: The previous two
7 documents, D007-2398, which was given D417, should be Exhibit D418. And
8 D007-2394, which was given D418, should be Exhibit D419. Thank you.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have D010-0384 and the
11 65 ter is 1465.
12 Q. Your tab 70, Mr. Djordjevic.
13 A. The Official Gazette of the 10th of July, 1997, published the
14 decree of the president of the Republic of Serbia
15 generals within the Ministry of the Interior. And it was then that he
16 promoted me into lieutenant-general.
17 Q. Thank you. That's correct in B/C/S, but in e-court it's 28th
18 March 1996. That's what we have on the screen. Perhaps there was an
19 error when this was --
20 JUDGE PARKER: You're saying the correct date in Serbian as
21 appears is the 10th of July --
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] In Serbian it's all correct, the
23 10th of July, but I believe the wrong translation was uploaded.
24 JUDGE PARKER: No, the promotion of the accused is correct. He's
25 promoted to the rank of colonel-general, and that's the day after he was
1 appointed to the rank of lieutenant-general, according to the English
2 translation, so rapid advancement. But we will accept for the moment, in
3 the absence of anything else, that this actually occurred on the 10th of
4 July, 1997.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is a photocopy
6 of the Official Gazette. Perhaps the accused can read out the dates and
7 his proper rank into which he was promoted. Would that deal with the
9 Q. Mr. Djordjevic ...
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, the date on the second page of the English
12 translation shows the 6th of July, 1997. We -- I suggest, Mr. Djurdjic,
13 you proceed on the basis that this occurred in July 1997 and there's no
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We'll deal with that easily.
16 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, tell us the number of the Official Gazette and
17 the dates.
18 A. The number of the Official Gazette is 29, and the dates is 10
19 July 1997. That is when I was promoted from lieutenant-general into
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can this document now be admitted.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Exhibit D421.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have D008-6731, and the
1 65 ter number is 1425.
2 Q. Tab 71.
3 A. This is a decree of the president of Serbia, whereby he promotes
4 graduates of the police academy into second lieutenants of the police
5 force, whereafter they are appointed to their work posts. This was done
6 with every new generation of cadets, and that is how they received their
7 first rank.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 3 now -- or
9 rather, page 4. One page back in English, please.
10 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, what about this letter of the 11th November 1998
11 what is it?
12 A. The minister of the interior presents to the president of the
13 republic on the 11th of November, 1998, a draft decree and a list of
14 graduates of the academy so that the president can issue a decree on
15 their promotion.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I tender this document?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D422.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have 65 ter 4009,
21 Prosecution's 65 ter list and the Defence 65 ter list is 1127.
22 Q. Who gave proposals with reasoning concerning promotions of
24 A. The president of the republic always received them from the
25 Ministry of the Interior, and only on the basis of the minister's
1 proposal could the president issue such decrees.
2 Q. Does this document show an example?
3 A. We need to see page 2. Yes, this is one such written proposal of
4 the minister sent on the 11th of May, 1997 -- 1999, to the president.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May we tender this document,
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D423.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have D009-0789, and the
10 65 ter number is 1698.
11 Q. Tab 73. Before we move on to this document, could you tell us
12 about the security and political situation in the territory of Kosovo
13 Metohija towards the end of 1997 and in the beginning of 1998.
14 A. The security situation at that time was extremely complex because
15 the separatist forces in Kosovo and Metohija wanted to attain their goals
16 by use of arms, by armed force. And after certain events in Albania
17 1997, a certain amount -- rather, a large amount of weaponry was smuggled
18 into Kosovo and Metohija from Albania
19 distributed in end 1997 and early 1998, although there were certain
20 terrorist attacks against the police before. But in end 1997 and early
21 1998 these attacks identified and resulted in many more deaths and
22 injuries among the police. These attacks were mounted by extremist and
23 terrorist forces. Ambushes were set for the police so that -- the
24 security situation was extremely bad. The same terrorist forces were
25 extremely active in punishing their own fellow citizens who recognised
1 the Republic of Serbia
2 authorities of Serbia
3 very frequent, both of ethnic Albanians and Serbs and members of other
4 ethnic communities in the province. That was the main feature of the
5 security situation. It was very complex and involved frequent use of
6 fire-arms and heavier weapons even.
7 Q. We see a statement, a communique, of the Ministry of the Interior
8 of the 5th March 1998
10 A. Yes, at that time in the Likosane and Cirez villages areas the
11 police went on a regular mission in a Lada Niva vehicle, and on the
12 section of the road between these two villages the police -- this police
13 patrol was ambushed, on which occasion two members of the police were
14 killed from that patrol and two of them sustained grievely [as
15 interpreted] bodily injury. After that, all these units were engaged
16 from the Secretariat of the Interior in Pristina as well as members of
17 the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit from Pristina in order to rescue the
18 injured policemen and to organise the pursuit of these terrorists. So
19 the anti-terrorist unit from Pristina was also engaged in this action.
20 In these - shall I say - show-downs with the terrorists, a number of
21 terrorists lost their lives. All in all, in 1998, in January of that
22 year, that was the most serious incident and terrorist attack, which
23 attack took place in territory where the -- where there was a terrorist
24 group operating headed by Jashari. So in the year before this group had
25 executed a number of terrorist attacks and killed a number of policemen
1 in the area covered by the Kosovska Mitrovica SUP, i.e., in the Drenica
2 area. This was the most drastic example of terrorist attack and the one
3 with the gravest consequences to both the police and to the terrorists.
4 Q. Yes, Mr. Djordjevic, thank you. But repeat for the transcript,
5 please, after the attack in Likosane on the police patrol what happened?
6 A. After that attack units of the Secretariat of the Interior of
7 Pristina were engaged. So a part of their special units, the "posebne"
8 units, and a part of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit from Pristina, with
9 the objective of rescuing the injured members of the police and for
10 pursuit of the terrorists.
11 Q. Were there any victims among the policemen, and were there any
12 victims -- casualties among the terrorists?
13 A. Yes, I have already said that on that occasion four policemen
14 lost their lives, that was in the terrorist attack itself, and also while
15 they responded to it there were a number of injured policemen, wounded
16 policemen as well. And later a number of terrorists lost their lives in
17 these clashes. And I've said that that was the most serious incident at
18 the beginning of that year with grave consequences, both to the members
19 of the police and to the terrorists.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you now tell us something about the information
21 that the MUP had on the activities of the group of Adem Jashari.
22 A. The public and the State Security Services had extensive
23 intelligence and evidence of perpetrated terrorist attacks by this group
24 for a year or two back. They had precise information in terms of in
25 which particular terrorist actions this group had participated and what
1 the consequences had been affecting members of the police or citizens
2 that were also targeted by these attacks. In other words, they had very
3 good knowledge of all the criminal activities of this group.
4 Q. Did this group participate also in the terrorist attack in the
5 village of Likosane?
6 A. Yes, members of this group were precisely those who laid the
7 ambush and who liquidated the policemen.
8 Q. Thank you. What measures did the ministry undertake in
9 connection with the activities of Adem Jashari's group?
10 A. First of all, in the year before against this group, as well as
11 against other members of terrorist groups which were operating in the
12 area of Kosovo, the Ministry of the Interior would file criminal
13 complaints attaching all the evidence that they had at their disposal
14 against these terrorists. This was one line of activity, and this was
15 the regular criminal procedure line. The other thing proceeding from
16 such a complex situation and the consequences of terrorist activities,
17 the minister of the interior ordered a co-ordinated action of the public
18 and State Security Services to deprive of liberty members of this
19 terrorist group, including Jashari. To that end, the minister set up a
20 special staff for this particular mission only and designated its members
21 under the minister's decision. The leader of the staff was the chief of
22 the public -- of the state security department, at that time Jovica
23 Stanisic, and I was his deputy as at that time the chief of the public
24 security department, with members of the staff being from both the public
25 and state security departments.
1 This staff drew up a plan for the arrest, the deprivation of
2 liberty, of members of this terrorist group. That plan was compiled. We
3 had operative intelligence on the location of the terrorist group, and
4 preparations commenced in order to implement and practice the plan to
5 deprive of liberty this group. In the course of these preparations and
6 while members of the police were getting nearer the areas where the
7 terrorists were, an attack was also launched against these police
8 members; and that is when the realisation of the entire plan started on
9 the basis of the available data also that this group was retreating
10 towards buildings, facilities, in which Jashari resided.
11 Q. Thank you. Who was in charge of the operational preparation of
12 the plan?
13 A. In drawing up this plan, participated both members of the state
14 security and the public security departments because it basically
15 contained the obligation for members of the public security department to
16 cordon off the broader area of future action and thus prevent any lateral
17 attacks, outside attacks, on the engaged policemen, whilst practically
18 the actual deprivation of liberty in the buildings where Adem Jashari was
19 there in that area was to be carried out in keeping with a plan with a
20 unit of the state security department.
21 Q. Was a report filed on this action that had been carried out?
22 A. Yes. After the action had been completed, the head of the
23 staff - and on this occasion I have to underline only that the head of
24 the staff was Jovica Stanisic, but at that particular point in time he
25 was sick so that standing in for him was Dragisa Ristivojevic, his
1 deputy. So Dragisa Ristivojevic as the one in charge of the operations
2 to realise the plan informed the minister of everything, and the minister
3 informed about the action and its consequences the Government of the
4 Republic of Serbia
5 Q. Thank you. Please tell me, prior to the beginning of this action
6 were any measures taken?
