1 Wednesday, 24 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We'll continue with the questions this morning.
9 Ms. Kravetz.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: VUKMIR MIRCIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Ms. Kravetz: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Sir, you've told us that your first name is Vukmir. Are you
17 known by any nickname?
18 A. Vule. That is my nickname, Vule.
19 Q. Sir, do you know a man by the name of Zoran Djurisic?
20 A. Yes, Djurisic. It's a policeman from the Decani OUP.
21 Q. And what sort of job did he do at the Decani OUP?
22 A. He was a traffic policeman.
23 Q. Now, sir, I want to take you back to your testimony of yesterday.
24 You during the course of questions by my learned colleague you referred
25 to an incident in the village of Istinic
1 hand-over of weapons. Do you recall speaking about that, sir?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you said, if I remember correctly, that this incident took
4 place sometime in September of 1998?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. In relation to this incident, you said that you had -- and this
7 is at transcript page 13263 -- that you had confirmed operational
8 information that in Istinic village, Decani municipality, there were a
9 lot of refugees from Decani and other villages and that there was a great
10 concentration of civilians, women, children, the elderly there. And you
11 said that your assessment was that there were between 15- to 20.000
12 people gathered there at the time. Do you recall saying that, sir?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. And on the same page you said that the reason for the large
15 concentration of civilians in Istinic at the time was that civilians
16 wanted to avoid being caught in cross-fire between the KLA and the police
17 in the general area of the municipalities of Djakovica and Decani in the
18 village of Jablanica
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. The village of Jablanica
22 A. The Jablanica village is located in the territory of the
23 Djakovica municipality.
24 Q. And you are saying, sir, if I understand your evidence correctly,
25 that this large concentration of civilians, this 15- to 20.000 people
1 that had gathered in Istinic, were not only from Decani but they also
2 came from the municipality of Djakovica
3 village of Jablanica?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. At the time that this large number of civilians concentrated or
6 gathered there in Istinic village, the police was carrying a large scale
7 action in the general areas of Jablanica and also in the Decani
8 municipality in the area of Glodjane; correct?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And the aim of this action was to disarm and neutralise the KLA
11 in those areas?
12 A. That's also correct.
13 Q. Now, in addition to having information about there being a large
14 number of civilian in Istinic, you also had information that there was
15 KLA presence there and that there were -- they had weapons there in that
17 A. That's also correct.
18 Q. Now, you told us yesterday that in September when this large
19 group of civilians was in Istinic, General Djordjevic was in the area of
20 your OUP at the time, and you said that he had come to acquaint himself
21 with the overall situation in the field as well as the work of the
22 Ministry of the Interior and its members and whether they conducted
23 themselves properly and in a fashion prescribed by the law. Do you
24 recall saying that, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you said that you had informed him about the situation in
2 Istinic and you had proposed to tackle this problem of the fact that
3 there were so many refugees there in a peaceful manner?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. If this issue of the fact that there were weapons in Istinic
6 wasn't tackled in a peaceful manner, sir, isn't it correct that the
7 police would have proceeded to -- I see you are making signs to your --
8 are you not receiving interpretation?
9 A. Yes, I hear it now.
10 Q. I'll go back to repeat my question again.
11 Sir, you said that you had proposed to tackle the problem of the
12 fact that there were weapons there and a large number of civilians in a
13 peaceful manner. The alternative to this issue not being resolved in a
14 peaceful manner would have been for the police to go in and confront the
15 KLA and there would have been civilian casualties; correct?
16 A. Yes, of course that was so.
17 Q. And when you proposed to -- you presented this issue to General
18 Djordjevic, didn't you also tell him that if the police operation, which
19 was underway in the general area of Decani was to be carried out as
20 planned, and this village was, in fact, attacked by the police because
21 the terrorists were entrenched there, they would offer fierce resistance
22 and civilians would suffer? Didn't you also say that to him?
23 A. No, I didn't tell him that. I just told him that the estimate
24 was that the number of the population that was there was as mentioned.
25 Q. So you didn't tell him that if the police action that was planned
1 was carried out, there would be civilian casualties? You don't recall
2 telling him that?
3 A. No, I don't recall that.
4 Q. I want to show you, sir, the transcript of the testimony of
5 General Djordjevic who testified in these proceedings, and he spoke about
6 this incident, and maybe that refreshes your memory.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: If we can go to transcript page 9622, and if that
8 can be displayed on the screen. And this is the transcript of the 4th of
10 Q. Now, sir, while that is being displayed and in order not to lose
11 time I'll read the passage to you. Mr. Djordjevic was asked -- I'm
12 looking for page 9622. Mr. Djordjevic was asked:
13 "Did you have any direct experience or were you in the village of
14 Istinic at the time, if so, please tell us."
15 And he says, if I'm not wrong, this is on the 10th of December,
16 actually, so in mid-September -- 10th of September, actually
17 mid-September. Yeah, I see the passage is there.
18 "At that time we had certain intelligence that in the area there
19 were civilians, and we were discussing how to return them to their homes
20 because there were people from some other villages as well. I personally
21 wasn't present there, but I was there towards the end of September when a
22 large-scale operation was being carried out in the area from Jablanica
23 and Glodjane which were known to be strongholds of terrorists."
24 And if I scroll down it says:
25 "At the time I was in the area of the secretariats of Pec and
1 Djakovica, rather, the municipal secretariat of Decani. I'm talking
2 about the time when one of these final operations was in progress. I was
3 there with the head of the section of the interior, Mircic, who informed
4 me that he had intelligence about tens of thousands of civilians who were
5 there in Istinic and who had come from some 20-odd villages in the area.
6 These villagers found shelter there because of the operation that was
7 ongoing and probably as instructed by the terrorist organisations. He
8 told me that if all these actions were to be carried through as planned
9 and since the village of Istinic
10 the terrorists would put up fierce resistance in the area. And his
11 statement was, given that he was quite familiar with the situation there,
12 that in the clashes and neutralisations of their stronghold, the
13 result -- they might result in a large number of civilian casualties."
14 Does that refresh your recollection of the discussion you had
15 with General Djordjevic in relation to this operation?
16 A. Yes, yes, because a lot of time has passed, one cannot remember
17 everything. That was exactly what the conversation was about these
18 circumstances. I remember every sentence.
19 Q. So you did have information that a police operation was underway;
21 A. I did not have the information that the police action was
23 Q. Sir, you had information that a large-scale police operation was
24 underway in Jablanica and the general area of Decani, didn't you?
25 A. Yes, I had that information.
1 Q. And you also knew that if this action continued, the village of
2 Istinic would also be targeted since the KLA was also present there?
3 A. That was an estimate. That was what was estimated at the time
4 that it would be like that.
5 Q. Just so I understand your answer to be that, yes, you had this
6 information that it was estimated that this is how the operation would
7 continue, this village would be attacked since the KLA was there and this
8 was an operation targeting the KLA; correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Now, yesterday when we were talking about police operations in
11 your area and we went over this quite a bit towards the end of the
12 session yesterday, you insisted repeatedly that you had no information
13 about any actions that were carried out in your municipality. You, in
14 fact, said you heard shots, you heard from a distance but you did not
15 know about any actions carried out in your municipality. Do you recall
16 saying that yesterday when I was asking you questions?
17 A. I did not have firsthand information about the areas where the
18 operations were carried out and what operations these were. Because
19 there were operations underway everywhere in the field, in the entire
20 territory of the municipality, so to speak, so that was no secret. So
21 that no one would know when one heard detonations and you heard heavy
22 machine-gun fire, one could assume what was going on and in which area.
23 But nobody directly informed me about where certain operations were
24 carried out.
25 Q. But in this specific instance that we are looking at Istinic, you
1 yourself proposed to General Djordjevic that this situation of the
2 weapons in Istinic be resolved in a peaceful manner, didn't you?
3 A. Well, as the concentration of the population was so great, that
4 was the only plan we had, and we really tried to resolve it in a peaceful
5 manner because there was a large number of civilians concentrated there,
6 and there was the KLA as well. They were keeping the population there in
7 their trenches and on their barricades, so we supposed that if they were
8 to attack the police or if there was to be a conflict with the police,
9 that the consequences would be disastrous for the population.
10 Q. And you made this proposal because you knew there was an action
11 underway and that Istinic would be attacked given that KLA presence
12 was -- there were KLA presence there, no? You knew that much of what was
13 going on in Decani?
14 A. But that was not an action carried out in Decani. That's another
15 area. The action was carried out in Djakovica. So it's doubtful whether
16 the action would be carried out in Istinic or not.
17 Q. Sir, earlier I asked you whether this large-scale police action
18 was also being carried out in the general area of Decani and Glodjani,
19 and you said yes. Are you now telling me that there was no action being
20 carried out in Decani?
21 A. It was, but not in Decani itself but just in the general area of
22 Decani. It was not carried out in the village of Decani
23 action there.
24 Q. And I'm not suggesting that, sir, we are speaking about the
25 general area of Decani municipality, not the village of Decani
1 agree, sir, that you had did have information that there was this action
2 and that Istinic would be next given that the KLA was there, it was one
3 of the targets of this action by the police?
4 A. No, I'm not aware that one of the targets or one of the goals of
5 the action was that and that the action would continue in that particular
7 Q. But it is something that you expected and that is why you raised
8 this issue with General Djordjevic when he came to see you in Decani OUP?
9 A. I just told him what the intelligence was, nothing more.
10 Q. Sir, I just showed you earlier the transcript of the testimony of
11 General Djordjevic where he says that you advised him that if the action
12 was carried out as planned, there would be civilian casualties. Doesn't
13 that show, sir, that you knew that Istinic was a potential target of this
14 police action that was being carried out in Decani municipality?
15 A. No, I didn't know that an action was planned with Istinic being
16 its target. I just knew that in the wider area of Jablanica and other
17 places within Djakovica municipality there were actions underway. You
18 could hear the shots. You could hear the combat activity that was
19 underway. But I wasn't aware of any plan. Probably there was a plan.
20 That was necessary in order for the action to be taken out, but I wasn't
21 aware that an action was planned for the village of Istinic
22 said that there was a possibility for an action there and that there was
23 a potential of large number of victims, casualties being inflicted.
24 Q. Earlier when I showed you the testimony of General Djordjevic,
25 you said that you remember that conversation, that it was like that in
1 every word; do you recall saying that, sir?
2 A. Yes, but I never said that an action was imminent. I said if
3 there was an action, I never said that I knew about any action.
4 Q. So you are saying you knew that there was a police action in
5 Djakovica municipality and in the wider area of Jablanica and you could
6 hear the shots from Decani town, that this was going on in Djakovica
8 A. Yes. And from the area of Glodjani.
9 Q. And Glodjani is in which municipality?
10 A. That is within the municipality of Decani
11 Jablanica, so it's bordering the area of the municipality of Jablanica
12 Q. Okay. So you had information that in these two general areas
13 there were police actions. Now, you've told us that you propose to
14 tackle this problem in a peaceful manner. Where did this discussion take
15 place with General Djordjevic, this discussion about the Istinic
17 A. I did not have information about actions in the area of Jablanica
18 and Glodjani. And could you please repeat your question concerning
19 General Djordjevic.
20 Q. Sir, we seem to either be having a translation issue here or we
21 are misunderstanding each other. I'm putting to you that you you knew
22 that there was a general police action in the wider area of Jablanica in
23 Djakovica municipality and in the general area of Glodjani in the Decani
24 municipality? Is that correct, that you knew that was going on?
25 A. I didn't know about that, and I'm not sure what is your
1 foundation for this claim.
2 Q. My foundation is --
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Someone keeps turning off my headphone, I would
4 request I don't know why that's happening, if that could stop because I
5 lose the interpretation every time that happens.
