1 Tuesday, 12 April 2005
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. If I could remind you, Dr. Gashi,
7 of the affirmation you made at the commencement of your evidence, which
8 still applies.
9 Mr. Powles.
10 WITNESS: ZEQIR GASHI [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 MR. POWLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Powles: [Continued]
14 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Gashi.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Not very much more for you, you'll be pleased to hear. The first
17 question is this: It's right that you never saw Qerqiz wearing a mask in
18 Lapusnik during the time that you were there, did you?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. You stated yesterday that you heard from others that Qerqiz would
21 interview prospective soldiers in Lapusnik. So just to clarify, that's
22 not something you had personal knowledge of, that's something that you
23 were told and that you heard from other people.
24 A. I heard from other people. Personally I didn't have knowledge
25 about it.
1 Q. Did you also hear from other people that Ymer Alushani would also
2 interview prospective soldiers in Lapusnik?
3 A. I did not hear about this.
4 Q. To make it clear at the outset, Mr. Musliu accepts that he was one
5 of the commanders in Lapusnik but not the only commander in Lapusnik.
6 When you met with Howard Tucker, the prosecutor -- the Prosecution
7 investigator in September of 2003, it's right, isn't it, Dr. Gashi, that
8 you said you had no personal knowledge about who commanded the KLA in
9 Lapusnik. That's right, isn't it, Doctor?
10 A. That's right. I explained yesterday during my testimony the
11 reason why I said so.
12 Q. You also stated in your testimony yesterday that Ymer Alushani
13 introduced you to one of the leaders of the KLA by the pseudonym Qerqizi.
14 If the Prosecution would like the reference for that, it's page
15 34, lines 9 and 10 of the transcript.
16 So yesterday, Dr. Gashi, you said that Ymer Alushani introduced
17 you to one of the leaders of the KLA in Lapusnik. It's right, isn't it,
18 Doctor, that you treated soldiers from other units in your clinic in
19 Lapusnik? When I say "other units," I mean units other than Celiku 3.
20 A. To my recollection, I have not treated soldiers of other units
21 during my time in Lapusnik.
22 Q. Now, this may be something that you're not able to help with,
23 Doctor, not being a military man yourself, but it's right, isn't it, that
24 there were other units other than Celiku 3 based in Lapusnik, namely the
25 Pelumbi unit and the Gurri unit?
1 A. It is possible, but when we treated soldiers, we didn't know to
2 which unit they belonged. For us, they were patients, not soldiers.
3 Q. Yes. But what I'm asking you, Doctor, is were you aware of the
4 Pelumbi and the Gurri unit being in Lapusnik? It may be something that
5 you weren't aware of, but if it is, then you should say so.
6 A. I didn't have knowledge of this. As I said yesterday, our goal
7 was to offer medical services, nothing else.
8 MR. POWLES: May I go into private session, please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
10 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Powles.
25 MR. WHITING: I don't know if Mr. Khan had questions.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Khan.
2 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I knew if I waited long enough you would
3 forget about me. Perhaps just one question of the witness.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Khan:
5 Q. Dr. Gashi, my name is Khan and I represent Fatmir Limaj. You have
6 earlier said that you know Mr. Ferat Sopi; is that right? Ferat Sopi.
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And it's correct, isn't it, that he worked as a technician,
9 helping you in the makeshift hospital in Lapusnik?
10 A. He worked for a short period because he had moved his family out
11 from Lapusnik. He came from time to time, but he didn't stay for longer
13 Q. Are you aware that on the 25th of July KLA soldiers from many
14 different units came down to assist and help in the fight against the
15 forces from the former Yugoslavia, the Serb forces?
16 A. It is very possible that other soldiers were there as well,
17 because that was a key position.
18 Q. No doubt the 25th of July was a very hectic day, and no doubt you
19 were very busy. Is that correct or not?
20 A. That's correct. Usually, as I mentioned yesterday during my
21 testimony, that on this date we moved our supplies from that clinic to
22 another house which was safer.
23 Q. Can you remember seeing Fatmir Limaj come to your makeshift clinic
24 in the afternoon of the 25th of July? Do you remember that or not?
25 A. I don't remember that.
1 Q. Do you remember him being in a very bad state, and if it may help
2 you, do you remember him having very swollen, red, and watering eyes?
3 A. I don't remember.
4 Q. I'm grateful.
5 MR. KHAN: No further questions.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan.
7 Mr. Whiting.
8 MR. WHITING: I have no questions. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Dr. Gashi, you will be pleased to know that that
10 concludes the questions that will be asked of you. The Tribunal is
11 grateful that you have come and assisted in this trial, and you are now
12 able to return to your place of living. Thank you very much.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, the next witness is ready to testify,
17 but before we have the next witness, the Prosecution has a few additional
18 exhibits and statements to admit into evidence. Only because I'm at the
19 microphone I'll go first and do a couple and then Colin -- Mr. Colin Black
20 will do a few more.
21 The first concerns the document which I'll ask, with the
22 assistance of the usher, be distributed to the -- it has not been provided
23 to the Chamber or to the parties, but if it could be provided now. That
24 is to say the parties -- the Defence is aware of this, but -- to the
25 Court, to everybody.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
2 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would ask that this document, which
3 is ERN U 008 -- sorry, U 0008352, one-page document and the translation,
4 be given a number with the following agreement or stipulation: That is
5 that this document was provided to the Office of the Prosecutor by the
6 government of Serbia along with a collection of other documents on or
7 about 11 October 2001. By letter dated 23 June 2004, the Ministry of
8 Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro represented that this document
9 was found in the village of Likovac by Serbian MUP forces sometime between
10 3 August and 7 August 1998. This is an agreement, a stipulation that's
11 been reached with the Defence, and on this basis it's been agreed with the
12 Defence that the document will be go into evidence.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Let me be clearer: Are you saying that those facts
14 that you've recited are also agreed?
15 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I see. And is it agreed that this witness was two
17 years old when this statement was made?
18 MR. WHITING: No, Your Honour. I believe that other evidence --
19 on the basis of other evidence we'll be able to indicate that the -- that
20 there's an error, that the two numbers are transposed in that -- in
21 that --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps born 1969 instead of 1996.
23 MR. WHITING: Precisely, Your Honour. And there is other evidence
24 that is already in the record on that issue.
25 JUDGE PARKER: So this is a motion pursuant to Rule 92 bis, is it,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 or not?
2 MR. WHITING: Well, I don't think it is 92 bis because -- I think
3 it's --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Simply the document that is --
5 MR. WHITING: Yes, and I think it can go in as an agreed fact.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I see no sign of dissent from your motion, so the
7 document will be received as an exhibit.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P218.
9 MR. WHITING: For the next matter I have to deal with I have
10 another -- I will require again the assistance of the usher in
11 distributing a document that the Prosecution and the Defence would like
12 jointly to admit into evidence.
13 This is simply -- this is a -- this document originates from an
14 OSCE report called "As Seen, As Told," and all it is is a name list of
15 villages in Kosovo. The first half is the names of the villages in
16 Serbian -- in the Serbian language are listed alphabetically, and the
17 corresponding Albanian name and municipality are then provided, so the
18 second half of the document goes the other way. The names in the Albanian
19 language are listed alphabetically and the corresponding Serbian name of
20 the Serbian village is then provided. And this -- the parties thought
21 that this should be provided to the Court and made an exhibit simply as an
22 aide in tracking the evidence and following the villages and keeping
23 track, because sometimes different names are used for the same village.
24 So if this could be given -- I don't know if there is a
25 possibility of a joint exhibit number or a Court number or --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Why not a Prosecution number, Mr. Whiting?
2 MR. WHITING: That's fine.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received as an exhibit.
4 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Prosecution Exhibit P219.
5 MR. WHITING: And now I cede the floor to Mr. Black who has some
6 other statements and documents to put into evidence.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Black.
8 MR. BLACK: Good afternoon, Your Honour. As Mr. Whiting
9 indicated, just a few more things. I believe Mr. Younis distributed
10 before the start of court a binder - a thin binder, he says - labelled
11 "Rule 92 bis witnesses and expert materials" with today's date, the 12th
12 of April, 2005.
13 Your Honour, I propose to go through a similar drill to that which
14 we performed last Monday, which is essentially for me to go through the
15 tabs and ask for an exhibit number for each. But before I do that, by way
16 of introduction I would just note that yesterday we filed the
17 Prosecution's fifth motion for admission pursuant to Rule 92 bis, as well
18 as a motion for protective measures with regard to 92 bis witnesses.
19 Perhaps it's easiest to deal with those motions as they relate to specific
20 witnesses as we did last week but I just mention it so that the Court is
22 Should I begin with the first tab?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, the materials behind tab 1 are 92 bis
25 materials for Witness L97. This is a witness for whom we've agreed with
1 the Defence, subject to some redactions, to have his evidence admitted in
2 written form. This evidence is subject to a motion to add him to the
3 witness list and to admit his -- his statements pursuant to 92 bis which
4 the Prosecution filed on 24 March 2005. And it is further subject to the
5 motion for protective measures filed yesterday.
6 I've discussed this with the Defence, and at least counsel for two
7 of the accused indicated they had no problem with that and another was
8 going to get back to me. So I don't know if they have anything to add.
9 But essentially what we're seeking is just that this witness be referred
10 to only by pseudonym and that the materials behind tab 1 be admitted under
11 seal, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Is there any objection? Thank you. The witness
13 list of the Prosecution will be amended to add L97 as a witness. The
14 statement at tab 1 in its redacted form will be admitted by consent under
16 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much, Your Honour. And one issue I
17 neglected to mention, last time we marked the index for identification
18 purposes only to help us keep track of the ERN. Perhaps that practice
19 should be followed again.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Marked for identification will be the index.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The index, Your Honour, will be P220 MFI. And tab
22 1 would be P221 under seal.
23 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, the materials behind tab 2 are Rule 92
24 bis materials for Witness L3. This witness was formerly listed as a viva
25 voce witness, but subsequently as part of negotiations with the Defence a
1 new statement was taken and the 92 bis procedure was done, and we have
2 agreed on admission of that evidence in written form.
3 These materials, Your Honour, are subject to both motions filed
4 yesterday, that is the Prosecution's fifth motion for admission pursuant
5 to Rule 92 bis and also the protective measures motion, and I would ask
6 that they receive the next number under seal, please.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Does your witness list include this witness?
8 MR. BLACK: Yes, it does, Your Honour. This witness was
9 previously listed as a viva voce witness, and we would ask that that be
10 changed. And to be clear with regard to protective measures, Your Honour,
11 this witness previously had received protective measures and we would
12 simply seek a variance to permit her to maintain a pseudonym and for her
13 92 bis materials to be admitted under seal.
14 JUDGE PARKER: And what is her pseudonym?
15 MR. BLACK: L03, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. The witness list of the Prosecution
17 will be amended so that the witness L03 is shown as a Rule 92 bis. The
18 statement at tab 2 will be received as an exhibit pursuant to Rule 92 bis
19 under seal.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number would be P222 for tab
21 2, under seal.
22 MR. BLACK: Thank you. The materials behind tab 3 are 92 bis
23 materials for Witness L43. Your Honour, this evidence was provisionally
24 admitted by a decision of Your Honours on the 13th of October, 2004, and
25 we have subsequently completed the Rule 92 bis (B) procedure and I would
1 ask that it receive the next exhibit number, please.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Was it given an exhibit number when provisionally
4 MR. BLACK: No, Your Honour. And I should be clear: What I mean
5 is it was subject to one of the -- I believe this was the Prosecution's
6 first Rule 92 bis motion. At that stage it was provisionally admitted
7 subject to us complying with the attestation requirements of 92 bis (B),
8 which we have now done.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Does this need to be under seal?
10 MR. BLACK: No, it does not, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: This statement of Witness L43 will be received
12 pursuant to Rule 92 bis by consent.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 3 will be Prosecution Exhibit P223.
14 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Moving on to tab 4. These
15 are Rule 92 bis materials for Witness L101. These materials are also
16 subject to both of the motions filed by the Prosecution yesterday in which
17 we seek to add the witness to the witness list, we seek the admission of
18 his statement pursuant to Rule 92 bis, and we also seek the protective
19 measures of pseudonym and admission under seal.
20 JUDGE PARKER: The statement at tab 4 will by consent be received
21 pursuant to Rule 92 bis, being the statement of Witness L101. It will be
22 received under seal. Protective measures as moved will be ordered.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 4 will be Prosecution Exhibit P224 under seal.
24 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I would then move away from the Rule 92
25 bis witnesses to address the last four items on the index and included in
1 the binder. These are expert materials, all of which have been agreed
2 with the Defence for admission. And again I'll just take them very
3 rapidly one by one.
4 The material behind tab 5 is an expert report bearing the
5 reference number 001/2005ER, dated March 3, 2005. Your Honour, this
6 report from ICMP deals with victims Zvonko Marinkovic, and Jefta Petkovic,
7 and I would ask that it receive the next Prosecution Exhibit number,
9 JUDGE PARKER: By consent the expert report of the International
10 Commission on Missing Persons dated 3rd of March, 2005, will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 5 would be Prosecution Exhibit P225.