7 A. Yes. The plan itself envisaged, regardless of the fact that this
8 was an extremely dangerous terrorist group and also that they had
9 information that there was also a number of -- there were also a number
10 of civilians in the area, so civilians were called by a public address
11 system, through a public address system, to leave the territory where the
12 terrorist group was in order to avoid any consequences, lest the
13 civilians come to any harm. So that a large number of civilians, the
14 majority of the civilians, who were in the area complied with that
15 warning, and it was made possible for them to move away from the broader
16 area, from the cordoned off area where the members of the police were.
17 And they left the area where activities to deprive this group of liberty
18 would later take place.
19 According to subsequent information, a number of civilians were
20 forbidden by Adem Jashari to leave the area. He used them as a human
21 shield, as a defensive shield, against a possible attack from -- against
22 a possible attack from the police. And in this action against the
23 terrorists, regrettably some civilians also came to harm.
24 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, did this group headed by Adem Jashari put up an
25 armed resistance to the police?
1 A. Yes. After the warning that had been given and after a group of
2 civilians had pulled out, this activity further unfolded with the use of
3 fire-arms by the members of the police who were engaged in the action
4 after Adem Jashari with his group had opened fire from different weapons
5 that he had available at that particular location, targeting members of
6 the police who wanted to deprive of liberty that group of terrorists.
7 There were machine-guns, sub-machine-guns, and other heavier weaponry
8 that was used in offering armed resistance to the police, whose task was
9 to deprive this group of their freedom.
10 Q. Thank you. Will you tell us whether judicial organs, after the
11 completion of this action, had implemented the procedure envisaged under
12 the law?
13 A. Yes. After the completion of this action, when the resistance of
14 the terrorists was crushed and their armed resistance to the police
15 ceased, the competent judicial organs carried out an on-site
16 investigation. And according to the order of the judicial organs, their
17 bodies were taken to the forensic service for a proper processing
18 officially; and the judicial organs were fully involved and discharged
19 all their regular obligations after the terrorist attack, or rather,
20 after this clamp-down -- crack-down on the terrorists. And also, some
21 journalists' organisations or some diplomatic representatives who at the
22 time were in Kosovo and Metohija visited the site.
23 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, what happened with the staff that you have been
24 talking about after the completion of the action?
25 A. This staff was set up for that particular terrorist action,
1 anti-terrorist action, only. We saw the composition of the staff which I
2 had set up which was functioning in Pristina at that time, and we
3 concluded that in terms of its personnel that staff had not been equipped
4 and capable of responding, taking up these most important challenges; so
5 that appreciating that fact the minister set up this ad hoc staff. After
6 the completion of the action and the filing of the report, this staff
7 ceased to exist.
8 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, who was responsible for the work of this staff?
9 A. The leader, the head of the staff, was the one who was
10 responsible for the work and operation of this staff and that was the
11 head -- chief of the state security sector -- department.
12 Q. Thank you. And who -- to whom was he answerable for his work?
13 A. To the minister of the interior.
14 Q. Thank you. We have before us this communique of the Ministry of
15 the Interior. Which service was this from, do you know, this statement?
16 A. In the minister's office there was a service, an information
17 service, that served the minister. And as they were in charge of public
18 relations and liaised with the media, they drew up this statement and
19 submitted it to the media, to television station studios, and to the
20 written media.
21 Q. Thank you. Here we see names of persons who were both deprived
22 of liberty after the action as well as those who were let go after the
23 action. Who was in charge of doing that particular segment of the work,
24 this particular -- these particular operative measures after the action?
25 A. Operative measures were taken by both members of the public and
1 state security departments after the actions in terms of establishing the
2 specific criminal liability of the persons who were deprived of liberty
3 on that occasion and the -- it was the public security department that
4 established their degree of criminal responsibility, normally also using
5 information of the state security department. This was their regular
6 work. It was to be established whether there were any elements of
7 criminal conduct in their actions and whether it required further
8 procedure in terms of filing the case with the prosecutor's office and
9 other organs or whether they should be set free.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may this document be
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D424.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have 706. P706.
16 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, here we see a dispatch of the 22nd of April,
17 1998. Colonel-General Vlastimir Djordjevic is the person who signed.
18 Can you comment?
19 A. This is a dispatch from end April 1998. The Ministry of the
20 Interior had made an evaluation of the security situation. This
21 situation was assessed as very serious. That is why certain preparations
22 were made for the units who were supposed to be engaged to be prepared;
23 and for that purpose the chief of the public security sector sent to all
24 secretariats and the MUP staff in Pristina a letter ordering that lists
25 be updated, first of all; second, pursuant to the order of the minister
1 mentioned in paragraph 1, he ordered that the entire reserve police force
2 be summoned and inspected. It was also ordered that preparations be made
3 for training and a training course organised for reserve police officers.
4 All these steps needed to be taken so that members of the police be
5 prepared for the most complex tasks.
6 Q. To whom was this sent?
7 A. To all secretariats in the area of the Republic of Serbia
8 MUP staff in Pristina.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now get P709.
11 Q. Here we see a dispatch of 29 April 1998 signed by you. What can
12 you tell us about it?
13 A. Everyone was aware of the complex security situation in Kosovo.
14 Everyone was aware that a large number of extremists and terrorists in --
15 terrorists in Kosovo were armed and prepared to put up resistance, and it
16 was to be expected that the police would also mount certain actions to
17 neutralise them. There were certain groups who wanted to take advantage
18 of these -- of this grave security situation and the unrests in order to
19 commit crimes, and there were groups who were even prepared to go to
20 Kosovo specifically to take advantage of the general situation to commit
21 crimes. And in this letter I say that these categories of perpetrators
22 should be focused on and that their incursions into Kosovo should be
24 Q. Thank you. To the best of your knowledge, in 1998 or 1999 in the
25 territory of Kosovo
1 A. Let me take 1998 first. There was not a single paramilitary unit
2 or unit of volunteers, nor were there any individuals volunteers who took
3 part in any activities mounted by the police or the army. The entire
4 complement of the police force and of the army were professionals and
5 reservists who had been prepared and trained. At that time we paid great
6 attention to this problem to prevent the arrival of any groups who would
7 be bent on crime.
8 Q. What about 1999?
9 A. I'm not aware of any volunteer unit or paramilitary unit that was
10 engaged. Everything was being done in keeping with the current
11 legislation as far as the police and the army are concerned.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have P705.
14 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we see here a dispatch signed by you. The date
15 is 29 April, 1998
16 A. In order for the ministry to keep the situation in this territory
17 under control, it had the duty to prevent the entry of undesirable
18 persons and to prevent also the smuggling of weapons or other material
19 intended for terrorist activity. In this context this is an instruction
20 to the secretariats close to the border with Kosovo and Metohija,
21 instructing them to install check-points, to inspect both passengers and
22 vehicles, to prevent the smuggling of fire-arms and other undesirable
23 materials or persons wishing to enter Kosovo. All these secretariats are
24 outside of Kosovo except for Pec, and this dispatch was sent from the
25 secretariat of Pec. And these measures were ordered because the
1 secretariat of Pec is on the border with Montenegro, and there are travel
2 routes from Montenegro
3 Kosovo, namely, an area covered by the secretariat in Pec. That's why
4 only this secretariat was told to put up two check-points on routes that
5 lead from Montenegro
6 intelligence that there is a lot of smuggling of weapons and drugs and
7 large movements of people along these routes.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have P708.
10 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, the date on this dispatch is 30th April. You
11 sent it. Can you tell us to whom and what is the topic?
12 A. This is a customary dispatch sent to all secretariats and
13 organisational units of the Ministry of the Interior. It was normally
14 sent ahead of state holidays. In this case it is the 1st of May, labour
15 day, and ahead of all holidays the police stepped-up its presence and
16 measures on the ground to prevent any terrorist acts, to enforce law and
17 order in places where large numbers of citizens would gather. And this
18 was a very peculiar time in Kosovo, and we were expecting some terrorist
19 activities to spread from Kosovo to the territory of Serbia
20 dispatch indicates that the police measures were intensified. In
21 addition to the usual measures on holidays, a special duty service was
22 ordered everywhere.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have document
25 Q. Here we see a dispatch dated 10 June from the minister of the
1 interior to the president of the republic, Mr. Milan Milutinovic.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we move to page 2.
3 Q. We see that it was also sent -- we see that a dispatch from an
4 inter-sector staff is attached, inter-departmental staff. Can you tell
5 us about this staff and the situation prevailing in Kosovo and Metohija
6 at the time.
7 A. The security situation continued to become more and more
8 complicated, illegal import of weapons from Albania continued, and a new
9 form of terrorist activity appeared, namely, the blocking of roads,
10 important thoroughfares in Kosovo and Metohija. At this time, sometime
11 in May, the road from Pec to Djakovica via Decani was blocked. At that
12 time the regular police used this road and turned off towards a village
13 near Streoc on a regular assignment, when a terrorist attack happened
14 killing the commander of the police station in Pec. The police helped --
15 other police officers helped this unit that was on mission. The whole
16 unit was pulled out, including the assistant commander who was killed.