6 Q. Sir, my foundation is my answer to -- your answer to my question
7 earlier when I asked you whether there was a police action going on
8 underway in Jablanica and Glodjani and you said, yes, that is my
9 foundation. I asked you at the time that this large number of civilians
10 concentrated and gathered there in Istinic village, the police was
11 carrying out a large-scale action in the general area of Jablanica also
12 in the Djakovica area, and in Glodjani, correct, and you said that is
13 right; do you recall giving that answer just this morning?
14 A. Yes, I heard about this, but I wasn't informed by anybody, and I
15 had no plan. I never participated in drafting of any plan. I simply
16 heard detonations, I heard that combat activities were underway.
17 Q. Sir, I'm not putting to you that you participated in the drafting
18 of a plan, I'm just trying to ascertain your knowledge about what was
19 going on in the municipality, that is all that I'm trying to establish
20 here, and your knowledge. I'm speaking about your specific knowledge
21 about the fact that there was this large-scale operation going on.
22 A. I didn't know about that. It was only the staff and the
23 secretariat in that region that knew about this. I didn't know about
24 this. I could only assume on the basis of the direction from which I
25 could hear shots being fired and detonations, so I could assume there was
1 an action going on.
2 Q. We seem to be going in circles, sir, with this topic really.
3 Earlier today I asked you about this and you said that that was correct,
4 this action was going on, and when I asked you whether the aim was to
5 neutralise and disarm the KLA, you said that was right. And now you are
6 saying you did not know about that?
7 A. I never said I knew about it. I said I heard about this. I said
8 it was underway on the basis of my assumption because I knew this area
9 very well, and I could recognise the directions from which the
10 detonations could be heard, so I could immediately assume where the
11 combat was ongoing.
12 Q. Okay. Let's move on from this. And so you proposed to General
13 Djordjevic that the issue of the disarming of Istinic be carried out in a
14 peaceful manner, that is, without police intervention in order for there
15 not to be civilian casualties; correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And I had asked earlier whether -- where the discussion with
18 General Djordjevic had taken place?
19 A. That was sometime in the course of 1998, whether it was in
20 September, this is as much as I can recall.
21 Q. My question was at line 17 - I see it's been incorrectly
22 transcribed - was where the discussion with General Djordjevic has taken
23 place. Was this at the premises of your OUP, or was -- did this
24 discussion take place somewhere else?
25 A. This was in the office of the OUP.
1 Q. And that would have been in Decani town?
2 A. Yes, because the OUP seat was in the town of Decani.
3 Q. You said that when the discussion took place, also present there
4 was the municipal president, and I believe you said his name was Milivoj
5 Djurkovic; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And you told us that General Djordjevic agreed with your proposal
8 and that you followed it up?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. You also indicated yesterday that a person with some standing in
11 the community, I believe you said his name was Elis Bajlaj [phoen] was
12 sent to Istinic to negotiate this hand-over of weapons -- peaceful
13 hand-over of weapons?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And while these negotiations were ongoing there was no police
16 action against Istinic, correct, during the time that this person was
17 there negotiating with the villagers? The police did not intervene?
18 A. No, the police did not interfere. Obviously if there was any
19 action underway, we could not have negotiated.
20 Q. And later this person came back and returned and told you that
21 the KLA had agreed to voluntarily hand over weapons and they withdrew
22 from the village?
23 A. He came back, as I said, and informed us that an agreement had
24 been made with all the respected renowned villagers of Albanian
25 nationality from all the villages in the area, so also in respect of the
1 population that came there from the surrounding villages. They agreed
2 that they would hand over the weapons and we could implement our
4 Q. And you've told us, and we don't need to go into the details
5 again, that this, in fact, was done, that there was a voluntarily -- the
6 weapons were voluntarily handed over and that you, General Djordjevic,
7 and also Zoran Andjelkovic later went to the village; correct?
8 A. Yes. We went to the village. There was also Milivoj Djurkovic,
9 the municipal president.
10 Q. And [Microphone not activated] ... of this agreement that was
11 reached, the police operation that was expected to be launched or carried
12 out against Istinic did not happen? Following this hand-over, there was
13 no police action against Istinic?
14 A. As far as I know, there wasn't any police action in Istinic.
15 Q. Okay. So the police action, in fact, ended there with that
17 A. I'm not sure what you mean. There was never any police action in
19 Q. Okay. Thank you for that, sir.
20 Sir, I want to move on to a different topic, and we are going to
21 move on now to 1999. You were asked whether in 1999 ethnic Albanians,
22 Serbs, and Montenegrins left the territory of Decani
23 this is at transcript page 13289 and continues on the next page, that:
24 "Yes, that's a well known fact that both the Serbs and
25 Montenegrins and ethnic Albanians would leave the territory of Decani
1 the municipality of Decani
2 worried about the fate of their families. Serbs mostly left in the
3 direction of Serbia
4 the direction of Montenegro
5 Do you recall saying that, sir?
6 A. Yes, I recall that.
7 Q. You were also asked, and this is on page 13290:
8 "... did you see refugees from other areas in Kosovo and Metohija
9 who were possibly passing through the territory of Decani
10 "Yes, we can say that from Pec through Istok and Klina these areas are
11 connected by a road leading to Djakovica, and I was in a position to see
12 long convoys of people, Albanians."
13 Do you recall giving that answer, sir?
14 A. Yes, I do recall saying that, and that's correct.
15 Q. Do you remember approximately when you began seeing this large
16 convoys of Albanian going through Decani municipality from the areas of
17 Pec and Istok, Klina that you've mentioned?
18 A. I can't recall that precisely, which month it was. Probably it
19 was at the beginning of the NATO bombing campaign, so after the 24th of
20 March and further on.
21 Q. And did you see these large convoys of refugees from the
22 beginning of the NATO bombing throughout the next month, or was there a
23 period when this flow was more intense, if you recall?
24 A. You see, we can't say that there were long convoys all the time,
25 but from time to time you could see some convoys. I can't say that they
1 were endless, but occasionally, you could see some convoys somewhere.
2 Sometimes they were shorter, sometimes they were longer.
3 Q. And when you speak about long convoys, just so we have a better
4 idea, approximately how large were these convoys are we talking about?
5 Hundreds of people, thousands of people? How many people would you see
6 in these convoys that were going through Decani municipality?
7 A. I can't talk about the number of people. They were all driving
8 their cars or tractors, so we could say approximately 100 people.
9 Q. So you would see groups of 100 people going through your
10 municipality, and they would be heading in which direction?
11 A. They went in the direction of Djakovica.
12 Q. And was this something that you personally observed while you
13 were out on the road in Decani municipality, these convoys of people?
14 A. Yes. I saw them personally. I even spoke to them. I asked why
15 they moved out, where from, and where they were heading, and they would
16 answer that because of the new security situation, because of the
17 propaganda that was being spread by the KLA and because of the orders
18 that they also had, they had to leave their villages and they were told
19 that they couldn't be protected anymore from the Serbian forces and that
20 they couldn't guarantee for their lives anymore. So this was already
21 said. They were also informed that they could find themselves in a
22 cross-fire between the KLA and NATO bombing because NATO continuously
23 bombed the area of Decani.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
25 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for
1 interrupting my learned colleague. I just want to make sure that we have
2 something in the transcript. In line 16 we have something that the
3 witness never said in Serbian, so could we please clarify this so that
4 where the orders are mentioned, the orders that I had, so this is
5 something that he never actually said in Serbian, so I just want to
6 clarify this.
7 JUDGE PARKER: You notice the position, Ms. Kravetz?
8 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes, I believe the passage in question is the one
9 that said they couldn't be protected anymore from Serbian forces and they
10 couldn't guarantee for their lives anymore. I presume that's the passage
11 in question.
12 JUDGE PARKER: No.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: I don't see -- oh, because of the orders that I
14 also had.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 MS. KRAVETZ:
17 Q. Sir, just to go back to your answer and to clarify it. You said,
18 when we were talking about this convoys of people, you said they would
19 answer that because of the new security situation, because of the
20 propaganda that was being spread by the KLA, and because of the orders
21 that I also had they had to leave their villages; is that what you meant
22 to say, sir?
23 A. No, no, I never mentioned orders that I had. This is not in
24 conformity with the rest of my answer.
25 Q. Now, you've told us that you -- well, just to clarify that
1 answer, what did you mean to say? You didn't say orders that I had. Did
2 you mean to say something else?
3 A. I don't know which orders. I went out voluntarily. People were
4 passing by, I wanted to know, wanted to see why they were leaving, what
5 was going on, why were there columns there passing by. I spoke Albanian
6 with them. My Albanian is as good as my Serbian, and there was no
7 mention of any orders that I had.
8 Q. Okay. I think the issue has been clarified. So you told us that
9 from the beginning or commencement of the NATO bombing campaign you began
10 seeing this convoys of refugees passing through Decani municipality. Is
11 this about the same time when you began seeing people in Decani
12 municipality leave?
13 A. That was happening in several instances. It wasn't just one day.
14 You know how long the air campaign lasted. So people were not all
15 deciding to leave on the same day. It happened throughout the air
16 campaign. People were making their own assessments as to their safety,
17 whether they were safe or not safe. So in several instances throughout
18 those months, they were leaving the area, Serbs, Montenegrins and
20 Q. Sir --
21 A. So we can't say --
22 Q. My question was a different one. You had indicated that from the
23 beginning of the NATO bombing campaign you began seeing refugees or
24 persons of Albanian ethnicity from other municipalities, and you've
25 mentioned Pec as one of them crossing Decani municipality and heading to
1 Djakovica. What I'm asking, and this is in relation to your answer where
2 you said that it was a well known fact that Albanians and persons of
3 other nationalities were leaving Decani, what I'm asking is whether you
4 began seeing persons, the residents of Decani municipality leaving as
5 well once the NATO bombing campaign began? Is that when you started
6 noticing this happening in your own municipality?
7 A. Also then and perhaps even prior to that. Some families left the
8 area before NATO started its air campaign. They left because of the
9 activities of Albanian terrorists. And then later on, after the NATO
10 campaign began they started leaving in greater numbers.
11 Q. So you are saying that once the NATO bombing campaign began, the
12 inhabitants of your municipality, Decani municipality, began leaving in
13 greater numbers; correct?
14 A. Yes, but even before NATO bombing due to terrorist attacks and
15 due to the fear they had for their families, they were leaving the
16 municipality of Decani. Among them some were Albanians and some were
17 Serbs. There were also some Albanians who were afraid of the terrorists.
18 Q. And wouldn't you say, sir, based on your own observations on the
19 ground that in the weeks immediately following the NATO bombing, that is
20 the end of March, early April, do you see a larger number of persons
21 leaving Decani municipality? You've told us that they left throughout
22 the bombing campaign, but in this period did you see an increased number,
23 a larger number of refugees leaving the municipality?
24 A. Well, I wouldn't say that an increased number was leaving. A lot
25 of people left even prior to that, so whoever thought of leaving had left
1 earlier and then there was a smaller number who remained there, and
2 eventually they left too.
3 Q. Did persons of Albanian ethnicity leave Decani town once the NATO
4 bombing began? Did you see that happening?
5 A. There were such cases, but a lot of Albanians also remained in
6 the town of Decani
7 there until KFOR arrived. They had no problem, they did not leave the
8 area, they remained in homes and apartments without any problems.
9 Nothing unpleasant happened to them. Nothing was done to them either by
10 police members or by members of the KLA.
11 Q. Sir, we've spoken about Istinic. Did you see the Albanian
12 population or members of the Albanian population leave the village of
13 Istinic once the NATO bombing campaign began? Did you observe that or
15 A. No, I did not observe that. The columns that I spoke of came
16 from the entire territory that I mentioned. I didn't notice whether
17 these people were from Istinic or from other place. This was the main
18 road leading towards Djakovica and towards the border crossing.
19 Q. You mentioned earlier that you spoke to refugees in these columns
20 and that they told you where they were from and the reasons why they were
21 leaving. Do you recall saying that?
