Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20645

1 Monday, 21 January 2008

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

5 [The witness entered court]


7 [Witness answered through interpreter]

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Kotur.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination by Mr. Bakrac will continue in a

11 moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration to speak the

12 truth which you made at the beginning of your evidence continues to apply

13 until your evidence is completed.

14 Mr. Bakrac.

15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16 Examination by Mr. Bakrac [Continued]

17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kotur.

18 A. Good morning.

19 Q. If you remember last Friday, we left off analysing a document of

20 the OSCE from the central headquarters of the OSCE in February, early

21 March, and we saw that the OSCE assessment was that the KLA would be

22 putting pressure on local residents to move out, and it concerned a

23 location near the border with Macedonia. Did you have your own knowledge

24 and evaluations or any facts, perhaps, that in other areas, too, such

25 pressure was put on civilian population by the KLA to move out?

Page 20646

1 A. We had both evaluations and knowledge that such things happened

2 for a number of reasons. One reason could have been in order to move the

3 population and to represent that as a result of the activities of Serb

4 security forces by way of an offensive and the population was moving out

5 in convoys.

6 Another reason was in situations when the KLA was about to lose a

7 piece of territory and then they would move the population and run with

8 them.

9 And the third reason why they moved their own population was if

10 they thought they could stay in some villages for a longer time to use

11 them as a stronghold from which to attack Serb security forces regularly,

12 then they would want the population to move out so that they had the place

13 to themselves in order to attack Serb security forces. There were many

14 places in which that happened, not only Kacanik.

15 Q. Mr. Kotur, could we now look at an exhibit 5D636. Look at page 2

16 in B/C/S, please. Can we have page 2, please?

17 Look at the first paragraph on page 2, item 3. It says: "KLA

18 threat to launch large-scale actions such as new Racak or new Markale.

19 There is information --"

20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot find this.

21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. "From many sources the information came in. The terrorists have

23 six large explosive devices that they intend to use in urban environment

24 possibly in Pristina." Two markets are being mentioned. "According to

25 OSCE mission steps will be taken to prevent this."

Page 20647

1 A. I had a meeting with Colonel Ciaglinski at which this was

2 discussed. During that meeting General Loncar came in and informed us

3 that between Nagura [phoen] and Lapovaca, a police envoy was ambushed

4 wherein 15 policemen were wounded. Mr. Ciaglinski immediately used his

5 cell phones and his verifiers to check this information, and he got

6 confirmation; but General Loncar warned him that preparations were made to

7 use six large explosive devices to be set in these places that are

8 mentioned here. That happened in Kosovska Mitrovica, in Vucitrn, around

9 the 13th of March, I believe. In Urosevac something happened in February,

10 so after that meeting which happened on the 5th of February or these

11 things happened in the second half of February, resulting in 14 or 15

12 deaths of local residents and a large number of wounded. So the police

13 did not stop and did not prevent these terrorist actions, although they,

14 and I have to emphasise this here, had their representative in the highest

15 authorities of the so-called KLA. Both the OSCE and the American KDOM had

16 their representatives.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the date of this document? Can we go back

18 to the first page, please. Yes, it's March. So it can't be predicting

19 events in February. What you're talking about then is a meeting that you

20 had with Colonel Ciaglinski sometime earlier than this document; is that

21 correct?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Bonomy. I stated that

23 because we had this knowledge back in February, and we warned the

24 verification mission back in February, although this was done in March,

25 this particular document. I presented this document when testifying in

Page 20648

1 the Milosevic case.

2 What I talked about now was on the 5th of February. We had

3 knowledge back then, and we first informed the verification mission back

4 then, although we informed them again in March.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.

6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I was going to ask you anyway about this.

8 You said the verification mission did nothing to prevent this. We have

9 also observed these tactics of moving the civilian population and creating

10 an artificial picture of a humanitarian catastrophe. What did the

11 verification mission do to prevent these tactics of the KLA?

12 A. The task of the mission was to verify the cease-fire, see if it

13 was being honoured, to establish freedom of movement, and to establish the

14 person or persons responsible for every violation and offence.

15 If the verification mission had exact knowledge that the KLA was

16 violating the agreement on a massive scale, was launching terrorist

17 actions, setting ambushes, kidnappings on a massive scale, they did

18 nothing except to try to pacify us lest we took some drastic measures.

19 They justified this by a lack of firm chain of command in the KLA and

20 their own lack of control over certain commanders. They never made a

21 public appearance in any media, unlike they did against us in the case of

22 Racak. But there was nothing done by them except these declarations.

23 I told you about Vollebaek's visit to Pristina when they said that

24 our conduct was consistent with the situation and that we were not

25 violating the agreement, but as far as the KLA they -- is concerned, they

Page 20649

1 did nothing.

2 Q. Thank you, Colonel. In the course of 1999, did you, together with

3 Mr. Ciaglinski and Mr. Drewienkiewicz tour the state border with a view to

4 gaining an insight into the sufficiency of troops to secure the state

5 border?

6 A. We toured it together.

7 Q. Can we have P640. This is another exhibit of the Prosecution. I

8 would like you to look at it and to clarify for us the evaluations of the

9 number of troops that would be sufficient to secure the state border. But

10 before that, tell us, what was the width of the border belt?

11 A. The depth of the border belt was five kilometres, and the length

12 of the border was 260 kilometres.

13 Q. Was there an increase at some point?

14 A. It was increased up to ten kilometres.

15 Q. You don't remember when?

16 A. I can't remember now.

17 Q. Could we now please look at page 1, both in English and in

18 Serbian -- or, rather, page 2. This is page 1. This is the cover page.

19 In item 1 -- in item 2 we can see the length of the state border

20 facing Albania and Macedonia, and the total length. And to move along

21 faster, could we move to another page, the second page, for you to look at

22 item 9. That is our evaluation. And then you could give us your comment,

23 tell us how many men were on the state border, and then had we could look

24 at 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 to see the evaluations of the verification

25 mission.

Page 20650

1 A. We toured the border from Vrbnica in the south all the way up to

2 Decani. That team, except Drewienkiewicz and Ciaglinski, included

3 Mrs. Thelma Dombar [phoen] and some other people I didn't know well.

4 Mr. Drewienkiewicz was surprised at the wildness of the border as

5 he put it, how difficult it was to pass through and how difficult it was

6 to secure; and he put to me a proposal that he would like to come to see

7 me in my office the next day so that we could make a joint assessment of

8 the number of troops to secure the state border the way we were securing

9 it, the way we saw the problem, because that was the period when our

10 representatives and representatives of the Albanian side were negotiating

11 for the first time in Rambouillet. He told me that the plan put to the

12 Serbian side envisaged that 2.000 troops would remain there to secure the

13 state border, and he said that only they had the possibility to effect

14 certain decisions in Rambouillet. He also said that if certain decisions

15 are taken, they would be difficult to change later even if those decisions

16 are bad. So we met the next day in my office, and we made this evaluation

17 here.

18 Q. To move on more quickly, is it correct that your evaluation was

19 that between 6 and 7.000 soldiers were required? And here under item 15,

20 we see the evaluation of the KVM, 6.600 soldiers.

21 A. He agreed completely with my evaluation. He had not a single

22 objection. I explained to him why certain things were necessary, and

23 having seen the terrain he completely agreed with my assessment. Out

24 of -- the only little discrepancy was between 7.000 on my side and 6.600

25 on them, on their side. So their assessment was a couple of hundred less

Page 20651

1 on the condition that these couple of hundreds would be moved to the

2 interior of Kosovo and Metohija.

3 Q. Tell me, how many people were engaged actually at that moment?

4 A. Around 3.000. Fifty per cent of the assessment.

5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kotur. Did you, with Mr. Ciaglinski, also tour

6 Junik village and when?

7 A. I toured the unit engaged in in-depth security located somewhere

8 in Junik on the 27th or 28th of January, I believe.

9 Q. Could we look at 5D648 briefly, and then I will ask two more

10 questions.

11 Was there any civilian population in Junik at the time when you

12 visited?

13 A. Yes, there was. There was civilian population, and on our way we

14 ran into a humanitarian organisation that was staying in Junik at the

15 time. We struck up a conversation, and Mr. Ciaglinski participated in it

16 with me.

17 Q. I'm sorry, I called 5D648. Could we see page 3 in B/C/S, please.

18 The last paragraph.

19 It says here that on the 24th of January, from 8.30 to 0900 hours,

20 the team leader of the Pristina Corps command and the representative of

21 the mission, Colonel Ciaglinski visited the command of DG 125 in Junik,

22 and then in Junik they had a conversation with a group of local Siptars.

23 A. Could we please scroll up a little bit. I can't see the text.

24 Q. Let's move on to the next page now. On the page in B/C/S, that's

25 page 4. It says here: "They talked to a group of local Siptars who say

Page 20652

1 that they did not have any problems with members of the VJ."

2 Is that this visit?

3 A. Yes, that's the visit. I was wearing civilian clothes just like

4 Mr. Ciaglinski. I raised this issue on purpose. I wanted Mr. Ciaglinski

5 and the members of the humanitarian organisation to hear from the locals

6 how the army had behaved in Junik. And I'm referring to all of 1998. I

7 wanted them to hear whether the locals had any complaints against the

8 army. The locals didn't know who I was. They had no idea I was an

9 officer, and they said they had had no problems with the army in Junik.

10 Q. You said that there was civilians in Junik, civilian villagers,

11 and that you spoke to them in January. Was Junik destroyed?

12 A. No. Had it been destroyed, the civilians wouldn't have spoken

13 about us the way they did. There was very little damage done to Junik

14 when it was liberated in 1998. I think in September there was even a team

15 of diplomats visiting Junik, and they reported that there was very little

16 damage, to the best of my knowledge. You can see that in their report,

17 and Ciaglinski was able to see that for himself, as was the humanitarian

18 organisation whose representatives visited Junik with us.

19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to expedite matters the

20 report of the diplomats who visited Junik can be found in Exhibit P564,

21 which is a report from the Austrian embassy, and there it's mentioned that

22 Junik suffered little damage.

23 Q. Let's move on. Now that we are talking about this document,

24 Colonel, let's take a look at page 5 of this document, which we see on the

25 screen before us. Page 5 in B/C/S -- or, rather, I do apologise, page 3.

Page 20653

1 That's the previous page. Page 3. My mistake. I apologise.

2 Colonel, I'll read you the last sentence in the paragraph before

3 the last. The topic of the meeting was a visit to the units of the VJ

4 engaged in securing the state border, and it says here that it was

5 concluded that in the border belt no movement will be allowed without

6 prior notification and without the presence of a liaison officer.

7 Can you tell us with whom this conclusion was reached? What does

8 it mean when it says it was concluded?

9 A. It says here that Mr. Ciaglinski attended that meeting, and the

10 commander of the 53rd Border Battalion and I, and that we agreed on the

11 way the units engaged in securing the state border would be visited both

12 on line and in-depth security; and we decided that there would have to be

13 prior notification and that liaison officer would have to be present.

14 It's quite logical, because the moment the mission arrived in

15 Kosovo, we informed them of the methods of work, especially touring the

16 units in the border belt, and the units on the ground and in barracks and

17 special facilities. We discussed all this. And Ciaglinski fully agreed

18 that this was the only possible manner of proceeding, and from that point

19 on that's how we operated. Up until that moment, until January, they had

20 developed a special method of work. This was done by Mrs. Thelma Dombar,

21 whom I mentioned visiting the border. It was a so-called aggressive

22 method, aggressive toward our side. They demanded access to all

23 facilities and installations, and all units in the border belt, barracks,

24 depots, warehouses, and this resulted in a letter being sent from

25 Mr. Walker to Mr. Milosevic.

Page 20654

1 That was not how we interpreted the agreement. If this method of

2 work had been accepted, the possibility of securing the state border would

3 have been nil. It would have been impossible. And the work of the

4 Pristina Corps would have been completely paralysed because they had 1.385

5 verifiers.

6 Q. Mr. Kotur, we have to move more quickly, so I must interrupt you.

7 Now that we're looking at this document, could you please confirm

8 whether -- well, we saw that on the 24th you went to Junik. Did you visit

9 other villages, for example, Skoza, Dobriste, Vrbnica, the village of

10 Glodjan.

11 A. Yes, yes. We visited all those villages with this team, because

12 it was all on the axis where the border boasts were and the border

13 crossings. The locals were -- in Dobriste were pleased with the -- well

14 they were satisfied with the situation. They had no complaints against

15 the army. When asked by Mr. Drewienkiewicz what they missed or what they

16 lacked in Dobriste they said they lacked an outpatient clinic, a health

17 centre, and he said that he would provide aid to them to have this built.

18 I don't know what he meant by that.

19 Q. Were you wearing civilian clothes on that occasion?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Colonel, we have just spoken about the way verification was

22 carried out in the border belt. Could now take a look at Exhibit 3D787.

23 It's a report, it seems, from the working group of the team of the General

24 Staff of the army of Yugoslavia, and it seems -- well, let's look at this

25 document first, and can you comment briefly on this? Could you look at

Page 20655

1 the introduction, and at paragraph -- or items 1, 2, and 3. Please don't

2 read it out loud, just comment briefly.

3 A. Well, in this document we see that the Chief of the General Staff

4 designated a working group of officers from the team for relations with

5 the verification mission and NATO.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the 13th to the 16th of

8 December --

9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kotur, could you please slow down a little.

10 The interpreters have to pick up everything and translate it for us and

11 you're speaking rather quickly at the moment. Thank you, please continue.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I forgot myself for a moment. I

13 know I had quite a lot of problems last time because of the speed of my

14 speech.

15 From the 13th to the 16th of December they carried out the

16 inspection, and they saw to what extent the teams were prepared for the

17 relations and the liaison officers from the VJ for relations with the

18 Kosovo Verification Mission. This team established that we were fully

19 prepared and trained to carry out the tasks set before us. That's it in a

20 nutshell.

21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Well, we see that in items 1, 2, and 3. Let's move to page 2 now.

23 And it seems that in this document there is an explanation of the

24 standpoints of the government commission of the SRJ, the FRY that is.

25 Did you receive this explanation of the government standpoints

Page 20656

1 concerning the agreement, and is that what we see here in item 5?

2 A. I said that we were already having problems with the mission,

3 which was already in Kosovo, because of the aggressive method they had

4 selected, and I explained what that aggressive method was. We asked for

5 clarification from the team which had arrived from the General Staff, and

6 they conveyed to us that the standpoints of the government commission of

7 Yugoslavia was that there would be no entry into barracks or army

8 facilities or verification of -- of equipment or activities or troops.

9 The only verification allowed was that of mixed companies -- by mixed

10 companies with prior approval and verification of VJ troops securing the

11 in-depth security of the state border according to the protocol on

12 verification and with previous notification; and that verification of

13 units in the border belt would be permitted with previous notification,

14 approval, and according to the protocol of verification.

15 Q. Colonel, we've seen these instructions -- or, rather, this report

16 from the General Staff and the practical guidelines issued by the FRY

17 commission clarifying and/or interpreting the agreement. Could we now

18 take look at 3D408. And this seems to be an order issued by the General

19 Staff of the VJ immediately after this report of the working group.

20 Can you tell us what this is about? Perhaps we could look at item

21 6 on page 2, because as we'll see later on, there was some -- something

22 contentious about this. So could you please read the part that's

23 underlined.

24 A. Could we zoom in, please? Yes. Item 6 says that: "Mission

25 members verifiers must be treated in accordance with the status and the

Page 20657

1 diplomatic immunity they have. Verification of VJ units in barracks,

2 border posts, depots, except the PVO systems reported and stationary

3 communications notes are not to be accepted without special approval from

4 the VJ Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army. To be implemented

5 by the 2nd and 3rd Army commands and RV and PVO command," and that was an

6 ongoing task.

7 Q. Can we now look at another document. That's document 3D407. And

8 while we're waiting for the document to come up on our screens I'll put

9 the following question to you: Did you for any reason, and we'll come to

10 that, were you replaced from the position of team leader for the Kosovo

11 Verification Mission?

12 A. No, no, I was not replaced or dismissed. There was no reason for

13 me to be.

14 Q. We have Exhibit 3D407 here. Again if seems to be an order, dated

15 the 8th of March, 1999. Can you comment on this? Could you please look

16 at the introductory part first, which shows what this is about, and then

17 we'll move on to items 5 and 6.

18 A. In this order -- well, it's about the organisation of work and the

19 relations of the VJ with the OSCE and NATO verification missions in Kosovo

20 and Metohija, and it says:

21 "Analysing the implementation so far of the tasks deriving from

22 the agreement on Kosovo and Metohija verification missions, it was

23 assessed that the VJ so far had carried out its tasks from the field

24 systematically and safely, but minor weaknesses and omissions have arisen,

25 particularly at the tactical level, which is primarily the result of work

Page 20658

1 inexperience."

2 Q. Let me stop you now. What does it mean when it says on the

3 tactical -- at the tactical level?

4 A. Well, at the level of brigades, liaison officers, and border

5 battalions.

6 Q. Let's move to page 2, items 5 and 6 now. You don't have to read

7 this out because we can read it for ourselves, Colonel. Just please

8 explain the following: In item 5 it says "former combined team." Can you

9 explain to us what this is about?

10 A. Item 6?

11 Q. 5.

12 A. Oh, 5, yes. In the 3rd Army a combined team should be formed,

13 because previously there had been two, the Pristina Corps team and the

14 army command had its own team. Both teams were for relations with the

15 Kosovo Verification Mission and each time had five members. The order now

16 was to form a combined team comprising officers from the Pristina Corps

17 and officers from the 3rd Army and this team should number ten people.

18 That's it. That's the gist of it.

19 Q. Let's look at the next page, and before 7 it says -- before item 7

20 it says -- next page, please. "Form groups of liaison officers." And

21 then let's look at the last paragraph of item 6, just before item 7. It

22 says in addition to --

23 A. I still haven't got it. Here it is now.

24 Q. Is it item 7?

25 A. No, no. The last paragraph before item 7. "In addition to

Page 20659

1 liaison officers specified by this order, continue engaging officers who

2 have been acting liaison officers up to this point as assistants or

3 deputies until the newly appointed persons become fully familiar with

4 their duties."