17 And on that occasion the terrorists cut off the Pec-Decani road, and the
18 road could no longer be used by anyone. That was a very important road;
19 it still is. It's not far from the border with Albania, and that was the
20 territory through which arms were smuggled. That road was completely cut
21 off for a number of days. There was no traffic.
22 The minister created an inter-departmental staff, appointing the
23 chief of state security as head of the staff - at that time that was
24 Jovica Stanisic, I was his deputy - and this inter-departmental staff
25 also included leaders of various public security sections. The main task
1 of this staff was to provide for unhindered traffic, open all roads. The
2 blockade lasted for several days. The terrorists had fortified the
3 territory they were holding, and we had to neutralise those
4 fortifications and enable traffic to resume. And after several days,
5 this road, Pec-Djakovica-Decani, was again opened.
6 The task of the staff and the way we went about it is we worked
7 only to re-open that road and to neutralise the points, the features,
8 from which the terrorists were controlling the road, stopping, disabling,
9 traffic. In order to ensure that unhindered traffic would continue, we
10 put up certain check-points to prevent further attacks. There were a
11 number of incidents - and we heard testimonies here. On that road
12 Pec-Djakovica -- or rather, Pec-Decani-Djakovica, the village of Prilep
13 lies. And in all these activities in 1998, 1999, this village was badly
14 affected. When we freed one section of this road, we came practically
15 halfway into this village and we put up a check-point there. Our only
16 goal was to prevent terrorists from blocking roads in the future and
17 stopping their incursions. In 1999 -- in 1998 and 1999, nine policemen
18 and many -- were killed and many more were wounded in various attacks,
19 but we did not mount any major operations against terrorists on that
20 occasion. Our only -- our main task was to re-open the road. We chose
21 the most favourable locations on the road to put up our check-points, to
22 prevent further roadblocks. We did not -- we managed to do that with the
23 main road; however, the terrorist forces were very strong in that area
24 and they continued to block byroads within the territory they controlled,
25 because all these villages were almost exclusively Albanian. At that
1 time the municipality of Decani
2 population of 70.000, including only 700 Serbs and Montenegrins. All the
3 others were ethnic Albanians, and the terrorist organisation was very
4 present in this area. At that time we had certain intelligence, that the
5 situation is deteriorating, that armed smuggling is going on, and the
6 inter-departmental staff sent this dispatch to the minister, highlighting
7 the security situation, and giving its assessment of possible future
9 As we see, the minister made this brief available to the
10 president; and after our action to deblock the road, following the
11 minister's instruction, we, or rather, the head of our staff reported to
12 the president to inform him what we had done and for that meeting --
13 ahead of that meeting the minister sent this dispatch.
14 Q. Thank you. You referred to Prilep and you said that it had been
15 frequently mentioned here. Tell me, according to what you know, were
16 there any terrorist activities undertaken targeting Prilep whilst you
17 were there?
18 A. This village was right in the middle of this arterial road which
19 passed through it. They primarily attacked the police check-points while
20 we were there, and they inflicted major injury on us affecting mostly the
21 policemen who came to harm while they were discharging their duties at
22 the check-points. Of course those terrorist attacks were responded to.
23 There were frequent exchanges of fire, but the movements of the units
24 were not towards the area where the terrorists were. They were only
25 engaged to repel attacks, to prevent them from re-taking the road.
1 Q. And do you know what resources, what means were used by the KLA
2 members in such attacks?
3 A. First they used automatic rifles, conditionally speaking light
4 infantry weapons; very often they resorted to sniping, sniper fire was
5 used; as very often they also used recoilless guns and anti-tank resource
6 and armaments. Because we were holding that check-point with armoured
7 vehicles so they would attack us with mortars, with recoilless guns, with
8 hand-launched throwers, with heavier-calibre weaponry and with high
9 destructive power.
10 Q. Thank you. Who was responsible for the work of this staff that
11 was set up to unblock the Djakovica-Pec road?
12 A. The head of the staff was Jovica Stanisic, the chief of the state
13 security department, and he was responsible for the work of the staff and
14 for the implementation of the planned tasks.
15 Q. Thank you. Who informed the minister about the work of the
17 A. The head of the staff did. This is an example of him as the
18 chief of the state security department sending a dispatch to his own
19 deputy, Dragisa Ristivojevic, who was to forward it to the minister. And
20 normally there was regular informing from the ground by telephone.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May this document be tendered?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D425.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it is
1 now time for our break.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will resume at 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
4 --- Upon commencing at 11.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, can you tell us what happened with this staff
8 after the Pec-Djakovica road was unblocked?
9 A. We, namely, the head of the staff and I myself, at a meeting with
10 President Milutinovic attended by the head and the members of the staff,
11 we pointed out to certain problems, saying that it was difficult to deal
12 with the very grave security challenges and that the security situation
13 was deteriorating. And we suggested that there should be another way
14 which should be adopted in order to organise these complex tasks and
15 duties. Let me just revert to the existence of the previous staff which
16 I had set up a year before. After the 10th of June, the personnel was to
17 be replaced of this staff, namely, the chief of the staff and the members
18 of the staff because their mandates, their terms, in the staff of a year
19 had expired. Giving some thought to the possible future leader of the
20 staff, mindful of the overall security situation, it was my opinion that
21 we should opt for a very experienced person, both in terms of positions
22 of leadership as well as experience with Kosovo and security in general.
23 So I proposed General -- Major-General Sreten Lukic to be appointed to
24 the post of chief of this staff, who at that time was the assistant
25 municipal secretary for the uniformed police. I proposed this some ten
1 days before the staff was to be set up because the replacement time was
2 drawing near. He agreed with my proposal because I told him that this
3 was a man who had completed the military academy, had been to Kosovo on a
4 number of occasions, had participated in complex activities, and had the
5 necessary experience in directing and managing units. So I proposed to
6 the minister to put him on the operations staff because he had not been
7 to Kosovo for some time before that so that he would learn the ropes, as
8 it were. So he was with us for a while in our staff, and after this
9 meeting was held at President Milutinovic's office, in view of the fact
10 that the decisions were to be issued to replace the chief and members of
11 the staff, on the 15th of June with approval from the minister I drew up
12 the decision that we have already discussed and by it I appointed Lukic
13 as head of the MUP staff. Those were personnel reinforcements in view of
14 the situation that obtained.
15 After these talks in Milutinovic's office and after we all
16 perceived that we should differently organise the entire MUP structure in
17 order to be able to act in the forthcoming difficult security
18 circumstances, the minister decided to change the concept of the ministry
19 staff. This he did by bringing together through the staff both services
20 with all their capacities in terms of police units, namely, from the
21 public security department, as well as in terms of organisational units,
22 namely, the secretariats and centres of the state security department in
23 Kosovo and Metohija.
24 That was the situation which the minister bore in mind when he
25 chose to set up and structure this staff in this way, and practically
1 thereby to revoke my previous decisions and form this ministry staff in
2 this way. This inter-departmental staff that we have been referring to
3 ceased to exist after the road had been deblocked and the relevant report
4 sent, and that was the end of that staff.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have P76 -- P760, please.
7 Q. This is your decision designating the members of the staff.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We'd like to see page 2, please.
9 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, what was the date of this decision, this
10 personnel decision that you brought?
11 A. It was the 11th of June, 1998.
12 Q. This is the decision that you referred to just a while ago?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And after that, the minister brought this decision, this other
15 decision, that you have talked about?
16 A. Yes. Several days later and after having assessed on his part
17 what the situation was like and also based on our proposals, the minister
18 decided to set up the staff, as he did set up later, by this decision of
20 Q. Thank you. I shall now like to go back to Prilep for a while and
21 the clearing of this road. Please tell me, how was this planned, how was
22 it planned, what resources, what assets would be used to combat the KLA
23 in order to achieve that unblocking of the road?
24 A. I have to say that the fortifications that the terrorists had
25 erected on the salient elevations around the road were fortified very
1 well indeed, and that practically without heavier assets that we had
2 available we would not have been in a position to deal with their
3 fortifications, i.e., to crush their resistance. In that sense, during
4 the action there was extremely selective use targeting only a few
5 critical points of army assets, namely, resources that the police did not
6 have available, and not having which it could not deal with the
7 fortifications and other structures actually hindering traffic on the
9 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, can you tell us how were the civilians treated
10 whilst this action, this -- these anti -- while anti-terrorist actions in
11 this period were being mounted?
12 A. During the execution of all actions that were mounted at that
13 time, the activities of all forces targeted terrorists exclusively.
14 Strict care was taken not to -- for the civilians not to sustain any
15 casualties during clashes with terrorists, and whenever there was the
16 possibility certain specific actions would be adjusted precisely in order
17 to avoid civilians coming to any harm.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, for the sake of the transcript, when
19 Mr. Djordjevic -- when Mr. Lukic became a member of this staff for the
20 unblocking of the road, where had he previously worked, in what
21 organisational unit?
22 A. He was the assistant head of the Secretariat of the Interior of
23 the city of Belgrade
24 responsible for the uniformed segment of the police force there.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see Exhibit D234.