22 A. Yes, I did talk to them. But as for them telling me where they
23 were from, I didn't really go into such details. I was interested in the
24 reason for them leaving. I wasn't interested in where they hailed from,
25 so I didn't really discuss things in detail with them. I was just
1 inquiring about the reason.
2 Q. And where is it that you had these conversations with the
3 refugees, just on the road? You would meet them and --
4 A. No, no. I talked to them. Because the MUP building is right
5 next to the road, so I talked to them right there by the road, by the
6 police station in the centre of Decani.
7 Q. So these columns of Albanian refugees that were coming from other
8 municipalities and also leaving Decani, they would pass in front of the
9 OUP building in Decani town?
10 A. Yes, yes. There was no other road. Rather, there are
11 alternative roads via villages in Decani municipality. They could have
12 used those roads to go to Djakovica municipality without using the main
13 road, and then there was also a part towards Djakovica that has a split
14 leading to Glina, so it's not like this was the only road they could have
16 Q. Yes, I understand that. So now you said you've spoken to the
17 refugees that were passing in front of the OUP building and you have
18 given, during your testimony, you've summarised the reasons that were
19 given to you and your conversations as to why they were leaving the
20 municipality. And I believe that one of the reasons that you gave
21 yesterday and you've also repeated it today was because the NATO bombing
22 was underway; correct? That was one of the reasons that were given to
24 A. That was one of the reasons, and another important reason was
25 that the members of the KLA --
1 Q. Sir, we are going to go through the reasons, I just wanted to
2 confirm that that was one of the reasons you had given yesterday as to
3 why the population was leaving. Another reason you gave, and I believe
4 that that is where you were going to as well, was that they were afraid
5 for their lives and they were afraid for their families because of the
6 war operations that were going on between the KLA and the MUP and they
7 did not want to find themselves between these forces and under fire.
8 That's at transcript page 13290. Do you recall indicating that that was
9 another one of the reasons why they told you they were leaving?
10 A. I mentioned that several times already. Flyers were distributed
11 in Albanian where the KLA was warning them that they needed to leave the
12 area because they couldn't protect them, and they were to leave the area
13 in order to make it seem that there was a humanitarian catastrophe.
14 Q. Yes. And the third reason I was going to ... [Microphone not
15 activated] ... mention that I believe you've already referred to, was
16 that they had mentioned that the reason -- another reason was that the
17 KLA was exercising pressure against them in order to create convoys and
18 to produce some kind of humanitarian catastrophe, and that's what you
19 were mentioning earlier, that was another reason given to you?
20 A. I didn't understand your question.
21 Q. I was just putting your testimony to you of whether that was
22 another reason that you gave that the refugees had told you of why they
23 were leaving, that the KLA was exercising pressure against them?
24 A. Reasons for what? I have mentioned already that they were
25 worried for their own safety, the safety of their families. They were
1 worried about NATO bombing. They didn't want to be caught in cross-fire.
2 They didn't want to die and lose their lives. These were all the reasons
3 that I've mentioned a number of times in all of my statements in
5 Q. Now, if we turn to the first reason that we were discussing about
6 NATO activity, you told us that Decani municipality was, in fact, bombed
7 quite heavily; was that your evidence? And that created fear?
8 A. Yes. Since it has a strategically important position near the
9 border with Albania
10 to the border and then the area within Decani itself where they bombed
11 army members in their positions, police members. They also dropped
12 cluster bombs in the vicinity of the Decani monastery, which is a very
13 significant religious site that outraged Serbs and Montenegrins. They
14 were outraged that even sacred sites in Kosovo were not protected. In
15 addition, they also bombed factories and all vital facilities, bridges
16 and so on. And as far as I know, they also bombed a column of civilians,
17 Albanians, in the territory of Djakovica
18 reported by the media.
19 Q. Sir, in addition to the MUP being present in Decani municipality
20 in 1998 and 1999, the VJ was also there; correct?
21 A. I had no contacts whatsoever with the Army of Yugoslavia.
22 Q. You did not know that there were VJ units in your municipality?
23 A. I knew, and I would see army units, but I had no co-operation
24 with them, no contacts, nor did we have any joint agreements or talks.
1 Q. And the brigade that had responsibility for your municipality at
2 the time, and we are speaking both in 1998 and 1999, was the 125th
3 Motorised Brigade; correct?
4 A. I don't know about that.
5 Q. So you say you saw VJ units in the municipality but you do not
6 know which brigade these units belonged to?
7 A. Well, one can see men in uniform in town, but I didn't go as far
8 as to talk with them or their officers. They had their job to do and I
9 had no contacts or co-operation with them whatsoever.
10 Q. I'm not asking if you had co-operation with them. I'm just
11 asking whether you had information of which VJ brigade had responsibility
12 for your municipality?
13 A. No, I didn't know. I had no such information which brigade, what
14 its goal was, and why it was there, just as I didn't know about their
16 Q. Okay. Sir. Very well, sir.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: I want to show you an exhibit, and this is P954.
18 And it's the war diary of the 125th Motorised Brigade.
19 Q. And I represent to you, sir, that this was the brigade which had
20 responsibility over Decani and other areas as well, and while this is
21 being brought up, sir, I'll already indicate to you that this is a
22 handwritten document and so some portions of it in the photocopied
23 Serbian version aren't as legible as in the English, so I'll be reading
24 from the English version. If we could go to -- we see that this begins
25 on the 24th of March.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could go to page 3 in the English and also
2 page 3 in the B/C/S.
3 Q. Now, sir, this is the entry for the 25th March. I would like to
4 direct your attention to paragraph 1 where it says "the enemy," which I
5 know is a bit fuzzy to read in your version. I'll read it out. It says:
6 "During the day STS opened fire at VJ Yugoslav and MUP Ministry
7 of the Interior units, air-raid warning signals were passed on via the
8 reporting and early warning systems several times. There were no air
10 Do you see that, sir? It's the first part of -- it's a bit
11 blackened out in your version.
12 A. I do.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Now, if we go to page 5 of the English and page 6
14 of the B/C/S.
15 Q. And this is the entry for the next day, 26 March. And I'll read
16 the second sentence, start on the second sentence. It says:
17 "On several occasions air-raid warnings was given but NATO forces
18 did not open fire at facilities and units in the zone of responsibility.
19 NATO [indiscernible] high altitudes. Warning was issued that they are
20 dropping infrared bombing markers and parachutes; if you come across
21 them, their energy source should be removed" it says.
22 Do you see that entry for the 26th of March? I'm just pointing
23 to the text here.
24 A. I hear what you are saying, but I can't see it here in the text.
25 Q. At the top of the text, sir, but it is, as I said, a bit hard to
1 read in the B/C/S.
2 A. Well, it's illegible. It's not clear.
3 Q. Yes, I have pointed that out, sir, in relation to the B/C/S,
4 that's why I'm reading from the English. I want to show you another
5 entry, and this is page 7 of the English and page 9 in the B/C/S, and
6 this one is also hard to read in the Serbian so I'll read out.
7 And I draw your attention, sir, to the fact that this diary for
8 the 27th of March, again indicates NATO forces did not attack facilities
9 in the zone of responsibility. I do appreciate it's difficult to read in
10 the B/C/S. And I just wanted to show you one last entry.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could go to the next page in the English.
12 And we want the bottom part of that page, and it's also the next page in
13 the B/C/S. If we could scroll down in the English.
14 Q. Now, sir, for the 28th of March again, this war diary indicates
15 NATO forces did not attack in the zone of responsibility. It is
16 difficult to read, it's the next page in the B/C/S. Now, sir, I
17 represent to you, sir, that the zone of responsibility of the 125th
18 Motorised Brigade included the municipality of Decani, and according to
19 this war diary, and I'm not going to continue going through it for the
20 entries of the last week of March, but I put to you, sir, that they
21 indicate that there were no NATO air attacks in their zone of
22 responsibility, that is including in Decani. Now, sir, this is the
23 information that the VJ, which was operating in your area had, and you
24 are telling us that the convoys that you saw leaving Decani once the NATO
25 bombing campaign began were leaving because of the NATO bombing, but, in
1 fact, this diary shows that there were no NATO attacks in your area, were
2 there, sir?
3 A. Well, I cannot discuss this report. I have no idea who wrote it
4 or how. You say that it was the army. That's the information that they
5 had. It is their diary. According to the information and the data that
6 I had, the situation was different. It was their zone of responsibility,
7 they are talking about it. I don't know what their zone of
8 responsibility was at the time. They had their own superior command and
9 their own plans that I was never aware of.
10 Q. Okay. Very well, sir, so you are saying you have no information
11 about what is recorded in this diary about the fact that there were, in
12 fact, no NATO air attacks in the zone of responsibility of the 125th,
13 including Decani, during the last week of March? You don't know about
15 A. I know that some attacks were carried out in Decani, but what the
16 army reported or wrote, I don't know about that. That's their problem.
17 Q. While we are on the topic of -- and I do want to indicate that
18 there is an air-raid recorded for the 24th of March, but it does not
19 indicate where it occurred. That's just for reference.
20 While we are on the topic of the NATO air-strikes, sir, yesterday
21 you were asked whether you had any information on some inhumane
22 measures -- if you had any information that some inhumane measures were
23 used in your territory, and you said, yes, depleted uranium was used
24 during the NATO bombing campaign, these were bombs that created huge
25 craters and were very destructive. They contained depleted uranium, and
1 this is at Transcript page 13291 and the following page. Do you recall
2 saying that, sir?
3 A. Yes, that was happening very close to where I lived, one such
4 bomb was dropped and the windows and the door were completely destroyed
5 in the building, so the bomb had fallen in the vicinity of the building.
6 Q. And how did you know, sir, that these bombs contained depleted
8 A. Well, considering the effects they produced and the depth of
9 their craters and how destructive they were and everything else, that's
10 how you could judge. Later on in 1999 and after the year 2000 there was
11 a lot of talking about that, and certain areas were marked because
12 depleted uranium had been found. It was in the media that the members of
13 KFOR and of Italian army had had various forms of sickness caused by
14 depleted uranium.
15 Q. So this is information that you obtained after the war? The fact
16 that these bombs contained depleted uranium is something that you learned
17 after the war ended?
18 A. Yes, I was no expert. I couldn't tell, but these were very
19 strong detonations and the craters were large and the bombs were very
20 destructive and so on.
21 Q. Before coming to testify here, sir, did you speak to anyone, and
22 by anyone I mean anyone with interest in this case about the issue of
23 depleted uranium?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were you aware, sir, that the issue surrounding the use of
1 depleted uranium have become a live issue in this case?
2 A. No, I was not aware of that.
3 Q. Did you know that this topic was being discussed? That other
4 witnesses have spoken about that in this case? Other witnesses from the
6 A. No, I did not sufficiently follow what Defence witnesses
7 testified about.
8 Q. Sir, I put to you that you somehow have received information that
9 this issue is, in fact, an issue that has been discussed in this case and
10 that that is why yesterday during the course of your testimony you
11 mentioned this when speaking of NATO bombing? [Microphone not
12 activated] ... you have mentioned it in order to support the Defence case
13 on this issue, haven't you, sir?
14 A. No, not so that I would support the Defence case, but it was
15 really so. It was confirmed later on that depleted uranium was indeed
17 Q. Okay. Sir, let's move to another issue that you raised during
18 your testimony yesterday, and this was the fact that the KLA was
19 exercising pressure against the refugees in order to create convoys, and
20 you said they were also distributing leaflets and they tried to spread
21 panic among the population by using misinformation, they claimed that
22 Serbian forces carrying out aggression against civilians in order to
23 place that in the international media. Do you recall saying that
24 yesterday, sir? Speaking about leaflets distributed by the KLA?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. And if we could have -- I believe you were shown one of these
2 leaflets. This is D698.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could have that up on the screen.