12 MR. BLACK: Thank you. Moving on to tab 6. This is another
13 expert report from the International Commission on Missing Persons. The
14 reference number of this report is 003/2004, and it's dated December 12,
15 2004. Your Honour, this report deals with victim Hasan Hoxha, and I would
16 ask that it receive the next Prosecution Exhibit number. Its admission
17 has been agreed with Defence.
18 JUDGE PARKER: The similar report at tab 6, dated December 12th of
19 December 2004 will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 6 will be Prosecution Exhibit P226.
21 MR. BLACK: Thank you. The document behind tab 7 is an autopsy
22 report dated 13 October 2003. It bears the case number SLD01/002B, and I
23 would ask that it receive the next exhibit number, please, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: The autopsy report of the 13th of October, 2003,
25 will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be -- tab 7 will be Prosecution Exhibit
2 P227, Your Honours.
3 MR. BLACK: The document behind the final tab, tab 8, is a death
4 certificate for Fehmi Xhema, also known as Fehmi Tafa. As you note, it
5 also bears the case number SLD01/002B, and it's signed on the 25th of
6 January, 2005. I would ask that it receive the next exhibit number,
8 JUDGE PARKER: The death certificate of Fehmi Xhema at tab 8 will
9 be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 8 would be Prosecution Exhibit P228, Your
12 MR. BLACK: Just by way of forecasting, Your Honour, we do expect
13 another document that will relate to Fehmi Xhema, also known as Fehmi
14 Tafa. We first received word about this identification on the 16th of
15 March, 2005, and since that time I've been working to confirm with ICMP
16 that they have indeed obtained a match for this individual. They
17 confirmed that to me on Friday afternoon, the 8th of April. It does take
18 some time to compile these expert reports and, Your Honour, the Defence
19 have been kind enough to agree that we can admit this report when it comes
20 in. We're working to complete it as soon as we can.
21 I don't know if Your Honour thinks it's appropriate to reserve an
22 exhibit number for it or if we should just deal with the report when it's
24 JUDGE PARKER: I think when it comes.
25 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I'm not sure that it was a hundred per
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 cent clear from the record, and that would be my fault if it wasn't clear,
2 but Your Honour was -- specified that the protective measures as requested
3 were granted for Witness L101. Is that also the case for Witnesses L97
4 and L03 who are also subject to that motion?
5 JUDGE PARKER: No. So that will need to be ordered as well.
6 There will be protective measures as moved for Witness L03 and L97.
7 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Is that all?
9 MR. BLACK: I'm very grateful. That's all I have.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: We're ready for the next witness, Your Honour.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Would you be kind enough to take
14 the affirmation on the card that is shown to you.
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
16 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
18 WITNESS: PHILIP COO
19 JUDGE PARKER: Can I indicate for the benefit of Mr. Black that
20 the decisions in respect of protective measures will be the subject of a
21 written decision. I think as a matter of caution it's always convenient
22 that the precise protective measures ordered be clearly recorded, and they
23 will issue in due course.
24 Mr. Nicholls.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
1 Examined by Mr. Nicholls:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Coo.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. I know you've testified before, but I forget this myself. Please
5 try to remember: We need to speak a little bit slowly, allow a gap
6 between question and answer to allow for the interpretation to catch up.
7 A. I will.
8 Q. Would you please state your full name for the transcript.
9 A. Philip Coo.
10 Q. Most of what we talk about today is going to be the report that
11 you prepared for this case and we'll get to that in a moment, but first
12 could you tell the Court just an outline of your military background
13 before you came to the ICTY.
14 A. Your Honours, I spent ten years as an intelligence officer in the
15 Canadian army. My roles in that -- during that ten years included
16 positions at the National Defence headquarters doing strategic
17 intelligence. I also had an appointment in a division headquarters in an
18 intelligence company, and an appointment at the brigade level including a
19 tour with SFOR in Bosnia in 1996. All of my positions as an intelligence
20 officer involved the conduct of analyses and the supervision of personnel
21 engaged in analyses.
22 Q. Thank you. Moving on now, could you tell me, when did you begin
23 your current employment at the ICTY?
24 A. I joined the ICTY in May 1999.
25 Q. And - excuse me - where do you work within the ICTY? What is your
2 A. I work in the Office of the Prosecutor in a section called the
3 military analysis team within the investigations division.
4 Q. And what exactly is the military analysis team, or MAT as it's
5 sometimes called?
6 A. The military analysis team is a team of individuals, all of whom
7 have past military experience primarily as intelligence personnel. Their
8 function is to identify and review information pertaining to the armed
9 organisations in the conflicts that we look at in the ICTY and the primary
10 role is analysis of the information that we come across concerning armed
11 groups, the activities of the armed groups, structure of the armed groups,
12 and how those armed groups are commanded and controlled.
13 Q. Thank you. And what is your role or title in the MAT?
14 A. I'm the head of the military analysis team.
15 Q. How long have you been the head of the military analysis team?
16 A. I became the acting head in August of 2004 and was appointed
17 full-time head in January of 2005.
18 Q. Since you began working in the military analysis team, have you
19 specialised or focused on any particular area for analysis?
20 A. My focus throughout has been the conflicts pertaining to Kosovo
21 and primarily connected to the Serb accused we have indicted.
22 Q. Have you testified previously before the ICTY?
23 A. I did. I testified in the Milosevic case as an expert witness for
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, Mr. Coo's CV is at tab 2 of the thick
1 binder, differentiated from the last one. I would like to move his CV
2 into evidence. If that could be given a number.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Harvey.
4 MR. HARVEY: Your Honour, I have drawn this particular straw on
5 behalf of all of us. I indicated in prior conversations with Mr. Nicholls
6 that we have no objection to the CV and indeed to the full report of this
7 witness being placed before you. In fact, we would have been happy for
8 you to have it sometime earlier so you could have read it, digested it and
9 familiarised yourselves with it, but I'm sure we can manage to struggle
10 along with it together today.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Harvey, thank you very much for that.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: I thank Attorney Harvey as well.
13 JUDGE PARKER: The tab 2, the CV of Mr. Coo, will be received.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. And I should say that is U 0083180 through
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P229.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Now, turning specifically to the report which you prepared in
19 connection with this case, who asked you to prepare it, a report for the
20 Limaj case?
21 A. I was asked by Andrew Cayley, the former senior trial attorney for
22 the Prosecution.
23 Q. What is the aim of the report that you wrote?
24 A. The aim of the report is to describe the nature of the armed
25 conflict in Kosovo in 1998 from the months of January through August.
1 Q. In your report - which, Your Honours, is behind tab 3 - you talk
2 about the scope of the report in paragraphs 1 and 2. Could you just tell
3 us here for the record what the scope of the report was.
4 A. The scope was to describe the reactions of the -- the belligerent
5 forces, the Serb -- the Serb forces and the KLA, their reactions to the
6 deteriorating security situation in Kosovo at that time.
7 Q. What sources of information did you use in preparing the report?
8 A. I relied on information from four general categories. There's
9 information from the Serb FRY and Serb forces, information from the ECMM
10 monitoring mission, the communiques of the KLA, and a variety of
11 miscellaneous reports, which included reports such as the minutes of the
12 joint -- in the FRY joint command.
13 Q. And I know this is a rather general question, but can you describe
14 out of those categories which sources you relied on more or which you
15 considered more useful to preparing the report, if I can put it that way.
16 A. The most useful sources were those in annex B, which come
17 primarily from the Yugoslav army, the VJ. The other primary source was
18 the reports from the ECMM.
19 Q. And briefly, we've got your report, but could you tell us what
20 annexes A through E are, what those different annexes represent.
21 A. These were, as I mentioned earlier, the general categories of
22 documentation that I used. Annex A is miscellaneous, and that includes
23 reports that didn't logically fit into the other three categories, and it
24 includes one -- from my recollection, one Serbian press report, the
25 minutes of the joint command, and a small number of other sources. Annex
1 B is primarily the reports from the Yugoslav army and primarily from the
2 Pristina Corps. It also includes some reports from other military
3 structures within Kosovo such as the military territorial organisation
4 represented by the Pristina Military District.
5 Annex C -- I may be mixing up annex B and C, but one of the two is
6 the KLA communiques, and those were a relatively small number of
7 communiques issued through the months that I looked at.
8 And annex D, the ECMM reports were the reports provided to us by
9 the European Commission Monitoring Mission in Kosovo at that time, which
10 had observers on the ground.
11 And annex E was a report produced by the army of Yugoslavia's
12 security administration in Kosovo, and that security administration was a
13 component of the VJ which had, among other things, responsibility for
14 reporting and investigating crimes committed against or by members of the
16 Q. Thank you. And could you describe what in your view are the
17 limitations or caveats which should be taken with the report, if any.
18 A. One of them includes the realisation that KLA communiques may have
19 a propaganda element. I took that into account, and I don't believe that
20 that factored into the overall assessment or affected the overall
22 Other considerations and a fairly significant gap was the absence
23 of reporting from the Ministry of Interior, which is the -- which are the
24 police forces in Kosovo. While we had a lot of documentation from the VJ,
25 documentation on what the Ministry of Interior forces were doing was
1 notably lacking for a variety of reasons, but primarily because responses
2 to requests for assistance weren't met as well as they were by the VJ.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'd like to admit the report, please.
5 That's U 0083185 to 3220. And if I can explain. The report itself and
6 the citations and supporting material comprise five to seven large
7 binders, so what we've done is one set in hard copy which will go in as an
8 exhibit, and we've provided three copies on CD for Your Honours. The CD
9 -- four. I'm sorry. Four CDs. The CD contains the entire report with
10 all of the footnotes and annexes hyperlinked. In other words, one can
11 click on the ERN number and then read the document that is in the
12 footnote. I think that works better and should work on everybody's
14 If at any point Your Honours do not like using that CD method, we
15 will substitute hard copies, and counsel have agreed to that very
17 MR. HARVEY: That is correct, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Harvey.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could give that a number, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: The report at tab 3 of the witness will be
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I think, Your Honours, if we give --
23 JUDGE PARKER: The question being asked of me is what about all
24 the attachments?
25 MR. NICHOLLS: That's why if we give the number to the CD and one
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 number to the hard copy, that includes the report and all of the
2 attachments and supporting material. I think that can be given one
3 number. It may be the best way to do it.
4 JUDGE PARKER: So you want two separate numbers?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: No. One number, I think, for the report and all of
6 the attachments which would be in CD, but just in case, if we could have
7 the same number on the hard copy or a /1 or something of that nature.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I was misled by you giving page numbers at the
9 beginning when you moved. Very well. We will receive the complete
10 report, both so far as we have it in hard copy and in CD form, as one
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P230.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Coo -- oh, I'm sorry, one last point: Mr. Coo, is it correct
15 that you found a couple mistakes, I think dates, in translation that you
17 A. Yes, that's correct. I provided an erratum.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, there is a very short errata sheet
19 that was given to the Defence yesterday. If this could be given an
20 exhibit number. It should be a different number because it's not actually
21 part of the CD or the body of the report and the materials.
22 JUDGE PARKER: The errata report will be received as a separate
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P231.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Coo, in paragraphs 44 to 48 of your report, the very end of
2 your report, you give an assessment of the nature of the armed conflict in
3 Kosovo between January and September 1998, and we'll go through a lot of
4 the documents which led you to that assessment, but maybe if we could
5 start with you giving the Court just a shorthand explanation of your
6 assessment of the nature of the conflict during that period.
7 A. Yes, Your Honours. During the period January to approximately
8 mid-May 1998, the information that I had suggested that the conflict
9 between the Serb forces and the KLA was comprised of relatively sporadic
10 incidents increasing through -- through to mid-May. And then again on the
11 basis of the information reviewed, sometime in mid-May things seemed to
12 have picked up in intensity and geographical spread and operations were
13 occurring on a much more widespread basis, and this continued through --
14 with increasing intensity again through July and at least into early
15 August 1998.
16 In July 1998, the -- June 1998 and through July, the Serb forces
17 launched a large offensive in Kosovo. Prior to that, the offensives were
18 fairly intense, but in particular it was July when the -- the offensive
19 picked up and involved the whole of the Pristina Corps.
20 Q. Thank you. We'll now move into the body of the report from the
21 beginning. You start off explaining in paragraphs 4 to 8 the structure of
22 the VJ, and we have a map in paragraph 7 which shows the AORs, or areas of
23 responsibility, of the different units.
24 What was the name of the corps which had responsibility for
1 A. The Pristina Corps had the area of responsibility covering Kosovo.
2 Q. And what military body was above the Pristina Corps?
3 A. Its superior formation was the 3rd Army.
4 Q. And in paragraph 5 and 6 you talk about the units which comprised
5 the Pristina Corps. You can look at your report if you need to, I think,
6 because there's a lot of them. It's at tab 3.
7 You state that these units were subordinate during peacetime. Can
8 you just explain what you mean by that. Which units were active at all
9 times and which would be activated in a time of conflict?
10 A. The Pristina Corps had a number of subordinate brigades, some of
11 which were active even in peacetime, others would only be activated during
12 a state of emergency or other extraordinary state such as a state of war,
13 and during peacetime these inactive units were kept at cadre strength with
14 a small core personnel.