2 Q. It is your number 79.
3 A. Yes. This is a dispatch which the minister of the interior sent
4 on the 18th of June, 1998
5 practically both to the public security department and to the state
6 security department and MUP staff in Pristina as well as to all internal
7 organisational unit in the public security department and the state
8 security department, to the centres of the state security department, to
9 the secretariats, the public security secretariats, all of them, and to
10 the heads of the internal organisational units at the headquarters of the
11 ministry. It -- the dispatch is actually an instruction, and it concerns
12 the treatment of and conduct of both public security department and state
13 security department representatives vis-a-vis members of the diplomatic
14 and consular obligations and representatives of all other international
15 humanitarian and other organisations in Serbia and in the FRY.
16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, how did the security situation unfold
17 thereafter, in midyear, in June? Can you explain.
18 A. We only saw the further aggravation of the security situation.
19 There were more pronounced actions by the terrorists, intensified actions
20 by the terrorists, which could be seen left, right, and centre. And at
21 that time they carried out all their major tasks which they had planned.
22 It was at that time that they actually carried them out. As I've already
23 mentioned, they blocked -- they had previously blocked the less important
24 roads, but later this was not satisfactory for them. They also started
25 to block the main roads, the arterial thoroughfares in Kosovo. Then
1 their activities also targeted important industrial facilities, which
2 they're of significance both to Kosovo and to Serbia as a whole. Namely,
3 they carried out their most complex and most dangerous actions at that
4 time. Their role was completely exposed at that time, namely, it was
5 their desire to achieve by arms what their objective was. They wanted to
6 attain their earlier political objectives in this way in that period.
7 Q. Thank you. You were referring to some main roads that had been
8 blocked. What was this about?
9 A. The principal artery leading from Pristina to Pec was blocked by
10 barricades erected at several points, the major one being from the
11 direction of Pristina near the village of Lapusnik
12 of Pec it was just outside Klina, somewhere around Dolac. They took
13 advantage of the exceptionally favourable ground features there. They
14 erected very sound fortifications, dug trenches along those roads. They
15 also installed barricades, barriers, and other obstacles, and practically
16 in that way blocked the main road leading from Pristina to Pec. Also
17 taking advantage of the favourable geographical conditions, they blocked
18 in the same way the road leading from Pristina via Stimlje to Pristina.
19 The road which led to Mitrovica was the one in the territory of Kosovo
20 and Metohija that was not blocked, and another one from Urosevac to
22 roads most often the one towards Mitrovica they launched terrorist
23 actions. But as a rule, in contrast to the roads which I referred to
24 previously, these roads were serviceable. These were the most important
25 roads. There were also some other regional roads where traffic was not
1 possible. This primarily refers to the regional Kosovska Mitrovica-Pec
2 road via Klina and Istok. There they erected barricades near Istok, and
3 thereby prevented traffic from unfolding all together on that road.
4 In this way, according to our assessment, over 50 per cent of the
5 territory was conditionally speaking under the control of the KLA.
6 Namely, public traffic was impossible in that area as was the movement of
7 all citizens in Kosovo and Metohija.
8 Q. Did such actions have repercussions on the economic life of the
9 province and of all the citizens, the functioning of political activities
10 as well?
11 A. These actions of course impacted on the entire life of the
12 province. Of course, the economy could not function properly because
13 traffic on the main roads was disabled so that if you want to go -- if
14 you wanted to go from Pec to Pristina you had to take a round-about road,
15 a much worse one; to reach Prizren you had to cross mountains. And since
16 the movement of citizens was made impossible, discontent was great among
17 the ethnic Albanians but even more among non-Albanians who were affected.
18 They were all concerned and feared for their safety, and of course they
19 had no freedom of movement.
20 Q. Were there any attacks that resulted in the capture of vital
21 economic installations?
22 A. Yes, such things happened as well. One of their actions targeted
23 the open-pit mine and thermal power-station Obilic. The terrorists first
24 intercepted a bus carrying workers to their shift and kidnapped ten of
25 them. Then they put up roadblocks and blocked the track along which ore
1 was brought to the power-station, and the power-station could not work.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have P707.
4 Q. It's your tab 80. This is a dispatch signed Vlastimir
5 Djordjevic. The date is 1st of July, 1998. What is it about and what
6 measures are proposed here?
7 A. This was sent from the public security sector on the 1st of July,
8 1998, and it was sent to the secretariats in Kosovo and Metohija and
9 secretariats close to the border with Kosovo, Vranje, Leskovac,
10 Prokuplje, Kraljevo, and Novi
11 autonomous province of Kosovo
12 posts of the border police in Kosovo and various organisational units in
13 the headquarters of the ministry. The dispatch describes the security
14 situation in the province, saying that it is deteriorating and becoming
15 even more complex, and then certain measures are proposed to the
16 secretariats on the border, behind the border, to prevent illegal import
17 of weapons and other materiel, as well as measures of co-operation with
18 and among state authorities.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have --
20 MR. STAMP: Before we go on, there's just a comment that was
21 incorporated into the question that the witness just answered. It says:
22 "This is a dispatch signed by Vlastimir Djordjevic."
23 I wonder if that's correct or if the witness could explain if he
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, who signed this dispatch?
2 A. I did not sign it myself. I think it was signed on my authority
3 by General Obrad Stevanovic, but this is a typical example of how tasks
4 were given by the minister. I must have been away on that day, so I did
5 not sign myself. But the situation was reviewed, and the minister
6 instructed that such a dispatch should be sent to units on the ground,
7 and under my name this dispatch was indeed sent.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see D106, please.
9 Q. We are looking at a decision by the minister dated 19 July 1998.
10 Can you describe to us the subject of this decision?
11 A. Let me first say that the usual document on the staffing scheme,
12 it is stipulated that all members of the police force received an
13 increased credit while they were serving in such conditions, and it was a
14 system of points. They received ten more points for service in those
15 circumstances; and this decision says that when these members are engaged
16 in special assignments such as suppression of terrorism in Kosovo and
17 Metohija, the minister decided that for each day of engagement members of
18 special units of the police - that is PJPs, the Special Anti-Terrorist
19 Unit, and the unit for special operations of the state security - should
20 receive 50 dinars.
21 Q. Thank you. Were you able as chief of the public security sector
22 to issue such a decision to reward members of the unit for special
24 A. Of course not. This could be done only by the minister, and
25 finally the minister also decided on all financial matters so that even
1 in my own public security sector I could not make such a decision. It
2 was up to the minister.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see D008-6724. The 65
4 ter number for the Defence is 1429.
5 Q. And your tab 82, Mr. Djordjevic.
6 A. This is a list of citizens who were killed in the course of
7 terrorist actions --
8 Q. Excuse me.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] For the Prosecution it's -- the 65
10 ter number is 1424.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a list of citizens killed
12 in the terrorist actions perpetrated by Albanian separatists in Kosovo
13 and Metohija between the 1st of January and 8th July 1998. This list was
14 prepared by the analytics administration of the ministry.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. We see a summary here with a total.
17 A. Yes. The first part of this report lists individually the
18 citizens who were killed by the terrorists, indicating their ethnicity
19 and their personal details as well as the locations where they were
20 liquidated. And in the summary at the end we see the total number.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic. For the record, could you tell us
22 again which service and for whom prepared this report.
23 A. The analytics service of the Ministry of the Interior for the
24 minister, for the minister's office.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I tender this document now?
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D426.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, it's pointed out to me that the
5 document is headed "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" in the English
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me see. It's a
8 mistake. It's a mistake in the translation. It should be "Internal
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May we now see document D008-6662,
12 and the 65 ter number is 1421.
13 Q. Your tab 83, Mr. Djordjevic.
14 A. The list we saw a moment ago is a list of people who were killed
15 by the terrorists, and the list we see now includes civilians abducted by
16 Albanian terrorists between the 1st of January and 7th of July, 1998.
17 They are listed individually indicating ethnicity, Serbs, Montenegrins,
18 Albanians, and others. It also includes members of the Ministry of the
19 Interior who were abducted because a number of our own members were
20 kidnapped at the time, and on page 13 of this paper there is a summary,
21 just a list of numbers, where we see that a total of 105 persons were
22 abducted at the time of this report and their fate was unknown.
23 Q. We see here also who was released and who was killed, but it says
24 that 56 persons have not been heard from since. Did you ever find out
25 what happened to these people, there were 56 of them at the time?
1 A. I don't think any of them were found alive. I'm not quite sure,
2 but I -- I'm pretty sure.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I move to tender this document
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D427.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Djordjevic, we are now in the month of July 1998. Could you
10 tell us how the situation evolved after that meeting at Milutinovic's
11 office, after the decision was passed to establish the MUP staff for the
12 suppression of terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija?
13 A. Right now we were discussing the terrorist action when the
14 thermal power-station was stopped from working. That operation finished
15 when the terrorists were pushed away from that area. A hundred officers
16 were providing security for the thermal power-station from that moment
17 on, and later on the power-station built up its own security detail. But
18 the overall situation required that roads be deblocked and operations be
19 launched to neutralise the terrorists and arrest them. To that end the
20 highest political leadership passed the requisite decisions and a plan of
21 anti-terrorist activities in Kosovo and Metohija was drawn up, and in the
22 period that followed that plan was complemented.