4 Q. And while that is being brought up, you said yesterday that
5 leaflets of this kind were thrown all around in areas of Kosovo including
6 Decani municipality and that the KLA was doing that. Do you remember
7 saying that, sir? This is at transcript page 13292.
8 A. Yes, I remember. It's correct that I said so yesterday.
9 Q. And you said you had seen this earlier, this leaflet that's being
10 displayed here?
11 A. Yes, in my area.
12 Q. Where did you see them, sir?
13 A. Well, I received them from my associates in the field and also
14 through my friends and my connections.
15 Q. Sir, isn't it correct that the MUP sometimes had the practice of
16 distributing leaflets to the population to convey information?
17 A. I don't know which leaflets you have in mind.
18 Q. For example, in 1999 weren't leaflets used by the MUP to ask
19 Kosovo Albanians to return -- who had been displaced by fighting to
20 return to their villages? Do you recall that, sir?
21 A. I do not remember that.
22 Q. Well, maybe to refresh your memory, I'll show you a document.
23 MS. KRAVETZ: Which is P483. If we could have a look at that.
24 Q. And, sir, I'll just inform you that this is diplomatic
25 correspondence from the Austrian embassy, and it's from August 1998.
1 MS. KRAVETZ: And if we could go to the second page, at the
2 bottom, in the third section.
3 Q. It's a heading entitled: "IDP return - possible assistance of
4 IC." And it says: "Text of MUP flyer in the way of its distribution not
5 the right way to encourage the return of IDPs." Do you see that, sir?
6 A. Yes, I see it.
7 Q. Does this refresh your recollection that the MUP sometimes
8 distributed leaflets to convey information to the population?
9 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I never saw anything like that, and
10 I'm not aware of that.
11 Q. Now, if we could go back to D698. This is the leaflet in
12 question. And we've seen it earlier on the screen, sir, and you've had
13 the chance to look at it, and you would agree with me that it bears the
14 stamp of the KLA but it's signed by Dr. Rugova; correct?
15 A. Yes, that's what it says at the bottom. The president of the
16 Kosovo Republic
17 Q. Now, sir, would you agree with me that propaganda is sometimes
18 used as a tool in war?
19 A. In this case, it was used and it is used.
20 Q. Now, sir, if we look at the leaflet, we see it's signed by
21 Ibrahim Rugova. In this case, we have the evidence of Dr. Rugova's
22 personal secretary, Adnan Merovci who was shown one of these leaflets,
23 and he commented on the the leaflet, and I'll want to put to you his
24 testimony, and this is at transcript page 2232. He was asked:
25 "Did you have the opportunity to see any of these pamphlets that
1 were distributed?" And he said: "I didn't see them in the act of
2 distributing them, but I saw them in the hallway before the entrance to
3 my flat. I saw such a pamphlet. I took a copy of it, and I saw it was
4 mere propaganda both in terms of its contents and the way it was
5 formulated, general layout of the pamphlet. It contained many errors,
6 and there was a discrepancy between what it said and the insignia and the
7 person who signed it. On top there was a KLA insignia and then signed
8 below it was signed by Mr. Rugova when, as you well know, Mr. Rugova led
9 the LDK and the Kosovo Liberation Army was led by other people. This
10 shows that it was a way to strike fear and panic among the population
11 because the text was full of mistakes in Albanian which show that it was
12 not done by professionals and that the goal was, as I said, to strike
13 panic among the population and to realise their aim of ethnic cleansing."
14 And then he was asked: "And at the time did Mr. Rugova have any sort of
15 contact with the KLA?" And he said: "No, he did not."
16 So, sir, Mr. Merovci, who worked with Dr. Rugova at the time,
17 told us that this was, in fact, not a leaflet that was produced by him.
18 Do you have any comments regarding his testimony?
19 A. Yes, I do. It would be normal for Ibrahim Rugova to say he did
20 not do that and that he would defend himself in that way. It would not
21 be logical for him to accept that considering the position he had as the
22 president of the Democratic Alliance of Communists, but it is not true
23 what he said, that he did not have any contacts with the KLA. It is
24 correct that he did have contacts with the KLA. There were two factions
25 in the KLA. There was Rugova's faction and there was the other one led
1 by Bujar Bukoshi. And one more thing, I wish to say that as far as I'm
2 familiar with the Albanian language, I don't think that there are any
3 errors here, and I assert that this was the KLA propaganda and that they
4 wanted to cause a humanitarian disaster and portray it, as I said
5 earlier, as a large-scale aggression on part of the Republic of Serbia
6 and its security forces. After that, they would also cause NATO bombing.
7 Q. But, sir, isn't it clear from this text that, in fact, this would
8 have been produced not by the KLA but by Serb forces because it was, in
9 fact, Serb forces who wanted Albanians to leave Kosovo, not the KLA?
10 A. Well, didn't we say earlier that propaganda is used in war time?
11 This was the propaganda used by the KLA. These were the methods that
12 they used among their own population. Why wouldn't they use such methods
13 when they even killed their own population?
14 Q. Weren't the KLA, sir, fighting to keep control of Kosovo? Isn't
15 that why they were fighting Serb forces?
16 A. The reason was for them to keep as much of the territory as
17 possible, but they also wanted to abuse their own population for their
18 own purposes, as I have said many times, so that they would bring about
19 the NATO aggression against the Republic of Serbia
20 Q. And they wanted to keep control of as much territory and that
21 included also keep the Albanian population in Kosovo; correct? It was,
22 in fact, Serb forces who were interested in having Albanians leave
24 A. No, on the contrary, the Serbian forces always always insisted
25 that the Albanian civilian population should remain in their villages and
1 in Kosovo. I'm not aware of any information that the Serbian security
2 forces ever acted in such a manner that they would abuse the Albanian
4 Q. Okay, sir.
5 MS. KRAVETZ: I see, Your Honours, it's time for the break, I'm
6 going to move on to another topic.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We'll have the first break now. We
8 will resume at 11.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Kravetz.
14 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Sir, right before we broke off we were talking about the reasons
16 for departure of the population from Decani municipality. Now, sir, in
17 this case we have heard evidence from residents of Decani who have told
18 us that the reason they left Decani municipality in March of 1999 was not
19 because of the KLA bombing, or because -- of the NATO bombing or any sort
20 of pressure from the KLA or the leaflets we've spoken about. But they
21 said that they left the municipality because they were expelled by Serb
22 forces and that is the police and the VJ. Do you know anything about
23 that, sir?
24 A. No, I do not know anything about that. And I claim that this is
25 not true.
1 Q. Sir, the evidence we have heard here is that on about the 26th of
2 March, 1999, police arrived in the village of Drenovac
3 the the population to leave and the population gathered in the village of
4 Beleg in Decani municipality. Do you know anything about that happening?
5 A. No, I have no such information.
6 Q. We have also heard that from refugees who were in Beleg during
7 the last week of March then on or about the 28th of March, 1999, Serb
8 forces arrived in large numbers and police in military vehicles to the
9 village, that there was a large number of refugees there. They separated
10 men and women, stripped them, searched them, and robbed them of their
11 valuables. Do you know anything about that, sir?
12 A. No, this is the first time I have heard this right now from you.
13 Q. And these witnesses have also told the Court that these forces,
14 in fact, stayed in the village over night, that the women were taken to a
15 separate house, and that several of them, several women and young girls
16 were raped during the night, and that the following morning the refugees
17 who were in Beleg were forced to leave the Serb forces by the police and
18 the military who were there. Do you know anything about Albanian
19 refugees being ordered to leave the village of Beleg
20 municipality, around the 29th of March?
21 A. No, I have no information about that case either.
22 Q. And, sir, we've heard also from people who were among these
23 refugees who were forced to leave Beleg that they were sent -- or they
24 ended up in the village of Istinic
25 they later were also forced to leave around the 1st of April, police
1 arrived and they were forced to leave that village and they were told to
2 head to Albania
3 expelled from the village of Istinic
4 A. No, I do not. I have no such information.
5 Q. Now, sir, we have also seen documents and evidence in this case
6 that during these days that I've been speaking about, this is the last
7 week of March, VJ and MUP were operating in the area of these villages.
8 Do you know anything about VJ/MUP actions taking place in these areas,
9 around the villages of Beleg, Istinic?
10 A. No, I'm not aware of any actions in that area at the time. At
11 that time I carried out my regular duties within the OUP Decani.
12 Q. Do you know anything about a joint MUP/VJ action in the village
13 of Kosare also in the same period?
14 A. No, I do not.
15 Q. I want to show you some documents, sir. Maybe this helps you
16 with your memory.
17 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could please first look at P957.
18 Q. And this is, sir, the war diary of an armoured battalion of the
19 125th Motorised Brigade.
20 MS. KRAVETZ: If we could have that up on the screen.
21 Q. And this war diary covers the period from 25th March, 1999, to
22 16th June, 1999
23 English and in the B/C/S. And this is the entry for the 28th of March.
24 I'll read out a passage, which is -- we need to turn the page in the
25 B/C/S, I see it's upside down. Thank you.
1 It says somewhere in the top of the page:
2 "The 1st TV" which in another -- in the earlier pages indicated
3 means tank platoon "which had gone to Decani engaged in combat in Pozare
4 village in order to evacuate the killed police officers, the platoon was
5 within distance of the Novi Sad PJP. The task was not completed, one
6 tank was hit and one soldier killed and three were seriously and slightly
8 Does this help you, sir, with your recollection of there being an
9 action in Pozare village in Decani around the 27th of March?
10 A. Even in my previous testimony I said that as regards the army,
11 their activities, their diaries, and their orders, I had nothing to do
12 with that. I know nothing about what you are just showing me.
13 Q. Well, let's look at the next page, this is page 4 in the English
14 and page 4 in the B/C/S, 29th of March. It's again a reference to this
15 same action in Pozare village, and I'll read our a portion. It says:
16 "Part of the battalion consisting of seven tanks with the first
17 infantry platoon and the 2nd Police Command Company conducted an
18 operation to evacuate a burned-out tank and police officers killed in
19 Pozare village. The operation was conducted successfully and the enemy
20 suffered losses."
21 Now, sir, we see here that this operation in Pozare village
22 involved a large number of tanks, they are speaking about seven tanks and
23 both a VJ and MUP unit. You are saying you had no information about this
24 going on?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Let's look at another page, sir. This is page 6 in the English,
2 page 6 in the B/C/S as well. This is the entry for 31st March, 1999.
3 And I'll read out the portion of this page it says:
4 "The preparation of five tanks for clearing up Istinic village
5 was ordered."
6 Do you see that on the screen, sir? Towards the middle of the
7 page. If we could zoom in, the middle of the page in the B/C/S.
8 A. It's hardly legible. Its illegible, I can't see it. One can
9 only assume what it says here.
10 Q. Sir, we've spoken quite extensively or you've spoken in your
11 testimony quite extensively about Istinic village. Do you recall
12 anything about there being five tanks from the VJ sent to carry out
13 clearing up tasks there on 31st March? Does that ring any bells that
14 that happened?
15 A. I can't recall that event or anything else related to MUP/VJ
17 Q. If we look, sir, on the same page, just scroll down towards
18 further down the bottom where it says:
19 "Pec 1st April, 1999
20 this is the following day, and it says: "Four tanks within the strengths
21 of the 2nd MTV cleared the terrain in the Istinic village sector. There
22 were no losses or wounded."
23 You don't recall this either, sir? On the 1st of April?
24 A. No, this all has to do with the army and the police and the MUP
25 and the minister were responsible for the police, and I do not know about
1 any army activities. I never co-operated with them. I wasn't informed
2 about this. I wasn't aware about this. I know nothing about this.
3 Q. Well, let's go back to the war diary that we were looking at
5 MS. KRAVETZ: This is P954. If we could have page 12 in the
6 B/C/S and page 10 in the English.
7 Q. And I put to you, sir, that this is an entry for the 28th of
8 March, 1999 which is the week that we have been speaking about. If we
9 look where it says 1200 hours on the top of the page in English.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: I was looking for page 12 in the B/C/S, I don't
11 believe that's at the right page.