15 The active brigades included the 15th Armoured Brigade, the 125th
16 Motorised Brigade, the 243rd Mechanised Brigade, the 549th Motorised
17 Brigade, and there were also two artillery brigades, the 52nd Mixed
18 Artillery Brigade and the 52nd Air Defence and Rocket Artillery Brigade.
19 The first four units I listed are what is -- are what are known as
20 manoeuvre units and they perform a combat function. The other two units,
21 the artillery units support these by providing artillery support.
22 Additional units included the military police and reconnaissance
23 units. And military police in the Yugoslav army had a combat function,
24 whereas in some armies military police don't have that function. In the
25 Yugoslav army they had a -- they conducted special operations and would be
1 used in particular against insurgent forces or for special targets.
2 When I mentioned the peacetime structure of the brigade, that's a
3 reference to the fact that during wartime the brigade could be reinforced.
4 It would be brought up to strength by having its inactive units manned,
5 but it could also be reinforced by units from outside the -- from outside
6 the corps. And this happened in 1999 when a number of brigades were
7 brought in from outside. But it also happened during the period reviewed
8 for this report. There are at least two brigades, or elements of two
9 brigades that were brought in from outside, outside Kosovo, and those were
10 the 72nd Special Forces Brigade and the 63rd Parachute Brigade. They
11 normally belonged to the Special Forces Corps based in Belgrade.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. If Mr. Younis could put on Sanction the
13 map which appears in paragraph 7 of the report. It's not working on
14 Sanction. If we could have it on the ELMO.
15 Your Honours, this is simply a colour copy of the map in paragraph
16 7 I would like to admit because it does not come through clearly either on
17 the CD or in the printed report.
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, just for clarity, I should add that
19 you can note that it's the 52nd Corps on that map. The 52nd Corps is
20 another name for the Pristina Corps.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Thank you. And if you can see that on your monitor, Mr. Coo, that
23 is the same map showing the areas of responsibilities of the different
24 brigades that's in your report; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could give that a number, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P232.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Coo. The next area I want to briefly discuss,
6 which is found in paragraphs 9 to 14 of your report, is the structure of
7 the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, or the MUP.
8 In 1998, you talk about this in your report, under the law of the
9 FRY was there any role for the MUP in armed combat?
10 A. The FRY law on defence recognises that the MUP has a combat
11 function and takes that into account by stating that during extraordinary
12 states such as a state of war the MUP can be used in combat operations,
13 and when this occurs, that they should be subordinated to the VJ.
14 Q. And in 1998, was any such state of emergency declared, or war?
15 A. To my knowledge there was no such emergency in 1998. Despite
16 that, the MUP did conduct combat operations.
17 Q. Now, in paragraph 11 of your report you talk about MUP units which
18 were specially trained and equipped for combat; the PJP, the SAJ, and the
19 JSO. Could you please explain to us what those different units were, what
20 they were intended for.
21 A. All of those units are MUP special units. They're all very
22 heavily armed and they have special training for the conduct of combat
23 operations. The largest of them is the PJP, or special police units.
24 They're drawn from the regular police and members of the regular police
25 are given special training, and they're called up when required during
1 emergencies. They were called up almost full-time in Kosovo during this
2 part of 1998 and in 1999.
3 They -- their structure is very much like a light infantry unit in
4 the military. They have mortars, armoured personnel carriers. They use
5 air defence artillery systems against ground targets, and a variety of
6 other heavy weapons.
7 Two more special units, and much smaller units, are the JSO, the
8 Special Operations Unit, and the SAJ, which is a Special Anti-Terrorist
9 Unit. They have much -- much -- a much higher standard of training.
10 They're quite a bit smaller. Their total size at that time was estimated
11 at about 500 for each unit, and their roles was to conduct operations such
12 as the attacks against KLA headquarters, and their particular speciality
13 would be to -- or ability would be to infiltrate deep into territory held
14 by the KLA.
15 And I should add that the PJP structure -- the PJP was structured
16 along military lines with companies and detachments, and each company
17 would have 120 to 150 personnel.
18 Q. Thank you for that explanation. In paragraph 14, you talk about
19 an entity called the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija. Can you tell me
20 what that organisation was and what its -- the function of the MUP staff
21 was in 1998.
22 A. The MUP staff had existed since at least the beginning of 1998.
23 Its function was to coordinate the activities of the Ministry of the
24 Interior units in Kosovo. Typically in Serbia. This was the Serbian MUP.
25 There was a federal MUP which was of no relevance at this time, but the
1 Serbian MUP was structured into a regional system of secretariats. Kosovo
2 had seven secretariats. Typically, each secretariat would report to the
3 ministry headquarters in Belgrade. In Kosovo, the situation was
4 sufficiently serious that they set up a MUP staff, a headquarters within
5 Kosovo to coordinate the functions of the seven secretariats. So rather
6 than gaining the direction directly from Belgrade, the secretariats were
7 being coordinated by the MUP staff.
8 Q. Thank you. Could we look, please, at the document behind tab 5,
9 and that should be in your binder as well, Mr. Coo. This is ERN 03008251
10 for the first page. And for the record, this is from footnote 20 of the
11 report. It's the decision on the formation of the staff of the ministry
12 in Pristina. And we can see on the second page that it's dated 15th of
13 May, 1998.
14 Could you just tell us quickly, Mr. Coo, what -- what the
15 significance of this document is.
16 A. This is a reiteration of the existence of the MUP staff, and it
17 reflects newly appointed members of the MUP staff which isn't shown in
18 here at the time, but in May 1998 General Sreten Lukic was appointed head
19 of the MUP staff, and at that time it was a formality to reissue the
20 mandate of the MUP staff, and that's what this document is. And it shows
21 that their role, their function was to coordinate activities of the MUP in
22 Kosovo, and these activities included suppression of civil disorder,
23 terrorism, and rebellion, as paragraph 2(a) shows. This document is
24 signed by an assistant minister in the ministry who was head of the public
25 security department. There were two departments in the ministry. One was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the public security department, the other the state security department.
2 So at this time, the function of the MUP staff was -- or the mandate of
3 the MUP staff pertained to -- solely to the units of the public security
4 department in Kosovo, and public security included the PJP and regular
6 Q. Thank you. And if we could quickly look at the previous document
7 at tab 4, 03077941, which is from footnote 19. The decision to establish
8 a ministerial staff for the suppression of terrorism, this time dated 16th
9 of June. It's a bit confusing, both of these documents a month apart
10 talking about a similar topic. Could you explain what this document tells
11 us in relation to the one we just looked at.
12 A. Your Honours, this document expands the role of the MUP staff by
13 incorporating the state security division of the MUP. And because of
14 that, because it covers the whole of the MUP, it's signed off by the
15 minister, Vlajko Stojiljkovic.
16 Q. So then if I understand at this point, all MUP units are being
17 coordinated by this body.
18 A. That's correct. And for example, the assistant head for special
19 operations, Milorad Lukovic was the head of the JSO, which is a state
20 security special unit.
21 Q. From January to August, who was in overall command of the MUP in
23 A. Sreten Lukic was in overall command.
24 Q. I should have asked you this earlier, but who was in command of
25 the PRK or Pristina Corps during this time?
1 A. General Nebojsa Pavkovic was commanding the Pristina Corps.
2 Q. What about the chains of commands for these two, for the MUP and
3 for the Pristina Corps? Were they separate or in the same chain during
4 the period of your report?
5 A. Each had their own chain of command. The MUP reported -- the MUP
6 units reported up through their secretariats and/or through the MUP staff,
7 and from the MUP staff up to Belgrade, to the ministry. The Pristina
8 Corps had its chain of command whereby the field units reported through
9 the brigades, brigades to the corps, corps to the army, and the army to
10 the General Staff in Belgrade.
11 Q. I'd like to move on now, going through your report
12 chronologically. The next sort of armed force you talk about or grouping
13 or local defence unit, that's in paragraph 15 to 21 of the report, what
14 were local defence units?
15 A. The local defence is an unofficial term to cover a collective of
16 various organisations which were formed to -- put together to defend
17 villages and small towns in Kosovo. The composition of these village
18 defence forces or town defence forces included civilian -- the civilian
19 defence organisation which was a Federal Ministry of Defence organisation.
20 It included the MUP represented by MUP reservists. It also included the
21 military territorial organisation which was represented in Kosovo by the
22 Pristina Military District, and that was an organisation that formed small
23 units, and its primary purpose was administering conscription for -- on
24 behalf of the VJ. But it also had a secondary role of forming armed
1 Also in local defence were armed civilians, and there was an
2 official process by which civilians in Kosovo of Serb and Montenegrin
3 descent were armed.
4 Q. In connection with that could we look at the document at tab 6.
5 03036751 is the ERN number. It's footnote 21 in your report. This is a
6 21st of May, 1998 document. It's an order on the implementation of
7 measures for security and protection of the population. Could you please
8 explain to us why you included this in your report and cited it.
9 A. Just for clarification, Your Honours, I think it's footnote -- or
10 tab 6, not tab 21.
11 Q. Tab 6. That's right. It's footnote 21. Sorry.
12 A. This comes from the head of the civilian defence organisation in
13 Kosovo. Civilian defence was the federal structure that was responsible
14 for civilian defence, the mandate of which was to form armed guards to
15 protect vital installations during times of crisis, to perform other
16 functions such as rescuing the population, clearing rubble, and a variety
17 of other tasks.
18 In this document the head of the civilian defence unit is reacting
19 to a situation by which it was noted that Serb -- ethnic Serbs were arming
20 themselves because of the deteriorating situation in Kosovo, and the
21 government had obviously decided to address this by formalising and making
22 official the creation of local defence units.
23 Q. And I think that's reflected in the first full paragraph, the
24 explanation for why this order is being given; is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. I want to ask you now about a topic you address, an institution
2 you address in paragraph 17, the Joint Command for Kosovo. What was that
4 A. The Joint Command was formed in June 1998 by President Milosevic.
5 Its function was to -- involved sending down representatives from his
6 government and representatives of the government in Kosovo to enable
7 political oversight of the activities in Kosovo at that time and to ensure
8 that the -- the aims of the government in Belgrade were realised and
9 coordinated in Kosovo so that all the institutions in Kosovo dealing with
10 the problem; the political institutions, the civil affairs institutions,
11 and the armed organisations, the MUP and the VJ, all acted in a
12 coordinated fashion. So they established this body called the Joint
13 Command which met on a regular basis and discussed events and decided on
14 how future events would be conducted.
15 Q. And can you tell us, was this a unique institution or one that had
16 existed before in the FRY? Can you just talk about that a little bit.
17 A. I'm not aware of any such organisation existing before, nor could
18 I find any reference to such an organisation existing in the doctrine or
19 the laws or constitution of the FRY or Serbia. It's not uncommon. It was
20 -- a similar organisation was established in 2001 when they had a problem
21 with ethnic Albanians in South Serbia in the Presevo area. It makes sense
22 to have political oversight on scene in a crisis area, but I haven't seen
23 any examples of such a situation -- such a structure in Kosovo prior to
25 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 19 of your report you talk about the role
1 of the MUP in local defence and a document which is at tab 7, "The joint
2 command's instructions for the defence of inhabited places." This is
3 03037896. It's from footnote 23.
4 Can you just tell us about the significance of these instructions
5 which were issued in July.
6 A. These instructions, Your Honour, seemed to recognise the
7 seriousness of the problem in Kosovo, that it was sufficiently serious at
8 that time to set up fairly capable local defence units. The -- the
9 instruction makes it apparent that the local defence wasn't just going to
10 consist of handing locals a hunting rifle or a pistol. It included
11 references to the use of artillery and to the conduct of combat operations
12 including offensive combat operations rather than purely defensive
13 operations. It also incorporated the -- considered incorporation of the
14 army of Yugoslavia, the MUP, and other armed organisations in Kosovo.
15 Q. And if we look at section 2 of this document, which is on page 3,
16 "Forces for the defence of towns and their purpose," the instructions
17 speak of the role of the MUP, to organise, lead, and perform combat
18 operations and the support of VJ units through artillery.
19 Can you tell us whether -- whether that occurred, as far as your
20 other research and documentation has shown?
21 A. I don't know if it occurred exactly as set out in this paragraph
22 in relation to defence of a village, but I do know that from the
23 documentation, much of which is included in the report, and especially in
24 annex B, that the MUP and the VJ did conduct joint operations, and their
25 standard tactic was that the MUP performed the function of an infantry
1 unit where they would conduct the attack on the target which sometimes
2 would include a village, and the VJ would provide support through heavy
3 weapons such as artillery, mortars, and tank fire.
4 Q. Thank you. And if we look at page 7 of this document, section 5,
5 Commanding, under the instructions, who was to primarily command these
6 village or town defence units?
7 A. According to this instruction, the commands of local defence units
8 was held by a MUP officer.
9 Q. Now, I don't want to go through them all because it's a large
10 document, but you included the minutes of the Joint Command, the body
11 which issued these instructions in Annex A of your report. For the
12 record, that's at tab 27, the ERN is 03085476.
13 But without going through all of those minutes, why did you
14 include them in your report and what can be learned from reading these
16 A. The minutes show the meetings of the Joint Command occurring on a
17 -- an almost daily basis. The subjects they cover included the
18 occurrences in the -- in Kosovo during the day, with plenty of references
19 to armed confrontations. In addition, the minutes make reference to what
20 the VJ and the MUP in particular are expected to undertake in the
21 subsequent days.