23 Q. Thank you. How did you find out about that plan?
24 A. In our activities up to that moment we had contacts with
25 President Milutinovic concerning all of our activities, and sometime
1 towards the end of July, the minister said that on Milutinovic's orders
2 we were to go to see the President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, to
3 discuss the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. Therefore, since the topic
4 was designated, the minister decided to invite to that meeting both the
5 chief of the public security sector and the chief of the state security
6 sector, as well as the head of the staff of the ministry in Pristina,
7 Sreten Lukic; as well as Assistant Minister, Obrad Stevanovic, who was
8 responsible for the uniformed part of the service. So that is the group
9 in which we went to see President Milosevic. Also present were the top
10 military leaders, the Chief of General Staff, the chief of military
11 security, and the commander of the Pristina Corps, as well as the
12 commander of the 3rd Army under which the Pristina Corps served. There
13 was the president of Serbia
14 Q. Who informed you of the agenda?
15 A. Slobodan Milosevic opened the meeting and informed us that the
16 Supreme Defence Council had met a few days previously, making a decision
17 to draw up a plan to fight terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija. On that
18 occasion he informed us that the army was in charge of drawing up that
19 plan, that is to say the Yugoslav Army, and he informed -- actually, the
20 commander of the Pristina Corps, General Pavkovic, informed all the
21 presidents about the plan.
22 Q. Thank you. In what way was this plan presented to you?
23 A. This plan was presented to us orally, and it contained several
24 stages, as stated by General Pavkovic. The army and the police forces
25 and the expected areas of operation to neutralise and fight terrorist
1 units was shown to us on a map.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you ever have this plan in writing in your hands?
3 A. We saw both in the map and in the texts that this plan included
4 practically all the units that the ministry had available, including the
5 PJP. The map showed the locations, but we were really surprised that
6 none of us present there had been involved in drawing up this plan.
7 Practically by being presented with the obligations that our forces had
8 really took us by surprise.
9 Q. Have you ever had the written version of this plan and the map,
10 you personally?
11 A. Never, neither me personally nor any part of the ministry or the
12 public security department had an opportunity to review the plan, either
13 in general nor the map that showed the deployment. After the meeting,
14 the plan and the map were taken away and practically we never had any
15 contact with that later.
16 Q. For the transcript, can you please repeat whether you ever had an
17 opportunity to see the written version of the plan and the map that was
18 relevant to that.
19 A. I personally never had an opportunity to review the plan, nor the
20 map that was presented at the meeting. I also know that other members of
21 the ministry who attended the meeting did not have an opportunity, either
22 then or later, to review the plan.
23 Q. Which ministry are you referring to?
24 A. The Ministry of the Interior.
25 Q. Thank you. You just told us that this plan -- actually, tell us
1 what units were envisaged to be used according to this plan?
2 A. The plan envisaged the use of army units of the Pristina Corps
3 that were deployed down there as well as PJPs, a Special Anti-Terrorist
4 Unit of the public security department and the unit for special
5 operations of the state security department.
6 Q. Thank you. What was the methodology of use of these units
7 according to what General Pavkovic told you at the meeting?
8 A. He showed us on the map the locations, the approximate locations,
9 of deployment for each unit in the territory, and based on the plan,
10 decisions were made later where and in what way each unit was going to be
12 Q. Was there any mention at the meeting who was to direct the units
13 participating in the operations in general?
14 A. There was no mention at all at the meeting about who was going to
15 be in charge of this operation. Later, the plan was adopted in the form
16 that it had been presented. The president said that the documents
17 relating to the implementation of this plan was -- were to be drawn up by
18 the Yugoslav Army and that according to these plans the Ministry of the
19 Interior units were going to operate as well as the units of the Yugoslav
20 Army. There were no personal indications as to who was going to command
21 the units. It only contained the tasks for both the state organs,
22 indicating how they should act according to the plan in fighting
23 terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Was there any mention of the designation of the commander of all
25 the units participating in these activities?
1 A. That was never mentioned. There was no personnel decisions
2 relating to the command function. These organs were given the task to
3 accomplish the main tasks of the plan, which was to fight terrorism.
4 Q. But in what way were they supposed to accomplish this task?
5 A. I already said that in order for us to be able to implement this
6 master plan, it was necessary pursuant to our respective obligations to
7 prepare separate plans for each activity.
8 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you. We are talking about this meeting,
9 so tell us only this: At this meeting was there any discussion, either
10 generally or specifically, about the implementation of the plan?
11 A. I said that the state organs were given the task and it was up to
12 the state organs to implement the plan through co-ordinated activities.
13 Q. Thank you. Based on what you told us, what else was discussed at
14 the meeting, or was that the end?
15 A. That was the main topic. I don't think there was any significant
16 discussion. There were no contentious issues. The plan as such was, so
17 to say, adopted in a way, and we proceeded with the implementation
19 Q. What happened after the meeting with the president of the Federal
20 Republic of Yugoslavia
21 A. After the meeting the minister of the interior called a meeting
22 attended by Sreten Lukic, Obrad Stevanovic, and myself. The minister, in
23 accordance with the already-assigned mission to the Ministry of the
24 Interior, wanted to have it implemented and to ensure that the Ministry
25 of the Interior could be up to the task and carry out the plan. At that
1 moment, it was indisputable that the staff - as he put it and as it had
2 been set up - would continue to work with Sreten Lukic at the helm. And
3 having in mind the importance of the forthcoming task, the importance for
4 the state, he instructed us to be there, meaning General Stevanovic as a
5 police official and myself, to be there during the execution of this task
6 of fighting terrorism so that the ministry and we personally could fulfil
7 our obligations.
8 Q. You mentioned General Lukic and what his task was. As for you
9 and General Obradovic what --
10 A. Obrad Stevanovic.
11 Q. Sorry, Obrad Stevanovic. Can you tell us what you too were
12 expected to do in Kosovo and Metohija?
13 A. At that time there was no task more important for the state but
14 for the ministry as well. Significant police forces were engaged -- or
15 rather, that was the plan, to engage significant forces for this task.
16 The minister's wish was for us to be there because given the task and the
17 seriousness thereof, we were supposed to practically represent him down
18 there and to provide overall support to the police units deployed down
19 there and also to have certain liaison with the socio-political
20 structures in Pristina and on the ground. Both General Stevanovic and I
21 were specifically tasked with being on the ground wherever the operations
22 were in progress in order to encourage members of the Ministry of the
23 Interior who were carrying out the tasks and maybe dying in the process.
24 Q. At that meeting, did the minister orally change the powers and
25 jurisdiction of the staff that had been set up?
1 A. He didn't change anything. Sreten Lukic remained in his position
2 on the head of the staff with the same composition, only he was obligated
3 to brief him about everything on a daily basis and to be on the premises
4 of the staff constantly, to be in permanent touch with the minister so
5 that the minister would be informed or maybe to receive some feedback
6 information or orders from the minister concerning our activities. Our
7 primary task given by him was to be with the people there.
8 Q. Thank you. You already told us that.
9 Can you tell us in concrete terms, what happened in the aftermath
10 of that meeting with the minister of the interior?
11 A. That was the 21st of July. In the early evening of that day or
12 maybe early morning of the next day, we went to Pristina, and we
13 continued to perform what the minister had entrusted us with doing. I
14 have to say as regards all these relationships because I didn't mention
15 that on two or one occasion I was at the head of this staff and the last
16 time it happened was in 1998, I was at the head of this staff in
17 Pristina. When I left -- I'm talking about certain relationships with
18 the army and other structures - my principal obligation when I went down
19 there to stand-in for the head of the then-head of staff, my first
20 obligation was during the take over of duties to visit the command of the
21 Pristina Corps, to get myself acquainted with the commander of the
22 Pristina Corps, and in that way establish certain rapport with him that
23 would in the future probably be necessary in some joint actions with the
24 Yugoslav Army. My next task as well as the task of all other heads of
25 the staff was to familiarise myself with the political structures
1 existing in Kosovo at the time. What I can say is that in view of the
2 prevailing political situation and the leaving of certain officials from
3 the political structures, the Government of Serbia from 1990 had its own
4 representative in Kosovo and Metohija who was answerable to the
5 Government of the Republic of Serbia
6 that because together with him, when I was at the head of the staff, I
7 went to Kosovo and I know that at the time Dusan Mihajlovic was
8 representing the Government of Serbia in Kosovo, who was at the time a
9 coalition partner of Slobodan Milosevic and his party, and he was vice
10 prime minister of the Government of Serbia.
11 The two of us went down there together. His obligation, as I
12 mentioned, was to monitor the overall situation and co-ordinate with
13 other state organs in Pristina and throughout the territory on behalf of
14 the Serbian government. After he finished his mission there, according
15 to the plan, ministers would go down there and they would do the same job
16 as the vice prime minister. If there was some extraordinary situation,
17 then the government would appoint a minister to be down there, but at all
18 times there was representatives of the government of the -- Serbia
19 Kosovo. Zoran Andjelkovic was the last representative and at the same
20 time, he was the chairman of the provisional Executive Council.
21 Our obligation was to establish contact with the representatives
22 of the Government of Serbia and the Yugoslav Army, and our obligation was
23 also to occasionally report to all the structures about what was going on
24 because these representatives of the Government of Serbia had to be
25 updated at all times about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and with
1 the obligations that we as the ministry had. This is how we acted after
2 this meeting as well and after the minister had designated myself and
3 General Obrad Stevanovic to stay in the area of Kosovo and Metohija.
4 Q. Thank you. Just tell me, what year was it that you were in
5 Kosovo -- no, that you were the head of this staff last. It is for the
7 A. It was in 1990 or 1991. I was -- we had rotating heads every six
8 months. Later it was a year's term, but the tasks and the terms of
9 reference were equal in respect of the structures in the province and in
10 the republic.