5 Well, what this means is that in the Pristina Corps a total of 26

6 new liaison officers arrived. These were officers who were very

7 experienced officers. One [as interpreted] spoke English. And in all the

8 garrisons where there had been one liaison officer previously, two liaison

9 officers were appointed in the brigade commands and the border battalions.

10 Q. Colonel, we see here that in addition to the liaison officers

11 specified by this order other officers were still engaged. Had you been

12 replaced? Would this have been mentioned in this order would it have said

13 that you had been replaced rather than continuing to work?

14 A. I remained a member of this mixed team, but I was no longer the

15 team leader. A colonel from the army command was designated; and he had

16 been intelligence officers of the 3rd Army.

17 Q. When was this team set up?

18 A. It was on the 10th of March 1999.

19 Q. After the 10th of March 1999, since you said that you were not

20 replaced, you remained on the team, did you have any activities in this

21 regard?

22 A. Well, yes. I was engaged in a number of activities of the one of

23 them was on the 13th of March. I was the directly responsible person at

24 the airport, and with my presence, I ensured that the Albanian team would

25 be able to travel to Rambouillet because there were quite a few problems.

Page 20660

1 Some guarantees were sought for a liaison officer team to be placed at the

2 airport to prevent the arrest of Hashim Thaqi because there had been an

3 arrest for his warrant out. And on the 13th, I was already at the airport

4 together with Ciaglinski. And on the 20th, already on the 20th, the

5 mission withdrew from Kosovo. And I also assisted Petrovic to get

6 acquainted with the problems because he was the head of the team, of the

7 combined team.

8 Q. On page 15, line 4, the witness said that all the new officers

9 spoke English and it says in the transcript erroneously that only one of

10 them spoke English.

11 A. Yes. Everybody spoke English, including General Brankovic, who

12 had come with the team.

13 Q. Colonel, you say that after the 10th that you had activities that

14 your engaged in. Let us look now at 5D1387, items 5 and 6 on page 2.

15 Item 5, Colonel -- well, yes, we can see the translation now. It

16 says here "Ciaglinski was informed that 26 new liaison officers would come

17 to Kosovo and Metohija." And then item 6. This is a document dated the

18 10th of March. This is when the commission was set up -- or, rather, the

19 new team was set up and became operational. And item 6 reads as follows:

20 "Ciaglinski reiterated his request for new talks to be held

21 regarding their request for opening of KVM office in the village of

22 Planeja. Colonel Kotur expressed readiness to personally take part in

23 these talks most probably on Saturday."

24 So here we can see that you will be personally involved even after

25 the 10th of March in the work of the new team, and I would just like to

Page 20661

1 hear your comment. Is that correct, and were you involved in those

2 activities?

3 A. Well, elementary courtesy would not allow me not to tell

4 Ciaglinski that I was leaving after so many months that I worked with him

5 that I was leaving the team, the team that I was no longer be working; and

6 that's not what I told him. I told him just that the new officers were

7 coming in. I told him who was the new team leader and who these officers

8 were, and even General Drewienkiewicz held a briefing for this new team of

9 officers in the club where we held those briefings; so they were aware of

10 the new team leader and those officers months in advance. And I say here

11 only that they came in, took up their posts on the 10th, that they started

12 working on at that date, and I'm telling him that I would be participating

13 in another activity a couple of days after that regarding the opening of

14 their office in the village of Planeja; and as I already indicated that

15 the Slatina airport on the 13th, I made sure that the Albanian delegation

16 would be able to leave for Rambouillet unimpeded to attend the talks.

17 Q. Colonel, just one last question regarding your replacement. Had

18 the essence of the whole story been that you were to be replaced? Would

19 there be any sense in making this kind of re-organisations bringing the 26

20 new officers or would it have been able -- that's what Ciaglinski said.

21 Had there been a replacement would there be this kind of a reorganisation

22 or would there just be a new order issued?

23 A. Well, there would be just a new order for me to be replaced from

24 the team. I would no longer be part of the team the next day there would

25 be a new person there. There would be no ceremony, but we believe that

Page 20662

1 this -- that the Kosovo Verification Mission would continue with its work

2 we wanted to improve our relations with them, our cooperation, because we

3 wanted to resolve the issue of Kosovo and Metohija in a peaceful way.

4 Q. Could you please just slow down we're having problems with

5 interpretation because you're speaking so fast.

6 A. We expected that the Kosovo problem would be solved peacefully,

7 and that is why we reorganised this team. You can see that we had twice

8 as many people now and new people were highly skilled.

9 Q. Colonel, did you ever show to -- to Colonel Ciaglinski in the

10 presence of his interpreter on a map your plan of dealing with the KLA and

11 then expelling the entire Albanian population from Kosovo?

12 A. No, I never showed anything of the kind. First of all, I didn't

13 do that because there was no such plan. I was not aware of the existence

14 of such a plan, and I consequently could not show anything to him.

15 Mr. Ciaglinski was just given a blank map showing the territory of Kosovo

16 and Metohija. The scale was 1:100.000 so that we could use the same maps

17 in order to be able to coordinate because there were some inaccuracies in

18 reporting because we were using the wrong maps and that he was the only

19 thing that Ciaglinski was given.

20 Q. And who told that Ciaglinski was looking for a new map and where

21 did this map come from?

22 A. Well, all the problems that we had and all the requests that we

23 got from the Kosovo Verification Mission were presented by me at the

24 briefings with the corps commander. So the corps commander was aware of

25 that. All my team members were aware of that. And when I went through

Page 20663

1 some of the documents I realised at that Mr. Ciaglinski asked for another

2 set of such maps from Colonel Marinkovic who was my deputy. He chaired

3 this meeting in my absence and there are minutes from this meeting and he

4 replied Kotur handed over a set of maps to you just a couple of days ago,

5 but this was then approved from the corps command, and this was done with

6 the knowledge of the corps commander and the entire team.

7 Q. Mr. Kotur, at that time and now do you speak English?

8 A. No. I studied German at school, so I don't speak a single word of

9 English.

10 Q. Could we now look at two or three more documents and then we will

11 set aside the topic of the OSCE. Could we now please look at 5D650. Page

12 3. Would I like to have that on the screen. It's in B/C/S. Page 3.

13 Mr. Kotur, it says in this document that as you visited the

14 village of Dobriste that you talked to, or rather, you visited the

15 village, the representatives of the villagers, and they said that they had

16 no problems with the VJ personnel and the representatives of the OSCE

17 mission expressed their satisfaction with the fact that children were able

18 to go to school freely, but a bit further down it says that the liaison

19 officer asked some questions to the village leader, and it says then that

20 the villagers were moving out in fear of the VJ patrols. Ten families

21 have already moved out of the village. There are about a hundred families

22 in the village living abroad, mostly in Slovenia, and that's where their

23 families moved to join them.

24 Was there any realistic fear of the VJ patrols or, rather, did you

25 attend this meeting? And did they have any specific complaints about the

Page 20664

1 conduct of the military?

2 A. I don't think that I attended this meeting. I think it was

3 somebody from the border battalion, because they went to that village of

4 Dobriste at least 15 times or so. This is probably a report that I

5 received from the liaison officer of the border battalion. That would be

6 the 55th Battalion that was deployed there. I can tell you that this was

7 irrational fear on their part. They had no complaints in that village

8 while I was there, complaints about the conduct of the military, and

9 nothing had changed in the meantime and even after this time.

10 I think that the hundred families that worked abroad, I think out

11 of a hundred families ten took their families with them, and that was in

12 the general atmosphere of fear that prevailed in Kosovo [Realtime

13 transcript read in error "Bosnia], and they had a place to go. They had

14 no specific complaints, but there was this fear of -- that's what they

15 said. I think it was irrational fear. That was the reason why those

16 families moved out. I don't think that they really knew why they did, so

17 there was no real foundation for their moving out.

18 Q. So it was late February, early March 19 --

19 JUDGE BONOMY: What has Bosnia to do with this? We've got Bosnia

20 in the English transcript somehow.

21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. Slovenia was

22 mentioned, because it says here there are a hundred families in the

23 village living abroad, mostly in Slovenia, and those where the families

24 moved out.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't hear anyone mention the

Page 20665

1 word "Bosnia."

2 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll have that section of the tape listened to

3 again and a report from CLSS on the -- what was actually said to ensure

4 that there's no misunderstanding. Thank you.

5 Please continue, Mr. Bakrac.

6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Colonel, could we please look at the second and the third

8 paragraphs. It appears that the village of Planeja was also visited and

9 that the representatives of the villagers stated that they had received no

10 threats or no pressure from the VJ to move out.

11 A. Yes, that's what it says here. Escorted by the liaison officer

12 from the 55th liaison -- from the 55th Border Battalion and a

13 representative of the OSCE mission the Planeja village was also visited.

14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note could the witness please slow

15 down.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And they had no complaints about --

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Part of the problem that we've just encountered

18 could be the speed at which you are speaking. So you must make a special

19 effort to slow down your speech, your normal speech, so that we can avoid

20 any mistranslations which can be a real danger when the translation into

21 English is what really matters here. So please answer that question

22 again.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. Well, I can't

24 promise that it won't again, but I will try as much as I can to control my

25 rate of speed.

Page 20666

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.

2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Kotur -- yes. The interpreters managed to get the answer to

4 my previous question. We can move on. Could we please now have 5D651,

5 Exhibit 5D651.

6 Mr. Kotur, it appears that this is the regular weekly report dated

7 the -- for the week from the 19th until the 25th of February. From the

8 mission liaison team of the 3rd Army command. Could we please look at

9 page 6 in B/C/S. That's the last paragraph. It says: "On the 25th of

10 February, between 12 and 14.30 hours --"

11 A. Wait just a minute because I don't have it on my screen yet. On

12 the 25th.

13 Q. There was a meeting with the liaison officer from all the

14 garrisons at the Pristina Corps command and the border battalion with the

15 exception of the Pec garrison, and the PRK commander and the team leader

16 from the PRK chaired the meeting. So it was you and Mr. Lazarevic. Could

17 you please tell us what was the topic discussed at this meeting?

18 A. Well, preparations for the work in the forthcoming period, and

19 Mr. Lazarevic had taken over as the corps commander about a month before

20 this meeting, and he wanted to have this meeting with me and with all the

21 other verifiers or, rather, liaison officers who were in contact with the

22 verifiers to analyse all the problems that existed, to note once again how

23 important our work was; and he wanted to put some kind of a personal stamp

24 on all that, and this is why this meeting was held.

25 Q. Colonel, thank you. Could we now look at page 7, the next page,

Page 20667

1 and in the last paragraph it says: The recorder -- recorded incidents are

2 discussed here, 19 of them, and could you please tell me what time period

3 are we talking about? In what time period did those 19 incidents occur?

4 A. Well, it's the entire period from the arrival of the mission until

5 the date we analysed all this. This is when those 19 incidents occurred.

6 Q. So on the part of the Pristina Corps personnel, right from the

7 beginning of the arrival of the mission until the 25th of February there

8 were a total of 19 incidents. Did I understand it correctly?

9 A. Yes. I'm talking only about the Pristina Corps and our relations

10 with the OSCE mission, not the global picture in Kosovo as a whole.

11 Q. Could you please be so kind. I think that you mentioned this, and

12 it could be apposite to talk about that now. How many verifiers were

13 there in Kosovo at that time?

14 A. As far as I can remember, and you can see this in the materials

15 that you have, a total number of verifiers was 1.380 verifiers.

16 Q. And 100 -- 1.380 verifiers and 19 incidents?

17 A. Yes, that's correct.

18 Q. Could we now look at the kind of incidents we're talking about?

19 Well, it says training weapons on verifiers' vehicles, escorting a unit on

20 March: 3. Stopping at gunpoint and removing them from camp areas: 2.

21 Unnecessary use of force: 1. Ban on verifiers first passing through unit

22 deployment areas: 10. Searches and confiscation of items: 2. Verbal

23 threats: 1. And can we now move to the next page, and you can comment on

24 those incidents. It says here that on several occasions the soldiers

25 driving in the last vehicle in the column would train their weapons. It's

Page 20668

1 next page in B/C/S.

2 A. Well, there is a mistake here, Mr. Bakrac. There is a mistake.

3 It says 13 and it should read 3. So that's a mistake. Three occasions

4 when weapons were trained on the verifiers. That's what I wanted to note.

5 Q. Yes. Very well. We have the next page here. Could you please

6 explain to us briefly these incidents and how they occurred?

7 A. In cases when motor vehicles and columns of the VJ were escorted

8 through the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, it happened sometimes that

9 the soldiers seated on a vehicle would turn their weapons towards the

10 verifier vehicle behind them. This would be reported to us at daily

11 meetings that we had with verifiers. We viewed this as a major violation,

12 and whenever we were able to establish who exactly had done that, military

13 steps were taken against such offenders.

14 Q. Now let's move to item (b). On several occasions --

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do, are there records showing the

16 disciplinary steps taken for any of this?

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bonomy, I don't have those records. That was

18 within the jurisdiction of the commands of the units of offenders. They

19 would just inform us that they had taken steps against such soldiers. I

20 don't have records to show you, but we viewed it as a major violation for

21 a weapon, even an empty barrel, to be turned against a verifier.

22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. Mr. Kotur, we can see that there were also some incidents

24 involving preventing OSCE mission members to pass through the lines of

25 deployment.

Page 20669

1 A. Yes. For instance, a patrol of the Kosovo Verification Mission

2 would be on their way to a village, and they would run into a deployment

3 area of a combat group. The mission was unannounced, and they were not

4 allowed to go through. They wanted to move into the battle order of the

5 combat group without announcing themselves through the liaison officers,

6 and they were not allowed to. There were cases when if they wanted to go

7 into a village, they had to go through a deployment area of a unit because

8 there were no roundabout ways and byroads. In such cases they would let

9 us know, and we would arrange for them to pass through.

10 These were the reasons for most of such incidents they had with

11 our soldiers when they tried to pass through a deployment area of a unit.

12 But it is also true that they were also aggressive in their approach,

13 testing how firm we were in our position or just taking our pulse; or

14 maybe they wanted to be more pushy and soften us a bit, but that was the

15 general picture of such incidents.

16 Q. You have explained this incident and -- as well why it happened.

17 But we also have an item that says "Unnecessary use of force." And we

18 read: "On the 8th of January, attack from the 243rd Mechanised Brigade

19 fired in the area of Donje Slapuzane." Did you investigate this?

20 A. We were not immediately able to get any information because the

21 unit said all their shells were in place. There were no elements, it

22 seemed, for us to blame that unit located in Dulje, that it had fired that

23 projectile. Only later with the verifiers went on site and when they saw

24 the residents it turned out that this never happened. Even the verifiers

25 were able to find out for themselves. It was an incident that didn't

Page 20670

1 happen and was reported by residents. It was not the first time that

2 something like this happened. A shell of that size could not leave no

3 trace.

4 Q. Were there any cases where the army of Yugoslavia was blamed for

5 even more serious incidents without any justification?

6 A. One of the most serious incidents we were blamed for was Racak, if

7 that's what you meant.

8 Q. Were there cases in which the KLA shot at the verifiers and

9 wounded them, whereas it was later blamed on the army of Yugoslavia?

10 A. It happened somewhere around Rznic village when the verifiers were

11 escorting a convoy of the MUP. The KLA opened fire and wounded two

12 verifiers -- or, rather, one verifier and one interpreter.

13 Mr. DZ, Mr. Drewienkiewicz, said at a meeting with us that he

14 didn't really know who exactly did it; but it's possible the army did. He

15 wasn't assertive, but he planned a doubt. And Mr. Ciaglinski, the very

16 next day, told me that one of his interpreters was wounded and that fire

17 had been opened on him by the KLA. He was an experienced officer and was

18 able to see where the bullet had come from.

19 Later on, however, Albanians themselves, the leaders of those

20 groups that had opened fire, admitted to it, and they also demanded that

21 the verifiers never accompany the army or the MUP when passing through

22 areas controlled by them. And from that time on, the verifiers indeed did

23 not do that in areas controlled by the KLA.

24 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Was there another incidents when you were

25 accused of having shot at a KDOM vehicle on Dulje-Suva Reka road? While

Page 20671

1 you're talking about that, can we call 5D1388?

2 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you remove this -- this one here, can I be

3 clear about one thing you mentioned. You talked about the incident which

4 was a lie, basically, on the 8th of January; and you say that that was

5 later discovered to have been something that just did not happen.

6 When was it discovered that it didn't happen?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, I couldn't tell you

8 now, but I know such incidents that a tank fired a shell did not happen

9 often, and such allegations were not often made. Ciaglinski told me in

10 one conversation that this incident that was blamed on the army had not

11 happened, because in the village, which they visited later and checked and

12 spoke to residents in the village a shell had not been fired in that

13 direction.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: The timing I'm trying to be clear about. When --

15 when was it discovered that this did not happen?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't tell you. Maybe a month

17 or two later when the snow had thawed and they were able to get to that

18 village, but it was a considerable time later, after.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: It must have been later than the 25th of February

20 if this report relates to the period 19th --

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you. Mr. Bakrac.

23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Can we now

24 see 5D1388.

25 Q. So I asked you a question. Were you ever accused of having fired

Page 20672

1 at a KDOM vehicle - when I say "you" I mean the Army of Yugoslavia - on

2 the Dulje-Suva Reka road?

3 A. There was a very serious accusation namely that the crew of an

4 armoured reconnaissance vehicle, so-called VBM-2, had fired over and above

5 the verifier vehicle that was driving behind from a 14.5 millimetre

6 machine-gun on the turret of that armoured vehicle. They filed a written

7 complaint to police in Pristina asking for an inquiry. Since this was a

8 very serious incident, firing from an armoured vehicle against verifiers,

9 an inquiry was made. I took steps to make an inquiry, and I established

10 that fire had not been opened.