22 The minutes also show who is in the joint command and playing what
23 role. And, for example, it shows that at least at every meeting there was
24 a representative, a senior representative from the MUP, the VJ, and the
25 civilian administration in Kosovo as well as the representatives from
1 Belgrade, Milomir Minic and Sainovic.
2 Q. Thank you. And if you remember, when did these meetings start
3 taking place with the representatives you've just told us about?
4 A. The minutes -- I think the first day of the minutes is the 22nd,
5 or it might be the 27th of July, 1998. The Joint Command was created in
6 June 1998.
7 What I should -- I should add that from the minutes it's clear
8 that the Joint Command is performing a coordination role. It's
9 coordinating the activities of the VJ and the MUP.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm about to start a new topic, Your Honour.
11 Maybe, if Your Honours wish, we could break now, rather than just get
12 three minutes into it.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Thank you for that indication. It will
14 be necessary for the Chamber to take a half-hour break at this time, so we
15 will resume at a quarter past four.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Q. Mr. Coo, I now want to turn to the real meat of the report,
21 paragraphs 22 to 43, which you've entitled "The nature of the conflict."
22 There's been quite a lot of testimony already in this case about the Serb
23 forces attack in March on Prekaz in the Drenica region. Can you briefly
24 tell us the significance of those attacks in terms of the impact on the
25 military situation and on combat.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Based on the information I reviewed, that attack in particular
2 seems to have galvanised the Kosovo Albanian community, and in response
3 the KLA seems to have increased -- seemed to have increased the intensity
4 of its operations in Kosovo, and that's reflected in the documentation.
5 The operations became much more intensive in mid-May and July, but there
6 was certainly a change after the incident at Prekaz.
7 Q. Thank you. I'd like to now look at the views expressed by some
8 senior VJ commanders at the time in July 1998.
9 If we turn to tab 8, which is 03039554 and is footnote 34 to your
10 report, on page 57 of that document you've cited and talked quite
11 extensively about a letter from General Pavkovic of 23 July, 1998 to the
12 collegium, the 3rd Army command. First of all, what period of time is
13 General Pavkovic talking about in his letter to the 3rd Army?
14 A. Your Honours, from the first paragraph it seems that General
15 Pavkovic is reflecting the situation from the previous two months, so
16 presumably through June and -- through at least mid-May through June and
17 until the letter was written in July.
18 Q. And if we look at paragraphs 2 and 3, what are the problems that
19 General Pavkovic is identifying or what is the purpose of this letter to
20 his superiors?
21 A. The implication in paragraph 2, and it's supported by other
22 documents, but the implication solely from paragraph 2 is that Serb forces
23 have been conducting operations or have been engaged in confrontations in
24 Kosovo during the period that General Pavkovic is referring to. He cites
25 problems with the MUP's ability to deal with the problem effectively, and
1 the MUP certainly isn't as well trained in combat as the VJ, so the
2 implication is and the statement that General Pavkovic seems to be making
3 is that more needs to be done than has been done up to that point and the
4 VJ should be involved in a much more extensive way.
5 Q. And can you comment generally on this document, what it means to
6 see this type of letter using this type of language describing events,
7 "the situation increasing at dizzying speed," if that has any meaning to
8 you in your analysis.
9 A. It's typically unusual for a subordinate commander to address his
10 superior commander in a manner that strong. The wording of the document
11 is quite strong. The situation as described by Pavkovic seems to have
12 become fairly dire, and Pavkovic has, I would presume up until that point,
13 had tried every possible -- every reasonable means to get the superior
14 command and the VJ and the state to recognise that the VJ had to be
15 involved in a more extensive manner if the situation was to be dealt with
16 effectively. He must have been feeling fairly frustrated by this point
17 and driven to write such a strongly worded document to his superior.
18 MR. HARVEY: Your Honours, I rise with some trepidation having
19 said that I'm perfectly happy for the witness's reporting to go in full,
20 but when we get into speculating as to what was in the mind and what were
21 the feelings of a general who as far as I know this witness has never met
22 still has discussed those feelings I think we're going a little bit far,
23 with respect.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps the document and its contents should be
25 allowed to speak for itself, Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that's fine, Your Honour. I would just say
2 that as an expert with his background in intelligence he's reviewed
3 thousands of military documents. He may be able to make some valid
4 assessments based on the extraordinary nature, but I think the document
5 does speak for itself.
6 Q. And again, you started talking about this, and I think you've
7 answered it, but what solution is he proposing for the problem in Kosovo?
8 A. General Pavkovic is proposing more extensive use of the VJ.
9 Q. If we go to tab 9, this is 03055097, footnote 35 to your report.
10 On page 3 of that document we have a letter also 23 July 1998, from
11 General Momcilo Perisic, and can you tell us who General Perisic was?
12 A. General Perisic at that time was the chief of the General Staff of
13 the VJ, which meant that he was the commander of the VJ.
14 Q. And he is sending this letter to President Milosevic. Can you
15 tell us the significance of this letter of the same date, why you included
16 it in your report, what it means to you.
17 A. Your Honours, I included this -- this letter from General Perisic
18 for a number of reasons, one of which was General Perisic remarks that in
19 April 1998, he had asked for the creation of a declaration of a state of
20 emergency in Kosovo, and the description of a state of emergency in FRY
21 law suggests that a state of emergency, and by its name alone suggests
22 that a state of emergency would be declared when the situation becomes
24 So in April 1998, the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ felt
25 that the security situation in Kosovo was sufficiently drastic that it
1 warranted the declaration of a state of emergency.
2 Q. And if you look on page 4, can you discuss General Perisic's
3 proposed solution? It begins about the middle of the page to "use the VJ
4 lawfully to defend the border areas ..." and so on.
5 A. During peacetime, one of the VJ's roles is defence of the border
6 areas, defence of the border areas of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
7 and this is a role that in the absence of a state of emergency General
8 Perisic felt the VJ should be dedicated to in Kosovo, and he suggests that
9 the VJ had, at the time of the writing of the letter, been engaged in
10 other tasks, and the other documents that I refer to in the report support
11 this allegation by General Perisic. So General Perisic is proposing that
12 the VJ be engaged in a more extensive fashion in Kosovo but in accordance
13 with the constitution and the law.
14 Q. If you look at also on page 4 3(b), which is attempts by
15 unauthorised persons to command VJ units and his proposals to solve that
16 problem, could you just discuss the significance of that section of his
18 A. Again there's the implication in there that the VJ has been used
19 in combat operations up until that point, but Perisic -- General Perisic
20 disagreed with the way, the manner in which it was tasked, and he thought
21 that the Joint Command was acting outside the legal provisions for
22 commanding the VJ. He describes the way in which the Joint Command was
23 set up to work and claims that it's acting in violation of that, and he's
24 proposing that the VJ be commanded in its proper legal fashion.
25 Q. One of the things he proposes is that the 3rd Army set up a
1 forward command post in the Pristina sector. Just tell us, what is a
2 forward command post?
3 A. When operations are ongoing, it's quite common for a military
4 headquarters to establish a forward command post, which -- which fulfils a
5 command function, a headquarters function, but what it does is it puts the
6 commander closer to the scene of action, so closer to the front lines.
7 The purpose of that is so that the commander can gain better
8 insight into the situation. For instance, it -- it means that it's much
9 easier for him to visit units that are engaged in combat operations. It's
10 -- information gets to the commander much more quickly and he can respond
11 to it in a much more timely fashion.
12 So in this instance, General Perisic's proposition that a forward
13 command post for not just the Pristina Corps be formed but the 3rd Army
14 headquarters and the 3rd Army headquarters is outside Kosovo, so that his
15 proposition that they bring an element of the 3rd Army command into Kosovo
16 to oversee what was going on there also suggests that the situation in
17 Kosovo at that time was sufficiently serious to warrant such an act.
18 Q. Was a forward command post of the 3rd Army set up in Kosovo in
20 A. It was in July 1998.
21 Q. What about for the Pristina Corps?
22 A. The Pristina Corps had a forward command post from at least, I
23 think, about the 21st of April. Certainly in April 1998.
24 Q. And that's for the same reasons which you've just explained as for
25 the 3rd Army forward command post?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Thank you. I'd like to now focus on the months May, June, and
3 July, and documents which illustrate combat operations during those months
4 in Kosovo.
5 If we look first at tab 10. This is 03060812, footnote 31 to your
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, this document has previously been
8 exhibited in the testimony of Mr. Crosland and was given the exhibit
9 number P092 T17, so you have seen this document before. It's a 13th of
10 May, 1998 urgent document.
11 Q. I'd like to go through this document, Mr. Coo, in a little more
12 detail than we will the rest. First of all, can you just tell us what
13 this document is, what the function of this document is.
14 A. Your Honours, this is the commander of the Pristina Corps, General
15 Pavkovic, writing to his superior command, the 3rd Army, in response to
16 what looks like an estimate produced by the 3rd Army on the previous day
17 for -- for how the Pristina Corps could be deployed to react to the
18 situation in Kosovo, and General Pavkovic is responding with a description
19 of how the corps has deployed up until that point and propositions for
20 further deployments and further responses to the situation.
21 Q. And how does he -- and he starts talking about this in paragraph
22 1. How does he characterise the situation he's facing in May, mid-May
24 A. The characterisation is one of a deteriorating security situation
25 and resulting -- arising from the increasing number of KLA attacks, and he
1 identifies what he -- or what his staff, his intelligence staff, has
2 identified as the likely intentions or aims of the KLA.
3 Q. And he places KLA forces at this time at between 3.500 and 4.500
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. If you look on page 2 of the document, the second paragraph, can
7 you comment on his estimates of the territory held by the KLA at that
9 A. General Pavkovic has commented that about 30 per cent of the
10 territory of Kosovo and Metohija is being put under the control of the
11 KLA. And he also further defines that by identifying the key lines of
12 communication or the key roads in Kosovo that are under their control.
13 This estimate, and it would come from his intelligence staff based
14 on reports that are coming into the Pristina Corps, is corroborated by,
15 for example, ECMM reports at around the same time where they claim that
16 the KLA seemed to control roughly that amount of territory.
17 Q. And if you look down under 2.1, we see: "In the period between 21
18 April and 12 May 1998 the following forces were engaged in the corps' zone
19 of responsibility ..."
20 Just to be clear, he's talking about what forces under his command
21 have been engaged in the prior period?
22 A. That's correct. And he identifies the roles that they've been
24 Q. And there's the acronym BG-1 and BG-2. What do those stand for?
25 A. Those are B/C/S acronyms for the English term "combat group," and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 a combat group in this context is a military unit formed on a temporary
2 basis to conduct specific combat operations. It's formed -- combat groups
3 are formed from the battalions within a particular brigade and they are
4 company plus in size, which means that they're over 150 personnel. They
5 usually include infantry, armour, and artillery.
6 The fact that you would form combat groups suggests that they have
7 in mind the requirement to conduct combat operations or they were
8 conducting combat operations.
9 Q. And then just generally, without going through it line by line,
10 can you tell us your assessment of what he is proposing for the deployment
11 of his forces in the coming months, because he's broken up the document of
12 what is to be accomplished by 1st of June, by the 15th of June, and so on.
13 A. He's -- in general terms he's proposing the broader engagement of
14 the Pristina Corps units, and he identifies some of the tasks that he
15 envisions them undertaking, such as clearing the lines of communication,
16 which are primarily those three roads cutting across Kosovo that he
17 identified as being held by the KLA.
18 Q. Thank you. If we could jump ahead now to tab 13.
19 This has been previously exhibited, Your Honours, as P048. It's
20 the KLA communique number 47, U 0038573. Unfortunately, on this copy,
21 because of the highlighting that came through, it's difficult to see it's
22 communique 47. You can see it more clearly on the screen in Sanction.
23 Now, this KLA communique is coming out on the -- it's issued on
24 the 12th of May, right about the same time as the proposal we just saw
25 from Pavkovic. Can you comment on this KLA communique and what it claims
1 about the control of territory and control of roads.
2 A. In general terms, the description provided in the communique
3 corroborates what was in the 13th of May report from the Pristina Corps,
4 which describes the KLA holding 30 per cent of the territory, conducting
5 operations over a wide area in Kosovo, and here in the communique the KLA
6 is claiming that they are conducting such operations. The geographical
7 spread of those operations corresponds roughly to what was described in
8 the 13th of May report from the VJ.
9 Q. And if we look towards the bottom of the communique, it states:
10 "In lightning action by military formations an operation against the
11 enemy's punitive expeditions on the main road in the operational subzone
12 of Pastrik was successfully carried out."
13 A. Again that shows the VJ's intent and involvement in regaining
14 control of the lines of communication appears to be going on and it
15 corroborates what the KLA is saying.
16 Q. Thank you. If we could look at tab 14, R025-2507. This is an
17 ECMM report from the 15th of May, 1998. So the same time frame, given one
18 or two days.
19 You included this in your report. If we look at the second page,
20 last paragraph, it states: "MT" -- and before I continue, can you just
21 tell us what MT stands for?