12 Q. I'll read out the portion, sir:
13 "1200 hours, order sent to the commander of the brigade to
14 provide support to MUP forces for the destruction of STS in Malisevo
15 sector," and it has the number of the order there, and if we look at 1400
16 hours, 1430, it says: "PRK commander requested details in connection
17 with operations of our unit in Decani sector and a briefing on the
18 situation in the unit and in connection with the damaged tank."
19 Now, sir, this war diary of the 125th seems to be indicating that
20 this brigade was involved in joint actions with the MUP in your
21 municipality on the 29th of March. You are telling us you had no
22 information about this?
23 A. That's correct. I know nothing about this. You are mentioning
24 Malisevo here, and I don't know why you are mentioning that.
25 Q. My reference was to the second portion. I was just reading the
1 text on the screen, sir.
2 Sir, let me show you another document, and this is 65 ter 06099:
3 And this is, sir, a portion of -- and I want to go to pages -- start on
4 page 32 of the English. There's no B/C/S copy available. And this, sir,
5 is the transcript of the testimony of the commander of the 125th
6 Motorised Brigade in the Milutinovic case, and his name is Dragan
7 Zivanovic, and I just want to show you what he said in relation to these
8 events that we've been discussing, this action. I'll start reading from
9 line 17 of this page. He is asked:
10 "Did a clash occur in late March with the KLA forces in that
11 area?" And this is a reference to a clash in the village of Pozare
12 is mentioned earlier. And he says: "On the 29th of March, we lent
13 support to the MUP forces in the Pozare village area. We actually
14 dispatched three tanks over there to that area. During the fighting, a
15 tank was hit by an ambush from the rear in the Pozare village area
16 destroying one tank and one of my soldiers were killed, Private Dunic."
17 If we could turn the page. This witness is asked on the next
18 page by Judge Bonomy, this is somewhere in the top of the page:
19 "And how many troops did you engage in this?" And he says: "My
20 two combat groups numbered 350 men. We were lending support to the MUP
21 units and they had as many people as we did; therefore, a total of about
22 700 men." And Judge Bonomy asks: "How was it that you lent support to
23 them? What did you actually do?" And the witness said: "When we say
24 support, we mean support by manoeuvring, in this case, combat units,
25 combat equipment, or firing. We would take up some prominent features
1 and facilities. We would protect any advance that they made, we would
2 secure their flanks and try to attack the firing positions of the
3 terrorist forces wherever we believed that the MUP units alone would not
4 have -- and we believe that the MUP units alone would not have been
5 successful in this."
6 Now, sir, based on the testimony of the commander of this brigade
7 whose war diary I put to you earlier, he is indicating here that this
8 action in Pozare village involved quite a large number of men, in fact,
9 he refers to 700, 300 MUP, 300 VJ. And you are telling me that you heard
10 nothing about this action taking place in Pozare village on the 29th of
12 A. Well, I wasn't the person that was supposed to know. First of
13 all, nobody had to inform me about these actions. Secondly, it was the
14 staff and the minister that had to receive the information, so any
15 information you need you can get from the staff and the minister. I
16 wasn't involved neither in planning nor in implementing these actions.
17 Here you have a member of the army. Who he reported to, I don't know.
18 I'm also not aware of the numbers that you are putting to me here.
19 Q. Pozare village, sir, how far is it, if you know, from Decani town
21 A. The village of Pozare
22 Q. And how far is it from the village of Istinic
23 just asking for an approximation.
24 A. Would you like to know the distance as the crow flies or if you
25 go by road?
1 Q. Just an approximation based on your knowledge of?
2 A. Those were village roads, there were longer ones and shorter
3 ones. I can't really claim. It depends which route one took. There
4 were several possibilities.
5 Q. Were they in the same general area, Istinic, Pozare, Beleg?
6 A. No, they were not in the same general area.
7 Q. And how far would you say that Pozare was from the village of
8 Beleg? I'm just asking for an estimation here, sir. We have maps and we
9 can look at them too.
10 A. Yes, I do know that you have maps. In my estimate the distance
11 between Pozare and Beleg, let me remember, it's been a long time.
12 Q. If you don't know, sir, that's okay. I don't want you to guess
13 on this. I'm just --
14 A. Up to 7 kilometres, I believe.
15 Q. Okay. Sir, and you are saying despite the fact this village was
16 about 15 kilometres away from Decani and this action involved a large
17 contingent of both VJ and MUP, you knew nothing about this happening on
18 the 29th of March?
19 A. Well, I said this repeatedly during my testimony.
20 Q. Okay. Very well, sir.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, I've shown two pages from the
22 transcript of commander Zivanovic, and I would like for those pages to be
24 JUDGE PARKER: What were the page numbers?
25 MS. KRAVETZ: 32 and 33. And the exhibit number is 06099.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Those two pages will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P01585, Your Honour.
3 MS. KRAVETZ:
4 Q. Now, sir, you have indicated repeatedly that you knew nothing
5 about the expulsions and you've also told us that you knew nothing about
6 these actions. I want to show you another exhibit.
7 MS. KRAVETZ: This is 65 ter 06101. If we could have that up on
8 the screen.
9 Q. This is a witness statement taken by the ICTY of a person, a
10 woman by the name of Fetije Vishaj. It's dated 29th January, 2000.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like to go to page 3 in the English and
12 page 3 also in the B/C/S.
13 Q. I'm waiting for that, sir, to come up on the screen. So this
14 witness tells us on page 3 that on the 28th of March, it was Bajram's Day
15 around 11.00 in the morning in my village, which she indicates in the
16 earlier page was Istinic, had been surrounded by Serbian army,
17 paramilitary and police forces. All the houses from the village had been
18 searched. There were 100 displaced persons from the village of Drenoc
19 Gllogjan, and Carrabreg. My house was surrounded and two policemen came
20 into it, and later on in this statement she indicates how they were
21 ordered to leave.
22 Now, I want to take you to page 7 in the English and B/C/S and
23 just to move quickly through this statement, I will represent to you,
24 sir, that this witness ended up in the village of Beleg
25 statement she speaks about Serb forces arriving in Beleg and speaks about
1 women being sexually assaulted there on the night of the 28th.
2 Now, on page 7 she is referring to events on the 29th, and in the
3 middle of the page she says:
4 "The next morning at 7.00, the paramilitary who took my necklace
5 pointed his finger at me and said, 'you.' I was so frightened, then he
6 gave me my necklace back. We were taken out. I saw and heard soldiers
7 calling one policeman Vula. I saw him talking to soldiers. He had a
8 white Niva car. They were always in groups. I saw Zoran," and in
9 another place of her statement she claims that this is Zoran Djurisic
10 together with them. "We asked them where we were being taken. They said
11 that we would be taken to Albania
12 which were supposed to take us to Albania
13 fat. He was the chief of police in Decani before the war."
14 Now, sir, this witness here is placing you in Beleg at the time
15 that she and other refugees were expelled from there. You have told us
16 earlier today that you were, in fact, known by the nickname of Vula;
17 correct? Do you recall anything about these events? I see that you are
19 A. Yes, it is true that I knew why you were asking me this. The
20 Albanians usually called me Vula because they couldn't pronounce the L
21 sound. Now, this lady who gave this statement, I have to tell you this
22 statement is completely incorrect. First of all, this woman doesn't even
23 know me. Albanian women traditionally never had any contacts with
24 police. This is a fictitious statement in which she was coached what she
25 needed to state. This is completely untrue. Both the portions where
1 they describe paramilitary forces and the portions concerning these
2 events, nor do I know anything regarding these events. She describes
3 Vula as short and fat with black hair. I'm neither short nor fat nor do
4 I have black hair. Then she says that before the war he was chief in
5 Decani, and I was chief during the war. So the statement is full of
6 contradictions, imprecisions, and it is completely untrue. I see this
7 for the first time, and all I can say is that it is not true and that I'm
8 not familiar with this.
9 Q. Very well, sir, I'll move on to the testimony of another witness.
10 Before I do that, Your Honour, can I have this statement marked for
11 identification just for purpose of reference later.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked for identification.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P01586 marked for
14 identification, Your Honour.
15 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like to bring up the transcript of
16 transcript page 3849. This is the testimony of Mehmet Mazrekaj, and I
17 believe the date is 28th of April, last year. If we could have that up
18 on the screen.
19 Q. And this, sir, is a school teacher from Drenovac who testified in
20 this case, and he was also among the civilians in Beleg who were expelled
21 and ended up in Istinic and on the 1st of April was expelled from there.
22 I'm going to read out a passage to you from that.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Popovic.
24 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. It was
25 not recorded in the transcript nor did we hear in the interpretation the
1 first and the last name of the person giving testimony here because the
2 witness hasn't heard that, in fact. Thank you.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: The person that the witness is called Mehmet
4 Mazrekaj with a T at the end of Mehmet, Mazrekaj. Yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Could you spell the surname, please.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: It's been -- yes, it's correct now. The first name
7 ends with a -- yes, it's correct.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 MS. KRAVETZ:
10 Q. Now, if we could look at page 3849. I'm going to read a portion
11 of his evidence to you, sir. It starts from -- and you explain: "I know
12 in your statement that after you escaped you eventually made your way to
13 Isniq," which is the Albanian for Istinic. You then described the Serbs
14 shelling Isniq. "Can you tell us when it was that Serbs shelled Isniq?"
15 And he says: "I arrived in Isniq the following day. I remained there
16 for two days. It was when the shelling started. There were so many
17 people there. The whole village was filled with people. The fields
18 around were filled with people. People from the villages of
19 [indiscernible] municipality, they had all gathered there. The shelling
20 was ongoing."
21 And later he says -- he explains the position from where it was
22 shelled and he is asked: "Can you tell us if you are aware of any
23 interactions with the police or police authorities in Isniq? It was a
24 huge crowd. The police in Decan issued the order to the police there
25 that we had to leave that area. The chief of police in that area of
1 Decan." And the transcript says "Vula."
2 If we move on to the next page, he is asked: "Sir, can you just
3 repeat the last name so the chief of police at the police station in
4 Decan" - and we missed the last name - "Vukmir was his name, known as
5 Vula, and his last name was Mircic." And it goes on to say: "Can you
6 explain again what it was that the chief of police did?"
7 And the person says, the witness says: "I personally did not
8 talk to him but the villagers from Isniq and the leaders of the village
9 told us that we had to leave the village and head towards the police --
10 and head towards Albania
11 the chief of police, is that what you are saying?"
12 And later on if we scroll down a bit, it says: "We joined the
13 convoy. We were told that he had instructed some leaders, some local
14 policemen. When you say 'he' you mean the chief of police had instructed
15 some leaders? Yes, Vula. And what did he instruct them to do? He had
16 instructed them to tell all families there to leave the village and head
17 towards Albania
18 Sir, do you have any recollection of this of having ordered
19 civilians who had gathered in Istinic at the beginning of April 1999 to
20 leave and head to Albania
21 A. This statement is entirely untrue, the statement by Mr. Mazrekaj.
22 Nobody shelled the village. Nobody forced the residents to leave the
23 village. The witness also mentions local police, and he himself was a
24 member of local police. So by providing this statement, he wanted to
25 safe-guard his own interests to protect himself from any repercussions by
1 KLA and his own compatriots because he was part of the local security.
2 Q. Witness, Mr. Mazrekaj was a was a school teacher from Drenovac.
3 He was not a local police.
4 A. He was a member of the local police. This is just an alibi that
5 he wants to create for himself in order to avoid being punished or being
6 under threat of the KLA and his compatriots. Why he is mentioning local
7 police? Why is he mentioning that he talked to them and to me? It's not
8 true what he is saying here.