11 We filed a report to the SMIP, and we established that this

12 vehicle went downhill towards Suva Reka and that there was an explosion

13 from an exhaust pipe. This reply seemed ludicrous to many, and it was

14 ordered to make a reconstruction of the incident. I performed that

15 reconstruction. The whole thing was filmed. And a Mr. Norman, a US

16 citizen who had filed the complaint in the first place was present during

17 the reconstruction.

18 Q. Never mind. We can read this from the text.

19 A. And we established for effect that it was the exhaust pipe. We

20 made minutes in Serbian and English, signed them, handed it to him

21 personally; and it was established that it was their mistake riding in

22 that vehicle behind, that's how he saw it, that he was being shot at. The

23 reconstruction showed that it was not the case and that was the end to the

24 matter. There is a video of this whole reconstruction.

25 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Could we now move away from this topic to

Page 20673

1 another one.

2 At the very beginning of your testimony yesterday, you told us

3 that from around the 21st April, 1998, until the verification mission was

4 set up, you were stationed at the forward command post of the Pristina

5 Corps in Djakovica; correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Last week we had the testimony of Colonel Goran Jevtovic, who was

8 also at that command post, the forward command post, and he testified in

9 relation to one order. Can we therefore look at Prosecution Exhibit 1427.

10 Have a look. Tell us if this is a familiar order and tell us what

11 you can. Do you have it in front of you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Do you remember this decision?

14 A. I do.

15 Q. Did you take part in drafting it?

16 A. I did.

17 Q. Could we look at the last page, item 6. I would like to hear your

18 comment.

19 So this is a decision of the command of the Pristina Corps from

20 the forward command post in Djakovica. We see initials "MK" and "GJ/GJ",

21 signed by the then-commander of the corps, Lieutenant General Pavkovic.

22 Item 6 says: "Combat activities shall be commanded by the Joint

23 Command for Kosovo and Metohija from the forward command post of the

24 Pristina Corps in Djakovica.

25 A. This document was drafted at the forward command post in Djakovica

Page 20674

1 in the joint agreement of the officers of the police and General Pavkovic.

2 This document refers to the routing of Siptar terrorist forces in the area

3 of Glodjane, Rznic, Sapka [phoen], and that broader area.

4 In item 6 we wrote that command of those combat activities will be

5 handled by the Joint Command for Kosovo Metohija from the forward command

6 post of the Pristina Corps in Djakovica. The initials you see at the

7 bottom are my initials and those of Goran Jevtovic. That indicates that

8 Colonel Lazarevic was not at the forward command post at Djakovica at the

9 time. If he had been, his initials would be here instead of mine.

10 My question what to write in item 6 about command, Pavkovic said

11 to write Joint Command for the K and M from the forward command post in

12 Djakovica, and that's what we wrote.

13 Q. Prior to that did you attend some sort of coordination meeting

14 about these activities and between whom?

15 A. Yes. In order to write this document, I had to attend that

16 agreement about the use of forces. I made notes, and he used them as a

17 basis for this document which Pavkovic accepted in its entirety and signed

18 it.

19 Q. When you say agreement, you mean between whom?

20 A. If I remember well, there was Obrad Stevanovic, I believe

21 Vlastimir Djordjevic also known as "Rodja" was there. Some of their

22 officers, Pavkovic, myself, Goran Jevtovic. Those were the most important

23 I remember.

24 Q. In this -- in taking this decision about coordination and support

25 to MUP forces, did any civilians take part?

Page 20675

1 A. President of the municipality if you --

2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter does not understand this name.

3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. I was referring to the process of decision-making.

5 A. No, no. Civilians did not attend, and they did not have the

6 requisite knowledge.

7 Q. And when you incorporated this clause, did you know what it meant?

8 A. Yes. It was always included where the MUP and VJ forces acted

9 together coordinating their actions and supporting each other. In such

10 cases it always said Joint Command in the documents. This would mean both

11 the army and the MUP were participating and their activities were

12 coordinated and were to be carried out together.

13 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now we will move on to the year 1999. We

14 have to speed up and move along.

15 We saw in the previous testimony that practically until the OSCE

16 mission left on the 20th of March you worked in the team for cooperation

17 with the OSCE mission. As of the 20th of March, until around the 10th of

18 April, where were you in 1999? Can you recall that?

19 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you answer that. Just keep that in mind.

20 Before you answer it, I think one thing we should also do is have the

21 lines 21 to 24 of page 30 translated by CLSS listening to the tape of the

22 answer and filing that. Thank you.

23 Please continue with your answer to that question now.

24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Colonel, do you remember the question, or do I need to repeat it?

Page 20676

1 A. No, there's no need to repeat it. Pursuant to the orders, orders

2 of the command of the Pristina Corps, I was the leader of a group of

3 officers. Vosic, the chief of the engineers, Pokolanski [phoen], the

4 chief of the armoured mechanised units, and myself; our task was to visit

5 our forces which were defending the axes leading from Macedonia to Kosovo

6 and Metohija. We visited the 175th Infantry Brigade and the 243rd

7 Mechanised Brigade. Our task was to establish whether they had taken up

8 the defence positions according to plan and to see whether the situation

9 could be improved then to reach decisions with the brigade commanders.

10 Q. And how did it come about that you went to the forward command

11 post in Djakovica after completing that task?

12 A. In the afternoon the commander of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade

13 informed me that I had been called up from the command post of the

14 Pristina Corps and that I should report there immediately, that the

15 command post was in Grmija, which is several kilometres away from

16 Pristina.

17 On the 10th, in the late afternoon, I managed to arrive at the

18 command post, and there I found the army commander General Pavkovic.

19 Q. Let me interrupt you here. When you say on the 10th and when you

20 mention the command post, what month are you referring to and what command

21 post and whose?

22 A. Well, this was in April 1999. I reported to the command post of

23 the Pristina Corps, which was then located in the Grmija area near

24 Pristina.

25 Pavkovic told me that there were problems at the border with

Page 20677

1 Albanian in the Kosare area and that General Lazarevic [Realtime

2 transcript read in error "Pavkovic"] had gone there to see what the

3 problem was about and that he was awaiting his return on the 10th in the

4 evening; and he said that he would be giving me my tasks in that respect.

5 General Lazarevic did return in the evening to the command post of

6 the corps in Grmija, and he told me that the Siptar terrorist forces had

7 taken the Kosare border post, that they had entered part of our territory,

8 that together with the brigade commander of the 125th brigade, Colonel

9 Zivanovic, he had looked into the situation and that an action was

10 expected on the following day to take back Kosare.

11 The task issued to me was to go to Zivanovic, to discuss the

12 problem with him and help him to discuss it -- resolve it.

13 On the 11th, I went first to Djakovica, to the forward command

14 post there, and there I found only Lieutenant Colonel Jevtovic. That was

15 his rank at the time. From there I went to the village of Kosare where

16 the brigade commander was. I contacted him and continued working on

17 solving this problem from that day onwards.

18 Q. Thank you, Colonel. You've given us quite a lot of detail. You

19 say from that day on.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment. I think we can perhaps resolve this

21 one here. If you look at line 24 of page 32, should that in fact be a

22 reference to Lazarevic rather than Pavkovic? I think that's the name I

23 heard in the translation, or should we instruct or a revisal of that to --

24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it says Pavkovic told me

25 that there was -- there were problems at the border in Kosare and then it

Page 20678

1 should say Lazarevic not Pavkovic had gone there to see what that was

2 about.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: That clarifies it, please continue.

4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Colonel, you have explained how you went there. The place where

6 you found Jevtovic, what was its name up to that point, and after that was

7 something else set up, and as of when and, if so, who arrived there as

8 leader?

9 A. In late 1998 until the first half of April, including the day I

10 arrived there, it was called a command group. With the arrival of the

11 chief of staff of the Pristina Corps in Djakovica, that command group was

12 transformed into the forward command post of the corps numbering several

13 officers headed by Colonel Veroljub - I was about to say Lazarevic -

14 Zivkovic.

15 Q. As of when was the forward command post of the Pristina Corps in

16 Djakovica set up again?

17 A. I think on the 13th or 14th of April, 1999.

18 Q. And what were the main activities of you at the forward command

19 post in Djakovica in 1999?

20 A. This forward command post had under its command all the units

21 located in the area of Metohija, and they were defending the axes leading

22 from Albania to Kosovo and Metohija. These were the following units: The

23 549th Motorised Brigade, the 125th Motorised Brigade, the 252nd Armoured

24 Brigade, the 60 -- no, the 672nd Reconnaissance Battalion, and I don't

25 know whether there were others. And the task was to organise the defence

Page 20679

1 against aggression from Albania to Kosovo and Metohija. That was the task

2 of the forward command post to strengthen the defence and to assist the

3 troops daily, to assist the units daily in resolving their problems.

4 Q. Until when did this task continue?

5 A. Until we withdrew from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija -- or,

6 rather, until the Kumanovo Agreement was kind.

7 Q. Colonel, I will deal with two other topics, two actions before we

8 conclude your testimony here. Firstly, are you aware of some sort of

9 action in the Caragoj Valley on the 27th and 28th of April 1999 and, if

10 so, what do you know about it?

11 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that action. It was carried out on the

12 so-called -- in the so-called Reka area. It was an anti-terrorist action

13 conducted by the MUP in -- together with the forces of the army of

14 Yugoslavia, and this was coordinated action which went on for two days,

15 the 27th and 28th of April, 1999.

16 The units participating in searching the terrain were the PJP

17 company from Djakovica, the PJP company from Prizren, and in view of the

18 fact that the PJP unit from Pec was supposed to participate but not

19 actually participate we provided part of the forces to search that terrain

20 from the VJ; and the units that participating were the military police

21 company of the 52nd Military Police Battalion and a unit, a small unit, of

22 the 63rd Parachute Brigade.

23 Q. How many men in total when you mentioned these two units?

24 A. Well, these were two military police platoons. Between 30 and 40,

25 plus another 30 or 40 from the Parachute Brigade. So the numbers were

Page 20680

1 equivalent to the MUP company from Pec, which was supposed to participate

2 but did not.

3 Q. Did you participate in some sort of coordination? Were there any

4 discussions before this action and with whom?

5 A. Yes, on behalf of the forward command post I participated in

6 agreeing and coordinating this action with the chief of the secretariat of

7 the MUP in Djakovica, Police Colonel Kovacevic.

8 In the working agreement, he said -- or, rather, in that meeting

9 to coordinate, he said that they lacked men because of this Pec company,

10 which would not participate. So we were able to provide those two small

11 units. And he asked me to have these two units be active on the

12 Dobros-Ramoc axis, which was in a wooded area in the most difficult

13 terrain.

14 Q. Now that we're discussing this, you say that some units were

15 holding the blockade. Can you tell us who was in the blockade and what

16 the strength was of these units?

17 A. The Reka area is bounded by the Junik-Bunosevac-Djakovica road.

18 It's a road running parallel to the border some four or five kilometres

19 distant from the border in the depth of our territory. All our units

20 defending this axis Cafa Prusa, Morina, Kosare, in the depth of their

21 defence positions they relied on that road. That was all in the area

22 known as Reka.

23 Another part of the Reka area is bounded by the Pec-Djakovica

24 road, but parallel to that road there is a big ridge, the Cabrisko [phoen]

25 ridge, and another ridge with no name with several elevated points about

Page 20681

1 400 metres. That was the trig point. And in the course of this

2 anti-terrorist action conducted by the MUP in coordination -- in

3 coordinated action with the Pristina Corps forces, all the troops

4 stationed near Reka received the order that with part of their forces they

5 should secure the axis from Reka and not permit infiltration of terrorist

6 forces into their order of battle. There were about 200 terrorist in the

7 Bila area. It was their 137th Terrorist Brigade.

8 Q. When you say to secure and how, what was the strength of those

9 forces holding the blockade?

10 A. Well, they were holding their part of the battle order in that and

11 only a small part of their unit was turned around to face Reka in order to

12 prevent infiltration of terrorist forces into their battle order, and this

13 was -- well, I couldn't tell you the numbers now, but I know that the 2nd

14 Motorised Battalion of the 549th Brigade, which was defending the

15 Cafa Pruse-Djakovica access used part of their forces to -- for security

16 in the direction of Korenica, perhaps one or two platoons. The 549th [as

17 interpreted] Brigade defending the Morina-Kosare axis also used part of

18 their forces for security from Smonica further on up there.

19 Q. Well, just to check that I understand you properly, what brigade?

20 A. 125th. Well, it's erroneous reason us in the transcript. It says

21 549th and should be 125th. Also --

22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down and could the

23 counsel and witness please refrain from overlapping.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: We've lost our -- a match between you speaking and

25 the translation again for two reasons. One is again the speed at which

Page 20682

1 you're speaking, and the other is the failure of Mr. Bakrac to pause

2 between your answer and his question. So if you could remember to just

3 generally go more slowly. We will make more progress as it turns out, so

4 please continue with your answer.

5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Colonel, we lost -- we got in what you said about the 125th, but

7 could you please repeat the 52nd Artillery Rocket Brigade and where it was

8 and what kind of personnel -- the personnel numbers that they had. That

9 was an air defence brigade.

10 A. The 52nd Air Defence Artillery Rocket Brigade had about two

11 platoons. So 30 to 40 men in total to man the Kosa Cavrat positions in

12 order to prevent the infiltration of the terrorist forces at the Cavratska

13 Kosa ridge and towards Djakovica.

14 Q. Thank you, Colonel. As for the section that you just told us

15 about, did the Pristina Corps forward command post or the Pristina Corps,

16 did any of them draft a written decision?

17 A. No. No. It did not.

18 Q. You just told us what was agreed at a coordination meeting. Who

19 did you convey that to, and who was actually -- who did actually convey

20 this order to the units that were -- that had set up this blockade and

21 that carried out all those activities?

22 A. Colonel Veroljub Zivanovic [as interpreted] Issued a task to the

23 units to take up or to secure from the Reka axis. You see, the units at

24 platoon and company level are not issued a written order. In a war,

25 command is exercised through issuing brief command -- combat commands.

Page 20683

1 Zivkovic could not have issued an order in any other way but by

2 calling the commander of another brigade, and this other battalion of the

3 549th Brigade, and to issue an order to them and to tell them that on the

4 27th and the 28th of April there would be an anti-terrorist action carried

5 out by the MUP forces in the Reka valley, the objective of which was to

6 rout the terrorist forces located there. To that end, you must secure

7 your positions from the Reka axis, and then perhaps specific orders would

8 be issued to the 2nd Battalion in the Korenica sector and to tell the

9 commander of the 125th Motorised Brigade from the region of Smonica and

10 above and also the orders to the people in Cabrat to prevent the

11 infiltration of the terrorist forces into their battle order. This was

12 all he was supposed to give them to tell them and that's what he did. All

13 the rest was up to the unit commanders they were to designate the

14 appropriate forces and exercise command of them.

15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kotur.

16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps it would be a

17 convenient time for the break but I would like us to just correct what it

18 says at page 38, line 19. It says Zivanovic, and in fact it was

19 Colonel Zivkovic.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.

21 We have to break at this stage, Mr. Kotur. That break will be for

22 about half an hour. While that's happening could you leave the courtroom,

23 please, with the usher, and we'll see you at 11.15.

24 [The witness stands down]

25 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.

Page 20684

1 --- On resuming at 11.16 a.m.

2 [The witness takes the stand]

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.

4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

5 Q. Colonel, let us continue where we stopped. We were talking about

6 the 27th and the 28th of April. My next question is did the corps

7 commander, Mr. Lazarevic, was he in Djakovica on the 27th and the 28th of

8 April?

9 A. No, he was not in Djakovica.

10 Q. Had he been in Djakovica would you known that?

11 A. Yes, I would have known that, certainly.

12 Q. Could you tell us where you were on the 27th and the 28th of

13 April?

14 A. On the 27th and the 28th I was in the 125th Motorised Brigade for

15 most of the day. On the 27th, in the afternoon, I was at Cavratska Kosa

16 ridge [Realtime transcript read in error "village"] for maybe 10 minutes

17 with the company commander, the commander of the PJP unit from Djakovica,

18 Lieutenant Colonel Colic.

19 Q. The fact that you spent some 20 minutes at the Cavratska plateau

20 was that on the 27th, the first day or the second day the 28th?

21 A. That was on the 28th, the second day.

22 Q. Do you know Captain Nike Peraj?

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you change on to that subject, it's a

24 very unclear answer at line 9 onwards, Mr. Bakrac. First of all, the

25 witness says that it was the 27th he was at the Cavratska village and then

Page 20685

1 you have that corrected to the 28th. Well, where was he the rest of the

2 time? Was he with the 125th the whole time or -- just ask that question

3 again, please.

4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note the transcript should read

5 ridge not village.

6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Yes, let me reformulate the question. Can you tell me, Colonel,

8 where you were on the 27th of April.

9 A. On the 27th of April I was in the sector of the 125th Motorised

10 Brigade.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: And on the 28th where were you?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 28th I spent most of the day

13 with the 125th Motorised Brigade and in the morning I spent maybe some 20

14 minutes at the Cavratska Kosa ridge.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much. Mr. Bakrac.

16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 Q. When you say Cavratska Kosa ridge is it close to the location

18 called Osehilja or where is it?

19 A. It is actually facing the village of Osehilja.

20 Q. Do you know Captain Nike Peraj?

21 A. I knew Captain Nike Peraj by sight, very superficially.

22 Q. Colonel, Nike Peraj testified before this Trial Chamber, and he

23 also gave some written statements. In his evidence he claims that in the

24 field at Osehilja you together with Novica Stankovic from the Djakovica

25 Brigade, as he put it, represented the command in this action and that the

Page 20686

1 action was controlled by Lazarevic with Jevtic from the forward command

2 post in Djakovica. Are these claimed made by Witness Peraj correct?

3 A. The claims made by Witness Nike Peraj are completely inaccurate.

4 They have nothing to do with the truth.

5 Q. Did you yourself see Witness Nike Peraj on the 28th of April?

6 A. I saw Witness Nike Peraj at Cavratska Kosa ridge only the 28th

7 when he arrived with Mr. Perovic, captain in the VJ army. That was his

8 rank at the time. And they said that they had come -- that Peraj had come

9 to see his house to see what condition it was. He had a house in the

10 village of Doso or Dolos. I didn't know where he house was but from then

11 on I did know that it was in that village.