22 A. That's mobile team.
23 Q. "Mobile team Belgrade's observations on the ground hint that
24 another crucial corner has been turned in Kosovo. The UCK until a few
25 weeks ago still a mystery with its structure, leadership, tactics and
1 funding sources and political connections widely unknown, has come to life
2 and into focus of public attention. From a more defensive posture during
3 the February and March clashes, the UCK has now taken the initiative and
4 is carrying the 'war' to the Serbian security forces. An example of the
5 change in their tactics has been the closure of the Pristina-Pec road, the
6 main supply route for the Serbian security forces, for more than four
8 I think that's pretty clear but could you comment on what ECM is
9 reporting in relation to the Pavkovic report and the KLA communique.
10 A. Again, this is further corroboration for the assessment that the
11 intensity of operations picked up around mid-May, and -- and that the KLA
12 was at least by then having some success in coordinating its operations
14 Q. Still in May. I'm sorry to jump around. If we could go back to
15 tab 11. That's ET 80227948, also from, I should say, annex B to your
16 report. This is the 28th of May, 1998, "very urgent decision on
17 engagement." Could you just tell us what this document is about and why
18 you included it in your report.
19 A. This document shows or assists with the description of the armed
20 conflict in Kosovo. It shows that combat operations were being conducted
21 by -- by the VJ, and they -- these combat operations included the use of
22 heavy weapons such as tanks, suggesting that the threat must have been
23 fairly serious to require the use of tanks and artillery.
24 Q. And if we look at paragraph 2, the tanks and artillery are to be
25 used for the purpose of supporting MUP forces; is that right?
1 A. That's correct. Again, it shows that the MUP were involved in the
2 combat operations.
3 Q. And the next tab, number 12, please ET K0227950. This appears in
4 footnote 47 of your report. This is the 29th of May 1998 order for the
5 Pristina Corps units.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, the document on the CD and in the
7 hard copies had a couple of important translation errors. I'm behind
8 Mr. Younis. He's fixed it in the hard copy. Sorry, Your Honours. It has
9 been corrected.
10 JUDGE PARKER: In the CD as well?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm told that it has been.
12 Q. Now, what is this? This is an order, very urgent, number 1, to
13 "raise to full combat readiness the permanent composition of the Pristina
14 Corps by 1200 hours on 29 May 1998." Can you just tell us what the
15 implications are of this kind of order putting the entire Pristina Corps
16 on full combat readiness.
17 A. Your Honours, putting the full corps on combat readiness
18 essentially makes the units of the corps have to be put into a position
19 where they are prepared to deploy and conduct combat operations on very
20 short notice, in a matter of hours. To do this suggests that again the
21 situation was sufficiently tense and drastic to take this measure.
22 The placing of a military unit on full combat readiness is a
23 fairly serious step to take because it doesn't take very long before the
24 unit becomes tired. It eats up a lot of resources. It involves the
25 cancellation of leave and the unit's personnel either have to be in
1 barracks all the time or in the field in specified locations all the time
2 and ready to come to the unit within a matter of minutes.
3 So prior to this, units of the Pristina Corps had been involved in
4 combat already, but now by the end of May they've seen the necessity of
5 putting the full corps on combat readiness, or at least the active units
6 of the corps, which is five, six brigades.
7 Q. And how many, just for those who haven't been in the military, how
8 many men, how many troops is that, five or six brigades?
9 A. The active strength of the corps at this time was about 10.000.
10 Q. Thank you. You obviously cite and have in annex B many more
11 documents, also in your other annexes about May, but that's all I want to
12 go through in court to highlight May.
13 If we could go to tab 16, please. This is ET K022-7985, dated
14 16th of June, 1998, a Pristina Corps forward combat post report.
15 Could you tell us why this report's significant in terms of its
16 explanation of the use of combat groups and the other information in the
18 A. This is a report from the Pristina Corps forward command post, and
19 it describes in -- on the second page in paragraph 2 incidents involving
20 units of the VJ combat -- describing combat activity. So the report was
21 included because it's a -- it provides a description of combat activity at
22 this time in Kosovo.
23 Q. The report also states in 2.2 that there were no -- it called them
24 terrorist activities against the MUP, and no attacks were registered
25 during this day.
1 Why are attacks against the MUP contained in VJ reports?
2 A. It's crucial that the commander who is deploying forces has all
3 relevant information at hand, and because the MUP and the VJ were
4 conducting combat operations together, or even if they were conducting
5 them separately it required coordination, and it was important to know
6 what was happening to the MUP. And additionally, it also provides some
7 sense of the scale of the activity of the KLA at the time by reporting on
8 -- on what attacks the KLA's conducting, whether it's against the VJ or
9 against non-VJ personnel.
10 Q. If you look at section 5, which is on page 3 of the document, it
11 talks about the decision has been made to continue with increased security
12 of the DG, which is the acronym for the state border, with Albania and
13 prevent entry of DTS, which I think has been stated earlier as terrorist
14 or sabotage groups bringing weapons and ammunition into the territory.
15 Can you just discuss a little bit what the mandate of the VJ was
16 at this time in terms of the state border, the borders of Kosovo as well
17 as the interior.
18 A. Aside from the crossing points themselves on the state border,
19 which was a MUP and a customs responsibility, the actual length of the
20 border was the responsibility of the VJ, the patrolling and manning of
21 border posts along the border. And there was a border zone which changed
22 in depth in 1998 and 1999 to allow the VJ more manoeuvre room, but the
23 purpose of defending the border at this time was that the VJ was
24 responsible for countering the flow of KLA and weapons for the KLA coming
25 in from -- primarily from Albania.
1 Q. Go to tab 17, please. L0044196. This is a 16th of June, 1998,
2 regular operative report to the 3rd Army, talking about an attack on the
3 police station in Rudnik, Srbica. Can you just talk a little bit about
4 this report and the attack which it describes.
5 A. This report is from the organisation I described earlier, which is
6 the military territorial organisation, which also had formed combat units
7 at this time, and the military territorial district in Kosovo was
8 subordinate to the 3rd Army. So here it's reporting on -- on its
9 activities to the 3rd Army.
10 And its description of the attack on the police station suggests
11 that of the -- at least in this incident the KLA was capable of fairly
12 sustained operations, it wasn't just conducting hit-and-run type
13 operations. Additionally, there's a description of the weapons that the
14 KLA were using, which included rocket launchers.
15 Q. Thank you. If we can look now at tab 18. It's ET K022-7991. The
16 next day, another report. Can you describe the situation described in
17 this report, what's going on in mid-June.
18 A. This describes an attempt by a group of KLA to cross from Albania
19 into Kosovo, and they were intercepted by a VJ unit and some of the KLA
21 Q. Go to tab 19, please. This is the next day now, the 18th of June,
22 1998, L0053341. Another document from the military district command, and
23 it's discussing the abduction that day of several persons and talking
24 about a previous abduction, persons from the Spasic family.
25 Why -- why would abductions of this nature, why are they contained
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in an operative report to the 3rd Army command?
2 A. Your Honours, again this is an example of a requirement that a
3 military command has as much relevant information at hand as possible and
4 such information would be taken from his intelligence staff and used to
5 formulate assessments about the likely intentions of the KLA, that -- to
6 understand the tactics of the KLA, to attempt to understand where they may
7 attack next, their size and a variety of other things that assist a
8 commander in deploying his forces.
9 Q. If you look at tab 20 now, please, 03035353, the 20th of June,
10 another report to the 3rd Army command, again talking about the abductions
11 of Serbs, the expulsions of families, and the KLA fortifying positions
12 along the Peja-Pristina road in Klina municipality.
13 Could you just comment on -- I think it's the same as the last
14 report, but why this report is significant, why you include it in your
16 A. This also describes on one day in 1998, in June, why -- what the
17 KLA were doing, and in this instance of note is that they're fortifying
18 their positions along one of the key lines of communication, the
19 Pec-Pristina road. It also is one of a number of references that I came
20 across to kidnappings, and it seems that it's possible based on that
21 information that that was one of the tactics that the KLA decided would
22 suit their aims.
23 Q. Those are some of the VJ documentations from June. I'd like to
24 now look at a few, not all of them, but some of the ECMM reports included
25 for June in your report, and the first one is at tab 22, R025-4317.
1 That's an ECMM report from the 9th of June, 1998. The first heading under
2 General, the first statement is that: "The so-called liberated area is
3 growing." And then there's a discussion of the security situation.
4 Could you just comment on -- on this report, this ECMM report
5 which you've included.
6 A. This ECMM report is roughly the same time frame as the VJ
7 assessment of the situation, the extent to which the KLA controlled Kosovo
8 and the KLA's communique from mid-May describing where they were
9 conducting operations and the lines of control that they -- communication
10 that they controlled.
11 This ECMM report corroborates those sources of information and
12 corroborates the assessment or supports the assessment that the intensity
13 of operations was picking up at this point.
14 Q. In the first paragraph of your report states, speaking of the KLA:
15 "As usual they were armed with AK-47, rifles, and RPG 7." What's an RPG?
16 A. That's a rocket propelled grenade. It's an anti-armour weapon, or
17 it can be used against bunkers as well.
18 Q. And if you continued down in that same security paragraph, the
19 report talks about the enlargement of the so-called liberated area, the
20 road from Suva Reka to Orahovac no longer being under the control of the
21 Serb forces. And then it describes the -- what they've seen in
22 Djakovica: "Almost all the houses bear evidence of heavy fighting: All
23 glass is broken, bullet impacts of several calibres, mortar impacts on
24 roofs, arson ruins, numerous houses are completely destroyed."
25 Can you just - again it's fairly clear - but comment on what the
1 report is saying there.
2 A. It again suggests that the KLA is having some successes in
3 expanding the area of control and it's further support for the assessment
4 that there were fairly extensive combat operations going on in Kosovo at
5 this time.
6 Q. If we look at tab 3 [sic] Now; R025-4308, another ECMM report,
7 this one from the 16th of June, 1998. Tab 23. It says 3 on the
9 Under "General," item 2, we see: "The TM are now encountering
10 more KLA checkpoints than Serb, who have abandoned many of their former
11 positions and significant swathes of territory appear now to be in KLA
12 control with the central action of the main Pec-Pristina road from an area
13 east of Kijevo in KLA control thus connecting KLA to the south at Malisevo
14 with those to the north in Drenica."
15 Can you just tell us what this means.
16 A. Again it's the expansion of the KLA's area of control, and in
17 order to -- to expand in that fashion, it's -- it's assessed and supported
18 by other documents that there was combat operations involved in the
19 gaining of that territory.
20 I should probably add that when I looked at ECMM reports, I tended
21 to ignore the references and the citations of media reports that they
22 include in many of their daily reports. I only tended to use the parts
23 that were clearly the direct observations of their monitors.
24 Q. Again if we look down at paragraph 6, they've talked about
25 Mailsevo above but the report states that: "Malisevo is central to the
1 so-called 'liberated territory' and our efforts to gain the swiftest exit
2 from the area was not possible due to KLA/Serb forces activity along the
3 periphery of this territory in areas close to Suhareke and Orahovac."
4 It's simply another indication of the conflict, the combat in that
5 area in June?
6 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
7 Q. If we can look at tab 24, please, R025-4306, another ECMM report
8 from the 17th of June, 1998. Could you just look at 2(a) and (b) and
9 comment on those sections.
10 A. This is describing activities in central Drenica area and it
11 corroborates VJ reporting that the VJ is operating with the MUP,
12 conducting combat operations, and it also corroborates the existence of
13 local defence units in some capacity where they describe Serb civilians
14 manning checkpoints, armed Serb civilians manning checkpoints.
15 Q. Thank you. And at tab 25, R025-4294, 22nd of June, 1998. This is
16 an assessment of the KLA by the ECMM.
17 Could you just discuss the significance of this document where the
18 ECMM is now discussing KLA territory and KLA control of the roads.
19 A. The ECMM at this time is confirming that based on the information
20 available to them, much of which would come from their observers, the
21 KLA's control of the territory was quite extensive and that the -- the KLA
22 was taking on the appearance or had taken on the appearance of a larger
23 organisation at that point, which included very simple village --
24 villagers acting in a local capacity with fairly basic weapons to a more
25 full-time, professional cadre of KLA members. That is described under the
1 "UCK membership" paragraph.
2 I should probably add that based on this reporting that the KLA's
3 covered such a wide area and managed to gain control of such a wide area
4 in the seemingly relatively short time is suggestive of some -- some
5 ability on the KLA's part to centrally control what its units were doing.
6 Q. If you look under the section "Road infrastructure," the ECMM
7 reports states: "The most striking aspect to much of the KLA-held
8 territory described, is the extent to which the KLA have utilised and
9 improved the local infrastructure, with small roads now being used to
10 ensure a wholly integrated territory that can aid swift movement between
11 areas. In essence, it appears that much thought and probably more
12 strategy has gone into the taking of this territory than most observers
13 felt was likely."
14 A. The ECMM seemed at this point a bit surprised by how well
15 organised the KLA appears to be. The ability to -- to seize control of
16 territory and retain control of territory of such a wide geographic area
17 suggests that it is a lot more than just villagers taking up arms and
18 acting locally. It would require some successful coordination between
19 various KLA units.
20 Q. And looking at the documents we've just been going through, if you
21 think back to the 13th of May Pristina Corps submission by General
22 Pavkovic, can you comment on -- on his predictions of the way the
23 situation appeared to be developing in May to him now that we've looked at
24 documents from May and June?