9 Q. Did you order the refugees who had gathered in Istinic to leave
10 the village on 1st of April and to head to Albania? Did you give that
11 order, sir?
12 A. No, I did not give that order. I was not present in Istinic. I
13 did not issue any orders. This is a pure fabrication on the part of
15 MS. KRAVETZ: Let me show you another document, sir. This is
16 00473, if we could have that up on the screen.
17 Q. And, sir, this document that we are going to see up on the screen
18 is an excerpt from a report published by the OSCE. It's a report called
19 "As Seen As Told," which was published after the conflict. And this is
20 the chapter that refers to your municipality of Decani
21 page there. Have you heard of this report, sir?
22 A. No. I haven't seen this. I don't know who wrote this. I don't
23 know what kind of a document this is. I don't know what this is about.
24 I know -- I can see from the document that it has to do with human
1 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like for page 5 of the B/C/S and page 6 of
2 the English to be shown, and I want the right side of second paragraph on
3 both pages, if we could have that up on the screen.
4 Q. And this is a page or a section of the report that refers to
5 Istinic. And I'm going to just read out a portion of this page out to
6 you, sir. It says:
7 "On or around 1st April, Serb forces surrounded and shelled
8 Istinic. They attacked with 13 tanks and several people were injured in
9 the shelling. Livestock was killed, houses set on fire, and people were
10 robbed. The Decani chief of police was present and he gave -- and gave
11 Kosovo Albanian residents one hour to leave. Some left in cars, while
12 others walked to the Albanian border in a convoy accompanied by police
13 forces from Decani and also as reported from Nis. One interviewee
14 describes how Serb boys apparently as young as 12 years old were seen in
15 police uniforms and how stones were thrown at the Kosovo Albanian IDPs."
16 Now, this reference to the Decani chief of police, sir, here in
17 this report, that would be you; correct?
18 A. It says here commander. That's a broader term. I was chief. So
19 it has nothing to do with me. I was not present in the village and I do
20 not know of these events. It is not logical in an event like that to
21 send in 10 tanks. I think this is a pure invention, and it is well known
22 that OSCE and similar organisations looked favourably upon the KLA and
23 frequently wrote things that were not true.
24 Q. Do you have any explanation, sir, as to why an organisation such
25 as OSCE would make such an allegation in a report of this nature and
1 indicate that the Decani chief of police was actually ordering Kosovo
2 Albanian refugees to leave the village of Istinic
3 explanation for that, sir?
4 A. I do have an explanation. It doesn't say chief of police in the
5 text. It says "commander," and I don't know what commander this was.
6 What is written here is not true. Once again I'm telling you that the
7 OSCE and all other international organisations generally sided with the
8 KLA and wrote things that were not true.
9 Q. Well, in the English it does say Decani chief of police, so I
10 think that's just a translation problem. And your explanation to why
11 this allegation is being made here, sir, is that this organisation which
12 is siding with the KLA and so that's why they have included such a
13 specific allegation about you in their report? That is the explanation
14 that you are giving, sir?
15 A. These are all untruths, all of them. Untruths that I'm seeing
16 for the first time. They wanted to project this image in which the
17 Republic of Serbia
18 order to -- for the air campaign to come about.
19 Q. Well, let me show you another exhibit. Before I do that, Your
20 Honours, could we have this exhibit marked for identification. 00473.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P01587 marked for
23 identification, Your Honour.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like 06102 up on the screen.
25 Q. This is again a witness statement, sir, of a person called Florim
1 Pergjagjaj, and it was taken by this Tribunal on the 6th of May, 1999.
2 So this is immediately after the events that are described within the
3 statement. If we could go to the next page. Now this person is also
4 from the Decani municipality and he recounts in his statement how he was
5 expelled from the village of Ljumbarde
6 languages, please. I'm going to read you a portion of this statement.
7 In the B/C/S I believe it's the next page.
8 It's in the bottom of the English and it says:
9 "On the 3rd of April 1999 Serb forces entered our village by
10 several tanks and APC coloured blue. There were also green coloured
11 tanks and APCs. Through a mega-phone Serbs ordered people to get out of
12 their houses and leave the village. My family got into a tractor and
13 started moving in a convoy with other people, not only from our village
14 but also from others as well towards the town of Decan. In Decan in
15 front of the police station, the policemen stopped every tractor and car.
16 Almost every man would be ordered out and beaten by policemen. The other
17 members of the family were ordered to move farther in this way, some 150
18 men were separated from their families. If we go to the next page he
19 says, one man's name was Nolak [phoen] from the village of Ratic
20 Decan municipality. These are among the people doing the beatings who
21 used to work as a taxi driver. A policeman called Ljubisa, son of Milos
22 from the village of Tasenov [phoen], Decan municipality, who used to work
23 as a policeman in the town of Jakova
24 from the village, same village also participated in the beating. And
25 then he says:
1 "They beat me in the presence of the chief of the Decan police
2 department Vulio [sic] Mircic. Somebody was beating me with a
3 rifle-butt, somebody hit me with an iron bar on the head. I tried to
4 cover my head with my left hand, and my hand got broken as well as my
5 middle finger on the left hands. Some of the policemen took personal
6 documents from me. I never received them back. I received first aid
7 only in the hospital of Kukes
8 Now you've told us, sir, the convoys leaving Decan would pass in
9 front of your OUP, which was on the main road you said. Do you recall
10 anything about this incident, sir, refugees who were leaving the
11 municipality passing in front of your OUP and being beaten by members of
12 the police and other Serbs in your presence?
13 A. This is the same phenomenon like the one in the previous
14 statements. This is not true, on the contrary. We're always there
15 because of these refugees so we would not allow anyone to mistreat them
16 especially if there were any Serb civilians around or any police members.
17 This is a pure fabrication of a member of the Decani municipality who is
18 trying in every way possible to show that the Albanian population was
19 suffering some kind of torture. The motives are the same as those that I
20 mentioned earlier on several occasions.
21 Q. Sir, I've shown you the statement of a woman who was in the
22 village of Decan and says she saw you there when the refugees were
23 expelled. We saw the testimony of Mr. Mazrekaj who said that you gave
24 the order for villagers to leave Istinic. We also saw an OSCE report
25 which has the same claim that you were the one who ordered Albanian
1 refugees to leave Istinic and head to Albania, and now we are looking at
2 a villager from Ljumbarda, another village in Decani who says that
3 police -- he was forced out of the municipality right in front of your
4 OUP, he was beaten and by police officers and other Serbs in your
6 Now, sir, can you explain why all these sources will have these
7 allegations involving you in expulsions and mistreatment of Albanians in
8 the period of the end of March, early April? Can you explain why it is
9 that these different sources contain these allegations about you?
10 A. Well, it's something normal. Everyone knew me. I was born in
11 the area, so whatever untruths they wished to say and misinformation,
12 they would connect that to me. These are all statements which they wrote
13 on the basis of their assumption or something that somebody instructed
14 them to do. You could have collected more than one hundred such
15 statements that would claim one in the same thing. They were directed to
16 talk in this way and to place all the burden on the people and the army
17 and the police and the state and all the other organs of the Republic of
19 anything that is good. These statements are incorrect. I'm telling you
20 that. They are arbitrary and they have no weight. And this is simply
21 not true. It is a pure untruth.
22 Q. Sir, I put to you that the reason these different people and also
23 the OSCE have referred to these allegations about you is because you
24 were, in fact, not only aware that the villagers were being expelled from
25 different villages in Decani municipality, but that you were yourself
1 involved in these expulsions? That is the reason, sir, why these
2 different sources all point to you.
3 A. Well, that was their goal all along. They wanted to make
4 connections that are not true and to state allegations against certain
5 people that are not true. I would not expect them to praise me. There
6 are people who are praising me even among the Albanians, and they are
7 telling the truth. These Albanians were instructed and trained to talk
8 in this way. Somebody taught them to say something that is not true and
9 that is unfavourable for someone else. I cannot really realise how you
10 can conclude that there is any truth in this only on the basis of such
11 statements. I could also tell all kinds of fabrications, but that's not
12 real testimony.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: Could we have this last statement marked for
14 identification, Your Honour, this is 06102.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P01588 marked for
17 identification, Your Honour.
18 MS. KRAVETZ:
19 Q. Sir, did you hear any allegations from any source that the police
20 in your OUP were extremely violent and involved in persecutory acts
21 against Kosovo Albanians? Did you hear that?
22 A. No, I do not have such information nor did I hear that from
24 Q. And did you hear any allegations that you were present when
25 Kosovo Albanians were beaten at your police station?
1 A. That is an utter untruth, because I would never allow anything
2 that was illegal to be done in my presence. Only things that were in
3 accordance with the law could be done.
4 Q. I want to show you another article, another document. And this
5 is P1572. And this is an article from a Serbian periodical called "Nin".
6 Have you seen this document before, sir?
7 A. Yes, I have seen it.
8 Q. Where have you seen it, sir?
9 A. I saw it in "Nin." Natasa Kandic wrote it as far as I can
10 remember. It was something that wasn't true. She always dealt only in
11 untruths and arbitrary unconfirmed data. I read it in "Nin" when I was
12 still down there in Kosovo.
13 Q. So you saw this article when it came out in January 1999?
14 A. Well, I don't know. I don't remember right now, but I did read
16 MS. KRAVETZ: I would like to go to page 3 of the English and
17 it's also page 3 of the B/C/S.
18 Q. I'm going to read a passage from this article to you, sir, and
19 it's in the bottom of the English and also in the bottom of the B/C/S.
20 It's a paragraph beginning with a reference to Beqir Cacaj 50, from
22 "Died on 8th June following the torture to which he was exposed
23 to in the last days in the police station in town. Cacaj was arrested on
24 28th May in the time when unrests were taking place in Decani and when he
25 was attempting to run away from the town with the rest of his family and
1 neighbours. The following days, in several turns, he was interrogated
2 and then brought back to the prison cell with obvious signs of torture.
3 According to witness allegations, Vukmir Mircic, police commander in
4 Decani police station participated in torture of Cacaj, and he hindered
5 the transfer to the medical facility."
6 Have you heard anything about this case, sir? About a person
7 with the name of Beqir Cacaj being tortured at your police station? I
8 see you are smiling.
9 A. I'm not smiling because of such incorrect statement, I'm
10 surprised by such articles because really the Cacajs who were living
11 quite close to the OUP they were our good friends and neighbours, to call
12 them that way, including Osman and everyone else. They were elderly men.
13 So I cannot understand how anyone could write such an article, which is
14 not true, calls me a commander, I'm not a commander. So it's clear that
15 it's all a fabrication. It's all something that would create a bad image
16 of the members of the Serbian MUP and the Republic of Serbia
17 has nothing to do with what I'm testifying about here.
18 Really, this is why I'm smiling. This is astonishing when you
19 see something like that which is not true. And that includes many other
20 documents which I have seen.
21 Q. Sir, you've told us that you saw this article at the time, you
22 said you remembered reading this article in "Nin". Did you inquire at
23 the time why -- let me finish my question. At the time when you read
24 this, did you make any inquiries as to why it was that "Nin" was
25 publishing this sort of allegations about your OUP and about you
2 A. No, I did not because I knew all along that it was not true and
3 that they are fabricating that. Why would I inquire? If I were
4 inquiring, that would mean that I was believing the untruth which was
5 published here. I would be frightened by something. I did not even pay
6 any attention to it because I knew the real truth and it was that none of
7 this was true. If one inquires, it means there is something about it.
8 There's something wrong. He may have done something, and here one can
9 see that there are some things which are really over the top. They are
10 really over the limit, even of any untruth. Because this was a family,
11 the Cacaj family were all my friends and neighbours, Beqir, Osman, and
12 Suljo. I visited their house, I sat around with them. They stayed
13 there, they remained there. Even when we left the place they stayed in
14 their houses. So this is really an utter untruth that certain
15 journalists and authors dealt in. You know that journalists write all
16 kinds of things. You can put anything on paper.