12 Q. It was possible to see the Caragoj or the Reka valley from that

13 location?

14 A. One could see a part of the Reka valley from that location.

15 Q. Would it be possible to see from that location whether any houses

16 had been set on fire in the Reka valley?

17 A. While I was there at the ridge no house was on fire, and it was

18 impossible to see anything burning on the 28th in that time that I spent

19 there at the ridge.

20 Q. How long did Nike Peraj remain there?

21 A. I stayed there for maybe just a few minutes after Peraj's arrival

22 and then I left so that I can't tell you how long Peraj -- for how long

23 Peraj was there because I did not come back to that location.

24 Q. At Osehilja where you said that you were during those 20 minutes

25 was there a military command post or observation post set up there?

Page 20687

1 A. In Osehilja I found the chief of staff of the 52nd air defence

2 Rocket Artillery Brigade Lieutenant Colonel Stankovic, who was there

3 visiting his soldiers who were -- had set up the blockade in that sector

4 in the Reka valley. So there was no command post there. For a command

5 post to exist, first you have to dig up the observation post, the

6 trenches, the roads. Somebody would be there controlling this action

7 there at the observation post with appropriate equipment, communications

8 and observation equipment with his security. So that would be a large

9 group of people, and it would be impossible to reach this observation

10 post. One couldn't just walk into this observation post and say, "Well,

11 here I am at this observation post," as Peraj did.

12 Q. Colonel, Nike Peraj, it is in his first statement dated 2000, year

13 2000, makes no mention of having seen General Lazarevic at the forward

14 command post in Djakovica on the 27th and the 28th. Apparently he

15 recalled that at a later stage. But he said that Micunovic, Kovacevic,

16 and Kotur were responsible for Meja and Korenica and that they had planned

17 the whole operation. Are these claims by Witness -- is these claims made

18 by Nike Peraj correct?

19 A. Those claims made by Nike Peraj are not correct. I recounted a

20 little while ago how the Reka operation developed.

21 Q. Mr. Kotur, the same witness says that you, Jevtovic, and Lazarevic

22 in Djakovica went to attend daily meetings at 8.00 in the morning and 6.00

23 p.m. with Stanojevic, the mayor; Micunovic, the commander of a platoon;

24 Samovic, the intelligence chief; Adamovic, the MUP chief; and the

25 commander of the 22nd Air Defence Rocket and Artillery Brigade Djosa. Are

Page 20688

1 these claims correct?

2 A. Meetings of this kind attended by those people were not held. We

3 from the VJ went to see the MUP people only when we were invited by them

4 or perhaps we would invite them if there was any need for us to discuss

5 some particular issue, but there were no regular daily meetings.

6 Q. When you say "we," who do you refer to?

7 A. I'm referring to the forward command post.

8 Q. Peraj claims that up until that time, so that would be around the

9 27th and the 28th of April, because he's describing this event, that

10 General Lazarevic spent most of his time in Djakovica; is that correct?

11 A. General Lazarevic was in Djakovica on the 10th -- or, rather,

12 he -- when he was in the 122nd [as interpreted] Motorised Brigade because

13 of Kosare, I think he maybe just passed through once or twice, but that's

14 all. He did not, definitely did not spend most of his time in Djakovica.

15 Q. Witness Peraj -- Witness Peraj also says -- there is an error in

16 the transcript. It should -- it should read 125th Motorised Brigade, and

17 the rest has been corrected. So it's just 125th Brigade.

18 Colonel, Witness Peraj claims that on the 28th, in the morning of

19 the 28th, before he came to Osehilja he went to the forward command post

20 in Djakovica and from Lazarevic and Jevtovic he was given approval to

21 going to Ramoc and they conveyed this approval had been given to him to

22 you. Are these claims correct?

23 A. Those claims made by Nike Peraj are not correct because Lazarevic

24 was not in Djakovica and he could not have conveyed anything to me.

25 Q. Did you have any communications with the forward command post on

Page 20689

1 the 28th of April from that location at Cabrat?

2 A. I didn't have any communications with the forward command post

3 from Cabrat and otherwise.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, is Ramoc where the home of Peraj had

5 been or was?

6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be allowed to

7 explain. The Peraj home was located in the village of Dolosaj and Ramoc

8 is the whole area. There is a village of Ramoc, but as the witness has

9 explained to me, it also includes a broader region, and Peraj in his

10 testimony said that he had asked permission to go to Ramoc and that he was

11 given this approval. That's why I phrased this question in this manner.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kotur, how was it you knew that -- that Peraj

13 had been permitted to visit his home -- or was there to visit his home?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I didn't know whether he had

15 been given this approval or not. He came to join his unit, because the

16 52nd Rocket and Artillery Brigade was stationed there, and he was an

17 officer from that unit. He went to that location where Lieutenant Colonel

18 Novica Stankovic, his superior officer was. I just happened to be there

19 with the commander of the PJP unit, Colic. So I don't know whether he had

20 been given an approval or not, but he didn't need any approval to go to

21 that location that he actually reached, because his own unit was stationed

22 there and he was accompanied by a security officer.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell us again how it was you knew that he

24 was going to see his house?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not what I said. I didn't

Page 20690

1 say that I had known that he would go and visit his home. I only said

2 that when they came they said that they had come to see whether his house

3 was whole, whether that it had been set on fire or something like that.

4 That's the only thing that I said. And we told him that there was no

5 fire, no houses had been set on fire, and the unit had already gone

6 through his village as part of the search operation, and we told him it

7 had not been set on fire because we would have seen that. That's what we

8 talked about.

9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.

10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to make everything

11 completely clear.

12 Q. This ridge is above this village. So what would be the distance

13 as the crow flies between Osehilja and the ridge itself to Captain Peraj's

14 house?

15 A. Approximately one kilometre, but I have a map of this area and I

16 can bring this map during our next break and then perhaps it would be much

17 clearer to all of us the size of the area. It's a blank map. The scale

18 is 1:50.000.

19 Q. And finally, Colonel, Peraj stated talking about you that he knew

20 that you, Kovacevic and Micunovic in May 1999 had carried out some kind of

21 operation at Cabrat where a certain number of civilians had been killed.

22 He was unable to provide any details about this action. This is the only

23 thing he said could you now tell me whether there is any truth in what he

24 said?

25 A. I did not take part in that operation and I'm not aware of it.

Page 20691

1 All I know is that the 52nd Artillery Brigade had certain losses at this

2 Cabrat feature, but who participated. If anyone participated, if any

3 action had been planned, I don't know in any detail.

4 Q. Thank you, Colonel. And my last topic has to do with two

5 documents and that will exhaust all my questions. It's about the action

6 called Sekac or Chisel. Can we have up on e-court P2011. While we're

7 waiting, are you familiar with the order to smash the Siptar terrorist

8 forces in the lake Radonjic area, so-called Chisel action?

9 A. I know about that order to smash Siptar terrorist forces in the

10 area of lake Radonjic called Chisel.

11 Q. Were you entitled to sign that order and, if so, on whose

12 instruction? We could look at the last page.

13 A. The commander of the forward command post, Colonel Zivanovic --

14 sorry, Zivkovic, authorised this action, and on his authority I signed

15 this document, because he was not there at the time and the document

16 needed to be signed in order to be forwarded to units for them to prepare.

17 Q. Thank you, Colonel. We see here in the decision -- or, rather,

18 order that tasks are clearly indicated for some MUP units too. Was MUP

19 resubordinated to you, and why does this order include tasks for the MUP?

20 A. The MUP was not subordinated to us, and the tasks indicated for

21 MUP units, well, in every an action in which police forces were engaged

22 together with army forces their tasks are written together. We saw

23 recently a document to crush terrorist forces near Prilep and Glodjane,

24 and there, too, we had tasks indicated for army units and MUP units near

25 Pec. It was signed by Pavkovic. We saw that in the first part of this

Page 20692

1 examination, because units that participate together cannot not know who

2 has which task. Such a task would be impossible to carry out if we bear

3 in mind those were live bullets, there was danger of friendly fire, et

4 cetera.

5 Q. Was this action, Chisel, complicated, and how long did it take?

6 A. This action was complicated by the very fact that we did not have

7 sufficient forces to execute it in one move, in one go. Therefore, it was

8 planned to be carried out in three stages with frequent regrouping of

9 forces. If you read the order, you will notice that. And in such a

10 complex operation detailed tasks needed to be formulated for the forces

11 involved.

12 Q. Thank you, Colonel. How long did the operation -- this action

13 last?

14 A. It was supposed to be over within a few days, but it lasted all of

15 14 or 15 days, and it was not quite completed. About 50 per cent of the

16 plan was carried out, because already in end May and early June there was

17 some indications that a truce will be signed, some sort of plan, that

18 airstrikes would stop, and the units engaged in that action were affected

19 by lethargy, apathy. Their overwhelming desire was to survive, to see the

20 end of that action. So the action lasted longer than planned, and it was

21 not carried out as planned, not completely, because there was an impending

22 agreement and we stopped the action a couple of days before the planned

23 termination.

24 Q. Can we now look at 5D227? That's a combat report from the command

25 of the Pristina Corps, dated 20th May, and in item 2 on page 2 could you

Page 20693

1 just tell us about one sentence. Item 2, at 2.2 --

2 A. Just a minute. Zoom in, please.

3 Q. Below the words "125th Brigade." At the forward command post on

4 the 19th of May, there was a working meeting --

5 A. Just a minute.

6 Q. At the forward command post of the Pristina Corps, on 19 May there

7 was a working meeting with the MUP with a view to executing an action to

8 route the Siptar terrorist forces in the broader area of Jablanica

9 village.

10 A. It was good and then it was moved.

11 Q. Can we have the previous page? It was appropriately zoomed in at

12 the right passage.

13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we were supposed to

14 have the translation for this by now but it hasn't. We will let you know

15 as soon as it arrives.

16 Q. Therefore, could you please read this sentence and explain

17 briefly.

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph, because you did according to the

19 transcript say 2.2 and that's why the page was turned. Which page --

20 which paragraph should we be looking at?

21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I said 2.1. The third bullet point.

22 It says: "At the forward command post of the Pristina Corps".

23 So there's a general paragraph and then bullet points. The third

24 bullet point.

25 Q. Could you please read this out. Can you see it?

Page 20694

1 A. Yes, I do.

2 Q. Read that sentence.

3 A. "At the forward command post of the Pristina Corps on 19 May a

4 meeting -- a working meeting with the MUP was held for the purpose of

5 carrying out actions to destroy Siptar terrorist forces in the broader

6 area of Lake Radonjic and Jablanica village."

7 Q. That's enough. Is that in relation to this action, and what kind

8 of working meeting was it?

9 A. It's a meeting between representatives of the MUP and us on the

10 eve of an action that was to be carried out in the area of Lake Radonjic

11 and Jablanica village under the name of Chisel, Sekac.

12 Q. Is that the coordination with MUP?

13 A. I believe so. Let me see. Yes, that's it Lake Radonjic and

14 Jablanica village. That's the action, Chisel.

15 Q. And my last question and last document, Mr. Kotur, is Exhibit --

16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Just one moment, Your Honour.

17 There's some error.

18 Your Honour, 5D1382. Page 2, please. Page 2 in B/C/S. Page 2 in

19 B/C/S.

20 Q. Could you please read and explain this paragraph at the top. "In

21 the course of the day, preparations --"

22 A. "In the course of the day, preparations for action Chisel

23 (destroying Siptar terrorist forces in the area of Jablanica village and

24 Lake Radonjic), readiness on 23rd May 1999 at 0500 hours. Action to be

25 led by Colonel Milan Kotur with the chief of SUP Djakovica. Observation

Page 20695

1 post on Suka Vogelj feature.

2 Q. Thank you. We see the action was to be led by Colonel Milan Kotur

3 with the chief of SUP Djakovica. You led whom exactly?

4 A. I commanded the units of the army of Yugoslavia in that action,

5 and Colonel Kovacevic commanded MUP units, and that is why in this

6 document I did not write "Joint Command" or anything like that. I

7 wrote "the action shall be led by," because it was a joint action.

8 Q. Thank you, Colonel.

9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, those were all my

10 questions.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.

12 Mr. Fila.

13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I will have a few questions, and they

14 do not regard the Joint Command, believe it or not. [In English]

15 Surprising.

16 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:

17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kotur, did you have any knowledge that NATO

18 was planning an evacuation, that is a pull-out of the members of the KVM

19 from Kosovo in your time?

20 A. Yes. We knew that the NATO was planning and envisioning an action

21 to pull out the Kosovo Verification Mission and for that purpose they had

22 grouped forces in the territory of Macedonia. We learned that from our

23 intelligence and security organs and service, and I had the same

24 information from Mr. Ciaglinski.

25 Q. Do you know that NATO officers entered and moved around the

Page 20696

1 territory of Kosovo under the auspices of the Kosovo Verification Mission

2 and with their documents?

3 A. We knew that, too, that NATO officers moved around Kosovo and

4 Metohija under the auspices of the -- or under the cover of the Kosovo

5 Verification Mission.

6 Q. Did Mr. Ciaglinski with whom you had frequent contacts tell you

7 something about that?

8 A. Well, I know that Ciaglinski was a NATO officer himself,

9 Drewienkiewicz too. The officers in Kosovo -- Kosovska Mitrovica were

10 French officers, but they were part of NATO units. And I know that

11 sometime in the second half of February Mr. Ciaglinski went to report to

12 the NATO command in Brussels about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.

13 So he didn't go to reports to the OSCE in Vienna where the mission he

14 represented was based.

15 Q. Could you now look at 2D392. I provided this document, Your

16 Honours, to my learned friend, Mr. Hannis, and he agreed to the use of

17 this document. It is not helpful to the Prosecution or the Defence. It

18 is helpful to you, because there has been a lot of talk about the

19 relationship between NATO and the OSCE, and this document reflects this

20 aspect. It's correspondence between the NATO and the OSCE. I don't think

21 it works either for my case or the Prosecution case.

22 So look at document 2D392. On page 1 you see that it is an

23 exchange of letters between the Secretary-General of the OSCE, Mr. Aragona

24 and the General-Secretary of NATO, Mr. Solana; is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 20697

1 Q. Now, could you please look -- those were letters of the 4th of

2 November 1998 at the very beginning of the mission could you look at page

3 5, please in e-court in English and page 3 in Serbian. I would like to

4 call these pages on e-court. Could we zoom in, please. The last

5 paragraph in Serbian. And in English we need page 5. The Serbian side is

6 good. The English is not. Page 5. This is not 5. Page 5 in English.

7 That is the paragraph. It's the last paragraph in both versions. Could

8 you also enlarge the last paragraph in Serbian so that the Colonel can see

9 it.

10 I don't speak B/C/S, I speak Serbian.

11 Do you see this sentence? That's Javier Solana saying -- will you

12 read it?

13 A. You mean this, "You will be aware"?

14 Q. Yes?

15 A. "You will be aware the North Atlantic Council has commissioned

16 work on the separate question of possible arrangements for NATO assistance

17 in the extraction/evacuation of the OSCE Verification Mission from Kosovo.

18 The results of this work will be communicated to OSCE as soon as

19 possible."

20 Q. Now look at this same document. English page 7 -- document 2D392.

21 It's annex, in English, 7, and 4 in Serbian.

22 Can we take a look -- let's just have the Serbian version, and can

23 we zoom into the paragraph before the last. There, that one. No, no, no

24 down. Further down.

25 It starts with the words, "Conditions will be put in place." Can

Page 20698

1 you read that?

2 A. "Conditions will be created for the setting up of reliable

3 communication --"

4 Q. No, no. Lower down.

5 A. "Conditions will be created for -- to make possible any necessary

6 travel by NATO employees from the proposed verification coordination body

7 in Skopje into Kosovo. Whether (to the OSCE mission headquarters Pristina

8 or elsewhere), to take place under OSCE mission status. Likewise

9 arrangements should be made to facilitate any necessary travel to Skopje

10 by OSCE personnel from Pristina."

11 Q. Thank you, that's all I wanted. Does this correspond to what you

12 saw when you were there?

13 A. Yes. It corresponds to what we knew.

14 Q. Thank you. That was all, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.

16 Mr. Ivetic.

17 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

18 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:

19 Q. Colonel, Kostic, my name is Dan Ivetic, and I'm the counsel for

20 Sreten Lukic in these proceedings so I have a questions for you today.

21 First of all I would like to ask you about your time period in 1998 with

22 the KVM mission. During your time as liaison officer for the VJ with the

23 KVM. I'm sure that you had opportunity to come into contact with

24 Colonel Miroslav Mijatovic of the Serbian MUP, who was the liaison from

25 the MUP side with the KVM. Is that accurate?

Page 20699

1 A. Yes, that is accurate.

2 Q. And based on your encounters with Colonel Mijatovic, would you

3 assess him as working cooperatively with yourself and others in the

4 meetings with the mission?

5 A. Colonel Mijatovic was cooperative, but he defended his

6 standpoints, and I think rightly. He defended them very persistently at

7 those meetings.

8 Q. Thank you, Colonel, and the reason I paused is I'm waiting for the

9 English translation and the transcript to catch up with me; so please

10 don't take it personally if I seem to not respond immediately to one of

11 your answers.

12 Now, I'd like to ask you about a couple of things that -- that

13 General Drewienkiewicz represented here. First of all, was

14 General Drewienkiewicz correct that you had the opinion that the methods

15 of the Serbian police were tyrannical in Kosovo and Metohija?

16 A. I didn't understand your question.

17 Q. Let me try and rephrase it for you then, sir.

18 General Drewienkiewicz, in his sworn testimony here, claimed that you,

19 yourself, were of the opinion that the Serbian MUP in Kosovo and Metohija

20 was tyrannical. Do you agree with General Drewienkiewicz's representation

21 of your conclusions about the Serbian MUP?

22 A. That is a complete falsehood. I never thought anything of the

23 sort.