25 A. His predictions that the situation would intensify and the KLA
1 increase in strength seem accurate, seem to be accurately reflected in the
2 observations of the ECMM.
3 Q. Thank you. If we could go to tab 26 now. This is the last ECMM
4 document I'm going to look at for June. This is R025-4282, 29th of June,
6 There is in the beginning, under the "General" heading, a
7 reference to "significant Serb police action launched at the KLA-held
8 mining village of --" if I pronounce it correctly -- "Belacevac," and then
9 further discussion of KLA control of the roads.
10 Then it talks about the team, with the assistance of Serb police,
11 met coach passengers who had recently been stopped by the KLA at Crnoljevo
12 itself and had four Serb passengers taken hostage.
13 If we turn the page to "Humanitarian affairs," section 3, we see
14 the report: "On reaching the Serb police checkpoint west of Stimlje,
15 local Serb police asked to speak to passengers from a coach which had just
16 been stopped by KLA --" I'm having difficulty with pronunciation today --
17 "at Crnoljevo village and had four Serb male passengers seized. Of the
18 four men, one was said to be an officer of the VJ, another unknown, and
19 two more a father and son. The wife of the last two was distraught and
20 close to hysteria, but the police were able to explain that they were Serb
21 refugees from the Krajina who were travelling to Pristina in order for
22 UNHCR to process their application for emigration."
23 And then under "Comment: ICRC and the UN High Commission for Human
24 Rights representative in Pristina are increasingly concerned with this
25 recent KLA strategy, with well over 30 Serbs now taken hostage. ICRC have
1 had no access to those taken and have been frustrated in their attempts to
2 find a relevant competent Albanian authority with whom they can discuss
3 the issue."
4 That's fairly self-explanatory as well, but it connects, does it
5 not, to your earlier comment about kidnapping being reported in VJ
6 documents as something of importance and an indication of new tactics?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. So the last document for June, Your Honours, a new document, it's
9 a last document in the bundle, tab 47, a New York Times article from 30th
10 of June, 1998, U 0088012. You didn't use this in the report and you
11 didn't use any news reports, did you?
12 A. As far as I recall I used one news report, a Tanjug report from
13 earlier in the conflict, but that was it.
14 Q. If you've had a chance to look at this article talking -- which
15 talks about the June Serb offensive, can you just discuss what's stated in
16 the article and whether the article seems accurate to you in light of your
17 review of the other documents we've been talking about.
18 A. Yes, Your Honours. This does seem to match the descriptions that
19 were given in the ECMM and in the VJ documentation and the other
20 documentation reviewed for the report, a general description of the
21 conflict in Kosovo during this period and some of the specifics such as
22 the attack on the Belacevac village area.
23 Q. It states on the first page, about halfway down: "The Serbs
24 believe this is the final military offensive, a Western military observer
25 said, but this is the third attempt since March by the Serbian security
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 forces to wipe out the rebels. Each attempt has only brought an
2 escalation of the fighting and so will this one."
3 And I think you've already discussed it, but did the intensity of
4 the fighting escalate after the end of June?
5 A. Yes. According to the reports, particularly VJ reports, the
6 intensity did pick up in July when they -- and it's mentioned in the Joint
7 Command minutes that they were conducting a multi-phase operation at that
9 Q. Skipping one paragraph and going to the next: "At a Serbian
10 police checkpoint about a mile outside Lapusnik, a hamlet a mile south of
11 Negrovce, houses were alight and explosions could be heard. A barricade
12 of cars and cement blocks at Lapusnik manned by rebel fighters with
13 rocket-propelled grenades blocks the road to Pec and has cut off the
14 Serb-held town of Kijevo for seven weeks."
15 Now, again, fairly self-evident but can you comment on the level
16 of intensity of the combat appears to be at this time and the weaponry
17 reported to be used by the KLA.
18 A. There's references to a rocket-propelled grenade in the previous
19 paragraph, armoured vehicles and mortar rounds being used, but in order to
20 hold a town for several weeks, as described here, it would presume that
21 the KLA was fairly well -- well-armed and well able to put up fairly
22 strong defensive operations in the face of a much stronger Serbian force.
23 This wasn't the information on this -- on this conflict from this news
24 report but more importantly from all the other reports reviewed from my
25 report suggests that the KLA was managing to hold territory and that
1 requires holding positions and staying in fairly static positions at
2 times. So they weren't just conducting hit-and-run operations and
3 disappearing back into the population.
4 Q. Thank you. I'm now going to ask you to look at and discuss some
5 documents relevant to combat operations in July. The first one is at tab
6 29, 03060823.
7 This is a report dated the 7th of August, but it's reporting on
8 actions between 25th July and the 6th of August, 1998. There are other VJ
9 documents for earlier times in July in annex B but we're not going to go
10 over all of those.
11 Which unit is this report from and which -- and to whom is it
12 being reported?
13 A. This is the 15th Armoured Brigade reporting to the Pristina Corps.
14 The 15th Armoured Brigade was one of the four active combat arms brigades
15 in the Pristina Corps, and the other three active brigades submitted the
16 same reports at roughly the same time, and comments on activities --
17 combat activities conducted by sub-units of that brigade during a specific
18 period, which was the 25th of July to the 6th of August.
19 Q. Is it routine to have brigades submit reports after major offences
20 or operations?
21 A. Yes, this is routine reporting.
22 Q. The first paragraph talks about between July -- 25th July and 6
23 August 1998, MUP units being engaged by a decision of the Joint Command
24 along the following axis including Lapusnik village.
25 It then goes in the second paragraph to state: "The MUP forces
1 engaged consisted of the 1st and 2nd MUP detachments, the SAJ unit, and
2 the Brazil unit."
3 Can you talk about -- you've already talked about how the Joint
4 Command brought together the military and the MUP in operations, but what
5 types of MUP units were these that are being engaged along with VJ units?
6 A. These are the special MUP units, the ones that are trained for and
7 equipped for combat operations. The reference to detachments is a
8 reference to the PJP, and a detachment would be roughly 200 or more
9 personnel. So there's two of those in this paragraph. And the special
10 Anti-Terrorist Unit was the more elite, smaller unit. The Brazil unit is
11 -- Brazil is a nickname for the Special Operations Unit, the JSO.
12 Q. And typically if you can take these units by turn, SAJ, JSO, how
13 would they be armed? What weaponry would they have at their disposal at
14 this time?
15 A. They'd each -- each member would have a personal weapon which
16 would be an automatic rifle. Some would have machine-guns, medium and
17 heavy machine-guns. They would also have mortars including up to
18 120-millimetre mortars. And they also made use of air defence artillery
19 systems which were mounted on vehicles. But the air defence artillery
20 systems are, to describe them roughly, very heavy machine-guns which you
21 would use typically to shoot down aircraft but can be used against ground
23 Q. And then in paragraph 2, in the middle, it talks -- the report
24 describes the weapons used by what are called the separatists, the KLA,
25 during this offensive, and the local features adapted for firing from.
1 Can you just describe what these weapons are for our benefit,
2 60-millimetre and 82-millimetre mortars, and the description of bunkers,
3 fortified buildings, trenches, and so on.
4 A. A 60-millimetre mortar is quite a small mortar that is issued at
5 the sub-unit level, but more importantly, the 82-millimetre mortar is a
6 mortar that launches a projectile, and the projectile can be an explosive
7 shell typically, and the use of such systems requires a fair amount of
8 training in order for the projectile to hit the desired target.
9 The references to fortified buildings, trenches and other features
10 suggests that the KLA had dug in and had been prepared to conduct a
11 defensive operation from a static position using heavy weapons. They
12 weren't just intending to conduct a typical terrorist attack of shooting
13 an individual or ambushing one vehicle and leaving the scene immediately.
14 Q. And I think it's pretty clear from your description, but these are
15 not evenly matched forces, are they?
16 A. No. The Serb forces vastly outnumbered the KLA.
17 Q. If you could look at tab 30 now, 03078583, 8th of August, again to
18 the Pristina Corps command.
19 We just looked at the 15th Armoured Brigade. This is the 549th
20 Motorised Brigade report for the period -- a little bit greater period, 18
21 July through 16th of August. So can you tell us what this separate
22 brigade is reporting to the Pristina command?
23 A. This brigade's reporting a similar thing to the 15th Armoured
24 Brigade, which is that it conducted combat operations with the MUP between
25 18 July and 6 August, at least. At least, that was the period that the
1 Pristina Corps had asked hem to report on.
2 The Prizren Brigade, or the 549 Brigade is headquartered in
3 Prizren and covers an area extending to Djakovica and Orahovac and further
4 on down to the Macedonian and Albanian borders.
5 Q. About the middle -- well, below the middle of the page, the report
6 states: "Our combat group that was engaged comprised command
7 communications squad, reconnaissance platoon, Military Police Platoon,
8 M-83 armoured combat vehicle platoon, tank platoon, 30/2 millimetre Pat
9 anti-aircraft tank, and a 122-millimetre howitzer platoon and a logistics
10 squad." Some of these weapons described are different from in the
11 previous document. If you can, can you just tell us what types of weapons
12 these are and how they're used in combat.
13 A. They're all what would be termed heavy weapon systems. They come
14 from components of the brigade which are brought together to form a combat
15 group on a temporary basis. So units, sections, for example, of an
16 infantry battalion and the tank battalion which formed part of the brigade
17 would be taken and put together to form the combat group. They had tanks.
18 It doesn't say what type of tank, but they did have the T-55 tank which
19 would use its -- its main gun probably against bunkers and fortified
21 The howitzer platoon, that's an artillery unit which would have
22 six guns, and the platoon -- the howitzer would typically be deployed up
23 to about ten kilometres away from the target. It's hard to say in Kosovo
24 but it could be deployed ten kilometres from the target or further, and
25 lob artillery shells at specific targets. Sometimes it could be used in
1 the direct-fire role where it's pointed from a close distance directly at
2 a target and it could be used against, again, fortified positions.
3 Q. Thank you. And just looking at this for a minute, it talks about
4 different units of this brigade, different SAJ units, MUP units. If you
5 can tell, approximately how many men are involved in the combat operations
6 described in this report? Take a moment to look at it if you need to.
7 A. Very roughly, it's -- it's close to 500 personnel or more. It
8 depends on how many they were putting into a MUP detachment. A company of
9 PJP would have about 120 to 150 people, and a detachment would consist of
10 about anywhere from four to seven companies.
11 Q. Thank you. If we can now look at the report for this same time
12 frame essentially now from the 125th Brigade for the period July 25th to
13 the 6th of August. It's at tab 31. 03077366. Another brigade reporting.
14 There are many references here to PJP detachments. I won't ask
15 you to go through all of the different armaments again, but can you
16 comment on what's reflected in this report on the actions of their brigade
17 and the MUP units during the July offensive.
18 A. This -- this shows that the 125th Brigade was essentially
19 conducting the same combat operations as the other brigades mentioned.
20 It's -- but in its own area of responsibility, which covered pretty much
21 Northern Kosovo extending from the western border across to the Serbia
22 proper. It shows the brigade operating in conjunction with the MUP.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I think I neglected to exhibit the
24 New York Times article. I'm not sure if I did. That was behind tab 47.
25 I'd like to make that exhibit. It's not included in the report. I'm
2 JUDGE PARKER: Tab 47 will be received. Or just a moment.
3 Mr. Harvey.
4 MR. HARVEY: As one federal judge once said to me, "All the news
5 that fits, we print," and on that basis we're happy to have the masthead
6 of the New York Times received.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 47 will be Prosecution Exhibit P233.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I apologise for having to come back to
11 Q. We can go through this next document at tab 32 quite quickly.
12 This is L 0105347, report from the 8th of August, 243rd Mechanised Brigade
13 to the Pristina Corps PRK command. Again, 25th July to the 7th of August.
14 I'm most interested, I suppose, in section C. If you can tell us
15 what this means: "BG-3 operated independently and did not cooperate with
16 MUP forces.
17 "VJ hardware was used in full accordance with the rules of
18 combat. It was fired only in cases of extreme necessity at shelters,
19 routes, bunkers and fortified elements of the Siptar terrorists.
20 "Combat vehicles were escorted and guarded by infantry with
21 artillery fire support."
22 That's, I guess, fairly self-evident, but could you translate it
23 for us.
24 A. One of the combat groups formed by this brigade obviously didn't
25 conduct operations jointly with the MUP during this period, and it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 describes using its own infantry to conduct some operations, and it's
2 fairly routine to protect armoured vehicles and artillery with infantry.
3 It describes using artillery to support the operations, which is fairly
4 significant because artillery is -- has a fairly devastating effect and
5 would be used against targets that are representing a fairly serious
6 threat and typically static targets. So it could be possible that the VJ
7 -- that the KLA was dug in into defensive positions and artillery used
8 against them.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. The reference to rules of combat was they were given rules of
11 engagement and they say they adhered to those.
12 Q. And then they continue in 2 and 3 to claim that they behaved
13 properly during these operations.
14 If we could jump back to tab 21, KLA communique number 49. This
15 is previously exhibited as P048, Your Honours. This is from the 12th of
16 July, and the communique states: "... the struggle in Kosova between the
17 KLA and the invading Serbian military and police forces has assumed wider
18 operational dimensions. KLA units are harvesting considerable successes,
19 bringing under control and retaining many strategically --"
20 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpreters. Thank
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. " ... and facilities of vital importance for Kosova's future." And
24 then it goes on to talk about measures against collaborators.