11 Q. Thank you. You have just told us that representatives of
12 political structures were there, were always present down there. Tell
13 me, at the time when you arrived there in July 1998 who was there, from
14 what political echelons?
15 A. At that meeting as well we were informed by President Milosevic
16 that representatives of the political establishment and of the state of
17 both the Republic of Serbia
18 Kosovo. These were people that we knew, and it was on that basis that we
19 later continued to mutually exchange information, to meet, in order first
20 of all to generally implement this plan; and secondly, to meet the
21 specific needs of the people in Kosovo and Metohija.
22 Q. Thank you. Will you tell me the names of the persons that you
23 co-operated with in July 1998, also in the implementation of that plan.
24 A. First of all, it was the provisional leader of the provisional
25 Executive Council of Kosovo, that was Zoran Andjelkovic; Milomir Minic
1 was also there who at the time held a high office in the Federal
2 Assembly; then the vice premier, Nikola Sainovic, was there; and a
3 businessman was also there, he was the director of Sartid, and I believe
4 for a while he was a minister of one of the governments, and the cabinets
5 changed quite frequently at that time; Dusan Matkovic was also there, and
6 that was the political echelon or people who were, according to their
7 respective lines of work, charged with monitoring the situation and
8 acting accordingly.
9 Q. During the period of the implementation of this plan, did other
10 people, other politicians, come to Kosovo and Metohija with a view to
11 rehabilitating the political situation and improving the situation in
12 Kosovo generally?
13 A. Yes, very often other representatives from other structures would
14 arrive. If the need arose in the assessment of the cabinet, also other
15 ministers would be assigned to go down there. The chief of the state
16 security department, Jovica Stanisic, would come; the assistant minister,
17 Radomir Markovic, also occasionally arrived in Kosovo; and if the
18 assessment was -- the minister's assessment was that there should be
19 other people visiting the area, they did so at his instructions, doing
20 their duties as we discharge our own.
21 Q. Thank you. Did the minister himself come?
22 A. Yes, the minister also visited, and he had meetings with us who
23 were down there, and we, as his assistants, namely, General Stevanovic
24 and I myself, also had a duty to occasionally go to Belgrade to report to
25 him, to brief him on the situation, and he had already established his
1 relationship with General Lukic in the envisaged way.
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, I can see from your previous
3 statement that the police had already conducted certain activities, not
4 just certain activities, but had definite activities in Kosovo and
5 Metohija prior to the commencement of the implementation of this plan.
6 What was the situation concerning the police units like before the plan
7 started to be implemented?
8 A. Before the plan started to be implemented, the units discharged
9 certain duties which I have already indicated --
10 Q. Just not to belabour the point, please just tell me the number of
11 units and whether they were already present there then, and we shall
12 later discuss the actual activities.
13 A. From 1990 and in fact from 1989, practically from the time of the
14 setting up of all the staffs that were there in this period, practically
15 from 1980 there were always police forces from outside, from the other
16 republics, and when only the Republic of Serbia
17 Republic of Serbia
18 secretariats of the police down there, to assist them, because
19 personnel-wise they were not adequately equipped and capable to deal with
20 the situation because the ethnic Albanians had left the service. So in
21 terms of their numbers the secretariats were undermanned, and they always
22 needed a number of policemen to be engaged from other quarters.
23 The number of policemen who were sent to help out the
24 secretariats depended on the prevailing security situation in Kosovo
25 generally speaking and in terms of the respective secretariats. So
1 sometimes more people would be sent to the secretariat where the
2 situation was more demanding, but there was always a number of policemen
3 from Serbia
4 Q. Thank you. You told me that you went to Pristina after this
5 meeting with the minister. Were the units already ready to implement
6 this plan at that time?
7 A. Some of the units were already down there, and the rest during
8 the time when we had this meeting with the minister -- actually, at that
9 time the minister instructed that we were to engage all the PJPs. And in
10 accordance with that, the police administration, following his orders,
11 took measures to dispatch the necessary number of units for engagement of
12 specific tasks there.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see Exhibit P768.
15 Q. It is number 84 for you, Mr. Djordjevic. Mr. Djordjevic, we see
16 on our screen minutes from the meeting of the MUP staff of the 22nd of
17 July, 1998. And I can see your name also featuring in the heading. Do
18 you recall this meeting; and if you do, can you tell us what was the
19 subject and how the meeting unfolded.
20 A. At this meeting with the minister, he instructed us that on the
21 next day when we were to go down there the head of the staff was to call
22 a meeting with the heads of the secretariat and with the staff, and that
23 we as his assistants were also to attend that meeting. According to
24 these minutes, and I know that the -- this is generally the case, the
25 heads of the secretariats briefly reported on the situations in their
1 respective areas. And then we briefed them, we who had been at that
2 meeting with the minister, we briefed them on their future obligations,
3 the obligations of the staff, or the obligations that they would have to
4 discharge in future activities against the terrorists. We acquainted
5 them with the fact that the general plan had been adopted, that the
6 Yugoslav Army and the police would participate in its implementation,
7 that we would be working together, that we would be discharging very
8 difficult and responsible tasks, and that that is why we were there, to
9 see to it that those tasks would indeed be successfully completed.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Djordjevic, we heard some witnesses here refer to
11 the fact that at this meeting on the 22nd of July there was word or so of
12 the existence of a Joint Command. Would you be so kind as to tell us
13 whether you heard at all about the term or knew at all about the concept
14 of a Joint Command at the time this meeting was held, which you also
16 A. At that moment we neither considered such a term nor did it exist
17 at all nor was it customary when police activities are concerned for any
18 Joint Command to exist or to be set up. We normally work with staffs.
19 This is the way -- this is the philosophy of police work, this is our
20 perception. What we did say was that we would be working together with
21 the army, that we would be jointly undertaking activities, and that it
22 was a state priority, so that all structures would have to be involved to
23 the full in that and to work synchronously. That is what we told the
24 heads of the secretariats so that at that particular time this term,
25 "Joint Command," meant nothing nor was there any reason to use it. We
1 did say that we would be working together with the army, but no one
2 referred to nor used the term "Joint Command."
3 Q. Thank you. But when was it that you first heard of the use of
4 this term, "Joint Command"?
5 A. It was later, when we had these co-ordination meetings to
6 exchange information, when we participated at meetings together with the
7 army, this is the term they used because this is something which is in
8 normal use in the army. So perhaps just by way of some inertia we also
9 used the word Joint Command, but this is a military term. It was used by
10 the army. This is a term which is alien to us. We were not members of
11 any Joint Command nor did we function as a Joint Command. This was a
12 term that was used by the army and they know how they used it and why
13 they used it. It is a term which is -- which belongs to the army.
14 Q. Thank you. You told us a while ago that at this meeting with the
15 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia no commander of the
16 forces to implement this global plan was appointed, was named. Tell me
17 now, when you arrived in Pristina, how was -- how were things organised,
18 how was control and command of the units organised, all the participating
19 units organised in order to realise the global plan?
20 A. First of all, at that meeting with President Milosevic -- at
21 President Milosevic's, we were charged with a specific task. We knew who
22 was to prepare the plans. The minister instructed us as there was no
23 other option, no other solution, but for us to liaise with the leadership
24 of the Pristina Corps who were to make the specific segments of this
25 global plan. So the minister ordered us, as was the case also generally
1 and in previous cases, for us to get in touch down there with the
2 military structures and to agree with them about how we shall go about
3 realising this global plan. And this was the only way for us to proceed.
4 But even before this meeting that we had with the heads of the SUPs, we
5 had already talked to the commander of the Pristina Corps, and we agreed
6 to -- we made a date for that evening to see -- to have a meeting that
7 evening to agree about our further course of action.
8 Q. Thank you. And was this meeting that evening indeed held; and if
9 so, who attended it?
10 A. The meeting was held on the 22nd of July, and it was attended
11 also by the political representatives who had attended the meeting at
12 Milosevic's office. From the police was the head of the staff, his
13 deputy, namely, General Obrad Stevanovic and I myself; and from the
14 Pristina Corps it was the corps commander who attended the meeting and
15 Colonel Djakovic, whom I believe I saw for the first time at that time
16 and who from then on continued to be with us; and these politicians that
17 I referred to previously were also there.
18 Q. Tell me, what was on the agenda of this meeting?
19 A. The topic discussed at the meeting was that we were to commence
20 the implementation of this global plan. In order for this general plan
21 to be realised, we had to -- it had to evolve in stages. There were
22 individual documents prepared for every singular anti-terrorist activity.
23 Then General Pavkovic, as he was the sole person who had a plan and
24 nobody else did, he informed us what our tasks would be in this first
25 stage. The obligation stemming from this operationally speaking first
1 stage were to deblock, unblock, these roads. And then he told us that in
2 accordance with the plan the first road to be lifted the blockade from
3 was the Pristina-Pec road from two directions as well as other roads.