24 Q. Thank you, sir. Furthermore, General Drewienkiewicz said that at

25 one particular meeting when discussing Podujevo after there had been some

Page 20700

1 sort of disagreement and General Loncar had been kicked out of the meeting

2 by the KVM members, that you were quoted --

3 MR. HANNIS: Could we have a page reference?

4 MR. IVETIC: Absolutely.

5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.


7 Q. This should be at page -- pardon me. Let me take a step back,

8 P2508, the sworn statement of General Drewienkiewicz, at page 19 of the

9 Serbian and page 17 of the English claims that during this meeting where

10 General Loncar was kicked out of the meeting by the representatives of the

11 KVM that you said these words, Colonel, "Police, you can't trust them."

12 Did you in fact utter such disparaging remarks about the police?

13 A. I'm not aware that anyone could have thrown General Loncar out of

14 a meeting he was attending and let me, who was his assistant, remain.

15 There would be no logic in kicking out Loncar and leaving Kotur there.

16 And secondly I never said this.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

18 MR. HANNIS: Just a point of clarification, Your Honour. I think

19 the statement, as I read it, General DZ is saying that this is what Walker

20 said that Kotur said.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.

22 MR. IVETIC: And that's why I think I phrased my question did you

23 in fact utter such remarks about the police rather than whether he agreed

24 with the assessment of -- of DZ or Walker or et cetera. I think the

25 question and the answer are clear if -- if -- if there's anything else

Page 20701

1 that needs to be touched on that fact I would be happy to explore it, but

2 I thought I was rather clear.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: The evidence is clear but the question is did you

4 agree with General DZ's representation of your conclusions about the

5 Serbian MUP. However, it's simply been clarified by what Mr. Hannis has

6 said and you didn't need to go back over it.

7 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.

8 Q. Now, Colonel, you testified about the activities around the 27th

9 and the 28th of April, 1999, in the Djakovica region, specifically the

10 Caragoj or the Reka valley. Now we've heard from other VJ officers

11 stating that this region, the Caragoj or Reka region was within the

12 extended border belt. Would you agree with that assessment?

13 A. I don't know whether at the time the border belt had already been

14 extended. That's one thing. And secondly, war had already started, so

15 there was no longer any border belt or border units or border lines.

16 There were brigades given the task of defending certain axes. They took

17 up their areas, and in their areas or zones they were responsible. So

18 there was no longer any border belt or five or ten kilometres. Once the

19 war broke out, the situation was no longer the same as it had been in

20 peacetime.

21 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, would I be correct then to say that this

22 region was within the zone of defence, that is to say the "zona odbrana,"

23 and also the area of allocation,"rejoni rasporeda," of units of the army

24 of Yugoslavia in the tail end of April, 1999, specifically April 27th and

25 28th, 1999?

Page 20702

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it not follow from what the witness has just

2 said that the whole of Kosovo would be in -- in fact, the whole of Serbia

3 would be within the zone of defence of the army of Yugoslavia by April?

4 MR. IVETIC: That's why I'm asking for clarification, Your Honour,

5 based on evidence we've had from other sources.

6 Q. Colonel, would it then follow that the Caragoj or Reka region

7 would be within the zone of defence or the areas of allocation of units of

8 the VJ at the relevant time period, around the 27th, 28th of April, 1999?

9 A. I would like to clarify something here, because I see it's

10 insufficiently clear. When a state of war is declared, then there are no

11 longer any border units. There are no longer the zones we had before,

12 border belts and so on. That's quite normal. A unit waging war in the

13 area takes up position in that area. There are no longer any border lines

14 or border belts. A unit is given a zone to defend on the ground.

15 Where this terrorist was or anti-terrorist group of the 137th

16 Brigade in the Reka area, Reka was between two positions, between units.

17 There was a gap. It was between the units north of the

18 Junik-Korenica-Djakovica road, and in depth this zone of defence was

19 adjacent to that communication. From that communication onwards, there

20 was the area called Reka and its depth was up to the communication going

21 from a road going Pec to Djakovica. So that was a gap between two defence

22 sectors of the army of Yugoslavia just as Jablanica was another such area

23 much it was not take up by the army. It was a gap between our units in

24 the order of battle.

25 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Again waiting for the transcript to catch up

Page 20703

1 with us. Now this action that took place the 27th and the 28th of April

2 1999, this legitimate action aimed at the terrorists of the 137th Brigade

3 in the Reka area, am I correct that this was a joint action between -- or

4 with the VJ and the MUP?

5 A. Well, in essence it was a MUP action. Only part of the forces

6 engaged there belonged to the VJ. When I say part, I mean only those

7 forces which were directly involved in the search and mopping up of the

8 terrain. All the other units engaged there were there to protect their

9 battle order, in order to prevent the infiltration of terrorist forces

10 from the Reka area into their battle order. So they were not involved,

11 and that's why they are not listed by name as participating. So that is a

12 task to the units to make sure they were secure from infiltration from the

13 Reka area and to make sure that there was no infiltration of terrorists

14 from the Reka area into their areas of deployment.

15 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, with respect to these forces, based upon

16 what principle, rule or other modus operandi could the MUP lead and be in

17 charge of an action where VJ units are being utilised, or was, in fact,

18 the VJ commander in charge of activities of both these units in their area

19 of deployment and those that were directly involved in the search and

20 mopping up of the terrain?

21 A. No. This was a MUP action. One of their task was to fight the

22 terrorist forces in Kosovo, and according to the number of forces engaged

23 and their combat deployment one can see that the -- there were police

24 forces intended for that fight at company level.

25 Q. I was asking you to focus upon the units of the VJ that were

Page 20704

1 involved either in the search and mopping up of the terrain or who had

2 been deployed in their areas of deployment and were part of the blockade,

3 I think it said. Were these units operating under the command of the MUP?

4 And if not, who was commanding these VJ forces?

5 A. The units that were securing their own positions to prevent a

6 spill-over of forces from the area of Reka into their area in that combat

7 disposition there were units that were command by their own unit

8 commanders. On the other hand, a part of the forces that were engaged in

9 the search of the terrain were under the command, I believe, of the

10 commander of the 63rd Parachute Brigade. I mean that platoon from the

11 Parachute Brigade and another unit that was with --

12 The MUP forces were under the command of police commanders, and

13 army units were commanded by army commanders.

14 Q. You mentioned coordination with Colonel Kovacevic of the Djakovica

15 SUP with respect to this -- this action or these actions, as it were. On

16 whose initiative and upon whose order or authorisation did you meet with

17 Colonel Kovacevic for this coordination?

18 A. I went to every coordination with Colonel Kovacevic on the orders

19 of the commander of the forward command post, that is chief of staff of

20 the Pristina Corps, Colonel Zivkovic, Veroljub. I was his subordinate.

21 He was my immediate superior. On my own accord I could not do anything.

22 Q. And during the course of this coordination was there any map

23 created or utilised to show the locations and/or directions of troops that

24 were to be utilised or forces, that were to be utilised in this action?

25 A. We had used the map in order to be able to see all the axes of

Page 20705

1 movement, which unit will be where and what.

2 Q. Thank you, Colonel.

3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this

4 witness.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.

6 Mr. Kotur, you will now be cross-examined by the Prosecutor,

7 Mr. Hannis.

8 Mr. Hannis.

9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.

10 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:

11 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel.

12 A. Good afternoon.

13 Q. Could you tell us when you first joined the army? What year was

14 that?

15 A. 20th July 1970 was when I joined the army of Yugoslavia.

16 Q. And when did you retire?

17 A. March 2004.

18 Q. When did you first attain the rank of colonel?

19 A. 1993.

20 Q. And what led you to retire in 2004? I see that's 30 plus years

21 but it's not quite 35. Was there any particular reason you resigned in

22 that year?

23 A. There was no particular reason. I had almost 42 years of

24 pensionable service and 52 years of age, and on top of that a

25 reorganisation of the army started in 2001. Even 59-year-old men were

Page 20706

1 retired, let alone me who was born in 1947. Under the law in force then,

2 one went into retirement with 57 years of age and a full service age of

3 40. I was to be 57 in September, and I was retired on the 31st of March

4 of the same year, just six months before my 57th birthday.

5 Q. All right. Thank you. You told us that you had the position of

6 chief of infantry. When did you first become chief of infantry in the

7 Pristina Corps?

8 A. Chief of infantry in the Pristina Corps I became in 1994.

9 Q. And what's the -- what's the role or what are the duties of the

10 chief of infantry in the Pristina Corps?

11 A. All chiefs of arms, including infantry, have as a basic duty to

12 know the exact status and to control the exact status of their units,

13 readiness, training, mobility, level of equipment, any problems with the

14 troops, et cetera. Every chief of arm was responsible for that, and those

15 were the most professional organs within the units with which they work.

16 Q. Where did you -- where did you fit in the chain of command then in

17 the Pristina Corps? I know you just told us that the chief of staff or

18 deputy commander in 1999 was your immediate superior, but who's -- who's

19 beneath you. Are you in the chain of command vis-a-vis the brigade

20 commanders or are you somewhere to the side? How does that work?

21 A. We were professional organs of the chief of staff and we were

22 directly linked to the chief of staff. When I say "we," I mean all chiefs

23 of arms, be it engineers, communications, infantry, or the chief of

24 armoured units. We were directly connected with the chief of staff. We

25 don't have a single subordinate below us. We are in the staff

Page 20707

1 headquarters, and in the hierarchy we don't have a single subordinate

2 below us, not even a clerk.

3 Q. Can you tell us how you got that position? Were you appointed by

4 the commander? How -- how did you become the chief of infantry?

5 A. I became chief of infantry by virtue of an order from the chief of

6 General Staff. I believe it was his authority to issue such orders.

7 Q. Was that General Perisic at the time? I think you said it was

8 1994.

9 A. Yes, yes. General Perisic was chief of General Staff, and it was

10 his order on my appointment.

11 Q. I want to skip to something different now. We were talking about

12 when you were working with the KVM. As about the 10th of March when these

13 new personnel were brought on and you understand there's been some

14 discussion about -- Ciaglinski says you were replaced, you say you weren't

15 replaced. How did your duties change after the 10th of March. Before,

16 you'd been Loncar's assistant and head of a team. What changed then when

17 the new people came on?

18 A. When those new people came, what changed was that General Loncar

19 remained in his position. Instead of his assistant for military issues,

20 earlier me, Mr. Brankovic came to assist Loncar. And instead of the army

21 team that before this reorganisation was led by General Mladenovic, with

22 assistant Colonel Sredojevic, and you can see that from all the documents

23 that the command of the 3rd Army sent to the General Staff, you will see

24 Mladenovic head of the army team or Sredojevic in his absence. I was

25 heading the Pristina team. Now, the reorganisation created a mixed team

Page 20708

1 headed by Colonel Petrovic. He was chief of the intelligence department

2 in the 3rd Army. It was from that position that he came to the new one.

3 General Mladenovic was no longer on the team. Colonel Sredojevic was no

4 longer on the team, but I remained on the team from the Pristina Corps

5 which now about 10 people instead of five and I kept my position as chief

6 of infantry. That did not stop. My job vis-a-vis the verification

7 mission had priority over my duties as chief of infantry that's the only

8 thing.

9 Q. You told us on direct earlier this morning that after the 10th of

10 March one of the things that you did in connection with the -- with the

11 KVM and the OSCE was helping make sure the Albanian delegation got on the

12 plane safely on, I think you said, the 13th of March; correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Prior to the 10th of March I understood from other evidence that

15 you attended meetings with -- with the OSCE on a regular basis. A daily

16 basis?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And after the 10th of March and until the mission left on the 20th

19 of March, how many meetings did you attend with the OSCE representatives?

20 A. In that period I did not attend meetings with the verification

21 mission except for a meeting that I had with Ciaglinski at the Slatina

22 airport as we were jointly seeing their delegation off, if you can call

23 that a joint activity. But the point was that these meetings were

24 attended by Loncar and his assistant. Now, General Brankovic was there,

25 so I was not attending those meetings any longer. And as for my daily

Page 20709

1 meetings with Ciaglinski at 10.00 a.m., that used to be a regular meeting,

2 and sometimes we met several times a day, at that meeting as head of team

3 I chaired the meeting. I had one secretary and one interpreter. So it

4 was not usual for any other members of my team to take part because all of

5 us had our respective duties apart from the ones linked to the

6 verification mission. So when the new mixed team was created headed by

7 Colonel Petrovic, he went to those meetings and I no longer needed to, nor

8 was it the practice. And Brankovic replaced me as assistant of Loncar, so

9 I had neither the need nor the possibility to do that. Training had been

10 done. They knew that job very well by that time, and even

11 General Drewienkiewicz held a lecture for them.

12 Q. General, based -- I mean, Colonel, based on that you can see where

13 Colonel Ciaglinski may have viewed the change in circumstances as you

14 being replaced, because Brankovic is now Loncar's assistant and you aren't

15 attending any of the meetings, the ones with Loncar or the daily meetings

16 you used to have with Ciaglinski. And you can see how he might

17 characterise that as a replacement, can't you?

18 A. I don't know. Looking at his statement I can see that, but I

19 don't see in reality a single moment that would make him think so, because

20 we met on the 10th. There is a complete record of that meeting taken by

21 an officer from the federal Foreign Ministry, and it was signed by his

22 chief Solana. So there is nothing evidence unsaid or unclear. And he

23 knew Brankovic was coming and he knew about all those changes. He knew

24 there was no army team any longer, so I don't know how I came to that

25 conclusion.

Page 20710

1 Q. Something I had a question about, you said in one of your answers

2 earlier today that they had known, meaning Ciaglinski and General DZ, that

3 they had known for months that the replacements were coming. When -- when

4 were they first advised of that prior to the 9th or 10th of March, 1999?

5 A. Well, he didn't know for months in advance, but they knew for a

6 month before. And there was a course that they even led. DZ conducted

7 that training. Ciaglinski was there. We told them that new officers were

8 coming who speak English. That would be the only job they would have in

9 our units, to be liaison officers. We were trying to improve our work,

10 because we had noticed that on level -- lower levels, in border battalions

11 and brigades there had been mistakes made and problems, et cetera.

12 Q. Two things. I'll try to ask lots of questions that just require

13 short answers, and again you're probably talking too quickly for the

14 interpreters.

15 Now, do you recall -- you testified in the Slobodan Milosevic

16 trial in January 2006. Do you recall that?

17 A. I do.

18 Q. I don't have a copy of the transcript in your language, but since

19 you testified have you ever had a chance to review the evidence you gave

20 in that case?

21 A. I reviewed it once, read it like a novel.

22 Q. One of the things that you were asked about was your -- your role

23 in the Pristina Corps, and at page 47872 [sic] of the transcript on 24

24 January 2006, you mentioned that you were only a member of the command

25 that executed its missions, and you said: "I was never in such a place in

Page 20711

1 the chain of command that would give me the opportunity to command."

2 But that's not correct, is it, because we've just seen with

3 your -- with Mr. Bakrac and Mr. Ivetic, Exhibit P2011, which is the 20 May

4 order for operation Sekac or Chisel where you signed that, and we've seen

5 the related exhibit 5D1382 from the 22nd of May, 1999, which indicates

6 that you, along with the police commander, are going to command the

7 action. So at least on that one occasion you had the authority to command

8 in 1999; right?

9 A. You're right when you're saying about this action that I was given

10 authority to lead it as far as the army of Yugoslavia is concerned, but I

11 did it on the authority, on the orders of the chief of staff, the

12 commander of the forward command post who authorised me to do that.

13 Otherwise, according to establishment, I had no right to issue orders to

14 units, to issue them with tasks, nor were they obliged to obey my orders.

15 Everybody knew that. I had no command responsibility. I would have had

16 command responsibility if I had been a brigade commander, but not being

17 who I was, chief of the arm of infantry.

18 Q. And on page 47483, the next page, you said: "As for deciding how

19 the units would be used, that was never my role." But for operation

20 Sekac, you and Kovacevic decided how the units were being to be used,

21 didn't you, in your coordination meeting?

22 A. Well, decision-making is one thing, and it's quite different from

23 debate and agreement. The commander is the only one who can decide on the

24 use of units. At that time, the commander was the commander of the

25 forward command post, Veroljub Zivkovic. In our army command rests on

Page 20712

1 single command, and there is no duality of command. You can propose to

2 the commander whatever you wish. The commander may adopt all of it, a

3 part of it, or nothing. And the responsibility of the commander is

4 indivisible. He has his authority. So if something is -- is a success he

5 gets the credit. If something is a failure, that's his failure. Those

6 are the elements that underlie relationships in our army, single command

7 and indivisible responsibility, undivided responsibility.

8 Q. But he, Zivkovic, could delegate to you the task of deciding how

9 the units were going to be used in that action and delegate to you the

10 authority to command that action, and that's what happened with regard to

11 operation Sekac; correct?

12 A. First he approved that action. He approved the use of forces,

13 which means that he was in agreement with everything that was written in

14 the order. And my job, as an experienced officer, was to carry out the

15 tasks with those units in the spirit of the order as written, to deal with

16 any problems as they arise, and if I am unable to, then to seek his

17 assistance or the assistance of a third party if necessary.

18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, you have there referred to two pages

19 from the Milosevic transcript. The first one you gave as 47872.

20 MR. HANNIS: And that should be 472, Your Honour. I must have

21 misspoke.

22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that may be. We may be part of the way

23 there. And then you said --

24 MR. HANNIS: Or 482. I'm sorry.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that now fits because you describe the next

Page 20713

1 page as 483.

2 MR. HANNIS: They are consecutive pages and that's the correct

3 number, yeah.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.


6 Q. Okay, Colonel, let me move to another topic for a moment. I want

7 to talk about the Joint Command. You also were asked about this when you

8 testified in the Milosevic trial, and this is at page 47518. Mr. Nice

9 asked you what did you understand Joint Command to mean, and you said you

10 understood it to mean a coordination body which from time to time spent

11 time in Kosovo and Metohija. "And I'm referring to political organs that

12 dealt with the questions of terrorism in Kosovo." And you mentioned the

13 arrival of -- well, you said the arrival of General, I mean Mr. Sainovic

14 Minic, Andjelkovic, and you also mentioned Lukic you say on page

15 47519: "So their mutual cooperation in terms of the realisation of these

16 plans to break up terrorist groups in stages."