17 Q. Sir, you've told us earlier when I showed you other statements,
18 when I put them to you, you said that these Albanians were instructed and
19 trained to talk in that way, someone told them to say something that is
20 not true and unfavourable for someone else. Now here we're looking at a
21 Serbian publication, why it is that periodicals such as "Nin" would
22 contain allegations like this about you?
23 A. Well, I guess you are aware that it happens today various kinds
24 of papers publish all kinds of allegations, not just against me, but
25 against politicians and anyone else. It's the free press, they can
1 publish whatever they want. But I never made any conclusions on the
2 basis of what the newspapers publish or what the journalists may decide
3 to write.
4 Q. Do you recall an inspector by the name of Zita in your OUP or
5 known as Zita?
6 A. How did you say his name was?
7 Q. Z-i-t-a. He was known by that name.
8 A. I did not have an inspector with that name. I did not have any
9 inspectors in the civilian section of my OUP.
10 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... inspectors in other sections of
11 the police in Decani?
12 A. Inspectors were in the Djakovica SUP, also in the Pec SUP. I
13 could have had inspectors but these working posts were never fulfilled.
14 I did not have civilian inspectors.
15 Q. I want to show you one last statement, sir.
16 MS. KRAVETZ: This is 06100.
17 Q. This is a statement by someone called Azem Zukaj. Do you know
18 someone by the name of Azem Zukaj, sir?
19 A. I think the surname was not pronounced properly.
20 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... up on the screen. It's also
21 misspelled. It's Z-u-k-a-j.
22 A. Yes, Zukaj, that's right. There were many Zukajs in the
23 territory of the Decani municipality in several villages.
24 MS. KRAVETZ: I believe we have the wrong exhibit on the screen.
25 65 ter 6100.
1 Q. Now, this is a person from the village of Beleg
2 municipality, and he speaks about events in 1998 and about being arrested
3 by the police.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Is there a problem with the exhibit? I don't see
5 it coming up.
6 Q. While that is coming up, I'll --
7 MS. KRAVETZ: I see we are having a technical problem. If we
8 could go to page 3.
9 Q. And I'm going read in the middle of the page. This person --
10 just to summarise, sir, because we can't read the whole statement. He is
11 speaking about being detained. The next page in the -- if we could have
12 the Serbian up. In the middle of the page he says:
13 "I saw Vula Mircic came four times to the MUP. He would enter
14 the room where I was and told policemen to take me to the Rugova gorge
15 and kill me there."
16 He also said that he had been looking for me since 1992 as I was
17 the second Adem Jashari. He speaks about being taken there and then
18 being brought back to the place where he was being detained, and then he
20 "When Vula Mircic came for the third time, he brought the
21 document which accused me of killing two policemen: Rade and Nikola
22 Popovic from Sabac, Serbia
23 without permission. He handed that document to them and they started
24 torturing me with electric shock. I was ordered to sit on the electric
25 chair and they would low and raise the current. They also put electric
1 wire in my ears. It lasted for 15 minutes. This torture was too much
2 pain, too painful. Beating was nothing compared to it."
3 And this is an incident, sir, that takes place in June of 1998.
4 Do you recall this, sir, being present when this person was being
5 tortured? I see this amuses you.
6 A. The person was not at the OUP at all, nor was he tortured, nor
7 were any measures taken. Electric chair, the wires, electrical shocks,
8 do you know what electric chair means? Nobody ever had anything like
9 that in the Republic of Serbia
10 that, and do you know where Rugovska Klisura is located? This is a pure
11 fabrication. He was instructed to do that so that he would accuse me
12 because knowing me because I was born there and I lived there together
13 with these people a long time, they wanted to connect me with these
14 crimes to accuse me of that, but they were instructed to do that and this
15 is done with a purpose, the taking of such statements probably with
16 someone's assistance. This is a pure fabrication, the arrest and being
17 brought into custody, taking him to Rugovska Klisura bringing him back,
18 it has nothing to do with the truth. There is no Rugovska Klisura in my
19 area. It's the first time I see this, the first time I hear about it,
20 and I'm really surprised to see such untruths, but once again, I have to
21 say that the untruths and lies are directed against the members of the
22 MUP and myself and the state of Serbia
23 some sort of criminals, and it has nothing to do with this statement.
24 This is really a fabrication, and it is completely untrue.
25 Q. Now, sir, I've shown you over this last half an hour or so now
1 it's been six different sources, witness statements from several
2 different people originating from different villages, a Serbian
3 periodical, and OSCE report, all of these sources indicate that you were
4 involved in persecutory acts against Albanians and violence against
5 Albanians and also expulsions of Albanians from the Decani municipality.
6 Now, sir, why would all these different sources contain such allegations
7 if they were not true, sir?
8 A. They are not true because in that municipality it was a general
9 practice amongst the Albanians to assign such activities to people they
10 knew, to people who were officers or -- and this was simply with the
11 intention to damage them or inflict them some harm. Whereas, this had
12 nothing to do with the truth. As I told you earlier, you could have
13 hundreds of statements of this kind because I was born in that area, I
14 worked there, I worked there in a legal fashion, and in line with the
15 regulations of the Republic of Serbia
16 and all of a sudden you have this scenario which leads us in an entirely
17 different direction, and it has nothing to do with the truth.
18 Q. And, sir, can you explain why it that so many different people
19 and also OSCE and the Serbian periodical would want to fabricate things
20 about you and damage your reputation? What would be the purpose of that,
21 sir? Why would so many different people want to damage your reputation
22 and make these allegations?
23 A. This didn't only have to do with me, this was a general practice
24 in Kosovo and Metohija. They knew this they had to --
25 Q. Sir, sir, I'm asking specifically about you. Why would all these
1 different people whose evidence I've put to you and also this publication
2 in OSCE want to damage your reputation and fabricate these sort of
3 allegations about you. I'm speaking specifically about you. Can you
4 explain that?
5 A. Yes, I can. Well, through me because they knew me as SUP chief,
6 they wanted to paint a black picture about me and thus also about the
7 ministry and the entire republic. So this was the core of such
8 statements. So they didn't know any other chief because I was there, I
9 was born there, so it was the simplest thing to say, oh, the chief was
10 there and they quoted my name. Probably they couldn't recall any other
11 name. And I always had very good relations with the Albanians. I was
12 born there, I lived my entire life there as an adolescent, as a boy. And
13 the situation which we had at that time was very different, and people
14 were instructed, they were coached to give these kinds of statements and
15 whoever took these statements also coached them to tell those things
16 which were not true.
17 Q. Sir, isn't the real reason why all these sources speak about you
18 in connection with these events is that it's not because they wanted to
19 paint a black picture of you but because you were actually involved in
20 the events that you -- that these different sources are saying that you
21 took part in? Isn't that the real reason, sir?
22 A. No, it isn't, and it isn't true. And I can also tell you that
23 lady Visaj, well, a woman, it is quite clear that in her statement she
24 mentions me, she couldn't know me. It is not a tradition among the
25 Albanian women to have any contacts with men. So it is quite clear that
1 she was instructed to say that, and the same applies to all the other
3 Q. Very well, sir.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I have no further questions for this
5 witness. Before I conclude, I wanted to have the last exhibit 06100
6 MFI'd, marked for identification. Thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P01589 marked for
9 identification, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Kravetz.
11 Mr. Popovic.
12 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Popovic:
14 Q. Mr. Mircic, we will, first of all, go back to some of the
15 documents that were shown to you by my learned colleague Madam Kravetz
16 during your testimony yesterday.
17 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, if we could please
18 see on the screen the Exhibit D107.
19 Q. Mr. Mircic, you already talked about this exhibit, so this is a
20 dispatch dated 20th of October, 1998, sent by the ministry staff, and it
21 has to do with the decision by the minister concerning certain awards for
22 every single day that PJP members spent in the field. You were asked
23 some questions concerning this document. I would just like to clarify
24 one thing. First of all, within your OUP, did you have any lists in
25 which you would register all the members of your OUP?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In those lists, did you also put down where these members were on
3 a given day?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you had the records concerning the members of OUP and PJP
6 members when they were deployed for different tasks?
7 A. Yes, I had such records but I didn't know where they went to
8 carry out their tasks.
9 Q. Thank you. Were you informed when they came back when they were
10 supposed to be given their regular tasks again?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And was it in line with this dispatch that you can see on the
13 screen and the decision by the minister that we spoke about based on the
14 number of days that they spent as members of PJP, were these people
15 supposed to receive awards?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me, members of PJPs from your OUPs,
18 when they were not deployed, did they carry out their regular police
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was there a difference between that and the time when they were
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you explain.
25 A. When they were deployed as members of PJP, they carry out
1 particular tasks in the field, so anti-terrorist actions and other
2 security related actions in the field.
3 Q. Thank you. Could we now go back to another document that you
4 were shown previously. It had to do with the Sat action. My question
5 for you is as follows: Did Sat action encompass regular tasks and duties
6 from the department of public security?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did you participate in the implementation of that action
9 within the remit of your regular duties?
10 A. Yes. Members of my police participated in it.
11 Q. And did you report the SUP chief in Djakovica about this?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know who the Djakovica SUP chief reported to?
14 A. The Djakovica SUP chief reported to the police administration at
15 the seat of the ministry and if he deemed this to be necessary, he could
16 have reported to the MUP staff as well, given that it existed and it had
17 the general jurisdiction over the security in Kosovo and Metohija.
18 Q. Thank you. Why the police administration at the seat of the
20 A. Because the police administration would then inform the staff
21 about an action that was carried out.
22 Q. And was the police administration in charge of the Sat action?
23 A. Yes, it was exclusively the responsibility of the police
25 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you were also shown various documents, P698
1 and P1043, that had to do with meetings of SUP chiefs with certain
2 persons from the staff. And I believe in one occasion, the P1043
3 testifies about a meeting that the minister himself also attending. Can
4 you tell me whether you attended those meetings yourself?
5 A. I never attending any of those meetings.
6 Q. Certain questions were put to you concerning plans that were
7 discussed in those meetings. Can you tell me whether at any time during
8 the course of 1998 you yourself drafted any plans for counter-terrorist
9 or anti-terrorist activities?
10 A. The OUP Decani never drafted any plans.
11 Q. Did you have an opportunity to see any such plans?
12 A. No, because I wasn't involved with their drafting so I also did
13 not have an opportunity to see them.
14 Q. And do you know what was the communication like between SUP chief
15 and staff concerning those plans?
16 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. Thank you. During the course of today, my learned colleague
18 showed you some statements and she also asked you why would all these
19 persons who gave those statements say all these things about you. You
20 also saw the statement by Mr. Mazrekaj. Do you recall that statement?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You said that Mazrekaj was a member of the local security?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were members of the local security faced with any problems with
25 KLA after they signed the agreement?
1 A. Before the agreement they had fewer problems, but after that
2 quite a few members of the local security were also killed, among them
3 Elis Bajlaj, also one Cekaj and Hadajdjorno from the village of
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see the exhibit, it
7 used to be on 65 ter list of the Prosecution, 06100, but it has been
8 MFI'd in the meantime, and now it's 1589 MFI. Could we please see page 2
9 of this document, if I'm not mistaken.
10 Q. Mr. Mircic, so this is the person who gave the statement
11 concerning the electric chair. You heard about this from my learned
12 colleague. Here on page 2 in the middle of the page you can see: "My
13 brother Skender and I were members of the KLA." Could you tell me
14 whether members of the KLA had any motive to say things of this kind
15 about you?
16 A. Well, as I said, this was a general occurrence. They tried to
17 present our work as illegal. They tried to include as many information
18 as this in various statement and in the various media reports.