25 Can you just comment on the credibility of that report in light of
1 the VJ and ECMM documents which we've reviewed for July?
2 A. This communique corroborates the other sources that I referred to
3 in my report. The descriptions of an intensification in the extent of
5 Q. I'd like to now look at --
6 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do, is that a convenient time?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Could you give an indication of how much longer
9 you'd expect to be in chief?
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm pretty close to finished. I'm just going to go
11 through a few more documents, ECMM and KDOM, for July. I'll definitely
12 finish today.
13 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated]
14 MR. NICHOLLS: We'll finish July soon, Your Honours.
15 MR. HARVEY: Again, if it's of any assistance to anybody, we do
16 agree those documents, for the purposes of which they've been admitted.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will resume at five minutes to.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.59 p.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. Just to be clear, the
22 Defence did agree for the report and the supporting material to be
23 exhibited. I thank them for that. They would not agree that the report
24 could come in without cross-examination. That's why we're having a direct
25 as well.
1 Q. Mr. Coo, I'm almost done. I want to now look at a few ECMM KDOM
2 reports for July. The first one is at tab 35, 26 July, R025-4238.
3 Under the General heading, this document talks about the Serb
4 offensive of late July, beginning 24th of July, and describes the main
5 objective being the retaking of the main road west from Pristina to Pec.
6 Under Security, similar information. " ... it appears that the
7 main aim of the security forces is the retaking of the main road west from
8 Pristina to Pec with the KLA security force clashes in the area of
9 Lapusnik west of the security checkpoint at Komorane and an area east of
10 Klina close to the security checkpoint in Kijevo."
11 Does this corroborate and fit with the brigade reports which we've
12 reviewed to the -- to their command for the period 26 July through August?
13 A. Yes, it does, Your Honours.
14 Q. The next tab, 36. This is a KDOM weekly report from 20th to 26th
15 July, 1998, R025-3670. And the first page KDOM talks about significant
16 observations and events. First situation, the town of Orahovac is under
17 control of the security forces following KLA action. This action began
18 just prior to the reporting period.
19 So that would be talking about the action being just prior to the
20 20th of July; is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And if we look at section B, which is on -- it's not numbered, but
23 the fourth page, "Freedom of movement/access." And just to be clear, when
24 people are reading these documents, FOM stands for "freedom of movement"
25 wherever we see that, and FOA "freedom of access"; is that right?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Zone B: "On 20th of July a team of Russian state television were
3 detained in the area of Lapusnik by the UCK for 5 hours and threatened
4 with weapons. Their Albanian interpreter was beaten and his fate remains
6 That's again corroborative, is it not, of the VJ documents we've
7 looked at which talk about KLA kidnappings?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If we look at tab 38 -- excuse me, 37. R026-0854. Now an ECMM
10 document from 27 July 1998.
11 Taken as a whole, this document provides evidence and corroborates
12 the existence of armed combat in the Lapusnik area prior to the 27th of
13 July; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Tab --
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, the remaining documents I would have
17 gone through are not contained in the report. These are documents at tabs
18 39 through 46. They are all EU KDOM or ECMM reports. During the break,
19 my colleagues have agreed to admit these documents without going through
20 the process of discussing them with the witness, so these will need to be
21 assigned exhibit numbers, if we could.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Let's identify each one.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. Tab 39 is R025-3666 through 3667.
24 JUDGE PARKER: That will be received as an exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 39 will be Prosecution Exhibit P234.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: At tab 40, R025-4248. It's a 20th of July report
2 by KDOM.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 40 will be Prosecution Exhibit P235.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: At tab 41, R025-6005, another 20th of July report.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 41 will be Prosecution Exhibit P236.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Tab 42, R025-1457.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 42 will be Prosecution Exhibit P237.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Tab 43, R025-1451.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 43 will be Prosecution Exhibit P238.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Number 44 we have R025-4247.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 44 will be Prosecution Exhibit P239.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Tab 45, R025-6003.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 45 will be Prosecution Exhibit P240.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Tab 46, R026-0840.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 46 will be Prosecution Exhibit P241.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Coo. I have no further questions at this time.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 Mr. Harvey.
2 MR. HARVEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Harvey:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Coo. My name is Richard Harvey, and together
5 with my learned friend Mr. Gregor Guy-Smith we represent Mr. Bala, who
6 sits in the middle behind us. Just so you understand, there may be one or
7 two questions that others of my colleagues may have, but I'm essentially
8 here as part of a collective to ask you some questions based on your work
9 as an analyst in this case.
10 You follow me so far?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. I'd like to ask you a little bit about how you do your job. You
13 did say in answer to Mr. Nicholls at the beginning of your testimony that
14 you focus on the conflicts pertaining to Kosovo primarily connected to the
15 Serb accused that we have indicted. I noted particularly your use of the
16 expression "that we have indicted."
17 Now, you are part of a Prosecution team, essentially, here;
19 A. Yes, I am.
20 Q. And your function now is as the head of the military analysis
21 team. "MAT" is being whispered in my ear by Mr. Khan who understands
22 these acronyms better than I do. So you're head of the MAT; is that
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. How many people work under you?
1 A. There's a total of 18 people, 14 of whom are analysts.
2 Q. And is part of your task concerned with researching in order to
3 see whether indictments should be preferred and another part of it
4 concerned with researching after indictments have been brought in order to
5 find evidence in support of the indictments?
6 A. We -- the MAT does generally support the Prosecution teams in
7 efforts to draft indictments, yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Well, you're involved in the pre-indictment phase in providing
9 information that may lead to the bringing of an indictment; correct?
10 A. Yes, we are.
11 Q. And are you also involved post-indictment in looking for further
12 and additional material that may help support the indictment that's
13 already been brought?
14 A. Yes, we are. We examine all the material that we think is of
15 relevance to the conflict, we don't just look at the indictment.
16 Q. Right. The focus of your expertise is primarily on the command,
17 control, structure, and operation of the FRY and Serb forces. Is that
18 fair to say?
19 A. Yes. That's been the bulk of my work at the Tribunal.
20 Q. And you testified some little time ago in the trial of
21 Mr. Milosevic, did you not?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. Which year was that?
24 A. That was in -- it's my recollection it was September 2002.
25 Q. And up until that time you had not been tasked with looking into
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the command structure of the KLA at all, had you?
2 A. I hadn't.
3 Q. When were you first tasked with that duty?
4 A. I've never been tasked with looking at the command structure of
5 the KLA.
6 Q. You were brought in in the Milosevic case to analyse the extent to
7 which it can fairly be said that he, Mr. Milosevic, had direct command
8 responsibility for the VJ, the MUP, and their operations in Kosovo. Is
9 that at least part of your responsibility in that case?
10 A. The task I was given was more general. It was to assess the
11 information that we had that would describe how the armed groups in
12 Kosovo, the Serb armed groups, were structured, commanded, and controlled.
13 Q. And obviously the relationship of that structure command and
14 control to the head of state in the person of Mr. Milosevic.
15 A. To some degree, yes. There's another team within the Office of
16 the Prosecutor called the leadership research team which analyses more of
17 the political issues.
18 Q. At that stage, you were concerned primarily with the Milosevic
19 indictment period which is all concerned with 1999. At least, none of it
20 is concerned with 1998; is that correct?
21 A. The indictment is solely 1999, but a great deal of work was
22 conducted reviewing documentation from 1998 and prior to that, and that
23 was necessary to -- to describe the -- the Serb forces.
24 Q. To find out -- essentially, to establish how things had
25 deteriorated to the point where they had in 1999, you had to look back to
2 A. That was one aspect but also to describe the way the Serb forces
3 were structured, commanded, and controlled required analysis of documents
4 from 1998 and prior to that.
5 Q. You looked into how the VJ and MUP conducted psychological
7 A. No, I didn't. I didn't focus on psychological operations.
8 Q. Did you focus on any of the paramilitary groups associated with or
9 sponsored by VJ and MUP?
10 A. I didn't focus on paramilitary groups either, with the exception
11 of an attempt to determine whether or not those groups fell under the
12 command or control of the VJ MUP or any other Serb command structures.
13 Q. Did you attempt to discover whether the -- the Black Hand group
14 fell under the SAJ or any of the other -- JSO or any of the other acronyms
15 of the MUP?
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. What paramilitary groups did you investigate?
18 A. No paramilitary group by particular name. There -- the purpose of
19 my analysis of what paramilitary groups -- of the involvement of
20 paramilitary groups was limited to determining whether or not the
21 paramilitary groups fell under the official chains of command. I didn't
22 have the information I needed. Some of the information was also in
23 witness statements or witness testimony, which I couldn't use, so the
24 scope of my report was limited to the information I had, which was to --
25 which allowed me to determine whether or not those paramilitary groups
1 fell within an official chain of command. And the outcome of the analysis
2 was that it was assessed that the official chains of command did not
3 tolerate paramilitary groups operating in a rogue fashion.
4 Q. That, of course -- you're familiar with the concept of plausible
5 deniability, I assume.
6 A. I've heard it, yes.
7 Q. When you say they did not tolerate it, officially, I think you
8 qualified that with. Unofficially was there toleration, as far as you
9 were able to establish, of the activities of paramilitary groups?
10 A. I couldn't establish that because the information I had didn't
11 describe the activities of the paramilitary groups.
12 Q. But that you did establish that there were paramilitary groups
13 that did appear to be operating in a rogue fashion, as you described it.
14 A. The -- to clarify what I said, the paramilitary groups, the
15 existence of paramilitary groups in Kosovo in 1999 and prior to that
16 wasn't tolerated according to the information that I was reviewing. For
17 example, there was an order from the MUP in, I think, 1997 or 1998 saying
18 that they were to take action against information they were acquiring that
19 paramilitary groups were attempting to move into Kosovo in 1998.
20 So I had no information that I could use in my report. As I said,
21 the information was in witness statements. I had no information for my
22 report on the activities of the paramilitary groups.
23 Q. Are we right to assume that when you're speaking of paramilitary
24 groups in this context, you're referring to paramilitary groups that would
25 be hostile to ethnic Albanians in Kosovo?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And there were such groups at the time period we're talking of in
3 1998 that did appear to be operating in Kosovo in a rogue fashion?
4 A. I have come across information that does suggest that.
5 Q. Because one of the matters that was of proper concern to you, if I
6 may suggest, was the extent to which weapons were being distributed in a
7 wholesale fashion to civilians under the orders of the VJ and the MUP.
8 A. That's correct. I was reviewing information on that. And, Your
9 Honours, I should clarify my response, earlier response was that I was
10 generally aware from what information I'd read that rogue group -- that
11 the KLA -- sorry, that paramilitary groups were operating in Kosovo in
12 1998. Whether they were operating in a rogue fashion outside an official
13 chain of command, I can't say.
14 Q. You came across no evidence that linked the paramilitary groups in
15 an official, non-rogue fashion into the structure of the VJ or MUP, if I
16 understand you correctly.
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. In addition to the questions of paramilitary activities and the
19 questions of distribution of weapons to civilians, you were concerned in
20 general to investigate patterns and practices of violations of
21 international humanitarian law by the VJ and the MUP.
22 A. That wasn't in the remit of my report, and it's not within my
23 expertise to determine whether or not there were violations of
24 international humanitarian law.
25 Q. It was within your remit to determine whether they appeared to
1 have been operating in violation of their own constitution.
2 A. It was with respect to their chain of command as described in the
3 -- their -- their constitution.
4 Q. Because if I've understood your evidence correctly, it appears
5 that throughout the period that we're looking at, which is 1998 up until
6 the end of July, throughout that period the VJ was operating on a
7 systematic and consistently illegal basis under the constitution of the
8 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
9 A. Again, Your Honours, I don't think I've come to that conclusion
10 anywhere. I report that, for example, General Perisic, the chief of the
11 General Staff at that time, felt that that was the case.
12 Q. He might be thought to be somebody who would have a little bit of
13 an understanding of that situation?
14 A. He would be, but we've received so much conflicting information on
15 that it seems to be a very complex legal issue from the perspective of FRY
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. So it's not for -- I couldn't determine within my expertise
19 whether they violated that law or constitution or not.
20 Q. Certainly you have the general who has overall responsibility for
21 the operation of FRY in Kosovo raising this spectre of wholesale
22 illegality; correct?
23 A. That's correct. I wouldn't regard it as wholesale illegality.
24 They were primarily operating in the border areas.
25 Q. And secondly, apart from the VJ, the MUP also appeared to have
1 been operating in an illegal fashion under the Yugoslav constitution.
2 A. From my understanding, it's not actually the constitution but it's
3 the law on defence in this case which says that during a state of
4 emergency or other extraordinary state the MUP can be subordinated to the
5 VJ for combat operations, but that law and nothing I have seen rules out
6 the MUP operating in combat roles outside of those extraordinary states.
7 It may be the case, but I haven't seen anything.
8 Q. Well, again, we're going to look at them as we go along, but you
9 did come across documents which indicated serious concern by generals that
10 MUP was operating illegally and being used for illegal purposes by
11 civilians who had no business operating in that fashion.
12 A. That's General Perisic's opinion of the way the Joint Command was
14 Q. Do you have an opinion that General Perisic had -- had completely
15 lost his mind about this, or does it appear to be a genuine concern?