17 Were you familiar with the plan that we've heard referred to

18 sometimes as the five-stage plan for combatting terrorism in Kosovo and

19 Metohija?

20 A. I only heard the plan existed, but I was not familiar with the

21 plan.

22 Q. And with regard to Joint Command, can you tell us the first time

23 that you either heard that term used or saw it on a document?

24 A. I heard that term for the first time from Colonel Djakovic, then

25 operations officer at the Pristina Corps.

Page 20714

1 Q. Let me stop you there. Can you tell us approximately when that

2 was you heard it from him, what month and what year?

3 A. I would occasionally come from the forward command post to

4 Pristina to have a day of rest, to see my family, just for one day and one

5 night. It could have been June or July. I cannot tell you precisely, but

6 it was warm. It was summertime. We wore short sleeves. And I met with

7 Colonel Djakovic because we had rooms in the same hotel, and we met up and

8 talked. That's all I can tell you. I cannot give you an a more precise

9 date.

10 Q. And I take it this conversation took place then in Djakovica -- or

11 Pristina. I'm sorry, Pristina.

12 A. Pristina. The Sloboda Hotel where we both had rooms.

13 Q. Do you recall how the topic first came up?

14 A. Well, Djakovic had just come from one meeting, and he said, "I had

15 just been to a meeting at the MUP where I took notes," and he was invited

16 to attend that meeting by General Pavkovic, and when he came back from

17 that meeting he asked Pavkovic, in view of what had been agreed at the

18 meeting, whether he needed to put it in a document. He asked for

19 instructions, how to file it and record it. Pavkovic said that he should

20 take a number from the register of the Pristina Corps and put it in our

21 register. And when he asked about what to put in the signature, Pavkovic

22 said, "Well, put Joint Command." And when he asked, "And who will sign?"

23 Pavkovic said, "Just write 'Joint Command.'" Well, we bantered about that

24 a little which is not important for this court, but that's how I heard for

25 the first time of that term "Joint Command."

Page 20715

1 Q. Let me stop you there. I'm sorry, if you want to finish, it's

2 time for our break but I'll let you finish your answer.

3 A. I was about to say anyone who knows anything about the operational

4 level of command will understand that this term simply doesn't wash in

5 relation to what MUP and army officers did. In our lands, we have a

6 person kum, who baptising children. We say God is in heavens and kum is

7 on earth. So Pavkovic coined this term "Joint Command" and we were stuck

8 with it just as one is stuck with the name that a kum gives to your child.

9 In any case, the term "Joint Command" is incongruous for what they did.

10 And that goes back to what I described earlier as the principles of our

11 armies, single command and undivided responsibility.

12 Q. Let me stop you there. It's time for our break. We'll talk nor

13 about it after the break. Thank you.

14 MR. HANNIS: If that's convenient, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Lunchtime break this time, Mr. Kotur. Could you

16 again leave with the usher, and we'll see you at 1.45.

17 [The witness stands down]

18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.

19 --- On resuming at 1.45 p.m.

20 [The witness takes the stand]

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. Colonel, when we broke you had just told us about your meeting

24 with Colonel Djakovic and the discussion about Joint Command, and I

25 understand from reading your Milosevic testimony at page 47524 apparently

Page 20716

1 this was the second time that there had been a meeting in the corps,

2 because you told us there in Milosevic that when Mr. Sainovic arrived to

3 the area of Kosovo to gain an insight into the situation that prevailed,

4 they had a meeting in the building of the MUP and there was General Lukic,

5 Sainovic, and the corps commander Pavkovic. The second time they went to

6 a meeting Colonel Djakovic, who was an operative at the time, was a direct

7 participant. And as you explained to us he was invited to the meeting and

8 took these notes.

9 Was this the only time you had a conversation with

10 Colonel Djakovic about the Joint Command?

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.

12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I said that I would not be asking about

13 this, but to put this question this way is inaccurate. I don't know what

14 he said in the Milosevic trial because Milosevic did not have professional

15 counsel, and what he said there has a lesser weight in my eyes, but here

16 he said that he talked to Djakovic once. He didn't mention Sainovic or

17 the first and second meeting. So if something is asked, it should be

18 asked in terms of whether, and if something is put to the witness it

19 should be put accurately, because from Mr. Hannis's question, it

20 transpires that it's something linked to Sainovic; and I haven't heard

21 that. Let him rephrase the question. When did Djakovic first tell him

22 about the Joint Command, and is that related in any way to Sainovic.

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sainovic has been referred to already, excuse

24 me, in this cross-examination, but probably, I think, by Mr. Hannis alone

25 without anything being clarified although I'm speaking from vague

Page 20717

1 recollection of this morning. Mr. Hannis, this question is a long

2 question with a lot in it, and all that really matters is a bit at the

3 end, which has nothing to do with Mr. Sainovic at all.

4 Now, if you're going to be founding on the transcript in

5 Milosevic, then it's got to somehow or other become an exhibit in this

6 case or the words that were used there have to be accepted by the witness

7 in the course of this examination.

8 So it's for you to decide how you're going to deal with it, but

9 all I would take from the question you've asked so far is whether he spoke

10 to Mr. Djakovic on more than one occasion about the Joint Command.

11 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour. Well, I would indicate that

12 this transcript has an exhibit number, 5D1386. This witness was

13 originally proposed as a 92 ter witness in connection with that transcript

14 and then that was withdrawn.

15 Q. Colonel, in Milosevic, at page 47523, Mr. Nice pointed out that

16 you haven't explained how the thing is called the Joint Command, and we've

17 been wrestling with this problem for months and we still haven't got an

18 answer, and you said:

19 "I will do so now. I will tell you. When Mr. Sainovic arrived to

20 the area of Kosovo and Metohija to gain an insight into the situation that

21 prevailed, they had a meeting in the building of the MUP. There was

22 General Lukic, Sainovic, and the corps commander. What was it? Pavkovic.

23 The second time they went to a meeting in the corps, Colonel Djakovic, who

24 was an operative officer at the time. Since we lived together at the

25 hotel I heard the story from him secondhand but he was a direct

Page 20718

1 participant."

2 Do you recall being asked that question and giving that answer

3 during your testimony in Milosevic? First of all, do you remember that?

4 A. I do.

5 Q. And how did you know about that first meeting attended by

6 Sainovic, Lukic, and Pavkovic?

7 A. Well, you see it's secondhand piece of information. I believe

8 that what you have read was said that way and recorded that way, but

9 Djakovic told me that in one conversation, not several conversations.

10 Whether that was really so or exactly so I cannot tell you with 100 per

11 cent certainty, because what I know is secondhand. I believe I said even

12 then that it was said in one conversation. I did not discuss the Joint

13 Command with him several times. I remember that much.

14 Q. Thank you. And it was in that one conversation. Did he also tell

15 you that there was a second meeting which was the one he was invited to

16 attend and at which he took notes? He also told you that at that one

17 discussion; right?

18 A. As far as I can remember now, he told me that there was one

19 meeting where Pavkovic went alone without any other officer from the corps

20 command. And the second time he -- and how much time elapsed between the

21 two, I don't know. I never knew that. And the second time Pavkovic went

22 he took Djakovic with him to take notes. That's what I stated. I believe

23 nothing else stands.

24 Q. Did Djakovic show you the notebook in which he kept his notes of

25 that meeting?

Page 20719

1 A. No, no, no. He didn't show me. I never saw it, and I have no

2 clue about these notes.

3 Q. In your continuing discussion about that with Mr. Nice in

4 the Milosevic case, you went on to explain that Djakovic was told by

5 General Pavkovic to find a number in the register and put it under a

6 number, meaning the notes from the meeting. Did you ever see any of those

7 documents with a Registry number from the Pristina Corps?

8 A. I did not see those documents because I told you that from April

9 1998 until the end of October 1998 I was at the forward command post in

10 Djakovica, and I had no occasion to see those documents or anybody's

11 notebooks or to discuss it further with anyone else. I tried to be of

12 some assistance to the Court to tell you who coined that term, who was the

13 kum. That's the only context in which I mentioned it. Maybe there were

14 other people who participated in coining that term. I first heard it from

15 Djakovic and that's why I told you that story.

16 Q. Well you, did see at left one document that made reference to the

17 Joint Command at the forward command post because we have that one that

18 you and Jevtovic drafted; correct? That's Exhibit P1427. We can put that

19 up on the screen.

20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] While we're waiting, I didn't want to

21 interrupt Mr. Hannis earlier, Colonel Kotur never said that. You heard

22 his examination-in-chief, that Djakovic told him that General Pavkovic had

23 told Djakovic to open a number in the register where he would put those

24 notes. Instead he said that documents should be there, not notes.

25 Unfortunately, we are now in a position where we have to split

Page 20720

1 hairs. Those notes were misnamed by you minutes until I corrected that.

2 Look at the transcript. Nobody mentioned notes. And now we seem to have

3 it that General Pavkovic had told Djakovic to put the notes in the

4 register of the corps. He said document.

5 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is -- which line in the evidence are you

6 referring to?

7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I have to find it. It's page 75, lines

8 6 to 10. That's where he speaks about notes.

9 There is not a single corps which keeps notes in its register. It

10 is said in the question. That's why the way Mr. Hannis is putting these

11 questions is dangerous.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Well, we're back to page 70 -- sorry,

13 47524. Does that actually contain that comment, Mr. Hannis?

14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I will -- I will read the quote so I'm

15 precise.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.


18 Q. Colonel, in your testimony on 24 January 2006 at that page, you're

19 telling us what Djakovic said about this, line 6:

20 "He said Pavkovic invited him and told him: We're going to a

21 meeting in the MUP to agree about actions and you will keep the record.

22 So he did. Colonel Djakovic did keep a record. He asked Pavkovic: What

23 shall we do with this record? Shall it be turned into an order, some sort

24 of enactment? And Pavkovic told him: Find a number in the register and

25 put it under a number."

Page 20721

1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, what's your objection in light of that?

2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, today he said those were notes, not

3 record. It doesn't really matter that much. And that Pavkovic told him

4 then to open a number for the ensuing order, because those notes had to be

5 turned into an order. The register of a corps cannot contain notes. That

6 much should be clear, I suppose. We are playing with interpretation. We

7 are putting people -- like -- like with the words "operation"

8 and "action." I ask about actions, the Prosecutor asks about operations

9 for two years.

10 Look at what Colonel Kotur said today, and I as St. Thomas, after

11 whom I was named, believe my own eyes and ears than anything.

12 JUDGE BONOMY: What interests Mr. Hannis at the moment is what

13 Mr. Kotur said when he gave evidence on the 24th of January, 2006, and all

14 he's doing is putting that to him to indicate the source of his

15 information. I see nothing wrong in the way which his question has been

16 framed so far and therefore the objection is repelled.

17 You may have to start again though, Mr. Hannis. The quote we all

18 know now. It may be simply a question of formulating -- reformulating the

19 question.


21 Q. Colonel, having heard what I just read about your testimony from

22 Milosevic, do you recall? Is that how it happened in your discussion with

23 Colonel Djakovic?

24 A. I recall clearly having said those notes that Djakovic took in the

25 MUP should be turned into a document, an order. Just to use this example

Page 20722

1 in Djakovic. What Djakovic did in Pristina I did the same for that order

2 when you asked me about it. I was at the meeting of MUP officers and our

3 senior officers and kept notes, and those notes I used as a basis for

4 writing that order. Axes, tasks per unit, et cetera. Those notes served

5 as a basis for writing that document and Djakovic did that same thing. If

6 that clarifies the matter enough. Because notes mean nothing. Everybody

7 has their own way of keeping notes. I myself have difficulty reading my

8 own notes after a certain passage of time.

9 Q. Colonel, that makes sense to me. Can I ask you in the example

10 that you gave about how you took notes for that order that -- that you

11 wrote, what happened to your original notes once the order was written?

12 Are those original notes preserved anywhere?

13 A. No. Those notes are kept in a service notebook. When it's filled

14 completely, it is turned over to the archives and destroyed after one

15 year. So the time they are kept in the archives is one year. After one

16 year they are destroyed. So it is certainly not still kept after ten

17 years. And that is a routine job, the destruction of those service

18 notebooks. The only thing is that you have to turn it in once it's

19 filled.

20 Q. Let me go back to what you said earlier today about this meeting

21 at page 70, line 14 you said: "And when he came back from that meeting he

22 asked Pavkovic in view of what had been agreed at the meeting whether he

23 needed to put in a document. He asked for instructions, how to file it

24 and record it. Pavkovic said that he should take a number from the

25 register from the Pristina Corps and put in our register. And when he

Page 20723

1 asked what to put in the signature Pavkovic said, "Well, put Joint

2 Command." And when he asked who will sign, Pavkovic said just write Joint

3 Command."

4 Am I right in understanding that he it is -- Djakovic goes to the

5 meeting, he takes notes about the meetings, and then he comes back and

6 writes up some official document that gets a Pristina Corps number and is

7 filed in the Pristina Corps, whereas his notes remain separate and apart

8 from that? Is that right?

9 A. Yes, that's correct.

10 Q. Now, 1427 is the document that I think you told us that you helped

11 draft. Correct? Do you remember seeing this one and talking about it

12 before?

13 A. I did see this document before, and I wrote it and participated in

14 its drafting, and you can best see that on the last page where initials

15 are. MK is Milan Kotur, and Goran Jevtovic. And then you'll see "/GJ,"

16 which means that Goran Jevtovic actually printed it out on the computer.

17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... page of both English and your

18 language. I guess we have to go to the next to the last page of English

19 for my next question.

20 Colonel, under number 6 it's written: "Combat operations will be

21 commanded by the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija from the forward

22 command post in Djakovica."

23 Do you know why Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija was typed up

24 in bold letters?

25 A. I couldn't tell you that. You can see that Goran Jevtovic typed

Page 20724

1 this. He typed "Report," and then "Commander." Commander shouldn't be

2 written in such bold letters, bold script. I see that he muddled

3 something in this text. I -- I don't know. I wouldn't know that, because

4 I did not type it myself. I could not give you an explanation. I believe

5 it's Goran's style to emphasise certain things, not necessarily because

6 they were that important. And he did that arbitrarily.

7 Q. In -- in your discussions about the Joint Command in 2006 when you

8 testified in Milosevic, you didn't mention this document, did you?

9 A. No, I did not mention it, and I didn't have it. I saw it for the

10 first time here. I was even surprised a little when I saw my initials,

11 and then I remembered the work done on this. Back then we did not have

12 this document, as far as I know.

13 Q. This is -- this is dated the 10th of August, 1998. Do you

14 remember when you and Jevtovic drafted -- drew it up? Was it the same day

15 or did you do it the day before? Did it take a couple days?

16 A. I did not need a couple of days to write this, but whether it was

17 that same day or the next day, I really can't recall after ten years.

18 Anything I would say would be guesswork and not reliable.

19 Q. Do you know who -- whose idea it was to put "Joint Command" in

20 item number 6? Did it come from you or Jevtovic or Pavkovic or who?

21 A. It's Pavkovic's idea. Whenever the MUP acted together with the

22 army, it was labelled "Joint Command." We knew that these actions were

23 linked up and agreed, but the command had nothing to do with it. Army

24 commanders did not command the MUP or vice versa, nor did they submit

25 reports to one another. That's why I said when somebody gives your child

Page 20725

1 a name you don't like, you're stuck with it because kum is what God is in

2 heaven. Now we are all struggling to explain this Joint Command, and it's

3 really, really difficult because it doesn't have a single element of

4 command.

5 Q. How -- how -- well, I think you testified earlier that

6 General Lazarevic, or I guess he was colonel then, was not at the forward

7 command post at that time. How do you recall that he wasn't there that

8 day?

9 A. I remember it only because of my initials here. If

10 Colonel Lazarevic had been there, he would have done it as the more senior

11 and more experienced officer, and my initials would not even be here.

12 That's my recollection. And I would have noticed him in that group,

13 because I know that later on I drafted this document without the benefit

14 of his presence and his suggestions.

15 Q. And I take it you don't recall now where he would have been on the

16 9th or 10th of August, 1998?

17 A. I have no recollection of that, but I know he wasn't at the

18 forward command post.

19 Q. Okay. In talking about this document earlier, you told us that

20 prior to writing it you attended some sort of coordination meeting with

21 the MUP, and based on your notes, Pavkovic accepted it and then it was

22 written up and Pavkovic signed it; right?

23 A. Officers of the MUP and officers of the army were all in

24 Djakovica. Therefore, we didn't go to the MUP. They were both in

25 Djakovica. That's where this action was considered, and it was decided to

Page 20726

1 carry it out as I put it in this document. And I was at that meeting

2 myself. I kept notes in order to be able to write this document on the

3 basis of that. And at the meeting it was agreed which forces would

4 participate, on which axes, what the tasks would be, what support would be

5 given, how the tasks would be performed and how to deal with problems if

6 they arise.

7 At that meeting when everything is defined and coordinated, it is

8 not a problem for me to write the order, and this is an order for our

9 units that were to be engaged.

10 Q. Do you -- do you recall who scheduled a meeting and invited the

11 people to come?

12 A. I don't know that. I just saw all of them together when they were

13 at the forward command post at the barracks in Djakovica.

14 Q. Okay. And you told us earlier today at page 30, line 17, that

15 that was from the MUP, you believe Obrad Stevanovic, Vlastimir Djordjevic,

16 and then you and Jevtovic and Pavkovic. Anyone else at that meeting that

17 you recall?

18 A. No, I don't recall that, and I didn't say that. I think I said

19 Obrad Stevanovic, General of the police. That's what I believe I said.

20 You read a different name or, rather, last name.

21 Q. I may have pronounced it badly, but that's the name I meant to

22 read, Obrad Stevanovic. And Vlastimir Djordjevic, also known as Rodja.