4 That evening the ministry staff was also charged with identifying
5 its obligations and designating the units that would be used to lift the
6 blockade off the roads. Following that meeting and agreement, the next
7 day obligations at staff level as well as at corps level were discussed,
8 and after the staff had decided what units would be used on what axes,
9 one of the representatives of the staff went to the Pristina Corps
10 with -- and submitted -- practically submitted data on that to General
11 Djakovic so that General Djakovic could draw up a specific order and the
12 relevant document which he is normally to draw up in keeping with
13 military regulations. So the representative of the MUP staff actually
14 provided the terms of reference in the -- in terms of which units would
15 be engaged, and this was technically actually put together and translated
16 into a concrete plan by the general from the Pristina Corps.
17 Q. Thank you. You have told us how the general plan would be
18 elaborated in the specific segments. Tell me, after it had been
19 technically drawn up, what was the further procedure that was followed?
20 A. Well, in order to be generally able to act and it was necessary
21 to urgently act, or rather, as soon as possible, this had to be done
22 first. So after Pavkovic's briefing and hearing the obligations that
23 each of us were assigned with to that effect, notably the staff, we took
24 these measures. On the following day, as soon as the technical
25 elaboration of the plan had been completed, on the premises of the
1 staff -- or rather, in the building of the then-provincial secretariat
2 where the staff was headquartered, we organised a meeting with all
3 commanders of military units of the military units which were envisaged
4 to participate in the implementation of this first stage and the
5 commanders of all the police units that were also to be engaged. This
6 meeting was attended by all of us, that means us from the corps command,
7 the head of the MUP staff, General Obrad, and I myself.
8 At that meeting documents were prepared, they were given to the
9 commanders of military units and to the commanders of the PJPs, the
10 special police units. These documents were handed out to them as well as
11 the particular segments from the document elaborated by Colonel Djakovic,
12 and upon receiving all these documents, the commanders that were to act
13 in concert in the operations as envisaged by the plan were actually
14 familiarised with their respective assignments and thereby the meeting
15 ended. And then the commanders returned to their respective areas to
16 commence the preparations for the respective parts of the mission.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us go step by step, please. First of all, what
18 particular segments --
19 JUDGE PARKER: I'm looking at the time, Mr. Djurdjic. You seem
20 to be going down quite a long road. We will interrupt, I think, and
21 resume at 1.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Can you tell us, this representative of the staff who went to the
2 Pristina Corps command, who gave him his tasks to convey to them
3 concerning the engagement of police units in those operations?
4 A. It was the head of the staff.
5 Q. Did you ever issue such tasks?
6 A. Never.
7 Q. When that individual plan was ready -- you said the Pristina
8 Corps made sections of the plan. Where were the plans sent?
9 A. I already explained what happened with the first plans and the
10 preparation of documents for the first stage of the implementation. We
11 gathered all police and army commanders in one place, the military
12 commander received an envelope with his section, and the police commander
13 with his own. The police -- for the police commands and units, that plan
14 was final. According to the section of the plan as prepared, the
15 Pristina Corps commander went to the ground and executed his own. The
16 first time these plans were handed to them directly because we wanted
17 them to be gathered in one place and to meet one another because they
18 were about to engage in a giant activity, but in future operations, in
19 those that followed, the plans were made in the same way but they were
20 not handed -- the sections were not handed the same way. A
21 representative of the corps would pick up their section of the plan and
22 then he would familiarise individual units with the tasks concerning
23 them, and a representative of the staff took the police section of the
25 From what I could see on the ground, I saw only a coded map of
1 the area where the unit was active, and that coded map contained a
2 numeric designation of a place, let's say a village. The MUP staff had a
3 plan, had a map like that, the co-ordinating unit as well, and the
4 Pristina Corps as well. So when a commander calls in from the ground and
5 says, "I'm close to the village 33," the staff can look at the map, see
6 number 33, and then they know where the unit is. And in co-ordination
7 with that unit, they can call up the commander and say, "I am moving in
8 from direction such and such," so the military commander also knows where
9 the police unit is. The same would happen in the relations between the
10 corps and the centre, and that's the only thing I saw on the ground. I
11 don't know if the MUP staff had maybe a plan of communications in
12 addition to the map, a list of code-names so that they know which
13 commander, which unit, is using which code in radio communications.
14 Everyone had a call-sign, but the plan for police units would be the
15 section of the plan made at the Pristina Corps.
16 Q. Who was the commander of these units on the ground, police and
17 army units?
18 A. On the ground everyone commanded their own unit, thus the
19 commander of the combat group or a military unit would be their regular
20 commander. The commander of the police was the commander of the PJP or
21 the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit or the unit for special operations
22 controlled by the state security; in other words, everyone acted
23 according to their own plan under the documents sent from above.
24 Q. Which units were involved in the implementation of this overall
25 plan in the summer of 1998?
1 A. PJP units, the Special Anti-Terrorist Units from the public
2 security sector, and the unit for special operation, JSO, from the state
3 security sector.
4 Q. After all these activities to execute individual plans, to whom
5 did police unit commander report, if they reported, and how?
6 A. At any moment in time, commanders kept in touch and informed the
7 staff about the course of the operation, and if they needed any
8 additional assistance to successfully complete their mission. And after
9 completion they would also report to the staff, but I don't know whether
10 they would actually go there to report verbally or write a report.
11 Q. And did you receive reports from these commanders after
12 completion of activities?
13 A. No, no, nor were they required to report to me after finishing an
14 operation. If I was on the ground already with the commanders, they
15 would tell me about the operation, but after an operation was completed
16 nobody would report to me because reporting was done to the staff.
17 Q. Would you tell us specifically now what you did when you went to
18 Kosovo on the 21st and 22nd of July while this programme was being
20 A. I've already said, in the first few days before these operations
21 began in end July - I've already described my activities - and after
22 that, following the minister's orders, I went to the areas where the most
23 difficult situation was expected. I toured the secretariats there and
24 contacted other agencies at the level of the secretariat, and when I was
25 on the axis where operations were conducted, I was in touch with the
1 commanders, and they would tell me if they needed assistance from any
2 other agencies. If I was able to, I provided that assistance. If there
3 were any issues on the ground that required something to be done to
4 facilitate that work, I would try to do something about that. Civilians
5 there needed to be protected, therefore I contacted with both the
6 secretariats in those areas and the units in charge of these matters.
7 Q. And when you be in the field with a SUP or with a unit performing
8 an operation, did you issue any orders?
9 A. No, no, I did not issue any orders. I was not able to change the
10 orders that had been issued and backed up with documents. I was
11 sometimes able to lend assistance in other matters, but to act as a
12 commander in a particular situation, in a particular area, that I could
13 not do.
14 Q. The commanders of police and military units acting in one and the
15 same area, how would they co-operate?
16 A. Having received the sections of the plans that I've referred to,
17 every commander of one force would know with which commander of the other
18 force to co-ordinate. Before an operation they would meet and look at
19 the map together to identify each other's actions, and they would agree
20 on how to start the execution. In the course of execution, they would be
21 together or very close to one another most of the time, so they had
22 direct contact. And if direct contact was impossible, then they would
23 communicate by radio. Therefore, before operations police and army
24 commanders would be in touch because their units were executing the same
25 task. And for this to be successful, they had to be well informed minute
1 by minute of the situation on the ground and the location of their units.
2 Q. Were police unit commanders able to issue orders to army unit
3 commanders or vice versa, to the best of your knowledge?
4 A. That was first and foremost co-operation and interaction between
5 units that were commanded each by its own commander. The army knew what
6 its job was and the police also. Nobody exchanged commanders. The
7 commanders would meet before an operation to agree on everything, but no
8 police commander could issue orders to the army, nor could an army
9 commander issue orders to the police. They could only ask for assistance
10 from one another. For instance, military units could be asked to put
11 more weight on one axis than another or an army commander could ask a
12 police commander to send him a company, or a squad, or a platoon. But
13 that was a system of co-operation and co-ordination, not through the
14 system of command and control.
15 Q. Do you know if the MUP staff for fighting terrorism in Kosovo and
16 Metohija issued orders to the Pristina Corps or vice versa?
17 A. The MUP staff was never able to issue an order to military units.
18 That is precisely why co-operation with the corps command was necessary.
19 Everything that had to be taken care of at that level, the MUP staff
20 would settle with the corps command, and the corps command would issue
21 orders accordingly to its units. In the same way, the Pristina Corps, if
22 it had any requests, could address the staff, discuss with them, and
23 everyone was able to assist or meet the other's requests within a system
24 of co-operation. But nothing happened because one force issued orders to
25 another. Our task was to achieve maximum co-operation in each operation,
1 and it was in that spirit that tasks were issued and implemented.
2 Q. As assistant minister and chief of the public security sector who
3 was present at the implementation of this global plan, did you issue any
4 orders to the MUP staff for fighting terrorism? Did you participate in
5 the planning, organisation, and controlling of police units in those
6 co-ordinated actions?
7 A. No, I was not able to issue them with any instructions or tasks.
8 They had already received them from the minister. That is one. And two,
9 the MUP staff had experts, qualified people who were perfectly able to
10 plan, decide how each mission would be executed, and what needed to be
11 asked from the Pristina Corps in terms of assistance in order to
12 successfully carry out the police tasks. Orders and related activities
13 and control over police units was executed exclusively through the staff.
14 Q. If I understood correctly, you were in Pristina for a long time
15 after the beginning of the implementation of the global plan. Where was
16 your base?
17 A. I had an office in the same building which housed the staff. I
18 would go back there after an operation or before an operation to use the
19 telephone to call the minister.