16 A. In my assessment, General Perisic had reasonable concerns that the
17 VJ was operating without the formal procedures that would normally be gone
18 through in the political system in the FRY at that time. That may be the
19 way Milosevic operated. There may be other reasons. I just -- I'm not an
20 expert on FRY law or the FRY constitution to be able to make a
22 Q. Fine. Thank you. I'm going to be asking you a number of
23 questions arising out of your testimony during the Milosevic trial.
24 MR. HARVEY: And for that purpose we have prepared, Your Honours
25 -- we have a copy of the entire testimony of the witness. I don't think
1 it should be necessary to worry you with that. We have selected out the
2 pages to which we will be referring, and the testimony took place, I
3 think, on the 11th of September of 2002, if I recall correctly. So if
4 those copies could be given to the usher. Thank you.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please have a copy also.
6 MR. HARVEY:
7 Q. I'll try not to jump about too much with this.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we'll wait to try and ensure the interpreters
9 get a copy, Mr. Harvey.
10 MR. HARVEY: Yes, indeed.
11 JUDGE PARKER: There was a cry for help.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Just ask Your Honours, no objection, but if the
13 witness feels he wants to look at other parts of his testimony, in that
14 case that be made available for him if he needs -- needs it to complete
15 his answers.
16 MR. HARVEY: Most certainly, yes.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps we can wait and see if it becomes relevant,
18 Mr. Harvey.
19 MR. HARVEY: Yes. We have it here if need be.
20 Everybody has it, I understand, now.
21 Q. And, Mr. Coo, just to reiterate what His Honour Judge Parker just
22 said, we have the full copy here at any time you want to refer to it,
24 A. Thank you.
25 Q. The first thing I want to start with, if I may, is page 9992, at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 line 18, which is on the third page of the transcript we have here. And
2 that continuing on until 9993, line 12. I just want to ask you a little
3 bit about the forces which operated under the Special Operations Unit, and
4 essentially focusing from line 1 of page 9993. The MUP refers to "... the
5 state security division responsible for, in very general terms,
6 counter-intelligence. It also had a special arm -- heavily armed
7 uniformed unit called the Special Operations Unit, or the JSO, sometimes
8 known by the unofficial term 'Red Berets' or 'Frenki's Boys.'"
9 We'll come back to the SAJ in more detail later. Just want to ask
10 you, in relation to Frenki's Boys, that relates to Frenki Simatovic of the
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And that --
14 A. Sorry, Your Honours. It relates to Frenki Simatovic. Whether
15 it's Frenki Simatovic of the JSO isn't clear. He had a role within the
16 ministry, a department within the ministry. I'm not sure whether he was a
17 member of the JSO or not. I don't think he was.
18 Q. Who were Frenki's Boys, then?
19 A. The JSO was the special unit within the Serbian MUP, the division
20 of the Serbian MUP known as the state security service. It was very much
21 like the SAJ in that it was an elite unit. It was heavily armed. They
22 wore combat uniforms similar to uniforms worn by the US; green camouflage
23 uniforms. They had armoured vehicles and heavy weapons. If you saw them,
24 the uninformed observer might mistake them for a military unit.
25 Q. Nothing from their appearance certainly to distinguish them from
1 an army military unit?
2 A. There is. The uniforms are different and the insignia are
4 Q. But if you're on the receiving end of them, the result would be
5 the same.
6 A. It would.
7 Q. The unit was notorious, was it not, for carrying out serious human
8 rights violations?
9 A. I've obviously read about those allegations but there is nothing
10 that I came across that I could support them with so I didn't cover that
11 in my report.
12 Q. Was part of your research and background reading the book by Tim
13 Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge?
14 A. I read that book from general knowledge -- out of general
15 interest, yes.
16 Q. Do you recall a passage in that book where he describes an attack
17 by Frenki's Boys in Decani on a van carrying workers from a nearby power
18 plant where they were ambushed and killed by men wearing black? Do you
19 recall that?
20 A. I don't recall that. I would be inclined to be skeptical unless I
21 knew how it was determined that they were Frenki's Boys or the JSO.
22 Q. Perhaps we can provide some enlightenment at a later stage on
23 that. The point being that the JSO did carry out attacks that were
24 designed to appear to have been conducted by the KLA in order to discredit
25 the KLA. Would you agree that that did happen?
1 A. I can't agree. I've seen nothing that would allow me to agree
2 with that.
3 Q. You've seen nothing at all?
4 A. Nothing.
5 Q. I'll take you, then, to the subject of the arming of civilians.
6 This was planned at least as early as May of 1998. Would you agree?
7 A. I agree.
8 Q. It was ordered no later than June of 1998, would you agree?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the order was that it was to be executed, completed by the 1st
11 of July, 1998. Would you agree with that?
12 A. That's correct, according to the document I reviewed.
13 Q. You've already described that to some extent. I'd like you to
14 look, if you would, please, at page 9997, line 24 -- which I clearly don't
15 mean, do I. I mean 9996, line 24, which actually exists.
16 Here you were being asked by Mr. Nice on behalf of the Prosecution
17 in the Milosevic case about your use of the word "saturated," and it
18 reads: "You used the word 'saturated' saying that the local defence
19 concept ensured that Kosovo was saturated with armed organisations. In
20 the same paragraph you conclude that the concept involved brought FRY and
21 Serb forces together in composite units acting ultimately on the authority
22 of the president." You're asked what you meant by "saturated," and you
23 give this answer: "That term is intended to emphasise that not only in
24 Kosovo was defence a responsibility of the regular army, the VJ, and to a
25 large extent also the combat units of the MUP, but there was also,
1 complementing that and taking away some of the load of defending towns and
2 villages, a well-organised system of local defence, and that system was
3 integrated within the federal system of command which I've described
4 elsewhere in the documentation ..."
5 Now, I'd just like to ask you, and please if you want to read on
6 just to the bottom of that page, I don't think I need to read it aloud.
7 Just so you have the full flavour of your answer.
8 The local defence concept is not something that you as a
9 professional military man would endorse. Is that fair to say?
10 A. No, it's not fair to say.
11 Q. It's not fair to say that? I'm sorry, you wouldn't endorse it or
12 it's not fair to say that you wouldn't endorse it?
13 A. I can't -- I wouldn't not endorse it.
14 Q. As practised by VJ and MUP, would you endorse that practice?
15 A. I guess --
16 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm going to object on vagueness. I don't know
17 what counsel means by "endorse the practice." Maybe if it could be asked
18 a different way.
19 MR. HARVEY: I'm happy to become a little more specific about it.
20 Q. This local defence concept meant that Kosovo was saturated by
21 weapons in the hands of FRY, the Serb forces, and those civilians whom
22 they trusted only; is that correct?
23 A. Partially correct. And I should say that I can't comment on the
24 extent to which the local defence concept was in effect in 1998. There
25 was certainly orders to bring it into effect and to identify people to
1 whom arms should be given, and there was the Joint Command instruction
2 from July explaining in great detail how the concept should be set up.
3 There are some references from documents in my report suggesting that they
4 -- they were functioning, but the extent to which they were in 1998, I
5 don't know.
6 The reference to civilians, there were in fact other elements to
7 civilian defence, and those -- to local defence, and that was a civilian
8 defence structure which was an official Ministry of Defence structure
9 intended to, as I said earlier, to protect vital installations, among
10 other things. There were provisions in the law to arm them. They
11 received training, and they had official chains of command.
12 There were documents that I saw that suggested that in addition to
13 these official organisations, they were arming civilians, but those
14 civilians were being trained and integrated into an official chain of
15 command. They were always with, to my knowledge, civilian defence, MUP,
16 and possibly VJ.
17 Q. We're putting an awful lot of faith here on documents produced by
18 the VJ, aren't we?
19 A. Those documents, most of which are corroborated by other
20 documents, at least, in this -- the report for this case, not all of the
21 documents on local defence were produced by the VJ. The means by which we
22 got the documents vary quite widely, so I tended to afford them some
24 Q. Could we have a look -- there's a document which I've asked to be
25 copied and circulated. It's K number is K022-7997. And the translation
1 is at 03078003. If that could be circulated.
2 Thank you. The advantage of the distribution process is it
3 gives all of us a chance to have a look at it, Mr. Coo.
4 This is the order sent by General Pavkovic on the 26th of June,
5 1998, on distributing weapons, among others, to the civilian population;
6 is that correct?
7 A. I just have to have a quick review of it.
8 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said.
9 A. Sorry. I just have to review it quickly.
10 Q. I see now. Paragraph 8 specifically refers to: "I forbid
11 formation and engagement of any volunteer units except those comprising
12 local village inhabitants."
13 A. That's correct. I just don't see any reference specifically to
14 the distribution of weapons to civilians. It does suggest that civilians
15 will be involved in local defence, but I don't see the specific reference
16 like paragraph 1 to weapons going to civilians.
17 Q. We'll probably come to that fairly soon anyway. By the way,
18 reference here is made to military conscripts. Are you aware of the
19 extent to which military service had operated in Kosovo up to and
20 including 1998?
21 A. Not in detail. I'm aware that there was an obligation under the
22 law for able-bodied men between the ages of, I think, 18 and 65 or 55 to
23 do their national service. I understood that a lot of the Kosovo
24 Albanians didn't complete that service.
25 Q. But by contrast, a lot of ethnic Serbs and non-Kosovan Albanians
1 did complete their service; correct?
2 A. Correct. I'm not ruling out that the Kosovo Albanians did get
3 military service. A lot of them had it.
4 Q. We've heard already that some certainly did. But it was easy,
5 therefore, for the army command to call back those who had already done
6 their service, and they knew because of their records whom they could
7 trust, or who they at least thought they could trust with weapons. Do you
8 think that's a fair observation?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. But this order of the 26th of June requires that weapons be
11 distributed to military conscripts, in paragraph 1, that it be done in
12 security and secrecy. And paragraph 3: "On the basis of the lists, call
13 up military transcripts [sic] in small groups to the army barracks --"
14 Did I say "transcripts"? "... military conscripts in small groups to the
15 army barracks for organised distribution and issue of weapons in Serbian
16 and Montenegrin villages. Devote special attention to security measures,
17 secrecy and camouflage discipline in carrying out this task."
18 So great care is being taken to arm one section of the population
19 effectively against another section of that population, would you agree?
20 A. That's correct, and I had that in my report for the Milosevic
21 trial. There were indications that they -- there were also loyal
22 Albanians armed in parts of -- in some local defence units.
23 Q. Generally speaking, when Albanians did their military service, is
24 it correct to say that they were assigned to non-combat roles? Are you
25 aware of that?
1 A. I don't have enough to say anything conclusive about that.
2 Q. Anyway, we see on -- at paragraph 10 on the second page that:
3 "The deadline for the distribution of these weapons is until 1800 hours on
4 the 1st of July 1998 ..." So four days, they've got to get all these
5 weapons out there; is that right?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Which suggests, would you agree, that preparations would already
8 have been well advanced once -- for the -- to be ready to go as soon as
9 the order was given.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. I'd just like to look with you, if I may, at your testimony at
12 pages 10010, starting at line 22. This refers, I believe, to tab 6 of
13 your report, the order from Petar Ilic, chief of defence administration,
14 that chiefs of departments and heads of sections shall immediately
15 establish contacts with municipal leaders and ensure that lists are
16 compiled for the purpose of arming of the population. And that's an order
17 dated the 21st of May, as we've -- as you've already said in chief; right?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. So you would agree that that order of the 21st of May signals the
20 preparation for the order that is going to come on the 26th of June that
21 is going to be completed by the 1st of July, arming specific sections of
22 the population against other sections of the population.
23 A. We discussed the same subject. I can't say whether the July ones
24 or the June ones are a direct outcome of the May one, but there is a
1 Q. Then in relation to tab 8, I'd just like to ask you a couple of
2 questions. This is the dramatic warning letter from General Pavkovic to
3 the collegium of 3rd Army commanders. Would you look with me, please, at
4 page 10023, point 11, which refers to this letter. It says in terms,
5 looking at line 11: "Despite the arming of the population, that factor in
6 the system against terrorist struggle has not been included." That is the
7 -- that is the arming of the population has not been included in the
8 resistance to the terrorist struggle. Do you follow me?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When you testified later at a hundred -- 10094, lines 6 through
11 11, you said at line 11 --
12 A. I'm not sure I have 10094.
13 Q. I'm sorry. 10094.
14 A. Mine jumps from 10088 to 10103.
15 Q. Then -- you're quite right. It's my error. I had not asked for
16 that page to be copied.
17 May I just ask you this and see if you accept it. Otherwise, I'll
18 get the full reference for you.
19 You referred to this letter --
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I have page 10094 here if you want to show it to
21 the witness.
22 MR. HARVEY: Thank you very much indeed. We have the full
23 transcript anyway, don't we. Where is the full transcript?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Harvey.
25 MR. HARVEY: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It would suit me personally to break a little
2 early. I don't want to do that if you're at a point where the flow would
3 be disturbed, but in view of the need to sort out the right page, I raise
4 it in case this would be a convenient time.
5 MR. HARVEY: Then I think my convenience and yours coincide, Your
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will resume tomorrow at 2.15.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.54 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day of
10 April, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.