23 He was there too; right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And when you were talking about this, Mr. Bakrac asked you: "In

Page 20727

1 taking this decision about coordination and support, did any -- and

2 support to MUP forces, did any civilians take part?" And you started to

3 answer and it's translated as "President of the municipality." Do you

4 recall saying that?

5 A. Yes. I said that the president of the municipality were -- was in

6 Djakovica of the civilians, but not at the coordinating meeting but he

7 just brought in some fruit that we ate. I don't know what the

8 interpretation was, but that was the essence of it; so when I asked

9 whether -- when I was asked whether any civilians were present there I

10 said the president of the municipality who had brought in the fruit for us

11 to eat, basket of fruit, but nobody else. There was no need for them to

12 attend.

13 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, if -- you mentioned that if then

14 Colonel Lazarevic had been there at the time this was written he would

15 have written it himself and it wouldn't have your initials or Goran

16 Jevtovic's initials on it; right?

17 A. The initials of Goran Jevtovic would be there because he was the

18 operations officer, and he typed those documents up, and he would have

19 processed that. But not mine.

20 Q. And what would it signify if there were an order like this that's

21 signed by General Lazarevic and but there's no initials on it? Is it just

22 the typist forgetting to put them on? What would that mean?

23 A. That would mean that the typist was not doing their job properly,

24 because they were supposed to put the initials of the drafter and of the

25 typist, but unfortunately it was not done in many cases. This was not

Page 20728

1 something that was really focused on, but in office work it was the usual

2 practice that was necessary to do so. You had to put the initials of the

3 drafter and the typist, because you can see from these examples here in

4 courtroom the purpose that it serves, because it refreshing your memory.

5 Then you can say who drafted it after ten years.

6 Q. And this -- this order, P1427, which seems to have primarily task

7 for VJ units to support the MUP, you explained, I think -- yeah. You

8 explained that that's when Joint Command got put in these orders. It was

9 when it was a joint operation. When they were working together; right?

10 A. Yes. It is a group of officers from the police and the military

11 planning this action together.

12 Q. One thing I note on here that we haven't seen on -- on several of

13 the documents that I call Joint Command orders for action in combat, this

14 one was sent to the MUP, wasn't it? You can see at the bottom of the

15 page. Does it not indicate that a copy was sent to the MUP?

16 A. Yes, it does.

17 Q. Now, I want to ask you a question related to this regarding the

18 Reka action in late April 1999. We talked about that a bit, and I think

19 it's your -- your evidence that as far as you know there wasn't any

20 written order about that action. Is that your position?

21 A. Yes, I did say that, because our rules demand that there be no

22 such plans for such an operation, and no special orders are required apart

23 from those brief combat commands that are issued orally in the field,

24 because at platoon and company level, those units never receive any

25 written orders. They receive their orders directly in the field, and

Page 20729

1 there is no need. I don't think that anyone ever wrote an order to a

2 platoon or to a company except maybe in some exceptional circumstances

3 when it was impossible to issue a task to a unit in the field, and then it

4 was done in writing, but at this level it is not required in accordance

5 with our rules. I'm talking about this level of deployment of the

6 military.

7 Q. Well, would it be -- would it be unusual for a brigade commander

8 to issue a written order from his level down to the units that you say

9 were participating in this action?

10 A. No. No. These are also small units. And I don't know if you

11 understand my correctly. Those units were already stationed there, and

12 the only task that they had was to turn around some of their forces so

13 that they don't -- they're no longer facing the Albanian border but the

14 valley where the cleanup operations are being carried out. Because during

15 the night and in some other circumstances this is the way they set up

16 their security. They have the circular security to make sure that their

17 battle order is not endangered by the terrorists. And this is the only

18 order that those units received.

19 I tried to emulate the chief of staff, the way in which he would

20 have issued this order.

21 Q. Colonel, I'm not talking about the units that were blockading to

22 try and avoid infiltration by -- by the KLA. I'm talking about those

23 units of the VJ that were assisting the MUP in -- in mopping up and

24 clearing that area. And we understood from Colonel Zivanovic that from

25 the 125th there was a unit from the -- I think the 1st Motorised

Page 20730

1 Battalion, and there was something that he referred to as the Volunteer

2 Company. Were you aware that they were assisting in that mopping up part

3 of the action?

4 A. I think that it is a mistake. General Zivanovic could not have

5 said something like that, because the only units that participated in the

6 search operations were 30 to 40 parachute troopers and 30 to 40 military

7 police officers. These are the only units that participated in the search

8 operations. As far as I know, all the rest of the VJ units were only

9 preventing the terrorists from infiltrating the battle order of the units

10 that were defending this area, and it had been going on for about a month

11 already at that time.

12 Q. Is -- is the Rugovska gorge part of this area?

13 A. No. The Rugovska gorge is completely different area from Pec up

14 towards Montenegro. That's the Pec-Cakor road. That's completely

15 different axis, and this gorge extends from the west to the east, and this

16 river runs north-south.

17 Q. And part of the Reka area includes the village of Racaj, Pacaj,

18 Seremet and Dobros, does it not?

19 A. Racaj, Pacaj, and Dobros. Yes. Those villages are part of this

20 Reka area.

21 Q. Can we have a look at Exhibit P2024. Colonel, while this is

22 coming up, I'll tell you it's a regular combat record dated 27 April 1999

23 from the 125th Motorised Brigade command.

24 Let me ask you, would you in the forward command post receive

25 these because I see it's addressed to both the Pristina Corps command post

Page 20731

1 and the Djakovica command post. Did you receive the daily combat reports

2 from those subordinate units operating in your area?

3 A. The units that are subordinate to the commander of the forward

4 command post in the Metohija area I already gave you the list those units,

5 and among them is the 125th Brigade; and this brigade was duty-bound to

6 send a copy of the report, combat report, that it is sending to the

7 Pristina Corps command post in Pristina to send a copy to the forward

8 command post, and this is what the 52nd and all the other subordinate

9 units did.

10 Q. Okay. So I take it your answer is yes, you would receive this

11 kind of combat report from the 125th at the forward command post in April

12 1999; right?

13 A. The operations officer did receive that, and Colonel Zivkovic read

14 this report, for sure.

15 Q. And before we go to the second page, could you look down near the

16 bottom. I think it's the next to the last paragraph. It starts out with:

17 "During the day at 0800 hours, a column of Siptar civilians was

18 formed on the following axis." Do you find that?

19 A. Yes, I can see it.

20 Q. And the last sentence in that paragraph says: "We believe they

21 want to pull out from the sector of operations of our forces in the

22 general area of the Ramoc facility."

23 First of all, can you tell us, if you know, what is the Ramoc

24 facility?

25 A. Well, I don't know who drafted this report. It comes from the

Page 20732

1 125th Brigade. If I knew the officers who drafted it then I would be able

2 to tell you something more about it, but as to what you're asking me

3 about, Ramoc is a village. It extends along the ridge of several

4 kilometres. So there is no Ramoc feature, a physical feature in that

5 sense, but there is the village of Ramoc, and the forces could have

6 reached Ramoc, the village, only on the 27th, not before that, because

7 that was the agreement regarding this action. And provided the units kept

8 by this agreement, the agreement was that on the first day the line

9 extending from Smonica --

10 Q. Let me --

11 A. -- Ramoc and Osehilja and Ose Pase would be reached. Now I can't

12 recall the exact names because I don't have the map with me.

13 Q. Okay.

14 A. So they were supposed to reach this line on the first day, and I

15 don't know what this time means. This is all mixed up here. Maybe of

16 some reservists wrote this because there were some reserve officers there

17 who were in the command of this unit. So perhaps somebody who was not

18 really very well-versed in how those reports are to be drafted actually

19 did so. So you have the word "feature" or "facility" instead of the

20 village. And then you have this 0800 hours. And they could not have

21 reached Ramoc before the evening hours. And the next day they had to go

22 through Ramoc, and this is like the most densely wooded area that you have

23 to go through in order to get to Ramoc.

24 Q. The 0800 is referring to a column of civilians who are moving out

25 of the area because your forces are carrying out actions in that general

Page 20733

1 area. That's not confusing, is it? It's not talking about your forces

2 moving out at 0800 from that axis. It's the civilians, the Siptar

3 civilians who are moving.

4 A. Yes, yes. It does say "civilians." I didn't understand your

5 question when I gave you my answer. But Ramoc is not a facility. It's a

6 village.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: We have that answer. Please continue, Mr. Hannis.

8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.

9 Q. If we can go to page 2 of the B/C/S. Colonel I want to ask you

10 about something under item 2 on this page. The second sentence in English

11 is translated as part of the forces is engaged in mopping up the terrain

12 from Siptar terrorists in the general area of Reka in keeping with your

13 decision." Doesn't that indicate that some VJ forces are mopping up in

14 that area pursuant to a decision I take it of the Pristina Corps command?

15 Doesn't say which ones but some; rights?

16 A. It says here: "A part of the forces is engaged in mopping up the

17 terrain from Siptar terrorist forces in the general area of Reka in

18 keeping with your decision." I think that this means that this police

19 company that was subordinate -- it's a military police company from the

20 52nd Battalion. I think it was attached to the 100 -- or subordinated to

21 the 125th Motorised Brigade because of the problems it encountered at

22 Kosare sector, and this parachute unit. And on the orders of the

23 commander of the forward command post, those units were sent to mop up the

24 terrain, and this order has to do with this mop-up operation, the military

25 or those units, the mop-up operation, the military police and the

Page 20734

1 parachute troops.

2 You were talking to me about the volunteer group and so I got

3 mixed up. I knew that those units did not participate in this.

4 Q. Well, Colonel, we're going to come to that in a minute, but to

5 your recollection then the ones -- the VJ units participating in this were

6 parts of the 52nd Military Police and part of the 63rd Parachute. Was it

7 a brigade or a battalion? Whichever. Parts of the 52nd and the 63rd;

8 right?

9 A. Yes. This police company was from the 52nd Military Police

10 Battalion. It is a battalion that was under the command of the Pristina

11 Corps command, and for the most part the forces of this battalion were

12 deployed to secure the command post of the Pristina Corps regardless of

13 its location, Grmija or some other place, but --

14 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered the question, Mr. Kotur.

15 Mr. Hannis, you're getting an awful lot of information that

16 doesn't seem to be of assistance. I think you need more control over

17 these questions.

18 MR. HANNIS: I'll make my best efforts, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE BONOMY: For example, were you trying to establish what the

20 decision was that this refers to or is that not -- was that not part of

21 the objective?

22 MR. HANNIS: Part of the objective was to confirm whose decision

23 that would have been.

24 JUDGE BONOMY: And have we got the answer to that?

25 MR. HANNIS: I don't think we have.

Page 20735



3 Q. And, Colonel, you read back to me what I read to you, that this

4 was being done in keeping with your decision. In this context, when the

5 125th is writing to the Pristina Corps command, your decision means a

6 decision of the Pristina Corps command; right?

7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like you to put

8 a ban on trick questions, because the reference is to the Pristina Corps

9 and to the forward command post. This is what my learned colleague

10 Mr. Hannis has said himself; and now he's trying to dupe the witness and

11 tell him that this was sent to the Pristina Corps too, and we are now on

12 the second page of this document, and on the front page you can see that

13 this was a document that was sent both to the Pristina Corps command and

14 to the forward command post in Djakovica and the witness has explained all

15 that.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the witness was told that by Mr. Hannis at

17 the outset. There is absolutely no question of a trick question here.

18 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.


20 Q. Colonel, did you understand my question? In this context when it

21 says "pursuant" or "in keeping with your decision," who do you understand

22 that to be referring to? Whose decision was it to carry out this mopping

23 up of the terrain in the general Reka area?

24 A. The reference here is to the decision of the commander of the

25 forward command post, that part of those units that were detached from the

Page 20736

1 125th Brigade would be used to mop up the Reka area, and this is how they

2 explain this, in this manner.

3 Q. Now, how do you know --

4 A. That's the way I understand this report.

5 Q. How do you know from reading this that it refers to someone in the

6 forward command post as opposed to someone in the Pristina Corps command?

7 How do you know that?

8 A. Well, because I know that Colonel Zivanovic had all those units --

9 or, rather, Zivkovic had all those units under his command and he was the

10 only person who could issue orders to them. And Pristina Corps command

11 couldn't do that because it had nothing to do with those units, because

12 the corps commander in his order designated Colonel Zivkovic as the

13 commander of the forward command post and subordinated to him all those

14 units that were under the -- in this area under the forward command post.

15 He was there until the end of the war and he was in command of all those

16 forces. This is the essence of it. And this is why I said if I could see

17 who drafted this document -- well, after all, the forward command post is

18 part of the Pristina Corps command but it is just one part located in

19 Djakovica. But this is part of the Pristina Corps command. It is not the

20 command of some other corps, and this is why it was drafted in this

21 manner.

22 I think that now I understand much better what you were driving

23 at. I understand much better your question.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to slow down.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, Mr. Kotur, you're being asked to slow down.

Page 20737

1 So please speak more slowly.


3 Q. You're not telling us that General Pavkovic -- or I guess in 1999

4 General Lazarevic, as commander of the Pristina Corps, had to defer to his

5 deputy, had to defer to Zivkovic, if Lazarevic decided that he wanted to

6 make an order about this? You talked to us about singleness of command.

7 Lazarevic was the superior to Zivkovic; right? Okay.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So from reading this document, what -- what in here can you point

10 to me that would say that this reference to your decision means Zivkovic

11 instead of Lazarevic? There's nothing here in the written document that

12 makes that clear, does it?

13 A. There is something, and it's called logic. It's in the manner in

14 which command is exercised in our army. There is no reason. And I'm not

15 trying to protect anyone. I'm just telling the truth. So please don't

16 laugh. I have no reason to protect anyone to greater or lesser degree.

17 I'm just trying to tell you that the command system is as follows:

18 General Lazarevic didn't want to have --

19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down when saying

20 names.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kotur I'm not going to ask you again to slow

22 down. I've done it to the point where it's become really an offence to

23 the Court for you to just ignore the constant requests of the

24 interpreters. So please speak more slowly. I tell you for the last time.

25 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] If I may assist. Mr. Kotur, please

Page 20738

1 look at the transcript in front of you and don't open your mouth for as

2 long as you can see that the letters are being typed up, and that's all.

3 And we'll have no problems. I do apologise.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I was facing the

5 Prosecutor, and I did not monitor the transcript. Your instruction is

6 taken, your warning is taken, and I do apologise. I'm not doing this

7 deliberately, as a sign of contempt.

8 General Lazarevic had no reason to poll individually several

9 brigade commanders and to issue individual orders to all of them. When he

10 had his deputy who was the commander of the forward command post and if

11 anything needed to be done he issued only his orders only to him. So

12 there was no need for him to call Colonel Zivanovic, who was not at the

13 forward command post at any rate. He was up there at the Kosare region

14 where his unit had its battle disposition, and he couldn't even get him on

15 the phone during the entire day. When he had the simple option of calling

16 the forward command post and ordering his chief of staff to do something,

17 if that's what he, Lazarevic, wanted to be done. So that was the way in

18 which we exercise command in our army. So that's one thing.

19 Secondly, it was difficult to establish communications from

20 Pristina with each and every unit that was located or stationed here in

21 Metohija defending the axes leading from Albania into the Kosovo and

22 Metohija area. So the only communication that was maintained was the one

23 with his forward command post in Djakovica.

24 When I said logic, that is the essence of the command system, and

25 I can claim with 100 per cent certainty, 101 per cent, that Lazarevic

Page 20739

1 could not simply get Zivanovic on the phone and order this. And you had

2 Zivanovic here yesterday and he was in a position to tell you so. I don't

3 know what he told you, but that was the only thing that he could have told

4 you, and that's that the chief of staff -- that the chief of staff,

5 Zivkovic, ordered this rather than Colonel Lazarevic.


7 Q. Well, I have to take issue with your logic, Colonel. Let's look

8 at Exhibit P1966 first of all. And while it's coming up, let me ask you.

9 Are you saying because these units, these subordinate elements of the

10 125th were operating in the area of the forward command post Lazarevic

11 couldn't or wouldn't or needn't be bothered with sending them

12 instructions? Is that what you're saying? And he left that all to the

13 forward command post all the time? That's not what you're claiming, is

14 it?

15 A. No. Let me just say the following: What I'm saying is that from

16 the moment the forward command post was established, from that point on

17 I'm not aware that Lazarevic commanded special units let alone small units

18 such as a police platoon or a parachute platoon.

19 The forward command post was established on the 13th or 14th of

20 April, 1999, as I said. Up to that point in time while there was the

21 command group with Jevtovic and others, they didn't have the right to

22 command units by establishment.

23 Q. All right.

24 A. And no one could authorise them to do so because they were not up

25 to the task.

Page 20740

1 Q. Have a look at this document on the screen in front of you.

2 You'll see it's dated the 22nd of March, 1999. It's captioned "Joint

3 Command for Kosovo and Metohija, strictly confidential number 455-56.

4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there's probably a

5 misinterpretation, because the witness was told it's the 27th. In the

6 transcript it's correct, but the witness heard the date 27th of March,

7 1999.

8 JUDGE BONOMY: The document is in fact the 22nd of March, 1999.

9 Thank you.

10 MR. HANNIS: I agree.

11 Q. And this is an order to rout and destroy Siptar terrorist forces

12 in the Malo Kosovo area.

13 Colonel, I will tell you that it includes some task for Battle

14 Group 4 of the 125th. Have you ever seen this document before? Did you

15 see it in preparing for your testimony?

16 A. No. No, I did not.

17 Q. And I'll tell you, this one is unsigned. It just has the typed

18 name "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija" on the last page, and it says

19 that the operations will be commanded by the Joint Command. But note that

20 number on the front. It's 455-56. And from other witnesses we've heard

21 evidence that that is a number, a register number, associated with the

22 Pristina Corps. Would you agree with that, the 455 series?

23 A. After a lapse of ten years, it's hard for me to say either yes or

24 no. I have no idea what the serial numbers were in the Pristina Corps

25 logbook. I wasn't in the operative department or in the Registry office.

Page 20741

1 It wasn't my job, so I'm not familiar with that. It's easy to establish,

2 however, if the logbook is still in existence.