19 Q. Thank you. Also you could see the book: "As Seen As Told," if
20 I'm not mistaken, that was the title. That book was published by the
21 Humanitarian Law Fund, Madam Natasa Kandic, the same person who, as you
22 said, published that article in "Nin". Could you tell me whether any
23 criminal report was ever filed against you by anybody for the allegations
24 quoted in that article?
25 A. Throughout my working life until the moment when I retired, I
1 never had any criminal report or any disciplinary report or disciplinary
2 measure instituted against me.
3 Q. And my final question for you: In that "Nin" article, certain
4 Mr. Zukaj answered --
5 A. Cacaj.
6 Q. Cacaj was also mentioned. Do you know what happened to that
7 person? Was he alive at the time when you left Kosovo?
8 A. All of them were alive. This is a very respected family in
9 Decani. They lived 100 metres away from the police station. I can
10 mention a number of other families as well, so again, this was Natasha
11 Kandic publishing untruths in "Nin," and I believe that she also sided
12 with the KLA herself.
13 Q. Thank you very much. And now my final question: In your
14 testimony you said that there were also persons of Albanian nationality
15 who could say many positive things about you, but could you tell us what
16 is happening, are you in touch with those persons?
17 A. I have been in touch with many Albanians from the area of Decani
18 up to this very day, and some of them have attempted to write a book
19 about what truly happened there and they have asked for my assistance.
20 So people can see that many untruthful things have been said about events
21 in the field and that certain persons simply tried to paint the picture
22 of Serbs as villains and criminals in that area.
23 Q. And just one more question, Mr. Mircic. Have you ever been
24 contacted by anybody in relation to the situation in Istinic and what
25 happened there?
1 A. No, I was never contacted by anybody.
2 Q. I'm talking about the events of 1998 and members of the Albanian
3 nationality. Have they ever contacted you?
4 A. You mean later on?
5 Q. Yes, later on, after everything ended the way it did?
6 A. Yes, they have contacted me. They told me that they are still
7 grateful up to this very day about the way we organised this and how we
8 managed to do this in this humanitarian way based on our mutual
9 confidence and they believed that I have done a lot for the Albanians
10 within the remit of my responsibility that I had at the time.
11 MR. POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, with this
12 I have completed my redirect examination.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Popovic.
14 We will have the second break now and resume -- before we do,
15 Mr. Djordjevic.
16 MR. DJORDJEVIC: [Interpretation] Very briefly, Your Honours,
17 given that the Defence this morning received the Court's decision
18 concerning the report by expert Stankovic and expert Aleksandar Pavic, I
19 believe it might be wise in view of the decision of the counsel to
20 postpone the Stankovic testimony until tomorrow morning. So this is our
21 motion, and this is why I stood up before we left for the second break.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber agrees, Mr. Djordjevic, in the
24 circumstances, that it would be more practical not to commence the next
25 witness today but to commence his evidence tomorrow morning so that you
1 need not concern yourself immediately with the calling of the next
3 The Chamber, though, will now adjourn and resume at five minutes
4 past 1.00. There may be some questions for this witness. We will have a
5 break now and resume at five past 1.00.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Mircic, I would like to get some
12 clarifications in respect of some answers you were able to give to the
13 Prosecution. Today, and you did that repeatedly, you stated again, "and
14 I always had very good relations with the Albanians. I was born there, I
15 lived my entire life there as an adolescent and as a boy." This is
16 understandable, but can you tell me what is this source, the background
17 of your statement, "it was the general practice amongst the Albanians to
18 assign such activities to people they knew." You don't receive
20 I would like to understand your statement, "it was a general
21 practice amongst the Albanians to assign such activities to people they
22 knew." What is the background of this statement? How do you know that
23 this is a general practice of the Albanians?
24 A. If you had in mind the issues that pertained to me, since I used
25 to work in the state security, I have to tell you that even before 1997
1 and 1998 we used to arrest a lot of persons from Decani area who had been
2 involved in the terrorist activities, so a number of them were brought to
3 trial and sentenced and their motive was to tell stories like that. For
4 example, people from the families of Nazereti, Cekaj, Petolaj [phoen] and
5 other families. So a lot of it has do with the statements that they
6 gave. We have been working on combatting terrorism from the early 1990s,
7 so I can tell you many facts about the persons from that area. They had
8 family ties among them, and this in a way is their way of getting back.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, I don't understand that, that you are on
10 one hand tell us that you have wonderful and good relation to the
11 Albanians, but that you was in the position to observe that it was a
12 general practice amongst the Albanians to assign such activities to
13 people they knew like you. I don't understand that. Don't you see the
14 slight contradiction?
15 A. I will explain. Loyal Albanians, honest Albanians, Albanians who
16 did not violate the law while I was still working in the 1980s and in the
17 1990s, I had no problem with them. And this does not pertain just to
18 Albanians, it pertains to Serbs as well. You know that the police
19 everywhere in the world works in accordance with the law, with the rules
20 of service, with the constitution and so on, so at that time we worked
21 out in the ground in Decani municipality, and there were a lot of illegal
22 groups active in that area.
23 In 1995 and in 1996 there were numerous attacks on the branch
24 station in Rznic, terrorist attacks using mortars, hand-grenades, and
25 other weaponry, so we had to undertake measures against these people. We
1 had to identify them, we had to use certain repressive measures to bring
2 them in, to bring them to trial. And the Albanians have very close links
3 between them, so if there are any family ties by marriage or blood ties,
4 you automatically spread that opinion among everybody in your family.
5 And that did not concern only me. It also concerned my colleagues
6 Albanians who used to work with me.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do I understand you correctly that you are not
8 only referring to Albanians but to Serbs as well? Because you were
9 referring to a practice in every country of the world where the police
10 has a certain task, this is not always popular. Do I understand that
12 A. Yes. Well, let me give you an example. For example, by
13 detaining Jovanovic who had committed a grave murder by killing four
14 persons in Decani, that alone, by doing that alone I created a lot of
15 enemies. People were angry that I didn't conceal that. Why didn't I
16 conceal that murder? And the man had killed four Albanians, two couples.
17 So there's now a whole group of Serbs who hate me for that, Serbs who
18 have family ties to the man.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand that, but why did you say this
20 morning it was a general practice amongst the Albanians to assign such
21 activities to people they knew? You were only referring to Albanians but
22 now I understood your answer.
23 A. Well, yes, because we took certain measures. We arrested people
24 in 1980s, and 1990s. My area was quite active when it comes to security
25 issues. They were spreading flyers, they were writing slogans and
1 graffiti. They were infiltrating illegal groups from Albania
2 acted against those people, and all of these families were from the area
3 of Decani municipality.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Another question. The Prosecution
5 has put a lot of previous statements of different people to you this
6 morning, and you repeatedly said they were instructed to give these
7 statements. What do you mean with they were instructed? Who did
8 instruct them? Could you explain that a little bit further, please.
9 A. Well, if you just take the statements that I saw as an example,
10 from those families, there were members that we used to arrest in the
11 1980s, and 1990s, people who had participated in demonstrations, who were
12 members of terrorist groups. For example, Mazrekaj has 500 people in
13 their family, 500 family members and some other family may have 200
14 members, and one of these women who gave a statement, Visaj, she could
15 not have given that kind of a statement on her own. She is illiterate.
16 Somebody coached her how she should phrase her statement, how she should
17 describe me so that I could be described in that statement. Why was
18 there nothing true in that statement. Maybe if there were people from
19 Istinic who could have given you a different story, who could have told
20 you about how we helped them, how we helped them by confiscating weapons
21 in that family, and that would have been a positive example.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Mircic, I take it from your answer that you
23 are referring to the families of those people who gave these statements?
24 They were instructed by their families; is that what you're saying?
25 A. Yes, the families, the families coached them to do this due to
1 some earlier police action against those families. So this would be a
2 kind of a revenge on their part. You know, that the police, the
3 judiciary, and the prosecutor's work, none of us are really popular.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That was it.
5 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Mircic, I direct your mind to the evidence you
6 gave as respect to the OSCE. Now, you said you had good co-operation
7 with all the verifiers who came to see you and you always had good
8 discussions with them, didn't you?
9 A. Yes, I had a correct attitude.
10 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you, yes. You also stated though that you
11 had information that the verifiers were biased in favour of the KLA --
12 sorry -- shall I repeat that for you? Shall I repeat that for you?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE BAIRD: The verifiers were biased in favour of the KLA
15 terrorist groups, and you had confirmed information that they provided
16 the KLA with information about your forces and positions and you said,
17 well, in a way they were providing logistical support to the KLA. Yes?
18 A. Correct.
19 JUDGE BAIRD: But tell me, did you ever confront the OSCE
20 authorities with this information? Did you ever go to them and say, look
21 here, you know, your people on the ground, you know, they're been biased,
22 they aren't performing according to the mandate? Did you complain to the
23 authorities of the OSCE about that?
24 A. In my contacts with OSCE and my contacts with them were extremely
25 good, and they were always in accordance with the instructions we
1 received from the ministry. I was always very correct. I provided them
2 all of the information that they were interested in. However, they
3 abused our assistance and the information they received from us, and they
4 portrayed things differently than they should have realistically. In the
5 village of Jablanica where Ramush Haradinaj was and the mere contact that
6 the OSCE had with Ramush Haradinaj was sufficient enough to make certain
7 conclusions, and I had verified information that they were providing to
8 Ramush Haradinaj information about our forces, the disposition of our
9 forces on the like.
10 JUDGE BAIRD: Splendid. But my question to you is, having
11 received this information, you are now in possession of information that
12 the verifiers are acting in a biased manner. They are -- they are not
13 carrying out the mandate. Did you complain to the OSCE authorities about
14 that ever?
15 A. No. My job was to write a report and to send it to the chief of
16 the secretariat of the Djakovica SUP. That was my task.
17 JUDGE BAIRD: Do you know whether a complaint was ever lodged
18 with the OSCE authorities on this matter at all?
19 A. I don't know about that, but I did inform the chief of the
20 secretariat, and I don't know what he did in turn.
21 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you. Now, you also said on the question of
22 the OSCE, you said that you followed through an instructional dispatch on
23 how to treat OSCE members on their diplomatic status, on the necessity to
24 treat them fairly and to provide them with the conditions necessary for
25 their work.
1 A. Yes, but I would have done it even without any instructions, I'm
2 simply such a man.
3 JUDGE BAIRD: Splendid. Splendid. Did you ever require the OSCE
4 members to give you advance notice if they wanted to carry out an
6 A. I didn't. If they thought it necessary, they could have come to
7 see me, but they also could have gone somewhere without me knowing about
8 that. They did not need to ask any sort of consent from me in order to
9 carry out an inspection.
10 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you very of much. And one last question,
11 Mr. Mircic. Now, you said that depleted uranium was used during the NATO
12 campaign, didn't you? You said that the bombs were very destructive?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE BAIRD: Were the population told about the depleted uranium
15 at the time of the bombing?
16 A. Well, misinformation was circulated in the media, however, it was
17 not confirmed. However, after 2000 and nowadays, many things, many
18 pieces of information are being confirmed about the use of depleted
19 uranium at the time.
20 JUDGE BAIRD: So at the time of the actual bombing, there was no
21 confirmed information as respects depleted uranium?
22 A. Not to my knowledge, but I'm not an expert. I didn't hear
23 anybody confirming anything, but they are confirming it now. The sources
24 from Kosovo and Metohija and many experts there are now saying that
25 depleted uranium was used there.
1 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Mircic, I thank you very much indeed. Thank
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: That completes the questions for you, Mr. Mircic.
5 I would like to thank you for your attendance here and for the assistance
6 you have been able to give. You may now, of course, return to your
7 normal activities, and a Court Officer will show you from the court.
8 Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any matter that needs to be dealt with at
12 this point before we adjourn? Ms. Kravetz? Mr. Djordjevic or
13 Mr. Popovic? Very well, we will adjourn then and resume tomorrow at 9.00
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.25 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
17 March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.