20 Q. Did you have any feedback on the activities of the units and the
21 developments in the area of Kosovo and Metohija related to the plan?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. What about reporting to the minister on the situation, the
24 progress of actions and security-related events, how did that go during
25 the implementation of the plan?
1 A. The head of the staff would inform the minister daily on all the
2 activities, planned activities as well, and upon completion of an
3 activity they would also discuss other issues that the head of the staff
4 thought necessary to discuss with the minister. So the head of the staff
5 informed the minister daily, and the minister, if he had any other
6 instructions to give, that was an opportunity.
7 Q. Thank you. And were you also in contact with the minister while
8 you were down there staying in Pristina?
9 A. Yes, I was, not that frequently, not every day. There was no
10 need for that, but I occasionally called him. He asked for me to call
11 him occasionally and mainly we maintained contact, and he was informed
12 about what I was doing, what the situation was like from my angle of
13 perception, and that is how I was in touch with the minister.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you on occasion go to Belgrade as well?
15 A. Yes. Over the three months that I spent down there, I went to
17 obligations that I had to discharge, either within the ministry or
18 elsewhere. After that I would return down there. There was a lot of
19 mail which needed signing, so I would take advantage of those couple of
20 days to do so, and occasionally my chef de cabinet brought all the mail
21 to me to Pristina to sign because there was a huge back-log, so I would
22 sign them there.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell me, you were the assistant minister and chief of
24 the department. How did your department function while you were in
25 Pristina during the implementation of this global plan?
1 A. The work unfolded in this way: Practically the role of the chief
2 of the department was assumed at that time by the minister. As we said
3 previously, he had weekly collegium meetings at which he issued
4 assignments to the services. He directly liaised with his assistants who
5 were in Belgrade
6 administrations who were in Belgrade
7 abreast of the overall situation in the public security department, and
8 he accordingly issued the necessary instructions to the services which
9 they carried out into practice -- carried out in practice. As far as I
10 was concerned, I could talk on the telephone, get in touch with some of
11 the different lines of work heads, and I could be briefed on what was
12 happening there; and therefore, I was informed. I did not have whilst in
13 Kosovo contact with the heads of the SUPs, which I normally liaised with
14 whilst in Belgrade
15 duty at that time, in that period, was the situation in Kosovo monitoring
16 the overall situation in Kosovo and the implementation of the global
17 counter-terrorism plan. So as far as my regular duties in Belgrade are
18 concerned, I sort of left that aside, shall I say, but as soon as I
19 returned to Belgrade
20 security department.
21 Q. Thank you. As this realisation of the plan actually lasted over
22 a lengthy period, tell me how were the units replaced, rotated,
23 replenishments, supplies of equipment and armaments, how was that done?
24 Who sent the requests? How were they accommodated during the realisation
25 of the plan?
1 A. In the staff of the Ministry of the Interior in Pristina there
2 was a man from the police administration, precisely from the department
3 dealing with special police units and the reserve force, who monitored
4 the overall situation regarding the forces necessary for the staff and
5 regarding the replacement of the existing forces by new forces or the
6 additional engagement of forces. Thus, in keeping with the assessed
7 required number of police members and police units in the staff, this --
8 the head of the staff or his assistant who was seized of these matters
9 would address the police administration with a request for replacements
10 or replenishments, or the dispatching of a new unit. Pursuant to such a
11 request, the police administration - and in keeping with the general
12 instructions from the minister for all units to be used down in
13 Kosovo - would prepare dispatches, issue orders to the Secretariats of
14 the Interior, for them to undertake the necessary preparations and to
15 dispatch to the staff in Kosovo or to the secretariats down there in
16 Kosovo, and entire unit, a part of the unit, or the necessary number of
17 policemen. So the technical aspect of the dispatching of units was dealt
18 with along the lines of the staff, the police administration.
19 Q. Thank you. While you were staying in Pristina, did you attend
20 meetings of the staff, of the staff, the core meetings and the extended
21 meetings, c-o-r-e meetings?
22 A. So I was able sometimes to attend meetings of the staff when I
23 assessed that there was some important topic that I needed to be there
24 for, I would attend the meeting; but the staff was constantly in
25 operation and constantly in session and constantly monitoring the
1 situation, and I did not attend all its meetings but just occasionally.
2 Q. Please repeat when you said -- when I asked you about attendance
3 at meetings in the staff. What was your presence there like for the sake
4 of the transcript?
5 A. I occasionally attended meetings of the staff. It was not my
6 obligation to attend them, but when so necessary or when I assessed that
7 I should be there I was there. I attended those meetings, and I took
8 part in the work of the meetings, contributing to them with some
9 proposals of mine or helping them in any way I thought I could.
10 Q. Thank you. Please be so kind as to speak slowly for the sake of
11 the interpreter and the transcript so that we don't waste any time.
12 Mr. Djordjevic, in the conducting of these anti-terrorist
13 actions, what was the behaviour of the units vis-ā-vis the civilian
15 A. I have already said that special attention was being devoted to
16 that particular issue, namely, when anti-terrorist activities were being
17 carried out, care was taken to avoid the civilian population coming to
18 any harm. And to the best of my knowledge, in 1998 this was successfully
19 managed to do. There might have been some minor incidents, but generally
20 speaking the treatment of the civilians at the hands of the police and
21 the army was correct.
22 Q. Thank you. We heard some witnesses here who talked about the use
23 of force by the police. Tell us, in what way did the police use force,
24 and was it directed at civilians, or was it not directed at them?
25 A. Our primary task was to clear the blockade of the roads. This
1 lifting of the blockade was carried out by neutralising all the
2 fortifications that had been installed, and the activities of the police
3 were directed primarily at such roads. As regards to settlements that
4 were along those roads, part of those villages were also encircled by
5 some fortifications from which resistance was offered and from which the
6 police were attacked and which had to be neutralised. In that sense the
7 police units -- and the police units acted in that sense. Later when we
8 encountered the major strongholds with most inveterate terrorists where
9 they were best organised, at entrances to these villages where they were,
10 they would be fortified along the axis of the expected arrival of the
11 police. They fortified their positions as often as not, including the
12 first houses in the villages, and there were as a rule deep trenches in
13 front of all those houses. And from that, from such positions, they
14 offered resistance to the police forces as they arrived or they attacked
15 the police forces as they were arriving. In order to crush such
16 resistance the police had to use adequate assets to neutralise such
17 fortifications. However, when afterwards the police entered such
18 villages, it would establish that in fact there had been no civilians at
19 all in those villages and that practically prior to the arrival of the
20 police or military units along the expected axis of their movement,
21 according to orders issued by someone civilians had left those villages
22 and then the terrorists could use those areas from which to offer
23 resistance to the police.
24 After entering the area, having crushed the resistance and
25 destroyed the erected barricades from where the terrorists were
1 withdrawing, as they withdrew they as a rule ended up with the civilians
2 who had been relocated previously, and it was in remote forest areas or
3 other villages. There they would reunite with the civilians, merge with
4 them, discard their arms, and afterwards the police units would encounter
5 such civilians and take adequate action in their regards.
6 Q. But tell me, were these actions that you undertook at targeting
7 the civilians from villages?
8 A. The police had available information what villages were the known
9 strongholds, what villages were the ones most often used by the
10 terrorists, and the police had the intention to and focused its
11 activities only on terrorists, never on civilians, because there was no
12 reason for that.
13 Q. Thank you. And in these places where actions were undertaken,
14 did the KLA offer any resistance? Was there any fighting between the
15 forces, the security forces of the FRY and Serbia and the KLA?
16 A. Virtually every village had its security guards and its
17 fortifications so that the -- there was fighting practically along all
18 axes where the police was focusing in its activities. There was always
19 fighting, but the fighting was always with terrorists and not civilians.
20 Q. Thank you. Who decided which level of force, which kind of
21 weapons, in other words, were to be used in the fighting that went on?
22 A. These were decisions taken by commanders on the ground, namely,
23 the principal of the Yugoslav Army in compliance with the obligations
24 stemming for it from the global plan and in agreement with the Pristina
25 Corps had the obligation to support the forces of the ministry and to use
1 the assets available to it to destroy fortifications, strongholds, and
2 barricades that the police was unable to destroy with its own resources.
3 After having destroyed them in this way or after having used its
4 resources in this way -- after the army having used its resources in this
5 way, then the police stepped in to take those area and to inspect them
6 and see whether there still were any terrorists there or not. The actual
7 intensity, the level of the use of resources, depended on the actual
8 strength of the fortifications that the units encountered, which also
9 determined the actual resources to be used to neutralise such
11 Q. Thank you. Since you were on the ground, can you tell us, can
12 you describe for us, a village household, a village estate, a village
13 household of the Albanians of the Muslim faith there.
14 A. We've heard time and again from Albanian witnesses themselves
15 what their households looked like, but a village or a village household
16 in principle, in principle are encircled by high stone or concrete or
17 concrete block walls. They are enclosed from the street side and from
18 the sides laterally, and they are very amenable to resistance being
19 offered from them, being offered such good protection by these walls from
20 any police or army forces. So these facilities were favourable for such
21 resistance and they were indeed used for such resistance to be offered to
22 army and police.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Djordjevic.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that our
25 time for today is running out or has expired in fact.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now then, Mr. Djurdjic, to resume
2 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 4th day of
5 December, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.