3 Q. Thank you. Let me show you the next exhibit, P1967. And,

4 Colonel, while that's coming up I'll tell you that this is also dated the

5 22nd of March, 1999, and it appears to be related to the one you just

6 looked at for a couple reasons. It has the number 455-56/1, and it's

7 called "Amendment to the decision on supporting the MUP and breaking up

8 the Siptar terrorist forces in the area of Malo Kosovo."

9 Would you agree with me that this appears to be related to the one

10 that you just looked at because of the number and the fact at that

11 says "Amendment"? That's logical, is it?

12 A. Yes, that's logical, and I would agree that this is an annex to

13 that document because it says "/1". So it is an addendum to that

14 document.

15 Q. If we could go to the last page then of this document. And

16 this -- this amendment, which was titled "Joint Command," like the

17 document which it amends, is signed by General Lazarevic. You see --

18 recognise his signature and stamp there?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And it has tasks for the 125th, and we see on the delivery

21 information that among others it was sent to the 125th Motorised Brigade.

22 Now, isn't that contrary to what you were telling me before?

23 Here's General Lazarevic issuing an order to 125th Brigade, Battle Group

24 4, which I believe is operating in the area within the forward command

25 post area of coverage?

Page 20742

1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no logic in this. I

3 explained to you from when the forward command post began to function. At

4 that time, the forward command post was still not functioning, and the

5 125th Brigade had not yet taken up its positions to defend the axes going

6 from Albania to Kosovo. So the manner of exercise and command differed

7 before and after that point in time.


9 Q. Okay. Help me with that. When -- when was -- first of all, in

10 1998 when was the forward command post set up in Kosovo, the forward

11 command post for the Pristina Corps, approximately?

12 A. Sometime in the second half of April.

13 Q. And when did --

14 A. 1998.

15 Q. When was it disbanded or when did it cease to function?

16 A. I think the 11 -- I think sometime November or December 1998.

17 Q. And -- and then when did it get reconstituted? What was the date

18 it started in 1999, according to you?

19 A. Let me tell you. After --

20 Q. No, I just need the date. Can you just tell me the date?

21 A. The 13th or 14th of April, 1999.

22 Q. Okay. Let me show you another exhibit then.

23 A. In between was the command group. That's what I was trying to

24 say.

25 Q. I heard your testimony about that earlier. So the 13th or 14th of

Page 20743

1 April.

2 Could we look at P1878. Now, I understand from your earlier

3 testimony that -- that for you there was no Joint Command in the sense of

4 a body with command authority; right? That's your position.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And these documents that are entitled Joint Command with orders

7 for combat actions or operations are really coming from the Pristina

8 Corps; right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. P1878 is dated the 15th of April, from the Joint Command, and it's

11 an order to break up and destroy Siptar terrorists in the Rugova sector.

12 You'll see it seems to be a pretty small operation. It if we could go to

13 item number 5, which is page 3 of the English, and it's the very bottom of

14 page 2 of the Serbian B/C/S.

15 There's a task for the 125th, the 2nd Battalion of the 58th Light

16 Infantry Brigade. Do you see that? And if you want to go on to the

17 next --

18 A. Yes, I see it.

19 Q. Go on to the next page you'll see what area it's talking about.

20 Do you recognise those villages or the area that's described?

21 A. Yes. I'm not really familiar with Rugovska Klisura, but I can see

22 that it deals with that. Rugovska gorge.

23 Q. And isn't this an example of an order after the forward command

24 post had been reconstituted or reset up? After that date we have an order

25 from the Pristina Corps command for an element of the 125th. Isn't that

Page 20744

1 contrary to what you told us before?

2 A. No, no.

3 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this question then: Would you describe this

4 as a joint action or is this a separate army task or a separate MUP task?

5 Can you tell by reading it? I can give you a hard copy if you want to

6 look at the whole thing, in fairness to you, Colonel.

7 A. Here one can see that at the command post of the Pristina Corps an

8 action was agreed on to be conducted jointly by the MUP and the army with

9 a view to routing and destroying Siptar terrorist forces in the general

10 area of mount Rugovo.

11 Q. And from what you testified to earlier, that is consistent with my

12 understanding what you said for joint actions those are the ones that

13 needed to have this language about Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija

14 shall command. Isn't that right?

15 A. Excuse me, please, could you repeat your question? I was looking

16 at the document and I didn't quite follow. I do apologise.

17 Q. That's all right. I understood from what you told us earlier that

18 for those joint actions that involved both MUP and VJ, those orders needed

19 to contain this language about the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija

20 shall command all the forces, and that's in this document. So that's

21 consistent with what you told us before; right?

22 A. No. There are no elements of command here.

23 Q. That's -- that's not my question.

24 A. I see in the heading where it says "Joint Command," and then it

25 says "Pristina Corps command post," under 11 it says "Peacetime location,"

Page 20745

1 in item 11, and I don't see to whom all this was sent, because a document

2 in this form cannot be sent to the units. The units have to receive other

3 documents along with this, maps and so on, because as far as I was able to

4 see here you indicated 125th Brigade and the 2nd Battalion of the 58th

5 Light Infantry Brigade. So a battalion from another unit is being sent

6 there to be engaged here. And up here it says Joint Command, and then

7 where it says "Command" it says only the command of the Pristina Corps.

8 It's very hard to find my way around here.

9 My understanding is that the Pristina Corps command was in command

10 of its own forces, as always, and why it says Joint Command up there,

11 probably because MUP forces are mentioned in here. And why it doesn't say

12 that there will be a Joint Command, I really don't know, because there are

13 documents where there's a Joint Command in the heading or in the signature

14 or only in the signature or only in the command elements. So it's

15 mentioned in one place and not the other. I really don't understand it.

16 Q. Stop. Look at the first page of that document. At the top it

17 says "Joint Command"; correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And look at the last page. Does it not have the typed

20 signature "Joint Command"? "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija"?

21 A. Yes, it says here.

22 Q. And in item number 13, the second sentence, does it not say: "The

23 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija shall command all forces from the

24 Pristina sector during the conduct of combat operations"?

25 A. Yes, it says that in the document.

Page 20746

1 Q. And the point I was trying to get to is I understood from your

2 earlier testimony when these documents had that kind of thing in it about

3 Joint Command, that meant this was going to be a joint action between the

4 VJ and MUP. Isn't that what you told us before?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, I don't know if -- if you're aware. We've had evidence in

7 this case that this particular order, number 455-148, was brought to the

8 attention of General Ojdanic, the -- the chief of the Supreme Command

9 Staff, and that he actually wrote a document that was

10 called "Suggestions." Were you aware of that from following this trial or

11 in your preparation for testifying?

12 A. I can't hear.

13 Q. I see you're getting no transmission. Are you aware that this

14 document, number 455-148, is an order that came to the personal attention

15 of General Ojdanic, the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, and that he

16 actually wrote a document called "Suggestions," making some suggestions

17 about how this might be done differently? Did you know about that?

18 A. No, no. I didn't pay attention. And if the document was there

19 somewhere, I didn't pay attention to it, because I did not participate in

20 any Joint Command except for once in Djakovica at the forward command

21 post. So I don't know anything about it. And as I told you, when

22 something erroneous creeps in it's never put right. And now I cannot

23 assist much regardless of my experience. All I know is that this title

24 cannot hold water. It's not tenable.

25 Q. I understand your position, and I take it that even though I've

Page 20747

1 mentioned to you that this came to the attention of General Ojdanic and he

2 wrote "Suggestions," he didn't right to the subordinate units and

3 say, "Disregard any orders from a Joint Command because I'm in charge," he

4 wrote "Suggestions" which to me suggests he recognises the Joint Command

5 and is sort of deferring to it. Isn't that how it seems when the chief of

6 the Supreme Command Staff knows about a Joint Command and doesn't do

7 anything except make suggestions?

8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this witness said he

9 didn't know what this was about at all, that he hadn't seen the document

10 and that he didn't know what my learned friend is talking about and now my

11 learned friend is asking him to draw conclusions on documents he hasn't

12 seen and doesn't know what they're about.

13 MR. SEPENUK: If I could just add my comment, Your Honour. I

14 think Mr. Hannis is making a submission here, not really asking a

15 question.

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, my question was spurred by the answer

18 where he said: "All I know is that this title cannot hold water. It's

19 not tenable."

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. What did you mean by that, Mr. Kotur, when

21 there is a document in which General Ojdanic appears to have written

22 suggestions about the instructions which were contained in P1878, the

23 document you've been looking at?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge Bonomy, I don't have that

25 document. I have the order on the routing of forces in Rugova. That's on

Page 20748

1 my screen, and that's what I'm holding. So I don't know what you're

2 referring to. I'm really not familiar with that.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you want to show the witness the document,

4 Mr. Hannis?

5 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I'd like to but I don't think I

6 put Exhibit P1487 on my notification list, but I would -- if it would

7 assist him, I'd like to show it to him, and I'll listen to --

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I believe you're being invited to by

9 Mr. Bakrac so that he's fully informed.

10 Mr. Bakrac?

11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I said that a document that has not

12 been announced should not even be shown, but counsel didn't show it. He

13 tried to discuss it with the witness precisely because it had not been

14 announced or disclosed in advance and I think we have strict rules here

15 which apply to us also when a document is not announced it cannot be used.

16 [Trial Chamber confers]

17 JUDGE BONOMY: The problem that's been created here is that an

18 answer was given to question that was not objected to and that answer was

19 that the use of the expression, "suggestions," in the context was

20 untenable militarily, as I understand the position, and Mr. Hannis has

21 tried to explore that to enable the witness to explain what he meant by

22 untenable then it's only right he should have the -- what do you --

23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that the witness

24 did not say that the suggestions were untenable. What he said was this

25 was actually about whether the Joint Command existed or not, and he said

Page 20749

1 that the Joint Command was untenable in military terms. So he was not

2 commenting on the suggestions.

3 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't agree with that interpretation. It's open

4 to more than one interpretation, that answer. If you take the one you've

5 just given but I certainly would not have taken that interpretation from

6 the English translation. You'll be able to make submissions about that

7 and the witness will be able to explain himself on that. So we'll allow

8 Mr. Hannis to let him see the document and then see if he can assist us

9 further in where this document fits into the command structure that he's

10 been so helpfully exploring with Mr. Hannis. Thank you.

11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Then if we could bring up on e-court

12 Exhibit P1487.

13 Q. And, Colonel, you'll see this is dated the 17th of April, from the

14 Supreme Command Staff, and you can see on your B/C/S -- or your Serbian

15 version the signature and seal of General Ojdanic at the bottom. Okay.

16 And you'll see it's to the 3rd Army command, commander personally, and

17 there's a link to Kosovo and Metohija Joint Command order number 455-148

18 of 15 April. That -- that one you have on the desk in front of you.

19 Now, do you want to take a minute to read the whole thing before I

20 ask my question?

21 A. I would like to time some read it, because this is the first time

22 that I see it.

23 Q. Sure. Take your time and let us know when you're ready.

24 A. I've read it.

25 Q. Thank you. My question is this -- the way I read this, it seems

Page 20750

1 the highest uniformed individual in the army is giving some kind of

2 deference to this body called Joint Command, because he is writing

3 suggestions, suggesting for example, in number 3, delaying the task to the

4 19th of April.

5 Now, doesn't that suggest to you that the Joint Command is

6 somebody, some organ, that has some substantial say in VJ combat actions

7 for the supreme -- for the chief of the supreme command staff to be

8 responding to its order this way?

9 A. I don't know what made Mr. Ojdanic to draft this in this manner,

10 but I don't believe that the Joint Command staff that you're talking

11 about, that he is showing this kind of respect to be treating this

12 suggestion in this manner for a very simple reason, because the war

13 started. The supreme commander of the Command was Mr. Milosevic, and

14 Ojdanic was the first person next to him and the most competent one in the

15 professional sense. And if any orders were to be issued to the Joint Command

16 or if General Ojdanic believed that orders should be issued, he would not

17 have couched them as suggestions. He would have just ordered that, and he

18 would not be deferring to this command in any way. So I can't read it in

19 this manner. I can't understand it that way.

20 As for the suggestions, I think that his organs estimate was

21 better, that he saw that and he perhaps was not sure whether he had missed

22 something, and now he didn't want to belittle his generals, his

23 colleagues, telling them that they did not plan this operation in the

24 proper manner. So he is not issuing an order but is just making those is

25 suggestions in this document. This is the only way in which I can

Page 20751

1 interpret this document. I may be wrong, but this is the first time that

2 I see this document.

3 This is my thinking at this point in time. And based on what I

4 knew, I never heard about the existence of this Joint Command during the

5 war. I did see at the forward command post and I can see now from those

6 documents that it apparently did exist; but this may have been for the

7 very simple reason because the MUP was not subordinate to the VJ and

8 because there were those joint coordinated actions this term "Joint

9 Command" started to be used.

10 I was not at the Pristina Corps command post, so I couldn't really

11 comment on it. I didn't even hear about the reasons why this was written

12 or about the existence of maybe some problems at that --

13 Q. Please Colonel stop --

14 A. -- That would lead them to use those titles.

15 Q. You're getting beyond my questions?

16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kotur, is the form of this

17 document,"suggestions," something you're familiar with in the course of

18 your work in the VJ?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.

22 Q. Well, Colonel, let me move on to something else if I may. And one

23 thing you said in Milosevic at page 47525, when you and Mr. Nice were

24 talking about the Joint Command; and you said that the subordinate

25 commanders such as Jelic, Delic, could never obtain a document which would

Page 20752

1 say "Joint Command." If Jelic or Delic received any documents, they

2 needed to receive documents signed by the corps commander, not like this

3 without any signature at all or with just "Joint Command" at the bottom.

4 Do you recall giving that answer to a question by Mr. Nice?

5 A. I think I did, yeah.

6 Q. Is that still your position today?

7 A. I still maintain that this document alone, without anything could

8 not have had any effect. They would have had to receive another document

9 indicating that this was from the corps command. So this document alone,

10 I still maintain that it shouldn't have come in. Of course all kinds of

11 things happen.

12 Q. Let me show you Exhibit P2113. This is a document from the 125th

13 Motorised Brigade. It's dated the 7th of July, 1998. And have you seen

14 this before based on what you're able to read on the screen right now?

15 A. No. No. I didn't have an opportunity. Perhaps during the war, I

16 think, I might have seen it. It's 1998. But I didn't see it now during

17 the proofing.

18 Q. Okay. This comes from Colonel Zivanovic to his subordinates, and

19 you'll see item number 1 under the order says: "I prohibit the execution

20 of any operations by units and formations without the approval of the

21 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija and my own approval."

22 Do you read that there?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. He and above that in the introductory paragraph he has

25 written: "Pursuant to the order of the Joint Command for Kosovo and

Page 20753

1 Metohija. Strictly confidential. Number 1104-6, of 6 July 1998.

2 "I hereby order that ban on operations without the approval of the

3 Joint Command," and I will tell you that he testified that this was his

4 order and that he wrote it that way.

5 And would you agree with me that a subordinate when passing on an

6 order from a superior will incorporate the language of the order that he

7 has received from his superior? That's standard practice in the VJ, isn't

8 it? If you got an order from -- from the commander of the forward command

9 post that you were passing on, or from General Lazarevic, in 1999, you, in

10 passing it on, would incorporate the language in the order you got; right?

11 You're not allowed to change it.

12 A. You're right. That's how it would be done. The first part would

13 not be changed.

14 Q. And based on his answer to the same effect to that question, I

15 then ask him if he agreed then even though he did not have a copy of

16 1104-6 in front of him, he agreed that it must have been entitled "Joint

17 Command," otherwise he wouldn't have written that in his order to his

18 subordinates. That makes sense, doesn't it?

19 A. Well, if that's what Dragan told you, then it probably is how it

20 was. We at the forward command post in Djakovica in 1998, we were dealing

21 with completely different matters, so I don't know about that.

22 Q. Okay. Well, at the forward command post weren't you also

23 occasionally dealing with the Joint Command or actions directed by the

24 Joint Command? You wrote P1427 from the 10th of August, which makes

25 reference to the Joint Command being in command of that operation.

Page 20754

1 A. Yes, I did --

2 JUDGE BONOMY: One moment, Mr. Kotur.

3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] There is no problem with the questions

4 asked by Mr. Hannis or, that is, if he asked his questions one by one.

5 Now he asked three questions, one, two, three. So now I'm just wondering

6 which one, whether he had contacts with the Joint Command, that's one

7 question. Whether he had any contact with the documents of the Joint

8 Command. That's the second question. And now we have the third question

9 about the order. So could he just ask his questions one by one and then

10 we'll be fine. Thank you.

11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.

12 MR. HANNIS: I'm looking at the transcript, Your Honour. I see

13 one question and one statement. But perhaps it's a good time to break for

14 the day.

15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, your question is what? Just let's complete

16 this question.


18 Q. My question is, Colonel, weren't you also occasionally dealing

19 with the Joint Command on actions directed by the Joint Command?

20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, that's where the problem arises because your

21 question really is you wrote P1427 from the 10th of August which makes

22 reference to the Joint Command being in command of that operation.

23 MR. HANNIS: That's just a statement. He's already said that and

24 agreed with that. It's not a question. That's just a reminder, I guess.

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there's a difference between dealing with

Page 20755

1 actions directed by documents which refer to the Joint Command and dealing

2 with the Joint Command.

3 MR. HANNIS: Okay.

4 JUDGE BONOMY: And that's the point Mr. Fila's making.

5 MR. HANNIS: Perhaps it would be a good time to break then, Your

6 Honour.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.

8 Mr. Kotur, we have to terminate our proceedings for today at this

9 stage and resume tomorrow when you will require to return. Tomorrow we

10 have to sit in the afternoon, so you need to be here to resume your

11 evidence at 2.15 tomorrow. Could you now please leave the courtroom with

12 the usher. Or, sorry, in Courtroom III is that tomorrow? Yes, Courtroom

13 III tomorrow, a different courtroom as well at 2.15 tomorrow.

14 [The witness stands down]

15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.32 p.m.,

16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day

17 of January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.